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Imperial Conquest: America’s Long War Against Humanity | Global Research

Imperial Conquest: America’s Long War Against Humanity | Global Research.

Rosa Luxemburg Conference, Berlin, January 11, 2014

Global Research, March 05, 2014
Michel Chossudovsky : quelques rappels nécessaires et généraux sur la crise syrienne

Worldwide militarization is also part of a global economic agenda, namely the application of the neoliberal economic policy model which has led to the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

The world is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has embarked on a military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity.

This “war without borders” is being carried out at the crossroads of the most serious economic crisis in World history, which has been conducive to the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.

The concept of the “Long War” has characterized US military doctrine since the end of World War II. Worldwide militarization is part of a global economic agenda.

Video of Michel Chossudovsky’s presentation to The Rosa Luxemburg conference.

The event was organized by the German daily “junge Welt”. This year, the Rosa Luxemburg Conference marked the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

for the full text including detailed analysis: Imperial Conquest: America’s “Long War” against Humanity, Global Research, January 2014

Imperial Conquest: America’s Long War Against Humanity | Global Research

Imperial Conquest: America’s Long War Against Humanity | Global Research.

Rosa Luxemburg Conference, Berlin, January 11, 2014

Global Research, March 05, 2014
Michel Chossudovsky : quelques rappels nécessaires et généraux sur la crise syrienne

Worldwide militarization is also part of a global economic agenda, namely the application of the neoliberal economic policy model which has led to the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

The world is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has embarked on a military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity.

This “war without borders” is being carried out at the crossroads of the most serious economic crisis in World history, which has been conducive to the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.

The concept of the “Long War” has characterized US military doctrine since the end of World War II. Worldwide militarization is part of a global economic agenda.

Video of Michel Chossudovsky’s presentation to The Rosa Luxemburg conference.

The event was organized by the German daily “junge Welt”. This year, the Rosa Luxemburg Conference marked the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

for the full text including detailed analysis: Imperial Conquest: America’s “Long War” against Humanity, Global Research, January 2014

The Impending Dangers of Nuclear War: America’s W88 Thermonuclear Warhead is 30 Times a Hiroshima Bomb | Global Research

The Impending Dangers of Nuclear War: America’s W88 Thermonuclear Warhead is 30 Times a Hiroshima Bomb | Global Research.

Global Research, February 20, 2014
nuke

The US, the UK, Russia, China and France are rebuilding or upgrading their arsenals of nuclear weapons. The other four nuclear states(Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea) too are ‘improving’ their arsenals. As we discuss the statistics and strategies of ‘nuclear arsenals’ and ‘nuclear deterrence’ it can be hard to keep in mind the reality underlying the abstract discussions.

The nine nuclear states have over 10,000 nuclear weapons in their stockpiles1. This is enough to wipe out the entire population of the planet many times over together with all other life forms.

Is this sane? Has the human race lost its senses? A single United States thermonuclear warhead, designated W88, has an estimated ‘yield’ of 475 kilotons2.  The ‘yield’ is the destructive power expressed in tons of TNT equivalent.

The W88 is over 30 times more destructive than the bomb which wiped out Hiroshima.

A single W88 could completely destroy London, Moscow or New York. Each bomb on a major city would kill millions of people; women, children, babies, old people, everyone. The suffering would be indescribable and for many would go on for months and years before death. No emergency services could begin to cope There would be no relief. What sort of people would do such a thing? What kind of human would threaten such an atrocity?

File:W-88 warhead detail.png

 

The US government has 5 nuclear submarines on patrol at all times carrying 1000 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb3. Is it possible to imagine the degree of paranoia represented by such a standing threat? The UK government has started to spend one hundred billion pounds on rebuilding its Trident fleet of nuclear submarines, each one with the capacity to incinerate over 40 million people. This is being done at a time when many citizens are suffering from inadequate defences against flooding and when the social services are being radically cut back.

The situation is being rendered even more dangerous by the US and Russia who keep 1,800 weapons on high alert atop long-range ballistic missiles that are ready to launch 5 to 15 minutes after receiving an order!

It is ironic that the worst offenders are the five permanent members of the ‘Security’ Council of the United Nations. They have had 69 years to get rid of their nuclear weapons while all that the citizens of the world hear from them are windy speeches around purported good intentions which never come to fruition.

Citizens of the world have simultaneously become aware that the nuclear states do not intend to get rid of their nuclear weapons and that their existence imposes a permanent and intolerable threat to us all. The existence of nuclear weapons means they could be used by accident, by misunderstanding or by malicious intent. How can we ever be sure that some deranged psychopath will not gain power in one of the nuclear states and deceive him/herself into believing that it is in their best interests to make a first strike? How can we ever be sure that some terrorist organisations will not hack into the electronic control systems and carry out the launching themselves? And we now know that even a small nuclear exchange could be a lethal threat to everyone on the planet. In a limited nuclear war between India and Pakistan 20 million people would die from the nuclear blasts, fires, and radioactive fallout. And the fallout would have global consequences that would kill millions of people, disrupt climate patterns, and threaten global agricultural collapse4.

 Furthermore decent people round the globe know that the existence of nuclear weapons is a brooding evil which undermines the moral integrity of humankind. As the great moral leader Desmond Tutu wrote “Nuclear weapons are an obscenity. They are the very antithesis of humanity5…’

The only remedy is an enforced world ban on the existence of nuclear weapons. The other weapons of mass destruction have already been banned. It is the turn of the last and most destructive of them all.

And finally there is hope. The huge burgeoning of awareness in the citizens of the world is bearing fruit.

There are 9 nuclear states and there are 183 non-nuclear states. The security of the non-nuclear states is threatened by the irresponsible and self-focused behaviour of the 9 others. But these 9 are outnumbered by 20 to one. The non-nuclear majority which do not feel the need for a lethal ‘security’ crutch have decided to take the initiative. And rather than focus on the numbers and ‘yields’ of the weapons it was wisely decided to concentrate on the effects on humanity of the use of nuclear weapons. The next logical development, as the nuclear states continue to deny their obligations to shed their arsenals, is for the non-nuclear states to proceed independently to enact a treaty outlawing these weapons internationally. By focusing attention on the humanitarian consequences of their use they are well on their way to doing so.

The first International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held in 2013. Humanity owes a great debt to Norway for this initiative.

This ground-breaking and historic conference was attended by delegates from 127 countries and 70 nongovernmental organizations. The nuclear states were invited but declined to attend. It is not easy to face up to the implications of these arsenals especially if you bear the primary responsibility. India and Pakistan sent observers.

After hearing presentations from a wide range of experts on the various effects of nuclear weapon detonations the conference concluded that “it is unlikely that any state or international body could address the immediate humanitarian emergency caused by a nuclear weapon detonation in an adequate manner and provide sufficient assistance to those affected.” Conference members also agreed that the effects of a nuclear weapon detonation will not be constrained by national borders but will produce significant negative regional and global effects6.

Mexico offered to host a follow-up meeting to this conference and such is the vital importance of this approach that other states declared their intention to organise additional events on this subject.

The Second Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons was held in Nayarit, Mexico, on 13 and 14 February 2014. It included delegations representing 146 States, the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement and civil society organizations.

The powerful summary statement of the conference Chair pointed out that the broad participation of states and civil society reflected the burgeoning awareness that this issue is of the utmost importance to all the peoples of the world. Due to ‘…proliferation, the vulnerability of nuclear command and control networks to cyber-attacks and to human error and potential access to nuclear weapons by non-state actors, in particularly terrorist groups’ the risks are ‘growing globally’.

The risks of ‘accidental, mistaken, unauthorised or intentional use is growing significantly due to more countries holding weapons on higher levels of combat readiness’. As awareness of the humanitarian impact grows hearts and minds are being changed worldwide. These weapons must be outlawed; ‘in the past, weapons have been eliminated after they have been outlawed. We believe this is the path to achieve a world without nuclear weapons’. He called for a ‘legally binding instrument’ and declared that the, ‘time has come to initiate a diplomatic process conducive to this goal. Our belief is that this process should comprise a specific timeframe, the definition of the most appropriate fora, and a clear and substantive framework, making the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons the essence of disarmament efforts. It is time to take action 7.’

The Third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons will be held in Austria later this year. The movement for an international ban is unstoppable.

The International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)8 is a coalition of over 350 organisations in 90 countries. Ray Acheson, in her closing statement on behalf of ICAN to the Second Conference included the words ‘The claim by some states that they continue to need these weapons to deter their adversaries has been exposed by the evidence presented at this conference and in Oslo as a reckless and unsanctionable gamble with our future’.

She went on to explain that the use against cities of less than one percent of existing weapons would put billions of lives in jeopardy and have a long lasting detrimental  effect on both the planet’s climate and agriculture. She insisted that we must act to get rid of them or they will be used by accident, misunderstanding or malicious intent. Getting rid of them will take courageous leadership by states but such leadership will have the support of civil society. She concluded ‘It is time to change the status quo. It is time we ban nuclear weapons.

 So with these and other major forces at work there is an unstoppable movement towards banning these Armageddon machines. The nuclear states have become a sorry sight. Frozen in a realm of outdated thinking which was always inhuman; their leaders frightened and paranoid and prepared to put the survival of humanity in jeopardy simply in order to feel important and powerful as they strut, uncomprehending, on the world stage.

Their brief and nightmarish ascendancy is over. The world has moved on.

