by Jon Rappoport
June 15, 2013
Well, they’ve solved the riddle. Ed Snowden was able to steal thousands of highly protected NSA documents because…he had a thumb drive.
This is the weapon that breached the inner sanctum of the most sophisticated information agency in the world.
This is the weapon to which the NSA, with all its resources, remains utterly vulnerable. Can’t defeat it.
NSA bans thumb drives, but certain special employees are allowed to use them.
Would Snowden have been in that elite circle? He was an outside contractor who’d been assigned to the NSA, and he was only there for four weeks, on his latest tour, when he did the infamous deed and then departed, never to return.
Not only did Snowden stroll into NSA with a thumb drive, he knew how to navigate all the security layers put in place to stop people from stealing classified documents.
Far more likely? As I described in my prior article, Snowden was really working for his former employer, the CIA. People at the CIA were able to steal those NSA documents, and they handed them to Snowden. All part of the endless turf war between the CIA, NSA, and other intelligence agencies.
Moving right along, Barbara Honegger, a former analyst at the White House during the Reagan years, makes a crucial point: US intelligence agencies can get around domestic spying laws by allowing other countries to spy on US citizens.
England, for example. This scandal is sitting there ready to explode.
NSA works out a deal whereby British agencies can access electronic communications in the US. Then, the Brits give the tons of data to NSA. Therefore, NSA didn’t directly steal.
“Oh no, we didn’t steal. We allowed other people to steal. Then they gave us what they stole. Of course, we are also, in fact, stealing and spying in the US, 24/7, but that’s another story for another time…”
It’s called redundancy. NSA spies on Americans, the Brits spy on Americans, and NSA stores everything, just to make sure they’ve covered all the bases. Twice.
Taking this one step further, NSA would be spying on British citizens, too. That’s “reciprocity.”
Here’s a fantasy for you. Terrorists all over the world were just shocked into a panic, because Ed Snowden “told them” the NSA has been spying on the Internet.
Therefore, all those emails, photos, and videos the terrorists have been sending to each other online for years? Spied on. Intercepted. Wow. What a revelation.
The terrorists never considered that possibility before. This is what Pentagon, NSA, CIA chiefs, and incensed Congress people would have us believe.
Let’s see. Terrorists just realized the Internet isn’t safe. Jack and the Beanstalk. Two fairy tales. Hold one in each hand. Weigh them. I’d believe Jack and the Beanstalk over the other fantasy, if I had to choose.
Author John Loftus, several years ago, pointed out that there already existed miles of incriminating data on the Muslim Brotherhood in US intelligence-agency files. Yet nothing was being done about it.
In other words, tons of NSA data on innocent Americans were being collected. And the valuable stuff on guilty parties was being ignored. A real laugher.
Imagine the sub voce reaction of the Muslim Brotherhood:
Brotherhood spokesman, Mr. Cash On Delivery, Jr., stated, “We in the Brotherhood have nothing to fear. We’re all proxies. We fight for Western shadow elites. They pay us to destabilize countries to advance a Globalist-controlled planet. Internet spying? Who cares? We’re doing just fine. In fact, there’s a mile of incriminating data on us in NSA computers. Nobody does anything with it. Guess why.”
Then there is China. Snowden’s most recent leak reveals the NSA has been hacking Chinese government computers. Another walloping shocker. Can you even remain standing in the face of this one? Feeling dizzy with surprise? Sit down. Drink a glass of water.
The spy-vs.-spy scenario between China and the US has been playing out for decades. By now, it’s so complicated probably no one on either side understands it fully.
Yes, major thefts of vital info have occurred. But, aware of the ongoing hacking war, China and US have undoubtedly been cooking up whole databases of false and misleading information to be stolen.
It’s basically a jobs program. And Snowden’s revelation about it is about as stunning as sunny weather in Palm Springs.
John Young, at Cryptome, correctly indicates that the overriding issue in the Snowden affair is “architecture.” The actual structure of spying, the whole machine. If Snowden comprehends that, then we’re talking about something worth revealing.
Not just the US machine, but the global apparatus. The interconnected spying system collectively employed by many nations.
Snowden seems to be saying he has this knowledge.
I have doubts. I’d bet against it. I think he’s inventing script.
Still waiting to be uncovered? NSA spying to collect elite financial data, spying on the people who have that data: the major investment banks. NSA scooping up that data to predict, manipulate, and profit from trading markets all over the world.
A trillion-dollar operation.
Snowden worked for Booz Allen, which is owned by the Carlyle Group ($170 billion in assets). Carlyle, the infamous. Their money is making money in 160 investment funds.
A few of Carlyle’s famous front men in its history: George HW Bush, James Baker (US Secretary of State), Frank Carlucci (US Secretary of Defense and CIA Deputy Director), John Major (British Prime Minister), Arthur Levitt (Chairman of the SEC).
Suppose you’re one of the princes in the NSA castle, and Ed Snowden has just gone public with your documents. You’re saying, “Let’s see, this kid worked for Booz Allen, which is owned by the Carlyle Group. We’ve been spying over Carlyle’s shoulder, stealing their proprietary financial data. What are the chances they’re getting a little revenge on us now?”
Yes, you’re thinking about that. You’re looking into it.
Scandals, and how they’re presented to the public through the press, are rarely what they seem.
The players are different, their motives are different, and they’re trading blows in a different arena.
They’re accessing the Matrix and manipulating it at levels invisible to the general public, who are trained by mass media to look in the wrong direction.
The NSA, CIA, and Carlyle would be settling their differences behind the curtain.
Jon Rappoport is the author of two explosive collections, The Matrix Revealed and Exit From the Matrix, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com
June 14, 2013
[Potent News editor's note: via Pepe Escobar: For those who haven't seen it yet. RT's title is misleading; I meant "start" metaphorically; Obama's Syria decision is a diversion from PRISMgate. At least for 24 hours it worked, bumping Snowden off the headlines.]
CIA whistle blower Edward Snowden has reportedly been stopped from flying to the UK. The man who lifted the lid on America’s secret surveillance activities is being pursued by Washington. For his latest revelation, he told a Hong Kong newspaper that the U.S. repeatedly hacks into Chinese computer networks. For more about the leaks and Snowden’s future we’re now joined live by Pepe Escobar, a roving correspondent for the Asia Times.
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June 11, 2013
China’s fifth-ever manned mission has successfully blasted off from a location in the Gobi desert and will now head to the country’s prototype orbital station, where the crew will spend 14 days – a Chinese space record. The Shenzhou-10 craft, carrying two male astronauts, and the second Chinese woman to go to space, will dock with the experimental Tiangong-1 space lab 40 hours after lift-off. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/0stnn5
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by Anthony Gucciardi
May 23, 2013
China has destroyed a total of at least three genetically modified corn shipments with origins from the United States in a move that echoes the way in which the nation of Hungary actually went and destroyed acres upon acres of Monsanto’s GMO corn fields. Interestingly enough, my article on that subject became one of the most widely shared articles in recent years across the web thanks to the rising number of individuals who are behind the elimination of GMOs across the globe.
And I suspect this move by China will be met with similar applause, as it represents a direct stand against Monsanto — the company that is literally being funded with your taxpayer dollars and directly marketed by the US State Department. Even Reuters and others reported on the leaked information, and journalists were in complete shock when the news came out. The reality explains not only why the US government continues to approve and outwardly support Monsanto’s GMOs despite being linked to a number of serious health conditions, but also explains why the US threatened ‘military style trade wars‘ against those who oppose Monsanto.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that Monsanto’s major connections in government, like FDA head Michael Taylor, are lending aid to the GMO crusade in ways that even surprise me.
May 17, 2013
Erdogan is in the USA after the bombing, his paymasters want him to do more against Syria and the turkish public are growingly against his policies. Nevertheless he will go to Gaza next month, and he will look like a saviour, at least in western eyes, he will be able to funnel aid to Hamas from what the US et al have given him.
The Hamas leader was always in hiding when he lived in Damascus, now he travels openly to Gaza and talks about negotiating with the Jewish Race: http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/ade…
What will the armed PKK do now that they are withdrawing into Iraqi Kurdistan? And what have they been promised that they are leaving Turkey voluntarily?
On the ground in Syria Hezbollah and Syria with Iranian and Russian support have turned the tables against the west’s insurgents.
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April 5, 2013
Did you hear about the nuclear war between Russia and China? Of course not, because it didn’t happen, but someone should tell that to these people! Man on the Street with Mark Dice.
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Mark Dice is a media analyst, political activist, and author who, in an entertaining and educational way, gets people to question our celebrity obsessed culture, and the role the mainstream media and elite secret societies play in shaping our lives. Check out Mark’s books in paperback on Amazon.com or e-book on Kindle, iBooks, Nook, or Google Play.
Mark frequently stirs up controversy from his commentaries, protests, and boycotts, and has repeatedly been featured in major media outlets around the world.
Several of Mark’s YouTube videos have gone viral, earning him a mention on ABC’s The View, Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, CNN, Drudge Report, TMZ.com, and other mainstream media outlets. Mark has also been featured in (or attacked in) the New York Post’s Page Six, Rolling Stone Magazine, USA Today, The New York Daily News, and in major papers in Pakistan and Iran.
Mark Dice appears in several documentary films including Invisible Empire, The 9/11 Chronicles, and has been featured on the History Channel’s Decoded, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura, the Sundance Channel’s Love/Lust: Secret Societies and more. He enjoys enlightening zombies, as he calls them, (ignorant people) about the mass media’s effect on our culture, pointing out Big Brother’s prying eyes, and exposing elite secret societies along with scumbag politicians and their corrupt political agendas. You can support Mark’s work by sending a PayPal donation to Donate@MarkDice.com or by using the Donate link on MarkDice.com.
He has called into several top-rated talk shows dozens of times, including the Sean Hannity Show, Glenn Beck, and Michael Savage, and verbally battles with the hosts on various issues since he has never been asked to be a guest on them as of yet. Audio of some of these calls are then posted online.
The term “fighting the New World Order” is used by Mark to describe some of his activities, and refers to his and others’ resistance and opposition (The Resistance) to the overall system of political corruption, illegal wars, elite secret societies, mainstream media, Big Brother and privacy issues; as well as various economic and social issues.
Dice and his supporters sometimes refer to being “awake” or “enlightened” and see their knowledge of these topics as part of their own personal Resistance to the corrupt New World Order. This Resistance involves self-improvement, self-sufficiency, personal responsibility and spiritual growth.
Mark Dice is the author of several books on current events, secret societies and conspiracies, including his newest book, Big Brother: The Orwellian Nightmare Come True which is available on Amazon.com, Kindle and Nook. While much of Mark’s work confirms the existence and continued operation of the Illuminati today, he is also dedicated to debunking conspiracy theories and hoaxes and separating the facts from the fiction; hence the “Facts & Fiction” subtitle for several of his books. He has a bachelor’s degree in communication from California State University.
