Bombshell book in Germany revives 9/11 as a business model

Bombshell book in Germany revives 9/11 as a business model

April 06, 2021

By Pepe Escobar – Book Review for The Saker Blog

Nearly 20 years after 9/11, Germany and the German-speaking world are being hit by a formidable one-two.

A ground-breaking study by gifted independent financial journalist Lars Schall, Denken wie der Feind – 20 Jahre Ausnahmezustand 9/11 und die Geopolitik des Terrors 

(“Thinking Like the Enemy – 20 Years State of Emergency, 9/11 and the Geopolitics of Terror”) is being published in Germany in two books.

The first one – Das Erdöl, der Dollar und die Drogen (“The Oil, The Dollar and The Drugs”) – is out this week. Volume II will be out next week.

Nomi Prins, formerly from Goldman Sachs, has described Schall’s “investigation of 9/11 insider trading” as “stunning”. Marshall Auerback, researcher at the Levy Institute in the U.S., noted how “most of the MSM still refuse to tackle the broader, more controversial aspects of the 9/11 tragedy”. Schall, he adds, “provides a healthy corrective”.

A sample of Schall’s work, already published by The Saker blog, is this interview on 9/11 terror trading.

I’ve had the pleasure to write the introduction for the German one-two. Here it is – hoping that such an extraordinary achievement may find its way in many other languages, especially across the Global South

9/11, or “The Owls Are Not What They Seem”

Until COVID-19 showed up on the scene in the Spring of 2020, nearly two decades after the fact, the world remained hostage to 9/11. This was the ultimate geopolitical game-changer that set the tone for the young 21st century. The book you have in your hands asks the ultimate question: why 9/11 matters.

Follow the money. It’s quite fitting that this meticulous investigation is conducted by a gifted, extremely serious financial journalist – and, in an unprecedented way, presents a mass of information previously unavailable in German.

I’ve known Lars Schall, virtually, for years – exchanging correspondence on politics and economics. When we met in person in Berlin in 2015, we finally had time, live, to also indulge in our number one pop culture mutual passion: David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Lars may be a German incarnation of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper. Or, better yet, the compassionate version of Albert Rosenfield, the sarcastic pathologist in Twin Peaks.

Take for instance this dialogue from Twin Peaks:

Albert Rosenfield: We sent a portrait of your long-haired man to every agency from NASA to DEA and came up empty. This cat is in nobody’s database. 

 Special Agent Dale Cooper: A man that four of us have seen here in Twin Peaks. 

 Albert Rosenfield: [smiling] Sure. Oh, by the way, you were shot with a Walther PPK. It’s James Bond’s gun, did you know that?

So what you have in your hands is 9/11 dissected by a thoroughly working pathologist, who had “a lot of cutting and pasting to do”. He was aware of myriad red lines from the start, as well as myriad vanishing acts and false non sequiturs. 9/11 may be the ultimate illustration of one of Twin Peaks’ legendary one-liners: “The owls are not what they seem”.

Our pathologist had in fact to disassemble a humongous matryoshka to break it down into smaller dolls. This process had some surprises in store: by following-the-money approach regarding 9/11, for instance, our pathologist was in the end confronted with the case of an anal prolapse at Guantanamo Bay. You don’t believe it? Just wait and read the research.

This journey will take you through hundreds of pages of text and myriads of endnotes, over 2,400 of them, quite a few dealing with many different sources, as well as selected sensitive documents treated by professional translators.

The double volume details the interconnected implications of extremely complex dossiers: the US national energy policy group chaired by former Vice-President Dick Cheney, in secrecy, only four days after the start of the Bush administration; the ramifications of Peak Oil; the interest by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) on Middle East oil, especially Iraq; the CIA’s major role in the drug trade business; the Saudi-U.S. alliance related to the protection of al-Qaeda; what happened with the U.S. air defense on 9/11; and last but not least, insider trading on 9/11, especially anomalies in the option and bond markets.

The nearly mythical computer software program PROMIS, created in the 1970s by former NSA analyst Bill Hamilton, plays a sort of Rosebud role in this narrative – complete with a trail of unexplained deaths and disappearing files that renders some of its avatars, especially those containing backdoor eavesdropping capabilities enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) almost impervious to investigation.

As a matter of fact, Lars had been contacted by Bill Hamilton, who asked him if he could help in relation to the PROMIS affair. It was this request – which took place in the Spring of 2012 after Lars had just published a 9/11-Insider Trading article at Asia Times – that has been the spark which started the investigation you are about to read.

For the German reader, one of the firsts of this sprawling analysis is to take what is considered in the U.S. as a “conspiracy theory” – Mike Ruppert’s seminal 2004 book “Crossing the Rubicon” – and, in Lars’s words, “figure out how far it can be proven correct, more than 15 years after it was published.”

Lars shows in detail how 9/11 enabled a state of emergency, a permanent Continuity of Government (COG) in the U.S. and mass surveillance of U.S. citizens – connecting the dots all the way from missing trillions of dollars in the Pentagon to NSA data mining and leading U.S. neocons. The latter had been praying for a “Pearl Harbor” to reorient US foreign policy since 1997. Their prayers were answered beyond their wildest dreams.

The investigation eventually displays a startling road map: the war on terror as a business model. However, as Lars also shows, in the end, much to the despair of U.S. neocons, all the combined sound and fury of 9/11 and the Global War on Terror, in nearly two decades, ended up bringing about a Russia-China strategic partnership in Eurasia.

It’s fair to ask the author what did he learn as he juggled for years with this immense mass of information. Lars points to the familiarity he acquired with the work of Peter Dale Scott – author, among others of “The Road to 9/11”, and a specialist in the origins of the U.S. Deep State – which is diametrically opposed to the sanitized narrative privileged by the Beltway and U.S. corporate media. Lars presents information by Peter Dale Scott that had never been translated into German before.

Special Agent Lars Cooper / Lars Rosenfield had in effect to kiss goodbye to a career as a journalist, because “I’ll be forever scorned as a ‘conspiracy theorist’,” as he told me. So a stark choice was in play; fearlessness, or a comfortable career as a corporate hack. In the end, Lars chose fearlessness.

In Twin Peaks, Special Agent Dale Cooper has ultimately to confront himself. He knows he’s lost if he tries to run away from his dark self – who is “the dweller on the threshold.” Our Special Agent Lars Cooper definitely did not run away from the dweller on the threshold this time around. He dared to cross to the other side to stare at the abyss. And now he’s back to tell us in a book what it looks like.

Denken wie der Feind – 20 Jahre Ausnahmezustand 9/11 und die Geopolitik des Terrors 

(“Thinking Like the Enemy – 20 Years State of Emergency, 9/11 and the Geopolitics of Terror”), by Lars Schall

Book 1: Das Erdöl, der Dollar und die Drogen

(The Oil, The Dollar and The Drugs)

Via Books on Demand (BOD):

ISBN for the book: 9783753442938. For the e-Book: 9783753414737

Book 2:  Das “Pearl Harbor” des 21. Jahrhunderts (The “Pearl Harbor “ of the 21st Century)

Via Books on Demand (BOD):

ISBN for the book: 9783753460796. For the e-book:  9783753433882

Canadian Ties to U.S. Empire: Lester Pearson and the Myth of Canada as Peaceable Kingdom Part II

By Richard Sanders

Global Research, April 04, 2021

CovertAction Magazine 1 April 2021

All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version).

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Read part I here:

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Pearson was central to the constitutional coup that propelled him into power by orchestrating the toppling of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker (1957-1963).

John F. Kennedy had no love for Canada’s Progressive Conservative leader. “My brother really hated only two men in all his presidency,” said Robert Kennedy. “One was Sukarno [Indonesia’s left-wing president] and the other was Diefenbaker.” The central focus of JFK’s hatred for Diefenbaker was his defiant refusal to allow the U.S. to arm Canadian missiles with American nuclear warheads.[1]

Diefenbaker’s demise was orchestrated by a bevy of highly skilled experts in covert action from the CIA, State Department, White House and Pentagon, plus two successive U.S. ambassadors to Canada, America’s leading pollster (aided by the world’s best computer technology), and the U.S. Air Force general who then led NATO.

McGeorge Bundy, then Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, even bragged that acting U.S. Secretary of State “George Ball and I knocked over the Diefenbaker government….”[2]

As usual, these American coup artists relied on local compradors to aid their efforts in replacing an uncooperative ally.

Diefenbaker had to go and who could be better than Pearson to replace him? For decades, Pearson had proven himself as a stalwart supporter of U.S. imperial interests. Canadian co-conspirators included an RCAF commander, the air marshal who chaired Canada’s military chiefs of staff, Liberal power brokers and top newsprint journalists.

Although Pearson was America’s man in Ottawa, U.S. power brokers knew that he sometimes had to pander to a large swath of the Canadian electorate which had anti-American feelings.

To retain support from these voters, Pearson had to appear to be more critical of the U.S. than he really was. This was revealed by Walton Butterworth, the JFK-appointed U.S. Ambassador to Canada (1962-1968), in a secret telegram at the climax of the U.S. coup in early February 1963.

His once-secret message, recalling that “Diefenbaker first came to power on wave of anti-U.S. jingoism,” scorned him as an “undependable, unscrupulous political animal” who U.S. authorities had just “boxed … in.”

Butterworth noted that when Diefenbaker cried foul regarding the U.S. forceful intrusion into Canadian politics which soon resulted in Dief’s demise, “Pearson and other party leaders could not permit him [to] pose as [the] sole spokesman for Canadian nationalism; hence they had to protect their flanks and join chorus of protest at our ‘intrusion.’”[3] Butterworth continued with the following assessment of the quickly unfolding situation and what lay ahead with Pearson’s anticipated ascension to power:

“[W]e are forcing Pearson to go faster and further than he desires in the direction we favor. … [W]e are entering new phase in U.S.-Canadian relations. … We look forward to … greater Canadian realization of their need to cultivate good relations with us…. [W]e think we will wish [to] take more coolly appraising look at concessions we offer in return for their readiness to accommodate themselves to us…. [W]e do not want to buy same asset time and again as is now the case. We have reached point where our relations must be based on something more solid than accommodation to neurotic Canadian view of us and world. We should be less the accoucheur [midwife] of Canada’s illusions.”[4]

U.S. ambassador to Canada Walton Butterworth with JFK in the White House. [Source: Jfklibrary.org]

Within a few months after assuming power, Pearson’s government not only allowed the U.S. to arm Canada’s ground-launched Bomarc missiles, it announced Canada’s acquisition of “nuclear weapons for the Honest John missiles and CF-104 fighter aircraft in Europe and … the CF-101 (Voodoo) fighter aircraft in Canada.”[5]

Canada’s Bomarc missiles. [Source: legionmagazine.com]

So blatant was Pearson’s duplicity, that future prime minister Pierre Trudeau denounced him in 1963 as “a defrocked priest of peace.”  Trudeau revealed that Pearson reversed Liberal Party policy on nuclear weapons without consulting the national council,… its executive committee, … the parliamentary caucus or even with his principal advisors. The ‘Pope’ had spoken. It was up to the faithful to believe … [T]he Pentagon … obliged Mr. Pearson to betray his party’s platform … Power presented itself to Mr. Pearson; he had nothing to lose except honour. He lost it. And his whole party lost it with him.[6]

Coup in Brazil, 1964

When Brazil elected a left-wing party by a huge margin in 1960, the U.S. began coordinating a coup that ushered in years of military dictatorship.

The coup was justified by wild claims that Brazil’s elected officials might turn into communists. It was supported by Brazilian Admiral Carlos P. Botto who, having backed fascism during WWII, went on to work closely with the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations (ABN), and its leader Yaroslav Stetsko,[7] in creating the pro-fascist World Anti-Communist League.

Canadian officials, both Liberal and Tory, shared their rabid phobia about the rising popularity of communism in Latin America. After a 1961 government mission to South America, Progressive Conservative MP Pierre Sevigny told parliament that in Brazil, Canada had allies who want to cooperate with us and to prevent … the birth of subversive movements in that country where huge illiterate populations are living, which, if they were to be subjected to communist influence, could easily cause a social and economic revolution.[8]

The Liberals shared this right-wing mindset. “Canadian reaction to the military coup,” said historian Rosana Barbosa, “was careful, polite and allied with American rhetoric.”

Barbosa, a Brazilian-Canadian, says Pearson, who became prime minister the year before the coup, “did not publicly criticize the new regime. Pearson’s foreign policy … was supportive of the United States.”[9]

Pearson’s pro-coup stance was good for business, especially the Brazilian Power and Light Co. (Brascan), one of Canada’s biggest profiteers in Latin America. As revealed in Let Us Prey (1974), there was a revolving door between Brascan and the Liberal cabinets of St. Laurent, Pearson and Trudeau.

For example, Robert Winters, who held two cabinet posts under St. Laurent and was Pearson’s trade minister, became Brascan’s president. Winters praised Brazil’s coup regime, saying it “was dedicated to the principles of private enterprise” and “create[d] a climate friendly to foreign capital.”

Jack Nicholson, Brascan’s CEO in Brazil in the 1950s, held three cabinet posts under Pearson. Mitchell Sharp, whose career began under St. Laurent in 1947, held the trade and finance posts in Pearson’s cabinet.

After a stint as Brascan’s vice president, Sharp returned to politics and was appointed Trudeau’s foreign minister.[10] Another Brascan executive in Trudeau’s cabinet was Anthony Abbott,[11] who held three finance-related posts in the late 1970s.

[Source: coat.ncf.ca]

Invasion in the Dominican Republic, 1965

In February 1963, the Dominican Republic elected a pro-Castro government led by Juan Bosch, which lasted only seven months.

When a military junta seized power in a coup that September, expelling the elected president, Bosch’s supporters fought to regain control, and in April, led by Colonel Francisco Caamaño retook the National Palace. To prevent Caamaño’s forces from restoring a revolutionary government, the U.S. invaded with 20,000 Marines.

U.S. Marines in the Dominican Republic in 1965. [Source: pinterest.com]

Two weeks after the U.S Marine invasion, Canadian government representatives were approached by Caamaño, who asked for recognition. Pearson declined.

New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Tommy Douglas, the father of Canada’s free health-care system, asked Pearson what evidence he had from the U.S. “that the forces of Colonel Caamaño, which are seeking to re-establish the elected government … are indeed communist controlled and communist dominated.”

When Pearson replied that they “[c]ertainly … have communists in their … controlling group,” Douglas asked again for proof and Pearson said he could not assess the degree of their communist “infiltration.”[12]

It did not seem to occur to either that the legitimacy of pro-Bosch forces was its overwhelming popular support and that, if people wanted a communist government, they should be allowed to have one.

Pearson revealed his total bias in support of the U.S. invasion by saying that the coup regime was a legitimate “government” that had to protect “law and order” by stopping an “insurrection” by dangerous pro-Bosch forces.

In 2000, Liberals institutionalized this Pearsonian tradition of justifying U.S. invasions with humanitarian-sounding narratives by helping to create a deceptive UN doctrine called the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P).

Chrétien’s foreign minister, Lloyd Axworthy, rallied support from mainstream peace, human rights and development activists for NATO’s illegal 1999 war against Yugoslavia.

In 2004, Prime Minister Paul Martin, Jr.’s, Liberal government used R2P memes to disguise Canadian ground troops used in the U.S.-led invasion, regime change and occupation of Haiti (the Dominican Republic’s neighbor), as if they were humanitarian “peacekeepers.”[13]

Supporting U.S. Nuclear War Policies

From the Cold War’s earliest days, Pearson was a strong voice for the idea that the moral forces of the “democratic West” had to amass a vast arsenal of weapons for a possible world war against “the totalitarian East.”

This, ironically, is why Pearson saw his key role in creating NATO as one of his most valuable gifts to global peace. From its inception in 1949, before the Soviets had tested a single atomic bomb, U.S. nuclear weapons have been a cornerstone of NATO’s “defense” policies. From the Soviet perspective, having been under attack by Western forces obsessed with its containment and annihilation since 1917, it responded to NATO’s creation by forming the Warsaw Pact in 1955.

By 1950, left-leaning peace groups around the world were busy supporting the Stockholm Peace Appeal. This petition campaign, promoted by the communist-led World Peace Congress, called for “the unconditional banning by all countries of the atomic weapon as an instrument of aggression and mass extermination of people.”

The appeal also asked governments to declare that they would “regard as a war criminal that government which first uses the atomic weapon against any country.” By February 1950, this “petition for peace,” bearing the signatures of 500,000 Canadians, was presented to government officials in Ottawa.

In a letter to a Vancouver newspaper to correct “a false report by an Ottawa reporter,” Rev. James Endicott, chairman of the Canadian Peace Congress, said “We are proud that this petition, which originated in Canada, was circulated to all countries in the world, gaining the endors[ment] of 450 million men and women.”[14]

Peace float built by Canadian Peace Congress in the 1950s. [Source: focusonsocialism.ca]

Not surprisingly, this successful campaign, which rallied widespread public opposition to NATO’s bellicose “first use,” nuclear-weapons policies, also enraged many Cold Warriors, including Lester Pearson.

In a March 1950 address to 500 civil servants about a week after Endicott’s letter was published, Pearson said Canada would “take every … measure to find and root out treason and sedition in our midst.”[15] (Sedition and treason carry penalties of 14 years and life imprisonment, respectively.)

Pearson’s speech, quoted in an Ottawa paper, singled out the Canadian Peace Congress for a moralizing rebuke:

“[B]e on guard against the more immediate menace of the individual who beneath the mask of loyal service to the country, or wearing the mantle of the Peace Congress has knowingly or unknowingly sold his soul to Moscow.”[16]

In response, Peace Congress activist Edith Holtom wrote to the paper, saying:

“If enough Canadians, including civil servants, would protest against selling the soul of Canada to American militarism, there would be no need for Mr. Pearson to refer to peacemakers as a menace…. [H]ow dare Mr. Pearson call a person a menace who joins … with thousands of others to warn our government of what might happen if changes are not made in policy-making?”[17]

Later, in a 1951 speech to the well-heeled Sudbury Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club, Pearson branded the Canadian Peace Congress an agent of “foreign aggressive imperialism.”[18]

Besides the Liberals and Conservatives, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), forerunner of the NDP, also saw the Peace Congress as a menacing threat. The CCF executive forbade members from joining the Congress and threatened disciplinary action against CCFers who signed the Stockholm Appeal.[19]

Pearson had such contempt for the Congress that when 50 engineering students made a coup-like effort to destroy its University of Toronto chapter, he said in their support:

“If more Canadians were to show something of this high-spirited crusading zeal, we would very soon hear very little of the Canadian Peace Congress and its works. We would simply take it over.”[20]

Imperialist Pro-NATO Propaganda

Pearson was groomed for political power by another loyal Canadian servant of imperial interests—Mackenzie King, who had appointed him foreign minister in 1948.

King’s ascent to power had been aided by his work as “labor adviser” for billionaire John D. Rockefeller, Jr., America’s anti-union, robber baron who financed fascism and collaborated with the Nazis.[21]

From his unelected cabinet post, Pearson was well-placed to guide his gullible boss. An example of Pearson’s early, pro-U.S. advice occurred in 1946, when King was considering whether to take Canada along a middle path between the hardened Cold War extremes of the U.S. and the USSR. To convince King that he should hitch Canada securely to America’s anti-Soviet wagon, Pearson wrote a memo telling him that without some fundamental change in the Soviet state system and in the policies and views of its leaders, the USSR is bound to come into open conflict with western democracy.[22]

With this prediction, said historian Joe Levitt, “Pearson seemed to be asserting that a war with the Soviet Union was virtually inevitable.” Levitt noted that, “Pearson may have worded the memo … to play on … King’s fears of the Soviet Union” so that he would bow to U.S. demands for greater military access to Arctic regions claimed by Canada.[23]

[Source: coldwarteamprojectfall2014]

Pearson’s fear-mongering was clear from his very first speech to Parliament: “There is no doubt that fear has gripped the world again,” he said, “fear arising primarily out of … the brutal domination of revolutionary communism, based on the massive and expanding militarism of totalitarian Russia.”[24]

Pearson’s anti-Red hyperbole knew few bounds and smacked of ethnic hatred: “[T]he crusading and subversive power of communism,” he claimed, “has been harnessed by a cold-blooded, calculating, victoriously powerful Slav empire for its own political purposes.”[25] (Emphasis added.)

To Pearson and other Cold Warriors, the world was torn apart by a battle between pure good and utter evil. Describing these mortal foes in 1951, he said “there are two sides whose composition cuts across national and even community boundaries.” These forces, led by the U.S. and USSR, Pearson said, represented “freedom vs. slavery.”[26]

Anti-communist leaflet. [Source: pinbalking.blogspot.com]

Pearson also warned that a war between freedom and slavery would take place for one of only two reasons. World War III, he said, would result from an accident, or “a deliberate and controlled explosion brought about by the calculated policy of the hard-faced despots in the Kremlin, men hungry for power and world domination.”[27]

Hypocrisy and Doublethink: “Free Europe” vs. “Free Quebec”

Pearson’s bombast also exaggerated Soviet control over what he slurred as their “completely servile” “puppet regimes.”[28] When discussing nonaligned Yugoslavia, he referred to the “unquestioning and slavish obedience that the Kremlin demands.” With regard to Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland, and “the subjugation of states by soviet communism,” Pearson spoke of “communist pressure to liquidate every element of national independence and every trace of opinion or feeling which is not abjectly subordinate to Soviet Russia.”[29]

But Pearson was blind to the subservience of Canada and its NATO allies to the U.S. Pearson had such faith in Western morality that he declared in 1959 that “western democratic governments have no aggressive or imperialistic designs.” Similarly, he said “Americans … are perhaps the least imperialistically minded people that have ever achieved great power in the world.”[30]

As Canadian Dimension magazine founder, Cy Gonnick, explained in 1975, “Canada’s role, as devised by Pearson, was to assist the United States to achieve its goals, which were by definition the same as Canada’s.” Canadian servility to the U.S. was summed up by a top Pearson colleague: “We can tell our neighbour when we think he is wrong,” said John Holmes, Canada’s chargé d’affaires in Moscow in 1947-1948 and a top bureaucrat at external affairs (starting in 1953 into the 1960s), “but we know that in the end we will, in our own interest, side with our neighbour right or wrong.”[31]

In a speech in Vancouver in 1948, Pearson expressed faith that “democracy” in the U.S.-led “free world” had, by its treatment of the global poor, proven “its superiority as a form of government and a way of life.” Pearson then boiled everything down to the West’s existential struggle with evil. In one corner of the globe was America’s “free, expanding progressive democracy.” In the other, was the USSR’s “tyrannical and reactionary communism.”[32]

The so-called free world countries, said Pearson, being “strong, healthy and progressive,” had to “protect themselves from the threat of a sudden attack by an aggressor communist state.” Pearson also believed the U.S.-led free world must “remove the menace of aggressive communism, at home … [and] abroad.”[33]

To “remove” the Red Menace, Pearson said Canada and other “free” nations had to “pay tribute” to the U.S. by foregoing their own independent foreign policies. He outlined this strategy to the elitist Empire Club of Canada and Toronto’s equally affluent Canadian Club by saying:

“we must recognize and pay tribute to the leadership being given and the efforts being made by the United States in the conflict against Communist imperialism, and realize that if this leadership were not given we would have little chance of success in the common struggle. Secondly, we must never forget that our enemy gleefully welcomes every division in the free democratic ranks and that … there will be times when we should abandon our position if it is more important to maintain unity in the face of the common foe.”[34]

Vive le Ukraine Libre

The hypocrisy of Cold War “doublethink”[35] is illustrated by Pearson’s indignant reaction to Charles de Gaulle’s “Vive le Québec libre” speech in 1967. During his visit to Montréal for Canada’s centenary celebrations, the French president’s allusion to an independent Quebec outraged Prime Minister Pearson. De Gaulle’s reference to a “free Quebec” was nothing compared to the onslaught of “free Ukraine” propaganda that Canada had beamed at the USSR for the previous 15 years.

Under Pearson’s guidance, CBC International broadcasts had long provoked ethnonationalist schisms in the USSR. From its very first Ukrainian-language program, on Canada’s 85th birthday (July 1, 1952), the CBC’s Voice of Canada had collaborated with Canada’s far-right Ukrainian émigrés to drive a political wedge into the USSR.

Canada’s Cold War propaganda broadcasts were part of a U.S.-led political/psychological warfare campaign to exploit internal Soviet conflicts and to foment the break-up of that extremely multicultural country.

Canada’s mass media decried de Gaulle’s call for a free Quebec. In covering the French president’s speech, most newspapers across Canada quoted from Pearson’s speech at a huge July 31, 1967 rally of anti-Soviet Ukrainian youth on Parliament Hill.[36] (See photo.)

This rally of 1,500 uniformed, anti-communist Ukrainian youth marching in formation, was organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC).[37]

It had been created by King’s government in 1940 to unify Canada’s right-wing Ukrainian groups. While the UCC regularly meddled in Soviet politics by demanding a “free Ukraine,” it was happy to be used as a backdrop for Pearson to condemn de Gaulle’s meddling in Canadian politics.

In 1967, Pearson used 1,500 uniformed Ukrainian youth as a backdrop to decry de Gaulle’s “Vive le Québec libre” speech and to praise Canada’s “two founding races.”  Another speaker, Yuri Shymko, helped lead the Ukrainian youth movement which still glorifies Stepan Bandera as a hero. During WWII, Ukrainian scouting troops recruited for Bandera’s fascist army and for the Waffen SS Galicia. These formations took part in killing Poles and Jews, and collaborated in the Nazi invasion of the USSR which killed 27 million Soviet citizens. [Source – Ukraine: A Captive but Unconquerable Nation, Bulletin of the World AntiCommunist League, June 1969; diasporiana.org.au]

In Pearson’s speech, he acknowledged only “two founding races and languages and cultures in Canada, British and French.” Ignoring Canada’s genocide of First Nations, he also left out Britain’s conquest of New France in 1760. “In our country,” Pearson claimed, “we have required neither revolution nor civil war nor outside intervention to settle our differences.”[38]

These amnesic state myths were echoed by Yuri Shymko, who told the crowd:

“Canada is one of the few countries of the world that can proudly and justly say it has maintained throughout its young history the principle that men of all races and nationalities shall live and prosper in peace, liberty and equality.”[39]

Shymko was described in 1967 news stories as “a leader of the Ukrainian Youth Organization.” Then 26, he went on to become a member of parliament. Shymko continues to lead Ukrainian nationalists who glorify Stepan Bandera, a WWII fascist leader whose armed forces massacred Jews, Poles and communists.[40]

Pearson’s “Full-Spectrum” Anti-Red Crusade

Pearson believed that Western civilization’s global war against communism had to be fought on all fronts, using weapons from all fields of culture. To amass the arsenal needed for this full-spectrum war, Pearson tailored his rhetoric to suit his audience. To his allies in Canada’s old boys’ clubs, he said the anti-communist struggle has not yet become a shooting war, except in Korea, but … goes on in the field of economics, finance, and public opinion, and extends far beyond any military or even political operation.

“Strength,” he reminded this wealthy audience of corporate movers and shakers from the Empire Club of Canada and Toronto’s Canadian Club, should not “be interpreted in military terms alone, but has also its economic, financial and moral aspects.”[41]

In 1952, Pearson became chancellor of his alma mater, Victoria College. In his speech, he focused on the need to fight the Reds using “intellectual and spiritual weapons”:

“It would be a mistake to believe we can … defeat communism by force. Among other things, communism is an idea. No idea, however perilous or noxious, as communism is, can be killed by bayonets or even by an atomic bomb. As an idea, it must be resisted by intellectual and spiritual weapons….”[42]

To fight his Cold War crusade against communism, Pearson often wielded Christian rhetoric. For instance, when promoting the creation of NATO in early 1949, he said “Canada should not remain aloof” because aggressive forces outside Canada allied to subversive forces within it … [could] lead the world into war between totalitarian Communism and the Christian democratic way of life.[43]

Comic promoting alleged Soviet plot to take over Canada. [Source: pinbalking.blogspot.com]

Having absorbed a zeal for imperialism thanks to the influence of his family, church and literature, Pearson grew to equate anti-communism  with “spiritual faith” and “Christian morality.” These he saw as “the basis for the individual and for society.”[44]

Lester Pearson at a conference in San Francisco in 1945 held by what subsequently became the UN. [Source: thediscoverblog.com]

Within his black-and-white universe, the Cold War’s rivals were engaged in a mythic, existential battle between the evil darkness of totalitarian communism and the pure, radiance of civilized Western capitalism. This cartoon ethos left no room for grey areas in between. Canadians had to either embrace the enlightened “free world,” or be damned and condemned as diabolical Reds.

In one parliamentary polemic, Pearson contrasted the “dark practice of government through tyranny and ignorance” behind “the shadow of the iron curtain,” with the glowing “human spirit” that made Europe the “fountainhead of light and progress” for “a thousand years.” Pearson’s melodramatic tropes shone when he said Europe’s “light still burns, and that eventually it will help lift the darkness that now surrounds it.”[45]

Pearson and other Cold Warriors had zero-tolerance for communism. Their anti-Red phobia was akin to the “one-drop rule” that dominated the most racist societies. Apartheid regimes in South Africa and the U.S. institutionalized the hatred of their power elites in social systems that disempowered those alleged to have even a single drop of black African blood in their veins. Similarly, Cold Warriors like Pearson were intolerant of individuals, groups and foreign leaders said to be “tainted” by the dreaded “Red” political blood; “Pinkos” could not be tolerated. In the 1960s, it was known in Canada’s peace/anti-war movement that Pearson was a jingoistic Liberal war hawk, this is no longer the case. His image is now all but completely rehabilitated.

Despite his role in leading Canadian complicity in U.S./NATO-led wars and coups, Pearson is now heralded as an icon of peace by many Canadians who view themselves as progressives. This whitewashed invocation of Canada’s Pearsonian tradition is nowhere stronger than among the torchbearers of the Liberal Party.

