More evidence of Pre-9/11 Inside Trading: Follow the Money? God forbid by Jim Hogue

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by Jim Hogue
Global Research, February 10, 2008
Baltimore Chronicle

Why was the cashing out of billions of dollars just before 9/11 never investigated?

Had an investigation been done into the crime of failing to file the “currency transaction reports” in August 2001, then we would know who made the cash withdrawals in $100 bills amounting to the $5 billion surge.

When reviewing the record of July and August of 2001, Bill Bergman noticed a $5 billion surge in the currency component of the M1 money supply—the third largest such increase since 1947. Bergman asked about this anomaly—and was removed from his investigative duties.

It’s been over six years since 9/11, but U.S. regulatory entities have been slow to follow through with reports about the complex financial transactions that occurred just prior to and following the attacks. Such research could shed light on such questions as who was behind them—and who benefited—and could help lay to rest the rumors that have been festering.

Warning bells about anomalies in the fiscal sector were sounded in the summer of 2001, but not heeded.

Among those who has since raised questions was Bill Bergman. As a financial market analyst for the Federal Reserve, he was assigned in 2003 to review the record of July and August of 2001. He noticed an unusual surge in the currency component of the M1 money supply (cash circulating outside of banks) during that period. The surge totaled over $5 billion above the norm for a two-month increase.

The increase in August alone was the third largest single monthly increase since 1947, even after a significantly above-average month in July.

Surges in the currency component of M1 are often the result of people withdrawing their cash to protect themselves lest some anticipated disaster (such as Y2K) befall the economy. In January of 1991 a surge was recorded (the then second-largest since ’47), which could be attributed to “war-time hoarding” before the Iraq I invasion, but could also be attributed to financial maneuverings and liquefying of assets relating to the BCCI enforcement proceedings.

Bergman points out that the August 2001 withdrawals may have been, to a large extent, caused by the Argentinian banking crisis that was occurring at the time. However, he raises the point that no explanation has yet fully answered the important question: Why was the cashing out of billions of dollars just before the 9/11 attacks never investigated?

It’s possible that the answer to this question is also the answer to the other follow-the-money questions surrounding 9/11; and despite an embarrassing heap of evidence, neither the press, nor Congress, nor any agency with investigative responsibility has done its job on our behalf. On the contrary, their inaction might reasonably be construed as a cover-up.

Bergman “followed the money,” including developing a framework for working with money-laundering data and “suspicious activity” reports for monitoring and investigating terrorism. The questions he asked about what happened during the summer of 2001 should have led to investigations, which should have resulted in the prosecution of those with foreknowledge of the attacks.

Those who follow the history of the 9/11 fact-finding movement know that there is a laundry-list of unanswered questions that are just as compelling as those put forth by Bergman.

And there is also a laundry-list of whistle-blowers who have been fired and subsequently ignored. So it is not at all surprising that Bergman was removed from his investigative duties, and that his concerns were not publicly addressed.

Bergman’s supervisor instructed him to follow up on an unanswered question he had raised pertaining to an August 2, 2001 letter from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve to the 12 Reserve Banks. This letter urged scrutiny of suspicious activity reports. Bergman learned of the pervasiveness of the warnings of the 9/11 attacks, and wondered how thoroughly these warnings had permeated the financial system.

In this capacity as Federal Reserve investigative point-man, and with his money-laundering portfolio being guided by his supervisor’s directive, he asked the Board why they had issued their August 2, 2001 directive, and whether this related to any heightened intelligence of a terrorist threat. His position was then eliminated, and a crucial investigation was terminated before it could even begin.

Another 9/11 Commission Misrepresentation

Footnote 28 of the Staff Monograph on Terrorist Financing from the official 9/11 Commission Report states that the National Money-laundering Strategy Report for 2001 “didn’t mention terrorist financing in any of its 50 pages.”

True? No. The NMLS Report mentions it 17 times.

One gets the impression that the commission staff (under Philip Zelikow) was trying to paint the picture that there wasn’t a lot of co-operation between those involved in counterterrorism and the banking regulators in 2001.

Why do they paint this picture, inasmuch as the contrary is the case? In fact, anti-terrorism was an important element of the National Money Strategy, and it was included and emphasized in its Report annually. It may have been part of the reason why the August 2, 2001 letter urging scrutiny of suspicious activity reports was issued in the first place.

In turn, the billions in currency shipments of July and August 2001 are completely omitted in the 9/11 Commission Report.

I make bold to point out that the official story-line is that the attacks were accomplished by “the evil-doers” on a shoe-string budget with little money changing hands. Therefore, according to Zelikow et al., it is pointless to look at large flows of money in an investigation of the attacks. That makes perfect sense—unless you happen to have a brain.

To state the obvious, there are two reasons why Zelikow et al. made the false statement regarding there having been no references to terrorism in the National Money-laundering Strategy Report.

One reason could be to justify and encourage more scrutiny (legal or otherwise) of small transactions generally, e.g. via USAPA, and the other could be to establish (read: invent) a reason for missing the evidence pertaining to the attacks. (‘Transactions too small. No one could find.’) And since the real money trail points to foreknowledge within the financial community at large, and, possibly, the Federal Reserve specifically, the “low-budget terrorism” story-line that the 9/11 Commission had established needed to be protected.

If such a lack of attentiveness to a financial transaction of $5 billion goes unnoticed in August 2001, then a reason had to be established for this lack of attention. And Bergman’s attentiveness to the Board of Governor’s August 2 letter was the fly in the ointment, as this letter proves that the Board was indeed attentive to suspicious transactions, even very, very large ones. Bergman’s question of “Why” is therefore key to yet another avenue of inquiry.

All the News that’s Permissible to Print

Note that a few dollars sent to an Islamic charity could warrant arrests, investigations, front-page stories, and, sometimes, torture and many years in jail. That’s Propaganda 101: ‘Large amounts of money do not fund major acts of terrorism. Small amounts do. Small amounts covered the 9/11 tab, therefore large amounts didn’t.’ The news coverage, creating high-profile prosecutions for relatively small transactions, reinforces this scenario.

With this in mind, we suggest that the reader follow the story of Mark Siljander (major coverage) on the one hand, and also follow the Times UK reports from Sibel Edmonds (verboten in the US mainstream press) on the other hand. Edmonds told me recently of the major foreign media outlets that had offered to report her story. Not one major outlet did so in the US.

R.T. Naylor suggests, in his wonderful book Satanic Purses, that any major terrorist event that involves a lot of money is ‘state terrorism,’ and this is independently confirmed by Sibel Edmonds’ statements as to the enormous sums changing hands at the time of the 9/11 attacks. I suggest that her testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee (Leahy and Grassley) gave the lie to the official financial myth of 9/11.

If Bergman had been allowed to continue his investigation, I suggest that he would have uncovered the same thing. Note that the drug money and other illicit transactions described by Edmonds occurred during the same time period, and the amounts in the billions are comparable.

The Law

To members of the constabulary: the operable statutes are

1) The 1970 Bank Secrecy Act that imposed new financial reporting requirements to facilitate the tracing of questionable transactions and

2) the 1986 Money Laundering Control Act that criminalized the act of money-laundering.

Also operable, and of particular relevance in a historical context, is the 1917 Trading With the Enemy Act that was relied upon in October of 1942 to seize the assets of “Hitler’s Bankers in America,” Union Banking, (involving bank vice president Prescott Bush under his father-in-law and bank president, George Walker).

The law is not always followed, and the required “currency transaction reports” are sometimes not filed. The 9/11 Commission Report and the National Money-laundering Strategy Report for 2001 did not identify those who are involved with large cash transactions. Had the paperwork been done in August of 2001, or an investigation done into the crime of failing to file the “currency transaction reports,” then we would know who made the cash withdrawals in $100 bills amounting to the $5 billion surge.

Information about what transpired took years to develop after the fact. For example, the Federal Reserve fined United Bank of Switzerland and Riggs Bank in 2004.

Mr. Bergman states that he doesn’t want to be a dog barking up the wrong tree, but the authorities, apparently under orders from our top officials, are preventing a standard investigation and the most obvious prosecutorial methodology from going forth.

Congress could step in; a prosecutor could step up. But don’t hold your breath.

Jim Hogue, a former teacher, is now an actor who tours his performance of Ethan Allen. He also operates a small farm in Calais, VT. His seminal articles about Sibel Edmonds and CIA Whistleblower “Miss Moneypenny” may be found in this newspaper’s archives. Bill Bergman currently works in Chicago as an equity analyst for a private sector firm. From 1998 to 2004 he was a senior financial market analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, where his areas of expertise included Insolvency Issues in Derivatives Markets, Money Laundering, and Ethics and Payment System Policy. He holds an M.B.A. in Finance and an M.A. in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

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Sibel Edmonds and the heroin connection (video; Aug 07)

High Treason and Felonies by Ted Lang

FBI whistleblower ignored by media by Brian O’Farrell

Sibel Edmonds Must be Heard by Philip Giraldi

Phil Giraldi chats about Sibel Edmonds by Luke Ryland

Why Bush Wants to Legalize the Nuke Trade with Turkey by Joshua Frank

Turkey’s Drug-Terrorism Connection By Martin A. Lee (1997)

Sibel Edmonds: Kill The Messenger (must-see video)



Waging Unconditional Peace (video; 2003)

Dandelion Salad


A Talk by Vietnam Veteran S. Brian Willson given November 11, 2003 before the Seattle Chapter of Veterans for Peace.

Added: February 10, 2008

Continue reading

Obama takes ME 02.10.08 results

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Maine Democratic Caucus

State Del.*

Updated 1 minute ago

County Results



NE, WA & LA Primary Results 02.09.08 + Obama Clean Sweep (video)

Romney Wins Maine Caucus

Democrat and Republican Delegates 02.05.08 (updated)

What’s Wrong with GMOs? (video)

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By now most people know that GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. But how do GMOs affect us, the food we eat, and the environment? Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology provides a solid general overview in this interview.

Added: January 25, 2008

Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod


Interview: Seymour Hersh By Sarah Brown

Dandelion Salad

By Sarah Brown

Al Jazeera English

Feb 07, 2008

Seymour Hersh, one of the world’s best known investigative journalists,  has turned his attention to the mysterious and controversial bombing of a Syrian facility by Israel last year.

In a new article for the New Yorker magazine, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, best known for his work exposing the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the horrific mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, says evidence indicates the bombing was a warning to Syria and its allies, including Iran.

Al Jazeera spoke to him about the bombing, why he feels the media failed on the story, and what it means for the Middle East.

Q: Why did Israel bomb a target in Syria?

A: Well I don’t have the answers to that direct question – one thing that is terribly significant is that the Israel and its chief ally the US have chosen to say nothing officially about this incident and that’s what got me interested – whoever heard of a country bombing another one and not talking about it and thinking they had the right somehow not to talk about it?

In 1981 when Israel bombed the Osirak reactor in Iraq they were very noisy and public about it. In this case they said nothing publicly, but after a few weeks they began to leak [information].