If you have an iPad or Android tablet, then you can download the Kindle app and then download any of Mark’s books from the Kindle store for only $6.99 or $7.99. Some of them are also available in e-book on Google Play. Or you can get paperback copies from Amazon.com too if you prefer a physical book. They are not available in stores. A lot of work and research went into them and they’ll save you countless hours of web surfing or YouTube watching in your search for pieces of the puzzle. Your support also funds more of Mark’s videos and other operations. Equipment, software, travel, and the props all cost money, so by purchasing his paperback books and e-books, you are helping The Resistance continue and your help is greatly appreciated. Be sure to subscribe to Mark’s YouTube channel, and look him up on Facebook, and Twitter. http://www.YouTube.com/MarkDice http://www.Facebook.com/MarkDice http://www.Twitter.com/MarkDice http://www.MarkDice.com
April 1, 2013
The U.S Dollar is quickly losing its status as the world reserve currency. Five of the top ten economies in the world, plus a few others, no longer use the dollar as an intermediary currency for trade. This trend poses a huge risk to the dollar and the United States along with it.
ZeroHedge points out today that Australia, the world’s 12th-ranked economy, has now joined a growing list of nations that have agreed to bypass the dollar in bilateral trade with China. China, ranked 2nd behind the U.S., also has similar agreements with Japan (3rd), Brazil (6th), India (9th), and Russia (10th).
Although unilateral agreements have been in place for some time between China and the countries listed above, last week the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) agreed to set up a development bank to compete with the IMF, indicating it’s gearing up to compete in a post-dollar world.
Additionally, Brazil, who agreed in principle to drop the dollar with bilateral trade with China some time ago, just made it official with $30 billion in annual currency swaps which will facilitate around 50% of all trade between them.
Besides those agreements with China, some of these nations have made other similar agreements with each other. India and Japan began swapping $15 billion in each other’s currency in 2011 to handle their bilateral trade. And the sanctions against Iran haven’t stopped them from trading oil with China, Russia, and India in anything but the dollar.
Here’s how the current reign of the US dollar compares to previous world reserve currency:
It appears that the dollar is certainly nearing the end of its reign, which could lead to severe economic hardship for the United States.
Dave Hodges writes:
The United States’ good economic fortune is due solely to the fact that world must use the dollar, the Petrodollar if you will, in order to make their nation’s individual oil purchases; this provides the only source of backing for the U.S. dollar that the Federal Reserve requires in order to somewhat sustain our back-breaking debt that the banker-occupied United States government has passed along to the American taxpayer in the form of bailouts.
And Marin Katusa of Casey Research writes:
If the US dollar loses its position as the global reserve currency, the consequences for America are dire. A major portion of the dollar’s valuation stems from its lock on the oil industry – if that monopoly fades, so too will the value of the dollar. Such a major transition in global fiat currency relationships will bode well for some currencies and not so well for others, and the outcomes will be challenging to predict. But there is one outcome that we foresee with certainty: Gold will rise. Uncertainty around paper money always bodes well for gold, and these are uncertain days indeed.
America’s imperialism, combined with its ultra-fiat status of unending debt creation, appears to have created a final downward spiral that has caused many of the top economies to abandon a sinking ship. It might not be too much longer before the rest follow suit. Now might be a great time to consider diversifying into other currencies, and even digital currencies, to mitigate growing losses in the U.S. dollar.
by Nile Bowie
March 30, 2013
Recent warnings of instability on the Korean peninsula by Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov come at a most appropriate time – and indeed, there is a frightening possibility that the situation could spin out of control. Since the North was heavily penalized by UN sanctions following its recent satellite launch and nuclear test, Pyongyang has embarked on a near-daily onslaught of belligerent threats, some of which include its invalidation of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War, threats to nuke the United States, and threats to occupy South Korea and subsequently take all Americans in the country hostage. Military analysts claim that North Korea is at least several years from building a nuclear warhead or a missile capable of reaching the US mainland – but there is no doubt that if the Kim regime oversteps their approach, it could certainly have severe repercussions for civilians in South Korea and Japan, both in range of North Korea’s rockets.
Despite regular threats of destruction and Pyongyang’s recent proclamation that the two Korean states are officially in a state of war, day-to-day life has retained its normality according to sources on the ground. Needless to say, there is no doubt that civilians on both sides are feeling tense in the current scenario, especially those on disputed South Korean islands in the West sea, just a stones throw away from the North Korean maritime border. The four thousands residents of the South’s Baengnyeong Island, which Kim Jong-un personally threatened to “wipe out” in early March, have been severely hindered from carrying out their day-to-day activities such as fishing due to the joint US-ROK military exercises in the area. Despite inter-Korean relations reaching their lowest point in recent times with the entire South on high alert, most South Koreans are adept at brushing off the North’s rhetoric, but they’re still proceeding with caution.Nile Bowie:
The question remains, what exactly is Kim Jong-un trying to achieve through this campaign of bellicosity? North Korean state media claims that the US “should clearly know that in the era of Marshal Kim Jong Un, the greatest-ever commander, all things are different from what they used to be in the past
.” The current approach being taken by Pyongyang is multifaceted, but its central component is building up Kim’s image domestically and rallying people around the flag – this has been reinforced by daily public appearances and friendly photo-ops of Kim mingling with local people, as well as an internal propaganda campaign likening him to his grandfather Kim il-Sung, the founder and “Eternal President” of North Korea. The central message Pyongyang wants to send both internationally and domestically is that Kim Jong-un’s era is distinctly different from before – many South Korean observers have also noted this change in approach, designed to make the regime’s moves more difficult to predict.Most analysts are regarding the North’s rhetoric as their familiar brand of psychological warfare whereby it cranks up the tensions and threatens Seoul and Washington with destruction, and is then rewarded with food aid and concessions when it tones things down, which it has previously done in the months of April and May – harvest time. Pyongyang likely views the present scenario as an opportune time to test the water, keeping the new administrations of their neighbors in South Korea, China and Japan on their toes. Despite the muscle flexing and the foolish threats emanating out of Pyongyang, Washington’s recent deployment of two nuclear-capable US B-2 stealth bombers illustrates everything that is wrong with US policy toward the North – this kind of move only serves to raise antagonisms and it in fact legitimizes Pyongyang’s rhetoric of the US coaxing nuclear war on the peninsula.
In addition to joint US-ROK’s endless barrage of war games on North Korea’s doorstep, the brandishing of B-2 bombers, which carry bombs that can blast through 70 meters of reinforced concrete, is an unnecessary stunt that is both bold and needlessly provocative. In fact, the B-2 flyover helps Kim Jong-un in consolidating his political power at home by rallying domestic support behind the US threat and distracting North Koreans from economic problems. These moves beg the question, is the United States prepared to launch a full-scale war against North Korea? Despite the high public disapproval of overt warfare campaigns launched by the Bush administration, the unholy status North Korea enjoys in American mainstream media – coupled with its threats to nuke the United States and the simple fact that is it a communist state – is likely enough to coax the average American into supporting a war of aggression against Pyongyang.
Despite the fact that the war would be relatively easy to sell to the public, the United States is financially strained and in no position to engage North Korea and endure massive causalities within its military, not to mention the risk of pulling China into the fold. Therefore, Washington would likely find nuclear weapons to be the most cost-effective way to quell the North Korean threat, an equally unacceptable scenario. At this point, North Korea is a godsend for the US military industrial complex and the defense industry, and South Korea is set to keep its status as the world’s single biggest importer of US weaponry. As the Obama administration pursues its pivot the Asia-Pacific region, the colorful belligerence of North Korea is exactly what it needs not only to maintain its unpopular military presence in South Korea and Japan, but also to further bolster its military muscle on China’s doorstep.Despite North Korea’s threats being empty, one should not dismiss the possibility that they will respond to provocations with force, much like how they shelled South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island in 2010 as a response to South Korean military exercises that fired live rounds into their territorial waters. This kind of small-scale fire exchange has the possibility to ignite the situation into a larger and more dangerous standoff, so it is of maximum importance that cool heads prevail and needlessly provocative displays of military muscle are scaled back. Koreans have historically seen themselves as a shrimp amongst whales – where they saw their peninsula abused by the US and the Soviet Union yesterday, they fear the same scenario repeating itself between the US and China today. If the Obama administration is not careful, it will provoke Pyongyang into doing something rash and by then, it will already be too late to rectify the situation.
Nile Bowie is an independent political analyst and photographer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has travelled North and South Korea extensively and can be reached at email@example.com
March 28, 2013
A new global bank is being born in South Africa – where the world’s top emerging economies are meeting. The new financial powerhouse would be a direct challenger to the World Bank and the IMF – both dominated by the US. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also green-lighted a new, mammoth crisis fund – and hinted they would ditch the dollar.
March 23, 2013
Straight from the plane and on to the Kremlin, Chinese President, Xi Jinping, receives a warm welcome as he comes to Russia on his first official visit.
The grand reception inside the Kremlin’s walls is a privilege reserved for the very few. That’s how Russia showed its appreciation of Xi Jinping choosing Moscow as the first capital to visit.
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March 26, 2013
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc),- A New York Times article reveals CIA involvement in weapons deliveries to the Syrian insurgents. Weapons which among other end up in the hands of the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch Jabhat al-Nusra.
The article reveals that deliveries by planes have taken place since 2012. The USA, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi-Arabia and others however, have directly and indirectly provided weapons for Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda associated insurgents since early 2011.
Special forces liaisons and special operations combat troops have been on the ground in Syria since 2011, taking among other, part in the spectacular kidnapping of the attorney general of Hama, Adnan Bakkur, in which helicopter gunships were involved.
The financing of the subversion began as early as 2007, when the government of Qatar sent USD 10 billion to the Turkish Foreign Minister Davotoglu. The arming of terrorists is not a one off scandal, but official NATO doctrine and a systematic violation of the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries.
As much as the New York Times (NYT) may want to portray arms shipments by plane as spectacular incident, it hardly touches the surface of the criminal attempt of the USA and NATO allies, Saudi-Arabia, Qatar, Israel, post-coup Libya and other, to systematically manufacture a low intensity conflict with the help of well financed and armed proxies, and with the purposes to prevent the completion of the PARS gas-pipeline, to balkanize Syria and Iraq, create a Kurdish Corridor, and to create the precondition for a war on Iran and other conflicts along the soft, resource rich underbelly of Russia and China.
The New York Times article correctly states, that Turkey and Arab governments, with the help of the CIA, over the recent months have increased their military aid to “Syrian opposition fighters”. The New York Times article further states, that the airlift began on a small scale in early 2012, continued intermittently through last fall, and expanded into a much heavier flow in late 2012. According to the NYT, it has grown to include more than 160 cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi-Arabian and Qatari military-style cargo planes, landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, other Turkish and Jordanian airports.
The importance of the NYT article lies in the fact, that it is for the first time, that a major US-American newspaper recognizes, and to a degree documents the fact, that a US intelligence service was involved in delivering weapons to insurgents in Syria, albeit US-President Obama publicly refused to provide more than “non-lethal” aid. The NYT also reports, that officers from US-Intelligence Services have used “secret offices” to help Arab governments shop for weapons, including a large procurement from Croatia. The NYT also reports that American officials, on the condition of anonymity, have stated, that US-Intelligence Officers have vetted rebel commanders and groups to determine, who should receive weapons as they arrive (1
The article in the NYT on 25 March was not the first to report about the airlift of arms from Croatia. Already on 8 March The London Telegraph reported about a 3,000 Ton airlift of weapons by Jordan and NATO member Turkey which passed through the Croatian city Zagreb. (2 Subsequently, on 9 March, LandDestroyer and nsnbc published a comprehensive article about the airlift, detailing that the weapons, among other, were being delivered to the Syrian Al-Qaeda militia Jabhat al-Nusra. (3
Reportedly, the CIA has declined to comment about the statements by members of the intelligence community, that the CIA vetted the terrorist groups who received the weapons. However, there are numerous reports which substantiate the direct involvement of the CIA and other NATO member states, Saudi-Arabian, Qatari and other intelligence services, and that, long before March 2013.
