Newsbud Exclusive- The ‘Humanitarian’ Destruction of Libya – Part 2: Gaddafi and NATO, a History of Deception

This article is part of a three-part series called “The ‘humanitarian’ destruction of Libya” that analyses the 2011 war in Libya and the motives behind it. The first article contrasts the invented war crime allegations against the Libyan government to the very real underreported war crimes by the insurgents; the second exposes a history of deceptive terrorist attacks on European soil wrongly attributed to Gaddafi and the role of NATO in the war; and the third discusses Gaddafi’s plan at creating a pan-African currency as one of the central motives lurking behind the mainstream explanation of the intervention as a just one that sought to “protect civilians” from a ruthless dictator.

Muammar Gaddafi was born in a Bedouin tent near Sirte around 1942 to a poor family. Living through the last years of Italian colonial rule and Libya’s somewhat reluctant monarchy following its independence at the behest of the Great Powers in 1952, Gaddafi grew up in a time that the country’s political unity was still subversive to regional competition between Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan. Being a rural Bedouin himself, he abhorred regionalism and developed an ideology embroiled with nationalism and anti-imperialism. Amid a bloodless coup on 1 September 1969 that overthrew King Idris, the 27-year-old Gaddafi and his fellow Free Officers rose to power.[1] Unlike many Western-backed Middle Eastern rulers that have large amounts of natural resources at their disposal, the Revolutionary Command Council was willing to put the huge oil revenues, which skyrocketed after OPEC’s 1973 boycott, to the country’s internal development. As a result, Libya grew from one of the poorest nations in the world during the 1950s to the country with the highest living standard in Africa.[2] National expenditures on literacy, health care and education expanded rapidly under Gaddafi, while the government raised minimum wages and provided interest-free loans and subsidies for farming and the construction of houses.[3] By 2009, all in stark contrast to many African nations that are stuck in the Western orbit, life expectancy at birth had risen to 72.3 years, youth literacy to 99.9% and infant mortality had dropped to 14 per 1000 births.[4] A most indicative example of the employment of oil income to national development was the Great Man-made River (GMR) project, an impressive irrigation system that solved the problem of water supply through the construction of a huge network of pipelines that transports water from the country’s southern desert ground reserves to the coastal cities, where most Libyans live. According to a BBC 2006 article, “it is impossible not to be impressed with the scale of the project,” and “Libyans like to call it ‘the eighth wonder of the world’.”[5] Indicative of NATO’s war crimes in Libya, the “humanitarian” interventionists deliberately bombed critical GMR water installations, thereby disrupting the nation’s water infrastructure and leaving millions of Libyans without potable water to this day. According to investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed, this amounts to a potential genocidal strategy.[6]

More relevant to the story, however, is the fact that Gaddafi was willing to commit his country’s resources to the international cause of pan-Arabism. The new Libyan leader had an unlimited admiration for Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and he spoke about combining their strength to deter the imperial powers: “Tell President Nasser we made this revolution for him. He can take everything of ours and add it to the rest of the Arab world’s resources to be used for the battle [against Israel, and for Arab unity].”[7] Regarding the fact that Egypt and Syria had already foregone a short-lived political union from 1958 to 1961, this potential should not be underestimated. His hero died within a year after the coup, however, and Egypt’s next president, Anwar Sadat, was less concerned with Arab unity. Consequently, Gaddafi became the self-appointed guardian of Nasser’s legacy, nurturing the notion of pan-Arabism as one of the cornerstones of the Libyan revolution.[8] This made him an obvious target of the oligarchs seeking Western hegemony over the Third World, and therefore, he had to be demonised.

Enraging Europe: Yvonne Fletcher and the La Belle discotheque bombing

Despite the nationalisation of some American and British oil interests in 1973, the Libyan government showed no inclination towards an open confrontation with the West in the first years after the coup.[9] Gradually, however, as Gaddafi openly voiced his support for Palestinian resistance against Zionism, the Irish Republican Army’s struggle against British rule and the African National Congress’ battle against apartheid, the US started accusing Libya of supporting terrorism. It was only after Libya was accused of being directly involved in a series of terrorist attacks in Europe in the 1980s, though, that the US successfully managed to isolate the Libyan government from the international community.

While the Carter administration put the Libyan government on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, it was under Reagan that the situation escalated towards confrontation. In August 1981, the US’s Sixth Fleet shot down two Libyan jet fighters over the Gulf of Sirte, a territory regarded by Libya as its territorial waters but which Washington viewed as an international waterway. Although Reagan’s anti-Gaddafi rhetoric intensified, all Libyan crude oil exports to the US were embargoed, and American citizens were prohibited from traveling to Libya; the US remained unsuccessful in aggravating its NATO allies in Europe to jump on the bandwagon. That changed when Yvonne Fletcher, a London policewoman, was killed during a small anti-Gaddafi protest in St James Square on 17 April 1984. Although nobody was ever convicted, the British government and mass media outlets were quick to ascribe the murder to personnel at the Libyan embassy, located on the first floor at 5 St James. Ironically, it was a British two-part documentary aired on Channel 4 in 1996, which cites key witnesses, pathologists, gun specialists, audio experts, ex-intelligence officers and plot insiders, that eventually destroyed the official narrative.[10] The documentary revealed that an anti-Gaddafi terrorist organisation named al-Burkan, which was planning a coup against the Libyan leader, had infiltrated the embassy and that there were indeed 11 shots fired from there, but that the 12th bullet that killed Fletcher came from somewhere else on the square and was fired with a different kind of gun. Because the bullet entree angle was 60 degrees from the horizontal - not 15 degrees, what it should have been if the bullet originated from the embassy - the shot must have come from a far higher building. Drawing on two years of extensive research, the documentary makers unravel “a sinister plot” involving al-Burkan and German gun traffickers but also the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies, all of whom conspired to discredit Gaddafi and pave the way for regime change in Libya. Indeed, a month after the incident, al-Burkan and others tried to overthrow the Gaddafi government, but the coup attempt was beaten back by the Libyan army.

In early 1986, Reagan warned that the US would take additional steps to confront the Libyan government if needed. Not long after that, on 4 April, a bomb explosion at La Belle discotheque in West Berlin frequented by American servicemen killed three people and injured 200. Two weeks later, the US bombed Tripoli and Benghazi claiming that it had irrefutable evidence that Libya was responsible for the discotheque bombing, leaving at least 15 Libyan citizens dead. The main target was the Libyan leader’s headquarters. Gaddafi made it out alive, but his 15-month-old adopted daughter was killed in the attack on his residence, and two of his young sons were injured. The man charged with having masterminded the discotheque bombing was Yasser Chraidi, a driver at the Libyan embassy in East Berlin at the time. 10 years after the bombing, Chraidi - who in the meantime had moved to Lebanon - was extradited to German authorities, but a Berlin judge found the evidence presented by the prosecution so weak that he threatened to release Chraidi within three weeks unless more proof was presented. Exactly on the last day of these three weeks, Musbah Eter, one of the perpetrators that provided the operating instructions for the bomb used in the attack, confessed after having made a deal with the German prosecutors: in exchange for immunity, he incriminated Chraidi. A 1998 documentary aired on German television channel ZDF, however, discovered that although Eter indeed worked for the Libyan embassy in East Berlin in 1986, he paid regular visits to the US embassy and was most likely a CIA agent. Furthermore, ZDF asserted that members of a professional group of terrorists led by a certain Mahmoud Abu Jaber were involved in the attack, too, but had barely been bothered by the prosecution and had lived safely in other countries since the discotheque bombing. ZDF interviewed Abu Jaber’s right-hand man Muhammed Amairi and his lawyer in Norway as part of the preparation for the documentary. Amairi stopped the interview when he was asked what secret service he had been working for, but his lawyer continued the conversation. “Was Amairi a Mossad agent?”, ZDF asked. “He was a Mossad man,” the lawyer answered.[11]

Mission Accomplished: Lockerbie & Sanctions

Despite the alleged involvement of the Libyan government in state sponsored terrorist attacks on European soil, Washington’s European allies remained reluctant to imposing economic sanctions. On 21 December 1988, however, Pan Am flight 103 flying from Frankfurt to New York via London exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie shortly after it took off at London Heathrow. In late 1991, The US and UK formally accused two Libyan security officials of masterminding the attack in which all 259 passengers, most of them American and British, were killed. What followed was a series of UN Security Council resolutions demanding the extradition of the suspects. When Libya rejected these demands as a violation of its national sovereignty, the Security Council and the US congress both imposed severe sanctions on Libya. After many countries worldwide started to oppose the sanctions and the Organisation of African Unity in 1998 announced that its members would no longer enforce the UN sanctions unless America and Britain agreed to hold the trial of the Lockerbie suspects in a neutral country, the US, UK and Libya came to the agreement to hold a trial in The Hague in the Netherlands. The verdict acquitted one of the two suspects but found the other, Abdel Basset Ali Muhammad al-Megrahi, guilty.[12]

It turns out that one of the key prosecution witnesses at al-Megrahi’s trial, a Maltese shopkeeper who identified al-Megrahi as buying clothes from him that were found in the suitcase which allegedly carried the bomb, was paid $2 million by the US Department of Justice.[13] The shopkeeper also failed several times to identify al-Megrahi, only “recognising” him after having seen his photo in a magazine and being shown the same photo in court.[14] In addition, a chief Scottish investigator declared in 2005 that the main piece of evidence, the bomb timer, had been planted at the crime scene by a CIA agent.[15] In 2007, the expert who had analysed the bomb timer for the court admitted that he had lied at the trial, had manufactured the timer himself and had given it to a Lockerbie investigator. Moreover, the fragment he identified was never tested for residue of explosives, although it was the only evidence of possible Libyan involvement.[16] Finally, a London Heathrow airport security guard revealed that Pan Am’s luggage area had been broken into 17 hours before the flight, which suggests that the bomb was planted at Heathrow, not by al-Megrahi in Malta from where it would have had to bypass the security systems of two additional airports and in total would have travelled on three different planes before exploding.[17]

There are several theories about who exactly was responsible for the terrible crime. Some put forward circumstantial evidence that the bombing was a retaliatory attack by Iran and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine - General Command in reaction to the shooting down of an equally large Iranian plane over the Persian Gulf by a US warship a couple months earlier;[18] others suspect CIA and/or Mossad involvement.[19] But many are certain of one thing: al-Megrahi was innocent, and Libya was not responsible. This includes Hans Köchler, an Austrian professor who was appointed by the UN as international observer at the trial in The Hague, who called the trial “a spectacular miscarriage of justice.”[20]

Reconciliation and Betrayal

From the 1990s onwards, reconciliation gradually gained the upperhand over animosity. Libya suffered badly under the Washington-led isolation and was therefore willing to make concessions. After the Libyan government in 1999 agreed to hand over the two Lockerbie suspects and concurred with paying compensation to the relatives of Yvonne Fletcher and the victims or UTA flight 722 - a French airliner downed in a similar manner as Pan Am flight 103 in 1989 of which Libya was also (in all likelihood falsely)[21] accused - the US acquiesced to the suspension of the UN sanctions. In exchange for Libya paying compensation to the Lockerbie victims as well - but not accepting responsibility - and agreeing to give up its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program, the UN sanctions were officially lifted in 2003, and the US promised to suspend its own sanctions, most of which were lifted in 2004. Finally, during a 2006 trip to the country, Congressman Tom Lantos met with Gaddafi and announced that Libya had been removed from the US list of sponsors of terrorism.

Mutual distrust lingered on, however. Although the isolation was over in official terms, bilateral relations remained cumbersome. Clear from a statement he made in 1999, Gaddafi remained hostile to the dominant American worldview:

“America unfortunately treats us as if the world was the way it used to be [before the fall of the Soviet Union]. Some analysts call this a new colonialism. But colonialism is colonialism, and it is always unjust. It is how we were treated by the Italians, Algeria by the French, India by the British. This is imperialism, and we seem to be entering a new imperialist era. The cause of our conflict with America is not that we attacked them. We have never attacked an American target. America started the aggression against us right here in the Gulf of Sirte. When we defended ourselves, they attacked us in these very tents. We were bombed by missiles in our own territorial waters. In 1986 our own children were killed. No one can bring my daughter back to me. Then Lockerbie came along. Now we would like this chain of events to be over. But America does not want to turn the page. We shall, however, show courage and be patient, and America will be the loser.”[22] (emphasis added)

Gaddafi’s reservations about reconciliation - he often appeared to show regret for some of the compromises he made for which Libya received very little in return, especially giving up his WMD program as a deterrent to Western aggression - were likely not unfounded. In a 2007 interview, retired four-star US General Wesley Clark revealed that several Middle Eastern countries, including Libya, were already on the Pentagon’s imperialist drawing board in the immediate wake of 9/11:

“I [General Clark] came back to see him [a general of the Joint Chiefs of Staff], and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said: ‘Are we still going to war with Iraq?’ And he said: ‘Oh it is worse than that.’ He reached over on his desk and picked up a piece of paper. He said: ‘I just got this down from upstairs [meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office] today. This is a memo that describes how we are going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.’”[23]

Flash forward to 2011. With the adoption of UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 in March, NATO embarked on a seven months-long military adventure under the guise of “protecting civilians,” leaving behind a trail of destruction with Sirte bombed back to the stone ages. After Operation Unified Protector had officially come to an end on 31 October 2011, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen concluded that “we have carried out this operation very carefully, without confirmed civilian casualties,”[24] and NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu claimed that “no target was approved or attacked if we had any evidence or reason to believe that civilians were at risk.”[25] UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, too, rejected claims that NATO had exceeded its mandate, asserting that “Security Council resolution 1973, I believe, was strictly enforced within the limit, within the mandate.”[26] That this is categorically false is substantiated even by the most pro-interventionist institutions that investigated NATO’s military campaign in retrospect. Human Rights Watch,[27] Amnesty International[28] and the New York Times[29] have all amply documented NATO airstrikes in which, if not deliberately at least knowing full well the likelihood of “collateral damage,” numerous civilians were killed. A report published by Middle Eastern human rights groups after a fact-finding mission to Libya even implicated NATO in war crimes, referring to “a NATO attack on 15 September which resulted in the death of 57-59 individuals, of whom approximately 47 were civilians.” The report described how two jeeps carrying combatants were destroyed by NATO air fire in Sirte, after which a large crowd of civilians flocked to the scene in an attempt to rescue survivors and retrieve the dead. Five minutes later, a third missile targeted the exclusively civilian crowd, killing 47 of them.[30] NATO’s operational media update for 15 September noted the destruction of the two armed vehicles but made no mention of the large swathes of civilians it had just slaughtered.[31]

Gaddafi’s Death: “We came, we saw, he died.”