They began to tell certain reporters very grandiose sort of stories about what was going on – ships arriving with illicit materials, offloaded by people in protective gear … from a port in the Mediterranean across to the bomb site, commando’s on the ground, soil samples.

And none of it turned out to be true, really, at least I could find no demonstrable evidence for it.


h/t: ICH

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


A Strike in the Dark – What did Israel bomb in Syria? by Seymour M. Hersh

Seymour Hersh: What did Israel bomb in Syria? (video)

Strong Doubts Israeli Air Strike On Syria Hit Nuclear Complex By Sherwood Ross

Report: IAF knocked out Syria radar during Sept. 6 strike By Yossi Melman

Out of America By Rupert Cornwell

Dandelion Salad

By Rupert Cornwell
10/02/08 “The Independent

Whoever wins the presidency will most likely fail to take on the unholy trinity of arms manufacturers, the Pentagon, and Congress

“Lockheed Martin,” intones the fruity male voice, drenched in patriotism. “We begin with the things that matter… [pregnant pause]… Freedom.” Such are the joys of listening to radio commercials as you drive to work in Washington DC. Lockheed, of course, is a giant defence contractor. Hearing this ad, and similar inspirational stuff from Boeing and the like, you might think you were on the front lines of a war that reached into your living room.

That, of course, is precisely what George W Bush would like you to think of his “war on terror”, even though the closest the average citizen here ever gets to it is a security line at an airport. But those commercials are part of another struggle, less violent but no less relentless. It is being fought out by companies like Lockheed over the lucrative and effectively captive US government arms market.

Obscured by the great Obama-Hillary battle and the drama of Super Tuesday, the final budget of the Bush era was published last week. It covers the 2009 financial year, and contains one startling fact. If this President has his way, the US will next year be spending more on its military (adjusted for inflation) than at any time since the Second World War.

The raw figures are mind-boggling. The official Pentagon budget for 2009 runs to $515bn (£265bn), or around 4 per cent of America’s total economy (the equivalent figure for Britain is 2.5 per cent), and about the same size as the entire output of the Netherlands. Throw in an expected $150bn of supplementary outlays and you’ve got defence spending larger than Australia’s entire gross domestic product.

Even that may be an understatement. Add in various “black items”, such as military spending tucked away in other parts of government, and some claim that America’s total annual spending on the military now exceeds a trillion dollars – roughly half the entire British economy.

Students of these matters claim that the wind-down of the surge in Iraq, and the likelihood that the Democrats will recapture the White House in December, mean that the latest growth cycle in Pentagon spending, that began at the end of the Clinton era, has probably peaked. But don’t bet on it.

A faltering economy may be the biggest worry for voters this election year, but national security runs it close. On Thursday, Mitt Romney justified his decision to drop out of the Republican race for the White House by his party’s need to set aside divisive internal squabbling “at this time of war”. As for John McCain, the man now set to carry the Republican standard in November, maintaining the strength of the US military is his top priority. The economy, he freely admits, is not his strong suit. National security, however, is. If McCain wins, it will be because Americans deem him the candidate to keep them safe.

Appearing “soft” on national security can be fatal, as Democrats know only too well after their stinging defeats in the 2002 mid-terms and the presidential election of 2004. Hillary Clinton has been trying to establish herself as a hawk ever since, while Barack Obama knows full well he also has to convince in the role of commander-in-chief. In short, even a liberal Democratic President will hesitate before taking an axe to the Pentagon budget. But he should.

The US simply does not get value for its defence dollars. The Pentagon is still fighting the Cold War, not the terrorists who rely on infiltration and ambush rather than submarines and strategic bombers. Yet for all the money Bush has lavished on the military since 9/11, Iraq has stretched America’s armed forces to breaking point.

The US defence budget may reach a 60-year high next year, but the number of combat troops is smaller than ever. Politicians – Democrats as well as Republicans – all now agree the armed forces need more boots on the ground. That, however, means more, not less, Pentagon spending – unless, of course, some of those blue-chip weapons programmes are cut back.

But again, don’t bet on it. Vast spending on defence is locked into the contemporary American system as firmly as it was into the former Soviet one. Paradoxically, it took a general-turned-president to warn against such excesses. Indeed, Dwight Eisenhower had hardly taken office in 1953 when he spoke of the danger of amassing military strength at the expense of all else, a policy that amounted “to defending ourselves against one disaster by inviting another”.

Eisenhower famously referred to a “military-industrial complex”. A better term, however, is perhaps an “Iron Triangle” whose three corners are the Pentagon, arms manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing, and – most important – Congress. All three are locked together by a common vested interest. The Pentagon chiefs want the best weaponry possible. The companies want to keep the orders flowing ever more munificently. But the ultimate enablers are the elected representatives of the people.

Lockheed operates in 45 of the 50 states, where its factories provide jobs, and the congressmen and senators from those states will do anything to keep them. Far from voting less money for the Pentagon, they often provide more than the President of the day is seeking, to finance extra projects – needed or not – if that will keep the money flowing into their district. And, fearful of appearing soft on defence, few will oppose them. Thus the spending merry-go-round continues. In the America of 2009, that is the real war economy.

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Waterboarding for God and Country By Ray McGovern

Dandelion Salad

By Ray McGovern
10/02/08 “ICH

After one spends 45 years in Washington, high farce does not normally throw one off balance. I found the past few days, however, an acid test of my equilibrium.

I missed the National Prayer Breakfast—for the 45th time in a row. But, as I drove to work I listened with rapt attention as President George W. Bush gave his insights on prayer:

“When we lift our hearts to God, we’re all equal in his sight. We’re all equally precious…In prayer we grow in mercy and compassion…. When we answer God’s call to love a neighbor as ourselves, we enter into a deeper friendship with our fellow man — and a deeper relationship with our eternal Father.”

Vice President Dick Cheney skipped Thursday’s prayer breakfast in order to put the final touches on the speech he gave later that morning to the Conservative Political Action Conference. Perhaps he felt he needed some extra time to devise careful words to extol “the interrogation program run by the CIA…a tougher program for tougher customers, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11,” without conceding that the program has involved torture.

But there was a touch of defensiveness in Cheney’s remarks, as he saw fit repeatedly to reassure his audience yesterday that America is a “decent” country.

After all, CIA Director Michael Hayden had confirmed publicly on Tuesday that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and two other “high-value” detainees had been waterboarded in 2002-2003, though Hayden added that the technique has since been discontinued.

An extreme form of interrogation going back at least as far as the Spanish Inquisition, waterboarding has been condemned as torture by just about everyone—except the hired legal hands of the Bush administration.

On Wednesday President Bush’s spokesman Tony Fratto revealed that the White House reserves the right to approve waterboarding again, “depending on the circumstances.” Fratto matter-of-factly described the process still followed by the Bush administration to approve torture—er; I mean, “enhanced interrogation techniques” like waterboarding:

“The process includes the director of the Central Intelligence Agency bringing the proposal to the attorney general, where the review would be conducted to determine if the plan would be legal and effective. At that point, the proposal would go to the president. The president would listen to the determination of his advisers and make a decision.”

Dissing Congress

Cheney’s task of reassuring us about our “decency” was made no easier Thursday, when Attorney General Michael Mukasey stonewalled questions from the hapless John Conyers, titular chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Conyers tried, and failed, to get straight answers from Mukasey on torture.

Conyers referred to Hayden’s admission about waterboarding and branded the practice “odious.” But Mukasey seemed to take perverse delight in “dissing” Conyers, as the expression goes in inner city Washington. Sadly, the tired chairman took the disrespect stoically.

He did summon the courage to ask Attorney General Mukasey directly, “Are you ready to start a criminal investigation into whether this confirmed use of waterboarding by U.S. agents was illegal?”

“No, I am not,” Mukasey answered.

Mukasey claimed “waterboarding was found to be permissible under the law as it existed” in the years immediately after 9/11; thus, the Justice Department could not investigate someone for doing something the department had declared legal. Got that?

Mukasey explained:

“That would mean the same department that authorized the program would now consider prosecuting somebody who followed that advice.”

Oddly, Mukasey himself is on record saying waterboarding would be torture if applied to him. And Michael McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, was even more explicit in taking the same line in an interview with Lawrence Wright of New Yorker magazine. McConnell told Wright that, for him:

“Waterboarding would be excruciating. If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can’t imagine how painful! Whether it’s torture by anybody else’s definition, for me it would be torture.”

Okay, it would be torture if done to you, Mike; how about if done to others? Sadly, McConnell, too, missed the prayer breakfast and the president’s moving reminder that we are called “to love a neighbor as ourselves.” Is there an exception, perhaps, for detainees?

Cat Out of Bag

When torture first came up during his interview with the New Yorker, McConnell was more circumspect, repeating the obligatory bromide “We don’t torture,” as former CIA Director George Tenet did in five consecutive sentences while hawking his memoir on 60 Minutes on April 29, 2007. As McConnell grew more relaxed, however, he let slip the rationale for Mukasey’s effrontery and the administration’s refusal to admit that waterboarding is torture. For anyone paying attention, that rationale has long been a no-brainer. But here is McConnell inadvertently articulating it:

“If it is ever determined to be torture, there will be a huge penalty to be paid for anyone engaging in it.”

Like death. Even Alberto Gonzales could grasp this at the outset. That explains the overly clever, lawyerly wording in the Jan. 25, 2002 memorandum for the president drafted by the vice president’s lawyer, David Addington, but signed by Gonzales. Addington/Gonzales argued that the president’s determination that the Geneva agreements on prisoners of war do not apply to al-Qaeda and the Taliban:

“Substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act (18 U.S.C. 2441)…enacted in 1996…

“Punishments for violations of Section 2441include the death penalty…

“[I]t is difficult to predict the motives of prosecutors and independent counsels who may in the future decide to pursue unwarranted charges based on Section 2441. Your determination would create a reasonable basis in law that Section 2441 does not apply, which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution.”
MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT, January 25, 2002, p. 2

Mike McConnell needs to get his own lawyers to bring him up to date on all this. For that memorandum was quickly followed by an action memorandum signed by George W. Bush on Feb. 7, 2002. The president’s memo incorporated the exact wording of Addington/Gonzales’ bottom line; to wit, the U.S. would “treat the detainees humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of [Geneva]. (emphasis added)

That provided the loophole through which then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and then-CIA director George Tenet and their subordinates drove the Mack truck of torture. Even the Bush-administration-friendly editorial page of the Washington Post saw fit on Friday to declare torture “illegal in all instances,” adding that “waterboarding is, and always has been, torture.”

Waterboarding has been condemned as torture for a very long time. After WW-II Japanese soldiers were hanged for the “war crime” of waterboarding American soldiers.

Patriots and Prophets

Patriots and prophets have made it clear from our earliest days that such abuse has no place in America.

Virginia’s Patrick Henry insisted passionately that “the rack and the screw,” as he put it, were barbaric practices that had to be left behind in the Old World, or we are “lost and undone.” Attorney General Mukasey, for his part, recently refused to say whether he considers the rack and the screw forms of torture, dismissing the question as hypothetical.

