ISIS – Always-Always Claims Responsibility

by Peter Koenig

August 22, 2017

ISIS – Always-Always Claims Responsibility

Whenever a terrorist attack hits somewhere in Europe or the world, wait a few hours and the police or media report ISIS / ISIL / Daesh claims responsibility. To enhance credibility, they usually say it was confirmed by ISIS news agency Amaq. As soon as this little piece of info is out, the upset populace takes a deep breath and falls at ease. It’s the usual culprits. It’s them, not us. We are fine. We can go back to business as usual.

This in Europe alone has happened more than 40 times since May 2014 – that’s as many ‘Muslim-induced terror attacks’ Western Europe has endured; from Paris to Nice, Brussels, London, Berlin, Munich, Würzburg, Copenhagen, Zvornik (Bosnia & Herzegovina), Moscow, Istanbul, and many more (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_terrorism_in_Europe_(2014%E2%80%93present) ). And almost without fail, the alleged perpetrator(s) were killed, though most of them were not armed and could have been apprehended by police, questioned and brought to justice. Dead men don’t talk. That’s more convenient.

The latest Barcelona terror Amuck-run on the Rambla is not different. It is a case in point and a typical case for confusion. There were several chief-perpetrators suspected and killed. Many names circulated – and, of course, a passport, leading to a Spanish enclave in Morocco was found. The owner of the passport, immediately reported it to the police as stolen, with a solid alibi. But then, suitably his 17-year-old brother stole the passport and left it in the white van, when he fled on foot, injured from an explosion the night before, in a residency some 230 km south of Barcelona – or was that really him? – and several hours after the Rambla assault, he was caught by police in Cambrils, 120 km south of Barcelona in another attempted pedestrian run – and killed among one of five terrorists who happened to be squeezed into the same Audi. Ever wondered, why so many terrorists in one car? – Or was he really one of those killed? http://www.globalresearch.ca/barcelona-the-hypocrisy-of-sorrow/5604767).

By now, the people are really-really confused. Nobody knows up from down in this chaos. Better leave it to the authorities. They know best to handle the situation. Let us go back to normal – until the next terror attack hits – Allahu Akbar – very likely next in a theatre near you, somewhere in this old, purposefully and increasingly militarized police state, called Europe.

What happened to the real and innocent owner of the passport? – Does anybody know? Or can we ask ten ‘official’ sources and get ten different answers?

How come special police throughout Europe apply the same philosophy – kill to shut them up? Isn’t there a police ethics code – shoot only in self-defense? Most cases were no self-defense, as the ‘terrorists’ were visibly not armed. Have European secret and special police forces been receiving collective, well-focused training: no Muslim-Terrorist Survivors!

Why not? – That would also explain why never anybody questions the ISIS claim to murder and mayhem. Why would ISIS / ISIL / Daesh want to hurt those who fund them, train them, arm them feed them? – It’s not even secret any more. Hillary said so already years ago, We created them, now we have to deal with them. Former CIA officials admitted that they recruited, funded, trained and armed them – later the ISIL / Daesh reign was expanded with additional financial backing by the Saudis, other Gulf States and Turkey – and, of course, all the holy western allies. – So, why would ISIS want to hurt the cow whose milk they drink? Strange – isn’t it? (http://www.globalresearch.ca/who-is-behind-the-barcelona-and-cabril-attacks-can-we-believe-the-official-reports/5604719)

Maybe what meets the eye is not reality. Could it be that ISIS / ISIL / Daesh, out of sheer gratitude to its benevolent sponsors have agreed to take the blame whenever a western orchestrated terror attack strikes somewhere in Europe or the world? Can’t be excluded, can it? It’s not even blackmail. After all, lending a helping hand to the Big Brothers, NATO, France, Germany, UK, US of A and many more lesser contributors, but contributors all the same – who keep you alive, would not be out of the world. – Right? – This is all done in connivance with massive support of European secret services, led by the usual villains, CIA, MI6, Mossad.

Is it therefore far-fetched to conclude that European governments are utterly complicit in instigating and executing these ‘false flag’ terror attacks, sacrificing the lives of hundreds of their citizens, just so they can pursue their goal of totally militarizing the Continent? – That they are as faithful vassals following the pattern of their trans-Atlantic partners – aiming at Full Spectrum Dominance – World Hegemony, a New World Order under a One World Order governed by Washington and its Deep Dark handlers? – Barcelona, Paris, Berlin are mere little pebbles in the Big Picture mosaic of world dominion. And the people, the mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, children who are killed – they are just menial collateral damage. After all, slaves – what is their value?

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.

Barcelona – The Hypocrisy of Sorrow

‘Europe is lost’: Barcelona’s chief rabbi urges Jews to move to Israel

August 19, 2017

by Peter KoenigBarcelona – The Hypocrisy of Sorrow

Barcelona, 17 August, 5 PM – a white van plows with 70 km/h into a mass of pedestrians, many of them tourists, on the famous Rambla, in the heart of Barcelona. The death toll, 13 plus more than 100 injured. In an adjacent event, the police kill one alleged perpetrator. The main suspect flees and is still at large. Or is he? – Maybe he has already been killed.

All the recent truck killings were carried out by white vans. Does it mean anything? Maybe not. But importantly ISIS has already claimed responsibility, through their news agency Amaq, so say the presstitute media. Does anybody other than the msm check? – Probably not. Doesn’t matter. When ISIS claims responsibilities, it puts hearts and minds at ease. The culprit has been found. It’s always the bloody Islamists-jihadists. We can rest in peace. And life goes on.

Indeed, life must go on and being prepared for more and increasing terror attacks is what the Mayor of London and Mr. Macron, the novice French President, already predicted. They must know a thing or two we don’t. OK, let’s brace ourselves. Much else we can’t do anyway – or can we?

The French head of the conservative Republican Party, François Fillon, a losing contender of the recent Presidential elections, said with regards to the French tourists who died in the Barcelona attack: “We must assume our responsibility…” referring to the fact that he was not elected President – as he, Monsieur Fillon, would have done away with this Islamist terror. How low-low can you sink? There are no words, no comments.
—–

Fortunately, the chief perpetrator leaves, as usual and conveniently, a passport behind in the cabin of the white van. So, he can be traced to Melilla, a Spanish exclave in Morocco. In a related event, in a small town, Alcanar, some 250 km south of Barcelona, where on Wednesday night – well before the deadly Rambla run, a massive explosion took place in a residency, leaving one person dead and 7 insured. One person was arrested by police. One of the injured persons was suspected to be the driver of the white Rambla van.

In the early morning hours of Friday, hours after the Barcelona van-ram in the beach town of Cambrils, some 120 km south of Barcelona, another van runs a police barricade, attempting to embark on a similar terror attack against a tourist-packed pedestrian strip. Apparently one pedestrian was killed. The police however, so the ‘news’, killed all five alleged terrorists in the van. The police now say they suspect one of them was the driver of the white van that rammed the Rambla. Dead men can’t talk.

