US and European Union grant unlimited powers to police and secret services

Dandelion Salad

by Silvia Cattori
Global Research
June 22, 2008
ICH June 18, 2008

The Incredible Story of Youssef Nada

Under the cover of the “war against terror”, the United States and the European Union have granted unlimited powers to secret services and police. Emergency measures which were introduced on a provisional basis in 2001, outside any judiciary control, have become permanent. Since September 2001, at least 80,000 people, mainly Muslim, would have been kidnapped, kept in secret prisons, and tortured by CIA and FBI agents. Hundreds of others have been put on the UN « black list ». That’s what happened to the businessman Youssef Nada, 77 years old, an Italian citizen of Egyptian origin, accused by U.S. President, G.W Bush of financing Al-Qaeda. Two judiciary investigations resulted in a non-suit, but Mr. Nada didn’t get his name deleted from the UN « black list » (*). His assets remain frozen; he is barred from travelling to or transiting in any country. He can’t go outside the tiny enclave of Campione – an Italian enclave inside Swiss territory – where Silvia Cattori went to meet him.

Silvia Cattori : Once he knew, in detail, your incredible story, Mr. Dick Marty denounced the injustice which is inflicted on you. He reported on your case, 19th March 2007 to the Council of Europe [1]. Despite his report, you remain on the « black list » of people suspected of assisting terrorism, deprived of freedom because my country continues to uphold the UN sanctions against you. You are living in Italy, yet being kept as hostage by Switzerland?! I want to tell you that many of us are outraged by the martyrdom that Switzerland continues to inflict on you.

Youssef Nada : You can’t say that it is “the country, Switzerland”. The citizens are one thing, and politics is another. It is true that, in Switzerland, the people here are tolerant and peaceful, and neutral. Not only is the Government neutral, but the people themselves are neutral. But Mr. Dick Marty proved that he is one of the best Swiss citizens. Really, you feel when you read and hear what he says, that he is a humanitarian. The risk he took when he followed the “Extraordinary Renditions” case [2], nobody took before him. All the politicians know what is going on, but no one has the courage to speak. He was the only one who had the courage. Although I respect all the Swiss people, I respect Mr. Marty more, and not only because of the attitude he had towards me. His courage when he talks about people who are helpless in front of the biggest power is unique.

Silvia Cattori : Mr. Marty’s behaviour was exemplary; but unfortunately not the behaviour of the media. You implicate them on your personal website [3]. Does that mean that the journalists are apologists in support of this war?

Youssef Nada : Some journalists do have a special agenda, which they just mix up. They take part from me, part from their preconceived ideas, and make their own story. However, most journalists and media are honest. You can’t generalise. There are a lot of honest people within the media, doing their job and looking for the facts and for the interest of the public. Every month, I speak to about 15 to 20 journalists. TV journalists came: two from France, two from England, one from Austria, two from Germany, two from Italy, one from Spain, others from the Middle East and from the Far East. Some of these journalists are very honest. In fact, some of them, even without seeing me, defended my case in a correct way.

Silvia Cattori : It must have been a terrible hardship for you. Every day, you were confronted by new accusations, all more unlikely and overwhelming than the last, without being able to answer them!

Youssef Nada : In business, we have a lot of surprises. I was in business for about 55 years: naturally, every week, I had a surprise. After many years, I became anti-surprise. I am at the end of my life. For me, what happens now is as important as what could happen tomorrow or the next day.

Silvia Cattori : On your website, among those journalists who must have hurt you, you mentioned Guido Olimpio [4], Richard Labévière [5], Sylvain Besson [6]. How do you reproach them in particular?

Youssef Nada : Those journalists that you just mentioned may have their own hidden agendas or they may be full of hate. They attacked me with lies. I have explained it on my website.

Silvia Cattori : Mr. Sylvain Besson wrote a book in which he makes serious accusations against you. And this book was published after 2005, when all the prosecutors’ files against you were closed for lack of evidence, plus the Swiss Federal Court blamed the Swiss Federal Prosecutor for his actions. Did you meet Mr. Besson?

Youssef Nada : I never accepted. He tried. Not only did he try; he came to the door, and rang the bell. I said to him: “I am sorry. I have already said to you on the phone that I shall not receive you”.

Silvia Cattori : According to you, why so many journalists were so dead set against you? Was it a mistake? Or had they a special agenda?

Youssef Nada : Some have a special agenda, and some might be working as spies for foreign services. I don’t know who is working for whom. But, they definitely made mistakes; definitely they were out of line. There is no doubt that they had a special agenda. I don’t want to elaborate more here, since I have a case against Mr. Guido Olimpio, and the Court is still working on it [7]. There is another big civil case for damages. The Court has accepted that the case will be transferred to the Milan Civil Court.

Silvia Cattori : Don’t all these anti-Muslim campaigns have a common root: the war of dispossession that Israel has been waging against its Arab neighbours since 1948? The accusations that Mr. Olimpio made against you in his article of 20th October 1997, where he claimed that you were financing Hamas might well have come from the Israeli secret services?

Youssef Nada : When Olimpio wrote this article, he was working in Milan for “Il Corriere della Sera”. In court, he said that he testified, in 1996 if I am not mistaken, in front of the U.S. Congress and at the Treasury department, about terrorism financing, and he included us [the Al-Tawqa bank and Mr. Nada] in it.

Silvia Cattori : Thus, one can guess that the baseless accusations of some journalists such as Guido Olimpio and Richard Labévière have been helping develop Islamophobia?

Youssef Nada : I don’t know if we should mention only those two names; it is a group of journalists and their accomplices, a spider’s web connected together [8]. I don’t trouble myself looking for them. Actually, I have to defend myself; that’s all. What they are doing, and for whom, is not interesting for me. Definitely, they have a special agenda. Which agenda? I don’t know. I never met them. If I saw them, maybe I could understand something. I don’t consider them very important. It is true that their accusations put some oil on the fire, but they are nothing for me.

Silvia Cattori : The aim of those who were campaigning against you, was it not to damage and to compromise, by using information coming from intelligence circles, the influential opponent to President Mubarak that you are? An opponent who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood who happen to be combated by Mubarak as well as by Israel? They spread the rumour that your bank was “giving money to Hamas” – a political group that Israel qualifies as a “branch of the Muslim Brotherhood”. Was it not a way to give President Bush a pretext to accuse Muslim charities of being linked to terrorism, thereby convincing the European countries to close them down? And, it did happen.

Youssef Nada : I’m not going to guess who is behind them . I don’t have the means to examine these questions.

Silvia Cattori : The strategy of the United States and Israel is very clear: to maintain an atmosphere of fear about “terrorists”, even if they have to fabricate them, in order for the public to accept the establishment of measures “to fight terrorism” outside of any legal framework.

Youssef Nada : What we heard, came from the US administration, not from Israel. Everyone accepted Bush’s comments: “Either you are with me or against me”, from the beginning. Then the followers said: “We are with you”.

Silvia Cattori : But, if the European States accepted so easily the establishment of emergency measures was there not a successful propaganda campaign regarding the “Islamist threat” aided by the media, of which you are also a victim?

Youssef Nada : That “terrorist threat” is nonsense. In Europe, for example, in the last 30 years, we struggled against Baader – Meinhof, the Brigate Rosse, the ETA, Cosa Nostra, and the IRA. All these terrorist events that happened in Europe, Europe was able to absorb. It didn’t ruin the life of the Europeans. The governments took special measures; they contained them, and absorbed them. And it passed. There has been a wave of crimes – criminals were there, and it’s true that it was organised crime – but the democracy and the States with legal measures were able, through the law, to absorb and to contain them without going outside the law.

But, when something happens in the United States – nobody knows even now who was behind the September 11 attacks, maybe Usama Ben Laden, maybe others, I don’t know – then the entire world has to pay the price!

Silvia Cattori : In his book entitled “Innocent Victims in the Global War on Terror”, Dr. M. A. Salloomi [9] has documented that the United States and Western countries are freezing the funds of Islamic NGOs, and of Muslim Charity Organisations, under the pretext that they finance terrorism. One understands very clearly, through this study, that one of the aims of Israel and the U.S. was to ban all NGO financial and humanitarian aid to the victims of this “Global War on Terror”. These restrictions are part of the war waged by Israel and the United States on various fronts. They attack a country, starve its population, and wait for them to surrender. Today, the Muslim charity organisations in Palestine are penalised by these antiterrorist measures, which hit also Hamas. Their funds are frozen.

Youssef Nada : Unfortunately, this is a misunderstanding from the West. If it is true that some of those terrorists happened to be Muslim, that doesn’t mean that they are following Islam.

I don’t speak about Hamas; it’s another case. The word “Hamas” is not part of my dictionary. Hamas anyhow is out of the question; I don’t talk about them, absolutely, because I don’t want more problems, and my case is still open. I don’t speak about this movement, because, as you know, one of the main accusations that the US authorities made against me was the one made by Olimpio that we were helping Hamas.

The US treasury copied what this journalist falsely said that “the Bank, Al-Taqwa, donated 70 million dollars to Hamas”. First of all, how is that possible, when the capital of the bank was just 50 million dollars? The second thing is that we are regulated, we have an auditor, and the auditor is one of the great three auditors in the world: Deloitte & Touche. They aren’t blind; when they investigate and audit our accounts, they can see everything. Finally, we are presenting all our auditors’ reports to the Central Bank of the Bahamas, they are also not blind.

But if we come back to the question of the “terrorists”; those people have nothing to do with Islam; those people, if they are indeed Muslim, well, they took Islam in their hands and twisted it to serve their agenda.

As for me, I have been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood since I was 17 years old and will be until I die. This is one thing. But to say what some criminals are doing is accepted by Islam is completely incorrect. We don’t accept it, we condemned them – we aren’t afraid – we face everything, and we are ready to face even death. When we say that we condemn them, that means that we condemn them. And when we say that Islam doesn’t accept that, that means that the Islam, which we know and believe in, doesn’t accept what they do in the name of Islam.