The above-mentioned 15 September attack does not only illustrate the ruthlessness of NATO’s military campaign, it also signals its importance as a necessary accessory to the advances of the rebel fighters, especially in the final battle of the war in Sirte. Whereas the insurgents were allowed to freely move tanks into place to surround and enter the last Gaddafi stronghold, any attempt by government forces to move as much as a jeep was met with NATO air fire. So when a convoy of 75 vehicles leaving the scene of the battle was intercepted and attacked by a US predator drone and French jets on the morning of 20 October, NATO did not elaborate on how the convoy was posing a threat to the local population. Although “an intelligence breakthrough” allowed NATO forces to pinpoint Gaddafi’s location a week prior to the attack according to the Telegraph,[32] the military alliance supposedly did not know the Libyan leader was in one of the convoy trucks fleeing Sirte.

The Telegraph had previously already reported that SAS commandos (British special forces) “dressed in Arab civilian clothing and wearing the same weapons as the rebels [...] were spearheading the hunt for Col Muammar Gaddafi.”[33] As NATO had repeatedly bombed Gaddafi compounds during the war (and as we have seen above, before the war, too), and as the US government internally discussed covert action to assassinate Gaddafi as early as 1969 according to the memoirs of Henry Kissinger,[34] this means that Western involvement in Gaddafi’s brutal murder in the streets of Sirte is at least plausible. Indeed, according to Mahmoud Jibril, then interim prime minister of the rebel-led National Transition Council, “it was a foreign agent who mixed with the revolutionary brigades to kill Gaddafi.”[35] Either way, the Western war hawks probably did not mourn the death of the Libyan leader, judging from then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s first reaction to the death of Gaddafi. Followed by an arrogant laugh, she concluded: “We came, we saw, he died.”[36]

# # # #

Bas Spliet, Newsbud  Analyst,  is a bachelor’s student 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. His analyses can be found atwww.scrutinisedminds.com. He can be reached at bas.spliet@gmail.com.

Notes

[1] Maximilian Forte, Slouching towards Sirte: NATO’s war on Libya and Africa (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2012), 35-41.

[2] “The standard of living in Libya - compilation of data, studies, articles and videos,” Global Civilians for Peace in Libya, 09.11.2011, http://globalciviliansforpeace.wordpress.com/2011/11/09/the-standard-of-living-in-libya/.

[3] Dirk Vandewalle, A history of modern Libya, 2nd ed. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 87-95.

[4] “The standard of living in Libya.”

[5] John Watkins, “Libya’s thirst for ‘fossil water’,” BBC, 18.03.2016, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4814988.stm.

[6] Nafeez Ahmed, “War crime: NATO deliberately destroyed Libya’s water infrastructure,” Truth Out, 30.05.2015, http://truth-out.org/news/item/30999-war-crime-nato-deliberately-destroyed-libya-s-water-infrastructure.

[7] Mohammed Heikal, The road to Ramadan (New York: Quadrangle / New York Times Company, 1975), 70.

[8] Vandewalle, A history of modern Libya, 79.

[9] Vandewalle, A history of modern Libya, 128-30.

[10] Murder in St James’s, produced and directed by Richard Belfield (Channel 4: Dispatches, 1996), available in full at http://sott.net/article/236576-Murder-in-St-James-Square-The-Death-of-Yvonne-Fletcher.

[11] “German TV exposed CIA, Mossad links to 1986 Berlin disco bombing,” Word Socialist Web Site, 27.08.1998, http://wsws.org/en/articles/1998/08/bomb-a27.html.

[12] Vandewalle, A history of modern Libya, 167-9.

[13] Gordon Rayner, “Lockerbie bombing: are these the men who really brought down Pan Am 103?”, Telegraph, 10.03.2014, http://telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/10688179/Lockerbie-bombing-are-these-the-men-who-really-brought-down-Pan-Am-103.html.

[14] Robert McFadden, “Megrahi, convicted in 1988 Lockerbie bombing, dies at 60,” New York Times, 20.05.2012, http://nytimes.com/2012/05/21/world/africa/abdel-basset-ali-al-megrahi-lockerbie-bomber-dies-at-60.html.

[15] “Police chief - Lockerbie evidence was faked,” Scotsman, 28.08.2005, http://scotsman.com/news/police-chief-lockerbie-evidence-was-faked-1-1403341.

[16] McFadden, “Megrahi.”

[17] McFadden, “Megrahi.”

[18] Rayner, “Lockerbie bombing;” Alexander Zaitchik, “The truth about the Lockerbie bombing - and the censored film that dared to reveal it,” Alternet, 15.12.2014, http://alternet.org/world/truth-about-lockerbie-bombing-and-censored-film-dared-reveal-it; John Ashton and Ian Ferguson, “Flight from the truth,” Guardian, 27.06.2001, http://theguardian.com/uk/2001/jun/27/lockerbie.features11.

[19] “What if they are innocent?”, Guardian, 27.04.1999, http://theguardian.com/uk/1999/apr/17/lockerbie; Maidhc Ó’Cathail, “Deception over Lockerbie,” Global Research, 27.12.2009, http://globalresearch.ca/deception-over-lockerbie/15362; Cem Ertür, “Propaganda alert: the Lockerbie bombing. Who was behind it? Libya, Iran … or the CIA?”, Global Research, 12.10.2014, http://globalresearch.ca/deception-over-lockerbie/15362.

[20] “UN Observer: Lockerbie trial a US/UK CIA fake “a spectacular miscarriage of justice,” William Bowles, 14.10.2005, http://williambowles.info/spysrus/lockerbie.html.

[21] Pierre Péan, “Les preuves trafiquées du terrorisme Libyen,” Monde Diplomatique, March 2001, http://monde-diplomatique.fr/2001/03/PEAN/6174. Translated to English: Pierre Péan, “Tainted evidence of Libyan terrorism,” UNA Bombers, http://unabombers.com/TheTaintedEvidence.htm.

[22] Quoted in Forte, Slouching towards Sirte, 79.

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

[24] Rachel Shabi, “NATO accused of war crimes in Libya,” Independent, 19.1.2012, http://independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/nato-accused-of-war-crimes-in-libya-6291566.html.

[25] Human Rights Watch, Unacknowledged deaths: civilian casualties in NATO’s air campaign in Libya, 13.05.2012, http://hrw.org/report/2012/05/13/unacknowledged-deaths/civilian-casualties-natos-air-campaign-libya.

[26] Shabi, “NATO accused of war crimes in Libya.”

[27] Human Rights Watch, Unacknowledged deaths.

[28] Amnesty International, Libya: the forgotten victims of NATO airstrikes, March 2012, http://amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/mde190032012en.pdf.

[29] C.J. Chivers and Eric Smith, “In strikes on Libya by NATO, an unspoken civilian toll,” New York Times, 17.12.2011, http://nytimes.com/2011/12/18/world/africa/scores-of-unintended-casualties-in-nato-war-in-libya.html?pagewanted=all.

[30] Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Arab Organization for Human Rights and International Legal Assistance Consortium, Report of the Independent Civil Society Fact-Finding Mission to Libya, 44-6, January 2012, http://www.pchrgaza.org/files/2012/FFM_Libya-Report.pdf.

[31] NATO, NATO and Libya: operational media update for 15 September, http://nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110916_110916-oup-update.pdf.

[32] Thomas Harding, “Col Gaddafi killed: convoy bombed by drone flown by pilot in Las Vegas,” Telegraph, 20.10.2011, http://telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8839964/Col-Gaddafi-killed-convoy-bombed-by-drone-flown-by-pilot-in-Las-Vegas.html.

[33] Thomas Harding, Gordon Rayner and Damien McElroy, “Libya: SAS leads hunt for Gaddafi,” Telegraph, 24.08.2011, http://telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8721291/Libya-SAS-leads-hunt-for-Gaddafi.html.

[34] Bill van Auken, “The murderer calls for an investigation into the crime,” SWAPO, 24.10.2011, http://swapoparty.org/the_us_and_gaddafi.html.

[35] Peter Allen, “Gaddafi was killed by French secret serviceman on orders of Nicolas Sarkozy, sources claim,” Daily Mail, 30.09.2012, http://dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2210759/Gaddafi-killed-French-secret-serviceman-orders-Nicolas-Sarkozy-sources-claim.html.

[36] “Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: We came, we saw, he died,” Youtube channel of FederalJacktube6, 20.10.2011, consulted on 14.02.2017, http://youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y.

Newsbud Community Exclusive-“The Pentagon’s New Rules for Killing Africans”

On this Newsbud Community Members Exclusive Edition Kurt Nimmo looks at the rush to move into Africa and exploit its abundance of natural resources. President Trump has opened a new front on the continent and has authorized without congressional approval additional military operations in Somalia against al-Shabaab. Prior to this, AFRICOM, the United States African Command, US Special Forces readied for deployment to fight the terror group Boko Haram. The US wants to reduce the activity of its main competitor in Africa, China, in particular its undermining of the globalist loan sharking operations run by the World Bank and the IMF. Donald Trump will allow AFRICOM to continue its attacks and raids in Somalia and elsewhere in Africa resulting in death and misery for the people of Africa.

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Show Notes

Trump authorizes more aggressive airstrikes against al-Shabab in Somalia

Pentagon seeks to expand fight against extremists in Somalia

US AFRICOM Commander Calls for “Huge” Military Campaign in West Africa

The president who loved generals: Trump’s foreign policy will be led by the military, not diplomats

Trump transition team reviewing military rules of engagement

Trump gives military more authority to launch Somalia strikes

Trump Eases Combat Rules in Somalia Intended to Protect Civilians

AFRICOM’s Secret Empire: US Military Turns Africa Into ‘Laboratory’ Of Modern Warfare

US military Africa Command – AFRICOM

Mali and AFRICOM’s Africa Agenda: Target China

Yemen: Reported US Covert Actions 2016

Trump’s head-spinning and secret plans for foreign policy

AFRICOM and the USA’s Hidden Battle for Africa

The Militarization of the African Continent: AFRICOM Expands Operations in Cooperation With Europe

African Natural Resources Center

The Power of Lies

The Empire’s lies are institutionalized in history books, movements & in historical memory

It is one of history’s ironies that the Lincoln Memorial is a sacred space for the Civil Rights Movement and the site of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Lincoln did not think blacks were the equals of whites. Lincoln’s plan was to send the blacks in America back to Africa, and if he had not been assassinated, returning blacks to Africa would likely have been his post-war policy.

As Thomas DiLorenzo and a number of non-court historians have conclusively established, Lincoln did not invade the Confederacy in order to free the slaves. The Emancipation Proclamation did not occur until 1863 when opposition in the North to the war was rising despite Lincoln’s police state measures to silence opponents and newspapers. The Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure issued under Lincoln’s war powers. The proclamation provided for the emancipated slaves to be enrolled in the Union army replenishing its losses. It was also hoped that the proclamation would spread slave revolts in the South while southern white men were away at war and draw soldiers away from the fronts in order to protect their women and children. The intent was to hasten the defeat of the South before political opposition to Lincoln in the North grew stronger.

The Lincoln Memorial was built not because Lincoln “freed the slaves,” but because Lincoln saved the empire. As the Savior of the Empire, had Lincoln not been assassinated, he could have become emperor for life.

As Professor Thomas DiLorenzo writes: “Lincoln spent his entire political career attempting to use the powers of the state for the benefit of the moneyed corporate elite (the ‘one-percenters’ of his day), first in Illinois, and then in the North in general, through protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare for road, canal, and railroad corporations, and a national bank controlled by politicians like himself to fund it all.”

Lincoln was a man of empire. As soon as the South was conquered, ravaged, and looted, his collection of war criminal generals, such as Sherman and Sheridan, set about exterminating the Plains Indians in one of the worst acts of genocide in human history. Even today Israeli Zionists point to Washington’s extermination of the Plains Indians as the model for Israel’s theft of Palestine.

The War of Northern Aggression was about tariffs and northern economic imperialism. The North was protectionist. The South was free trade. The North wanted to finance its economic development by forcing the South to pay higher prices for manufactured goods. The North passed the Morrill Tariff which more than doubled the tariff rate to 32.6% and provided for a further hike to 47%. The tariff diverted the South’s profits on its agricultural exports to the coffers of Northern industrialists and manufacturers. The tariff was designed to redirect the South’s expenditures on manufactured goods from England to the higher cost goods produced in the North.

This is why the South left the union, a right of self-determination under the Constitution.

The purpose of Lincoln’s war was to save the empire, not to abolish slavery. In his first inaugural address Lincoln “made an ironclad defense of slavery.” His purpose was to keep the South in the Empire despite the Morrill Tariff. As for slavery, Lincoln said: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.” This position, Lincoln reminded his audience, was part of the 1860 Republican Party platform. Lincoln also offered his support for the strong enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act, which required Northerners to hunt down and return runaway slaves, and he gave his support to the Corwin Amendment to the Constitution, already passed by Northern votes in the House and Senate, that prohibited any federal interference with slavery. For Lincoln and his allies, the empire was far more important than slaves.

DiLorenzo explains what the deal was that Lincoln offered to the South. However, just as empire was more important to the North than slavery, for the South avoiding large taxes on manufactured goods, in effect a tax on Southern agricultural profits, was more important than northern guarantees for slavery.

If you want to dislodge your brainwashing about the War of Northern Aggression, read DiLorenzo’s books, The Real Lincoln, and Lincoln Unmasked.

The so-called Civil War was not a civil war. In a civil war, both sides are fighting for control of the government. The South was not fighting for control of the federal government. The South seceded and the North refused to let the South go.