All has – sadly but predictably – the putrefied smell of another false flag. And the ‘system’, the deep-deep dark state, again, gets away with it.

The mix of information, is seemingly incoherent and purposely very confusing. Connections must be fabricated. Let chaos reign. Keep people confused. Keep them in the believe that police are on top of it and on the guard. You people must not think. Indeed, shopping, according to RT is almost back to normal. There is a candle vigil going on in plain daylight – and a bit of a somber ambiance – and a crowd is holding an anti-islamisation rally in the center of Barcelona. All the while the Rambla is overflowing with tourists as usual. That’s the way it should be. Shopping is first. Put police in charge. They will protect us henceforth. In case they can’t handle it, the military are right at hand.

In the meantime – and foremost – and immediately after the horror massacre, messages of condolences poured in from such illustrious personalities, like Theresa May, Madame Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Sweden’s PM Stefan Löfven, from Belgium, Denmark…. Sorrow, no end.

Let’s not forget, in the last year the Ram-Truck-Terror, now a convenient tool of horror, fear and killing, has hit Nice, France – 14 July 2016, Promenade des Anglais, 86 killed, almost 500 injured; Berlin, 19 December 2016, Christmas Market, 12 people dead, 56 injured; England twice, 22 March 2017, Westminster Bridge, 5 dead, more than 50 injured; London Bridge, June 2017, 7 dead; Stockholm, 8 April 2017, the city’s busiest shopping street – 4 died, 15 injured. And now Barcelona Spain.

The condolences of these leaders sound hollow and so hypocritical because they, the very leaders, are at the heart of the problem. If not the direct instigators of this simply patterned string of terror attacks, they are those who allow the strings being pulled on their secret services by order of the Master Global Deep State, whose goal it is to subdue Europe, to convert her into a police – military state, chaos, possibly civil war. A civil war not as bad as to curtail essential consumption. But civil strife all the same. Give corporate finance enough room to escalate their debt and profit spiral, but leave the populace poor enough to produce a Europe that is devoid of thinking; no time to reflect, no time to protest – as people will struggle for their sheer survival.

You don’t believe it? Look at Greece and elsewhere, what’s going on around you. Militarization slow motion. Macron is fully committed to it – and doesn’t shy from saying so. The French have captured it, and his popularity has sunk from 66% after the “election” to less than 35% today. Never mind. He is there to stay for 5 years. The French Constitution says so. A (people’s) miracle would have to happen to remove him. On another occasion, I have mentioned the sophisticated hundreds of millions of euros worth ghost town being built in a German military camp in Saxony-Althaus – for the very purpose of training urban warfare – just in case, you and your fellow protesters, when you can’t take it anymore, you may take to the streets and go on the barricades – that’s when the urban trained forces of power come in to oppress you, even kill you, if necessary. What you saw in Hamburg at the G20 Meeting in early July was just a benign precursor of what’s to come.

Yes, that’s what’s expecting us Europeans – the US is already there, they are always a few notches ahead of us, they are doing the trial run for us. – Barcelona is just a little stone in the mosaic, in the Big Picture of “Full Spectrum Dominance” – the ultimate goal of the PNAC (Plan for a new American Century) – the Washington’s and the Deep-Dark One-Eyed State’s bible, written and periodically updated by the One-Eyed Anglo-Zionists on top of echelon. We are almost there.

Why now Spain? – Spain has been spared of major terror attacks since the 11-M (11 March 2004) attack, when a few explosions at Madrid’s Atocha train station killed close to 192 people and injured over 2000, three days ahead of Presidential elections. This had nothing to do with Jihadism Though the terror was immediately blamed on Al Qaeda, no proof was ever found. It was the work of the right-wing government under PP (Partido Popular) in power at the time, blaming the Socialist Party (PSOE), hoping to defeat it. It backfired. The socialists won and stayed in power for two terms, a total of 8 years. But in the second term neoliberal might descended also on the socialists in Spain, as it does everywhere in Europe. The Socialists became and still are to this day, traitors to the people.

Today, Spain, with a smooth Parliamentary coup in 2016 that went almost unnoticed, has quietly slipped back to the neoliberal Rajoy Government. So, Spain is supposed to be safe for the system. It also followed the strict rules of the IMF, today reaching 100% debt to GDP, up from about 66% before the neoliberal manufactured crisis hit Europe and the western world in 2007 / 2008.

That’s exactly what the system wants. Spain is ready for another economic collapse, orchestrated in connivance with her leadership. Ready for another round of rent taking – more privatization, pension and base salary cuts – the usual. Again, look at Greece and you see the pattern. Wall Street’s appetite is never satisfied. It’s the fraudulent dollar (and euro) economy we are enslaved to that makes this human tragedy possible – and people don’t seem to even notice who and what is behind the planned misery.

Spain is on track for further ‘milking’. So, why more suffering now? – Spain is an important NATO country with three naval and military bases. The majority of the population hates NATO, would like to get rid of them. What better way of convincing the people that the forces of NATO are useful defenders against Islamist attacks. Yes, weak and with fear you accept (almost) anything. Actually, you call for your hangman to protect you – in fact, it’s the collective Stockholm syndrome.

Therefore, let’s not get sidetracked by the hollow and hypocritical words of sorrow of the chief vassal-leaders (sic) of our three most powerful European countries which are meant to lead the way for the people of the European Continent to become gradually but surely enslaved into mere hapless and powerless serfs, deprived of civil and human rights. We are well on the way there. Have you noticed?

It’s called Fascism with a smile. It’s a slow-moving soft but deadly fascism that fascinates you at every corner, pulling you deeper and deeper into the hole of no return. It’s the neoliberal fascism, that has abrogated and done away with every law, every regulation that may have protected you and your hard-earned savings and public assets; it conveyed everything to the market. Even your pensions and your saving. They are no longer yours. The market decides. Don’t believe it? – Just look at Greece. – “Hasn’t happen yet to me” – Well it will, I guarantee it, if you don’t take over your nation and make her again YOUR sovereign country. Act rather sooner than later. Time is running out.

Naturally, the situation will become unbearable to the point where you can’t take it anymore, and you will want to take to the street. It’ll be too late. Urban warfare will be ready against you.

Fascism with a smile has brought you to the point where there is no going back. It’s a new fascism. It’s not Hitler’s fascism. It’s soft, sophisticated and deadly, if you oppose it. You are surrounded by a blue-managed matrix, encircled by police and military, ready to fire – but you will be fine and get fed as long as you nod, as in agreement.

Barcelona, Nice, London, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Brussels, Stockholm – and whatever else is to come, are mere little pebbles in a growing mosaic. You better look ahead what the picture, the mosaic may look like when its finished – the Big Picture is nasty, very nasty.

Think about the message of sorrow Mr. Putin sent to the King Felipe VI of Spain: ´

”We strongly condemn this brutal and cynical crime against civilians. What has happened once again emphasizes the need for the global community to join efforts to fight against the forces of terror.”

