Tehran Was Always America’s and Thus the Islamic State’s Final Destination

June 10, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Several were left dead and many more injured after coordinated terror attacks on Iran’s capital of Tehran. Shootings and bombings targeted Iran’s parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Khomeini.

According to Reuters, the so-called “Islamic State” claimed responsibility for the attack, which unfolded just days after another terror attack unfolded in London. The Islamic State also reportedly took responsibility for the violence in London, despite evidence emerging that the three suspects involved were long-known to British security and intelligence agencies and were simply allowed to plot and carry out their attacks.

It is much less likely that Tehran’s government coddled terrorists -as it has been engaged for years in fighting terrorism both on its borders and in Syria amid a vicious six-year war fueled by US, European, and Persian Gulf weapons, cash, and fighters.

Armed Violence Targeting Tehran Was the Stated Goal of US Policymakers

The recent terrorist attacks in Tehran are the literal manifestation of US foreign policy. The creation of a proxy force with which to fight Iran and establishing a safe haven for it beyond Iran’s borders have been long-stated US policy. The current chaos consuming Syria and Iraq – and to a lesser extent in southeast Turkey – is a direct result of the US attempting to secure a base of operations to launch a proxy war directly against Iran.

In the 2009 Brookings Institution document titled, “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran,” the use of then US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) as a proxy for instigating a full-fledged armed insurgency not unlike that which is currently unfolding in Syria was discussed in detail.

The report explicitly stated:

The United states could also attempt to promote external Iranian opposition groups, providing them with the support to turn themselves into full-fledged insurgencies and even helping them militarily defeat the forces of the clerical regime. The United states could work with groups like the Iraq-based National council of resistance of Iran (NCRI) and its military wing, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK), helping the thousands of its members who, under Saddam Husayn’s regime, were armed and had conducted guerrilla and terrorist operations against the clerical regime. although the NCRI is supposedly disarmed today, that could quickly be changed.

Brookings policymakers admitted throughout the report that MEK was responsible for killing both American and Iranian military personnel, politicians, and civilians in what was clear-cut terrorism. Despite this, and admissions that MEK remained indisputably a terrorist organization, recommendations were made to de-list it from the US State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization registry so that more overt support could be provided to the group for armed regime change.

Based on such recommendations and intensive lobbying, the US State Department would eventually de-list MEK in 2012 and the group would receive significant backing from the US openly. This included support from many members of current US President Donald Trump’s campaign team – including Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, and John Bolton.

However, despite these efforts, MEK was not capable then or now of accomplishing the lofty goal of instigating full-fledged insurrection against Tehran, necessitating the use of other armed groups. The 2009 Brookings paper made mention of other candidates under a section titled, “Potential Ethnic Proxies,” identifying Arab and Kurdish groups as well as possible candidates for a US proxy war against Tehran.

Under a section titled, “Finding a Conduit and Safe Haven,” Brookings notes:

Of equal importance (and potential difficulty) will be finding a neighboring country willing to serve as the conduit for U.S. aid to the insurgent group, as well as to provide a safe haven where the group can train, plan, organize, heal, and resupply.

For the US proxy war on Syria, Turkey and Jordan fulfill this role. For Iran, it is clear that US efforts would have to focus on establishing conduits and safe havens from Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province and from Kurdish-dominated regions in northern Iraq, eastern Syria, and southeastern Turkey – precisely where current upheaval is being fueled by US intervention both overtly and covertly.

Brookings noted in 2009 that:

It would be difficult to find or build an insurgency with a high likelihood of success. The existing candidates are weak and divided, and the Iranian regime is very strong relative to the potential internal and external challengers.

A group not mentioned by Brookings in 2009, but that exists in the very region the US seeks to create a conduit and safe haven for a proxy war with Iran, is the Islamic State. Despite claims that it is an independent terrorist organization propelled by black market oil sales, ransoms, and local taxes, its fighting capacity, logistical networks, and operational reach demonstrates vast state sponsorship.

The Ultimate Proxy, the Perfect Conduit and Safe Haven

The Islamic State reaching into Iran, southern Russia, and even as far as western China was not only possible, it was inevitable and the logical progression of US policy as stated by Brookings in 2009 and verifiably executed since then.

The Islamic State represents the perfect “proxy,” occupying the ideal conduit and safe haven for executing America’s proxy war against Iran and beyond. Surrounding the Islamic State’s holdings are US military bases, including those illegally constructed in eastern Syria. Were the US to wage war against Iran in the near future, it is likely these assets would all “coincidentally” coordinate against Tehran just as they are now being “coincidentally” coordinated against Damascus.

The use of terrorism, extremists, and proxies in executing US foreign policy, and the use of extremists observing the Islamic State and Al Qaeda’s brand of indoctrination was demonstrated definitively during the 1980’s when the US with the assistance of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan – used Al Qaeda to expel Soviet forces from Afghanistan. This example is in fact mentioned explicitly by Brookings policymakers as a template for creating a new proxy war – this time against Iran.

For the US, there is no better stand-in for Al Qaeda than its successor the Islamic State. US policymakers have demonstrated a desire to use known terrorist organizations to wage proxy war against targeted nation-states, has previously done so in Afghanistan, and has clearly organized the geopolitical game board on all sides of Iran to facilitate its agenda laid out in 2009. With terrorists now killing people in Tehran, it is simply verification that this agenda is advancing onward.

Iran’s involvement in the Syrian conflict illustrates that Tehran is well aware of this conspiracy and is actively defending against it both within and beyond its borders. Russia is likewise an ultimate target of the proxy war in Syria and is likewise involved in resolving it in favor of stopping it there before it goes further.

China’s small but expanding role in the conflict is linked directly to the inevitability of this instability spreading to its western Xianjiang province.

While terrorism in Europe, including the recent London attack, is held up as proof that the West is “also” being targeted by the Islamic State, evidence suggests otherwise. The attacks are more likely an exercise in producing plausible deniability.

In reality, the Islamic State – like Al Qaeda before it – depends on vast, multinational state sponsorship – state sponsorship the US, Europe, and its regional allies in the Persian Gulf are providing. It is also sponsorship they can – at anytime of their choosing – expose and end. They simply choose not to in pursuit of regional and global hegemony.

The 2009 Brookings paper is a signed and dated confession of the West’s proclivity toward using terrorism as a geopolitical tool. While Western headlines insist that nations like Iran, Russia, and China jeopardize global stability, it is clear that they themselves do so in pursuit of global hegemony.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.

Venezuela – Confronting the Neoliberal Propaganda Media Machine

by Peter Koenig

June 10, 2017

On 8 of JunVenezuela – Confronting the Neoliberal Propaganda Media Machinee, I had the privilege to attend a press conference hosted by the Venezuelan Ambassador in Bern, Switzerland. The purpose of the press conference was to clarify the current highly misrepresented situation in Venezuela, as well as explaining the process of electing a new National Constitutional Assembly (Asamblea Nacional Constituyente – ANC) on July 30, 2017.

In his hour-long presentation, the Ambassador introduced the issues at stake by explaining that Venezuela today has the largest known oil reserves in the world and the fourth largest deposits of gas; that the US is importing 60% of its lush energy use (a distant first of the globe’s per capita energy users), mostly from the Middle East, where it is subject to long and costly transport (40-45 days), and to many risk factors, including the Gulf of Hormuz, controlled by Iran, where today about one third of all the world’s petrol must pass through.

