Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cementing the Federation: US Military Bases for Vermont

A Missile-Base in Vermont

by RON JACOBS - CounterPunch

This week, the Vermont news media published stories stating that the Pentagon is considering building a Ground-based Midcourse Defense base in Jericho, Vermont, a small town near Burlington and Montpelier. When people think about Vermont, Jericho is what people think of; wooded lands, dairy farms, older houses and a blend of Yankee families whose roots go back generations and newer residents looking for tranquility, beauty and a good place to raise their kids. There is no reasonable argument for a missile base in Jericho, Vermont. Indeed, there is no reasonable argument for this missile base to be built anywhere.

It was barely twenty years ago that the United States shut down most of its silos containing missiles because their reason for being no longer existed. Even if someone believes that terrorists or another country will mount a major attack on the United States, the likelihood of this type of missile defense having any use is near zero. There is one big reason for this proposed site. That reason is profit for the corporations involved. The construction of this site is nothing more than a transfer of public monies to private corporations. It is very similar to what sports team owners do when they convince a city to build a new stadium except that missile sites are obviously quite lethal and with no redeeming social or entertainment value.

If one takes a look at the components of the system the Pentagon wants to place in Vermont, they will see that, besides the grotesque nature of the language describing certain parts of the system, the companies that will profit from its construction are quite familiar. Here are the basics:

  • Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) — Raytheon
  • Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) — Orbital Sciences
  • Battle Management Command, Control and Communications (BMC3) — Northrop Grumman
  • Ground Based Radars (GBR) — Raytheon
  • Upgraded Early Warning Radars (UEWR) (aka PAVE PAWS) — Raytheon
  • Forward Based X-Band Radars (FBXB) –Raytheon

According to a March 13, 2012 report in Business Insider, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman rank numbers five and three respectively in the list of the top US defense contractors. Orbital Sciences reported revenues of over a billion dollars in 2012, much of it made in the construction of missile systems components. These companies have yet to mount their campaign in Vermont trying to sell its citizens on the merits of having a missile base in their state, but when they do, it is essential to remember that their primary motivation is profit, not safety, security or Vermonters’ well-being. The amount of money this proposed base will cost to construct has not been published. However, the known costs to this point for the program average out to around $900 million per year. As of this date, only two such missile bases exist; one in Fort Greeley, Alaska and one at Vandenberg Air Force Base in southern California. A third base was proposed for Poland and was canceled.

Not only should this missile base not be built in Vermont. It should not be built at all. Its proponents will tell the communities the Pentagon has pinpointed as potential sites for the bases that these missile sites will create jobs and bring revenue to their regions. This is mostly untrue. The majority of the people working at the base will be assigned there from other parts of the country and will be military and or government contractors. The amount of revenue brought into the region is unlikely to offset the costs of the environmental damage the construction and basing of the missiles will cause. Furthermore, the fact that almost a billion dollars a year is to be spent on an unnecessary defense system is obscene in the face of the economic situation faced by so many in the US population.

Vermonters are currently engaged in a fierce debate over the basing of F-35 jet fighters in their state. Like the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system, the F-35 is an unnecessary weapons system designed primarily to transfer taxpayers’ money into the pockets of Lockheed Martin (the nation’s Number 1 defense contractor). Many supporters of basing the F-35 in Vermont sum up their support with the phrase, “It’s the sound of freedom.” This is patent nonsense. Neither the F-35 nor the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system denotes the sound of freedom. No, the sound they are making is the sound of our hard-earned money being stolen from our children’s schools, our nation’s infrastructure, our hospitals, and our futures. The other part of that sound these unnecessary and fear-mongering weapons systems is the sound of the defense industry CEOs, the politicians in their pockets and the generals at the Pentagon laughing at our gullibility and counting their coin.

Ron Jacobs is the author of the just released novel All the Sinners, Saints. He is also the author of The Way the Wind Blew: a History of the Weather Underground and Short Order Frame Up and The Co-Conspirator’s Tale. Jacobs’ essay on Big Bill Broonzy is featured in CounterPunch’s collection on music, art and sex, Serpents in the Garden. His third novel All the Sinners Saints is a companion to the previous two and is due out in April 2013. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, published by AK Press. He can be reached at:

Syria Intel in the O'Bagy: Fraudulent "Expert" Provides Phony Info. for Kerry Position

Kerry and McCain’s Fake PhD Syria ‘Expert’ O’Bagy is Neocon and Israeli-linked Operative

Every fake war requires a parade of fake experts to help shill for military intervention. Elizabeth O’Bagy is a prime example of one such operative. Beyond her fake credentials however, her story leads right to the heart of who is really pulling Washington’s strings on Syria.

ELIZABETH O’BAGY: Creating journalism to fit Washington policy.

“Dr” Elizabeth O’Bagy, a Georgetown University alumna, was thrust into the national conversation this past week after she wrote an op-ed piece for Rupert Murdoch’s The Wall Street Journal, an article which was later cited by both US Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, in their case for a military strike in Syria.

The only problem was that O’Bagy, a “senior research analyst” at Washington’s heavily pro-Israeli and neoconservative think tank, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), allegedly landed her job by claiming she had received her doctorate from Georgetown University. She has since been sacked from her role at the think tank.

She will forever be known as Kerry and McCain’s own sexier version of “curve ball” for Syria.

Here McCain is caught leaning on the fake PhD making his distorted case for war in Syria…

Specifically, Kerry sought to support Washington’s own shaky policy thesis by reading a quote from the op-ed in which O’Bagy wrote that Islamic extremist factions are not ”spearheading the fight against the Syrian government,” but rather that the struggle is being led by “moderate opposition forces”. Watch…

Through the pro-war Murdoch press, O’Bagy simply delivered the very contrived thesis which Kerry, McCain and Obama were looking for, in order to justify their own sales pitch for intervention and for sending arms to a ‘democracy-loving, moderate rebel army in Syria’.

Even more interesting is who O’Bagy has been working for. The ISW think tank was founded by Kimberly Kagan, a devout neocon, whose fellow experts elevate U.S. military intervention, and provide policy research back-up for U.S. State Department, CIA, AIPAC and large national security defense contractors. The ISW’s board of directors is led by William Kristol. This type of organisation is a nexus which brings together, among other things, support for the Syrian opposition, anti-Castro in Cuba, and pro-Israeli activities.

Shocking enough, but then you discover that O’Bagy is also policy director at an even more questionable Washington DC outfit – a pro-rebel, money-raising and policy promoting nonprofit organisation known as the  Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF). Exactly how much money SETF has collected to date (or where it has been spent) is unknown, but following the O’Bagy incident, O’Bagy and the group’s Communications Director Cassie Chesley – have both been pulled down from the SETF website. According to the SETF, Syrian opposition agents have been coordinating with operatives in Washington through “field work” since November 2012, including building a parallel government structures inside rebel-held areas in Syria:

“In November 2012, SETF opened a field office, which serves as a headquarters for Syrian activists on the ground, a central training location for opposition members, a working base for transitional justice and civil society groups to collect forensic evidence and testimonials of war crimes, and is a coordinating location for aid into the country. Syrian activist, Razan Shalab Alsham serves as our office manager.
In the liberated areas in the north of Syria, civilians are finding ways to develop grassroots civilian democratic structures to provide rule of law, basic services such as trash collection, civilian police force, and utilities. These (Civilian Administrative Councils) CACs are being created out of necessity, but they are also the seeds of proto-democratic structures that the Syrian people themselves developed without international help. Defying conventional wisdom, the authority of the CACs is respected by the armed opposition, because they are providing social services and a structure that encourages stability for the families of the men currently fighting the regime. It is important that the funding mechanism being employed helps to further unite the opposition and mitigates financial competition from occurring. Support of CACs helps to stabilize liberated areas and provide civilian oversight and authority.”
It’s obvious to see what O’Bagy’s Syrian Emergency Task Force actually is – an essential “Field Office” and resource for regime change agents in Washington, as well as a source of intelligence collection for the CIA. It would be naive to thank that anyone involved in a such a nation-building “field office” as being anything else. Putting this into context of recent revelations that while the US and its allies have been acting out US war plan in Syria, the CIA has been quietly delivering lethal arms to their rebels in Syria, the so-called ‘field offices’ of seemingly innocuous nonprofit NGO’s like Syrian Emergency Task Force, would be a key link in the chain which Washington uses to interface with their militants inside Syria.

