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Newsbud Exclusive- Tillerson Announces Illegal Occupation in Syria.

The Trump administration has finally clarified its stance on Syria—it plans to occupy portions of the country and remove its elected leader, Bashar al-Assad.

The former reason is, of course, predicated on the phony Islamic State threat, while the latter is based on the threadbare excuse the United States must prevent al-Assad from butchering his own people and, after all, Syrians deserve democracy American-style, even if the price is 500,000 dead men, women, and children.

“But let us be clear, the United States will maintain a military presence in Syria, focused on ensuring ISIS cannot re-emerge,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared on January 17 during a speech at Stanford University. He was accompanied by former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice.

Tillerson promised free and transparent elections “will result in the permanent departure of Assad and his family from power. This process will take time, and we urge patience in the departure of Assad and the establishment of new leadership.”

However, in 2015, a poll conducted by ORB International with the backing of the United States and Britain found that Bashar al-Assad has more support in the country than the CIA cobbled together “moderate” opposition.

Moreover, Syrians look more favorably on Iran than the Gulf States, which are largely responsible, along with the United States, for supporting al-Qaeda and its affiliates and spinoffs, including al-Nusra (now a component of Tahrir al-Sham) and the Islamic State.

According to Tillerson, “responsible change” will arrive as an “incremental process of constitutional reform and UN-supervised elections.”

Mr. Tillerson, however, is ignoring the failure of the so-called “Geneva process” designed to establish a transitional government in Syria. It is opposed by Salafi groups fighting to overthrow al-Assad. These groups wish to impose strict Sharia law across Syria, while others propose splitting the country up along ethnic and religious lines.

This last “solution” is opposed by a majority of Syrians who want, according to Western polling, a multi-ethnic and non-sectarian democracy. 70% oppose a forced division of the country. [READ MORE]

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Mint Press- FBI Whistleblower on Pierre Omidyar and His Campaign to Neuter Wikileaks

Mid-November, 2017 –  The Daily Beast ran an exclusive report detailing how the Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) was set to break ties with WikiLeaks amidst concerns among the foundation’s board, which includes such well-known figures as Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras, John Cusack and Glenn Greenwald, among others. The news was confirmed less than a month later when the nonprofit’s board officially voted to stop accepting U.S. donations for WikiLeaks, which had been blacklisted for years by Visa, MasterCard and PayPal after publishing leaked U.S. government documents provided by Chelsea Manning.

Even though the FPF had been founded to allow WikiLeaks to circumvent the banking blockade — which, according to WikiLeaks, sapped nearly 95% of the transparency organization’s funds — the board’s decision to end its founding mission was unanimous.

Last Monday, the FPF made it official, severing its ties with WikiLeaks, leaving it to rely on cryptocurrencies and other esoteric means of funding in order to get around the banking blockade. Journalist Trevor Timm, the FPF’s director, told WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief Julian Assange in an email that the foundation’s reason for ending the partnership was “that the financial blockade by the major payment processors is no longer in effect, and as such, we will soon cease processing donations on behalf of WikiLeaks readers.”

“The financial censorship of WikiLeaks is ongoing in various ways, as is our litigation in response,” Assange told Timm in response, adding that:

The FPF faces criticism for receiving donations on our behalf, but that is its function. If it bows to political pressure it becomes part of the problem it was designed to solve and yet another spurious free-speech organization — of which there are plenty.”

Assange had made the exchange public by publishing it on his personal Twitter, but it has since been deleted.

Indeed, the pressure against WikiLeaks has reached fever pitch, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ calling Assange’s arrest a “priority” and CIA Director Mike Pompeo labeling it a non-state hostile intelligence service. Last Thursday, former CIA analyst and whistleblower John Kiriakou stated his belief that “the Americans want Assange’s head on a platter.” All of this has followed Wikileaks’ publication of the Podesta emails and DNC leaks in 2016 prior to that year’s U.S. presidential election, as well as its more recent publication of CIA hacking secrets in the “Vault 7” and “Vault 8” releases.

Voting WikiLeaks Off the Investigative Island

Though Timm’s explanation seemed benign enough, WikiLeaks took to Twitter to suggest that something more nefarious was behind the board’s decision to cut ties. Once the news became public, WikiLeaks and its associated accounts linked the FPF’s decision to the fact that many of its members now work for organizations financed by eBay billionaire and PayPal owner Pierre Omidyar. In addition, the FPF itself has received large sums of money from Omidyar and his various businesses and foundations… Read the rest by Whitney Webb here at Mint Press: Click Here

Newsbud Exclusive- Monsanto Roundup Contains Arsenic, other Toxins: Alarming New Research Study.

The ongoing international controversy over the widely-used glyphosate-based weed-killer Roundup and similar herbicides has largely been diverted as a misleading debate on whether glyphosate itself, the largest component of Monsanto’s Roundup, is carcinogenic in recommended doses. New major published studies by a group of biologists and toxicologists at France’s CAEN University reveals that the “adjuvants” or additional chemicals put into Roundup but concealed under company “trade secret” designation, are vastly more toxic than glyphosate alone. In short, the present glyphosate-carcinogen debate is a carefully-crafted red herring or deception game.

Owing to a sneak move by the outgoing German Agriculture Minister in December approving renewal of the license for glyphosate-based weed-killers, the EU in Brussels has extended the use of Monsanto Roundup and other widely-used herbicides another five years within the European Union. The debate largely turned on whether the isolated compound, glyphosate, was carcinogenic or toxic in recommended doses or not. [READ MORE]

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Newsbud Exclusive – Macedonia ‘Name Dispute’: Another NATO Excuse to Expand Operations in Europe.

The recent restart of negotiations from Macedonia (FYROM) about the long-standing name dispute with Greece, and given the US and UN's urging for a definitive solution during 2018 as well as the close ties between Macedonia and NATO, shows that NATO is in a rush to expand its operational tools in the Balkans and Europe.

For that reason, the former "rigid" conservative government of Nicholas Gruevski had to allow Zoran Zaev's more moderate Social Democrats to come so that the diplomatic dialogue with Greece could reopen and consequently Macedonia’s joining of NATO and EU could proceed, since Greece is the country that has blocked Macedonia’s membership to NATO so far, precisely because of the name dispute.

The following analyses will not deal with this dispute itself, but with a dirty political-money-power complex that lies beneath it.

Let us not forget that Macedonia has been a core operational center of US and NATO since the 90s, with Camp Able Sentry being one of the most significant US military bases providing military and logistical support for operations in Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia , Bulgaria, and the Balkans in general. Macedonia’s army also actively participated in other bloody US-led operations in the Middle East that left behind thousands of dead, including Operation ‘Iraqi Freedom’ and the invasion of Iraq which was based on a lie about the so-called ‘weapons of mass destruction’.

It is no coincidence that the renewal of closer relations with NATO as soon as Zaev's government took power last June coincided with joint military exercises between US and Macedonia only a month later.

It is easy to conclude that the change in the Macedonian governmental landscape was a demand for US foreign policy.

But for this to happen, another external factor has been involved, whose name we know very well.

George Soros

In January 2017 the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, convened a meeting of three Albanian political parties from Macedonia (about a quarter of Macedonia’s population are ethnic Albanians) and drafted the so-called "Tirana platform".

These Albanian parties agreed to form a coalition with Zaev’s Socialists in return to satisfy their demands for recognition of the Albanian language in Macedonia when Zaev takes power, and asking for the right to form a new government against the until then ruling conservative party VMRO-DPMNE.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama is not just a good friend of George Soros and even attended Soros’ marriage in 2013, but his former wife Delina Fico is a Board member of Soros OSFA (Open Society Foundation Albania). USAID, directly linked to the Soros Foundation, granted millions to the East-West Management Institute (EWMI) in Macedonia in 2016. The director of the social programs of EWMI in Macedonia and Albania is, guess who, Edi Rama’s former wife Delina Fico, who received $ 9 million from USAID.

In fact, a whole range of Rama’s government politicians and ministers are members, former members or involved with NGOs funded by the Soros Foundations. [READ MORE]

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Newsbud Exclusive- Beware of a False Flag on the Desperate Path to Persia

The Invasion and occupation of Iraq, the Green Movement in Iran, the proxy war on Syria, the genocidal massacre of the Yemeni people, the now aborted resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, the Saudi purge spearheaded by Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman, the Israeli-Saudi rapprochement; all should be properly understood in containing Iran and paving the way for regime change against the Persian country. The recent Iran protests are no different. Although primarily of economic nature, the Trump administration and the obedient media have capitalised on the protests and tried to rebrand them according to Washington’s regime change agenda in order to justify Trump’s renunciation of the Iranian nuclear deal and keeping alive the sanctions regime. Just like so many of American foreign policy utterances in the Middle East, however, the endeavour did not pay off. The war hawks’ empty words of support for the Iranian people are not being bought by the rest of the world, not in the least by the Iranian people themselves. Thus, we need to be aware of the only thing that can still reverse the tide on the desperate path to Persia. As hinted by many official sources, a false flag is on the table.