Silvia Cattori : When Mr. Olimpio alleged that a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, you, was financing Hamas, it was not yet formally on any kind of “terrorist list” [10]. At the time, Israel’s propaganda was working to de-legitimise it, to try to force international bodies to consider it as “terrorist organisation”. You know what followed. Israel and the United States succeeded to brand Hamas beyond anyone’s expectations. [11]

Youssef Nada : When he said that I financed Hamas, he couldn’t prove it. That means that their accusations were false. If it were true, they should have been able to prove it. Let me tell you that I have been prosecuted in two countries, in Switzerland and in Italy. In Switzerland, the investigation of the Swiss prosecutor took from 7th November 2001 until 31st May 2005, when he was forced by the Federal Court to close the file against me.

In Italy, the Court also opened a file in November 2001, when Switzerland asked them to storm our house and bank, to raid it, and to take any documents they could find. When Switzerland closed the file, we asked the Italians to close the file as well and they closed it, without interrogating me ever.

The Swiss interrogated me about all the “Islamists” everywhere: about my taxes, about my nationality and how I obtained it, about my family, about my fortune; about everything, but they never said to me a single word about Hamas. Because they know that I have nothing to do with it.

Silvia Cattori : Unfortunately, the harm is done. The journalists that you have denounced made of you a suspicious person, just because you belong to the Muslim Brotherhood! This is a movement that these self-proclaimed “experts in terrorism” have been trying to say is inspired by an ideology that leads to fanaticism.

Youssef Nada : I am honoured to be part of the “Muslim Brotherhood”. I don’t see that it is something wrong. It’s an honour to me. Those who write these things about the “Muslim Brotherhood” are ignorant people who copy and repeat what the tyrant rulers of the Middle East say. Those are people who know nothing about the Muslim Brotherhood.

In politics, you’ll find a lot of things. That’s politics. When you add a political aspect to justice, everything will crash. That’s what is happening now.

Silvia Cattori : When you read articles trying to show that the Muslim Brotherhood is linked to Hamas, or Al-Qaeda, how do you respond to this kind of nonsense?

Youssef Nada : That’s their ignorance showing. Those who try to make that connection are ignorant. The Muslim Brotherhood is a philosophy, not one organisation. Every part of the Muslim Brotherhood, in any country, is completely independent from the others. I’ll give you an example: the Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco is in the government, not in the opposition. It’s not a matter of “branches”.

The Muslim Brotherhood is not an organisation; it’s a way of thinking. You can find, in the United States, people thinking the same way, convinced about this way of thinking, so they belong to the Muslim Brotherhood; you can find some in Russia, in China, in Indonesia, and that’s a fact. The CIA says that we are in 70 countries, and this is true. They miss only two, because we are actually in 72 countries. But every Muslim Brotherhood, in any country, is completely independent. No one can influence them. They may be together in their way of thinking, but not together in their actions.

Silvia Cattori : Today, the associations assisting the most deprived people in Muslim countries have no more money to distribute, because their funds have been frozen, criminalized. The population of Gaza, deprived from any assistance, is slowly dying.

Youssef Nada : Again you come to Palestine and Gaza; this subject I don’t want to talk about it. But when you talk about charity in any other places, charity is always in two parts: personal, and governmental. Governments can stop their aid, but personal charity? Nobody can stop it, because it’s going directly from the wealthy to the poor.

Silvia Cattori : Those who attacked you knew what political profit they could make by criminalizing a banker of Egyptian origin who happened to be a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Spreading the idea that this Arab-Egyptian bank, based in Lugano, was financing terrorists, was that not their main objective? They would make an “example” of you, thus giving them a case for some kind of planetary control?

Youssef Nada : But my case ended, my file is closed. No one could ever prove that I was linked to any terrorists or assisted terrorists anywhere in the world. My case is completely closed.

In spite of the fact that the enquiries opened against me resulted in no actions, I have no bank account. I don’t have even a credit card. I don’t have money [12]. I can’t go out of Campione. I have to fight, not only to get my name off the black list, but fight for my honour and my name as well.

Silvia Cattori : You are innocent, we know that today. But those who attacked you knew perfectly that you were not guilty at the time; I am trying to understand why they chose you as a target?

Youssef Nada : If you find out, let me know.

Silvia Cattori : Everything was so well organised! It can’t have been by chance?

Youssef Nada : It is the so-called “Intelligence”, who did the organising; not some individuals; it came from the States.

Silvia Cattori : «One is using terrorism to frighten people and to restrict fundamental freedoms» observed Mr. Dick Marty [13]. The United States and Israel – because your case started in 1997, years before the New-York attacks – needed to block any financing to Muslim charity organisations in order to hit resistance movements such as Hamas, They needed an example, which, amplified worldwide by the media, would prepare the world for future repressive measures.

Youssef Nada : But the file is closed. If, as you said, they wanted to make this as a case, it didn’t work. My case is closed.

Silvia Cattori : Your case is closed, true; but the Bush administration has succeeded in getting all the antiterrorist laws approved that it wanted. It has established surveillance systems designed for controlling all financing and to cut off most Muslim charity organisations from their financial resources. It has succeeded in destroying you, in preventing you even from traveling, and from enjoying your own assets.

Youssef Nada : OK, but there is a difference between whether they succeeded with me, or with the others. With the others, I’m not the advocate, because I don’t know. For me, they succeeded, yes. They succeeded to destroy me completely, yes.

But they didn’t prevent me from making charitable contributions; I had no charity organisation. I was a banker not a charity organisation. Originally, I am Egyptian. Egypt is full of poor people, people who are sleeping in the street and in the mud and who don’t have a loaf of bread. And I can assure you that, even when I had money and was assisting poor people, not even one penny went to anyone who is connected to violence, or working with those who were using violence.

Silvia Cattori : Since Mr. Sarkozy was elected to the French presidency, he has showered praises on the Egyptian President [14]. In a press conference at the Palais de l’Elysée, in January 2008, he declared: “We must help Mr. Mubarak in Egypt (…) because, what do we want over there, the Muslim Brotherhood?” What does that say to you?

Youssef Nada : That he is ignorant; he doesn’t know what is going on there. He doesn’t know who Mubarak is, and he doesn’t know what the Muslim Brotherhood is. He just adopted what other people have said; and that’s exactly what I wrote on my website. He is asking other people to inform him; he is ignorant, and he owes his ignorance from others who are more ignorant than him, who hand him the information so he sounds knowledgeable.

Silvia Cattori : But why always stigmatise the Muslim Brotherhood and portray M. Hosni Mubarak as some kind of savior?

Youssef Nada : You’ll have to ask them whether they are committed to democracy, or to tyrants and dictatorships. If they are committed to democracy, they will never say that Mubarak is good. If they accept dictatorship, it is clear why they support him.

Do you know what happened to me, in April, although I am barred to move from Campione? Mubarak sent me to a special military court [15] with another 40 people, and he said that I financed the Muslim Brotherhood with 1 billion dollars. Can you imagine that? I am here, confined, I can’t go out of Campione, I have no bank account, everything is frozen and controlled because of the UN sanctions, and Mubarak said that I financed the Muslim Brotherhood with one billion dollars!

How is it possible to affirm such a thing? The Court rejected the case and said – in the words of the Court – there is no case, and they dismissed it, and asked all 40 people to be released immediately. At the gate of the Court, they arrested the 40 people again and sent them to another Court. The second Court said the same. They re-arrested them three times. After the three times being rejected by the normal Courts, Mubarak decided on a military court; Mr. Mubarak sent civil people to the military court! The military court announced the sentence, which was written by Mubarak.

So, if M. Sarkozy said that he is supporting Mubarak, he obviously likes dictatorships. I guess that’s his kind of democracy, that’s his personal opinion about democracy. What can I say?

I received the verbal information which was presented to the Court; that came from Security. It is written: “After careful investigation, which took from us a long time, we discovered that Mr. Nada has the Swiss nationality” – which is a lie because I have the Italian, not the Swiss nationality. And secondly it is written: “He came out in Aljazeera attacking the President”.

Silvia Cattori : And this is true?

Youssef Nada : Yes.

Silvia Cattori : It is for your interviews on Aljazeera that Mr. Mubarak considers you an enemy?

Youssef Nada : He doesn’t say I’m an “enemy of a dictatorship”, but “enemy of Egypt”. He summarised for all of Egypt, 80 million Egyptian people in one person…himself.

Silvia Cattori : Are you well known in Egypt?

Youssef Nada : My case in known. Those who are following my case there know that I am innocent. I can hold my head up high and will never back down.

Silvia Cattori : The Court didn’t find anything against you, and you are imprisoned here in your house. How do you feel about that injustice?

Youssef Nada : I am used to it. Before coming to Europe – I came in 1969, I was 28 years old – I lived 20 years in a dictatorship. I am used to it. If they went against the legal action to put me in a trap here illegally, I am already accustomed to being treated illegally by dictators.

The Swiss Federal Court wrote in their decision to the Swiss prosecutor:

The accused must know what he is accused with, and you never told him what he is accused with.

It could be allowed to take a longer time, because you asked several legal assistants from a lot of other countries. Maybe they were late to give those answers. One year, two years, three years could be accepted but, after that, you aren’t allowed to keep the file open. Either you have evidence against Mr. Nada, and you present it to the Court, or, if you don’t have, close the file.

And on 31st May 2005 the Swiss Federal prosecutor declared there was no evidence and closed the file.

Silvia Cattori : You are deprived from your freedom but at least, you aren’t like the Egyptian prisoners, tortured!?

Youssef Nada : No, I have never been tortured. Mr. Besson claimed that I said that I was tortured. That’s not true; I never said that I had been tortured. I was arrested in Egypt. They just took us and put us in a concentrating camp, without any trial. The only question they asked me was “What is your name, father’s name, mother’s name, what is your address”. And, after two years, they released me, without any reasons.

It was repeated here in Switzerland; they confiscated my documents, blocked my account card, my movements, held me under house arrest in 1,6 square kilometers in Campione. Then they closed the investigative file and said that there is no evidence for illegal or wrongdoings; but here I am, still in the same position, as if there is evidence that I am guilty.