The reason I am writing about this is to illustrate how history is falsified in behalf of agendas. I am all for civil rights and participated in the movement while a college student. What makes me uncomfortable is the transformation of Lincoln, a tyrant who was an agent for the One Percent and was willing to destroy any and every thing in behalf of empire, into a civil rights hero. Who will be next? Hitler? Stalin? Mao? George W. Bush? Obama? John Yoo? If Lincoln can be a civil rights hero, so can be torturers. Those who murder in Washington’s wars women and children can be turned into defenders of women’s rights and child advocates. And probably they will be.

This is the twisted perverted world in which we live. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, is confronted with Washington’s overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine, a Russian ally and for centuries a part of Russia itself, while Putin is falsely accused of invading Ukraine. China is accused by Washington as a violator of human rights while Washington murders more civilians in the 21st century than every other country combined.

Everywhere in the West monstrous lies stand unchallenged. The lies are institutionalized in history books, course curriculums, policy statements, movements and causes, and in historical memory.

America will be hard pressed to survive the lies that it lives.

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Paul Craig Roberts, Boiling Frogs Post contributing author, is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has been reporting on executive branch and cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. He has written or co-written eight books, contributed chapters to numerous books, and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. Mr. Roberts has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy, and has been a critic of both Democratic and Republican administrations. You can visit his website here.

© PaulCraigRoberts.org

Can Evil Be Defeated

The purpose of the evil that masquerades as a government in Washington

John W. Whitehead is a constitutional attorney. As head of the Rutherford Institute he is actively involved in defending our civil liberties. Being actively involved in legal cases, he experiences firsthand the transformation of law from a shield of the American people into a weapon in the hands of the government.

American civil liberty was seriously eroded prior to 9/11 and the rise of the police/warfare state, a story I tell in How America Was Lost. Lawrence Stratton and I documented the loss of law as a shield of the American people in our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions (2000, 2008). Whitehead in his book, A Government of Wolves (2013) and in his just released Battlefield America (2015) shows how quickly and thoroughly the police state has taken root.

We live in an electronic concentration camp. We are addicted to images on screens that disinform and propagandize us to accept and even welcome the police state activities that have destroyed our autonomy, privacy, and independence.

I write many columns on this subject. The advantage of a book is that it all comes together under one cover, and that is what Whitehead has done in Battlefield America.

“The outlook for civil liberties grows bleaker by the day, from the government’s embrace of indefinite detention for US citizens and armed surveillance drones flying overhead to warrantless surveillance of phone, email and Internet communications, and prosecutions of government whistle-blowers. The homeland is ruled by a police-industrial complex, an extension of the American military empire. Everything that our founding fathers warned against is now the new norm. The government has trained its sights on the American people. We have become the enemy. All the while, the American people remain largely oblivious.”

Whitehead gives it to us straight. We are continually abused in the name of protecting us. Ordinary Americans are subject to far worst abuse from government than they ever could be from criminals and terrorists, both of which are bogymen used to justify the government’s terrorism of the citizenry.

Four-year old children are handcuffed by police. Ninety-five year old citizens with walkers are body-slammed with their neck broken by police. War veterans without legs and wheelchair bound are shot and murdered by police. The police always justify their abuse and criminal acts by claiming they felt threatened. What kind of heavily armed police, usually together in gangs, is threatened by a four-year old, a 95-year old, a double amputee? The fact that police get away with this brutality shows their total lack of humanity and the total transformation of the purpose of police. Today a paranoid police protect not the public but the police state and themselves from an imaginary threatening public. We pay them to abuse and murder us.

On September 6, 7, and 8, 2014, the Washington Post reported that state and local police had become bandits, as in Mexico, who stop drivers in order to rob them. In “Stop and Seize,” the Washington Post reported that “aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes.”

There are now training courses in which police are trained in the art of highway robbery. September 11, 2001, was used to create an industry that trains police in the aggressive techniques of highway interdiction. It is now routine for a traffic stop, whether justified or not, to result in the confiscation of your cash, other possessions, and your car itself. You can be robbed by police on the basis of their assumptions without being ticketed or charged with a crime.

Whitehead reports that in fiscal year 2012 the federal government alone seized $4.2 billion in assets despite the fact that in 80 percent of the cases no charge was issued.

Did you know that the school security industry is a $4.9 billion annual business that instills in youth acceptance of tyranny and punishments for infractions that are simply the normal behavior of youth?

Did you know that in 2006 a Halliburton subsidiary, Dick Cheney’s firm, was awarded a $385 million federal contract to build concentration camps in the US?

Did you know that Republicans have privatized the prison system and turned it into a $70 billion per year industry that demands ever more incarceration of citizens in order to drive profits. Consequently, 2.7 million American children now have at least one parent in prison, often on charges that would not constitute crimes in a civilized country.

US prison labor is now the cheapest form of labor available with prisoners paid between 93 cents and $4.73 per day. Prisoners make office furniture, work in call centers, fabricate body armor, take hotel reservations, work in slaughterhouses, manufacture textiles, shoes, and clothing, process agricultural products like milk and beef, package Starbucks coffee, shrink wrap software for Microsoft, sew lingerie for Victoria’s Secret, produce the military’s helmets, shirts, pants, tents, bags, canteens, and a variety of other equipment, make circuit boards for IBM, Texas Instruments and Dell. Sew McDonald’s uniforms, and perform labor services for Boeing, Motorola, Compaq, Revlon and Kmart.

Even the “mainstream” presstitute media has reported the US military drills in South Florida where military teams working with local police practiced rounding up American citizens for detention. The media has also reported the upcoming military occupations in Texas and Utah. There are protests but not on the level that a people conscious of the threat to their liberty would mount.

It seems clear that these are federal troops practicing control of the population which is being stripped of the constitutional right to hold government accountable. The pointless lockdown of Boston and its suburbs and the gratuitous house to house searches, a martial law exercise clearly prepared prior to the Boston Marathon Bombing, used fear created by the bombing, possibly a false flag operation, to teach the population compliance with, and acceptance of, martial law. The insouciant American population went along with it. If someone points out how they were manipulated, the fools scream “conspiracy theorist.”

The official explanation of the military exercises practicing population control in South Florida, Texas and Utah is that the military is practicing for overseas actions. Why then are local police involved? More likely we are witnessing drills described in the US Army’s 2010 publication, “Internment and Resettlement Operations.”

It is now routine for police to amuse themselves by carrying out strip searches and vaginal searches of women. Police go out of their way to provoke resistance so that they can beat, taser, and murder. If they can’t provoke it, they beat, taser, and murder anyway and claim their victim resisted arrest or threatened them. Have you noticed how the police find everyone threatening?

Whitehead shows that the educational system, entertainment, and television serve to indoctrinate and teach compliance. Television can do more than form public opinion. It is used to alter the worldview of the population. Our cars, household appliances, and smart homes are becoming devices designed to spy on us and report noncompliance. A society is being created in which there can be no autonomy and no freedom.

The technology that permits the electronic concentration camp is produced by thoughtless people who have no concern for liberty. How, Whitehead asks, do we maintain our humanity in the face of technologies designed to dehumanize us?

America now has preemptive prosecution. Whitehead reports that 95 percent of those convicted of terrorism between 2001 and 2010 were prosecuted not for deeds, but for beliefs, ideology, or religious affiliations.

The two most engaging chapters in Battleground America are “The Matrix” and “The Posthuman Era,” together a mere 17 pages. The fusion of machines with humans to which trans-humanists are committed will destroy human sensibility, memory, and morality, and probably humans themselves.

Corporate America is in it for the money. Whitehead tells us: “With every smartphone we buy, every GPS device we install, and every Twitter, Facebook, and Google account we open, we’re helping Corporate America build a dossier for its government counterparts on who we know, what we think, how we spend our money, and how we spend our time.”

Whitehead quotes Bill Joy, a cofounder of Sun Microsystems: “I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of evil.”

Jim Edwards says, “we humans are now data bits.”

In the penultimate chapter, Whitehead tells us what we can do, a question that I am forever asked by readers. Whitehead says that armed revolt is not an option. He believes that the tens of millions, perhaps 100 million, Americans who have pistols, rifles, and shotguns are not only unorganized, but outgunned. The 21st century has been used to militarize state and local police forces and to brutalize their attitude toward the American public. Even police in small towns now have helicopters, armored personnel carriers, tanks, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, drones, night vision, heat sensors, sensors that can see through the walls of houses and into cars.

If this is not enough, in comes the National Guard or federal troops, Army Rangers, Navy Seals. Or simply the release of germs. Washington can deal with its citizens the same way it dealt with the indigenous peoples we call Indians. Washington has retained in its hands live smallpox, a deadly killer, and there now have been several generations of Americans who have not had smallpox vaccination, because the disease was eliminated by vaccination. All the government has to do is to release smallpox on resistant populations, and, of course, the government has numerous other such means.

How did it come to this?

In my opinion, as I so often write, Americans are distracted by sex, entertainment, the difficulty of providing for themselves and for families. They are locked into the disinformation that sustains the American Matrix, blinded by their patriotism and the 4th of July speeches and by their indoctrination that Americans are “exceptional and indispensable.” And, of course, by their ignorance and arrogance. Americans simply have no clue.

The purpose of the evil that masquerades as a government in Washington is to prevent those few Americans who do have a clue from informing the rest of the population. Whistleblowers are arrested and falsely prosecuted and imprisoned. Journalists have been intimidated into silence.

Now, to Whitehead’s answer to what can we do. He says that we can mount “militant nonviolent resistance.” This worked for Christians in the decomposing Roman Empire.

It worked for Mahatma Gandhi in India against the British colonialists. It was working for Martin Luther King in America before he was assassinated, most likely by the FBI.

Whitehead says that the mass of the citizenry cannot be assassinated. If citizens simply stop cooperating by listening to the lies on TV, by purchasing the devices used to control them, by amusing themselves in front of propaganda screens, by learning again how to think, how to be human, how to be moral, the American police state can be defeated.

It worked in the past, and possibly it can work again. If not, Washington will remain the home of Sauron, a threat to every American citizen and to the entire world.

# # # #

Paul Craig Roberts, Boiling Frogs Post contributing author, is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has been reporting on executive branch and cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. He has written or co-written eight books, contributed chapters to numerous books, and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. Mr. Roberts has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy, and has been a critic of both Democratic and Republican administrations. You can visit his website here.

© PaulCraigRoberts.org

The Neoconservative Threat to World Order

Why did Washington revive the threat of world annihilation?

This week I was invited to address an important conference of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Scholars from Russia and from around the world, Russian government officials, and the Russian people seek an answer as to why Washington destroyed during the past year the friendly relations between America and Russia that President Reagan and President Gorbachev succeeded in establishing. All of Russia is distressed that Washington alone has destroyed the trust between the two major nuclear powers that had been created during the Reagan-Gorbachev era, trust that had removed the threat of nuclear Armageddon. Russians at every level are astonished at the virulent propaganda and lies constantly issuing from Washington and the Western media. Washington’s gratuitous demonization of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has rallied the Russian people behind him. Putin has the highest approval rating ever achieved by any leader in my lifetime.

Washington’s reckless and irresponsible destruction of the trust achieved by Reagan and Gorbachev has resurrected the possibility of nuclear war from the grave in which Reagan and Gorbachev buried it. Again, as during the Cold War the specter of nuclear Armageddon stalks the earth.

Why did Washington revive the threat of world annihilation? Why is this threat to all of humanity supported by the majority of the US Congress, by the entirety of the presstitute media, and by academics and think-tank inhabitants in the US, such as Motyl and Weiss, about whom I wrote recently?

It was my task to answer this question for the conference. You can read my February 25 and February 26 addresses below. But first you should understand what nuclear war means. You can gain that understanding here.

The Threat Posed to International Relations by the Neoconservative Ideology of American Hegemony, Address to the 70th Anniversary of the Yalta Conference, Hosted by Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Moscow, February 25, 2015, Hon. Paul Craig Roberts:

Colleagues,

What I propose to you is that the current difficulties in the international order are unrelated to Yalta and its consequences, but have their origin in the rise of the neoconservative ideology in the post-Soviet era and its influence on Washington’s foreign policy.

The collapse of the Soviet Union removed the only constraint on Washington’s power to act unilaterally abroad. At that time China’s rise was estimated to require a half century. Suddenly the United States found itself to be the Uni-power, the “world’s only superpower.” Neoconservatives proclaimed “the end of history.”

By the “end of history” neoconservatives mean that the competition between socio-economic-political systems is at an end. History has chosen “American Democratic-Capitalism.” It is Washington’s responsibility to exercise the hegemony over the world given to Washington by History and to bring the world in line with History’s choice of American democratic-capitalism.

In other words, Marx has been proven wrong. The future does not belong to the proletariat but to Washington.

The neoconservative ideology raises the United States to the unique status of being “the exceptional country,” and the American people acquire exalted status as “the indispensable people.”

If a country is “the exceptional country,” it means that all other countries are unexceptional. If a people are “indispensable,” it means other peoples are dispensable. We have seen this attitude at work in Washington’s 14 years of wars of aggression in the Middle East. These wars have left countries destroyed and millions of people dead, maimed, and displaced. Yet Washington continues to speak of its commitment to protect smaller countries from the aggression of larger countries. The explanation for this hypocrisy is that Washington does not regard Washington’s aggression as aggression, but as History’s purpose.

We have also seen this attitude at work in Washington’s disdain for Russia’s national interests and in Washington’s propagandistic response to Russian diplomacy.

The neoconservative ideology requires that Washington maintain its Uni-power status, because this status is necessary for Washington’s hegemony and History’s purpose.

The neoconservative doctrine of US world supremacy is most clearly and concisely stated by Paul Wolfowitz, a leading neoconservative who has held many high positions: Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Director of Policy Planning US Department of State, Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador to Indonesia, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank.

In 1992 Paul Wolfowitz stated the neoconservative doctrine of American world supremacy:

“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

For clarification, a “hostile power” is a country with an independent policy (Russia, China, Iran, and formerly Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad).

This bold statement struck the traditional American foreign policy establishment as a declaration of American Imperialism. The document was rewritten in order to soften and disguise the blatant assertion of supremacy without changing the intent. These documents are available online, and you can examine them at your convenience.