For example, in 2017, when Canada’s current deputy prime minister, Chrystia Freeland, was foreign minister, she called Pearson a “Canadian icon” who promoted “peace, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world.”[46]

Her statement was made at a media event staged to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Pearson’s Nobel Peace Prize. This commemoration was co-sponsored by Canada’s Department of Global Affairs and Pearson College in British Columbia.

Pearson College is a private, government-funded[47] boarding school for teens that is part of the prestigious United World College (UWC) movement. Alumni from its eighteen colleges on four continents have included youth who ended up becoming heads of state, CEOs, venture capitalists, religious and military leaders, celebrity artists, actors, powerful members of the Fifth Estate and Cold War Liberal hawks like Freeland herself.

As a precocious teen, Freeland’s Russophobic, anti-communist ideologies were strengthened by her two-year attendance at the UWC’s Adriatic College in Italy. She had already been ingrained in these belief systems by powerful influencers in her anti-Soviet Ukrainian-Canadian community and her family.[48] These included Freeland’s maternal grandfather, Mikhailo Khomiak, who was given safe haven in Canada after working as Nazi Germany’s leading Ukrainian-language news propagandist in WWII.[49]

Mikhailo Khomiak (to the right of the man smoking and immediately behind woman in headdress) with Nazi press administrator Emil Gassner, who is on the right, looking away. [Source: peoplesvoice.ca]

Canada’s Pearson College was the second of eighteen elite, international schools in the UWC network that was established by anti-communist admirers and military leaders of NATO’s Defense College in Paris.[50]

Statue of Lester Pearson on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. [Source: waymarking.com]

But the exaltation of Pearson as Canada’s most noble peace hero is not limited to the halls of government power or such elitist, pro-NATO institutions as Pearson College.

Remarkably, Pearson is now regarded with tremendous respect even by leading forces in Canada’s mainstream peace movement. For example, Canada’s largest and best-known peace organization, Project Ploughshares, has effectively buried Pearson’s role as a vociferous Cold War-monger and helped to construct the mythology that now surrounds and protects his name.

Although Ploughshares has for 45 years done much exemplary work, including the documentation of Canada’s military exports, it has also helped to reverse the much-deserved, negative reputation that Pearson once had in the peace movement.

Mandated by, and accountable to, the Canadian Council of Churches, Ploughshares has received considerable financial support from this country’s largest religious bodies and from Canadian governments, both Liberal and Conservative alike. (Since 1999, Ploughshares has received at least $2.4 million in grants and contracts from the federal government.[51])

Ploughshares’ obfuscation of Pearson’s imperialist, pro-war record is expressed in its internet presence. Of the 40 articles that reference Pearson within Ploughshares’ website,[52] none mention his promotion of U.S. coups and wars. Instead, the majority invoke his name in a positive light by mentioning the government-established Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, which trained military personnel from 1994 to 2013.

Only one article contains even a passing critique of Pearson’s prowar legacy by briefly mentioning his role in arming Canadian missiles with U.S. nuclear warheads.[53]

This 2009 article was written by then-retired Ploughshares co-founder Ernie Regehr who, two years later, accepted the UN Association of Canada’s “Pearson Peace Medal.” This award is given annually to a Canadian who has contributed to those causes to which Lester B. Pearson devoted his distinguished career: aid to the developing world; mediation between those confronting one another with arms; succour to refugees and others in need; equal rights and justice for all humanity; and peaceful change through world law and world organization.[54]

The Ploughshares website highlights Regehr’s receipt of this medal at the very top of a special webpage called “Milestones,” which lists the group’s greatest achievements. The only photo on this page shows Regehr receiving the medal from Canada’s Governor General during a pomp-filled ceremony at his palace-like mansion in Ottawa.[55] It also notes that the Pearson Peace Medal had been received by Ploughshares’ other co-founder, Murray Thomson, 21 years earlier from another governor general.

Ploughshares’ “Milestones” page also notes that Regehr accepted the World Peace Award from the World Federalists of Canada.[56] The first recipient of this award was Lester Pearson himself in 1972.

The World Peace Award (in 2001) and the Pearson Peace Medal (in 2017) were bestowed upon Lloyd Axworthy,[57] who was the Liberal’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade during Canada’s active participation in the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999. Axworthy, who—like Freeland—carries on the Pearsonian war-hawk tradition, oversaw the export of billions of dollars’ worth of Canadian weapons systems to the U.S. and dozens of other countries. He, like Pearson, has received considerable praise in the pages of Ploughshares’ website.

Despite Pearson’s long career of promoting the multifarious crimes of empire, his status as a Canadian peace-cult hero seems unlikely to be revoked anytime soon. Still glorified by the corporate media, politicians of all stripes, and even the peace movement, Pearson remains a seemingly irremovable fixture in the mythology of Canada, “the peaceable kingdom.”

However, as the foreign affairs bureaucrat, diplomat and political leader who spearheaded the warmongering, social phobia of extreme anti-communism in post-war Canada, Pearson will eventually be widely recognized as a godfather of the Cold War and an ideological patriarch of its hate-filled propaganda.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Richard Sanders is an anti-war activist and writer in Canada. In 1984, he received an MA in cultural anthropology and began working to expose Canada’s complicity in U.S.-led wars. In 1989, he founded the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade (COAT), which led to a 20-year municipal ban on Ottawa’s arms bazaars.

Notes

[1] Richard Sanders, “A Plot ‘Made in the U.S.,’” Press for Conversion! Issue 43, January 2001, pp. 23-25. http://bit.ly/Cda-Coup ; Richard Sanders, “1962-1963, Canada: ‘Knocking Over’ Dief the Chief”
https://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue43/articles/1962_1963_canada.htm; CIA Fingerprints: The Americans behind the Plot to Oust John Diefenbaker
https://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue43/articles/cia_fingerprints.htm; Key Quotations on the events of January 1963
https://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/issue43/articles/key_quotations_on_the_events.htm

[2] Ibid.

[3] Telegram from the Embassy in Canada to the Department of State, Ottawa, Feb. 3, 1963, 3 p.m., Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Volume XIII, Western Europe and Canada.
https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v13/d445

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ernie Regehr, “Canada and the nuclear arsenal,” in Canada and the Nuclear Arms Race, 1983, p. 109.

[6] Pierre Trudeau, Cité Libre, April 1963, cited by Walter Gordon, “Liberal leadership and nuclear weapons,” in Regehr 1983, ibid.

[7] Richard Sanders, “Yaroslav Stetsko: Leader of pro-Nazi Ukraine, 1941,” Cold War Canada, op. cit., p. 49. https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/70/70_49.htm

[8] Pierre Sevigny, Hansard, Sept. 7, 1961, p. 8083. http://bit.ly/Sevigny64

[9] Rosana Barbosa, Brazil and Canada: Economic, Political, and Migratory Ties, 1820s to 1970s, 2017, pp. 8-9. http://bit.ly/Cda-Brazil

[10] Robert Chodos (ed.), Let Us Prey, 1974, pp. 14-17. http://bit.ly/Brascan

[11] Barry Buys, Canadians in Brazil, Brascan and Brazilian Development, 1996, p. 67. http://bit.ly/BuysBrascan

[12] Hansard, May 11, 1965, p. 1152. https://parl.canadiana.ca/view/oop.debates_HOC2603_02/75?r=0&s=3

[13] Richard Sanders, “R2P: Typecasting Canada as Hero in Theatres of War,” Press for Conversion!, Mar. 2007, pp. 11-12. http://bit.ly/RS-r2p

[14] James G Endicott, “That Peace Appeal,” letter, Vancouver News-Herald, Mar. 21, 1951, p. 4. https://www.newspapers.com/clip/72058532/the-vancouver-news-herald/

[15] “Our Duty to Root Out Treason, L.B. Pearson tells CS Group,” Ottawa Journal, Mar. 27, 1950, p. 8. http://bit.ly/Pearson-CPC

[16] Ibid.

[17] Edith Holtom, “A Peace Congress View,” Ottawa Citizen, Apr. 4, 1950, p. 32. http://bit.ly/Holtom

[18] Lester Pearson, “Communism and the Peace Campaign,” April 20, 1951, in John Price, Orienting Canada: Race, Empire, and the Transpacific, 2011, p. 230. http://bit.ly/antiCPC

[19] Anthony Mardiros, William Irvine: Life of a Prairie Radical, 1979, p. 229. http://bit.ly/BanNukes

[20] Reginald Whitaker and Gary Marcuse, Cold War Canada: The Making of a National Insecurity State, 1945-1957, 1996, p. 375.

[21] Richard Sanders, “Rockefeller Assoc,” Press for Conversion! Mar. 2004. http://bit.ly/JDR-2

[22] Joseph Levitt, Pearson and Canada’s Role in Nuclear Disarmament & Arms Control Negotiations, 1945-1957, 1993, p. 46. http://bit.ly/Levitt

[23] Ibid.

[24] Lester Pearson, Words and Occasions: An Anthology of Speeches and Articles Selected from his Papers, 1970, p. 82. http://bit.ly/LBP-70

[25] Ibid., p. 70.

[26] Lester Pearson, “Canadian Foreign Policy in a Two Power World,” Apr. 10, 1951. http://bit.ly/lp51

[27] Ibid.

[28] Lester Pearson, Hansard, Nov. 16, 1949.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Lester Pearson, Diplomacy in a Nuclear Age, 1959, p. 53.

[31] Cy Gonick, Inflation or Depression, 1975, p.87.

[32] Pearson 1970, op. cit., p. 75.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Pearson, Apr. 10, 1951, op. cit.

[35] “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both…. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient.” George Orwell, 1984, 1949, p. 220. http://bit.ly/1984-DT

[36] Author’s collection of news articles, Jul. 31-Aug. 3, 1967. http://bit.ly/freeQuebec

[37] Aya Fujiwara, Ethnic Elites and Canadian Identity: Japanese, Ukrainians, and Scots, 1919-1971, 2012. http://bit.ly/UCC1967

[38] Gordon Pape, “Full Acceptance of French a Requirement says Pearson,” Montreal Gazette, Aug. 1, 1967, p. 2. http://bit.ly/Aug1-1967

[39] “PM Stresses Political Unity to Ukrainians,” Calgary Herald, Jul. 31, 1967, p. 9. http://bit.ly/ch-67

[40] Richard Sanders, “Yuri Shymko: From Bandera youth leader, MPP and MP, to elder statesman,” Cold War Canada, op. cit., pp. 60-61.
https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/70/70_60-61.htm

[41] Pearson, Apr. 10, 1951, op. cit.

[42] Pearson 1970, op. cit., p. 112.

[43] “Pearson Hits Progressive Conservatives,” Winnipeg Free Press, Feb. 5, 1949, p. 6. http://bit.ly/Christ-vs-Reds

[44] Pearson 1970, op. cit., p. 113.

[45] Lester Pearson, cited by B.T.R., “Need We Fight the Russians?” Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 16, 1949, p. 30. http://bit.ly/OC11-16-49

[46] Chrystia Freeland statement on the 60th anniversary of Pearson receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace, Dec. 10, 2017. http://bit.ly/Pearson-Icon

[47] Pearson College has received at least $14.18 million in government grants since 1995. (This figure, adjusted for inflation, is the value of these grants in 2021 dollars.)

Public Accounts of Canada, https://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/201/301/public_accounts_can/pdf/index.html

$100,000 (2006-07) ($126,325 in 2021 dollars)

$4 million (1997-98) ($6.08 in 2021 dollars)

$5 million (1994-95) ($7.98 in 2021 dollars)

[48] Richard Sanders, “Getting them young: Instilling Ukrainian patriotism in children and youth,” Cold War Canada, op. cit., pp. 52-54. https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/70/70_52-54.htm

[49] Richard Sanders, The Chomiak-Freeland Connection, March 2017.
https://coat.ncf.ca/research/Chomiak-Freeland/C-F1.htm

[50] Richard Sanders, “Pearson College and NATO’s United World Colleges,” Cold War Canadaop. cit., p. 8.  https://coat.ncf.ca/P4C/70/70_8.htm

[51] Richard Sanders, “Project Ploughshares and the myth of Canada’s noninvolvement in the Iraq War,” 2013. https://coat.ncf.ca/articles/Ploughshares-IraqMyth_Funding.htm

Richard Sanders, “Additional data on government funding of Project Ploughshares,” complied March 8, 2021. https://coat.ncf.ca/articles/Ploughshares-AddedFundingNotes.htm

[52] Google search of the Ploughshares website for the word “Pearson,” retrieved Mar. 6, 2021. https://www.google.com/search?q=site:https://ploughshares.ca+pearson

[53] Ernie Regehr, “Our Nuclear Ambivalence Must End,” Waterloo Region Record, 2009. https://ploughshares.ca/pl_publications/our-nuclear-ambivalence-must-end/

[54] Governor General David Johnston, “Presentation of the Pearson Peace Medal to the Honourable Lloyd Axworthy,” May 19, 2017. https://www.gg.ca/en/media/news/2017/pearson-peace-medal

[55] Milestones. https://ploughshares.ca/about-us/milestones/

[56] Murray Thomson, The Pearson Peace Medal Recipients http://www.unac.org/copy-6-of-new-page

[57] Lloyd Axworthy, The Pearson Peace Medal Recipients http://www.unac.org/copy-22-of-new-page

Featured image: Lester B. Pearson with John F. Kennedy. Pearson played a founding role in NATO (1949) and was former Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs from 1948 to 1957. As leader of Canada’s Liberal Party from 1958 to 1968, he was Prime Minister from 1963 to 1968. [Source: natoassociation.ca]

The Russian economy – ‘small’, ‘impotent’, ‘insignificant’: true or false?

The Russian economy – ‘small’, ‘impotent’, ‘insignificant’:  true or false?

April 02, 2021

by Arcturus Le for the Saker Blog

In the west, there is perennial bluster about the putative ‘weakness’ of the Russian economy. It is widely accepted as ‘fact’ that the Russian economy is somewhere miserably outside the ‘Top 10’ global economies by GDP, sinking ever deeper year by year towards #15, embarrassingly behind such smaller countries as South Korea, Canada, Italy and on par with countries like Spain, Australia, and Mexico. In fact, many a snarky joke is bandied about on the Atlanticist web about how ‘Russia’s economy is barely the size of Texas’, etc.

This is a total western generated fabrication. In this article, I will prove the following points: that the Russian economy is actually ranked around the top 5 (and arguably even much higher) most powerful on Earth only behind China, US, Japan, and India; that the 2014 western engineered Ruble crisis crashed the specious ‘Nominal GDP’ of Russia by half while not affecting the true GDP nor economic output of Russia—and how this was affected by the geopolitical factors of the time; and that ‘Nominal GDP’ is a spurious canard that does not apply to Russia due to the fact that Russia is a trade surplus economy, and in fact PPP GDP is the accurate way to measure economies like Russia.

First, let us prove the opening point. Around 2014, oil was pricing steadily in the ~$100-115 per barrel range, as can be seen in the graphic below. Then, in 2014 a major geopolitical crisis developed. The U.S. and the CIA staged the Ukrainian coup called ‘Euromaidan’ that overthrew the legitimate Ukrainian government in the opening months of that year. A month later, Crimea held a democratic referendum and became once again Russian. This was a massive blow to the U.S. geopolitically for which Russia had to be punished as it had now grown too strong, winning a major warm-water port in Sevastopol that could now be used to threaten the western Imperialist/Atlanticist designs in the Middle East by way of a conveniently placed fleet access to the Mediterranean.

The Atlanticists took action and with their Saudi Arabian ‘partners’ (underlings) carried out a plan to crash the price per barrel of oil in order to hurt Russia as much as possible, since its economy at the time was still a bit more dependent upon oil and not as diversified as it is today. Such large tectonic shifts take time so their designs took a year or two to fully percolate down into the markets and by 2015-2016 the price of oil crashed from the aforementioned ~$100-115 per barrel range to the ~$40-50 per barrel range, becoming roughly ~50% of its original price. This chart below clearly demonstrates.

As can be seen, at this exact same time, the Ruble to Dollar conversion rate went from a low of roughly ~37 Rubles to 1 Dollar in 2014 (chart above) soaring to the range of ~60-75 Rubles to 1 Dollar the very next year to exactly coincide with the oil price crash. Miraculously, the devaluation corresponds to the exact timeline and severity of the crash of oil—oil dropped by half from ~$100 to ~$50 and Ruble went from ~35 to ~70 against the Dollar by 2015-2016.

As can be seen by the chart below, Russian GDP according to this source was $2,060 billion in 2014, and like magic by 2016 it was reduced to $1,282 billion. This represents a roughly ~40% decrease in line with the Ruble crash.

But, did Russia change overnight in 2015-2016? Was there panic on the streets, disorder and chaos, complete depredation and disintegration of society? After all, a halving of your GDP almost overnight is of such catastrophic proportions as to be unprecedented in history. Imagine, almost overnight the U.S. GDP going from its current figures to that of its 1960 figures (when it was half of today). What kind of chaos would ensue?

Of course, no such thing occurred in Russia, in fact it was barely noticed. Why? Because, the “Nominal GDP” is a fake, currency manipulated, symbolic number that has no actual basis in reality as pertains to the Russian economy. You see, the Nominal GDP in each country is priced in U.S. Dollars. This works for countries which are Trade Deficit countries. A brief discussion of the difference between Trade Deficit and Trade Surplus must ensue in order to fully understand this point. A country which operates on a Trade Deficit (which is most country’s in the world including the U.S.) simply imports more items than it exports. It is a country that relies on importing goods from other countries to survive. The reason this is important is because, since the global financial system operates on the U.S. Dollar basis in accordance with ‘Dollar Hegemony’ i.e. the Dollar as the reserve currency of the world, this means that when your country IMPORTS items, it is pricing them usually in Dollars. So, in short, this means that the price of your country’s native currency to Dollar conversion is important.

Let’s say you are a Trade Deficit country like India, and let’s say hypothetically that the Indian Rupee converts against the Dollar at 50 Rupees to 1 Dollar. That means, if you are buying an imported item that hypothetically costs $100, if your currency is magically crashed to where the Rupee now trades at 100 Rupees to 1 Dollar, instead of that $100 item costing you (50 x 100) 5,000 Rupees, it now costs you (100 x 100) 10,000 Rupees. So, if your country / entire economy thrives on imports, then one can clearly see how a currency devaluation of 50% can destroy your economy. It means every essential item you import, items vital to the economic engine of your country, have overnight become TWICE as expensive as before. This would lead to economic devastation.

But, what if your country is a TRADE SURPLUS country, a rarer breed of highly self-sufficient economies—a list comprising only the most advanced first world nations such as Germany, Japan, China, etc. Russia is in fact amongst this distinguished list. It has one of the largest trade surpluses in the world, while the U.S. is the world’s biggest Trade Deficit, by far.

So, what happens if you are a Trade Surplus country? This means that your country Exports more than it Imports. It means, in short, that the price conversion of the Dollar to your country’s currency is irrelevant because if you are generating everything your country needs within your own borders (self-sustainability), you are naturally pricing those items you yourself create in your own currency. So, what does it matter if the Russian Ruble goes from 30 Rubles to 1 Dollar, to 1000 Rubles to 1 Dollar? If you’re Russian and you’re not importing anything that’s priced in the Dollar, and you’re buying things within your own country priced in Rubles only, then it makes literally zero difference what the Ruble trades against the Dollar. Inside the borders of your own country, a Ruble is a Ruble, its price conversion to the Dollar has no relevance.

It can be seen here that a native currency devaluation does not have much meaning to a Trade Surplus economy. When a Russian citizen goes to a store and buys items, or a Russian company orders equipment or products, they are ordering them in Rubles because Russia makes their own goods and is self-sustaining. So even if the Ruble skyrocketed to 1 million Rubles to 1 Dollar it would be meaningless if you are not buying anything priced in Dollars.

This means that when the Russian Ruble crashed against the USD in 2015-2016 following the manufactured and engineered geopolitical crisis and massive currency manipulation by the corrupt U.S. global financial system, and the Russian Nominal GDP was shown to crash the equivalent rate (because the Nominal GDP is priced in USD), it was actually meaningless and the Russian economy in fact did not take any such major hit at all. The Russian GDP was shown to devalue from ~2 trillion to 1.2 trillion almost ‘over night’ only because it is being fraudulently priced in USD. All that happened was a mathematical calculation of irrelevant Dollar conversion, but actual Russian production and economic power and output did not experience any such effect whatsoever, it was a smoke and mirrors currency manipulation that existed only in the digital bits and bytes of a computer screen.

So, if we now know that the Russian GDP calculation was incorrect, what is the true way to measure it and what is the real Russian GDP? Since we know that Nominal GDP (which is priced in USD) is a fraudulent way to measure the economic power of Trade Surplus countries like Russia, the answer lies in PPP GDP. And of course, as expected, Russian PPP GDP is so high that it was announced by the IMF itself to have overtaken Germany for the #5 spot last year.

But what is most interesting is, prior to the fake ‘on paper’ devaluation of Russian Nominal GDP following the manufactured crisis of 2014-2016, even Russian Nominal GDP was near the Top 6-8 place (depending on which source you used, IMF, Worldbank, etc.). And now we see the PPP figure matches this rightful, accurate position.

But how do we know the PPP figure is accurate? Can we prove that PPP value is more in line with Russia’s true economic standing than the Nominal GDP value? Well certainly there are a few correlational indicators that can prove this for us. There are several indirect tell-tale signs that experts can use to look past fraudulent currency manipulated GDP numbers and gauge the real economic strength and productive virility of a country.

Let’s take a look at annual oil and electricity usage by country. These are important indicators that very closely correlate with a country’s economic power for reasons that should be self-evident: the more robust one’s economy, the more that country will be utilizing oil and electricity in the daily function and growth of that economic engine.

Some may be unconvinced, until looking at the chart above and seeing how well it correlates to the typical GDP standings. The chart shows oil consumption by country and in fact, the top 10 all looks quite similar to and closely mimics the PPP GDP chart. Russia here is seen at #6 just like in the PPP economic standings (where it is either #5 or #6 depending on source), NOT in #11-15 place as the fraudulent Nominal GDP would have you believe. The skeptic might ask, well wouldn’t a large population country be misrepresented on this chart because they use a lot of oil? To answer that, take Indonesia as an example, it has a population almost double that of Russia, yet it is somewhere in the ~15th place in the oil consumption chart, and not surprisingly that also roughly reflects its place in the GDP standings as well. So, as one can see the size of your country or population count is not reflected in the oil consumption chart, in fact it correlates directly to a country’s GDP, with one or two outlier/flukes such as Saudi Arabia which appears high on the chart owing to its over-reliance on gratuitously consuming vast amounts of oil in the process of producing oil and gas in their oil centered economy. The skeptic might similarly ask, well doesn’t Russia also produce a lot of oil? Yes but in this case, as I’ve said, its position in the oil consumption perfectly matches its GDP PPP position AND there are further indicators below that lay the doubts to rest.

Now let’s look at two other indicators of a robust economy, electricity production and consumption.

As can be seen here, the figures also mimic and correlate the GDP PPP figures. The same countries that dominate the Top 10 economies are seen either producing or consuming electricity at rates that correlate to their economic power. Not coincidentally, here too we see Russia placing near the Top 5, just like in the GDP PPP and quite unlike the fraudulent ~#11-15 placement we see in Nominal GDP. Now remember, these figures are not merely a product of population size. If that was the case, then countries with far larger populations than Russia like Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Pakistan would all be way ahead of Russia on the list of energy consumption—yet they are no where on the list. Similarly, countries with SMALLER populations like Germany would not even be in the top 10. Yet Germany is an economic power house and despite having a much smaller population than Russia, appears close to it on the list in perfect accordance with its place on the GDP PPP chart. This clearly indicates that a country’s energy production/consumption is more closely tied to its economic power than mere population size.

Another indicator we can use is total Gold Reserves. These figures also mimic economic standing as only the most economically powerful countries appear in the top 10 in roughly a similar makeup as to their official GDP standings. Gold has long been a telltale indicator of a country’s might, prestige, and economic status. In the chart below, we can see once again, Russia ranks in almost the exact position of its GDP PPP standing as in all the other charts above.

Of course we can use many other indicators, for instance, global military standings. It is widely accepted Russia is at minimum the 2nd most powerful military force on Earth, and the military standings roughly correlate with the same countries in roughly the same positions as they are economically—with the familiar faces of U.S., Russia, China, India, Japan, et al, making up the top of the list. Would you really believe that a country with the acknowledged #2 military on earth is only ranked #15 economically, as per the fraudulent, currency manipulated Nominal GDP list? It beggars all logic. Of course the only rational explanation is that only a country whose economy is in the top 5 powerhouses can maintain the 2nd most powerful military in the world.

One can see that all indicators point to Russia being in the top 5 global economies and that even the fraudulent Nominal GDP figure had Russia at #7 or #8 (depending on source) prior to the artificially engineered oil crisis and currency manipulation that plummeted the Ruble in 2014-2016.

And one last important thing to note. All this discussion revolves around speaking of the Russian economy as if in a vacuum. But one can quickly forget that the Russian economy is arguably the most flagrantly assailed, beleaguered, manipulated, and sabotaged in the world by western/Atlanticist forces. The Russian economy has been under massive sanctions, sabotage, embargoes, etc, since the 2014 crisis began, and yet I have just shown that it is still roughly at the #5 spot right next to the powerhouse of Germany. So, what does this mean? Clearly, that even under intense sabotage and global economic warfare by the entire western political and financial system, even greatly weakened by western forces, the Russian economy is still roughly even with Germany, and only “behind” the U.S., China, Japan, and India (3 of which have vastly larger populations than Russia). Which makes the obvious point that the TRUE Russian economic power, adjusted for the various sanctions and sabotage, is even greater than we can imagine, most likely well ahead of the German and arguably even the Japanese economies.

SDF Wetworkers Engage in Mass Kidnappings of Young Syrian Men

MIRI WOOD  

Bomb detonated in front of Virgin Mary Church - Qamishli - Hasakah Syria

SDF armed terrorists, secessionists, unindicted Nuremberg criminals have engaged in mass abductions of young Syrian men from al Raqqa and al Hasakah governates. Over the recent two days, these savages kidnapped over 200 young men, taking them to concentration camps for purposes of turning them “into killing machines by the CIA and its contractors,” all criminals.

These US armed terrorist secessionists continue to breach all forms of International Law, including vicious attempts to ethnically cleanse indigenous Syrians from their homeland.

The US created killers ambushed mosques — grabbing young men after prayer — in several towns of al Raqqa, to “forcibly recruit” young Syrian men into their depleting ranks between Friday and Sunday.

https://goo.gl/maps/q56yV6fq5L55t61S6

From SANA:

In Hasakah southern countryside, local sources indicated that the militia launched a campaign of raids in the town of Arisha and the village of Twaimin in Hasaka southern countryside, and kidnapped a number of civilians and took them to their camps and positions in the same countryside.

https://goo.gl/maps/SPyQ8oiw85ACiQQc7

“In the framework of its continued crimes which aim to tighten the noose on the locals, QSD (SDF) militia on Saturday kidnapped a number of civilians in separate campaigns of raids that targeted the locals’ homes in al-Yarubiya area and Tal Hamis town in Hasaka, and al-Mahmoudla village in Raqqa western countryside.

There were no reports of the lawless SDF murdering anyone trying to escape or prevent the mass kidnappings, as has happened in the past.

As unindicted war criminal Hillary Clinton (Iraq, Libya, Syria) and Council on Foreign Relations member daughter are prepping to launch a propaganda drama series on ‘female Kurdish militias’ to help Americans cheer more war crimes, we offer a short refresher on the origins of the separatist, murderous, blood-lusting, wetworking SDF.

Upcoming propaganda tv show to keep Americans cheering destruction of other people’s countries.

US Americans have become the best at being hypnotized by mass media propaganda in all forms; the porn freaks among them devour war propaganda, especially involving women. This show will be a pathetic hit.

The Kurdish people are not indigenous to Syria. Many Syrian Kurds are descendants of those who first fled genocide in Turkey, and were graciously taken in by Syria; the martyred Sheikh Saeed Ramadan al Bouti — killed in mosque, during prayer, after having called the FSA terrorists “scum” — was born of Kurdish origins, born in Turkey.

The YPG is/was an armed faction of separatist Kurds in Syria, who believed they had the right to steal a chunk of land in a country that took them in, and protected them from being slaughtered. The YPG was on the US terror list. The Obama regime did not want to remove the YPG from this terror list, and so convinced the rag-tag terror gang to change its name, for remarketing purposes which were to include fake heroism.

The US demanded the separatist armed Kurds change their name.

Obama oversaw the bringing together wetworkers from around the world, to fight ISIS in Syria, which is not in the US, to fight the same ISIS that the US created. This was, and remains, the imperialist cover for the ancient military strategy to divide, and conquer — Syria, not DAESH.

Here is a sampling of phony SDF leaders — and the bogus of the altruistic — foreign NATO wetworkers:

syrian-democratic-forces
Brit operative ‘joined’ the US wetworkers called Syrian Democratic Forces.
“Then we just bombarded the shit out of it [Raqqa].” “I’ve literally done nothing in my life but jack off before I came here.” — American terrorist & human garbage.
No mention of him being armed in a foreign country.
An illegal Swede in Syria: SDF ‘leader.’
Imagine the US being illegally entered and occupied by a foreign military force. Would msm normalize such a criminal aggression?

Obama brought in human garbage from around the world to create the SDF; Trump brought in the military. Both presidents are indictable under Nuremberg statutes for crimes against humanity.

The Trump regime outdid Obama’s war crimes; where Obama dumped scattered riff-raff into Syria, unobtrusively slipped in a couple thousand “special operatives” on that down-low, and named the killers for hire — that is what wetworkers are — Trump set up military bases, bragged about stealing Syria’s oil, and used the stupid separatist Kurds as cannon fodder, to divide, conquer, balkanize Syria.

The giddy goose in the photo, below, is Virginia Gamba. She is the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict — a topic so significant that the UN forced it into an Arria Formula meeting, 29 January, a meeting not addressed by SG Guterres, who merely listened in. Gamba was quite somber for that occasion.