Where is the law? Where is democracy? Is it democratic Switzerland, the country that is famous for being committed to the law and human rights? If this injustice isn’t rectified, it will be a black point on the clean white history of this great country.

Silvia Cattori : You have lost everything because of journalists who linked you to Ben Laden, you and your bank. Do you intend to take a legal action against those people who completely ruined your life?

Youssef Nada : It is not the journalists; it was done by much bigger interests than those small people. They just threw some stones at me. The harm was done. My life is short. But I have to fight until I die. I have to fight in the courts to correct the injustice. I have good lawyers. They are assisting me where it is allowed, on condition that, when the court will decide damages, they will take their money owed to them for my defence. For example, in the case where I won in Bellinzona, the Court decided to pay the lawyer; they paid him about 80,000 Swiss francs.

I have no money, but I am one of a tribe of about 10,000 persons. They’ll never let me go hungry. They give me food but no money.

Silvia Cattori : Mr. Guido Olimpio, who is the origin the untrue accusations which were made against you, did he ever request to forgive him?

Youssef Nada : I don’t know whether he is actually the source of the accusations; but, as I told you, my head is up and will never come down. I was used to live under dictatorship, and I consider myself now under dictatorship.

Silvia Cattori : And Mr. Labévière, when you were declared not guilty by the Swiss and Italian Courts, did he ever show up to correct what he had said before, or did he disappear?

Youssef Nada : He disappeared. For me he is nothing more than a liar and not noble, I have forgotten about him; only when you or others bring up his name do I remember his lies and character.

Silvia Cattori : But the way in which some have described you is stupefying!

Youssef Nada : It is part of the wave of “Islamophobia”. We have a lot of examples for injustice in history. The Jews confronted it in the past; they were not treated as human beings. They were treated with injustice. And, by time, from down they came up. I believe, for those who treated them like with injustice, that there is a day of justice for what they did to the Jews.

Now, if it is happening with the Muslims, the same that what happened with the Jews will come. It is a circle; you don’t know what will come out. Justice is justice. It should be there for everyone, whether they are Jews, Muslims, Christians or others.

When I was born, I was born human, not Muslim. After that, I became Muslim. We have a lot of things that bind us together. I share the humanity with all those others who are there.

Now, there are some troubles with some Muslims in Europe, and all the concentration is on the behaviour of people of the lower class who are ignorant, poor, helpless, and couldn’t get an education or even bread in their countries, as their corrupt governments robbed all the wealth from them. On the other hand, Europe is full of educated Muslims in every part of society and professions, wealthy and middle class engineers, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, bankers, professors, etc. They are law-abiding citizens, convinced about democracy, respecting others and open to them, serving the societies; there are millions in Europe but the emphasis is only on those who cause trouble.

But, tell me, when you are in need of some workers for dirty jobs, for example the rubbish, no Swiss wants to go collect the rubbish, then you bring in these people coming from a dictatorship, coming from poverty, coming from no health care, coming from no education, and used to being treated less than animals. When you bring them here – they are the poor people among the Muslims – if you concentrate on this category and show all the bad things about them and their behaviour, and then no one can defend or deny that it exists. It would be better to avoid that from the beginning and to educate these immigrants when they come here where there is democracy, there is law, there is no dictatorship, and you have to obey the law; and then they can do the dirty jobs that you want them to do.

But you bring them from a dictatorship, and you expect that they will be like you, without doing anything to help them change. The basic problem, the core of the problem is the dictatorship. For example, to come back to what you said about Sarkozy; he encourages Mubarak, he encourages the dictatorship, and he is the President of a democratic country!

Silvia Cattori : Does he encourage him because Mr. Hosni Mubarak is defending the interests of Israel and of the United States in the region? Mr. Sarkozy is today their best ally.

Youssef Nada : You are jumping to another subject.

Silvia Cattori : These subjects are linked together.

Youssef Nada : Not for me. This is dirty politics. If you forget the democratic principles, which you came to defend, and you support dictatorship, that’s not a clean agenda

But, for me, I am a special case.

Tell me, you know that the list at the United Nations concerning so-called “terrorists” includes 400 persons and entities. Do you think that the world, the democracies are threatened by 400 people? Which democracy is threatened? Is it so fragile that 400 criminals can make the democracy change to become a dictatorship? This Ben Laden, who is in a cave, in a mountain, and he can’t come out, you consider him to be a very big threat for democracy in the world? Inflating a small creature to make him a giant, and you are afraid of the giant!

Silvia Cattori : That’s the reason why it is so worrying, because these are lies which are preparing for another war, against Iran maybe, and your case is part of that long war which started in Iraq in 1991.

Youssef Nada : My case is completely different.

Silvia Cattori : So, it was just by mistake that you were charged?

Youssef Nada : No, it is intentional. But I have nothing to do with the other cases.

Silvia Cattori : But your case is a political case?

Youssef Nada : Yes. It is a political case, that’s true.

Let me tell you: all my life, since I was a child, even before joining the Muslim Brotherhood, I was open to my friends in a primary school where there were orthodox Copts, and Jews. I was open to them and still am. I share with them, our humanity, we are human. We differ; a Chinese, a Japanese, differs from me, but still he is a human; I share with him so many things. I differ from him on some points, one of them is religion; it doesn’t mean that he is my enemy.

Silvia Cattori : Why a person who is so smart and mild like you…

Youssef Nada : (laughing) When you know, let me know.

Silvia Cattori : You seem not to be angry with these people who made you suffer.

Youssef Nada : As I told you, if I lived for 29 years under a dictatorship, I am used for it . It is not new. For you, it is new, because you lived in a democratic country, but, for me, I am used to this, that the things will happen outside the legal area. I was treated outside the legal parameters.

Silvia Cattori : What is the most difficult for you?

Youssef Nada : My freedom. I was born a free man, and now I am not a free man. My rights have been taken from me.

Silvia Cattori : And now your phone is being monitored?

Youssef Nada : I don’t care about that, because I haven’t said anything wrong. But I am not a free man. If I am not a free man, then I have to expect everything or my freedom to be taken away. And that’s what happened. I am not a free man, and I am not happy without my freedom.

Silvia Cattori : What about your health: are you still preoccupied with health problems?

Youssef Nada : My hand is broken, and I have bleeding in my eyes and arteries in the neck, but I can’t go to the doctor. I can’t go to see specialized doctors, because they don’t exist in Campione. I need to go, but they refused to let me. I asked them several times for permission, but they refused. Even the Federal Court in Lausanne said to them: « this man’s rights were abused ». And, since Switzerland investigated the case and found nothing, the emigration office in Switzerland must not prohibit me, when it is allowed, to go to the doctor, they have to assist me at the United Nations Security Council and convince them. It is true that what happens to me is not justified, but Switzerland has to follow the Security Council rules. So I sent them a letter asking them for the authorization to go to the doctor outside Campione; they refused. Even after what the Court ruled. In a democratic country, one has to go to the Court; there is no other way.

Silvia Cattori : Do you think that you’ll be able to soon get these UN sanctions cancelled against you and finally see your name taken off this list which designates you as “assisting terrorists”?

Youssef Nada : I applied for it; they refused. They wrote that the designating country refused my request. I can’t go out of Campione. Italy is my country. I am Italian. Campione is an Italian enclave inside the Swiss territory.

Silvia Cattori : You feel as though you are in prison?

Youssef Nada : Yes, naturally. I am in a “Swiss Guantanamo”. The Court said that with this action, and because I am living in Campione, it means that I am under house arrest. I am on the so-called “assisting terrorists” list.

Silvia Cattori : Why do they still keep your name on that list?

Youssef Nada : I don’t know; if you know, tell me.

Silvia Cattori : What helps you to face this adversity?

Youssef Nada : My connection with who created me. He created me, and I believe I will go to Him.

Silvia Cattori : Is there anything one can do to help you get out of this situation ?

Youssef Nada : Nobody can do it, except justice. It is still in the hands of dirty politics. When they stormed my house, and offices, Mr. Roshacher made a declaration to “Swiss info”. That same day, on 7th November 2001, Bush came out on television and spoke about me. It was morning here when they raided my house and, in the evening, it was thus morning in Washington, Mr. Bush came on television and talked about us (our bank and its partners), and he said: « We are going to starve them».

Silvia Cattori : If these lies have been fabricated by certain Intelligence Services, and not by Mr. Olimpio, would that mean that he has been just a puppet in this story?

Youssef Nada : He and the others are tools, used for this case. As I said to you I forgot them; only when you mention them do I remember them.

Silvia Cattori : How long since you can’t leave Campione?

Youssef Nada : Actually, nobody said that I was forbidden to leave Campione, until I went to London on 10th November 2001, three days after they stormed my house and offices. I said to the Substitute of the Prosecutor of the Swiss Confederation, Mr. Claude Nicati that I had to travel and that I was going to London. He said: “There is no restriction (he gave it to me by writing), but when I call you, you must come, otherwise I will arrest you”.

I went to London again in 2003. For 6 months continuously I was on Aljazeera, every week, on the screen, (and it was translated by the “Wall Street Journal” and by the “Washington Post”). I came from Aljazeera to the Hilton; my door was not opening and I went to see the concierge. He said to me “Just a moment Mr. Nada” and he kept me about five minutes, and he brought me another key saying “Sorry, sometimes the magnetic strip is not working”. I went up to the 5th floor. When the lift opened, 5 people stormed in and yelled: “Scotland Yard!” I said: “What is wrong?” He said: “Let us go to your room”. We went to the room and then he said: “Mr. Nada, bring your bag”. I said: “Sorry, I have to make my prayers at first”. He answered: “We don’t have time”. I said to him: “Make what you want but I am going to make my prayers; if you want to force me, force me, but I have to make my prayers before leaving”. Then I went to the bathroom; one of them wanted to come, I said “No, but I’ll leave the door open”. And then I made my prayers, and he said, “Bring your bag”. I replied, “I am the age of your grandfather, I can’t carry it. You carry it if you want or throw it through the window”. They carried it and brought it down.

