Monday, October 20, 2014

Diabolical, if true!
Time to stop the War Machine, and save our planet.

By Aggeliki Dimopoulou

Could Ebola Have Escaped From US Bio-warfare Labs? 

American law professor Francis A. Boyle, answers questions and reveals that the U.S. has been using West Africa as an offshore laboratory to circumvent the Convention on Biological Weapons and do bio-warfare work. 

Francis A. Boyle is a leading American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. 

He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia - Herzegovina at the World Court. Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign. He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University.

He is also the author of "Biowarfare and Terrorism". The book outlines how and why the United States government initiated, sustained and then dramatically expanded an illegal biological arms buildup.

By Dr. Cyril Broderick, Professor of Plant Pathology

"...The U.S., Canada, France, and the U. K. are all implicated in the detestable and devilish deeds that these Ebola tests are..."

Dr. Broderick is a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia’s College of Agriculture and Forestry.  He is also the former Observer Farmer in the 1980s.  It was from this column in our newspaper, the Daily Observer, that Firestone spotted him and offered him the position of Director of Research in the late 1980s.  In addition, he is a scientist, who has taught for many years at the Agricultural College of the University of Delaware.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Extracts from William Blum's latest Anti-Empire Report.  
Compare this to the official narratives in the mainstream 'news' media:

You can’t believe a word the United States or its mainstream media say about the current conflict involving The Islamic State (ISIS).

You can’t believe a word France or the United Kingdom say about ISIS. 
You can’t believe a word Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, or the United Arab Emirates say about ISIS...

Meanwhile, the United States bombs Syria daily, ostensibly because the US is at war with ISIS, but at the same time seriously damaging the oil capacity of the country (a third of the Syrian government’s budget), the government’s military capabilities, its infrastructure, even its granaries, taking countless innocent lives, destroying ancient sites; all making the recovery of an Assad-led Syria, or any Syria, highly unlikely. Washington is undoubtedly looking for ways to devastate Iran as well under the cover of fighting ISIS…”

The Berlin Wall – Another Cold War Myth

November 9 will mark the 25th anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall...

First of all, before the wall went up in 1961 thousands of East Germans had been commuting to the West for jobs each day and then returning to the East in the evening; many others went back and forth for shopping or other reasons. So they were clearly not being held in the East against their will.

Why then was the wall built? 
There were two major reasons:

1) The West was bedeviling the East with a vigorous campaign of recruiting East German professionals and skilled workers, who had been educated at the expense of the Communist government. This eventually led to a serious labor and production crisis in the East... 

It should be further noted that the division of Germany into two states in 1949 – setting the stage for 40 years of Cold War hostility – was an American decision, not a Soviet one.

2) During the 1950s, American coldwarriors in West Germany instituted a crude campaign of sabotage and subversion against East Germany designed to throw that country’s economic and administrative machinery out of gear. 

The CIA and other US intelligence and military services recruited, equipped, trained and financed German activist groups and individuals, of West and East, to carry out actions which ran the spectrum from juvenile delinquency to terrorism; anything to make life difficult for the East German people and weaken their support of the government; anything to make the commies look bad.

It was a remarkable undertaking. The United States and its agents used explosives, arson, short circuiting, and other methods to damage power stations, shipyards, canals, docks, public buildings, gas stations, public transportation, bridges, etc; they derailed freight trains, seriously injuring workers; burned 12 cars of a freight train and destroyed air pressure hoses of others; used acids to damage vital factory machinery; put sand in the turbine of a factory, bringing it to a standstill; set fire to a tile-producing factory; promoted work slow-downs in factories; killed 7,000 cows of a co-operative dairy through poisoning; added soap to powdered milk destined for East German schools; were in possession, when arrested, of a large quantity of the poison cantharidin with which it was planned to produce poisoned cigarettes to kill leading East Germans; set off stink bombs to disrupt political meetings; attempted to disrupt the World Youth Festival in East Berlin by sending out forged invitations, false promises of free bed and board, false notices of cancellations, etc.; carried out attacks on participants with explosives, firebombs, and tire-puncturing equipment; forged and distributed large quantities of food ration cards to cause confusion, shortages and resentment; sent out forged tax notices and other government directives and documents to foster disorganization and inefficiency within industry and unions … all this and much more.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, of Washington, DC, conservative coldwarriors, in one of their Cold War International History Project Working Papers (#58, p.9) states: 

“The open border in Berlin exposed the GDR [East Germany] to massive espionage and subversion and, as the two documents in the appendices show, its closure gave the Communist state greater security.”

Throughout the 1950s, the East Germans and the Soviet Union repeatedly lodged complaints with the Soviets’ erstwhile allies in the West and with the United Nations about specific sabotage and espionage activities and called for the closure of the offices in West Germany they claimed were responsible, and for which they provided names and addresses. Their complaints fell on deaf ears...

For an additional and very interesting view of the Berlin Wall anniversary, see the article “Humpty Dumpty and the Fall of Berlin’s Wall” by Victor Grossman. 