Gamba’s excitement, below, involves the signing of the “so-called June 19 Action Plan” — another attempt by the klansmen who have usurped the United Nations and shredded its noble Charter — to legitimize armed separatists against Syria. Abdi signed a treaty in agreement that the [US created, owned, armed] SDF would halt forcing children to become soldiers — such a stunning breakthrough given that the Geneva Agreement declared ”recruitment” of children under 15 a war crime, decades ago (IHL database, Rule 136. Alas, there is that annoying loophole, that armed terrorist/secessionists against a de jure government are not signatories to statutes on International Law and war crimes.).

un-goosy SDF terrorist commander Mazloum Abdi
Another UN breach of its own charter: Signing an agreement with an agent of the US in Syria. There exists no such place as “Syrian Kurdistan.”

Please pay particular attention to this paragraph from the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations (html, here; pdf, here.), October 1970:

The principle concerning the duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter. No State or group of States has the right to intervene directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law.

According to United Nations documentation, the meeting between an armed insurrectionist against the de jure government of the Syrian Arab Republic and Gamba et al. — which includes SG Guterres — is in breach of International Law. According to the UN, all breaches of International Law are war crimes.

war crimes
UN leaders who meet with armed insurrectionists are in breach of International Law, and therefore engage in war crimes according to the UN.

Though loopholes appear to be the function of the NATO supremacists that have hijacked the United Nations, utilizing the ancient divide and conquer strategy to crush sovereign nations not affiliated with NATO, the US-created, armed, and protected SDF fulfills the criteria of IHL definition of war crimes.

The SDF engages in war crimes in Syria.

The SDF war crime of kidnapping has been constant, though the past weekend’s numbers are among the highest, and part of this criminal gang’s plot to fulfill the larger war crime of ethnic cleansing of indigenous Arabs from their Syrian homeland. Other kidnappings have included a Baath Party leader from his doctor’s office, another large group of young men from Deir Ezzor and Hasakah villages, early last month, kidnappings in January.

In August 2018, the US-run SDF fake police shut down Christian schools in Qamishli (this was during the time that the State Department started wailing about religious freedom), and shortly thereafter a vehicle was blown up outside the Church of the Virgin Mary. The following month these fake police massacred 13 Syrian security personnel.

syriac - syrians-in-qamishli
qamishli christians syriac church
Liters of blood of the Syrian martyrs in Qamishli, slaughtered by US SDF. [Archive, September 2018]
Imagine American soldiers slaughtered in the US, their bodies dumped & the world writing about “moderate American opposition.”
Kurdish sdf ypg woman fighter

Throughout much of January and February, the US-owned SDF terrorists utilized the war crime of cutting off food to the locals in Hasaka, a siege which was temporarily halted after 20 days of empty bakeries and water deprivation, and protesting Syrian Arabs being shot at. This was a follow-up to the malignant criminals’ rampages of stealing Syrian farmlands last summer, and torching farmlands of wheat they were unable to purloin.

Kurdish SDF separatists with US army - Biden Trump Obama Israel

Al Hol was originally a camp for IDPs, internally displaced persons forced to leave their homes and neighborhoods because of the terrorism of FSA and other al Qaeda moderates fighting to destroy Syria. It has been renamed al Hol Hell, since it was taken over by the SDF terrorists — as usual, under the protection of the now Biden regime criminal troops, American illegals militarily occupying parts of the SAR. The separatist, secessionist war criminal SDF subsequently used it as a dumping ground for some captured members of ISIS, their concubines, and unfortunate offspring, mixing them in with vulnerable refugees.

Al Hol (Hawl) concentration camp for Syrian refugees in Hasakah
Al Hol (Hawl) concentration camp for Syrian refugees in Hasakah

Since November, the western supremacy adored SDF have taken to shooting al Hol inhabitants, in cold blood — shootings that were lamented by the NATO klan at the 25 February anti-Syria UNSC meeting. It is worth of a reminder that the usual suspects spoke of the shootings as though nobody were responsible; they just were magically happening — despite the obvious fact that the SDF is the gang with the weapons. Also please keep in mind that the celeb white savior Khush — the DC-based American illegal who spent time in al Hol, which is in Syria, not in the US — revered the SDF terrorists as “authorities” in her address.

Let us be mindful that as the US (military-industrial-complexcreated al Qaeda, as the US created ISIS, the US has also created the terrorist, war criminal, ethnic cleansing, SDF.

— Miri Wood

Here is another bombshell interview, a defector-official describing the relationship between the terrorist ISIS gang and the terrorist SDF gang:

Kurd SDF Official Defects and Exposes the Group’s Relationship with ISIS

https://syrianews.cc/kurd-sdf-official-defects-and-exposes-the-groups-relationship-with-isis/embed/#?secret=8fXVwOp4QS

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American Dystopia – The Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome

American Dystopia – The Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome

January 24, 2021

By Larry Romanoff for the Saker Blog

American dystopia « Utopia or Dystopia

In an article in the NYT on America’s “Racial Democracy” (or racist democracy), (1) Jason Stanley and Vesla Weaver noted “The philosopher Elizabeth Anderson argued that when political ideals diverge very widely from reality, the ideals themselves may prevent us from seeing the gap. When the official story differs greatly from the reality of practice, the official story becomes a kind of mask that prevents us from perceiving it.”

This means that if propaganda is not only incessant and pervasive but if its tenets are too far removed from factual truth, the victims of this propaganda lose their ability to separate fact from fiction and become unable to recognise the discrepancy between their beliefs and their actions, believing their actions correspond with the religiously-inspired tenets of their propaganda even when they patently and most obviously do not correspond. The theory is not intuitively obvious, but it is heavily supported by facts. Perhaps it is for this reason that Americans are guilty of what I call “the Utopia Syndrome”, comparing themselves not with the real world of their actions but with some utopian standard that exists only in their own imaginations, a world of fancy and illusion where they meet the standards but all others do not. In this light, it may be that much of what we attribute to American hypocrisy may in reality be due to a peculiarly American kind of mass insanity.

Dictionaries generally define ‘aberration’ as a deviation from the normal or typical, an event or characteristic that may be unpleasant or even criminal but that is seldom encountered. In 1975, a US Senate Committee was investigating the documented tales of the CIA engaging in widespread killings of world leaders obstructive to US hegemony. (2) (3) Their conclusion?

“The committee does not believe that the acts of assassination which it has examined represent the real American character. They do not reflect the ideals which have given the people of this country and the world hope for a better, fuller, fairer life. We regard the assassination plots as aberrations.”

So, as William Blum noted, (4) the assassinations by the CIA of more than 50 national leaders and 100 lesser targets spanning at least 50 years and continuing in uninterrupted form through twelve US Presidents, are mere “aberrations” that don’t reflect “the real American character”. Reading from the same script, the US military casually described all the circumstances and events at its worldwide network of US torture prisons over twelve decades as “aberrations”.

It is worth re-reading the above quote telling us the 150 or more murders “do not represent the real American character”, the quote forming a perfect introduction to the Propaganda Mask and the Utopia Syndrome. The assassinations of all these foreign leaders are not denied; instead they are described as inconsistent with the American utopian ideal, and it is the ideal rather than the act against which America judges itself, the fictitious utopian ideal providing the real measure of American moral supremacy. This pathological reasoning is a stunning tribute to the efficacy of the propaganda methods of Lippman and Bernays, who almost single-handedly turned Americans into raving lunatic war-mongers during both World Wars. (5) It is from precisely this propaganda that Americans today can commit multiple horrendous atrocities, violate every measure of human rights, yet claim the high moral ground and see no inconsistency or conflict. The propagandised utopian ideal of creating peace and stability in the world will supersede America’s actions of creating only war and instability. The propagandised ideal of fostering and protecting democracy will overwhelm and mask the reality that the US has never anywhere installed a democracy, has never supported democracy, and has instead almost exclusively installed and supported brutal Right-Wing dictatorships. This patently illogical logic applies across the entire spectrum of US behavior.

Following the same line of reasoning, an American writer named Dana Williams wrote a reasonably good article detailing that America’s military interventions have always been waged only on behalf of big business and the elites, but then added: “America’s most priceless treasure is its democratic values and its growing sense of human rights”. What? A growing sense of human rights? Evidenced by what? This woman had just written of the increasingly devastating litany of American atrocities and destruction of so many governments and nations and in the next breath tells us of this same country’s priceless and growing treasure of democracy and human rights, apparently unaware of any conflict. Such is the power of propaganda and the ability of myths to insinuate themselves into the human heart and mind.

Michael Parenti, for whom I have considerable admiration, did essentially the same thing, writing, “… the American way is to criticize and debate openly, not to accept unthinkingly the doings of government officials of this or any other country.” (7) But where were all these openly-debating Americans when their government was progressively destroying Iraq for more than ten years? Where were they when Madeline Albright was killing 500,000 Iraqi infants? Where was the open public debate about the destruction of Jugoslavia or Libya? Where are they today when the US is destroying Venezuela? Due to the intensive propaganda and ideological programming, Americans are taught to venerate the process, but ignore the result. This is truly a kind of mass insanity, with all the credit due to Bernays, “the father of Public Relations in America”.

Further examples of this mass delusion are not difficult to find. US President Obama was asked why the US managed to rise for more than 200 years without apparent failure. His response was to say, “The true strength of our nation comes not from power of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the staying power of our ideals of democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.” (8) We can be forgiven for questioning the man’s sanity, that he could make such a blatantly nonsense statement. Even worse, how ignorant and gullible can Americans be, that they will cheer and wave their flags on hearing such rubbish? We have already examined the sources of wealth of this nation, and they most emphatically have never been related, not even in imagination, to ideals of democracy or liberty.

In another case illustrative of the pervasive nature of this illness, in 2014 an American football team cancelled the employment contract of one of their star players for having made a vicious assault on his wife. In a casino hotel, the elevator camera recorded the man punching his wife in the head so hard that he drove her head-first into the steel wall, rendering her unconscious on the floor. (9) (10) A moment later, the CCTV camera in the hallway recorded him dragging her unconscious body out of the elevator and dumping her on the floor like a rag doll. When the videos were released and went viral, the man made a statement to the media in which he said, “That is not the kind of person I am.” But of course it is the kind of person he is; this was the third time the police had to intervene when he had done something similar. But, as with most Americans and with the nation itself, he doesn’t compare himself to the reality of his actions but rather to the utopian ideals he pretends to hold in his mind. So even though he repeatedly punches his wife unconscious, that’s not the kind of person he is. This story is a perfect illustration of America today.

On another occasion, James Fallows, an American author and correspondent for the Atlantic magazine, wrote in one of his diatribes comparing China with the US: “… though we fall short of the ideal, we strive for a reliable rule of law.” (11) I have no particular wish to throw stones at Fallows, but this man is painting targets on his forehead with such a clearly ridiculous statement. All of the current domestic and international evidence – all of it – supports an unqualified assertion that the US freely ignores and violates every manner of law, both its own and those of other nations, whenever they become inconvenient or hinder unilateral action, yet we have Fallows with his delightfully patronising arrogance pontificating about America striving for perfection in following the rule of law, while suggesting that China does not do so. His claim is not different in quality than Bush and Obama flatly stating “we do not torture” after we have seen all the evidence and the torture prisons are all still open. Black is white. Nothing else to see here. Let’s move on. And move on Fallows does, secure in his fairyland mythology of American moral superiority, oblivious to the enormous contradictions snapping at his heels.

Fallows, in his suspended consciousness, conforms perfectly to this utopian syndrome, comparing the actions of his country to a high standard which exists only in his imagination and to which the US has never adhered. He does the same with his foolish criticisms of China, imagining the existence of some idolised standard which he then claims China fails to meet.

It is of extreme importance for readers to realise and fully understand that expressions like ‘rule of law’, ‘freedom’, and ‘democratic values’ are merely hypothetical idealistic constructs. They are myths and, like all myths, they are “designed to serve an emotive rather than cognitive function, not to provide fact based on reason but as propaganda to arouse emotions in support of an idea”. (12) Their purpose, and their clever effect, is not to provide information but to make one’s heart swell with pride at one’s own moral superiority. Think again of Fallows’ “though we fall short of the ideal, we strive for a reliable rule of law.” As Americans, we instantly feel that surge of pride in our breasts that we are so law-abiding while others by insinuation are not. Even further, we feel yet more pride that we so openly admit our (occasional and trivial) failures but, being good incarnate, we face and overcome these failings and continue striving in the best Olympic spirit. How can our god not love us?

The US government does precisely the same with its annual reports on human rights, which not only meet the definition of the utopian fallacy but contain the added merit of being mostly grand lies about countries that happen to be out of favor, and equally grand omissions about current politically-useful allies.

In this mental condition, Americans consider themselves superior to all others and believe they are advancing some greater good when all they are doing is forcibly imposing their warped anti-social values and political hegemony onto unwilling nations and peoples. Through their generations of propaganda, programming and brainwashing, most Americans live in an indispersible fog of mass delusion and self-deception in which black is white but which they inexplicably fail to fathom. From their ignorance and simple-mindedness created by their excessive utopian programming, Americans see their country’s prosecution of wars, the cannibalisation of nations and the single-minded devotion to the profit of a few elites, as the promotion of democracy and freedom, and are apparently incapable of the minor clarity of thought necessary to see that their murderous and greedy actions have absolutely nothing to do with either freedom or democracy.

When challenged, they usually offer a logic so groundless and illogical as to almost defy challenge. In their minds, all the nations their government has attacked are by utopian definition “evil regimes”. From the invasion of Mexico onward, in all the nations in South and Central America, in Africa and the Middle East, in Asia and Africa, the US was selflessly battling despotic tyranny. Of course, these nations were innocent, but to produce a list of all the countries the US has invaded and colonised with a military dictatorship, will almost inevitably evoke this response: “You make a list of all the evil regimes that “free America” has fought against, and use that list as evidence of how evil free America is.” If only that were true.

The combined political, religious and capitalistic propaganda tenets have resolved into what John Galbraith in The Affluent Society termed “conventional wisdom” (13) (14) which, through generations of that same propaganda, made these tenets “more or less identical with sound scholarship”, and their status being “virtually impregnable”, as he put it. The tenets of course have not actually been adhered to by any US government or indeed by the elites and their corporations, which means in Galbraith’s terms that the tenets are “highly acceptable in the abstract” rather than in reality. And this is the source of our dystopia of utopia in America today. We have the bizarre situation where this conventional wisdom – propaganda, in fact – makes a vigorous advocacy of these beliefs a substitute for behavior according to these beliefs.

So we have Americans preaching democracy while their government installs brutal dictatorships everywhere, and they see no disconnect. We have Americans preaching human rights while kidnapping people in other countries and “rendering” them to be mostly tortured to death, and see no disconnect. We have Americans fervently preaching and defending free-market capitalism while that same animal relieved about 30% of them of their homes and jobs, yet they see no disconnect.

This massive delusion is constantly reinforced by public repetition where each knows that many others share these beliefs. It all functions as a kind of religious morality play, the repetitive propaganda not only providing reassurance but serving as additional and pervasive evangelising of these foolish beliefs. Galbraith stated that “In some measure, the articulation of the conventional wisdom is a religious rite. It is an act of affirmation like reading aloud from the Scriptures or going to church.” He went on to say that this evangelising as a religious rite is not negligible because “its purpose is not to convey knowledge but to beatify learning and the learned”. In other words, statements like “we strive for a rule of law” are empty and nonsense pronouncements providing religious reinforcement of the mythical utopian tenets of American propaganda, then used as evidence of a superior morality tantamount to God’s will. Only in America do we find rampant self-adoration for preaching a gospel that we totally ignore in our real lives, in fact a monstrous hypocrisy re-branded as religion.

This is precisely what John Kozy was telling us (15) when he wrote that subjects in American schools were taught as if they were comprised of revealed religious truths, and in which the fundamentals of American patriotism, religious and political ideology, consumerism and free market capitalism were not different than studying the Bible in that they could not be questioned because they were by nature unquestionable, and therefore critical evaluation was proscribed. And again, “those who ask inconvenient questions are silenced in shame; books that present inconvenient truths are removed from libraries”. In the US as in no other country in the world, is it so necessary to adhere to the accepted narrative, nor so likely to provide acceptance and even applause for regurgitating that same narrative. And in no other nation does there exist the vast discrepancy between beliefs and actions or between theory and practice. The American political gospel tells us that we protect and install democracies everywhere. In real life this has never occurred even one time, but that doesn’t alter our faith in our political religion and nobody excommunicates us for our sins.

According to Galbraith again, “conventional wisdom accommodates itself not to the world that it is meant to interpret but to the audience’s view of the world”, the same view that has been artificially created by the professional propagandists. As much as Americans may criticise other nations for disapproval of deviations in behavior, especially political behavior, the same disapproval mechanism operates much more forcefully in American society. Only in America can we fully experience the awesome power of the ability of propaganda to make 300 million people so deaf, dumb and blind that they will fervently and solemnly declare that black is white. This process is so effective that not long after the flood of revelations of the extensive US network of torture prisons, including witness reports, photos and video of the pathologically depraved treatment of the prisoners, President Bush could go on national TV and tell America, “We do not torture” – and have most Americans believe him. Likewise with Obama with his torture prisons still in full operation, who told the nation, “I can stand here before you tonight and assure you that we do not torture”, leaving 300 million pathetically-brainwashed Americans firmly grounded in the moral superiority of a nation that does no wrong.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel, commenting on American deaths in Iraq, said President Bush “believes in the value and dignity of every human life, that every life is precious and he grieves for each one that is lost”. (16) (17) As proof, one day President Bush was speaking to a meeting of the terrorist organisation known as Freedom House, and told the members, “We’re a country of deep compassion. We care. One of the great things about America, one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up, we cry. We don’t care what the child’s religion may be, or where that child may live, we cry. It upsets us. The enemy knows that, and they’re willing to kill to shake our confidence. That’s what they’re trying to do”. (18) But then there is a White House videotape of a conversation between former Secretary of State Colin Powell and then President George Bush, discussing their Christian obligation to spread democracy everywhere, at least in part for the purpose of protecting the lives of these innocent children. (19) (20) Powell opened the conversation with, “We’ve got to smash somebody’s ass quickly. We must have a brute demonstration of power.” To which Bush responded, “Kick ass! If somebody tries to stop the march to democracy, we will seek them out and kill them! Stay strong! Kill them! We are going to wipe them out!”

After overthrowing about 50 national governments and installing brutal military remote-control dictatorships in each of them, and trying to do the same in another 20 countries while grossly interfering in their media, elections and internal affairs, Karl Eikenberry, the US ambassador in Kabul, told the world, “America has never sought to occupy any nation in the world. We are a good people”. (21) (22)

After interfering in about 100 countries, inflicting immense bloodshed and misery on countless millions of innocent civilians, US President Ronald Reagan boasted, “We have never interfered in the internal government of a country and have no intention of doing so, never had any thought of that kind.” (23) And it was the great John F. Kennedy himself who told us, “The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war”. (24) As William Blum pointed out, this must mean that in America’s hundreds of wars with more than 70 nations spanning more than 200 years, all those countries invaded the US first, and America was just defending itself.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, in an interview probably conducted in the office of his psychiatrist, claimed “the men and women of the US Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps were the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century”. (25) This was the same interview in which he encouraged all NYT readers to “give war a chance”.

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, needing a way to punish Saddam Hussein for not wanting to become a US colony, personally arranged the targeted destruction of Iraq’s drinking water purification facilities and enacted worldwide sanctions to prevent Iraq from obtaining replacement supplies or repairs. According to the United Nations, Albright’s actions directly resulted in the deaths of more than 500,000 Iraqi infants from contaminated drinking water, with the full knowledge of the US government. Then in a TV interview on the program 60 Minutes where she was confronted with evidence of these acts by Leslie Stahl, Albright famously proclaimed, “Yes, it was worth it.” (26) (27) And after personally arranging the 80-day non-stop bombing of Yugoslavia, the greatest continuous bombing campaign ever instituted by anybody anywhere, she said, “The United States is good. We try to do our best everywhere”. (28)

A US government official stated that “The American Empire is probably the most beneficial and moral the world has ever seen; not only in terms of technological development, but also through nurturing democracy and prosperity in the world. No other global empire has ever taken actions so massively against its interests solely for moral purposes.” Yet examination will uncover no example where the US has ever nurtured democracy, nor prosperity either, and I challenge anyone to detail even a single incident in the history of the world where the US has ever acted, massively or otherwise, against its interests solely for moral purposes. Various US military officials have claimed that “Our country is a force for good without precedent”, and that “The US military is a force for global good that … has no equal”. US President Woodrow Wilson boasted a century ago, that “America is the savior of the world”, while destroying and colonising that same world. Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for War and Misery, wrote, “And the truth is that the benevolent hegemony exercised by the US is good for a vast portion of the world’s population”. (29) Evidenced by what? By the Propaganda Mask and the Utopia syndrome. Nothing else.

American Christianity is a major part of this national insanity. George Bush informed the world that God told him to invade Iraq and, during the invasion, said “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job”. And when the war was over, after having killed a million or more innocent Iraqi civilians, Bush said, “When we lift our hearts to God, we’re all equal in his sight. We’re all equally precious. … In prayer we grow in mercy and compassion. … When we answer God’s call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man”. We are apparently to conclude that no one has had greater love for his fellow man than George Bush had for the million civilians he killed in Iraq and that Madeleine Albright was just exhibiting her great love for mankind by killing half a million infants. And of course, Obama can’t be left out of this parade. After countless thousands of deaths in the illegal destruction of Libya and the countless civilian deaths incurred by his drones in Pakistan, he fulfilled his propaganda obligation by telling us, “I believe that Christ died for my sins and I am redeemed through him. That is a source of strength and sustenance on a daily basis”. (30) The people in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Pakistan might have a different interpretation of Obama’s relationship with his god.

Another result of this utopian syndrome is what we term “the pot calling the kettle black”, in other words, attributing to others the sins that “our side” commits and being apparently oblivious to the gross illogic and falsehoods in our position. The only reason the US accuses Huawei of being a potential spy is because Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Xerox, and so many other American IT firms have been spying for the CIA and NSA for decades. The US media accuse anyone writing articles sympathetic to China, Russia or Iran of being paid shills, only because American correspondents have been paid CIA shills since the 1950s.

Another example that recently crossed my path was an article in the Financial Times by Jamil Anderlini who was at the time the FT’s station chief in Beijing. In an article titled ‘Patriotic education distorts China world view’, (31) Anderlini claimed that China’s “selective teaching of history influences its self-image”, imagining a great “disconnection between how the world views China and how China – from ordinary citizens to top leaders – sees itself.” He stated the world sees China as a frightening monster that bullies all other nations, his ignorance rendering him blissfully unaware that this sentiment is not true for China but for the US that he defends.

He wrote that China’s “selective teaching” of history and emphasis on “patriotic education” cultivates a “nationalistic, anti-western victim mentality among young Chinese”, again apparently ignorant of the typical Western (US) patriotic education cultivating US patriotism. This mentality is typical for all Western media correspondents who are selected primarily for the extent of their conversion by US propaganda. This is perhaps a good place to note that prior to joining the Financial Times, Anderlini was employed as a male underwear model which employment no doubt contributed to his deep understanding of Chinese culture while solidifying his credentials as the FT’s Beijing station chief.


Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 28 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English-language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology When China Sneezes‘. His full archive can be seen at https://www.moonofshanghai.com/ + http://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com.

Notes

(1) https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/is-the-united-states-a-racial-democracy/

(2) https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/intelligence/2017-06-02/white-house-cia-pike-committee-1975

(3) https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKassassinationsC.htm

(4) https://williamblum.org/essays/read/us-government-assassination-plots

(5) https://www.moonofshanghai.com/2020/08/blog-post_49.html

(6) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259127294_Americans_and_Iraq_twelve_years_apart_Comparing_support_for_the_US_wars_in_Iraq

(7) http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Parenti/Superpatriotism.html

(8) https://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/obama.transcript/

(9) https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/ray-rice-elevator-assault-video

(10) https://pressofatlanticcity.com/news/crime/ravens-ray-rice-indicted-in-aggravated-assault-on-fiancee-at-atlantic-city-casino/article_1f5f5e80-b5e9-11e3-b57b-0019bb2963f4.html

(11) https://www.theatlantic.com/author/james-fallows/

(12) I have lost the source of this quotation

(13) https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/wisdom/conventional-wisdom-what-it-means-and-when-to-use-it/

(14) https://www.amazon.com/Affluent-Society-John-Kenneth-Galbraith/dp/0395925002

(15) https://www.globalresearch.ca/learning-without-questioning-in-america-the-sunday-school-syndrome/5364233

(16) https://williamblum.org/aer/read/55

(17) https://www.counterpunch.org/2008/03/04/how-could-hillary-have-known/

(18) https://williamblum.org/aer/read/32

(19) https://www.lewrockwell.com/2008/06/tom-engelhardt/kill-kill-kill/

(20) http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41967.htm

(21) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jun/20/the-talibans-wishlist

(22) https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/07/08/the-brown-mans-burden/

(23) http://whale.to/b/reagan_h.html

Ronald Reagan, 1982. See: Nicaragua [2011 Jan] RONALD REAGAN: ILLUMINATI TOOL [1995] The Crimes of Mena By Sally Denton and Roger Morris.

(24) https://www.jfklibrary.org/archives/other-resources/john-f-kennedy-speeches/american-university-19630610

(25) https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/10/frie-o13.html

(26) https://dissidentvoice.org/2010/10/the-evil-of-madeleine-albright/

(27) https://dissidentvoice.org/2020/03/we-think-the-price-is-worth-it/

(28) https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/American_benevolence

(29) https://carnegieendowment.org/1998/06/01/benevolent-empire-pub-275

(30) https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/articles/2008/08/17/obama_mccain_air_views_on_faith/

(31) https://www.ft.com/content/66430e4e-4cb0-11e2-986e-00144feab49a

The Covid-19 celebrity humanitarianism – Sean Penn and the Great Reset, funded by Bill Gates and the Clinton Foundation

By Vanessa Beeley

Source

On the 12th November 2020, an article appeared in the Daily Mail about three powerful men sharing a beach holiday: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Hollywood’s Sean Penn and the reclusive Israeli billionaire, Vivi Nevo. The story slipped under the radar, almost unnoticed by a public caught up in the Covid-19 controversy that continues to sweep the planet. However, the connections between these three elite influencers is well worth a closer look, particularly with regards to their combined role in promoting the transnational corporatocracy’s Covid-19 narratives.

In this April 8, 2020 photo, actor and activist Sean Penn, founder of the nonprofit organization Community Organized Relief Effort, speaks during an interview at his home in Malibu, Calif. The Oscar winner’s disaster relief organization called CORE has teamed up with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office and the city’s fire department to safely distribute free drive-through COVID-19 test sites for those with qualifying symptoms. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Sean Penn and his altruistic aspirations – valiant, misguided or corrupt?

The Clinton connection

Sean Penn established Community Organised Relief Effort (CORE) in January 2010 in response to the earthquake that devastated the island of Haiti that same year. Formerly called the J/P Haitian Relief Organisation, CORE claims that “our life-saving programs revolve around building healthier and safer neighbourhoods to mitigate the scale of devastation caused by disaster.” 

What CORE fails to mention is that the destabilisation and eradication of Haitian culture, heritage, communities and self-sufficiency began long before the earthquake of 2010. It might have something to do with the funding that CORE receives from USAID, a CIA power expansion agency, and Penn’s close relationship with the Clintons whose foundation has been instrumental in the “rapacious role of US imperialism in that impoverished semi-colonial country.”

CORE partners taken from their website

Penn declines to mention that Clinton, Bush and Obama have the blood of Haitians on their hands or that Clinton and Bush were deeply involved in “perpetuating the poverty, backwardness and repression in Haiti” that exacerbated the crisis in January 2010 that Penn responded to. 

According to journalist, Patrick Martin

“Clinton took office in the immediate aftermath of the military coup which ousted Haiti’s first democratically elected president, the populist cleric Jean-Bertrand Aristide. That coup was backed by the administration of Bush’s father, who saw Aristide as an unwanted and potentially dangerous radical.”

The Clinton’s influence on the island of Haiti has been one of unmitigated predation and political piracy – a legacy entirely ignored by Penn, who endorsed Hilary Clinton in the 2016 elections and who visited the imperialism-stricken island with robber baron, Bill Clinton, in 2015. Penn appears to be blissfully ignorant of the scandal surrounding the Clinton response to the 2010 earthquake that left the already scavenged island in tatters. 

The Clintons stepped up to lead the global response to the Haiti earthquake. At President Obama’s request, Clinton and George W. Bush created the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund,” and began “aggressively fundraising around the world to support Haiti”. The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) selected Bill Clinton as its co-chair. Hillary Clinton was still Secretary of State and was therefore responsible for funnelling USAID “relief” funding to Haiti. A whopping $ 13.3 billion was pledged by international donors to allegedly rebuild Haiti and to restore dignity to the lives of the forcibly impoverished Haitian people. Unsurprisingly, the IHRC response was mired in controversy and accusations of embezzlement levied against the Clintons who, effectively, held the purse strings of the incoming donations. 

The IHRC collected and estimated $ 9.9 billion in three years but the deplorable misery and poverty that Haitians endure did not improve. It is widely believed that the Clintons cynically robbed and destroyed Haiti for their own gain. Haitian author, journalist, and historian, Dady Chery, expressed the general view thus:

“In 2016, by all estimates, the cost of the US presidential elections doubled or quadrupled to about $5-10 billion. This is the most expensive presidential bid in history, and Hillary Clinton has vastly outspent Donald Trump. Where did the money come from?”

Rather than express outrage at the Clinton potential involvement in defrauding the people of Haiti, Penn continued a campaign of genuflection to the Clintons. In 2015, at a Haiti benefit event, Penn introduced Bill Clinton as a “once-in-a-generation leader with laser focus, immense curiosity, courage and compassion that can be unequivocally measured by sustainable benefits and the improvement of so many lives around the world.” 