Silvia Cattori : You are a very strong man!

Youssef Nada : I am burned already. What can they do more?

Silvia Cattori : Are you writing your story?

Youssef Nada : Yes, I am very busy. I have a lot of things to do. I have to follow the lawyers, because the lawyers can’t work alone; I must give them the documents. You know after closing the files, Swiss law allows you to go and see them and make copies. They gave me that permission. I went, with my lawyer, two times. The first time, we copied the indexes. It was 40 boxes, with 10 files in every box. And a second time, I took 2500 copies. I have all the documents. The lawyers come here, from time to time.

Silvia Cattori : When I think of all what you are suffering because of the attitude of my country, I feel ashamed…

Youssef Nada : No. Don’t be ashamed because, I tell you frankly: the respect that I have for this country, Switzerland, is more than for any other country. The mistakes they’ve made, it is another thing. But the respect that I received here, from the normal people, from the prosecutor, from the lawyers, from the parliamentarians, from the doctors, from some journalists, from the workers, engineers has been wonderful. I had the full respect for and from everyone. After they stormed the house, when I went down, in the street. Three persons stopped me saying « Viva Signor Nada ».

It is true that, in the media, there were a lot of bad things written. As I told you, the ignorant people are using people more ignorant than they are. And that’s what happened with Richard Labévière. When he went to Egypt, he used ignorant people, more ignorant than him, who gave him some information, and he put them in his film and in his book; all rubbish.

Can you imagine that he wrote that Youssef Nada assisted Hadj Amin al-Husseini, the Mufti of Palestine, to flee Germany after meeting with Hitler, through Switzerland, then to go to Egypt and from Egypt to Palestine!? I was 13 years old when the Mufti fled Germany! Richard Labévière, when he wrote that, didn’t say that I was 13 years old at that time. When I wrote it, everything came out; even in Wikipedia, you can see it. And they also said that “Nada was working with the admiral SS Canaris in Egypt, during the war”. They forgot my birth date and that Canaris and the Mufti didn’t need a 13-year-old child to assist them!

Silvia Cattori : I can imagine how tough all that has been for you.

Youssef Nada : I was working in 27 countries just to find myself isolated here in one and a half square kilometers. But thanks to God, I have visitors from all over the world. I know my values that give me strength to stand up during the bad days as well as the good days. My head is up and will continue to be up until I die.

Silvia Cattori : Thank you for having given us this interview.


(*) See: Video of the testimony of Youssef Nada on the refusal of the United Nations to cross his name off the black list.

Reviewed by Greta Berlin and Monica Hostettler.

[1] See :

«UN Security Council black lists – Introductory memorandum», by Dick Marty, Rapporteur, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, 19 March 2007.

« Dick Marty dénonce la ’liste noire’ du terrorisme »,, 25 avril 2007.

[2] See :

«Alleged secret detentions and unlawful inter-state transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states», by Dick Marty, Rapporteur, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, 12 June 2006

« Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: second report », by Dick Marty, Rapporteur, Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, 11 June 2007.

[3] See : « Official site of Youssef Nada ».

[4] See, notice about Mr. Olimpio, on the Official site of Youssef Nada.

Guido Olimpio, was the correspondent of the Corriere della sera. He stated on 9-10-2002in Milan criminal court before being indicted that he has contacts with the USA FBI, and that ‘ he gave an audience at the USA congress 1996 and that he testified in front of the security commission of the USA congress’. Presented as an « expert in international terrorism », Mr. Olimpio writes on the Middle East since the Eighties. From 1999 to the summer 2003, he was chief correspondant for the Corriere della Sera in Israël.

[5] Regarding Richard Labévière, author of the book « Dollars for Terror: The U.S. and Islam », see notice about him on the Official site of Youssef Nada.

[6] Sylvain Besson, journalist for the Swiss daily Le Temps. Author of the book : «La conquête de l’Occident», October 2005.

[7] It is the article « Hamas perde meta’ del tesoro », by Guido Olimpio, Corriere della Sera, 20 October 1997, which started the accusation of a financing of Hamas by the bank Al Taqwa of Youssef Nada.

Mr. Youssef Nada wrote on his Official site : « It took from 1997 until 2005 to obtain condemnation from the Milan criminal court against the writer of the article Guido Olimpio of “Corriere Della Sera”, and a civil case against him is in the pipe line. The lies of Guido Olimpio article in “Corriere Della Sera” were defused, and spread everywhere. ».

[8] Mr. Youssef Nada wrote on his Official site : « Among those who participated in defusing the lies, whether for envy or hate, whether knowingly or not, whether intentionally or not, whether hired to corner the Islamist activists, or motivated politically or financially, or for their own professional agenda, or misled, are the following names: Richard Labeviere, Roland Jacquard, Leo Sisti, Kevin Coogan, Paolo Fusi, Daniel Pipes Victor Comras, Sylvain Besson, and others whom will be named later ».

During those years where Israel and the United States were waging their war against Islam, experts in terrorism and theoriticians of Islamophobia have appeared, such as Daniel Pipes in the United States. See « Daniel Pipes, the expert of hate », Red Voltaire, 2 March 2006.

[9] Book published in Arabic. Under translation in English, French and German.

[10] The résolution 1267 of 1999, concerns Al-Qaïda and the Taliban. The Security Council of the United Nations has started the practice of sanctions against people (and not States) in October 1999, to fight the Taliban’s regime in Afghanistan .

[11] The résolution 1373 of the Security Council of the United Nations, adopted after the 11 September 2001, put the emphasis on the struggle against the financing of terrorism by introducing a general obligation to froze the assets and the economic resources of people et and entities involved in acts of terrorism. The Council of the European Union has established its own list after the 11 September 2001.

[12] See : « Swiss firm shuts down after terrorism probe »,, 9 January 2002.

[13] See :« On se sert du terrorisme pour faire peur et pour restreindre les libertés fondamentales », Interview of Dick F. Marty, Horizons et débats, 28 January 2008.

[14] See :

« Official visit to Egypt – Statements made by M. Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the Republic, during his joint press briefing with Mr Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt (excerpts)», 30 December 2007.

« Interview given by M. Nicolas SARKOZY, President of the Republic, to the “Al-Ahram” Egyptian newspaper (excerpts)», 1st August 2007.

[15] See :

« Des cadres des Frères musulmans devant un tribunal militaire », El Watan, 17 June 2008.

« Egypt: Sentences against Muslim Brothers a perversion of justice », Press release, Amnesty International, 15 April 2008.

Article in french: L’incroyable histoire de Youssef Nada, 13 of June 2008.

© Copyright Silvia Cattori, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is:

Fighting breaks out in Lebanon despite Doha deal

Dandelion Salad


Negotiations are underway to try to stop heavy fighting in northern Lebanon between government supporters and the Hezbollah-led opposition.

One month after the Doha peace agreement, there’s been machine gun fire and mortar explosions in the streets of Tripoli.

Our correspondent Zeina Khodr is there and sent this report.

A Totally Lawless Regime By Paul Craig Roberts

Dandelion Salad

By Paul Craig Roberts
06/22/08 “ICH”

Think about this question: In the 21st century what regime is more lawless than the Bush Regime?

Everyone is entitled to his own answer. The only answer I can come up with is the Zimbabwe regime of Robert Mugabe. Voted out of power in the last election, the great man hasn’t left. Zimbabweans are going to have to vote again, and the great man has said that any vote that is not for him will be cancelled by a bullet.

Does anyone remember how determined the British and the Americans and everyone else was to turn Rhodesia over to Mugabe in order to save Rhodesia from the evil Ian Smith? What a fool everyone was.

But before we laugh at those fools, we had best laugh at ourselves, or cry.

It is now an incontrovertible fact, known all over the world, that George W. Bush and his regime’s operatives lied through their teeth in order to launch wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq, and that the Bush regime is doing the same thing again in hopes of launching an attack on Iran.

There have been a number of memoirs from high ranking Bush appointees who cannot stand all the lies. Bush’s first Secretary of the Treasury, Paul O’Neill, told us that an invasion of Iraq was on the agenda prior to 9/11. There is the leaked Downing Street Memo in which the head of British Intelligence told the British Prime Minister and his cabinet that the Americans have decided to attack Iraq and are creating the “intelligence” to justify the attack.

And now we have the White House’s own spokesman from 2003-2006, Scot McClellen, ratifying what we already knew, that President Bush deceived us and led us into war based entirely on lies and fabrications, and that he, Scott McClellen, was deceived into issuing a false public denial that top Cheney aide Scooter Libby and White House operative Karl Rove were involved in committing a felony under US law by revealing the identity of a covert CIA operative, Valerie Plame.

As a consequence of Bush’s lies, there are a million dead Iraqis, mostly women and children, and four million displaced Iraqis, 4,100 dead American soldiers and tens of thousands of seriously wounded. No one knows how many dead in Afghanistan. And there is the ongoing Israeli slaughter of Palestinians and Lebanese that has fallen under the rubric of the “war on terror.”

The only ones pleased with these wars are the American neoconservatives, the Israeli right-wing, the US corporate military-security complex, and Osama bin Laden.

The Bush regime has created enormous hatred and disrespect for the United States. A recent world wide poll found that George W. Bush ranks at the bottom of world leaders as one of the least trusted along with US Pakistani puppet Musharraf and the Iranian president, Ahmadinejad, who has the disadvantage of being the victim of demonization by the US and European corporate-controlled media, which serve as ministries of propaganda for the governments that control their broadcast licenses. The American and European media lie for their living.

The two leaders with the highest approval rating are UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

So, the old adversary, Russia, now has a more respected leader than the “leader” of the Great Free Nation, a Great Free Nation that has sat on its hands while its “leader” destroyed America’s civil liberties, America’s reputation, the jobs of Americans, and committed the US to a course of war crimes punishable by the International Criminal Court at the Hague.