Softening the language allowed the neoconservatives to rise to foreign policy dominance. The neoconservatives are responsible for the Clinton regime’s attacks on Yugoslavia and Serbia. Neoconservatives, especially Paul Wolfowitz, are responsible for the George W. Bush regime’s invasion of Iraq. The neoconservatives are responsible for the overthrow and murder of Gaddafi in Libya, the assault on Syria, the propaganda against Iran, the drone attacks on Pakistan and Yemen, the color revolutions in former Soviet Republics, the attempted “Green Revolution” in Iran, the coup in Ukraine, and the demonization of Vladimir Putin.

A number of thoughtful Americans suspect that the neoconservatives are responsible for 9/11, as that event gave the neoconservatives the “New Pearl Harbor” that their position papers said was necessary in order to launch their wars for hegemony in the Middle East. 9/11 led directly and instantly to the invasion of Afghanistan, where Washington has been fighting since 2001. Neoconservatives controlled all the important government positions necessary for a “false flag” attack.

Neoconservative Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who is married to another neoconservative, Robert Kagan, implemented and oversaw Washington’s coup in Ukraine and chose the new government.

The neoconservatives are highly organized and networked, well-financed, supported by the print and TV media, and backed by the US military/security complex and the Israel Lobby. There is no countervailing power to their influence on US foreign power.

The neoconservative doctrine goes beyond the Brzezinski doctrine, which dissented from Detente and provocatively supported dissidents inside the Soviet empire. Despite its provocative character, the Brzezinski doctrine remained a doctrine of Great Power politics and containment. It is not a doctrine of US world hegemony.

While the neoconservatives were preoccupied for a decade with their wars in the Middle East, creating a US Africa Command, organizing color revolutions, exiting disarmament treaties, surrounding Russia with military bases, and “pivoting to Asia” to surround China with new air and naval bases, Vladimir Putin led Russia back to economic and military competence and successfully asserted an independent Russian foreign policy.

When Russian diplomacy blocked Washington’s planned invasion of Syria and Washington’s planned bombing of Iran, the neoconservatives realized that they had failed the “first objective” of the Wolfowitz Doctrine and had allowed “the re-emergence of a new rival . . . on the territory of the former Soviet Union” with the power to block unilateral action by Washington.

The attack on Russia began. Washington had spent $5 billion over a decade creating non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Ukraine and cultivating Ukrainian politicians. The NGOs were called into the streets. The extreme nationalists or nazi elements were used to introduce violence, and the elected democratic government was overthrown. The intercepted conversation between Victoria Nuland and the US ambassador in Kiev, in which the two Washington operatives choose the members of the new Ukrainian government, is well known.

If the information that has recently come to me from Armenia and Kyrgyzstan is correct, Washington has financed NGOs and is cultivating politicians in Armenia and the former Soviet Central Asian Republics. If the information is correct, Russia can expect more “color revolutions” or coups in other former territories of the Soviet Union. Perhaps China faces a similar threat in Uyghurstan.

The conflict in Ukraine is often called a “civil war.” This is incorrect. A civil war is when two sides fight for the control of the government. The break-away republics in eastern and southern Ukraine are fighting a war of secession.

Washington would have been happy to use its coup in Ukraine to evict Russia from its Black Sea naval base as this would have been a strategic military achievement. However, Washington is pleased that the “Ukraine crisis” that Washington orchestrated has resulted in the demonization of Vladimir Putin, thus permitting economic sanctions that have disrupted Russia’s economic and political relations with Europe. The sanctions have kept Europe in Washington’s orbit.

Washington has no interest in resolving the Ukrainian situation. The situation can be resolved diplomatically only if Europe can achieve sufficient sovereignty over its foreign policy to act in Europe’s interest instead of Washington’s interest.

The neoconservative doctrine of US world hegemony is a threat to the sovereignty of every country. The doctrine requires subservience to Washington’s leadership and to Washington’s purposes. Independent governments are targeted for destabilization. The Obama regime overthrew the reformist government in Honduras and currently is at work destabilizing Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Argentina, and most likely also Armenia and the former Central Asian Soviet Republics.

Yalta and its consequences have to do with Great Power rivalries. But in the neoconservative doctrine, there is only one Great Power–the Uni-power. There are no others, and no others are to be permitted

Therefore, unless a modern foreign policy arises in Washington and displaces the neoconservatives, the future is one of conflict.

It would be a strategic error to dismiss the neoconservative ideology as unrealistic. The doctrine is unrealistic, but it is also the guiding force of US foreign policy and is capable of producing a world war.

In their conflict with Washington’s hegemony, Russia and China are disadvantaged. The success of American propaganda during the Cold War, the large differences between living standards in the US and those in communist lands, overt communist political oppression, at times brutal, and the Soviet collapse created in the minds of many people nonexistent virtues for the United States. As English is the world language and the Western media is cooperative, Washington is able to control explanations regardless of the facts. The ability of Washington to be the aggressor and to blame the victim encourages Washington’s march to more aggression.

This concludes my remarks. Tomorrow I will address whether there are domestic political restraints or economic restraints on the neoconservative ideology.

Paul Craig Roberts, Address to the 70th Anniversary of the Yalta Conference, Moscow, February 26, 2015

Colleagues,

At the plenary session yesterday I addressed the threat that the neoconservative ideology poses to international relations. In this closing session I address whether there are any internal restraints on this policy from the US population and whether there are economic restraints.

Just as 9/11 served to launch Washington’s wars for hegemony in the Middle East, 9/11 served to create the American police state. The Constitution and the civil liberties it protects quickly fell to the accumulation of power in the executive branch that a state of war permitted.

New laws, some clearly pre-prepared such as the PATRIOT Act, executive orders, presidential directives, and Department of Justice memos created an executive authority unaccountable to the US Constitution and to domestic and international law.

Suddenly Americans could be detained indefinitely without cause presented to a court. Habeas corpus, a constitutional protection which prohibits any such detention, has been set aside.

Suddenly people could be tortured into confessions in violation of the right against self-incrimination and in violation of domestic and international laws against torture.

Suddenly Americans and Washington’s closest allies could be spied on indiscriminately without the need of warrants demonstrating cause.

The Obama regime added to the Bush regime’s transgressions the assertion of the right of the executive branch to assassinate US citizens without due process of law.

The police state was organized under a massive new Department of Homeland Security. Almost immediately whistleblower protections, freedom of the press and speech, and protest rights were attacked and reduced.

It was not long before the director of Homeland Security declared that the department’s focus has shifted from Muslim terrorists to “domestic extremists,” an undefined category. Anyone can be swept into this category. Homes of war protesters were raided and grand juries were convened to investigate the protesters. Americans of Arab descent who donated to charities–even charities on the State Department’s approved list–that aided Palestinian children were arrested and sentenced to prison for “providing material support to terrorism.”

All of this and more, including police brutality, has had a chilling effect on protests against the wars and the loss of civil liberty. The rising protests from the American population and from soldiers themselves that eventually forced Washington to end the Vietnam War have been prevented in the 21st century by the erosion of rights, intimidation, loss of mobility (no-fly list), job dismissal, and other heavy-handed actions inconsistent with a government accountable to law and to the people.

In an important sense, the US has emerged from the “war on terror” as an executive branch dictatorship unconstrained by the media and barely, if at all, constrained by Congress and the federal courts. The lawlessness of the executive branch has spread into governments of Washington’s vassal states and into the Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank, all of which violate their charters and operate outside their legal powers.

Jobs offshoring destroyed the American industrial and manufacturing unions. Their demise and the current attack on the public employee unions has left the Democratic Party financially dependent on the same organized private interest groups as the Republicans. Both parties now report to the same interest groups. Wall Street, the military/security complex, the Israel Lobby, agribusiness, and the extractive industries (oil, mining, timber) control the government regardless of the party in power. These powerful interests all have a stake in American hegemony.

The message is that the constellation of forces preclude internal political change.

Hegemony’s Archilles heel is the US economy. The fairy tale of American economic recovery supports America’s image as the safe haven, an image that keeps the dollar’s value up, the stock market up, and interest rates down. However, there is no economic information that supports this fairy tale.

Real median household income has not grown for years and is below the levels of the early 1970s. There has been no growth in real retail sales for six years. The labor force is shrinking. The labor force participation rate has declined since 2007 as has the civilian employment to population ratio. The 5.7 percent reported unemployment rate is achieved by not counting discouraged workers as part of the work force. (A discouraged worker is a person who is unable to find a job and has given up looking.)

A second official unemployment rate, which counts short-term (less than one year) discouraged workers and is seldom reported, stands at 11.2 percent. The US government stopped including long-term discouraged workers (discouraged for more than one year) in 1994. If the long-term discouraged are counted, the current unemployment rate in the US stands at 23.2 percent.

The offshoring of American manufacturing and professional service jobs such as software engineering and Information Technology has decimated the middle class. The middle class has not found jobs with incomes comparable to those moved abroad. The labor cost savings from offshoring the jobs to Asia has boosted corporate profits, the performance bonuses of executives and capital gains of shareholders. Thus all income and wealth gains are concentrated in a few hands at the top of the income distribution. The number of billionaires grows as destitution reaches from the lower economic class into the middle class. American university graduates unable to find jobs return to their childhood rooms in their parents’ homes and work as waitresses and bartenders in part-time jobs that will not support an independent existence.

With a large percentage of the young economically unable to form households, residential construction, home furnishings, and home appliances suffer economic weakness. Cars can still be sold only because the purchaser can obtain 100 percent financing in a six-year loan. The lenders sell the loans, which are securitized and sold to gullible investors, just as were the mortgage-backed financial instruments that precipitated the 2007 US financial crash.

None of the problems that created the 2008 recession, and that were created by the 2008 recession, have been addressed. Instead, policymakers have used an expansion of debt and money to paper over the problems. Money and debt have grown much more than US GDP, which raises questions about the value of the US dollar and the credit worthiness of the US government. On July 8, 2014, my colleagues and I pointed out that when correctly measured, US national debt stands at 185 percent of GDP.

This raises the question: Why was the credit rating of Russia, a country with an extremely low ratio of debt to GDP, downgraded and not that of the US? The answer is that the downgrading of Russian credit worthiness was a political act directed against Russia in behalf of US hegemony.

How long can fairy tales and political acts keep the US house of cards standing? A rigged stock market. A rigged interest rate. A rigged dollar exchange value, a rigged and suppressed gold price. The current Western financial system rests on world support for the US dollar and on nothing more.

The problem with neoliberal economics, which pervades all countries, even Russia and China, is that neoliberal economics is a tool of American economic imperialism, as is Globalism. As long as countries targeted by Washington for destabilization support and cling to the American doctrines that enable the destabilization, the targets are defenseless.

If Russia, China, and the BRICS Bank were willing to finance Greece, Italy, and Spain, perhaps those countries could be separated from the EU and NATO. The unraveling of Washington’s empire would begin.

# # # #

Paul Craig Roberts, Boiling Frogs Post contributing author, is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has been reporting on executive branch and cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. He has written or co-written eight books, contributed chapters to numerous books, and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. Mr. Roberts has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy, and has been a critic of both Democratic and Republican administrations. You can visit his website here.

© PaulCraigRoberts.org

Murdering journalists … Them and Us: The West & the Real Origin of Islamic Fundamentalism

The West’s weapons of choice in the Middle East- Bombs, Invasions, Overthrows, Torture & Drone Attacks

After Paris, condemnation of religious fanaticism is at its height. I’d guess that even many progressives fantasize about wringing the necks of jihadists, bashing into their heads some thoughts about the intellect, about satire, humor, freedom of speech. We’re talking here, after all, about young men raised in France, not Saudi Arabia.

Where has all this Islamic fundamentalism come from in this modern age? Most of it comes – trained, armed, financed, indoctrinated – from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. During various periods from the 1970s to the present, these four countries had been the most secular, modern, educated, welfare states in the Middle East region. And what had happened to these secular, modern, educated, welfare states?

In the 1980s, the United States overthrew the Afghan government that was progressive, with full rights for women, believe it or not (1), leading to the creation of the Taliban and their taking power.

In the 2000s, the United States overthrew the Iraqi government, destroying not only the secular state, but the civilized state as well, leaving a failed state.

In 2011, the United States and its NATO military machine overthrew the secular Libyan government of Muammar Gaddafi, leaving behind a lawless state and unleashing many hundreds of jihadists and tons of weaponry across the Middle East.

And for the past few years the United States has been engaged in overthrowing the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad. This, along with the US occupation of Iraq having triggered widespread Sunni-Shia warfare, led to the creation of The Islamic State with all its beheadings and other charming practices.

However, despite it all, the world was made safe for capitalism, imperialism, anti-communism, oil, Israel, and jihadists. God is Great!

Starting with the Cold War, and with the above interventions building upon that, we have 70 years of American foreign policy, without which – as Russian/American writer Andre Vltchek has observed – “almost all Muslim countries, including Iran, Egypt and Indonesia, would now most likely be socialist, under a group of very moderate and mostly secular leaders” (2). Even the ultra-oppressive Saudi Arabia – without Washington’s protection – would probably be a very different place.

On January 11, Paris was the site of a March of National Unity in honor of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose journalists had been assassinated by terrorists. The march was rather touching, but it was also an orgy of Western hypocrisy, with the French TV broadcasters and the assembled crowd extolling without end the NATO world’s reverence for journalists and freedom of speech; an ocean of signs declaring Je suis CharlieNous Sommes Tous Charlie; and flaunting giant pencils, as if pencils – not bombs, invasions, overthrows, torture, and drone attacks – have been the West’s weapons of choice in the Middle East during the past century.

No reference was made to the fact that the American military, in the course of its wars in recent decades in the Middle East and elsewhere, had been responsible for the deliberate deaths of dozens of journalists. In Iraq, among other incidents, see Wikileaks’ 2007 video of the cold-blooded murder of two Reuters journalists; the 2003 US air-to-surface missile attack on the offices of Al Jazeera in Baghdad that left three journalists dead and four wounded; and the American firing on Baghdad’s Hotel Palestine the same year that killed two foreign cameramen.