CIA Journalists and Information Campaigns

In the case of O’Bagy, the fact that Georgetown University is a well-known, rather fertile recruiting ground for the CIA, could give another clue as to who she is working with, or working for. Here we have a super model-type, talking head who has appeared regularly on CNN, FOX, NPR, al Jazeera (Qatar state media) and other networks, as the so-called expert on Syria’s rebel factions. She has also stated on air, “I travel with groups (in Syria) where we actually can kind of identify the more extremist checkpoints”. So… behind enemy lines in an undeclared war, almost certainly escorted by either US special forces, or ex-special forces who are being paid roughly $1,500 per day to ferry around embedded journalists within a hermetically sealed CIA envelope. The only reason this kind of arrangement constructed through the CIA, would be for these pro-rebel ”experts” and western journalists to formulate politicised ‘intelligence’ so men like John McCain and John Kerry – and President Obama, can make their case for sending arms to insurgents, or even to shill for western military intervention. Which is exactly what we see in the case of “Dr” Elizabeth O’Bagy.

In addition, Elizabeth O’Bagy was drafted in to help defend the alleged CIA American al Qaeda fighter recently detained by the FBI for working with al Qaeda in Syria, by working to shift opinion over his jihadist affiliations. FOX News reported

“O’Bagy was fired earlier this week by the Institute for the Study of War for allegedly lying about her academic credentials. Her writings had been used by U.S. officials to bolster their case for military action against the Assad regime.

O’Bagy discussed the rebel group in question in a June 19, 2013 signed affidavit filed in the case of American Eric Harroun, who was indicted for fighting alongside the terror group al-Nusra in Syria.O’Bagy’s signed declaration, which included a breakdown of rebel groups and their varying degrees of affiliation to Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, was used by Harroun’s defense to argue that the former Army medic had actually fought with a splinter group and not a terrorist one – a group tied to the one O’Bagy described.It actually turns out that “Dr” O’Bagy’s rigorous study of militant group’s Facebook page (this is what passes for intelligence in 2013 – Facebook pages) forgot to mention images of the U.S. Capitol building on fire, with extremist fighters depicted, as well as al Qaeda-style, black and white flags in other images.

US OPERATIVE: Jihadist-linked American fighter Eric Harroun poses for a photo with Islamic mercenary in Syria (photo above).

Was the American al Nusra fighter Eric Harroun working on a mercenary contract, paid by either the US, Saudi Arabia, or Qatar, or was he simply a CIA agent? One of the above is likely when considered alongside many other reports already existing on private contractors and special forces working inside Syria. According to his father, Darryl Harroun, his son was an American ‘patriot’ who would never get involved with al-Qaeda, and claims he was gathering intelligence for the US inside Syria:

“I know he was doing some work for the CIA over there,” the man’s father said. “I know for a fact that he was passing information onto the CIA.” See his interview below…

Israel’s Motivation for a US Intervention in Syria

Aside from O’Bagy’s position at Kagan’s Institute for the Study of War, it’s even more interesting to note that one of her mentors is none other than Michael Weiss, Research Director at the British-based Henry Jackson Society, a key Israeli and neoconservative foreign policy think tank. To understand who is really pulling Washington’s strings regarding military intervention in Syria, one only has to read the joint article written by Michael Weis and Elizabeth O’Bagy, published in The Atlantic on June 14,2013, entitled:

Why Arming the Rebels Isn’t Enough: We need to dismantle Assad’s air capability to really give the opposition a leg up.”
When you combine their own analysis in this article along with who is paying for their foreign policy advocacy careers, it’s fairly easy to see what Israel’s motivation is in Syria: using the US to destroy Syria’s airforce and air defenses, leaving Israel as the sole military power in the region. Together, O’Bagy and Weis reveal the agenda here:

“Any swift and decisive decision to materially aid the Free Syrian Army will necessarily include degrading or destroying the runways and infrastructure of Syria’s military airbases and commercial airports.”

Follow the money trail behind policy hacks like O’Bagy, and you will eventually learn who is ultimately pulling Obama’s chain towards Syria.

The O’Bagy is also symptomatic of the amateur hour America has come to know as the Obama administration. It’s embarrassing to see heads of state relying on a fraudulent expert, yet, it’s appropriate to mention here that President Obama himself went so far as to seal and protect his own academic records and qualifications from public view. Executive Order 13489, banning the release of his records, was the first thing Obama did when he arrived in office in 2009.

It should be no surprise that absolutely nothing about Washington, London and Paris’s dirty clandestine war effort in Syria is transparent, and the public know it. How long until our own political operators in the west are brought to book for their deception? original report on O’Bagy below…
Syrian Writer Elizabeth O’Bagy Fired After Kerry And McCain Cite Her Work
InquisitrSyrian analyst writer Elizabeth O’Bagy has lost her job after she was quoted by Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator John McCain.

Both politicians quoted an op-ed O’Bagy wrote for the Wall Street Journal. O’Bagy, an analysts at the Institute for the Study of War, received her job after telling her bosses that she had received her doctorate from Georgetown University.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the institute writes:

“The Institute for the Study of War has learned and confirmed that, contrary to her representations, Ms. Elizabeth O’Bagy does not in fact have a Ph.D. degree from Georgetown University. ISW has accordingly terminated Ms. O’Bagy’s employment, effective immediately.”

Elizabeth O’Bagy had worked for the institute for the last year and spent her first few months as an intern. She excelled as a researcher for the institute and moved through the ranks quickly. The piece quoted by John Kerry and John McCain was titled “On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War.”

In the piece, Elizabeth O’Bagy wrote about how extremists and moderates exercise control over distinct areas of the country and how checkpoints are often set up to define territory. O’Bagy also wrote about distinct areas where moderate rebels are in control and can keep weapons out of the hands of extremists.

O’Bagy was originally listed as a “senior analyst” at the institute, and later her affiliation with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, a non-profit organization based in Washington, was revealed. On Twitter, O’Bagy said she never attempted to conceal her ties with opposition and rebel commanders. She also noted that she was never paid to advocate her views on Syria.

On September 7, O’Bagy tweeted: “I’m not trying to trick America here.”

At this time, it is not known if O’Bagy still holds her original position with SETF.


Friday, September 13, 2013

State Rape: Syria Readies

Syria, Prepare Yourself for Rape!

by Andre Vltchek - CounterPunch

Syria is next! She is already marked, cornered, psychologically ravished, and now petrified. She is tied, exposed, and told to expect the worst. She is where we tried to get her for years, where our regime has wanted her to be.

Well, actually, not yet, she is not there yet, but almost. She is still not on her knees, and that is what irritates our rulers endlessly! They like us all to be on our knees, paying for invented ‘sins’, for ‘disobedience’, for our desire to be what we really are.

For years she has been harassed, and beaten. Now there are no doubts that soon, very soon, she will be violated, in brought daylight, in front of the entire world, in front of television cameras, with no mercy and with attackers gluing cold and righteous expressions on their faces.