As for prophets, George Hunzinger of Princeton Theological Seminary has awakened enough religious folks to form the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, a coalition of 130 religious organizations from left to right on the political spectrum. Hunzinger puts it succinctly: “To acknowledge that waterboarding is torture is like conceding that the sun rises in the east,” adding:

“All the dissembling in high places that makes these shocking abuses possible must be brought to an end. But they will undoubtedly continue unless those responsible for them are held accountable…. A special counsel is an essential first step.”

Sadly, Hunzinger and his associates have been unable to overcome the pious complacency of the vast majority of institutional churches, synagogues, and mosques in this country and their reluctance to exercise moral leadership.

How It Looks From Outside

Sometimes it takes a truth-telling outsider to throw light on our moral failures.

South African Methodist Bishop Peter Storey, erstwhile chaplain to Nelson Madela in prison and longtime outspoken opponent of apartheid, has this to say to those clergy who might be moved to preach more than platitudes:

“We had obvious evils to engage; you have to unwrap your culture from years of red, white, and blue myth. You have to expose and confront the great disconnect between the kindness, compassion, and caring of most American people and the ruthless way American power is experienced, directly or indirectly, by the poor of the earth. You have to help good people see how they have let their institutions do their sinning for them.

“All around the world there are those who long to see your human goodness translated into a different, more compassionate way of relating with the rest of this bleeding planet.”

Mukasey’s thumbing his nose at Conyers’ committee yesterday was simply the most recent display of contempt for Congress on the part of the Bush administration. The Founders expected our representatives in Congress to be taken seriously by the executive branch, and expected that Members of Congress would hold senior executives accountable—to the point of impeaching them, when necessary, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

That used to worry those officials and put a brake on more outlandish behavior. Not any more.

No Worries, George

One reads George Tenet’s memoirs with some nostalgia for the days of a modicum of congressional oversight, and with a strong sense of irony—as he confesses concern that Congress might one day hold him and others accountable for taking liberties with national and international law.

It seems likely that then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and David Addington counseled Tenet that his concerns were quaint and obsolete and, alas, they may have been right, the way things have been going. But Tenet apparently entertained lingering misgivings—perhaps even qualms of conscience.

In the immediate post-9/11 period, Tenet says he told the president “our only real ally” on the Afghan border was Uzbekistan, “where we had established important intelligence-collection capabilities.” We now know from UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray that those “collection capabilities” included the most primitive methods of torture, including boiling alleged “terrorists” alive.

Tenet adds that he stressed the importance of being able to detain unilaterally al-Qaeda operatives around the world. His worries shine through the rather telling sentences that follow:

“We were asking for and we would be given as many authorities as CIA ever had. Things could blow up. People, me among them, could end up spending some of the worst days of our lives justifying before congressional overseers our new freedom to act.” At the Center of the Storm, p. 177-178

Tenet need not have worried. He would be shielded from accountability by a timid Congress as well as an arrogant White House able to arrogate unprecedented power to itself and to shield those it wished to protect.

Setting the Tone

It was President George W. Bush who set the tone from the outset. After his address to the nation on the evening of 9/11, he assembled his top national security aides in the White House bunker—the easier, perhaps, to foster a bunker mentality. Among them was counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, who quoted the president in his memoir:

“I want you to understand that we are at war and we will stay at war until this is done. Nothing else matters. Everything is available for the pursuit of this war. Any barriers in your way, they’re gone. Any money you need, you have it. This is our only agenda…

“I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.” Against All Enemies, Free Press, 2004

Clarke, of course, took his book’s title from the oath of office we all swore as military officers and/or senior government officials: “To defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

John Ashcroft, head of the Department of Justice at the time, fell in lockstep with the thrust of the president’s comment dismissing any concern with international law—or, as would quickly be seen, domestic law, as well. With the enthusiastic assistance of David Addington, the affable Ashcroft assembled a cabal of Mafia-like lawyers whose imaginative legal opinions on torture, warrantless eavesdropping, and other abuses mark them forever as “domestic enemies” of the Constitution.

Add Mukasey to this distinguished roster.

Torture: the Hallmark

What is not widely known is that Justice Department-approved torture was first applied on an American citizen, John Walker Lindh, who was captured in Afghanistan in late November 2001. The White House and corporate press immediately sensationalized Lindh as “the American Taliban.”

Jesselyn Radack, a conscientious legal advisor in the Justice Department’s Professional Responsibility Advisory Office, which gives ethics advice to Department attorneys, insisted that Lindh be advised of his rights before any interrogation. Instead, he was tortured mercilessly during the first few days of his internment and denied medical care.

Lindh had had the foolishness and bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time; i. e., in a large group of prisoners rounded up by CIA and Army paramilitary forces—too large a group, it turned out.

A spontaneous uprising took place, and CIA paramilitary officer Johnny “Mike” Spann, who had questioned Lindh just minutes before, was shot dead. Outraged, Spann’s colleagues applied “frontier justice,” totally ignoring the Constitutional cautions of Ms. Radack.

The Department of Justice moved quickly to fire Radack for her principled stand. But she had the presence of mind to save emails providing chapter and verse of the difficult exchanges in which she had insisted on respect for Lindh’s rights as an American citizen. Newsweek carried the story briefly, but neither Congress nor anyone else in the media showed much interest.

Radack’s book recounting this experience, The Canary in the Coalmine: Blowing the Whistle in the Case of “American Taliban” John Walker Lindh, is available on line at:

Against this backdrop, together with Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, Patrick Henry’s warning remains a challenge for our time: Are we “lost and undone?” I think not; but we had better get it together soon, for, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., cautioned, “There is such a thing as too late.”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. He was an Army intelligence officer before joining the CIA where he had a 27-year career as an analyst. He is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

A shorter version of this article appeared on

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American Psycho: An Elite Exposed in an Exit Speech by Chris Floyd

Ron Paul speech at CPAC 02.07.08 (videos)

Ralph Nader: The Road to Corporate Fascism (must-see video; 2007)

Dandelion Salad

Oct 14, 2007

Jeffrey Keating Feb 3, 2012

Ralph Nader exclaims that the central political issue of our time is giant corporate power and its take over of our government, plus the spread of commercial values into every nook and cranny of our culture including the commercialization of childhood, the universities and almost everything these large corporations touch. Speaking at the Washington, DC Green Festival, he also details what we can and must do about it.

Continue reading

NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Dandelion Salad

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, January 29, 2008

NATO’s Role in the Middle East War Theater

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the iron fist of America, Britain, France, and Germany. These four Western nations are the pillars of NATO.

In the post-Cold War era, NATO has become an instrument in support of Anglo-American and Franco-German foreign and security objectives. Although intra-NATO differences exist, the interests of the U.S., the E.U. and Israel — which since 2005 has held a de facto membership in NATO — are interlocked within the Atlantic military alliance.

Two areas in the Middle East have been militarized by foreign powers: the Persian Gulf and the Levant.

In this regard, there have been two distinct phases of militarization in the Middle East since the late-1970s, the first being distinctly Anglo-American, going back to the Iraq-Iran War and the later being a unified NATO endeavour involving France and Germany as key players.

Although the militarization process in the Levant started after the Second World War with the establishment of Israel, NATO’s distinctive role in this process took shape since the launching of the “Global War on Terror” in 2001.

Paris and Berlin reveal their functions in the “Global War on Terror”

The E.U., led by France and Germany, has actively supported Anglo-American foreign policy since the onslaught of the “Global War on Terror.” This has resulted in the ever expanding NATO involvement in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Both NATO and Israel are slated to take on major responsibilities in forthcoming regional conflicts with Iran and Syria, should they occur. This is evident by the positioning of NATO troops and warships in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and on the borders of both Iran and Syria.

The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative: Entrapping the Palestinians in Mecca and via a Gaza-West Bank Split

In regards to Palestine, the chain of events that will be discussed will eventually lead to Annapolis. These events start with the 2002 Arab Initiative that was proposed by Saudi Arabia in Beirut during an Arab League conference in Lebanon. The Annapolis Conference was only an extravagant answer to the carefully crafted Saudi-proposal, which was really handed over to the Saudis by London and Washington in 2002 as part of their roadmap for the Middle East.

To understand where the path advertised at Annapolis is taking the Palestinians and the Levant one must also understand what has been happening in Palestine since 2001. To get to Annapolis one must recognize what happened between Hamas and Fatah, the calculated deceit behind Saudi Arabia’s role in the Mecca Accord, and the long-term objectives of America and its allies in the Middle East and the Mediterranean littoral.

First of all, America and the E.U. realized that Fatah did not represent the popular will of the Palestinian nation and that other Palestinian political parties would eventually take power away from Fatah. This was a problem for Israel, the E.U., and America because they needed the corrupt leaders of Fatah to implement their long-term objectives in the Palestinian Territories, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

In 2005, the U.S. State Department, the White House, and Israel started preparing themselves for a Hamas victory in the Palestinian general-elections. Thus, a strategy was created to neutralize not only Hamas but all the legitimate forms of Palestinian resistance to the foreign agendas that the Palestinians have been held hostages to since the “Nakba.”

Israel, America, and their allies, which included the E.U., were well aware that Hamas would never be a party to what Washington foresaw for the Palestinians and the Middle East. Simply stated, Hamas would oppose the Project for the “New Middle East” and what would be one of its consequential outcomes in the Levant, the Mediterranean Union. All along, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative was a gateway for the materialization of both the “New Middle East” and the Mediterranean Union.

While the Saudi’s played their part in America’s “New Middle East” venture Fatah was manoeuvred, at a loss for better words, into fighting Hamas so that an understanding would be required between Hamas and Fatah. This was also done with the knowledge that Hamas’ first reaction as the governing Palestinian party would be to maintain the integrity of Palestinian unity. This is where Saudi Arabia comes into the picture again through its role in arranging the Mecca Accord. Saudi Arabia did not give Hamas any diplomatic recognition before the Mecca Accord.

The Mecca Accord was a setup and a means to entrap Hamas. The Hamas-Fatah truce and the subsequent Palestinian unity government that was established was never meant to last from the day that Hamas was deceived into signing the agreement in Mecca. The Mecca Accord was in advance a preparation to legitimize what would happen next, a Palestinian mini-civil war in Gaza.

It is after the signing of the Mecca Accord that elements within Fatah led by Mohammed Dahlan (supervised by U.S. Lieutenant-General Keith Dayton) were ordered to overthrow the Hamas-led Palestinian government by the U.S. and Israel.