Grossman (née Steve Wechsler) fled the US Army in Germany under pressure from McCarthy-era threats and became a journalist and author during his years in the (East) German Democratic Republic. 

He still lives in Berlin and mails out his “Berlin Bulletin” on German developments on an irregular basis. You can subscribe to it at

His autobiography: “Crossing the River: a Memoir of the American Left, the Cold War and Life in East Germany” was published by University of Massachusetts Press. He claims to be the only person in the world with diplomas from both Harvard University and Karl Marx University in Leipzig.

READ MORE by William Blum:

Friday, October 17, 2014

With so much bad news in the world 
"It feels good to pass along a success story, and not a tragedy."
- Chuck Searcy

Enjoying lunch in their dining room, these toddlers never knew that a deadly threat had just been removed from their kindergarten grounds.

Cam Lo, Quang Tri, Viet Nam (14 October 2014) – 

One of Project RENEW’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams yesterday took action to safely remove a piece of unexploded ordnance (UXO) from a kindergarten attended by 150 toddlers in Cam Lo Ha Village of Cam Thanh Commune.  RENEW’s quick response came immediately after a Youth Union official called the Project RENEW hotline number and reported the discovery.

“We have already received five reports of UXO sightings today,” said EOD Team Leader Le Xuan Tung, “but this case is the most urgent because the ordnance was inside the grounds of the kindergarten.  So our team had to get there as our first priority, and we will deal with other reports later on today.”

Earlier the deputy head of the Youth Union in the commune, Nguyen Thanh Hieu, was alerted by the kindergarten’s principal, Ms. Nguyen Thi Hong, that a bomb had been found in the preschool’s garden.  Hieu, a member of RENEW’s Community Reporting Network made up of Youth Union officials, has been trained on basic UXO identification skills.  When he determined the type of UXO he called the RENEW team immediately.

About half an hour later, the EOD team arrived at the kindergarten where Hieu was waiting to pinpoint the UXO location for them.

Nguyen Thanh Hieu showing RENEW EOD Team Leader Le Xuan Tung the
artillery shell 
 found in the kindergarten’s garden. 

“It is a 100mm artillery shell which had been here for years,” Team Leader Le Xuan Tung said.  “Torrential rains in the past few days exposed it,” he explained, “and we have now removed it to our central demolition site for later destruction.”

It is not uncommon to find UXO in schools in Quang Tri Province.  In January 2010, there was thunderous crack from an 
 ordnance explosion in the playground of a middle school. The blast occurred just five minutes before recess, when more than 500 students were scheduled to take a break from their studies. 

The ordnance, identified later as a 105mm artillery shell, had been hidden for years under the roots of a large tree stump only 20 meters away from the nearest classroom.  Fortunately, nobody was hurt by the powerful explosion, which resounded throughout the neighborhood, but the windows of the school were shattered.

The safe removal of the UXO from the kindergarten in Cam Lo may have saved the lives of some of the 150 toddlers and teachers nearby.  People like Ms. Hong, the kindergarten principal, and Youth Union volunteer Hieu are truly the “eyes and ears” of RENEW’s EOD teams.  

When such alerts are relayed by them, the EOD teams know exactly what type of ordnance has been found, where it is located, and the urgency required for their response.  They waste no time in searching. They prioritize their responses and take direct action, within minutes or hours.

From January to September 2014, Project RENEW received 346 reports of UXO discoveries through the Community Reporting Network, resulting in 565 items of UXO being safely destroyed.

Click here for a permanent link to the story. 

Click to view this email in a browser

Project RENEW
Kids First Village
185 Ly Thuong Kiet
Dong Ha City, Quang Tri Province


International Advisor
Project RENEW
M    +8 490 342 0769
Sk   chucksearcy

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Beginning of a university students' Anti-Vietnam War march outside Michigan Stadium on Greene Street, Ann Arbor, September 20, 1969. (Photo: Wystan)

Thursday, 16 October 2014 09:51By Marjorie Cohn, Truthout | News Analysis

For many years after the Vietnam War, we enjoyed the "Vietnam syndrome," in which US presidents hesitated to launch substantial military attacks on other countries. They feared intense opposition akin to the powerful movement that helped bring an end to the war in Vietnam. But in 1991, at the end of the Gulf War, George H.W. Bush declared, "By God, we've kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!"
With George W. Bush's wars on Iraq and Afghanistan, and Barack Obama's drone wars in seven Muslim-majority countries and his escalating wars in Iraq and Syria, we have apparently moved beyond the Vietnam syndrome. By planting disinformation in the public realm, the government has built support for its recent wars, as it did with Vietnam.

