Thursday, March 30, 2006

China's move into Africa

Rory Carroll, in The Guardian, 28 March 2006, wrote about China's move into Africa

http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0,,1741082,00.html

Carroll points out that a vast number of Chinese diplomats, technicians and entrepreneurs have entered Africa.

Carroll refers to:

Chinese lumberjacks in the Central African Republic, Chinese textile merchants in Lesotho, Chinese tourists in Zimbabwe, Chinese road builders in Ethiopia, Chinese newspapers in South Africa, Chinese geologists in Sudan, Chinese channels on African satellite television...

China is chasing France and the US in the race to become the continent's biggest commercial partner.

China needs Africa's oil and minerals.

Carroll writes:

Now there is potential for a great irony: that rapacious Chinese capitalists will benefit Africa more than western do-gooders.

However, Carroll refers to certain problems:

1. The Chinese are accused of flouting laws and regulations - on health and safety, environmental protection, tax, social security.

2. The Chinese are accused of supporting some of Africa's worst governments.

In Zambia some people working for the Chinese describe their $45 monthly wage as exploitation.

"The Chinese are not good people. They do not pay us well. We do this only because there is no other work," says one worker.

"They make me work seven days a week, pay me $30 a month and if I miss a day, deduct some of my wages," says another worker.

Some Chinese firms allegedly dodge tax and flout rules on immigration and health and safety.

According to Carroll, African governments see China as a model of modernisation and development as well as a source of enterprise.

...University students in Zimbabwe have been told to learn Mandarin. Kenya has allowed the state-run China Radio International to run an FM transmitter which broadcasts in Chinese, English and Kiswahili. The Central African Republic has granted the country's biggest timber export licence to a Hong Kong company. Burundi has embraced Chinese nickel miners. Uganda has asked a Chinese firm to rehabilitate a ceremonial complex in Entebbe for a Commonwealth summit next year.

South Africa has the largest Chinese population, estimated at 160,000.

Carroll refers to two worries:

1. Chinese imports - worth $14bn in 2004, up more than a third from 2003 - are swamping local markets and driving many African manufacturers out of business.

2. The other worry is that efforts to bolster human rights and democracy across the continent are being eroded by the Chinese involvement.

Carroll lists examples:

When the International Monetary Fund held up a loan to Angola over misused oil revenue, China stepped in with a $2bn loan.

After western firms pulled out of Sudan over its human rights abuses and terrorist links, the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation helped build a 1,500km oil pipeline as well as bridges, roads and factories.

The United Nations security council threatened sanctions against Sudan over massacres in Darfur, only to be vetoed by Beijing. When America balked at supplying Nigeria's trigger-happy military, China offered dozens of patrol boats.

Carroll relates:

The single greatest Chinese interest in Africa is oil.

China 's economy is thirsty; by 2030 it will need to import 60% of its oil.

China already swallows most of Sudan's production, is on its way to becoming Angola's biggest client and is playing catch-up in Nigeria, paying $2.3bn for a 45% share of an offshore block.



~~

Charles Taylor, the CIA and bin Laden

Did the CIA use diamonds to fund al Qaeda and 9 11?

On 29 March 2006, UN officials took custody of Charles Taylor, the ex-Liberian president, and flew him to Sierra Leone to face trial for war crimes.

The following is taken from : http://allafrica.com/stories/200408050800.html

August 5, 2004

Washington Post correspondent Douglas Farah, in a recently published 225-page book entitled "Blood from Stones: The Secret Financial Network of Terror," provides a detailed description of al Qaeda's activity in West Africa.

Corroborative accounts have been published by the London-based nongovernmental organization Global Witness and by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, established by the United Nations to investigate crimes against humanity committed during Sierra Leone's brutal civil war in the 1990s.

According to Farah, American intelligence agencies overlooked the connection between diamond trading and al Qaeda and the central role played in harboring and profiting from the illicit dealing by Liberian President Charles Taylor, who was forced into exile in Nigeria last year under a deal brokered by the U.S. government.

Farah's findings have been hotly disputed by the CIA and FBI, and their viewpoint was reflected in the recently release report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9-11 Commission. "We have seen no persuasive evidence that al Qaeda funded itself by trading in African conflict diamonds," the report states (page 171).

But a confidential investigation by the Sierra Leone Special Court further bolsters the view that that the alliance between Taylor and al Qaeda was substantial, according to an article in Wednesday's Boston Globe by Washington correspondent Bryan Bender.

"Al Qaeda allegedly paid Taylor for protection and then joined him in the African diamond trade, raising millions of dollars for terrorist activities, according to UN war crimes documents," Bender wrote.

Citing the Special Court's investigation and U.S. intelligence official, Bender said a planned raid a few weeks after September 11, 2001 by U.S. Special Forces aimed at capturing Ghailani and an associate in Liberia was called off for unexplained reasons. One explanation raised by Bender's sources was Taylor's reported longstanding relations with the CIA.

Farah, who currently serves as senior fellow at the National Strategy Information Center, discussed with AllAfrica's Eunice Ajambo the 9-11 Commission findings, the interaction between Al Qaeda and West Africa's diamond trade, and his view of the role U.S. intelligence has played.

Excerpts:

What is your reaction to the single sentence in the 9-11 Commission report that dismisses African diamonds as a source of al Qaeda funding?

If you look at the footnotes of that particular citation, it's all FBI and CIA reports with the exception of an interview they quote with Allan White from the Special Court in Sierra Leone. I find it disturbing because they had access to the Belgium police report, which I have on my website, which they were given. The Special Court also wrote a special brief to them and the intelligence indicating al Qaeda's presence. The book, the Global Witness Report - none of those are cited as having been used at all in making their determination.

I think the 9-11 Commission was under a great deal of pressure to make hurried judgments. In my limited communication with them, they told me that they could not get to the bottom of the dispute. If you read my book, I have a lot of discussion of why the CIA tried to discredit the story, and the great lengths that they went to do so, despite the fact that they did not succeed, and the fact that more evidence continues to emerge [that] the story is actually correct. But there is a great hostility towards the story from the intelligence community, and all the commission did was take the intelligence community reports and use them as their basis for making their assertions.

I was really disappointed because several people talked to them after their initial staff report came out that contained that sentence. They do not seem to have listened to anybody, and they certainly didn't acknowledge [in their footnotes] that there was any other information out there.
The 9-11 Commission also stated "to date, we have not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9-11 attacks?" How do you respond to that?

The proof of the telephone contacts to Afghanistan on September 10th and the prior communications from the Belgium police who traced the phone call from the satellite phone used by Aziz Nassour and Samih Osailly [two al Qaeda operatives whose activities in west Africa are detailed in Farah's book] is not hearsay evidence. They made numerous calls and it's documented. I have the phone bills for them, and more importantly, the police got them out of the official records. I do not think it's something you can easily dismiss. Neither are the bank records from Artesia Bank that show $20m flowing and being unaccounted for, and all the other indications that other people came up with.

To just say, "we do not know where the money came from," seems a little bit disingenuous. My sense is that the report on how things went was largely based on official documents given to them by the intelligence community. And the intelligence community had a vested interest in trying to discredit this story. The panel, I think, just did not have the time or inclination to really investigate this. It wasn't really the focus of what they were doing. So it took the word of the CIA and the FBI, and used it, and unfortunately they are wrong.

Several investigations by other organizations have found evidence that corroborated your findings linking al Qaeda to the West African diamond trade. Do you think the 9-11 commission will revisit the evidence provided by these organizations?

I do not expect them to revisit the issue. There is a cultural resistance in the intelligence community to using any information that does not originate with themselves, and unfortunately in this case, they had no information. So the reaction to other information from me, from Global Witness, from the Special Court, from the Belgium police and from all the other players was that, `We did not have it, and therefore it can't be true.' I am afraid what we have seen with the 9-11 commission report is pretty much the final word. I do not have any indication they'll be revisiting the issue at all.

Why do you think U.S. policy makers ignored al Qaeda's Africa associations in the first place?

The U.S. has not perceived itself to have a strategic interest in sub-Saharan Africa on the terrorism front until very recently. I think that what you are seeing now is a little bit more interest, but only moderately more interest. The policy for decades has been neglect of sub-Saharan Africa. There is no administration that has given much attention to African issues. Europe has also been extremely negligent, and what you have is a consequence of that negligence, and the lack of strategic thinking on the part of the U.S. and others.

The development, not only in Liberia, [of] a functioning criminal state, is not a secret to anyone who has been to the region or who lives in the region. You have widespread corruption. You have vast areas of a country like the Democratic Republic of Congo where the state has no control. You have the Central African Republic, where government controls essentially only the capital. Mali, Chad, Niger [and] Nigeria all have very large areas where other armed groups outside of the state control the resources and life there. That whole scenario is part of the neglect by the outside world.

Why was Al Qaeda interested in West Africa?

Diamonds were perfect for several reasons. They are easy to transport. They have extremely high value in a very small packet, they are easy to convert into cash, and the market is big enough that it does not react to small sales, such that if you sell a few carats of diamonds the whole diamond market does not go out of register. It was extremely convenient from that point of view.

But perhaps the most important thing that west Africa offered was Liberia under Charles Taylor. Liberia had become a criminal and terrorist Disneyland under his management, from which he was making a substantial sum of money. Taylor had allowed in Victor Bout, the largest illegal weapons merchant in the world. He had allowed in Leonid Menin, a very large Ukrainian drug trafficker. He allowed in South African and Balkan organized crime.

Liberia and the border into Sierra Leone that the RUF controlled offered terrorist and organized criminal structures a safe haven where they could enter and leave the country unmolested to carry out their business and have access to natural resources that were extremely important to them.

Alex Yearsley of Global Witness asserts that, "Taylor received CIA payments until January 2001." You write about dealings between the CIA and Ibrahim Bah, the Senegalese mastermind who coordinated the diamond trade with al Qaeda. Why would the CIA form this kind of partnership?

It's a disturbing question. I do not have direct knowledge myself of the CIA dealings with Taylor. Taylor has told others and me that he has worked for the CIA over time. As part of the lack of interest in Africa, the recruitment of intelligence efforts has been very limited - especially after the diamond story.

