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Archive for the ‘Brzezinski’ Category

The War in Afghanistan (2011)

25-jan-2011

Originally published on 25 January 2011

A Frontline in the New Cold War against Islamic Extremism or

Crucial Part of the oddly shaped Eurasian chessboard?

Last week, the new U.S. Congress convened for its first session. The newly-elected Republicans and Tea Party favourites started the new year with a stunt: reading the complete U.S. Constitution, that semi-sacrosanct document of yesteryear many swear by but few appear to know . . . On the sidelines, another somewhat overlooked speech took place as well. California Democrat Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey took the floor for a short address. Woolsey is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and gained notoriety as a result of her outspoken stance on the war in Iraq. She was one of the 133 members of the House who voted against authorizing the invasion of Iraq on October 10, 2002. Since then Woolsey has taken an active role in urging U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, and has been a vocal critic of the Bush administration’s foreign policy. Last week, however, Lynn Woolsey showed that she was beyond party politics in criticising America’s active military involvement in the Hindu Kush mountains and Afghanistan: “This war represents an epic failure, a national embarrassment, and a moral blight on our nation”.

In contrast to Woolsey’s words, the White House appears to view the war in Afghanistan in quite different terms. In the first half of December 2010, it released a new report on America’s war in the Hindu Kush mountains, publishing a 5-page summary for public consumption: Overview of the Afghanistan and Pakistan Annual Review. The short document shows that the Obama administration remains beholden to the Bush rationale for the war saying that the “core goal of the U.S. strategy in the Afghanistan and Pakistan theater remains to disrupt, dismantle, and eventually defeat al-Qa’ida in the region and to prevent its return to either country”. Repeating President Obama’s alliterative mantra, the White House presents the hostilities in Afghanistan as part of the War-on-Terror meant to safeguard the U.S. homeland as well as the rest of the Free World. Rather than taking account of the reality on the ground that sees U.S. and ISAF troops battling “insurgency” or rather resistance fighters known as Taliban, the White House document continues to portray the enemy as al-Qa’ida, a shadowy network of Islamist terrorists bent on destroying the Free World. But already in December 2009, a senior U.S. intelligence official told ABC News that there were only about 100 al-Qa’ida members left in Afghanistan, basing himself on the conclusions of American intelligence agencies and the U.S. Defense Department. In June 2010, CIA director Leon Panetta went a step further, telling ABC News: “I think at most, we’re looking at maybe 50 to 100, maybe less. It’s in that vicinity. There’s no question that the main location of al-Qaeda is in tribal areas of Pakistan”. As a result, the Overview of the Afghanistan and Pakistan Annual Review now confidently talks of the “Pakistan-based leadership and cadre of al-Qa’ida”, thereby offering justification for the U.S. drone attacks in Pakistani territory. But the Pakistani army has for the past years been fighting the Pakistani Taliban (TTP or Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan) in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan who, in response, have unleashed a campaign of terror throughout the whole country.

The Obama administration seems adamant to stay the course, having recently committed “1,400 more Marine combat forces to Afghanistan”, as reported by the Associated Press on 6 January. In a way, the War-on-Terror, renamed the Overseas Contingency Operations, is the 21st-century incarnation of the 20th-century Cold War that saw many proxy conflicts and an escalating nuclear arms’ build-up (the could only have led to MAD or Mutually Assured Destruction). As I have indicated in an earlier piece, the NATO establishment already predicted, or maybe rather presaged, such a development in the mid-1990s. Then-NATO secretary-general Willy Claes at the time said that “Islamic militancy has emerged as perhaps the single gravest threat to the NATO alliance and to Western security”.

In the absence of a Soviet threat, the Obama administration has now declared al-Qa’ida and its by now more than legendary and possibly defunct leader Osama bin Laden to be America’s main military adversary. While making sure not to declare an outright Crusade against Islam and Muslims worldwide, President Obama continues Cold War policies that ensure that the “military-industrial complex”, to use President Eisenhower’s famous 1961 phrase, is kept busy, happy, and well-fed. Quite some time ago, the independent journalist Pepe Escobar declared that “Osama bin Laden may be dead or not. ‘Al-Qa’ida’ remains a catch-all ghost entity”. In other words, his contention is that the name al-Qa’ida is used by the U.S. to suggest the presence of a threat that is then employed to justify military intervention. The flipside of that stance is now that terrorists and like-minded individuals opposing U.S. dominance and interventionism equally cite the name al-Qa’ida to gain credibility, notoriety, and media exposure.