Now the Pentagon is planning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War by launching a $30 million program to rewrite and sanitize its history. Replete with a fancy interactive website, the effort is aimed at teaching schoolchildren a revisionist history of the war. The program is focused on honoring our service members who fought in Vietnam. But conspicuously absent from the website is a description of the antiwar movement, at the heart of which was the GI movement...
It is no cliché that those who ignore history are bound to repeat it. Unless we are provided an honest accounting of the disgraceful history of the US war on Vietnam, we will be ill equipped to protest the current and future wars conducted in our name.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dan Falcone Interviews Edward S. Herman
Media analyst and Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, Edward S. Herman, co-author with Noam Chomsky of 'Manufacturing Consent', discusses the propaganda embedded in Western mainstream media coverage of the Ukraine crisis.   Continue

By Sara Flounders
“Promoting democracy” has become a cover for attacks on the sovereignty of countries all around the world.   Continue

By Dave Lindorff
The US is not sending 3000 troops to Africa as an act of charity. It’s safe to say that once those non-medical troops get their “command and control” center established in Africa, they will stay there.  Continue

By David Swanson
The committee once again makes a false pretense of loyalty to Nobel and confuses and conceals the plan for world peace that Nobel intended to support.   Continue

Friday, October 10, 2014

From Pol Pot to ISIS:
“Anything that Flies on Everything that Moves”

By John Pilger

"...Under U.S. bombs, Cambodia's Khmer Rouge grew from 5,000 to a formidable army of 200,000. ISIS has a similar past and present..."

October 09, 2014 "ICH" -  

In transmitting President Richard Nixon’s orders for a “massive” bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, “Anything that flies on everything that moves”.  

As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger’s murderous honesty.
As a witness to the human consequences of aerial savagery – including the beheading of victims, their parts festooning trees and fields – I am not surprised by the disregard of memory and history, yet again. 

A telling example is the rise to power of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge, who had much in common with today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They, too, were ruthless medievalists who began as a small sect. They, too, were the product of an American-made apocalypse, this time in Asia.
According to Pol Pot, his movement had consisted of “fewer than 5,000 poorly armed guerrillas uncertain about their strategy, tactics, loyalty and leaders”. Once Nixon’s and Kissinger’s B52 bombers had gone to work as part of “Operation Menu”, the west’s ultimate demon could not believe his luck.
The Americans dropped the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on rural Cambodia during 1969-73. They levelled village after village, returning to bomb the rubble and corpses. The craters left monstrous necklaces of carnage, still visible from the air. The terror was unimaginable. 

A former Khmer Rouge official described how the survivors “froze up and they would wander around mute for three or four days. Terrified and half-crazy, the people were ready to believe what they were told … That was what made it so easy for the Khmer Rouge to win the people over.”
A Finnish Government Commission of Enquiry estimated that 600,000 Cambodians died in the ensuing civil war and described the bombing as the “first stage in a decade of genocide”.  

What Nixon and Kissinger began, Pol Pot, their beneficiary, completed.  Under their bombs, the Khmer Rouge grew to a formidable army of 200,000.  
ISIS has a similar past and present. By most scholarly measure, Bush and Blair’s invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to the deaths of some 700,000 people -- in a country that had no history of jihadism. The Kurds had done territorial and political deals; Sunni and Shia had class and sectarian differences, but they were at peace; intermarriage was common. 

Three years before the invasion, I drove the length of Iraq without fear. On the way I met people proud, above all, to be Iraqis, the heirs of a civilization that seemed, for them, a presence.  
Bush and Blair blew all this to bits. Iraq is now a nest of jihadism. Al-Qaeda -- like Pol Pot’s “jihadists” -- seized the opportunity provided by the onslaught of Shock and Awe and the civil war that followed. 

“Rebel” Syria offered even greater rewards, with CIA and Gulf state ratlines of weapons, logistics and money running through Turkey. The arrival of foreign recruits was inevitable. 

A former British ambassador, Oliver Miles, wrote recently, “The [Cameron] government seems to be following the example of Tony Blair, who ignored consistent advice from the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6 that our Middle East policy – and in particular our Middle East wars – had been a principal driver in the recruitment of Muslims in Britain for terrorism here.”
ISIS is the progeny of those in Washington and London who, in destroying Iraq as both a state and a society, conspired to commit an epic crime against humanity. 

Like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS are the mutations of a western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great remove in distance and culture. Their culpability is unmentionable in “our” societies.
It is 23 years since this holocaust enveloped Iraq, immediately after the first Gulf War, when the US and Britain hijacked the United Nations Security Council and imposed punitive “sanctions” on the Iraqi population – ironically, reinforcing the domestic authority of Saddam Hussein. It was like a medieval siege. 

Almost everything that sustained a modern state was, in the jargon, “blocked” -- from chlorine for making the water supply safe to school pencils, parts for X-ray machines, common painkillers and drugs to combat previously unknown cancers carried in the dust from the southern battlefields contaminated with Depleted Uranium.
Just before Christmas 1999, the Department of Trade and Industry in London restricted the export of vaccines meant to protect Iraqi children against diphtheria and yellow fever. Kim Howells, a medical doctor and parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Blair government, explained why. “The children’s vaccines”, he said, “were capable of being used in weapons of mass destruction”. 