American intervention in the petroleum-rich nation of Iran is of course nothing new. In the 1953 Operation Ajax, the CIA along with British intelligence orchestrated the overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister Muhammed Mossadegh, whose parliament had nationalised the country’s oil industry after the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now part of BP) refused to cooperate in Mossadegh’s endeavour to limit the British company’s control over Iran’s rich petroleum reserves. The CIA hired notorious mobsters to wreak havoc, stage pro-shah demonstrations and take over the streets of Tehran, after which Mossadegh and many of his supporters were arrested and Shah Muhammed Reza Pahlavi reconsolidated his dictatorial rule. The CIA and Mossad consequently helped to set up the feared SAVAK intelligence service, which cracked down on dissent by torturing and executing opponents of the regime.

The Iranians increasingly, and not without reason, saw the ruthless shah as an American puppet, resulting in a unified opposition of intellectual elites, leftists, workers, nationalists, centrists and the religious right that managed to paralyse the country. In early 1979, finally, a popular revolution unseated the monarchy and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini seized power. In subsequent months, Khomeini not only executed elements of the shah’s regime but cracked down on dissenting groups and people that initially supported the revolution, thereby consolidating his rule and installing an Islamist theocracy. Although he advertised himself as an uncompromising adversary of “the great Satan” that was the American government, recently declassified documents revealed a secret backchannel he had with the White House dating all the way back to 1963 throughout his exile in Europe into the Iranian Revolution, during which he assured President Carter that “you will see that we are not in any particular animosity with the Americans” and that “the oil flow will continue after the establishment of the Islamic Republic.”[1]

Additionally, FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has revealed CIA foreknowledge of the infamous hostage crisis in which a group of students took over the US embassy in Tehran in the wake of the revolution and held 52 American diplomats and citizens in custody for 444 days. Described in the history books as a detrimental point in deteriorating Iranian-American relations which strengthened the prestige of the new theocratic government in Iran and indirectly led to the election of Ronald Reagan in the US, all high-level CIA personnel at the embassy were ordered to leave Iran several days before the hostage taking as recounted to Edmonds by a former CIA agent who was among those forewarned.[2] Just like was the case with Egypt’s Gamel Abdel Nasser, who consolidated his power and managed to outmanoeuvre the first Egyptian president and fellow Free Officer Muhammed Naguib with the help of the CIA in the early 1950s,[3] by way of trying to gain as much influence during a tangibly popular revolution American intelligence actually helped in the establishment of a new autocratic government ostensibly hostile to the West.

Minutes after Ronald Reagan was sworn in as president in January 1981, the hostages were formerly released. Shortly thereafter, the Reagan administration secretly allowed the Israeli’s to supply American weapons to Tehran in the context of the Iran-Iraq war, which had kicked off a couple of months earlier when the Iraqi army invaded Iran. Later in the war, Israel again shipped weapons to Iran with the permission of senior American officials in a scandal that would become known as the Iran-Contra affair, whereby part of the profit was used to fund death squads collectively known as the Contra’s fighting the socialist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. From the moment Iran gained the upper hand in the war in the spring of 1982, however, Washington also began to provide intelligence to Iraq and facilitated the sale of American-made weapons through its allies to Saddam Hussein. Most notoriously, later Secretary of Defense but then envoy for President Reagan Donald Rumsfeld helped Saddam Hussein to build up his arsenal of deadly chemical and biological weapons all the while the CIA was aware Iraq was “almost daily” employing chemical agents against the Iranians. Without any remorse for the estimated million people that lost their lives in the war that ended in 1988, Washington thus simultaneously backed both Iran and Iraq because, according to a former State Department official, “we wanted to avoid victory by both sides.”[4]

Still, Iran had been under constant unilateral US sanctions, which were tightened in the 1990s under the Clinton administration. Meanwhile, neoconservative and Israeli-friendly politicians began to hype up the alleged Iran threat again in the lead up to the George W. Bush presidency, especially in such influential policy papers as the Clean Break report presented to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Project of a New American Century’s Rebuilding America’s defences. Following 9/11, President Bush then loyally included Iran, along with Iraq and North Korea, in the “axis of evil” that was allegedly sponsoring terrorism and seeking weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). While ensuing regional developments such as the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq starting in 2003, the Israeli bombings and invasion of Lebanon in 2006, the proxy war against Syria following the so-called Arab Spring and the relentless Saudi war against Yemen since 2015 all have multiple causes and follow more than one agenda, they are widely recognised as part of a regional US-Israeli-Saudi proxy war against Iran. Indeed, retired four-star general and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark disclosed in a 2007 interview that the Ministry of Defense had decided in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to “take out seven countries in five years,” starting with Iraq, continuing with other countries like Syria, Lebanon and Libya that were indeed targeted next, “and finishing off [with] Iran.”[5]

Overall, mainly because of the unpopularity of the disastrous and despicable foreign policy of the West in the Middle East, Iran’s influence in the region has strengthened – not weakened. Even the years-long vigorous propaganda campaign concerning Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons program eventually fizzled. Despite Israeli and American politicians and media continuously claiming the contrary, the fact that Iran has not been building a nuclear bomb was not only confirmed repeatedly by the IAEA over the years, but by two National Intelligence Estimates of all 16 American intelligence agencies in 2007 and 2010 and even by leaked cables of Mossad in 2012.[6]  In fact, Iran’s religious leadership has always sincerely regarded WMDs as contrary to Islam, most clearly evidenced in Khomeini forbidding the Iranian military to retaliate in kind after Iraq’s continuous usage of chemical weapons against Iranian soldiers and civilians in the course of the Iran-Iraq war, as well as by a fatwa issued by his successor Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini against the acquisition, development and use of nuclear weapons.[7] Still, because Israel and its lobby in the US wanted to prevent the mere ability of Iran obtaining the technology with which a nuclear bomb can be made that could serve as a deterrent against Israel’s nuclear arsenal, the threat kept being pushed, and US, EU and UN Security Council nuclear-related sanctions remained intact. In order to relinquish these crippling sanctions, Iran agreed to limit its peaceful nuclear program with the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal – between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, Germany and the EU.

In a 2009 report of the Brookings Institute, one of Washington’s most influential think tanks, authored by analysts linked to multiple arms of the American foreign policy establishment such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), RAND Corporation, Israel, the State Department, the National Security Council and the CIA, the case was made to combine a number of ways to overthrow the Iranian government. The first option discussed in Which path to Persia? described the “persuasion” policy of the then incoming Obama administration that eventually led to the JCPOA, but revealed that a potential Iranian refusal of such an ostensibly generous offer could benefit “those who favor regime change or a military attack on Iran:”

“Inciting regime change in Iran would be greatly assisted by convincing the Iranian people that their government is so ideologically blinkered that it refuses to do what is best for the people and instead clings to a policy that could only bring ruin on the country. The ideal scenario in this case would be that the United States and the international community present a package of positive inducements so enticing that the Iranian citizenry would support the deal, only to have the regime reject it. In a similar vein […], the best way to minimize international opprobrium [condemnation] and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer – one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians ‘brought it on themselves’ by refusing a very good deal.”[8]

Too bad for the war hawks, Iran did accept the deal, however unfair it was. Moreover, the IAEA, the nuclear watchdog that is the only agency that is actually charged by the agreement to verify Iran’s compliance to it, has endlessly maintained that Iran is indeed in compliance.[9] In fact, the US is arguably the only party that violates “the spirit of the deal” as non-nuclear separate American sanctions remain in place and Trump has been trying to get other countries to stop doing business with Iran. All other signatories of the deal, however, have tirelessly reaffirmed their commitment to it.[10]