By contrast, shipments of petroleum from Venezuela across the Caribbean to the refineries in Texas takes only 4-5 days.

This is the main reason why Venezuela is in the White House’s crosshairs, plus, of course, the fact that for Washington it is totally intolerable to have a sovereign socialist Republic in its ‘backyard’ – and so close, the same syndrome applies also for Cuba, a genuinely successful socialist nation, having survived almost sixty years of atrocious and criminal American strangulation. There is no tolerance for sovereign independent countries that do not bend to the dictate of the United States and her behind the scene handlers.

The Ambassador then went on explaining the process of the upcoming election of the National Constitutional Assembly (ANC). He described the process of direct democracy, where Venezuelans elect their delegates by region and by sector, and where of course, the opposition was also supposed to participate, although the opposition’s leadership has already declared they would boycott the process.

The elected new ANC would then be called to amend the Constitution of 1999, to adapt it to today’s circumstances. The current Constitution was approved in a similar democratic process by the people and sanctioned by the ANC one year after President Hugo Chavez Frias became President in 1998. The 1999 Constitution is still valid and adhered to until this day.

The July election will choose 545 members to the National Assembly, of which two thirds (364) would be elected on a regional or territorial basis, and one third (181) by sectors of professions or activities, i.e. students, farmers, unions of different labor forces, employees, business owners – and so on. This cross-section of people’s representation is the most solid basis for democracy.

The Ambassador assured the journalists that there will be a very high peoples’ participation in the elections, as was the case for the 19 democratic elections that took place since1998, when Comandante Chavez became President.

This election should be an opportunity for the opposition to gather as many Assembly seats as possible, and then help shape the new Constitution in a fully democratic process. Not by street violence.

The fact that the opposition is planning to boycott the election shows clearly, they are not interested in democracy. They have one goal only, to oust President Maduro and take power, privatize state assets, especially hydrocarbons (petroleum and gas) to hand them to international mainly US corporations to be exploited at no benefits for the Venezuelan people.

This was precisely the case before President Chavez took the reins of the country. Foreign corporations, almost all North Americans, left not a dollar in tax revenues in Venezuela.

Venezuela today is arguably the only true democracy in the western world, as said on numerous occasions by Professor Noam Chomsky, MIT.

——-

To counter the neoliberal mainstream media’s (MSM) demonization of the Bolivarian Revolution and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and her President Nicolas Maduro, the Ambassador showed various videos demonstrating that the instigators of violence were clearly the armed opposition. They are constituted and led by a rich elite and supported ideologically and financially from outside.

Among different foreign sources of support and funding, most of them American, is the infamous National Endowment for Democracy – NED, a so called “fake” NGO “think-tank” (sic), receiving from the US State Department hundreds of millions of dollars per year to ’spread democracy’ American style around the globe, i.e. training local rebel groups abroad and within the targeted country to provoke instability through unrest and violence; distribute anti-government propaganda, infiltrate the media, universities and so on. They are the same who were responsible for the so-called Arab Spring and the Color Revolutions in former Soviet Republics, including Ukraine.

The facts explained and demonstrated by the Ambassador showed clearly who was responsible for most of the 67 deaths and more than 1,200 injured within the last couple of months.

This is all supported by unmistakable videos, showing government supporters, who are despite what the western media are saying, the vast majority – between 70% and 80%, demonstrating peacefully and unarmed.

However, western media twists and manipulates the truth to become anti-Venezuela propaganda, including video clips presented out of context, or outright falsified, blame the aggression on the government supporters, accusing authorities and police of oppressing civil liberties, of dictatorship, of killing its own people.

The western MSM do not show the weaponized right-wing opposition attacking police with explosives, putting police cars on fire and throwing Molotov cocktails and more sophisticated explosives at police and authorities.

This point of opposition violence, blackmail and more, is clearly demonstrated by a recent US journalist covering the riots for the pan-Latin American TeleSur TV. Ms. Abby Martin, the host of the Empire Files, an investigative program, told RT (Russia Today) that she received numerous death threats from opposition fighters during her work on the ground in Venezuela. She says protesters threatened to lynch and burn her alive if she tried to contradict their narrative (https://www.rt.com/news/391338-us-journalist-venezuela-threats/). This is to be taken seriously, because several journalists have already been murdered by the opposition.

——

The Ambassador made two very important points that the west should listen to. He said, that despite the violent social upheavals, the government is respecting the principles of democracy and has not declared a State of Emergency or Martial Law, nor curtailed private-owned foreign media slandering Venezuela with lies.

This contrasts with other countries, like France which for the past two years has been under a declared State of Emergency, just a small step below Martial Law, and is about to put this state of permanent militarization into her Constitution; or take Argentina which is suppressing foreign media like TeleSur (and were at the point of shutting down also RT), because they are telling Argentinians the inconvenient truth.

——

When the Ambassador opened the floor for questions and comments, most of the journalists present were polite, seeking clarifications of the election process. But there were two sore thumbs sticking out, the representatives of the two largest and most neoliberal Swiss newspapers, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ) and the Tagesanzeiger.

They came with a specific agenda. It seems they didn’t listen to anything the Ambassador said. They simply hurled their list of insults, accusations and offensive negative lie-propaganda at the Ambassador. Both of them are what one would assume in Switzerland, educated people. They must know the truth. If they don’t say the truth, they are most likely bought agents of the Anglo-Zionist network that controls 90% of the news throughout the western world. After they accomplished their mission of insulting the Ambassador, they left the conference.

Isn’t it a journalist’s foremost obligation to adhere to a code of ethics? – That’s what they were taught at universities, to seek the truth and portray the truth as objectively as possible.

And what about Switzerland? A country that boasts about its neutrality, appears to have completely abandoned her noble principles and moved to become Europe’s epicenter of neoliberalism. No wonder, such alternative international media like TeleSur and RT are not publicly offered to households by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SRG), the monopoly holder (90%) of Swiss television and radio providers.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media (China), TeleSUR, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

 

Interview with Parents of Venezuelan Man Set on Fire by Anti-Government Mob

The US regime change effort in Venezuela seems to be going full steam. On Saturday, May 20, a government supporter, 21-year-old Orlando Jose Figuera, was set on fire by a mob, most likely of the protestor-for-hire variety. The video above features an interview with his parents.

An RT report posted today contains the following:

Horrifying images from the scene show Figuera running while nearly naked with flames on his back. “A person was set on fire, beaten up, stabbed… They nearly lynched him, just because he shouted out that he was a ‘Chavista,’” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, referring to supporters of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela established by late leader Hugo Chavez.

Speaking on state TV, Maduro described the torching as “a hate crime and a crime against humanity.” The 21-year-old victim, who sustained heavy injuries, severe burns, and stab wounds, was taken to intense care.

Amazingly Figuera survived, or at least he’s still alive for the moment.

The Washington Post seems to be doing its faithful best to promote the regime-change effort. An article published today, headlined “Venezuela is Sliding into Anarchy,” says  Figuera was attacked by a “lynch mob,” but not until much further down in the story (a total of 13 paragraphs) do the writers finally get around to mentioning that the victim was a supporter of the government–and then the information is given in such a back-handed manner it is almost as if they are seeking to provide moral justification for what happened to him:

He was suspected of being a pro-government spy, according to some versions. Others alleged he was a thief.