A number of readers took issue with my recent column, “Elect Obama or Fall Into Tyranny.” Echoing former Alabama Governor George Wallace, readers said Obama would make no difference. But that is what I wrote.

My point was not that Obama would make any difference, as he has put himself and his administration into the hands of Wall Street and the Israel Lobby. I said that the American people could make a difference by rejecting the Republicans, as it was the only accountability that the Republicans were likely to suffer.

If Americans return a Republican regime, Americans will validate the right of the president to violate with impunity US and international law. Americans will validate the use by the president of the United States of deception and lies in order to initiate wars of aggression, aggression that is a war crime under the Nuremburg standard established by the US. Americans will validate the infringement of US civil liberties in the name of “safety” and “national security.” Americans will disembowel the US Constitution and leave themselves at the total mercy of the government.

Reelecting Republicans means the end of the United States as a land of liberty.

I am sympathetic to the argument that we, as a country of liberty, are near our end regardless. Look at the Democrats. Today, June 20, the House of Representatives, which the voters gave to the Democrats in the 2006 congressional elections in order to end the pointless barbarity that the US has brought to Iraq, voted the largest war-spending bill ever. The “antiwar” Democrats completely collapsed, giving the warmonger Brownshirt Republican regime everything it wanted.

The House Democrats, led by “impeachment-is-off-the-table” Nancy Pelosi, added to the Democratic Party’s shame by passing today, June 20, a bill that shields from punishment the criminal Bush regime and the telecommunications corporations that the Bush regime coerced into committing felonies under US law by cooperating in Bush’s illegal spying on American citizens.

The great hope of the Founding Fathers, the people’s house, the House of Representatives, has passed an unconstitutional retroactive law making acts legal which were illegal when they were committed.

If a Democratic House of Representatives will pass a retroactive law in order to legalize the criminal violations of a Republican regime, the same House will pass a retroactive law making illegal what you did legally yesterday. No one is any longer safe in America. By abandoning the US Constitution, Republicans and Democrats have made America as potentially unsafe as Zimbabwe for anyone who takes exception to the government.

The total collapse of the Democratic Party and the House of Representatives signals the end of liberty and democracy in America. Henceforth, led by the Republican Federalist Society, we will gravitate toward the beautiful regime of “energy in the executive” that has been achieved in Zimbabwe by Robert Mugabe.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, an assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury during the Reagan Administration, is a former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal and coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.

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Israel Lobby

New Book: McCain more of a Pinto than a Maverick + video



by R J Shulman
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Robert’s blog post
June 22, 2008

NEW YORK – Remember the Fords of the Seventies? Author James Crandall does and finds them relevant today in his new book McCain Slew Able in which he says McCain is more like the Pinto than the Maverick. “A maverick is someone who stands out from the pack, is a leader and sticks to his position,” says Crandall, “McCain has flip-flopped more times than a pancake on steroids.”

Crandall notes that McCain’s similarities to the Ford Pinto are astonishing. The book points out that just like the Pinto, McCain’s campaign is underpowered, unremarkable and McCain will blow up at the slightest provocation. “He is effectively unable to do anything,” Crandall states, “hence the title of my book.” The upside for McCain, the author notes, is that McCain has changed positions so many times, that many votes may still think he favors their stand on the issues.


Matt Dowd: McCain Needs To Flip Flop Some More


During the panel discussion on This Week after saying how awful he thinks Obama’s campaign financing flip flop will be for him, Matt Dowd goes on to say that at this late stage in the game McCain now needs to “distance himself from Bush on every issue”. When asked if that is impossible now Dowd responds that he’s better off flip flopping again and that he should go on a speaking tour that says “I’m not the President”….lol. Yeah I’m sure that will go over really well Dowd….geez. Obama’s “brand” is ruined according to him over this campaign finance crap that they’re all crying about like a bunch of spoiled kids on every single show this morning, but after running straight to Bush for months on end now McCain could get away with another few hundred flip flops and that would just be okie dokie with Dowd.

4th Amendment: Rest in Peace 12.15.1791 – 06.20.2008 by Cindy Sheehan

The Real Cindy Sheehan

by Cindy Sheehan
Dandelion Salad
featured writer
Cindy Sheehan for Congress

June 22, 2008

4th Amendment
b. December 15, 1791
d. June 20, 2008

The 4th Amendment to the US constitution is just one more thing that has been murdered since bloody Emperor George took office in 2001: Over 4000 US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan; over one million Iraqis and Afghanis and many of our brothers and sisters in this country who have been either killed or devastated by catastrophic climate change and other violence that has become rampant.

Among the things that have been murdered in George’s quest to be the emperor of a vast US corporate-military empire are many aspects of our constitution.

The First Amendment has been obliterated with “free speech” zones; the arrests of thousands of activists trying to express their freedom of speech; the destruction of the “freedom of the press” clause began during the Reagan years and it’s untimely demise was hastened during the Clinton regime; the US technically has no state religion, but Christianity has been informally shoved down our throats with the Emperor getting revelations from his demented God that tells him to go on crusades against Muslim countries.

“Torture memos” written by law professors; torture camps; and extreme rendition slaughtered the 8th Amendment that prohibits “cruel and unusual” punishment. The Military Commission and Patriot Acts dealt the deathblows to the 8th Amendment.

When Congress gave Emperor George the power to invade sovereign countries without a declaration of war from Congress—the Emperor’s loyal and obedient servants destroyed two clauses of the Constitution: the Supremacy Clause (Art. VI, Clause 2) which states the treaties are the “Supreme” law of the land and the enumerated power of Congress to “declare war” (Art. I, Section 8).

Art. II, Section 4 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to remove a criminal administration, but the Queen of the Imperial rubber stamp arm of the empire, Nancy Pelosi, took that clause “Off the table.” When I hear that phrase, I envision a long table with lords and ladies pigging out on a banquet while the peasants starve because justice is not on that table and economic equality is out of the question.

Now, with the new law granting immunity to telecom companies and granting the federal government wide discretionary powers in spying on our communications (which has become far simpler in this electronic day and age), the Imperial rubber stamp arm of the federal government has brutally murdered another of our precious rights: the 4th Amendment which states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The centuries old right of habeas corpus which protected us from arbitrary state action through unlawful detention was also destroyed, so the US has returned to pre-Magna Carta “jurisprudence” and not one of us is safe from the arbitrary crimes of the police-empire that has replaced our representative republic.

Even thought the 4th Amendment was 217 years old, it died a violent and untimely death.

I am calling for a memorial service for the 4th Amendment on Tuesday, June 24th. We in San Francisco will be gathering at City Hall at 3pm and having a solemn funeral procession to the Federal building at 3:30 pm. We will then eulogize the 4th Amendment and give it a proper send off. It served us well. Many of our brothers and sisters have never felt its presence, though, even though they have been working for civil rights for generations.

Wear black. We are a nation in mourning for our rule of law.

If you can’t join us in San Francisco, please organize a memorial service of your own.

For more info: call 415-621-5027 or email:


Just what the f*** is going on here? by Michael (FISA)

Carte blanche to illegally spy on Americans by Tom Burghardt

Dems Agree With GOP That Sheilding Telecoms More Important Than Constitution

Countdown: Unity on Immunity + McClellan Testimony + John Cusack

Kucinich & Sheila Jackson Lee Arguing Against Changes to FISA + Pelosi’s Support!

Spying on Americans: Democrats Ready to Gut the Constitution To Protect Their “Constituents” – The Telecoms

Bush pushes biometrics for national security + NSPD-59 & HSPD-24

Bomb Iran? What’s to Stop Us? By Ray McGovern


The Real News Network: The World According to Monsanto

Dandelion Salad


Filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin on the troubling past of one of the world’s biggest agricultural companies


Continue reading

Apologize to the World Mr. Wallace & Return that Emmy

Dandelion Salad


Apologize to the World Mr. Wallace and Return that Emmy
President Ahmadinejad Calls for Democracy, Free and Fair Elections and a Durable Peace.

Mike Wallace Interviewed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 60 Minutes. At the request of the Iranian President Ahmadinejad, the FULL UNEDITED version was shown on C-SPAN. “The cable public affairs net will air the 60 Minutes edited version, followed by the full 90-minute interview, to give viewers a window on what is left on the cutting room floor.” – John Eggerton — Broadcasting & Cable, 8/11/2006
We can see what they cut out, a call for democracy. This is another example of Mainstream Media’s continuing suppression of basic facts concerning Israel and the Palestinians and other dramatic details related to the Middle East. It is a scandal for news editors to suppress the fact that democracy is being denied to people and that U.S. policy makers are behind the injustices. It is a scandal that the mainstream media suppresses the fact that the President of Iran is calling for democracy.

The text in red was edited out of the 60 Minutes broadcast:

MR. WALLACE: You are very good at filibustering. You still have not answered the question. You still have not answered the question. Israel must be wiped off the map. Why?

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Well, don’t be hasty, sir. I’m going to get to that.

MR. WALLACE: I’m not hasty.

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government and I have talked about the solution. The solution is democracy. We have said allow Palestinian people to participate in a free and fair referendum to express their views. What we are saying only serves the cause of durable peace. We want durable peace in that part of the world. A durable peace will only come about with once the views of the people are met.

So we said that allow the people of Palestine to participate in a referendum to choose their desired government, and of course, for the war to come an end as well. Why are they refusing to allow this to go ahead? Even the Palestinian administration and government which has been elected by the people is being attacked on a daily basis, and its high-ranking officials are assassinated and arrested. Yesterday, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament was arrested, elected by the people, mind you. So how long can this go on?

We believe that this problem has to be dealt with fundamentally. I believe that the American government is blindly supporting this government of occupation. It should lift its support, allow the people to participate in free and fair elections. Whatever happens let it be. We will accept and go along. The result will be as you said earlier, sir.

MR. WALLACE: Look, I mean no disrespect. Let’s make a deal. I will listen to your complete answers if you’ll stay for all of my questions. My concern is that we might run out of time.