During his twenty minute speech, Clinton praised Penn for his work in Haiti and encouraged the star-studded audience to contribute to what is now CORE by stating that “you will never contribute to an organisation that will give you a higher probability of having your good intentions turned into real positive changes in other people’s lives”. The hypocrisy oozed from every honeyed word.

Also present at the fundraising gala was sexual predator, Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood producer who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for first-degree criminal sexual acts and third-degree rape earlier this year. This will connect to the other two men on the beach (i.e. Jack Dorsey and Vivo Nevo) in Part 2.

In 2012, Hillary Clinton’s aides lavished praise on Penn who had just received the 2012 “Peace Summit Award” from former Soviet Union President, Mikhail Gorbachev, for his work in Haiti. A number of media reports pointed out that the email address had been redacted but was listed as “CIA”. 

Whether Penn participated knowingly in the imperialist rape of Haiti or was nothing more than a useful celebrity idiot who served the agenda of the Clinton/Bush vulture policy is a question for serious debate. Penn certainly didn’t slum it when travelling to Haiti. HRO or CORE paid out more than $ 126,000 in first class flights in 2013. This luxury travel was justified by Penn’s celebrity status and “consideration for his safety”. 

Penn’s close relationship with the Clintons also apparently brought him into the nefarious orbit of child-sex provider and elite blackmailer, Jeffrey Epstein. It has been claimed that Penn was on the guest list of an intimate dinner between Epstein’s under-age girl procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell and Bill Clinton in 2014. 

Covid-19 “response” and a potential ulterior motive for CORE Covid-19 tests

Fast forward to 2020, and we find Sean Penn and CORE intimately involved in Covid-19 drive-through testing centres. In September 2020, CORE had conducted more than one million Coronavirus tests, by November, this had increased to 2.5 million. 

The PCR test, DNA harvesting and false positives

The validity of the PCR tests in diagnosing Covid-19 has been the subject of much scientific discussion with a growing number of medical experts and analysts dismissing the PCR test as unreliable and inconclusive due to the high percentage of false positives. It is also claimed that this widespread DNA collection under the pretext of Covid-19 could be a covert genetic information harvest on the pretext of extracting viral DNA from all the genetic material. 

I spoke with a medical expert who will remain anonymous for security reasons and he informed me that the PCR test is “not designed to diagnose disease.” He told me:

“The test identifies a genetic sequence being present in a sample and then copies it, thereby increasing the amount of genetic material. Each test cycle copies and increases the genetic material. A specific amount of GM is required to meet a threshold of detection. The test will keep copying until it is possible to say the virus is “detected”. Therein lies the problem. After “Covid” infection, when the virus has been removed by the immune system, some viral genetic debris can remain for many months. A tiny fragment viral, genetic material debris will be found and multiplied by many, many cycles until the detection threshold is reached. This is a false positive.”

He informed me that most labs are running upwards of 40 cycles. “In at least 4 examples of RT PCR testing in the US, it was found that 90% of the positive tests were actually false.”

He also told me “the real reason they are pushing the testing is control. They want a rapid test to be used every day, multiple times per day to gain entry to school, work, restaurants, entertainment centres etc. It is conditioning.”

The sinister question is whether all this genetic DNA information is passed on to undisclosed entities for “research purposes” without the patient’s knowledge. 

Prior to the Covid-19 “crisis”, patient privacy in the US was protected by federal laws like the Common Rule and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The Emergency laws or orders introduced on the back of Covid-19 haveenabled a widespread genome harvesting strategy with little or no accountability for how the DNA information collected is ultimately used. 

The issue of DNA collection is not new. An article by Off-Guardian from 2017 asked why the US Air-force was collecting samples of Caucasian Russian DNA. Predictably, the story was ignored by US/UK state media. At the time, Russian President Putin, speculated that the US was preparing an anti-Russian bioweapon. That theory is no longer so “conspiratorial” with the looming threat of a potential bio terror false flag which will, inevitably,  plunge the world into even greater engineered chaos. 

As part of my research for this article, I sent an email to CORE asking them what they did with the DNA collected from their testing procedures. Until now, no response has been forthcoming. 

CORE now receives funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO donated $ 10 million to Penn’s initiative. Further sponsors include the Clinton Foundation. The CORE testing site at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles is the largest in the US – “three times the size of any other location in LA” and can test up to 6,000 people per day. Mouth swabs are used in place of the nasal swabs to avoid the need for medical staff to perform the test. 

Penn’s funding from Covid-19 impresario, Bill Gates, is an indicator of the depth of Penn’s involvement in what is the Covid-19 portal to the World Economic Forum’s “Great Reset”. Penn is no stranger to the Gates world of “philanthropy”. When Melinda Gates spoke about gender inequality at a 2015 Hollywood Report “women in entertainment” breakfast, it was Penn who introduced her. Penn went on to extol the Gates global immunisation projects. That Penn is wholly supportive of the Covid-19 class war should come as no surprise. 

One cannot help but wonder what happened to Penn. In 2002, Penn placed a $56,000 advertisement in the Washington Postasking President George W. Bush to end a cycle of violence. In 2003, he wrote an impassioned anti-imperialist full-page statement for the New York Times opposing the Bush military interventionism in Iraq. 

Penn wrote:

“We see Bechtel. We see Halliburton. We see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Powell, Rice, Perle, Ashcroft, Murdoch, many more. We see no WMDs. We see dead young Americans. We see no WMDs. We see dead Iraqi civilians. We see no WMDs. We see chaos in the Baghdad streets. But no WMDs.”

This could simply be a result of Penn’s fervent support for the Democrats or it could indicate that, once upon a time, Penn had genuine anti-war principles. I will cover Penn’s pro-Democrat-bias and possible connections later in this article.

Today, in 2020, Penn appears to be a fully fledged member of the billionaire and Big Pharma complex that is pushing a high-risk global vaccination roll-out. He has demanded that the “military must be tasked with a full offensive against this virus.” Penn has described the military intervention in Haiti as the US deployment of “the most effective logistical and humanitarian organization the world has ever seen: the US military.” Penn’s own terminology in relation CORE’s Covid-19 response has been littered with military analogy, describing it as a “mission to save lives”, an interesting allusion to “an active shooter scenario” and finally “you become a gun.” That might be a little closer to the truth than Penn intended. 

CORE is backed by USAID, the Clintons, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This is not a grass roots volunteer organization, it is an instrument of power. Co-founder of CORE, or J/P HRO as it was in 2010, is a notorious character by the name of Sanela Diana Jenkins ( the J/P stood for Jenkins-Penn). 

Jenkins who is of Bosnian (Bosnia and Herzegovina) origin, has consistently underpinned the narratives that led to the NATO bombing of former Yugoslavia in 1999 including the much disputed Srebenica “genocide.” For a greater understanding of the complexities of this dark period in Yugoslav history, I highly recommend “Media Cleansing, Dirty Reporting,” by Peter Brock. Jenkins raised $ 1 million for the Clinton Foundation in Haiti and together with actor, George Clooney, she raised $ 10 million for the “Not on Our Watch” organisation, which intervened in Darfur on behalf of US imperialist interests. Jenkins actively supported regime change in Libya which resulted in the brutal murder of its President, Muammar Gaddafi, which was famously celebrated by Hillary Clinton, who said : “we came, we saw, he died”. 

Penn – Maverick or CIA tool? 

I mentioned Penn’s support for the Democrats earlier in the article. A deeper delve into Penn’s “journalism” reveals a possible political agenda that is in lock-step with the Democrat policies. On October 23rd 2008, Penn met with President Raul Castro of Cuba, less than two weeks before Barack Obama was elected as the first black US President. During the seven-hour meeting, Castro expressed a desire to meet with Obama who had said that he would reverse some of the draconian policies imposed by the preceding Bush administration during his election campaign. 

The Mexican drug cartels and the US banking cartel cover-up

According to Penn’s biography as it appears in his controversialRolling Stone interview with Mexican drug lord, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, i.e. El Chapo, “Actor, writer and director Sean Penn has written from the front lines in Haiti, Iraq, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba.” El Chapo’s arrest almost immediately after meeting with Penn drew accusations of Penn’s involvement in his detection. However, there is evidence that El Chapo was actually not that hard to find and that the entire capture may have been nothing more than elaborate cover for the real billionaire criminals behind the global drug dealing industry, the US banking cartel

As journalist, Richard Becker, wrote in 2019:

“Joaquin Guzman, also known as “El Chapo,” will likely spend the rest of his life in isolation inside a “supermax” prison in Colorado, after his sentencing on July 17 for drug trafficking, money laundering, and other crimes. No US bankers will be in the adjoining cells, although without vast assistance from the latter, the Mexico-based drug cartels could never have achieved the size and profitability they have.

Despite the banks reaping huge profits as financiers and accomplices of the cartels, the number of bank executives criminally prosecuted for laundering hundreds of billions of dollars in illegal drug money is exactly zero.”

One could be forgiven for speculating that the Penn scandal provided spectacular cover for the oligarchs behind the scenes of El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel. In March 2010, Wachovia bank agreed “in a settlement to having laundered at least $ 378 billion in drug money from 2004-2007 for Mexican drug cartels.” The case never went to court. 

There is also the additional issue of claims of the discovery of a 50-caliber sniper rifle associated with Obama’s “Operation Fast and Furious” at the hideout of El Chapo. Operation Fast and Furious involved the sale of firearms at retail stores which could then allegedly be tracked to prominent drug cartel figures in Mexico. The operation was an abject failure which resulted in the murder of various individuals with US-supplied weapons, not dissimilar to the Obama “train and equip” programme in Syria, which squandered $ 500 million on weapons and equipment for the non-existent “moderate opposition.” These weapons, they say, inexplicably fell into the hands of the global terror organisation, ISIS. The US National Rifle Association accused Obama and former Attorney General, Eric Holder of hatching the operation as cover to increase gun violence in Mexico and thus justify more restrictive gun-laws in the US. 

At the very least, the timing of Penn’s intervention and the subsequent arrest of El Chapo is interesting. 

Penn always in the “right” place at the right time?

U.S. actor and director Sean Penn (R) holds an Egypt flag as he walks with Egyptian actor Khaled al-Nabawi in Tahrir Square during a protest against the ruling military council, after Friday prayers in Cairo September 30, 2011. REUTERS/Stringer

Haiti

In 2012, Penn met with US-approved, former Haiti President, Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier whose father Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, had been instated as President-for-life in 1957 with US backing. US warships were reportedly stationed “just off the coast of Haiti to oversee a smooth transition of power to Duvalier’s son.” Under the Duvalier dynasty, more than 60,000 Haitians were murdered and tortured by death squads known as the Tonton Macoutes who regularly burned dissenters alive or publicly hung them. “Baby Doc” had been removed from power in 1986 by a popular uprising. After his meeting with “Baby Doc”, Penn recommended “reconciliation” with this neo-colonialist instrument of injustice, despite the fact that Haitian human rights group and civilians wished to see “Baby Doc” prosecuted for “crimes against humanity” and widespread corruption. 

Penn does not specify the date of his 2012 “chance” meeting with “Baby Doc” but perhaps coincidentally, President Bill Clinton met “Baby Doc” in January 2012 in Titanyen, the site of mass graves for the bodies of men, women and children massacred by the Duvalier tyrants over the course of three decades of US-orchestrated and sponsored dictatorship. On the same stage with “Baby Doc” and Clinton was the latest in the line of US-approved puppet leaders, President Michel Martellyalso highly promoted by Penn. 

Egypt 

In 2011, Penn just happened to be in Tahrir Square as the Arab Spring gathered momentum in Egypt. Penn called on military leaders for a “faster transition to democracy”. Penn told the Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, that “the world is inspired by the call for freedom by the courageous revolution of Egypt [..] a transition of power from the military to the people.” Effectively, Penn came out in favour of yet another US/UK-orchestrated regime change – one that would ultimately lead to the reduction of Egypt to a poverty-stricken nation dependent upon foreign aid, conveniently for the US  and Israel who alongside the UK, were instrumental in fomenting the uprising as explained by the Journeyman documentary – “The Revolution Business”. 

Iran, Syria and Chavez

In 2009, two American “hitch-hikers”, Josh Fattel and Shane Bauer, were arrested by Iranian border guards after they were accused of entering Iranian territory on the border with Iraqi “Kurdistan” without permission and were jailed for espionage. Penn flew to Venezuela to ask President Hugo Chavez to negotiate their release with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Penn had allegedly been alerted to the plight of Bauer and Fattel by friends in “US intellectual circles.” Penn’s support for Chavez was the subject of much controversy in American media, but that controversy likely provided him with the credibility he needed to be afforded an audience with Syria’s US-media-maligned President Bashar Al Assad in the midst of the US/UK-driven “regime change” war against Syria. The meeting is believed to have taken place during the summer of 2016. 

Perhaps it is yet another coincidence, but one of thePenn-rescued “hitch hikers,” Shane Bauer, went on to become a “journalist” member of the western media “regime change” chorus invested in the criminalization of the Syrian government and its elected President Bashar Al Assad. A “journalist” who, without hesitation, regurgitated the now discredited 2018 Douma “chemical weapon” story despite serious doubts from acclaimed journalist, Robert Fisk, who was one of the first to visit the scene of the alleged attack. Evidence that the attack was, almost certainly, a staged event, produced by the UK FCO-midwived White Helmets and Douma’s dominant armed group, Jaish Al Islam, seemed to escape Bauer’s “in depth” journalism.

Bauer, himself, reported that he had been denied a visa by the Syrian authorities because his “journalism” was not considered objective enough. It is quite possible that the decision could also have been influenced by his history of illegal entry into Iran. True to form, Bauer entered Syria illegally with the help of US-proxies, the Kurdish contra forces, the so-called “Syrian Democratic Forces” occupying much of north-east Syria, including the oil fields in order to produce his undercover report which served as thinly veiled PR for the continuation of a ten-year US/UK-led war against Syria. 

Celebrity humanitarianism: PR for neoliberal capitalism and US hegemony

Is Sean Penn a Hollywood “honey trap” for the five eyes intelligence alliance, as he was colourfully described by a Twitter commenter recently? Or is Penn nothing more than a member of the rising celebrity cult-humanitarian complex spearheaded by entertainment stars, billionaires and activist “NGOs” that include Bill Gates, George Soros, Angelina Jolie, Bono and Penn’s ex-wife, Madonna? The line between being an intelligence asset and an “innocent” promoter of US hegemony and neoliberal capitalism is an indistinct one in either case. 

The three men on the beach, Sean Penn, Jack Dorsey and Vivi Nevo. Photo: the Daily Mail

n many instances, the timing of Penn’s “happenstance” meetings with figures key to US foreign policy and military adventurism raises obvious questions. I have not covered all of Penn’s political publicity stunts in this article, only those I consider to be the primary ones. Effectively, Penn’s political involvement has furthered the foreign policy objectives of the US predatory class, which inevitably result in global inequality, food insecurity and devastation for countries in the cross-hairs, the same global insecurity that Penn’s version of celebrity altruism claims to fight against. 

As described in the book, “Celebrity Humanitarianism – the ideology of global charity” by Byllan Kapoor: 

“[..]celebrity humanitarianism, far from being altruistic, is significantly contaminated and ideological: it is most often self-serving, helping to promote institutional aggrandizement and the celebrity ‘brand’; it advances consumerism and corporate capitalism, and rationalizes the very global inequality it seeks to redress; it is fundamentally depoliticizing, despite its pretensions to ‘activism’; and it contributes to a ‘post-democratic’ political landscape, which appears outwardly open and consensual, but is in fact managed by unaccountable elites.”

Penn is a Covid-19 fearmongering fanatic. Aside from demanding that the military be involved in the response, Penn has issued an array of stinging attacks on Twitter against President Trump’s Covid-19 measures, deeming them ineffective and disproportionate to the Penn-perceived magnitude of the threat. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Penn is supportive of the Biden power bid, which will bring in a Covid-19 task force comprised of individuals who have voiced support for eugenics and population control. 

Who persuaded Penn to take to Twitter earlier this year? None other than Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, who will be the main subject of Part 2 of this article, which will cover Dorsey’s role in funding and promoting the Covid-19 Big Pharma programmes and draconian US government population suppression measures. 

The three men on the beach are instrumental in paving the way for the Great Reset and Dorsey should be held responsible for much of the Twitter censorship of dissenting voices during this unprecedented power grab by the powers that be. Celebrities like Penn and influencers like Dorsey enable their expansionism rather than call for their accountability for the damage being inflicted upon the world’s most vulnerable and increasingly disenfranchised human beings under the guise of “relief.” 

How the Western Press Lied About the 2014 Coup in Ukraine, Pretending That It Was Instead a Real Democratic Revolution

How the Western Press Lied About the 2014 Coup in Ukraine, Pretending That  It Was Instead a Real Democratic Revolution — Strategic Culture

Eric Zuesse November 25, 2020

U.S.-and-allied governments, and their billionaires’-controlled press, are unrelenting in their fraudulent portrayal of what was actually the U.S. regime’s conquest and destruction of Ukraine in 2014, by means of a brutal coup, which caused a civil war and the break-up of that country.

The hidden truths about Ukraine, after 2009, will be documented and proven here. These facts have been kept secret from Western publics. (Articles like this are censored-out by the regime’s operatives.)

The first documentation concerns the coup itself, which occurred in February 2014, though the narrator in that video mistakenly says (at 0:27) that the coup started “on February 20th of 2013,” instead of on February 20th of 2014, which is the only slip-up in this entire otherwise-superb presentation. The video is here, and it demonstrates — it even displays — that the U.S. Government, under President Barack Obama, lied through their teeth about that coup, as having been instead a “revolution,” instead of a coup. The key “leaked [phone] call” that’s excerpted in this video can be heard in full here; and its full transcript, including explanations of the persons who are being referred-to in it, is available here. The broader historical significance of that phone-call is reported and explained here. To sum it all up: There is no way that this phone-conversation (which is between two Obama-Administration officials who are discussing whom to appoint to lead Ukraine when the coup will have been completed) can reasonably be interpreted in any other way than that the Obama Administration had carefully planned and executed this coup d’etat, which replaced Ukraine’s democratically elected Government by one that would be controlled by the U.S. regime. This truth is the exact opposite of the U.S.-and-allied ‘news’-reporting about that coup, as its having been, instead, ‘the Maidan revolution’. This is how America (and each of its ‘allies’ or vassal nations) deceives its people, just as much (and just as viciously) as any other dictatorship does.

So: how did that ‘revolution’ come about? Here is how it happened — and also the Western lies hiding this reality:

On November 30th of 2013, UK’s Economist magazine bannered “Stealing their dream: Viktor Yanukovych is hijacking Ukrainians’ European future”, and wrote that:

Unwilling to launch economic reforms, cut spending or tame the appetites of his cronies, Mr Yanukovych [Ukraine’s democratically elected and — for the Ukrainian people — remarkably successful, President, as will subsequently be documented here] proceeded to trade the country’s most valuable asset: Ukraine’s geopolitical position. “The talks with the EU were an auction. It was a position of a pimp who is offering Ukraine up for sale,” says Mr Poroshenko [a political enemy of Yanukovych, who became Ukraine’s President after the coup]. Mr Yanukovych let it be known that, if Europe wanted a modern, democratic Ukraine, it needed to pay. His price was $160 billion by 2017.

European politicians were aghast at such blatant blackmail; Mr Putin seemed happy to haggle. It is not clear what he and Mr Yanukovych agreed during their secret meeting in early November — the deal is said to include cheaper gas, credits and lucrative business contracts — but not, it is rumoured in Kiev, a requirement that Ukraine join a proposed new customs union with Russia. Whatever the understanding, it has persuaded Mr Yanukovych to distance himself from the EU. Though nothing is ever final in Ukraine, Mr Yanukovych’s favoured option seems to be to preserve the status quo and refrain from joining either camp while continuing to milk both — hence his new proposal of three-way talks.

A face-saving memorandum may yet be signed with the EU, but the collapse of the association agreement could be a blessing in disguise for the Europeans. Teaming up with Mr Yanukovych, who would never have implemented it, would have only led to disappointment and recriminations, while helping Mr Yanukovych get re-elected. Instead, the collapse brought pressure on Mr Yanukovych from educated middle-class Ukrainians who feel that their future has been hijacked and their dream stolen. Haunted by the memories of 2004, Mr Yanukovych may try to crack down, but time is against him.

On November 24th tens of thousands of Ukrainians went to the streets in support of Ukraine’s European course.

The coup happened in February 2014, and the breakaway of Crimea from Ukraine happened in March 2014, and the civil war that erupted in Ukraine’s far-eastern Donbass region (which had voted 90%+ for Yanukovych) started on 9 May 2014. Then, on 24 November 2014, Germany’s Spiegel magazine headlined “How the EU Lost Russia over Ukraine”, and reported that, back on 19 November 2013, in the Presidential mansion in Kiev, Yanukovych informed the EU’s representatives of his predicament:

“But there are the costs that our experts have calculated,” Yanukovych replied. “What experts?” Füle demanded to know. The Ukrainian president described to his bewildered guest the size of the losses allegedly threatening Ukraine should it sign the agreement with the EU.

Later, the number $160 billion found its way into the press, more than 50 times greater than the $3 billion calculated by the German advisory group. The total came from a study conducted by the Institute for Economics and Forecasting at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and it was a number that Yanukovych would refer to from then on.

“Stefan, if we sign, will you help us?” Yanukovych asked. Füle was speechless. “Sorry, we aren’t the IMF. Where do these numbers come from?” he finally demanded. “I am hearing them for the first time.” They are secret numbers, Yanukovych replied. “Can you imagine what would happen if our people were to learn of these numbers, were they to find out what convergence with the EU would cost our country?”

Obviously, those are two very different accounts of Yanukovych, in Economist and in Spiegel — not the same person. However, both of them agree that his reason for rejecting the EU’s offer is that it amounted to a $160 billion loss to Ukraine, which was money that Ukraine didn’t have. So, regardless of which of those two reports about Yanukovych was true, and which was false, they both reported that Ukraine could not afford the $160 billion price which joining the EU would entail. This fact, alone, means that joining the EU would be a disastrously losing proposition for Ukraine.

Did it turn out to be that — a disastrously losing proposition for Ukraine? It wrecked Ukraine’s economy and destroyed that country, as will now be shown in, first, the subsequent figures on the Ukrainian economy: Ukraine’s GDP, which had risen steadily each and every year throughout Yanukovych’s four years in office, from 136.01 in 2010 up to 183.31 in 2013, plunged 27% in 2014 down to 133.5, and then plunged yet another 32% down to 91.03 in 2015. Then in 2016, it crept up 2.6% to 93.36 in 2017. From there, it rose steadily up to 156.78 in 2019, and then it is currently estimated to be around 132 this year, 2020, which is a 14% decline down from that post-coup peak of 156.78. In other words, even now (nearly 7 years after the coup), Ukraine’s economy hasn’t yet recovered from what U.S. President Barack Obama did to Ukraine by his conquest of (coup to grab) Ukraine. Instead of having been rising every year as it had done under Yanukovych — rising a total of 35% during his Presidency — it has declined 41% from then till now, and has averaged, for every year since 2013, 121, which is 34% (one third) lower GDP than it had been in Yanukovych’s last year (183.31), and 11% lower than it had been even in Yanukovych’s first year as President (136.01).

Regarding the second question (“destroyed the country”), this is what Obama’s Ukrainian coup did to Ukraine’s people: On 23 March 2017, Gallup headlined “South Sudan, Haiti and Ukraine Lead World in Suffering”. What more needs to be said about that?

Whether or not the economic losses did amount to $160 billion (as Ukraine’s own experts had estimated) — or more, or less, than that — those losses did turn out to be enormous; and, Obama, clearly, raped Ukrainians. He destroyed Ukraine (and Trump did nothing to reverse that). Here is how this happened:

On 23 June 2011, two emissaries of the Obama Administration — the head of Google, Eric Schmidt, and his aide, and former subordinate to Hillary Clinton in the U.S. State Department, Jared Cohen — visited Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, pretending to be on his side, while deceiving him to reveal to them ways to reach out online to members of Ukraine’s pro-nazi organizations in order to generate mobs for the demonstrations which were to be organized on Kiev’s Maidan Square to overthrow Ukraine’s President.

On 1 March 2013, the U.S. Embassy in Kiev held its first “Tech Camp” to teach Ukraine’s leading pro-nazis how to reach out to their followers so as to get as many people as possible trained and prepared to follow their instructions on what to do when those demonstrations would be held.

In June 2013, the Obama Administration quietly put out for bid to American contractors their planned project to renovate a school in Sevastopol, in Crimea, in Ukraine, in the location where Russia since 1783 had (and still has) its largest naval base:

Federal Contract Opportunity for Renovation of Sevastopol School #5, Ukraine N33191-13-R-1240. The NAICS Category is 236220 – Commercial and Institutional Building Construction. Posted Aug 20, 2013. Posted by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (DOD – Navy). The work will be performed at Sevastopol 99000.

This was before the coup, and there were 28 years still remaining on Russia’s lease there. That part of their plan — to terminate that contract and replace Russia’s largest naval base, by yet another U.S. naval base — got foiled by Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, protecting Crimeans when they (as soon as the coup occurred) demanded to have a referendum on becoming restored again to being a part of Russia, as they had been between 1783 and 1954 (when the Soviet dictator arbitrarily transferred Crimea, from the Russian part, to the Ukrainian part, of the Soviet Government).

During the coup, eight busloads of Crimeans, who had come to Kiev to demonstrate against the oust-Yanukovych Maidan demonstrations, hurriedly reboarded their buses in order to flee from nazis who were attacking them, and they finally got cornered en-route home, by those pursuing attackers, in the town of Korsun, and some of their buses were burnt, and many of these Crimeans got clubbed to death by the nazis.

Then, during the interim between the Korsun massacre and the 16 March 2014 Crimean referendum on rejoining the Russian Federation, a Ukrainian federal prosecutor from Crimea, who opposed the coup and managed safely to flee back home by her own private means, became interviewed on local Crimean television and recounted how terrified she had been by the nazis. She was asked whether Crimeans had the right to vote in a referendum to return to being Russians, and she said, “Citizens of Crimea, you have every right in the world” to do that.

The Obama regime (including the International Republican Institute, since foreign conquests are a bipartisan obsession of both Democratic and Republican Party billionaires) had, as part of its planning to take control over Ukraine, hired the Gallup polling firm to survey throughout Ukraine, and especially within Crimea (because of their intention to grab Russia’s naval base), regarding favorability-unfavorability toward NATO, EU, and Russia, both during 16-30 May 2013, prior to the coup (which polling was done ONLY in Crimea, since seizure of Russia’s naval base was the coup’s main goal) and during April 2014 shortly after Crimea broke away from Ukraine in March of 2014. Here are some of the pre-coup findings:

——

Public Opinion Survey Residents of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea May 16 – 30, 2013

International Republican Institute Baltic Surveys Ltd./The Gallup Organization … with funding from the United States Agency for International Development

p.8: “Regardless of your passport, what do you consider yourself?”

24% “Crimean,” 15% “Ukrainian,” 40% “Russian,” 15% “Tatar” (an anti-Russian group)

p.14: “If Ukraine was able to enter only one international economic union, which entity should it be with?”

53% “Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan”

17% “The European Union”

p.15: “How would you evaluate your attitude to the following entities?”

Russia: 68% “Warm,” 5% “Cold”

USA 6% “Warm,” 24% “Cold”

p.17: “In your opinion, what should the status of Crimea be?”

“Autonomy in Ukraine (as today [under Crimea’s 1992 Constitution and as subsequently celebrated by rfe/rl on 20 January 2011]) 53%.

“Common oblast of Ukraine [ruled under Ukraine’s 1991 Constitution]” 2%

“Crimea should be separated and given to Russia” 23%.

——

Regarding the second poll, which was taken throughout Ukraine plus Crimea and only a month after the Crimeans had voted to be Russians again, I headlined on 2 July 2014 “Gallup Poll Finds Ukraine Cannot Be One Country” and reported that, “Views of Foreign Parties’ Role in the Crisis – Ukrainian Residents Exclusive of Crimea” were mostly anti-Russia, whereas “Views of Foreign Parties’ Role in the Crisis – Crimea” were overwhelmingly pro-Russia, by 71.3% to 8.8%, which is 89% pro-Russia. Only 2.8% were pro-America, while 76.2% were anti-America, which is 96.5% anti-America.

As I reported, at that time:

An April poll of Ukrainians, published in June by Gallup’s Broadcasting Board of Governors [CORRECTION HERE: That was actually by Gallup, for the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, which group Wikipedia describes as “an independent agency of the United States government which operates various state-run media outlets,” and, so, that propaganda-agency had sponsored this poll, perhaps hoping to find that the Crimean referendum’s reported 96.77% favoring to rejoin Russia would be inconsistent with this Gallup poll — which didn’t turn out to have been the case], found two shockingly opposite countries: one, in the northwest, where the view of the U.S. is favorable among more than 50% of the population; and the other, in the southeast, where the view of the U.S. is unfavorable among more than 70% of the population. Additionally, in the Crimean region — Ukraine’s farthest southeast area, which our President, Barack Obama, says that Russia forcibly seized when the people there voted overwhelmingly on 16 March 2014 to become part of Russia again (as they had been until 1954) — only 2.8% of the public there view the U.S. favorably; more than 97% of Crimeans do not.

And the situation is even more extreme when the issue is the public’s views of Russia — which, overall, are far less favorable than the U.S. is viewed in Ukraine. Less than 2% of residents in Ukraine’s northwest have a favorable view of Russia, but 71.3% of Crimeans do. In Ukraine’s far east, 35.7% do. In Ukraine’s far south except for Crimea, 28.4% do.

Support for joining the European Union is 59.8% in the far north, and 84.2% in the far west. It is 19% in the far east, and 26.8% in the far south. Crimeans were not asked this question, because they had already voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia.