US – Special Forces Officer blows the whistle. Already in August 2011 an officer of the United States Special Forces at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, reports to nsnbc on the condition of anonymity, that US Special Forces had been operating in both Libya and Syria for months already, cooperating with predominantly Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda associated militia. (4
The same officer also verified that a training circular for special forces and “foreign students” which were trained by US special forces, the TC 18-01, Special Forces, Unconventional Warfare, from 2010, was a genuine document and reflected the model according to which the US Administration, US-Special Forces, US-Intelligence Services and their allies in Syria were organizing the subversion of the country. February 2012, the TC 18-01 was published in full by nsnbc. (5 No western mainstream media reported about the whistle blower or the TC 18-01.
September 2011 – Helicopter Gunships involved in the Kidnapping of Hama Attorney General Adnan Bakkur. In early September 2011 the attorney general of Hama, Syria, Adnan Bakkur was kidnapped. According to western mainstream media, the attorney general had defected. A video with the attorney general reading a statement that he had defected because of the violent crackdown of the Syrian government against peaceful protesters, was aired on several western mainstream media channels or used as evidence for the attorney general´s defection. The video shows clearly, that Adnan Bakkur “read” his statement under duress.
A reporter for nsnbc in Damascus reported, that the attorney general had been kidnapped and added further detail to the evidence, reporting, that eyewitnesses have seen the kidnappers drive in several cars, including a white Toyota pickup with a heavy machine gun mounted on it. The convoy with the kidnapped attorney general was then met by waiting helicopter gunships. Although the whereabouts of Adnan Bakkur were unknown, it was suspected, that he had been taken across the border to Turkey, where NATO Special Operations forces were training and arming Muslim Brotherhood fighters. (6
Although no independent, international investigation into this high profile kidnapping of the Hama attorney general Adnan Bakkur was conducted it was bearing all the signs of being a Military Intelligence Support Operation (MISO), also known as a PSYOP or psychological operation. Moreover, it is very unlikely that the helicopter gunships were not provided by a NATO member states military.
US Troops from Iraq redeployed to Jordan. Recruitment Center and Intelligence Operations Room in Mekka Street, Amman, Jordan. In December 2012 the blog of the US-American whistle blower Sibel Edmonds, Boilingfrogpost, reported that an unspecified number of US troops which had been withdrawn from Iraq, had been redeployed to airbases in Jordan and to the Jordanian border town Al-Mafraq, near the Syrian border. (7
On 17 February nsnbc reported, that the Jordanian military, together with US troops, had established a “buffer zone” at the Jordanian – Syrian border near al-Mafraq and reported that a source close to the former Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit had announced the presence of an estimated 43,000 fighters.
At least 20,000 of these fighters, so the former Jordanian prime Minister´s confident, were fighters of the Libyan Al-Qaeda organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), also known under the name “Tripoli Brigades”, under the command of the known Al-Qaeda terrorist Abdelhakim Belhadj and his second in command Harati. The transport of the many NATO mercenaries has reportedly taken place under the cover of medical transports or transports of wounded Libyan “rebels” to Jordan. (8
According to the former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, who referred to Spanish intelligence services reports, Abdelhakim Belhadj, who also is known under the names Hasadi, Hasidi and other alias, was the mastermind behind the 2004 Madrid train bombings which secured that the Spanish parliament continued deploying Spanish troops to Afghanistan.
After the NATO led conquest of the Libyan capital Tripoli, Belhadj became the military governor of Tripoli, Al-Qaeda´s Libyan Islamic Fighting Groups became the Tripoly Military Council and the Tripoli Brigades. Abdelhakim Belhadj was installed in the position with the knowledge and aid of the US/NATO intelligence services and military, and with the full knowledge of the administration of US President Obama. ( 9
Also from a source close to the former Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit, came the information that the Turkish (NATO) military intelligence service had opened an intelligence and operations room and a recruitment center in Mekha Street, in the Jordanian capital Amman. (ibid.)
Shiploads of Weapons including shoulder fired Surface to Air Missiles, arriving in Turkey, are distributed to insurgents in Syria. One fact that makes statements by the US administration, that it only provides non-lethal aid particularly deceitful is the fact that the Obama administration failed to respond to a report, according to which an entire shipload of weapons which had arrived to Turkey from Libya, and which contained large numbers of shoulder fired SAM-7 and Stinger Surface to Air Missiles, which were then distributed to insurgents in Syria by Turkish, that is NATO military officers. In September 2012 The Times, SANA and nsnbc reported about this largest yet documented shipload of weapons delivered to Syrian insurgents. (11
The “non-lethal aid ” will constitute a considerable threat to international air safety for the foreseeable future, and it is neither unlikely that one or more of the surface to air missiles will be used in a genuine terrorist attack by Islamist radicals against a civilian airliner, or that one or more of them will be used by a radical / double agent posing as a radical Islamist in a false flag terror attack.
The re-opening of the old smuggling route at the Saudi – Iraqi border and US Secretary of State´s warning to Iraq´s Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki. On 26 December 2012 nsnbc international reported about the reopening of an old smuggling route at the border between Saudi-Arabia and Iraq. The smuggling route, was previously being used for transporting various types of weapons, ammunition bombs,military equipment and not least drugs to Iraq, begins in Al-Nakhib in the western Al-Anbar province, near the Ar´ar border crossing. The smuggling route has been reactivated to provide a variety of terrorist organizations in Syria, including the Jabhat al-Nusra, with weapons and other equipment. (12
Weapons and other equipment from Saudi-Arabia, smuggled along this route however, is not exclusively being funneled to Syria. Iraq has since the last quarter of 2012 again become a target of terrorism and sectarian violence, instigated, financed and armed by Saudi-Arabia. In December 2012 a senior Iraqi legislator issued a warning against plots which are being hatched by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi-Arabia against Iraq, calling on citizens of Iraq to be vigilant. Earlier in 2012 Iraq´s Prime Minister Nouri Malaki warned, that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are attempting to carry out an Syria-style plot against Iraq in an attempt to topple the government by deploying terrorists.
In an interview with the Lebanese al-Mayyadeen satellite network earlier in 2012, P.M. Nouri al-Malaki stated: ” Qatar and Saudi Arabia which are meddling to topple the Syrian government are now doing the same meddling to topple the Iraqi regime. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi government. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi ruling system and not overthrowing me”.
Earlier in 2012 the prominent Iraqi legislator, Al-Sayhood, issued the warning that much of the strategy which is being financed and carried out by Saudi Arabia and Qatar is in fact masterminded by Israel in an attempt to destabilize the sole Arab nation which so far has stood firm against imperialism and which consequently and consistently has backed the Arab and Palestinian cause. Iraq has over the course of the last four months been subject to several high profile terrorist attacks and assassinations which most likely originated from Saudi-Arabia. (ibid.)
On a surprise visit to Iraq and Iraq´s Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki by US Secretary of State John Kerry however, Kerry demanded that Iraq stops the flow of arms to the Syrian military and the Syrian government. The demand has widely been discredited as hypocritical and many analysts, the scribe included assess Kerry´s statement as part of preparations for a larger media campaign and a campaign of destabilization and terrorism against Iraq. (14
NATO´s Discount Warfare Strategy, Arms Deliveries to “Terrorist Organizations” or systematic Violations of the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries – The deliveries of weapons and the funding of terrorist organizations, the interface of terrorist organizations with civilian and military intelligence services and western governments attempts to distance themselves as much as possible from terrorism in the view of the western citizens are symptoms of a new NATO military doctrine which was adopted at the 25th NATO Summit in Chicago 2012. (15
Prior to the formal adoption of the doctrine, which could be described as a discount low-intensity warfare model by means of mercenaries, who can be used as either friend or foe, which ideally should result in the procurement of NATO via the UNSC, but which will function as terrorist war of attrition if a UNSC resolution cannot be secured, was first officially endorsed by the two top NATO chiefs Ivo H. Daalder and James G. Stavridis when they called NATO´s intervention in Libya “a teachable moment and model for future intervention”. At NATO´s 25th Summit the model was officially adopted.
The NYT article, although it discloses some of the illegal deliveries of weapons is problematic and misleading to the extend that a correct name for the arms deliveries would be “Arms Deliveries to NATO mercenaries”.
The “terrorist” narrative is no longer viable and it eventually prevents the general public from understanding that the USA/NATO, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi-Arabia, EU and other “Friends of Syria” are systematically violating the Convention Against the Use of Mercenaries.
Christof Lehmann 26.03.2013
Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid from C.I.A., New York Times, 25. March 2013 published online at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/world/middleeast/arms-air-lift-to-syrian-rebels-expands-with-cis-aid.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
2) US and Europe in ‘major airlift of arms to Syrian rebels through Zagreb’. The London Telegraph, 08 March 2013, published online at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9918785/US-and-Europe-in-major-airlift-of-arms-to-Syrian-rebels-through-Zagreb.html
3) US-British Al Qaeda Airlift: 3,000 Tons of Weapons Fuel Syria’s Destruction , LandDestroyer, 09 March 2013, also published online by nsnbc international at http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/09/us-british-al-qaeda-airlift-3000-tons-of-weapons-fuel-syrias-destruction/
4) Arabian Summer or NATO´s Fall, Christof Lehmann, 29. August 2011, published online at nsnbc at http://nsnbc.me/2011/08/29/arabian-summer-or-nato%C2%B4s-fall/
5) SPECIAL FORCES UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE – TC 18-01, published by nsnbc online at http://nsnbc.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/special-forces-uw-tc-18-01.pdf
6) Syria – Hama: Driver and Bodyguard of Kidnapped General Attorney Confirm Kidnapping. Christof Lehmann, 05 September 2011, published on nsnbc, online at http://nsnbc.me/2011/09/05/syria-hama-driver-and-bodyguard-of-kidnapped-general-attorney-confirm-kidnapping/
7) Foreign Troops Begin to Spread Near the Villages of Al-Mafraq. Sibel Edmonds, Boilingfrogspost, published in nsnbc on 13 December 2011 online at http://nsnbc.me/2011/12/13/foreign-troops-begin-to-spread-in-syria/
8) Attack on Syria likely before March? Christof Lehmann, nsnbc, 17 February 2012, published online at http://nsnbc.me/2012/02/17/attack-on-syria-likely-before-march/
9) Abdelhakim Belhadj The Mask Behind The Many Men, Christof Lehmann, nsnbc, 25 September 2011, published online at http://nsnbc.me/2011/09/25/abdelhakim-belhadj-the-mask-behind-the-many-men/
11) Largest Shipload of Libyan Weapons Heading to Armed Groups in Syria, SANA, published on nsnbc on 15 September 2012, online at http://nsnbc.me/2012/09/15/largest-shipload-of-libyan-weapons-heading-to-armed-groups-in-syria/
12) Saudi Smuggling Route to Syria Disclosed. Christof Lehmann, nsnbc, 26. December 2012, published online at http://nsnbc.me/2012/12/26/saudi-smuggling-route-to-syria-disclosed-2/
14) Kerry Demands Iraq Stop “Arms Flow” to Syria even as US Arms/Funds Al Qaeda, LandDestroyer, 25 March 2013, published on nsnbc international at http://nsnbc.me/2013/03/25/kerry-demands-iraq-stop-arms-flow-to-syria-even-as-us-armsfunds-al-qaeda/
15) NATO`s 25th Summit in Chicago in Preparation of Global Full Spectrum Dominance Christof Lehmann, nsnbc, 20 May 2012, published online at http://nsnbc.me/2012/05/20/natos-25th-summit-in-chicago-in-preparation-of-global-full-spectrum-dominance-interventionism-possible-preparations-for-a-regional-war-directed-against-russia-and-china-and-developments-in-global/
by Nile Bowie
March 7, 2013
The long-term US funding of anti-government programs in Syria has raised questions about the types of groups being supported, and the benefits and arms supplied to militant groups; establishing political stability requires considered dialogue.