Mr. Putin has not mentioned Islam. He knows that he talks to western leaders who are in bed with terror, that getting them out of bed is a pipe dream. They are bought or threatened – with promises of heaven – to lead this system of terror all the way to a One World Order, or as India’s President Modi said so eloquently in a recent RT interview – until the world is eventually one happy family. Bingo.

But it is not the end. There are alternatives. The western world is like a sinking ship. It’s a slow sinking ship, slow and smiling as the fascism that drives it. We may not notice it. But look all around you, the massive killing, the fraud, the lawlessness at every level, up to the highest levels of government. Forget the msm presstitute, they are lying.

Most everybody knows this today. The next few centuries or more, are the Age of the East – Russia and China are opening the gates for an Economy of Peace, led by President Xi Jinping’s initiative, the enormous multi-pronged OBI – One Belt Initiative, formerly the OBOR – One Belt One Road; a new Silk road that stretches from Shanghai to Hamburg and from Vladivostok to Lisbon and connecting Syria and Iran in the South.

Be brave! Dare to detach. Detach from the lie and fraud we have been living for the last two millennia, all the way back to the Roman Empire and which may reaching soon a peak, a fiery and bloody peak which may end life as we know it in a nuclear all-annihilating holocaust. Because the dying beast may not want to leave survivors on this planet of ours.

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.

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NATO ‘s War Crimes: The Crime of Propaganda

Source

1335 Journal NEO CollageThe NATO military alliance is a world encompassing threat. It is now conducting various forms of hybrid warfare against Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and most of Africa. They have destroyed directly or are largely responsible for the destruction of the socialist nations of the USSR, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and too many to name in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Destruction is the fate that each nation on earth can expect unless it pays homage and obeisance to these neo-feudal overlords who promise protection in return for national servitude, in return for the complete surrender of their people and natural resources to increase the rate of profit for the capital that controls the NATO military machine. For NATO is first and foremost the armed fist not only of the United States and its allies as nations, but is the armed fist of the capitalists of those nations who are prepared to strike against any nation, capitalist or socialist, that stands in their way of obtaining profit.

The primary concern they have, in order to preserve their control, is for the preservation of the new feudal mythology that they have created; that the world is a dangerous place, that they are the protectors, that the danger is omnipresent, eternal, and omnidirectional, comes from without, and comes from within. The mythology is constructed and presented through all media; journals, films, television, radio, music, advertising, books, the internet in all its variety; all the information systems available are used to create and maintain scenarios and dramas to convince the people that they, the protectors, are the good and all others are the bad. We are bombarded with this message incessantly. They have succeeded into luring us to all their communication platforms, so that no one is able to ignore the constant flow of information into their consciousness and their subconscious. They have us locked to our screens. They have our attention. They have us hypnotised and under this state of hypnosis we are fed so many images we cannot take any of them in and so we drown in the river of information washing over us, barely able to breathe, unable to think, blind from looking.

The use of propaganda, and by propaganda I mean here the use of lies, inventions, fabrications, distortions and misrepresentations of reality in order to evoke an emotional response in the receiver of the desired type and desired action to follow, is a primary pillar of the mythology they create. The immediate means of delivery is through the news media. To turn on the television these days to watch the political, national and world “news” is a surreal experience. You have a dissociative experience as the presenters present not “news” but carefully crafted scripts inventing scenarios out of whole cloth that have nothing to do with what is really happening in any given situation. Even the weather “news” is moulded to keep mention of abrupt climate change to a minimum and sports “news” seems like a rehearsal for war news to come as our team smashes their team with our catastrophic weapons, erases them from the earth, never to play again.

But whatever form the propaganda takes it is a crime against the people, a crime against the republic, a crime against democracy, and since it is a part of the hybrid warfare campaign being conducted and because it is used to provoke a large aggressive general war, it is a war crime.

It is a crime against the people because the people are in essence the state, the nation. The leaders of our nations are merely our representatives placed in positions of power through various, more or less “democratic” mechanisms to act for our benefit, on our behalf. But when these leaders instead represent secret cabals of financiers and industrialists who want to use the government machinery for their private benefit against the interests of their people then they have betrayed the people, have sold them out to the highest bidder. Their lies flow from this betrayal for if their wars were just they would not need to use propaganda. But their wars are not just, they are the actions of gangsters writ large and so to get the people to go along, to fool them, they, by necessity, have to lie to the people.

It is a crime against democracy for the same reason, for democracy means that representatives of the people put in positions of power have a duty to inform the people honestly on all issues, to present all the facts and arguments, and most importantly, fulfil their duty to preserve the peace and to seek peaceful resolutions of differences between nations. But again, their wars for the profit of a few are always against the interests of the people and so the lies become part of the system of control, and with each lie the grave of democracy is dug deeper and deeper.

It is a crime against the republic because the republic is the people ruling themselves, in the name of the people, not the people ruled by a monarch or emperor, who rule in their own name. So when the leaders of a republic lie to the people of the republic they repudiate the republic and act against its interests and for the private interests of those who control them. They subvert the republic and destroy it.

It is a war crime because propaganda is used to provoke war, to sustain war, to turn other people, declared to be the enemy, into beings that need to be killed. It robs them of their humanity, of their kinship with us, their desires and dreams, and makes them into vermin to be destroyed with ease and even joy in the killing. It turns us into salivating monsters calling for death of the other and cheering when the bombs explode; turns us all into the Hilary Clinton lunatic who cackled like some satanic demon as she watched a great man cut to pieces before her eyes.

I could give dozens, hundreds, thousands of examples of how the propaganda is being used. The New York Times, BBC, CNN, CBC and the rest of the western media are full of it every day and every day worse than the day before, against Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria Venezuela, all the known targets. We all sense that the intensity if it is increasing, the vitriol becoming more hysterical and absurd with every headline.

The journalists who write these propaganda pieces and the presenters who read them on television are among the worst of criminals as they sit there looking attractive, with their fake smiles and fake concern, while taking lots of money to lie to our faces every day. It takes a very low person to sit there and lie to their fellow citizens so easily. It takes someone who has no sense of morality whatsoever. One could say they are sociopaths. But criminals they are and they deserve to be in the dock with the leaders that hand them the scripts they read so willingly.

For propaganda is a threat to peace itself. It is not only necessary to eliminate nuclear weapons and armies, it is also necessary to eliminate the psychological weapons that are used to justify, provoke and prolong war. Lenin once said that “disarmament is an ideal of socialism” and it was, we must not forget, the USSR that developed ideals of international peace and responsibility for wars of aggression. The successor state of Russia still relies on these principles.

On the second day of the creation of Soviet power the Decree on Peace was issued that made it a matter of state policy that aggressive war is a crime. Up until then it was assumed that nation states had an inherent right to go to war for their own interests. War propaganda is a way of preparing for aggressive war and consequently is a war crime. This was confirmed at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1946.