As the Trump administration is clearly looking for a fight with Iran, it must resort to other actions. Which path to Persia? weighs several very disturbing ones, such as a full-scale invasion, a targeted air strike campaign and trying to trigger regime change, either by covertly supporting ethnic groups and/or formerly US-designated terrorist organisation MEK, or by a full-blown military coup. Ideally, several of these options should be combined to succeed in overthrowing the Iranian government, the authors claim. At the same time, they recognise that either of these actions are not going to be accepted easily by the international community, let alone the Iranian people. In order to “garner greater international support, galvanize U.S. domestic support, and/or provide a legal justification for an invasion,” the Brookings Institute therefore argues that “it would be best to wait for an Iranian provocation.” But since the authors acknowledge that Iran “has never willingly provoked an American military response,” they hint that provoking Iran into a provocation – the most helpful of which would be “a Tehran-sponsored 9/11” – might be the only workable method to justify American aggression:[11]

“Although the Iranians typically have been careful to avoid crossing American red lines, they certainly could miscalculate, and it is entirely possible that their retaliation for U.S. regime activities would appear to Americans as having crossed just such a threshold. For example, if Iran retaliated with a major terrorist attack that killed large numbers of people or a terrorist attack involving WMDs – especially on U.S. soil – Washington might decide that invasion was the only way to deal with such a dangerous Iranian regime. Indeed, for this same reason, efforts to promote regime change in Iran might be intended by the U.S. government as deliberate provocations to try to goad the Iranians into an excessive response that might then justify an American invasion.”[12]

Provoking Iran covertly to provoke an overt action that would then be used as a casus belli to start a war – in other words, staging a false flag event – is mentioned by other insiders as an option that is on the table. One of them is Patrick Clawson, director of research at the Washington Institute of Near East Policy (WINEP), a principal pro-Israel think tank set up in 1985 by leading members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) whose board of advisors include the likes of former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, George Shultz and Condoleezza Rice, former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle and ex-CIA director James Woolsey. Speaking at a policy forum on “how to build US-Israeli coordination on preventing an Iranian nuclear breakout” in 2012, he blatantly suggested killing Iranian marines to provoke an overt response:

“We could step up the pressure. I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down; some day one of them might not come up who would know why? We can do a variety of things if we wish to increase the pressure. We are in the game of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier.”[13]

Because “it is very hard for me to see how the United States could get us to go to war with Iran,” Clawson continued, he asked his audience to take in mind “the traditional way of [how] America gets to war,” such as the explosion of the USS Maine that kickstarted the Spanish-American War, the sinking of the Lusitania by the Germans and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour which respectively brought the US into the First and Second World War and the Gulf of Tonkin incident that escalated the Vietnam War. As I detailed in an article published last summer, these events were all to some extent orchestrated false flag incidents that were designed to bring the US into war.

In 2007 already, CFR member Gary Hart likewise cited the USS Maine and the Gulf of Tonkin assaults to warn Iran in a mock advisory letter that it should be wary of “the justification [the Bush administration] is seeking to attack your country.” Specifically, he advised Iran to keep its forces “far away from the Iraqi border,” hinting that the US could attempt to engineer a provocative incident there.[14] Hart was not new to such blunt wording. A day after 9/11, he proclaimed that George W. Bush could “use this disaster to carry out […] a new world order.”[15] When confronted by citizen reporters of We Are Change to comment on these statements, Hart was forced to elaborate:

“Well, what I was tongue-in-cheek saying was that we have an administration in Washington that is dying for a reason to bomb Iran. […] I was trying to communicate to the American people what our own government was trying to plan, and that was to find a reason for bombing Iran. And I was simply saying – in effect, to the American people through this mock letter – ‘be careful about this administration creating a USS Maine incident or a Gulf of Tonkin incident that would justify bombing Iran,’ that’s all.[16]

A year later, Seymour Hersh, a famous investigative journalist with extensive contacts familiar with the deep state dealings of the American government, exposed an idea that was considered during a meeting in Vice President Dick Cheney’s office whereby navy seals would be dressed up as Iranians, put them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shoot at them with the intention to draw Iran into war:

“There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build – we in our shipyard – build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans. That’s the kind of – that’s the level of stuff we’re talking about. Provocation.”[17]

The Iranian protests in and of themselves, which are primarily of economic nature and not phenomenal in number, will not cause a political revolution as hoped for by the Trump administration.[18] It is undeniable, however, that the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia are doing everything in their power to thwart Iran in a well-coordinated fashion. Multiple high-level officials from both the Israeli and Saudi government have confirmed secret cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel with the express intention of curbing Iranian influence in the region in spite of the absence of official bilateral relations.[19] Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta even recently called for the two sides to establish a joint military operation centre along with the US.[20] Meanwhile, the CIA created a special unit that would exclusively focus on Iran in June,[21] and just before year’s end the US and Israel agreed on joint strategies to target Iran during a secret meeting in late December.[22] Finally, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen exclaimed in the midst of the Iranian protests that “we have eyes and ears, even inside Iran.”[23] Given all of this, and given the rich history of foreign intervention in Iran, Iranian government accusations stating that foreign agents from these three countries are politicising the protests and inciting violence should not be dismissed out of hand.[24] As history is riddled with false flags that triggered wars that could otherwise not be sold to the public, and as selling war with Iran is a tough sell, it is plausible that the covert background dealings between the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel involve a more sinister plot. In other words, beware of a false flag on the desperate path to Persia!

# # # #

Bas Spliet, Newsbud Contributing Analyst, is a bachelor’s student in History and Arabic at the University of Ghent, Belgium. He is interested in geopolitics, focusing most of his time in getting a better understanding of wars in the Middle East. Mr. Spliet is proficient in English, Dutch and Arabic, and his analyses can be found at www.scrutinisedminds.com. He can be reached at bas.spliet@gmail.com

Notes

[1] Mat Morrison, “Khomeini’s secret dialogue with ‘the great Satan’,” BBC Persian, 02.06.2016, http://bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-36438556/khomeini-s-secret-dialogue-with-the-great-satan.

[2] James Corbett, “Sibel Edmonds onf the Khomeini/America connection,” interview with FBI wisthleblower Sibel Edmonds, Corbett Report, 18.06.2016, http://corbettreport.com/sibel-edmonds-on-the-khomeini-america-connection/.

[3] Cameron Evers, “How the CIA set the stage for Egyptian strongmen to last,” War Is Boring, 25.11.2015, http://warisboring.com/how-the-cia-set-the-stage-for-egyptian-strongmen-to-last/.

[4] Seymour Hersh, “U.S. secretly gave aid to Iraq early in its war against Iran,” New York Times, 26.01.1992, http://nytimes.com/1992/01/26/world/us-secretly-gave-aid-to-iraq-early-in-its-war-against-iran.html?pagewanted=all; Julian Borger, “Rumsfeld ‘offered help to Saddam’,” Guardian, 31.12.2002, http://theguardian.com/world/2002/dec/31/iraq.politics.

[5] Amy Goodman, “Gen. Wesley Clark weighs presidential bid: ‘I think about it every day’,” interview with Wesley Clark, Daily Show, Democracy Now, 02.03.2007, http://democracynow.org/2007/3/2/gen_wesley_clark_weighs_presidential_bid.

[6] James Risen and Mark Mazzetti, “U.S. agencies see no move by Iran to build a bomb,” New York Times, 24.02.2012, http://nytimes.com/2012/02/25/world/middleeast/us-agencies-see-no-move-by-iran-to-build-a-bomb.html; Will Jordan and Rahul Radharkrishan, “Mossad contradicted Netanyahu on Iran nuclear programme,” Al-Jazeera, 23.02.2015, http://aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/leaks-netanyahu-misled-iran-nuclear-programme-guardian-iran-nuclear-speech-2012-150218165622065.html; “IAEA chief declares lack of diversion in Iran’s declared nuclear material,” Press TV, 02.03.2015, http://presstv.com/Detail/2015/03/02/399890/No-diversion-in-Iran-Nmaterial-IAEA.

[7] Gareth Porter, “When the ayatollah said no to nukes,” Foreign Policy, 16.10.2014, http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/10/16/when-the-ayatollah-said-no-to-nukes/; Kaveh L. Afrasiabi, “An Iran option the US prefers to ignore,” Asia Times, 17.03.2006, http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HC17Ak02.html.

[8] Kenneth M. Pollack, et al., Which path to Persia? Option for a new American strategy toward Iran (The Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institute, analysis paper no. 20, June 2009), 39, available at http://brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/06_iran_strategy.pdf.

[9] Iran twice did exceed the negotiated 130-ton limit on heavy water by less then one ton each time, but quickly corrected the minor violations when they were pointed out. As it has been in full compliance for the rest of the deal, these excesses are hardly relevant.