There probably existed two contingency plans, one for Fatah’s possible electoral success and the other contingency plan (and more probable of the two) in the case of Fatah’s failure. The latter plan was a preparation for two parallel Palestinian governments, one in Gaza led by Prime Minister Haniyah and Hamas and the other in the West Bank controlled by Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah. Mahmoud Abbas and his associates have also called for the creation of a parallel Palestinian parliament in the West Bank, a rubber stamp all but in name. [1]

The Mecca Accord effectively allowed Fatah to rule the West Bank in two strokes. Since a unity government was formed as a result of the Mecca Accord, a Fatah withdrawal from the government was used to depict the Hamas-led government as illegitimate by Fatah. This was while the renewed fighting in Gaza made new Palestinian elections unworkable. Mahmoud Abbas was also put in a position where he could claim legitimacy for forming his own administration in the West Bank that would have been seen worldwide for what it really was, an illegitimate regime. It is also no coincidence that the man picked to led Mahmoud Abbas’ government, Dr. Salam Fayyad, is a former World Bank employee.

With Hamas effectively neutralized and cut off from power in the West Bank, the stage was set for two things; proposals for an international military force in the Palestinian Territories and the Annapolis Conference. [2]

The Annapolis Peace Summit: Foreshadowing events yet to Come

According to Al Jazeera prior to the Annapolis Conference, agreements drafted by Mahmoud Abbas and Israel called the Agreement of Principles guaranteed that the Palestinians would not have a military force when the West Bank is given some form of self-determination.

The agreements also called for the integration of the economies of the Arab World with Israel and the positioning of an international force, similar to those in Bosnia and Kosovo, to supervise and implement these agreements in the Palestinian Territories. It also becomes clearer with the revelation of this information why there was a need to neutralize Hamas and legitimize Mahmoud Abbas.

This is where France, the E.U., and the creation of a Mediterranean Union re-enter the picture. For years, even before the “Global War on Terror,” Paris had been calling for a troop contingent from either the E.U. or NATO to be deployed in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories. The people of the Middle East must open their eyes to what has been planned for their lands.

February 19, 2004, Dominique de Villepin stated that once the Israelis left the Gaza Strip foreign troops could be sent there and an international conference could legitimize their presence as part of the second phase of the Israeli-Palestinian Roadmap and as part of an initiative for the Greater Middle East or the “New Middle East.” [3] This statement was made before Hamas came to the government scene and before Mahmoud Abbas’ Agreement of Principles. However, it did follow the 2002 Saudi-proposed Arab Initiative.

It is clear, in this regard, that the events unfolding in the Middle East are part of a military roadmap drawn before the “Global War on Terror.”

This brings us to Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposals for a Mediterranean Union. The economic integration of the Israeli economy with the economies of the Arab World would further the web of global relationships being tightened by the global agents of the Washington Consensus. The Saudi-proposed Arab Peace Initiative, the Agreement of Principles, and Annapolis are all phases for establishing the economic integration of the Arab World with Israel through the Project for the “New Middle East” and the integration of the entire Mediterranean with the European Union through the Mediterranean Union. The presence of troops from both NATO and E.U. countries in Lebanon is also a part of this goal.

Lebanon Déjà Vu: Internationalization of the Gaza Strip by NATO?

There is ample evidence that the 2006 Israeli war against Lebanon was planned by Israel, the U.S., and NATO. [4]

After deploying inside Lebanon in 2006 under the banner of UNIFIL, NATO was also slated to enter the Gaza Strip at some time in the near-future. Coinciding with the 2006 war on Lebanon, Israel was due to launch a major campaign against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials were saying that in the aftermath of the fighting between the Israeli military and the Palestinians that NATO was designated to move into Gaza. The Gaza Strip was viewed as the next destination for NATO “peacekeeping operations,” by Avigdor Lieberman, the former Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs. Avigdor Lieberman was also the deputy prime minister of Israel at the time.

Avigdor Lieberman even insisted, in the presence of Condoleezza Rice and U.S. officials, that a military operation against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip was “inevitable” and “the results of such a action should be the entry of 30,000 NATO forces [meaning troops] to deploy in Gaza” so as to prevent any further [Palestinian] armed build-up. [5] Amir Peretz, while in the post of Israeli defence minister, had also stated in March of 2007 that the Israeli military had authorization for fresh military operations in the Gaza Strip. [6]

The fighting that Israeli officials and military commanders predicted has occurred, but not initially between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The fighting unfolded between the Palestinians in Gaza and then the Israelis started their operations. The Israelis merely outsourced their dirty work to Palestinian collaborators in Gaza, such as Mohammed Dahlan. Even the Israeli calls for the internationalization of the situation in Gaza, like the situation in Lebanon, have been outsourced to Palestinian collaborators. Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah, has been incriminatingly following the U.S. and Israeli script verbatim.

Israel: The De Facto Arm of NATO

“Israel’s diplomatic and security goal…must be clear: joining NATO and entering the European Union.”

-Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs

Israel has established a high-level military cooperation agreement with NATO. Avigdor Lieberman has stated that Israel is destined to become an outpost of the E.U. and a formal member of NATO. [7] The former Israeli minister also managed Israeli high-level contacts with NATO and the Iranian war dossier. He has been involved with the U.S. and NATO in regards to coordinated preparations against Syria and Iran.

Since the founding of the Jewish State, Israel has been perceived as a protrusion of the so-called “West” and its interests into the Middle East and the Arab World. Israel is an active member of NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour in the Eastern Mediterranean. Although Israel is not a NATO member, Israel together with Turkey constitute the backbone of NATO strength in the Middle East. Both Turkey and Israel are slated in the future to also take on major military roles in the Mediterranean region.

By the end of 2007 Israel started claiming that it was given the “green light” from the U.S., the E.U., and their mutual military body, NATO, to launch an attack against Iran. This would spark an all embracing war in the Middle East. The Israeli military has been training continuously and Israeli troops have been told by their superiors to prepare for an “all-out war.”

Creating Barriers in the Palestine Territories: Calculated Steps for the Future?

The Gaza Strip has been compared by many in Palestine and Israel to a large detention centre or prison. Movements are restricted, mobility rights are violated, and the whole area is surrounded by barriers and barbwire. Portions of it are also still occupied by the Israeli military and used as buffer zones.

The West Bank is a vast area compared to the Gaza Strip. The Gaza Strip is also a fraction of the size of the West Bank. It has an approximate 360 square km (139 square mile) total area and shares a 51 km (32 mile) border with the Israelis. The West Bank on the other hand has an official 5, 949 square km (2, 297 mile) total area. It is far easier to control or seal off the smaller Gaza border for the Israeli military than the West Bank. In regards to the demographics of the Israeli military and Israeli manpower the case is the same. In this sense sealing off and manning Gaza would be the easier of the two areas.

In the West Bank it will be Fatah with the help of foreign troops that will be used to restrain Palestinian fighters in the event of a broader Middle Eastern war. The venture to internationalize the situation in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with foreign troops from NATO and Arab nations can also be seen as part of the effort to create a military barrier for Israel.

Gabi Ashkenazi, an Israeli general of mixed Bulgarian and Syrian descent, with ground experience in Lebanon as a supervisor of the South Lebanon Army (SLA) has succeeded Daniel Halutz as the head of the Israeli military. Ashkenazi was placed in charge of building the barrier, widely talked about as the “Apartheid Wall,” between the West Bank and Israel. Although not complete, the Apartheid Wall in the event of a regional war, would also obstruct Palestinian fighters from crossing the West Bank and fighting Israeli forces.

Creating Additional Barriers between Lebanon and Israel

The post-2006 UNIFIL that deployed to South Lebanon after the Israeli bombardment of Lebanon is not the same as the pre-2006 UNIFIL. It is a more robust and battle-ready entity and it too can be used as a shield for Israel and against the Lebanese in the case of a regional war launched by Israel.

Another important point is the Israeli military’s firing of about 3 million (or more) American-supplied cluster bombs into South Lebanon during the 2006 war against Lebanon. What came across as extremely sinister was the Israeli rush to saturate South Lebanon with these cluster bombs when the Israeli 2006 attacks on Lebanon were drawing to an end. South Lebanon’s geography gives a partial explanation; it is the region of Lebanon which borders Israel.

The mass ejection of the Israeli cluster bombs into South Lebanon was a calculated move to create another Israeli barrier from potential combatants in a future Middle Eastern war. These cluster bombs have basically become landmines that will prevent a wave of Lebanese fighters from crossing into Israel in the case of a major war against Iran, Syria, the Palestinians, and Lebanon.

Regional War Scenario: Israeli Preparations for a Retaliatory Missile Storm

The Project for a “New Middle East” will come at a high price and that price is war. The militarization of the Gaza Strip is multi-faceted in rationale and is linked to preparations for a broader Middle Eastern conflict. The deployment of foreign troops to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, like in Lebanon, and the walling up of the West Bank also serve the purpose of keeping the Palestinians at bay should a major war break out in the Middle East between Israel, America, and NATO on one side and Syria, Iran, and their allies on the other.

The rationale for this analysis is based on the fact that a war against Iran and Syria would reduce and weaken the Israeli military: Iranian ballistic missiles would leave Israeli forces exposed and the different Palestinian resistance groups are well aware of this. If a regional war were to break out between Israel and Iran and Syria, the Palestinians could be elevated to an almost equal fighting status on the ground with the Israelis in the Palestinian Territories. The dynamics of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians would be transformed overnight.

Divisions amongst the Lebanese and the Palestinians would obstruct the effectiveness of a combined military endeavour against Israel in the case of a broader regional war. The situation is the same as in Iraq: the more divided the Iraqis are the weaker their war effort would be against the U.S. and its allies occupying Iraq. Aside from Palestine, the Nakba has been repeated in Iraq. There should be no mistake about it, the occupations of Palestine and Iraq are from the same cloth and architects. Bilad Al-Sham, Iraq, and their peoples suffer from the same source.

Does a Link exist between Talks of a Palestinian Nation and War?

“The war we [Israel] are waging in the Middle East is not a war of the State of Israel alone (…) and we [Israel] are situated on the front lines.”

– Avigdor Lieberman, the Minister for Strategic Affairs

Following the Hariri assassination, France and Germany have become more active in the diplomatic waltz of the Middle East. Franco-German resources are fully active in alignment with Anglo-American interests on the diplomatic front. Before going to Egypt on a state visit, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that Germany and the E.U. would restart the Arab-Israeli peace process. [8] Franco-German diplomats and the E.U. have also harmonized their efforts with Saudi Arabia in regards to mollifying the Palestinians. [9]

Many parallels can be drawn between the march to war of 2002 and 2003 in relation to Iraq and the ongoing march to war against Syria and Iran. One of these parallels was the White House initiative to revive a so-called “Arab-Israeli peace process” and to help establish an independent Palestinian State before the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq.

There is a strong relationship between American wars in the Middle East and overtures of Palestinian statehood to the Arabs. The Oslo Accords were also linked to the 1991 defeat of Iraq in the Gulf War. Is this why George W. Bush Jr. talked more about the threat from Iran than about peace during his presidential tour of the Middle East and his visit to Israel?

One of the rationales for U.S. statements about statehood for the Palestinians, a façade, was to ensure that none of the client governments in the Arab World would be displaced through revolts by Arab populations and replaced. The Palestinian Question and support for the Palestinians is an issue that can win or lose hearts and minds in the Arab World and with many Muslim populations. The notion is that while there is temporary silence on the Palestinian front, new fronts may be opened without creating a massive outburst in the Middle East and elsewhere.