This was echoed in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations of November 3, 1947 that denounced war propaganda;

“The General Assembly condemns all forms of propaganda, in whatsoever country conducted, which is either designed or likely to provoke or encourage any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.”

A Soviet draft definition of aggression presented to the General Assembly in 1957 defined war propaganda as ideological aggression. Their draft stated that a state has committed ideological aggression when it “encourages war propaganda, encourages propaganda for the use of atomic or other weapons of mass extermination and stimulates nazi-fascist views, racial or national superiority, or hatred and disdain for other peoples.”

But before that the Supreme Soviet on March 12, 1950 passed a law on the defence of peace that stated:

“The Supreme Soviet of the USSR is guided by the high principles of the Soviet peace policy, which seeks to strengthen peace and friendly relations between the peoples, recognises that human conscience and the concept of right of the peoples, who, during one generation suffered the calamities of two wars, cannot accept that the conduct of war propaganda remain unpunished, and approves the proclamation of the Second World Congress of the Partisans of Peace, who expressed the will of the entire progressive mankind concerning the prohibition and condemnation of criminal war propaganda.

“The Supreme Soviet decrees,

  1. To recognise that war propaganda under whatever form it is made, undermines the cause of peace, creates the threat of new war and is the graves crime against humanity.

  2. To bring to court person guilty of war propaganda and to try them as having committed a most grave criminal offense.”

The western powers blocked a Russian UN resolution at that time to denounce war propaganda even though it was in accord with the principles of the United Nations Charter which makes it a duty of all member states to preserve the peace. The west relied on arguments of “free speech” arguments that do not hold water since war propaganda is not designed to enlighten people but to twist their minds into thoughts of hatred and war.

The Rome Statute today contains a clause that arguably encompasses these principles in Article 5, dealing with aggression, though this clause is not yet in effect. It is one of the grave problems with the International Criminal Court, that aside from being controlled effectively by the US and European Union for their purposes, its statute does not include a specific section on war propaganda. But then the United States and its allies prevented the inclusion of such a clause just as they prevented the adoption of the resolution at the UN in the 1950’s so that they could continue using war propaganda as part of their arsenal of world control.

So, the criminal dossier against NATO grows with the crimes committed. One day we can hope that those responsible for the war propaganda used against us will face the peoples’ justice but in the meantime we have to be aware that when we are confronted with it, when we open a newspaper, turn on the television, or radio, click that link on the internet, we are the victims of a war crime, the use of war propaganda as part of the crime of aggression, each and every one of us. And if that does not make you angry then what hope is there for peace in this world?

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

Hezbollah and Syrian Army Units Finishing Off Terrorists of Al-Nusra

By Andre Vltchek

August 14, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  It came unexpectedly, rapidly and with great force: on 21 July 2016, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Syrian army from their side, in unison, attacked positions of the malevolent terrorist group, Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly known as Al-Nusra Front), in the mountainous province of Jroud Arsal in Bekaa Valley, on the border of two countries.

Simultaneously, the Lebanese Army surrounded and hermetically sealed the area around Arsal town, preventing new terrorist forces from entering the battle zone.

More than 150 militants were killed. Two dozen Hezbollah fighters lost their lives. Despite the difficult mountainous terrain, the battle was swift, heroic and well coordinated. The group was forced into accepting a ceasefire agreement, which went into effect on 27 July, and which stipulates that all of its fighters will be transferred by the army to a designated area inside Syria (Idlib).

Vanessa Beeley, Associate Editor of the 21st Century Wire, wrote this comment for my essay, literally from “the rubble of East Aleppo”:

“This is a momentous victory for the Resistance against the NATO and Gulf state terrorists. The black flags have been torn down in Arsal and the flags of Hezbollah, Lebanon and Syria are flying side by side as a symbol of the unity of anti-imperialist, anti-Zionist forces in the region. The heroes who gave their lives for this hard-won victory will always be remembered and honored by those whose lives and culture had been under threat from the malevolent forces of extremism and terrorism.”

Who are these terrorists, based for so long at both sides of the border?

The Nusra Front was al Qaeda’s official wing since the beginning of the Syrian war, but in 2016 it decided to split, at least formally, from its former mentor. It rapidly ‘reinvented’ itself. Now it is fighting as part of the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham Islamist Alliance, or more precisely, as its dominant force.

Lebanon has often been described as a time bomb, with dormant ISIS cells spread all over the country (even in the predominantly Christian areas), with al Qaeda first and Jabhat Fatah al-Sham later controlling several pockets in the north, and with the constant threat of an Israeli invasion from the south. Tiny Lebanon also has a notoriously weak government, and it is divided along religious lines. For years it has been facing perpetual refugee crises, with Palestinian refugees literally ‘stuck’ here for decades (with extremely limited rights), and with still more than one million Syrian refugees, most of them forced to flee the brutal war triggered by NATO and its allies in the Gulf.

As Hezbollah and the Syrian army were leading a decisive battle against the terrorists, the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri was meeting U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington D.C., discussing, among other issues, additional U.S. sanctions against Hezbollah, which most Western countries label as a “terrorist group (either entire organization, or at least its military wing).”

On 26 July, Reuters reported:

“Standing beside Hariri in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said Hezbollah is a threat to Lebanon from within. He called the powerful Shi’ite Muslim group a “menace” to the Lebanese people and to the entire region… U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation last week seeking to increase sanctions on Hezbollah by further restricting its ability to raise money and recruit and increasing pressure on banks that do business with it.”

Mr. Hariri, a sworn enemy of Syria and its government, said nothing to contradict the U.S. leader. Born in Saudi Arabia (he holds both KSA and Lebanese citizenships), Mr. Hariri stood still, as Mr. Trump unleashed derogatory rhetoric against the only group in Lebanon which is capable of providing social services to all of its citizens, and which heroically defended Lebanon during the Israeli invasion.

As Trump spoke and Hariri obediently listened, shock waves were running through political and even financial circles in Lebanon. Here, life without Hezbollah would come to a total standstill, most social services would collapse, and the country would be virtually left exposed and defenseless.

“America’s assistance can help to ensure that the Lebanese army is the only defender Lebanon needs,” Trump said at a White House news conference. He made sure not to mention the amount of money or type of hardware the U.S. was willing to supply. No details were given. Mr. Hariri never dared to ask publicly.

Everyone in the Middle East knows clearly what all this could mean: perhaps the U.S. aid would increase the salaries of top military officers, and even buy few new fancy (US or EU made) weapons, but it would definitely not save Lebanon in case it was once again attacked by Israel, or if it were to be overrun by the huge number of NATO and Gulf-sponsored or directly supported Islamist extremists, who have already been infiltrated for years, into Syrian territory which is right across the border.