Notes

1.     http://www.scribd.com/doc/168600341/Bulletin-of-the-Atomic-Scientists-2013

2.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W88

3.     http://www.psr.org/chapters/washington/energy-and-peace/trident.html

4.      http://www.good.is/post/what-the-volcano-can-teach-us-about-nuclear-war/

5.    http://wagingpeace.org/articles/db_article.php?article_id=417

6.    http://thebulletin.org/mexico-preview-humanitarian-approach-disarmament

7.    http://www.sre.gob.mx/en/images/stories/cih/ci.pdf

8.    http://www.icanw.org/campaign-news/ican-closing-statement-to-the-second-conference-on-the-humanitarian-impact-of-nuclear-weapons/

The Corporate Media’s Dubious Syria Coverage | Global Research

The Corporate Media’s Dubious Syria Coverage | Global Research.

Global Research, February 11, 2014
In-depth Report: 

Western news media reportage on the rampant criminal activities of foreign-backed paramilitary groups operating within Syria still relies heavily on unreliable sources frequently referred to as “activists.” Such spokespersons routinely claim the Syrian military are committing atrocities against the Syrian population. The reports are often disputed by the Bashar al-Assad government and proven suspect or false when additional information is unearthed by independent researchers and alternative news media.

In July 2012 UK journalist Charlie Skelton reported that Western news outlets remain willing accomplices in a propaganda campaign being carried out by public relations practitioners. According to Skelton, “the spokespeople, the ‘experts on Syria’, the ‘democracy activists’ … The people who ‘urge’ and ‘warn’ and ‘call for action’” against the Assad regime are themselves part of a sophisticated and well-heeled propaganda campaign to allow NATO forces to give Syria the same medicine administered to Libya in 2011. “They’re selling the idea of military intervention and regime change,” Skelton reports,

and the mainstream news is hungry to buy. Many of the “activists” and spokespeople representing the Syrian opposition are closely (and in many cases financially) interlinked with the US and London – the very people who would be doing the intervening. Which means information and statistics from these sources isn’t necessarily pure news – it’s a sales pitch, a PR campaign.[1]

One needn’t look far for current examples of such uncertain reportage and sourcing from eminent news organizations. For example, a prominent February 8, 2014 story from Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency, titled, “Aleppo Bombings Kill 23, Activists Say,” carries the lead, “At least 23 people have been killed as a regime helicopter dropped barrel bombs on an opposition-controlled district in Syria’s largest city Aleppo on Saturday, activists said.”[2]

The New York Times reports, “Rebel and government groups have each been accused of massacring civilians, and the government has stepped up air attacks on Aleppo with barrages of improvised ”barrel bombs” packed with high explosives that activists say have killed more than 200 people.[3]

Similarly influential papers such as the Washington Post also remain unabashedly forthright in their reliance on such sourcing. A recent Associated Press piece carried in the paper, titled, “Activists: Syrian Forces Launch New Aleppo Strikes,” quotes the Aleppo Media Center, a self-described “anti-Bashar Assad activist group.” Post readers are assured the entity “has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting.”[4]

Likewise, in November 2013 the BBC, whose Syria coverage tilts strongly toward “activist” observations, cites the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights to break the story of Syrian government air strikes “kill[ing] dozens in Aleppo.“ As Skelton noted in his 2012 exposé, “The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is commonly used as a standalone source for news and statistics” which are taken at face value and parroted by corporate media. While SOHR sounds like a credible and non-partisan human rights outfit, “’They’ are Rami Abdulrahman (or Rami Abdel Rahman), who lives in Coventry,” Skelton observes. In 2011 Reuters reported that when Abdulrahman “isn’t fielding calls from international media, [he] is a few minutes down the road at his clothes shop, which he runs with his wife.”[5]

The analysis suggests how despite the fact that those regularly quoted as authorities on Syria are often far-removed from what is transpiring on the ground and thus involved in a more far-reaching disinformation program to confuse the public on the calculated murder and chaos being carried out throughout Syria by Western-financed mercenary forces.

With the foreign-backed destabilization of Syria now well over two years old, major corporate-owned and government-backed news media, perhaps amazingly, continue to rely on such questionable entities as sources. Indeed, a Google search of “activists say” and “Syria” yields 919,000 results.

A more careful LexisNexis database search for “Syria,” “Assad,” “government” and the phrases “activists say” or “activists report” in the subject headings or text of news items for conventional print outlets indexed for June 1, 2012 to February 7, 2014 yields a data set consisting of close to 2,000 pieces—1,638 newspaper articles, 205 BBC broadcast transcripts, and 148 web-based articles.[6] A total 134 articles appeared in the New Zealand Herald, 52 in the Washington Post, 38 in the New York Times, 30 in the Financial Times, and 28 in the International New York Times.

The following table breaks down the news outlets that, based on the above search parameters, appear to have used so-called “activists” as sources 20 or more times since June 1, 2012.

News Outlet News Articles / Transcripts Referencing “Associated Press”
British Broadcasting Corporation 205
New Zealand Herald 134 43
Belfast Telegraph Online 97  –
Washington Post 52 26
Daily Star (Lebanon) 38  –
New York Times 38 5
Today’s Zaman (Turkey) 36  –
The National (UAE) 34 21
Anadolu Agency 32  –
Bismarck Tribune 30  –
Financial Times 30 15
Scotsman 29  –
Guardian 28  –
International New York Times 28 8
The Capitol (Annapolis MD) 26 13
McClatchey Tribune 26  –
Times of Oman 26  –
Salt Lake City Tribune 25 23
Times & Transcript 24 5
Times (London) 23  –
The Mirror 22  –

About 13.5% of the sample (270) either reference the Associated Press as a source or are AP wire stories. A search for “Associated Press” within the search results yields 270 articles, including a significant number appearing in the New Zealand Herald (43), the Washington Post (26), The National (21), the Bismarck Tribune (15), and the International New York Times (8). A far smaller number of the overall sample (33) reference “Reuters.”

Combined with an acquiescent news media that are arguably complicit in such deception, the end result amounts to sheer propaganda selling the “Syrian revolution” and further conditioning world public opinion for the inevitability of gradual regime change or even more direct military intervention.

After over two decades of phony atrocity stories and tall tales involving Middle Eastern bogeymen and their legion hordes—from babies being thrown out of incubators in Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait to bin Laden’s alleged 9/11 attacks, Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, and Muammar Gaddafi’s fabricated “crackdown” on his people—the public should well understand that much of corporate news media merely function as a well-oiled propaganda machine where “special interests” pull the strings. This is particularly the case when the true powers that be seek to undermine sovereign governments and carry out programs of wholesale terrorism and destruction against their populations.

Notes

[1] Charlie Skelton, “The Syrian Opposition: Who’s Doing the Talking?” Guardian, July 12, 2012.

[2] “Aleppo Bombings Kill 23, Activists Say,” Anadolu Agency, February 8, 2014.

[3] Anne Barnard and Mohammad Ghannam, “Dozens Are Killed in Syrian Violence, Even Amid Preparations for Peace Talks,” New York Times, December 23, 2013, 12.

[4] “Activists: Syrian Forces Launch New Aleppo Strikes,” Associated Press / Washington Post, February 1, 2014.

[5] Skelton, “The Syrian Opposition”; “Coventry: An Unlikely Home to Prominent Syria Activist,” Reuters, December 8, 2011.

[6] A search including the past tense phrases “activists said” or “activists reported” would have likely retrieved an even larger sample.

Washington’s “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT): Violence, War and Instability in an “Arc of Terror” | Global Research

Washington’s “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT): Violence, War and Instability in an “Arc of Terror” | Global Research.

Global Research, February 09, 2014
osamaobama

Twelve years into America’s “war on terror,” it is time to admit that it has failed catastrophically, unleashing violence, war and instability in an “arc of terror” stretching from West Africa to the Himalayas and beyond.  If we examine the pretext for all this chaos, that it could possibly be a legitimate or effective response to terrorism, it quickly becomes clear that it has been the exact opposite, fueling a global explosion of terrorism and a historic breakdown of law and order.

The U.S. State Department’s “terrorism” reports [3] present a searing indictment of the “war on terror” on its own terms.  From 1987 to 2001, the State Department’s “Patterns of Global Terrorism” reports had documented a steady decline in terrorism [4] around the world, from 665 incidents in 1987 to only 355 incidents in 2001.  But since 2001, the U.S. “war on terror” has succeeded in fueling the most dramatic and dangerous rise in terrorism ever seen.

The State Department reports seem, at first glance, to show some short-term success, with total terrorist incidents continuing to decline, to 205 incidents in 2002 and 208 in 2003.  But the number of more serious or “significant” incidents (involving death, serious injury, abduction, kidnapping, major property damage or the likelihood of such results) was already on the rise, from 123 incidents in 2001 to 172 in 2003.

But then the 2004 report [5], due to be published in March 2005, revealed that the number of incidents had spiked to an incredible 2,177, including 625 “significant” incidents, even though the report excluded attacks on U.S. occupation forces in Iraq.  Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice took decisive action, not to urgently review this dangerous failure of U.S. policy, but to suppress the report.  We only know what it said thanks to whistleblowers who leaked it to the media, and to Larry Johnson [6], an ex-CIA and State Department terrorism expert and a member of Ray McGovern’sVeteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity [7].