But does al-Qa’ida as a worldwide terrorist network aiming to deceive, disrupt and destroy the Free World really exist? Already in 2004, the British film-maker and writer Adam Curtis suggested in his documentary The Power of Nightmares that al-Qa’ida as an international terrorist network was basically an American invention to secure the prosecution and conviction of guilty parties and individuals in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. As such, even the guilt of Osama bin Laden, as the true instigator of the “9/11” attacks, arguably also remains a somewhat open question. On 28 September 2001, Bin Laden was interviewed by the Urdu-language Pakistani daily Ummat: “I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children and other people. Such a practice is forbidden even in the course of a battle . . . Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed”. Was Osama bin Laden merely trying to deflect attention and building up an alibi against a possible U.S. attack? As for the famous video confession so conveniently stumbled upon in the Afghan city of Jalalabad in November 2001, the theologian-turned-9/11-debunker Prof. David Ray Griffin maintains that “bin Laden experts have called this later video a fake, and for good reasons. Many of the physical features of the man in this video are different from those of Osama bin Laden (as seen in undoubtedly authentic videos)”. The fact that the FBI last year used an image of the Spanish lawmaker Gaspar Llamazares to create an up-to-date picture of an aging Osama bin Laden proves that U.S. institutions do indeed dabble in creating fakes and make-believes. The incredible story of the digitally enhanced image of Bin Laden using Llamazares’ “hair and facial wrinkles” was broken by the Associated Press.

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President Obama entered the world stage on an unprecedented wave of goodwill and optimism, relying on his message of “change we can believe in” to affect a serious alteration in the way the U.S. conducts foreign policy and treats other nations. Now that he has been in office for two years, disappointment and disillusion in his actual track record seem widespread. Obama’s continuation of the Bush administration’s championing of the TAPI pipeline project, that would Turkmenistan and India, and his seeming reliance upon Brzezinski’s legacy in pursuing the New Great Game on the “oddly shaped Eurasian chessboard” have transformed him into a proponent of a New Cold War against Islamic Extremism, as personified by al-Qa’ida. Even though many Conservative and Tea Party Obama opponents have cast doubt upon the U.S. President’s religious and political affiliation, referring to him variously as a Nazi-Socialist-Communist-Muslim, his grounding in the Christian faith remains beyond doubt. In particular, Barack Obama is much attached to the work of the American Protestant exponent of “Christian realism,” Reinhold Niebuhr’ (1892-1971). Back in April 2007, then-Candidate Obama told the New York Times columnist David Brooks: “I take away [from Niebuhr’s work] the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away . . . the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard, and not swinging from naïve idealism to bitter realism”. And now in 2011, Obama is not wavering in the face of evil as personified by al-Qa’ida, present in the Af-Pak Theatre and providing the U.S. with a pertinent reason to stay the course.

During the Cold War, Niebuhr was a public intellectual, or rather theologian, who took an active part in the fight, as a virulent defender of the U.S. and an outspoken opponent of the Communist threat. He regarded Communism as a position claiming “to embody a social system in which [the] miracle [of achieving an ideal society] has actually taken place”, a society where a “’vanguard’ of ‘class-conscious’ workers, the members of the Communist Party, whose purposes were so identical with the very purposes of history that every weapon became morally permissible to them and every vicissitude of history was expected to contribute to the inevitability of their victory”. Niebuhr’s words appear easily applicable to the 21st century, one would only need to replace the words Communist Party and Communism with the terms al-Qa’ida and Muslim extremism. Politicians and newscasters alike continuously remind the public that al-Qa’ida wants to turn the world into an Islamic welfare state ruled by a new and all-encompassing Caliphate, “a social system in which [the] miracle [of Islamic providence or Shariah] has actually taken place”. Al-Qa’ida operatives are 21st-century versions of “members of the Communist Party”, who were bent on undermining and ultimately destroying the Capitalist world in the 20th century.

President Obama proves to be a crafty proponent of ‘Niebuhrianism’, which Harry R. Davis and Robert C. Good define as a “constellation of perspectives, Biblically derived and validated by experience”. As a Christian Realist, the U.S. President is fighting the “good fight” in the Af-Pak Theatre, while keeping a close eye on China, the new superpower in the making. On Monday, 10 January, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates went to Beijing to “begin regular strategic security talks” between the U.S. and China, a year after the latter cut military ties in protest to American arms sales to Taiwan. Gates stated that military relations between the world’s two biggest economies shouldn’t be “subject to shifting political winds”. Even while the U.S. is busy opposing China on the “oddly shaped Eurasian chessboard”, pitching the TAPI natural gas pipeline project against the Kazakhstan–China oil pipeline connecting the Caspian shore to Xinjiang in Wild West China, President Obama is easing the climate for Chinese President Hu Jintao’s planned trip to Washington, D.C. later this month.