Moreover, on October 8, 2001, the second day of the US bombing of Afghanistan, the transmitters for the Taliban government’s Radio Shari were bombed and shortly after this the US bombed some 20 regional radio sites. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the targeting of these facilities, saying: “Naturally, they cannot be considered to be free media outlets. They are mouthpieces of the Taliban and those harboring terrorists.” (3)

And in Yugoslavia, in 1999, during the infamous 78-day bombing of a country which posed no threat at all to the United States or any other country, state-owned Radio Television Serbia (RTS) was targeted because it was broadcasting things which the United States and NATO did not like (like how much horror the bombing was causing). The bombs took the lives of many of the station’s staff, and both legs of one of the survivors, which had to be amputated to free him from the wreckage.

I present here some views on Charlie Hebdo sent to me by a friend in Paris who has long had a close familiarity with the publication and its staff:

“On international politics Charlie Hebdo was neoconservative. It supported every single NATO intervention from Yugoslavia to the present. They were anti-Muslim, anti-Hamas (or any Palestinian organization), anti-Russian, anti-Cuban (with the exception of one cartoonist), anti-Hugo Chávez, anti-Iran, anti-Syria, pro-Pussy Riot, pro-Kiev … Do I need to continue?

“Strangely enough, the magazine was considered to be ‘leftist’. It’s difficult for me to criticize them now because they weren’t ‘bad people’, just a bunch of funny cartoonists, yes, but intellectual freewheelers without any particular agenda and who actually didn’t give a fuck about any form of ‘correctness’ – political, religious, or whatever; just having fun and trying to sell a ‘subversive’ magazine (with the notable exception of the former editor, Philippe Val, who is, I think, a true-blooded neocon).”

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William Blum, BFP contributing author and analyst, is an American, historian and critic of United States foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military & CIA Interventions Since World War II. He has described his life’s mission as: “If not ending, at least slowing down the American Empire. At least injuring the beast. It’s causing so much suffering around the world.” Mr. Blum can be reached through his website http://killinghope.org .

Notes

  1. US Department of the Army, Afghanistan, A Country Study (1986), pp.121, 128, 130, 223, 232
  2. Counterpunch, January 10, 2015
  3. Index on Censorship, the UK’s leading organization promoting freedom of expression, October 18, 2001

 

CIA’s Favorite Channel, New York Times, Lobbies for Mullah Fethullah Gulen

New York Times Comes out of the Closet - Doing the CIA’s Bidding

Last week Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey would officially request the extradition of US-based Mullah Fethullah Gulen- a Turkish preacher in Pennsylvania with a $20+ billion network, whose followers have been accused of trying to eliminate PM Erdogan’s government.

The New York Times began parading various agenda-driven analysts and experts, showcasing Gulen-connected figures, and attacking Turkey’s Erdogan in a one-sided lobbying effort. Before I go any further, allow me to illustrate the New York Times’ vehement, bold and one-sided defense of Gulen with verbatim quotes [All Emphasis Mine]:

Mr. Erdogan’s Islamist government and the supporters of Gulen, who promotes a moderate, pro-Western brand of Sunni Islam that appeals to many well-educatedand professional Turks.

I know our regular readers and supporters here at Boiling Frogs Post don’t need the bold emphases to explain the propaganda with its carefully picked words. For those who are not familiar with our extensive coverage of Mullah Gulen (See here, here, here, here and here), take notice of how Erdogan’s government is being characterized with one word, Erdogan’s Islamist government- a word often used and highlighted by Western propaganda outlets, aka mainstream media, with negative connotations and in close association with global terrorism. Now, please pay attention to all the false positive adjectives and characterization used by NYT to present Mullah Fethullah Gulen: Moderate, Pro-Western, Well-Educated, Professional. Oh, golly- Who is the Mullah here?!

You see, this is such a classic with the US government-fed propaganda outlets, aka US mainstream media. They first set the tone based on the objectives handed to them by their bosses. In this case: The CIA and the State Department. The readers, the uninformed readers, are pointed towards the intended false direction: An Islamist Government versus a moderate pro-Western man with well-educated and professional followers.

Let’s continue [All Emphasis Mine]:

“This extradition request has no legal basis,” said Ergun Ozbudun, a professor of law at Istanbul Sehir University, noting the considerable difficulty surrounding extradition requests even when suspects are charged with serious crimes. “The request for Fethullah Gulen’s extradition therefore would be a political one, and I don’t think would produce any results.”

Lawyers for Mr. Gulen, who has permanent resident status in the United States, agreed. “There is neither an investigation nor an arrest warrant issued by court in place to submit to the U.S. authorities,” said Nurullah Albayrak, an Istanbul lawyer who represents Mr. Gulen. “This is not something that political will can decide.”

A Gulen-affiliated group in New York, the Alliance for Shared Values, on Tuesday denounced Mr. Erdogan’s move, saying, “The prime minister’s talk about demanding the extradition of Mr. Gulen, when there are no charges or legal case against him, is a clear indication of political persecution and harassment.”

           

NYT picks one pro-Gulen legal expert, one lawyer who represents Mullah Gulen, and Gulen’s own organization, and establishes the extradition request as political with no legal basis. Now, let me go over this article for the fifth time, and see whether NYT showcases any so-called legal experts from the other side- one that puts forth the legal basis for this extradition request. I’m looking, looking, looking, and ooops: I have reached the end of the lobby-propaganda piece, and there is not a single legal opinion or analysis from the other side! How amazing is that?!

Finally, after showcasing Mullah Gulen’s confident denial of all documented accusations against him, without showcasing a single analyst or legal expert for the other side, the New York Times concludes its propaganda-lobby piece with the following paragraph:

In general, for the United States to approve an extradition request from another country, the person must be accused of a crime recognized in both jurisdictions, and there must be a reasonable belief that the person did commit the crime. It was not clear whether Turkey’s request would satisfy either requirement.

           

Now that we have established this editorial by the New York Times clearly as a one-sided lobby and propaganda piece for Mullah Gulen, ask yourself the following questions: Why did the New York Times jump to defend the Gülen Movement and the controversial Mullah? Whose interests is the New York Times really representing here? Why?

You see, this propaganda-lobby piece follows another equally propaganda-lobby piece that was published by the Washington Post a few months back:

In January this year, The Washington Post dutifully provided a platform for three outspoken Israel Lobbyists who are jointly calling on the Obama Administration to overthrow the current Turkish Administration. You heard it right. Morton Abramowitz, Eric Edelman and Blaise Misztal jointly penned a hysteria-reeked article to declare Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan a despot, and a great threat to democracy and U.S. interests. Let’s provide a few excerpts from this propaganda-ridden article :

Whatever his achievements over the past decade, Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is destroying his country’s parlous democracy. That is a profound problem for Turks and Turkey’s Western allies. Staying silent, out of fear that speaking out would harm some short-term interests, risks Turkey’s longer-term stability.

Turkey’s democratic decline creates a pressing dilemma for the United States. Erdogan’s current course would take Turkey from an imperfect democracy to an autocracy. Such a fate for a close ally and NATO member would have profound implications for our partnership, the United States’ beleaguered credibility and the prospects for democracy in the region.

U.S. policymakers should lay aside their reluctance to confront the disastrous impact of Erdogan’s dictatorial tendencies and remind the Turkish leader of the importance the United States attaches to Turkey’s political stability and democratic vitality. Particularly as their influence is greater than it appears…

Erdogan is doing great harm to Turkey’s democracy. The United States should make clear, privately and publicly, that his extreme actions and demagoguery are subverting Turkey’s political institutions and values and endangering the U.S.-Turkey relationship.

Mort Abramowitz is a known neocon, Israel lobbyist, CIA and State Department Operative, and PNAC signatory, and has been one of Fethullah Gulen’s main handlers and backers. In fact, when the FBI and Homeland Security Department tried to kick the Islamic Mullah out of the United States, Abramowitz was one of the first Gulen CIA-State Department handlers to step in.

As for Eric Edelman? Let’s go back nine years and check him out in my State Secrets Gallery: I presented the State Department-CIA’s Eric Edelman as one of the top culprits in my State Secrets Privilege Case - when the government invoked the State Secrets Privilege and several additional gag orders to cover up the FBI’s investigations and files pertaining to CIA-NATO terror operations in Central Asia & the Caucasus since the mid-1990s. Just like Abramowitz, Edelman is known as an avid Israel lobbyist and a neocon.

If you haven’t already, please refer to my article and interview where I discuss and emphasize the role of Turkish Mullah Fethullah Gulen, who has been residing in the United States since 1998, as a major operative for CIA-NATO operations, not only in Turkey, but also in Central Asia and the Caucasus. During the past few years I have been a lone voice in the United States when it comes to real coverage of Gulen and his operations under the CIA. Here are a few examples of my coverage since 2009:

Boston Terror, CIA’s Graham Fuller & NATO-CIA Operation Gladio B-Caucasus & Central Asia

Turkish Intel Chief Exposes CIA Operations via Islamic Group in Central Asia

Turkish Imam Fethullah Gulen Nabs George Bush PR Queen

The Sanitized Gulen Coverage Continues…

As a persistent lone voice I am asking you to pay close attention to these historical facts, the documented incestuous connections including the CIA, State Department and the Israel Lobby, and then go back and read this same New York Times article again. Then, you will be able to answer very quickly and confidently when you are asked: Whose interests is the New York Times serving? Who rules and controls the propaganda channels called US mainstream media outlets?

This is why I always question, and almost always write off, whistleblower cases that become the darling adopted pet cases for publications like the New York Times and Washington Post. You see, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t establish the rulers and ownership and agenda –setters for these publications, aka US media, and then go back and trust them when they begin to sell you a whistleblower or a leak as the real deal. It just doesn’t happen. One thing you can count on when it comes to this puppetry is consistency. If they advocate and report something it has been declared allowable and kosher by their bosses. And as we all know: nothing good or noble exists on the agenda list of the ruling establishment.

# # # #

Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

Turkey: It is Time to Prove Your Sovereignty

The best interests of Turkey lie with Turkey and its people- the empire and its imperial interests notwithstanding.

I am sure many of you are familiar with Paul Revere’s famed midnight ride, which took place 239 years ago. It has been claimed that Paul Revere shouted the following legendary phrase as he passed from town to town: “The British are coming!” Reading the latest mainstream media headlines and highly charged lengthy articles on the coming local Turkish elections makes me think of a modified version of Paul Revere’s famous phrase: “Alert, alert, the Turkish local elections are coming!” With no recognition that this is about Turkey, or the Turkish people, or Turkey’s own local elections, but instead just a highly manic and propaganda-reeked style meant to induce tension and divisiveness.

Over 50 million Turkish citizens will be casting their ballots in local elections on Sunday- in less than 12 hours. They will be voting on mayors and local parliaments, however, the ballot results will also affect Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party’s political future. Turkey has been in a special situation due to recent scandals, external influences, and a polarizing rift between Erdogan's supporters and opponents, thus, the coming local elections are deemed significant with major consequences.

With the endless stream of externally produced and circulated propaganda, corruption claims, new leaks and scandals, in addition to the escalating war of attrition between the AKP and the CIA-supported Fethullah Gulen’s network, Sunday’s election has enormous significance for the Turkish people.

While all of these facts and circumstances explain the current tension and developing circumstances in Turkey and for the Turkish people, not many facts are being provided for the equally, if not more, vehement and aggressive positions, actions and counteractions assumed by outside nations and groups. After all, it is Turkey and it is Turkey’s local elections. Allow me to provide a few examples taken from many hundreds in the last couple of weeks:

The media arms of the imperial west have rolled up their sleeves to serve the imperial interests. The headline from Financial Times reads: Turkey must look beyond Erdogan! Financial Times’ twin brother in arms for the empire screams: An increasingly autocratic prime minister is losing touch with voters and damaging his country! The Langley Media Gate, Washington Post, foams at the mouth: Turkey’s prime minister acts desperately to hold onto his power!

The US Congress, long in acceptance of the most severe human rights violations by ‘friendly & ally’ nations (aka our own puppet regimes) such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and many more, begins to take issue and assume a ‘tough’ stance with Turkey in a strategically timed move: Senators Introduce Resolution Condemning Turkey for Blocking Twitter and YouTube .

This is mirrored by the imperial US’ imperial partners in Europe: EU officials react to Turkey's YouTube ban and Judy Asks: Is Erdoğan Abandoning Democracy? That’s right. EU powers with vested interests have been equally up in arms. Carnegie’s European branch predicts in its wishful thinking: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Shallow Version of Democracy Will Falter .

Israeli media echo the same message: Something is rotten in Erdogan's kingdom The Times of Israel paints and mocks the Turkish Prime Minister: Erdogan’s fight against a shadow enemy! So does the Arab Monarchy tied publication Al Jazeera: Erdogan's 'megalomaniac' projects. Al-Monitor mimics similar lines: Turkey loses democracy at home, reputation in Mideast

With almost 200 countries in the world, the majority of which are characterized as dictatorships, with several major international conflicts such as Syria and Ukraine, dozens of bloody ethnic wars around the world, why in the world is there so much focus and interference with one nation’s recent struggle with what is supposed to be ‘internal’ conflicts? Why in the world so many actions and so much propaganda creation targeting this one nation- Turkey? Why so much attention on and meddling in what is supposed to be a sovereign nation’s own internal elections?

The United States’ interests are not the same as the interests of the Turkish people and the form of government that may represent their interests. US’ interests lie with its own imperial and absolute objectives, and with the interests of its 1% that profits from its global affairs, aggressions and violations.

Same with imperial Europe-They have zero concern when it comes to the stakes and consequences faced and suffered by the Turkish people. The EU is interested only in its own imperial web, interests and stakes.

Israel’s interests do not in any way or form include the interests of the Republic of Turkey and its people. They never did, and never will. Same goes for the puppet autocratic Arab regimes installed by and under the thumbs of their Western masters.

The coming local elections are the internal affairs of Turkey and the Turkish people. It will be their call; as it should be. Similarly, the results, all stakes and consequences of tomorrow’s elections are theirs to face and deal with. The best interests of Turkey lie with Turkey and its people, and tomorrow is the time and opportunity for the Turks to claim and prove their own sovereignty as they choose- the empire and its imperial interests notwithstanding.