The story also portrays anti-government protest leaders as nonviolent, while including the customary comments on the situation from a Western think tank–in this case the International Crisis Group

Gunson, of the International Crisis Group, said he did not think Venezuela’s opposition leaders could control the spreading turmoil or turn down the temperature. “Only a decision by the government to de-escalate would do it, and there is no sign of that,” he said. “Quite the contrary.”

“I think we will start to see curfews, mass arrests, a higher daily death rate and even worse violations of human rights,” said Gunson.

In other words, if the protests grow even more violent, it’s the government’s fault. The International Crisis Group, by the way, was co-founded by George Soros, who is today listed as a member of the Board of Trustees, according to Wikipedia. Other Jews on the board include former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, and Israeli journalist Nahum Barnea. And if all thls isn’t enough, the Wikipedia article also includes the following tidbit which would strongly suggest the International Crisis Group cannot possibly be an objective observer of events in Venezuela:

Moisés Naím, a member of the board of directors of the International Crisis Group served as the Venezuelan Minister for Development for the centrist government of Carlos Andrés Pérez. In 2011 the International Crisis Group released a report intimating that the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez might suffer “unpredictable, possibly violent consequences” if it did not audit the election results in which Chávez won.[15] The election results have been recognized as valid by 170 neutral international observers with the exception of the United States government, who along with allied governments, provides half of the funding for the International Crisis Group. (emphasis added)

None of this, of course, is mentioned in the Washington Post story.

By the way, former Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez survived a coup attempt by Hugo Chavez in 1992, but later was ousted after the Venezuelan Supreme Court found him guilty of embezzling 250 million bolivars.

Of this past Saturday’s events, Venezuela Analysis is reporting as follows:

The incident occurred during another day of anti-government protest that saw opposition supporters attempt to march on the Ministry of the Interior in downtown Caracas, despite lacking a permit for the route.

The march was preceded by a speech by Miranda Governor and former opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles in which he called Maduro the “the biggest m—–f–cker in the country”.

“We will remain firm until this corrupt narco-dictatorship leaves Venezuela, until we have the change we want… If we have to risk our skin, we will risk it!” he told the crowds.

Although the march began peacefully, the mobilization later devolved into violent clashes as demonstrators tried to penetrate police lines around the western Caracas municipality of El Libertador.

It seems the Trump administration is fully on board with the regime change effort, and apparently Exxon-Mobil, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s former employer, has a particular interest at stake. This at any rate is the assessment in an article published several days ago by Eric Draitser:

There is a misconception spreading through the Beltway like an airborne virus, infectious in its obliviousness to reality: the idea that the administration of President Donald Trump is so bogged down by scandal and controversy that it cannot achieve any geopolitical and strategic objectives. In fact, the opposite is true. Like a cornered animal, Trump and his team are exceedingly dangerous, both in their unpredictability and, strangely enough, also in their predictability.

And when it comes to Venezuela, their strategy is transparent.

Oil reigns supreme in the minds of Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the rest of the administration. In the case of Venezuela, oil remains the lifeblood of its economy.  So in a very real sense, the White House and State Department’s interests converge with the economic imperatives of corporate America in the Bolivarian Republic.

Tillerson represents perhaps the perfect embodiment of U.S. government attitudes toward Venezuela. A slick oil man through and through, Tillerson has long sought to destabilize Venezuela in an attempt to reassert ExxonMobil’s supremacy in the country.

Venezuela’s recent rocky history begins with Chavez’s nationalization of the oil sector under the state oil company PDVSA in 2007. The Chavez government offered ExxonMobil book value for assets that it intended to assume control over, while the Tillerson-led company demanded market value, which they priced at roughly $15 billion.  Eventually, the World Bank’s arbitration court ordered Venezuela to pay $1.6 billion to ExxonMobil.

But ExxonMobil’s anger at Caracas was certainly not assuaged with that settlement agreement. In fact, the following decade saw ExxonMobil step up efforts to destabilize Venezuela’s socialist government using a variety of tactics.

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US Policymakers Openly Plot Against Venezuela

May 24, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – The US media has been paying increasing attention to the unfolding crisis in the South American nation of Venezuela. As the US media has done elsewhere, it is attempting to portray the unfolding crisis as a result of a corrupt dictatorship fighting against a “pro-democracy” opposition.
In reality, it is simply a repeat of US-driven regime change aimed at toppling Venezuela’s independent state institutions and replacing them with institutions created by and for US special interests.

The “opposition” is comprised of US-backed political parties and US-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) many of which are listed on the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website.

The UK Independent in a 2016 article titled, “Venezuela accuses US of plotting coup as Washington warns of ‘imminent collapse’,” would even admit:

…observers of the region point out that the US has a long history of seeking to interfere in the politics of Venezuela, as well as elsewhere in Latin America.

In addition to supporting those who ousted Mr Chavez in 2002, the US poured hundreds of thousands of dollars to his opponents via the so-called National Endowment for Democracy.

To understand America’s actual role amid Venezuela’s unfolding crisis, one must read policy papers produced by organizations called “think tanks” which devise and promote US policy.
The Brookings Institution is a Fortune 500-funded policy think tank. It is populated by policymakers who represent the collective ambitions of some of the world’s most powerful corporate-financier interests including big-oil, defense, agricultural monopolies, pharmaceutical corporations, media interests, and more.
Image: Just some of the Brookings Institution’s corporate-financier sponsors.
Brookings and think tanks similar to it, have regularly produced policy and media guidelines later disseminated across the Western media and Western legislatures through public relations firms and lobbyists. Think tanks are where the real agenda of the West is agreed upon and promoted from.
A recent piece featured upon the Brookings Institution’s website titled, “Venezuela: A path out of crisis,” lays out a 5-point plan toward escalating Venezuela’s already precarious situation (emphasis added):

1. The United States could expand its assistance to countries that until now have been dependent on Venezuelan oil, as a means to decrease regional support for and dependence on the Maduro government.

2. The United States could increase monetary assistance to credible civil society organizations and nongovernmental organizations able to deliver food and medicines to Venezuelans. By doing so, the United States should make clear that international pressure aims to support democracy, not punish the Venezuelan people.

3. The United States could support efforts by the opposition in Venezuela to build an “off-ramp” that would split moderate elements of the government away from hardliners, encouraging the former to acquiesce to a transition to democracy by lowering their costs of exiting government.

4. The United States could coordinate with international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to offer financial incentives for holding free and fair elections in 2018, and for the opposition to unify and compete in those elections. Such coordination would also involve developing and publicizing a credible plan to restart Venezuela’s economy.

5. As a last resort, the United States could consider raising economic costs to the government through an expanded sanctions regime that aims to limit Venezuelan earnings from oil exports and block further financing. This policy is risky, given that the Maduro government would be able to more credibly shift blame for the economic crisis onto the United States, and should be accompanied by well-publicized efforts to deliver humanitarian aid through credible civil society and nongovernmental organizations.

It is a prescription for further economic isolation, US-funded political subversion, and with its reference to “a transition to democracy,” an oblique call for regime change.