Her rape will be turned into entertainment, it will be orchestrated as a warning to all those who are still determined to follow their own and at least partially independent path.

Apaydin Camp

It will be a punitive rape, like those used in the darkest moments of the history of human-kind.

It will be done, and nobody will be able to stop it. Because that gangster nature of global Western dictatorship is now so complete, and it is so frightening, that no country on earth would dare to intervene and then have its legs broken, face smashed, or eyes poked out. It is all down to a mafia approach, or inquisition, or the Crusades.

Many people recently asked me to write a commentary ‘on Syria’. I agreed to do it, but now when I sit in front of my computer, I suddenly don’t know what to say. I only feel fatigue and disgust. And I try to push away all those defeatist words that keep creeping into my brain: ‘there is nothing that can be done, anymore… Humanism lost… Once again, awful and extreme dogmatists are in control of the world…’

I don’t want to fall, to succumb to this way of thinking. I am a fighter, not some weepy café intellectual. But these days, one has to work very hard to remain an optimist, and to believe in a positive outcome for our planet.


If you are an absolute gangster, global or local, how do you make a woman marry you when everything else fails? You pay some thugs; they kidnap her, tie her to a post in some abandoned garage, and you rape her, to ‘soften her up’. And after few weeks of agony and humiliation, you come to her with a huge bunch of flowers and propose marriage, so that once again she can become respectful, ‘free’ and ‘liberated’. Sick? Yes, I agree it is sick, but isn’t it, honestly, how the world is being governed these days?

How do you educate a child, if you want him or her to be an obedient servant, cleaning your crap forever, and respecting you, even if your only claim to fame is having been exploiting some buggers, miserable coolies, in your horrible pre-industrial age factory, in some awful country? The answer is simple: You hammer religion into your child’s head, you spice it up with a monstrous fear of hell, archaic concepts of righteousness, and then you confuse servility with love, and rebellion with mortal sin. You brainwash the kid, and make your vision of the world the only one that is ‘correct’, and permissible.

This is the kind of education and ‘culture’ we are supporting in our colonies. And this is the kind of love and marriage we are offering to the nations that have fallen into our orbit.

In the West, on the surface, we oppose such scenarios. We even despise them; we consider them appalling, brutal, and incompatible with our ‘values’ and ‘sophistication’. We fight for the rights of poor women living in ‘underdeveloped countries’, in those backward, grotesque, even retarded societies! We are so proud of ourselves, because we gradually became so undeniably noble, so refined, so sensitive, and so politically correct.

There are lengthy prison sentences for rape and sexual harassment, in both Europe and the United States. Our schools are mostly secular, and in some countries like France, they are secular even to the fanatical and religious extreme. Our family values are lax and it is easy for any child, any young man or woman to escape parental terror.

But the real issue is: what do we do to the world? How do we treat billions of people in the countries that we enslaved, both the poor and not so poor ones?

Remember Chile – country that I love with all my heart, which for many years had been my home. She did not want to love us, or to marry us. She was so independent, so creative, spreading new concepts of education, of the arts, of humanism all over the world. We tried to buy her, but she refused. She refused to be corrupted. She was beautiful, pure, proud and serene.

So what was done to my Chile? We paid those proverbial thugs; we kidnapped her, tortured her and finally raped her, on 9-11-1973. For years we ravished her, tied her to that post in some filthy garage, used dogs, used soldiers trained to rape, and used capitalist whips produced at the Chicago School of Economics. And we were broadcasting that rape all over the world. “This is the way to love”, we wrote in our mass media outlets. “Look, she is still bleeding, but we will now cover some parts of her body with Prada and Gucci scarves, and make her eat sushi with her broken, bleeding mouth!”

I am compelled to say: ‘Fuck us for such love’! And I am not apologizing for my language. I am not your mainstream journo; for many years I have not been. Call me arrogant, novelist; fine with me, but fuck our culture of terror, nevertheless!


Now frankly: what are we going to do to Syria, dudes?

This time, what torture should be applied? What sadistic methods used? Let’s have it all in the open!

Is it going to be depleted uranium, like in Iraq? Are we going to starve hundreds of thousands of children? Or use drones like in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or maybe chemical warfare, for the sake of those good old Indochina days? Or perhaps we can use those precision bombs that are not at all so precise, and have a curious tendency to blast public television stations, private vehicles, wedding parties, and even entire villages?

Or maybe something new, just to justify our over 1 trillion dollars “defense budget”?

Is the Libyan scenario going to be applied, or something more ‘innovative’ and original? Is there some brand new “Syrian Concept” in pipeline, in development? And if yes, what will it consist of? How are we going to murder people this time; how many of them will lose their lives? Not that it really matters, as they are not white, nor Christian, and therefore “not people”. But I am just being curious!


And so, now Syria is waiting for her turn, to be raped, tortured and humiliated… To be thoroughly destroyed! Our gangster global regime will call plunder “humanitarian intervention”. Murder will be described as rescue.

We will also have plenty of those charity charades, later. We love charity; we love to give, don’t we? It is our Christian duty! We first rob, loot, steal and plunder 100, and then, benevolently, after country is starving, give back 2… or maybe, maybe 4… if we feel very generous that day. It is like what is done by some factory owner somewhere in Honduras, who exploits his workers day and night, then gives them old clothes and food, and even builds the school that helps to brainwash them!


I have been there, recently; I have been to Syria! I have been to the Golan Heights, which is still, according to international law, uncontested Syrian territory. It is also a place that has been occupied by Israel for decades, where there are more armored vehicles now, than tractors. And we are talking about a part of the world previously known only for its delicious cherries and apples!

Oh River Jordan! Around 90% of the population had been forced to leave the Golan Heights, and villages were leveled, thoroughly destroyed, by the Israeli armed forces. Kibbutz after kibbutz grew literally on ruins of the original dwellings, producing wine, and growing food, right behind the barbed wire, high voltage fences and security towers!

I drove to the top of one hill, parked my car, and climbed onto the roof of one of the recently abandoned Israeli bunkers. In front of me – a huge Syrian flag and high voltage Israeli fences cut across this ancient and beautiful land. To make the scenery more diverse, there were some rotting tanks, and a huge United Nations camp, as there were remains of destroyed towns and villages all around, as well as Israeli commandos training inside abandoned Syrian structures…

Oh Syria! Now they are sewing your funeral gown, even as you are still breathing, still clinging to life!


I also went to the Syrian border, from the Turkish side… I went there twice in just one year, to the environs of the city of Hatay, historically one of the most tolerant places on earth, now terrorized by pro-Western jihadi cadres imported from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, on their Western-sponsored mission to destabilize the Syrian State.

I wanted to check on those ‘refugee camps’, which Turkey, that staunch member of NATO, has been recently building along its borderline with Syria. For instance, the Apaydin Camp is no refugee facility, but a tough military training boot camp, designed to prepare and further harden the already brutal ‘Syrian opposition forces’…

I interviewed people at the border; it is common knowledge that Syrian opposition fighters infiltrate their country from Turkish territory, that they go back and forth, some return injured, get medical treatment, then go back again with fresh supplies of weapons and ammunition, to fight against the government forces.

I spoke to children just a few hundreds of meters from the borderline. It is a tough world at that border. They said that the Syrian opposition fighters steal at night, and that there is constant shooting all over the border area. The Turkish government does nothing to prevent it – the destabilization of Syria is the main and only goal.

Last time I went there in June 2013, to film with Crista, for the Venezuelan television network TeleSur, accompanied by my Turkish translator. We were intercepted on several occasions by undercover as well as uniformed Turkish security forces, and most of our footage was deleted. We were lucky not to get arrested, or disappear. Many were less fortunate: thousands of brave Turkish men and women are now rotting in prisons for much lesser ‘crimes’…


It seems that most of the countries of the world are now decisively against the pre-announced rape of Syria. Russia is standing firm, protecting Syria diplomatically, and in many other practical ways. China is also firm, and so is almost the entire Latin America.