When they want to get a handle on it, who better than Ibrahim Bah, the person who had brought the al Qaeda people into Liberia and Sierra Leone to begin with? It's a symptom of a lack of moral principles in trying to get information. It's fairly clear that Ibrahim Bah and Charles Taylor, who have lived for many years by their wits and by not playing by the rules, probably provided very little information of any value to the intelligence.

You write that the diamond trade in Africa transcends ideological and religious differences. Could you please talk more about the business dealings between Israeli and Lebanese merchants in West Africa?

One of the most alarming and shocking thing in my dealing with the diamond trade in west and central Africa was the willingness of Israelis and Arabs, who want to kill each other in their homelands, to do business with each other on the ground in Africa. I met Hezbollah diamond dealers who were selling to Israelis and Israelis who were selling to Hezbollah, knowing that Hezbollah was trying to kill Israelis in the Middle East, and Hezbollah knowing that the Israelis wanted to kill their family members back there.

I think it's one of the truly extraordinary demonstrations of the depth to which people will sink in their greed for diamonds. It's the epitomy of the worst kind of greed and corruption of moral principles. They come with the desire to make money at any cost. What both the Arabs and Israelis told me was, `Business is business. Here we do business. Back there is war and back there is not our problem.' If you look at the ties between Lebanese with ties to radical Islamists trying to buy weapons with Israelis to ship [elsewhere], it's a web that is very complicated, very difficult to understand, and very hard to believe unless you see it and talk to people yourself.

What about Eastern Africa?

Eastern Africa has long been - because of the Muslim population over there and al Qaeda's ties into that region, going back to the early part of the 1990s - a known quantity as far as al Qaeda goes. You had the embassy bombings in 1998, you had the U.S.S. Cole bombing in 2000 [in Yemen], and you had the 'Black Hawk Down' in Somalia, earlier than that, in which al Qaeda was also involved.

So there was some understanding, although limited, of al Qaeda's operational capabilities and intent to move in the East African sphere. It was only after the 1998 embassy bombings that al Qaeda moves a large contingent its personnel - I think mostly for safe keeping, because they knew that the U.S. would be tracking them down - to West Africa. And that's where you see the West African connection being made.

What is the connection between Saudi Arabia, Africa and al Qaeda from your research experience?

I am learning that the influence of the Saudi Arabian charities particularly, and their efforts to export the very austere, radical part of Islam known as Wahhabism, is spread much further in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in west Africa, than most people outside the region know or understand. If you look at the charities that operate there, if you look at the Wahhabi takeover of mosques in Mali, Niger, Mauritania et cetera, and the move to put millions of dollars into northern Nigeria.

What Wahhabism preaches is that not only Christian and Jews are infidels and can be killed, but also Muslims who do not agree with them can be killed. So you have this very harsh, radical branch of Islam moving in and exercising a great deal of influence in sectors of west Africa in ways that are extremely dangerous to developing democracy and tolerant societies, and in areas where there already deep ethnic conflicts to which this kind of radicalism can [spread] into and breed.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies recently released a study of the rising U.S. stakes in Africa, specifically pinpointing the Muslim community in Africa as a major U.S. foreign policy concern. Do you agree?

The U.S. is becoming aware of the potential threat posed, not by the Muslim community, but by the ability of radical Islam to take control of the Muslim communities and turn them into recruiting grounds for Jihadists and Wahhabists. It's very clear that the tradition of Islam in west Africa is extremely tolerant.

In Liberia and Sierra Leone, I knew Moslems who had married Christians and Christians who had married Moslems, and there was not an issue. But what you'll see is a Muslim community, which is largely impoverished and has very little access to state resources, and which has very few ways of bettering their lives - when money flows in from outside with offers to help, they will take it. And with that help, will come radicalization of Islam in many parts of west Africa.

The United States is just starting to recognize that problem. The question is how you deal with that. We simply do not have the resources or the strategic thinking to begin to figure out ways to make moderate Islam more attractive, to put resources in teaching ways of democratic systems and to give the social services that states do not give.

What does al Qaeda look for in African countries to advance its interests?

Al Qaeda looks for different things in different areas. It's clear that they would like to expand their pool of potential recruits in the Islamic communities wherever they find them. What sub-Saharan Africa offers them that other parts of the world don't are the abilities that they had in Liberia, to move into states that would protect them and operate with them for monetary reasons. Charles Taylor was not a Muslim. He is a Christian, and yet he was perfectly happy to deal with these people because they were willing to pay him.

If you look at failed states and what sociologists are now calling "gray areas" or stateless areas - areas across sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world where armed groups, rather than states control assets - that's where these people like to go because then they have a rest and recreation area. They have a recruiting pool, and they have a way to hide out, when they need safety.

Is there a possibility of eradicating the financial networks supporting terrorism?

To eradicate the terrorist financial structure is extremely difficult because the phenomenon of al Qaeda and radical Islam is not limited to a few people, where you could kill them and go back to the way things where. It's become a theology and ideology of widespread appeal among people who feel they have no way of improving their lives, and who feel they have nothing to loose by going into the Jihad against the west and against their religious enemies as defined by extremist Muslims. You can't get rid of the pool of talent and money that the Jihad can draw - not in the near term and probably never.

You have to think in ways of combating them, not just militarily but on the religious front, with moderate Islamic principles and with democratic principles, with meeting people's social needs, health needs and educational needs in ways that governments so far have been unwilling or unable to do, partly because of the endemic corruption in these states. Another thing that plays into the widespread dissolution, and that makes something disciplined and coherent like the theology and ideology [of] al Qaeda attractive to people is that they are stuck in countries that offer them nothing, and where the culture of the "big man" is so strong that they have no hope of ever improving their own lives.



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Tony Blair and Bangbang

On 30 March 2006, Tony Blair met Indonesia's President Yudhoyono.

President Susilo BangbangYudhoyono is a former general with U.S. training.

The UK and Indonesia are to build defense ties

British officials said this step would allow moves such as joint exercises.

Human rights abuses continue in Indonesia.

According to the Masters of Terror database:

(quoted at http://www.etan.org/et2004/april/08-14/06yudhoy.htm )

Yudhoyono was the military's Chief of Socio-Political Staff Chief of Territorial Affairs with East Timor responsibilities in 1999.

Yudhoyono shared command responsibility for the criminal conduct of the army's forces in East Timor in 1999.

After the withdrawal from East Timor he defended the military against allegations that it had committed crimes against humanity.

He took part in Operation Seroja, the invasion of East Timor, and had several tours of duty there since, including commanding the Dili-based battalion 744 some time in the 1970s.

~

Blair can learn from Soeharto's belated departure, according to Kornelius Purba, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, 30 March 2006.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailheadlines.asp?fileid=20060329.B01&irec=0

It is unlikely that any world leader, especially those still in power, would want to be compared with Soeharto, because the retired five-star general who ruled Indonesia for 32 years is usually associated with corruption on a massive scale, gross human rights abuses and cold-blooded leadership. Any comparison with Soeharto would be humiliating for most world leaders, who no doubt do not like to think of themselves in those terms.

So when British Prime Minister Tony Blair arrives here Wednesday for a two-day visit, he is unlikely to imagine he has anything to learn from Soeharto.


~

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

India, Mossad and 9 11

The following is an extract from an article about 9 11 at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/conspiracy_theory/fullstory.asp?id=304

Now I'm really going to rock your faith in the false religion of 9-11. In February of 2000, Indian intelligence officials detained 11 members of what they thought was an Al Qaeda hijacking conspiracy. It was then discovered that these 11 "Muslim preachers" were all Israeli nationals! India's leading weekly magazine, The Week, reported:

On January 12 Indian intelligence officials in Calcutta detained 11 foreign nationals for interrogation before they were to board a Dhaka-bound Bangladesh Biman flight. They were detained on the suspicion of being hijackers. "But we realized that they were tablighis (Islamic preachers), so we let them go", said an Intelligence official.

The eleven had Israeli passports but were believed to be Afghan nationals who had spent a while in Iran. Indian intelligence officials, too, were surprised by the nationality profile of the eleven. "They say that they have been on tabligh (preaching Islam) in India for two months. But they are Israeli nationals from the West Bank," said a Central Intelligence official. He claimed that Tel Aviv "exerted considerable pressure" on Delhi to secure their release. "It appeared that they could be working for a sensitive organization in Israel and were on a mission to Bangladesh," the official said. 72

What were these 11 Israelis doing trying to impersonate Al Qaeda men? Infiltrating?...perhaps. Framing?...more likely. But the important precedent to understand is this: Israeli agents were once caught red handed impersonating Muslim hijackers!

This event becomes even more mind boggling when we learn that it was Indian Intelligence that helped the U.S. to so quickly identify the "19 hijackers"! On April 3, 2002, Express India, quoting the Press Trust of India, revealed:

"Washington, April 3: Indian intelligence agencies helped the U.S. to identify the hijackers who carried out the deadly September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, a media report said here on Wednesday." 73

Did you catch that? The Indian intelligence officials that were duped into mistaking Israeli agents for Al Qaeda hijackers back in 2000, were the very same clowns telling the FBI who it was that hijacked the 9-11 planes! Keep in mind that Indian intelligence has an extremely close working relationship with Israel's Mossad because both governments hate the Muslim nation of Pakistan. 74

Notes

72. The Week (India) Aborted Mission. Investigation: Did Mossad attempt to infiltrate Islamic radical outfits in south Asia? By Subir Bhaumik. February 6, 2000. Google users enter: muslim tabliqis mossad

73.Express India. Indian intelligence wiretap identified 9/11 hijackers. Press Trust of India. April 3,2002 Google users enter: indian intelligence wiretap identified 9/11

74. Jewsweek. India. Israel's New Best Friend? By Gil Sedan. The Jewish Telegraph Agency. August 2002. Google users enter: jewsweek Israel new best friend


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Monday, March 27, 2006

Why Moussaoui has spoken out

Moussaoui Says He Was Part of Plot to Attack White House . Why has Moussaoui spoken out now?

"Charlie Sheen questions the official story of September 11th.

"Sheen's words - and four years of hard work by 9/11 skeptics - are making a difference.