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Well, you’re free to ask me any questions you please, and I am hoping that I’m free to be able to say whatever is on my mind. You are free to put any question you want to me, and of course, please give me the right to respond fully to your questions to say what is on my mind.

Do you perhaps want me to say what you want me to say? Am I to understand —


PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: So if that is the case, then I ask you to please be patient.

MR. WALLACE: I said I’ll be very patient.

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Maybe these are words that you don’t like to hear, Mr. Wallace.

MR. WALLACE: Why? What words do I not like to hear? [the words highlighted in red and edited out of the interview]

PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Because I think that you’re getting angry.

MR. WALLACE: No, I couldn’t be happier for the privilege of sitting down with the president of Iran.

Japanese Lawmaker takes 9/11 doubts global

Dandelion Salad

Special to The Japan Times
06/20/08 “Japan Times

In a September 2003 article for The Guardian newspaper, Michael Meacher, who served as Tony Blair’s environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003, shocked the establishment by calling the global war on terrorism “bogus.” Even more controversially, he implied that the U.S. government either allowed 9/11 to happen, or played some role in the destruction wrought that day. Besides Meacher, few politicians have publicly questioned America’s official 9/11 narrative — until Diet member Yukihisa Fujita.

In January 2008 Fujita, a member of the Democratic Party of Japan, asked the Japanese Parliament and Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to explain gaping holes in the official 9/11 story that various groups — including those who call themselves the “911 Truth Movement” — claim to have exposed.

Fujita, along with a growing number of individuals — including European and American politicians — are leading a charge to conduct a thorough, independent investigation of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Three or four years ago I saw some Internet videos like ‘Loose Change’ and ‘911 In Plane Site’ and I began to ask questions,” Fujita said in an interview, “but I still couldn’t believe this was done by anyone but al-Qaida.

“Last year I watched more videos and read books written by professor David Ray Griffin (a professor emeritus of philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont Graduate University who wrote the most famous Truth Movement book, ‘The New Pearl Harbor’) about things such as the collapse of World Trade Center No. 7. This building, which was never hit by an airplane, collapsed straight down. Between the videos showing the way it fell, and the numerous reports of explosions, many are convinced that this building was demolished.”

Fujita’s presentation to the Diet and Fukuda focused a great deal on yet another aspect of 9/11 that now quite a few around the world find extremely suspicious: the Pentagon crash.

“I don’t think (a) 767 could have hit the Pentagon,” Fujita reckons. “There is no evidence of the plane itself. Almost nothing identifiable was left on the lawn or inside. The official story says the entire plane disintegrated, but the jet engines in particular were very strong (two 6-ton titanium steel turbine engines). And the damage to the building is much smaller than the size of the supposed airplane. The official claims just don’t fit the facts.”

While some label that claim “wacky” and label critics of the official 9/11 story “conspiracy theorists,” Fujita has impressive company. For one, former Maj. Gen. Albert Stubblebine, who was commanding general of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security until 1984, is quoted on the “Patriots Question 911” Web site as saying, “I look at the hole in the Pentagon and I look at the size of an airplane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon. And I said, ‘The plane does not fit in that hole.’

“So what did hit the Pentagon? What hit it? Where is it? What’s going on?”

Fujita urges the Bush administration to put the issue to rest simply by showing videos that show the plane that hit the Pentagon. Instead, only a few grainy images have been released to the public. More disconcertingly, many videos taken by surrounding businesses were confiscated by the FBI immediately after the Pentagon explosion.

The Pennsylvania crash, like the Pentagon explosion, also yielded virtually no recognizable plane parts at the crash site. Rather, small pieces of debris were found up to 10 km away. The official story — that the plane “vaporized” when it hit the ground — is inconsistent with the evidence left by every other plane crash in the history of aviation.

Plane crashes always yield plane fragments, Fujita explained, which can be identified by the plane’s serial number, but that’s not the case for the four planes which crashed on 9/11. Strangely, the U.S. government managed to produce passports and DNA samples of individuals killed, but no identifiable plane parts. In an online article entitled “Physics 911,” 34-year U.S. Air Force veteran Col. George Nelson notes, “It seems . . . that all potential evidence was deliberately kept hidden from public view.”

Fujita has largely relied on the voluminous amount of video and written material published in books and on the Internet, including the “Patriots Question 911” site, on which hundreds of allegations are leveled against the official story by senior officials from the military, intelligence services, law enforcement, and government, as well as pilots, engineers, architects, firefighters and others.

While not many other Japanese have taken an interest in this story, a few notable individuals besides Fujita have disputed the U.S. government’s version, including Akira Dojimaru, a Japanese writer living in Spain. In his book, written in Japanese, “The Anatomy of the WTC Collapses: Flaws in the U.S. Government’s Account,” he uses photos, drawings and blueprints of the WTC buildings to back up his claim that buildings one and two could not have fallen in the manner they fell due to the plane crashes and subsequent fires. “And even if it was conceivable that they could fall due to the damage that day,” Dojimaru wrote in an e-mail, “they never would have collapsed horizontally, and would have scattered steel beams and smashed concrete much farther than 100 meters.”

For Fujita, it was Dojimaru’s meticulous research, combined with the aforementioned Web sites, that convinced him the official story was nothing more than a house of cards.

One book that Fujita found unconvincing was the “9/11 Commission Report.”

“The head of the 9/11 Commission is close with (U.S. Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice and (Vice President Dick) Cheney. One commission member (Sen. Max Cleland) resigned, saying the White House did not disclose enough information.”

On Democracy Now’s radio show in March 2004, Cleland even went as far as to say, “This White House wants to cover it (the facts of 9/11) up.”

More recently, a New York Times article in January quoted Thomas Kean, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission, as saying that “the CIA destroyed videotaped interrogations of Qaeda operatives,” and concluded that that “obstructed our investigation.”

Following the lead of Fujita, Karen Johnson, a conservative Republican senator from Arizona, has publicly voiced her doubts about 9/11 before the U.S. Senate. Inspired by Blair Gadsby — who on May 27 started a hunger strike to bring attention to the 911 Truth Movement — Johnson, like Fujita, is encouraging politicians to conduct a thorough, independent investigation.

Fujita, who worked for more than 20 years for the international conflict resolution NGO group MRA and the Japanese Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), has become something of a global cause celebre since his extraordinary questioning at the Diet. In February 2008, he participated in a conference at the European Parliament led by EMP Guilietto Chiesa calling for an independent commission of inquiry into 9/11. While in Europe, he met with NGOs from 11 European countries to discuss 9/11.

One month later Fujita spoke at the “Truth Now” conference in Sydney, Australia. One focus of these meetings was the Italian documentary “ZERO,” whose release will mark the first time the 9/11 movement’s message has moved from the “cyberworld” to public venues. Fujita has also spoken about his 9/11 doubts on two U.S. radio shows, one hosted by Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, and another by Alex Jones of

He is also making ripples in Japan. Fujita was featured in a March 2 article by well-known critic Takao Iwami on “How to deal with doubts about 9/11” in the Sunday Mainichi weekly. He was also featured in a March 26 Spa! magazine piece headlined, “European conference discusses 9/11 doubts.”

However, not everyone is enthralled with Fujita’s bold line of questioning.

“One person showed strong anger towards me,” Fujita noted, “and another (Japanese person) threatened my life. A few others advised me to be extremely careful.”

Still, Fujita says, the vast majority — around 95 percent — have been positive.

“One man said, ‘You’re a true samurai.’ Another man came all the way from Okayama in western Japan to thank me personally. And among other Parliament members, I received only words of encouragement and support.”

While in Europe, Fujita met British former MP Meacher, who dared to question the official story when it was still considered gospel. Time, the Iraq war and well-sourced online videos are emboldening many people, including politicians, to step out of the cyberworld and voice their doubts in newspapers, magazines, theaters, and — most importantly — government chambers.

“Now Blair is gone, and Bush will soon be gone,” Meacher told Fujita. “Our time is coming.”

See Also

9/11 Special – Dutch Television Documentary

This war on terrorism is bogus

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.


Main Japanese Opposition Party Questions 9/11 in Parliament (vid; transcript)

The Poverty of Reaganism-Bushism By David Michael Green

Dandelion Salad

By David Michael Green
0620//08 “ICH”

Back in the day when communism was a politically viable economic program, its capitalist enemies used to love to rail against the evils of “Marxism-Leninism”.

Interestingly, they almost always attacked it for all the wrong reasons, citing, for example, the lack of political freedom in societies where it was being practiced, the aggressive tendencies of national leaders in those countries seeking to conquer their neighbors, or the ideology’s hostility to religion. That last one in particular was always a good one for getting Americans to rise out of their pews in disgust and anger. Those commies don’t even have Jesus!

The fact that none of these critiques had anything at all to do with the economic system that communism actually is was always telling. It’s not so easy to attack the idea of sharing and community, is it? Better to wrap it up instead inside the godless thugs – sometimes real, sometimes not – who embraced it abroad. What could be more un-American?

This was chiefly a marketing ploy, and probably an unnecessary one at that, as communist experiments – again, in the form of economic systems – had limited successes and some spectacular failures. The Soviet Union did rapidly grow from an agrarian economy into a superpower (albeit not an economic one) in very short time, in part through a planned economy. However, that same system later became so ossified that the country ultimately collapsed around it. Toward the end, workers used to joke about the sham command economy in which they were stuck, saying, “We pretend to work, and the government pretends to pay us”. Often that wasn’t so far from the truth. Likewise, it would be hard to make a real compelling argument for Mao’s Great Leap Forward – a collectivization program that wiped out twenty or thirty million Chinese peasants – over Deng Xiaoping’s turn to the market, which has made the Chinese economy a gale force storm for three decades now, with political and military power following closely in its wake.

We in the US are now being treated to a similar experiment in economic ideology, though it is neither new nor, at the end of the day, actually ideological. More on that later. For now, though, in the spirit of my good friends on the right, I propose that we give this program the name it properly deserves: Reaganism-Bushism.