Support for joining NATO is 37.7% in the North, 53.2% in the west, 13.1% in the east, and 10.3% in the south. (Again, Crimea wasn’t polled on this.)

The 500 people that were sampled in Crimea were asked “Please tell me if you agree or disagree: The results of the referendum on Crimea’s status [whether to rejoin Russia] reflect the views of most people here.” 82.8% said “Agree.” 6.7% said “Disagree.”

That 82.8% who said “Agree” constituted 92.5% of the Crimeans who expressed an opinion on this.

On 10 October 2014, I headlined “What Obama’s Ukrainian Stooges Did” and reported on the effort by his stooges there to ethnically cleanse or eliminate the residents in the portion of Ukraine’s far eastern Donbass region so as to eliminate enough of the voters in that area, which had voted 90%+ for Yanukovych, so as to then enable Ukraine to reabsorb that region without thereby causing another President such as Yanukovych to become elected in Ukraine. His effort failed, largely because Russia has assisted the people there to defeat even such attacks as these by Ukraine.

Then, on 15 February 2015, I headlined “Brookings Wants More Villages Firebombed in Ukraine’s ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’”, but Obama’s people finally gave up their ambitious objective. So, it’s a stalemate there, somewhat like the stalemate in Israel’s ambitious objective to ethically cleanse away most of the Palestinians. But, of course, that is a different situation, with a different history, though with a not too different ethnically eliminative intent.

Ayatollah Kaabi To Al-Ahed: We’ll Remain On Martyr Fakhrizadeh’s Path; Efforts To Identify The Criminals Underway

Ayatollah Kaabi To Al-Ahed: We’ll Remain On Martyr Fakhrizadeh’s Path; Efforts To Identify The Criminals Underway

By Mokhtar Haddad – Tehran

The assassination of Iran’s chief nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, won’t hinder Tehran’s path to progress, scientific development, or retribution against the killers. Fakhrizadeh, who delievred an advanced scientific service to the Iranian people, was gunned down in a cowardly operation by agents of the Zionist entity and the tide of global arrogance.

To discuss the repercussions and dimensions of this crime, Al-Ahed News sat down with a member of the Assembly of Experts for Leadership, Ayatollah Sheikh Abbas al-Kaabi.

“The Zionist-American front suffered major strategic defeats in confronting the axis of Islamic resistance, and at the helm of this axis is the Islamic Republic. It’s clear that the Zionist-American front is heading towards its demise, while the Islamic Republic is growing in strength day after day,” Sheikh Kaabi noted. 

He went on to explain that the assasination is an act of weakness. 

“The enemy is living in a state of fear, panic, and abject failure in confronting the axis of Islamic resistance on all military, political, economic, and security fronts. The only way they could compensate for this excruciating failure is through assassinations, treachery, and international terrorism. The assassination of martyr Fakhrizadeh is a violation of all international and humanitarian laws, and this is not the first martyrdom nor the last – getting killed has become a habit for us and our honor is in martyrdom. Martyrdom is the reward for striving in the path of God.”

Ayatollah Sheikh Kaabi underscored that “martyr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has achieved his goal, and his path in terms of progress and scientific development will continue. There is no doubt that there are hundreds like martyr Fakhrizadeh, including his colleagues and students who will continue in his path, God willing, and the terrorists will get their punishment.”

According to the Assembly member, Iran is “in a state of soft war and a war of wills with the Zionist entity – {And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.} The nature of the war is according to the following verse: {If you should be suffering – so are they suffering as you are suffering.} While the fighting is according to the verse: {So they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah.}”

“Of course, America and ‘Israel’ are specialists in treachery. The Islamic Republic and the path of resistance are focused on battles of a humanitarian nature, taking into account conscience, honor, morals, and the law during fighting.”

Sheikh Kaabi said he believes that “by assassinating this great martyr, they assassinated science, knowledge, and development. They proved that they are, in fact, fighting the path of science, development, and progress and are against humanity. This martyr was about to produce a special vaccine for the coronavirus, as the Islamic Republic’s path is that of employing science and faith, rationality and revolutionary, resistance and development. This martyr, who is a symbol in the fields of science, defense, and nuclear energy, represents the mujahideen scholars and believers that are striving in the path of God and who are able to develop the country in terms of science and technology. We will remain on the path of scientific and technical development. I congratulate the martyr for this martyrdom and happiness.”

Ayatollah Kaabi concluded by stating that “America and ‘Israel’ have formed an assassination network. This network consists of a security, military, espionage, and infiltration arm, and it’s working with the support of the Mossad and the CIA, and the agent states in the region. Following up on security to find the criminals is in full swing, and the powerful and capable security services in the Islamic Republic will arrest the terrorists to face justice. They will receive their punishment – {And those who have wronged are going to know to what [kind of] return they will be returned.} and {Indeed, your Lord is in observation.}”

The AngloZionists are trying to provoke a war with Iran

November 28, 2020

Source

The AngloZionists are trying to provoke a war with Iran

There is really nothing particularly complicated about what just happened: the AngloZionists have murdered a top Iranian scientist in the hope that this murder will trigger a war.  The Iranians have promised a retaliation, but have not taken any action, at least so far.

Since there are those who will inevitably conclude that “Iran cannot do anything“, or “Iran is afraid” or even “Iran should strike Israel“, all I want to do today is to mention a few basic things about deterrence and retaliation.  Let’s begin by the former: deterrence.

Deterrence: there are two fundamental ways to deter an enemy: denial and punishment.  The first case in infinitely more desirable than the second one.  Why?  Denial simply means that you can counter-act your enemy’s attack plans by preventing your enemy from achieving success.  This is what an air defense system does: it destroys the incoming missile before it reaches the target.

In our case, an effective denial strategy would have been executed by effectively protecting Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and his family from any attacks.  It is clear that the Iranians miserably failed at this task.  Frankly, I have to say that I find no possible excuse for this: everybody knew for years that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was on the Israeli hit list thus the Iranian authorities had years to prepare to fully defend him.  In truth, that is not as hard as it seems.  Yet, all they apparently did, was to provide him with two body guards and what looks to me like a non-armored car.  It is also obvious that the attackers knew exactly where his car would drive by and when.  Again, this is simply inexcusable.  If the Iranian counter-terrorist and counter-intelligence services are so sloppy, then that means that there are many more key Iranian officials which could be killed next.  Bottom line: the Iranians have proven that they are not capable of denial.

Hopefully, they have now learned their lesson and that more competent and determined specialists will now be in charge of protecting key Iranian figures.

Even worse is the very strong possibility that some Iranian officials might have been recruited by the AngloZionsts to assist in the execution of the assassination plan.  Never say never, but I strongly believe that such assassinations are not possible without local accomplices.  Again, this is a question which Iranian security services will have to not only answer, but answer for!

If the Iranians are not capable of denial, then this means that their only option  to deter such attacks is punishment.

Can the Iranian punish the US and/or Israel?

Yes, of course they can, but only at the risk of doing exactly that which the AngloZionists want to achieve: give the Empire a pretext for war or, at the very least, a non-symbolic strike on key Iranian facilities (and, possibly, officials).

The key factor to consider here is that the aggregate power of Iran is still much weaker than the aggregate power of the AngloZionist Empire.  Like it or not, but this is a fact.  Even Russia and China are globally weaker than the Empire, so they all share the same problem: how to deter a stronger party?

In fact, there are options other than immediately responding to the attack.

One option is what the CIA calls “plausible deniability” (the Russian equivalent would be “make sure your ears don’t stick out“): you make sure that there is no way to prove that you took any action.  That can be done by using proxys and/or by covert operations.

[Sidebar: I read that the Iranians killed two of the attackers and captured one alive; if that is true, then I bet you that these terrorists were neither US nor Israels but locals, meaning terrorists hired either in Iran or elsewhere in the Middle-East.  This is how the CIA always operates, just remember how the CIA engaged in a campaign of car bombing in Lebanon in which local CIA assets were used to plant the bombs.  In a typical CIA fashion, these attacks resulted in 83 dead on hundreds of wounded, but missed the intended target: Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah].

Another option is what could be called “retaliation by a thousand cuts” – this is what the Iranians are doing to the USA in Iraq: pro-Iranian forces regularly attack US forces and positions, but always below the threshold at which the USA has to take major, public action.  This approach can be summed up like so: “surely you will not start a full scale war just over a relatively minor incident?“.  Keep the “incidents” “minor” enough and your enemy will be frustrated and unable to articulate an adequate response, especially over time.

Let’s discuss time now.  It is said that “revenge is a dish best served cold“.  This is true!  When the AngloZionists execute a high-risk covert operation they will typically try to get their forces in a higher state of readiness in case of a overt retaliatory strike.  But here is the problem: no force or facility can remain at maximum readiness forever.  It is too expensive, too complicated, too disruptive of normal operations and, finally, some form or other of boredom sets in.  Even better, the primitive attacker will sooner or later conclude that “we dodged that bullet” or “they did not dare attack us“, breathe a sigh of relief and resume normal activities.

Next, comes place/location: if you are the weaker party but you do want to retaliate, not only are you much better off doing that after enough time passes for your adversary to let down his guard, you also can chose to retaliate very far away from where you yourself were attacked.  In our case, that means that since the AngloZionist did commit their terrorist act in plain view of the world, you need not to the same thing.  Hit them somewhere as far away from their own national territory as possible.  The good news is that the AngloZionist Empire has a planet-wide footprint.  And, even better, the Empire is really already dead and unable to keep a high state of readiness worldwide.  Simply put, there are *a lot* of very easy targets out there, it is quite easy to pick one.

Keep in mind that you do not have to retaliate in kind.  If they murder one of your scientists this does not at all mean that you have to murder one of theirs: there are many venues open for retaliation which do not at all require killing anybody: you can retaliate economically, politically and you can also chose to retaliate against any US/Israeli colony out there (of which there are still plenty).  How?

For example, the Iranians could retaliate against any so-called any US or Israeli “ally” in the Middle-East and even elsewhere.  Remember, the huge footprint of the Empire makes it indefensible and the current political chaos in the USA might be exactly what some of these so-called “allies” need to try to slip from under the US/Israeli control.

In truth, Iran has an options galore!

Yes, Iran will probably not execute and immediate and public action of retaliation similar to what happened following the murder of General Soleimani.  Why?  Because they don’t have to!  The main point of the Iranian counter-strike was to show the world, and especially the US decision-makers, the the US posture in the Middle-East makes it extremely vulnerable to Iranian missile strikes.  They don’t need to do this again.  In fact, if the logic or the Iranian counter-strike was to show that there would be hell to pay for the US and Israel in case of full scale attack, it would be completely illogical and counter-productive to now do exactly that which could trigger such an attack.

I think that we can be absolutely sure that Iran will retaliate for the murders of Soleimani and Fakhrizadeh, but my guess is that this retaliation will be “served cold” and, probably, in an asymmetrical manner.  This has nothing to do with any Iranian “fears” or “weaknesses” and everything to do with the fact that Iranians are superb strategists.

The Saker

PS: those interested in Iranian covert operations could look into PanAm 103 and how the Iranians used Iraqi exiles to deflect the planned AngloZionist attack on Iran to their mortal enemy next door: Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.  I just don’t have the material time to write about these now, but follow the leads and you can find out for yourself what actually happened.

Phoenix and the rebirth of evil Part II:

October 22, 2020

The cold, reptilian eyes of William Colby

By Ken Leslie for the Saker Blog

One of the persisting delusions of the modern liberal thought states that the humanity has succeeded in overcoming its worst primitive instincts and is happily sailing towards some kind of liberal utopia populated by reasonable, objectively-minded, educated technocrats who are capable of reducing any problem to a linear combination of variables to be modelled and resolved rationally. In spite of the pre-eminence of this delusion (I could call it the Dawkins delusion) in the Anglo-Saxon world, one only needs to scratch the surface to discover that not only is humanity as prone to superstition and feral hatred towards others as they have ever been but that same old racial and religious tropes which should have died a long time ago under the onslaught of modernity are not only alive but thriving and successfully being used by the Empire in its total war against potential challengers. Nothing ever changes…

If the above were true, the world would not have been rocked by a series of fratricidal wars instigated by the United States and its vassals ever since the end of WWII.[1] More recently, the final phase of the push towards the East began in the Balkans with the neutralisation of the Serbs as a possible pro-Russian counter to the fascist NATO’s takeover of Europe. Once the European flank was secured, the United States moved to destabilise Russia’s immediate neighbourhood, namely Georgia and the Ukraine. The shift towards the Middle East was prompted by Israel’s ambition to decapitate any Arab government willing and able to assert its independence from the Anglo-Zionist nexus (this is the first time I have used Saker’s label—it fits). A number of Arab countries were destabilised or destroyed rendering the geopolitical position of multi-polar forces difficult. The undeclared war of aggression of a belligerent and imperialist West against anybody who might pose a challenge to its supremacist ambitions goes on and to understand how best to defend themselves, the nations under attack must have no illusions about the nature of the enemy.

The phenomenon I am going to discuss here is in my opinion crucial for understanding the melding of super-modern military technology and primitive murderous instincts which characterise modern warfare. The deadly secrecy and the blurring of the boundaries between combatants and non-combatants, the ruthless dehumanisation of the enemy with elements of medieval torture and unforgivable crime of the murder of a large number of innocent people combined with a bureaucratic and technical mini empire whose sole purpose was to find the targets for the killings and record the kills accurately—those were the characteristics of the infamous Phoenix Programme designed by the CIA in the mid-1960s with the aim of decapitating the secret government established by the Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam. Known by the acronym of COSVN (Central Office of South Vietnam), this clandestine and elusive body was the brain behind the successful resistance to the American occupiers and their Vietnamese vassals.

As a brief prelude, even before Diem’s demise, the question posed by the US military experts was how to counteract the growing insurgency. It was clear even then that standard military approaches wouldn’t work against a popular battle-hardened guerrilla movement which did not follow the prescribed methods of waging war. A more sophisticated strategy was needed based on the experience of other empires in crushing rebellious peasants especially the British empire which at that time was fighting rear-guard battles around the world trying to stem or control various independence movements. Since the Americans lacked the necessary experience, Diem invited Sir Robert Thompson who had masterminded the defeat of the Communist insurgency in Malaya to advise him on counter-insurgency. Thompson proposed a number of relatively sensible measures which could have helped Diem including practicing cultural sensitivity and economy of force. Diem found it impossible to act rationally and the rest is history. In 1962, worried about his prospects in the face of a large-scale popular insurgency, Diem invited an Australian Military Advisory Team (Australian Army Training Team Vietnam) to help with the growing uprising. The first commander of this unit was Colonel Ted Serong, a staunch Roman Catholic of Portuguese ancestry whose anti-Communist fervour played an important part in the genesis of the Phoenix Programme.[2]

Following the introduction of US combat troops into Vietnam in 1965 (they had been there long before this but hey!) the newly installed head of the US military command, General William Westmoreland thought that the best way to eliminate the Communist threat was to blast the hell out of the Vietnamese countryside by means of massive air raids by B-52s (“Arclight”) and large-calibre artillery bombardments which were followed by “search and destroy” deployments of large military units reinforced by tanks, BTRs helicopters and fighter jets.[3] Whole districts were declared “kill zones” (“free-fire” zones in the perverted parlance of the Pentagon) allowing psychopathic generals to satisfy their racial hatred and ideological bloodthirst by destroying vast tracts of fertile land and more importantly, killing and displacing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Given the horrific impact of the Westmorland’s slash and burn policy, it is a minor miracle that the puppet government in Saigon lasted as long as it did.

This was truly slaughter on the industrial scale which created a massive demographic shift measured in millions of migrants from the destroyed villages into the cities and caused social problems which eventually contributed to the rapid fall of the Saigon regime. However, in spite of the fearsome firepower unleashed against the guerrillas (and increasingly North Vietnamese regular soldiers), victory eluded an exasperated Lyndon Johnson. The enemy was tactically sophisticated and fully aware of the power differential which favoured the Americans. It weaved and bobbed into and out of flooded rice fields, forests and jungles to strike the enemy when he least expected it. Well-equipped and highly motivated fighters harassed the American behemoth relentlessly while avoiding major battles.

A vast system of tunnels stretching for hundreds of kilometres was built in the province of Cu Chi containing entire underground townships complete with kitchens, hospitals, ammunition, food stores, ventilation systems and dormitories. Unlike American soldiers who lived in the comparative luxury of air-conditioned rooms, cold beer and ice cream, their opponents lived on a handful of rice a day. Sometime in 1966, it became clear even to the most intransigent of military hawks that the traditional military approach wasn’t working. The raw firepower of the US military could not best a determined and motivated peasant guerrilla army. A radically different approach was needed—a strategy much less costly in terms of American lives and much more expensive for those on its receiving end.

The need for a strategic turn in Vietnam was exacerbated by a substantial societal change taking place within the United States. Not content with blind Dullesian Cold War patriotism, younger generations of Americans began to question the wisdom of their country’s engagement in Vietnam, especially when the draft and possible death by a punji stick started to threaten the cosseted white middle class. All of a sudden, the war ceased to be cool and a beleaguered Cardinal Spellman was finding it hard to sustain the crusading zeal that characterised Diem’s rule in the 1950s.[4]

The Phoenix (or Phung Hoang) Programme was a brainchild of William Colby the then Chief of CIA Station in Saigon.[5] This is a slight exaggeration because other people on the lower rungs of the greasy pole also played their part (e.g. Nelson Brickham and many others). Phoenix, which was supposed to symbolise the rebirth of the American war effort was a complex administrative, logistical, intelligence and enforcement system supposed to facilitate what CIA and belatedly President Johnson saw as the task number one and the solution for the incipient quagmire in which America was increasingly bogged down. The task was to decapitate the clandestine “infrastructure” of the resistance movement in South Vietnam by any means possible. The definition of “infrastructure” was vague from the beginning.

What the planners in the CIA had in mind was the political personnel or cadre—the individuals who supported the insurgency at any level of the organisational hierarchy—from a hamlet party treasurer, district and province party functionary to the party leader for the South Vietnam. The problem (not that Colby saw it as one) was that these individuals were civilian non-combatants. Thus, in order to be successful, the Phoenix had to abjure the laws of war as well as the Geneva convention which prohibits the targeting of civilians. Naturally, CIAs clandestine agent and assassin networks had been active in South Vietnam ever since the 1950s. The difference this time was that a civilian (of a strong religious persuasion) was going to conduct a war of extermination against other civilians belonging to a different religion or none.

In order to understand the depth of Colby’s involvement with this murder programme, it must be remembered that he was an old Vietnam hand first sent into the country in 1959 to support the Catholic dictator Diem at the time when the disgruntled Buddhists and members of the Viet Minh started to rebel openly against his bloody repressive regime. Unlike Edward Lansdale who enjoyed the limelight, Colby worked in the shadows. His links with the Diems were deep. He became close friends with Diem’s brother Ngo Dihn Nhu, the ultra-Catholic eminence grise, chief ideologue and puppet master of the regime whose secret intelligence apparatus sowed terror and fear throughout the country through another of Colby’s friends—Tran Kim Tuyen, chief of Diem’s intelligence service. It was these structures and the relationships between them and their American advisers that formed the basis of the Phoenix programme that was to arise from the ashes of Tet six years later.

The efficacy of Colby’s killing machine depended on a successful synchronisation of conflicting local interests and bureaucratic norms. Put simply, the Phoenix mechanism consisted of three major components: intelligence gathering, capture and interrogation. The first two tasks were entrusted to so-called Provincial Reconnaissance Units (PRUs) which consisted mainly of zealous Catholic anti-communists, criminals and converted Viet Minh fighters.[6] They were dressed in black, well-armed and led by American “advisors”. Their training took place in a former Catholic seminary on the Vung Tau peninsula where the future killers and torturers were initiated into the program in a faux mystical torch-lit ceremony resembling the initiation into the Waffen SS.

Their job was to scour the countryside following tips from agents and search for anybody resembling the blurry printout of a face or a description by an agent. PRUs were infamous for their cruelty and are as close as any unit in the modern history to the Nazi Einsatzgruppen (Extermination squads). Their ideology (anticommunism), purpose (elimination of the Communist civilian infrastructure) and modus operandi (indiscriminate killing of civilians) were identical. The crimes of PRUs have been described in detail by Douglas Valentine in his book about the Phoenix Programme: they would often break into thatched peasant huts in the middle of the night and kill all people inside before ascertaining whether any of them actually belonged to Viet Cong. They measured their kills by strings of ears they would show their American commanders as proofs required for a monetary reward. Needless to say, most of those ears were innocent of any Communist affiliation. In some ways, those killed in bed had it easy. Many suspected Viet Cong cadres were taken in for interrogation and it is this aspect of the Phoenix program that chills the blood the most.

The essence of Phoenix was the vast system of interrogation centres that dotted the country. The speed with which these were built boggles the mind. Most districts had one as did most provinces and regions (including the country centre in Saigon). These centres were staffed by Vietnamese officers and soldiers and overseen by CIA advisors. In reality the anonymous architecture and anodyne titles hid some of the worst torture centres known to modern history. In the warped minds of Colby and his many Catholic minions, the only way to purge South Vietnam of “godless communism” was to bring back a turbo-charged version of the Holy Inquisition. The bow-tie wearing Savonarola understood that his war was only as good as the reports he sent to Robert Komer (the old CIA hand and Head of Pacification in Vietnam) and Johnson. To ensure a co-ordination of information, the centres were connected by telephone and teleprinter to other centres and the collation of the huge amounts of information produced by the tens of thousands of tortured prisoners was performed by super modern computers located in a dedicated centre in Saigon. This is what gave Phoenix its specific “flavour”—the blending of medieval cruelty and super-modern technology.[7]

And the torture was truly medieval. The prisoners were left to the tender mercies of criminal ARVN staff who employed everything from electroshocks to the genitals, deadly beatings and removal of nails, waterboarding, rape, sleep deprivation and other techniques still used by the CIA to extremely sadistic acts that remind one of the Sack of Magdeburg or Pavelic’s extermination camps. Kenneth Barton Osborn, an army military intelligence officer who worked with Phoenix in 1967 and 1968 flatly told the US House Operations Subcommittee that not a single VC suspect survived interrogation under his supervision. He discussed two of the murders that he witnessed personally: on one occasion, a piece of wood was inserted into the ear canal of a detainee and hammered into his brain; in another, a woman was simply left in a small cage to starve to death.[8]

The idea that the Americans were innocent bystanders in all this is another myth that is difficult to shatter. US special forces (the Green Berets) and the Navy Seals were intimately involved in the hunt for, interrogation and elimination of suspected communist cadres. According to a former Navy Seal Elton Manzione who was interviewed by Douglas Valentine: “We wrapped [detonator] cord around [prisoners’] necks and wired them to the detonator box. And basically what it did was blow their heads off [… the] general idea was to waste the first two. They planned the snatches that way. Pick up this guy because we’re pretty sure he’s VC cadre — these other guys just run errands for him. Or maybe they’re nobody; Tran, the farmer and his brother Nguyen. But bring in two. Put them in a row. By the time you get to your man he’s talking so fast you got to pop the weasel just to shut him up. I guess you could say that we wrote the book on terror.” Some like the infamous Phoenix co-ordinator John Paul Vann deserve (and have been given) much more attention.

Needless to say, the programme soon fell victim to bureaucratic entropy. It was not the torture that let Colby down but the inability of the programme to benefit from it. Inadequate or false information was fed to the central database giving a distorted picture of the success of the programme or lack thereof. In order to save or boost their careers, both Vietnamese executioners and their CIA mentors targeted innocent people and faked their “kills”. Corruption and sloth soon set in and Phoenix became a synonym for senseless and mindless murder of innocent civilians. By 1970, as Paul Ham notes in his Vietnam: The Australian War, “Phoenix had degenerated into “squads of wild-eyed, often drugged, Vietnamese killers roam[ing] the countryside and indiscriminately round[ing]up and tortur[ing] suspects or civilian sympathisers”.

From the book “The Betrayal” by William Corson: “Almost immediately in the wake of the first operations of the Phoenix hit squads in I Corps, the rapport in the CAP (Combined Action Programme) hamlets between the Marines, the PFs (Popular Forces, a local anti-communist militia), and the people, as well as the intelligence flow, dried up. Upon examination we found out that the people and the PFs were scared shitless that the Phoenix hoodlums would come and take them away, or kill them. The Phoenix tactics reeked of the same kind of terrorism practiced by Ngo Dinh Nhu’s thugs in the Delta region during the early 60s, and I knew it had to be stopped, at least in the CAP hamlets.” So, not only did the crazed assassins of Phung Hoang target innocent civilians, but were slaughtering their own allies, not dissimilar to Pavelic’s ustashe whose thirst for Serb blood caused serious problems to their Nazi masters.

It is this period between 1967 and 1971 that recorded the worst excesses of the “Bird of happiness (the meaning of the Vietnamese sacred bird Phung Hoang which was used to symbolise a Phoenix to the Vietnamese)”. Anybody could be suspected of being a secret communist cadre and end up in one of the PICs having his/her nails pulled or worse. The fear and loathing of the Phoenix created an atmosphere of… fear and loathing. Following the murderous offensives by the US military in in 1967, millions of displaced country dwellers poured into Saigon and regional cities creating unprecedented problems for the puppet government of Nguyen van Thieu (whose Catholicism was not advertised loudly) and for the country more generally. The younger generations succumbed to the lure of the dollar and gave the nation large numbers of drug dealers, smugglers and prostitutes. The climate of fear and corruption hung over the country like a dark cloud when at the end of January 1968, the Viet Minh (with the help of reinforcements from the North) executed a fantastically bold co-ordinated attack on the South Vietnamese and US military, intelligence and propaganda assets. Despite the fact that the offensive was eventually defeated, its psychological impact was immense. Not only did it contribute to the view that the United States could not win the war but it also intensified attempts to strangle the leadership of the armed resistance. Phoenix was spreading its deadly wings especially since the Tet offensive had exposed many secret Viet Minh agents especially in the Saigon area. Prisons, camps, interrogation centres and execution sites were heaving with barely-alive victims—many if not most of whom were completely innocent.

Despite the impressive statistics conjured up by computer scientists sitting in the hyper-modern collation centre in Saigon, very few if any high-level COSVN functionaries were ever caught. Instead, innocent suspects were held in the so-called “Tiger cages”—remnants of the French colonial cruelty which were simply holes topped by metal cage doors. Exposed to elements, starvation and torture, most prisoners perished without ever having had a proper trial. To make things slightly easier for its torturers, the CIA initiated another programme through its cut-outs USIS and USAID, namely, Cheu Hoi or “Open hands”. This was an attempt to get the weaker-willed members of the resistance to surrender and recant.

After a gruelling interrogation, they would be offered clemency and a chance to join ARVN. However, many if not most Cheu Hoi returners were Viet Minh soldiers or cadre who would spend some time in different ARVN units to rest, recuperate and gather information on the enemy only to escape and return again in six months’ time. Essentially, the programme such as Phoenix could have never worked. The sympathy of the people for the Viet Minh was real and even where it didn’t exist, there was little enthusiasm for the American occupiers and their Saigon vassals. The close familial bonds between the conflicted sides were so strong that many top South Vietnamese officials and top ARVN generals had close relatives in the Viet Minh and the hellish reincarnation of the Holy Inquisition could do little to sever them.

At the helm of this religious purge stood a quiet man in glasses and bow tie who would eventually reach the very top of the US intelligence pyramid—William Colby—a descendant of Irish immigrants whose religious zeal was matched only by his hatred for “godless communism”. The question of how Colby together with many other right-wing Irish Americans achieved such prominence at the apex of the American deep state has been partially addressed in a couple of my previous essays. This is still something of a taboo and I hope to shed more light on this important subject. Despite his Ivy League education, Colby was an ultramontane Catholic who attended mass every day even as a CIA station head in Saigon. I shall never understand how he managed to reconcile his religiosity with the sadistic and satanic system of murder, torture and extortion that he controlled from the US embassy annex.

This is an aspect of the US engagement in Vietnam that has been kept away from the prying eyes of the media—not that they have been particularly interested. From its inception, the Republic of South Vietnam depended completely for its survival on a tight-knit Roman Catholic network of officers, priests, politicians and agents. Although their allegiance was maintained by access to loot and power, the ultimate binding agent that kept the apparatus going was their membership of the Catholic Church. Of course, in a country which was 80-90% Buddhist, the system would not have functioned without the tacit collusion of a number of corrupted Buddhists who were ready to overlook the persecution of their co-religionists in exchange for wealth and promotion (e.g. Nguyen Cao Ky).

It is this rich resource put in place by the CIA through its man on the ground, namely Diem, that led directly to Phoenix and its excesses. Torture, forced relocation, public recantations, cold-blooded murder of innocent people, mass conversions and other forms of religious persecution—it was all there by the time Colby unleashed the CIA’s Hellboyish brainchild.[9] The primary motivator for the cruelty and sadism that characterised Phoenix was the fear by the mainly Catholic apparatus of repression of the justice that would eventually be meted by the victorious Viet Minh. This resembled the fear of retribution experienced by most German soldiers withdrawing from the scene of their giga-crime in the Soviet Union.

Unsurprisingly, these crusaders were helped and supported by the Vatican and the West. The Catholics in Vietnam knew they were an absolute minority and that their dominance and safety could only be safeguarded by means of a bloody dictatorial regime inspired by their faith. Although the foundations of the system were laid by the French, the consensus is that they were amateurs compared with the Americans and “their Vietnamese”.[10] As mentioned in part I, many Catholics found the excesses of Diem and his successors unpalatable and this led to an increase in the Catholic participation in the liberation movement.