<> on January 19, 2011 in Washington, DC.

 

“9/11” and the Occupation of Afghanistan

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Originally published on 11 September 2010

It is all but an article of faith that the War in Afghanistan, which began on October 7, 2001, was launched in response to the September 11 attacks. Then-U.S. President George W. Bush followed his predecessor’s lead and focused on the figure of Osama bin Laden as U.S. Public Enemy Nr. 1. In 1998, President Clinton had launched missile strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan in retaliation for the African U.S. embassy attacks, apparently carried out by terrorists linked to the Saudi millionaire and erstwhile champion of the U.S.-led Jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Following the Soviet withdrawal from the Hindu Kush, Bin Laden left Afghanistan and went to Sudan upon the invitation of Hassan al-Turabi, and spent five years there (1992-96). Then Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan to apparently continue his Jihad against the United States.

Following the attacks on New York and Washington, DC the population of the U.S. was in deep shock. On 11 September 2001, or “9/11”, the world changed forever, or that is what George W. Bush had us believe. That same evening, in an address to the nation from the Oval Office in the White House, Bush pronounced that “Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge — huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger”. He then declared that “These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong”.

But in reality, fear has pervaded American life ever since, and the Bush Administration has cunningly employed this fear to push through some far-reaching measures affecting the lives of millions of U.S. citizens and many more hapless people across the wider world. Domestically, the rapidly passed Patriot Act clearly limits the much-valued Constitutional Rights of U.S. citizens as well as “aliens” deemed threats to U.S. national security. Currently, the Obama Administration has not revoked this legal measure.

It is all but an article of faith that the War in Afghanistan, which began on October 7, 2001, was launched in response to the September 11 attacks. Then-U.S. President George W. Bush followed his predecessor’s lead and focused on the figure of Osama bin Laden as U.S. Public Enemy Nr. 1. In 1998, President Clinton had launched missile strikes on Sudan and Afghanistan in retaliation for the African U.S. embassy attacks, apparently carried out by terrorists linked to the Saudi millionaire and erstwhile champion of the U.S.-led Jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s. Following the Soviet withdrawal from the Hindu Kush, Bin Laden left Afghanistan and went to Sudan upon the invitation of Hassan al-Turabi, and spent five years there (1992-96). Then Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan to apparently continue his Jihad against the United States.

9-11-shock

Following the attacks on New York and Washington, DC the population of the U.S. was in deep shock. On 11 September 2001, or “9/11”, the world changed forever, or that is what George W. Bush had us believe. That same evening, in an address to the nation from the Oval Office in the White House, Bush pronounced that “Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge — huge structures collapsing have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger”. He then declared that “These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong”.

But in reality, fear has pervaded American life ever since, and the Bush Administration has cunningly employed this fear to push through some far-reaching measures affecting the lives of millions of U.S. citizens and many more hapless people across the wider world. Domestically, the rapidly passed Patriot Act clearly limits the much-valued Constitutional Rights of U.S. citizens as well as “aliens” deemed threats to U.S. national security. Currently, the Obama Administration has not revoked this legal measure.

On an international plane, less than a month after the terrorist strikes, the invasion of Afghanistan took off in earnest following covert CIA operations in the country. The progress of the American-led coalition was swift – in fact the invasion proceeded so quickly that the journalist Jon Simpson even claimed live on radio that the BBC had liberated Kabul on the morning of 13 November 2001. Following “9/11” and the swift and successful invasion of Afghanistan, Bush’s approval rating soared domestically to 86%. Back in 2001, the whole world followed the Bush lead into Afghanistan, everybody was keen to have the perfidious Taliban – oppressors of women and growers of beards – defeated and destroyed. The U.S. took the lead in a NATO mission named ISAF or International Security Assistance Force. This 40-nation mission was set up to pacify the country, support the Karzai government and keep the Taliban in check. But, is that really the whole story???  Why was everybody so eager to blame Osama bin Laden? And why was Bush suddenly so anxious to punish the Taliban? Did George H. W. Bush’s notoriously Texan and cowboy-like son even know where Afghanistan was located or who the Taliban were?