"It is suddenly allowable to voice your suspicions about September 11th. The official mythology is losing its sway with the American people. Suddenly, a 911Truth.org spokesperson is invited to appear on CNN" - 911Truth.org ::::: The 9/11 Truth Movement

The case against Moussaoui was in difficulty.

So, the CIA needs to have Moussaoui speak out. The official version needs to be reinforced.

Moussaoui is a patsy.

~~

From Hijackers Patsies :The FBI were all over these patsies:

*One lived with an FBI informant in San Diego.

*Even the FBI (in the field) says that superiors in the FBI (HQ) altered reports, foiling the inquiry into Moussaoui,Zacarias:

A senior F.B.I. agent (Rowley) in Minneapolis has accused a supervisor at the agency's Washington headquarters of altering a report in a way that made it impossible for investigators to obtain crucial evidence in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker, before the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, government officials said today. NYT 1

Some of the hijackers worked with or for the US government:

* Zacarias Moussaoui claimed he had been under observation before 9/11 and that the hijackers' movements had been facilitated by the U.S. government.

* The wife on one of the patsies says in sworn testimony that they were paid by the US government.

* Mohammed Atta attended the Defense Language Institute at Monterey.

* Three of the alleged hijackers listed their address on drivers licenses and car registrations as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.

* One attended "California's Defense Language Institute in Presidio of Monterey, California.

~~

Moussaoui - tool of the security services?

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2002/jan2002/mous-j05.shtml
http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/crime/terrorists/zacarias-moussaoui/

Moussaoui was arrested a month before the September 11 attacks.

Moussaoui had been attending a flight school.

The instructor and a vice president of the flight school tried repeatedly to get the FBI to investigate Moussaoui. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune, New York Times December 22.)

The vice president of the flight school, who briefed Minnesota Congressmen James Oberstar and Martin Sabo, said it took four to six phone calls to the FBI to find an agent who would help.

Moussaoui was eventually detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service on visa charges.

Local FBI investigators in Minneapolis suspected Moussaoui of being a terrorist and sought a warrant to search the hard drive of Moussaoui's home computer.

This was rejected by higher-level officials in Washington, who claimed there was insufficient evidence to meet the legal requirements for the warrant.

In 1996, Abdul Hakim Murad testified in court that he worked for Al Qaeda and that he had trained at the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma.

FBI agents knew Moussaoui had attended the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma.

On August 26, FBI headquarters was told by French intelligence that Moussaoui had ties to the Al Qaeda organization and Osama bin Laden.

A special counterterrorism panel of the FBI and CIA concluded there was insufficient evidence that Moussaoui represented any threat, despite his refusal to answer questions and the French allegations.

Moussaoui was not transferred from INS detention to FBI custody until after September 11.

Several of the September 11 hijackers, including Mohammed Atta, the alleged ringleader, were under direct surveillance by US agencies as suspected terrorists during 2000 and 2001.

Yet they were allowed to travel freely into and out of the US and eventually carry out their plans.


~~

Israelis and Americans, the Gulf of Guinea: the next Persian Gulf

"If the neo-cons and their allies get their way, the next victims of U.S. military aggression will not be Arabs, but poor Africans."

The Gulf of Guinea has oil.

According to Haaretz, 03/06/2005:

Israeli firms are to train Equatorial Guinea presidential guard.

Israeli arms dealers and security companies are negotiating a contract to train Equatorial Guinea's presidential guard...

A Foreign Ministry source confirmed to Haaretz that the ministry was aware of... the intensive activity of Israeli arms companies in Equatorial Guinea...

International human rights organizations said that if Israelis train Equatorial Guinea's presidential guard, it would help bolster one of Africa's most corrupt and tyrannical presidents...

A year ago, Israel Military Industries (IMI) sold Equatorial Guinea about $10 million worth of Shaldag Mk-II class Fast Patrol Boats manufactured by Israeli Shipyards.

An IMI representative declined to comment on the matter Thursday.

IMI is one of the companies competing for the contract to train the presidential guard.

An failed coup attempt took place in Equatorial Guinea... organized by British businessmen including Mark Thatcher, the son of Britain's former prime minister.The coup plotters were assisted by British, South African, Armenian and German mercenaries. Most of them were arrested and sentenced to long prison sentences in Equatorial Guinea, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Following the coup attempt, Obiang approached Israeli weapon dealers and security companies for assistance.

In addition to IMI, Aeronautics Defense Systems of Yavne, which manufactures drones, is also active in Equatorial Guinea. Several retired senior IDF officers, including Major General(res.) Avigdor Ben Gal, are on the Yavne company's board of directors...

The company was involved recently in controversial dealings in Ivory Coast, where a civil war is taking place...

Other Israeli businessmen are also known to be involved in business deals in Equatorial Guinea.

Equatorial Guinea, located in west Africa between Gabon and Cameroon, is a former Spanish colony and until a few years ago was considered one of the most under developed states on the continent. Following the discovery of large quantities of oil a few years ago, it has become one of Africa's largest oil producers. American, British, South African and Malaysian oil companies are operating in the country. IMI's boats are intended to secure the oil rigs at sea.Obiang rose to power in 1979 after reportedly killing his uncle, the reigning president. Human rights groups say his security forces regularly carry out murders and mass arrests, and torture prisoners.

~~~

According to :

http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/

March 27, 2006 - Outsiders racing to oil-rich Gulf of Guinea in Africa.

Israel is making a major overture to Africa's most despotic dictator, Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea.

In 2004, Israel Military Industries (IMI) sold Nguema's Coast Guard, a force established under a contract with Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) of Alexandria, Virginia, two Shaldag MK-II fast patrol boats.

MPRI's web site states "MPRI developed an integrated team of defense, security, and Coast Guard experts to provide a detailed set of recommendations to the government of Equatorial Guinea concerning its defense, littoral, and related environmental management requirements, as well as detailed implementation processes. The implementation of the NSEP will begin in early 2006."

Nguema has also negotiated for other Israeli private security firms and defense contractors to provide security services and weapons to Equatorial Guinea.

These include Aeronautics Defense Systems, which is teamed with General Dynamics, to provide Aerostar unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the U.S. Navy.

Israeli troops have been seen training Obiang's presidential security forces in Mongomo, the small town where Obiang was born.

With Israeli-supplied patrol boats plying the waters of Equatorial Guinea's off-shore oil platforms and islands, including the islands of Bioko, Annobon, Elobey, aand Corisco, as well as the coastline of mainland Rio Muni, comes word that Nigeria requested 200 patrol boats from the United States to help put down insurgencies among the peoples of the Delta region, whose land and waters are being ruined by pollution from Western oil companies.

Last year, Nigeria negotiated with China for the delivery of dozens of Chinese-made fast patrol boats to guard off-shore oil installations. Nigeria has also ordered fighter jets from China. China receives 30,000 barrels of oil per day from Nigeria.

MPRI has also been active in Nigeria. According to MPRI's web site, "MPRI has provided cross-functional teams of experts to Nigeria to assist the Ministry of Defense, the National Assembly, and the armed forces develop and implement a jointly developed Action Plan for the national defense structure . . . MPRI also established and assists in the operation of a cutting edge Joint Simulations Centre focused on peace support operations and security operations, with the Nigerian government."

There are also outside military activities in Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Congo (Brazzaville), Cabinda, Benin (where MPRI has conducted training), and Cameroon.

The Israeli Institute for Advance Strategic and Political Studies advocates the creation of a U.S. Gulf of Guinea Command headquartered at a new U.S. naval base on Sao Tome.

With Israeli influence within the Pentagon continuing unabated, there are signs that such a command, or a smaller scale version of one, may be in store for Sao Tome.

The two-island oil-rich nation has been visited by a number of senior U.S. military officials over the past few years.



~~~

Friday, March 24, 2006

What really happened in Kosovo

Nato’s "moral crusade to save Kosovo" in 1999 is a model for invasion.

The following extract is by John Pilger and is taken from:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/pilger/pilger38.html

In the attack on Serbia, 2 per cent of Nato’s missiles hit military targets; the rest hit hospitals, schools, factories, churches and broadcasting studios.

Echoing Blair and a clutch of Clinton officials, a massed media chorus declared that "we" had to stop "something approaching genocide" in Kosovo, as Timothy Garton Ash wrote in 2002 in the Guardian. "Echoes of the Holocaust," said the front pages of the Daily Mirror and the Sun. The Observer warned of a "Balkan Final Solution."

The recent death of Slobodan Milosevic took the war lovers and war sellers down memory lane.

Curiously, "genocide" and "Holocaust" and the "coming of Hitler" were now missing – for the very good reason that, like the drumbeat leading to the invasion of Iraq and the drumbeat now leading to an attack on Iran, it was all bullshit. Not misinterpretation. Not a mistake. Not blunders. Bullshit.

The "mass graves" in Kosovo would justify it all, they said.

When the bombing was over, international forensic teams began subjecting Kosovo to minute examination. The FBI arrived to investigate what was called "the largest crime scene in the FBI’s forensic history."

Several weeks later, having found not a single mass grave, the FBI and other forensic teams went home.

In 2000, the International War Crimes Tribunal announced that the final count of bodies found in Kosovo’s "mass graves" was 2,788. This included Serbs, Roma and those killed by "our" allies, the Kosovo Liberation Front.

It meant that the justification for the attack on Serbia ("225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59 are missing, presumed dead," the US ambassador-at-large David Scheffer had claimed) was an invention.

To my knowledge, only the Wall Street Journal admitted this.

A former senior Nato planner, Michael McGwire, wrote that "to describe the bombing as ‘humanitarian intervention’ [is] really grotesque."

In fact, the Nato "crusade" was the final, calculated act of a long war of attrition aimed at wiping out the very idea of Yugoslavia.

For me, one of the more odious characteristics of Blair, and Bush, and Clinton, and their eager or gulled journalistic court, is the enthusiasm of sedentary, effete men (and women) for bloodshed they never see, bits of body they never have to retch over, stacked morgues they will never have to visit, searching for a loved one.

Their role is to enforce parallel worlds of unspoken truth and public lies. That Milosevic was a minnow compared with industrial-scale killers such as Bush and Blair belongs to the former.