It appears that the US State Department under John Kerry will soon shift its focus to helping the rebels establish a full-fledged alternative government on Syrian territory and recognize it as the legal government of Syria. Such a move would legitimize the transfer of heavy weaponry and would allow the US to directly employ air strikes or Patriot anti-missile batteries against Assad’s forces.
Some would argue that these moves could help to marginalize the notable al-Qaeda presence among rebel forces. Pumping more arms and heavier weapons into Syria is unconscionable at this point, and continuing to do so will inevitably bolster the muscle and reach of jihadi and Salafist fighters. The argument that the US and its allies have only armed the “moderate” rebels is a deeply flawed one; weapons are in high demand by all rebel factions and there is little means to effectively prevent arms from gravitating toward hardcore Al-Qaeda fighters.
In his famous 1962 description of irregular warfare operations, US President John F. Kennedy alluded to “another type of warfare,” one that is “new in its intensity, ancient in its origin—war by guerrillas, subversives, insurgents, assassins; war by ambush instead of by combat, by infiltration instead of aggression, seeking victory by eroding and exhausting the enemy instead of engaging him. It preys on unrest.”
After two harrowing years of division, senseless killing and civil war, the scared Syrian nation and its people are well acquainted with these unconventional methods of warfare denounced over 50 years ago.
Yet Western and Gulf states have proven their double standards by enabling radicals elsewhere – lest we forget the presence of Libyan military commander Abdulhakim Belhadj, former leader of the militant Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (officially designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department), who was sent to Syria to aid the Free Syrian Army on orders of the entity formerly known as the Libyan National Transition Council (NTC). The track record of allied Western and Gulf states shows that they are more interested in enabling terrorism for their own purposes rather than preventing it.
Since the eruption of violence in March 2011, Syria has endured targeted assassination campaigns, ceaseless suicide bombings and shelling, and massacres where infants have had their throats slit to the spine – the time has come for the opposition to engage the Assad government in dialogue and finally bring about a ceasefire and the total cessation of violence and insurgency.
From the reports of third-party sniper-fire targeting both protesters and security personnel in the southern city of Daraa at the very onset of the conflict, to the horrendous attacks on the students of Aleppo University in January 2013 – those who have critically monitored the situation from the beginning are under no illusions – the influx of armament and mercenary elements from abroad into Syria has brought the situation to where it is today. Western capitals have provided logistics, coordination, political support, and non-lethal aid, Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar have openly provided weapons and monthly salaries for rebel fighters, and Turkey has allowed rebel fighters to receive training and arms from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the southeastern part of the country, allowing militants to pass into Syria freely.
There are those who say that Syria is the subject of an internal revolution that is brutally repressed by a malicious dictator, and those who say instead that Syria is being attacked by foreign powers who have deployed mercenaries and extremist fighters from abroad to engage in the destruction of infrastructure and conduct targeted assassinations to bring about an end to the Assad regime. Despite Washington’s concerns of heavy weapons falling into the hands of Al-Qaeda-linked militants, the US-backed campaign to coax regime change in Damascus has from the very onset enabled militants who justify their acts of terror in the name of a perverted interpretation of Islam. Reports in the Washington Post indicate that US support for anti-government groups in Syria began in 2005, transcending two presidential administrations:
“The U.S. money for Syrian opposition figures began flowing under President George W. Bush after he effectively froze political ties with Damascus in 2005. The financial backing has continued under President Obama, even as his administration sought to rebuild relations with Assad. Syrian authorities ‘would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change,’ read an April 2009 cable signed by the top-ranking U.S. diplomat in Damascus at the time. ‘A reassessment of current U.S.-sponsored programming that supports anti-[government] factions, both inside and outside Syria, may prove productive,’ the cable said. The cables report persistent fears among U.S. diplomats that Syrian state security agents had uncovered the money trail from Washington.”The article describes how Washington funnelled about $12 million to anti-government programs in Syria between 2005 and 2010 to recipients affiliated with the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. Israel, which is now illegally conducting exploratory drilling in the occupied Golan Heights, and the US view the toppling of Damascus as a means of extinguishing the critical conduit between Iran and Hezbollah, the political and militant Shi’a organization centered in Southern Lebanon, in addition to helping isolate the Palestinian resistance.
The non-violent route: Laying aside differences
Both the incumbent Syrian authorities and the opposition must find strength to come to a mutually acceptable compromise. These parties have no other option than to search for a solution, lay down an agreeable constitutional basis for elections, and face each other in international monitored polls once the situation stabilizes. The Syrian people must not have democracy imposed on them, and the victor of this war should not be decided on the battlefield, but by the ballot box.
To gain the confidence of the electorate, election observers from the US, Qatar, Russia, and Iran could be sent to monitor the transition process – if the people of Syria want Assad to remain in power, then the rule of majority must be honored. Militant groups comprised of mostly hard line foreign fighters such as Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham cannot be expected to participate in a ceasefire, so the true test of a short-term alliance between Assad and the SNC would be in its ability to cooperate in quelling radical militants and restoring stability – such is a perquisite for any kind of transition.
Former US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton once threatened Russia and China that they would “pay a price” for their position on the Syrian issue. It should be noted that these powers maintained a balanced approach throughout and advocated dialogue from the start, in addition to stringently adhering to former UN Envoy Kofi Annan’s six point peace plan. Iran should also be given due credit for hosting an International Consultative Conference in August 2012, which brought together representatives of thirty nations to call for ending the flow of foreign arms into terrorist hands inside Syria, proposals to broker a meaningful ceasefire, the coordination of humanitarian aid, and support for Syrian people’s right to reform without foreign interference.
Accommodating diversity in Syrian society
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted in the Washington Post stating,“Syrian society is a beautiful mosaic of ethnicities, faiths and cultures, and it will be smashed to pieces should President Bashar Assad abruptly fall. The idea that, in that event, there would be an orderly transition of power is an illusion. Abrupt political change without a roadmap for managed political transition will lead only to a precarious situation that would destabilize one of the world’s most sensitive regions.” It is clear that the Assad government is more stable than many Western states anticipated, and it continues to enjoy popular support.
Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah recently warned against sectarian infighting in Lebanon related to the Syrian civil war, arguing that outsiders are pushing Lebanon “toward civil and religious strife, and specifically Sunni-Shia strife.” Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki also warned that a victory for rebels would “create a new extremist haven and destabilize the wider Middle East.” The Syrian regime will not imminently collapse but if it is brought down by military intervention, the consequences could lead to a highly unpredictable situation where match and tinder can meet at any moment with debilitating consequences for the region. It is time for both parties to convene. It is time to end this war.
Reports published in 2007 in the New Yorker by veteran journalist Seymour Hersh detail how the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia supported a regional network of extremist fighters and terrorists affiliated with al-Qaeda with the aim of stomping out Hezbollah and Syria’s Assad in a bid to isolate Iran, who is viewed as an existential threat to the US and its allies in the region. A principal component of this policy shift was the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups, hence the ever-deepening sectarian nature of the Syrian conflict:“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”
While the CIA has purportedly claimed to distribute arms only to “secular” and “moderate”rebel forces, Washington insiders from various academic and think-tank circles have openly endorsed bizarre positions in favor of integrating terrorists into Syria’s rebel forces. “Al-Qaeda’s Specter in Syria,” penned by Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Ed Husain, argues in favor of Al-Qaeda terrorists and their inclusion in the Free Syrian Army, stating, “The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervour, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.” Foreign Policy’s, “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists,” penned by Gary Gambill of the heavily neo-conservative Middle East Forum, argues in favor of Al-Qaeda, “Islamists — many of them hardened by years of fighting U.S. forces in Iraq — are simply more effective fighters than their secular counterparts. Assad has had extraordinary difficulty countering tactics perfected by his former jihadist allies, particularly suicide bombings and roadside bombs.”
While many Western media outlets once likened Syria’s rebels to pro-democracy freedom fighters, it has become more challenging to view them as anything other than Salafist radicals – the former’s existence was amplified specifically to provide cover and legitimacy for the violence and subversion of the latter. As a result of a foreign-backed insurgency, the Assad regime resorted to tactics of shelling and conducing air strikes on rebel strongholds, which were mostly in densely populated urban areas. It should not be denied that these heavy-handed tactics have also led to a substantial and regrettable loss of life.
The Friends of Syria group recently convened in Rome, where the US State Department has pledged $60 million to help the opposition maintain “the institutions of the state” in areas under their control, such as establishing terms of governance, the rule of law, and police forces. Reports have also claimed that the US is also deliberating more open engagement in Syria under newly appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry, however Washington has stopped short of openly providing arms and military training. American and western officials have told the New York Times that Saudi Arabia has recently financed a large purchase of infantry weapons from Croatia and funnelled them to Syrian rebel groups. Although the United States is not credited with providing arms to rebel forces, the New York Times has reported the presence of CIA operatives in southern Turkey since June 2012, who are distributing weapons with the Obama administration’s blessing. US spokesperson Jay Carney was quoted as saying, “We will continue to provide assistance to the Syrian people, to the Syrian opposition, we will continue to increase our assistance in the effort to bring about a post-Assad Syria.”
In early March 2013, the Syrian National Council (SNC) will meet in Istanbul to form a provisional government that would oversee rebel-held areas of the country. This wouldn’t be the first time the SNC has attempted to form a government; previous attempts in January 2013 fell apart, with many factions refusing to consider a prime ministerial nominee. SNC President Moaz al-Khatib has angered several factions for proposing his readiness to negotiate with the Assad government, a position that many in the opposition refuse to accept.
The Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari has urged the Friends of Syria states to convince the Syrian opposition to sit down for an unconditional national dialogue, which al-Khatib has expressed his willingness to take part in. One could surmise that al-Khatib’s shift toward dialogue indicates that the SNC is feeling less secure and more wary of a possible military defeat or rivalry with radical factions. Such a dialogue would undoubtedly represent a step in the right direction. Despite political differences and two years of deep conflict, these two parties must establish a genuine ceasefire and partnership to restore a climate of normality throughout the country. In this context, both parties must be able to agree on coordinating aid distribution to all parts of the country.