[10] Stephen M. Walt, “The case against the Iranian nuclear deal is one big lie,” Foreign Policy, 11.09.2017, http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/09/11/the-case-against-the-iranian-nuclear-deal-is-one-big-lie/; Alex Ward, “Trump says Iran is violating the nuclear deal. It isn’t,” Vox, 07.08.2017, http://vox.com/2017/8/7/16089848/trump-iran-deal-nuclear-spirit-rip-up; “Iran nuclear deal: Trump to extend sanctions waiver – reports,” BBC, 12.01.2018, http://bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42657313.

[11] Pollack, et al., Which path to Persia?, 65-6.

[12] Pollack, et al., Which path to Persia?, 150.

[13] Geoffrey Ingersoll land Michael B. Kelley, “Lobbyist says Israel could create a ‘false flag’ to start a war with Iran,” Business Insider, 26.09.2012, http://businessinsider.com/top-researcher-suggests-israel-get-nastier-with-iran-sink-sub-illicit-false-flag-2012-9?international=true&r=US&IR=T.

[14] Gary Hart, “Unsolicited advice to the government of Iran,” Huffington Post, 26.09.2007, http://huffingtonpost.com/gary-hart/unsolicited-advice-to-the_b_65984.html.

[15] Youtube, “Gary Hart exposes the NEW WORLD ORDER plan of Sr. & W. Bush,” channel of NOCFRCANDIDATES08, 07.01.2008, http://youtube.com/watch?v=HTOCRa9lTZc.

[16] Youtube, “Gary Hart warns of new false flag – WeAreChange,” channel of WeAreChange, 29.04.2008, 7m00- 9m30, http://youtube.com/watch?v=RQeNCireJPo.

[17] Faiz Shakir, “To provoke war, Cheney considered proposal to dress up navy seals as Iranians and shoot at them,” Think Progress, 31.07.2008, http://thinkprogress.org/exclusive-to-provoke-war-cheney-considered-proposal-to-dress-up-navy-seals-as-iranians-and-shoot-at-dfde0aaa2c4c/.

[18] Muhammed Sahimi, “Iran’s people do not need U.S. crocodile tears,” Truth Dig, 09.01.2018, http://truthdig.com/articles/iranian-people-not-need-u-s-crocodile-tears/; Pepe Escobar, “Why there won’t be a revolution in Iran,” Asia Times, 03.01.2018, http://atimes.com/article/wont-revolution-iran/.

[19] “Swiss newspaper reveals: secret military cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel,” Middle East Monitor, 08.01.2018, http://middleeastmonitor.com/20180108-swiss-newspaper-reveals-secret-military-cooperation-between-saudi-arabia-and-israel/; Jeffrey Heller and Stephen Kalin, “Israeli minister reveals covert contacts with Saudi Arabia,” Reuters, 19.11.2017, http://reuters.com/article/us-israel-saudi/israeli-minister-reveals-covert-contacts-with-saudi-arabia-idUSKBN1DJ0S1; “Israeli military chief backs cooperation against Iran in rare Saudi interview,” Middle East Eye, 16.11.2017, http://middleeasteye.net/news/first-israeli-military-chief-interviewed-saudi-media-iran-threat-1219991584.

[20] Yonah Jeremy Bob, “CIA director Pompeo: Saudis working with Israel to fight terror,” Jerusalem Post, 03.12.2017, http://jpost.com/Israel-News/CIA-chief-Pompeo-Saudis-more-willing-to-share-intelligence-with-Israel-515860.

[21] Julie Manchester, “CIA creates unit to focus on Iran,” Hill, 03.06.2017, http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/336220-under-trump-cia-creates-unit-to-focus-on-iran.

[22] Tyler Durden, “US and Israel reach ‘secret plan’ to counter Iran,” Zero Hedge, 28.12.2017, http://zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-28/us-and-israel-reach-secret-plan-counter-iran.

[23] David Rosenberg, “Mossad: we have eyes and ears in Iran,” Arutz Sheva, 09.01.2018, http://israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/240444.

[24] “Iran prosecutor blames CIA, Israeli, Saudi for protests,” Al-Jazeera, 04.01.2018, http://aljazeera.com/news/2018/01/iran-prosecutor-blames-cia-israel-saudi-protests-180104185912598.html; “Iran says two protesters killed during demonstrations were targeted by foreign agents,” Daily Sabah, 31.12.2017, http://dailysabah.com/mideast/2017/12/31/iran-says-two-protesters-killed-during-demonstrations-were-targeted-by-foreign-agents.

Newsbud Exclusive- Who Made Haiti a “Shithole”??

On January 11 during a meeting on immigration, President Trump asked why America accepts immigrants from “shithole countries.” His remark was aimed at Haiti and Africa.

Although the remark resulted in widespread condemnation and a denial from the administration, Trump was correct about the conditions in Haiti and Africa despite the crudity of his commentary.

Left out of the discussion, however, are the reasons for deplorable conditions in these countries.

After Christopher Columbus “discovered” in 1492 what is today Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the island began its descent into misery. His sailors carried endemic Eurasian infectious diseases that wiped out thousands of natives.

The Taíno natives were generous and this led to their ultimate downfall and near extinction at the hands of the Spanish. Columbus said they would make good servants. Instead of servants, they became slaves under the encomienda system of forced labor in gold mines and plantations. By 1512, Spain codified a set of laws governing the behavior of Spaniards toward indigenous people in the Americas and endorsed their conversion to Catholicism.

A century later, the French imported slaves from Africa to work on sugarcane plantations. In Saint-Domingue, formerly Spain’s Santo Domingo, the French established a particularly brutal slave colony. One third of the slaves brought from Africa died within the first year from overwork and diseases such as smallpox and typhoid fever. By 1788, Haiti's population consisted of 25,000 whites, 22,000 free “coloreds” and 700,000 slaves.

Following the example of the French Revolution in 1789, “free people of color” in Saint-Domingue and the French West Indies demanded more civil liberties. These unfulfilled demands by self-liberated slaves resulted in a widespread revolt against the Spanish and French. This revolt—the largest slave uprising since Spartacus led an unsuccessful revolt against the Roman Republic nearly 1,900 years before—led to the end of slavery in the colony.

The slave revolt forged a two-caste society in Haiti. Many of the wealthier mixed-race Haitians identified with the French and class division and tension resulted.

In 1825, the French forced the new state to pay reparations to ex-slave owners in return for recognition and the end of the island’s economic and political isolation. Although the amount of reparations—initially 150 million gold francs—was reduced in 1838, Haiti wasn’t able to pay off this debt until 1947. Reparations left the country impoverished and divided, a situation that has lasted until this day. It remains the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

Haiti soon became a target for global predatory lenders, most notably the International Monetary Fund. Its debt has grown exponentially since, from $302 million in 1980 to $1.134 billion in 2004. [READ MORE]

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Justice Denied: The Government Is Not Going to Save Us!

“The warlords of history are still kicking our heads in, and no one, not our fathers, not our Gods, is coming to save us.”— Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled: it will not hear the case of Young v. Borders.

Despite the fact that a 26-year-old man was gunned down by police who banged on the wrong door at 1:30 am, failed to identify themselves as police, and then repeatedly shot and killed the innocent homeowner who answered the door while holding a gun in self-defense, the justices of the high court refused to intervene to address police misconduct.

Although 26-year-old Andrew Scott committed no crime and never fired a single bullet or lifted his firearm against police, only to be gunned down by police who were investigating a speeding incident by engaging in a middle-of-the-night “knock and talk” in Scott’s apartment complex, the Supreme Court refused to balance the scales between justice and injustice.

Despite the fact that police shot and killed nearly 1,000 people nationwide for the third year in a row (many of whom were unarmed, mentally ill, minors or were shot merely because militarized police who were armed to the hilt “feared” for their safety), the Supreme Court will not act to right the wrongs being meted out by the American police state.

Although “knock-and-talk” policing has become a thinly veiled, warrantless—lethal—exercise by which citizens are coerced and intimidated into “talking” with heavily armed police who “knock” on their doors in the middle of the night, the Supreme Court will not make the government play by the rules of the Constitution.

The lesson to be learned: the U.S. Supreme Court will not save us.

No one is coming to save us: not the courts, not the legislatures, and not the president.

According to journalist Michael Harriot:

More people died from police violence in 2017 than the total number of U.S. soldiers killed in action around the globe (21). More people died at the hands of police in 2017 than the number of black people who were lynched in the worst year of Jim Crow (161 in 1892). Cops killed more Americans in 2017 than terrorists did (four). They killed more citizens than airplanes (13 deaths worldwide), mass shooters (428 deaths) and Chicago’s “top gang thugs” (675 Chicago homicides).