Rice eventually released a reformatted version of the 2004 report, ostensibly replacing “Patterns of Global Terrorism” with a new report titled “Country Reports on Terrorism” that excluded all statistical data.  The State Department has continued to publish “Country Reports on Terrorism” every year, and was forced to include a “statistical annex” beginning with the report for 2005.  The reports also include disclaimers that this data should not be used to compare patterns of terrorism from one year to the next because of the “evolution in data collection methodology”.  In other words, a report that used to be called “Patterns in Global Terrorism” should not be used to study patterns in global terrorism!

So, what is the State Department afraid we might find if we used it to do just that?  Let’s take a look.  The politicization of these reports certainly undermines their reliability, but, as Secretary Rice understood verywell, the dramatic rise in global terrorism that they reveal is undeniable.

The numbers obviously spiked in Iraq and Afghanistan while under U.S. occupation, so we’ll exclude the figures for those periods in those countries.  The rationale for the “war on terror” was always that, by “fighting them there”, we wouldn’t have to “fight them here”, so we’ll just look at the effect “here” and everywhere else.

On that limited basis, the State Department reports nonetheless document an explosion of terrorism, from 208 incidents in 2003 to 2,177 in 2004 to 7,103 incidents in 2005. Since then, the total has fluctuated between a high of 7,251 incidents in 2008 and a low of 5,029 incidents in 2009, after President Obama’s election temporarily raised hopes of a change in U.S. policy.  The State Department has not issued a report for 2013 yet, but the number of “terrorist” incidents in 2012 remained at 5,748, documenting an intractable crisis that is the direct result of U.S. policy.

The ineffectiveness of the war on terror is intricately entwined with its illegitimacy.  In my book,Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq, I argued that the illegitimacy of the hostile U.S. military occupation of Iraq was at the root of all its other problems.  The U.S. forces who illegally invaded the country lacked any real authority to restore the rule of law and order that they themselves had destroyed.  Even today, two years after expelling U.S. forces, the Iraqi government installed by the U.S. occupation remains crippled by fundamental illegitimacy in the eyes of its people.

The United States’ “war on terror” faces the same problem on a global scale.  The notion of fighting “terror with terror” or a “war on terror” was always fundamentally flawed, both legally and in its prospects for success.  As Ben Ferencz [8], the only surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg war crimes trials, explained to NPR on September 19th 2001 [9], a week after the mass murders of 2,753 people in his hometown, New York City:

“It is never a legitimate response to punish people who are not responsible for the wrong done.  We must make a distinction between punishing the guilty and punishing others.  If you simply retaliate en masse by bombing Afghanistan, let us say, or the Taliban, you will kill many people who don’t approve of what has happened.  I wouldn’t say there is no appropriate role (for the military), but the role should be consistent with our ideals… our principles are respect for the rule of law, not charging in blindly and killing people because we are blinded by our tears and our rage.  We must first draw up an indictment and specify what the crimes were, calling upon all states to arrest and detain the persons named in the indictment so they can be interrogated by U.S. examiners… I realize that (the judicial process) is slow and cumbersome, but it is not inadequate… We don’t have to rewrite any rules.  We have to apply the existing rules.”

Ferencz took issue with the use of terms like “war”, “war crimes” and “terrorism.”

“What has happened here is not war in its traditional sense…  War crimes are crimes that happen in wartime.  There is confusion there…  Don’t use the term “war” crimes, because that suggests there is a war going on and it’s a violation of the rules of war.  This is not in that category.  We are getting confused with our terminology in our determination to put a stop to these terrible crimes… To call them “terrorists” is also a misleading term.  There’s no agreement on what terrorism is.  One man’s terrorism is another man’s heroism…  We try them for mass murder.  That’s a crime under every jurisdiction and that’s what’s happened here and that is a crime against humanity.”

British military historian Michael Howard told NPR that U.S. leaders were making “a very natural but a terrible and irrevocable error” in declaring a “war on terrorism.”  He elaborated in a lecture in London [10] a few weeks later:

“…to use, or rather to misuse the term “war” is not simply a matter of legality, or pedantic semantics.  It has deeper and more dangerous consequences.  To declare that one is “at war” is immediately to create a war psychosis that may be totally counter-productive for the objective that we seek.  It will arouse an immediate expectation, and demand, for spectacular military action against some easily identifiable adversary, preferably a hostile state…”

In the U.S. Congress in 2001, Barbara Lee stood alone [11] against a sweeping Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), giving the president the authority to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons” whom he judged to have “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the mass murders of September 11th.

Barbara Lee implored her colleagues not to “become the evil we deplore,” but she was the only Member with the clarity and courage to vote “No” to the AUMF.  Twelve years later, she has 31 co-sponsors forH.R. 198 [12], a bill to finally repeal the 2001 AUMF.  They include former civil rights leader John Lewis, who said recently [13], “If I had to do it all over again, I would have voted with Barbara Lee. It was raw courage on her part. So, because of that, I don’t vote for funding for war. I vote against preparation for the military. I will never again go down that road.”

From the outset, few Americans understood that the “war on terror” was not legally a real war in which the civilian rule of law was suspended.  Elizabeth Wilmshurst resigned as Deputy Legal Advisor to the British Foreign Office in protest at the U.K.’s “crime of aggression” [14]against Iraq in 2003.  A year later, she told theIndependent [15], “This rather extraordinary war on terror, which is a phrase that all lawyers hate… is not really a war, a conflict against terror, any more than the war on obesity means that you can detain people.”

As the Obama administration took office in 2009, an Eminent Jurists Panel [16] convened by the International Commission of Jurists, and headed by former President of Ireland Mary Robinson issued a report on the U.S. response to terrorism since 2001.  The report concluded that the U.S. government had confused the public by framing its counter-terrorism activities within a “war paradigm.”  It explained,

“The U.S.’ war paradigm has created fundamental problems.  Among the most serious is that the U.S. has applied war rules to persons not involved in situations of armed conflict, and, in genuine situations of warfare, it has distorted, selectively applied and ignored otherwise binding rules, including fundamental guarantees of human rights laws.”

Like Ben Ferencz, the ICJ panel insisted that established principles of law “were intended to withstand crises, and they provide a robust and effective framework from which to tackle terrorism.”

But Barack Obama was an unlikely candidate to restore the rule of law to U.S. policy, to demilitarize the “war on terror” or to derail the gravy train of the largest military budget since World War II.  Hislong-term ties to General Dynamics CEO Lester Crown [17] and his thorough vetting by Crown and other military-industrial power-brokers ensured that the 2008 election was the first in 14 years in which Democrats raised more campaign cash from the weapons industry than Republicans, even after the Republicans almost doubled the military budget in 8 years and nominated industry darling John McCain for president.

A persistent part of the Obama myth is his description of himself as a “constitutional law professor.”  While serving as an Illinois State Senator, Mr. Obama did have a part-time job as a lecturer teaching 3 two-hour seminars per year at the University of Chicago in a program that brought politicians and other prominent people into the law school to give students a taste of the “real world.”  Most of the seminars were on public interest law or racism, not constitutional law [18], but in the looking-glass world of Obama mythology, this has transformed him into a “constitutional law professor” for political purposes.

Obama has failed to close Guantanamo, escalated the longest and most unpopular war [19] in U.S. history in Afghanistan, maintained the largest military budget since World War II [20], conducted23,000 air strikes [21] (mostly in Afghanistan [22]), launched or expanded covert and proxy wars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Syria, and deployed U.S. special forces to 120 countries [23].

But perhaps the signature initiative of Obama’s war policy has been the expansion of assassination operations [24] using unmanned drones and JSOC death squads.  These operations violate still-standing executive orders [25] by previous presidents that prohibit assassination by U.S. forces or officials.  They are not legally covered by the 2001 AUMF, because very few of the people he is killing were involved in the crimes ofSeptember 11th, as former State Department Legal AdviserJohn Bellinger pointed out to the Washington Post [26] in 2010.

Just as Bush administration lawyers wrote memos claiming that torture was not torture, Obama’s have reportedly written memos claiming that assassination is not assassination and that innocent civilians in half-a-dozen countries are somehow implicated in September 11th and therefore legitimate targets under the 2001 AUMF.  But after Bush’s torture memos were widely ridiculed as legal fig-leaves to justify war crimes, the Obama administration has drawn a veil of secrecy over its assassination memos.  If Obama’s legal training has taught him nothing else, it’s that he can’t afford to expose his illegitimate cover for war crimes to public scrutiny and global outrage.

As the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial Executions Philip Alston wrote in June 2010 [27],

“Targeted killings pose a rapidly growing challenge to the international rule of law, as they are increasingly used in circumstances which violate the rules of international law… The most prolific user of targeted killings today is the United States, which primarily uses drones for attacks… the United States has put forward a novel theory that there is a “law of 9/11″ that enables it to legally use force in the territory of other states as part of its inherent right to self-defense on the basis that it is in an armed conflict with Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and “associated forces,” although the latter group is fluid and undefined.  This expansive and open-ended interpretation of the right to self-defense goes a long way towards destroying the prohibition on the use of armed force contained in the UN Charter.”