Of course the global regime is regularly defining Russia, China and most of Latin America as evil, and ‘undemocratic’. That is, because in the West, democracy (‘rule of the people’ in Greek language) means only ‘rule of our people’, like cosa nostra (‘our thing’) is the main definition of the Sicilian mafia.

Outraged citizens of the world are suddenly uttering many candid words, and media outlets like RT, TeleSur and China’s CCTV, are now carrying them to all corners of the world. But that is not enough, not enough yet!

The outrage is boiling all over the world, as is the realization that our planet is being governed by sadistic maniacs, by mentally deranged beings who are sitting on nukes, warships and stealth bombers.

It is a horrifying reality, but at least some of us are now able to define it.

Western civilization and its followers all over the world, need urgent mental, psychiatric help, instead of respect!


There is something heavy and ‘crusade-style Christian’ about the present situation. The way Syria has been treated, how Latin America has been treated, as well as Africa, and the entire Middle East and Asia!

No matter how secular the rhetoric is; it is all overwhelmingly twisted in a religious manner…

All the arguments for attacks against Syria, as were those for attacks against Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Cuba, Vietnam and countless other countries, are clearly religious, with absolutely no proof and no logic; no proof is offered, we only have to believe. All those actions are also illegal, by international laws effectively! Again, we are made to believe, not to think, not to use objective moral judgment, just some fully subjective and dubiously defined dogma.


Right after the Second World War, the great Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Gustav Jung, connected the essence of Christianity to all those horrific crimes of conquest, colonialism and wars, committed by the West, in his little known book called “Essays on Contemporary Events”:

The Christian Church should put ashes on her head and rend her garments on account of the guilt of her children. The shadow of their guilt has fallen on her as much as upon Europe, the mother of monsters. Europe must account for herself before the world…

And then again, summarizing what is clear and obvious to anyone who studies world history in detail, but very rarely publicly pronounced in this present era of absolute intellectual and moral submission:

It is after all only a tiny fraction of humanity, living mainly on that thickly populated peninsula of Asia, which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, and calling themselves “cultured”…Viewed from a safe distance, say from central Africa or Tibet, it would certainly look as if this fraction had projected its own unconscious mental derangements upon nations still possessed of healthy instincts.

And it is clear that the present crimes and horrors committed by the United States, have roots in that European colonial “culture” (‘mother of monsters’ according to Jung), and in the brutal Christian dogmatism of earlier days, or in the lunacy of fanatical sects and streams, found predominately in the United States and all over the poor world where fundamentalism (mostly exported by the United States), always manages to find extremely fertile ground.


If one looks really close, the foreign policy of the West is really full of clear psychological and moral derangements.

The world is run with a brutality that has the clear sexual overtones of those medieval Catholic and Protestant theological cadres obsessed with the ‘sin’ and ‘guilt’ of the flesh, but inside, bursting with oppressed sexuality. Many ‘elites’ in the United States and their local servants in colonized world are puritanical on the surface, full of ‘moral rhetoric’, but in constant need of the most violent, oppressive actions.

There is a total obsession with ‘punishment’, and with combating ‘sin’. The result is the overflowing of prisons in the United States, as well as constant mass murderous actions abroad, which took directly more than 55 million human lives between Hiroshima and the present day.

But what is ‘sin’? It is all that we disapprove of. There is no objectivity in defining it.

It is all very primitive, too. Like those “Shall I?” in the old English public schools, ruler in hand of some sadistic teacher, lifted over a pupil’s shaking hand. And fear, fear, fear; and humiliation…

They have to rule: those puritans and Christian ascetics: they simply cannot live without ruling -over their children, over the countries, over the world! They cannot exist without constantly repeating to themselves and to others, even to their victims, that all that is done is for righteous reasons, for some greater good of the others. And that applies to torture, exploitation and killing!

“We destroyed the village in order to save it”, was the old saying from the Vietnam War.

Go to Kampala or Manila, to see how such dogmas, brought to the extreme, function inside families, in politically and culturally oppressive societies. Or go to the Southern States of the United States. Then take that despotic family structure and imagine what would happen if it were allowed to govern the world.

Yes, you guessed it correctly. The result would be exactly what you see all around – the present global state of things consisting of intolerance, racism, bigotry, and extreme violence!


The conclusion, based on experience, is clear and shocking: The present global regime cannot ‘love’, it can only rape.

Abel Pose, the great Argentinean writer and diplomat, and my dear friend from earlier days, described the colonizing process of what is now Latin America in his brilliant novel, “Dogs of Paradise”.

When Western conquerors came, they carried heavy armor, even in the tropical heat. They were obsessed with the Christian dogmas of ‘guilt’ and ‘sin’. And they were sexually repressed, to the extreme, to insanity.

Local women were very kind and refined. They looked at those pathetic and barbaric creatures, at those religious fanatics and brutal primitives, and they willingly opened their arms, to embrace them, out of pity, to give them at some pleasure and relief at least.

But the conquerors had strict ‘values’, and ‘family and marriage’ dogmas. Their flesh was boiling, but their religious insanity prevented them from simple human joy. So what did they do?

They kidnapped those beautiful and gentle women. They dragged them to the bushes and tortured them for hours, for days. And then, when those poor women were destroyed, bleeding, hardly surviving – they raped them! Because that was the only love they knew, the only satisfaction they understood.

And it is the same now. The entire world, much more advanced than the West and than its open and subconscious religious dogmas, much more beautiful and kinder, on so many occasions, has opened its arms and whispered: ‘we forgave you for all those Crusades, for colonialism, for bestiality… Let us finally live in harmony. Just leave us alone, let us be what we are and what we want to be.”

But the West took it, in its pathologic mental state, as weakness. It continued its orgy of plunder and rape! And it is continuing it until now!


And so, Syria is next!

And I am sick of watching, as so many others are! I don’t want to see blood running down her legs. I don’t want to see her beautiful body ravished. I don’t want to hear her screams, and witness her agony.

I don’t want to pretend that this is a normal arrangement of the world. That rape is normal, that ruining millions of human lives is normal, that for one group of countries, for one race, for one religion, it is normal to commit endless crimes against humanity, with no mechanism that can put the end to this horror!

The great Sultan Saladin fought and stopped the Christian hordes of Crusaders at both Aleppo and Damascus. These days to fight Western invasions, is called terrorism, by the twisted logic of the Empire and its servile local elites.

What I suggest is maybe modest, but I believe it effective: let us not accept the linguistics and ‘logic’ of clearly disturbed, mad people, even if they are now ruling over the world. This is not the first time in human history: we had Caligula and Hitler, Calvin and Leopold II, to mention just a few. Let us go back to basics:

Rape is not love, and brainwashing is not education. Murder is not liberation and torture is not an act of mercy. Charity after theft cannot be called ‘giving’. And denying one’s identity can never have any righteous justification. And “war is not peace”, as Arundhati Roy correctly pointed out on several occasions. And black is not white. And a cat is not a dog!

I don’t give a damn whether Syria and its government are ‘perfect’, or even good. Not now, definitely not now. We have much more pressing issues, as human race, to deal with:

We have maniacs, control freaks, market, ‘cultural’, and religious fundamentalists, real Crusaders, running around our beautiful planet, armed with nukes, entire battleship fleets and air force squadrons

We have to help them and we have to help the world, urgently, immediately. They need some serious medical treatment, some prolonged rest in a mental clinic, some professional care!

And the world finally needs some space to breathe, some vacation from fear, real peace!