For now, however, there is much hope and plenty of reasons to celebrate, in both cities and countryside, all across Lebanon. Mr. Modar Nasr (not his real name), a leading young Syrian intellectual presently based in Beirut, explained to me:

What happened in Arsal showed that there is actually hope for a better Lebanon. For the first time in years the forces of ‘March 14” and “March 8” stood together to fight against Nusra and other terrorist factions. The operation was not only led by Hezbollah, but also by the Lebanese army and the Syrian army. That is why we saw this sweeping victory in battle expected to last at least one month.”

Now the next stage of this sweeping operation is just beginning. It consists of a frontal attack against Daesh (ISIS) in an adjacent area of the border zone.

On 28 July, the Lebanese Army was heavily engaged, using tanks, pounding positions of the Islamic State on the outskirts of Ras Baalbeck.

So far, everything has been going according to plan. That is, according to a plan created and being implemented by Hezbollah, Syria and the Lebanese Army.  

Where the U.S. and present Lebanese Prime Minister stand, is clear. It is also obvious that their designs do not coincide with the interests of the majority of the Lebanese people, and those from the entire region.

The leadership of Hezbollah reacted with civility and calm to the events in Washington. On June 26, The Daily Star in Beirut reported:

At the start of his televised speech Wednesday, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said he would not respond to comments made by U.S. President Donald Trump during his meeting with Prime Minister Saad Hariri earlier in the week, so as not to embarrass the Lebanese delegation to Washington.”

In reference to the ongoing battles, Hassan Nasrallah proclaimed:

“The objective is to have the armed groups that Nusra control exit from Lebanon to Syria… This is a righteous battle … anyone who is hesitant can ask the people [starting in Hermel] who used to have rockets rain down on them … and behind them all of Bekaa. Let them ask in the areas that suffered [the deaths of] martyrs from car bomb attacks and the areas who were on the verge of being targeted. Let him ask these questions of himself…”

“We took the decision. This is not an Iranian decision; it’s not Iran that told Hezbollah … it is not a Syrian decision, not even in Flita. We called the Syrian leadership and asked them for their help in this area because they had priorities elsewhere … this is an internal decision.”

The speech was concluded by a clear message of defiance and confidence, sent across the ocean to the United States:

Our people today are afraid of no one … not a [Donald] Trump, or a [George] Bush or a [Barack] Obama or [Ariel] Sharon.”

The balance of power in the Middle East is rapidly changing. The West is discredited, and so are several of its allies. The involvement of Russia and to some extent China, has reassured various regional powers and movements that are fighting, directly or indirectly against both Western occupations and interventions. Countries located as far away as Afghanistan, are watching closely, with great interest.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are revolutionary novel “Aurora” and two bestselling works of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire” and “Fighting Against Western ImperialismView his other books here. Andre is making films for teleSUR and Al-Mayadeen. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo. After having lived in Latin America, Africa and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

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

NATO’s Militarization of Scandinavia: Time to Ring the Alarm Bells

NATO’s Militarization of Scandinavia: Time to Ring the Alarm Bells

Much has been said about NATO reinforcements in the Baltic States and Poland perceived in Moscow as provocative actions undermining security in Europe, while very little has been said about gradual but steady militarization of Scandinavia. The theme does not hit headlines and it is not in focus of public discourse but one step is taken after another to turn the region into a springboard for staging offensive actions against Russia.

Ørland in southern Norway is being expanded to become Norway’s main air force base hosting US-made F-35 Lightnings – the stealth aircraft to become the backbone of Norwegian air power. Norway has purchased 56 of such aircraft. F-35 is an offensive, not defensive, weapon. The nuclear capable platforms can strike deep into Russia’s territory.

Providing training to Norwegian pilots operating the planes carrying nuclear weapons, such as B61-12 glider warheads, constitutes a violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968. Article I of the NPT prohibits the transfer of nuclear weapons from NWS (nuclear weapons states) to other states: «Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices». Article II requires NNWS (non-nuclear weapons states) not to receive nuclear weapons: «Each non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to receive the transfer from any transfer or whatsoever of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or of control over such weapons or explosive devices». How can Russia be sure that these aircraft don’t carry nuclear weapons when there is no agreement of any kind in place to verify compliance with the NPT?

Ørland is located near Værnes – the base that hosts 330 US Marines. In May, the base hosted the biennial NATO military exercise «Arctic Challenge Exercise 2017» to involve over 100 planes from 12 nations. It was the first time a US strategic bomber (B-52H) took part in the training event.

The choice of the base was carefully calculated to keep the planes away from the reach of Russian Iskander missiles (500 kilometres) but no location in Norway is beyond the operational range of Kalibr ship-based sea-to-shore missiles and aircraft armed with long-range air-to-surface missiles.

In June, Norway’s government announced that the decision was taken to extend the rotational US Marine Corps force stationed at Værnes through 2018. The move contradicts the tried-and-true Norwegian policy of not deploying foreign military bases in the country in times of peace.

Also in June, the United States, United Kingdom and Norway agreed in principle to create a trilateral coalition built around the P-8 maritime aircraft to include joint operations in the North Atlantic near the Russian Northern Fleet bases.

Norway is to contribute into NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) system by integrating its Globus II/III radar in the Vardøya Island located near the Russian border just a few kilometers from the home base of strategic submarines and 5 Aegis-equipped Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates. The radar construction is underway. The Vardøya radar can distinguish real warheads from dummies. Another radar located in Svalbard (the Arctic) can also be used by US military for missile defense purposes.

The country’s ground forces are stationed in Lithuania as part of a NATO multinational force under German command.

Sweden, a close NATO ally, has been upgrading its military with a sharp hike in spending. Last December, the Swedish government told municipal authorities to prepare civil defense infrastructure and procedures for a possible war. The move was prompted by the country’s return to the Cold War-era ‘Total Defense Strategy’. In September, 2016, 150 troops were put on permanent service on the island of Gotland to «defend it from Russia». Sweden maintained a permanent military garrison on Gotland for hundreds of years until 2005.The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) has ordered a review of 350 civilian bunkers on the island. The shelters are designed to protect people against the shock wave and radiation from a nuclear detonation, as well as chemical and biological weapons.

In March, Stockholm announced plans to reintroduce compulsory military service abandoned in 2010. The conscription will come into force on January 1, 2018.

Sweden said in June it wishes to join a British-led «Joint Expeditionary Force», making Swedish participation in a general European war all but inevitable.

This month, the Swedish military announced plans to conduct its largest joint military exercise with NATO in 20 years. Called Aurora 17, the training event is scheduled for September. The drills will take place across the entire country but focusing on the Mälardalen Valley, the areas around cities of Stockholm and Gothenberg and on the strategic island of Gotland. More than 19,000 Swedish troops will take part along with 1,435 soldiers from the US, 270 from Finland, 120 from France and between 40-60 each from Denmark, Norway, Lithuania and Estonia.

In June, Russian President Putin warned «If Sweden joins NATO this will affect our relations in a negative way because we will consider that the infrastructure of the military bloc now approaches us from the Swedish side».