The prohibition against the threat or use of force in Article 2.4 of the UN Charter [28] is the foundation of peace in the modern world.  As Alston implied, it is either an unintended victim or an intended target of the “war on terror.”  The history of U.S. war policy since the end of the Cold War suggests the latter.  U.S. officials came to see the Charter’s prohibition on the threat or use of force as a constraint on their ability to exploit the “power dividend [29]” they gained from the collapse of the Soviet Union.  For ten years, they struggled to sell the world on new interventionist doctrines of “reassurance [30]“, “humanitarian intervention [31]“, “responsibility to protect [32]” and “information warfare [33].”  In the Clinton administration’s 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) [34], itclaimed the right to use unilateral military force to “defend vital national interests,” including “preventing the emergence of a hostile regional coalition…(and) ensuring uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources.”

As the British Foreign Office’s top Legal Adviser [35] told his government during the Suez Crisis in 1956, “The plea of vital interest, which has been one of the main justifications for wars in the past, is indeed the very one which the U.N. Charter was intended to exclude.”  So the implicit threat in Clinton’s QDR was a violation the U.N. Charter, and his attack on Yugoslavia in 1999 was a flagrant violation and a crime of aggression.  When British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told Secretary Albright the U.K. was having difficulty “with its lawyers” over the plan to attack Yugoslavia, she told him the U.K. should “get new lawyers.”

When planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th, counter-terrorism still seemed an unlikely pretext for overturning the U.N. Charter. But, within hours, according to Under-secretary Cambone’s notes [36] obtained by CBS News, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld told a meeting at the Pentagon, “Judge whether good enough hit S.H. (Saddam Hussein) at same time – not only UBL (Usama Bin Laden)… Go massive.  Sweep it all up.  Things related and not.”

Twelve years later, as Michael Howard predicted, it is much harder to unscramble the consequences of America’s “natural but terrible” embrace of open-ended aggression and militarism.  But underlying all the crimes and atrocities committed in our names is the fiction that we are at “war” with “terror”, whatever that can possibly mean.  What it means in practice is that the U.S. government has applied an opportunistic soup of peacetime and wartime rules to justify whatever it wants to do, to use force anywhere in the world, to kill or maim anybody, to spy on anybody, to violate any treaty or human rights law and to project power anywhere, to effectively place itself beyond the rule of law.  To paraphrase Richard Nixon [37], “When the United States does it, that means that it is not illegal.”

The analysis of international lawyers like Ben Ferencz and other experts gives us a clear road-map to ending the war on terror and starting to undo its terrible consequences. There is a surprisingly clear consensus across the political spectrum on what needs to be done.

On the one hand, we have Noam Chomsky saying [38], on October 18th 2001, that, “The only way we can put a permanent end to terrorism is to stop participating in it.”  On the other hand we have Eliza Manningham-Buller, the first woman to head MI5, the U.K.’s domestic intelligence agency, describing a meeting at the British Embassy [39] in Washington on September 12th 2001, where “there was one thing we all agreed on: terrorism is resolved through politics and economics, not through arms and intelligence… I call it a crime, not an act of war… I have never thought it helpful to refer to a “war” on terror any more than a war on drugs.”

Ending the failed war on terror means restoring the rule of law to U.S. policy – not by secret interpretations of extraordinary laws granting unconstitutional emergency powers, but by genuine compliance with U.S. law and international treaties like the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions.  If we allow our government to persist in this failed and disastrous policy, it will continue to corrupt and erode its own authority, it will destabilize the entire world and it will leave us defenseless in the face of real existential dangers like climate change and nuclear war.

Nothing could be more urgent than ending the failed war on terror (FWOT).  These are the practical steps we must demand of the President and Congress:

1) Pass Barbara Lee’s bill, H.R.198 [40], to repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.

2) Close the concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay.  Transfer accused criminals to stand trial in legitimate courts under fair trial standards, and release and compensate people wrongly imprisoned and/or tortured.

3) Halt all drone strikes, assassinations and military or paramilitary operations that violate the U.N. Charter, the Geneva Conventions or other established principles of international law.

4) Substantially cut the U.S. military budget to end the most expensive and destabilizing unilateral arms build-up in the history of the world.

5) Acknowledge that the U.S. has committed aggression, torture and other war crimes during the past 12 years.  Restore legal accountability and compensate victims.

6) Make a new commitment to good faith diplomacy and cooperation with other countries to deal with the world’s pressing political, economic, social and environmental problems, including the explosion of terrorism caused by the war on terror.

Nicolas J. S. Davies is author of Blood On Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He wrote the chapter on “Obama At War” for the just released book, Grading the 44th President: A Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

 Notes:

[1] http://alternet.org
[2] http://www.alternet.org/authors/nicolas-js-davies
[3] http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/
[4] http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/33889.pdf
[5] http://seattletimes.com/html/politics/2002243262_terror16.html
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_C._Johnson
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veteran_Intelligence_Professionals_for_Sanity
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_B._Ferencz
[9] http://benferencz.org/index.php?id=4&article=53
[10] http://english.pravda.ru/news/russia/01-11-2001/29465-0/
[11] http://www.wagingpeace.org/articles/2001/09/14_lee-speech.htm
[12] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.198:
[13] http://www.democracynow.org/2013/7/5/rep_john_lewis_civil_rights_icon
[14] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4377605.stm
[15] http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0705-06.htm
[16] http://www.un.org/en/sc/ctc/specialmeetings/2011/docs/icj/icj-2009-ejp-execsumm.pdf
[17] http://www.zcommunications.org/investing-in-weapons-war-and-obama-by-nicolas-j-s-davies.html
[18] http://dailycaller.com/2012/09/12/former-univ-of-chicago-law-school-dean-obama-was-never-offered-tenure/2/
[19] http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/30/cnn-poll-afghanistan-war-most-unpopular-in-u-s-history/
[20] http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ERP-2012/pdf/ERP-2012-table80.pdf
[21] http://www.alternet.org/world/bomber-chief-20000-airstrikes-presidents-first-term-cause-death-and-destruction-iraq-somalia
[22] http://www.afcent.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-140113-009.pdf
[23] http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175426/
[24] http://www.zcommunications.org/americas-death-squads-by-nicolas-j-s-davies.html
[25] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_12036
[26] http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/03/AR2010060304965.html
[27] http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10094&LangID=E
[28] http://https//www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml
[29] http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/1001PDABR20.pdf
[30] http://www.salon.com/2005/03/17/wolfowitz_nomination/
[31] http://www.globalpolicy.org/qhumanitarianq-intervention.html
[32] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/opinion/r2p-rip.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
[33] http://strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pubs/parameters/articles/97summer/peters.htm
[34] http://www.dod.mil/pubs/qdr/sec3.html
[35] http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/The%20World%20Today/2006/wt100616.pdf
[36] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/plans-for-iraq-attack-began-on-9-11/
[37] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejvyDn1TPr8
[38] http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2001/chomsky-1024.html
[39] http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/radio4/transcripts/2011_reith3.pdf
[40] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c113:H.R.198.IH:
[41] http://www.alternet.org/tags/war-terror
[42] http://www.alternet.org/tags/obama-0
[43] http://www.alternet.org/tags/bush-1
[44] http://www.alternet.org/tags/afghanistan-pakistan-relations
[45] http://www.alternet.org/tags/iraq-0
[46] http://www.alternet.org/tags/drones-0
[47] http://www.alternet.org/%2Bnew_src%2B

Manipulating the Data on CIA Drone Strikes against Civilians: Leaked Pakistani Document contradicts US Accounts | Global Research

Manipulating the Data on CIA Drone Strikes against Civilians: Leaked Pakistani Document contradicts US Accounts | Global Research.

 

drone

A secret Pakistani government document contradicts several of the US’s rare public statements on the CIA’s drone strikes in Pakistan.

The document outlines over 300 drone strikes dating between 2006 and September 2013. It is compiled by local officials using a network of on-the-ground agents and informants reporting to the FATA Secretariat, the tribal administration.

It is the fullest official record of the covert campaign yet to emerge, providing the dates, precise times and exact locations of drone strikes, as well as casualty estimates. The document abruptly stops routinely recording civilian casualties after the start of 2009, but overall casualty estimates continue to be comparable to independent estimates such as those compiled by the Bureau.

Yahya al Libi - As Sahab Media

The US description of Yahya al Libi’s death differs from the version in the Pakistani document.

Related story – Leaked official document records 330 drone strikes in Pakistan

Neither US nor Pakistani officials routinely acknowledge strikes or provide estimates of casualties. But occasionally the US’s view of individual strikes emerges – usually through an anonymous official quoted in a mainstream media outlet.

The secret document shows that Pakistani officials sometimes filed a rather different assessment from the US’s occasional public statements.

For example, in June 2012, the CIA launched the latest in a series of attempts to kill Abu Yahya al Libi, al Qaeda’s second-in-command. Congressional aides told Los Angeles Times reporter Ken Dilanian that after the strike, the CIA showed video of the strike to politicians who are charged with overseeing the drone programme. This showed a missile killing ‘just one person’ – al Libi.

But contemporaneous media reports, as well as later field investigations by Amnesty Internationaland the Bureau, found a far higher casualty toll. These found that the attack was a sequence of three strikes, including an attack on rescuers. Amnesty found that 10-16 died in total. Six were civilians who had come to rescue the injured after the initial blast.

A named CIA spokesman strongly rejected the allegation that lawmakers might have been shown only partial footage of the strike, calling the claim ‘baseless’. But the Pakistan government document records 10 deaths.

Related story – Bureau investigation finds fresh evidence of drone strikes on rescuers

The Pakistani document also contradicts the US account of a strike in 2011. Drones attacked a large gathering of men who had gathered in a public space in Dattakhel one morning in March 2011. The Pakistani government was quick to protest that the attack had killed tribal elders who had gathered for a jirga – a traditional form of mediation.