It turns out that he knew both the country and its fundamentalist rulers quite well. As long ago as 1997, the Taliban had sent a delegation to Texas to talk about a possible lucrative pipeline passing through their territory. Then-Governor of Texas, George W. Bush, supported the Texan firm Unocal in its dealings with the Afghans. Subsequently, Unocal and its partners planned to build a 1,000 mile gas pipeline from resource-rich Turkmenistan to Multan in Pakistan, passing through the Taliban heartland of Kandahar. In the waning years of the 20th century, the BBC dutifully reported that this deal was part “of an international scramble to profit from developing the rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea”. In other words, the Unocal deal with the Taliban was instrumental in the 21th-century development of what the Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid has termed the “New Great Game”, in reference to the 19th-century rivalry between the Russian and British Empires for supremacy in Central Asia.

The American bestselling author, and academic Michael T. Klare coined the term “Resource Wars” in 2001, indicating that in his opinion most wars of the future, like many of those of the past and present, will be caused by conflicts over access to natural resources, particularly oil, natural gas, and water. Is the war in Afghanistan such a conflict, and were the “9/11” attacks used a pretext to launch this military aggression? Is all the talk we hear of Al Qaeda and its allies really a ruse hiding a blatant economic imperative?

Already in 2007, then-Candidate Obama unequivocally stated that, when President his “first step must be to get off the wrong battlefield in Iraq and take the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan”. At the time, Barack Obama also hinted at the threat posed by an Al Qaeda presence in the so-called Af-Pak theatre. In the meantime, the above-mentioned pipeline project has been expanded to include a 400-mile extension to India, giving rise to the acronym TAPI indicative of the countries the project encompasses: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. In the first seven years of the 21st century, eleven high-level planning meetings have been held with the support of the Asia Development Bank. The next three years remained without much action on the TAPI front however, as the world was focusing on finishing the war in Iraq while the formerly business-friendly Taliban slowly regained ground in Afghanistan. But then, in late 2009, President Obama decided to pay heed to his then-man in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, and authorise the dispatch of more U.S. troops to Afghanistan: a total of 30,000 troops over a period of six months, bringing up the total of US and NATO troops to more than 100,000. In addition, numerous mercenaries or rather private security contractors (PSCs), working for the notorious outfit Blackwater (renamed Xe Services and the US Training Center) as well as other companies, are now also present in the Af-Pak theatre in sufficient numbers. These men and women number up to 104,000, effectively outnumbering the real military presence in the country.

The war in Afghanistan has been heating up lately, and the U.S. and its allies still concentrate on the southern part of the country, on the province of Kandahar to be precise. Consequently, the recent Taliban strike on Forward Operating Base Salerno and Camp Chapman in the eastern Khost province came as a surprise to most if not all. In the south, Kandahar is awaiting the completion of the TAPI pipeline, which will traverse the province on its way to Pakistan and India. In meetings, held in the Turkmen capitol of Ashgabat on 17-18 April, the go-ahead was given and work on the lucrative project started in May, with 2015 as the provisional completion date when Turkmenistan’s liquid gas will start flowing southward. The U.S. government is one of the strongest backers of this project.

How do these machinations surrounding the pipeline project relate to the current war in the Hindu Kush region? According to the former Pakistani diplomat Niaz Naik, approximately two months prior to “9/11”, the Bush administration had already decided to topple the Taliban regime and install a more amenable transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place. In July 2001, a four-day meeting was held in Berlin under the portentous heading of “brainstorming on Afghanistan”. The TAPI project was undoubtedly high on the session’s agenda. Literally one week after the attacks, the BBC’s former Pakistan correspondent George Arney related that Naik had “no doubt that after the World Trade Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been built upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks”. And Niaz Naik proved right. Was he therefore really a man who knew too much? In early August 2009, Naik was tortured and murdered in his residence in Sector F-7/3 of Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad.

In spite of the very real TAPI project and the American backing for the pipeline in the U.S. pursuit of a fossil fuel policy, President Obama is keen to continue the Bush rhetoric as well as policy. In his address to the nation from the Oval Office on 31 August to mark the end of the combat mission in Iraq, he made the following remarks: “And no challenge is more essential to our security than our fight against al Qaeda . . . Americans across the political spectrum supported the use of force against those who attacked us on 9/11 . . . As we speak, al Qaeda continues to plot against us, and its leadership remains anchored in the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. We will disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda, while preventing Afghanistan from again serving as a base for terrorists”.