The US media – particularly organizations operating from under right cover – have portrayed Venezuela’s economic crisis as primarily related to “socialism” and corruption. In reality, factors that would have only impeded the full realization of Venezuela’s economic progress have been intentionally compounded through US sanctions, economic sabotage, and political subversion to precipitate the currently unfolding socioeconomic and humanitarian crisis.

Venezuela would not be the first nation the US targeted for economic implosion in South America.

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its own online archives available to the public under a section titled, “CIA Activities in Chile,” would admit (emphasis added):

According to the Church Committee report, in their meeting with CIA Director Richard Helms and Attorney General John Mitchell on 15 September 1970 President Nixon and his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, directed the CIA to prevent Allende from taking power. They were “not concerned [about the] risks involved,” according to Helms’ notes. In addition to political action, Nixon and Kissinger, according to Helms’s notes, ordered steps to “make the economy scream.”

These Cold War attitudes persisted into the Pinochet era. After Pinochet came to power, senior policymakers appeared reluctant to criticize human rights violations, taking to task US diplomats urging greater attention to the problem. US military assistance and sales grew significantly during the years of greatest human rights abuses. According to a previously released Memorandum of Conversation, Kissinger in June 1976 indicated to Pinochet that the US Government was sympathetic to his regime, although Kissinger advised some progress on human rights in order to improve Chile’s image in the US Congress.

With violence increasing in the streets of Venezuela and many of the rhetorical tactics used to set the stage for violent  regime change and humanitarian catastrophe in Libya and Syria now being used to topple the government in Caracas – the world must get ahead of the propaganda and begin exposing this open conspiracy against yet another sovereign nation.

Venezuela’s political system is for the Venezuelan people themselves to decide – without US interference. A government dominated by US-backed opposition members will leave Venezuela as an extension of US corporate-financier special interests, not an alternative or check against them This only serves in inviting further abuse by these interests not only in South America, but all around the world – Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Ukraine for example – where America’s unwarranted wealth and influence is sowing instability, conflict, and catastrophe.

The Globalization of War, America’s “Long War” against Humanity by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, May 23, 2017

The Globalization of War is undoubtedly one of the most important books on the contemporary global situation produced in recent years. 

In his latest masterpiece, Professor Michel Chossudovsky shows how the various conflicts we are witnessing today in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Palestine are in fact inter-linked and inter-locked through a single-minded agenda in pursuit of global hegemony helmed by the United States and buttressed by its allies in the West and in other regions of the world.   Dr Chandra Muzaffar, President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST)

The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity

Michel Chossudovsky

$15.00, Save 35% on list price

The following text is the Preface of  Michel Chossudovsky’s New Book entitled: The Globalization of War, America’s Long War against Humanity

The Book can be ordered directly from Global Research Publishers.  

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PREFACE

The “globalization of war” is a hegemonic project. Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

Under a global military agenda, the actions undertaken by the Western military alliance (U.S.-NATO-Israel) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Ukraine, Syria and Iraq are coordinated at the highest levels of the military hierarchy. We are not dealing with piecemeal military and intelligence operations. The July-August 2014 attack on Gaza by Israeli forces was undertaken in close consultation with the United States and NATO. The actions in Ukraine and their timing coincided with the onslaught of the attack on Gaza.

In turn, military undertakings are closely coordinated with a process of economic warfare which consists not only in imposing sanctions on sovereign countries but also in deliberate acts of destabilization of financial and currencies markets, with a view to undermining the enemies’ national economies.

The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. As we go to press, U.S. and NATO forces have been deployed in Eastern Europe including Ukraine. U.S. military intervention under a humanitarian mandate is proceeding in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. and its allies are threatening China under President Obama’s “Pivot to Asia”.

In turn, military maneuvers are being conducted at Russia’s doorstep which could potentially lead to escalation.

The U.S. airstrikes initiated in September 2014 directed against Iraq and Syria under the pretext of going after the Islamic State are part of a scenario of military escalation extending from North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean to Central and South Asia.

The Western military alliance is in an advanced state of readiness. And so is Russia.

Russia is heralded as the “Aggressor”. U.S.-NATO military confrontation with Russia is contemplated.

Enabling legislation in the U.S. Senate under “The Russian Aggression Prevention Act” (RAPA) has “set the U.S. on a path towards direct military conflict with Russia in Ukraine.”

Any U.S.-Russian war is likely to quickly escalate into a nuclear war, since neither the U.S. nor Russia would be willing to admit defeat, both have many thousands of nuclear weapons ready for instant use, and both rely upon Counterforce military doctrine that tasks their military, in the event of war, to pre-emptively destroy the nuclear forces of the enemy.1

The Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) is the culmination of more than twenty years of U.S.-NATO war preparations, which consist in the military encirclement of both Russia and China:

From the moment the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the United States has relentlessly pursued a strategy of encircling Russia, just as it has with other perceived enemies like China and Iran. It has brought 12 countries in central Europe, all of them formerly allied with Moscow, into the NATO alliance. U.S. military power is now directly on Russia’s borders.2

The Globalization of War by Global Research

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Worldwide Militarization

 From the outset of the post World War II period to the present, America’s s global military design has been one of world conquest. War and globalization are intricately related. Militarization supports powerful economic interests. America’s “Long War” is geared towards worldwide corporate expansion and the conquest of new economic frontiers.

The concept of the “Long War” is an integral part of U.S. military doctrine. Its ideological underpinnings are intended to camouflage the hegemonic project of World conquest. Its implementation relies on a global alliance of 28 NATO member states. In turn, the U.S. as well as NATO have established beyond the “Atlantic Region” a network of bilateral military alliances with “partner” countries directed against Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. What we are dealing with is a formidable military force, deployed in all major regions of the World.

The “Long War” is based on the concept of “Self-Defense”. The United States and the Western World are threatened. “The Long War” constitutes “an epic struggle against adversaries bent on forming a unified Islamic world to supplant western dominance”. Underlying the “Long War”, according to a study by the Rand Corporation, the Western World must address “three potential threats”:

  • those related to the ideologies espoused by key adversaries in the conflict,
  • those related to the use of terrorism • those related to governance (i.e., its absence or presence, its quality, and the predisposition of specific governing bodies to the United States and its interests). … in order to ensure that this long war follows a favorable course, the United States will need to make a concerted effort across all three domains.3

Our objective in this book is to focus on various dimensions of America’s hegemonic wars, by providing both a historical overview as well as an understanding of America’s contemporary wars all of which, from a strategic viewpoint, are integrated.

Our analysis will focus on the dangers of nuclear war and the evolution of military doctrine in the post-9/11 era.

The central role of media propaganda as well as the failures of the anti-war movement will also be addressed. While the first chapter provides an overview, the subsequent chapters provide an insight into different dimensions of America’s long war.

Chapter I, Imperial Conquest: America’s “Long War” against Humanity provides a post World War II historical overview of America’s wars from Korea and Vietnam to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. There is a continuum in U.S. Foreign Policy from the Truman Doctrine of the late 1940s to the neocons and neoliberals of the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.

Part II focuses on the dangers of nuclear war and global nuclear radiation.