NATO-Israeli War Consultation at NATO Headquarters in Brussels

A consistent pattern is unfolding involving NATO, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the “Global War on Terror.” In late-June 2007, Avigdor Lieberman and Israeli officials had high-level meetings with NATO officials at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. [10] The Deputy Secretary-General of NATO, Alessandro Minuto Rizzo of Italy, and an Israeli delegation led by Avigdor Lieberman discussed the anticipated deployment of NATO units and forces in the Gaza Strip. [11]

The NATO Deputy Secretary-General and the Israeli side also discussed deploying an international force in Gaza to preserve order and prevent the Palestinians from arming themselves. [12] The meetings also pertained to Iran and the matter of air defences for Israel, and the deepening of intelligence cooperation between NATO and Israel. [13] Avigdor Lieberman returned to Israel from his meetings in Western Europe claiming on Israel’s Army Radio that the U.S., the E.U., and NATO had given Israel the “green light” to ignite war in the Middle East by launching an attack on Iran at an undisclosed time. [14]

In 2007 NATO gave Israel the “Green Light” to start a war with Iran at an Undisclosed Time

“Iran is a complicated country and it doesn’t seem that Israel has the power to counter [challenge] it.”

-Javier Solana, European Union Foreign Policy and Security Chief and former NATO Secretary-General (Der Tagesspiegel)

After returning from his trip to Western Europe and conferring with NATO Headquarters the former Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, said on early-July, 2007 that he received the tacit blessing of the E.U., the U.S., and NATO to initiate an Israeli military strike on Iran. “If we start military operations against Iran alone, then Europe and the U.S. will support us,” Avigdor Lieberman told Israeli Army Radio, in a message geared towards Israeli servicemen, following his European tour and his meetings with E.U. officials, José María Aznar of Spain, and the Deputy Secretary-General of NATO.

Avigdor Lieberman also asserted that because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq the U.S., Britain, and their European allies were unable to initiate a war with Iran and its allies, but were willing to allow Israel to attack Iran.

Avigdor Lieberman also affirmed that the U.S. and NATO would intervene on the side of Israel once the war with Iran and its allies were started. The message conveyed to Lieberman by NATO and E.U. officials was that Israel should “prevent the threat herself,” which means that Israel must launch the war against Iran and its regional allies. [15]

Israel will be protected by NATO in a war scenario with Iran and Syria

“The best way to provide Israel with that additional security is to upgrade its relationship with the collective [defence] arm of the West: NATO. Whether that upgraded relationship culminates in membership for Israel or simply a much closer strategic and operational [defence] relationship can be debated. After all, a classic security guarantee requires clear and recognized borders to be defended, something Israel does not have today. Configuring an upgraded Israel-NATO relationship will require careful diplomacy and planning.”

-Ronald D. Asmus, Executive Director of the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Center in Brussels (February 21, 2006)

Israel can not challenge Iran militarily. Militarily Tehran is above Israel’s league, despite the illusions of Israeli strength. Tel Aviv will only launch a war against Iran, if the U.S. and NATO are partners in the military operation.

In such a scenario, the U.S., Britain, and NATO will immediately or almost immediately come to the side of Israel, as Avigdor Lieberman has stated.

This is a premeditated arrangement. The leaders of NATO will tell their citizens that Israel was compelled to attack Iran out of fear and because of its “right to exist.” Then they will close ranks with Israel. It should also be stated when a living organism’s “right to exist” comes at the deprivation of the “rights to exist” of everything else around it then it becomes a threat like cancer.

In March of 2006, it was reported in Britain that NATO officials had alluded that they would play a role in an Israeli-U.S. attack against Iran.

Sarah Baxter and Uzi Mahnaimi reported that Major-General Axel Tüttelmann, NATO Commander of Airborne Early Warning and Control Force (AWAC) assured Israeli officials that NATO would be involved in a future campaign against the Iranians. [16]

“[Major-General] Tüttelmann’s comments revealed that the military alliance [NATO] could play a supporting role if America [and Israel] launches air strikes.” The report also revealed that the Major-General was showcasing AWAC’s early warning surveillance plane to the Israelis. [17] The showcasing of NATO surveillance planes suggests the existence of joint Israel-NATO war preparations.

Strategic studies analyst Patrick Cronin of the International Institute for Strategic Studies also told The Guardian (U.K.) in 2007 that if Israel insisted on striking Iran, the U.S. would have to take “decisive action,” insinuating that America will enter the Israeli-sparked war on the side of Israel. [18]

Israel Working to Shape Strategic Atmosphere and Environment: But for Whom?

Napoléon Bonaparte once said, “International incidents must not be allowed to shape foreign policy, foreign policy must shape the incidents.” Whatever is said and claimed about this historic figure, he was a military genius and a grand statesmen. In his life time the Corsican officer escalated himself up to the rank of a general and became the Emperor of France, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Mediator of the Helvetic (Swiss) Confederation. His campaigns took him from the Pyramids of Mamluk Egypt and the hillsides of the Iberian Peninsula to the plains of Poland and the riverbanks of Moscow. He was a man of intellect who knew very well about the depth of international relations and the politics of incidents.

Were Napoléon Bonaparte still alive, he would not have been surprised at the events unravelling in the global environment, especially in the Middle East. Today, foreign policy is still shaping international incidents. Israel has been a battling entity that has been striving to sculpt and shape its strategic environment.

If the U.S. or Britain were to take the initiative to launch another war, their political leaders would face fierce opposition from public opinion, which could threaten the Anglo-American political establishment and even create national instability. But if Israel were to launch a war the situation would be quite different.

If Israel were to launch a war on the pretexts of defending itself from a growing Iranian menace, the U.S. and NATO would intervene to “protect Israel” from Iranian reprisals without appearing to have started another illicit international war.

Blame would be shouldered on the Israelis for the war rather than on the U.S. administration and its indefectible British ally. Western political leaders would argue that it is their national duty to protect Israel regardless of the Israeli breach of international laws.

Nuclear Armageddon in the Middle East: Israel to target the Arab World and Iran with Nukes?

According to Norman Podhoretz, one of the so-called intellectual forces behind the foreign policies of the Bush Jr. Administration, in the February 2008 issue of Commentary Magazine, “The only alternative that seemed even remotely plausible to me was that he [meaning George W. Bush Jr.] might outsource the job [of starting a war with Iran] to the Israelis.”

Not only has Podhoretz called for getting Tel Aviv to attack Iran for the U.S., he has also argued that a nuclear war in the Middle East between the Israelis and the Iranians is inevitable unless Iran is bombed. This is despite the fact that the Iranian nuclear energy program has been certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as peaceful. Based on the work of Anthony Cordesman, Pordhoretz has also brought up the notion that Israel will also have to eliminate its Arab neighbours, such as Egypt and Syria (even if they are Israeli allies and at peace with Israel like Egypt).

In Podhoretz’s own words: “In the grisly scenario Cordesman draws, tens of millions would indeed die, but Israel — despite the decimation of its civilian population and the destruction of its major cities — would survive, even if just barely, as a functioning society. Not so Iran, and not its ‘key Arab [neighbours],’ particularly Egypt and Syria, which Cordesman thinks Israel would also have to target in order ‘to ensure that no other power can capitalize on an Iranian strike.’ Furthermore, Israel might be driven in desperation to go after the oil wells, refineries, and ports in the [Persian] Gulf.”

Osirik/Osiriq Déjà Vu: Israeli Attack against Iran in the Works?

It should be noted that Pervez Musharraf started a tour of Europe in the same window of time as the presidential tours of the American President and Nicolas Sarzoky in the Middle East and the withdrawal of Avigdor Lieberman from the Israeli cabinet. [19] The aim of Musharraf’s tour is to coordinate with the E.U. and NATO in Brussels, as well as to visit France, Britain, and Switzerland. [20] Musharraf’s trip comes at a time when Pakistan is in a divisive political crisis and in the eve of Israeli calls for war with Iran.

The Secretary-General of NATO, Jakob (Jaap) de Hoop Scheffer, also visited the U.A.E. shortly after the tours of George W. Bush Jr. and Nicolas Sarkozy; de Hoop Scheffer told his hosts in Abu Dhabi that NATO would work in the Persian Gulf to contain Iran. [21] The Secretary-General of NATO also called Iran a common threat to both the GCC and to NATO members. Secretary-General de Hoop Scheffer’s trip and statements are in line with Anglo-American and Franco-German plans in the Middle East to confront Iran. While in the U.A.E. the Secretary-General of NATO also inferred that NATO would get involved in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, which as noted has been in the works for years. [22]

Alarming statements that have been insinuating a looming attempt by Tel Aviv to attack Iran have been made repeatedly since 2004 and have been getting stronger. At the 2008 Herzliya Conference, an annual Israeli conference on national security, John Bolton encouraged Tel Aviv to bomb Iran while mentioning the September 2007 Israeli air strike on Syria as a precedent for another attack. [23] In a state of irony, Ehud Barak started making claims in late-January, 2008 that Iran is in the final stages of manufacturing nuclear warheads while the Israeli government was announcing the success of missiles that carry nuclear warheads. [24]

Paris has also suggested that Israel will start a war against Iran; in an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Nicolas Sarkozy stated that the likelihood of Israel starting a war against Iran are far greater than an American attack on Iran. [25] The U.S. Homeland Secretary, Michael Chertoff, has also confirmed that the U.S. would not launch any attacks against Iran in an interview with RIA Novosti. [26]

Iran and Syria have stated that they are ready to protect themselves and would retaliate to any Israeli aggression. [27] All around the Middle East the forces that are resisting foreign control are on alert for some form of Israeli hostility. “If Israel launches a new war against Lebanon, we promise them a war that will change the face of the entire region,” the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has also warned Tel Aviv in anticipation of renewed Israeli aggression in the Middle East during a public ceremony in Beirut. [28]

Israel: An Instrument of U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Tel Aviv has been justifying its opponent’s claims that it is a tool of colonial projects in Middle East. The majority of Israelis are themselves being manipulated by a complex system that includes media disinformation, fear mongering, and longstanding psychological conditioning. Israeli blood is being used to oppress, kill, appropriate, and to fuel the engines of economic empires. Mercantilism is still very much alive, but in a mutated form.

Israel through its officials and government leaders is being used to maintain tension in the Middle East. Israel is an instrument which justifies Anglo-American and Franco-German intervention. Why else would the U.S. get angry with Israel because Tel Aviv did not endanger its own interests by attacking Syria during the 2006 Israeli against Lebanon and facing the wrath of an expanded regional war with Iran and Syria? [29]

Despite the demands and views of the majority of the Israeli population, Ehud Olmert, a man who was known for his corruption as the mayor of West Jerusalem, is still in the office of prime minister. Just as the democratic will of the American public has been ignored in regards to Iraq, the democratic will of Israelis has been ignored about the removal of Ehud Olmert. Like in many other places, the interests of the population of Israel are meaningless to the upper echelons of power. Israel’s leaders do not serve the interests of Israelis, they serve the “Washington Consensus.”