All these facts and events summed together demonstrate that militarization of Scandinavia is progressing by leaps and bounds to undermine the security in Europe. No hue and cry is raised in the Russian media but the developments are closely watched by Moscow. Visiting Finland on July 27, President Putin said Russia was «keeping an eye on certain intensification in the movement of military aircraft, ships and troops. In order for us to avoid negative consequences, situations that no one wants, we need to maintain dialogue». He also stressed readiness for dialogue with neutral countries that border the Baltic Sea like Finland which is not part of the NATO military alliance.

The facts listed above show the situation is grave enough to top the agenda of the NATO-Russia Council. But it’s not the case as yet. Last year, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current President of Germany who was Foreign Minister at the time, slammed NATO for «saber-rattling and war cries» and provocative military activities in the proximity of Russia’s borders. He called for an arms control deal between the West and Russia. Fifteen other members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) joined Steinmeier’s initiative: France, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Spain, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Portugal.

Actually, the initiative to relaunch the negotiation process does not belong to Germany. Russia’s proposal to discuss a new European security treaty was rejected by the West. The draft document was published in 2009. In March 2015, Russia expressed its readiness for negotiations concerning a new agreement regarding the control of conventional weapons in Europe.

Moscow has never rejected the idea of launching talks to address the problem. It does not reject it now. The NATO-Russia Council could make a contribution into launching discussions on the matter. It has not done so as yet. Actually, nothing is done to ease the tensions in Europe and the Scandinavian Peninsula in particular. Meanwhile, the situation is aggravating misunderstandings and whipping up tensions

 

HISTORIC SHIFT IN GEOPOLITICAL ALIGNMENTS: INDIA AND PAKISTAN JOIN SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (SCO)

South Front

03.08.2017

Written by Prof Michel Chossudovsky; Originally appeared at GlobalResearch

On June 9, both India and Pakistan became simultaneously members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian economic, political and mutual security organization largely dominated by China and Russia. 

While the SCO with headquarters in Beijing is not officially a “military alliance”, it nonetheless serves as a geopolitical and strategic “counterweight” to US-NATO and its allies. It also plays a significant role in the development of  Eurasian trade, e.g. in support of China’s Belt and Road initiative, oil and gas pipeline corridors linking SCO member states, etc. 

In the course of the last few years, the SCO has extended its cooperation in military affairs and intelligence. War games were held under the auspices of the SCO. 

The members of  the SCO include China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Pakistan and India are now full members since June 9, 2017. Iran is an Observer Member slated to shortly become a full member.

The SCO now encompasses an extensive region which now comprises approximately half of the World’s population.

Historic Shift in Geopolitical Alignments: India and Pakistan Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

SCO Enlargement

While the Western media casually acknowledged that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif had met in Astana, Kazakhstan, ahead of the SCO summit (June 9), the geopolitical implications of India and Pakistan’s full membership of the SCO was barely  addressed.

With both countries now full members of the SCO, conditions have emerged which favor the normalization of relations between Delhi and Islamabad. In the words of Pakistan’s PM Nawaz Sharif, who congratulated his Indian counterpart:

“As leaders, we should leave a legacy of peace and amity for our future generations, not a toxic harvest of conflict and animosity. Instead of talking about counter-weights and containment, let us create shared spaces for all,”

Sharif also endorsed the proposal of China’s President Xi Jinping to establish “a five-year treaty for good neighbourliness among SCO members”.

Historic Shift in Geopolitical Alignments: India and Pakistan Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

Historic Shift in Geopolitical Alignments

The simultaneous instatement of both countries as full members of the SCO is not only symbolic, it marks a historic shift in geopolitical alignments, which has a de facto bearing on the structure of economic and military agreements. Moreover, it has also a bearing on the inner-conflict between India and Pakistan which dates back to the countries’ Independence.

Inevitably, this historic shift constitutes a blow against Washington, which has defense and trade agreements with both Pakistan and India.

While India remains firmly aligned with Washington, America’s political stranglehold on Pakistan (through military and intelligence agreements) has been weakened as a result of Pakistan’s trade and investment deals with China, not to mention the accession of both India and Pakistan to the SCO, which favors bilateral relations between both countries as well as cooperation with Russia, China and Central Asia at the expense of  their historical links with US.

In other words, this enlargement of the SCO weakens America’s hegemonic ambitions in both South Asia and the broader Eurasian region. It has a bearing on energy pipeline routes, transport corridors, borders and mutual security, maritime rights.

US-Pakistan Relations

This ongoing Pak-India conflict has been carefully nurtured by Washington since the Cold War era. Moreover, Washington had envisaged a scenario of political disintegration in Pakistan for more than ten years. According to a 2005 report by the US National Intelligence Council and the CIA, Pakistan was slated to become a “failed state” by 2015.

The US –with the support of Britain had favored the geographical and political fracture of Pakistan. The separatist movement in Baluchistan had been supported covertly by British intelligence. (For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, The Destabilization of Pakistan, Global Research, December 2007).

Military scholar Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters writing in the June 2006 issue of The Armed Forces Journal, suggests, in no uncertain terms that Pakistan should be broken up, leading to the formation of  a separate country: “Greater Balochistan” or “Free Balochistan” (see Map below). The latter would incorporate the Pakistani and Iranian Baloch  provinces into a single political entity.

In turn, according to Peters, Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province (NWFP) should be incorporated into Afghanistan “because of its linguistic and ethnic affinity”. This proposed fragmentation, which broadly reflects US foreign policy, would reduce Pakistani territory to approximately 50 percent of its present land area. (See map). Pakistan would also loose a large part of its coastline on the Arabian Sea.

Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, have  most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles. Michel Chossudovsky, The Destabilization of Pakistan,Global Research, December 2007)

Historic Shift in Geopolitical Alignments: India and Pakistan Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

Ralph Peters Map: The Project for the New Middle East

With the development of Pakistan’s bilateral relations with China, since 2007, the US clutch on Pakistan politics — which largely relied on America’s military presence as well as Washington’s links to Pakistan’s military-intelligence establishment– has indelibly been weakened.

Pakistan’s full membership of the SCO, its links with China and Iran should contribute to weakening secessionist movements, while reinforcing the powers of the Islamabad government.

The China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

Pakistan and China have implemented a so-called “Economic Corridor” which is part of Beijing’s Eurasian Belt and Road trade and investment project. In many regards, the CPEC is a slap in the face for Washington and its failed Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, which sought to integrate Asia and the Pacific into a hegemonic economic project.

The CPEC is a 2400km, economic corridor (including an extensive railway system) from Kashgarin the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of western China to the Pakistani port of Gwadar on the Arabian sea. The infrastructure of the Gwadar port was largely funded by China.