The British Government could get away with such an outrage because media reporting of Iraq – much of it manipulated by the Foreign Office -- blamed Saddam Hussein for everything.
Under a bogus “humanitarian” Oil for Food Programme, $100 was allotted for each Iraqi to live on for a year. This figure had to pay for the entire society’s infrastructure and essential services, such as power and water.  

“Imagine,” the UN Assistant Secretary General, Hans Von Sponeck, told me, “setting that pittance against the lack of clean water, and the fact that the majority of sick people cannot afford treatment, and the sheer trauma of getting from day to day, and you have a glimpse of the nightmare. And make no mistake, this is deliberate. I have not in the past wanted to use the word genocide, but now it is unavoidable.”
Disgusted, Von Sponeck resigned as UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq. His predecessor, Denis Halliday, an equally distinguished senior UN official, had also resigned. “I was instructed,” Halliday said, “to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide: a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”
A study by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, found that between 1991 and 1998, the height of the blockade, there were 500,000 “excess” deaths of Iraqi infants under the age of five. An American TV reporter put this to Madeleine Albright, US Ambassador to the United Nations, asking her, “Is the price worth it?” Albright replied, “We think the price is worth it.”
In 2007, the senior British official responsible for the sanctions, Carne Ross, known as “Mr. Iraq”, told a parliamentary selection committee, “[The US and UK governments] effectively denied the entire population a means to live.”  

When I interviewed Carne Ross three years later, he was consumed by regret and contrition. “I feel ashamed,” he said. He is today a rare truth-teller of how governments deceive and how a compliant media plays a critical role in disseminating and maintaining the deception. 

“We would feed [journalists] factoids of sanitised intelligence,” he said, “or we’d freeze them out.”
On 25 September, a headline in the Guardian read: “Faced with the horror of Isis we must act.”  The “we must act” is a ghost risen, a warning of the suppression of informed memory, facts, lessons learned and regrets or shame. 

The author of the article was Peter Hain, the former Foreign Office minister responsible for Iraq under Blair. In 1998, when Denis Halliday revealed the extent of the suffering in Iraq for which the Blair Government shared primary responsibility, Hain abused him on the BBC’s Newsnight as an “apologist for Saddam”. In 2003, Hain backed Blair’s invasion of stricken Iraq on the basis of transparent lies. At a subsequent Labour Party conference, he dismissed the invasion as a “fringe issue”.
Now Hain is demanding “air strikes, drones, military equipment and other support” for those “facing genocide” in Iraq and Syria. This will further “the imperative of a political solution”. Obama has the same in mind as he lifts what he calls the “restrictions” on US bombing and drone attacks. 

This means that missiles and 500-pound bombs can smash the homes of peasant people, as they are doing without restriction in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia -- as they did in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. 

On 23 September, a Tomahawk cruise missile hit a village in Idlib Province in Syria, killing as many as a dozen civilians, including women and children. None waved a black flag.
The day Hain’s article appeared, Denis Halliday and Hans Von Sponeck happened to be in London and came to visit me. They were not shocked by the lethal hypocrisy of a politician, but lamented the enduring, almost inexplicable absence of intelligent diplomacy in negotiating a semblance of truce. 

Across the world, from Northern Ireland to Nepal, those regarding each other as terrorists and heretics have faced each other across a table. Why not now in Iraq and Syria?
Like Ebola from West Africa, a bacteria called “perpetual war” has crossed the Atlantic. 

Lord Richards, until recently head of the British military, wants “boots on the ground” now. There is a vapid, almost sociopathic verboseness from Cameron, Obama and their “coalition of the willing” – notably Australia’s aggressively weird Tony Abbott -- as they prescribe more violence delivered from 30,000 feet on places where the blood of previous adventures never dried. 

They have never seen bombing and they apparently love it so much they want it to overthrow their one potentially valuable ally, Syria. 

This is nothing new, as the following leaked UK-US intelligence file illustrates:
“In order to facilitate the action of liberative [sic] forces … a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals [and] to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria. CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main [sic] incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals... a necessary degree of fear... frontier and [staged] border clashes [will] provide a pretext for intervention... the CIA and SIS should use... capabilities in both psychological and action fields to augment tension."

That was written in 1957, though it could have been written yesterday. In the imperial world, nothing essentially changes. 

Last year, the former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas revealed that “two years before the Arab spring”, he was told in London that a war on Syria was planned.  “I am going to tell you something,” he said in an interview with the French TV channel LPC, “I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria … Britain was organising an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer Minister for Foreign Affairs, if I would like to participate … This operation goes way back. It was prepared, preconceived and planned.”
The only effective opponents of ISIS are accredited demons of the west – Syria, Iran, Hezbollah.  The obstacle is Turkey, an “ally” and a member of Nato, which has conspired with the CIA, MI6 and the Gulf medievalists to channel support to the Syrian “rebels”, including those now calling themselves ISIS. 