Chapter II, The Dangers of Nuclear War Conversations with Fidel Castro consists of Conversations with Fidel Castro and the author pertaining to the future of humanity and the post-Cold War process of militarization. This exchange took place in Havana in October 2010.

Chapter III focuses on the doctrine of Pre-emptive Nuclear and the Role of Israel in triggering a first strike use of nuclear weapons against Iran.

Chapter IV, The Threat of Nuclear War, North Korea or the United States? focuses on the persistent U.S. threat (since 1953) of using nuclear weapons against North Korea while labeling North Korea a threat to global security.

Chapter V, Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War. The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation examines the dangers of nuclear energy and its unspoken relationship to nuclear weapons. Nuclear energy is not a civilian economic activity. It is an appendage of the nuclear weapons industry which is controlled by the so-called defense contractors. The powerful corporate interests behind nuclear energy and nuclear weapons overlap.

Part III illustrates at a country level, the modus operandi of U.S. military and intelligence interventions, including regime change and the covert support of terrorist organizations. The country case studies (Yugoslavia, Haiti, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Ukraine) illustrate how individual nation states are destabilized as a result of U.S.-NATO covert operations and “humanitarian wars.” While the nature and circumstances of these countries are by no means similar, there is a common thread. The purpose is to provide a comparative understanding of country-level impacts of America’s long war against humanity. In all the countries analyzed, the intent has been to destroy, destabilize and impoverish sovereign countries.

Chapter VI, NATO’s War on Yugoslavia: Kosovo “Freedom Fighters” Financed by Organized Crime examines the role of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) as an instrument of political destabilization. In Yugoslavia, the endgame of NATO’s intervention was to carve up a prosperous and successful “socialist market economy” into seven proxy states. The political and economic breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s served as a “role model” for subsequent “humanitarian military endeavors.”

Chapter VII, The U.S. led Coup d’Etat in Haiti against the government of Jean Bertrand Aristide was carried out in February 2004 with the support of Canada and France. In a bitter irony, the U.S. ambassador to Haiti James Foley, had previously played a central role as U.S. special envoy to Yugoslavia, channeling covert support to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In Haiti, his responsibilities included U.S. aid to the Front pour la Libération et la reconstruction nationale (FLRN) (National Liberation and Reconstruction Front) largely integrated by former Tonton Macoute death squads. Closely coordinated with the process of regime change and military intervention, the IMF-World Bank macroeconomic reforms played a crucial role in destroying the national and impoverishing the Haitian population.

Chapter VIII, “Operation Libya” and the Battle for Oil: Redrawing the Map of Africa reveals the hidden agenda behind NATO’s 2011 humanitarian war on Libya, which consisted in acquiring control and ownership of Libya’s extensive oil reserves, that is, almost twice those of the United States of America. U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) played a key role in the war on Libya in coordination with NATO.

Libya is the gateway to the Sahel and Central Africa. More generally, what is at stake is the redrawing of the map of Africa at the expense of France’s historical spheres of influence in West and Central Africa, namely a process of neocolonial re-division.

Chapter IX, The War on Iraq and Syria. Terrorism with a “Human Face”: The History of America’s Death Squads examines U.S.-NATO’s covert war on Syria, which consists in creating Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist entities. The U.S.-led covert war consists in recruiting, training and financing Islamist death squads which are used as the foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance. The ultimate military objective is the destruction of both Iraq and Syria.

Chapter X, War and Natural Gas. The Israel Invasion and Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields focuses on Israel’s attack directed against Gaza with a view to confiscating Gaza’s offshore gas reserves.

In Chapter XI, The U.S. has Installed a Neo-Nazi Government in Ukraine, the structure of the U.S.-EU sponsored proxy regime in Kiev is examined. Key positions in government and the Armed Forces are in the hands of the two neo-Nazi parties. The Ukraine National Guard financed and trained by the West is largely integrated by Neo-Nazis Brown Shirts.

Part IV is entitled Breaking the American Inquisition. Reversing the Tide of War focuses on some of the contradictions of the antiwar movement.

Chapter XII, The “American Inquisition” and the “Global War on Terrorism” analyzes the central role of America’s “war on terrorism” doctrine in harnessing public support for a global war of conquest. The “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) is a fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the multi-billion dollar U.S. intelligence community.

Today’s “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) is a modern form of inquisition. It has all the essential ingredients of the French and Spanish Inquisitions. Going after “Islamic terrorists”, carrying out a worldwide pre-emptive war to “protect the Homeland” are used to justify a military agenda.

In turn, “The Global War on Terrorism” is presented as a “Clash of Civilizations”, a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives.

Chapter XII, “Manufactured Dissent”, Colored Revolutions and the Antiwar Movement in Crisis examines the role of corporate foundations in funding dissent and the inability of “progressive” civil society organizations and antiwar collectives to effectively confront the tide of media disinformation and war propaganda.

Michel Chossudovsky, Montreal, December 2014

COMMENDATIONS

The Globalization of War is an extraordinarily important book. It tags the origin of a long series of wars and conflicts, from the end of World War II to the present, as being direct products of U.S. Foreign Policy. Nothing happens by accident. U.S. provocateurs, usually agents of the CIA, incite one conflict after another in what Michael Chossudovsky labels America’s “Long War” against Humanity.

It comprises a war on two fronts. Those countries that can either be “bought,” or destabilized by a corrupt international financial system, are easy targets for effective conquest. In other cases insurrection, riots and wars are used to solicit American military intervention to fill the pockets of the military-industrial complex that General Eisenhower warned us about. The “End Game” is a New World Order embracing a dual economic and military dictatorship prepared to use atomic weapons and risk the future of the entire human species to achieve its ends.

Michel Chossudovsky is one of the few individuals I know who has analyzed the anatomy of the New World Order and recognized the threat to the entire human species that it is. The Globalization of War is a must read for anyone who prefers peace and hope to perpetual war, death, dislocation and despair. Hon. Paul Hellyer, former Canadian Minister of National Defence

Professor Michel Chossudovsky is the most realistic of all foreign policy commentators. He does not lie for money and position, and he does not sell his soul for influence. His book provides an honest appraisal of the extreme danger that hegemonic and demonic American neoconservatism poses to life on earth. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Treasury, former Wall Street Journal editor,  former Wm. E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University. 

At these moments when  the threat  of humanity’s  extinction  by the forces  unleashed by the  empire  and its vassals,  it is imperative that we  grasp  the nature of the beast  that threatens us with  its endless wars perpetrated in the name of the  highest levels of freedom.

This  vital work by an outstanding teacher  will remain an enduring testimony  of the author’s  all-embracing  humanism and scholarship that has always been inseparable  from his political activism  that spans  several decades.    It should be mandatory reading  for those seeking to understand , and thus  to contain and repel,   the  compulsive  onslaughts   of the hegemon’s  endless wars with its boundless bestialities and crimes against humanity..Dr Frederic F. Clairmonte, award winning author and political economist, distinguished (former) economic analyst at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Globalization of War is undoubtedly one of the most important books on the contemporary global situation produced in recent years. It comes from the pen of one of the most insightful and incisive writers on global politics and the global economy alive today.