Ehud Olmert’s coalition may last long enough to start a regional war. Prime Minister Olmert’s political career is virtually over and he has nothing to loose from starting another war. Avigdor Lieberman, the man who led the high level consultations with NATO on behalf of Tel Aviv, left the Israeli cabinet during George W. Bush Jr.’s visit to Israel as a part of his recent presidential tour of the Middle East. Lieberman stated that his departure was because of “the peace talks” with the Palestinians, but in reality he took the decision because of the Winograd Commission and as part of a tactic to keep the Labour Party of Israel within Ehud Olmert’s coalition government. This is a tactic to possibly give enough life and time to Ehud Olmert’s government to launch a regional war by attempting to attack Iran.

Even the enemies of Israel agree that Tel Aviv is a proxy of Anglo-American and foreign interests. Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the defence minister of Iran in 2004, warned the U.S. government that in the case of an Israeli attack, Iranian military retaliation would be directed against both the U.S. and Israel. It is understood, in this regard, that were Tel Aviv to launch a war, it would need a U.S. green light before commencing the attacks. [30] The White House has also been fully involved in all Israeli missile tests and Israeli war preparations have involved joint Israeli-American coordination through such bodies as the Israeli-U.S. Joint Political Military Group. [31]

In the wake of the 2006 war on Lebanon, the Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah Sheikh Naim Qassam (Kassam) declared in an interview given to Al-Manar Television: “Who started the war? Israel. It turned out that Israel does not respond proportionally, but rather executes pre-planned American decisions. The aggression was planned in advance.” [32] Sheikh Naim Qassam further accused “Israel of functioning as an arm of the United States.” Sheikh Naim Qassam explained that “Everyone has always said that Israel pulls America’s strings, but now it turns out that America rules Israel. Israel has turned into America’s arm.” [33]


Related articles from the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG):

The Mediterranean Union: Dividing the Middle East & North Africa by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East

America’s “Divide and Rule” Strategies in the Middle East by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The “Great Game”: Eurasia and the History of War by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The “Great Game” Enters the Mediterranean: Gas, Oil, War, and Geo-Politics by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The Sino-Russian Alliance: Challenging America’s Ambitions in Eurasia by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Europe and America: Sharing the Spoils of War by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries:
© Copyright Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is:

The Mediterranean Union: Dividing the Middle East & North Africa by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Dandelion Salad

by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, February 10, 2008

The Middle East and North Africa are in the process of being divided into spheres of influence between the European Union and the United States. Essentially the division of the Middle East and North Africa are between Franco-German and Anglo-American interests. There is a unified stance within NATO in regards to this re-division.

While on the surface Iraq falls within the Anglo-American orbit, the Eastern Mediterranean and its gas resources have been set to fall into the Franco-German orbit. In fact the Mediterranean region as a whole, from Morocco and gas-rich Algeria to the Levant is coveted by Franco-German interests, but there is more to this complex picture than meets the eye.

Unknown to the global public, several milestone decisions have been made to end Franco-German and Anglo-American squabbling that will ultimately call for joint management of the spoils of war. Franco-German and Anglo-American interests are converging into one. The reality of the situation is that the area ranging from Mauritania to the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan will be shared by America, Britain, France, Germany, and their allies.

These spheres of influence are really spheres of responsibility in a long campaign to restructure the Middle East and North Africa. The services agreement between Total S.A. and Chevron to jointly develop Iraqi energy reserves, NATO agreements in the Persian Gulf, and the establishment of a permanent French military base in the U.A.E. are all results of these objectives. Militant globalization and force is at work from Iraq and Lebanon to the Maghreb.

Redrawing European Security Borders: The Road to Redrawing the Map of the Middle East

“The politics [foreign policy] of a state are in its geography.”

-Napoleon Bonaparte I, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Mediator of the Helvetic (Swiss) Confederation

Before NATO’s Riga Summit it was agreed upon that the western periphery of the “Arc of Instability” would be manned by NATO and fall under Franco-German responsibility. [1] Signs of the consensus reached between the Anglo-American and Franco-German sides had emerged through Franco-German representatives a month prior to NATO’s conference in Riga, Latvia. While lecturing at Princeton University in October 2006, Joschka Fischer the former German Foreign Affairs Minister, a member of the Green Party of Germany, and a representative of the Franco-German entente gave a profound revelation about the direction of the foreign, security, and defence policy that Germany and France were heading towards.

The direction according to Joschka Fischer was “eastward,” with both the Middle East and its Eastern Mediterranean waters being named as the new borders of Europe. This region would be part of the new security sphere of the E.U. and Europe. The former German minister stated that the terrorist bombings in London, Britain and Madrid, Spain showed that the Middle East “is truly our [Europe’s] backyard, and we in the E.U. must cease our shortsightedness and recognize that.” [2]

Furthermore, Joschka Fischer warned that Europe needed to shift its attention to the Middle East and Turkey — a member of NATO and one of the “gateways” or “entrances” into the Middle East. It is not coincidental that The New York Times also argued for the expansion of NATO into the Middle East just months after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003. [3] By 2004 and through the joint Anglo-American and Franco-German coordination in Lebanon it was clear that France and Germany had agreed to be America’s bridgeheads in Eurasia. This is what brought about the leadership of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy in Berlin and Paris.

The statements of Joschka Fischer reflected a broader attitude within the leading circles of France and Germany. They are not coincidental remarks or innovative in nature or isolated statements. They are part of long-standing objectives and policies that have existed for decades. Fischer’s lecture foreshadowed the drive towards the harmonization of foreign policy in the Middle East between France, Germany, Britain, and the United States. What Joschka Fischer said marked the rapprochement of the Franco-German entente and the Anglo-American alliance and foreshadowed the greater role the E.U. and NATO would play in U.S. foreign policy.

The Daily Princetonian, Princeton’s school/university newspaper, quoted the former German official as making the following statements: [4]


1. “Europe’s security is no longer defined on its [Europe’s] eastern borders, but in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.”

2. “Turkey should be a security pillar for the European community, and the efforts to derail that relationship are impossibly shortsighted.”

Joschka Fischer’s statements also foreshadow Nicolas Sarkozy’s public campaign in the Mediterranean region. Franco-German policy is also exposed in regards to Turkey; before Nicolas Sarkozy was elected in France, Chancellor Angela Merkel intensified her calls for the inclusion of Turkey within the framework of the E.U. through a “special relationship,” but not as part of the actual European bloc. [5] This also foreshadowed what Nicolas Sarkozy would later propose to the Turks.

This could mean one of two things: Franco-German policy is part of a continuum regardless of leadership and party politics or that the outcome of the 2007 French presidential elections were known in Berlin or decided beforehand. Whatever the case, the German statements expose a calculated agenda in Paris, Berlin, and other European circles for expansion linked to the Anglo-American march to war.

Paris and Berlin act in tandem regardless as to whosoever is leading their respective govemments. It is Franco-German policy at its core depends on powerful economic interests. The latter call the shots and override the elected politicians. These economic interests determine in both France and Germany as well as at the level of the E.U., the nature of government policy.

The Mediterranean Union: Expanding the E.U. into the Middle East and North Africa

The whole Mediterranean is slated to eventually fall within the European Union’s sphere of influence. This initiative is being spearheaded by France and was officially kicked off by Nicolas Sarkozy on a tour of the Mediterranean that started in Algeria. [6]The idea of a “Mediterranean Union” was presented to Europeans with the election of Nicolas Sarkozy, but this idea is not as new as the mainstream media presents it. Zbigniew Brzezinski acknowledged in 1997 that “France not only seeks a central political role in a unified Europe but also sees itself as the nucleus of a Mediterranean-North African cluster of states that share common concerns.” [7] An extension of the E.U. sphere of influence will also result in an extension of Anglo-American influence and the economic diktats of the Washington Consensus. In this case the question is how much Anglo-American influence will there be within the Mediterranean Union?

The E.U. is a shared body which support both Anglo-American and Franco-German interests. It is through America’s “special relationship” with Britain and NATO that America has a foothold in the European Union. However, the E.U. is still predominately managed by Paris and Berlin. Thus, the Mediterranean littoral will be brought largely under Franco-German influence when the E.U. model is fused onto the Mediterranean.

The mechanism and structure established by the extension of the E.U. in the Mediterranean will determine the level of Anglo-American influence within the Mediterranean littoral. If the E.U. creates an overlapping mechanism in the Mediterranean where the nations of the Mediterranean littoral are linked only directly with E.U. members bordering the Mediterranean and indirectly with other E.U. members, then Anglo-American influence will be much weaker than it would be in the case of full integration between the E.U. and Mediterranean. This type of relationship would greatly empower Paris and Berlin within the Mediterranean.

Hypothetically, this arrangement could exclude Britain, as well as America. The Mediterranean could strictly fall into the Franco-German orbit, but this seems to be an unlikely scenario. Anglo-American control and influence will be maximized if the Mediterranean is wholly amalgamated into the European Union. However, this could damage the E.U. and hurt Anglo-American and Franco-German interests for different reasons, including demographics, if it is not done at a proper pace. If amalgamation is not achieved gradually, the E.U. could face internal instability. In reality, it is in the interests of the Anglo-American and Franco-German sides to share the Mediterranean.

This is another case where cooperation with the Franco-German entente, is in the interest of both and Britain and America. To insure a strong Anglo-American role, NATO has been involved, and Israel has been integrated into the framework for a Mediterranean Union.

Israel’s role in this process also hinges upon its bilateral relationship with Turkey.

The role of Turkey as a Mediterranean country is considered pivotal in the creation of a “union in the Mediterranean region,” as one of its backbones. What has been created is an extensive network of relationships and links that will make the whole structure of a Mediterranean Union easy and quick to formalize. The far-reaching economic and military ties between Turkey and Israel will ensure that Israel is well integrated into the proposed Mediterranean entity.

Dual membership for Turkey within the E.U. and the Mediterranean Union, but without full E.U. benefits, would also benefit Anglo-American interests. This may explain why Britain and America publicly support the direct entry of Turkey into the European Union. The roles of Turkey and Israel in the Mediterranean are also topics that must be touched upon to themselves.

Establishing a Mediterranean Free Trade Zone and Sharing the Spoils of Libya’s Oil Wealth

Both the Franco-German and Anglo-American sides are sharing the spoils in Libya, one of the targets of threats of war through the “Global War on Terror.” After the fall of Baghdad in 2003, Libya surrendered peacefully to demands from the “Western Powers.” The Washington Consensus made its breakthrough into Libya.

Tripoli was on a blacklist of nations, which included Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. It was also in 2003 that construction of the Greenstream Pipeline was made to supply the E.U. with Libyan natural gas via a route running through the Mediterranean Sea to the Italian island of Sicily.

It seems just like yesterday when Libya was categorized as a “rogue state” and vilified as a supporter of international terrorism. Its status changed almost overnight with the opening up of its markets. A country’s economic policy is what determines its status in the eyes of Washington and London.