Americans are dying at the hands of the police, and the U.S. government doesn’t care.

In Kansas, a prank caller placed a fake 911 call (the tactic is referred to as “swatting”) that prompted a SWAT team to open fire on a 28-year-old unarmed man who had been spending a quiet evening at home with his family. The man was shot dead within moments of appearing outside his home, clearly confused to find his home surrounded by police on all sides, guns pointed in his direction, and orders being shouted at him. Thus far, all the blame has rested with the prank caller and little with the cops who shot first and asked questions later.

In New York, a 68-year-old former Marine was shot and killed by police who did a welfare check on him after he accidentally set off his emergency medical alert device. Although Kenneth Chamberlain insisted he was fine, police refused to leave, eventually kicked open the door, zapping Chamberlain with a stun gun, shooting him with beanbag ammunition and then killing him with a pistol shot. The cops were not charged.

In Arizona, a police officer was acquitted after he shot an unarmed man outside his hotel room while the man cried, begged and pleaded for his life. As the Associated Press reports:

“The shooting occurred in the Phoenix suburb of Mesa after officers ordered Shaver to exit his hotel room, lie face-down in a hallway and refrain from making sudden movements — or risk being shot. Shaver, 26, sobbed as he begged police not to shoot and was ordered to crawl toward officers. As he inched forward, he reached toward the waistband of his shorts. Brailsford said he fired his rifle because he believed Shaver was grabbing a handgun in his waistband. While no gun was found on Shaver’s body…the detective investigating the shooting had agreed Shaver’s movement was similar to reaching for a pistol, but has said it also looked as though Shaver was pulling up his loose-fitting basketball shorts that had fallen down as he was ordered to crawl toward officers.”

It gets worse.

You see, it’s not just that the U.S. government appears unconcerned about the fact that Americans are dying at the hands of the police.

Right now, the U.S. government is actively doing everything in its power to ensure that the killing spree continues.

Take Jeff Sessions, for example.

While the president’s conveniently-timed tweets distract the public and dominate the headlines, his attorney general continues to bulldoze over the Constitution, knocking down what scant protections remain between the citizenry and the hydra-headed police state.

Within his first year as attorney general, Jeff Sessions has made a concerted effort to expand the police state’s power to search, strip, seize, raid, steal from, arrest and jail Americans for any infraction, no matter how insignificant.

What this means is more militarized police, more asset forfeiture, more private prisons, more SWAT team raids, more police shootings of unarmed citizens, and more wars waged by the government against the American people.

And while the crime rate may be falling, the death toll—casualties of the government’s war on the American people—is growing.

The body count will continue to mount as long as the courts continue to march in lockstep with the police state, as long as police unions continue to strong-arm politicians into letting police agencies get away with murder, as long as legislators continue to care more about getting re-elected than about protecting the rights of the citizenry, as long as police continue to treat their fellow citizens as enemy combatants on a battlefield, as long as the media continues to focus the spotlight on circus politics, and as long as the citizenry fail to be alarmed and outraged every time the police state shoots another hole in the Constitution.

Even so, it’s not just the police shootings that are cause for concern.

We are inching ever closer to a constitutional crisis the likes of which we have never seen before, and “we the people” are woefully unprepared and ill-equipped to deal with a government that is corrupt, topsy turvy, unjust, immoral, illegal, brutal, violent, war-hungry, greedy, biased, imbalanced, unaccountable, non-transparent, fascist and as illegitimate as they come.

Where do we go from here?

We’ve been through troubled times before.

In fact, it was 50 years ago this year, in 1968, when the country was buffeted by assassinations, riots and protests: “The assassinations of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. The riots that shook Washington, Chicago, Baltimore and other U.S. cities. Campus protests. Civil rights protests. Vietnam War protests. The Tet Offensive. The My Lai massacre. The rise of Richard Nixon and the retreat of Lyndon Johnson.”

Fifty years later, we’re no better off.

The nation is still being buffeted by economic instability, racial inequality, injustice, police brutality, government misconduct and a rising discontent on the part of the populace.

I can’t help but wonder what Martin Luther King Jr. would have to say to about his dream today.

Certainly, the reality we must contend with is far different from King’s dream of a world without racism, militarism and materialism: America has become a ticking time bomb of racial unrest and injustice, police militarization, surveillance, government corruption and ineptitude, the blowback from a battlefield mindset and endless wars abroad, and a growing economic inequality between the haves and have nots.

King himself—in life, a hard-talking, charismatic leader, voice of authority, and militant, nonviolent activist minister/peace warrior who staged sit-ins, boycotts and marches and lived through police attack dogs, water cannons and jail cells—has been so watered down in death that younger generations recognize his face but know very little about his message.

Yet King had a lot to say that remains relevant to our day and age.

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time — the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression.”

“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”

“We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation.”

“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood — it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, ‘Too late.’”

We cannot afford to wait until it is “too late.”

This is no time to stand silently on the sidelines. It’s a time for anger and reform. Most importantly, it’s a time for making ourselves heard. And there is no better time to act than the present.

As Robert F. Kennedy reminded his listeners in a speech delivered at the University of Cape Town in 1966, “Hand in hand with freedom of speech goes the power to be heard, to share in the decisions of government which shape men’s lives. Everything that makes man’s life worthwhile—family, work, education, a place to rear one’s children and a place to rest one’s head—all this depends on decisions of government; all can be swept away by a government which does not heed the demands of its people.”

What can ordinary citizens do?

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, instead of sitting around and waiting for someone else to change things, take charge. Never discount the part that everyday citizens play in our nation’s future. You can change things, but there can be no action without education. Get educated about your rights and exercise them. Start by reading the Bill of Rights. You can do so online at www.rutherford.org. Or, if you want a copy to keep with you, email me at staff@rutherford.org and I’ll send you a free one.

Most important of all, just get out there and do your part to make sure that your government officials hear you. The best way to ensure that happens is by never giving up, never backing down, and never remaining silent. To quote Dr. King, “If you can’t fly, run; if you can’t run, walk; if you can’t walk, crawl, but by all means keep moving.”

It doesn’t matter whether you’re protesting the economy, the war, the environment or something else altogether. What matters is that you do your part. As that great revolutionary firebrand Samuel Adams pointed out, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brushfires in people’s minds.”

Take some time right now and start your own brushfire for freedom. Learn about the issues and then take a stand: attend local government meetings, contact your representatives, raise awareness within your community, and generally make your voice heard.

It’s midnight in America right now. But the real question is, will there be a dawn?

That’s up to you and me. The future is in our hands.

# # # #

John W. Whitehead is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. He is the president and spokesperson of the Rutherford Institute. Mr. Whitehead is the author of numerous books on a variety of legal and social issues, including Battlefield America: The War on the American People.  He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law, and served as an officer in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971.

 

 

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Newsbud Exclusive- The Most Oppressive Regime on Earth Receives Nearly $8 Billion in US Foreign Military Sales Contracts

Foreign Military Sales (FMS) appear regularly on the Pentagon’s daily list of contracts. Through FMS, the U.S. government procures and transfers weaponry and matériel to allied nations and international organizations. The Saudi government is one of the most oppressive regimes on Earth. It is also one of the U.S. war industry’s favorite customers. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) issued 65 FMS contracts worth at least $7,981,111,000 to Saudi Arabia during 2017.

Advanced Electronics Co. (Riyadh) received $29,934,295 to help Saudi Arabia’s Air Force with cyber protection and cyber facilities, specifically Cyber Protection System Builds 0-2 updates.

AECOM received $9,000,000 for FMS (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE): professional architecture & engineering services. Atkins North America Inc. received $9,000,000 for FMS (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Oman) for professional architect-engineer services.

Boeing received $10,326,551 (Saudi FMS = $595,464, 5.77% of total contract) for Harpoon / SLAM-ER missile system and Harpoon launch systems integrated logistics & engineering. This missile system is very lucrative for Boeing. Other nations that purchase this weapon include Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Netherlands, Oman, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, and UK. Boeing received $12,399,305 (Saudi FMS = 143 missiles for $4,913,562, 39.63% of total contract): Harpoon & SLAM-ER spares. Boeing received $8,354,991 for Harpoon & SLAM_ER engineering, training, equipment, logistics, tech support for 25 nations, including Saudi Arabia.