In his latest masterpiece, Professor Michel Chossudovsky shows how the various conflicts we are witnessing today in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Palestine are in fact inter-linked and inter-locked through a single-minded agenda in pursuit of global hegemony helmed by the United States and buttressed by its allies in the West and in other regions of the world. This Machiavellian, indeed, diabolical agenda not only centres around wars of conquest and subjugation but also seeks to dismember and destroy sovereign states. Russia, China and Iran are the primary targets of this drive for dominance and control. The underlying economic motives behind this drive are camouflaged in the guise of a civilized West fighting “barbaric Islamic terrorism” which as Chossudovsky exposes is sometimes sponsored and sustained by intelligent networks in the West.

Chossudovsky has aptly described this US helmed agenda for hegemony as a “long war against humanity.” It is an assertion that is backed by solid facts and detailed analysis in a brilliant work that should be read by all those who are concerned about the prevailing human condition. And that should include each and every citizen of planet earth. Dr. Chandra Muzaffar, President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST) and former Professor of Global Studies at the Science University of Malaysia.

The media, political leaders, academics and the public at large often forget to put into historical perspective the spiral of daily news: we tend to concentrate on the latest events and crisis.

This may explain why the latest report of the US Senate on CIA’s rendition flights, detention places in black wholes and use of torture following 9/11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq has been received as a surprise and shocking news. Such practices have been well known by the international community and depicted, among others, in a number of United Nations documents as well as in Dick Marty’s reports to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

This CIA’s behavior has a long history including assassination plots of political leaders, coups d’Etat, terrorist attacks and other subversive actions that merge into a recurrent pattern.

The Pax Americana like the Pax Romana has been built through wars and domination. General Smedley D. Butler, a hero and the most decorated soldier of the United States had already denounced the US policy in his book “War is a racket”, written over 70 years ago.

Michel Chossudovsky’s book “The Globalization of Warfare” has the great merit of putting into historical perspective the hegemonic project that has been carried out by the United States through various centuries for the control and exploitation of natural resources. Jose L. Gomez del PradoUN Independent Human Rights Expert, Former Member UN Group on the use of mercenaries

Michel Chossudovsky leads the world in communicating critical information that few or none know. He is a perfect guide for the East European to Russia war now in the making. John McMurty, professor emeritus, Guelph University, Fellow of the Royal Society of  Canada

Michel Chossudovsky ranks as the world’s leading expert on globalization – a hegemonic weapon that empowers financial elites and enslaves 99 percent of the world’s population. The Globalization of War exposes covert operations waging economic warfare designed to destabilize national economies deemed to be inimical to the USA and her NATO allies. The military dimension of western hegemonic strategies threatens to trigger a permanent global war. Chossudovsky’s book is diplomatic dynamite – and the fuse is burning rapidly. Michael Carmichael, President of the Planetary Movement 

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The Globalization of War: America’s “Long War” against Humanity

Michel Chossudovsky

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-6-0
Year: 2015
Pages: 240 Pages

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How U.S. Military Bases Back Dictators, Autocrats, and Military Regimes

How U.S. Military Bases Back Dictators, Autocrats, and Military Regimes

By David Vine

Information Clearing House” –  Much outrage has been expressed in recent weeks over President Donald Trump’s invitation for a White House visit to Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, whose “war on drugs” has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings. Criticism of Trump was especially intense given his similarly warm public support for other authoritarian rulers like Egypt’s Abdel Fatah al-Sisi (who visited the Oval Office to much praise only weeks earlier), Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who got a congratulatory phone call from President Trump on his recent referendum victory, granting him increasingly unchecked powers), and Thailand’s Prayuth Chan-ocha (who also received a White House invitation).

But here’s the strange thing: the critics generally ignored the far more substantial and long-standing bipartisan support U.S. presidents have offered these and dozens of other repressive regimes over the decades. After all, such autocratic countries share one striking thing in common. They are among at least 45 less-than-democratic nations and territories that today host scores of U.S. military bases, from ones the size of not-so-small American towns to tiny outposts. Together, these bases are homes to tens of thousands of U.S. troops.

“This pattern of daily support for dictatorship and repression around the world should be a national scandal in a country supposedly committed to democracy.”

To ensure basing access from Central America to Africa, Asia to the Middle East, U.S. officials have repeatedly collaborated with fiercely anti-democratic regimes and militaries implicated in torture, murder, the suppression of democratic rights, the systematic oppression of women and minorities, and numerous other human rights abuses. Forget the recent White House invitations and Trump’s public compliments. For nearly three quarters of a century, the United States has invested tens of billions of dollars in maintaining bases and troops in such repressive states. From Harry Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower to George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Republican and Democratic administrations alike have, since World War II, regularly shown a preference for maintaining bases in undemocratic and often despotic states, including Spain under Generalissimo Francisco Franco, South Korea under Park Chung-hee, Bahrain under King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, and Djibouti under four-term President Ismail Omar Guelleh, to name just four.

Many of the 45 present-day undemocratic U.S. base hosts qualify as fully “authoritarian regimes,” according to the Economist Democracy Index. In such cases, American installations and the troops stationed on them are effectively helping block the spread of democracy in countries like Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kuwait, Niger, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

This pattern of daily support for dictatorship and repression around the world should be a national scandal in a country supposedly committed to democracy. It should trouble Americans ranging from religious conservatives and libertarians to leftists — anyone, in fact, who believes in the democratic principles enshrined in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. After all, one of the long-articulated justifications for maintaining military bases abroad has been that the U.S. military’s presence protects and spreads democracy.

Far from bringing democracy to these lands, however, such bases tend to provide legitimacy for and prop up undemocratic regimes of all sorts, while often interfering with genuine efforts to encourage political and democratic reform. The silencing of the critics of human rights abuses in base hosts like Bahrain, which has violently cracked down on pro-democracy demonstrators since 2011, has left the United States complicit in these states’ crimes.

During the Cold War, bases in undemocratic countries were often justified as the unfortunate but necessary consequence of confronting the “communist menace” of the Soviet Union. But here’s the curious thing: in the quarter century since the Cold War ended with that empire’s implosion, few of those bases have closed. Today, while a White House visit from an autocrat may generate indignation, the presence of such installations in countries run by repressive or military rulers receives little notice at all.

Befriending Dictators

The 45 nations and territories with little or no democratic rule represent more than half of the roughly 80 countries now hosting U.S. bases (who often lack the power to ask their “guests” to leave).  They are part of a historically unprecedented global network of military installations the United States has built or occupied since World War II.

Today, while there are no foreign bases in the United States, there are around 800 U.S. bases in foreign countries. That number was recently even higher, but it still almost certainly represents a record for any nation or empire in history. More than 70 years after World War II and 64 years after the Korean War, there are, according to the Pentagon, 181 U.S. “base sites” in Germany, 122 in Japan, and 83 in South Korea. Hundreds more dot the planet from Aruba to Australia, Belgium to Bulgaria, Colombia to Qatar. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, civilians, and family members occupy these installations. By my conservative estimate, to maintain such a level of bases and troops abroad, U.S. taxpayers spend at least $150 billion annually — more than the budget of any government agency except the Pentagon itself.

For decades, leaders in Washington have insisted that bases abroad spread our values and democracy — and that may have been true to some extent in occupied Germany, Japan, and Italy after World War II. However, as base expert Catherine Lutz suggests, the subsequent historical record shows that “gaining and maintaining access for U.S. bases has often involved close collaboration with despotic governments.”