March 23, 2006


~~

Violent pornography

From The Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2101204_2,00.html

Susan Bailey, professor of Child and Adolescent Forensic Mental Health at the University of Central Lancashire, believes parents should monitor the images their children are exposed to.

She said: “The work I have done on children who have killed, committed sexual offences or other crimes suggests that exposure to pornography is a factor. It is certainly well documented in the literature.

“You do find they model themselves on what they have seen. It can depend on what stage of their development they have been exposed.

“It is the most toxic where a child has been exposed to domestic violence or sexually inappropriate behaviour.

“It does not need to be sexual abuse but witnessing things that are not appropriate. The age of eight is critical. There are other issues that can come into play, including, in the case of teenage boys, the early onset of puberty.

“Knowing what children are doing in the privacy of their rooms is not a bad idea for a parent.”

Violent pornography blamed for boy rapist

The court was told that, in the opinion of the forensic psychiatrist who examined the teenager, he was inspired to carry out the offences by the violent sexual images he had seen. David Steer, QC, counsel for the boy, said: “He had been exposed to extreme and crude pornographic material at the time of these offences.”

~~

Norman Kember

Norman Kember and three others were gathering evidence about people being abused while detained by occupation forces in Iraq.

Kember and his three friends were kidnapped. Kember and two of the friends have now been released.

According to The Independemt:

It is believed that the location where the three men were held in west Baghdad was traced after information was supplied by Iraqi go-betweens who had established contact with the kidnappers...

British defence sources insisted it was they who had gathered the intelligence for the rescue, 12 miles from Baghdad.

However in Baghdad itself, a US Major-General, Rick Lynch, asserted that one of the two suspects arrested by American forces supplied vital information.

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article353301.ece

UK Defence Secretary John Reid said: "British troops were involved... It was several weeks in the planning."

The mission, led by a British Special Air Services team, "follows weeks and weeks of very careful work by military and coalition personnel in Iraq and many civilians as well," British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said in London.

But US army spokesman Major General Rick Lynch said the rescue mission was launched just hours after two men were arrested and revealed the address where the hostages were being held. Source: WAS Norman Kember's rescue the result of weeks of preparation or a ...

U.S. military spokesman Lynch, speaking to reporters in Baghdad, said the operation was put together in three hours. Source: Release of Westerners in Iraq Is Bittersweet

On 23 March 2006, British-led forces rescued the three Christian peace activists, including Briton Norman Kember, after finding them tied up in a house in western Baghdad.

No shots were fired and no kidnappers were found. The three members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams organization were in good condition

Could the kidnappers have been connected to a certain security service?

~~

Tom Fox was the American held with Norman Kember.

Peggy Gish, of Christian Peacemaker Teams activists said the freed hostages told their colleagues Thursday that Fox had been separated from them in early February, about a month before his body was found. They did not learn of their American colleague's death until after their release, she said.

In February 2006, the body of 54-year-old American Tom Fox was found with marks of having been tortured, in the Mansour district of Baghdad.


~~

US veterans claim they saw Iraqi civilians being murdered by US troops

Iraqi civilian deaths shrouded in secrecy

The following is taken from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4830782.stm

US military investigators have flown to Iraq to study allegations that their troops deliberately shot dead at least 15 civilians in Anbar Province in November.

A US statement back in November said the civilians, including seven women and three children, died in a roadside bomb explosion that also killed a marine in the western town of Haditha.

But survivors and those who saw the bodies said the account was not true.

"Their bodies were riddled with bullets, there was evidence that there had been gunfire inside their homes, there were blood spatters inside their homes," Bobby Ghosh, a journalist who took up the case for Time magazine, told the BBC.

"It was quite clear that these people were killed indoors, which couldn't possibly have happened if they'd been involved in a roadside blast."

An initial military inquiry found the two families had indeed been shot dead in their homes by the marines, but it described the deaths as "collateral damage".

The report has now prompted the US Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) to determine the motives behind the killing.

The NCIS will have to decide whether the civilians were killed by accident or were targeted by the marines as an act of revenge in a potential war crime.

Several American veterans of the war in Iraq have told the BBC's Newsnight programme that the marines' reaction to the roadside bomb attack in Haditha was not an isolated incident.

Specialist Michael Blake, who served in Balad, said it was common practice to "shoot up the landscape or anything that moved" after an explosion.

Another veteran, Specialist Jody Casey, who was a scout sniper in Baquba, said he had also seen innocent civilians being killed.

Bombs "go off and you just zap any farmer that's close to you", he said.

"At that time, when we first got down there, you could basically kill anyone you wanted," said Casey

Mr Casey said he did not take part in any atrocities himself, but was advised to always carry a shovel. He could then plant this on any civilian victims to make it look as though they were digging roadside bombs.

Although human rights groups have welcomed the launch of the inquiry, they are quick to point out that the multi-national forces have investigated only a minority of the reports alleging the unlawful or deliberate killing of Iraqi civilians.

Nicole Choueiry, a spokeswoman for Amnesty International, told the BBC News website that those investigations which had taken place had often been inadequate and shrouded in secrecy.
The victims' families are also often unaware of how to apply for compensation.

There are no governmental or judicial bodies in Iraq to investigate human rights violations and the activities of international groups such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have been limited by the deteriorating security situation.

Ms Choueiry believes an official body needs to be set up to ensure multi-national troops fulfil their mission while abiding by international humanitarian and human rights law.

"Whether the investigations are civilian or led by the judiciary, the most important thing is for them to be independent, impartial and transparent," she said.

But the effectiveness of such an organisation would be severely restricted by an order originally issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority, and renewed by the Iraqi government in 2004, that grants foreign forces immunity from Iraqi criminal and civil law.

Instead, the troops remain subject solely to the jurisdiction of their own states.

The US and UK have been accused of limiting the number and power of criminal prosecutions - in January, a US officer was punished with a reprimand and a $6,000 fine for killing a captured Iraqi general - or simply not undertaking them at all.

No prosecution was launched after a US marine was filmed shooting dead an incapacitated insurgent in a mosque in Falluja in November 2004.

Phil Shiner, a solicitor representing several Iraqi families taking the British government to court over human rights violations, told the BBC News website the small chance of anything being investigated effectively makes redundant the fourth Geneva Convention, which protects civilians in times of war or under occupation by a foreign power.

"The protection of the fourth Geneva Convention means nothing if the military does not investigate the crime," he said.

Mr Shiner has challenged the immunity of British troops in Iraq and their right to run their own investigations by arguing that European human rights law applied during their operations.

The UK High Court ruled in December that the British government would have to hold an "independent and effective" inquiry into the death of a man from Basra, Baha Mousa, because he died while in British custody.

Although the High Court also said it would be "premature" to conclude the British government was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights before the outcome of the ministry's own investigation was known, such a ruling could have profound consequences for the armed forces.

It has considerably strengthened the case for the prosecution of soldiers found to have acted unlawfully.



~~

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The answer to the problem of drugs and crime

We should copy Switzerland and not the USA.

In Switzerland, heroin addicts can get their prescriptions from doctors.

Source: http://www.narconews.com/Issue12/eurotour.html

In one of the most dramatic success stories in modern addiction treatment, doctors in Switzerland have discovered that the provision of medically determined doses of heroin to heroin addicts significantly improves their health, lifestyle and reduces the amount of crime associated with drug use when they are permitted to leave the black market environment.

The Swiss researchers concluded that:

· Both the number of criminal offenders and the number of offenses decreased by about 60% in the first six months of the program.

· Most illicit drug use, including cocaine, rapidly and markedly declined.

· The number of participants on unemployment benefits fell by more than half (from 44% to 20%).

· Participants' housing situation rapidly improved, ending homelessness among the patients.

· The physical health of participants improved.

· More than half of the patients who dropped out of the program did so in order to switch to another form of treatment, including abstinence.

~~

Australia:

Source : http://www.socialism.com/fsarticles/vol20no2/crackdown.htm

Heroin was available through pharmacists until 1953, when, after pressure from the U.S., it was declared illegal. A common palliative remedy, it caused few problems because distribution was medically supervised.

Nearly half a century on, the illegal drug industry is big business, estimated to be worth 8.6 billion dollars in 1997.

~~

The Netherlands has more relaxed laws on drugs than the USA.

Source: http://www.csdp.org/ads/dutch.htm

Heroin addicts (in 1995) United States: 430 per 100,000 Netherlands: 160 per 100,000

Murder rate (in 1996) United States: 8.22 per 100,000 Netherlands: 1.8 per 100,000

Crime-related deaths United States: 8.2 per 100,000 (1995) Netherlands: 1.2 per 100,000 (1994)

Incarceration rate (1997) United States: 645 per 100,000 Netherlands: 73 per 100,000

Per capita spending on drug-related law enforcement United States: $81 Netherlands: $27

~~

The USA has a reason for opposing the policies adopted by Switzerland.

The CIA's Drug-Trafficking Activities

The following is an extract from Serendipity: http://www.serendipity.li/cia.html

The CIA's operational directorate, in other words that's their covert operations, para-military, dirty tricks — call it whatever you want — has for at least 40 years that we can document paid for a significant amount of its work through the sales of heroin and cocaine. — Guerrilla News Network's Interview with Christopher Simpson

ClA-supported Mujahedeen rebels [who in 2001 were part of the "Northern Alliance" fighting the Taleban which became the core of the new Afghani government following the U.S. attack on Afghanistan in late 2001] engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government and its plans to reform the very backward Afghan society.

The Agency's principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and a leading heroin refiner.

CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan/Pakistan border.

The output provided up to one half of the heroin used annually in the United States and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe.

U.S. officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against the drug operation because of a desire not to offend their Pakistani and Afghan allies. — The Real Drug Lords

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, as is by now well-known by anyone who has cared to be informed, has long been deeply involved in the international trafficking of the addictive drugs heroin and (since the early 1980s, if not earlier) cocaine, the enormous profits from which have financed, and continue to finance, both U.S. covert operations and the U.S. military (via payments to Pentagon contractors).

The main reason why this is not more widely known is that the main players in the U.S. media have always worked to protect the Agency and to keep the American public in the dark as to the nature of its activities (as documented in great detail in Carl Bernstein's article in the October 20, 1977, issue of Rolling Stone: "The CIA and the Media: How America's Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up").