Supporting Turkey in its long-held ambition for regional dominance by overthrowing the Assad government beckons a major conventional war and the horrific dismemberment of the most ethnically diverse state in the Middle East.
A truce – however difficult to achieve – is the only way out of this imperial maze; otherwise, the beheadings will continue. That genuine negotiations with Syria should be seen as “morally questionable” (the Guardian) suggests that the assumptions of moral superiority among those who supported the war criminal Blair remain not only absurd, but dangerous.
Together with a truce, there should be an immediate cessation of all shipments of war materials to Israel and recognition of the State of Palestine. 

The issue of Palestine is the region’s most festering open wound, and the oft-stated justification for the rise of Islamic extremism. Osama bin Laden made that clear. Palestine also offers hope. Give justice to the Palestinians and you begin to change the world around them.
More than 40 years ago, the Nixon-Kissinger bombing of Cambodia unleashed a torrent of suffering from which that country has never recovered. The same is true of the Blair-Bush crime in Iraq. 

With impeccable timing, Henry Kissinger’s latest self-serving tome has just been released with its satirical title, “World Order”. 

In one fawning review, Kissinger is described as a “key shaper of a world order that remained stable for a quarter of a century”. 

Tell that to the people of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Chile, East Timor and all the other victims of his “statecraft”.  

Only when “we” recognise the war criminals in our midst will the blood begin to dry.

Monday, October 06, 2014

By Ted Snider
October 05, 2014 "ICH" - "Antiwar" - 

The claim has recently been made that the Obama administration concocted not only the imminent attacks on U.S. soil by the al-Qaeda cell The Khorasan Group, but the group itself, in order to make a case for self-defense and justify the bombing of Syria.

As outlandish as it may first appear that America would create a fictitious attack to justify its own attack, there is a pattern of just such fictions stretching back to nearly the very beginning of America’s wars.

President James Polk led America into one of its first foreign wars when he informed the congress that Mexico had attacked a U.S. Army detachment on American soil. 

In 1848, Abraham Lincoln, then a congressman, would make one of his first appearances in American history by standing up on the floor and demanding that the President inform the House of the exact spot upon which the attack took place. Polk would not answer. That first fictitious attack would justify the war with Mexico.

The second fictitious assault would take place half a century later in Manila. The Treaty of Paris would give the Philippines to the United States over the desires of the Filipinos, who would declare war on the U.S. the next year. But the treaty required ratification by the U.S. senate. As the senate was torn over the question of ratification and foreign expansion, Filipino insurgents attacked American soldiers in Manila. 

What was not reported to the senate at the time was that the insurgents only entered the skirmish after an American soldier had fired first. The fictitious unprovoked attack on Americans led the senate to protect American soldiers abroad and ratify the treaty. 

This second fictitious assault made the Philippines, along with Puerto Rico, Guam and Cuba, American possessions.

A century later, the same strategy would be inflated and used again in Korea. The cause of war this time was the horde of North Korean invaders bursting the border dam and pouring, unprovoked into South Korea in a surprise attack. 

The next day, the Americans would introduce their fictitious story to the United Nations Security Council in the form of a resolution condemning the North Koreans for their "unprovoked aggression."

What the fictitious story’s audience did not know was that the North Korean attack was preceded by two days of South Korean bombing preparing the way for a surprise South Korean incursion and attack on the North Korean town of Haeju. 

The American authors of the fictitious story of the unprovoked attack knew it though. According to William Blum, an American military status report mentions the South Korean incursion on the night of the very day it happened. Blum also shows that several Western media sources independently confirm the South Korean attack. 

History would record North Korea’s fictitious surprise assault as the beginning of the Korean War.

The fictitious attack would appear next in 1964 when Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara would mislead President Johnson in an attempt to pressure him into war in Vietnam. 

McNamara would use the story of an attack by North Vietnamese boats on U.S. warships in the Gulf of Tonkin to pressure Johnson into retaliating by bombing the North Vietnamese and to pressure congress into passing the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. 

But McNamara’s narrative omissions made for another fictitious assault. McNamara knew that John Herrick, the U.S. task force commander in the Gulf, had come to doubt the attack and wanted "a complete evaluation before any further action taken."

He knew too that, based on those doubts, Admiral Sharp, the U.S. Commander, told McNamara to hold off on the retaliatory bombing. But McNamara continued to lie to the President in an attempt to use a fictitious attack to justify an American war.

A variation of the pattern may have been exploited in Syria and Ukraine more recently. 

In Syria, the sarin gas attack was temporarily offered as a justification for war on Assad. And though President Obama told the United Nations General Assembly that "It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack," that was not what Obama’s intelligence was suggesting to him. 

That’s why Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper would not put his name on the assessment produced, not by the office of the DNI, but by the White House.

Seymour Hersh has revealed that, despite the White House’s disingenuous claims, the U.S. was aware that, not only the Syrian army, but the Syrian rebels too had access to sarin. 

Hersh says that “In the months before the attack, the American intelligence agencies produced a series of highly classified reports, citing evidence that the al-Nusra Front, a jihadi group affiliated with al-Qaeda, had mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.” 