International recognition of a provisional SNC government would only create further divisions at a time when national unity is most needed. Although rebel-held areas are badly isolated and in need of humanitarian supplies, the delivery of aid must be facilitated through direct talks and partnership between Moaz al-Khatib’s Syrian National Council and Bashar Al-Assad’s government.
Nile Bowie is an independent political analyst based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
by Eric Draitser
March 11, 2013
Iranians work on a section of a pipeline linking Iran and Pakistan after the project was launched during a ceremony in the Iranian border city of Chah Bahar on March 11, 2013 (AFP Photo / Atta Kenare)
The pipeline will bring more than simply an economic boost to both countries; it is a crucial guidepost on the path to peace. After generations of conflict, Iran and Pakistan are taking their economic destinies into their own hands – together.
The pipeline, which would bring Iranian gas to Pakistan through its western Balochistan province, will stretch almost 1,000 miles (1,600 km) from Iran’s gas-rich Asalouyeh region into the Pakistani heartland, supplying major cities like Karachi and Islamabad with much needed, reliable energy while carrying a pricetag of roughly $1.5 billion. Similarly, the project is critical for Iran as it struggles to survive and grow amid the hostility of US-European sanctions.
The Benefits for Both Countries
It is against the backdrop of brutal, draconian sanctions initiated by the US and its European partners, that Tehran has taken the countermeasure to develop itself and the region, constructing an economically independent framework of relations not beholden to Western financiers. Undoubtedly, the centerpiece of this strategy of economic independence as a means of anti-imperialist resistance is the Iran-Pakistan pipeline. The project, already nearing completion on the Iranian side of the border, would bring desperately needed Iranian gas to energy-starved Pakistan – a country battling a perpetual energy shortage. Needless to say, the project is critical for the economic survival of both nations.
For Iran, the pipeline means economic stability at a time of tremendous turmoil. While the Islamic Republic often downplays the impact of the sanctions, the reality is inescapable: an inflation rate hovering around 30% , the loss of key regional markets such as India, and the continued shortage of medicines and staple foods among other things . These problems plaguing the Iranian economy require both short-term and long-term solutions. The pipeline conveniently addresses both as it provides Tehran with much needed energy revenue today, while offering the potential for increased revenue and infrastructure expansion in the future. Essentially then, the pipeline is really more of a lifeline, anchoring the Iranian economy for decades to come.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2ndL) and Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari wave during a ceremony marking the start of work on the 780-kilometre (485-mile) pipeline from Iran to Pakistan on March 11, 2013 in the Iranian border city of Chah Bahar (AFP Photo / Atta Kenare))
Like their Iranian neighbors, Pakistan also has had to address glaring economic deficiencies, particularly with regard to the energy sector. A recent poll unsurprisingly showed that energy shortages, along with unemployment, remain the greatest economic issues facing the country. Public anger over the inability of the government to meet the country’s electricity demands has boiled over in the form of riots numerous times, most recently in the summer of 2012 . This type of public unrest over the energy issue serves to delegitimize the government, especially the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and weaken their hold on political power.
For Islamabad then, the pipeline means energy security which, in turn, means political stability. Moreover, the project as a whole is, at least in small part, a way of resisting Washington and the Obama administration’s continued violations of Pakistani sovereignty. By pushing forward with the project, in the face of countless threats from Washington, Pakistani president Zardari is walking a fine line between maintaining a working relationship with his US partners and forging new relations from which Pakistan will benefit while the US loses.
A Sectarian Bridge?
One critical aspect of the Iran-Pakistan pipeline is the simple fact that it brings together two countries that, if western imperialists were to have their way, would always remain enemies. Pakistan (a majority Sunni Muslim country) and Iran (a majority Shiite Muslim country), have historically been at odds with one another, choosing rather to align themselves with other Sunni and Shiite countries respectively. This fundamental conflict has, for more than a century, been at the heart of the imperialist/colonialist strategy.
Whether British, French, or American, western powers have long dominated the vast energy resources of the Middle East and Central Asia by dividing the Muslim populations along these sectarian lines, exploiting the differences between them in order to prevent independent economic development. However, the Iran-Pakistan pipeline flies in the face of this “divide and conquer” strategy. Bringing together these two countries through mutually beneficial economic development, the project seems to signal a major change in the Muslim world in the 21st Century. No longer will the imperialists be able to control the destinies of nations in the region by exploiting their differences. Rather, it is the imperial powers themselves who will have to reevaluate their strategy and come to terms with a changing world in which their unchallenged hegemony becomes a relic of the past.
The Geopolitics of the Pipeline
Although the Iran-Pakistan pipeline is economically and politically significant to both nations, it takes on perhaps its greatest importance in the context of world geopolitics. The project fundamentally alters the balance of power in Asia and the world for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, the pipeline links two countries that, each in its own way, seek to undermine US hegemony in the Middle East and South Asia. While Iran has been the implacable foe of Washington since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Pakistan has maintained relations that at one time made them close allies, but in recent years have deteriorated to the point where the United States is seen as Public Enemy No. 1 in the streets. The pipeline brings the two countries closer together and, in so doing, helps to solidify a relationship united by a common mistrust of the US.
Iranians work on a section of a gas pipeline linking Iran and Pakistan after the project was launched during a ceremony in the Iranian border city of Chah Bahar on March 11, 2013 (AFP Photo / Atta Kenare))
Secondly, the Iran-Pakistan pipeline could quite easily become the Iran-Pakistan-China pipeline if Beijing decides to finally get involved. In this very plausible scenario, China would finally get the “holy grail” it has sought for years: land-based access to energy imports from the Middle East. For China, an energy-starved economy that continues to grow, this would greatly enhance their regional position. It would also transform the balance of power in Asia, as the era of US domination of energy resources in the Middle East would be over. So, were the project to be extended to China, the pipeline would become the focus of a new power paradigm, making it one of the most important economic development projects in the world.
Additionally, the pipeline shows the growing power and influence of international alliances and organizations that represent a counterweight to the imperialist establishment of the West. Iran has taken on the role of leading the Non-Aligned Movement, thrusting itself into the forefront of the anti-imperialist bloc. At the same time, both Iran and Pakistan seek membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by Russia and China, which is showing signs of developing into a full-fledged strategic alliance that provides a check to US-NATO dominance. In this way, the pipeline becomes the tangible link between various organizations and alliances which seek to beat a path independent of US hegemony. It is for this reason, more than anything else, that the United States has vigorously attempted to subvert the development of the pipeline, going so far as to heavily promote the much-touted Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, seen as the main competitor to the Iran-Pakistan project. However, despite the fierce opposition from Washington, the project will go ahead while the TAPI still remains on the drawing board, subject to security concerns in Afghanistan and elsewhere along the route.
When seen from the broadest perspective, the Iran-Pakistan pipeline fundamentally transforms power relations in the Middle East, South Asia, and throughout the world. Not only does it benefit the two nations involved, but all other nations and peoples who have been oppressed, controlled, or otherwise coerced by the Western powers. In this way, the Iran-Pakistan Pipeline represents peace and progress. In short, it is the promise of a better future.
Iranians work on a section of a pipeline (on with are sticked Iranian and Pakistanese national flags) after the project was launched during a ceremony with presidents of Iran and Pakistan on March 11, 2013 in the Iranian border city of Chah Bahar (AFP Photo / Atta Kenare)
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and the founder of StopImperialism.com.
[hat tip: Nile Bowie]
March 13, 2013
There is little doubt that civilians on both sides of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) are weighed down with anxiety as both countries carry out provocative large-scale military drills amid threats of nuclear war. North Korea has recently announced that it will no longer abide by the UN-brokered armistice that ended the Korean War with a ceasefire in 1953 and authorities have severed its communications hotline with the South, the only diplomatic channel of contact between the two countries. Pyongyang has imposed no-fly and no-sail zones off both its coasts as part of comprehensive military drills that may see the test firing of short-to-medium range missiles. The US-South Korea joint command forces have launched their Foal Eagle field training exercises that will be ongoing until end of April. 200,000 South Korean troops and 10,000 US troops will take part in the exercise, which will include land, air, sea, and special operation drills. North Korea’s state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, has reported that the North’s army, navy, air force, and anti-aircraft units were “just waiting for the final order to attack.”
Following Pyongyang’s recent threats that it would engage preemptive nuclear strikes against any aggressor, Seoul shot back with its strongest rhetoric yet, stating, “If North Korea attacks South Korea with a nuclear weapon, then by the will of the Republic of Korea and humanity, the Kim Jong-un regime will perish from the Earth.” South Korea’s newly inaugurated President Park Geun-hye has been in office for less than one month and in the current scenario, it has become politically impossible for her to stick to her campaign pledges of taking a softer line on North Korea. Most of the time, the substance of North Korea’s threats do not materialize, much like last month’s pledge to take an immediate “physical response” to a barrage of UN sanctions. While talk of taking “second and third countermeasures” are thrown around pretty liberally in North Korean state media, the North Korean foreign ministry has not announced any specific actions – such as a nuclear weapons test or rocket launch – in response to harsh UN resolutions or the ongoing US-ROK drill offensive.
North Korea invokes a brutal historical narrative of war with the United States to legitimize its conduct in the present day – and indeed, North Korea is a victim of war crimes. Washington and its allies rained napalm over North Korea, destroying nearly all its cities and thousands of villages. A staggering four million Koreans and one million Chinese soldiers were killed – US military sources confirm that 20 percent of North Korea’s population was killed off, even that being a highly conservative figure. In the fallout of North Korea’s third nuclear test, state media has invoked several English-language editorials that reflect on the overlooked historical back-story of the US stockpiling nuclear weapons in South Korea. The statement released by the Rodong Sinmun reads:
“In the 1980s the U.S. spurred the modernization of the nuclear hardware of its forces in south Korea. Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Ronald, speaking at a parliament, confessed that the U.S. shipped more than 1,000 nuclear weapons to south Korea and deployed 54 airplanes for carrying nuclear bombs. South Korea turned into the world’s biggest nuclear outpost with the stockpile of nuclear weapons such as bombs, shells, warheads, land mines and carrier means as well as nuclear bases and arsenals. The U.S. nuclear threats were vividly manifested in its open declaration to use nuclear weapons in Korea.”
For all intents and purposes, this is an accurate account. If we fast-forward toward the present-day, the Bush administration’s Doctrine for Joint Nuclear Operations issued in 2005 established the circumstances under which the US could preemptively invoke the use of nuclear weapons. The document states:
“The lessons of military history remain clear: unpredictable, irrational conflicts occur. Military forces must prepare to counter weapons and capabilities that exist in the near term even if no immediate likely scenarios for war are at hand. To maximize deterrence of WMD use, it is essential US forces prepare to use nuclear weapons effectively and that US forces are determined to employ nuclear weapons if necessary to prevent or retaliate against WMD use.”