The CEPEC is part and parcel of China’s Belt and Road initiative. The CPEC was originally valued at $46 billion, it is estimated in 2017 at $62 billion. ​

Historic Shift in Geopolitical Alignments: India and Pakistan Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

Source: Interfax

The accession of  both Pakistan and India to full SCO membership is intended to reinforce the CPEC as well as, from Beijing’s standpoint, include India in a broader corridor which will ultimately favor trade and cooperation between Pakistan and India, leading also to the negotaiation of integrated economic corridors from Iran, through Pakistan and India onto China and Central Asia.

India

With regard to India, its historical links with Russia –which prevailed during the Cold War, were undermined in the early 1990s with the assassination of Prime minister Radjiv Gandhi in 1991.

A  Congress government largely committed to neoliberal economic reforms and the “Washington consensus” was installed in 1991 (with Manmohan Singh, a former World Bank official as Finance Minister who later became Prime Minister). In recent developments, Washington has developed a comprehensive military cooperation agreement with India.

The question is how will Indian politics evolve in relation to Washington and the West, now that India is a full member of the SCO. How will the conflict between India and Pakistan evolve now that both countries are full members of the SCO.

India-Iran

At present, India’s trade corridors with with Iran avoid transit through Pakistan. They are governed by an “India, Iran, Afghanistan” tripartite agreement which bypasses Pakistan, which links the  Iranian port of Chabahar on the Arabian into a “transit hub”, which bypasses Pakistan.

In turn the underwater gas pipeline project linking the Iranian port of Chabahar to Mumbai, which was the result of bilateral negotiations between Tehran and Delhi in March 2016:

In a decision of far-reaching strategic implications, India is all set to ink a deal to have a direct undersea gas pipeline from Iran, by circumventing Pakistan. Not only this, New Delhi has approved a three-pronged push towards Iran and Central Asia.

It will fund a rail link between the Iranian port city of Chabahar and city of Zahedan, located on the tri-junction of Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan. The rail link, when concluded, will join Chabahar port with International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) to provide direct access to Central Asia. (Tribune India, March 14, 2016, emphasis added)

The question is whether this bilateral project circumventing Pakistan will go through, now that both India and Pakistan are full SCO members, involved in partner relations with China, Iran and Russia.

Historic Shift in Geopolitical Alignments: India and Pakistan Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

Will that tripartite agreement signed in May 2016 prevail unchanged now that both India and Pakistan are full members of the SCO? (and Iran and Afghanistan are Observer Members of the SCO).

Historic Shift in Geopolitical Alignments: India and Pakistan Join Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

Screenshot Al Jazeera, May 5, 2016

Regime Change in Pakistan?  The Political Demise of Nawaz Sharif ?

Barely two months following the SCO summit in Astana on July 28, 2017, Pakistan is experiencing a deep-seated political crisis.

PM Nawaz Sharif, who had negotiated his country’s membership in the SCO was obliged to step down as prime minister following a ruling by Pakistan’s Supreme Court on corruption allegations.

Coming with less than a year to go in his term, his ouster adds to a grim and long list of civilian governments cut short in Pakistan — including two of his own previous terms as prime minister. And it will further roil the country’s tumultuous political balance, as his rivals vie to exploit his fall.

When Mr. Sharif returned to office in 2013, it was as a widely popular party leader with a deep grudge against the country’s powerful military establishment. He moved quickly to try to establish civilian authority in areas that had long been dominated by generals, especially foreign policy.

The latest reports from Pakistan confirms that parliament will elect a new interim prime minister on August 1, “Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expected to become interim leader until Sharif’s own brother is eligible.” (Independent, July 30, 2017).

What are the broad implications of this political crisis in Pakistan? What are its impacts on the SCO?

Venezuela – The National Constituent Assembly is in Place – But the fight for Sovereignty isn’t Over

by Peter KoenigVenezuela – The National Constituent Assembly is in Place – But the fight for Sovereignty isn’t Over

Venezuela has voted on 30 July for a National Constituent Assembly (ANC – Asamblea Nacional Constituyente) with a resounding close to 8.1 million votes, or over 41% of the total eligible electorate. The figure was confirmed by the president of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena. The Chavistas battle cry before the elections was Venceremos! – Ché Guevaras favored revolutionary slogan. And the day after, 31 July, the victorious Ganamos! Accompanied by dancing in the streets.

To counter the mainstream presstitute mass media slandering of Venezuela, calling the legitimate democratically elected President a dictator, and that the vote was illegitimate and against the present Venezuelan Constitution – lets explain upfront what the Constitution says:

Article 347 of Venezuela’s constitution:

“The original constituent power rests with the people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new Constitution.”

Article 348 states

“(t)he initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly by a two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15% of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.”

Article 349 states

“(t)he President of the Republic shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way.”

The process to vote for the ANC is complex but highly democratic. The 30 July election chose 545 members to the National Constituent Assembly, of which two thirds (364) were 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. See also http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-is-venezuela-in-the-white-houses-crosshairs/5594240.

The 8.1million pro-ANC vote may, at first sight, with 41% of total eligible voters not constitute an absolute majority, but they are a legitimate majority analyzed from different perspectives. The only historic data we currently have on Venezuela is the one from the 1999 Constitution (still valid today), which President Hugo Chavez Frias, elected in 1998, initiated after asking the people whether they agreed to the drafting of a new Constitution. He received an overwhelming 80% support.

Assuming that on average about 20% to 25% of the electorate do not vote (based on the past 19 elections since the Bolivarian Revolutionary Government took over in 1998), of the 20 million eligible electorate, about 15 million could be expected to vote. With 8.1million ANC supporters, the National Constituent Assembly resulting from the 30 July elections is a clear majority, about 54%.

The election result is another resounding victory, when compared to the opposition’s plebiscite, illegally held a week earlier. The opposition claims having received 7.2 million votes against the ANC. However, by all observers, including internationals, this is a highly questionable and probably vastly inflated figure (based on their election boots which were a fraction of those of the ANC election process countrywide. Plus, the announced result cannot be checked, as the voter’s bulletins were burned by the opposition, as soon as they informed the public of the plebiscite’s result. However, even assuming this figure was correct – which it most likely isn’t – the total alleged votes cast between de official ANC process and the illegitimate referendum would amount to 15.3 million, of which 8.1 million represents about 53%, or an absolute majority of the votes cast.

For analysis sake, let’s just look at the curious composition of votes the oppositions claims having received. In their referendum people had to respond with yes, or no to three questions, with each one being a leading question against the ANC. Each one of the three answers counted for one vote, thus, there were up to three votes per person. The same people also were allowed to vote in several districts. During the press conference held by the opposition, a journalist asked whether it was correct that one voter could cast his / her vote 17 times. The answer of one of the directors was yes, but it may bediscovered at the final count. There were also stories of 10-year old kids and other minors voting. Also, there are 101,000 eligible voters abroad – but according to the opposition, the votes received from Venezuelans living outside Venezuela were almost 700,000.