However, the religious orgy of mindless killing and torture could not go on forever. The death of Pius XII in 1959 signalled a change of tack by the Vatican towards a less bellicose posture towards its enemies. Although attempts at a détente and lowering of tensions were being made in the West, the exotique places such as Vietnam were safe from prying eyes, at least for the time being. One can speculate that with Pius’s death Diem lost his main supporter and became supremely vulnerable from that moment on. However, all was not lost for the Catholic cause, for Pius’s first lieutenant for the Americas, Cardinal Francis Spellman was well and more belligerent than ever and the loyal soldier of the Vatican, William Colby, was hurriedly dispatched to Vietnam to bolster Diem’s murderous dictatorship. Spellman’s support for the American intervention was such that to the young non-conformist generation of the 1960s, the War in Vietnam became known as “Spellman’s war”. There was no stunt, religious or otherwise that Spellman wouldn’t pull in order to strengthen the case for a continued slaughter of innocent Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians. His continued advocacy of the war and immense power over the faithful ensured that at least for a while, Colby was free to run the programme as he saw fit. His moment came in 1968, when he was pulled from his new job as the Chief of the CIA’s Soviet Block Division and sent to Vietnam to co-ordinate Phoenix.

As stated above, the orgy of killing and torture went on for a couple of years fuelled by the need to avenge the embarrassment of Tet. However, times were changing—if not substantially. The fake patriotic fervour of the 1950s bolstered by the right-wing certainties of the era was eroding fast especially in contact with a never-ending procession of coffins of young (increasingly middle-class) Americans. The main supporter of the war, Spellman, died in 1967 and the shaky consensus regarding the importance of the war began to crumble. Let me stress that the shift away from the gung-ho approach by Kennedy (no, he actually hugely increased the number of US “advisers”) and Johnson was not motivated by any reflection or consideration of ethical precepts.[11] Rather, the war was beginning to take unprecedented toll on an exhausted America. Those were the years of strife, deadly riots, loss of confidence and assassinations and the financial situation was becoming dire. Not even the exquisitely-timed launches of different flavours of Apollo could restore the faith in the righteousness of the American cause. Add to that the publication of the Pentagon Papers by that enfant terrible of the US deep state Daniel Ellsberg which documented the lies and subterfuge inflicted on the American people by its government and things were starting to unravel fast.

The crimes committed by the Americans in Vietnam could not be hidden any longer, especially after the atrocity at My Lai when over 500 innocent men, women and children were murdered in cold blood, gang raped, tortured and mutilated by a company of crazed grunts led by a sadistic captain (Ernest Medina). There is evidence that the unit responsible was linked to the Phoenix programme and needless to say, it was later congratulated by the murderer-in-chief Westmoreland (another Catholic convert). More important, a young black major named Colin Powell made sure that no serious inquiry took place thus clearing a smooth path to promotion, a debt he would be asked to repay once again in 2003 before the eyes of an unbelieving world.

Increased scrutiny of the Phoenix programme and the loss of Colby in 1971 meant that the programme was quickly atrophying helped by the paramount goal of Richard Nixon to withdraw the US troops from Vietnam. The enthusiasm of the early days was replaced by cynicism and defeatism. The programme passed into the South Vietnamese hands (under the strategy of “Vietnamisation”) and limped on for another couple of years. By that time, the writing was on the wall and after witnessing the North Vietnamese troops’ liberation of Saigon, Colby himself was dismissed from his post as Head of the CIA. Time had come to put the skeletons back into the closet. A man of huge chutzpah, Colby wrote two books about his experiences and denied that any atrocities had taken place within Phoenix. His victims were unavailable for comment.

In spite of Colby’s best efforts, the gargantuan and technologically superior war machine of the US Empire ground to a halt and slowly withdrew under the ever-bolder jabs by the resistance. Phoenix was wound down under political and fiscal pressures and finally burst into flames sometime in 1972 generating a never-ending debate on how successful it was, notwithstanding the fact that it was an extrajudicial inquisition successful only in propagating horror and suffering.

Although America’s Vietnamese inquisition died in infamy, it never really died. Like the mythical bird which is reborn periodically, the Phoenix Programme has been reincarnated many times since the halcyon days of PRUs and PICs. The lessons of Phoenix survived the nadir of the early 1970s and were faithfully implemented in South America (Operation Condor—see e.g. Alfredo Astiz) and later in the Middle East and the Ukraine. Techniques of torture have been perfected with the help of the American Psychological Association (thank God for small mercies) and as a result of convulsions experienced following My Lai, the power of the media to question the criminal transgressions of the US military has been curtailed. And while the CIA still pulls the strings, most of the fighting these days is left to its various (mainly RC and Islamist) proxies.

To prove me wrong, the great Clint Eastwood has filmed an ode to the Hmong (sorry, I waited for so long).[12]

  1. One possible argument is that the world would be better off if people behaved rationally. Perhaps, but it is a bit like the choice between a dormant Swiss town and the explosion of life in all its forms one encounters in India and elsewhere. 
  2. According to some sources, Serong was a member of the CIA and a keen promoter of his fellow RC criminal Colby’s assassination programme. From https://newmatilda.com/2009/05/12/australias-vietnam-style-killing-program/: “”Yes,” he said, “we did kill teachers and postmen. But it was the way to conduct the war. They were part of the Viet Cong Infrastructure. I wanted to make sure we won the battle.” Another Australian Catholic officer David Kilcullen argued as late as 2004 that Phoenix had been “unfairly maligned”. 
  3. According to Avro Manhattan, Westmoreland whom many consider a premier war criminal converted to Catholicism at some point (like Tony Blair, Shiro Ishii, Adolf Eichmann and many other war criminals). 
  4. To illustrate the degenerate bloodthirst of the demonic Spellman, here is a quote from Ron Capshaw’s article available on http://libertymagazine.org/article/the-war-within. “A priest approaches the weapon, blesses it, and then sprinkles holy water on it. He does so because the weapon will be used for “Christ’s war.” The scene is not from the Middle Ages, but given the mind-set of the priest, it might as well be. It’s 1965.The weapon blessed is a B-52 bomber about to go on a mission. “Christ’s war” is the American effort in Vietnam. The priest is Cardinal Francis Spellman.” 
  5. William Colby like many of other heads of the CIA was a zealous and ruthless Roman Catholic who hid his total devotion to the aims of the Vatican and murderous instincts behind a studied façade of horn-rimmed glasses and bow ties. In this, he emulated other RC murderers and their useful idiots such as Robert McNamara, McGeorge Bundy, Walt Rostow and Allen Dulles. However, with Colby, this attempt to project respectability fails the moment you look into his cold, merciless, reptilian eyes. 
  6. Other ethnic groups including the Hmong were trained by the US Special Forces to fight the Viet Minh. 
  7. Any similarity with Abu Ghraib, CIA black prisons and rendition centres, Guantanamo and Ukrainian SBU centres in the Donbass is accidental. 
  8. From Douglas Valentine’s book “The Phoenix Program”. About 50000 people are known to have been killed by Phoenix (the true number could be double that) from 1968 until 1972. A much larger number (up to half a million) were tortured and imprisoned without trial. 
  9. If you think I am being flippant, think again. The blockbuster “Hellboy” was directed by ultra-Catholic Guillermo del Torro and starred ultra-Catholic master actor John Hurt (great actor!). In it, a cabal of black-clad Nazis attempts to summon a demon from the depths of Hell in order to stop and reverse the downfall of the Reich. In this, they are guided by none other than the Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin(!). This device satisfies both the Roman Catholics and Zionists in Holywood who will happily agree on the irredeemable evil of the Russian Orthodox faith as well as the need to shift the blame for collaborating with the Nazis from the likes of Pius XII, Petain, Franco, Menachem Begin and Vladimir Zhabotinsky onto their common enemy—a completely innocent Russian monk. The key is that the little baby demon called “Hellboy” is adopted by an ultra-Catholic academic (played by an ultra-Catholic actor) who works for a CIA-like secret institute. Hellboy is then used by the deep state (with the guidance by his mentor) to fight evil (or rather life forms which refuse to conform to the diktat of the “Judaeo-Christian” empire). Hellboy’s real name is An Ung Rama—a clear slight directed at the Hindu deity. 
  10. As became known during the war in Algeria, the French had nothing to learn when it came to manipulating a blowtorch and a pair of pliers. 
  11. A quick scan of the numbers suggests that JFK was responsible for a 20-fold increase in troop levels. In 1959, there were 760 US personnel in Vietnam. In 1963, there were 16300. So much for the liberal paeans to the “peacemaker” Kennedy. 
  12. The Hmong are an indigenous ethnic group (neither RC nor Islamist) from the central highlands of South Vietnam that fought on the side of the Americans (the film is called “Gran Torino”). 

Phoenix and the rebirth of evil part I:

Diplomacy is reciprocal

July 25, 2020

Diplomacy is reciprocal

Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

The US suddenly ordered China to end operations from its embassy in Houston, Texas (remember when they did the same to Russia). However, diplomacy is reciprocal and the Chinese so far refrained from a further provocative reaction. They are implementing a fair tit for tat measure, closing the US Consulate in Chengdu, keeping options open for further retaliation. They could have fanned the flames and closed the US Consulate in Hong Kong, or even a bigger one in Beijing, but kept to a fair reciprocal closure – so far.

More about the Consulate spat https://www.moonofalabama.org/

China responded to Mr Pompeo’s highly advertised ‘very important’ speech this week in short, not giving Pompeo that attention that he so craves. The Chinese stance is that Mike Pompeo maliciously attacked the Communist Party of China (CPC) and China’s socialist system, and he made remarks that ignored the facts, were full of ideological bias and turned black into white, which showed his Cold War mentality. From the Chinese Foreign Ministry: “Some US politicians have deliberately stirred up ideological disputes, talked about changing China, denied China-US relations, and provoked China’s relationships with other countries. Their purpose is to suppress China’s development and divert the public’s attention from their own country. These tricks cannot fool the Americans and international community.”

The US have stopped all basic diplomatic standards in a grab for their self-delusional rules-based international order. Just recently, Pompeo announced that they will not respect or accept any of the agreements in the South China Sea. He must be thinking that all of the ASEAN countries like him enough to drop their raft of regional negotiated agreements.

Despite Chinese accusations that the US opens their diplomatic pouches, which is in flagrant violation of all Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular relations, the most important is the following which shows that China is still keeping to fair diplomatic and pragmatic standard:

“It must be emphasized that China has no intentions to change the US in terms of its social system, and the US cannot change China either.”

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1800221.shtml

Having followed the Russian reactions on these types of actions by the US toward Russia, we have become accustomed to the frustratingly pragmatic and clinically diplomatic methods of dealing with western bullying. The Chinese are different and they enthusiastically take part in the war of words that is reaching cold war status if one adds in the trade war announced by Mr Trump +- two years ago and which he thought would be ‘easy to win’. What we see now as reaction to the US provocation to China in the US social sphere, many ordinary Americans are deeply into the ‘crush China’ rhetoric which attempts to blame China for all of the US ills.

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202007241079970310-us-heading-towards-quagmire-in-the-south-china-sea-by-inciting-tensions-with-beijing-activist-warns/

While it remains unclear if this can be written off completely to electioneering and election rhetoric, what does clarify is that the harm done is not easily fixed, no matter the reason. It is however quite breathtaking how far Pompeo will push this, hoping for retaliation which he can then use to prove himself and the current US administration right. It is beyond a level of comprehension that Pompeo and Co could really think that they will make war against China.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202007/24/WS5f1a5b8da31083481725be24.html

In this time of ‘rhetorical cold war of words’, Godfree Roberts who regularly writes on China for the Unz Review started a new weekly newsletter, Here Comes China, Skulduggery, Good News, Offbeat Opinions, chock-a-block full of what is happening in China.

Godfree has offered the first four newsletters free to Saker readers. From economics, to space, to China-Iran Trade and Military Partnership, to the cleanup and recovering of the Yangtze river, a Hong Kong section, the media war on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and an in-depth look at Human rights in China, this newsletter stands unique in its scope and its presentation of Western opinions and Eastern opinions.

Godfree’s new book on China is just about ready for release. The book is called:

Why China leads the world: Democracy at the bottom, Data in the middle, Talent at the top.
A preview: https://www.herecomeschina.com/why-china-leads-the-world-the-book/

I also want to draw the readers’ attention to a two part essay written on Mao, Mao Reconsidered, and published in greanvillepost.com. Part 1Part 2

China Sitrep – 5 selected topics from the Here Comes China newsletter:

Trump Empowers CIA to Launch Cyberattacks

The secret authorization, known as a presidential finding, gives the spy agency more freedom in both the kinds of operations it conducts and who it targets–including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, which are mentioned directly in the document. The finding allows the CIA to more easily authorize its own covert cyber operations, rather than requiring the agency to get approval from the White House. The “very aggressive” finding “gave the agency very specific authorities to really take the fight offensively to a handful of adversarial countries,” said a former U.S. government official. The Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a series of covert cyber operations against Iran and other targets since winning a secret victory in 2018 when President Trump signed what amounts to a sweeping authorization for such activities. [MORE]

Belt and Road Finds New Life in Pakistan

China and Pakistan have signed deals for two hydro-power generation projects costing $3.9 billion in the disputed Kashmir region, and another to revamp the South Asian nation’s colonial-era railways for $7.2 billion — the most expensive Chinese project yet in Pakistan. The Chinese financing has helped rid Pakistan of an electricity deficit that left exporters unable to meet orders and major cities without electricity for much of the day. [MORE]

T.P. Wilkinson: The Yemen

The West encourages dissolution of state entities that could engage in normal relations with China or any other potential competitors. The Yemen is one of those long-term victims of British imperialism. When Britain nominally withdrew from Egypt, Nasser promoted his new government’s participation in his movement for Arab unity, opposed by British clients in Riyadh (the Saud family’s Wahhabi gangsters). The Saud family would like to have annexed the Yemen but could not without war against Egypt-against which the tiny mob had no chance. So David Stirling led a counter-insurgency funded by the British and Saudis to drive Egypt out of the Yemen and leave the country as a quasi-protectorate of Britain/US. Attempts to change that have been fought for decades but until a decade ago the client regime was well protected. Clearly chaos is profitable for the empire which between Somalia and Yemen prevent any stability in opposition to its interests. Not only do Somalia and Yemen lie close to the Suez route they also form part of the ancient East African trading basin that links Asia with Africa. As part of the overall strategy of Denial, this policy is aided by the designs of the mob in Riyad which lacks the population to occupy territories it would like to annex.

Xinjiang

This section from Here Comes China is an in-depth analysis. I suggest you read it in the newsletter itself. Main points:

Islam is neither the Uyghurs’ native religion nor their only one but, in its Wahhabi form, has caused problems around the world, for which we can thank to two fervent Christians, Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski,[2] who considered a united Eurasia, “The only possible challenge to American hegemony.” In 1979, months before the Soviet entry into Afghanistan, Brzezinski drafted and Carter signed a top-secret Presidential Order authorizing the CIA to train fundamentalist Muslims to wage Jihad against the Soviet Communist infidels and all unbelievers of conservative Sunni Islam and the Mujahideen terror war against Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan became the largest covert action in CIA history.[2] Brzezinski’s ‘Arc of Crisis’ strategy inflamed Muslims in Central Asia to destabilize the USSR during its economic crisis and, when Le Nouvel Observateur later asked if he had any regrets, Brzezinski snapped, “What is most important to the history of the world? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe?”

Twenty years later, in 1999, the CIA’s Islam strategist, Graham E. Fuller, announced, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”[3]

Today, NED money supports the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) which calls China’s Xinjiang Province ‘East Turkistan’ and China’s administration of Xinjiang as ‘Chinese occupation of East Turkistan,’ runs articles like, “Op-ed: A Profile of Rebiya Kadeer, Fearless Uyghur Independence Activist,” and admits that Kadeer seeks Uyghur independence from China.

Faced with an armed insurrection, most states impose martial law or a state of emergency, as Britain did in Malaya from 1945 to 1957 and the US did with the Patriot Act, but China decided–despite popular outrage–to write off its losses and play the long game and founded The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),[1] a political, economic, and security alliance, with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, who stopped funneling money and providing corridors for Uyghur terrorists to move into and out of China. The SCO has since expanded to include India and Pakistan and Iran has begun the accession process, making it world’s largest security pact in both area and population and the only one whose membership includes four nuclear powers.

Forming the SCO was easier than assuaging public outrage. An unheard-of lawsuit by victims’ relatives accused the government of reverse discrimination so they stepped up security and published their objectives:

  1. restore law and order
  2. prevent terrorists from inflicting more violence
  3. use ‘high-intensity regulation’
  4. contain the spread of terrorism beyond Xinjiang
  5. purge extremists and separatists from society.

Neighborhood community centres–labelled ‘concentration camps’ in the western press–educate rural Uyghurs about the perils of religious extremism and train them for urban jobs.
In 2013 President Xi toured Eurasia and proposed the Belt and Road Initiative for three billion people, designed to create the biggest market in the world with unparalleled development potential, and built a gas pipeline to China from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan which, like China’s other western pipelines, power lines, and rail and road networks, runs through the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Beijing then moved jobs to Xinjiang and opened vocational schools to train rural youth in literacy and job skills and swore to protect its neighbors from terrorism in exchange for their pledge to reciprocate. To create jobs in the province Xi directed investment from forty-five of China’s top companies and eighty Fortune 500 manufacturers to Urumqi. Corporate investment increased from $10 billion in 2015 to $15 billion in 2017 and infrastructure investments of $70 billion in both 2017 and 2018 lifted the annual goods shipments past 100 million tons with a goal of hourly departures to fifteen European capitals. Half a million Uyghurs have relocated from remote villages to cities and, as a result, 600,000 Uighurs were lifted out of poverty in 2016, 312,000 in 2017 and 400,000 in 2018. The last poor Uyghurs will join the cash economy in mid-2020.

The PBOC, China’s central bank, is partnering with ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing to test the use of its sovereign digital currency, AKA Central Bank Digital Currency, CBDC. The regulator is working with Didi to apply digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) to the ride-hailing app, which currently serves a total of over 550 million users and is often described as China’s Uber. According to Didi, “the government seeks to support the development of the real economy sectors with innovative financial services.” Didi has more than 30 million daily ride-sharing orders and its bike-sharing daily orders reached 10 million. Meituan and Bilibilibili are also cooperating with banks in the digital yuan project. Meituan’s service platform has over 240 million consumers and five million local merchants, and Bilibilibili is China’s largest video-sharing website.

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Iran executes former Defense Ministry official for allegedly spying for CIA

Source

By News Desk -2020-07-15

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:30 P.M.) – Tehran has executed a former Iranian Defence Ministry official over charges of alleged espionage for the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeili said on Tuesday.

The sentence against Reza Asgari, a retired employee of the ministry’s aerospace sector, was carried out last week, Esmaeili said, as quoted by the Mizan Online news agency, which covers judicial affairs. While supposedly working for the CIA, Asgari had handed over information about Iranian missiles.

The death sentence against Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, accused of transferring information about Iran’s military commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq on 3 January, has not yet been enforced, according to the spokesman.

Alongside these two defendants, a further three people have been sentenced to death in relation to unrest endured in November 2019, Esmaeili said.

Following these events, the US State Department said that more than a thousand people died in the riots, however, Tehran refuted these claims and said after six months that the number of casualties was over 220.

According to President Hassan Rouhani, the demonstrations were organised by the US and Israel to undermine Iran’s national security.

Related

America’s Own Color Revolution

By F. William Engdahl

Global Research, June 17, 2020

Color Revolution is the term used to describe a series of remarkably effective CIA-led regime change operations using techniques developed by the RAND Corporation, “democracy” NGOs and other groups since the 1980’s. They were used in crude form to bring down the Polish communist regime in the late 1980s. From there the techniques were refined and used, along with heavy bribes, to topple the Gorbachev regime in the Soviet Union. For anyone who has studied those models closely, it is clear that the protests against police violence led by amorphous organizations with names like Black Lives Matter or Antifa are more than purely spontaneous moral outrage. Hundreds of thousands of young Americans are being used as a battering ram to not only topple a US President, but in the process, the very structures of the US Constitutional order.

If we step back from the immediate issue of videos showing a white Minneapolis policeman pressing his knee on the neck of a black man, George Floyd, and look at what has taken place across the nation since then, it is clear that certain organizations or groups were well-prepared to instrumentalize the horrific event for their own agenda.

The protests since May 25 have often begun peacefully only to be taken over by well-trained violent actors. Two organizations have appeared regularly in connection with the violent protests—Black Lives Matter and Antifa (USA). Videos show well-equipped protesters dressed uniformly in black and masked (not for coronavirus to be sure), vandalizing police cars, burning police stations, smashing store windows with pipes or baseball bats. Use of Twitter and other social media to coordinate “hit-and-run” swarming strikes of protest mobs is evident.

What has unfolded since the Minneapolis trigger event has been compared to the wave of primarily black ghetto protest riots in 1968. I lived through those events in 1968 and what is unfolding today is far different. It is better likened to the Yugoslav color revolution that toppled Milosevic in 2000.

Gene Sharp: Template for Regime Overthrow

In the year 2000 the US State Department, aided by its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and select CIA operatives, began secretly training a group of Belgrade university students led by a student group that was called Otpor! (Resistance!). The NED and its various offshoots was created in the 1980’s by CIA head Bill Casey as a covert CIA tool to overthrow specific regimes around the world under the cover of a human rights NGO. In fact, they get their money from Congress and from USAID.

In the Serb Otpor! destabilization of 2000, the NED and US Ambassador Richard Miles in Belgrade selected and trained a group of several dozen students, led by Srđa Popović, using the handbook, From Dictatorship to Democracy, translated to Serbian, of the late Gene Sharp and his Albert Einstein Institution. In a post mortem on the Serb events, the Washington Post wrote, “US-funded consultants played a crucial role behind the scenes in virtually every facet of the anti-drive, running tracking polls, training thousands of opposition activists and helping to organize a vitally important parallel vote count. US taxpayers paid for 5,000 cans of spray paint used by student activists to scrawl anti-Milošević graffiti on walls across Serbia.”

Trained squads of activists were deployed in protests to take over city blocks with the aid of ‘intelligence helmet’ video screens that give them an instantaneous overview of their environment. Bands of youth converging on targeted intersections in constant dialogue on cell phones, would then overwhelm police. The US government spent some $41 million on the operation. Student groups were secretly trained in the Sharp handbook techniques of staging protests that mocked the authority of the ruling police, showing them to be clumsy and impotent against the youthful protesters. Professionals from the CIA and US State Department guided them behind the scenes.

The Color Revolution Otpor! model was refined and deployed in 2004 as the Ukraine Orange Revolution with logo and color theme scarves, and in 2003 in Georgia as the Rose Revolution. Later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used the template to launch the Arab Spring. In all cases the NED was involved with other NGOs including the Soros Foundations.

After defeating Milosevic, Popovic went on to establish a global color revolution training center, CANVAS, a kind of for-profit business consultancy for revolution, and was personally present in New York working reportedly with Antifa during the Occupy Wall Street where also Soros money was reported.

Antifa and BLM

The protests, riots, violent and non-violent actions sweeping across the United States since May 25, including an assault on the gates of the White House, begin to make sense when we understand the CIA’s Color Revolution playbook.

The impact of the protests would not be possible were it not for a network of local and state political officials inside the Democratic Party lending support to the protesters, even to the point the Democrat Mayor of Seattle ordered police to abandon several blocks in the heart of downtown to occupation by protesters.

In recent years major portions of the Democratic Party across the US have been quietly taken over by what one could call radical left candidates. Often they win with active backing of organizations such as Democratic Socialists of America or Freedom Road Socialist Organizations. In the US House of Representatives the vocal quarter of new representatives around Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib and Minneapolis Representative Ilhan Omar are all members or close to Democratic Socialists of America. Clearly without sympathetic Democrat local officials in key cities, the street protests of organizations such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa would not have such a dramatic impact.

To get a better grasp how serious the present protest movement is we should look at who has been pouring millions into BLM. The Antifa is more difficult owing to its explicit anonymous organization form. However, their online Handbook openly recommends that local Antifa “cells” join up with BLM chapters.

FRSO: Follow the Money

BLM began in 2013 when three activist friends created the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag to protest the allegations of shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin by a white Hispanic block watchman, George Zimmermann. Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi were all were connected with and financed by front groups tied to something called Freedom Road Socialist Organization, one of the four largest radical left organizations in the United States formed out of something called New Communist Movement that dissolved in the 1980s.

On June 12, 2020 the Freedom Road Socialist Organization webpage states, “The time is now to join a revolutionary organization! Join Freedom Road Socialist Organization…If you have been out in the streets this past few weeks, the odds are good that you’ve been thinking about the difference between the kind of change this system has to offer, and the kind of change this country needs. Capitalism is a failed system that thrives on exploitation, inequality and oppression. The reactionary and racist Trump administration has made the pandemic worse. The unfolding economic crisis we are experiencing is the worst since the 1930s. Monopoly capitalism is a dying system and we need to help finish it off. And that is exactly what Freedom Road Socialist Organization is working for.”

In short the protests over the alleged police killing of a black man in Minnesota are now being used to call for a revolution against capitalism. FRSO is an umbrella for dozens of amorphous groups including Black Lives Matter or BLM. What is interesting about the self-described Marxist-Leninist roots of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) is not so much their left politics as much as their very establishment funding by a group of well-endowed tax-exempt foundations.

Alicia Garza of BLM is also a board member or executive of five different Freedom Road front groups including 2011 Board chair of Right to the City Alliance, Board member of School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL), of People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), Forward Together and Special Projects director of National Domestic Workers Alliance.

The Right to the City Alliance got $6.5 million between 2011 and 2014 from a number of very established tax-exempt foundations including the Ford Foundation ($1.9 million), from both of George Soros’s major tax-exempts–Open Society Foundations, and the Foundation to Promote Open Society for $1.3 million. Also the cornflake-tied Kellogg Foundation $250,000, and curiously, Ben & Jerry’s Foundation (ice cream) for $30,000.

Garza also got major foundation money as Executive Director of the FRSO front, POWER, where Obama former “green jobs czar” Van Jones, a self-described “communist” and “rowdy black nationalist,” now with CNN, was on the board. Alicia Garza also chaired the Right to the City Alliance, a network of activist groups opposing urban gentrification. That front since 2009 received $1.3 million from the Ford Foundation, as well as $600,000 from the Soros foundations and again, Ben & Jerry’s ($50,000). And Garza’s SOUL, which claimed to have trained 712 “organizers” in 2014, when she co-founded Black Lives Matter, got $210,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation and another $255,000 from the Heinz Foundation (ketchup and John Kerry family) among others. With the Forward Together of FRSO, Garza sat on the board of a “multi-racial organization that works with community leaders and organizations to transform culture and policy to catalyze social change.” It officially got $4 million in 2014 revenues and from 2012 and 2014, the organization received a total of $2.9 million from Ford Foundation ($655,000) and other major foundations.

Nigeria-born BLM co-founder Opal Tometi likewise comes from the network of FRSO. Tometi headed the FRSO’s Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Curiously with a “staff” of two it got money from major foundations including the Kellogg Foundation for $75,000 and Soros foundations for $100,000, and, again, Ben & Jerry’s ($10,000). Tometi got $60,000 in 2014 to direct the group.

The Freedom Road Socialist Organization that is now openly calling for a revolution against capitalism in the wake of the Floyd George killing has another arm, The Advancement Project, which describes itself as “a next generation, multi-racial civil rights organization.” Its board includes a former Obama US Department of Education Director of Community Outreach and a former Bill Clinton Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. The FRSO Advancement Project in 2013 got millions from major US tax-exempt foundations including Ford ($8.5 million), Kellogg ($3 million), Hewlett Foundation of HP defense industry founder ($2.5 million), Rockefeller Foundation ($2.5 million), and Soros foundations ($8.6 million).

Major Money and ActBlue

By 2016, the presidential election year where Hillary Clinton was challenging Donald Trump, Black Lives Matter had established itself as a well-organized network. That year the Ford Foundation and Borealis Philanthropy announced the formation of the Black-Led Movement Fund (BLMF), “a six-year pooled donor campaign aimed at raising $100 million for the Movement for Black Lives coalition” in which BLM was a central part. By then Soros foundations had already given some $33 million in grants to the Black Lives Matter movement. This was serious foundation money.

The BLMF identified itself as being created by top foundations including in addition to the Ford Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation and the Soros Open Society Foundations. They described their role: “The BLMF provides grants, movement building resources, and technical assistance to organizations working advance the leadership and vision of young, Black, queer, feminists and immigrant leaders who are shaping and leading a national conversation about criminalization, policing and race in America.”

The Movement for Black Lives Coalition (M4BL) which includes Black Lives Matter, already in 2016 called for “defunding police departments, race-based reparations, voting rights for illegal immigrants, fossil-fuel divestment, an end to private education and charter schools, a universal basic income, and free college for blacks.”

Notably, when we click on the website of M4BL, under their donate button we learn that the donations will go to something called ActBlue Charities. ActBlue facilitates donations to “democrats and progressives.” As of May 21, ActBlue had given $119 million to the campaign of Joe Biden.

That was before the May 25 BLM worldwide protests. Now major corporations such as Apple, Disney, Nike and hundreds others may be pouring untold and unaccounted millions into ActBlue under the name of Black Lives Matter, funds that in fact can go to fund the election of a Democrat President Biden. Perhaps this is the real reason the Biden campaign has been so confident of support from black voters. What is clear from only this account of the crucial role of big money foundations behind protest groups such as Black lives Matter is that there is a far more complex agenda driving the protests now destabilizing cities across America. The role of tax-exempt foundations tied to the fortunes of the greatest industrial and financial companies such as Rockefeller, Ford, Kellogg, Hewlett and Soros says that there is a far deeper and far more sinister agenda to current disturbances than spontaneous outrage would suggest.

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F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” where this article was originally published. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Featured image is from NEO

Don’t Hold Your Breath for ‘World War III’: World War IV Has Already Begun

February 27, 2020

A. B. Abrams on Today’s Great Power for The Saker Blog


“A. B. Abrams is the author of the book ‘Power and Primacy: A History of Western Intervention in the Asia-Pacific.’ His second book covering the history of the United States’ conflict with North Korea is scheduled for publication in 2020.

He is proficient in Chinese, Korean and other East Asian languages, has published widely on defence and politics related subjects under various pseudonyms, and holds two related Masters degrees from the University of London.”