The North Korean Foreign Ministry’s recent statement, “Second Korean War Is Unavoidable”, argues that the DPRK reserves the right to a preemptive nuclear attack and the Foal Eagle joint military exercises are akin to Washington lighting a fuse for a nuclear war. The document also acknowledges the Obama administration’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, and that the US “seeks a way out of a serious economic crisis at home in unleashing the second Korean War.” Many analysts throughout the alternative media have acknowledged North Korea’s history as a victim and have defended their acquisition of a nuclear deterrent. While the historical context of abuse warrants one to be empathetic toward Pyongyang in this respect, many of these commentators fail to necessitate the primacy that inter-Korean dialogue should hold in their writings. It should also be noted that when official figures, such as Jon Yong-nam of the Kim Il-sung Socialist Youth League, utter phrases like, “We vow to plant the flag of the central military command and the North Korean flag on Halla Mountain on Jeju Island [South Korea]”, it makes the deterrent argument far less convincing.
In recent times, the North has provided slight openings for foreign media to enter the country and speak to its citizens, and undercover testimony has been smuggled out. Recent reports published by Radio Free Asia (RFA) detail the intellectual insecurity of North Korean civilians, who in consuming copious amounts of state media in the absence of any other source, deeply fear the threat of strikes or an invasion from foreign powers. RFA quotes a resident of North Korea’s Yanggang Province who has allegedly said, “The authorities said if we have nuclear weapons, we can scare off anyone we meet, but on the contrary even though we have nuclear weapons and we’re shouting that we might launch a preemptive strike, I’m worried it seems we might receive a preemptive strike.” Another resident in resident in Hamgyong Pronvince said, “If we shoot off a nuclear weapon, are the Americans going to stay motionless? In any case, if nuclear weapon is launched everyone dies, so I feel there’s no use for training or anything.”
Although these anonymous testimonies, appearing on the US State Department-run RFA, likely serve as some form of propaganda, it highly plausible that a percentage of the North Korean population feels quite uneasy about the current state of affairs. One could offer their rhetorical support for North Korea’s acquisition of nuclear weapons as a deterrent, but what will become of some 10.5 million innocent civilians in Seoul if the North attempts to proliferate its nuclear arsenal? Likewise, 3.2 million souls in Pyongyang would be extinguished if the US employed its preemptive nuclear doctrine. The potential death toll should not be limited to those in capital cities, the reemergence of conflict on the Korean Peninsula immediately endangers the 70 million people living there. For all the firery rhetoric exchanged between the two Koreas, the fact that the hardline Lee Myung-bak regime, incumbent President Park’s predecessor, did not retaliate when the North shelled Yeonpyeong island in 2010 demonstrates the extent to which restraint has been exercised for the sake of stability.
The only thing keeping the situation from deteriorating is the fact that North would probably not come out victorious if it went to war with South Korea and the United States. While the North boasts larger manpower, more submarines, and more fighter jets, the South possesses highly sophisticated weaponry and modern defense technology by comparison – for this reason, Pyongyang has put more focus on the development of ICBMs and nuclear warheads. Military experts say North Korea is years away from developing a long-range missile and a nuclear warhead to attack the US mainland; however the damage it could do to South Korea and Japan has the potential to amass high civilian causalities and shouldn’t be under-estimated. One could argue that the case has never been stronger for the withdrawal of the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea. Such a move that would satisfy civilians in both Koreas and yield higher chances of provoking a positive response from Pyongyang during this tense period; however, that simply isn’t going to happen. As the Pentagon pivots to the Asia-Pacific, North Korea is a godsend in its ability to provide Washington with a legitimate pretext to bolster its forces in China’s backyard.
As tensions increase on the Korean Peninsula, the only power that has any influence to broker an agreement that could de-escalate hostilities is China. Following North Korea’s third nuclear test, many Chinese citizens took part in a historically unprecedented outbreak of anti-North Korea protests, and both China’s state-run media and various policy experts are becoming more vocal in their criticism of Beijing’s North Korean policy. China partnered with the United States to co-author recent UN resolutions against Pyongyang, exhibiting new heights of Beijing’s disapproval with the Kim dynasty. An editorial in China’s Global Times newspaper reads, “If North Korea engages in further nuclear tests, China will not hesitate to reduce its assistance to North Korea.” The editorial went on to say that if the US, Japan and South Korea “promote extreme U.N. sanctions on North Korea, China will resolutely stop them and force them to amend these draft resolutions.”
Kim Jong-un has demonstrated his willingness to go against the wishes of his main allies in Beijing, which has visibly frustrated those on the Chinese side, who have for years attempted to nudge Pyongyang into implementing meaningful economic reform. China should do more to denounce unnecessary and provocative military drills that have the potential to lead to fire exchange and inter-Korean turbulence. More likely than not, these threats will not materialize and tensions will deescalate in time. China hosted tri-lateral talks in Beijing with Pyongyang and Washington in attendance a decade ago in April 2003 – at the time North Korea withdrew from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, fired a short-range missile into the Sea of Japan, violated South Korean airspace with a fighter jet, and threatened to abandon the 1953 Armistice Agreement. The present day scenario is highly unpredictable and it’s clear that Beijing must take the initiative to deescalate this situation and bring all parties together to the negotiating table to work out a new agreement – one that establishes meaningful inter-Korean security assurances that lead to both sides scaling back military drills and provocative muscle flexing – such is a prerequisite for any kind of normalization of relations.
This article appeared on Counterpunch.
Nile Bowie is an independent political analyst and photographer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has travelled extensively to North and South Korea and can be reached at email@example.com.
Global Research TV
March 14, 2013
In this age of manufactured terror, one of the most vital regions on the global chessboard is also an area that few in the West know anything about: Central Asia. This geostrategic and resource-rich area on the doorstep of China and Russia finds itself in the middle of an all out terror campaign. But, as key national intelligence whistleblowers are pointing out, these terrorists are working hand-in-glove with NATO. This is the GRTV Backgrounder on Global Research TV.
TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=7082
by Tony Cartalucci
March 7, 2013
(LD) – Hundreds of heavily armed terrorists have crossed from the Philippines and landed in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah. Dozens are already dead, and the Malaysian military has brought in aircraft and armor
to confront the audacious, bizarre invasion, scattering militants into the jungles of Borneo island. A seemingly headline news event, the invasion has been downplayed and spun by the Western media, many calling militant Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, an “armed Filipino clan.”
Image: Malaysia has called in air support and armor to confront a bizarre terrorist invasion in its eastern state of Sabah.
The West’s woeful, irresponsible coverage of a burgeoning region-wide destabilization, fits in nicely with its coverage of US-Saudi funded/armed terrorism around the world, including in Syria where US-funded terrorists of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” have just taken dozens of UN peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights – just days after the US announced it would fund the terrorists further, to the tune of $60 million and the West’s Arab partners have just granted the terrorist faction Syria’s seat at the “Arab League.”
Terrorists are US-Saudi Funded Extremists – Part of Engineered Destabilization.
While the West pleads ignorance over the identity of the militants held up in the jungles of Malaysia’s Sabah state, the militant organizations themselves have declared thousands more in reinforcements are being arranged in the Philippines to join and exasperate the conflict. The Free Malaysia Today newspaper reported in its article, “10,000 Tausugs to sail to Sabah,” that :
Thousands of Tausug from Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi have sailed to Sabah to reinforce members of the so-called royal army of the sultanate of Sulu who are fighting it out with Malaysian security forces, a Moro National Liberation Front official said Tuesday.
The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of course, is one of several of Al Qaeda’s franchises in Southeast Asia, and spun off the notorious terrorist organization, Abu Sayyaf, a US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization with direct ties to Al Qaeda.
The Philippines’ terrorist organizations, located amongst the country’s southern islands have long held ties to Al Qaeda and receive funding and support from Saudi Arabia. AFP reported in their 2010 article, “WikiLeaks: US suspected Saudi ambassador to the Philippines of terror link,” that:
The United States suspected a Saudi Arabian ambassador to the Philippines of potential involvement in funding terrorists, according to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks this week.
The report would also state:
Francis Townsend cited Waly’s intervention to secure the release of two members of an Islamic charity detained in the Philippines, the cable showed.
The group was suspected of funnelling funds to Al-Qaeda-linked groups based in the southern Philippines.
It continued stating:
The February 24, 2007, US embassy cable named the charity suspected of terror financing in the Philippines as IIRO, which stands for the International Islamic Relief Organisation.
Intelligence agencies have said IIRO was set up by Muhammad Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
The report concluded by stating:
Overall, the WikiLeaks cables singled out Saudi Arabia as the key source of funding for radical Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hamas.
Saudi Arabia is of course is the chief financier of Al Qaeda, and is currently leading efforts to fund, arm, and fill the ranks of Al Qaeda’s franchises from Mali and Libya, to Syria and Iraq. A multitude of reports from across the West have identified Saudi Arabia as the lynch pin in Al Qaeda’s global terror campaign, including the US Army West Point Combating Terrorism Center.
Its reports “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” and “Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa’ida’s Road In and Out of Iraq,” identify a vast terrorist network maintained by the Saudis that recruits, arms, and funds terrorists from across the Muslim World, and can funnel a mercenary army into any desired nation. At the time, the desired nation was Iraq. In 2011, it was Libya. Today it is Syria. The same network that US soldiers fought in Iraq is verifiably in use today, in support of US regime-change operations in Syria.
And while it is acknowledged across even the Western mainstream media that Saudi Arabia is a notorious state-sponsor of terrorism, including the terrorists allegedly behind the September 11, 2001 attacks that left 3,000 Americans dead, the US has had a decades-long, deep economic and military relationship with the despotic Arabian autocracy.
The US maintains permanent military bases inside Saudi Arabia, funds the Saudi military, and has recently concluded the largest arms deal in US history with the Saudis. Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s brutally repressive internal security apparatus is a creation of US advisers and operators.
The Saudi royal family and the elite amongst the US corporate-financier Fortune 500, have maintained deep financial and political ties as well. Saudi Arabian corporate-financier interests (run by the royal family) are tied directly to Wall Street and London via conglomerations like the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council and representation upon the JP Morgan International Council (Khalid Al-Falih of Saudi Aramco, amongst the highest valued companies on Earth).
This also includes the Bin Laden family, whose multi-billion dollar Saudi Binladin Group is an active member of the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council and plays a central role in deciding bilateral policy for the benefit of collective US-Saudi corporate-financier and corresponding geopolitical interests. At one point, the Bin Ladens and the Bush family sat around the same table, as both families were involved in the equity firm, Carlyle. In fact, Bush and Bin Laden family members were clicking champagne glasses together in Washington on 9/11, an event that would make both families immensely rich in the coming decade.
It is clear, most acutely in Libya and Syria, that the use of Saudi Arabia’s global Al Qaeda mercenary army serves both Saudi Arabia’s interests as well as Western geopolitical ambitions, including to exact regime change around the world. And it just so happens that the West and Saudi Arabia both seek regime change in currently Russo-Iranian-Chinese friendly Malaysia.
West Attempts to Install Client Regime in Malaysia
The West has been propping up Malaysian opposition candidate Anwar Ibrahim for years.
Anwar Ibrahim, head of Malaysia’s opposition coalition, which includes the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), has spent a lifetime in the service of Western interests. Anwar Ibrahim was Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1998, held lecturing positions at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was a consultant to the World Bank, and a panelist at the Neo-Con lined National Endowment for Democracy’s “Democracy Award” and a panelist at a NED donation ceremony – the very same US organization whose subsidiaries are funding and supporting Bersih, a faux-pro-democracy Western-funded street movement that in fact was created by, and in the service of Anwar Ibrahim’s political ambitions.