Is President Obama being simply disingenuous by keeping quiet about his administration’s support for the TAPI project and continuing to sell War on Terror, renamed Overseas Contingency Operations, to the American public and the world at large? Is he being merely circuitous continuously talking about al Qaeda and its allies while ordering his troops to fight the Taliban and pacify Kandahar province?

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The War in Afghanistan: Jihad, Foreign Fighters and al Qaeda

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Originally published on 18 September 2010

This year, on the momentous date of 11 September, the English-language section of the Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera aired a report on foreign fighters joining the Jihad against U.S. and ISAF forces in Afghanistan. The report showed exclusive footage of a Taliban group in northern Afghanistan where foreign fighters, whom Al Jazeera’s Sue Turton called al-Qaeda, are bolstering the local forces. Turton interviewed the ISAF Spokesperson, Brigadier-General Chris Whitecross. Upon being queried about the identity of the outsiders strengthening the Taliban in Afghanistan’s north – a clear tactical counter-weight to ISAF’s presence in the south – Whitecross spoke without hesitation: “That means al-Qaeda and foreign fighters”.

Given that the current war in the Hindu Kush was supposedly caused by “9/11” and that allied action in Afghanistan still aims to “disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda”, to use President Obama’s alliterative war mantra, it is interesting to note the ease with which foreigners joining the Taliban Jihad against the ISAF occupation are termed “al-Qaeda”. As such, this recent development, arguably scooped by Al Jazeera, shows the way in which the war effort in Afghanistan has come full circle in the space of 30 years.

On 25 December 1979, Soviet forces officially entered Afghanistan in an effort to support the Communist regime led by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). The Communists had seized power in April 1978, during the so-called Saur Revolution when Afghanistan’s first President Mohammed Daud Khan, who had himself seized power in a bloodless coup in 1973, was killed. The Communist government in Kabul was highly unpopular in the conservative countryside, and prone to fall prey to yet another coup or even an armed insurrection.

As a result, the Soviets deployed their troops to support a friendly regime in its southern neighbour. The Director of Studies at the Center on International Cooperation Barnett Rubin argues in his book “The Fragmentation of Afghanistan” (1989) that the Soviets had primarily entered Afghanistan with the aim of establishing a key position in Asia, one with trade possibilities and access to Gulf oil. But, once the Soviets had installed themselves in the country, they “imposed military and social reforms that began to make enemies within different sectors of the indigenous population”, as related by the Reuters Multimedia journalist Sehrish Shaban. Afghanistan as a land-locked country in the Hindu Kush mountains is home to a whole host of different ethnic groups professing adherence to Islam. Islam thus really functions as the single unifying factor in Afghanistan, and as a benchmark of Afghan identity.

The type of Islam practiced in the Afghan mountainside tends to be rather conservative and grounded in local tribal traditions and attitudes. As a result, the Soviets’ proposed “military and social reforms” could not but engender hostility among “different sectors of the indigenous population”. This resentment grew and grew into a fully-fledged call for a jihad against the unbelievers – the Soviets being notoriously atheist.

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Nowadays the term jihad is much bandied about and used and/or abused at will by Muslims as well as non-Muslims the world over. The historian and Islam specialist Mark Sedgwick maintains that the concept of jihad was developed in the 8th century, when it basically functioned as a “mixture of the Army Regulations and the Geneva Conventions, appropriate for the circumstances of the time”. At the time of the Islamic conquests (7-8th centuries), the world was divided between a House of Islam (Darülislam) and the House of War (Darülharb) and international relations between both spheres were primarily military in nature. But as the centuries progressed and relations between Muslims and the outside world achieved a quasi-peaceful status quo, punctuated by commercial exchanges and trade links, the idea of jihad changed as well. There is the well-known distinction between the greater jihad (al-jihād al-akbar) and the lesser jihad (al-jihād al-asghar), between a personal struggle in the way of Allah (crf. Surah 29:69) and an armed struggle to protect believers against oppression and violence perpetrated by unbelievers. In other words, jihad evolved from a code of war into a defensive mechanism, tantamount to a religious duty leading to religious rewards. In Afghanistan during the 1980s, the protection of the land from Soviet occupation warranted the execution of a jihad by locals and other sympathetic believers willing to participate in a meritorious act proving one’s commitment in the way of Allah (al-jihād al- asghar).