Reportedly the CIA is still flying heroin to Europe and America

Lockerbie Trial Document: Susan Lindauer Deposition http://www.meib.org/articles/0007_me2.htm

Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked



~~

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hydrofoils

An extract from an article at The Independent, 9 Nov 1997

Independent, The (London): The Minister's Mr Moneybags

Mr Berlusconi is not the only one of Mr Mills's Italian clients under investigation.

Another embarrassment arises in Rome where there is an investigation into a series of alleged frauds perpetrated in the Eighties on SACE, the Italian equivalent of the Exports Credits Guarantee Department.

The story centres on a tourism project which was to be set up on St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean and for which three hydrofoils were ordered from a Sicilian shipyard, then owned by a family named Rodriguez.

The company ordering the hydrofoils was called Nautical Trading and the ships were financed by a $25m loan from Morgan Grenfell in the City, guaranteed by SACE and the St Kitts government.

Mr Mills became a director of Nautical.

In the end the project failed, and the hydrofoils, which had been delivered to the Caribbean, were left rotting for some time before being returned to the Mediterranean and the Rodriguez family.

They have subsequently been impounded.

Investigators in Italy, London and St Kitts are trying to discover what has happened to the money, much of which seems to have disappeared via an Isle of Man company called Bluematt - not a Mills company.

It is allegedly owned by the man behind the whole deal, an Englishman who has changed his name and has a fraud conviction.

Mr Mills remained a director of Nautical throughout the collapse at the request of the Rodriguez family, as a "caretaker" he says, to help sort things out.


~~

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Various plots

Seven on trial over bomb plot

London, 21 Mar 2006:

Seven Britons, some accused of links to al CIAda, have gone on trial charged with plotting to carry out bomb attacks in retaliation for the government's support for the United States.

~

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605

Many historians believe that:

1. England's Protestant spymaster, Robert Cecil, invented the Gunpowder Plot, in order to discredit Catholics.

2. At least one of the plotters was working for Cecil.

3. The Gunpowder plotters were framed.

~

The Jubilee Plot of 1887

In 1887, the British police uncovered the ‘Jubilee Plot’, a plan to blow up Westminster Abbey, Queen Victoria and half the British Cabinet.

The bombers were linked, by letters, to Charles Parnell and other Irish MPs who supported Irish independence.

The ‘ringleader’ of the plot was Francis Millen of the Clan na Gael. He was allowed to escape to the USA where he died in mysterious circumstances.

The case against Parnell collapsed.

The letters were shown to be forgeries, written by Dublin journalist Richard Pigott and sold to The Times.

Millen had been recruited by the British government 'to stir the Fenians into bombing Britain' – a scheme designed to discredit the Home Rule movement.

Millen was hired with the approval of the Conservative leader, Lord Salisbury, the Prime Minister.

The Jubilee Plot was the work of the British government.

~~

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-3-1050175,00.html

The Times March 25, 2004

Al-Qaeda cleric exposed as an MI5 double agent

By Daniel McGrory and Richard Ford

Allies say warnings were ignored

ONE of al-Qaeda’s most dangerous figures has been revealed as a double agent working for MI5 ...

Among the scores of young militants who came to visit him in London was the chief suspect in the Madrid train bombings. His followers also included people who wanted to be suicide bombers for al-Qaeda, such as Richard Reid, the shoe bomber.

One intelligence chief in Paris was quoted as saying: “British intelligence is saying they have no idea where he is, but we know where he is and, if we know, I’m quite sure they do.”

Almost a year later Abu Qatada was found hiding in a flat not far from Scotland Yard...

~~

Seven on trial over bomb plot

Mar 21, 2006

Seven Britons, some accused of links to al CIAda, went on trial on 21 March 2006 charged with plotting to carry out bomb attacks in retaliation for the government's support for the United States.

The court was told one of the suspects had wanted to blow up targets such as pubs, clubs or trains.

The prosecutor David Waters told the court: "The allegation is that they (planned) to acquire the ingredients necessary to manufacture a bomb or bombs which would be deployed at the very least to destroy (a) strategic plant within the United Kingdom, or more realistically, to kill and injure citizens of the UK."

The suspects, Anthony Garcia, Jawad Akbar, Omar Khyam, his brother Shujah Mahmood, Waheed Mahmood, Nabeel Hussain, and Salahuddin Amin are accused of conspiring with Canadian Mohammed Momin Khawaja to cause an explosion "likely to endanger life".

Garcia, Khyam and Hussain are also charged with possessing 600 kg of fertiliser.

The suspects, who appeared in court smartly dressed in suits or jackets and surrounded by 11 security guards, deny all charges.

Waters said the plot involved explosive training work carried out in Pakistan.

One of the main witnesses will be U.S. citizen Mohammed Babar, who has pleaded guilty to various terrorism-related offences in New York.

The jury were also told that Waheed Mahmood worked for National Grid Transco, which owns and operates the electricity and high pressure gas system, and that would be "of significance in this case".

~

BABAR

The sources for the following include

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/08/11/ny.terror.suspect/
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/1d2c510a-ba97-11da-980d-0000779e2340.html
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/PA_NEWA8328311143130490A0?source=PA%20Feed
Supergrass met Hamza and Omar Bakri

Mohammed Babar is a naturalized American originally from Pakistan.

He grew up in New York.

He has admitted to smuggling money and military supplies to a senior member of al Qaeda (al CIAda) in Pakistan, setting up a jihad training camp and assisting in a bombing plot in the United Kingdom.

Babar faces prison, but Federal Judge Victor Marrero indicated Babar will serve less jail time under a plea deal.

Babar has agreed to cooperate fully with any investigation or prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office and he may apply to the witness security program, which would relocate his family under a new identity.

Babar, 29, confessed he supplied people who attended the training camp with aluminum powder and attempted to buy ammonium nitrate for them "with the knowledge that it was going to be used for a plot somewhere in the U.K."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Baroni said in court that Babar's training camp lasted for three to four weeks in July 2003 and he was involved in planning a bomb plot in Britain from around December 2002 until about March 2004.

Babar is believed to have been associated with a group in London known as al Muhajiroun, which includes Pakistani terrorists, according to law enforcement sources.

Al Muhajiroun was under British surveillance and members of the group purchased nearly a ton of ammonium nitrate, a raw material used to make bombs, the source said.

British police foiled an apparent bomb plot March 30 when they arrested eight men and seized about 1,320 pounds (600 kg) of ammonium nitrate from a self-storage warehouse in west London.

Six of the men - five of Pakistani descent - were charged with conspiracy to cause explosions and possessing ammonium nitrate for possible use in terrorism.

March 2006

Babar has told a court he had decided to fight against America despite his mother being a victim of 9/11.

Mohammed Babar, 31, said his mother had escaped despite being in the first of the twin towers hit in 2001.

Babar has been flown to Britain to give evidence at the Old Bailey against seven British citizens.

He says he was a member of their cell, meeting them in training camps in Pakistan.

He had met preachers Abu Hamza and Omar Bakri.

Babar has been given immunity from prosecution in the UK.

Operation Gladio: Template for the War on Terror

Police chief- Lockerbie evidence was faked




~~

Who bankrolls the politicians?

Who bankrolled Blair?

Who bankrolled Hitler?

Former Federal Prosecutor John Loftus ( http://www.john-loftus.com/bush_nazi_scandal.asp )
tells us that:

1. Jack Kennedy's father bought Nazi stocks from Prescott Bush.

2. The Harrimans and the Rockefellers increased their fortunes in Nazi Germany.

3. Averil Harriman secretly financed the Bolsheviks.

'Harriman bribed Lenin into letting him take over the Czar's cartels, which exported managanese, iron ore and other raw materials. Harriman shipped the Russian raw materials to his German partners, the Thyssens, who had been secretly bought out by the Rockefellers.'

The Rockefeller's lawyers, the Dulles Brothers, 'had deliberately and systematically bankrupted the German economy with the Versaille Treaty'. The Rockefellers 'were able to buy the stock of nearly every German company for a song.'

4. The Bush family funded Hitler.

The Bush-Thyssen files, in the US National Archives, show that the Bush family stayed on the boards of Nazi front groups 'even after they knew that they were helping the financial cause of the Third Reich'. Nazi Germany 'is where the Bush family fortune came from'.

~

Who has given money to Tony Blair's Labour Party?

Source: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article352586.ece

Sir David Garrard (gave £2.3m to Blair's Labour Party)
Property developer and friend of Lord Levy. Knighted in 2002. Worth: about £102m.

Lord David Sainsbury (£2m)
He was made a peer in 1997 and appointedScience minister in 1998. Worth: Family fortune estimated at £1.71bn.

Rod Aldridge (£1m)
Executive chairman of the support services firm Capita, which held the contract to run the troubled Criminal Records Bureau. Capita has prospered under controversial public- private deals championed by Labour. Worth: about £73m

Andrew Rosenfeld (£1m)
Chairman of the property firm Minerva. A former business partner of Sir David Garrard, who is supporting one of the city academies. Worth: about £92m

Barry Townsley (£1m)
Stockbroker who has given £1.5m sponsorship to Stockley City Academy. Caught up in the "Galloping Major" City scandal and banned from trading for six months.

Sir Christopher Evans (£1m)
As head of Merlin Biosciences, which he set up in 1996, he is the UK's best-known biotechnology entrepreneur. Knighted in 2001 after giving money to Labour in 1998-99 and 1999-2000. Worth: about £158m

Nigel Morris (£1m)
Former head of Capital One, the credit card issuer, and a former social worker from Essex. Donated £50,000 to Labour last year. Worth: £300m

Derek Tullett (£400k)
City stockbroker and long-standing Labour supporter. A non-executive director of the online betting exchange Gaming Bourse. Reported to have given the party £100,000 in 2002. Appointed CBE 10 years ago.


etc.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fake terror planned for Scotland? Terror team draws up plans.

Are certain people worried about losing Scotland and losing Scotland's gas and oil?

Are sections of certain security services planning to carry out acts of fake terror in Scotland?