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and market-fundamentalist model is called “Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear”. He just completed feature documentary “Rwanda Gambit” about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

NAFTA's Giveaway to Big Pharma: Council of Canadians Demand Immediate Review

NAFTA lawsuit from pharmaceutical company goes too far

by Council of Canadians

Council of Canadians calls for immediate review of investment treaties

 Ottawa - The $500-million corporate lawsuit from Eli Lilly against Canada's patent regime under an investor "rights" chapter in NAFTA cannot be allowed to proceed and should prompt an immediate review of Canada's investment treaty obligations, says the Council of Canadians.

"A win or settlement with Eli Lilly would be so harmful to our democracy, and set such a dangerous international precedent, that this NAFTA case cannot be allowed to proceed. In fact, it should trigger a radical rethink of these investor 'rights' treaties before the government is allowed to ratify new treaties and trade deals with China, the European Union or in the Trans-Pacific Partnership," says Stuart Trew, trade campaigner with the Council of Canadians.

Eli Lilly is claiming $500 million in compensation from Canada for the court-ordered invalidation of two patents for Strattera, an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drug, and the anti-psychotic medication Zyprexa. In both cases, federal judges found that the company did not provide enough evidence of the drugs' "inventive promise" when it filed for the patents, therefore they are invalid on grounds of inutility.

The NAFTA lawsuit is the first attempt by a brand name drug company anywhere in the world to enforce longer patents than required by national laws. Though Canada's patent regime has been found to be compliant by the World Trade Organization, Eli Lilly claims that NAFTA and WTO intellectual property rules require Canada to overturn the court decisions and adopt the same patent policies as the European Union and United States.

"Eli Lilly makes the absurd claim that Canada's legal doctrine in patent disputes - the so-called 'promise doctrine' - is arbitrary and unpredictable. But you can't get any more arbitrary and unpredictable than the secretive investment dispute process in NAFTA and other global investment treaties," adds Trew. "Instead of the courts, the Eli Lilly case will now be decided by three paid arbitrators in a boardroom somewhere in New York or Washington, and their decision will be final and binding on Canada. This abuse of democracy has gone on too long."

The Council of Canadians calls on the federal government and provinces to immediately review Canada's commitments under NAFTA and other trade and investment treaties with a view to radically reforming them to better protect the public interest from abusive corporate lawsuits. Canada is the sixth most-sued country in the world under this corporate "rights" regime, with the eight current NAFTA disputes involving a potential $2.5 billion in claims to be paid by the federal government.

- 30 -
Media Release
September 13, 2013
For media inquiries:

Dylan Penner, Media Officer, Council of Canadians,
| Twitter: @CouncilOfCDNs

Chemtrails and the Great Bee Die-Off

Bees and Chemtrails?

by Betty Krawczyk - Betty's Early Edition

Okay, on the surface trying to link massive honey bee die-offs to the puzzling Chemtrails crisscrossing our skies may seem a stretch.

But for lack of good explanations for either the honey bee die-offs (colony collapse disorder) or the Chemtrails phenomena, let’s just examine what connection, if any, might be teased from what is actually known about the two.

First, there is a time factor. In Scientific American (Sept.2013) an article on how native bees may be the answer to the die-off of European honey bees (who were brought here around 1620) is the account of the first reported colony collapse disorder of honeybees:

“In the fall of 2006 a now legendary beekeeper named Dave Hackenberg discovered that 360 out of his 400 hives in Florida were lifeless-no bees in sight. They waited, fully stocked with pollen, honey, and larvae-like ghost ships-for their inhabitants to return…but the bees never came back.”

And other beekeepers also soon started reporting the deaths of their hives with no apparent explanation. Suddenly. All gone, in one day. Like some kind of bomb had been dropped on them (the honey bees) while they worked in the fields. As noted, this started happening in 2006.

From the website Chemtrails Debunked-Skeptic-Project a site that denies the existence of Chemtrails, we learn that some of the first accounts of ordinary citizens concerned about the patterns in the sky left by airplanes started about the same time as the honey bee die-offs. Others (on the internet) say the patterns are actually a spray that is being used to control in some way the actions of humans. Others think it is a spray composed of compounds that has the power to control the weather (global warming). Whatever the purpose is, a lot of people are freaked out by Chemtrails and I’m getting more freaked all the time. And even though I live not far from an air force base and notice these strange patterns in the sky frequently I have been loath to believe that our government would spray chemicals into the atmosphere that could harm the living things below. But I’m really beginning to wonder if there are connections between the Chemtrails and health.

So are the Europeans. One theory is that all WTO nations must be in the Chemtrail spraying program and they are apparently cooperating. Way back in 2004 an article published in the German magazine ChemicaRaum+Zeit (Space and Time) reposted under Chemicals- Spraying in our Sky describes the planes leaving Chemtrails over Germany:

“At first these aircraft appear to be leaving vapor trails, but after observing them for a while one starts to have one’s doubts: These ‘vapor trails’, which are laid out in a regular, gigantic criss-cross pattern do not disperse in a matter of minutes, but hang motionless in the air; one could almost speak of an adhesive effect. Often a pearl-necklace-like pattern of the vapor is recognizable, which can also turn into a sequence of large “drops”.”

This same article goes on to explain that in spite of the difficulties of collecting air samples of the Chemtrails at the altitude of 6000 meters samples were obtained and microscopic examination revealed “a synthetic carrier substance of polymer threads (together with other unidentified components) contained traces of “(so-called ‘non-radioactive) barium salts, and microscopic particles of aluminum in a (relative to standard air levels) sevenfold higher concentration) and goes on to note:

“In research of Alzheimer’s disease, aluminum poisoning of the body is specifically known to be an important factor!”

But we are talking honey bees here and the colony collapse disorder. Yes, I think neonicotinoids are disastrous for bees too, (Europe has banned them for two years) as are all the pesticides. And yes, I’m sure these chemicals can and do kill the honey bees. But death from pesticides seems to be of a different nature; rather slow and drawn out (comparatively speaking) as I understand it. It’s the suddenness of the deaths of some of the hives that really, really needs investigating.

Unlike most of the domestic bees who are loners and don’t make hives, honey bees are social animals. They go to work together, in a bunch. The sudden dying off (instantaneously?) of the entire bunch of honey bees at one time in the fields as they work is telling us something we should know. This suddenness bespeaks of a massive overwhelming poisoning…like a spray of some kind. The honey bees from these sudden die offs were obviously healthy enough to go to work. I think they were sprayed by a substance that was deadly to them. Could it have been the spraying from Chemtrails?

New posting “What happened to Eve’s relatives?” at my blog:
View this email on the web here:

Betty K | Blog: 

Who Is the Third "K"? - Kissinger and Kerry Confer on Syria/Middle East

What's behind Kerry and Kissinger's meeting?


Michael Ratner: Despite being from different parties, the meeting between Kerry and Kissinger highlights the consistency of an American foreign policy based on imperialism.

Michael Ratner is President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in New York and Chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. He is currently a legal adviser to Wikileaks and Julian Assange. He and CCR brought the first case challenging the Guantanamo detentions and continue in their efforts to close Guantanamo. He taught at Yale Law School, and Columbia Law School, and was President of the National Lawyers Guild. His current books include "Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in the Twenty-First Century America," and “ Who Killed Che? How the CIA Got Away With Murder.” NOTE: Mr. Ratner speaks on his own behalf and not for any organization with which he is affiliated. 

Defending the Sacred, Saving the Headwaters: Tahltan Occupation and Eviction

First Nations Occupy Mining Equipment in Sacred Headwaters

by Damien Gillis - The

Watch this video from Beyond Boarding – a group of adventure filmmakers who have been following Tahltan Nation opposition to a proposed open pit coal mine in their territory, referred to as the Sacred Headwaters.