But what about the Soviets’ main rival, the United States? Were they but passive observers of these weird scenes in the mountains? A few years ago, Hollywood reminded the world of the activities of U.S. Congressman Charles Wilson, whom the New Yorker’s foreign correspondent Mary Anne Weaver called “one of he most enthusiastic supporters of the jihad on Capitol Hill”. The Hollywood movie detailed Wilson’s role in organising and financing the Afghan Mujahedeen against the Soviets throughout the 1980s.The Reagan administration, in conjunction with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the ISI (the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency), actively supported the Mujahedeen fighting the Evil Empire. In 1985, U.S. President Ronald Reagan even entertained the notorious Gulbudin Hikmatyar as well as other Mujahedeen in the White House, calling them “valiant and courageous Afghan freedom fighters”. At the moment, still leading the Hezb-i-Islami, Hikmatyar continues to fight – this time, his enemies are U.S. and ISAF forces, however. Back in the 80s, in struggling for their country’s freedom, not just Afghans volunteered freely, but also militants from nearly thirty counties participated in this jihad, these foreigners were collectively known as “Afghan Arabs”. And now apparently, the unending war in Afghanistan has come full circle. Today’s Mujahedeen, known as Taliban, again seem to enjoy the support and fighting power of non-Afghan militants. The Taliban and these non-Afghan militants, whom ISAF refers to as “al-Qaeda and foreign fighters”, are once again engaged in a jihad to drive an occupying force of unbelievers from Afghan soil – but this time, these unbelievers are Americans and their allies.

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WikiLeaks and the Hillary-Gülen Ties

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‘In this episode of Spotlight with Sibel and Spiro we discuss the notorious USA-based Mullah Fethullah Gülen and Operation Gladio B in light of WikLeaks’ recent announcement that they plan to release a new batch of e-mails exposing the intimate ties between Hillary Clinton and Gulen’s 25+ Billion shady network. Sibel Edmonds explains how Fethullah Gülen was brought into the United States during the Clinton Administration, and how Bill Clinton’s White House, the State Department and the Justice Department’s Janet Reno provided the infamous mullah and his terrorism-heroin operations with blanket immunity and protection. We also take a look at Clinton’s hand-picked handlers, Graham Fuller and Mark Grossman, selected to manage and direct Gülen’s cells in the U.S. and abroad. Published on Aug 12, 2016′.

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Electing The President of an Empire

‘At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., Abby Martin interviews world-renowned philosopher and linguist Professor Noam Chomsky. Prof. Chomsky comments on the presidential primary “extravaganza,” the movement for Bernie Sanders, the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, modern-day libertarianism and the reality of “democracy” under capitalism. Published on Oct 24, 2015’.  

America’s Unofficial Religion — The War On An Idea // Empire_File006

‘The Empire has a range of weapons to maintain its power: from its courts to its military. But it also has effective ideological weapons. Everyone in the United States knows that “socialist” or “communist” is considered a bad word. How did things get that way?  Abby Martin explores the history of anti-communism in America, and the heavy repression of an idea that became an unofficial religion. Published on Oct 10, 2015’.

CIA Covert Operations and U.S. Interventions

 ‘Special thx go out to Frank Dorell and all who contributed to this documentary (Posted 19 Jan 2012)’.  

 

Conversation with Zbigniew Brzezinski: The Eastern Edge of Europe

‘President Barack Obama has moved wisely with his administration’s progressive travel and financial sanctions against Russia’s ruling elite over Russia’a assault on Ukraine, but has failed to seriously begin building a domestic understanding that support for Ukrainians is vital to US interests, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski said. The Ukraine crisis is “the most important challenge to the international systems since the end of the Cold War,” Brzezinski told an audience at the Atlantic Council, yet “right now a significantly larger number of Americans are interested in the basketball championship.” For the United States to respond to Russia’s aggression “in a responsible, serious, fashion,” it is politically essential for “president at some point now … to start telling the American people what is at stake here.” Brzezinski called for Obama to make a major policy address on Ukraine — from the Oval Office or elsewhere — to do just that. Brzezinski spoke during a two-day conference on the future of Europe sponsored by the Atlantic Council (29 April 2014)’.

Bohemian Grove 2012

It’s the secretive meeting that the world’s elites don’t want you to know about – some of the world’s richest and brightest are descending on Bohemian Grove yet again this year. RT correspondent Abby Martin is on the ground and she is bringing the latest on what’s really going on there (16 July 2012).