And it was not just one rebel faction that could have fired the sarin. Hersh says that the CIA told the White House that “al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) [now ISIS], also understood the science of producing sarin.” 

He adds that a top secret summary provided to the Defense Intelligence Agency confirmed that al-Nusra “had the ability to acquire and use sarin.” The Joint Chiefs of Staff also undertook an “all-source analysis,” which, Hersh reports, concluded that “rebel forces were capable of attacking an American force with sarin because they were able to produce the lethal gas.”

Finally, with regards to Washington’s claim that reverse flight paths of the two missiles intersect at a Syrian military base, Theodore Postol of MIT and Richard Lloyd, an analyst from Tesla Laboratories, say there is a consensus among missile experts that the rockets analyzed would have had a maximum range of about three kilometers, while the claimed Syrian military launch site was about 9.5 kilometers from where the sarin carrying missiles struck.

This time the assault was not fictionalized, but staged, and then attributed to the party America wanted to attack.

If the explosion and sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana harbor in 1898 that killed 268 men and helped whip up support for the Spanish-American war was falsely blamed on Spain, then this is an early appearance of a variant of the fiction that took place in Syria. 

No evidence was ever provided to implicate the Spanish. But the claim was made that the American ship had been treacherously sunk "by an enemy’s secret infernal machine" and the treachery was attributed to Spain. 

The real cause was a mystery, but the attribution of blame was fictionalized to help vilify and convict the party America wanted to go to war against.

A similar staging may have occurred in Ukraine in February when Maidan Square demonstrators were fired upon by snipers. 

The U.S. blamed Yanukovych and his government for the sniper fire that led to the violence that left more than eighty protesters and police dead. But the identity of the snipers was not so clear. 

leaked phone conversation between Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet and EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton suggests that the snipers were not from the Yanukovych government, but provocateurs from its opposition. Paet says that a doctor informed him that the same kind of bullets killed people on both sides: the police and the protesters. 

"So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition,” Paet says.

As in Syria, though not a fictional event, an event is staged and then attribution is conveniently made to the desired party. 

A similar strategy was employed in the American supported Venezuelan coup of 2002 that briefly removed Hugo Chavez from power.

And lest it seem even more outlandish, paranoid and conspiratorial that America would allow people on its side to be fired upon and killed, then enter into evidence the CIA manual that was prepared for America’s Nicaraguan contra allies in the 1980’s. 

In the manual, called Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare, the CIA recommends "taking the demonstrators to a confrontation with the authorities to bring about uprisings and shootings that will cause the death of one or more people to create a martyr for the cause."

So, as outlandish as the creation of a terrorist group and its imminent attacks on the U.S. may seem, it is not insane. At least not more insane than the historical reality that such a chain of fictional and staged attacks produced to justify American wars stretches back to the very beginning of American wars.

Ted Snider has a graduate degree in philosophy and writes on analyzing patterns in U.S. foreign policy and history.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

"...regime change in Syria is the real American objective behind the whole anti-IS ruse..."

Obama’s Astounding Distortion Of History

By Finian Cunningham 

October 02, 2014 "ICH" - "SCF" 

In his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week, Obama sounded less statesman and more salesman, with the usual pitch that American leadership is all benevolent and virtuous. America is pursuing, America is committed, America is prepared… and so on and on went the tiresome egocentric rhetoric.

But like a dodgy salesman, the “goods” that Obama is hawking are downright fake. Caveat Emptor: buy it at your peril. Not only that, but the entire presentation to the potential buyers is littered with sly mendacity and ridiculous falsification of world events.

The US president used his address to the 69th UN session not to genuinely explore a collective solution to pressing world problems but rather as an opportunity to indulge in “American exceptionalism” – the deluded notion that America is magnificent and superior to all other nations. 

Obama’s speech was a breathtaking falsification of the real causes underlying many of the security threats facing the world, and an opportunity for him to shift the blame on to others.

As Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov pointed out, Obama disgracefully labelled Russia as a global threat along with the Ebola epidemic in Africa and Islamic State terrorism in the Middle East.

Obama told UN delegates: “As we gather here, an outbreak of Ebola overwhelms public health systems in West Africa, and threatens to move rapidly across borders. Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition. The brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq forces us to look into the heart of darkness.”

He then went on to corral the rest of the world under American leadership. “We call upon others to join us on the right side of history – for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.”

It was an astounding distortion of history in which the culpable role of the US in multiple conflicts is glibly airbrushed out of the picture, replaced by Russia in the case of Ukraine, instead of acknowledging the destabilising role that Washington played by orchestrating a coup in that country.

Obama skimmed over conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Ukraine casting them as unconnected or the fault of someone else, yet in all these conflicts the hand of the US is indelibly present.

As for the “brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq”, Obama obfuscated by telling us to “look into the heart of darkness” – whatever that platitude means – instead of looking into the CIA payrolls and arms inventories to see how Washington has directed these “jihadist” mercenaries in its regime-change operation in Syria.