The illegitimate – yes, illegitimate – opposition vote is pure farce. Though it can never be checked, since the votes were burned and given the above details, the promulgated results of 7.2 million votes against the ANC would have to be discounted by at least 30% to 50%. Yes, illegitimate, as the Constitution does not allow interference from anybody, once the ANC process has been launched.

Curiously though, the opposition, having the majority in the National Assembly could have initiated themselves an National Constituent Assembly. They didn’t. They could have actively participated in President Maduro’s ANC vote and presented their own candidates as they would have, had they respected the principles of democracy. They didn’t do that either. It is clear, they are not interested in a democratic process. They are not interested even in dialogue, one of Mr. Maduro’s priorities for conflict resolution. They want a violent ‘regime change’ – that’s what their Washington masters want and pays them for.

——–

The most vociferous critics of the process came from the usual villains, CNN, BBC, Washington Post, NYT, even The Guardian, but so far relatively few from the EU and her members. One of the countries that sticks out most with her unsolicited comment is “neutral” Switzerland, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on President Maduro, to cancel the elections for the new National Constitutional Assembly in ‘respect of democracy’. It further declared through the Swiss state-run radio-TV station, SRG, that the elections were illegal, as they are against the Constitution – which is a blatant lie, the Swiss Executive is aware of, but it pleases for sure Washington.

The Trump Administration also said it would not recognize the vote and slammed more heavy sanctions on Venezuela, among them, blocking President Maduro’s alleged ‘assets held in the US’. This in itself is a massive and ridiculous propaganda falsehood. It must be clear to any dimwit, that President Maduro does not have assets in the US. Washington forced ‘sanctions’ will probably also follow from its European vassals.

The right-wing puppet leaders (sic) in Latin America have of course also immediately played to the tune of their northern masters. The first one to do so was Peru’s President Pablo Kuczynski, saying that his government would not recognize the result of the elections. But who cares what Peru thinks about sovereign democratic Venezuela? – His arrogance went as far as calling upon the Peruvian Prime Minister to form a committee that should look into possible actions Peru could and should take against Venezuela. If one knows the level of corruption that literally runs Peru – one of the worst, if not the worst of all Latin America – and the way Kuczynski was ‘elected’, or rather shoed in by his Washington Masters, one can just chuckle in disbelief. If there was any un-bought, uncorrupted functioning legal system in Peru – the last five consecutive Presidents would now be in jail for corruption and crimes against humanity, including the present one.

Of course, Colombia and Mexico, among the staunchest vassals of the northern empire were also accusing Venezuela’s ANC initiative as being illegitimate, anti-democratic, for the sole purpose of allowing President Maduro to become a dictator and to bend the new Constitution so that he may stay President for life. None of this is of course intended or in the cards, or indeed allowed under the Constitution and the National Assembly still in place. In fact, according to the Constitution, neither the President or the National Assembly which is not being resolved or replaced by the new National Constituent Assembly, have a right to interfere in ANC’s process of drafting a new Constitution.

On a recent visit to Mexico, the ultra-right-wing (Tea Party) CIA chief, Mr. Pompeo, pledged for both Mexico and Colombia to help assure that the situation in Venezuela is being corrected. Let’s not forget, Colombia’s President Santos (the latest Peace Nobel Laureate!) has already several months ago asked Brussels to send NATO troop to Colombia. They may already be there. With a 2,200 km porous border between Colombia and Venezuela, infiltration of Colombian and NATO troops into Venezuela would not be complicated (http://www.globalresearch.ca/venezuela-washingtons-latest-defamation-to-bring-nato-to-south-america/5575480).

Among the few but strong supporters of the ANC and which called for the world to respect this legitimate and democratic process, were Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Cuba, Iran, China and Russia. Others may follow. So far Brussels has only been mumbling. What remains to be seen is how these countries, notably Russia and China, would react, when it comes down to the wire with a possible CIA / US / NATO instigated coup à la Maidan, in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2014.

———

Why did President Maduro call now for a National Constituent assembly to modify or redraft the current Constitution? – The answer is simple. Dictators around the world, like France under Macron, the UK under Mme. May, and probably soon Germany under Mme. Merkel, would call for Martial Law to clamp down ‘legitimately’ on the peoples’ rights and carry through their atrocious militarization and austerity programs, as well as to ’selectively curtail foreign influence’.

President Maduro, instead, follows democratic principles to the core. The purpose of a new or reality adjusted Constitution has precisely to do with foreign interference to the detriment of Venezuela’s economy. They include outside orchestrated food and medical supply shortages; from Miami manipulated black-market vs. official exchange rates, ruining local purchasing power, thereby causing inflation and a sagging economy; foreign news networks deadly propaganda; and infiltration of foreign trained, armed and funded violent terror groups to help organizing the relatively small Venezuelan elitist opposition to cause havoc and civil unrest – as we have seen over the last several months in the runup to these ANC elections. The US State Department funded NED – National Endowment for Democracy – is a key sponsor of violent opposition in Venezuela, as well as elsewhere in the world. The new or adjusted Constitution is expected to allow the government to sovereignly control its borders and its economy with whatever means it has to take to keep the criminals out and regain full sovereignty.

These vicious foreign supported groups have cost the life of some110 people during the last few months leading up to the ANC vote, through the most horrendous acts of terror, including lynching, burning alive, shooting, looting of shops, attacking and destroying schools, public infrastructure, police headquarters and more. There is no end to the list of heinous crimes committed by the so-called opposition – which is nothing else as a tool for the Washington tyrant-in-chief, who will not let go until he has achieved ‘regime change’.

The presstitute doesn’t present this real picture of things. They portray the violence and dead toll as the government’s responsibility. In fact, thanks to the diligence of national police and the 200,000 military forces deployed throughout the country in the last couple of weeks to protect the population, the voters, in the leadup to the elections, violence and dead tolls were kept in check. Violent outbreak would have most likely been even more atrocious without the military deployment.

A new puppet government would return Venezuela to the pre-Chavez years – or most likely much worse – giving away Venezuelans world’s largest hydrocarbon deposit is to US petrol giants and torturing Chavistas and anybody who had in the past opposed and still opposes the violent undemocratic, oppressive servile-to-Washington elite.

—–

What’s next for Venezuela? – Well, it’s not over. The National Constituent Assembly is just the first step. The rabid bulldog will not let go. He keeps attacking and biting relentlessly and without merci sovereign democratic and un-obedient Venezuela. The steady internal foreign instigated economic and social decay, the build-up to what prompted President Maduro to initiate the ANC vote, was very reminiscent of the fascist 9/11/1973 CIA instigated military coup in Chile.

The Chile coup was also preceded by artificially and outside instrumented shortages of food and medical supplies – paying people to protest in the streets. The only difference there is that the Chilean army was split and high ranks defected President Allende. This doesn’t seem to be the case in Venezuela. – The overwhelming people’s support for the ANC has further cemented the solidarity within the Bolivarian Republic – and given the revolution new energy. Venezuela will prevail. Venceremos!

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.

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