The Bilderberg meeting and Bohemian Grove are two events that crop up every year. Who attends and what happens there???  Fortunately, now we have Facebook and a dedicated page: ‘The top financially & politically powerful people gather to perfom a ritualisitc ceremony & talk about running the world in this men only club. These people ARE wall street defined . . . This is a peaceful protest. July 14th 2012. Railroad Ave & Bohemian Ave in Monte Rio, CA. 1- 4pm Monte Rio local amphitheater, Creation of Care ceremony featuring guest speaker and live music’.[1]

What is the Bohemian Grove?

The Bohemian Grove is a 2700 acre redwood forest, located in Monte Rio, CA. It contains accommodation for 2000 people to “camp” in luxury. It is owned by the Bohemian Club.

What is the Bohemian Club?

The Bohemian Club is a private. all male club, which is headquartered in the Bohemian building inSan Francisco. It was formed in 1872 by men who sought shelter from the frontier culture (or lack of culture).

Who are the present members?

The Club has evolved into an association of rich and powerful men, mostly of this country (there are similar organizations in other countries).Some artists are allowed to join (often at reduced rates), because of their social status and entertainment value. The membership list has included every Republican U.S. president (as well as some Democrats) since 1923, many cabinet officials, and director;& CEO’s of large corporations, including major financial institutions.

What industries are represented among the members?

Major military contractors, oil companies, banks (including the Federal Reserve), utilities (including nuclear power),and national media (broadcast and print) have high-ranking officials as club members or guests. Many members are, or have been, on the board of directors of several of these corporations. You should note that most of the above industries depend heavily on a relationship with government for their profitability. The members stay in different camps at the Grove, which have varying status levels. Members & frequent guests of the most prestigious camp (Mandalay) include: Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, S. D. Bechtel, Jr., Thomas Watson Jr. (IBM), Phillip Hawley(B of A), William Casey (CIA). and Ralph Bailey (Dupont). George Bush resides in a less prestigious camp (Hillbillies) with A. W. Clausen (World Bank), Walter Cronkite, and William F. Buckley.

What activities take place at the grove?

The grove is the site of a two week retreat every July (as well as other smaller get-togethers throughout the year). At these retreats, the members commune with nature in a truly original way. They drink heavily from morning through the night, bask in their freedom to urinate on the redwoods, and perform pagan rituals (including the “Cremation of Care”, in which the members wearing red-hooded robes, cremate a coffin effigy of “Dull Care” at the base of a 40 foot owl altar). Some (20%) engage in homosexual activity (but few of them support gay rights or AIDS research). They watch (and participate in) plays and comedy shows in which women are portrayed by male actors. Although women are not allowed in the Grove, members often leave at night to enjoy the company of the many prostitutes who come from around the world for this event. Is any of this hard to believe? Employees of the Grove have said that no verbal description can accurately portray the bizarre behavior of the Grove’s inhabitants. Besides this type of merriment. the annual gathering serves as an informational clearinghouse for the elite. The most powerful men in the country do their “networking” here, despite the Grove’s motto “weaving spiders come not here” (don’t do business in the Grove). At these gatherings men representing the government, military-industrial, and financial sectors meet and make major policy decisions. TheManhattanproject, which produced the first atomic bombs, was conceived at the Grove in 1942. Other decisions made at the Grove include who our presidential candidates will be. There are speeches, known as “Lakeside Talks”, wherein high-ranking officials disseminate information which is not available to the public-at-large.

What are the topics of discussion at the Lakeside Talks? What’s not right about this?

When powerful people work together, they become even more powerful. The Grove membership is wealthy, and becoming more so, while the middle class is steadily becoming poorer. This close-knit group determines whether prices rise or fall (by their control of the banking system, money supply, and markets),and they make money whichever way markets fluctuate. They determine what our rights are and which laws have effect, by appointing judges. They decide who our highest officials shall be by consensus among themselves, and then selling candidates to us via the media which they own. Important issues and facts are omitted from discussion in the press, or slanted to suit their goals, but they are discussed frankly at the Grove. Is there true democracy when so much power is concentrated in so few hands? Is there any real difference between the public and private sectors when cabinet members come from the boardrooms of large corporations? Is the spending of billions on weapons, which are by consensus no longer needed, really the will of the people? Or is it the will of General Electric, General Dynamics, and the other weapons contractors represented at the Grove?

What can I do to make a difference?