US officials speaking on condition of anonymity have poured scorn on this claim. ‘These people weren’t gathering for a bake sale. They were terrorists,’ one told the New York Times the day after the strike.

The New York Times later published the results of the Bureau’s first field investigation into drones, naming 19 individuals killed in this strike. An unnamed US official who briefed the paper continued to insist the dead men were legitimate targets.

‘The fact is that a large group of heavily armed men, some of whom were clearly connected to al Qaeda and all of whom acted in a manner consistent with AQ-linked militants, were killed,’ he said.

Related story – Get the data: Pakistani government’s secret report on drone strikes

The leaked Pakistani document stops regularly recording civilian casualties in January 2009, but occasionally uses ambiguous language that suggests non-combatants were among the dead. For this strike, the document appears to privately echo what the Pakistani government was already saying in public: ‘The attack was carried out on a Jirga and it is feared that all the killed were local tribesmen.’

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Bureau yesterday: ‘While we will not be commenting on the details or locations of purported counterterrorism operations, there is a wide gap between US assessments of civilian casualties and non-governmental assessments.’

He added: ‘There is no credible information to substantiate claims that US counterterrorism actions have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians, but there are parties interested in spreading such disinformation.’

In the case of the jirga strike, multiple international organisations – including a field investigation byAssociated Press – have identified civilian casualties, and Pakistan’s army chief complained about a high civilian death toll. The case has been used as a basis for a complaint to the UN Human Rights Council and a legal challenge in England.

The US government has protested over the claims of civilian casualties but has never indicated who it was targeting.

The same New York Times article contains a third example. The anonymous official rejected the Bureau’s description of a separate strike, on December 6 2010.

Journalists reported that a drone fired on a vehicle carrying three alleged militants as it drove through the village of Khushali. ‘The sources say one militant was able to escape from the car and hide inside a nearby shop. The drone then fired two more missiles at the shop killing the militant, as well as two civilians inside,’ CNN reported.

Presented with this finding, the unnamed official told the New York Times: ‘There were two strikes that day, and neither matches the claim. One targeted a car, killing two militants who had visited several Al Qaeda compounds that day; the other killed a handful of militants, including a top AQ [al Qaeda] terrorist.’

But again the document appears to contradict this, noting: ‘At about 1840 hours US Drone carried out missile strike at a shop in village Khushali Tori Khel, Tehsil Mirali, North Waziristan Agency’.

Chris Woods, who ran the Bureau’s drones project at the time and is now writing a book about armed drones, said: ‘When the Bureau first challenged CIA claims of zero drone civilian casualties in 2011, anonymous US officials used the New York Times to disparage some of its findings. An official denied, for example, that a shop had deliberately been targeted in December 2010. This secret FATA document, never intended for public release, indicates that a shop was indeed hit that day.’

He continued: ‘The CIA’s ongoing role in the Pakistan drone campaign appears to be the greatest obstacle to much-needed transparency in cases such as this.’

The US official told the Bureau: ‘US counter-terrorism operations are precise, lawful, and effective. The United States takes extraordinary care to make sure that its counterterrorism actions are in accordance with all applicable domestic and international law, and that they are consistent with US values and policy.’

But other observers criticised the US policy of releasing information through selective leaks rather than a more routine disclosure policy.

Mustafa Qadri, the Amnesty International researcher who investigated strikes for the organisation’s report, Will I Be Next?, said: ‘Ultimately the US bears primary responsibility for disclosing the full extent of its drone program, the facts about how many have been killed and the factual and legal basis for these deaths.’

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Imperial Conquest: America’s “Long War” against Humanity | Global Research

Imperial Conquest: America’s “Long War” against Humanity | Global Research.

worldeconomy

The following text was presented  at the Rosa Luxemburg Conference, Berlin, January 11, 2014.

The event was organized by the German daily “junge Welt”.  This year, the Rosa Luxemburg Conference marked the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

In this regard, the history of wars is important because it helps us understand today’s wars.

Our objective is World Peace. Our objective is to criminalize war.

The concept of the Long War is part of US military doctrine since the end of World War II. In many regards, todays wars are a continuation of the Second World War.

Worldwide militarization is also part of a global economic agenda, namely the application of the neoliberal economic policy model which has led to the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

Michel Chossudovsky, Berlin, January 11, 2014


Introduction

The world is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US has embarked on a military adventure, “a long war”, which threatens the future of humanity. This “war without borders” is being carried out at the crossroads of the most serious economic crisis in World history, which has been conducive to the impoverishment of large sectors of the World population.

The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.

The concept of the “Long War” has characterized US military doctrine since the end of World War II. Worldwide militarization is part of a global economic agenda.

General Wesley Clark (right)

Militarization at the global level is instrumented through the US military’s Unified Command structure: the entire planet is divided up into geographic Combatant Commands under the control of the Pentagon. US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska plays a central role in coordinating military operations.

According to former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, the Pentagon’s military road-map consists of a sequence of war theatres:

“[The] five-year campaign plan [includes]… a total of seven countries, beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan.” (Democracy Now, 2007)File:U.S. Unified Command Plan Map 2008-12-23.png

The ongoing war on Syria is a stepping stone towards a war on Iran, which could lead to a process of military escalation.

Russia and China, which are allies of both Syria and Iran, are also targeted by US-NATO. In the wake of the Cold War, nuclear weapons are no longer a weapon of last resort (deterrence), their use is now contemplated in conventional war theatre.

The road to Tehran goes through Damascus. A US-NATO sponsored war on Iran would involve, as a first step, a destabilization campaign (“regime change”) including covert intelligence operations in support of Al Qaeda affiliated rebel forces directed against the Syria. .

The geopolitics of oil and oil pipelines is crucial in the conduct of these military operations.  The broader Middle East- Central Asian region encompasses more than 60 percent of the World’s oil reserves.

© Map by Eric Waddell, Global Research, 2003.  (click to enlarge) 

There are at present five distinct war theatres in the Middle East Central Asian region:Afghanistan-Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine, Libya and Syria.

An all out military attack on Syria would lead to the integration of these separate war theaters, eventually leading towards a broader Middle East-Central Asian war, engulfing an entire region from North Africa and the Mediterranean to Afghanistan, Pakistan and China’s Western frontier.

The 2000 Project for the New American Century (PNAC), first formulated by the NeoCons, was predicated on “waging a war without borders”.

The PNAC’s declared objectives were to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars in different regions of the world as well as perform the so-called military “constabulary” duties “associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions”. Global constabulary implies a worldwide process of military policing and interventionism, including covert operations and “regime change”, all of which are carried out in accordance with a “humanitarian mandate”.

Military actions are implemented simultaneously in different regions of the world (as outlined in the PNAC) as well as sequentially.

This military agenda undertaken under the banner of “Responsibility to Protect” largely prevails under the Obama presidency. Media propaganda has been instrumental is sustaining the fiction of humanitarian warfare.

The Legacy of World War II. Demise of Competing Imperialist powers

What is referred euphemistically as the “post war era” is in fact a period of continuous wars and militarization. This must be understood when focussing on contemporary US led wars. While commemorating World War I,  it is also important to understand that there is a continuum of US military strategies going back to World War I and the inter-war period.

The US emerges in the wake of the Second World War unscathed. Most of the fighting was conducted by its allies, a strategy which the US has used consistently in post-world war II conflicts. Moreover, a careful examination of World War II suggests that US corporate interests including Rockefeller’s Standard Oil supported both its allies and its enemies including Nazi Germany well beyond the US’s entry into World War II in 1941. The strategic objective was to weaken both sides, namely to destabilize competing imperialist powers.

Emerging as the victor nation in the wake of World War II, the US has determined the political and economic contours of post-War Western Europe. US troops are stationed in several European countries. Both its World War II adversaries (Germany, Japan, Italy) as well as its allies (France, U.K. Belgium, the Netherlands) have been weakened. With the exception of the U.K. which is part of the Anglo-American axis, these countries are outgoing colonial powers, displaced by US hegemony. Their pre-World War II colonial territories including Indonesia, The Congo, Indochina, Rwanda (among others) have been gradually integrated over a period of half a century into a dominant US sphere of influence.

In Africa, the process of displacement of France’s sphere of influence is still ongoing. The US is currently taking over the control of France’s former colonies in central Africa. Washington also exerts a decisive role in the Maghreb.

“Internal Colonialism” in the European Union

A complex form of  “internal colonialism” is also emerging in the European Union. US financial institutions and business conglomerates together with their European partners are prevalent in setting both the monetary, trade and investment agenda.

Politics are subordinated to dominant financial interests. What is also unfolding in terms of secret trade negotiations (under the TTIP and CETA), is a process of economic and political integration between the EU and North America. These agreements together with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) constitute the building blocks of a process of global economic domination.

Meanwhile, presidential and parliamentary elections in the EU, including Germany, Italy and France (e.g. Sarkozy and Hollande) are increasingly the object of covert political interference (modeled on the color revolutions), namely US sponsored regime change. The fundamental question is to what extent are European leaders political proxies.

US Sponsored Wars and Military Intelligence Operations

This entire period (1945- present) has been marked by a succession of US sponsored wars and military-intelligence interventions in all major regions of the World.