# # # #

Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

The 1st Commandment of U.S. Imperial Pursuits: What’s Good for the Goose is NOT Good for the Gander!

The Sheer Joy of Imperial Hubris & One-Way Equations

It is time for our government to put aside diplomatic lingo and modified expressions and just state the facts as they see and believe them. It is way past time for our nation to hear it from our government - the BS-free and straight-forward version of the first and foremost principle of our nation’s foreign policy. Sure; we have seen it in practice-that is, those of us with eyes wide open, watching our daily imperial operations and executions around the globe. But let’s face it, sometimes you need to hear it from the horse’s mouth plain and simple, and then, be done with it: Putting aside all pretentions and posturing and fakeries.

Fact: We are currently threading our way through a unipolar world as a super-power nation; unchallenged.

Fact: As a super-power nation with multi-fronted imperial pursuits we lay out the rules; solely.

Fact: As an empire we dictate to and impose our rules on the entire world in a one-way fashion; our imperial entitlement.

Fact: Our empire savors the sheer joy of its hubris and imposed one-way equations; an imperial right.

Fact: Not all nations are equal. There is us, the empire, and then there is the rest of the world; an imperial fact.

Fact: Our empire has the absolute right to state and dictate unabashedly that What’s Good for the Goose is NOT Good for the Gander; period.

Allow me to illustrate these facts in action by using recent developments involving US responses to and interactions with the rest of the world- nothing like real-life examples to demonstrate facts that are rarely stated in truthful and plain words.

The Imperial Right to Abuse Human Rights

For years and years the United States has been accusing China of detaining activists and suppressing and imprisoning ethnic separatists and minorities. This is how our imperial operators respond to such practices when countries like China engage in them:

Uzra Zeya, acting assistant secretary in the U.S. State Department's bureau of democracy, human rights and labor, said China should cease using harassment, detention and arrest to silence human rights activists and their families and friends.

Of course, as we know, China is our competitor, and it does not fall within US imperial extension territory.

Today the U.S. singles out Syria in a rights report:

The United States on Thursday singled out Syria, Russia, China and Egypt for using restrictive laws to suppress political opposition, minorities and journalists seeking to expose abuses, according to the State Department's 2014 Human Rights Report.

As we all know, Syria has not yet fallen into our colonial territories.

Yesterday, the United States declared, loudly and clearly, Iran as a nation among the world’s worst human rights abusers:

Even as they make gestures toward rapprochement with the West, Iran’s leaders remain among the world’s worst human rights offenders, according to a State Department report

Well, Iran is a nation that has remained outside our sphere of influence for quite a while, thus our imperial title given to it as one of the axis of evil- as far as the empire and its interests are concerned.

There are other countries that are engaged in equally or worse practices against human rights- from imprisonment to torture and execution. Some of these countries are considered our colonial extensions here and there. They are under our imperial sphere of influence. We, the empire, do not declare these nations as evil and abusers; in fact, we fortify their power and ability to torture and kill. They are our torturers and murderers. We like them, protect them, and will make sure no one touches them.

Let’s talk about Bahrain: a major strategic partner for the U.S. that received $80.4 million in military financing from the U.S. between 2005 and 2010, and is home to a U.S. naval base which houses the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

Thousands of protesters in the small island Kingdom of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf took to the streets calling for government reform in February and March 2011. The Bahraini government’s response was brutal and systematic: shoot civilian protesters, detain and torture them, and erase all evidence.

On the frontline, treating hundreds of these wounded civilians, doctors had first-hand knowledge of government atrocities. As a result of their efforts to provide unbiased care for wounded protestors, the government initiated systematic and targeted attacks against medical personnel. This assault on healthcare workers and their patients constitutes extreme violations of the principle of medical neutrality and are grave breaches of international law.

As an imperial mini dog within our Middle Eastern colony, our empire neither sought regime change nor strongly condemned Bahrain. Not only that, our empire rewarded and fortified Bahrain to facilitate its ongoing abuses and keep it in power as one of our dogs:

The resumption of arms sales by the US to Bahrain came as a surprise last week as a human rights crisis continues to rage in the small island country…The silence from the US on the crackdown in Bahrain has been particularly deafening.

There are plenty of imperial dogs around the world whose abuse, torture, imprisonment and murder practices are deemed rightful, and supported by the empire. Think Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Jordan … Call it imperial discretion. Call it imperial hypocrisy. Call it whatever you want. No matter what you call it the fact remains: What’s Good for the Imperial Goose is NOT Good for the Gander Outside the Imperial Colony!

There are Responses to Protests, and then There are Responses to Protests

Do you remember the Occupy Protests here in the States not that long ago? Do you remember the scenes of our police using brutality against peaceful protestors? You should. It wasn’t that long ago. Well, if you don’t, here, I’ll refresh your memory:

A group of legal experts have published a report which contains 130 cases that can be qualified as police brutality against Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York. Researchers at NYU and Fordham University have concluded that NYPD officers acted beyond their powers during their intense crackdown against Occupy protesters.

The study found that police used batons, scooters, horses, and metal barricades to inflict unnecessary force and intimidation on demonstrators. But the barricades were not only used as barriers around encampments.

According to the report, officers threw one protester so hard that she became “semi-airborne” before falling unconscious. An officer then shoved a barricade into her chest. In several instances, officers used pepper spray to disperse peaceful demonstrators.

Let me refresh your memory even further with some graphic films showing how the United States’ police force operated against peaceful activists:

 Our imperial government shrugged off all the brutal forces used against its people as its given right to serve and protect… itself from dissent.

Now, similar brutalities have been taking place in Turkey against some protestors. Let’s watch a video:

How identical is that? Without the uniform color you couldn’t tell the two sets of videos, US police & Turkish police, apart. Both wrong. However, in this similarity, two wrongs don’t make it right. But, two wrongs don’t make it wrong either. According to our imperial standards, two wrongs make one of them wrong, and the other one right. Here is the US response when the target of the dissent (the protest) happens to be a king that is no longer one of its own cadres of kings:

Multiple U.S. officials have supported the protests citing them as a sign of a healthy democracy. Secretary Kerry spoke to reporters about this topic during a joint press conference on Monday morning: And we are concerned by the reports of excessive use of force by police … Carney, along with the State Department, called for a "full investigation" of the reports of injuries and excessive force by Turkish officials.

I have been writing articles about the fallout between the US Empire and the current administration in Turkey. You can read them here and here, and watch my interview video here.

So you see, the Bahrain principle doesn’t apply here. Not any longer. Of course, the imperial standards of its police conduct on the home front do not apply either. Again, What’s Good for the Goose & its goslings is NOT Good for the Gander!

The power and right to unlawfully spy … a power granted only to the Emperor’s throne

How does the empire view spying? Is spying a bad thing? It depends; depends on who is doing the spying on whom. Just like free trade, it is 100% one way, and there is no way around it. Not if the empire gets its say and way. Meaning: The Empire can spy on everyone everywhere in the world, and use its data gathered from spying in any way it chooses. Basically, the entire world, with its population, nations, and nations’ leaders falls within the empire’s fiefdom; they are imperial subjects. Period.

Germany: U.S. might have monitored Merkel's phone

U.S. now bugging German ministers in place of Merkel

Report: U.S. intercepts French phone calls on a 'massive scale'

NSA France: U.S. Conducted Large-Scale Spying On French Citizens

Trust me, everyone is there: French, Brazilians, Russians, Chinese, Venezuelans … you name it. We have a mammoth surveillance-spy agency fit for the empire: massive, powerful, indiscreet, unaccountable … fit for an empire! But wait, that’s an imperial right, and in a unipolar world with one empire, no one else should dare engage in spy trade and spy craft like this. That’s a rule; an imperial rule.

Remember the story, the real story, where our imperial operator was caught in the regime changing business in Ukraine? Intercepted F-Bomb Phone Call Shows U.S. Role in Ukraine

Right. This was a major exposé proving how we topple governments and countries, and how we install our own imperial puppets. Not many of us here at BFP needed that proof, but hey, some did. However, even though relevant to our imperial operations, this is not the point I intend to focus on in this article. Here is what I want to illustrate:

The White House on Thursday suggested that Russia, which has jockeyed with the United States and Europe for influence in Ukraine, played some role in the interception or dissemination of the conversation.

“The video was first noted and tweeted out by the Russian government,” Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, told reporters. “I think it says something about Russia’s role.” In a later briefing, Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said she had no information about who posted the recording but criticized Moscow for promoting it. “Certainly we think this is a new low in Russian tradecraft,” she said.

The masters of deception and surveillance calling this a new low in Russian tradecraft”? If it establishes ‘lowliness,’ how low does that make the much lowlier imperial spy craft? That’s the question. Rest assured: arrogance and hubris will never go there. The emperors and imperial operators never do. It comes with imperialism: hubris and arrogance, and the strong notion of the earth revolving in only one direction-the Imperial way.

One-Way Free Trade: Our Way

The story goes something like this:

The United States is party to many free trade agreements (FTAs) worldwide. Beginning with the Theodore Roosevelt administration, the United States became a major player in international trade, especially with its neighboring territories in the Caribbean and Latin America. Today, the United States has become a leader of the free trade movement, standing behind groups such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (later the World Trade Organization).

Well, it is a good story, a good fiction story. The empire is pro free trade as long as the trade and its dealers benefit its imperial objectives. Not when certain kinds of free trade practices get in its way. Not when the empire is not a beneficiary; directly or indirectly.

Let me illustrate this how the empire reacts when one of its present or former colonies engages in a free trade arrangement where parties other than the empire become the beneficiary.

Last year Turkey violated one of the top Imperial commandments:

Turkey Mulls Buying Missiles from China, Snubbing NATO

NATO's Mounting Opposition to Turkey’s Chinese Missile System

U.S. talking to Turkey about China missile deal concerns

Turkey’s Choice of Chinese Missiles Poses Problem for West

U.S. Defense Bill Could Undercut Turkey’s Missile Defense Deal with China

It doesn’t matter whether the Chinese offered a much better price. It doesn’t make a difference whether the purchase and payment agreement terms were far more favorable or not. Turkey’s sovereignty as a nation to decide what it purchases or who it purchases from is not relevant. The only thing that matters: who is the beneficiary in this trade deal? Not the empire, then, fu.. Free Trade! The empire doesn’t like that kind of free trade. And it won’t allow it. Over its dead imperial body!

Maybe the empire should have clarified that right from the start: Certain free trade practices flow only one way-with the empire and its extension at the other end. Period.

Imperially Correct Corruption & Thievery

The other day I was discussing the latest allegation that had surfaced regarding Turkey’s PM Erdogan, involving money, bribery and corruption. Here are a few links on the still-developing story:

Turkish president defiant as wiretap scandal swirls

Erdogan overheard telling son to get rid of cash as Turkey corruption probe takes new twist

Turkey protesters clash over 'fake' wiretap

The gist of the story is this: allegedly the PM and his son had received some money (thirty million dollars) through kickbacks and corrupt arrangements, and they were trying to hide the money and destroy the evidence. Of course, for the empire, the news and allegation of corruption and bribery against one of their men who has fallen from favor has come in very handy. Hundreds of headlines playing this story up have been filling the imperial media outlets every day since the story broke.

Now, back to my discussion with my Turkish acquaintances. They were talking about the fact that almost all leaders in countries in that part of the world are engaged in corruption and wealth accumulation through public positions. I was trying to tell them that it was definitely not limited to that part of the world. That here, in this part of the world, our public officials not only do that, but do it multiple times more. The only difference: they do it in an imperially and politically correct way. The result is the same: thievery and corruption equal thievery and corruption, whether it is done in an imperially-politically correct way or not. A good parallel example would be prostitution: whether it is $10 per act street corner prostitution, or, $5000 per hour Manhattan escort service prostitution, it is prostitution.

Then, I gave an example of our famous Billy & his dame. Here are a few excerpts from a piece I wrote on Billy & Hillary last fall: Running for Public Office & Civil Servant Positions- The Fastest & Surest Path from Rags to Riches

Bill Clinton, unlike other presidents, did not inherit any wealth, made almost no money prior to his public service career, and gained little net worth during 20 plus years of his public service. However, magically, between the time he left office and 2010, his individual personal net-worth reached an estimated $55,000,000; that is $55 Million Dollars. Here is what USA Today reported on Clinton’s wealth accumulation in less than 8 years after leaving the White House: But since leaving office we estimate that Clinton has earned more than $125 million before taxes.

As reported by Wall Street and other publications, Clinton didn't come from a wealthy family or have a high-paying job before becoming president, but earned most of his money from speaking fees. Of course, we all know what ‘speaking fees’ stand for: The surest and safest way to bribe public officials in their postpublic office careers for favors and services rendered during their public service careers; here is what I mean…

You would think that would ring an alarm bell or two among those concerned with government corruption, ethics, bribery of public officials, and some such. No? Rest assured, content with their regular invitations to the Clinton Dynasty cocktails and balls, neither the liberal NGO parasites nor the socialist-wanna-be media outlets have uttered a single word or waged any finger-pointing. Well, we’ve never expected that from those obvious parasitic colonies, anyway…

The point I was trying to make was this: There are corruption and thieveries, and there are corruption and thieveries. Although the same acts, judgments and consequences (or lack of) depend on who is committing them, and whether they are committed in an imperially-correct way. Let me give you another example, this one from another imperial dog who is about to fall from imperial favor:

It's been a rough year for the politician, but at least he has his millions of dollars to ease the pain. 56-year-old Hamid Karzai has taken the No. 1 spot on People With Money’s top 10 highest-paid politicians for 2014 with an estimated $82 million in combined earnings.

The Afghan politician has an estimated net worth of $245 million. He owes his fortune to smart stock investments, substantial property holdings, lucrative endorsement deals with CoverGirl cosmetics. He also owns several restaurants (the “Fat Karzai Burger” chain) in Kabul, a Football Team (the “Kandahar Angels”), has launched his own brand of Vodka (Pure Wonderkarzai - Afghanistan), and is tackling the juniors market with a top-selling perfume (With Love from Hamid) and a fashion line called “Hamid Karzai Seduction”.