Bersih’s street activism fits into a global pattern of Western-backed “color revolutions,” where meddling in sovereign nation’s political processes to install Western-client regimes is disguised as “democracy promotion.”
Anwar Ibrahim’s affiliations with Malaysian “Islamists,” the already active political subversion his US State Department-funded Bersih movement is sowing in Malaysia’s streets, and his Western backers’ habitual support for terrorism internationally as a geopolitical tool, raises the possibility that his opposition movement is complicit in the conveniently timed militant destabilization Malaysia now faces, only months before 2013′s general elections.
This may be why the Western media refuses to properly cover an otherwise very noteworthy conflict. The fact that these militants are emanating from long-time US ally, the Philippines, and the Philippines’ current role in assisting the US “pivot” towards Asia, and more specifically facilitating a proxy confrontation with China, illustrates the greater regional implications at play. The US intends to install client regimes in Myanmar led by Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand led by Thaksin Shinawatra’s despotic political dynasty, and in Malaysia led by Anwar Ibrahim. Together, this front will then be turned against Chinese interests as part of a long-planned desire to encircle and contain China.
It will be done so under ASEAN and at the cost of Asia’s stability and prosperity.
The future of Asia hangs in the balance, and therefore conflicts like Malaysia’s battle against armed extremists in Sabah may not be covered by the Western press, but it must be covered by the alternative press. The unhinged insanity that is now spilling blood on Malaysia’s shores, also represented by the West’s proxy Anwar Ibrahim and his attempts to provoke street protests against the ruling government, illustrates just how dangerous the current Anglo-American international order is, and how far its reach extends.
We must identify the corporate-financier interests driving this agenda, – interests we most likely patronize on a daily basis, and both boycott and permanently replace them to erode the unwarranted influence they have used, and will continue to use against people the world over.
End the Lie – Independent News
February 28, 2013
Top officials from the United States, France, Germany, Britain, China, Russia and Iran take part in talks on Iran’s nuclear programme in the Kazakh city of Almaty on February 27, 2013 (AFP Photo / Pool / Shamil Zhumatov)
Negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 nations ended with offers of eased demands on the Islamic Republic. While it’s a good start, experts say, the crippling US sanctions on the country are unlikely to be changed as they are written into American law.
A new proposal finalized during the Wednesday meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan would require Iran to suspend – but not completely close down – operations at its underground uranium enrichment facility in Fordo. It would also create a set amount of 20-per-cent-enriched uranium for Iran to stockpile.
The offer marks a new turn in the long term of negotiations between world powers and Iran, which previously had made stark demands on the Islamic Republic. The P5+1 – the United States, Russia, France, Britain, China and Germany – are now only asking for scaled down operations in Iran’s nuclear program, which some governments allege is aimed at developing a nuclear bomb.
Iran would also now be able to keep enough enriched uranium to produce medical isotopes at a research facility in Tehran.
The group asked Iran to allow International Atomic Energy Agency monitors to visit its facilities more often in exchange for the suspension of selected current sanctions and a moratorium on new ones.
However, Hillary Mann Leverett, CEO of Strategic Energy and Global Analysis, a Washington-based political risk consultancy, told RT this part may be only an empty gesture.
“Everyone knows the United States has very little that it can give on sanctions,” she said. “President Obama essentially ceded his foreign policy on this issue to the US Congress; almost all of those sanctions are written into US law. They are not something President Obama can give away.”
In any case, the European Union’s embargo on Iranian oil was not brought up for negotiation at the meeting, though the P5+1 would reportedly consider easing restrictions on Iran’s gold and petrochemicals trades, as well as those on its banks.
But, after all, it may not matter in the long run, Mann Leverett told RT. “There’s not much the US can give on sanctions, and in the meantime Iran is becoming more and more self-sufficient in a range of issues so that it’s not vulnerable to such sanctions.”
Said Jalili, Iran’s chief negotiator at the meetings, called the talks “positive” in comments to the press in Almaty. He added that some of the offers coming from Western governments looked “more realistic than those presented in the past and made an effort to approach the positions of Iran.”
Mann Leverett explained what Jalili might have been getting at: “The critical issue for the Iranians, and I think this is where they perceived a slight – and I stress slight – movement on the US side, is in the recognition of their rights: their sovereign and their treaty-based rights to enrich uranium.”
Jalili stressed that Tehran saw “no justification” for shutting down the Fordo facility.
Next, Iranian and EU officials are set to meet in Istanbul on March 18 for negotations that will include experts on nuclear technology.
February 24, 2013
James Corbett of corbettreport.com and Broc West of apperspective.net are pleased to bring you the latest edition of their monthly video series, “The Asia-Pacific Perspective.” In this episode, we cover:
The Great Cyber-Warfare Scam
Anonymous Thrown Into China-US Cyberwar Scandal
Despite Lack Of Proof, US To Attack Chinese Hackers In Retaliation
North Korean Test Shows U.S. Policy Failings
Russia Opposes New North Korea Economic Sanctions
U.S. & South Korea Plan Joint Military Exercises
What Will Follow Pyongyang’s Atomic Gambit?
Fukushima Health-Survey Chief To Quit Post
Two More Fukushima Youths Diagnosed With Thyroid Cancer
Fukushima Victims Required To Pay Back TEPCO Compensation
February 23, 2013
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) – After talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechim the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, stated, that the US veto of a resolution to condemn Thursday´s terrorist attacks in Damascus at, the UN Seceurity Councel, stresses US double standards when dealing with terrorism.
In statements to the press, Lavrov voiced the Russian governments frustration over the fact that the UNSC standards, that all nations, without exclusion, would condemn terrorism, regardless of the perpetrator, place or motives, was no longer upheld. Lavrov stated, “Russia sees in the American position the use of double standards and a dangerous approach in terms of the Americans moving away from the main principle of condemning terrorism in all its forms”.
Lavrov called on all parties to be guided by the Geneva Statement from 30 June 2012, and stressed, that Russia and China call for respecting provisions of the Charter of the UN to prevent military intervention and the use of force as a means to solve the crisis in Syria, as well as with regard to Iran and Afghanistan.
China´s Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechim stated, that China condemns the terrorist attacks without any reservations, and Beijing supports an unbiased approach toward the crisis in Syria.
Foreign Minister Lavrov´s condemnation of the US veto underlines a previous statement, in which he explicitly held the USA accountable for acts of terrorism in Syria, because even if the USA officially proclaims that it no longer will support armed insurgents, it still fails to use the influence it has over its allies, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who do support the armed insurgency.
International lawyers and analysts are warning of a rapid deterioration of international law at its very foundation since the onset of the war on terror in 2001. In a 2012 article by Black, Fetzer, Mezyaev and Lehmann, the authors warn about the gravest possible consequences this explosion of international law at its foundations has for international, national and individual security.
The Russian and Chinese unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attacks and the US-American veto could however, signal that this abuse of international law and international institutions by the USA and NATO is increasingly met by a more assertive Russian and Chinese opposition.
Massive Blast Near Baath Party Headquarters kills Scores, FSA threatens Hezbollah.
The US/UN/NATO Race for Global Full Spectrum Dominance. (1/4)
Russia´s UN Ambassador Churkin; US not exempt from Responsibility after Declaration of Non-Involvement in Arming Syrian Insurgency
by Jason Liosatos
21st Century Wire
February 23, 2013
As France’s Prime Minister Hollande leads the charge in Africa from the safety of his desk, with his military killing, terrifying and displacing Africans, he is to receive a peace prize from UNESCO? To say this was absurd and outright insanity would be putting it mildly.
It seems obvious that the French military charge into Africa is simply to secure the uranium rich mines there in Mali and Niger, some of which are already controlled by Areva, France’s nuclear energy giant, who have a strong foothold on the strategically important mines and assets. Add to this that France is highly dependent on uranium for its countries power supply and we begin to get a whiff of what is going on, that it is no coincidence or conspiracy theory that France has grabbed the chance to secure the region.
There is a mad scramble to hijack Africa and its mineral rich land by China and the US, so this opportunity to create the usual Western style gunslinger, cowboy attack could not be resisted by Obama, Hollande and Cameron to snatch the Gold reserves. With the Fiat paper money collapsing faster than the twin towers it is imperative that Africa is secured for its bountiful supply of gold, and the usual excuse of a terrorist threat was employed, when in truth the greatest terrorist threat worldwide is the US, Israeli and Western megalomaniac governments, who will do virtually anything to satisfy their insatiable lust for power and control.
So as Prime French Prime Minister Hollande, Obama and Cameron bomb and bully their way into the black mans land again, to rob and pillage under the guise of liberators and bringers of democracy, we see the black people with very little, and hoping for a little more, yelling Viva La France as the French troops and military hardware roll by as they clap and cheer, though little do they know that they could very well be the IMF’s next unsuspecting victims, who may soon be taking out loans and mortgages, in a more sophisticated re enslavement of black Africans by the unscrupulous West, as they empty their gold and uranium mines from under their noses.
If this all seems like cynicism let us take a close look first and see the facts and realize there is a great difference between cynicism and reality.
Author Jason Liosatos is a writer and peace advocate based in the UK, and host of Global Peace Radio Show.
by Stephen Lendman
February 23, 2013
Make no mistake. Syria is Washington’s war. It was planned years ago. Regime change is policy. At issue is replacing Assad’s government with a pro-Western puppet one.
Washington tolerates no independent governments. It demands subservience to US policies. Outliers are targeted for removal. Options include war.
Mass slaughter and destruction don’t matter. Unchallenged dominance is policy. It’s longstanding, ruthless and lawless.
Western-recruited death squads ravage Syria. They’ve done so for two years. They’re imported from abroad. Rules of engagement include mass murder, torture, and other atrocities.
Pro-Assad loyalists are prime targets. Innocent civilians are massacred. Doing so is official US policy. Imperial wars are called liberating ones. Terrorism is what they do, not us.
Syria was peaceful before US proxies invaded. So was Libya in 2011. It was ravaged and destroyed. It remains unstable and violent. Libya 2.0 looms.
Syria may become NATO’s latest charnel house. It’s well along the way already. Countries are ravaged on the pretext of liberating them. Empires never say they’re sorry. Policy isn’t pretty. It’s violent and lawless.
It reflects state terrorism. It proliferates death and destruction. It prioritizes wealth, power, privilege and dominance. Direct and proxy wars are waged.
Cutthroat killers are used. They’re recruited abroad. They’re heavily armed, trained, funded and directed. They’re ordered to commit mass murder. Obama bears full responsibility. He’s a war criminal multiple times over.
On February 22, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined “Fifty-Three Civilians Martyred, 235 Others Injured so far in Terrorist Bombing in al-Thawra Street in Damascus.”
Attacks struck central Damascus’ Mazraa neighborhood. Health Minister, Dr. Saad al-Nayef, said “terrorist bombing reflects the criminal nature of its perpetrators.”
Innocent men, women, children, the elderly and infirm were massacred. Syria continues to be ravaged and destabilized.