The bases in the countries whose leaders President Trump has recently lauded illustrate the broader pattern. The United States has maintained military facilities in the Philippines almost continuously since seizing that archipelago from Spain in 1898. It only granted the colony independence in 1946, conditioned on the local government’s agreement that the U.S. would retain access to more than a dozen installations there.

After independence, a succession of U.S. administrations supported two decades of Ferdinand Marcos’s autocratic rule, ensuring the continued use of Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base, two of the largest U.S. bases abroad. After the Filipino people finally ousted Marcos in 1986 and then made the U.S. military leave in 1991, the Pentagon quietly returned in 1996. With the help of a “visiting forces agreement” and a growing stream of military exercises and training programs, it began to set up surreptitious, small-scale bases once more. A desire to solidify this renewed base presence, while also checking Chinese influence, undoubtedly drove Trump’s recent White House invitation to Duterte. It came despite the Filipino president’s record of joking about rape, swearing he would be “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts just as “Hitler massacred [six] million Jews,” and bragging, “I don’t care about human rights.”

 

In Turkey, President Erdogan’s increasingly autocratic rule is only the latest episode in a pattern of military coups and undemocratic regimes interrupting periods of democracy. U.S. bases have, however, been a constant presence in the country since 1943. They repeatedly caused controversy and sparked protest — first throughout the 1960s and 1970s, before the Bush administration’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, and more recently after U.S. forces began using them to launch attacks in Syria.

Although Egypt has a relatively small U.S. base presence, its military has enjoyed deep and lucrative ties with the U.S. military since the signing of the Camp David Accords with Israel in 1979. After a 2013 military coup ousted a democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood government, the Obama administration took months to withhold some forms of military and economic aid, despite more than 1,300 killings by security forces and the arrest of more than 3,500 members of the Brotherhood. According to Human Rights Watch, “Little was said about ongoing abuses,” which have continued to this day.

In Thailand, the U.S. has maintained deep connections with the Thai military, which has carried out 12 coups since 1932. Both countries have been able to deny that they have a basing relationship of any sort, thanks to a rental agreement between a private contractor and U.S. forces at Thailand’s Utapao Naval Air Base. “Because of [contractor] Delta Golf Global,” writes journalist Robert Kaplan, “the U.S. military was here, but it was not here. After all, the Thais did no business with the U.S. Air Force. They dealt only with a private contractor.”

Elsewhere, the record is similar. In monarchical Bahrain, which has had a U.S. military presence since 1949 and now hosts the Navy’s 5th Fleet, the Obama administration offered only the most tepid criticism of the government despite an ongoing, often violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. According to Human Rights Watch and others (including an independent commission of inquiry appointed by the Bahraini king, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa), the government has been responsible for widespread abuses including the arbitrary arrest of protesters, ill treatment during detention, torture-related deaths, and growing restrictions on freedoms of speech, association, and assembly. The Trump administration has already signaled its desire to protect the military-to-military ties of the two countries by approving a sale of F-16 fighters to Bahrain without demanding improvements in its human rights record.

And that’s typical of what base expert Chalmers Johnson once called the American “baseworld.” Research by political scientist Kent Calder confirms what’s come to be known as the “dictatorship hypothesis”: “The United States tends to support dictators [and other undemocratic regimes] in nations where it enjoys basing facilities.” Another large-scale study similarly shows that autocratic states have been “consistently attractive” as base sites. “Due to the unpredictability of elections,” it added bluntly, democratic states prove “less attractive in terms [of] sustainability and duration.”

Even within what are technically U.S. borders, democratic rule has regularly proved “less attractive” than preserving colonialism into the twenty-first century. The presence of scores of bases in Puerto Rico and the Pacific island of Guam has been a major motivation for keeping these and other U.S. “territories” — American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands — in varying degrees of colonial subordination. Conveniently for military leaders, they have neither full independence nor the full democratic rights that would come with incorporation into the U.S. as states, including voting representation in Congress and the presidential vote.  Installations in at least five of Europe’s remaining colonies have proven equally attractive, as has the base that U.S. troops have forcibly occupied in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, since shortly after the Spanish-American War of 1898.

Backing Dictators

Authoritarian rulers tend to be well aware of the desire of U.S. officials to maintain the status quo when it comes to bases. As a result, they often capitalize on a base presence to extract benefits or help ensure their own political survival.

The Philippines’ Marcos, former South Korean dictator Syngman Rhee, and more recently Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh have been typical in the way they used bases to extract economic assistance from Washington, which they then lavished on political allies to shore up their power. Others have relied on such bases to bolster their international prestige and legitimacy or to justify violence against domestic political opponents. After the 1980 Kwangju massacre in which the South Korean government killed hundreds, if not thousands, of pro-democracy demonstrators, strongman General Chun Doo-hwan explicitly cited the presence of U.S. bases and troops to suggest that his actions enjoyed Washington’s support. Whether or not that was true is still a matter of historical debate. What’s clear, however, is that American leaders have regularly muted their criticism of repressive regimes lest they imperil bases in these countries. In addition, such a presence tends to strengthen military, rather than civilian, institutions in countries because of the military-to-military ties, arms sales, and training missions that generally accompany basing agreements.

Meanwhile, opponents of repressive regimes often use the bases as a tool to rally nationalist sentiment, anger, and protest against both ruling elites and the United States. That, in turn, tends to fuel fears in Washington that a transition to democracy might lead to base eviction, often leading to a doubling down on support for undemocratic rulers. The result can be an escalating cycle of opposition and U.S.-backed repression.

Blowback

While some defend the presence of bases in undemocratic countries as necessary to deter “bad actors” and support “U.S. interests” (primarily corporate ones), backing dictators and autocrats frequently leads to harm not just for the citizens of host nations but for U.S. citizens as well. The base build-up in the Middle East has proven the most prominent example of this. Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iranian Revolution, which both unfolded in 1979, the Pentagon has built up scores of bases across the Middle East at a cost of tens of billions of taxpayer dollars. According to former West Point professor Bradley Bowman, such bases and the troops that go with them have been a “major catalyst for anti-Americanism and radicalization.” Research has similarly revealed a correlation between the bases and al-Qaeda recruitment.

Most catastrophically, outposts in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Afghanistan have helped generate and fuel the radical militancy that has spread throughout the Greater Middle East and led to terrorist attacks in Europe and the United States. The presence of such bases and troops in Muslim holy lands was, after all, a major recruiting tool for al-Qaeda and part of Osama bin Laden’s professed motivation for the 9/11 attacks.

With the Trump administration seeking to entrench its renewed base presence in the Philippines and the president commending Duterte and similarly authoritarian leaders in Bahrain and Egypt, Turkey and Thailand, human rights violations are likely to escalate, fueling unknown brutality and baseworld blowback for years to come.

David Vine, a TomDispatch regular, is associate professor of anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. His latest book is Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World

One Day, Three Serious News Stories That Turn Out To Be False

By Moon Of Alabama

May 16, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – It is a fakenews day. Three stories are making the rounds through the media that are each based on false or widely exaggerated interpretation of claims. North Korea, Syria and the U.S. President are the targets.