Scotland on Sunday, 19 March 2006, has a news story entitled: Scots terror team draws up plans for national disasters

According to Murdo MacLeod of Scotland on Sunday, Scottish civil servants are to have contingency plans in place to deal with acts of terror.

The civil servants are thinking about attacks on cities, nuclear plants, nuclear convoys and oil rigs.

According to Scotland on Sunday:

A team headed by Gregor Lindsay, a civil servant and RAF reservist, is working in Perth...

An Executive insider said: "The view is that the international situation means Scotland is more of a target for terror. Irish terrorists were less of an issue here during the Troubles because they supposedly had a thing about not attacking their 'fellow Celtic people'. That doesn't apply to the new breed of international terrorists."

(If you were a powerful Iraqi leader would you want to play golf at St Andrews or would you want to blow up Auchtermuchtie? Yes, play golf.)

Scenarios which the unit has plans for include:

• Terrorists setting off a bomb in Edinburgh.
• Extremists taking over a North Sea oil rig.
• A lethal bird flu pandemic sweeping across Scotland.
• An airliner flying over the Edinburgh City Bypass losing an engine which falls on a nuclear convoy and the fallout spreads across the city.
• Scotland's main oil refinery at Grangemouth being put out of action.
• Dounreay nuclear reactor blowing up.
• A conventional flu epidemic gripping Scotland, causing a staffing crisis in hospitals and other public services.
• Protesters blocking the motorways heading into Glasgow.


The Executive insider added: "You might think the idea that an airliner engine falls on a nuclear convoy on Edinburgh City Bypass and wind blows fallout over the city is far-fetched but the point is that by studying the implications you can draw lessons for anything similar..."

A senior source in Scottish policing said: "There is a fear that because London is seen by terrorists as increasingly hard to crack because of the extra security, terrorists will instead look to Scotland to get the maximum publicity for an attack. If you can't 'do' London, then you still want something high-profile and internationally prestigious, Scotland is second to London in that respect."





~~

Scotland and Norway

Alex Neil of the Scottish National Party has produced a paper on the political and economic progress of Norway since it gained its independence from Sweden.

This study includes a comparison with Scotland.

(Scotland has some of the worst poverty in Europe.)

On the ranking of all 30 OECD nations:

Norway comes top on prosperity ( The GDP per capita was $36,600 in 2002, and this was the highest of any nation in the world barring Luxembourg $61,190. This is compared to the United Kingdom which was $26,150: the Scottish figure lags at around 95% of the UK)

top on productivity

and fourth on its employment rate.

If Scotland was independent, like Norway, it would be richer and more productive.

Neil wrote: “Norway serves as a fine inspiration as to what is possible for the citizens of Scotland.”

(Alex Neil and Jim Mather published a paper in 2004 claiming Scotland’s actual unemployment is some three and a half times the recorded level.)

Neil says “Scotland has wasted thirty years”– time to follow Norway’s independence example

There are several key differences between Norway and Scotland today:

- Norway has used its own natural resources to establish the Petroleum Fund: an investment fund designed to spread the benefits of its natural resource wealth over generations to come. The Petroleum Fund is currently valued at over £85 billion. Meanwhile Scotland continues to be unable to access the benefits of being an oil producing country.

- The country has no external debt and whilst Scotland would be in the black if independent, being part of the UK forces us into fiscal deficit.

- Norway benefits from a highly-skilled and educated population, where only 8.5% of Norwegian adults lack functional literacy skills, as opposed to 23% of Scottish adults.

- Independence allows Norway to maintain regulation of its fisheries and agriculture sector, whilst Scotland continues to be sold down the river by successive British governments who have failed to represent Scottish interests in these industries to the European Union.

- Norway contributes more money per capita to provide for public health care. Consequently, Norway’s figures for infant mortality, obesity, and live expectancy are comparatively better than those in Scotland.

- Norway exceeds the international commitment to give 0.7% of GDP to foreign aid, whilst the Scottish Parliament has no influence in this area, and the UK only manages to contribute 0.3% of GDP.

- Norway’s population continues to grow steadily; with it estimated that by 2030 their population will exceed 5million. By the same time it is reckoned that Scotland will have a population of only around 4.5million – a demographic time bomb that will leave Scotland with many problems.

100 Years of Norwegian Independence

~~

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Plot Against Harold Wilson - what they missed out.

The BBC 2 docudrama, 'The Plot Against Harold Wilson', broadcast on 16 February 2006, missed out the main point - the Israel connection.

According to the BBC programme, sections of the UK military plotted a coup d'etat against the UK prime minister Harold Wilson. Lord Mountbatten was to be the strongman. The programme referred to MI5 and the CIA, but there were no mentions of Israel.

Secret Documents have revealed that the UK supplied Israel with quantities of plutonium while Harold Wilson was prime minister. UK and Israel in Secret Deals

What helped Harold Wilson into power was a sex scandal involving the UK Minister of Defence John Profumo, a certain Lord Astor, a girl called Christine Keeler, and a showgirl called Mandy Rice-Davies. Later Mandy opened several night clubs in Israel. Mandy was the mistress of Peter Rachman, alleged by one source to be a Mossad agent.

~~

Private Eye's greatest days were in the 1970's when they tried to find out whether or not the Prime Minister was a spy for Israel (or the KGB.)

http://aangirfan.blogspot.com/2005/05/uk-labour-party-corruption.html

Harold Wilson was President of the Board of Trade (a government minister) from 1947-51.

The few people who could get permission from the Board of Trade to import heavily rationed raw materials or finished goods were in a good position to become vastly rich.

Among the lucky few who got licenses were Montague Meyer, Joe Kagan and Rudy Sternberg.

Kagan and Sternberg later became peers.

Meyer gave Wilson a consultancy which took him on frequent trips to Moscow and Eastern Europe.

After the 'mysterious' death of Hugh Gaitskell, Wilson became Labour leader and eventually Prime Minister. Anatoli Golitsin, a spy who defected from the KGB, claimed that Hugh Gaitskell was murdered in 1963 so that Harold Wilson, a 'KGB agent', could become leader of the Labour Party.

Harold Wilson's 'private office' was funded in secret by a wealthy group which included Lord Goodman, Sir Samuel Fisher, and Rudy Sternberg.

In the 1970's, Private Eye began to receive information of a possible link between Wilson and the Israeli secret service and the KGB.

Much of this information may have come from people within MI5.

In connection with alleged plots, the names of various people were handed to Private Eye.

Labour MP Ian Mikardo had at one time partnered Leslie Paisner in a business that traded with East Germany.

Mikardo's pair in the House of Commons was Barnaby Drayson who worked for Rudy Sternberg, as did Wilfred Owen MP who had resigned after being revealed as a spy for Czechoslovakia.

Montague Meyer, it turned out, was the man who had bought up much of the timber felled in Tanganyika during Labour's ill-fated groundnut scheme.

Then there was Labour MP Edward Short 'who had been in the habit of receiving bundles of banknotes from T Dan Smith', the city boss of Newcastle and one time partner of Eric Levine.

Kagan was a frequent visitor to Downing Street.

He was also on friendly terms with the station chief of the Russian KGB.

After being questioneded by the police about tax and currency offences he eventually 'fled' to Israel, where perhaps his real allegiance lay.