We are not dealing with piecemeal military operations pertaining to specific countries and regions: There is a military roadmap, a sequence of military operations. Non-conventional forms of intervention including State sponsored terrorist attacks rather than theater war have also been launched.

America’s war is a cohesive and coordinated plan of Worldwide military conquest which serves dominant financial and corporate interests. The structure of alliances including NATO is crucial.

The European Union plays a central role in this military agenda. The member states of the EU are allies of the Anglo-American axis, but at the same time, a restructuring process is occurring within the EU, whereby previously sovereign countries are increasingly under the jurisdiction of powerful financial institutions.

The imposition of the IMF’s deadly economic reforms on several European countries is indicative of America’s interference in European affairs. What is at stake is a major shift in EU political and economic structures, whereby member states of the EU are de facto re-categorized by the IMF and treated in the same way as an indebted Third World country.

Military Strategy

While the US has intervened militarily in major regions of the World, the thrust of US foreign policy is to have these wars fought by America’s allies or to resort to non-conventional forms of warfare.

The thrust of this agenda is twofold.

1) US military might is coupled with that of “Global NATO” including Israel. We are dealing with a formidable force, in terms of advanced weapons systems. US military bases have been established in all major regions of the World under the geographical command structure. A new African command has been established.

2) Military action supports powerful economic and financial interests. A strategy of “Economic Warfare” under the neoliberal agenda is implemented in close coordination with military planning.

The purpose of warfare is not conquest per se. The US lost the Vietnam war, but the ultimate objective was to destroy Vietnam as a sovereign country. Vietnam together with Cambodia today constitute a new impoverished frontier of the global cheap labor economy.

The imperial project is predicated on economic conquest, implying the confiscation and appropriation of the wealth and resources of sovereign countries. In the Middle East, successive wars have been geared towards the confiscation of oil and gas reserves.

Countries are destroyed, often transformed into territories, sovereignty is foregone, national institutions collapse, the national economy is destroyed through the imposition of “free market” reforms under the helm of the IMF, unemployment becomes rampant, social services are dismantled, wages collapse, and people are impoverished.

The ruling capitalist elites in these countries are subordinated to those of the US and its allies. The nation’s assets and natural resources are transferred into the hands of foreign investors through a privatization program imposed by the invading forces.

Historical Background: Nuclear Weapons. The Legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

America’s early nuclear weapons doctrine under the Manhattan Project was not based on the Cold War notions of “Deterrence” and “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD). Contemporary post Cold War US nuclear doctrine is based on the notion that nuclear weapons can be used in the conventional war theater and that these weapons are “harmless to civilians”.

The strategic objective in the use of both conventional and nuclear attacks has been to trigger “mass casualty producing events” resulting in tens of thousands of deaths.

This strategy first applied during World War II in Japan and Germany was to terrorize an entire nation, as a means of military conquest.

In Japan, military targets were not the main objective: the notion of “collateral damage” was used as a justification for the mass killing of civilians, under the official pretence that Hiroshima was “a military base” and that civilians were not the target.

In the words of president Harry Truman:

“We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. … This weapon is to be used against Japan …[We] will use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children.Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. …  The target will be a purely military one…

“It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.” 20 (President Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945)

“The World will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians..” (President Harry S. Truman in a radio speech to the Nation, August 9, 1945).

[Note: the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; the Second on Nagasaki, on August 9, on the same day as Truman’s radio speech to the Nation]

Harry Truman

Nobody within the upper echelons of the US government and military believed that Hiroshima was a military base, Truman was lying to himself and to the American public.

To this day, the use of nuclear weapons against Japan is justified as a necessary cost for bringing the war to an end and ultimately “saving lives”.

Prior to Hiroshima, the US extensively used fire bombs in Japan resulting in large civilian casualties. In Germany, allied forces extensively bombed and destroyed German cities in the latter part of the war targeting civilians rather than military installations.

The US nuclear weapons arsenal has grown considerably. In the post Cold era, ArmsControl.org(April 2013) confirms that the United States

possesses 5,113 nuclear warheads, including tactical, strategic, and non-deployed weapons.”

According to the latest official New START declaration, out of more than 5113 nuclear weapons,

the US deploys 1,654 strategic nuclear warheads on 792 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers…

Moreover, according to The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) the U.S. possesses 500 tactical nuclear warheads, many of which are deployed in non-nuclear states including Germany, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, the Netherlands.

The History of War Crimes

The notion of mass casualty producing events prevails to this date in US military strategies. Invariably, as in the case of Syria, the civilian casualties of war committed by the aggressor are blamed on the victims.

The period extending from the Korean war to the present is marked by a succession of US sponsored theatre wars (Korea Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yugoslavia), various forms of military intervention including low intensity conflicts, “civil wars” (The Congo, Angola, Somalia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan), military coups, US sponsored death squadrons and massacres (Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Argentina, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines), covert wars led by US intelligence, US-NATO sponsored military intervention in Libya (using Al Qaeda rebels as their foot soldiers sponsored by Western intelligence).

The war on Syria is essentially a covert war of aggression whereby the Western military alliance and its GCC partners are  supporting a terrorist insurgency. The objective is to destabilize Syria as a nation state.

The objective has not been to win these wars but in essence to destabilize these countries as nation states as well as impose a proxy government which acts on behalf of Western interests. Accounting for these various operations, the United States has attacked, directly or indirectly, some 44 countries in different regions of the developing world, since August 1945, a number of them many times (Eric Waddell, 2003):

“The avowed objective of these military interventions has been to effect ‘regime change’. The cloaks of “human rights” and of “democracy were invariably evoked to justify what were unilateral and illegal acts.” (Eric Waddell, 2003)

Destroying Internationalism: The Truman Doctrine

The broader objective of global military dominance in the wake of World War II in support of an imperial project was formulated under the Truman administration in the late 1940s at the outset of the Cold War. It was reaffirmed by US President George Herbert Walker Bush in  a historical 1990 address to a joint session of the US Congress and the Senate in which he proclaimed a New World Order emerging from the downfall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet block.

The ideological underpinning of this agenda are to be found in what is known as the “Truman Doctrine”, first formulated by foreign policy adviser George F. Kennan in a 1948 in a State Department brief.

George Kennan

What this 1948 document conveys is continuity in US foreign policy, from “Containment” during the Cold War to “Pre-emptive” Warfare and “War on Terrorism”.  It states in polite terms that the US should seek economic and strategic dominance through military means:

Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. (…)

In the face of this situation we would be better off to dispense now with a number of the concepts which have underlined our thinking with regard to the Far East. We should dispense with the aspiration to “be liked” or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers’ keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague and—for the Far East—unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better (George f. Kennan, 1948 State Department Brief)

The planned disintegration of the United Nations system as an independent and influential international body has been on the drawing board of US foreign policy since the inception of the United Nations in 1946. Its planned demise was an integral part of the Truman doctrine as defined in 1948. From the very inception of the UN, Washington has sought on the one hand to control it to its advantage, while also seeking to weakening and ultimately destroy the UN system.

In the words of George Kennan:

“Occasionally, it [the United Nations] has served a useful purpose. But by and large it has created more problems than it has solved, and has led to a considerable dispersal of our diplomatic effort. And in our efforts to use the UN majority for major political purposes we are playing with a dangerous weapon which may some day turn against us. This is a situation which warrants most careful study and foresight on our part. (George Kennan, 1948)

In our efforts to use the UN majority for major political purposes we are playing with a dangerous weapon which may some day turn against us. This is a situation which warrants most careful study and foresight on our part. (George Kennan, 1948)

Although officially committed to the “international community”, Washington has largely played lip service to the United Nations. Today the UN is in many regards an appendage of the US State apparatus. Rather than undermining the UN as an institution, the US and its allies exert control over the Secretariat and key UN agencies. Since Gulf War I, the UN has largely acted as a rubber stamp. It has closed its eyes to US war crimes, it has implemented so-called peacekeeping operations on behalf of the Anglo-American invaders, in violation of the UN Charter. Following the de facto “dismissal” of Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali, UN Secretaries General Kofi Annan and Ban ki Moon have became a tool of US foreign policy, taking their orders directly from Washington.

Building a US Sphere of Influence in East and South East Asia

The Truman doctrine discussed above was the culmination of a post World War II US military strategy initiated with the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and the surrender of Japan.

In East Asia it consisted in the post-war occupation of Japan  as well the US takeover of Japan’s colonial Empire including South Korea (Korea was annexed to Japan under the 1910 Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty).

Following Imperial Japan’s defeat in World War II, a US sphere of influence throughout East and South East Asia was established in the territories of Japan’s  former “Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”.

America’s hegemony in Asia was largely based on establishing a sphere of influence in countries under the colonial jurisdiction of Japan, France and the Netherlands.

The US sphere of influence in Asia –which was built up over a period of more than 20 years– included the Philippines (a US possession which was occupied by Japan during World War II), South Korea (annexed to Japan in 1910), Thailand (a Japanese protectorate during World War II), Indonesia (a Dutch colony occupied by Japan during World War II, which becomes a de facto US proxy State following the establishment of the Suharto military dictatorship in 1965).

This US sphere of influence in Asia also extended its grip into France’s former colonial possessions in Indochina, including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which were under Japanese military occupation during World War II.

Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” which overtly threatens China is the endgame of this historical process.