1. The Wall Street Journal asserts with a #fakenews headline that bits of computer-code in the recent WannaCry ransom virus are identical with bits of computer code that was allegedly used in a 2014 hack of Sony. (The Sony attack was falsely attributed to North Korea.)

Researchers Identify Clue Connecting Ransomware Assault to Group Tied to North Korea

Neel Mehta, a security researcher at Alphabet Inc.’s Google unit, on Monday pointed out similarities between that earlier WannaCry variant and code used in a series of attacks that security specialists have attributed to the Lazarus group.

The “Lazerus group” (which probably does not exist at all) was attributed to North Korean state agencies. Six paragraphs later we learn that the “similarities” were found in often reused code:

The findings don’t necessarily demonstrate that Lazarus or North Korea was involved in the WannaCry attack, researchers said. The culprits in the latest attack, who haven’t been identified, could have copied the code in question, for example.

The connection found in the old version lies in software that both programs use to securely connect to other systems over the internet, said Kurt Baumgartner, a Kaspersky Lab researcher.

Common code is found in nearly all software that sets up an internet connection. The reason for that is quite simple. No longer does anyone ever write such code. There are well tested examples of such program snippets widely available in open-source software on Github and elsewhere. “Copy and paste” is done faster than re-inventing the wheel. Even worse – the code snippet in question here is so trivial that any decent programmer would likely write it the very same way (a call to the Time() function to get a seed value for a following call to the Random() function). There are only X reasonable ways to add 1 to 1. Two people doing it the same way proves nothing at all. People copying publicly available code proves nothing either. It certainly does not prove that code for two different hacks was written by the same people. It does not provided that these bugs have anything at all to do with North Korea. The bits of similarities are of zero factual news value.

2. Back in February Amnesty International (which promotes NATO interventions) issued a sensational report about alleged killings in Syrian prisons. As we wrote at that time:

A new Amnesty International report claims that the Syrian government hanged between 5,000 and 13,000 prisoners in a military prison in Syria. The evidence for that claim is flimsy, based on hearsay of anonymous people outside of Syria. The numbers themselves are extrapolations that no scientist or court would ever accept. It is tabloid reporting and fiction style writing from its title “Human Slaughterhouse” down to the last paragraph.

The U.S. State Department now reused that fake report and adds wrongly interpreted satellite pics to further slander the Syrian government:

US: Syria is burning bodies to hide proof of mass killings

In its latest accusations of Syrian abuses, the State Department said it believed about 50 detainees each day are being hanged at Saydnaya military prison, about 45 minutes north of Damascus. Many of the bodies are then burned in the crematorium “to cover up the extent of mass murders taking place,” said Stuart Jones, the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, accusing Assad’s government of sinking “to a new level of depravity.”

The department released commercial satellite photographs showing what it described as a building in the prison complex that was modified to support the crematorium. The photographs, taken over the course of several years, beginning in 2013, do not prove the building is a crematorium, but show construction consistent with such use.

If there was a crematorium being build in the Saydnaya prison how is it that none of the Amnesty witness said so in the recent Amnesty report? These witnesses, Amnesty claims, have been in that prison and observed all kind of details. They claim that any dead were buried in mass graves.

A Dutch military expert looks at the commercial satellite pictures and the interpretation State provided and asks:

Ian Grant‏ @Gjoene – 6:02 PM – 15 May 2017

Is this a joke @StateDept? Even before 27 Aug ’13 these “vents” were present. See included Terraserver footage (03 april ’13) #Sednaya

Another reconnaissance specialist expands on that:

Aldin Abazović @CT_operative – 5:33 PM – 15 May 2017

Pictures that allegedly show crematorium of Saidnaya prison, #Damascus #Syria. As much as I hate to get involved into this matter, these #1
#2 images prove nothing at all. This building could be simple boiler/heating room for the prison compound. Unless you visit there is no
#3 way to prove anything. Its easy to manipulate with satellite imagery. You just put the right label on thing and there you have it
#4 I can’t confirm what the particular part of prison is nor for what it’s used.

The State Department has no evidence for its “crematorium claim” but the Amnesty report which says nothing about a crematorium at the prison and some satellite pictures that do not show what the State Department claims. It is throwing dirt at the Syria government in the hope that some of it will stick. This release of nothing will create some headlines in “western” outrage publications. It may be in propaganda preparation for a wider war on Syria.

3. The deep state is out to get U.S. President Trump impeached. Yesterday a new, well prepared and coordinated campaign against Trump was launched. Anonymous claims to the Washington Post were “confirmed” by similar claims from (likely) the same sources to Buzzfeed. The claims may have some grounds in reality but the actual facts, even as described in shrill words, are harmless. WaPo:

Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

(Hmm – how would “former U.S. officials” know what was said in the Oval Office and to what consequences?) It takes six paragraphs of such slander to learn what Trump actually disclosed:

Trump went off script and began describing details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft.

“Terrorist threat[s] related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft” are a well known method of Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula. If ISIS in Syria has copied that modus operandi it is interesting, but nothing sensational. The details, where ISIS is preparing these operations, may be somewhat relevant, but over how many cites does ISIS actually rule?

National Security Advisor McMaster, who was in the room with Trump and Lavrov, is on the record (down in paragraph eight!) denying that any sources or methods were revealed.

The only real claim here is that Trump gave Lavrov a tip-off with regard to a terrorist threat.

If Putin would learn of a potential ISIS attack on a U.S. passenger jet would you want him to share that secret information with the U.S. government? Of course you would.

But Buzzfeed and other anti-Trump organs blow the claims up to high heavens, The Lawfare writers go off their meds:

If the President gave this information away through carelessness or neglect, he has arguably breached his oath of office.

Utter bullshit. Trump would have offered such intelligence out of courtesy as part of his deal-making with the Russian government. Exchange of threat intelligence is regular business even between parties who otherwise dislike each other. It is in the interests of all to do such. That such an exchange happened is not newsworthy.  even it touched some details.

Even worse – it is the publishing about the Oval office talk that can only help the terrorists. As Emptywheel says:

these very outraged sources are [..] sharing the information that it is so outrageous to share.

If Trump’s information sharing is outrageous why did the sources offer that same information to the global media? Why did WaPo and others publish on it?

Trump was elected with the support of the U.S. military. Clinton was supported by the corporate and intelligence sides of the power triangle. Trump won. Now the deep-state intelligence side, together with the moneyed part of the Democratic party, is out to impeach him. The constant sensationalized dribble of false or irrelevant claims against him prepares the ground for that.

The three fake-news examples above contain no news at all. The bits exposed in them have no information value. Their only purpose is to influence the readers by exaggerating outlandish claims based on little, if any, real facts of minor importance.

This full-throated propagandizing on all channels, without any critical voices challenging the basic facts, is endangering the functioning of democracy. The fourth estate is now just a tool to influence. It can no longer claim to have any inherent value.

For the average person one way out of this onslaught is to search for, use and foster alternative and discerning sources of news. The other is to give up.

This article was first published by Moon Of Alabama

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

See also –

Propaganda alert: Impeach Trump? Transcript Will Tell Whether President Blabbed Secrets To Russians:The president has put the nation at risk, not for the first time, and his apparent disdain for normal security and intelligence protocols represents an ongoing national emergency.

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