The Common Sense Canadian has been reporting on the growing standoff between Tahltan members and Fortune Minerals, over the company’s mining exploration activities, some 400 km northeast of Prince Rupert.

At issue is Fortune’s plan to blow the top off of Mt. Klappan – a sacred place for Tahltans – for mining anthracite coal. On August 14, a group of elders and their supporters issued the company an eviction notice, ordering it to cease its exploratory drilling operations. They proceeded to set up a resistance camp near the proposed mine site.

An emergency meeting a few days later, with Fortune Minerals CEO Robin Goad, only appears to have inflamed the situation.

On September 10, a group of a dozen or so Tahltans occupied the vicinity of Fortune’s drill rig with a peaceful picnic.

The above video includes a fascinating interchange between Tahltan language scholar Oscar Dennis and the RCMP officers who flew into the Sacred Headwaters to ask the Tahltan to abandon the drill. Dennis challenges the RCMP’s assumptions and basis for confronting the traditional title holders to the land:

Who has the right? We have the right. Our land has never been treatied – it’s been occupied…We’re not protesting – we’re resisting the colonial situation and we get confronted, while the colonizers from Ontario could sit on that drill and destroy our land, and they get no confrontation.

At the video’s conclusion, the voice of an RCMP officer can be heard saying, “We’ll maybe we’ll join you picnic.” Replies Dennis, “Join in.”

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.
More articles by

Thursday, September 12, 2013

UN Commission of Inquiry releases update on Syria

UN Commission of Inquiry releases update on Syria

by United Nations Human Rights Council

GENEVA (11 March 2013) While presenting its latest report to the Human Rights Council today, the independent international Commission of Inquiry on Syria on Monday also released a periodic update of its findings, covering the period 15 January to 3 March 2013.

The new 10-page update – the latest in a series of reports and updates produced by the Commission since it began its work in August 2011 – describes Syria’s slide into an increasingly destructive civil war.

The update emphasizes that the main cause of the staggering civilian casualties, mass displacement and destruction is the reckless manner in which parties to the conflict conduct hostilities. Based on first-hand accounts collected from 191 interviews conducted in the month of February, it describes a dramatic erosion of civilian space and the spread of violence throughout Syria, noting that mass displacement is exacerbated by diminishing areas in which civilians can seek refuge.

The conflict continues to be waged by both Government forces and anti-Government armed groups with insufficient respect for the protection of the civilian population, in clear violation of international humanitarian law. The Government continues its indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment of civilian areas, whilst in several instances anti-Government armed groups have located military objectives within or near densely populated areas. The update stresses how the brutality of the war is spelt out all too clearly by the perpetration of massacres. Three have reportedly been committed in Homs governorate since December 2012 alone. Many more remain under investigation.

One of the most alarming features of the conflict has been the use of medical care as a tactic of war. Medical personnel and hospitals have been deliberately targeted and are treated by parties to the conflict as military objectives. Medical access has been denied on real or perceived political and sectarian grounds.

The update calls attention to the fact that local residents in some areas have formed ‘Popular Committees’, reportedly to protect their neighbourhoods against anti-Government armed groups and criminal gangs. Some appear to have been trained and armed by the Government. There are reports that some Popular Committees have supported Government forces during military operations as an auxiliary militia.

Also documented are the ways in which those in positions of authority abuse their power to enrich themselves at the expense of the powerless. While the battle for the future of Syria continues, the conflict is providing the context for opportunistic and criminal conduct, including bribery, theft and extortion.

The Syrian Government has yet to allow the Commission to undertake investigations inside the country.


The commission, which comprises Mr. Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro (Chair), Ms. Karen Koning AbuZayd, Ms. Carla del Ponte and Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn, has been mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate and record all violations of international human rights law. The Commission has also been tasked with investigating allegations of crimes against humanity and war crimes, and its mandate was recently expanded to include “investigations of all massacres.”

The update can be found at the following link:
English -
Arabic -

Additional information about the Commission of Inquiry can be found on the Human Rights Council web page dedicated to the commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. For more information please visit -

For further media information: contact Rolando Gomez, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Tel: +41-22-917.9711, email:

Rolando Gómez
Public Information Officer
Human Rights Council Branch
OHCHR, Geneva
T – 41.22.917.9711
M – 41.79.477.4411

The Unblinking Lie: Obama on Syria

Obama’s Obscenities on Syria

by Dave Lindorff - CounterPunch

In what NPR called “perhaps President Obama’s last best chance” to make his case for launching a war against Syria, the president tellingly didn’t make a single effort to present hard, compelling evidence to prove that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad had been behind the alleged Sarin Aug. 21 attack on residents of a suburb of Damascus.

Not one piece of evidence.

Instead, he continued the talking point of the past week, focussing on the admitted horror of seeing young children “writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor.”

Given that two thirds of Americans, according to polls, do not want the US to unilaterally attack Syria, and really do not want yet another war in the Middle East, it is truly amazing that the president didn’t try to make the case, at least, that Assad was the guilty party. He simply stated, as was done in the two-page propaganda article posted on the White House website, that “We know the Assad regime was responsible” for the gas attack.

Except that we don’t. As I have written (but as the corporate media have blacked out throughout this latest crisis), a group of 12 veteran intelligence officers has written to the president telling him that the intelligence does not point to Assad, but to the rebel forces as the source of the gas attack.

What Obama did instead was try to make a case that attacking Syria to punish the government for its unproven use of gas against its own people was a matter of US national security.

Here he pulled out an even more far-fetched version of the old “domino theory” than even Lyndon Johnson’s and John F. Kennedy’s crew came up with to justify the Vietnam War.

If the US didn’t act against Syria, the president intoned darkly, Assad might eventually feel confident enough to use poison gas against neighboring Turkey, Jordan or Israel. And “other tyrants” around the world, he went on, might decide, if the US didn’t respond in Syria, to stockpile poison gas weapons that might “over time” be used against American soldiers. Even worse, he warned, Iran might decide, if the US failed to bomb Syria for its alleged gas use, that it would be safe developing those nuclear weapons that the US insists Iran wants to build.

There is, in short, no limit to the horrors that could be visited on the world if the US isn’t ready to bomb the crap out of Syria, according to President Obama.

And just to close the deal regarding Syria’s existential threat to America, the president said that we needed to bomb Assad’s forces in order “to make our children safer in the long run.”

Talk about a stretch!

Oddly, he at another point belittled the idea of any threat posed by Syria, saying that “the Assad regime does not have the ability to seriously threaten our military.”

There was another striking omission in this address. The president initially declared gravely that Assad’s regime, in using poison gas weapons, had “violated the laws of war.”

And yet he surely knows, as a Constitutional scholar, that he himself has already violated a more serious law of war — Article 51 of the United Nations Charter — by threatening Syria, a country that he himself admits poses no imminent threat to the US, with attack — and not just verbally threatening, but by assembling an armada in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf ready at a moment’s notice to fire hundreds of Tomahawk cruise missiles into the country. Such a threat is termed a Crime Against Peace, and carries a maximum punishment of execution.

Apparently, to this president, as to presidents before him, other countries are bound by the Geneva Convention and by the United Nations Charter, on pain of unilateral attack by the US, but those rules to not apply to what he called this “exceptional” nation.

Obama made a slight reference to Russia’s peace bid, under which Syria has agreed to sign the chemical weapons convention (which Israel’s Knesset has yet to ratify, incidentally, and which the US itself has yet to comply with, as it still maintains significant stocks of poison gas and even smallpox virus), and to turn over his chemical weapons and manufacturing facilities to international control for eventual destruction. But he said only that he would ask Congress to postpone a vote on authorizing an attack on Syria, not that he would drop the idea.