There have been no political or ideological changes in Libya nor has there been any change in leadership, but Libya is no longer seen as a rogue state. The only thing that has changes is that Libya has flung its doors open to U.S. and E.U. economic interests.

The economic, energy, and weapons deals signed with Libya in 2007 reveal the ultimate economic intent of the “Global War on Terror.” Moreover, Libya has committed itself to a program of “national reform.” [8] The media has picked up on this, but fails to talk about the real shape of reform in Libya.

The reforms are being presented as merely “democratic reform.” In practice, Libya has also accepted to undertake a “free market” program of economic restructuring in accordance with the demands of the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany. Additionally, Colonel Qaddafi the ruler and Libya’s authority can not be challenged, which exposes the true cosmetic face of these so-called democratic reforms.

Moreover, the Barcelona Declaration of 1995 that calls for a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership stands in the backdrop of the neo-liberal economic reforms, which will open up the Libyan economy to foreign investors.

The Barcelona Declaration was intended to establish a European dominated free trade zone in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean region by 2010. Everything is on track, in regards to the objectives of the Barcelona Declaration. The U.S. Middle East Free Trade Area (MEFTA) is also a parallel to this. The E.U.’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), an aggressive free trade agreement being imposed under economic threats on former European colonies, also has similar templates in regards to the ACP States in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

Justifying ties to Libya: The Bulgarian Nurses and a Shameless E.U. Public Relations Campaign

It is no accident that a group of Bulgarian nurses were freed by Libya in connection with the visit of President Sarkozy while he was on a Mediterranean tour to talk about the establishment of the Mediterranean Union. [9] The whole event was an E.U. public relations stunt. Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Libya on July 25, 2007 to sign five major deals with Libya just one day after his former wife, Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz, shuttled out of Tripoli on board a French presidential jet with the five Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor that France and the E.U. had negotiated for.

The Bulgarian nurse ordeal has been used as a justification for improving economic ties with Libya, a nation otherwise demonized as an international rogue, despite the E.U. claims of commercial relationships being tied to human rights. The whole affair was stage managed and was an attempt to hide the underlying economic interests that dictate foreign policy in the E.U. and America. At the time, it was also reported that Libya blackmailed the E.U. for economic benefits in regards to the freedom of the Bulgarian nurses. However, in reality it is the E.U. that benefiting from the economic arrangements with Libya and not the other way around.

The mainstream press in the E.U. attempted to make it look like President Sarkozy was acting on his own in regards to Libya and started calling him a maverick, but nothing could be further from the truth. The French government claimed that their business deals with Libya were part of an effort to bring Libya into the light of “respectability” and that human right issues were also discussed between the French President and Colonel Qaddafi. However, Colonel Qaddafi stated at UNESCO Headquarters, in Paris, that human rights were never even talked about between the French President and himself. [10] This was during a highly reported five-day state visit made by Colonel Qaddafi to France where the Libyan leader was welcomed by President Sarkozy on December 10, 2007. [11]

The freedom of the Bulgarian nurses also came after major Anglo-American arms and energy deals were announced with Libya. [12] Both Anglo-American and Franco-German economic interests were being served in Libya. In May of 2007, in a state of irony, the British prime minister at the time, Tony Blair, announced a major Anglo-American arms and energy deal while visiting Libya and Colonel Qaddafi. [13] The French, with the knowledge and support of their German partners, also announced an arms deal between the European Aeronautics and Defence Space Company (EADS) and Libya. [14] France also announced a major nuclear deal with Libya. France, like Britain and the U.S., has coddled Libya in pursuit of economic interests and this should dispel for once and for all the mirage that the U.S. and the E.U. are defenders of democracy and human rights.

In a related event Colonel Qaddafi has also told African leaders that if plans for an African Union were delayed that Libya would divert billions of dollars worth of investments from the African continent to the Mediterranean region and become its most influential player. [15] Pertaining to the Mediterranean Union Qaddafi also stated that the fates of Libya and North Africa are tied to Europe. [16]

Exposing Paris and Berlin at their game: Germany’s role in the Mediterranean Union

It has been reported in the mainstream media that the weapons and nuclear agreements between France and Libya have upset Berlin, but German officials have denied this as untrue. [17] Chancellor Angela Merkel has also claimed that France’s idea of a Mediterranean Union threatens the E.U. and its institutions. German leaders are playing a game of on-and-off-again opposition to Paris in regards to Libya and the Mediterranean Union. Berlin makes critical statements of French actions, but then denies them to create a shroud of confusion.

Media reports and Berlin’s statements are utterly false and intended to deliberately mislead the public. Germany had to approve the French deals with Libya, because EADS is a Franco-German company that has both private and governmental interests and representation from both Paris and Berlin. The contracts with Libya could never have been formalized without the okay of the German government.

Germany is fully involved in the creation of the Mediterranean Union, as are America and Britain. The hypocrisy of the whole act that is being played out in Paris, Berlin, and E.U. capital cities is part of a tactic to mislead the public opinion. In Britain, The Financial Times called attention to the fact that Angela Merkel really wants Germany and the E.U. to be fully involved in the creation of the Mediterranean Union: “Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, pointedly told France’s ruling UMP [Union pour un Mouvement Populaire/Union for a Popular Movement] party yesterday that the future stability of the Mediterranean region affected the whole European Union and that all 27 [E.U.] member states should be involved in the engagement process.” [18]

The context of the German Chancellor’s speech was for the creation of something going beyond the Barcelona Process of 1995, which she called too “bureaucratic,” that would fully include all E.U. members. Frau Merkel emphasized that the Mediterranean was vital for Germany and northern E.U. members and not just France and Mediterranean E.U. members like Spain and Italy: “‘Germany wants to assume its responsibilities in the Mediterranean and we want to offer to all [E.U.] member countries the possibility to participate,’ she said. ‘We should have a reinforced co-operation [between the E.U. and Mediterranean]. I am convinced that all European countries are interested in this.’” [19]

In her speech, Frau Merkel stated that she was convinced that all E.U. members would be interested in having roles in the creation of the Mediterranean Union, but this is an untruthful statement — Frau Merkel knows that the entire E.U. was slated from the start to be a part of that process. The issue is not about interest, but about a calculated long-term arrangement.

Nicolas Sarkozy has moved forward with the staged act of presenting a compromise by saying that Germany and any other non-Mediterranean E.U. members (e.g. Britain) that want to participate in the creation of the Mediterranean Union are welcome. This is all a complete act. This is part of the commencement of publicly making the Mediterranean Union into what it already was, which is an E.U. initiative.

It should also be noted that German representatives were also in West Africa in connection to the French initiatives in the Mediterranean region. [20] The Germans are also preparing for the road ahead when the Mediterranean Union would economically link Africa to Europe and set the stage for further expansionism.

E.U. Declarations of support for the Mediterranean Union

The Spanish Prime Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has also announced Spain’s support for the creation of a Mediterranean Union and for new migration laws during a meeting with Nicolas Sarkozy. [21] Although it is not being tied to the creation of the Mediterranean Union, the rationale for a drive to establish new migration laws is precisely because of the Mediterranean Union and the influx of migrants that could arrive into the E.U. from the poorer countries of the Mediterranean. Italy has also signalled its support for the Mediterranean Union and new migration laws in the E.U. during the same meetings between Prime Minister Zapatero and President Sarkozy, which involved Prime Minister Prodi. [22]

All the Mediterranean members of the E.U., also called the “Olive Group,” have also declared their support for the creation of a Mediterranean Union at a two-day conference (January 17-18, 2008) held in Paphos, Cyprus. [23] The Cypriot Foreign Minister, Eros Kazakou-Marcoullis told the international press that the Mediterranean members of the E.U. fully back the creation of a Mediterranean Union: “We reaffirmed our support to all efforts which have as an objective the strengthening of the cooperation between European and Mediterranean countries and reiterated the importance of the Mediterranean region for the security, stability and prosperity of the European Union.” [24]

The Annapolis Conference and the Arab-Israeli Conflict were also discussed in Paphos because of their deep relevance to the integration of the Arab World and Israel with the European Union. A forced agreement on the Arabs would pave the way for the political and economical restructuring of the Arab World. Without mentioning it directly, the Mediterranean Union has also been inferred to as a solution to the issue of unifying Greek and Turkish Cypriots by Gerhard Schröder (Schroeder), the former federal chancellor of Germany. [25]

PART IIThe Mediterranean Union: NATO’s Role in Conquering the Middle East and North Africa

Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya specializes in Middle Eastern affairs. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).


Related articles from the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG):

NATO and Israel: Instruments of America’s Wars in the Middle East by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

America’s “Divide and Rule” Strategies in the Middle East by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The “Great Game”: Eurasia and the History of War by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The “Great Game” Enters the Mediterranean: Gas, Oil, War, and Geo-Politics by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The Sino-Russian Alliance: Challenging America’s Ambitions in Eurasia by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Europe and America: Sharing the Spoils of War by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

The CRG grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author’s copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

For media inquiries:
© Copyright Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Global Research, 2008
The url address of this article is:

Down But Not Out – Could Nader be the Come-Back Kid of 2008?

Dandelion Salad

By Chris Driscoll
February 8, 2008

As a life-long activist in the labor, peace and social-justice movements, I’ve watched with amazement, wonder, and exhilaration as the American people gave us the most surprising primary races in decades; and that was just the first month! We have eight months to go and undoubtedly many surprises yet to come. The race among major party candidates has provided more highs and lows than a calliope on rocket fuel. However, we’ve already entered a new phase of the election cycle: the Republicans are putting aside their differences in order to unify around a strongly pro-war position. The Democrats have coalesced on a neck-and-neck race between two “triangulating” Iraq war funders whose differences are more about race, gender and style than substance. And the progressive left has, as usual, fallen into lockstep behind one or another corporate-owned Democrat like some enabling abused spouse. Honest progressives will admit that neither Sen. Hillary Clinton nor Sen. Barack Obama offer us-at this point-a seriously better chance of ending the war on Iraq and turning out attention-and tax dollars-toward desperate domestic needs than Sen. John McCain does.