While China has been growing into an economic powerhouse these last thirty years, America, under the sway of Reaganism-Bushism, has become the economic equivalent of a Midwestern town decimated by a crystal meth epidemic. Nor are the two likely unrelated, particularly when dealing devastating drugs is the sole economic opportunity on the landscape, and doing those drugs is the sole escape from that personal blight.

In any case, that’s our national story. We’re the country that is losing its teeth, blasting its brain cells, rotting its body, and stealing everything not bolted down in order to feed its greed habit. Now, as credit crises explode around us and our housing bubble pops and we’ve run out of foreigners and domestics to exploit and the future and the past from which we’ve borrowed so heavily are both calling in their chits – now we are the crystal meth country. Survey the economic, social, political and moral landscape and cringe. Look what Reaganism-Bushism has wrought.

Reaganism-Bushism markets itself as a real economic ideology with real principles, but the truth is all that’s just for the consumption of the hoi polloi. As a Madison Avenue – or P.T. Barnum – scheme it’s rather more complex than that. As a set of economic principles, it’s far less so.

Because your education in self-destructive political foolishness is not yet complete, it remains necessary to pretend that this is a real ideology with real economic principles that are actually adhered to. You know, stuff like ‘market discipline’ and the ‘invisible hand’, which only ever seem to apply to the already vulnerable, not to the friendly rich people forever espousing these ideas. In truth, there actually are a set of operating principles here. Just not the ones that are advertised.

Principle Number One is that only a fool believes that the government is an instrument whose purpose is to insure the safety and welfare of the people living within the country’s borders. In actuality, the government is a giant cash cow – in fact, the biggest of them all. Yes, its purpose is in fact redistribution of wealth, just not in the southerly direction favored during the more quaint times of our youth. Now it’s all about aggregating what’s left of meager middle-class earnings through tax collections and then redistributing it to the already fabulously wealthy folks of the richest one percent of the population. (Actually, even many of those are pikers compared to the real money in this country, the top one-tenth of a percent who have their fingers really deep into the pie.) But, of course, since this is fundamentally an exercise in wanton societal destruction, the cash cow is probably the wrong mammalian metaphor for the crisis in question. What we’re actually talking about here is geese, as in the kind that lay golden eggs. Or, at least, do so until you slit open their bellies.

But even steering fat, no-bid, no supervision, secret contracts to favored corporations in order to pay for military hardware we don’t need, or services in Iraq that aren’t actually provided, is not enough. (Did you see the New York Times cover story about American soldiers being electrocuted because of shoddy contractor work? Or the one about the Army employee who got reassigned when he questioned Kellogg, Brown and Root’s non-performance there?) So Principle Number Two is to never let economic realities that would deter mere mortals prevent you from maximum possible aggrandizement. In short, steal from your own kids.

The only thing more amazing about regressive-created deficits to finance bloated and unnecessary government spending is the fact that conservatives have until very recently somehow still prevailed in the political marketing wars sufficiently that Americans saw them as the folks who are most fiscally responsible. Considering the record of our most conservative presidents (and the ideological namesakes in question), this is truly an astonishing feat. Ronald Reagan, who castigated Jimmy Carter in 1980 for economic mismanagement, including excessive deficits, proceeded to quadruple the national debt when he came to office. Anyone could see it coming, too. In fact, George Herbert Walker Bush, when he was fighting Reagan for the nomination that year, called the latter’s patently unbalanced economic agenda of military build-up, massive tax cuts and a balanced budget, “voodoo economics”. In one of the greatest sell-outs of all history, however, Poppy Bush put his personal interest over our national interest, and become strangely silent on the matter after Reagan put him on the ticket as vice-presidential nominee, opening the way for him to ultimately win the presidency.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone by his daddy or Saint Ron, Lil’ Bush has turned the greatest budget surplus in American history into the greatest deficit ever. His pals in Congress, always railing about Democratic fiscal irresponsibility, broke every imaginable record for doling out the self-serving pork once they got control of the national piggy bank. The national debt is now well over nine trillion bucks, and fast rising. If Bush’s tax cuts (actually tax burden transfers, from the wealthy to the middle class, and from this generation to the next) are renewed, it will be far worse still. If the alternate minimum tax is properly adjusted, even worse yet. And we know about the time-bomb of entitlement benefits for retiring Baby Boomers that will soon hit us. What most Americans don’t know is that regressives have spent the last decades using their voodoo economics to raid those funds, in order to help keep the general budget deficits from being even worse, thus turning a time-bomb into a nuclear stockpile, about to explode.

So Reaganism-Bushism Principle Number One is use the people’s government to steal everything you can from them. Principle Number Two is to use deficit spending to steal from their children as well. (Can’t you just see the commercial: “Why wait, when you can bilk it now?!”) Principle Number Three is to destroy as much of the social safety net as you possibly can. After all, some Honest John knuckleheads out there are still going to be fiscally responsible enough to want to pay for what we spend, and if they go looking around for potential tax revenue, guess where they might see a whole lot of it lurking about, untouched? So, welfare programs gotta go. Social Security? Gotta go, though of course you can’t just kill middle class programs like you can for the poor, so you have to pretend your privatization plan is a reform to make the program solvent. National healthcare? Yeah, right. And, if you do have to add a prescription drug benefit because of the need to pander to seniors, make sure it’s written to line the pockets of Big Pharma and Big Insurance so heavily that their pants fall down around their ankles. Don’t worry, they have plenty of servants they can get to pull them back up.

The fourth precept of Reaganism-Bushism is an extension of the first three. Once you’ve exhausted your exploitation of the folks at home and their children, why stop? Americans are only five percent of the world’s population. That leaves a whole world of nice vulnerable people to exploit economically!! And politically. And physically. Can you say “Pinochet”? “The Shah”? “Apartheid”? “Contras”? “Marcos”? And lots more where those good old boys came from. Regressives didn’t prop up those bloody dictators because they were great lovers of democracy, or even because of some concern about communist incursions into the ‘free’ world. They did it because all you had to do was enrich these tinhorns and stroke their egos in order guarantee their assistance in the pillaging of their own people. In Grant’s era, or even Hoover’s, all plunder was local – or at least mostly. Reagan and Bush have taken the hunt for spoils truly global.

But why stop with people, even 6.5 billion of them? There’s an entire landscape to be raped! Doing so with wanton disregard for the consequences is Principle Number Five. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, one of the surprises for people in the West, not to mention many in the East, was the degree of environmental annihilation that had taken place. In the race to seek industrial parity with the West, the cheapest way for the Soviets and their allies to get the job done was to ignore environmental impacts of any sort. So that’s just what they did, to devastating consequences. The rest of the world is likely to be having a similar experience pretty soon. Whether it’s mountain leveling, or rainforest obliteration, or gargantuan industrialized outdoor cattle toilets, or sticking the planet in the pot and leaving it there on a low boil, the world is beginning to find out what happens when the captains of industry exploit the planet’s resources while leaving the ‘externalities’ for the rest of us to clean up. And what happens when right-wing politicians who are supposed to be regulating them in the public interest instead serve the special interests. Hint: It ain’t pretty. When it comes to regressive politics in America today, nothing is sacred, not even the ground you walk upon, the water you drink or the air you breathe.

Finally, Reaganism-Bushism Principle Number Six is that war is not healthy for children and other living things, except rich people getting even richer from it. So be sure to have lots of war. Or, at the very least, lots of spending on war goodies. Right now, the US not only spends more on ‘defense’ than any other country, it spends more – and it’s not even close – than every other country in the world, combined! And there are 195 of them or so, if you’re keeping score. And our great national threat is…? Nazi Germany? Nah. Stalin’s Soviet Union? Nope. It’s a guy with a beard holed up in the mountains of Pakistan, and a few other folks like him. (Or, at least it used to be a few, until we had the bright idea of launching the Al Qaeda Hyperdrive Recruitment Program, aka the Iraq War.) Meanwhile, gee, I don’t know. Is it just me, or does this seem like a grossly disproportionate amount of money to spend on privately produced military hardware, especially when our medical, education and infrastructural systems are crumbling at home? I guess it’s just all a big coincidence that we spend so much on military hardware while the fat-cats bankrolling regressive politicians are getting rich from the war toys the latter then turn around and purchase from the former.

All that said, the above itemization of Reaganism-Bushism’s key ideological principles absolutely gives the creed far too much credit. That’s because this is no ideology at all, even a bad one. In actuality, it is a prescription for pillaging and kleptocracy, wrapped in an ideological cloak to give it legitimacy. They need to market it that way because it’s a little early yet in the Dumbification of America campaign for them to come right out and tell you that war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength. Only Republican voters are quite so intoxicated to believe that already, and lots of them have been falling off the wagon lately. So, instead, they have to give you this looting of your own wallet and the tattering of your moral map all gussied up as a real, bona fide economic ideology.

You know: Free trade raises prosperity for everyone! Tax cuts benefit the country and even raise governmental revenues! Government regulation is evil! A skyrocketing wealth gap is just the natural product of entrpreneurial dynamism! And social programs to assist the poor, elderly and the middle class sap the moral strength of the country! Then they go find some loopy economist like Arthur Laffer to legitimate completely counter-intuitive ideas by publishing some fancy graphs in some backward academic journal. Never mind that your wallet gets lighter every year – you’ve got to stick with this economic program because it’s the American Way, and anything else is some commie plot.

Marxism-Leninism may be a dead ideology (or it may not), relegated to the ash heap of history, but at least it sprang from an altruistic motivation. Marx wasn’t sitting in the British Museum all day long figuring out how he could get rich by exploiting the masses. Reaganism-Bushism was always just the opposite – it’s just as non-altruistic a program as thievery always was, whatever fancy label you want to paste on it, however much lipstick you slather on the pig. Just as evil as slavery, colonialism, worker exploitation and environmental depredation ever were.

And just as much a real ideology as any emperor’s fine set of new clothes.

David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York. He is delighted to receive readers’ reactions to his articles (, but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. More of his work can be found at his website,

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.