Boeing received $18,290,920 for AN/APG-63(V)3 radar for use on Saudi Arabia’s F-15SA aircraft. Boeing received $18,719,151 to sustain AN/APG‐63 and Talon HATE radar subsystems for USA's ANG and Saudi Arabia’s Air Force. Boeing received $20,288,031 for USA & FMS (Israel, Saudi Arabia): F-15 equipment manufacturer infrastructure support. Boeing received $46,399,274 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): interim contractor support for F-15SA aircraft at King Khalid Air Base. Boeing received $480,421,520 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): repair F-15 parts. Al Raha Group for Technical Services (Riyadh) received $185,722,274 for procurement services, warehousing, and bench stocking of unclassified consumables & spares for Saudi Arabia’s F-15 program. S&K Aerospace received $559,011,645 to supply the Saudi Air Force with F-15 C/D/S/SA logistics support & supply consumables, and operation & maintenance of print plant / print-on-demand facilities.

Boeing received $25,522,594 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): post-production service support on 24 AH-6i helicopters. Boeing received $222,549,505 to provide Saudi Arabia’s Land Forces Aviation Command with 8 new CH-47F helicopters.

Boeing received $92,900,000 for E-3 AWACS engineering and technical support for USAF & FMS (Japan, NATO, Saudi Arabia, UK, France). Boeing received $240,195,180 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): AWACS modernization, phase 1.

Boeing received $143,414,164 to modify 24 Saudi Arabia’s AH-64E helicopters. Boeing received $3,276,522,609 for AH-64 helicopter multi-year lots 7-11, AH-64E full-rate production of aircraft, Longbow crew trainers, equipment, spares, logistics, and engineering. Includes unspecified FMS to Saudi Arabia. Longbow LLC received $183,474,414 for FMS (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UK): radar electronic units.

Booz Allen Hamilton received $28,035,789 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): support Saudi Land Forces Armor Corps in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Critical Solutions International (CSI) received $131,946,942 for FMS (Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia): Husky 2nd generation system, sub-systems, parts, storage, tools, field service reps, and training.

Cubic Defense Applications received $14,823,747 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): contractor logistics support on P5 training system at Saudi bases.

DRS Systems received $82,340,766 for FMS (Kuwait, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia): Horizontal Technology Integration 2nd generation, forward looking infrared (HTI SGF) thermal receiver unit, and A- & B-Kit spares.

General Dynamics received $20,615,139 for USA & FMS (Australia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia): MK82-6 bomb bodies (10,933), MK84-4 bomb bodies (866), MK84-10 bomb bodies (1,365). General Dynamics (GD Arabia Inc.) received $10,035,953 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): logistics & maintenance support.

General Dynamics received $13,144,278 for FMS (Kuwait, Australia, Saudi Arabia): Abrams systems & sustainment systems technical support. General Dynamics received $60,749,739 for FMS (Australia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia): work on technical support for Abrams vehicles & derivative systems.

General Electric received $643,000,000 for FMS (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain): F110-GE-129 engines, spares, monitoring systems, repair, etc. Woodward FST Inc. received $7,313,497 FMS (Saudi Arabia): overhaul F100-PW-220/220E Augmenter Spraying Manifold.

Intuitive Research Technology Corp. (IRTC) received $7,893,117 for FMS (Germany, Netherlands, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Spain, UAE, Qatar, Greece): programmatic support for the lower tier project office. Eight months later, IRTC received $10,581,641 for FMS (unnamed, presumably same as the prior batch): programmatic effort for the Lower Tier Project Office Missile Systems Independent Integration Analysis under the Amcom Express program.

Iron Mountain Solutions received $7,018,280 for FMS (Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Thailand, UAE, Jordan, Sweden, Egypt, Slovakia, Tunisia, Brazil): technical support for the Utility Helicopter Project Office. Quantitech Inc. received $10,140,682 for FMS (UAE, Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Jordan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sweden, Thailand, Taiwan, Tunisia): program support, Utility Helicopter Project Office.

Kaman Corp. received $85,169,000 for joint programmable fuze, FMU-52 (lot 13) & production, test & engineering support. 26% of contract is FMS (Bahrain, Belgium, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, S. Korea, Lebanon, Morocco, Netherlands, Oman, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, UAE). L-3 received $37,347,368 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): 38,284 M734A1 multi-option fuzes; and 165,426 M783 point detonating/delay fuzes.

Kilgore Flares received $28,057,935 for FMS (Saudi Arabia, Egypt): infrared countermeasure flares (M206 272,900; MJU-7A/B 171,480; MJU-10/B 45,000). TelePrime received $7,489,587 for AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser. Involves FMS including, but not limited to France, UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia.

Kratos Technology & Training Solutions received $46,217,067 for program planning and technical / instructional services to support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 in Riyadh (30%), Jubail (30%), Jeddah (30%), Ras al Ghar (5%), Saudi Arabia; Orlando, FL, USA (5%).

Lockheed Martin received $7,426,983 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): software modifications to establish a software baseline for MH-60R. Lockheed Martin received $332,136,017 for FMS (UK, Egypt, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Netherlands, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Poland): Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor [M-TADS/PNVS .pdf], subcomponent production, and tech services for AH-64 helicopters. Lockheed Martin received $3,767,831,000 for FMS (Saudi Arabia) & U.S. Army UH-60 multi-year production. Base quantity consists of 257 aircraft: 142 Army UH-60M, 40 Saudi UH-60M & 75 HH-60M.

Lockheed Martin received $7,568,460 to provide Saudi Arabia with C-130J spares & support elements.

Lockheed Martin received $13,360,903 for FMS (Kuwait, UAE, Netherlands, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan): post-production support basic labor and technical support.

Lockheed Martin received $21,098,062 to provide USA & FMS (South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan) with PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) field support services. Lockheed Martin received $39,219,294 for FMS (Germany, Netherlands, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Japan, UAE): PAC-3 Missile Support Center post-production support (recapitalize launcher, field missile activities, maintenance). Lockheed Martin received $130,342,972 for FMS: (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, UAE, Taiwan): FY2017 PAC-3 production. Lockheed Martin received $944,888,827 initial FY2018 PAC-3 production. Includes 54 U.S. Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles, 24 MSE missiles for Qatar, 130 Saudi Arabia Cost Reduction Initiative (CRI) missiles, and ground support equipment.

Lockheed Martin received $55,500,000 FMS (Saudi Arabia): set up live fire ranges for Saudi Arabia’s National Guard.

Northrop Grumman received $75,000,000 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): Joint Threat Emitter support services.

Odyssey Systems Consulting Group received $8,159,916 for professional acquisition support services for the FMS division at Hanscom AFB and Eglin AFB. FMS includes Australia, UAE, NATO, Qatar, Turkey, UK, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, South Korea, Morocco, Oman, Poland, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, France, India, Norway, Belgium, Japan, Denmark, Netherlands, Portugal. Odyssey Systems received $12,184,292 for professional acquisition support (management: program, financial; admin & other support) for the FMS division, and Airborne Early Warning & Control Systems International Branch at Hanscom AFB and geographically separated units. Involves FMS to Australia, France, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UK, and NATO. Odyssey Systems received $16,495,203 for professional acquisition support services, and to provide advisory & assistance to the battle management directorate, Hanscom AFB. Involves FMS (Saudi Arabia, UAE).

Raytheon received $10,158,872 for USA and FMS (UAE, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Spain, Germany, Qatar): PATRIOT engineering. Raytheon received $23,044,183 for FMS (Israel, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, UAE, Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia): support for PATRIOT Field Surveillance program. Includes missile assessment, testing, recertification, and repair. Raytheon received $202,185,977 for FMS (Germany, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, Taiwan): PATRIOT engineering.

Raytheon received $16,871,813 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) initial integrated logistics support and training. Raytheon received $32,332,259 for JSOW technical support for U.S. Navy, Australia, Finland, Greece, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey, Qatar. Raytheon received $302,439,830 for FMS (Saudi Arabia): 618 JSOW air-to-ground missiles (Block III C), containers, parts/spares, and engineering.

Raytheon received $78,723,292 AIM-9X Block II support & sustainment for USA, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey. Raytheon received $199,757,307 (Saudi FMS = $1,055,006, 0.53% of overall contract) for AIM-9X Block II lot 17 missiles, containers, and spare parts / units.

Raytheon received $36,705,000 for Advanced Technology Receiver Card, Raytheon’s patented 4-channel receiver of simultaneous tracking direct measurement processing, ultra-tight GPS / inertial navigation system coupling, innovative fast satellite acquisition. Involves FMS to Saudi Arabia.