Sir Rudy Sternberg was also under investigation by the security services.

~~~

The view of the Daily mirror (Once owned by Robert Maxwell, one-time Labour MP and alleged Mossad spy) :

WHO WAS PLOTTING AN ARMY COUP TO GET RID OF HAROLD WILSON?

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Indonesian porn law update

The following is an extract from an article by the excellent Jakartass, who lives in Indonesia:

http://jakartass.blogspot.com/

We've been worried by the seeming subversive attempts by a minority of fundamentalist Muslim politicians to punish those of us who don't share their brand of misogyny and bigotry, but it would appear that the tide has turned.

The proposed Anti-Pornography Law, if it is ever enacted, will target materials rather than people.

Pressure needs to be maintained, but the government, which is 'independent' of the House of Representatives in terms of decision making, has demonstrated that it is on the people's side.

To my mind, this has been the first time that, without recourse to violence, proposed legislation has been successfully defeated by the people, largely of course, because politicians have been listening to their constituents.

The Balinese have been the most vocal in their opposition and I am amused somewhat by their suggestion that the Balinese are the true Indonesians.

The room fell into an uneasy silence as Satria Naradha, one of the most influential community figures in Bali, made a point to the visiting members of the House of Representative's special committee on the pornography bill.

"Bali will never betray Indonesia, we will never secede. Instead, we shall fight until the end any group that is trying to subvert the nation into a monolithic society based on the teachings of one single religious belief," he stressed.

"If Jakarta and Aceh want to betray the republic (by suppressing religious freedom and multiculturalism) then we will let them go (from the republic). Bali will not go away, we will fight to keep this nation as a nation that respects religious freedom and celebrates multiculturalism," he said.

Jakarta Expat Blogs

Indcoup
Java Jive
Jakarta Kid
Jakarta Eye
Green Stump
http://jakartass.blogspot.com/

Indonesian Blogs
Yosef Ardi
Enda Nasution
A. Fatih Syuhud
Maya in Antibes
Blog Indonesia
Paras Indonesia (formerly Laksamana)
The Fool in Bandung
Indonesia Anonymus
Global Voices - Indonesia

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Iraq: this is part of a pattern. Part IV

"Under the government of Saddam Hussein, Iraq used its oil resources to build an economy that had many features of a socialist economy:

"free education through university;

"state-owned enterprises;

"subsidies to keep the prices of necessities low;

"a full-employment policy;

"and a healthcare system that was the envy of the Middle East.

"These achievements were secured by rejecting the model of an economy open to exploitation by the corporations of advanced capitalist countries, like the United States."

"The tribunal, then, is a not ploy to justify the invasion after the fact, but a means of justifying the neutralization of potential rallying points against the occupation."

"The Anglo-American military partnership undermines the development of the European Union as an economic bloc backed by a unified European military alliance with the military muscle to compete with the United States to monopolize resources, markets and access to cheap labor."

"Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, General Electric and other US corporate titans reap billions of dollars in profits by producing arms and the machinery of war for, and providing services to, the Pentagon."

"Israel is widely believed to have 200 nuclear weapons.Against this formidable arsenal, Iran could not possibly destroy Israel; it could only guarantee its own annihilation.

"Against the vastly more formidable US arsenal, a nuclear equipped Iran is not a threat; it is only a country the Pentagon would have to think twice about attacking."

The following extract is taken from
http://gowans.blogspot.com/2006/03/weve-done-it-before-so-why-all-shock.html

The Real Reason for the Tribunal

What is the tribunal’s purpose?

The answer is fairly obvious, if you think through the problem from the perspective of the people who engineered the take-over of Iraq.

But the answer, contrary to the view favored in many left-wing circles, isn’t that the tribunal is a Machiavellian ploy to justify the assault on Iraq by finding Saddam Hussein guilty of crimes against humanity.

There are too many problems with this view.

First, Washington no longer has to justify the invasion. The invasion is over, a fait accompli.

If Washington has a PR problem, the problem isn’t justifying what it did three years ago, but managing opposition at home to the continued presence of US occupation forces in Iraq.

Declaring Saddam Hussein guilty of crimes against humanity does nothing to further this cause.

Second, Saddam Hussein was long ago declared guilty of crimes against humanity in the only court that matters in securing public consent for war: the court of public opinion.

That such prominent left-wing critics of US foreign policy and the war on Iraq as Noam Chomsky can declare the ousted Iraqi president to be a monster should make it clear that the job of criminalizing Hussein is unnecessary; he’s as reviled on the left as he is on the right.

The tribunal, if its purpose is to present Hussein as a monster, simply belabors a point already made and widely accepted as true.

Third, if the purpose is to depict Hussein as a monster to justify his ouster, why also try other high-ranking members of his government, none of whom anyone but a few people outside of the Middle East had ever heard of before they became faces on a deck of playing cards?

It’s enough to criminalize Saddam Hussein, who, in the public mind, as dictator, is solely responsible for all that happened in Iraq.

Dragging anonymous figures before the court, from the standpoint of justifying the ouster of Saddam Hussein, is superfluous.

That the tribunal’s charges extend well beyond Hussein, to touch other key members of his government, offers a hint as to the tribunal’s real purpose.

Put yourself in the shoes of a planner working in the US State Department. US troops are about to march into Iraq. If the initial resistance of Iraq’s military is overcome, and your invading forces conquer the centers of power, what do you do with the members of the toppled regime? You can’t allow them their freedom, to lead quiet lives under the new order, because they won’t lead quiet lives. They’ll become rallying points for resistance. You can’t allow them to go into exile, for resistance movements can be organized and directed from outside the country, and probably with greater ease than they can be from within, where room to maneuver is limited.

There is only one option: to neutralize the central figures of the toppled government so they cannot use their authority, contacts, resources, and organizational skills to lead a backlash to undermine the new order, and restore the old.

To accomplish this goal, high-ranking government officials must be targeted in the initial assault.

If they escape death, they must be hunted down. If they are caught, they must be rendered hors de combat, either by being consigned to a life term of imprisonment, or executed.

To do otherwise risks imperiling the entire enterprise of invasion, conquest and regime change.

The next problem for our US State Department planner becomes how to justify the imprisonment and execution of members of the old regime. On what grounds are they to be held? On what grounds are they to be executed?

This is tricky because there’s no real legal basis to throw key figures of the old government into jail and no legal basis on which to execute them.

Defying US demands to open your country to exploitation by US transnational corporations or being a potential rallying point for a post-invasion resistance, are hardly formal crimes.

Accordingly, in the absence of a legal basis for the neutralization of the old government’s high-ranking members, one must be created.

In the case of the UN Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, which was trying the ousted Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic until his death this month, the UN Security Council, under US and British pressure, simply over-stepped its bounds, and arrogated onto itself the legal authority to try key figures on the losing side of the NATO war on Yugoslavia.

In doing so, it arbitrarily declared itself a sovereign power, with authority over the former Yugoslavia.

To prevent further missteps in this direction, the UN created the International Criminal Court, based on the consent of participating countries, which voluntarily invest the court with authority by agreeing to be bound by its decisions.

In this way, authority to try those accused of crimes against humanity is not assumed arbitrarily as a right.

However, the United States refuses to support the court, and actively works to undermine it, by threatening the withdrawal of economic and military aid to countries that don’t agree to refrain from sending US citizens wanted by the court to The Hague to stand trial.

From Washington’s perspective, any court that isn’t under its control, operating to secure its interests, is intolerable.

To create a legal basis for the imprisonment and possible execution of the key figures of the toppled Iraqi government, the US occupation authority created a set of laws to establish a tribunal to try Saddam Hussein and other key members of the toppled regime.

Essentially, the tribunal retroactively defines as crimes certain previous actions of the Iraqi government, which may have been legal under the laws of the old regime, in much the same way the Nuremberg Tribunal retroactively defined as crimes only the class of atrocities the Nazis had uniquely carried out (e.g., the Holocaust), and not those also carried out by the Allies (e.g., strategic bombing of civilians), to provide a legal basis for the imprisonment and execution of the key surviving members of the Nazi hierarchy.

Similarly, the tribunal in Iraq is tailored to provide a legal foundation for the imprisonment and possible execution of the key members of the Ba’athist hierarchy.

Just as Washington fit the intelligence to its pro-war policy to justify a land invasion, the laws establishing the tribunal have fit a legal basis to the policy of eliminating members of Iraq’s toppled government.

The tribunal, then, is a not ploy to justify the invasion after the fact, but a means of justifying the neutralization of potential rallying points against the occupation.

The Forces that Compelled the Invasion

The United States and Britain, and other advanced capitalist countries, are societies built around business; that is, their organizing principle is the pursuit of profit.

The governments of these countries, as is fitting of business societies, operate to facilitate the profit making of businesses generally, and especially of the largest businesses.

This is so because the concentration of wealth in large corporations means that they uniquely have the resources to monopolize the financing of political campaigns, to carry on vigorous lobbying, and to place representatives in key positions of the state.

They are also able to deter governments from pursuing anti-private property policies, by announcing massive layoffs, by going on investment strikes, by moving operations to other jurisdictions, by launching visible negative publicity campaigns against the government, and by the actual or threatened withdrawal of campaign financing to block re-election of the government’s key elected personnel.

The ability of large corporations as a group to tip a country into economic crisis, either as a deliberate pressure tactic or as the outcome of a rational economic response to policies that encroach upon corporate interests, ensures that progressive, socialist and even communist (e.g., Yugoslavia) governments that operate within the logic of the capitalist system are constrained to follow policies that facilitate profit-making.

This applies not only to domestic policy, but to foreign policy, as well.

The principal goal of the foreign policy of a business society is to secure export and investment opportunities for its corporations, and those countries which are equipped with formidable armed forces and the apparatus of covert intervention, will use these assets to extort, or take by force, the profit-making opportunities they demand foreign countries grant their corporations.

Because the foreign policy of all business societies is organized around the securing of opportunities for their major corporations to accumulate capital, there is an unremitting competition among them for access to export markets, cheap labor and raw materials.

To the degree they can, they seek to monopolize these advantages for the exclusive benefit of their own business communities at the expense of those of competing countries.

In the 20th century, this competition broke out into devastating world wars, which allowed the United States to reap huge profits as a supplier of goods and materiel to the combatants, only entering the wars at the last moment to dictate the terms of peace to weakened and exhausted combatants.

As a result, the US was able to become the hegemonic power in the world, incorporating the weakened German, Japanese and British imperialisms into its own imperialist bloc.

The subordination of these countries to US leadership, does not, however, eliminate the competition; it only forces it to be played out in other ways.

The motive force of profit making, which lies at the heart of the competition, hasn’t been eliminated.

But the chances of any US-challenger prevailing in a war against the United States are slim.

Consequently, overt military conflict is avoided by the weaker powers, in favor of war by other, largely diplomatic, means.

However, given a rough parity in military strength, war would be a real possibility.

For Britain, whose power to dominate the world was weakened by WWII and the rise of its competitor, the United States, the pursuit of profit-making opportunities on behalf of its corporations has been yoked to an alliance with the United States, with Britain serving as junior partner.

The Anglo-American military partnership undermines the development of the European Union as an economic bloc backed by a unified European military alliance with the military muscle to compete with the United States to monopolize resources, markets and access to cheap labor.

In return, Britain is rewarded by Washington, granted a share of the spoils of US-led conquests of such countries as Iraq.

The allure of Iraq to the United States, and to Britain, is the country’s vast oil reserves.

Neither country especially needs these reserves for its own consumption.

The United States produces half of the oil it consumes from domestic sources, and the bulk of the remainder comes from its neighbors, Canada and Mexico.

Britain has the advantage of access to North Sea oil.

But France, Spain, Germany, China and Japan, depend heavily on oil imports from the Middle East.