The upshot is not only a distortion of the actual cause-and-effect of world problems, and not only a slanderous misattribution of blame, the insidious outcome is that the real culprit is rehabilitated as a saviour to the world. 

“Join us on the right side of history,” Obama entreated the assembled nations, as if the murder of 1.5 million Iraqis from America’s 2003 illegal war never happened.

Since Obama made his address at the UN on Wednesday, US-led air strikes have continued unabated on Syria and Iraq. 

It is significant that the bombing campaign in Syria within a matter of days is already on a much greater scale than in Iraq, where US warplanes began conducting air strikes against IS militants a month ago. 

This is because regime change in Syria is the real American objective behind the whole anti-IS ruse.

Washington is avidly highlighting the fact that its so-called anti-IS coalition bombing Syria includes five Arab states: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The British are now sending fighter jets to join air strikes in Iraq, along with the US and French. The American-approved Baghdad government (formed after Washington insisted Nouri al Maliki had to go) has given its consent to the US-led aerial campaign. But this is not the case in Syria.

That lack of consent, plus the absence of the UN Security Council mandate, makes the US-led intervention in Syria illegal, as Moscow rightly points out. 

It does not afford any legality or legitimacy to the American-led air strikes no matter how many states have joined the so-called coalition, and no matter that these states are Arab.

Under international law, a country or group of countries does not have the right to launch military strikes on another unless there is a case of self-defence. That is not the scenario in Syria and the US-led coalition operating there. That is why Obama is talking up the threat of terrorists and press ganging a coalition of nations to join the US in its bombing campaign. 

This is just a fig leaf of Washington appearing to have some legal mandate, and to disguise the bare fact that the US is committing an act of aggression on a sovereign state for its geopolitical agenda of regime change.

This all stems from the fact that the US, as Sergei Lavrov points out, “has enshrined in its national security doctrine the right to use force at its discretion, regardless of UN Security Council decisions or international law”.

In his address to the UN General Assembly the previous year, Obama declared: “The United States of America is prepared to use all elements of our power, including military force, to secure our core interests in the region.”

This gives real meaning to the concept of “American exceptionalism”. American leaders consider their government to be above the law and to have the prerogative to use violence unilaterally. 

All other nations must abide by the UN Charter and international law forbidding aggression, but not the US.

So when Obama this year exhorted: “Fellow delegates, we come together as United Nations with a choice to make. We can renew the international system that has enabled so much progress, or allow ourselves to be pulled back by an undertow of instability” – the fundamental problem challenging world peace is that it is the US that is unequivocally not prepared to “renew the international system”.

A telling contradiction in Obama’s address was when he said: “The United States will never shy away from defending our interests, but nor will we shrink from the promise of this institution and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.

So, the US is committed to defending its interests with unilateral violence, but is also allegedly committed to the universal rights of all nations. The two propositions are mutually exclusive, and we know that unilateral violence is the one that the US always adheres to.

Notice that Obama did not say the UN Charter, but rather the more vague Universal Declaration of Human Rights, because the Charter’s express legal prohibition on unilateral violence would make Obama’s words explicitly self-indicting.

In typical ahistorical American thinking, Obama blamed the root of conflict on some mythical notion of terrorism. “It is time for a new compact among the civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source: the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.”

More fundamental is the fact that conflict arises when certain states see themselves above the law in pursuit of their geopolitical interests with unilateral violence. The US stands out in this regard as the biggest culprit of lawlessness. 

Since the Second World War, the US has attacked, invaded or subverted upwards of 100 nations in pursuit of its core interests.

And yet the American president closed his address to the UN with this nonsensical schmalz. “And at this crossroads, I can promise you that the United States of America will not be distracted or deterred from what must be done. We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom, and we are prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come. Join us in this common mission, for today’s children and tomorrow’s.”

By contrast, Russia’s Lavrov commented on how Russian diplomacy works in practice, not in some rarified mythical way, as Obama arrogantly asserts. 

“On the contrary, we are interested in putting out the flames of conflicts around the world through a fair dialogue based on equality of rights and mutual respect rather than through unilateral accusations and shifting the responsibility on someone else,” said Lavrov.

Moscow can rightly refer to its efforts at brokering a ceasefire in Ukraine and a negotiated settlement between the Kiev regime and the ethnic Russian separatists in the east of the country. 

Russian president Vladimir Putin has personally worked with Didier Burkhalter, head of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, since May to create a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The latest result being the ceasefire brokered on September 5 in Minsk.

Meanwhile, Washington has only fuelled the conflict by first of all subverting Ukrainian sovereignty with the February coup against an elected government, then funnelling military aid to the CIA-backed regime, and encouraging this reactionary regime to adopt a heavy-handed policy toward dissenting populations.

History shows us that when states ride roughshod over international law, as during the 1930s when the League of Nations was made a mockery by rogue powers, the danger of war is greatly magnified. 

The lawless conduct of America and its mockery of the UN Charter is today the greatest threat to world peace.

Salesman Obama might try selling the world a vehicle of American leadership for peace. But scratch the surface and blow off the rhetorical webs, and it’s obvious that this American vehicle is a hollowed-out dangerous wreck. Caveat Emptor.