The world today finds itself in a period of renewed great power conflict, pitting the Western Bloc led by the United States against four ‘Great Power adversaries’ – as they are referred to by Western defence planners – namely China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. This conflict has over the past 15 years escalated to encompass the military, economic and information spheres with global consequences – and appears to be coming to a head as signs of peaking tensions appear in multiple fields from military deployments and arms races to harsh economic wars and a harsher still information war.

While the term ‘World War III’ has been common since the 1940s, referring to the possibility of a global great power war on a greater scale than the first and second world wars, the Cold War between the Western and Soviet Blocs was at its height as total, as global and as heated as the prior conflicts. As weapons technology has evolved, the viability of a direct shooting war has diminished considerably – forcing major powers to seek alternative means to engineer their adversaries’ capitulation and assert their own dominance. This has been reflected in how the Cold War, and the current phase of global conflict some refer to as ‘Cold War 2’ have been distinct from the first two world wars despite the final objectives of the parties involved sharing many similarities. I would thus suggest redefining what a ‘world war’ is and acknowledging that this current phase of global conflict is every part as intense as the great power ‘hot wars’ waged in the first half of the 20th century.

Had the intercontinental range ballistic missile and the miniaturised nuclear warhead been invented twenty years earlier, the Allied Powers may have needed to rely more heavily on economic and information warfare to contain and eventually neutralise Nazi Germany. The Second World War would have been very different in nature to reflect the technologies of the time. When viewed from this paradigm, the Cold War can be seen as a ‘Third World War’ – a total conflict more vast, comprehensive and international than its predecessors stretched out over more than 40 years. The current conflict, or ‘World War IV,’ is ongoing. An assessment of prior ‘great power wars,’ and the unique nature of the current conflict, can provide some valuable insight into how warfare is evolving and the likely determinants of its victors.

As of 2020 it is clear that great power conflict has become almost as heated as it can short of an all-out hot war – with the Western Bloc applying maximum pressure on the information, military and economic fronts to undermine not only smaller adversaries such as Venezuela and Syria and medium sized ones such as North Korea and Iran, but also China and Russia. When exactly this phase of conflict began – sometime after the Cold War’s end – remains uncertain.

The interval between the third and fourth ‘world wars’ was considerably longer than that between the second and the third. This was due to a number of factors – primarily that there was no immediate and obvious adversary for the victorious Western Bloc to target once the Soviet Union had been vanquished. Post-Soviet Russia was a shade of a shadow of its former self. Under the administration of Boris Yeltsin the country’s economy contracted an astonishing 45% in just five years from 1992 (1) leading to millions of deaths and a plummet in living standards. Over 500,000 women and young girls of the former USSR were trafficked to the West and the Middle East – often as sex slaves (2), drug addiction increased by 900 percent, the suicide rate doubled, HIV became a nationwide epidemic (3) corruption was rampant, and the country’s defence sector saw its major weapons programs critical to maintaining parity with the West delayed or terminated due to deep budget cuts (4). The possibility of a further partition of the state, as attested to multiple times by high level officials, was very real along the lines of the Yugoslav model (5).

Beyond Russia, China’s Communist Party in the Cold War’s aftermath went to considerable lengths to avoid tensions with the Western world – including a very cautious exercise of their veto power at the United Nations which facilitated Western led military action against Iraq (6). The country was integrating itself into the Western centred global economy and continuing to emphasis the peaceful nature of its economic rise and understate its growing strength. Western scholarship at the time continued to report with near certainty that internal change, a shift towards a Western style political system and the collapse of party rule was inevitable. The subsequent infiltration and westernisation was expected to neuter China as a challenger to Western primacy – as it has other Western client states across the world. China’s ability to wage a conventional war against even Taiwan was in serious doubt at the time, and though its military made considerable strides with the support of a growing defence budget and massive transfers of Soviet technologies from cash strapped successor states, it was very far from a near peer power.

North Korea did come under considerable military pressure for failing to follow what was widely referred to as the ‘tide of history’ in the West at the time – collapse and westernisation of the former Communist world. Widely portrayed in the early 1990s as ‘another Iraq’ (7), Western media initially appeared to be going to considerable lengths to prepare the public for a military campaign to end the Korean War and impose a new government north of the 38th parallel (8). Significant military assets were shifted to Northeast Asia specifically to target the country during the 1990s, and the Bill Clinton administration came close to launching military action on multiple occasions – most notably in June 1994. Ultimately a combination of resolve, a formidable missile deterrent, a limited but ambiguous nuclear capability, and perhaps most importantly Western certainty that the state would inevitably collapse on its own under sustained economic and military pressure, deferred military options at least temporarily.

The fourth of the states that the United States today considers a ‘greater power adversary,’ Iran too was going to considerable lengths to avoid antagonism with the Western Bloc in the 1990s – and appeared more preoccupied with security threats on its northern border from Taliban controlled Afghanistan. With a fraction of the military power neighbouring Iraq had previously held, the presence of an ‘Iranian threat’ provided a key pretext for a Western military presence in the Persian Gulf after the Soviets, the United Arab Republic and now Iraq had all been quashed. With the new government in Russia put under pressure to terminate plans to transfer advanced armaments to Iran (9), the country’s airspace was until the mid 2000s frequently penetrated by American aircraft, often for hours at a time, likely without the knowledge of the Iranians themselves. This combined with a meagre economic outlook made Iran seem a negligible threat.

While the Cold War ended some time between 1985 and 1991 – bringing the ‘third world war’ to a close – the range of dates at which one could state that the ‘fourth world war’ began and the West again devoted itself to great power conflict is much wider. Some would put the date in the Summer of 2006 – when Israel suffered the first military defeat in its history at the hands of the Lebanese militia Hezbollah. Using North Korean tunnel and bunker networks, command structures, weapons and training (10), and bolstered by Iranian funding and equipment, the shock of the militia’s victory, though underplayed in Western media, reverberated among informed circles across the world.

Others would place the date two years later in 2008 during the Beijing Summer Olympics, when Georgia with the full support of the West waged a brief war against Russia – and Moscow despite harsh warnings from Washington and European capitals refused to back down on its position. Post-Yeltsin Russia’s relations with the Western Bloc had appeared relatively friendly on the surface, with President George W. Bush observing in 2001 regarding President Vladimir Putin that he “was able to get a sense of his soul,” and predicting “the beginning of a very constructive relationship.” Nevertheless, signs of tension had begun to grow from Moscow’s opposition to the Iraq War at the UN Security Council to President Putin’s famous ‘Munich Speech’ in February 2007 – in which he sharply criticised American violations of international law and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations.”

It could also be questioned whether, in light of what we know about Western support for separatist insurgents in Russia itself during the 1990s, the war against the country ever ended – or whether hostilities would only cease with a more total capitulation and partition and with the presence of Western soldiers on Russian soil as per the Yugoslav precedent. As President Putin stated in 2014 regarding continuing Western hostilities against Russia in the 1990s: “The support of separatism in Russia from abroad, including the informational, political and financial, through intelligence services, was absolutely obvious. There is no doubt that they would have loved to see the Yugoslavia scenario of collapse and dismemberment for us with all the tragic consequences it would have for the peoples of Russia” (11). Regarding Western efforts to destabilise Russia during the 1990s, CIA National Council on Intelligence Deputy Director Graham E. Fuller, a key architect in the creation of the Mujahedeen to fight Afghanistan and later the USSR, stated regarding the CIA’s strategy in the Caucasus in the immediate post-Cold War years: “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvellously well in Afghanistan against the Red Army. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power” (12). The U.S. Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare’s director, Yossef Bodansky, himself also detailed the extent of the CIA’s strategy to destabilize Central Asia by using “Islamist Jihad in the Caucasus as a way to deprive Russia of a viable pipeline route through spiralling violence and terrorism” – primarily by encouraging Western aligned Muslim states to continue to provide support for militant groups (13).

Much like the Cold War before it, and to a lesser extent the Second World War, great powers slid into a new phase of conflict rather that it being declared in a single spontaneous moment. Did the Cold War begin with the Berlin Blockade, the Western firebombing of Korea or when the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – which accelerated the move into a nuclear arms race. Equally, multiple dates were given for the opening of the Second World War – the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the beginning of the Sino-Japanese war two years prior, the Japanese Empire’s attack on Pearl Harbour and conquest of Southeast Asia which marked the first major expansion beyond Europe and North Africa in 1941, or some other date entirely. The slide into a new world war was if anything even slower than its predecessors.

The shift towards an increasingly intense great power conflict has been marked by a number of major incidents. In the European theatre one of the earliest was the Bush administration’s withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty in 2002 and subsequent deployment of missile defences and expansion of NATO’s military presence in the former Soviet sphere of influence, which was widely perceived in Russia as an attempt to neutralise its nuclear deterrent and place the Western Bloc in a position to coerce Moscow militarily (14). This threatened to seriously upset the status quo of mutual vulnerability, and played a key role in sparking a major arms race under which Russia would develop multiple classes of hypersonic weapon. Their unveiling in 2018 would in turn lead the United States to prioritise funding to develop more capable interceptor missiles, a new generation of missile defences based on lasers, and hypersonic ballistic and cruise missiles of its own (15).

Another leading catalyst of the move towards great power confrontation was the Barak Obama administration’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ initiative, under which the bulk of America’s military might and considerable assets from the rest of the Western world would be devoted to maintaining Western military primacy in the Western Pacific. This was paired with both economic and information warfare efforts, the latter which increasingly demonised China and North Korea across the region and beyond and actively sought to spread pro-Western and anti-government narratives among their populations through a wide range of sophisticated means (16). These programs were successors to those sponsored by Western intelligence agencies to ideologically disenchant the populations of the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union with their own political systems and paint Western powers as benevolent and democratising saviours (17). Economic warfare also played a major role, with efforts centred around the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ trade deal – or ‘Economic NATO’ as several analysts referred to it – to isolate China from regional economies and ensure the region remained firmly in the Western sphere of influence (18). The military aspect of the Pivot to Asia would reawaken long dormant territorial disputes, and ultimately lead to high military tensions between the United States and China which in turn fuelled the beginning of an arms race. This arms race has more recently led to the American withdrawal from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty, which paves the way for deployment of American long-range missiles across the Western Pacific – all with China and North Korea firmly in their crosshairs (19).

It is arguably in the Middle East, however, where the new phase of global conflict has seen its most direct clashes so far. The nine-year conflict in Syria, although far less destructive or brutal, provides ‘World War IV’ with something of an analogue to the Korean War in the Cold War. The conflict has united the Western Bloc and a wide range of allies, from Turkey and Israel to the Gulf States and even Japan (which funds the jihadist-linked White Helmets) (20), in an effort to overthrow an independent government with close and longstanding defence ties to Russia, North Korea, Iran and China. The conflict has seen North Korean, Russian, Hezbollah and Iranian special forces (21) among other assets deployed on the ground in support of Syrian counterinsurgency efforts, with all of these parties providing considerable material support (the Koreans have built and fully staffed at least three hospitals as part of large medical aid packages and continue to be a major supplier of arms and training) (22). China too, particularly concerned by the presence of jihadist militants of Chinese origin in Syria, has played some role in the conflict – the exact details of which remain uncertain with much reported but unconfirmed (23).

Syria’s insurgency involving a range of jihadist groups, at times united only by their intent to end the secular Syrian government, have received widespread support from the Western Bloc and their aforementioned allies. This has involved both material support, which according to State Secretary Hillary Clinton included turning a blind eye to Gulf countries’ considerable assistance to the Islamic State terror group (24), and active deployments of special forces from a wide range of countries, from Belgium and Saudi Arabia to Israel and the U.S. The U.S., European powers, Turkey and Israel have at times directly attacked Syrian units in the field – while Russian reports indicate that close Western coordination with jihadist groups has been used to facilitate a number of successful attacks on Russian positions (25). The conflict in Syria arguably represents a microcosm of the macrocosm which is a new world war – one which pits the Western Bloc and those which support the Western-led order, both directly and through local proxies, against three of its four ‘great power adversaries’ in the field.

‘World War IV’ is unlikely to come to an end for the foreseeable future, and its final outcome remains difficult to predict. Much like in the Cold War, the Western Bloc retains considerable advantages – today most notably in the field of information war which allows it to extensively shape perceptions of the vast majority of the world’s population. This has included the demonization of Western adversaries, the whitewashing of Western crimes both domestically and internationally, and portraying westernisation and increased Western influence as a solution to people’s frustrations from corruption to economic stagnation. This has been a key facilitator of the pro-Western protests engulfing states from Sudan and Algeria to Ukraine and Thailand. Economically too, only China among the Western Bloc’s major adversaries has posed a serious threat to Western primacy. Indeed, it remains highly questionable whether the other three could survive economically under Western pressure without Chinese trade and economic support.

Russia has made a considerable economic recovery since the 1990s, but remains a shadow of its former self in the Soviet era. The country’s leadership has succeeded in reforming the military, foreign ministry and intelligence services, but the economy, legal system and other parts of the state remain in serious need of improvement which, over 20 years after Yeltsin’s departure, cannot come soon enough. Even in the field of defence, the struggling economy has imposed serious limitations – and in fields such as aviation and armoured warfare the country is only beginning to slowly go beyond modernising Soviet era weapons designs and begin developing new 21st century systems (26). On the positive side, the country does remain a leader in many high end technologies mostly pertaining to the military and to space exploration, while Western economic sanctions have undermined the positions of Europhiles both among the elite and within the government and boosted many sectors of domestic production to substitute Western products (27).

In the majority of fields, the ‘Eastern Bloc’ have been pressed onto the defensive and forced to prevent losses rather than make actual gains. While preserving Venezuelan sovereignty, denying Crimea to NATO and preventing Syria’s fall have been major victories – they are successes in denying the West further expansion of its own sphere of influence rather than reversing prior Western gains or threatening key sources of Western power. Pursuing regime change in Venezuela and Ukraine and starting wars in the Donbasss and in Syria have cost the Western Bloc relatively little – the Ukrainians and client states in the Gulf and Turkey have paid the brunt of costs for the war efforts. Material equipment used by Western backed forces in both wars, ironically, has largely consisted of Warsaw Pact weaponry built to resist Western expansionism – which after the Cold War fell into NATO hands and is now being channelled to Western proxies. Libyan weaponry, too, was transferred to Western backed militants in Syria in considerable quantities after the country’s fall in 2011 – again minimising the costs to the Western Bloc of sponsoring the jihadist insurgency (28). The damage done and costs incurred by the Syrians, Hezbollah, Russia and others are thus far greater than those incurred by the Western powers to cause destruction and begin conflicts.

Syria has been devastated, suffering from issues from a return of polio to depleted uranium contamination from Western airstrikes and a new generation who have grown up in territories under jihadist control with little formal education. The war is a victory only in that the West failed to remove the government in Damascus from power – but Western gains from starting and fuelling the conflict have still far outweighed their losses. In the meantime, through a successful campaign centred around information warfare, the Western sphere of influence has only grown – with further expansion of NATO and the overthrow of governments in resource rich states friendly to Russia and China such as Libya, Sudan and Bolivia. Commandeering the government of poor but strategically located Ukraine was also a major gain, with states such as Algeria and Kazakhstan looking to be next in the Western Bloc’s crosshairs. Thus while Syria was saved, though only in part, much more was simultaneously lost. The damage done to Hong Kong by pro-Western militants, ‘thugs for democracy’ as the locals have taken to calling them, who have recently turned to bombing hospitals and burning down medical facilities (29), is similarly far greater than the costs to the Western powers of nurturing such an insurgency. Similar offensives to topple those which remain outside the Western sphere of influence from within continue to place pressure on Russian and Chinese aligned governments and on neutral states seen not to be sufficiently pro-Western.

While the Western Bloc appears to be in a position of considerable strength, largely by virtue of its dominance of information space, which has allowed it to remain on the offensive, a sudden turning point in which its power suddenly diminishes could be in sight. From teen drug abuse (30) to staggering debt levels (31) and the deterioration of party politics and popular media, to name but a few of many examples, the West appears at far greater risk today of collapse from within than it did during the Cold War. A notable sign of this is the resurgence of both far right and far left anti-establishment movements across much of the Western world. Despite massive benefits from privileged access to third world resource bases, from France’s extractions from Francophone West Africa (32) to the petrodollar system propping up American currency (33), Western economies with few exceptions are very far from healthy. A glimpse of this was given in 2007-2008, and little has been done to amend the key economic issues which facilitated the previous crisis in the twelve years since (34). The West’s ability to compete in the field of high end consumer technologies, particularly with rising and more efficient East Asian economies, increasingly appears limited. From semiconductors to electric cars to smartphones to 5G, the leaders are almost all East Asian economies which have continued to undermine Western economic primacy and expose the gross inefficiencies of Western economies. The result has been less favourable balances of payments in the Western world, a growing reliance on political clout to facilitate exports (35), and increasing political unrest as living standards are placed under growing pressure. The Yellow Vests and the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are all symptoms of this. With very real prospects of another economic crash in the coming decade, in the style of 2008 but likely much worse, Western economies are expected to bear the brunt of the damage. Their ability to survive remains in serious question. Effects of a crash on North Korea, Iran, Russia and even China will be far less severe. While the previous crash hit Russia particularly hard (36), an economic turnaround from 2014 and the insulation provided by Western sanctions leave it far less vulnerable to the fallout from a Western economic crisis.

Ultimately China appears to be setting itself up for an ‘Eastern Bloc’ victory – a coup de grace which could see Western gains over the past several decades reversed and the power of the West itself diminished to an extent unprecedented in centuries. While the United States reluctantly outsourced much of its high end consumer technologies to East Asian allies during the Cold War – namely Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – China is going for the jugular of the Western world’s economy with its ‘Made in China 2025’ initiative, which will see some critical remaining fields of Western technological primacy shift to East Asian hands. The Coronavirus, bombings in Hong Kong, the trade war, and the wide range of tools in the Western arsenal for destabilisation can at best slightly delay this – but cannot prevent it. In a globalised capitalist economy the most efficient producers win – and East Asia and China in particular, with its Confucian values, stable and efficient political systems and world leading education (37), are thus almost certain to take over the high end of the world economy.

Much as the key to Western victory in the Cold War was successful information warfare efforts and isolation of the Soviet economy from the majority of the world economy, the key to determining the victor of ‘World War IV’ is likely lie in whether or not Beijing succeeds in its attempt to gain dominance of high end technologies critical to sustaining Western economies today. This is far from the only determinant of victory. Efforts to undermine the effective subsidies to Western economies from Central and West Africa, the Arab Gulf states and elsewhere in the third world, and to ensure continued military parity – to deter NATO from knocking over the table if they lose the game of economic warfare – are among the other fields of critical importance. Based on China’s prior successes, and those of other East Asian economies, the likelihood that it will meet its development goals is high – to the detriment of Western interests. The result will be an end to world order centred on Western might – the status quo for the past several hundred years – and emergence in its place of a multipolar order under which Russia, Asia (Central, East, South and Southeast) and Africa will see far greater prominence and prosperity.

(1) Menshikov, S., ‘Russian Capitalism Today,’ Monthly Review, vol. 51, no. 3, 1999 (pp. 82–86).

(2) Yulia V. Tverdova, ‘Human Trafficking in Russia and Other Post-Soviet States,’ Human Rights Review, December 11, 2016.

(3) Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, London, Penguin, 2008 (Chapter 11: ‘Russia Choses the Pinochet Option: Bonfire of a Young Democracy’).

(4) ‘The Death of the MiG 1.44 Program; How the Collapse of the Soviet Union Derailed Moscow’s Fifth Generation Fighter Development,’ Military Watch Magazine, September 16, 2018.  ‘Russia’s Sukhoi Unveils Images from Cancelled Next Generation Fighter Program,’ Military Watch Magazine, December 17, 2019.

(5) Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, President of Russia, Kremlin, December 4, 2014.

Bechev, Dimitar, Rival Power: Russia’s Influence in Southeast Europe, New Haven, CT, Yale University Press, 2017 (Chapter 1).

(6) Kristof, Nicholas D., ‘WAR IN THE GULF: China; Beijing Backs Away From Full Support of the War,’ New York Times, February 1, 1991.

(7) ‘Thaw in the Koreas?,’ Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, vol. 48, no. 3, April 1992 (p. 16).

(8) ‘Time to End the Korean War,’ The Atlantic, February 1997.

(9) Axe, David, ‘Iran Desperately Wants This Fighter Plane,’ The National Interest, January 4, 2020.

(10) ‘Hezbollah a North Korea-Type Guerrilla Force,’ Intelligence Online, No. 529, August 25–September 7, 2006.  “North Koreans Assisted Hezbollah with Tunnel Construction,” Terrorism Focus, The Jamestown Foundation, vol. III, issue 30, August 1, 2006.

Dilegge, Dave and Bunker, Robert J., and Keshavarz, Alma, Iranian and Hezbollah Hybrid Warfare Activities: A Small Wars Journal Anthology, Amazon Media, 2016 (p. 261).

‘Bulsae-3 in South Lebanon: How Hezbollah Upgraded its Anti-Armour Capabilities with North Korean Assistance,’ Military Watch Magazine, September 3, 2019.

(11) Kremlin, President of Russia, Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly, December 4, 2014.

(12) Congressional Record, V. 151, PT. 17, U.S. Congress, October 7 to 26, 2005.

(13) ‘American political scientist: Western Intelligence used Azerbaijan to export terrorism into Russia,’ Panorama, May 30, 2015.

(14) Kremlin, President of Russia, Plenary session of St Petersburg International Economic Forum, June 17, 2016.

(15) Gregg, Aaron, ‘Military Industrial Complex Finds a Growth Market in Hypersonic Weapons,’ Washington Post, December 21, 2018.

(16) Mullen, Mike and Nunn, Sam and Mount, Adam, A Sharper Choice on North Korea: Engaging China for a Stable Northeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations, Independent Task Force Report No. 74, September 2016.

Cartalucci, Tony, ‘Twitter Targets Hong Kong in US-backed Regime Change Operation,’ Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, October 15, 2019.

Park, Kyung-Ae, ‘Regime Change in North Korea?: Economic Reform and Political Opportunity Structures,’ North Korean Review, vol. 5, no. 1, Spring 2009 (p. 23-45).

(17) ‘Worldwide Propaganda Network Built by the C.I.A.,’ New York Times, December 26, 1977.

(18) Wu, S., ‘Why the TPP is an “economic NATO,”’ Huffington Post, October 19, 2015.

(19) Ait, Abraham, ‘US Withdrawal From the INF Treaty Isn’t About Russia,’ The Diplomat, October 25, 2018.

(20) al-Jablawi, Hosam, ‘The White Helmets Struggle Without US Funding,’ Atlantic Council, June 11, 2018.

(21) ‘North Korean Special Forces in Syria; A Look at Pyongyang’s Assistance to Damascus’ Counterinsurgency Operations,’ Military Watch Magazine, June 10, 2018.

(22) ‘DPRK Ambassador affirms his country’s readiness to support health sector in Syria,’ Syrian Arab News Agency, July 25, 2016.

(23) Pauley, Logan and Marks, Jesse, ‘Is China Increasing Its Military Presence in Syria?,’ The Diplomat, August 20, 2018.

Hemenway, Dan, ‘Chinese strategic engagement with Assad’s Syria,’ Atlantic Council, December 21, 2018.

(24) ‘We finally know what Hillary Clinton knew all along – U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar are funding Isis,’ The Independent, October 14, 2016.

(25) ‘Inquiry Into Death of Russian Lt. Gen. Asapov Shows Data Leaks to Daesh –      Source,’ Sputnik, September 26, 2017.

‘Drones used by Syrian terrorists “require advanced training” – Russian MoD in response to US,’ Sputnik, January 9, 2018.

(26) ‘Five Next Generation Russian Combat Jets We Will See in the 2020s: From MiG-41 Hypersonic Interceptors to PAK DA Stealth Bombers,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 1, 2019.

(27) Twigg, Judy, ‘Russia Is Winning the Sanctions Game,’ National Interest, March 14, 2019.

(28) Hersh, Seymour, ‘The Red Line and the Rat Line,’ London Review of Books, vol. 36, no. 8, April 2014

Angelovski, Ivan and Patrucic, Miranda and Marzouk, Lawrence, ‘Revealed: the £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East,’ The Guardian, July 27, 2016.

Chivers, C. J. and Schmitt, Eric and Mazzetti, Mark, ‘In Turnaround, Syria Rebels Get Libya Weapons,’ New York Times, June 21, 2013.

McCarthy, Andrew C., ‘Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Debacle: Arming Jihadists in Libya . . . and Syria,’ National Review, August 2, 2016.

(29)  ‘Militants Bomb Hospital, Torch Quarantine Center as Hong Kong Braces for Virus Outbreak,’ Military Watch Magazine, January 27, 2020.

(30) ‘Class A drug use “at record levels due to young people”,’ BBC News, September 20, 2019.

(31) Buchholz, Katharina, ‘Industrialized Nations Have Biggest Foreign Debt,’ Statista, February 7, 2019.

(32) ‘France’s Colonial Tax Still Enforced for Africa. “Bleeding Africa and Feeding

France,”’ Centre for Research of Globalization, January 14, 2015.

Bart Williams, Mallence, ‘The Utilization of Western NGOs for the Theft of Africa’s Vast Resources,’ TedxBerlin, January 26, 2015

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfnruW7yERA).

(33) Wong, Andrea, ‘The Untold Story Behind Saudi Arabia’s 41-Year U.S. Debt Secret,’ Bloomberg, May 31, 2016.

Spiro, David E., The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets, New York, Cornell University Press, 1999.

(34) ‘Banks have not learnt lessons of 2008 crisis, says Gordon Brown,’ Financial Times, October 31, 2017.

‘A decade after the financial meltdown, its underlying problems haven’t been fixed,’ The Guardian, August 6, 2017.

(35)  ‘Fearing U.S. Sanctions Over Su-35 Purchase: What is Behind Indonesia’s Interest in New F-16V Fighters,’ Military Watch Magazine, November 6, 2019.

Rogan, Tom, ‘The very political reason Qatar buys different fighter aircraft from Britain, France, and the US,’ Washington Examiner, February 25, 2020.

Krishnan, Rakesh, ‘Countering CAATSA: How India can avoid American arm twisting,’ Business Today, March 6, 2019.

(36) Gaddy, Clifford G. and Ickes, Barry W., ‘Russia after the Global Financial Crisis,’ Eurasian Geography and Economics, vol. 51, no. 3, 2010 (pp. 281-311).

(37) Hobbs, Tawnell D., ‘U.S. Students Fail to Make Gains Against International Peers,’ The Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2019.

Turner, Camiilla, ‘Chinese students are two years ahead of their white British peers by age 16, report finds,’ The Telegraph, July 30, 2019.

Iran Unrest: Protests and Provocations

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

Source

Iran Unrest 44edf

When protests in Hong KongIraq, and Lebanon erupted, I was fully anticipating protests in Iran to follow. In 2018 alone, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) had spent millions of dollars in these countries (and elsewhere) to promote America’s agenda. However, I did not expect unrest in Iran to take place while I was visiting the country. In retrospect, I am glad that I was here to be witness to these latest events.

On Thursday, November 21st, friends took me to a very charming Iranian restaurant in the heart of the city. During our lunch, they talked about there being a price hike in gasoline. After lunch, we walked around the charming downtown area of Tehran, visited shops, and exhausted climbed into a cab. We asked the cab driver if he had heard anything about prices going up. He told us that this was just a rumor. As such, the increase in the price of gasoline took Iranians by surprise. Regrettably, the government of President Rohani had not explained the rationale behind the price increase PRIOR to the increase itself. In several parts of Iran, protests erupted. Perhaps justified, and they were peaceful. One could argue they were disruptive in that cars blocked roads, making it difficult for others, causing traffic jams, but there was no vandalism on the first day – not to my knowledge.

But calm soon gave way to violence. A friend who lives in the suburbs of Tehran, in Karaj, told me that on a single street in that sleepy suburb, protestors had set 4 banks on fire. Elsewhere, police stations were attacked, banks and gas stations set on fire. Businesses were set on fire and destroyed. People were sending text messages to each other giving locations of alleged protests in the hopes of gathering people in one spot or another.

This did not surprise me. I was certain that “swarming” tactic was being implemented (as I believe it was elsewhere mentioned above). First developed by RAND as a military and tactical tool, RAND’s publication “Swarming & The Future of Conflict” states:

In Athena’s Camp, we speculated that swarming is already emerging as an appropriate doctrine for networked forces to wage information-age conflict. This nascent doctrine derives from the fact that robust connectivity allows for the creation of a multitude of small units of maneuver, networked in such a fashion that, although they might be widely distributed, they can still come together, at will and repeatedly, to deal resounding blows to their adversaries. This study builds on these earlier findings by inquiring at length into why and how swarming might be emerging as a preferred mode of conflict for small, dispersed, internetted units. In our view, swarming will likely be the future of conflict.”

“Social conflict also features pack-like organizations, as exemplified by modern-day “soccer hooligans.” They generally operate in a loosely dispersed fashion, then swarm against targets of opportunity who are “cut out” from a larger group of people. The use of modern information technologies—from the Internet to cell phones—has facilitated plans and operations by such gangs (see Sullivan, 1997)”.

Swarming depends on robust information flow and is a necessary condition for successful swarming. In other words, by controlling communication and sending texts to ‘protestors,’ random groups are mobilized together in one or various spots. Chaos ensues, which naturally draws reaction. One is never aware of the origin of the messages. In one of her talks, Suzanne Maloney of Brookings seemed to know the exact number of cell phones in use in Iran. These messages increased in number, as did the vandalism and reaction to the destructive behavior. This was not the first time that this tactic had been used in Iran. But it was the first time that Iran’s adversaries were surprised, shocked even, to see that Iran was capable of shutting down the Internet so quickly in order to put a stop to the spread of violence and restore calm.