Educate yourself about the Grove and it’s inhabitants, and the true nature of the power structure in the world. Then educate your friends. Since most major newspapers and broadcast stations are owned by “insiders”, be wary of everything you hear in the press. If you can, participate in protest activities during the July retreat.[2]

Syrious Revelations: McCain Spills Some Beans, Stuxnet, Flame, and Drones

In the previous presidential election cycle Senator McCain gained notoriety for maintaining that Iraqand Afghanistanappeared to be sharing a border region. Now in 2012, on the other hand, his knowledge of global geography seems to have improved quite a bit. In fact, McCain even went off-script recently: “I’m glad that some of the nations in the Gulf, the Saudis, are providing some weapons [to the Syrian opposition]”, is what he said on CNN on Sunday, 10 June.[1]

As I indicated in earlier entries, the whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds even maintains that the U.S.and Turkeyare providing training for the Syrian opposition, in addition to Saudi and Qatari assistance. The upshot of the conflict in Syriaover the past 15 months has been the loss of at least 10,000 lives, as estimated by the UN. Some opposition groups put the number as high as 14,000.[ii]  Does McCain have some kind of an inside source, or is he merely operating his critical faculties???  As such, the Obama administration has recently had to contend with a number of leaks divulging sensitive information concerning the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The Privacy and Security Fanatic Ms Smith remarks that the “FBI is investigating who spilled national security secrets, this time about Stuxnet and the classified cyberattack program the U.S. launched against Iran nuclear facilities. Senator Feinstein has called for Capitol Hill hearings into the leak since ‘disclosures of this type endanger American lives and undermine America’s national security”.[3]

In the UK’s The Week, Robert Fox writes that the “book Confront and Conceal and a series of articles in the New York Times by David E Sanger [are primarily responsible for the uncomfortable revelations]. The author appears to have enjoyed the status of court chronicler to the Obama circle, much as Bob Woodward did in writing his series of articles and books about the regime of George W Bush. Obama expanded the Bush drone campaigns, but it is the revelation about his commitment to cyber operations that is most startling. According to Sanger’s account – now available as an ebook, though bizarrely not arriving in print for another month – the new president Obama immediately signed up to a series of cyber initiatives and plans under the codename ‘Olympic Games’. The main target was the nuclear fuel refining programme of Iran, specifically the centrifuges at Natanz. The Stuxnet malicious software – malware – was developed with Israel and inserted physically by human agents on the ground”.[4]

 So, what about the recent Flame malware???  In Wired, Kim Zetter writes that the “sophisticated espionage toolkit known as Flame is directly tied to the Stuxnet superworm that attacked Iran’s centrifuges in 2009 and 2010, according to researchers who recently found that the main module in Flame contains code that is nearly identical to a module that was used in an early version of Stuxnet. Researchers at Russia-based Kaspersky Lab discovered that a part of the module that allows Flame to spread via USB sticks using the autorun function on a Windows machine contains the same code that was used in a version of Stuxnet that was unleashed on computers in Iran in 2009, reportedly in a joint operation between the United States and Israel. The module, which was known as Resource 207 in Stuxnet, was removed from subsequent versions of Stuxnet, but it served as a platform for what would later develop into the full-fledged Flame malware that is known today. The researchers believe the attackers may have used the Flame module to kickstart their Stuxnet project before taking both pieces of malware into different and separate directions. They’ve detailed the similarities between the modules in Flame and Stuxnet in a blog post”.[5]

And then there are also the drone attacks in Pakistanand Yemen. . . Mister Fox poetically says that President Obama’s “use of drone strikes has been far more profligate than had been suspected up to now”, as revealed in Sanger’s new book, adding that “Obama inherited the drone campaign – used extensively in the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands and in Yemen – from his predecessor, George W Bush”.[6]  Or, the more things change, the more they stay the same . . .


[i] “McCain: Gulf states supply arms to Syrian opposition” RT (11 June 2012). http://www.rt.com/news/mccain-gulf-arms-syria-568/.

[ii] “McCain:Gulf states supply arms to Syrian opposition”.

[iii] Ms Smith, “Feds investigate who leaked classified Stuxnet cyberattack details to NYT” Network World (06 June 2012). http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/80765.

[iv] Rober Fox, “Flame and Stuxnet show Obama’s commitment to Chinese cyberwar” The Week (11 June 2012). http://www.theweek.co.uk/defence/47345/flame-and-stuxnet-show-obamas-commitment-chinese-cyberwar.

[v] Kim Zetter, “Researchers Connect Flame to US-Israel Stuxnet Attack” Wired (11 June 2012). http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/06/flame-tied-to-stuxnet.

[vi] Rober Fox, “Flame and Stuxnet show Obama’s commitment to Chinese cyberwar”.