The Korean War (1950-1953) was the first major military operation  undertaken by the US in the wake of  World War II,  launched at the very outset of  what was euphemistically called “The Cold War”. In many respects it was a continuation of World War II, whereby Korean lands under Japanese colonial occupation were, from one day to the next, handed over to a new colonial power, the United States of America.

In South Korea on September 8, 1945, three weeks after the surrender of Japan on August 15th 1945. Moreover,  Japanese officials in South Korea assisted the US Army Military Government (USAMG) (1945-48) led by General Hodge in ensuring this transition. Japanese colonial administrators in Seoul as well as their Korean police officials worked hand in glove with the new colonial masters.

While Japan was treated as a defeated Empire, South Korea was identified as a colonial territory to be administered under US military rule and US occupation forces. America’s handpicked appointee Sygman Rhee was flown into Seoul in October 1945, in General Douglas MacArthur’s personal airplane.

The bombing raids directed against civilians in Japan and Germany at the end of World War II as well as the War on Korea (1950-53) had set the stage for the implementation of mass casualty producing events: extensive crimes were committed by US forces. US Major General  William F Dean “reported that most of the North Korean cities and villages he saw were either rubble or snow-covered wastelands”

General Curtis LeMay [left] who coordinated the bombing raids against North Korea brazenly acknowledged that:

“Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population. … We burned down every town in North Korea and South Korea, too”.

According to Brian Willson:

It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million people during the 37-month long “hot” war, 1950 – 1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerence of another.”

North Korea has been threatened of an attack with US nuclear weapons for more than 60 years.

From the Truman Doctrine to Clinton, Bush and Obama

There has been continuity throughout the post-war era, from Korea and Vietnam to the present.

The Neo-conservative agenda under the Bush administration should be viewed as the culmination of a (bipartisan) “Post War” foreign policy framework, which provides the basis for the planning of the contemporary wars and atrocities including the setting up of torture chambers, concentration camps and the extensive use of prohibited weapons directed against civilians.

Under Obama, this agenda has become increasingly cohesive with  the legalization of extrajudicial killings of US citizens under the anti-terrorist legislation, the extensive use of drone attacks against civilians, the massacres ordered by the US-NATO-Israel alliance directed against Syrian civilians.

From Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan, to the CIA sponsored military coups in Latin America and Southeast Asia, the objective has been to ensure US military hegemony and global economic domination, as initially formulated under the “Truman Doctrine”. Despite significant policy differences, successive Democratic and Republican administrations, from Harry Truman to Obama have carried out this global military agenda.

This entire “post war period” is marked by extensive war crimes resulting in the death of more than twenty million people. This figure does not include those who perished as a result of poverty, starvation and disease.

What we are dealing with is a criminal US foreign policy agenda. Media propaganda has served to obfuscate this agenda. US interventionism is invariably upheld as a humanitarian endeavor. Meanwhile, so-called progressive leftists and “anti-war activists” supported by corporate foundations have upheld this agenda on humanitarian grounds.

Criminalization does not pertain to one or more heads of State. It pertains to the entire State system, it’s various civilian and military institutions as well as the powerful corporate interests behind the formulation of US foreign policy, the Washington think tanks, the creditor institutions which finance the military machine.

War crimes are the result of the criminalization of the US State and foreign policy apparatus. We are dealing specifically with individual war criminals, but with a process involving decision makers acting at different level, with a mandate to carry out war crimes, following established guidelines and procedures.

What distinguishes the Bush and Obama administrations in relation to the historical record of US sponsored crimes and atrocities, is that the concentration camps, targeted assassinations and torture chambers are now openly considered as legitimate forms of intervention, which sustain “the global war on terrorism” and support the spread of Western democracy.

The Wars of the 21st Century: From the Cold War to the “Global War on Terrorism”

The alleged mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorists attacks, Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, was recruited during the Soviet-Afghan war, “ironically under the auspices of the CIA, to fight Soviet invaders”

From the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war in the early 1980s, the US intelligence apparatus has supported the formation of “Islamic brigades”.


“The Outside Enemy” Osama bin Laden, portrayed by the mainstream media

9/11 and the Invasion of Afghanistan

The September 11, 2001 attacks have played a crucial role in the formulation of US military doctrine, namely in sustaining the legend that Al Qaeda is an enemy of the Western world when in fact it is a construct of US intelligence, which is used not only as pretext to wage war on humanitarian grounds but also as an instrument of non-conventional warfare.

The legal argument used by Washington and NATO to invade Afghanistan was that the September 11 attacks constituted an undeclared “armed attack” “from abroad” by an unnamed foreign power, and that consequently “the laws of war” apply, allowing the nation under attack, to strike back in the name of “self-defence”.

The “Global War on Terrorism” was officially launched by the Bush administration on September 11, 2001. On the following morning (September 12, 2001), NATO’s North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, adopted the following resolution:

“if it is determined that the [September 11, 2001] attack against the United States wasdirected from abroad [Afghanistan] against “The North Atlantic area“, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty”. (emphasis added)

Afghanistan was invaded on October 7, 2001 under NATO’s doctrine of collective security: an attack on one member of the Atlantic Alliance is an attack on all members of  Atlantic alliance. The presumption was that the US had been attacked by Afghanistan on September 11, 2001, an absurd proposition.

In the wake of 9/11, the creation of this “outside enemy” served to obfuscate the real economic and strategic objectives behind the American-led wars in the Middle East and Central Asia. Waged on the grounds of self-defense, the pre-emptive war is upheld as a “just war” with a humanitarian mandate.

Pre-emptive war directed against “Islamic terrorists” is required to defend the Homeland. Realities are turned upside down: America and the Western World are under attack.

In the wake of 9/11, the creation of this “outside enemy” served to obfuscate the real economic and strategic objectives behind the American-led wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, which encompasses more than 60 percent of the Wortld’s oil and gas reserves..

Waged on the grounds of self-defense, the pre-emptive war is upheld as a “just war” with a humanitarian mandate.

Propaganda purports to erase the history of Al Qaeda created by the CIA, drown the truth and “kill the evidence” on how this “outside enemy” was fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.

What the media does not mention is that the terrorists in substance are paid killers, supported by the US and NATO.

Non-Conventional Warfare: Using Al Qaeda Rebels as the Foot Soldiers of the Western Military alliance

This strategy of using al Qaeda rebels as the foot soldiers of the Western military is of crucial significance. It has characterized US-NATO interventions in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. It is currently part of a covert agenda to destabilize Iraq by supporting al Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant (AQIL).

US sponsored Al Qaeda terror brigades (covertly supported by Western intelligence) have also been deployed in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen.

The objective is to create sectarian and ethnic divisions with a view to destabilizing or fracturing sovereign countries modelled on former Yugoslavia.

In the Middle East, the redrawing of political borders is contemplated by US military planners.

MAP OF THE NEW MIDDLE EAST


Map: click to enlarge

Note: The following map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).

Although the map does not officially reflect Pentagon doctrine, it has been used in a training program at NATO’s Defense College for senior military officers. This map, as well as other similar maps, has most probably been used at the National War Academy as well as in military planning circles.

The War on Iran: World War III Scenario

As part of the Global War on Terrorism, the launching of an outright war using nuclear warheads against Iran – which has the world’s third largest known reserves of oil behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq – has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon since 2005. These plans are part of a broader Middle East Central Asian military agenda.

War on Iran is part of the Battle for Oil. Already during the Clinton administration, US Central Command (USCENTCOM) had formulated “in war theater plans” to invade both Iraq and Iran:

“…the President’s National Security Strategy (NSS) and the Chairman’s National Military Strategy (NMS) form the foundation of the United States Central Command’s theater strategy. The NSS directs implementation of a strategy of dual containment of the rogue states of Iraq and Iran as long as those states pose a threat to U.S. interests, to other states in the region, and to their own citizens. … The purpose of U.S. engagement, as espoused in the NSS, is to protect the United States’ vital interest in the region – uninterrupted, secure U.S./Allied access to Gulf oil.(USCENTCOM,http://www.milnet.com/milnet/pentagon/centcom/chap1/stratgic.htm#USPolicy , emphasis added)

Public opinion remains largely unaware of the grave implications of these war plans, which contemplate the use of nuclear weapons, ironically in retaliation to Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program.

Moreover, 21st Century military technology combines an array of sophisticated weapons systems whose destructive power would overshadow the nuclear holocausts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Lest we forget, the United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons against civilians.

If such a war were to be launched, the entire Middle East/Central Asia region would be drawn into a conflagration. Humanity would be precipitated into a World War III scenario.

The danger of World War III is not front-page news. The mainstream media has excluded in-depth analysis and debate on the implications of these war plans.

NATO’s “Humanitarian Intervention”  Mandate defined in an ICISS report on R2P (ight0

The Anti-war Movement in Crisis: Cooptation and “Manufactured Dissent”

The antiwar movement in several Western countries is in crisis, dominated by self-proclaimed progressives. Some of America’s wars are condemned outright, while others are heralded as “humanitarian interventions”. A significant segment of the US antiwar movement condemns the war but endorses the campaign against international terrorism, which constitutes the backbone of US military doctrine.

Historically, progressive social movements (including the World  Social Forum) have been infiltrated, their leaders co-opted and manipulated, through the corporate funding of non-governmental organizations, trade unions and political parties. The ultimate purpose of “funding dissent” is to prevent the protest movement from challenging the legitimacy of the capitalist elites.

The “Just War” theory (Jus Ad Bellum) has served to camouflage the nature of US foreign policy, while providing a human face to the invaders.