I drove around in Tehran from end to end, either with friends or in a cab, and took note of the streets. I watched both Iranian TV news and foreign media such as BBC Persian, VOA, Radio Farda, Saudi funded Iran International broadcasted into Iran through satellite (at times jammed) to encourage people to get out on the streets and to protest. Iran was covered under a blanket of snow. With freezing temperatures, I was amused to see BBC Persian show pictures of ‘demonstrators’ in T-shirts. I was angry to see Reza Pahlavi, the deposed Shah of Iran appear on Iran International encouraging people to get out onto the streets. I felt insulted on behalf of every Iranian when Secretary Pompeo retweeted an old tweet and then tweeted again that ‘he was with the Iranian people’ – not to eat, not to receive medicinal goods, not to address their desire for peace and security, but to endure all kinds of hardship and to be subjected to American terrorism (sanctions) and go out on the streets to protest in order to promote America’s agenda.

The hostile foreign media even showed pictures of a ‘protestor’ handing out flowers to security personnel – a symbol first used against the Pentagon in 1967 by a woman protesting the war in Vietnam (and later in the 2014 US-backed coup in Ukraine). Except I could not tell if the picture I saw streaming through the foreign media’s satellite television was Iran or not. The viewer was told it was. The symbol was powerful, but I doubt very much that it was an indigenous one.

With the Internet disconnected, foreign media propaganda then had its viewers believe people were calling from inside Iran; eyewitnesses were reporting events. A voice telling BBC, or Iran International, or …… what was going on. Just a voice which would not doubt then be picked up as eyewitness testimony and shared in all media outlets. The ease with which individuals in various target countries always manage to get directly through television stations has always fascinated me. No automated answer – just straight to the newsroom.

In all this, I can’t help but ask why it was that none of the banks and gas stations set on fire, buildings burnt and businesses ruined, were not located in the pro-West parts of Tehran. Their life continued without a hitch – homes safe, business safe. After all, the main reason for the gasoline price increase was to help the less affluent and the poor. Perhaps as Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute said of the CIA’s role behind the uprisings, Michael D’Andrea, aka “Ayatollah Mike” wanted them safe. Regardless of the reason, CIA/NED spent millions and failed – again.

Evidence Talks: US Government Propelled Coup in Bolivia

Global Research, November 25, 2019

A coup on November 10 removed the socialist government of Bolivian President Evo Morales. The U.S. government made preparations and orchestrated the final stages of the coup. It was in charge. In power for almost 14 years, Morales and Vice President Álvaro García Linera had won elections taking place on October 20. The two leaders would each have been serving a fourth term in office.

Evidence of the U.S. crime appears below.  It’s about money, U.S. influence within the Bolivian military, and U.S. control of the Organization of American States (OAS):

1. For many years the Santa Cruz Civic Committee and its proto-fascist Youth Union received funding from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy. According to analyst Eva Golinger some years ago, the USAID provided $84 million to Bolivian opposition groups.

U.S. Embassy officials conspired with and paid the “civic committees” of Bolivia’s four eastern departments. Representing the European- descended elite of Bolivia’s wealthiest region, these groups promoted racist assaults. They concocted a separatist movement and tried to assassinate Morales. In response, the Bolivian government expelled the U.S. ambassador, Drug Enforcement Agency, and U. S. Agency for International Development.

2. Bolivian armed forces commander in chief Williams Kaliman Romero on November 10 “suggested” that Morales resign. That was the coup de grace. Within three days, Kaliman himself resigned and moved to the United States. Sullkata M. Quilla of the Latin American Center for Strategic Analysis explains that Kaliman and other military chiefs each had received $1 million and that top police officers received $500,000 apiece. U.S. Chargee d’affaires Bruce Williamson allegedly arranged for monetary transactions that took place in Argentina’s Jujuy Province under the auspices of Governor Geraldo Morales. The story first appeared on the website www.Tvmundus.com.ar.

3. Money flowed freely prior to Morales’s departure. Bolivian ambassador to the United Nations Sacha Llorenti – a Morales supporter – reported that, “loyal members of [Morales’s] security team showed him messages in which people were offering them $50,000 if they would hand him over.”

4. According to the respected Argentinean journalist Stella Cattaloni, Ivanka Trump arrived in Jujuy on September 4-5 ostensibly to honor a small group of women entrepreneurs. Some “2,500 federal agents” and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan accompanied her. At the same time, Governor Gerardo Morales was informed that the United States would be delivering $400 million supposedly to pay for improvements to a big highway in Argentina. Cattaloni suggests that a freight train running through Jujuy en route to Santa Cruz, the center of anti- Morales plotting in Bolivia, was transporting military equipment to opposition groups.

There’s media speculation as to how Governor Morales may have facilitated the transfer of U.S. money to Luis Camacho, leader of the coup and head of the Santa Cruz Civic Committee. He may have done so in Santa Cruz, where he visited on September 4, or in Jujuy Province where Camacho may have showed up later that day or the next.

5. According to analyst Jeb Sprague:

“At least six of the key coup plotters are alumni of the infamous School of the Americas, while [General] Kaliman and another figure served in the past as Bolivia’s military and police attachés in Washington.”

For decades, Latin American military personnel have received training and indoctrination at that U.S. Army school now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Sprague notes also that the top commanders of police that mutinied had received training at the Washington-based Latin American police exchange program known by its initials in Spanish as APALA.

6. The OAS played a crucial role in the coup. Votes were being tallied on October 20 when the OAS, having audited preliminary results, announced that they showed irregularities. The U.S. government echoed the findings and street protests intensified. On October 24 the Supreme Electoral Tribunal declared first-round victories for Morales and García Linare. Protests mounted. The government, under stress, requested another OAS audit.

The OAS made its conclusions public on November 10, earlier than expected:

The OAS couldn’t “validate the results of this election [and called for] “another electoral process [and] new electoral authorities.”

This was the tipping point. Morales convoked another election but shortly thereafter General Kaliman forced him to resign.

The OAS findings were false. Walter Mebane and colleagues at the University of Michigan, having examined voting statistics, indicated that fraudulent votes in the election were not decisive for the result. The Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research performed its own detailed study and reached the same conclusion.

The OAS served as U.S. handmaiden. Headquartered in Washington, the organization took shape under U.S. auspices in 1948 with the assigned task of protecting Latin America and the Caribbean from Communism. More recently the OAS, under Secretary General Luis Almagro’s guidance, has spearheaded U.S. efforts to expel President Nicolas Maduro’s progressive Venezuelan government.

Paradoxically, Almagro in May 2019 gave Morales the go-ahead for a fourth presidential term. That was despite a referendum having been defeated that would have allowed the extra term. Almago’s intention may have been to lull Morales into cooperating with OAS overview of the election results.

7. Other signs of U.S. coup preparations are these:

  • Prior to the October 20 elections President Morales charged that U.S. Embassy officials bribed rural residents to reject him at the polls. They traveled, for example, to the Yungas region on October 16 with pay-offs to disaffected coca farmers.
  • According to Bolpress.com, the National Military Coordinator (Coordinadora Nacional Militar), an organization of reserve military officers, received and distributed money sent from the United States to create social crisis prior to October 20. The United States also used embassies in Bolivia and the evangelical church as facades to hide its activities. Mariane Scott and Rolf A. Olson, U.S. Embassy officials in La Paz, met with counterparts in the embassies of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina to coordinate destabilization efforts and to deliver U.S. financing to opposition forces inside Bolivia.
  • Weapons shipments from the United States arrived at the Chilean port of Iquique on their way to the National Military Coordinator group inside Bolivia.
  • The State Department allocated $100,000 to enable a company called “CLS Strategies” to mount a disinformation campaign through social media.
  • The CIA station in La Paz assumed control of Bolivia’s Whatsapp network in order to leak false information. More than 68,000 fake anti-Morales tweets were released.
  • In mid-October “political consultant” George Eli Birnbaun arrived in Santa Cruz from Washington with a team of military and civilian personnel. Their job was to support the U.S. – preferred presidential candidacy of Oscar Ortiz and to destabilize the country politically after the elections. They provided support for Santa Cruz Civic Committee’s youth organization – specialists in violence – and supervised the U.S. – financed “Standing Rivers” NGO, engaged in spreading disinformation.
  • Sixteen audio recordings of the plotters’ pre-election conversations were leaked and showed up on the internet. Several of the voices mentioned contacts with the U.S. Embassy and with U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, Robert Menendez, and Marco Rubio. Sprague reports that four of the ex-military plotters on the calls had attended the School of the Americas.

This presentation focuses entirely on the evidence. In a criminal investigation, evidence is central to determining guilt or innocence. Considerations of motive and context are of lesser importance, and we don’t deal with them here. But when and where they are attended to, they would logically fall into categories that include the following:

1. A socialist experiment was showing signs of success and capitalists of the world were facing the threat of a good example.

2. A people once held hostage by colonial powers was able to claim sovereign independence and in that regard had endeavored to retain much of the wealth provided through natural resources, lithium in particular.

3. Throughout its existence the Morales government, headed by an indigenous president, was up against anti-indigenous prejudice, racist in origin, and social-class divisions.

4. All the while, that government was the target of hostility, plotting, and episodic violence at the hands of the entitled classes.

So the evidence is clear. It points to a controlling U.S. hand in this coup d’état. The U.S. government bears heavy responsibility. There were Bolivian instigators, of course, but the U.S. plotters fall within the range of our own political processes. That’s why our accusing finger points at them.

In this instance, the U.S. government, as is its custom, disregarded international law, morality, respect for human life, and common decency. To stifle popular resistance the U.S. government evidently will stop at nothing, other than force in the hands of the people. What kind of force remains to be seen.

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W.T. Whitney Jr. is a political journalist with a focus on Latin America and health care issues. He is a Cuba solidarity activist who formerly worked as a pediatrician.

Featured image is from Peoples Dispatch

Message for my Latin American friends (in the form of a song)

The Saker

Dear friends,

I have to admit that I am absolutely heartbroken at the news coming out of Latin America.  Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Bolivia – everywhere the people are struggling against what has been known as “Yankee imperialism” for decades.  The pendulum of history has swung back and forth many times in Latin America.  I remember the civil war in Argentina just before the coup of 1976, I was still a kid, but I remember it all.  Then the coup, the vicious and ugly “dirty war”, the disaster of the (just!) war for the Malvinas, then the years of “democracy”.  Rivers of blood, and still the new era of freedom and peace everybody kept hoping for did not come.  Now, four or five decades later, the people of Latin America are still dying and suffering under the yoke of a CIA-installed and CIA-controlled comprador class which would gladly sell their mothers and daughters to Uncle Shmuel for a few bucks.

And yet.

And yet 40 or 50 years are short when seen from the point of view of history, other struggles in history have lasted much longer.  So, as a poignant reminder that we will never lose hope, nor will we ever accept oppression, here is a song by Pedro Aznar whose beautiful lyrics will be understood by everyone from Patagonia to Mexico’s northern border (including my Brazilian friends) and which beautifully expresses the hope common to all of us!

Venceremos!

The Saker

PS: if somebody had the time to translate these lyrics into English, I would be most grateful.

We are all hostages of 9/11

Pakistanis raise their weapons in the border town of Bajour as they shout anti-US slogans before leaving for Afghanistan in October 2001. Thousands from this tribal area go to join the Taliban in its ‘holy war’ against the US. Photo: AFP /Tariq Mahmood

September 11, 2019

BWe are all hostages of 9/11y Pepe Escobar – Posted with permission

After years of reporting on the Great War on Terror, many questions behind the US attacks remain unresolved

Afghanistan was bombed and invaded because of 9/11. I was there from the start, even before 9/11. On August 20, 2001, I interviewed commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, the “Lion of the Panjshir,” who told me about an “unholy alliance” of the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the ISI (Pakistani intel).

Back in Peshawar, I learned that something really big was coming: my article was published by Asia Times on August 30. Commander Massoud was killed on September 9: I received a terse email from a Panjshir source, only stating, “the commander has been shot.” Two days later, 9/11 happened.

And yet, the day before, none other than Osama bin Laden, in person, was in a Pakistani hospital in Rawalpindi, receiving treatment, as CBS reported. Bin Laden was proclaimed the perpetrator already at 11am on 9/11 – with no investigation whatsoever. It should have been not exactly hard to locate him in Pakistan and “bring him to justice.”

In December 2001 I was in Tora Bora tracking bin Laden – under B-52 bombers and side by side with Pashtun mujahideen. Later, in 2011, I would revisit the day bin Laden vanished forever.

One year after 9/11, I was back in Afghanistan for an in-depth investigation of the killing of Massoud. By then it was possible to establish a Saudi connection: the letter of introduction for Massoud’s killers, who posed as journalists, was facilitated by commander Sayyaf, a Saudi asset.

Saudi-born alleged terror mastermind Osama bin Laden is seen in a video taken at a secret site in Afghanistan. This was aired by Al-Jazeera on Oct. 7, 2001, the day the US launched bombing of terrorist camps, airbases and air defense installations in its campaign against the Taliban for sheltering bin Laden. Photo: AFP

For three years my life revolved around the Global War on Terror; most of the time I lived literally on the road, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, the Persian Gulf and Brussels. At the start of ‘Shock and Awe’ on Iraq, in March 2003, Asia Times published my in-depth investigation of which neo-cons concocted the war on Iraq.

In 2004, roving across the US, I re-traced the Taliban’s trip to Texas, and how a top priority, since the Clinton years all the way to the neo-cons, was about what I had baptized as “Pipelineistan” – in this case how to build the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, bypassing Iran and Russia, and extending US control of Central and South Asia.

Later on, I delved into the hard questions the 9/11 Commission never asked, and how Bush’s 2004 reelection campaign was totally conditioned by and dependent on 9/11.

Michael Ruppert, a CIA whistleblower, who may – or may not – have committed suicide in 2014, was a top 9/11 analyst. We exchanged a lot of information, and always emphasized the same points: Afghanistan was all about (existent) heroin and (non-existent) pipelines.

In 2011, the late, great Bob Parry would debunk more Afghanistan lies. And in 2017, I would detail a top reason why the US will never leave Afghanistan: the heroin rat line.

Now, President Trump may have identified a possible Afghan deal – which the Taliban, who control two-thirds of the country, are bound to refuse, as it allows withdrawal of only 5,000 out of 13,000 US troops. Moreover, the US ‘Deep State’ is absolutely against any deal, as well as India and the rickety government in Kabul.

But Pakistan and China are in favor, especially because Beijing plans to incorporate Kabul into the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and have Afghanistan admitted as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, thus attaching the Hindu Kush and the Khyber Pass to the ongoing Eurasia integration process.

Praying for a Pearl

Eighteen years after the game-changing fact, we all remain hostages of 9/11. US neocons, gathered at the Project for the New American Century, had been praying for a “Pearl Harbor” to reorient US foreign policy since 1997. Their prayers were answered beyond their wildest dreams.

Already in The Grand Chessboard, also published in 1997, former National Security Adviser and Trilateral Commission co-founder Zbigniew Brzezinski, nominally not a neocon, had pointed out that the American public “supported America’s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.”

So, Brzezinski added, America “may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.”

As an attack on the homeland, 9/11 generated the Global War on Terror, launched at 11pm on the same day, initially christened “The Long War” by the Pentagon, later sanitized as Overseas Contingency Operations by the Obama administration. This cost trillions of dollars, killed over half a million people and branched out into illegal wars against seven Muslim nations – all justified on “humanitarian grounds” and allegedly supported by the “international community.”

Year after year, 9/11 is essentially a You Have The Right to Accept Only The Official Version ritual ceremony, even as widespread evidence suggests the US government knew 9/11 would happen and did not stop it.

Three days after 9/11, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that in June 2001, German intelligence warned the CIA that Middle East terrorists were “planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture.”

In August 2001, President Putin ordered Russian intel to tell the US government “in the strongest possible terms” of imminent attacks on airports and government buildings, MSNBC revealed in an interview with Putin that was broadcast on September 15 that year.

No US government agency has released any information on who used foreknowledge of 9/11 in the financial markets. The US Congress did not even raise the issue. In Germany, investigative financial journalist Lars Schall has been working for years on a massive study detailing to a great extent insider trading before 9/11.

While NORAD sleeps

Discrediting the official, immutable 9/11 narrative remains the ultimate taboo. Hundreds of architects and engineers engaged in meticulous technical debunking of all aspects of 9/11’s official story are summarily dismissed as “conspiracy theorists.”

In contrast, skepticism rooted in Greek and Latin tradition came up with arguably the best documentary on 9/11: Zero, an Italian production. Just as arguably the most stimulating book on 9/11 is also Italian: The Myth of September 11, by Roberto Quaglia, which offers a delicately nuanced narrative of 9/11 as a myth structured as a movie. The book became a huge hit in Eastern Europe.

Serious questions suggest quite plausible suspects to be investigated regarding 9/11, far more than 19 Arabs with box cutters. Ten years ago, in Asia Times, I asked 50 questions, some of them extremely detailed, about 9/11. After reader demand and suggestions, I added 20 more. None of these questions were convincingly addressed – not to mention answered – by the official narrative.

World public opinion is directed to believe that on the morning of 9/11 four airliners, presumably hijacked by 19 Arabs with box cutters, traveled undisturbed – for two hours – across the most controlled airspace on the planet, which is supervised by the most devastating military apparatus ever.

American Airlines Flight 11 deviated from its path at 8.13am and crashed into the first World Trade Center tower at 8.57am. Only at 8.46am did NORAD – the North American Aerospace Defense Command – order that two intercepting F-15s take off from Otis military base.

A hijacked commercial plane crashes into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 in New York. Photo: AFP / Set McAllister

By a curious coincidence a Pentagon war game was in effect on the morning of 9/11 – so air-controllers’ radars may have registered only ‘ghost signals’ of nonexistent aircraft simulating an air attack. Well, it was much more complicated than that, as demonstrated by professional pilots.

‘Angel was next’

World public opinion is also directed to believe that a Boeing 757 – with a wingspan of 38 meters – managed to penetrate the Pentagon through a six-meter-wide hole and at the height of the first floor. A Boeing 757 with landing gear is 13 meters high. Airliners electronically refuse to crash – so it’s quite a feat to convince one to fly five to 10 meters above the ground, landing gear on, at a lightning speed of 800 kilometers an hour.

According to the official narrative, the Boeing 757 literally pulverized itself. Yet even after pulverization, it managed to perforate six walls of three rings of the Pentagon, leaving a two-meter wide hole in the last wall but only slightly damaging the second and third rings. The official narrative is that the hole was caused by the plane’s nose – still quite hard even after pulverization. Yet the rest of the plane – a mass of 100 tons traveling at 800 kilometers an hour – miraculously stopped at the first ring.

All that happened under the stewardship of one Hani Hanjour, who three weeks before had been judged by his flight instructors to be incapable of piloting a Cessna. Hanjour, nonetheless, managed to accomplish an ultra-fast spiral descent at 270 degrees, aligning at a maximum 10 meters above ground, minutely calibrating the trajectory, and keeping a cruise speed of roughly 800 kilometers an hour.

Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers, left, and US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld brief reporters at the Pentagon on Oct. 8, 2001 following the US bombing raids on Afghanistan in response to 9/11 attacks. Photo: AFP / Luke Frazza

At 9.37am, Hanjour hit precisely the Pentagon’s budget analysts’ office, where everyone was busy working on the mysterious disappearance of no less than $2.3 trillion that Defense Secretary Donald “Known Unknowns” Rumsfeld, in a press conference the day before, said could not be tracked. So, it’s not only Boeings that get pulverized inside the Pentagon.

World public opinion is also directed to believe that Newtonian physics was suspended as a special bonus for WTC 1 and 2 on 9/11 (not to mention WTC 7, which was not even hit by any plane). The slower WTC tower took 10 seconds to fall 411 meters, starting from immobility. So it fell at 148 kilometers an hour. Considering the initial acceleration time, it was a free fall, not the least impeded by 47 massive, vertical steel beams that composed the tower’s structural heart.

World public opinion is also directed to believe that United Airlines Flight 93 – 150 tons of aircraft with 45 people, 200 seats, luggage, a wingspan of 38 meters – crashed in a field in Pennsylvania and also literally pulverized itself, totally disappearing inside a hole six meters by three meters wide and only two meters deep.

Suddenly, Air Force One was “the only plane in the sky.” Colonel Mark Tillman, who was on board, recalled: “We get this report that there’s a call saying ‘Angel’ was next. No one really knows now where the comment came from – it got mistranslated or garbled amid the White House, the Situation Room, the radio operators. ‘Angel’ was our code name. The fact that they knew about ‘Angel,’ well, you had to be in the inner circle.”

This means that 19 Arabs with box cutters, and most of all their handlers, surely must have been “in the inner circle.” Inevitably, this was never fully investigated.

Already in 1997, Brzezinski had warned,

“it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America.”

In the end, much to the despair of US neocons, all the combined sound and fury of 9/11 and the Global War on Terror/Overseas Contingency Operations, in less than two decades, ended up metastasized into not only a challenger but a Russia-China strategic partnership. This is the real “enemy” – not al-Qaeda, a flimsy figment of the CIA’s imagination, rehabilitated and sanitized as “moderate rebels” in Syria.

 

CIA Afghan Paramilitaries Prevent Restoration of Peace

By Stephen Lendman

Source

US aggression in Afghanistan continues unabated in its 18th year. Prospects for restoring peace and stability to the war-torn are more illusory than likely.

Talks between Trump regime and Taliban representatives have been ongoing since July last year. 

Claims about concluding them successfully in the near-term are wishful thinking — not as long as CIA-controlled paramilitaries exist in the country.

A new study by Brown University’s Watson Institute (WI) for International and Public Affairs called the “CIA army” of Afghan paramilitary forces a “threat to human rights and an obstacle to peace in Afghanistan.”

It’s involved in the US war OF terrorism, not on it. State terrorism is longstanding US policy, especially post-9/11 when remaining constraints on its imperial rage ended.

CIA controlled paramilitaries in Afghanistan serve US imperial interests. Their existence makes restoration of peace and stability to the country unattainable.

So does keeping US “intelligence assets” in the country on the phony pretext of countering the scourge of terrorism the US created and supports.

Withdrawal of Pentagon forces won’t matter, if occurs, as long as a private CIA army in Afghanistan exists — with likely no intention of leaving.

Established shortly after US aggression on the country was launched, WI said they’ve “committed serious human rights abuses, including numerous extrajudicial killings of

civilians,” adding: 

“CIA sponsorship ensures that their operations are clouded in secrecy. There is virtually no public oversight of their activities or accountability for grave human rights abuses.”

Langley paramilitaries are the modern-day equivalent of CIA-recruited Afghan mujahideen fighters against Soviet occupiers in the 1980s — today’s Taliban, combatting illegal US war and occupation of their country.

They want it back, US invaders out. It’s not likely as long as the CIA’s private army in the country exists.

“Little is publicly known about” it said WI, adding: It’s “an illegal armed group (that) no basis in Afghan law and no formal place in the state security apparatus” authorizes.

“(A)ll we know is that the CIA-sponsored forces are uniformed and well-equipped, sometimes work with American English-speaking men during raids,” and are supported by Pentagon terror-bombing, indiscriminately killing civilians time and again.

Human rights groups and investigative journalists documented their crimes of war and against humanity — “operating with impunity, unconstrained by political or judicial accountability,” WI explained, adding:

“(T)he CIA-sponsored program and activities of its Afghan Army are shielded from public oversight and accountability.” 

“Afghan authorities appear to be uninformed or unwilling to divulge anything about the program’s structure, funding or operations.” 

“UN officials investigating reports of abuses and intentional killings of civilians by (CIA paramilitaries) were unable to obtain any information from Afghan officials.”

The sinister, diabolical, secretive, unaccountable CIA operates extrajudicially at home and abroad. Its existence threatens world peace, stability and security.

Its dirty hands are all over plots against nations on the US target list for regime change — along with involvement in its wars of aggression.

Whatever the outcome of US/Taliban talks, Washington came to Afghanistan to stay, not leave, permanent occupation planned, wanting the country’s resources plundered.

They include barite, chromite, coal, cobalt, copper, gold, iron ore, lead, enormous amounts of highly-valued lithium and other rare earth metals vital for high tech products, natural gas, oil, precious and semi-precious stones, potash, salt, sulfur, talc, zinc, among other minerals.

They represent potentially trillions of dollars of economic value, a treasure Washington has no intention of relinquishing. US policymakers also aim to traverse the country with oil and gas pipelines.

Controlling it is also part of their plan to encircle Russia and China with US military bases, platforms for warmaking.

Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium producer, used for heroin production. What the Taliban eradicated pre-9/11, the US restored.

It’s a bonanza for money-laundering Western banks. The CIA relies on drugs trafficking as a revenue source. 

Permanent war is official US policy, including war by other means by illegal sanctions and other hostile actions against targeted nations.

Whatever US and Taliban representatives may agree on won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.

The history of US talks with other nations shows it can never be trusted.

The Spy Game: It Ain’t What It Used to Be

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August 1, 2019

The Tehran government has announced the arrest of seventeen Iranian citizens caught spying for America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Some of those arrested have already been sentenced to death. It is the third major roll-up of CIA agents in Iran that I have been aware of, the first occurring in 1991 involved 20 American agents. The second episode in 2011 led to the arrest of 30 spies. The earlier arrests reportedly eliminated what were presumed to be the entire networks of American agents operating inside Iran and it is to be presumed that the recent arrests will have the same impact.

The Iranians presented a considerable quantity of evidence, including photos and business cards of US government officials, to back up their claim of American spying but President Trump dismissed the report as “totally false” and “just more lies and propaganda” — while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “I would take with a significant grain of salt any Iranian assertion about actions that they’ve taken.”

Iran’s press release on the arrests together with a briefing by an intelligence official supplemented by local media coverage provided some of the details. The seventeen reportedly had “sophisticated training” but those who had sabotage missions did not succeed. Other objectives included “collecting information at the facilities they worked at, carrying out technical and intelligence activities and transferring and installing monitoring devices.”

Some of the agents had reportedly been recruited by falling into what is referred to as a “visa trap” set by the CIA for Iranians seeking to travel to the US. This has long been the preferred tool for recruiting Iranian agents. The intelligence official handed out a CD with a video recording of an alleged CIA case officer speaking to an Iranian target, which was presumably recorded secretly. The video shows a blonde woman who speaks Persian with an American accent. The disc also included names of several US embassy staff in Dubai, Turkey, India, Zimbabwe and Austria who Iran claims were involved in the recruitment and training of the Iranian spies.

How exactly did the recruitments take place as there is no US Embassy in Tehran and few Americans resident in the country? Many of the Iranians were targeted when they walked into an American Embassy in a country to which they are free to travel, which includes Turkey and Dubai. In the words of the Iranian intelligence official, “Some were approached when they were applying for a visa, while others had visas from before and were pressured by the CIA in order to renew them.”

Others were targeted and recruited as spies while attending scientific conferences around the world. Those recruited received promises of money, eventual resettlement and a job in the US or medical assistance. To maintain contact with its agents inside Iran, the CIA would reportedly conceal spyware and instructions in containers that look like rocks, which would be planted in city parks or in rural areas. The Iranian agents would then recover the material, which might include false identification documents. It should be observed that fake rocks are a standard espionage tool. They are hollowed out to conceal spy-gear and communications. After they are in place, a signal is made to alert the agent that there is something ready to be picked-up. In the trade they are referred to as “dead drops.”

Why does the United States continue to spy on Iran with such ferocity? The Mullahs became a major intelligence target for Washington in the wake of the 1979 US Embassy hostage crisis, in which fifty-two American diplomats and intelligence officers were held for 444 days. The CIA mounted a major intelligence operation run from Europe that collected a wide range of information on the Iranian government and, increasingly, on its technical capabilities, including a suspected nuclear development program. In 2015 the CIA under President Barack Obama and Director John Brennan ramped up collection efforts against Iran as part of the verification process for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). More recently, Mike Pompeo, when CIA Director, further increased efforts against Iran when the Trump Administration withdrew from that agreement in the belief that Iran represented a rogue nation and a threat to United States interests and allies. In reality, of course, there is no real American vital interest relating to Iran and Trump has been acting on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia, both of whom are hostile to Iran as a regional rival.

But running intelligence operations in a country without a US Embassy to serve as a base for spies proved difficult. Many spies have been caught, by one Iranian estimate, 290 agents arrested in recent years. Most often the exposure of the spies has been due to human error or technical problems in communications. Iran has benefited by boasting of those arrests and has long promoted its capacity to uncover American spy rings in the country. As the New York Times reports, Iran has recently aired a documentary featuring efforts to expose and rid the country of the CIA agents working there.

A recently produced and very popular Iranian fictional television series called “Gando” has also introduced the narrative of a perpetual fight against American spies into the country’s popular culture. The show features brave Iranian intelligence officials in pursuit of an American spy posing as a journalist.

According to a Yahoo News investigation, Iran was in 2009 enraged by reports that the CIA had possibly penetrated its nuclear program and its counter-intelligence agents immediately went on the hunt for moles. By 2011, Iranian officials had uncovered and arrested a network of 30 CIA sources, a fact that US officials later confirmed. Some of the accused informants were executed. The Iranian government was able to find the operatives because of failures in the systems and techniques that the CIA agents used to communicate with the agents. Once a flaw in communications is detected, it is possible to exploit that so one can sit back and wait and watch for all those linked to the network to reveal themselves.

One might observe that the continued massive American “maximum pressure” spying effort directed against Iran is a bit of an anachronism. It is agreed by nearly all observers that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and is unlikely to start one. The sanctions put in place against the country unilaterally by the US cannot produce a popular uprising that will bring down the regime, but they have indeed hurt the country’s economy badly and the people are suffering. Iran’s military cannot stand up against its neighbors, much less against the United States, and its ability to meddle in the affairs of its neighbors is extremely limited.

So, it is probably just as well that Iran has again rolled up most of the American spies in the country, though it will be a tragedy for the men and women involved. Many critics of the Agency have argued that the CIA has forgotten how to spy in an age of drones and electronic surveillance, which may be true. Certainly, the CIA record regarding Iran is nothing to brag about.

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