Mind you, the channels identified by the imperial members of the press are imperially and politically correct ways of channeling corrupt money and covering actual sources such as: heroin money, bribery, extortion …

As always, and as on many other topics, I could go on and write a fairly lengthy novella on this subject, and fill it with hundreds of facts and examples: The Imperial Detention & Torture in Guantanamo and Bagram, the Imperial Kidnapping, Torture & Black Sites, the Imperial Creation and Use of WMD Again and Again, The Imperial No Fly List, The Imperial NDAA, The Imperial’s Perpetual Wars, the Imperial War on Whistleblowers & Dissent … Most importantly: The Imperial Immunity, thus, the Imperial Hubris & Arrogance that claims: What’s Good for the Goose is NOT Good for the Gander!

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Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman's Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.

The Changing Contours of US Imperial Intervention in World Conflicts

Following the Vietnam War, US imperial intervention passed through several phases: In the immediate aftermath, the US government faced a humiliating military defeat at the hands of the Vietnamese liberation forces and was under pressure from an American public sick and tired of war. Imperial military interventions, domestic espionage against opponents and usual practice of fomenting coups d’état (regime change) declined.

Slowly, under President Gerald Ford and, especially President ‘Jimmy’ Carter, an imperial revival emerged in the form of clandestine support for armed surrogates in Southern Africa – Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau— and neo-liberal military dictatorships in Latin America. The first large-scale imperial intervention was launched during the second half of the Carter Presidency .It involved massive support for the Islamist uprising against the secular government of Afghanistan and a mercenary jihadist invasion sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the US (1979). This was followed by direct US invasions in Grenada (1983) under President Reagan; Panama (1989) and Iraq (1991) under President Bush Sr. and Yugoslavia (1995 and 1999) under President Clinton.

In the beginning, the imperial revival involved low cost wars of brief duration with few casualties. As a result there were very few voices of dissent, far diminished from the massive anti-war, anti-imperial movements of the early 1970’s. The restoration of direct US imperial interventions, unhindered by Congressional and popular opposition, was gradual in the period 1973-1990. It started to accelerate in the 1990’s and then really took off after September 11, 2001.

The imperial military and ideological apparatus for direct intervention was firmly in place by 2000. It led to a prolonged series of wars in multiple geographical locations, involving long-term, large-scale commitments of economic resources, and military personnel and was completely unhampered by congressional or large-scale public opposition – at least in the beginning. The ‘objectives’ of these serial wars were defined by their principal Zionist and militarist architects as the following: (1) destroying regimes and states (as well as their military, police and civil governing bureaucracies) which had opposed Israel’s annexation of Palestine; (2) deposing regimes which promoted independent nationalist policies, opposing or threatening the Gulf puppet monarchist regimes and supporting anti-imperialist, secular or nationalist-Islamic movements around the world. Blinded by their imperial hubris (or naked racism) neither the Zionists nor the civilian militarists within the US Administrations anticipated prolonged national resistance from the targeted countries, the regrouping of armed opposition and the spread of violent attacks (including terrorism) to the imperial countries. Having utterly destroyed the Afghan and Iraqi state structures, as well as the regime in power, and having devastated the economy as well as any central military or police capacity, the imperial state was faced with endless armed civilian ethno-religious and tribal resistance (including suicide bombings), mounting US troop casualties and spiraling costs to the domestic economy without any “exit strategy”. The imperial powers were unable to set up a stable and loyal client regime, backed by a unified state apparatus with a monopoly of force and violence, after having deliberately shredded these structures (police, bureaucracy, civil service, etc) during the invasion and early occupation. The creation of this “political vacuum” was never a problem for the Zionists embedded in the US Administrations since their ultimate goal was to devastate Israel’s enemies. As a result of the US invasions, the regional power of Israel was greatly enhanced without the loss of a single Israeli soldier or shekel. The Zionists within the Bush Administration successfully blamed the ensuing problems of the occupation, especially the growing armed resistance, on their ‘militarist’ colleagues and the Pentagon ‘Brass’. ‘Mission Accomplished’, the Bush Administration Zionists left the government, moving on to lucrative careers in the private financial sector.

Under President Obama, a new ‘cast’ of embedded Zionists have emerged to target Iran and prepare the US for a new war on Israel’s behalf. However, by the end of the first decade of the 21st century, when Barak Obama was elected president, the political, economic and military situation had changed. The contrast in circumstances between the early Bush (Jr.) years and the current administration is striking.

The 20-year period (1980-2000) before the launching of the ‘serial war’ agenda was characterized by short, inexpensive, low-casualty wars in Grenada, Panama and Yugoslavia, and a proxy war in Afghanistan. Israeli invasions and attacks against Lebanon, the occupied West Bank and Syria .One major US war of short duration and limited casualties against Iraq (the First Gulf War). The First Gulf War succeeded in weakening the government of Saddam Hussein, fragmenting the country via ‘no fly zones’, establishing a Kurdish client ‘state’ in the north while ‘policing’ was left to the remnants of the Iraqi state – all without having to occupy the country.

Meanwhile, the US economy was relatively stable and trade deficits were manageable. The real economic crisis was still to come. Military expenditures appeared under control. US public opinion, initially hostile to the First Gulf War was “pacified” by its short duration and the withdrawal of US troops. Iraq remained under aerial surveillance with frequent US bombing and missile strikes whenever the government attempted to regain control of the north. During this period, Israel was forced to fight its own wars and maintain an expensive occupation of southern Lebanon – losing its own soldiers.

By the second decade of the 21st century everything had changed. The US was bogged down in a prolonged thirteen year war and occupation in Afghanistan with little hope for a stable client regime in Kabul. The seven-year war against Iraq (Second Gulf War) with the massive occupation, armed civilian insurgency and the resurgence of ethno-religious conflict resulted in casualties and a crippling growth in US military expenditures. Budget and trade deficits expanded exponentially while the US share of the world market declined. China displaced the US as the principle trading partner in Latin America, Asia and Africa. A series of new ‘low intensity’ wars were launched in Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan which show no prospect of ending the drain on the military and the US Treasury.

The vast majority of the US public has experienced a decline in living standards and now believes the cost of overseas wars are a significant factor contributing to their relative impoverishment and insecurity. The multi-trillion-dollar bailout of the Wall Street banks during the economic crash of 2008-09 has eroded public support for the financial elite as well as the militarist-Zionist elite, which continue to push for more imperial wars.

The capacity of the US imperial elite to launch new wars on Israel’s behalf has been greatly undermined since the economic crash of 2008-09. The gap between the rulers and ruled has widened. Domestic economic issues, not the threat of external terrorists, have become the central concern. The public sees the Middle East as a region of unending costly wars – with no benefit to the domestic economy. Asia has become the center of trade, growth, investment and a major source of US jobs. While Washington continues to ignore the citizens’ views, accumulated grievances are beginning to have an impact.

A Pew Research report, released in late 2013, confirms the wide gap between elite and public opinion. The Pew Foundation is an establishment polling operation, which presents its questions in a way that avoids the larger political questions. Nevertheless, the responses presented in the report are significant: By a vast margin (52% to 38%) the public agree that the US “should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own”. This represents a major increase in public opposition to armed US imperialist intervention and the 52% response in 2013 contrasts sharply with 30% polled 2002. A companion poll of elite policy advisors, members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), highlights the gap between the US public and the ruling class. The elite are described by the Pew Report as having a ‘decidedly internationalist (imperialist-interventionist) outlook’. The American public clearly distinguishes between ‘trade’ and ‘globalization’ (imperialism.): 81% of the public favor ‘trade’ as a source of job creation while 73% oppose ‘globalization’ which they see as US companies relocating jobs overseas to low wage regions. The US public rejects imperial economic expansion and wars for the harm done to the domestic economy, middle and working class income and job security. The members of the Council on Foreign Relations, in contrast, are overwhelmingly in favor of ‘globalization’ (and imperial interventions). While 81% of the public believe the principle goal of US foreign policy should be the protection of American jobs, only 29% of the CFR rate US jobs as a priority.

The elite is conscious of the growing gap in interests, values and priorities between the public and the imperial state; they know that endless costly wars have led to a mass rejection of new imperial wars and a growing demand for domestic job programs.

This gap between the imperial policy elite and the majority of the public is one of the leading factors now influencing US foreign policy. Together with the general discredit of the Congress (only 9% favorable), the public’s rejection of President Obama’s militarist foreign policy has seriously weakened the empire’s capacity to begin new large-scale ground wars at multiple sites.

Meanwhile, Israel (Washington’s foreign patron), the Gulf State clients and European and Japanese allies have been pushing the US to intervene and confront ‘their adversaries’. To this end, Israel and the Zionist Power Configuration within the US government have been undermining peace negotiations between the US and Iran. Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchies, as well as Turkey are urging the US to attack Syria. The French had successfully pushed the US into a war against the Gaddafi government in Libya and have their sights on their former colony in Syria. The US has given only limited backing to the French military intervention in Mali and the Central African Republic.

The US public is aware that none of Washington’s ‘militarist’ patrons, clients and allies has paid such a high price in terms of blood and treasure as the US in the recent wars. The Saudi, Israeli and French “publics” have not experienced the socio-economic dislocations confronting the US public. For these ‘allied’ regimes, the cheapest way to resolve their own regional conflicts and promote their own ambitions is to convince, coerce or pressure the US to “exercise its global leadership”.

Washington’s imperial policymakers, by background, history, ideology and past experience, are sensitive to these appeals – especially those from the Israelis. But they also recognize the growing “intervention fatigue” among the American public, the CFR’s euphemism for rising anti-imperialist feelings among the American majority, which is saying ‘no’ to further imperial military interventions.

Faced with choice of acting as an unfettered imperial power with global interests and facing rising domestic discontent, Washington has been forced to revise its foreign policy and strategies. It is adopting a more nuanced approach, one less vulnerable to external pressures and manipulations.

Imperial Foreign Policy in a Time of Domestic Constraints & External Pressures

US empire builders, with increasingly limited military options and declining domestic support, have begun to (1) prioritize their choice of places of engagement, (2) diversify their diplomatic, political and economic instruments of coercion and (3) limit large-scale, long-term military intervention to regions where US strategic interests are involved. Washington is not shedding its militarist polices by any means, but it is looking for ways to avoid costly long-term wars which further undermine the domestic economy and intensify domestic political opposition.

In order to decipher US imperial policy in this new context, it is useful to first (1) identify the regions of conflict, (2) estimate the significance of these countries and conflicts to the empire and, (3) analyze the particular interventions and their impact on US empire building. Our purpose is to show how the interplay between domestic and external countervailing pressures affects imperial policy.

Conflicts which Engage US Empire Builders

There are at least eleven major or minor conflicts today engaging US empire builders to a greater or lesser extent. A major premise of our approach is that US empire builders are more selective in their aggression, more conscious of the economic consequences, less reckless in their commitments and have a greater concern for domestic political impact. Current conflicts of interest to Washington include those taking place in the Ukraine, Thailand, Honduras, China-Japan-South Korea, Iran-Gulf States/Israel, Syria, Venezuela, Palestine-Israel, Libya, Afghanistan and Egypt.

These conflicts can be classified according to whether they involve major or minor US interests and whether they involve major or minor allies or adversaries. Among the conflicts where the US has strategic interests and which involve major actors, one would have to include the territorial and maritime dispute between Japan, South Korea and China. On the surface the dispute appears to be over economically insignificant pile of rocks claimed by the Japanese as the Senkaku Islands and by the Chinese as the Diaoyu Islands. In essence, the conflict involves the US plan to militarily encircle China by provoking its Japanese and Korean allies to confront the Chinese over the islands. Washington’s treaties with Japan will be used to come to the ‘aid’ of its most important ally in the region. The US support of Japan’s expansionist claims is part of a strategic shift in US policy from military commitments in the Middle East to military and economic pacts in Asia, which exclude and provoke China.

The Obama Regime has announced its ‘Pivot to Asia’ in an attempt to deal with its largest economic competitor. China, the second biggest economy in the world, has displaced the US as the principle trading partner in Latin America and Asia. It is advancing rapidly as the principal investor in developing Africa’s natural resources. In response, the US has (1) openly backed Japan’s claims, (2) defied China’s strategic interests in the East China Sea by flying B52 bombers within China’s Air Defense Identification Zone and (3) encouraged South Korea to expand its ‘air defense’ zones to overlap with those of the Chinese. History teaches us that inflexible assertions of dominance by established imperial powers against rising dynamic economies will lead to conflicts, and even disastrous wars.

Imperial advisers believe that US naval and air superiority and Chinese dependence on foreign trade give the US a strategic advantage in any armed confrontation. Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” is clearly designed to encircle and degrade China’s capacity to outcompete and displace the US from world markets. Washington’s militarists, however, fail to take account of China’s strategic levers – especially the over two trillion dollars of US Treasury notes (debt) held by China, which, if dumped on the market, would lead to a major devaluation of the US currency, panic on Wall Street and a deeper economic depression. China could respond to US military threats by (1) seizing the assets of the 500 biggest US MNCs located in the country which would crash the stock market and (2) cutting off the source for major supply chains, further disrupting the US and world economy.

Imperialist ambitions and resentment over the loss of markets, status, and supremacy is pushing Washington to raise the stakes and confront China. Opposing the militarists, Washington’s economic realists believe the US is too exposed and too dependent on credit, overseas earnings and financial revenues to engage in new military interventions in Asia, especially after the disastrous consequences of wars in the Middle East. Current US policy reflects an ongoing struggle between the militarist imperialists and the defenders of imperial economic interests. For the market-oriented policy advisers, it makes no sense to confront China, when mutual gains from rising trade and economic inter-dependence have proven far superior to any marginal territorial gains offshore. These conflicting outlooks find expression in the alternating bellicose and conciliatory rhetoric of Vice President Biden during his December visit to Japan, China and South Korea.

The second area involving major actors and interests is the Persian Gulf, especially Israel-Iran-Saudi Arabia and the US. Having gone through costly and disastrous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and fully aware that US intelligence agencies have found no evidence of an Iran nuclear weapons program, the Obama Administration is eager to reach an agreement with Iran. Nevertheless, US strategists are pursuing an agreement that would (1) weaken Iran’s defense capability, (2) undermine Iranian support for popular revolts among Shiite populations living in the Gulf Monarchies, (3) isolate President Bashar Assad in Syria and (4) facilitate a long-term US presence in Afghanistan by destroying Al Qaeda operations throughout the region. In addition a US – Iran agreement would lift the harsh economic sanctions and (1) allow US oil companies to exploit Iran’s richest oil fields, (2) lower the cost of energy and (3) reduce US trade deficits.