From Marx to Morales: Indigenous Socialism & the Latin Americanization of Marxism

IAEA chief: ‘Ball of fire’ if Iran attacked + Israel’s dry run ‘attack on Iran’ with 100 jet fighters

Dandelion Salad

June 21, 2008

DUBAI (AFP) — The UN atomic watchdog chief warned on Saturday that an attack on Iran over its controversial nuclear programme would turn the region into a fireball, as Tehran rejected any Israeli strike as “impossible.”

Mohamed ElBaradei also warned that he would not be able to continue in his role as International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) director general if the Islamic republic were attacked.


h/t: CLG


Israel’s dry run ‘attack on Iran’ with 100 jet fighters

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
Saturday, 21 June 2008

Israel has mounted a major long-range military air exercise – involving more than 100 F15 and F16 fighters – as a rehearsal for a potential strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, American officials have indicated.

The fighters, along with refuelling tankers and helicopters able to rescue downed pilots, were mobilised during the first week of June over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece in an exercise monitored by foreign intelligence agencies.


h/t: CLG


Iran dismisses Israeli threat to nuclear facilities

by Ewen MacAskill in Washington, Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem and agencies
Saturday June 21, 2008

Tehran today denounced Israel as a “threat to global peace” after Israel held a large military exercise in an apparent dress rehearsal for a potential attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

An Iranian government spokesman, Gholam-Hossein Elham, dismissed suggestions of an attack by Israel as “impossible”, the official IRNA news agency reported.

He said “the threats and the claims of [the] Zionist regime” proved Iran’s view that Israel was “dangerous and a threat to the global peace and security”.


h/t: CLG

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.

Bolivia: Enron and Separatism by Andrés Soliz Rada

Dandelion Salad

Andrés Soliz Rada
June 19, 2008
June, 10 2008

The decision of the Transredes company (the Shell-Ashmore group that took over from Enron) to hand over the expansion of their Villamontes gas pipeline to the departmental prefecture of Tarija, bypassing central government, demonstrates yet once more how that company has promoted the break-up of Bolivia, an issue of world interest. Faced with that situation President Evo Morales did the very least he could do, namely, decree the compulsory purchase by the State of the hydrocarbons transport company shares.

Thus Enron’s presence seems to come to an end. Both under its own name and under its successor’s it became a byword for corruption in Bolivia. Remember that when Enron declared bankruptcy on December 2nd 2001 it was described as one of the most corrupt businesses ever in the far-from-clean history of the United States. Enron came to Bolivia under the patronage of (then president) Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada so as to accelerate the liquidation of Yacimientos Petrolíferas de Bolivia (tr., the State hydrocarbons company). Within months of taking office in 1994, Sanchez de Lozada, in July of that year, signed a memorandum of understanding with Enron to build a gas pipeline from Bolivia to Brazil.


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.

The Elephant and the Ant by Fidel Castro Ruz

Dandelion Salad

by Fidel Castro Ruz
Global Research
June 19, 2008

It would seem there’s no topic worthy of addressing that would not bore our patient readers, after the Round Table program of June 12, which dealt with the new edition of a book published in Bolivia 15 years ago, featuring now a prologue I wrote. During this program, an introduction was also read written at a later date by Evo Morales and a message from the prestigious Argentinean writer Stella Calloni, to be included in an upcoming edition. I had carefully chosen the information I used for that prologue.

A powerful internationalist spirit, which had its roots in the broad contingent of Cuban combatants who participated in the anti-fascist struggle of the Spanish people and made the best traditions of the world worker’s movement its own, had developed in Cuba in the first years of the Revolution.

We are not in the habit of publicizing our cooperative efforts with other peoples, but it is at times impossible to prevent the press from mentioning it. Our cooperative efforts stem from profound feelings that have nothing to do with a desire for publicity.

Some ask themselves how it is possible for a small country with scarce resources to carry out tasks of such magnitude in fields as decisive as education and health, without which contemporary society is unthinkable.

Humanity developed the goods and services essential to its existence since establishing its first society, and the latter has in turn developed from the most elementary to the most sophisticated of forms over many thousands of years.

The exploitation of man by man was inseparable from this development, as we all know or ought to know.

The different ways in which this reality has been perceived have always depended on the place each of us occupies within society. For long, exploitation was seen as something natural and the immense majority was never aware of the above relation.

At the very height of capitalist development in England, which was a world leader, next to the United States and other countries in Europe, in a world that was already dominated by colonialism and expansionism, a great thinker and history and economics scholar, Karl Marx, on the basis of the ideas of the most prestigious German philosophers and economists of the time –including Hegel, Adam Smith and David Ricardo, with whom he disagreed– elaborated, wrote and published his ideas on capitalism’s relations of production and exchange in 1859 in a work titled Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. In 1867, he continued to spread his ideas with the publication of the first volume of his most important work, a work that made him famous: The Capital. Most of the long book, on the basis of Marx’s notes and comments, was edited by Engels, who shared Marx’s ideas and, like a prophet, spread his work after Marx’s death in 1883.

What Marx published constitutes the most serious analysis ever to be written about class society and the exploitation of man by man. Marxism had thus been born, as the foundation of revolutionary parties and movements that proclaimed socialism as their objective, including nearly all social-democratic parties that, when World War I broke out, betrayed the slogan proclaimed by Marx and Engels in The Communist Manifesto, first published in 1848: “Workers of the world, unite!”

One of the truths that this great thinker expressed in simple terms was that: “In the social production during their lives, men establish certain necessary relations independent of their wills, relations of production which correspond to a given phase of development of their material productive forces. It is not man’s consciousness which determines its being, but on the contrary, it is its social being which determines its consciousness. On reaching a given phase of development, society’s material productive forces come into contradiction with existing production relations…From forms of development of the productive forces, these relations become obstacles to the latter and an era of social revolution thus begins…No social formation disappears before its productive forces are fully developed and no new and more advanced production relations emerge before the material conditions for their existence have matured within the old society”.

I could not find better words to more clearly and precisely express these concepts elaborated by Marx, concepts whose essence, with a basic explanation from a teacher, even one of the young Cubans who joined the Young Communists League this past Saturday June 14th could understand.

To describe the concrete development of the class struggle, Marx wrote The Class Struggle in France from 1848 to 1850 and the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, two excellent historical analyses that delight any reader. He was a true genius.

Lenin, a profound continuator of dialectical thought and Marx’s research, wrote two key works: The State and Revolution and Imperialism: the Highest Stage of Capitalism. Marx’s ideas, put into practice by Lenin through the October Revolution, were also developed by Mao Zedong and other Third World revolutionary leaders. Without them, the Cuban Revolution would not have taken place in the United States ’ backyard.

Had Marxist thought simply limited itself to the idea that “no social formation disappears before its productive forces are fully developed”, the capitalist theoretician Francis Fukuyama would have been right in proclaiming that the collapse of the Soviet Union marked the end of history and ideologies and that all resistance to the capitalist system of production should cease.

When the founder of scientific socialism published his ideas, society’s productive forces were far from fully developed. Technology had not yet yielded deadly weapons of mass destruction capable of exterminating the human species; the aerospatial domain did not yet exist, nor did the unlimited squandering of hydrocarbons and non-renewable fossil fuels; climate change had not yet been detected in a natural world whose potential seemed infinite to humanity, nor had the world food crisis, to be borne by innumerable combustion engines and a population six times larger than that which inhabited the planet on the year Marx was born (then of one billion), made itself known yet.

Cuba ‘s socialist experience takes place at a time when imperial domination has expanded across the globe.

When I speak of consciousness I am not referring to a will capable of changing reality but, on the contrary, to knowledge of objective reality which can determine the path to follow.

Tens of million of people died in the war sparked off in the mid 20th century by fascism, an ideology which was new at the time, born in the anti-Marxist bosom of the developed capitalist world Lenin had foretold.

In Cuba, as in other Third World countries, the struggle for national liberation, under the leadership of the middle classes and petite bourgeoisie, and the struggle for socialism that the most advanced sectors of the working class and farmers had been waging over the years, combined and strengthened one another. Ideological and class contradictions also flourished. Objective and subjective factors varied considerably from one process to another.

The United Nations and other international organizations, where many saw the beginning of a new, international consciousness, emerged from the last world war. Those hopes were betrayed.

Fascism, whose instrument Hitler called the National Socialist Party, was re-born, more powerful and threatening than ever.

The empire deploys and keeps aircraft carriers in all of the world’s seas, ever ready for military intervention. What does it decide to do in order to compete with Cuba in our hemisphere? To deploy an enormous ship turned into a floating hospital that works ten days in each country. It can assist a number of people daily but it cannot solve a country’s problems. It does not compensate for the brain-drain, and it cannot train the specialists who are needed so that real medical services may be offered on any day of the week and year. All of the world’s aircraft carriers, which today are instruments of military intervention deployed across the world’s oceans, working as hospitals, could not offer those services to the millions of people treated by Cuban doctors in remote corners of the planet, where women go into labor, children are born and there are sick people in urgent need of attention.

Our country has demonstrated that it can stand up to all pressures and help other peoples.

I was thinking about our cooperative efforts, not only in Bolivia, but in Haiti, the Caribbean, several countries in Central America, South America, Africa and even distant Oceania, 20 thousand kilometers away. I also recalled the missions undertaken by the Henry Reeve Brigade, which responded to serious emergencies, traveling in our planes, transporting personnel and other resources.

We are not far from reaching the figure of one million people annually operated on for sight problems, free of charge. Can the United States really compete with Cuba?

We will make use of computers, not to create weapons of mass destruction and exterminate people but to convey knowledge to other peoples. From the economic point of view, the development of the intelligence and conscience of our fellow citizens, made possible by the Revolution, allow us not only to aid those in most need at no cost to us, but also to export specialized services, including healthcare services, to countries that have more resources than our own. In this field, the United States will never be able to compete with Cuba.

Our small country shall continue to hold its ground.

In one phrase: The ant has proved mightier than the elephant!

© Copyright Fidel Castro Ruz, Global Research, 2008

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From Marx to Morales: Indigenous Socialism & the Latin Americanization of Marxism