Al-Hayat Hospital and Abdullah Bin al-Zubir school were heavily damaged. So was Russia’s embassy. Itar Tass quoted a diplomat saying “The building has really been damaged. The windows are shattered.”
Other car bombs struck Damascus’ Barzeh neighborhood. A police station, telecommunications facility, and drug enforcement agency were targeted.
Mortar fire hit Syria’s Army General staff headquarters, Tishreen Sports City and residential buildings. Authorities said a car loaded with tons of explosives was stopped before it exploded.
Perhaps the terrorist group Jabhat al-Nusra was involved. It’s become Washington’s lead belligerent. It vows to “liberate” Damascus. It claims responsibility for 17 or more February Damascus area terrorist attacks. They included at least seven bombings.
Syrian communities abroad, Russia, China, Iran and Hezbollah condemned Thursday’s bombings.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said:
“Once again, we call upon all countries and parties, which might influence the extremists and radicals, to pressure them and demand immediate stop of such terrorist acts and armed violence in order to create appropriate atmosphere to hold a Syrian dialogue that is based on Geneva statement issued last June, 2010.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon showed which side he supports. He’s an imperial tool. He shames the office he holds. He violates UN Charter provisions. He urged both sides to show restraint. He called for ending Syria’s crisis politically.
Syria’s Foreign and Expatriates Ministry addressed two identical letters to the Security Council president and Ban. They condemned Thursday’s bombings. They called them cowardly acts.
They targeted crowded civilian areas. They followed previous ones conducted by Al Qaeda linked groups. They get “financial and logistic support and media and political coverage from regional and (Western) countries.”
“The Ministry added that the credibility of combating terrorism which has always been a matter of concern for the international community is now under unprecedented test as the most disgusting form of terrorism hit the Syrian civilians with no mercy or differentiating between an elderly man or a child.”
“The letters added that Syria, in its previous letters to the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary General, called for firm and clear condemnation of these heinous terrorist crimes by the UN member states and for holding countries which support such acts as responsible, whatsoever the form of such support was.”
“The Ministry said that Syria hopes the UN Security Council now will be able to adopt a firm stance which proves its commitment to combating terrorism regardless of its timing or place.”
If the Security Council turns a blind eye, “it will deepen doubts in its seriousness in combating terrorism and its commitment to implementing its resolutions in this regard, in addition to the fact this will be considered as a kind of political concealment of these crimes.”
The international community’s credibility “is at test,” it added. Failure to condemn this type terrorism is morally unconscionable.
It provides evidence of Western double standard duplicity. It reflects support for “organized terrorism.” Doing so won’t deter government forces from defending its citizens. Assad is committed to do so.
On February 21, Washington vetoed a Russian draft statement. It condemned Wednesday’s terrorist attacks. Moscow denounced US policy. It reflects support for what demands condemnation.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left no doubt where Russia stands, saying:
“This opposition by our American partners….is not the first time in which they seek a form that justifies those who fight the Syrian regime.”
“Russia sees in the American position an application of double standards and a dangerous approach in terms of the Americans moving away from the main principle of condemning terrorism in all its forms.”
Russia’s UN mission issued a statement saying:
“It is obvious that by doing so, the US delegation encourages those who have been repeatedly targeting American interests, including US diplomatic missions.”
It’s not the first time Washington obstructed responsible policy, it added. Moscow called doing so unacceptable. It reflects support for mass murder. It’s official US policy.
It threatens Lebanon. Free Syrian Army General Selim Idriss accused Hezbollah of shelling villages around Qusayr in Homs Governorate.
He issued an ultimatum. He threatened to respond if attacks don’t stop in 48 hours. He accused Hezbollah of sending combatants to Syria.
“As soon as the ultimatum ends,” he added, “we will start responding to the sources of fire.”
Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah categorically denies sending fighters to Syria. At the same time, he said party members may be acting individually. He added that around 30,000 Shitte Lebanese inhabit 22 Syrian villages. Volunteers defend them against terrorist attacks.
On February 21, Lebanon’s Daily Star headlined “FSA claim of strikes on Lebanon false.”
An FSA statement claimed otherwise. It said one of its battalions targeted two Hezbollah bases. It struck with mortars, “machine guns and anti-tank missiles.” It did so near the Syrian/Lebanon border. It vowed more “surprises” ahead.
Longstanding Washington/Israeli policy prioritizes destabilizing Lebanon. At issue is replacing Hezbollah with pro-Western puppets, toppling Assad, isolating Iran, and solidifying US regional control.
Lebanon is small and vulnerable. From 1975 – 1989, it was wracked by internal conflict. From 1982 – 2000, Israel occupied southern Lebanon.
Hezbollah arose out of Israel’s 1982 invasion. It’s falsely called a terrorist organization. It’s for political reasons. It’s part of Lebanon’s government. It’s also a social, charitable, educational, and medical organization.
It provides essential social services. It’s military wing is defensive. It threatens no one. It’s prepared to respond forcefully if attacked. Israel learned the hard way in 2006. Its forces were outfoxed and humiliated. Israel yearns for revenge.
Involving Lebanon in Syria’s war may be planned. Obama and Netanyahu may have that in mind.
On February 21, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) headlined “Hizbollah on high alert, jockeys for a role in potential Syrian peace accord,” saying:
Its forces went on alert after the FSA’s ultimatum expired. Will its Beqaa Valley serve Assad, DF asked? Will its forces get involved? Are ceasefire talks credible?
According to DF, Assad’s military largely controls most of Syria. Ties to Hezbollah and Iran are firm. Each ally helps the others.
At the same time, FSA fighters may escalate conflict. They may conduct cross-border attacks. They’re no match for Hezbollah’s “far more organized and professional capabilities.”
“If they decide to go on the offensive, they are liable to suffer heavy losses.” Of greater concern is widening Syria’s conflict.
Israel’s currently involved. Last fall, IDF tanks shelled Syrian mortar batteries. Washington OK’d Israeli air strikes. Several targets were struck.
Israeli warplanes invade Lebanese airspace multiple times daily. They do so without permission. Policy is longstanding. It violates international law. Perhaps escalated conflict is planned.
It shouldn’t surprise. Washington and Israel partner in imperial lawlessness. Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran are prime targets. Regional conflict may follow. What’s possible bears watching. Future updates will discuss more.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
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by Susanne Posel
February 6, 2013
According to intelligence expert David Wise, China and the US have been engaged in a cyber-espionage war behind closed doors. The Chinese government, Wise explains, will send spies to targeted locations to syphon data by the way of hackers and surveillance; whereas the US government “would target . . . with satellites and produce reams of data.”
Cyber warfare goes beyond surveillance of emails and cell phone calls and extends to the possible control over hardware such as missiles, aircraft, and radar systems. Wise states: “One reason is that only about 2 percent of the integrated circuits purchased every year by the military are manufactured in the United States. And even most American chip makers have moved offshore, where labor is cheaper. A computer chip made with a hidden, malicious flaw could sabotage a weapons system. And the compromised hardware is almost impossible to detect.”
Wise maintains that there is a possibility that a chip could be embedded with a kill-switch that would allow a foreign government to control the deployment of a weapon remotely. He states that the Israeli government already has this capability and has used it against Syrian air defenses in 2007.
James Woosley, acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), told Wise: “Taking down the grid for months comes as close to a nuclear attack with many weapons on the United States as anything could. You’d have mass starvation and death from thirst and all the rest.”
Last month the Council on Foreign Relations claimed that hackers traced to China attacked their system last week. The “drive-by” hacking utilized a pirated computer. To compound the problem, the analysts said that the hackers removed their malware and traces of their presence from CFR computer systems.
Recognizing China as becoming a formidable replacement to the US as the world’s super power, the CFR has outlined specific responses to this crisis of supremacy. Citing Chinese internet policy, their disdain for freedom of speech in social media, and influence in global cyberspace, the CFR appreciates that this rising “foe” must be confronted indirectly with propaganda to distract from the obvious.
This attack marked a new level of attack by international hackers who aim to steal information from government websites and computers. The “drive-by” tactic covertly plants malware, then the website itself is used to attack visitors to the site. Visitors can be infected as hackers will them attempt to hack into other computers as visitors are passing by. The hackers use the main site as a “watering hole” that attacks users to it for the hackers to steal information from their computers.
Analysts recognized that the attack was to gain specific information from servers. As of now, the CFR cannot gage the extent of the damage – admitting that their internal data servers have been compromised by the hacking.
According to an anonymous White House official that spoke to mainstream media, yet acknowledged that they were not authorized to speak about the subject, referred to an attempt to hack into the executive branch’s computer system through an unclassified network. No data were removed, proving that this was not an actual hack. The nameless official said that the experiment was a “spear-phishing”.
The supposition is that China is behind these attacks because of a phishing expedition against Gmail accounts wherein several senior US government officials and military personnel were affected.
The US House Intelligence Committee (USHIC) is warning American corporations in a new report against conducting business with 2 Chinese firms because of national security threats. Both Huawei Technologies and ZTE, two of the world’s largest telecommunications corporations and suppliers of cellular phones and technology are being highlighted by the US government and blamed for cyber-attacks. It is also claimed by the USHIC that they are involved in digital espionage.
The White House, covertly tying the alleged cyber-attack to China is more diabolical than it appears. In July, Obama imposed stricter sanctions against Iran after they accepted gold as currency for petrol to China.
According to the report, “China has the means, opportunity, and motive to use telecommunications companies for malicious purposes. . . . The investigation concludes that the risks associated with Huawei’s and ZTE’s provision of equipment to U.S. critical infrastructure could undermine core U.S. national-security interests.”
It is claimed that former industry insiders provided intelligence to the US concerning Huawei’s violations of US laws such as immigration, bribery and corruption as well as an alleged “pattern and practice” using pirated software in its US satellites.
It was cited in the report that the Chinese corporations were employing intelligence sources as well as private sector companies and other unnamed entities that could and assumedly did steal trade secrets, sensitive information and prehistory data while simultaneously shipped infected hard ware and software to the US with the intent to cause disruptions in national security during war time.
The recent allegations of Chinese cyber-attacks stem from their involvement with Iran to purchase petrol using gold as currency and not the US dollar as the global reserve currency.
The Chinese also began trading and bartering with the African nations for resources while Obama sent in troops under cover of AFRICOM during the Kony2012 debacle.
Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller openly declared AFRICOM’s guiding principle as protecting “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market.”
Moeller also mentioned China’s presence in the region as a “challenge” to American interests. He was referring to the deals China was making with the African nations in exchange and boarder for their resources. Where the US chose to invade a sovereign nation with the intention of stealing their resources, the Chinese used diplomacy; and as Moeller explained, this was a disruption to their scheme.
The movement in the mainstream media to further demonize China at this time is not arbitrary. Considering the plans and schemes of the Zionist regime through their puppet President Obama to involve not only Iran, but also China in their WW III, the claims of cyber-attacks are designed to force support from the populace for the pending death and destruction instigated by our own government.
December 28, 2012
Sixteen people were injured after a large decorative aquarium installed in an exterior wall of a shopping mall in Shanghai Explosion was blamed on the aging of the aquarium material, a senior official said on Wednesday. The eight-meter-long, five-meter-tall aquarium was made of thick glass. Among the debris spread over the ground, some of the glass pieces were 20 centimeters thick.
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