© Strategic Culture Foundation

Obama Reconsiders Attacking Assad
Shamus Cooke, September 29, 2014
Sometimes bad ideas die slowly. It was only one year ago that Obama announced he would bomb the Syrian government, only to change his mind at the last minute. Now the same fetid war talk is sprouting fresh roots in the ever-fertile U.S. military. Various media outlets reported that Obama might "enforce a no fly zone in Syria to protect civilians from the Syrian government."
This just weeks after the U.S. public was told that ISIS was the reason the U.S. military was now in Syria. The 2014 media sound bites mimic the 2013 scare tactics, copying the "humanitarian motives" behind the push towards war with the Syrian government. For example, in 2013 The New York Times blandly discussed the "no fly zone" option:
"To establish buffer zones to protect parts of Turkey or Jordan to provide safe havens for Syrian rebels and a base for delivering humanitarian assistance would require imposing a limited no-fly zone and deploying thousands of American ground forces."
Fast forward to September 27th 2014, where The New York Times published an article called, "U.S. Considers No Fly Zone to Protect Civilians," where we read:
"The Obama administration has not ruled out establishing a no-fly zone over northeastern Syria to protect civilians from airstrikes by the Syrian government…Creating a buffer, or no-fly zone, would require warplanes to disable the Syrian government’s air defense system through airstrikes."
A no-fly zone would also require that the U.S. prevent the Syrian air force from flying over Syrian airspace by destroying Syrian fighter jets, i.e., full scale war with the Syrian government and possibly its allies. This last part is always left out, so as to not anger the American public.
Under international law no country has any legal right to carve out a "buffer zone" within another country, even if the no-fly zone was actually well intended. For example, even Canada cannot legally create a buffer zone in Ferguson, Missouri to protect civilians from police violence.
The Syrian government is not bombing random civilians near the Turkish border; they are attacking ISIS and its ideological cousins. These are the same groups that Obama says that he’s waging a war on.
Do civilians die when Syria attacks with bombs? Yes, which is one reason that a lot of popular anger is channeled towards the government in these areas, the same way that anger is now mounting against the U.S. bombings that kill civilians in Syria.
If Obama truly wanted to target ISIS he would have included Syria, Iran, and Russia in his anti-ISIS "coalition." These nations were excluded because Obama’s coalition is the exact same one that only months before was a U.S.-led coalition against the Syrian government. The grouping maintains its original purpose but puts on a new shirt to fool a media that’s content with surface explanations.
But as soon as the newly dressed U.S. coalition started bombing ISIS, various "partners" announced, unsurprisingly, that Assad was "the real problem." Obama’s Gulf state monarchy partners never had the stomach to fight ISIS, because they and the U.S. are primarily responsible for its growth, as countries like Qatar dumped money and extremist fighters into the arms of ISIS. Qatar recently reiterated that the Syrian government was the "main problem," not ISIS.
When Obama announced his strategy to fight ISIS, he snuck in a plan to further invest in the Syrian rebels, whom politicians claimed would be used against ISIS. But these rebels are rebelling against the Syrian government, not ISIS.
Obama even discussed his intent at the UN to use the Syrian rebels against the government:
"…America is training and equipping the Syrian opposition to be a counterweight to the terrorists of ISIL and the brutality of the Assad regime."
The public talk of a no-fly zone is accompanied by no explanation as to the possible repercussions, including the real danger of an even larger regional war that would likely kill an additional hundreds of thousands and create millions more refugees.
Any U.S. attack on the Syrian government would likely happen sooner than later. The "coalition" of Arab monarchies has lost its patience. The members of this coalition blindly followed Obama into attacking Syria a year ago and were enraged that the president backed out. Saudi Arabia protested by refusing a seat at the UN Security Council.
Obama’s regional follower-allies have invested in an expensive war for three years and have taken on millions of Syrian refugees, creating a destabilizing effect across the region among nations already politically fragile. These shaky regimes cannot support – and would not survive – another three years of war as they wait for Obama to deliver the Syrian deathblow. They demand decisive action, and soon.
History is already condemning the U.S.-led destruction of multiple civilizations in the Middle East, reducing the once-functioning and modern nations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria to dysfunction and chaos, where millions of people flee violence and lose their dignity to the hopelessness of refugee camps. Funding rebels or imposing no fly zones in an already-demolished region will inevitably create more war and backlash.
Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action. He can be reached at

War with Russia - anyone?
Russia has a treaty to assist Syria militarily in case of an open foreign military intervention. If the US imposes a "no-fly zone" over Syria, or bombs Syrian infrastructure without the support of the Syrian government, this would be a clear act of aggression. Syria would have every right to ask Russia to come to its defence. Russia would also have a legitimate interest in protecting its vital interests there. Messing with Syria is like stoking the hornets' nest - with unknown consequences. The US is very bad at diplomacy. For the insane warmongers, it's just bomb, bomb, bomb. When you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.