Washington and London don’t want control over Iraq’s oil resources to establish security of supply to fuel their own economies, but to secure profit-making opportunities for US and British oil firms.

This could only be done by forcing out the government of Saddam Hussein, which was hostile to US and British investment, and replacing it with one subordinate to Washington, which would re-write the Iraqi constitution to open up the country’s oil fields to domination by US and British corporations.

It’s tempting to come up with a single motive to explain the US-British take-over of Iraq, but while the impetus of securing profit-making opportunities for US and British oil companies was probably central to the decision-making of US planners, it’s unlikely that it was the only, or even the chief, factor.

Instead, it seems more likely that a complex of forces and motives impelled the US toward war on Iraq.

One such factor is the necessity of destroying a counterexample to the self-serving trade and investment policies the US prescribes for less-developed countries.

Under the government of Saddam Hussein, Iraq used its oil resources to build an economy that had many features of a socialist economy: free education through university; state-owned enterprises; subsidies to keep the prices of necessities low; a full-employment policy; and a healthcare system that was the envy of the Middle East.

These achievements were secured by rejecting the model of an economy open to exploitation by the corporations of advanced capitalist countries, like the United States.

Iraq’s constitution, for example, defined Iraq’s oil resources as the property of the people of Iraq, not as resources the oil majors of the US, Britain and other advanced capitalist powers could claim title to and exploit for their own narrow aims.

As a model for how a post-colonial society could develop, Iraq was an anathema to the governments of the First World, for Iraq’s economic nationalist policies negated the very goal to which the foreign policy of the advanced capitalist countries is directed: securing profit-making opportunities for their own corporations.

Iraq rejected this model, adopting a set of counter-policies, which together with the country’s native petroleum wealth, allowed it to thrive, while Third World countries that accepted the self-serving prescriptions of the First World for how a Third World country should develop, remained mired in poverty and thwarted in their development.

Were all Third World countries to follow in Iraq’s footsteps, the corporations of the First World would be doubly disadvantaged.

First, they would incur the cost of lost opportunity, and second, Third World enterprises, developing behind protective barriers, might grow large enough to challenge their First World counterparts.

For governments imbued by their economies with the mission of promoting the profit-making opportunities of their corporate communities, the prospect is intolerable.

The solution is to crush the counter-example, and in the process, to send a warning to other countries inspired to follow the same path: develop outside the self-serving parameters we set, and we’ll crush you.

Two other motives for the US to wage war on Iraq are related to the centrality of militarism and arms production to the profitability of companies operating within the US economy. Lockheed-Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, General Electric and other US corporate titans reap billions of dollars in profits by producing arms and the machinery of war for, and providing services to, the Pentagon.

Their profitability depends on a credible case being made for the existence of omnipresent threats to the security of the United States to justify continued Pentagon orders, and on the regular fighting of wars to deplete inventories of missiles, bombs and equipment, to generate replacement orders.

These corporations can use their extensive resources to mount public relations campaigns to warn of threats posed by foreign countries or movements, fund think tanks and scholars to make the case that the US is under threat, and lobby the US Congress to ensure the flow of Pentagon orders continues unabated.

US corporations that stand to receive contracts to rebuild the damaged and destroyed infrastructure of countries that have been targets of US attacks may also press their resources into service to lobby politicians for military intervention.

George Shultz, who is connected to the US engineering giant Bechtel, used his connections as secretary of state in the Reagan administration to lobby the Bush administration to invade Iraq. Bechtel received reconstruction contracts after the invasion.

Massive US state spending on the military and war also provides jobs to numberless Americans, who might otherwise find themselves on the streets, with no means of support.

As such, it keeps at bay the persistent problems of intolerably high unemployment, and the incessant threat of economic crisis, to which advanced capitalist economies are inherently prone.

A related motive is to strengthen the US military presence in the Middle East.

The US operates a vast system of military bases around the world, in scores of countries, to “defend US interests,” that is, to protect US foreign investments from expropriation by nationalizing governments, to ensure that countries within the US orbit maintain a US-business-friendly investment and trade climate, and to discourage competitors from encroaching on the US sphere of interest.

This system of military bases acts as a constant threat to governments that might dare to risk the pursuit of anti-private property policies, to other advanced capitalist countries that might seek to extend their domain, and to serve as launch pads for attacks on other countries, to the expand the domain in which US corporations are free to operate.

A permanent military presence in Iraq provides the US with facilities to safeguard the investment of the US oil majors in the region, and to threaten, and possibly launch, an attack on Iran.Finally, all advanced capitalist states are driven to use their resources to try to monopolize opportunities for their transnational corporations to make profits.

Pre-invasion Iraq had all the hallmarks of a country US planners would have targeted for regime change, even if it didn’t have vast reserves of oil, because the government of Saddam Hussein had largely walled the country off from US capital.

All Third World countries the US state regards as economically unfree, that is, that block, limit, or impose performance requirements on foreign investment, deploy trade barriers, or intervene in domestic markets to achieve public policy goals at the expense of the potential profits of US corporations, are subject to threat, destabilization, economic warfare and military intervention by the US state.

These countries include: Cuba, which restricts and imposes performance criteria on foreign investment; Belarus, whose economy is largely state-owned and follows policies of import suppression and export promotion; Venezuela, whose government controls key sectors of the economy, limiting US investment opportunities; Zimbabwe, which promotes majority Zimbabwean participation in new ventures, and pushes for eventual transition of foreign investment to local ownership; north Korea, which prohibits most foreign investment and controls all imports and exports; and Iran, which prohibits private ownership of power generation, postal services, telecommunications and large-scale industry, restricts foreign ownership in the petroleum sector, mandates that the banking sector remain in state hands, and uses its ownership stake in over 1,500 companies to meet social policy goals.

Washington is actively trying to replace the governments of each of these countries with governments that will throw open their economies to penetration by US capital, preferably on monopoly terms.

Iraq then, is not unique.

No ad hoc explanation need be invoked to account for why Iraq has been subject to economic strangulation, strategic bombing and occupation.

It can be posited as a law that advanced capitalist states are driven by the logic of their economies to secure profit-making opportunities, and that they use the resources at their disposal to extort those opportunities, or take them by force, from unwilling countries. Iraq is simply the most conspicuous current manifestation of the working out of the logic of that law.

What’s Next?

The cycle begins anew, this time with Iran at the center.

The deceptions, to those whose minds have not been poisoned by years of indoctrination into the cult of US or British moral authority by the mass media, schools and governments of these states, are as plain as ever.

It’s as if the US president, the British prime minister, and their advisors, aren’t even trying, figuring Americans and Britons will believe anything their leaders tell them.

Many do.

The alarm has been sounded: Iran’s civilian nuclear energy program is a cover for a secret nuclear weapons program.

Iran must, accordingly, be deprived of the right to enrich uranium, even if it pledges to operate within the safeguards established by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and to grant UN inspectors a level of access to its nuclear facilities exceeding that other countries are willing to allow.

Two questions are critical.

What evidence is there to back up the allegations of the notoriously untruthful Bush administration that Tehran is pursuing a secret weapons program?

Not a jot.

Is there are reason, nevertheless, to believe that Iran would be well-served by building a nuclear weapons capability?

Yes.

A nuclear arsenal, even a modest one, would allow Iran to create a Mexican standoff to deter the United States (or Israel, on Washington’s behalf) from using the threat of war or military intervention to compel compliance with demands that the country’s economically nationalist policies be thrown aside in favor of an open door for US capital.

Once George Bush declared Iran to be part of an “axis of evil,” and then invaded Iraq, (one of the other states said to be part of the same axis), pressure on Iran to develop a nuclear weapons program as a defensive measure increased, especially considering the positive model north Korea’s ambiguous possession of a nuclear weapons capability provides in restraining Washington’s hand in carrying through on its threats to attack the DPRK.

However, whether Iran is pursuing a secret weapons program, or will in the future, is a moot point.

But what is clear, is that the warning that an Iran in possession of a few warheads stands as a direct military threat to the United States and Israel borders on the absurd.

Israel is widely believed to have 200 nuclear weapons.

Against this formidable arsenal, Iran could not possibly destroy Israel; it could only guarantee its own annihilation.

Against the vastly more formidable US arsenal, a nuclear equipped Iran is not a threat; it is only a country the Pentagon would have to think twice about attacking.

The scenario of an Iran in possession of nuclear weapons deciding to furnish a national liberation group with a warhead is more difficult to deal with from the standpoint of conventional military confrontation, and may be regarded in Washington as a more pressing concern than the comic book scenario of Tehran launching a warhead at Europe or Tel Aviv out of pure malice.

But Washington’s desired preemption of this possibility is motivated, not by concern over the lives of numberless people dying in a non-conventional attack carried out by groups that have no state-affiliation, but in monopolizing weapons of mass destruction so that the domination and national oppression these groups react against can continue without interruption.

The analogy is an occupying force seeking to monopolize access to arms, to reduce the chances its occupation will be challenged in any effective form.

So long as there is oppression, there will be resistance.

It’s na├»ve to think Washington is oblivious to the connection between its actions and the retaliatory actions it demonizes as terrorism.

The connection is clear.

However, the US state cannot, as a matter of choice, simply stop acting in ways that victimize weak countries, ways that impel partisans of those countries to strike back.

Washington is under a structural compulsion to pursue a predatory foreign policy, which means it can’t deal with the backlash its foreign policy generates by choosing to pursue a different path (a non-interventionist or “democratic” foreign policy.)

Imperialism is the only option it can pursue so long as the organizing principle of US society is the pursuit of profit. It must, then, use force to limit the backlash as best it can.

Conflict is inevitable, and it’s the only path through which the US imperialist bloc can pursue its foreign policy and the only path through which its opponents can defeat it.

For purposes of building support for a war, the US state prefers to spin fantastical tales of Tehran seeking to covertly develop nuclear weapons to “wipe Israel off the map,” presumably in a direct nuclear attack on the Zionist state.

The “wipe Israel off the map” line, attributed to Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is twisted to give it a sinister meaning: that Iran seeks to destroy every man, women and child living in Israel.

This isn’t the case.

What Ahmadinejad would like to wipe off the map is Israel as an idea, that of a Jewish state based on the expulsion of Palestinians and discrimination against Arabs who remain in Israel; Zionism, in other words.

Interpreting Ahmadinejad’s words as a promised campaign of genocide to be carried out against Israeli Jews is tantamount to saying anyone who called for the Third Reich to be wiped off the face of the map was calling for the genocide of Germans.

This deliberate, demagogic misinterpretation serves a purpose: to build public support for a war on Iran.

If an attack on Iran comes, by US cruise missiles or B2s or Israeli warplanes carrying US–supplied bunker busters to penetrate deep into the earth to cripple Iran’s fledging subterranean nuclear power industry, the fundamental reasons for the attack will remain hidden.

But the main forces that drive the US to war will be the same as those that compelled the US, with British assistance, to attack Iraq: to replace an economically nationalist regime that has largely walled off the country from US and British capital, and is developing outside the self-serving parameters established by Washington.

There will also be subsidiary factors, unique to Iran, which add or detract from these forces (e.g., the link between Iran and pro-Palestinian groups which threatens the viability of a country that acts as an enforcer in the Middle East on behalf of US interests.)

If an attack comes, it will only be a military manifestation of an aggression already begun, one based now on the threat of the use of force, diplomatic pressure and the fomenting of internal subversion.

This is part of a pattern that reaches back to the founding of the US, and has characterized the behavior of all advanced capitalist states.

If the aggressions now being undertaken by Washington against Iran escalate to war, we shouldn’t be shocked.

It has been done before.




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