A large segment of “progressive” opinion in the US and Western Europe is supportive of NATO’s R2P “humanitarian” mandate to the extent that these war plans are being carried out with the “rubber stamp” of civil society. Prominent “progressive” authors as well independent media outlets have supported regime change and NATO sponsored humanitarian intervention in Libya. Similarly, these same self proclaimed progressives have rallied in support of the US-NATO sponsored opposition in Syria.

Let us be under no illusions:  This pseudo-progressive  discourse is an instrument of propaganda. Several prominent “left” intellectuals –who claim to be opposed to US imperialism– have supported the imposition of “no fly zones” and “humanitarian interventions” against sovereign countries.

“Progressives” are funded and co-opted by elite foundations including Ford, Rockefeller, et al. The corporate elites have sought to fragment the people’s movement into a vast “do it yourself” mosaic. War and globalization are no longer in the forefront of civil society activism. Activism tends to be piecemeal. There is no integrated anti-globalization anti-war movement. The economic crisis is not seen as having a relationship to the US led war.

Dissent has been compartmentalized. Separate “issue oriented” protest movements (e.g. environment, anti-globalization, peace, women’s rights, climate change) are encouraged and generously funded as opposed to a cohesive mass movement. This mosaic was already prevalent in the counter G7 summits and People’s Summits of the 1990s.

The “Revolution Business”

The imperial World Order creates its own opposition.

The Occupy movement in the US is infiltrated and manipulated.

“Colored Revolutions” financed by Wall Street unfold in different countries (e.g. Egypt, Ukraine, Georgia, Thailand, ). The CIA through various front organizations has infiltrated mass movements in different parts of the World.

The Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), for instance, under the auspices of Serbia’s OTPOR is a CIA sponsored entity which describes itself as “an International network of trainers and consultants” involved in the “Revolution Business”.

Funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), it constitutes a  consulting outfit, advising and training US sponsored opposition groups in more than 40 countries. Its clench fist logo has been adopted by numerous “revolutionary” groups.

In turn, a panoply of alternative media upholds the “Colored Revolutions” as constituting a “Great Awakening”, a mass movement directed against the very foundations of  the capitalist World order.

In Egypt, for instance, several organizations involved in the Arab Spring including Kifaya and the April 6 Student movement were directly supported by US foundations and the US embassy in Cairo. In a bitter irony, Washington was supporting the Mubarak dictatorship, including its atrocities, while also backing and financing its detractors, through the activities of Freedom House (FH) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Both of these foundations have links to the US State Department and the US Congress.

Under the auspices of Freedom House, Egyptian dissidents and opponents of Hosni Mubarak had been received in May 2008 by Condoleezza Rice at the State Department and the US Congress. The Egyptian pro-democracy delegation to the State Department was described by Condoleezza Rice as “The Hope for the Future of Egypt”. In May 2009, Hillary Clinton met a delegation of Egyptian dissidents (see image below), several of which had met Condoleezza Rice a year earlier.

9/11 Truth

In numerous organizations including the trade union movement, the grassroots is betrayed by their leaders who are co-opted. The money trickles down from the corporate foundations, setting constraints on grassroots actions. Its called “manufacturing dissent”. Many of these NGO leaders are committed and well meaning individuals acting within a framework which sets the boundaries of dissent. The leaders of these movements are often co-opted, without even realizing that as a result of corporate funding their hands are tied.

In recent history, with the exception of Iraq, the so-called Western left namely “Progressives” have paid lip service to US-NATO military interventions in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.  “Progressives” also support the official  9/11 version of events. They deny 9/11 Truth.

“Progressives” acknowledge that the US was under attack on 9/11 and that the war on Afghanistan  was a “Just War”. In the case of Afghanistan, the “self-defense” argument was accepted at face value as a legitimate response to the 9/11 attacks, without examining the fact that the US administration had not only supported the “Islamic terror network”, it was also instrumental in the installation of the Taliban government in 1995-96. It was tacitly implied that by supporting al Qaeda, Afghanistan had attacked America on September 11, 2001.

In 2001, when Afghanistan was bombed and later invaded, “progressives” largely upheld the administration’s “just cause” military doctrine. In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement against the illegal invasion of Afghanistan was isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Several prominent “left leaning” intellectuals upheld the “war on terrorism” agenda.

Media disinformation prevailed. People were misled as to the nature and objectives underlying the invasion of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were identified as the prime suspects of the 9/11 attacks, without a shred of evidence and without addressing  the historical relationship between Al Qaeda and the US intelligence apparatus. In this regard, understanding 9/11 is crucial in formulating a consistent antiwar position. 9/11 is the pillar of US war propaganda; it sustains the illusion of an outside enemy, it justifies pre-emptive military intervention.

The logic pertaining to Syria was somewhat different. “Progressives” and mainstream “antiwar” organizations have supported so-called opposition forces without acknowledging that the mainstay of these forces is composed of Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists, recruited, trained and financed by US-NATO and their allies including Israel, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These antiwar groups, which previously supported NATO intervention in Libya, blame the Syrian government for the atrocities committed by the US sponsored Al Qaeda rebels.

Rebuilding the Antiwar Movement

What is required is to rebuild a mass movement. And this cannot be led and manipulated by self-proclaimed “progressives” with the financial support of  corporate foundations.

The social base as well as the organizational structure of the antiwar movement must be transformed. America’s “Long War” is an imperialist project which sustains the financial structures and institutional foundations of the capitalist World Order. Behind this military agenda are powerful corporate interests including an extensive propaganda apparatus.

War and the Economic Crisis are intimately related. The Worldwide imposition of neoliberal macro-economic policy measures is part of the broader imperial agenda. And consequently, the broader movement against neoliberalism must be integrated into the anti-war movement.

Breaking the “Big Lie” which presents war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well-organized grassroots antiwar network, across the land, nationally and internationally, which challenges the structures of power and authority as well as the nature of the capitalist World order. People must mobilize not only against the military agenda – the authority of the state and its officials must also be challenged.

A meaningful anti-war movement requires breaking the “war on terrorism” consensus and upholding 9/11 Truth. To reverse the tide of war and globalization requires a massive campaign of networking and outreach to inform people across the land, nationally and internationally, in neighborhoods, workplaces, parishes, schools, universities and municipalities, on the nature the imperial project, its military and economic dimensions, not to mention the dangers of a US sponsored nuclear war. This movement must also occur within the Armed Forces (including NATO) with a view to challenging the legitimacy of the military agenda.

The message should be loud and clear:

The US and its allies are behind the Al Qaeda terrorists who have committed countless atrocities against civilians on the specific instructions of the Western military alliance,

Neither Syria nor Iran are a threat to World Peace. Quite the opposite. The threat emanates from the US and its allies. Even in the case of a conventional war (without the use of nukes) , the proposed aerial bombardments directed against Iran could result in escalation, ultimately leading us into a broader war in the Middle East.

What has to be achieved:

Reveal the criminal nature of this military project.

Break once and for all the lies and falsehoods which sustain a “political consensus” in favor of a pre-emptive nuclear attack on Iran.

Undermine war propaganda, reveal the media lies, reverse the tide of disinformation, wage a consistent campaign against the corporate media.

Break the legitimacy of the warmongers in high office. Indict political leaders for war crimes.

Dismantle the multibillion dollar national intelligence apparatus.

Dismantle the US-sponsored military adventure and its corporate sponsors.

Bring home the troops.

Repeal the illusion that the state is committed to protecting its citizens.

Uphold 9/11 Truth. Reveal the falsehoods behind 9/11 which are used to justify the Middle East/Central Asian war under the banner of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT).

Expose how a profit-driven war serves the vested interests of the banks, the defense contractors, the oil giants, the media giants and the biotech conglomerates.

Challenge the corporate media which deliberately obfuscates the causes and consequences of this war.

Reveal and take cognizance of the unspoken and tragic outcome of a war waged with nuclear weapons.

Call for the Dismantling of NATO.

Reorganize the system of international justice which protects the war criminals. Implement the prosecution of war criminals in high office.

Close down the weapons assembly plants and implement the foreclosure of major weapons producers.

Close down all US military bases in the US and around the world.

Develop an antiwar movement within the armed forces and establish bridges between the armed forces and the civilian antiwar movement.

Forcefully pressure governments of both NATO and non-NATO countries to withdraw from the US-led global military agenda.

Develop a consistent antiwar movement in Israel. Inform the citizens of Israel of the likely consequences of a US-NATO-Israeli attack on Iran.

Target the pro-war lobby groups including the pro-Israeli groups in the US.

Dismantle the homeland security state. Repeal the legitimacy of Obama’s extrajudicial assassinations. Repeal the drone wars directed against civilians.

Undermine the “militarization of law enforcement”. Reverse the gamut of anti-terrorist legislation in Western countries which is intended to repeal fundamental civil rights.

These are no easy tasks. They require an understanding of the power structure, of hegemonic relations between the military, intelligence, the state structures and corporate powers which are promoting this destructive agenda. Ultimately these power relations must be undermined with a view to changing the course of World history.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa. He is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca  website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He has taught as Visiting Professor at universities in Western Europe, South East Asia and Latin America, acted as an adviser to governments of developing countries and as a consultant for several international organizations.

Prof. Chossudovsky is a member of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission (KLWCC) which led the 2013 legal procedure against the State of Israel on genocide charges. He is recipient of the Human Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, Germany. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

 
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