Sen. Obama on his official campaign website says he will “immediately begin to remove our troops from Iraq. He will remove one to two combat brigades each month, and have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months.” The last I heard, removing “combat brigades” could leave as many as 80,000 American troops in Iraq, not to mention the thousands of American mercenaries from companies like CACI, Titan and Blackwater, and a flood of American commercial vultures who have been just as destructive to that war-torn country as the troops and mercenaries have been. Sen. Clinton’s deceitful plan to continue the war and keep U.S. forces in Iraq in perpetuity is not any better than Obama’s. Neither Sens. Clinton nor Obama have agreed even to pledge to get the U.S. military out of Iraq by the end of their first term in 2013! And history is brutally clear on one important point: while Democrats in the last century have often promised to studiously avoid war while campaigning for president, they have never followed through once in office. President Lyndon B. Johnson, for a typical example, campaigned by casting Barry Goldwater as the guy who would turn Vietnam into an all-out war zone, but it was Johnson himself who did that as president. And this “talk peace, wage war” strategy goes way back with the Democratic presidential candidates: Woodrow Wilson in his 1916 campaign for re-election stumped on the slogans, “he kept us out of war,” and “peace with honor.” Yet by April 1917, the United States had entered the war that even Wilson himself later admitted was a fight between international commercial interests over who was to control lucrative international markets. Are the Democratic Party leaders of today any different; any better; any more courageous and committed to creating a world without war, even if corporate profits suffer as a result? Most Americans know at some gut level that for Democratic Party politicians commercial concerns always trump moral concerns or the concerns of the hard-working people. We’ve seen it far too often to deny it, even when we wish it were not so. Both Sens. Clinton and Obama are following a campaign model in regard to the War on Iraq that is most reminiscent of President Richard M. Nixon when in his 1968 campaign he promised to get us out of the Vietnam War in 6 months. That was even quicker than Obama’s 18 month promise. But after Nixon was elected, there were “complications,” just as we can expect there will be “complications” for Sens. Clinton or Obama. When you know in advance that these “complications” will develop unless we are successful at building a powerful and large enough anti-war juggernaut, you can understand why some prefer the brutal honesty of a Sen. John McCain, who is at least truthful about his intentions.

From the perspective of the labor, peace and social justice movements, we are now left with little-to-no maneuvering room within the Democratic Party, the party progressive movements traditionally have looked to since the 1930s for allies and alliances. With the withdrawal of Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson and John Edwards, there is little chance that the pro-people, anti-war position will have any leverage at the Democratic Party nominating convention, not inside the convention hall in any case. The demonstrations outside the hall will probably remind us of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Corporate America has already won the election. With Sens. Clinton, Obama and McCain, their interests are hedged three ways while the rest of us lose on all counts. The presidential campaign will be at the center of the public discourse from now till November 4. We are left with only one reasonable alternative if we hope to force our issues into this year’s national public debate: support the independent peace and justice candidate with the biggest megaphone, Ralph Nader!

Alone, Nader still has huge name recognition and a large and faithful following. If he is joined by the larger social movements, and by the working families so threatened by the acts of a Democratic Congress and Republican president, he could turn that solid base into a powerful campaign for the people insuring that the people’s concerns are addressed. At best, that could be turned into a three way race that would for the first time in a century give the progressive left a much needed face lift, opening up the prospect of building a mass, independent political force to the left of the Democrats. Ask yourself, why do Democratic Party politicians take you for granted? Why do they count on your votes but ignore your needs? Why do they talk like they care about you but act like they care a lot more about your boss? Could it be that you are so utterly dependable to them that they simply have no need to do any more than pretend to address your interests? They make you the same promises election year after election year, yet the rich keep getting richer, the poor, poorer, and the peace, labor, woman’s, minorities’, environmental, and other people’s agendas keep getting the short shrift.

Now, I know that among some right-leaning Progressive Democrats, just the mention of Ralph Nader will elicit fits of rage followed by volleys of hate speech more violent than even the worst Nazi or KKK invectives. Talk show host Ed Schultz calls these people “hate merchants,” and it’s hard to argue with him. But in my experience over the last 8 years as a Nader supporter intimately involved in the labor, peace and social-justice movements, I’ve found that for every hate merchant there are dozens of honest progressives who know full well how important Ralph Nader has been to our movements and what a great potential he offers as an effective incentive for a Democratic Party presidential candidate to be more accommodating and attentive than they have been in the past. Among the honest majority, all acknowledge that Ralph Nader has been the single most effective and important social reformer in the last half century. In nations across the world when reformers look for models, they look to Ralph Nader, who is almost as well known abroad as here in America. Honesty compels us to admit that we have no greater asset to run as a center-left counterbalance to the corporate-dominated Democratic and Republican candidates, even now, after a concerted and well financed, 8-year corporate-Democrat smear campaign against him. I know of no other person in American history who, after doing so much for our people, has withstood such a sustained campaign of malicious character assassination. But a single viewing of the documentary, “An Unreasonable Man,” reminds us that Nader is a political pugilist who’s been through the worst corporate America and its two parties can throw at him, and he’s still standing! What’s even more amazing, he’s still ready and willing to serve our cause, to serve the American people, as he has been unfailingly for more than 40 years. Americans who have been fooled by the triangulators usually fail to understand that when you stand up to the warmongers and corporate criminals, you will always elicit a violent reaction. A test of political maturity and determination so crucial to our success is how well we are able to inoculate ourselves from the slings and arrows of these political opponents. Is it any wonder that the people who most fervently support the Democratic Party war funders are also the most likely to turn to hate speech against our most effective social reformer?

I expect the hate merchants to throw their best punches at Nader and anyone else who dares to suggest the emperor has no cloths. That’s no surprise. What’s been more surprising in the last 8 years is the number of otherwise honest progressives who have chosen to avoid objecting to the Democratic Party’s ad hominem crusade against America’s preeminent civic reformer. The damage they have inflicted on Nader’s reputation harms us all. Their every success is a blow to the entire effort for political reform, peace and prosperity. In warfare an enemy strikes at your leadership, and wise armies protect their generals knowing as much.

But it’s not too late. We have the ability to turn this situation around if we chose to, and by turning it around for Ralph Nader, I believe we can redeem our own fortunes as well. To start that process, we need to shine a light on the corporate-Democrats’ subterranean hate campaigns, aimed at selected leading reformers, but designed to damage our movements. The honest progressives, laborites, populists, Greens, civil libertarians, radicals and reformers of this country have the power to stand up and say, once and for all, “Ralph Nader is not the problem, untrustworthy Democratic and Republican politicians are.” In fact, Ralph Nader represents everything positive about our movements for social change and has for decades acted as a leader, a catalyst and an organizer for those movements.

Often when you hear the axiom, “the left is like a circular firing squad,” it turns out to be a false analogy. The so-called “leftists” we supposedly fire upon are revealed to be fakers, not the genuine article. Like wolves in sheep’s clothing, they talk the people’s talk, but walk the corporate walk. Listen to Sens. Clinton or Obama on any given day, and then compare that to their votes in Congress. Their votes to fund Bush’s war on Iraq are well publicized, and contrast critically with what they say about the war. But you would find the same incongruity between what they say and how they vote on just about any economic, labor, peace or social justice issue. And the contrast with Ralph Nader’s 4-decade record of public service is instructive. Only the most dishonest person would claim that Ralph Nader is not a genuine reformer on behalf of the people. We truly become a “circular firing squad” when we allow others to fire on him without coming to his defense, which is the best way we can come to our own defense. We are no better than those who stand aside and watch a violent crime against a helpless individual if we don’t speak out against it. And when we stand by and watch the innocent mugged and raped in our communities, our communities suffer by becoming the victims of spreading crime.

One thing that decades of experience in the labor movement has taught me is that “solidarity” with your co-workers, co-thinkers and co-activists is useless if it is only a hollow phrase. For it to be successful, solidarity must be an act of courage, not just a rallying cry. It must represent a willingness to band together and defend the weakest or the strongest among you when they are attacked. The current weakened state of the labor movement undoubtedly has something to do with the fact that “solidarity” frequently appears in the speeches of labor leaders, but seldom as a strategy or tactic in our day to day labor rights struggles. Given Ralph Nader’s record of promoting successful pro-labor legislation and movements, the way the leadership of organized labor has joined in the corporate smear campaign against him is doubly unconscionable, although it is not universal among them. There have been some exceptional labor leaders who stuck by Nader in the true sense of the term “solidarity.”

I believe in the power of the “come back.” Maybe I read too many novels, but in the case of Ralph Nader, I look as objectively as I am able to at the numbers, the positives and negatives, and I continue to conclude that a Nader 08 presidential campaign offers a better chance for the progressive left to make a serious “come back” than any other opportunity we have available to us today. If the honest progressives stand up to the triangulators and war funders, the fake friends of labor, women and oppressed minorities, and say, “hey, we can do better-we have to do better,” we will have what it takes to run a powerful, insurgent, Nader reform campaign for president, and together we can accomplish what seems impossible. If we allow ourselves to be browbeaten by the fraudulent peace candidates, the triangulators, the corporate-controlled politicians and the hate merchants, we might as well give it all up and acknowledge that the faceless corporate powers have won, our republic is as dead as the Roman Republic on the day Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, and we’d better start practicing our goose step.

We’ve arrived at the leading edge of a historic watershed, a unique period in which the American people are obviously alarmed over the coming economic crisis; outraged over the mortgage debacle that was engineered by the Federal Reserve, Congress and the last two presidents; angered by an unrestrained corporate crime wave that has wiped out the pensions of millions and put millions more out of work; dismayed by the deregulation and privatization that has sold our nation off to the highest bidder; and, feed up with a costly corporate-inspired war that has siphoned off the funds needed to avert domestic catastrophe. We are equally weary of the bumbling destructive Bush administration and the backboneless Democratic Congress that enables the bumbling Bush. We’ve not seen such incompetence in the White House and Congress since the 1920s! And we are ready to change course and seek out real solutions.

The polls showing historic low ratings for the president and Congress are key indicators that the American people are approaching a breaking point. As a people, we have declared our independence in ever greater numbers and expressed our discontent with the direction in which the president and the Congress have taken us. Nearly half of us (48 percent in a 2006 CNN poll) have expressed support for a mass third party. In a more recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken from Dec. 14-17, 2007, 76 percent characterized the American two-party system as having either “real problems” in need of repair or as “seriously broken.” A Fox News poll in July 2007 found that ” more than twice as many voters think it would be good for the country if an independent candidate were to win the White House in 2008 than think it would be bad (45 percent good, 19 percent bad). In addition, there is rare partisan agreement on the issue as 42 percent of Democrats and 44 percent of Republicans think electing an independent candidate would be good for the country, as do 56 percent of self-described independents.” The Fox poll also found that 67 percent would consider voting for an independent, “including more than 6 in 10 Democrats and Republicans.”

Americans are still unsure of how to fit into our new role as a nation in rebellion. Those who last lived through such a time as adults are now in their late 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. It will take time for us to grow sea legs, to relearn the lessons of our forefathers and foremothers about how to reform corrupt government and recreate the balance we once had between the rights of the people and the rights of commercial business. But I am convinced that enough of us are ready to make history this year with a Ralph Nader campaign, enough of us at least to offer a successful incentive to the major party candidates to be better and act better, and that’s why I’ve urged Ralph Nader to run. And you can be ready as well, as long as you first learn to defend one another from the “divide and conquer” strategy of America’s corrupt corporate elite. If you are able to recognize that the Democratic Party slander campaign against Ralph Nader is part and parcel with other corporate strategies, like their union busting strategy or their subtle use of racism, sexism and classism to divide us from one another, then you’ll be ready too. As a first step, please visit

Chris Driscoll, a science, environmental and technology trade journalist, was the 2006 Populist Party nominee for Governor of Maryland. He also serves as the state chairman of the Populist Party of Maryland.

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