Raytheon received $80,043,448 for Design Agent Engineering & technical support on Phalanx, SeaRAM, and Land-based Phalanx. Involves FMS (Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Canada, UK, South Korea, Portugal, Greece).

Raytheon received $31,485,233 for FMS (Saudi Arabia, Lebanon): TOW missiles. Raytheon received $292,436,322 for FMS (Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Thailand, Bahrain, Morocco): TOW missiles.

NOTE: The amount ($7,981,111,000) is a very conservative estimate. The figure is likely much higher. Total 2017 FMS to Saudi Arabia is difficult to determine because DOD is deliberately vague regarding funding allocations and often does not itemize among recipient nations.

# # # #

Christian Sorensen, Newsbud Analysts & Author, is a writer and an independent journalist. He served in the U.S. Air Force from 2007-2011. He holds advanced degrees in Translation Studies and International Relations. His work focuses on the U.S. war industry.

A-RCI = acoustic rapid commercial off-the-shelf

CLS = contractor logistics support

COTS = commercial off-the-shelf

ECP = engineering change proposal

LRIP = low rate initial production

PEO = program executive office, the space where military and civilian officials direct a major acquisition program

SRA = selected restricted availability = implementation of depot-level maintenance and modifications with the goal of updating a ship’s technical and military capabilities

TI = technical insertion

To avoid competitive bidding, DOD invokes 10 U.S.C. 2304, FAR 6.302, and FAR 8.405-6. DOD uses 15 U.S.C. 638 to avoid competitive bidding when dealing with small businesses. DOD uses CFR 206.302-4 to avoid competitive bidding when dealing with treaties and foreign transactions.

Newsbud Exclusive- Hypocrisy on Parade: US Punishes Pakistan for Supporting Taliban.

On January 4, the Trump administration announced it will suspend military aid to Pakistan. According to State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, the government of Pakistan has not taken “decisive action” against the Taliban and the so-called Haqqani Network.

Additionally, the US placed Pakistan on a “Special Watch List” for “severe violations of religious freedom.”

On January 6, the Trump administration announced “all options are on the table” to deal with Pakistan, including siccing globalist organizations on the recalcitrant nation, including the IMF and United Nations.

The move reeks of hypocrisy. Not discussed is the fact the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) collaborated on the formation of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The Carter and Reagan administrations are largely responsible for funding, arming, and training the Afghan Mujahideen in the fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Forgotten is the role both agencies played in marshaling tens of thousands of radical Islamic fighters between 1985 and 1992 in Afghanistan.

“The CIA’s covert action in Pakistan and Afghanistan was the largest in the organization’s history since World War II,” Michael R. Szymanski writes for the Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Science. “By creating a monster in Afghanistan and throughout the Islamic fundamentalist world, the United States is now unable to regulate its actions.”

Regulation, however, is not required if the goal is “creative destruction” and the formation of an “Arc of Crisis,” as Zbigniew Brzezinski called the engineered social, religious, and political upheavals in “nations that stretch across the southern flank of the Soviet Union from the Indian subcontinent to Turkey, and southward through the Arabian Peninsula to the Horn of Africa.”

In 1979, the locus of this subversive plan began in Afghanistan, not only to undermine the Soviet Union, but also to seed a fundamentalist and violent Islamic movement across the region.

“For generations in both Afghanistan and the Soviet Muslim Republics the dominant form of Islam had been local and largely Sufi,” writes Peter Dale Scott. “The decision to work with the Saudi and Pakistani secret services meant that billions of CIA and Saudi dollars would ultimately be spent in programs that would help enhance the globalistic and Wahhabistic jihadism that are associated today with al Qaeda.”

According to Selig Harrison, an expert on US relations with Asia, the CIA and its ISI partner “actively encouraged” the formation of the Taliban. “The United States encouraged Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to support the Taliban,” adds author Ahmed Rashid. [READ MORE]
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Newsbud Exclusive- DOD Spent $1,301,715,000+ on 14 Contracts Pertaining to Drones in December 2017

The Pentagon issues a jumbled list of contracts every business day around 5:00PM local time. Below we highlight all of the transactions from December 2017 related to remotely piloted vehicles, commonly known as drones. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) spent at least $1,301,715,000 on 14 contracts pertaining to drones during December 2017.

Alessi-Keyes Construction received $14,175,125 for 4000 SF Distributed Communications Ground System, Remote Piloted Aircraft Operations Center, Targeting Intelligence Production Squadron, SCIF, Fort Smith, AR.

Boeing received $8,966,976 for Low Power Laser Demonstrator, Phase 1. This involves integrating & testing a low power laser on a UAV for MDA.

Boeing (Insitu) received $22,728,810 for ScanEagle work supporting NSWC operations out of Bagram, Afghanistan (83%). Some work (27%) in Bingen, WA.

Bravura IT Systems received $233,334,787 for Persistent Surveillance Systems-Tethered (PSS-T) engineering, logistics, operations, and management.

Composite Engineering Inc. received $93,000,000 for Advanced Subscale Aerial Platform systems. These unmanned target aircraft include launchers, ground equipment, and spares.

General Atomics received $16,001,592 for MQ-9 operational flight program software testing, logistics, engineering, tech data, training, drawings, etc. General Atomics received $134,010,380 for block 30 ground control stations.

General Atomics received $94,575,690 for MQ-1C Block Zero contractor logistics services.

General Atomics received $328,801,883 for MQ‐1 and MQ‐9 support & services: core management, logistics, configuration management, technical manual & software maintenance, field service reps, inventory control point management, flight operations support, depot repair, and depot field maintenance. Sole-source.

Leidos Inc. received $35,493,358 for Sea Hunter II - Autonomous Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel Hull #2.

Northrop Grumman received $12,747,529 to incorporate RQ-5 Hunter engineering change proposal for high definition payloads.

Northrop Grumman received $19,090,748 for MQ-8 systems software and engineering services. Northrop Grumman received $33,479,478 for production & delivery of three MQ-8C, Increment V.

Northrop Grumman received $255,309,325 for LRIP of three MQ-4C, trade studies, and tooling.

# # # #

Christian Sorensen, a Newsbud Contributing Author & Analyst, is a U.S. military veteran.

A-RCI = acoustic rapid commercial off-the-shelf

COTS = commercial off-the-shelf

ECP = engineering change proposal

LRIP = low rate initial production

PEO = program executive office, the space where military and civilian officials direct a major acquisition program

SRA = selected restricted availability = implementation of depot-level maintenance and modifications with the goal of updating a ship’s technical and military capabilities

TI = technical insertion

***To avoid competitive bidding, DOD invokes 10 U.S.C. 2304, FAR 6.302, and FAR 8.405-6. DOD uses 15 U.S.C. 638 to avoid competitive bidding when dealing with small businesses. DOD uses CFR 206.302-4 to avoid competitive bidding when dealing with treaties and foreign transactions.

Newsbud Exclusive- New Color Revolution Underway in Iran??

Over the last few days, anti-government protests have broken out across Iran. It’s reported the protests are focused on deteriorating economic conditions and corruption in the Islamic Republic. Demonstrators have gathered in a number of cities, including Tehran, the holy city of Qom, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Rasht, Sari, and Hamedan.

While average Iranians undoubtedly suffer as a result of the policies and actions of a highly centralized religious government, we must ask if the latest round of anti-government activity is part of a foreign effort to destabilize the country by exploiting discontent with the country’s leadership.

In June, we learned that the Trump administration is behind an effort by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to topple the government in Tehran. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Trump administration includes a number of hardliners on Iran, most notably Defense Secretary James Mattis, National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, and Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo.

Prior to his appointment, Pompeo called for military attacks on Iran’s civilian nuclear program. He also said “Congress must act to change Iranian behavior, and, ultimately, the Iranian regime.”

Additionally, he told Iranian Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani in a letter that the United States will hold Iran responsible for attacks on US interest in Iraq regardless of the source.

In June, Michael D’Andrea—a CIA officer known as the Dark Prince or Ayatollah Mike (for his conversion to Islam)—was appointed to run the agency’s Iran operations. He supposedly headed up the effort to capture Osama bin Laden, the former CIA groomed leader of al-Qaeda who died in Afghanistan back in December, 2001.

D’Andrea was involved in the use of torture during interrogations of suspected terrorists during the Bush administration. He also played a key role in the assassination of Imad Mugniyah, the international operations chief for Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah. The assassination was carried out with assistance from Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.

Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Trump’s former Senior Director for Intelligence Programs at the NSC (he was ousted in January, reportedly by McMaster), told the administration he wanted to use covert activities to take down the government in Tehran.