In closing, the president claimed that the US had for seven decades has been the “anchor of international security” and he insisted that “the world’s a better place” because of that role. It’s an appallingly ahistorical statement that the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, who lost upwards of three million civilians to American bombs, gas, napalm, anti-personnel bombs and bullets, the people of Iraq, who lost over a million civilians to US weapons, and who are still suffering massive birth defects from the depleted uranium that was callously spread across their land by US forces, and that the people of Afghanistan, whose country has been ripped apart by 12 years of US occupation and war, would certainly find repellant.

No, the world is decidedly not a better place because of America’s endless, unilateral and criminal wars and depredations, and Syria will fare no better following an American assault.

The real obscenity of this address was recalling at the end that the man giving it has somewhere on a wall in the White House a Nobel Peace Prize medal hanging.

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Martelly Lags

Popular Organizations Call for a Provisional Government to Replace Martelly 

by Kim Ives -

On. Sept. 9, Haiti’s most outspoken opposition senator and leading popular organizations announced that they would hold a national conference in Port-au-Prince on Sept. 29 to forge an alliance and map out a path to forming a provisional government to replace President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.

On Sept. 3, the eight popular organizations had called on Haiti’s deputies to indict Martelly and Lamothe for, among other things, personally making threats on Jul. 11 against a judge investigating government corruption, thereby inducing his death two days later (see Haïti Liberté, Vol. 7, No. 8, Sep. 4, 2013). On Sept. 6, thirteen deputies did formally submit an indictment in Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies, buttressing two separate parliamentary Special Commissions of Inquiry which had already recommended that Martelly and Lamothe be removed from office in reports issued on Aug. 8 and Aug. 23.

Citing the President’s flagrant sabotage in a judicial investigation, as well as his “perjury” and “treason” in the ensuing cover-up, the draft indictment called for “the impeachment of the President of the Republic and the dismissal of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice and Public Security to be carried out by the High Court of Justice,” constituted by the Senate.

Unfortunately, the Chamber of Deputies never took up the Special Commissions’ reports or the draft indictment before it adjourned on Sept. 9 for four months, not to resume its work until Jan. 14, 2014. At that point, however, there are many indications that Martelly may try to dissolve the Parliament and rule by decree.
"We are in a Parliament in which we cannot exercise our supervisory powers" of the executive because "there is rampant corruption particularly in the Chamber of Deputies," explained Sen. Moïse Jean-Charles during the Sep. 9 press conference.
Sharing the stage with the senator were human rights lawyer Mario Joseph of the Office of International Lawyers (BAI), representing the Dessalines Coordination (KOD), and Oxygène David of the National Movement for Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity of Haitians (MOLEGHAF).
“We call on the people to rise up,” Joseph said. “We have to prepare to replace the Martelly/Lamothe government. And we have to finish with the foreign military occupation of Haiti. We don’t want the MINUSTAH [UN Mission to Stabilize Haiti]. We can govern ourselves by putting in place a government of national unity to organize elections which are free, honest, and above all sovereign.”
Following the Sep. 29 Popular Forum, which will be held at the Plaza Hotel in Port-au-Prince, there will be a major march through the capital on Sep. 30 to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the 1991 coup d’état against former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Oxygène David, who spent over two months in jail without charges last year after being singled out for arrest during a regular peaceful protest, recalled that Sep. 11 marks the 25th anniversary of the 1988 St. Jean Bosco massacre, during which armed soldiers and thugs massacred 33 church-goers after a mass held by Aristide, who was then a Catholic priest. The burned out shell of the church remains the usual starting point for pro-democracy demonstrations to this day.

“Every day, Martelly’s regime shows itself to be more arrogant and lawless,” David said, pointing out that the current government protects and incorporates many of the criminals who carried out massacres, coups, and other human rights violations.
“Today we see the veritable murder of Judge Jean Serge Joseph [who was investigating government corruption], the arbitrary arrest of the two brothers Florestal [who brought the original corruption lawsuit against the government], and the attempted arrest of lawyers André Michel and Newton Saint-Juste [who represent the Florestals]. Meanwhile, the international community, through its local ruling-class lackeys, is trying to impose elections to disguise their hand-me-down democracy (demokrasi pepe), which was illegally imposed. We need a general mobilization to hold all the necessary meetings and take all the necessary steps to stop Martelly’s dictatorship and establish a provisional government capable of holding free elections.”

Flanking the speakers were representatives of other organizations joining the call including the Heads Together of Popular Organizations, the Great Space Reflection for Social Integration (GERES), the Organization of Young Progressives of Pouplar Avenue (OJPAP), the National Popular Platform (PNP), the Movement for the Survival of Haitian Society (MOSSOH), and the Awakened Militants for Another Haiti (MRH).
“No election is possible with this regime at the head of the country,” said Sen. Moïse Jean-Charles, who attracted most of the capital’s media to the press conference just as he does crowds in the street. “It is charged with involvement in so many criminal and immoral acts that threaten the future of the Haitian people. It is also unbelievable that certain sectors of the international community and the traditional political class, despite all the outrages of the Martelly regime, continue to call for elections under his leadership.”

Moïse called the last-minute electoral bill being voted on that day in Parliament “demagoguery” and charged that “Martelly has a project to dissolve parliament and restore a dictatorial regime against the people of Haiti.”

Other popular organizations in the capital have called for anti-Martelly demonstrations on Sep. 11 and 12. Sep. 11 also marks the 20th anniversary of crusading democracy activist Antoine Izméry’s 1993 murder while organizing a mass during the 1991-1994 coup to commemorate the St. Jean Bosco massacre. On Sep. 7, Nippes celebrated the 10th anniversary of its being named as Haiti’s 10th geographic department in September 2003 under the government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Thousands turned out for a giant ceremony organized by Aristide’s Lavalas Family party, and Sen. Jean-Charles was one of the speakers. His sharp message that elections are not possible under Martelly electrified the crowd, which ended up carrying him away on its shoulders.

Putin's Goes Directly to the American People

A Plea for Caution From Russia

by Vladimir V. Putin

MOSCOW - Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.

Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.

The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.

No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.

The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.

Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multi-religious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.

Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.

From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.

No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.

It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”

But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.

No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.

The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.

We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.

A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.

I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.

If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.

My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.

Presente! Saul Landau

Saul Landau's Unique Contribution to the Struggle to Free the Cuban 5

by International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

With profound sorrow we received the news today of Saul Landau's death. He was not just a known U.S. intellectual and filmmaker, but was also a dedicated friend of Cuba and of the Cuban Five, and of many other just causes.

There is not enough space to describe all of the achievements of Saul's rich life but for us in the movement to free the Five his initiatives and collaborative support over the past several years has been instrumental in advancing the work towards  their inevitable freedom.

Saúl's brilliant mind was a deep spring that constantly percolated new concepts which he presented with a forceful and passionate certainty. This is what Saul brought to the struggle to free the Cuban 5.

[Gorilla Radio interviewed Saul in October of 2011; Listen. Hear.]

Saúl became a source of reference by reaching out to personalities, actors, former elected officials, and more. His sense of wit, humor and irony were reflected in the numerous short videos he produced with Danny Glover about the case.

What changed Saul's commitment to the injustice against the Five began in 2009 when he interviewed Gerardo Hernandez in Victorville Penitentiary over the phone.

Out of that lengthy interview Saul wrote a comprehensive three part article that explained the role of Gerardo and the reasons that the Five had to come to the U.S. to monitor the activities of the anti-Cuban terrorist groups in Miami. The series was featured in Progreso Weekly and picked up by other progressive media. Saul's interest in the case was not only professional but rather one that developed into a special friendship with Gerardo. Beginning in August 2010, Saul and Danny Glover visited Gerardo in prison on 10 different occasions, including their last one in January of this year.