A major stumbling block to any US-Iran agreement is from the well-entrenched Zionist strategists and advisers among policy-makers, especially in the Executive Branch, including such Department heads and Secretaries as Treasury Undersecretary (for ‘Terrorism’) David Cohen, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, US Trade Representative Michael Froman, ‘Special Adviser for the Persian Gulf’ Dennis Ross among others. An even greater obstacle to the agreement comes from the Zionist-controlled US Congress, which acts more on behalf of Israel’s regional ambitions than for US interests. Israel’s megalomaniacal rulers seek military, political and economic supremacy throughout the Middle East (from Sinai to the Gulf) and have so far successfully used the US military to destroy and weaken its adversaries at no cost to Israeli soldiers or economy.

Israel has taken a direct hand in setting the terms, which the US will demand from Iran. According to the Financial Times (12/8/13, p. 4), “A team of senior Israeli officials led by Yossi Cohen, national security adviser, is due to visit Washington … to begin detailed discussions with the Obama Administration to use its influence in shaping the negotiating agenda.”

Secretary of State John Kerry has already caved in to Israeli pressure stating, “We will be stepping up on enforcement (of existing sanctions) through the Treasury Department,” (FT 12/18/13, p. 4). Israel and its top Zionist agent within the Obama Administration, Dennis Ross, are pushing for a joint Israeli-US “working group” to discuss tightening sanctions on Iran and punishing any government or business which tries to do business with Iran during the “interim agreement”, a position pursued by David Cohen and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew (FT 12/ 13/13). Israel is behind the US demand that Iran convert its Arak Facilities from a heavy water into a light-water reactor and reduce its centrifuges by 95% from 19,000 to 1,000.

In other words, Israel dictates terms to the US negotiators that will effectively sabotage any possible agreement and put the US on a course toward another war for Israel. Surprisingly, Israel’s hardliners and its agents within the US Administration have an important and unlikely ally – Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javid Zarif, the chief negotiator in Geneva, who has downplayed Iran’s military capabilities and exaggerated US military capabilities and seems quite willing to dismantle Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. In justifying his far-reaching concessions and meager returns, Foreign Minister Zarif publicly declared that ‘the US could destroy the country’s (Iran’s) defense system with one bomb!” (FT, 12/10/13, p. 2) Zarif, in effect, is preparing to sell out Iran’s nuclear industry, in advance, without any objective consideration of Iran’s military power or recognition of US strategic weaknesses.

Saudi Arabia’s rulers influence US policy through their contracts with the military – industrial complex – amounting to over $20 billion dollar arms purchase in 2013. In addition, the Saudi Monarch has allowed the construction of US military bases on its territory and maintains close ties with Wall Street investment houses. Saudi opposition to any US – Iran rapprochement arises from Riyadh’s fear of Iranian influence over its oppressed Shia minority and Tehran’s critique of the absolutist monarchy.

The positive gains, in terms of US strategic military and economic interests from an agreement with the liberal Iranian regime, are offset by the negative pressures from Saudi and Israeli-Zionists interests. As a result, Washington’s policy oscillates between peaceful, diplomatic overtures to Iran and bellicose threats to appease Israel and Saudi Arabia. Washington is desperate to avoid being dragged into another “war for Israel”, in order to secure its hegemony in the Persian Gulf region and avoid a major domestic political and economic crisis. The Obama Administration has yet to exhibit the high degree of statesmanship necessary to restrain and neutralize the deeply embedded Zionist Power Configuration, within its ranks and in the Congress, which places Israeli interests over those of the US.

Regional Conflicts: Minor Interests & Major Actors

The Ukraine – European Union (EU) – Russian conflict involves minor US economic interests but potentially major military interests. The US supports the EU’s policy of incorporating the Ukraine into its economic and trade system. The EU will be the major beneficiary in the plunder of Ukraine’s economy, penetrating its market and reaping mega financial returns. The US is content to watch the EU play the major role in stoking Ukrainian civil unrest. If and when Ukraine joins the EU, it will become another client regime subject to the dictates of the bankers and bureaucrats in Brussels, just like Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy). The US is mainly interested in bringing the Ukraine into NATO as part of its policy of surrounding Russia.

Syria, like Libya, Mali, Central African Republic and Egypt, are of secondary interest for the US. Washington has let the European Union, especially France, England and their allies, lead and direct military operations directly and through proxies. The Obama Administration already faced intense “intervention fatigue” – widespread popular opposition to war - when it joined the EU in bombing Tripoli to rubble, but it refused to commit ground forces and left Libya a broken country without a viable economy, stable society or functioning state! So much for ‘humanitarian intervention’! Intervention in Syria has faced even greater domestic opposition from Congress and the US public – except for the Israeli and Saudi lobbies. Obama was clearly not willing to act as ‘Al Qaeda’s Air Force’ by bombing Damascus and facilitating a jihadist takeover. It chose diplomatic solution and accepted the Russian proposal to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons. It appears to support a Geneva-based negotiated solution. Another war, this time with Syria, would inflame US domestic discontent and further erode the economy, with no positive gain for US imperialism. In fact, US military victory over Damascus would expand the territory of operation for Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant. It was US public opinion that overcame the massive pro-Israel media barrage and pressure from the 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations that had been actively pushing the Obama Administration into a ‘Syrian Quagmire’!

French President Francoise Hollande is the new face of imperial militarism and interventionism in Africa with its massive bombing in Libya and invasion and occupation in Mali and the Central African Republic. The US is content to play a ‘supporting role’ to France. It has no strategic involvement in Africa apart from its proxy wars in Somalia.

With public opinion strongly against any more major direct military intervention Washington has turned to military proxies for conflicts in ‘strategic’ and marginal countries and regions. Even where significant imperial interests may be involved, Washington increasingly relies on local elites to act on its behalf in conflicts in countries as diverse as Yemen, Thailand, Honduras, Venezuela, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Egypt. Sending drones and dispatching teams of Special Forces in clandestine operations have been the US Administration’s intervention of choice in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. In Afghanistan, Special Forces combine with the US military, NATO troops and local client military proxies, as well as drones.

In Honduras, the US-backed military coup, which unleashed death squads with the killing of over 200 dissident activists in a two year period was followed by a fraudulent election which reclaimed ‘power’ for a US client regime. In Venezuela, the US continues to finance opposition parties who support violent street mobs, the sabotage of public services like electricity, while relying on local business elites to hoard basic goods and inflate prices. So far, these efforts to undermine the Venezuelan government have failed.

Conclusion

US Empire builders have relied on a wider variety of interventions than their predecessor under President George W. Bush. They are much less prone to launch large-scale ground operations and more likely to turn to local client elites. They have shown a far greater sense of priorities in selecting targets for direct intervention.

Washington relies more on its imperial European allies, especially the French, to take the lead in Africa, without relinquishing its key interest in maintaining Egypt tightly under US-Israeli control. There is a shift in priority toward the Far East, especially the countries bordering China, like Japan and South Korea, as part of the long-term US strategy to encircle and limit China’s economic expansion. The US ‘Pivot to Asia’, under the Obama Administration, is characterized by alternating economic negotiations with growing military encirclement.

Controlling the Persian Gulf and undermining Iran continues to be a high priority for US Empire builders, but the costly and disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq under George W. Bush and its adverse domestic fallout, has led Washington to rely less on military confrontation with Tehran and more on economic sanctions, military encirclement and now diplomatic negotiations to secure collaboration from the new Rouhani regime.

The principle strategic weakness in US empire building policy lies in the absence of domestic support. There is a growing demand for better paying jobs to reverse the decline of US living standards and greater protection for social services and livelihoods. The second strategic weakness is found in the incapacity of the US to create a viable economic “co-prosperity sphere”, which would win allies in Asia and Latin America. The so-called “Pivot to Asia” is overly and overtly reliant on military(mostly naval) power, which functions in times of ‘territorial conflicts’ with China, but does not create stable, structural links with local productive elites – who rely on China for trade.

In the end the most serious obstacle to effectively adapting US foreign policy to the current realities is the influential Israel-linked-Zionist Power Configuration embedded in the Congress, the Administration and the mass media. Zionists are deeply committed to pushing the US into more wars for Israel. Nevertheless the shift to negotiations with Iran, the refusal to bomb Syria and the reluctance to get involved in the Ukraine are all indications that Washington is less inclined to launch more large-scale military intervention and more receptive to the public opinion constraints on the exercise of imperial power.

 

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Professor James Petras, Boiling Frogs Post contributing analyst, is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. Dr. Petras received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. You can visit his website here.

Choosing Hegemony: Turkey, NATO & the Path to War

turkey1As the destabilization of Syria has evolved over the course of the last year and a half, what has become apparent to political observers is the seeming incongruity of Turkey’s role in the region. While Ankara has attempted in recent years to establish itself as a force for political and economic change and progress, it has also assumed the role of a NATO attack dog, becoming a crucial weapon in the arsenal of the Western imperialists. While Turkey’s actions in Syria, in particular the sponsorship and coordination of terrorists, must be vigorously condemned, it is also important to note the geopolitical and economic issues at stake for Turkey. In doing so, those of us around the world who reject imperialist meddling and destabilization, who stand in opposition to Western hegemony and proxy states, must help push Turkey back onto the path of peace and progress. [Read more...]

Stop Imperialism Podcast – Covering US Terrorism in Syria, Iran Sanctions, Wikileaks’ NY Times Trolling & Beyond

In this episode Eric Draitser covers recent developments and their implications in several regions including: The latest developments in Syria and the US Justification-support of terrorism there, the latest sanction escalations against Iran, Russia’s pursuit of naval bases in Cuba and Vietnam, Wikileaks’ trolling of New York Times, and more!

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. He is the editor and host of StopImperialism.com and the Stop Imperialism podcast. He has provided analysis for Russia Today, Dr. Webster Tarpley's World Crisis Radio and other programs. His articles have appeared on GlobalResearch.ca, Infowars.com, and a variety of other news sites.

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by SUBSCRIBING, and by ordering our EXCLUSIVE BFP DVD .

Stop Imperialism Podcast – African discourse in the Western world

Eric Draitser Presents Abayomi Azikiwe

aziEric sits down with Abayomi Azikiwe to discuss a variety of topics related to Africa. Eric and Abayomi examine African discourse in the Western world and how it is shaped to benefit the ruling class. Additionally, they analyze the conflicts in Nigeria, Sudan, Libya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and elsewhere, with an eye to the role of the US and Western powers. Eric and Abayomi also interpret the political realities of Egypt and its place in the African narrative.

Abayomi Azikiwe is the Editor of the Pan African Newswire which can be found at panafricannews.blogspot.com. He is a longtime activist and radical based in Detroit.

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. He is the editor and host of StopImperialism.com and the Stop Imperialism podcast. He has provided analysis for Russia Today, Dr. Webster Tarpley's World Crisis Radio and other programs. His articles have appeared on GlobalResearch.ca, Infowars.com, and a variety of other news sites.

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by SUBSCRIBING, and by ordering our EXCLUSIVE BFP DVD .

Mali, Al Qaeda, and the US Neo-Colonial Agenda

MaliRecent developments in Mali illustrate both the way in which the Unites States and its Western allies directly project military and political power, as well as the role of terrorism as a necessary pretext for imperialist, neo-colonial domination. Beginning with the establishment of AFRICOM (US Africa Command) in 2007, incorporating the war in Libya and the military coup d’etat in Mali, and up to today’s consolidation of power by Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), it has become clear that the United States has managed to successfully destabilize West Africa and achieve many of its long-term strategic objectives in the region.

While the Western media portrays the situation in West Africa as an “unintended consequence” of the imperialist aggression against Libya, the incontrovertible fact that the United States has, for years, attempted to expand its control of the region, has been made all the more apparent by the current instability and the “decisive action” that it necessitates. The spread of AQIM, which has now consolidated control over a vast swath of land in the Sahel region, rather conveniently provides the US with the crucial cover it needs to expand its military presence.

Recent Developments

Since the fall of the Gaddafi regime in Libya, Mali has been embroiled in a fierce civil war that has torn the country apart. The Tuareg fighters, who had fought on the side of Gaddafi and the Green Resistance, began to return home armed, battle-hardened, and bearing a grudge. This was, understandably, a recipe for war in Mali where the central government was seen as little more than a US puppet regime, touting democracy as it bowed to US military and corporate interests. The rebels began waging war against Bamako in hopes of creating their own independent state of Azawad in Northern Mali, a goal which has been stifled since Mali gained its own independence in 1960. [Read more...]

Mourning New Zealand’s New Chosen Path to Destruction

Going Down Under the Devil’s Spell

NZ1My friends and those of you who have read my book know a bit about my fondness for New Zealand. I have been there more than once and not in the distant past. I have referred to several exemplary characteristics of its government more than a few times in my articles and podcasts. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a major surprise that the following news article was more than enough to fill me with disappointment and a great sense of loss:

Agreement with US sees NZ as ‘de facto’ Ally

A leading academic says New Zealand has become a "de facto ally" of the United States after signing a sweeping agreement on military cooperation in Washington early today. The Washington Declaration was signed by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman at the Pentagon today.

Coleman said the declaration foreshadowed greater cooperation in key areas including maritime security, counter terrorism, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the region and promoted peace keeping and peace support initiatives.

...

You can read the entire news article here.

New Zealand is going to join this country in its counterterrorism initiatives and operations. And what is this so-called US counterterrorism model? Implementing fondling and groping exercises by known pedophiles and rapists in the airports? Because that’s exactly what we’ve been doing for years under our counterterrorism guidelines and initiatives.

You see, New Zealand airport procedures made me cry-literally cry. I was shedding tears of joy when I went from one airport to another with my dignity intact. They didn’t grope me. They didn’t make me bend over and remove my shoes. They didn’t pass me through porno-ray machines. Travelling in New Zealand didn’t boil down to making a choice between convenience and maintaining dignity. [Read more...]