The Saudi effort includes riling up dissident groups in Balochistan that cross over the border into the Iranian province of Sistan and carry out operations. For instance, in October 2009, Jundullah, a Balochi resistance group with alleged links to Al-Qaeda, launched a suicide bomb attack that killed a number of Iranian Revolutionary Guards on a bus in the city of Zahedan. Jundullah has also captured Iranian soldiers and border guards and executed them. [READ MORE]

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Newsbud Exclusive- The ‘Rimland Imperative’: How Trump’s Chief Diplomat for European-Eurasian Affairs Wants to Counter Russia, China & Iran.

Since his appointment as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Aaron Wess Mitchell has mostly stayed out of the spotlight but his geopolitical views are already having a profound impact on U.S. foreign policy, as illustrated by the Trump administration’s newly released National Security Strategy and the decision to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.

One week before U.S. President Trump unveiled the 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS), his National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster gave a preview of the strategy at an event hosted by the British think tank Policy Exchange in Washington.

McMaster disclosed that the Trump administration views Russia and China as “revisionist powers” which “are undermining the international order and stability” and “ignoring the sovereign rights of their neighbors and the rule of law.”

“Geopolitics are back, and back with a vengeance, after this holiday from history we took in the so-called post-Cold War period,” McMaster emphasized.[1]

He tried to reassure U.S. allies that President Trump doesn’t stand for a “new isolationism,” as some critics have suggested.[2]

McMaster once again referred favorably to the work of Aaron Wess Mitchell and Jakub Grygiel,[3] two scholar-practitioners who argue that America’s allies “have been the ‘glue’ of the U.S.-led global order.”[4]

Mitchell and Grygiel both joined the State Department in 2017 after Trump chose Mitchell as Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Prior to joining the State Department, the duo worked at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a leading transatlantic think tank co-founded by Mitchell.

During their time at CEPA, they tried to draw attention to a “coherent geostrategic pattern”[5] that poses a growing challenge to American global power.

Mitchell and Grygiel first wrote about this pattern in 2010, claiming that U.S. allies in East-Central Europe, the Middle East and East Asia were faced with “a sudden surge in revisionist rhetoric and behavior by Russia, Iran and China respectively.”[6]

They began arguing that these revisionist powers try to rearrange the global security order by using a strategy of “probing” – that is, “a combination of assertive diplomacy and small but bold military actions to test the outer reaches of American power and in particular the resilience of frontier allies.”[7]

America’s frontier allies share a number of characteristics: “All are small or mid-sized states occupying strategic faultlines; most are democracies; all sit in proximity to larger, potentially revisionist power centers; all look to the United States as security provider of last resort.”[8]

Mitchell and Grygiel analyzed this pattern in a series of opinion pieces and CEPA analytical briefs as well as the 2016 book The Unquiet Frontier: Rising Rivals, Vulnerable Allies, and the Crisis of American Power, which has received endorsements from the likes of Anne Applebaum, Zbigniew Brzezinski and H.R. McMaster.[9]

In a March 2016 Wall Street Journal review of The Unquiet Frontier, McMaster lauded Mitchell and Grygiel for painting “a stark and compelling picture of the emerging geopolitical landscape.”

[READ MORE]

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Newsbud Exclusive- Trump Sells “Lethal Weapons” to Ukraine.

In late November, the Atlantic Council, established as a NATO cheering section in 1961, applauded the National Security Council for its decision to send more weapons to the Poroshenko government in Ukraine.

On November 18 it was reported President Trump would consider a plan “to counter Russian aggression in the region.” The NCS plan includes a $47 million grant package that would supply Ukraine with high-tech weapons, including Javelin anti-tank missiles.

The man-portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile is manufactured jointly by Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Each launch unit costs $246,000. Individual Javelin missiles run $78,000 each.

A little more than a month later, on December 22, the Trump administration officially announced a plan to provide the Kiev government with “lethal weapons,” including the Javelin.

At the State Department, Heather Nauert said the Trump administration had decided to provide “enhanced defensive capabilities" to help Ukraine build its military, defend its sovereignty, and “deter further aggression.”

This “aggression” includes status referendums held in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts in the Donbass region in 2014. Although the Poroshenko government tried to disrupt the vote, participation was high and the people of Donbass voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine.

The vote was portrayed by the establishment media in the West as Russian interference and an attempt to undermine the sovereignty of Ukraine.

However, if this was the case, Russia would have immediately recognized the breakaway republics. It didn’t do this. Instead, as was the case in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008, it refrained. [READ MORE]

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NEWSBUD EXCLUSIVE – What Did Putin Mean When He Thanked the CIA??

A quiet December 17 Sunday morning in the U.S. was shaken by a geopolitical sensation. Many long-time Russia watchers could hardly believe their eyes. The cause for their surprise was a three-paragraph press release on the official website of the Russian president Vladimir Putin detailing an unexpected and unusual phone conversation between Putin and the U.S. president Donald Trump.

According to the press release, Putin “thanked” Trump for the information provided to the Russian intelligence agencies by the CIA which “was enough to locate and detain” the individuals who planned to commit terrorist acts in several well-known public places in St. Petersburg, including the Kazan Cathedral.[i] Putin asked Trump to “convey his appreciation” to the CIA director (who was, interestingly, not named) and the CIA operatives involved in the intelligence sharing. Last, but not least, Putin “assured” Trump that the Russian intelligence agencies would return the favor, if they ever came into possession of the information of similar importance for the U.S. national security.

Soon after the Kremlin’s press release, there was a press release from the White House. The White House release essentially repeated what was already stated by the Kremlin. However, it included a sentence which, in my opinion, is very significant for understanding Putin’s action. “Both leaders agreed that this serves as an example of the positive things that can occur when countries work together.” The press release also stated that Trump called the CIA director Mike Pompeo “to congratulate him, his very talented people, and the entire intelligence community on a job well done!”[ii]

On the surface, this may appear paradoxical. Mike Pompeo, who uses every public speaking opportunity to bash Putin and the Russian government, has now found himself in the position of publicly receiving their gratitude. However, as I see it, this is a very sophisticated psychological technique deployed by Putin. The opponent is openly and publicly praised for his honorable deeds (especially he does not deserve it) in order to set a reputational standard for his future behavior. Indeed, this may also be an indirect confirmation of the rumor that Pompeo will soon be leaving the position of the CIA director to replace Rex Tillerson as the head of the State Department.[iii] [READ MORE]

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Newsbud Exclusive- A Geopolitical Primer on GMO Crops.

By now it is commonplace that most people in the western industrial world link the corporation Monsanto with something not healthy nor quite good. This is a major reason that Monsanto in a friendly takeover by the German chemicals giant, Bayer AG, is determined to hide behind the skirts of Bayer. Amid a torrent of industry-financed positive propaganda around the use of genetically modified crops, amid claims they can solve world hunger, greatly reduce chemical use, and on and on, some basic geopolitical facts are useful to review. The world is by no means about to be overrun by GMO, and this is good news. The bad news is that the GMO cartel of companies, centered in the USA has by no means recognized their defeat.

Rarely is there a discussion of what countries allow cultivation of GMO on their soil. This itself is worth considering. When we do so it becomes clear that it’s so far, after more than twenty years of huge effort by the GMO agribusiness cartel and their backers in government, enormously restricted, of course not enough, but very limited to just a handful of countries. Those countries, with the recent exception of the Peoples’ Republic of China, fall under the direct domination of the Anglo-American corporate world, US-dominated agribusiness.

USA Leader of the Pack

Far the world leading GMO grower is the United States. Since President G.H.W. Bush met with the board of Monsanto in Washington in 1992 and opened a regulatory laissez faire to GMO crops, astonishingly enough with no independent US Government controls or safety tests to be allowed, GMO has come to dominate most of the daily diet of Americans and of the high-protein corn and soybean mix used in almost all animal feed. Monsanto lawyers came up with a diabolical name for it: The Doctrine of Substantial Equivalence. But there is no such thing. GMO plants are unnatural artificially altered plants, and dangerously so when combined with their special agri-chemicals like Roundup with glyphosate and more.

As of end of 2015 US farmland had cultivated 175 million acres of GMO crops, more than half of all US farmland. The GMO crops include corn, soybean, cotton, canola, sugarbeet, alfalfa, papaya, squash and potatoes.[i] More impressive is the overwhelming domination today of several key GMO crops in the United States. Of all GMO crops planted worldwide, nearly 40% are planted in the USA. [READ MORE]

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