After each visit he always wrote a thoughtful article by finding something new and special to talk about in a prison where things tend to stay the same. During the final weeks of Saul's illness, Gerardo had the  opportunity to talk to him several times. According to Gerardo, Saul told him that he was dying but still talked about new ideas he had that would push the struggle for their freedom forward. In response to that, Gerardo wrote a moving letter to Saul entitled "It is just a journey Saul, the other is not true."

One of Saul's lasting contributions to the Cuban 5 was in his documentary Will the Real Terrorist Please Stand Up. This film explains the over 50 years of open hostility of the U.S. towards Cuba and why it was necessary for the Five to come to the U.S. to defend their homeland. The film has become a valuable tool for the Cuba solidarity movement and has been viewed in the U.S. and worldwide. Saúl helped make possible the First "5 Days for the Cuban 5" in Washington DC, April 2012. He apologized many times that he couldn't be with us this year for the second "5 Days for the Cuban 5."

For all of us who have had the honor and privilege to work closely with Saul, we will remember him as a sincere friend who knew how to transform his thought process into creative mediums for the struggle.The greatest frustration for Saul during his last days was not being able to do more for the Five.While he will not be able to be physically present when the Cuban 5 return to their homeland, his lasting contributions will occupy a very special place in the history of this long struggle.

Saúl Landau, dear friend, we will miss you!
Hasta la Victoria Siempre!

International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

September 10, 2013

Dissecting Obama's Syria Address

Rania Masri and Chris Hedges On Obama's Syria Address -
Pt. 1


Scholar Rania Masri and writer Chris Hedges respond to President Obama's Major Syria Address.

Chris Hedges, whose column is published Mondays on Truthdig , spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years. He has written nine books, including "Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle" (2009), "I Don't Believe in Atheists" (2008) and the best-selling "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America" (2008). His book "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction.
Rania Masri is an Arab American human rights activist, environmental scientist, university professor, and writer. Since 2005, she has been an Chair of the Environmental Sciences Department at the University of Balamand in Lebanon. Before then, Rania directed the Southern Peace Research And Education Center at the Institute for Southern Studies in NC. She has been active against the wars on Iraq, Lebanon, and, now, Syria. Since May, she has been giving a series of talks about US involvement in Syria. She has been representing a growing coalition of NC social justice organizations against the war.

Revolution Rising in Romania: Resistance to Planned Fracking and Roşia Montană Mining Scheme Mounting

One week of protests: what’s going on in Romania?

by Grecu Cristian-Dan - ROARMAG.ORG (Via our comrades at the Centrul de Cultură Anarhistă)

For over a week now, the people of Romania have been out in the streets to protest against the construction of an open-pit gold mine and gas fracking.

Sunday, September 1 marked the beginning of a new age in the social struggles unfolding in Romania. Protests occurred in more than 25 cities across the country — against gold mining and shale gas fracking. The same thing happened in more than 20 cities across Europe and even in North America.

For more than 15 years, there has been a struggle against a Canadian gold mining corporation that wants to exploit gold and silver from the Apuseni Mountains, in the Western part of the country, which would represent the biggest open-pit mining project in Europe. The corporation wishes to erase the village of Roşia Montană and four mountain tops, only to be replaced by a lake full of cyanide. The estimations are that about 200.000 tons of cyanide will be used, only to process 200 tons of gold and a couple hundred tons of silver! What will be next is a regional environmental catastrophe, with extremely high chances of toxic contamination across Romania, Hungary, the Danube River and even the Black Sea.

People are pressured to leave their homes, and those who remain and resist are going to be expropriated by the paramilitary private police of the company, of course in the name of the state and its so called “national interest”. The mass media have been bought, the same happened to the government. On the 27th of August, the government passed a law that will permit this exploitation to take place. What remains between a wish and reality is the decision of parliament. And this thing happened even if, for 14 years, the government admitted that the Canadian mining corporation has engaged in numerous illegal activities.

At the same time, Chevron is almost on the brink of fracking the earth beneath our feet. A number of illegal probes have already been made, and in some parts of the country the villagers are boycotting the corporation by stealing the wires used for detonations that have been laid out illegally on their property. Some villagers also got physically abused by the private henchmen of the corporations involved in the exploratory work (one of them owned by none other than Franck Timiş, who is one of the people behind the Roşia Montană project as well).

If they would start fracking, a very large portion of the country would be destroyed, and the environment heavily polluted. They tell us that we need shale gas to quit the dreaded dependency on Russian gas, but they say nothing about the fact that Romania is one of the three European states that produces more gas than it uses. The problem is that we have privatized natural gas and what is produced here is sold at cheap prices for the benefit of the powerful states of the European Union while we keep importing gas for consumption at very high prices.

People in the villages are informed and organized by activists, the majority of them shouting that if Chevron starts drilling, they will stop being peaceful, and take out their pitchforks and resist! Slogans like “defend our land!”, “industrial sabotage!” and the like can be heard more and more often. In some villages, the people have threatened the officials, and in others, like the city of Bârlad, which is at the center of the resistance against fracking, people have taken to the streets protesting in the thousands.

In the last couple of years, people from Romania forgot that they had a voice, that they had power, that they could change something. Many accepted the current situation of poverty and corruption, and forgot that they could unite and fight together. But Chevron and RMGC (the Roşia Montană Gold Corporation, which is the Romanian arm of the Canadian mining corporation) with the complicity of the state obliged us to wake up!

People are very angry: they are fed up with what has been happening for the last 24 years, ever since the so-called Revolution of ’89. They have had enough of the corrupt and dysfunctional political system and of the exploitative economic regime. Every hope of this situation being just a phase of a wild capitalism (a kind of regional, Balkanic, corrupt capitalism) that migrates towards a civilized, lawful kind of capitalism has vanished. Since the state regulates theft and destruction by law, what is the meaning of law? Who benefits from the law and who are its victims? It’s time for action!

And so, on September 1, tens of thousands of people marched all over Romania. The teachings from Gezi Park in Istanbul arrived here, too. In Bucharest, working and discussion groups were held in the streets during the protests. Every day, people arrive with a couple of tents, which are more of a symbolic statement: “we are not leaving the streets!” In Cluj, we had public meetings to discuss how to organize for the next days. During this time, other cities were protesting. More and more independent journalists started to write on what is happening. People regained their power of setting the narrative, so they began writing their opinions, posting photos, videos, proposals on their Facebook accounts. There is a big craving for real information, for genuine and true information. We won’t give up. We will not surrender.

More precisely, now is when the struggle really begins. The mainstream media is writing everywhere that the Roşia Montană problem has been resolved. Clever move, but not for us. The corporation and the state try to destroy the movement through misinformation and lies. This is what RMGC wants: they want to make us appear like crétins, and the truth to be buried under 6 feet of mud and cyanide. They try to pitch our friends and colleagues against us. The corporations’ “miners” even said that they will block the entrance into Roşia Montană — of course, they were ordered to say this. A couple of hours ago, we got some reports that stated that architects and volunteers that work on preserving the old houses in the village, were spat on, cursed at, and threatened. They are afraid, as they don’t know what will happen next.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds for us. Nor what the future will look like. But we will continue to protest, to struggle, to organize better and better, until victory will be ours, as the truth already is!

This is a message for international solidarity. If we all are united against our common enemies, the State and Capital, one day we could bring a better world in the place of the current one. Our commons are under attack: education, land, nature, water, health care, just to name a few. Faced with this new wave of primitive accumulation we must resist united and strong!
And so the motto of the resistance is: “The Revolution begins at Roşia Montană!”

Daily updates regarding protests can be found here: