Tag Archives: Brzezinski-Zbigniew

Cold War Origins Of The Somalia Crisis And Control Of The Indian Ocean by Rick Rozoff

by Rick Rozoff
Featured Writer
Dandelion Salad
Stop NATO
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stopnato/message/39164
May 3, 2009

For the past seven months world news outlets have provided daily coverage on what has been described as escalating piracy off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden and attempts by international, primarily Western, military vessels to combat it.

Absent from such reporting, as the exigencies of commercial news broadcasting inevitably entail, is how and why the situation in the region reached the impasse it has and what its broader significance is.

Instead the picture presented is, according to the standard formula, a point on a blank canvas with no historical depth, no geoeconomic and geopolitical width and no strata of diversified and interrelated causes that contribute to and dynamics that result from what is in truth a lengthy and complex process of developments.

In short the Somali situation is portrayed as a simple and self-contained event that at a seemingly gratuitous moment was declared a crisis.

There are dozens of comparable cases in the world, analogous in the general sense of presenting economic, security, national and regional threats to other nations and their environs, but these have not been declared crises and so aren’t given world attention.

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Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist (2 & 3)

Dandelion Salad

corbettreport

Part One of the Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist documentary from The Corbett Report, dealing with the founding and funding of what we know as Al Qaeda. This installment of the documentary goes into Zbigniew Brzezinski, Operation Cyclone, the ISI-CIA-MAK-US government funding circle and CIA connections to Osama Bin Laden. For more information about this documentary, including a bibliography of works cited, please visit the documentary website:

http://www.alqaedadoesntexist.com

more about “Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist Part 2“, posted with vodpod

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Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist (Documentary) – 3

This is the second installment of Part One of the Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist Documentary, dealing with the Founding and Funding of what we know as Al Qaeda, including information on Brzezinski, Operation Cyclone, the CIA, the ISI, MAK, and of course Osama Bin Laden.

more about “Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist Part 3“, posted with vodpod

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Al Qaeda Doesn’t Exist (Prologue)

9/11 on Dandelion Salad

The Bloodbath In Gaza – Separating the Truth from the Hype By Mike Whitney

Dandelion Salad

By Mike Whitney
January 06, 2009 “Information Clearinghouse

“Bandits with planes …
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.” poem by Pablo Neruda

In a rare moment of honesty, the New York Times divulged the real motive behind the bombardment and invasion of Gaza. In Ethan Bronner’s article, “Israel Weighs Goal: Ending Hamas Rule, Rocket fire, or Both”, Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said, “We need to reach a situation in which we do not allow Hamas to govern. That is the most important thing. If the war ends in a draw, as expected, and Israel refrains from reoccupying Gaza, Hamas will gain diplomatic recognition…No matter what you call it, Hamas will obtain legitimacy.”

According to the Times:

“In addition, any truce would probably include an increase in commercial traffic from Israel and Egypt into Gaza, which is Hamas’s central demand: to end the economic boycott and border closing it has been facing. To build up the Gaza economy under Hamas, Israeli leaders say, would be to build up Hamas. Yet withholding the commerce would continue to leave 1.5 million Gazans living in despair.” (Israel Weighs Goal: Ending Hamas Rule, Rocket fire, or Both; Ethan Bronner)

If Israel wants to prevent Hamas from “obtaining legitimacy,” than the real objective of the invasion is to either severely undermine or topple the regime. All the talk about the qassam rockets and the so-called “Hamas infrastructure”, (the new phrase that is supposed to indicate a threat to Israeli security) is merely a diversion. What really worries Israel is the prospect that Obama will “sit down with his enemies”–as he promised during the presidential campaign–and conduct talks with Hamas. That would put the ball in Israel’s court and force them to make concessions. But Israel does not want to make concessions. They would rather start a war and change the facts on the ground so they can head-off any attempt by Obama to restart peace process.

Just days ago, Obama advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said in a televised interview, that the last eight years proves that resolving the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is critical to US interests in the region. He added that the recent fighting shows that the two parties cannot achieve peace without US involvement. Brzezinski’s comments suggest that, at the very least, the Obama camp is considering low-level (secret?) talks with Hamas representatives. Every day that Hamas abstains from violence; its legitimacy as a political party grows and the prospect of direct negotiations becomes more likely. This is Israel’s worst nightmare, not because Hamas constitutes a real threat to Israeli security, but because Israel wants to install its own puppet regime and unilaterally impose its own terms for a final settlement. Neither Ehud Olmert or any of the candidates for prime minister have any intention of getting bogged down in another 8 years of fruitless banter like Oslo where plans for settlement expansion had to be concealed behind an elaborate public relations smokescreen. No way. The Israeli leadership would rather skip the pretense altogether and pursue their territorial aims openly as they have under Bush. And the goal is the same as always; to integrate the occupied territories into Greater Israel and leave the Palestinians trapped in bantustans. Negotiations just make that harder.

Ariel Sharon’s senior advisor, Dov Weisglass, clarified Israel’s position three years ago when he admitted, “The disengagement [from Gaza] is actually formaldehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde that is necessary so that there will not be a political process with the Palestinians… this whole package that is called the Palestinian state has been removed from our agenda indefinitely.” “Formaldehyde”; that says it all. The point of the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza was to silence critics and to make it appear as though the Palestinians had achieved some type of statehood. It was a complete sham. Sharon believed that disengagement would stop foreign leaders from badgering him to sit down with the Palestinians and work out a mutually-acceptable agreement. He never expected that elections would throw a wrench in his plans and raise the credibility of Hamas to the extent that it has today. In the last two years, Hamas hasn’ t launched one suicide mission in Israel, which shows that it has abandoned the armed struggle and can be trusted to negotiate on its people’s behalf. That scares Israel, which is why they initiated hostilities. Now, they need to seal the deal by either removing Hamas before Obama is sworn in or face pressure from the new administration for dialogue. Meanwhile, Israeli troop movements indicate that a plan may be in place to divide Gaza into three parts, thus making it impossible for Hamas to rule.

The UK Guardian confirms that the invasion was really about regime change not rockets or Hamas infrastructure.

According to the Guardian:

“A couple of days into the assault on Gaza, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, said it would continue for ‘as long as it takes to dismantle Hamas completely’. Infuriated Israeli officials in Jerusalem warned her that such statements could set back the diplomatic offensive.

Dan Gillerman, Israel’s ambassador to the UN until a few months ago, was brought in by the Foreign Ministry to help lead the diplomatic and PR campaign. He said that the diplomatic and political groundwork has been under way for months.

“This was something that was planned long ahead,” he said. “I was recruited by the foreign minister to coordinate Israel’s efforts and I have never seen all parts of a very complex machinery – whether it is the Foreign Ministry, the Defence Ministry, the prime minister’s office, the police or the army – work in such co-ordination, being effective in sending out the message.”

In briefings in Jerusalem and London, Brussels and New York, the same core messages were repeated: that Israel had no choice but to attack in response to the barrage of Hamas rockets; that the coming attack would be on “the infrastructure of terror” in Gaza and the targets principally Hamas fighters; that civilians would die, but it was because Hamas hides its fighters and weapons factories among ordinary people.

Hand in hand went a strategy to remove the issue of occupation from discussion.” (UK Guardian, “Why Israel went to war in Gaza”)

The invasion was mapped out months ago, right down to the bullet points that were passed out to friends in the media. Nothing was left to chance. That said, the public relations campaign was on full display over the weekend when Israeli ground troops and armored divisions swept into Gaza unopposed. CNN had a coterie of ardent Zionists on hand to justify the invasion in a carefully scripted analysis of developments. Retired Brigadier Gen. David Grange accompanied the blatantly pro-Israel Wolf Blitzer saying that the IDF had been “lured” into Gaza by Hamas so that Hamas could execute its plan for “urban warfare”. Utter nonsense. Grange implied that the subsequent slaughter of civilians was the work of Hamas, not Israel. Even by CNN’s abysmal standards, this is new low.

The media has worked in concert with the IDF throughout, spinning a rationale from whole cloth and cheerleading from every available soapbox. But recent polls show that the public has remained skeptical. Anti-Israel protests have sprung up in capitals across the world, and support for Israel is at its nadir. . Many people are simply shocked to see the most advanced, technological weaponry in the world being used in densely populated areas where collateral damage is bound to be heavy. It just makes Israel look like a bully while the media looks like an enabler. So far, the war has been a public relations catastrophe. Over 500 Palestinians have been killed and 2,400 wounded in a debacle of Biblical proportions. Every day, new photographs circulate on the internet showing the carnage produced by the steady bombardment. On Monday, the IDF killed two more Palestinian families, in two separate incidents. The mother, father and eight children were killed when their house was bombed by an American made F-16 early Monday morning. Another family in the Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza City, was butchered when their home was struck by a shell from an Israeli ship off the coast. The civilian toll continues to balloon with no end in sight.

Here’s how one Gaza resident summed up the bombing in an interview with an AP journalist:

“The Israeli forces attack everywhere. They have gone crazy. The Gaza Strip is just going to die … it’s going to die. We were sleeping. Suddenly we heard a bomb. We woke up and we didn’t know where to go. We couldn’t see through the dust. We called to each other. We thought our house had been hit, not the street. What can I say? You saw it with your own eyes. What is our guilt? Are we terrorists? I don’t carry a gun, neither does my girl. What does Israel want? There’s no medicine. No drinks, no water, no gas. We are suffering from hunger. They attack us. Can it be worse than this?”

All of Gaza has been traumatized.

The “invasion”–which is a word none of the Israeli-centric media dares to use–(Israel “entered” Gaza) is the equivalent of rampaging through a concentration camp. (similar to the massacre at Sabra and Shatilla) Still, newspapers, like the New York Times, provide cover for the attack by referring to Hamas “bases” within Gaza. In truth, there are no bases nor military installations of any kind. It’s just more lies. They have no army, no navy, and no air force. The only threat that Gaza poses to Israel is its people’s unshakable commitment to end the occupation.

On CNN, Alan Dershowitz and other prominent Zionists defend the invasion in their most polished, lawyerly prose, but the public remains unconvinced. What observers are seeing on the internet is the broken bodies of children pulled from the rubble of their homes and the terrifying explosions in a city that languishes in complete darkness. Nothing Dershowitz says can match the imagery splattered minute by minute on the screen. Israel has bombed mosques, ambulances, bridges, tunnels, even a terrorist girls dormitory. Since when is a girl’s dormitory part of “Hamas infrastructure”? Five sisters and their mother were blow apart as they sat peacefully in their own living room. Does Dershowitz really believe he can elicit sympathy for the perpetrators of these crimes? American support for Israel is being tested; and that support is quickly eroding.

War is a blunt instrument for achieving one’s political objectives, and the costs can be enormous for winner and loser alike. If Israel manages to incite Hamas to the point where they deploy suicide bombers to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem then, perhaps, attitudes will shift in Israel’s favor. It is impossible to predict. But, clearly, retaliation with suicide missions would be the worst possible strategy for Hamas at this point. Israel has lost the moral high-ground, but one suicide bomber can change all that in a flash. Besides, the bombings alienate the people who sympathize with the Palestinian cause and make it harder for them to be openly supportive. The only people who benefit from suicide missions are the right-wing fanatics within the Israeli political establishment. Every Israeli civilian that’s killed just strengthens the Likudniks and their ilk.

ENDING THE CEASEFIRE: Who’s to blame?

The media has made a big issue of the fact that Hamas ended its ceasefire with Israel just days before the bombardment of Gaza. But as Johann Hari points out in his article “The True Story Behind this War Is Not The One Israel Is Telling” Hamas offered to maintain the ceasefire if Israel agreed to lift the blockade.

According to Hari:

“The core of the situation has been starkly laid out by Ephraim Halevy, the former head of Mossad. He says that while Hamas militants – like much of the Israeli right-wing – dream of driving their opponents away, “they have recognized this ideological goal is not attainable and will not be in the foreseeable future.” Instead, “they are ready and willing to see the establishment of a Palestinian state in the temporary borders of 1967.” They are aware that this means they “will have to adopt a path that could lead them far from their original goals” – and towards a long-term peace based on compromise…..Halevy explains: “Israel, for reasons of its own, did not want to turn the ceasefire into the start of a diplomatic process with Hamas.”

Why would Israel act this way? The Israeli government wants peace, but only one imposed on its own terms, based on the acceptance of defeat by the Palestinians. It means the Israelis can keep the slabs of the West Bank on “their” side of the wall. It means they keep the largest settlements and control the water supply. And it means a divided Palestine, with responsibility for Gaza hived off to Egypt, and the broken-up West Bank standing alone. Negotiations threaten this vision: they would require Israel to give up more than it wants to. But an imposed peace will be no peace at all: it will not stop the rockets or the rage. For real safety, Israel will have to talk to the people it is blockading and bombing today, and compromise with them. (Johann Hari, “The True Story Behind this War Is Not The One Israel Is Telling”)

Hari’s article further confirms our basic thesis that the aggression in Gaza has nothing to do with terrorism, security, or Hamas infrastructure. In fact, Hamas appears to be ready to settle for much less than they originally hoped for. In this particular case, all they wanted was a promise from Israel to end the blockade, but Israel refused. Collective punishment of Palestinians has become a habit, like smoking or taking drugs. Israel can do what it wants. If it decides to cut off the food and medicine to 1.5 million people or bomb them into oblivion; no one can stop them. The UN and Washington just roll over and play dead. Why should they negotiate; they can do whatever they want. The world is their apple.

ISMAIL HANIYEH: “We do not wish to throw the Jews into the sea”.

“Oh…who will stop the windmills in my head?
Who will remove the knives from my heart?
Who will kill my poor children…?
In order that they do not…grow up in the red
furnished apartments…” (“Ending” by Amal Dunqul; translated by Angry Arab News Service)

On Monday, Israeli warplanes bombed the offices of a man who has helped to save the lives of more Jews than anyone in the Knesset. That man is Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Haniyeh has supported the ban on suicide missions which has lasted for more than two years despite the blockade of food, medicine, fuel, and electrical power to the Gaza Strip and despite the daily bombings, incursions, arrests, assassinations and countless other humiliations associated with occupation. Hundreds of Israeli civilians are alive today because Haniyeh and his Hams colleagues abandoned the armed struggle and entered politics.

On Friday, Israeli spokeswoman, Major Avital Leibovich, announced that “Hamas leaders were also marked men. We have defined legitimate targets as any Hamas-affiliated target.” That means that Haniyeh is now on Israel’s hit list.

In a February 2006 interview with the Washington Post, Haniyeh dispelled many of the lies circulating in the western media about Hamas. He said that he wanted to see an end the “vicious cycle of violence” and vehemently denied the claim that “Hamas is committed to destroying Israel”. He said, “We do not have any feelings of animosity toward Jews. We do not wish to throw them into the sea. All we seek is to be given our land back, not to harm anybody….We are not war seekers nor are we war initiators. We are not lovers of blood. We are oppressed people with rights.”

Wa Post: “Would Hamas recognize Israel if it were to withdraw to the ’67 borders?”

Haniyeh: “If Israel withdraws to the ’67 borders, then we will establish peace in stages… We will establish a situation of stability and calm which will bring safety for our people.

Wa Post: “Do you recognize Israel’s right to exist?”

Haniyeh: “The answer is to let Israel say it will recognize a Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, release the prisoners and recognize the rights of the refugees to return to Israel. Hamas will have a position if this occurs.”

Wa Post: “Will you recognize Israel?”

Haniyeh: “If Israel declares that it will give the Palestinian people a state and give them back all their rights, then we are ready to recognize them.”

Haniyeh’s answers are straightforward and rational. He asked for nothing that isn’t already required under existing United Nations resolutions; a return to the 1967 borders, basic human rights, and settlement of the final status issues. An agreement could be facilitated tomorrow if Israel was willing to conform to international law. Instead, Israel has chosen to invade Gaza. For 60 years it has employed the same failed strategy.

Haniyeh again:

“Israel’s unilateral movements of the past year will not lead to peace. These acts — the temporary withdrawal of forces from Gaza, the walling off of the West Bank — are not strides toward resolution but empty, symbolic acts that fail to address the underlying conflict. Israel’s nearly complete control over the lives of Palestinians is never in doubt, as confirmed by the humanitarian and economic suffering of the Palestinians since the January elections.”

“We want what Americans enjoy — democratic rights, economic sovereignty and justice. We thought our pride in conducting the fairest elections in the Arab world might resonate with the United States and its citizens. Instead, our new government was met from the very beginning by acts of explicit, declared sabotage by the White House. Now this aggression continues against 3.9 million civilians living in the world’s largest prison camps. America’s complacency in the face of these war crimes is, as usual, embedded in the coded rhetorical green light: “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

Haniyeh’s efforts for reconciliation are doomed. Israel will not bargain or compromise. The Israeli state is driven by an ideology which requires continuous expansion and subjugation. There’s nothing Haniyeh can do to change that. The answer to the present crisis lies within Zionism itself, the philosophical underpinning of Jewish nationalism.

In his recent article, “Israel’s Righteous Fury and its Victims in Gaza”, Ilan Pappe, the chair in the Department of History at the University of Exeter, explains Zionism in terms of its effect on Israeli policy vis a vis the invasion of Gaza:

“There are no boundaries to the hypocrisy that a righteous fury produces. The discourse of the generals and the politicians is moving erratically between self-compliments of the humanity the army displays in its “surgical” operations on the one hand, and the need to destroy Gaza for once and for all, in a humane way of course, on the other.

This righteous fury is a constant phenomenon in the Israeli, and before that Zionist, dispossession of Palestine. Every act whether it was ethnic cleansing, occupation, massacre or destruction was always portrayed as morally just and as a pure act of self-defense reluctantly perpetrated by Israel in its war against the worst kind of human beings. In his excellent volume The Returns of Zionism: Myths, Politics and Scholarship in Israel, Gabi Piterberg explores the ideological origins and historical progression of this righteous fury. Today in Israel, from Left to Right, from Likud to Kadima, from the academia to the media, one can hear this righteous fury of a state that is more busy than any other state in the world in destroying and dispossessing an indigenous population.

It is crucial to explore the ideological origins of this attitude and derive the necessary political conclusions form its prevalence. This righteous fury shields the society and politicians in Israel from any external rebuke or criticism. But far worse, it is translated always into destructive policies against the Palestinians. With no internal mechanism of criticism and no external pressure, every Palestinian becomes a potential target of this fury. Given the firepower of the Jewish state it can inevitably only end in more massive killings, massacres and ethnic cleansing.

The self-righteousness is a powerful act of self-denial and justification. It explains why the Israeli Jewish society would not be moved by words of wisdom, logical persuasion or diplomatic dialogue. And if one does not want to endorse violence as the means of opposing it, there is only one way forward: challenging head-on this righteousness as an evil ideology meant to cover human atrocities. Another name for this ideology is Zionism and an international rebuke for Zionism, not just for particular Israeli policies, is the only way of countering this self-righteousness.” (“Israel’s Righteous Fury and its Victims in Gaza”, Ilan Pappe)

It wouldn’t make a bit of difference if Hamas surrendered tomorrow and handed-over all its weapons to Israel, because the problem isn’t Hamas; it’s Zionism, the deeply-flawed ideology which leads to bombing children in their homes while clinging to victim-hood. Ideas have consequences. Gaza proves it.

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Rampage in Gaza for a Bump in the Polls By Mike Whitney

US congressman Keith Ellison on Gaza + Ellison Calls for End to Israel/Hamas Hostilities

Mosaic – War on Gaza: Day 10 – 1/5/09 + Footage of attacks on Israeli troops

Israeli attack on Gaza school kills 30

Israel-Palestine-Gaza-Occupation

Obama and the Left’s Dilemma By William Bowles

By William Bowles
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Creative-i
4 November 2008

My dear friend and comrade Patricia, ensconced in Jacksonville, FLA sent me these words yesterday (3 November):

Because the elite has used this [racism] for eons. Stand up! Damn It! It’s the empire that is the focus. OHH PULEESE! But then they’re very nervous when using niggers within the empire to maintain the empire. Short story and oh so familiar. That is the Brits to the max. Within the U.S. matrix, not the Brits. This is a  tremulous time and there is deep worry. It’s [a] scary time for those who rule!!!

Followed by:

Got your thinking and reams of others. To repeat: no wonder those who rule are “tremulous”, very oft centered. But, dear bill, how do we expand and reproduce capital? Ye Gods!!! I know how deeply we experience our incipient mortality as producers of the world.

Yes, selecting Obama was a desperate gamble no doubt, but the future of the empire is at stake here. So can Obama rescue it for whitey and what’s a lefty to do? Is it still the same old lesser of two evils paradigm (didn’t we go through this four years ago?)? Surely a ‘liberal’ black man as prez is preferable to a reactionary scumbag like McCain? Well we’ll skip the ‘liberal’ bit and let’s deal with his ‘blackness’.

Clearly black folks voting for Obama is not only about his programme (it differs only in syntax from McCain’s) but about Black Americans expressing their frustrations with centuries of oppression in the (I believe vain) hope that he will make a positive difference to their lives. So I think there’s more than an element of desperation involved here (on both sides) and under such circumstance who can blame black Americans voting for Obama? And I’m not sure the left understands this aspect, largely because most are white. But that said, it doesn’t alter my view one bit that this is the time for people to vote with their heads and their hearts and vote for Cynthia McKinney, the other black person about which we hear very little.

The degree to which race is a central issue is highlighted I think by the fact that black Americans constitute around 10% of the population, with Latinos for example, outnumbering them. Thus with only 10% of the population, why is Obama’s ‘blackness’ such a big issue?

This goes to the very heart of racism as an ideology of divide and rule and the fact that the Bush/Cheney clique have blown it with the populace, else why allow a black man to run for prez?

Moreover, it also reveals what a two-edged sword racism is, just when you need it to go away (but only for awhile you understand), it gets in the way of conducting real politik.

For regardless of what the pundits say, this is an election about race at least as far as Black Americans are concerned. But where does this leave the rest of America?

It’s the demographics stupid

Young people have registered in vast numbers with many being first time voters and it is likely that many will have a very different attitude toward the question of race as an issue. And women outnumber male registered voters and by a margin of 10 points, prefer Obama over McCain.[1]

It’s also about legitimacy, which is what choosing Obama is all about, trying to restore some legitimacy to capitalism. Isn’t it a case of ‘anybody, even a black man can be president in the land of opportunity’?

As I’ve noted before selecting Obama as the Democratic nominee was either a stroke of genius or one of desperation (more likely a bit of both) on the part of the Dems. And, as I’ve also noted before there are strong parallels with the election of Carter back in ‘77, for if Obama wins it gives the ruling elite some ‘breathing space’ before getting back to business as usual. The question is, will it ever again, be ‘business as usual’?

Frankly, I think the most dangerous aspect of this election is whether or not it’s going to be a fix and given that regardless of what the polls say, I think it’s going to be a very close run thing and if so, and the mass media do the right thing and expose any shenanigans on the part of the Bush/Cheney gang of pirates, then I think all hell will break loose.

And already it looks like literally millions of black Americans have been struck off various voter rolls around the country and reports of electronic voting machines ‘flipping’ votes (see for example, ‘Vote-Flipping Reported on E-Voting Machines’)[2], and if it is a close run thing, just as it was in Florida in ‘04, it will make the difference between winning and losing. So what are the likely reactions? An awful lot of very unhappy bunnies and a situation that could well turn into a very different kind of watershed.

This just in from the Channel 4 TV News’ email:

“And then the festive mood was broken as a man ran up to us, baying, “The machines are broken! The machines are broken! All three of them!”

And immediately the woman from the Portaloo company told him where the lawyers were. Calls were made, and we ran to the station where the machines had failed. A hundred people waited as engineers came to fix them.

“Voters are more than concerned that this system of machines, devoid of paper trail, is risky. And then, at another station, they were bemused that the only media who had come to see them had come all the way from London.”

And the very fact that Obama has a vast team of lawyers to call on vis a vis the suspect voting machines is an indication of just how fragile this ‘democratic’ process really is.

I think the real issue here is, as Patricia said, “Stand up! Damn It! It’s the empire that is the focus.” I might add that it should be the focus but this assumes an awful lot about the electorate’s understanding of the situation and not only their understanding but more importantly perhaps, their desires.

There’s clearly a vast gulf here between the left and its expectations and the rest of the population. Sure, the voters may well be united around specifics but this is not an election that’s being contested over specifics but over abstractions, ‘change’ being the operative word (one is tempted to say chump change) but of course, there are no specific changes being put forward by Obama, not that it matters, it’s the idea of change, any change, that counts.

The back story to this is of relevance, for it involves the power and influence of competing sectors of the ruling class, the ‘neo-cons’ on the one hand who prefer to shoot first and not even bother to ask questions afterwards, and on the other those who prefer to tread (relatively) quietly and carry a very big stick, the Dems and their major ideologue, Zbigniew Brzezinski. This is the crew that has broadly run the empire since the end of WWII.

And the venom with which Hillary Clinton and her backers contested the primaries reveals some pretty vicious infighting within the Democratic machine over the best way forward to save the empire. Thus we have two factions of the ruling elite fighting over the ‘best’ way forward.

The screwups of the past four years have created an almighty mess for the US ruling class and on top of this we have the long-awaited economic meltdown to add to their woes, thus electing Obama is for those more circumspect members of the ruling class absolutely vital to the future of the empire.

The bottom line is, will Obama as prez make a positive difference? This raises the question: to what degree will Obama himself, decide on what is to be done? For an answer to this, we need only look at who and what is grouped around him (let alone who and how he was selected in the first place).

Obama’s ‘advisors’ (or should this be minders?)

Well let’s start with former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and then former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke and Obama’s running mate Biden is good pals with Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia. Not surprisingly, his media/PR team is mainly selected from the former Clinton media machine, David Axelrod being the lead man in the Obama team.

In fact, his ‘advisors’ are a whose who of the imperial war machine and who knows what kind of ‘deals’ have been done with Obama to run for prez on the ‘understanding’ that he leaves the really important decisions to the ‘experts’. There’s no doubt a quid pro quo has gone down for frankly, I find it impossible to believe that the power brokers would entrust the presidency to a black man except under the most extreme of circumstances, like now for example, racism runs just too deep.

Ultimately, whoever gets elected it’s not going to change the basics, only we can do that.

Notes

1. ‘How gender difference is proving to be a critical factor for tomorrow’s election’

2. See also, ‘On Eve of Election Day, Is the Nation’s Voting System Ready? Reports of Irregularities Pour in from Across US in Record Early Voting’

And, ‘Urgent: Take Action Now to Stop Racist Voter Suppression’

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Is Redistribution Really All That Bad? Obama’s Little Red Book By Mike Whitney

Between Hope and Reality – An Open Letter to Barack Obama By Ralph Nader

Vote for Change? Atrocity-Linked US Officials Advising Dem, GOP Pres Frontrunners (videos)

Our Joe Bageant discusses the election and poor whites

Stolen Elections And Media Blackouts + Palast on BET + New Poll Tax

Obama: Change You Can Believe In–Not, Part 4

Barack Obama And Faith-Based Voting By Daniel Cioper

Voter Suppression Voting Rights

Ralph Nader Posts & Videos

McCain-John

Palin-Sarah

Obama-Barack

Obama: Change You Can Believe In–Not Part 2: Foreign Policy

by Kellia Ramares
Speaking Truth to Power
Oct 28, 2008

[In Part Two of her series on an Obama presidency, Kellia Ramares reveals appalling connections between Obama and his foreign policy advisors that spell anything but change in America’s imperial, geopolitical relationships.–CB]

A Truth To Power Exclusive

To read Part One of this series CLICK HERE

Visit Kellia’s “No Pitch” JOURNALISM BLOG

During a debate on January 31, 2008, Sen. Barack Obama said, “I don’t want to just end the war, but I want to end the mind-set that got us into war in the first place.”1 That is an excellent idea. But Obama’s other words, the Democratic Party Platform, and the advisers he has chosen for his foreign policy team indicates that the January statement is just a bunch of pretty words. He will not reverse the trend of American military interventionism that is so costly in lives, money, and American standing in the world. As Michael Rubin, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has written, “much of the Democrats’ anti-war rhetoric has more to do with politics and anti-Bush sentiment than it does with ideological opposition to the use of force.”2

Yes, Obama wants to end the Iraq War but, the 2008 Democratic Party platform flatly states:

Expand the Armed Forces

We support plans to increase the size of the Army by 65,000 troops and the Marines by 27,000 troops. Increasing our end strength will help units retrain and re-equip properly between deployments and decrease the strain on military families.3

Recruit and Retain

A nation of 300 million people should not struggle to find additional qualified personnel to serve.

Recruitment and retention problems have been swept under the rug, including by applying inconsistent standards and using the “Stop Loss” program to keep our servicemen and women in the force after their enlistment has expired. We will reach out to youth, as well as to the parents, teachers, coaches, and community and religious leaders who influence them, (emphasis mine) and make it an imperative to restore the ethic of public service, whether it be serving their local communities in such roles as teachers or first responders, or serving in the military and reserve forces (emphasis mine) or diplomatic corps that keep our nation free and safe.4

Re-train and re-equip properly between deployments? Sounds like Obama plans to keep the military busy.

[…]

via Carolyn Baker – OBAMA: CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN–NOT! Part 2 By Kellia Ramares

see

Obama: Change You Can Believe In–Not (Part 1: The Economy)

Whoever Wins U.S. Election, Policy in ‘War on Terror’ Unlikely to Change By Jeremy R. Hammond

Political Equivalence by Ralph Nader

Valuable, Voluntary and Educational National Youth Service by William Cox

Obama: Nearly $1 Trillion to spend on “National Security Force” of children + Reinstating the Draft

Obama calls for US military mobilization (draft)

Countdown: McCain Supports The “DRAFT”

McCain-John

Palin-Sarah

Obama-Barack

Frost over the World – Zbigniew Brzezinski

Dandelion Salad

AlJazeeraEnglish

One of the most respected figures in the field of US foreign policy explains why he is supporting Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, in the upcoming presidential elections.

Continue reading

Militarism and a Uni-polar World by Lenora Foerstel

Dandelion Salad

by Lenora Foerstel
Global Research, August 26, 2008

The Trilateral Commission was founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller as an off-shoot of the Council of Foreign Relations (CFR). David Rockefeller was chairman of the CFR in 1970 and subsequently became the founding chairman of the Trilateral Commission. Soon the membership of the Commission had grown to 300 members, including prominent political figures like Zbigniew Brzezinski. Most members of the Trilateral Commission are bankers, media moguls, or corporate CEOs, primarily from North America, Europe and Japan, while all members of the CFR are U.S. Citizens.

The Commission seeks to extend its influence abroad and is careful to avoid the scrutiny of congressional investigations. The CFR on the other hand, focuses on the control of American media.

When American media discuss globalism, they rarely mention that the Trilateral Commission sets most global economic goals, primary among them being the creation of a one-world system of trade. It is basically a form of fascism in which global corporations and their elite CEOs determine the policies and direction of world governments. The creation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank after World War II was intended to encourage Third World countries to borrow money from wealthy nations, so long as they agreed to the imposition of a wide range of “structural adjustment policies.” Any nation borrowing money from either organization would not be allowed to nationalize its natural resources and would be unable to prevent foreign corporations from buying or controlling those resources.

Shortly before World War II, Hjalmer Schacht, a German banker, toured the United States soliciting American corporate support for Hitler’s new fascist state. U.S. corporations not only agreed to support Germany against the socialist economic system of the Soviet Union, but also declared their opposition to the strong labor movement arising in the United States and Europe.

General Motors was prominent among the corporations that supported the Nazi government, investing $20 million in industries owned or controlled by Herman Goering and other Nazi officials. Other US multinational corporations that profited from and supported Hitler’s industrial war machine included General Electric, Standard Oil, Texaco, International Harvester, ITT and IBM. Today, Standard Oil of New York is unabashed in honoring its chemical cartel that manufactured Zyklon-B, the poison gas used by the Nazi gas chambers. (1)

Among the eminent business leaders backing these multinational corporations were the Rockefellers and Prescott Bush, father of George Bush and grandfather of George W. Bush. Prescott Bush worked with his father-in-law, George Herbert Walker, in the family firm Union Banking Corporation to raise $50 million for the Nazi government by selling German bonds to American investors from 1924 to 1930.

Even though the United States helped to defeat Nazi Germany in World War II, many of the powerful elite families continued to support Hitler’s fascist ideology after the war. John Rockefeller III was an uncritical believer in the doctrine of Thomas Robert Malthus, who claimed that population always increased at a geometric rate while food supply increased at the slower arithmetic rate. Malthus therefore concluded that population growth had to be rigidly controlled. Today, his theory is widely criticized for failing to take into account the vast technological advances in agriculture and food production.

Rockefeller also accepted Hitler’s concept of an Aryan race, leading him to propose population control on the poor and people of color, whom he believed were producing children of inferior intelligence. In an effort to support such views, the Rockefeller family became involved with Eugenics, a fascist doctrine that advocated breeding a superior race by eliminating the mentally ill, physically handicapped, and racially inferior.

During the 1920’s, anthropologist Franz Boaz helped to combat racial prejudice more than any of his contemporaries. Following in his steps was his young protégé, Margaret Mead, who went on to establish that nurture, not nature, was the primary determinant of human health and mental development. Their work showed that Eugenics was based on ideology, not science. The legitimate science of genetics emerged from the ashes of Eugenics, but even today, many geneticists are members of Eugenics societies.

Despite the demise of Eugenics, the theory of over-population remains a common political argument. It has been suggested by Henry Kissinger, a stout member of the Trilateral Commission, that countries that do not control their population should suffer sanctions and the human misery that accompanies them.

The US Congress has supported these early population concepts introduced by Rockefeller’s Foundation. In March 1970, Congress set up a “Commission on Population Growth and the American Future.” The commission included representatives from USAID, the State Department, and the Department of Agriculture, but CIA and Pentagon officials drew up the agenda. “Their objectives were not to assist developing countries, but as promoted by the Trilateral Commission, to curb world population with a view to serving US strategic and national security interests,” notes author Michel Chossudovsky.(2)

In 2007, more than 100 million tons of grain were used to make ethanol, which contributed to high global food prices and subsequent hunger and starvation. During this same year, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization stated that there had been a record grain harvest, suggesting that there is enough food in the world to feed everyone. Indeed, over the last twenty years, food production has risen steadily at over two percent a year, while the rate of population growth has dropped to 1.4 percent a year. Access to food should be viewed as a fundamental human right, but corporations regard it only as a commodity to be sold for profit. No amount of technological progress or increase in food production can overcome corporate greed. The corporations ignore basic human needs, seeking to control world resources by encouraging the US government to build more and more military bases around the world. Presently, the US has 1000 such bases.

Under the Clinton administration, Yugoslavia was dismembered in order to advance American interests. In particular, the former Serbian province of Kosovo was occupied by U.S. troops in order to build Camp Bondsteel, among the largest military bases ever created by the United States. It will double as Kosovo’s largest prison, where prisoners can be held indefinitely without charges and without defense attorneys.(3)

Another major reason for building Camp Bondsteel was to provide protection for an oil pipeline to be built to the Caspian Sea. The Caspian holds some 50 billion gallons of oil, tempting foreign intervention in the Balkans. In an attempt to control Caspian oil, NATO and US troops have been sent to the Georgia.

As Latin America asserts its independence from the odious Monroe Doctrine, its progressive leaders face increasing American pressure and overt threats. These new leaders no longer rely on the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic have become members of the Bolivian Alternative for Latin America. This organization emphasizes local energy development and has become the bank of the South. This bank will not operate as a profit driven institution, but as a financial organization that will consider the economic needs of each borrower country.

In an effort to break up this new political organization in Latin America, the US has provided six billion dollars to Alvaro Uribe, President of Columbia, with the understanding that a US military base would follow. The base would be placed in La Guay, a region spanning Northeast Columbia and Northwest Venezuela, a clear threat to the Chavez government in Venezuela.

As in the Caucasus and Latin America, Africa is faced with American military expansion through AFRICOM. AFRICOM is the acronym for the US military command post planned for Sub-Sahara Africa. As pointed out by the members of the National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL), AFRICOM will infringe on the rights of African states and will violate international law that protects the sovereignty of nations. African leaders are well aware that AFRICOM is intended to exploit Africa’s national resources.

It has become increasingly clear that the US military has been stretched thin, with insufficient forces to fight simultaneous wars and maintain the vast military bases it is establishing around the world. Responding to this problem, Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense, and Vice President Dick Cheney have turned to private military forces. Blackwater, a well-paid mercenary army, has become the world’s most powerful private military corporation. Troops for Blackwater are recruited from countries like the Philippines, Nepal, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Peru, and Chili. Some 60 former commandos have been recruited from the remnants of the army of former Chilean dictator Augusta Pinochet. They now serve as part of Blackwater’s fighting forces. Other mercenary armies available to the highest bidder include Amo Group, Eunyo, Hart Security, and the Military Professional Resources Incorporated (MPRI). (4)

In early August 1995, under former President Clinton, the MPRI mercenaries were sent to Croatia to train and assist the Croatian military in expelling ethnic Serbs from their villages in the Krajina, an area in Croatia.

American military bases are proliferating around the world like mushrooms. Among the more recent are the bases in Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Pakistan, India, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Morocco, Tunis, Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.(5) New bases are presently under construction in Eurasia along the borders of Russia and in areas close to China. The earlier Clinton Doctrine proclaimed that the United States has the unilateral right to use military force to protect markets and resources. Author Michael Swank says the Clinton Doctrine is taken for granted today. He explains, “With markets and resources we have a right to make sure that we control them, which is logical on the principle that we own the world anyway so of course we have that right.” (6)

Dr. Sheldon Wolin, emeritus professor of politics at Princeton University, states that under George Bush the United States has finally achieved an official ideology of imperial expansion comparable to that of Nazi Germany.(7)

The US policy of dividing up countries like Yugoslavia has caused concern in the Middle East, Russia and China. Today, Russia is well aware that the US and NATO hope to divide Russia into three regions, as described in Zbigniew Bryzinski’s book, The Grand Chessboard: Western Russia would be integrated into Europe; Siberia would be separated from Russia; and the Asian republics would be given independence. Both Russia and China are concerned about the relentless expansion of NATO toward their borders.

The military bases spread out over the world have done very little to aid the growth of markets for the US. Taxpayer money funds not only America’s military bases, but the corporations that run them. The current economic depression and the steadily growing public debt, now exceeding nine trillion dollars, has harmed the US social infrastructure in areas like public education and health care. It has also caused the US to lose its competitiveness in manufacturing products to meet civilian needs. Simultaneously, the US has lost international markets to China, India, Russia, and some EU countries.

On June 15, 2001, China, Russia and four of their central Asian neighbors, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, established the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a new regional group pursuing security and cooperation. The SCO is gaining influence internationally as more and more nations seek to join the group. Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India hold observer status, and nations as diverse as Bangladesh, Belarus, Nepal and the Philippines have expressed interest in affiliating with the SCO. (8)

Yevgeny Primakov, head of Russian trade and industry, has declared that the global economy no longer has a single undisputed leader. Russia and China, under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, have worked to create a multi-polar world.

In May, 2008, Russia hosted the first meeting of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), bringing together four nations that are home to forty percent of humanity and representing the fastest growing emerging economies in the world. BRIC is being built on the foundation of a successful trilateral collaboration known as RIC (Russia, India and China).

Anthony Ling, managing director of Goldman Sachs International, noting the rising power of the four BRIC countries, characterizes them as “the new economic tigers.” The US is now lagging behind them in terms of the percentage of energy companys world wide. (9)

The new economic power exercised by BRIC and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has created a new balance in world politics. The SCO has fostered economic and investment cooperation, including joint projects in the fuel and energy sectors, agriculture, and other spheres. The nations within the SCO have established relations with international bodies, including the United Nations, the European Union, the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN), and the Islamic Conference.

In October, 2007, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), consisting of the presidents of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhatan, Ky7rgistan, Russia, and Tajikistan signed an agreement with the SCO to broaden cooperation on issues of security, crime, and drug trafficking. The major purpose of this agreement was to reaffirm that all participating states will be protected from the foreign threats. “Signatories would not be able to join other military alliances or other groups of states, while aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all.”(10) The CSTO, an observer organization of the United Nations, offered aid and assistance in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, but NATO refused, indicating that they would rely instead on an expanded military presence. (11)

Russia and China feel that their union with SCO, CSTO and BRIC proves that a uni-polar world is out of date, and that a multi-polar world, based on cooperation and mutual support rather than competition and intimidation, will become the world’s standard.

Notes

Michael Zezima, Saving Private Power, The Hidden History of the “Good” War. New York: Soft Skill Press, 2000.

Michel Chossudovsky, “The Global Crisis: Food, Water, Fuel. Three Fundamental Necessities of Life in Jeopardy,” June 5, 2008. http://www.globalresearch.com

Chalmers Johnson, “The Empire of Bases: The Spoils of War,” excerpted from the book, The Sorrow of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of Republic. New York: Henry Holt, 2004.

Jeremy Scahill, Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. New York: Nation Books, 2007.

Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrow of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy and the End of Republic. New York: Henry Holt, 2004.

Michael Shank, “Chomsky: Poorer Countries Find a Way to Escape U.S. Dominance,” Foreign Policy Focus, February 12, 2008. www.alternet/org/story/76657

Chalmers Johnson, “Inverted Totalitarianism: A New Way of Understanding How the U.S. Is Controlled,” May 19, 2008. http://www.alternet.org

“Shanghai Cooperation Organization Becoming Major World Force,” China Internet Information Center, June 18, 2008. www.chinaembassy.org

“New Economic Tigers: Brazil, Russia, India and China Overtake the U.S. in Dominating Global Energy and Industry New Study Shows,” Associated Press, June 25, 2007.
www.IHT.com/articles/Ap/2007/06/26/business/UN-F-45K

“Collective Security Treaty Organization,” Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective_Security_Treaty_Organization
“Afghanistan: NATO Rejects CSTO Offer, Persists in World Drive,” Voice of Russia, June 26, 2008. www.expat.ru

© Copyright Lenora Foerstel, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9946

see

The Global Crisis: Food, Water and Fuel. 3 Fundamental Necessities of Life in Jeopardy

Inverted Totalitarianism: A New Way of Understanding How the U.S. Is Controlled

The Hammer Coming To “Eurasia” + PR Equals Propaganda

by Bruce Gagnon
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
Bruce’s blog post
space4peace.blogspot.com
Aug. 26, 2008

The U.S. and NATO forces have been pounding the hell out of the people in Afghanistan. The bombing campaign is relentless.

Just days ago nearly 100 more innocent civilians were killed, including 50 children and 19 women, when a U.S. led air strike hit them.

It’s interesting to see that in Europe the peace movement is becoming increasingly critical of NATO’s expanding and lapdog role alongside the U.S. in Central Asia. In Canada the peace movement is extremely outspoken in opposition to their country’s role in Afghanistan. Continue reading

Reinventing the Evil Empire by Stephen Lendman

Dandelion Salad

by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, August 25, 2008

For the West, everything changed but stayed the same, hard-wired and in place. Things just lay dormant in the shadows during the Yeltsin years, certain to reemerge once a more resolute Russian leader took over. If not Vladimir Putin, someone else little different.

Russia is back, proud and reassertive, and not about to roll over for America. Especially in Eurasia. For Washington, it’s back to the future, the new Cold War, and reinventing the Evil Empire, but this time for greater stakes and with much larger threats to world peace. Conservatives lost their influence. Neocons are weakened but still dominant. The Israeli Lobby and Christian Right drive them. Conflict is preferred over diplomacy, and most Democrats go along to look tough on “terrorism.” Notably their standard-bearer, vying with McCain to be toughest.

Several former Warsaw Pact and Soviet Republics are part of NATO: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. In addition, Georgia and Ukraine seek membership. Russia is strongly opposed. And now for greater reason after Poland (on August 20) formally agreed to allow offensive US “interceptor missiles” on its soil. A reported 96 short-range Patriot ones also plus a permanent garrison of US troops – 110 transfered from Germany, according to some accounts. Likely more to follow. In addition, Washington agreed to defend Poland whether or not it joins NATO, so that heightens tensions further.

The Warsaw signing followed the Czech Republic’s April willingness to install “advanced tracking missile defense radar” by 2012. In both instances, Russia strongly objected, and on August 20 said it will “react (and) not only through diplomatic protests.” Both former Warsaw Pact countries are now targets. The threat of nuclear war is heightened. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock heads closer to midnight – meaning “catastrophic destruction.” It’s no joking matter.

The US media downplays the threat and hails a pact Zbigniew Brzezinski (a Polish national, former Carter National Security Advisor, and key Obama foreign policy strategist) calls a watershed in the two countries’ relationship – “This changes the strategic relationship between the US and Poland. There is a clear and explicit understanding that if there are negative consequences of stationing the missile shield, the US will come to Poland’s defense.”

On the one hand, a surprising statement from a man critical of Bush administration policies, its failure in Iraq, and the dangers of a widened Middle East war. He fully understands the heightened potential for world conflict but sounds dismissive of the threat. On the other hand, he has bigger fish to fry and apparently willing to wage big stakes on winning. The Iraq war and Iran are distractions by his calculus. The real Great Game embraces all Eurasia and assuring America comes out dominant – not Russia, not China, nor any rival US alliance.

The major media also downplay the dangers and explain nothing about the high stakes. Instead they beat up on Russia and highlight comments from Secretary Rice that missiles aren’t “aimed in any way at Russia,” or White House spokesperson Dana Perino saying: “In no way is the president’s plan for missile defense aimed at Russia. (It’s to) protect our European allies from any rogue threats” that suggests Iran, but, clearly means Russia, according to Hauke Ritz’s recent analysis in Germany’s influential Leaves for German and International Politics journal.

He explained that Iran’s missiles can’t reach Europe, and that Washington rejected Russia’s proposed Azerbaijan-based joint US-Russian anti-missile system – to intercept and destroy Iranian missiles on launch. He thus concluded that Washington’s scheme is for offense, not defense. That it targets Russia, not Iran, with Alaskan and other installations close to Russia as further proof. He wrote: “The strategic significance of the system consists of intercepting those few dozen missiles Moscow (can launch) following a first strike. (It’s) a crucial element….to develop a nuclear first strike capacity against Russia. The original plan is for….ten interceptor missiles in Poland. But once….established, their number could be easily increased.”

According to Ritz, Washington wants a missile system that “guarantee(s a) US (edge) to carry out nuclear war without (risking a) counter-strike.” It can then be used for geopolitical advantage “to implement national interests,” but it highlights the dangers of possible nuclear confrontation and the catastrophic fallout if it happens.

In an August 20 Veterans of Foreign Wars convention address, Bush was essentially on this theme in focusing on “terrorism” and saying: “We’re at war against determined enemies, and we must not rest until that war is won.” Georgia “stands for freedom around the world, now the world must stand for freedom in Georgia” – clearly linking Russia’s response with “terrorism” and suggesting from his September 2001 address to a joint session of Congress and the America people that: “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.” Any that are “will be regarded….as a hostile state.” Clearly, Russia is on his mind just as Moscow is carefully evaluating his threat.

The BBC echoed the US media, covers all the bases, mentioned the Iranian threat, singles out Russia, obfuscates facts about the conflict, sides with Washington and Poland on the new missile deal, and quoted Polish President Lech Kaczynski saying: “no one (with) good intentions towards us and (the West) should” fear the missiles. It also cited a miraculous turnaround in sentiment saying two-thirds of Poles now favor them. Astonishing since overwhelming opposition was recently evident, so it’s hard imagining it shifted so fast.

High-Octane Russia Bashing – The Dominant US Media

The Wall Street Journal asserted that Poles “see the US as their strongest ally” given “two centuries of invasions and partitioning by Russia” and other European powers. It also highlighted Russia’s “nuclear threat” (not Iran’s) in a Gabriel Schoenfeld article painting Russia as an aggressor and America aiding its European allies.

Schoenfeld (a senior editor of the hawkish, pro-Israeli Commentary magazine) cites “Moscow’s willingness to crush Georgia with overwhelming force (and claims) the Kremlin has 10 times as many tactical (short-range) warheads as the US.” The “shift in the nuclear imbalance….helped embolden the bear.” He ignores America’s overall nuclear superiority, but it hardly matters as both countries combined have around 97% of these weapons (an estimated 27,000 world total) according to experts like Helen Caldicott – more than enough to destroy the planet many times over.

Nonetheless, Schoenfeld supports the Polish agreement in the face of a “pugnacious Russia (determined to acquire) economic and military power (and) not afraid to use threats and force to get (its) way (with) nuclear weapons central to the Russian geopolitical calculus.” It’s reminiscent of “the dark days of communist yore (and captures the threat of what) we and Russia’s neighbors are up against.”

For the moment, anti-Iranian rhetoric has subsided with Russia the new dominant villian. En route to the NATO Brussels August 18 meeting, Secretary Rice called Russia’s action against Georgia a “very dangerous game and perhaps one the Russians want to reconsider.” Russian “aggression” is the buzzword, and the media dutifully trumpet it.

So do the presidential candidates. John McCain was especially belligerent in denouncing “Russian aggression” and calling on Moscow to “immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory.” He called for emergency Security Council and NATO meetings in hopes condemnation would follow and “NATO (can act) to stabiliz(e) this very dangerous situation.” He also wants Russia expelled from the G-8 nations and an end to 10 years of partnership and cooperation.

Barak Obama first said that Russia’s “aggression” must not stand and denounced “Russian atrocities.” He then softened his tone somewhat with: “Now is the time for action – not just words….Russia must halt its violation of Georgian airspace and withdraw its ground forces from Georgia, with international monitors to verify that these obligations are met.” But expect those comments to harden as Democrats meet in Denver, and the party’s nominee will likely match his opponent’s tough stance. Or at least try under a slogan of “Securing America’s Future” to advance the nation’s interests in the world. Beating up on Russia is now fair game and made easier with lockstep media support.

The Wall Street Journal is more hostile than most, and practically frothed in its August 16 – 17 weekend edition. It called for “Making Putin Pay (and) Turning Russia’s Georgian rout into a political defeat.” It cited Russian aggression “to remove President Saakasvili from the office to which he was elected in 2004 (and to) overthrow a democratic government.”

It called on “western authorities (to) explore the vulnerability of Russian assets abroad (or) at least make life difficult for the holders of those assets.” The Journal might remember the billions of US fixed income and other investments Russia holds – although the country’s Central Bank reported late July that it pared its $100 billion in US “mortgage bonds” to $50 billion early in the year. The US Treasury reports that Russia holds around $36 billion of Treasury securities with considerably more in private hands.

The Journal then compared Russia to China and managed a slap at both. It said: “In the world of global commerce….China calculated that….staging an Olympic extravaganza (could enhance its) ambivalent reputation….By contrast, the Putin government….seems to believe its power grows in sync with its reputation as an international pariah, an outsider state,” and George Bush added that “Russia has damaged its credibility and its relations with the nations of the free world” – with the Journal writer hardly blinking at such brazen hypocrisy.

Nor did Journal editorial board member Matthew Kaminski in his headlined piece: “Russia Is Still a Hungry Empire” without a hint about the Soviet Union’s bloodless 1991 dissolution now down the memory hole in light of today’s inflammatory headlines.

Kaminski highlights “Russian tanks rolling through Georgia (with) images of Chechnya in 1994 and ’99, Vilnius ’91, Afghanistan ’79, Prague ’68, Hungary ’56” and before that Poland, the Baltics and other Eastern European states. “The war in Georgia marks an easy return to territorial expansion and attempted regional dominance.”

Boris Yeltsin “tried to give Russians an alternative narrative. (He) put forward democracy as a unifying and legitimizing idea for the new Russian state.” But that was swept away when “Putin took over.” He’s unresponsive to the idea of “partnership with the West and freedom at home.” He aims to force “young democracies around Russia….back into Moscow’s sphere of influence….The worldview of a Russian nationalist is hard for outsiders to comprehend,” and for Kaminski one that mustn’t be allowed to stand.

Nor for other Journal contributors daily (in op-eds and editorials) with some of the most outlandish attack journalism heard since before Gorbachev. Claims that “Kremlin capitalism is a threat to the West….by using its market strength in oil and gas resources to strong-arm its neighbors and outmaneuver the US and EU.” And that Russia’s real aim “is to replace a pro-western government with a new Russian satellite….reminiscent of the Brezhnev doctrine. (It’s) part of a broader campaign (to annex new territory, expand the Russian empire, conduct) cyber attacks against the Baltic states, (assassinate enemies, and use) economic intimidation (through) cutoffs of Russian oil and gas shipments to Ukraine and the Czech Republic….It is important that Moscow pays a concrete and tangible price for its latest aggression, at least comparable to (what) it paid for the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.”

The New York Times is more measured but, on August 19, highlighted “Survivors in Georgia Tell of Ethnic Killings” with suggestions of “ethnic cleansing” – a practice that “haunted the borderlands of the old Soviet bloc.” Villages were “burned and houses broken; unburied bodies lay rotting; fresh graves were dug in gardens and basements….most victims interviewed (were) ethnic Georgians….(In central Georgian) villages, some killings were carried out for revenge….some (involved) theft (and still others) seemed to be that the power balance was shifting, away from ethnic Georgians to the Ossetian separatists and their Russian backers.”

Independent reporters on the ground contradicted The Times and similar US media accounts. One wrote: “Georgians living in several of the villages said the Russians occupying their land had treated them well, done nothing to encourage them to leave and offered the only protection available from the South Ossestian militias they feared most” and perhaps their own army in an effort to inflict harm and blame it on Russia.

On August 21, The Times headlined: “US Sees Much to Fear in a Hostile Russia (by) usher(ing) in a sustained period of renewed animosity with the West….problems extend(ing) far beyond (arms deals with) Syria and the mountains of Georgia.” Others with “anti-American states like Iran and Venezuela.” Pressuring US “military bases in Central Asia….counterterrorism, Hamas” and numerous other issues. Obama’s chief Russia advisor, Stanford University professor Michael McFaul, was quoted saying Russia appears intent on “disrupt(ing) the international order” and can do it. They’re “the hegemon in that region and we are not and that’s a fact.”

“Russia has all the leverage,” according to Carnegie Moscow Center’s Masha Lipman (with) potential for causing headaches” if it chooses – in the region, the UN, on Iran, Zimbabwe, and to halt “any kind of coercive actions, like economic sanctions or anything else,” according to former National Security Council advisor Peter Feaver. An old post-Cold War concern is now arisen. Russia is now “a spoiler.”

An August 21 AP report cites an example in its headlined piece” “Russia blocks Georgia’s main (oil) port city” of Poti and continues to hold positions around Gori and Igoeti….30 miles west of….Tbilisi.”

Reports from Other Sources

On August 21, Russia Today reported that “Abkhazia rallie(d) for independence (and) the Abkhazian Parliament has approved an official appeal to Russia to recognize its independence.” Tens of thousands rallied in support, and on August 23, Reuters reported that South Ossetia did as well and its president, Eduard Kokoity, plans to ask Russia and the international community for recognition. Russia’s Deputy Federation Council Speaker, Svetlana Orlova, told the rally that “Russia is always with you and will never leave you in the lurch.”

On August 23, The New York Times reported that “the Kremlin is nearing formal recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, possibly as early as next week.” Apparently likely according to Russian Regional Development Minister, Dmitry Kozak, who told Itar-Tass “support is likely (and) that after all the events that have occurred, one should not expect otherwise.”

On August 21, Abkhazian President Sergey Bagapsh “appealed to Russia and to governments of other countries to recognize Abkhazia’s independence,” for both his province and South Ossetia. On August 20, Interfax reported that the Russian Federation Council (Russia’s upper House of parliament) is prepared to recognize both provinces’ independence if their people “express such a will….and if the Russian president makes a relevant decision on this score,” according to Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov.

On August 25, Russia Today reported that (in emergency session) the Federation Council unanimously voted to ask President Medvedev to recognize Abkhazian and South Ossetian independence. Both province presidents addressed the chamber and “again said they will never agree to remain within Georgia” and are more entitled to independence than Kosovo. Konstantin Zatulin, deputy head of the Duma Committee for International Affairs in Russia’s State Duma, its lower chamber, stated that his body “most probably” will go along.

At the same time, tensions remain high. Both sides continue hostile accusations. Russia maintains it’s conducting an orderly withdrawal “in accordance with the international agreements (to their) previous (places) of deployment,” according to Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff. US military officials at first said they saw no significant pullback. On August 22 with a clear withdrawal underway, the International Herald Tribune reported that the “US and France say Russia is not complying” with the cease fire.

Russia is observing a 1999 joint Russian-S. Ossetian-N. Ossetian-Georgian agreement prepared by the Joint Control Commission, an international South Ossetian monitoring body. It lets Russian troops secure a corridor five miles beyond either side of South Ossetia’s border that extends into Georgia. It also allows Russian peacekeepers to operate under the auspices of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

On August 23, RIA Novosti reported that Nogovitsyn said Russian forces will patrol Georgia’s Black Sea Poti port as “envisaged in the international agreement. Poti is outside of the security zone,” he said, “but that does not mean we will sit behind a fence watching them riding around in Hummers.” Nor allow Georgia to rearm for more aggression as Russia suspects, and that Georgia’s deputy defense minister, Batu Kutelia, admitted doing initially. On August 22, he told the Financial Times that his government attacked the S. Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, and attempted to seize it.

On August 22, Nogovitsyn heightened tensions by claiming Georgia is now preparing for new military action against Abkhazia and South Ossetia. “We have registered an increase in (Georgian) reconnaissance activities and preparations for armed actions in the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict zone.” As a result, he said that Russia reserves the right to maintain peacekeepers in both provinces. For its part, RIA Novosti reports that America now refuses to participate with Russia in “NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour naval antiterrorism exercise,” according to a Russian Black Sea Fleet source. The announcement came after Russia’s NATO envoy, Dmitry Rogozin, said his country was “temporarily suspending military cooperation with NATO until a political decision on relations” between the two nations had been resolved.

Also on August 22, the Israeli Ynetnews.com published a Russian daily Kommersant interview with Washington’s new Moscow ambassador, John Beyrle, sure to embarrass his superiors. He called Russia’s response justified after its troops came under attack. “Now we see Russian forces which responded to attacks on Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, legitimately….” He went on to criticize Russia’s over-reaction and warned about its impact on US – Russia relations as well as investor confidence. Nonetheless, his first comment is telling and quite contrary to everything from Washington and biting anti-Russian media responses.

Finally on August 23, Russia Today reported that the “local (S. Ossetian and Abkhazian) population (said) they fear Georgia might repeat its regional aggression. They also (want) Russian troops to stay in the area to shield them from any possible attacks.” Russia has set up 18 S. Ossetia peacekeeping posts and plans a similar number in Abkhazia “to deter looters and the transportation of arms and ammunition.”

All the News Not Fit to Print

Not a major media hint that Georgia is a US vassal state. That its military is an extension of the Pentagon. That its aggression was manufactured in Washington. That it’s well-supplied and trained by America and Israel. That pipeline geopolitics is central. Beating up on Russia as well. Diverting Moscow from any planned intervention against Iran. Even enlisting Russia’s cooperation – not to sell Iran sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems and agreeing to tougher sanctions in return for perhaps Washington deferring on Georgian and Ukrainian NATO admission and recognizing S. Ossetian and Abkhazian independence. Perhaps more as well to put off greater confrontation for later under a new administration.

Clearly, however, the fuse is lit. It has been for some time. It relates to everything strategic about this vital area with its immense energy and other resources as well neutralizing Russia’s power as America’s top rival and key Eurasian competitor.

Controlling the region’s oil and gas is crucial and what Michel Chossudovsky explains in his August 22 article titled: “The Eurasian Corridor: Pipeline Geopolitics and the New Cold War.” He calls the Caucasus crisis “intimately related to the control over energy pipeline and transportation corridors (and cites) evidence that the Georgian (August 7) attack….was carefully planned (in) High level consultations (between) US and NATO officials” months in advance. On August 23, RIA Novosti said a Russian security source accused Georgia of involvement a year ago in “coordinat(ion) with NATO’s plans to strengthen its (Black Sea) naval presence.”

Chossudovsky discusses America’s (1999) “Silk Road Strategy: The Trans-Eurasian Security System (as) an essential building block of (post-Cold War) US foreign policy.” Proposed in House legislation but never enacted, it was for “an energy and transport corridor network linking Western Europe to Central Asia and eventually to the Far East.” It aims to integrate South Caucasus and Central Asian nations “into the US sphere of influence.” It involves “militariz(ing) the Eurasian corridor,” much like Security and Prosperity Partnership plans are for North America.

Efforts are largely directed against Russia, China and Iran as well as other Eastern-allied states. It’s to turn all Eurasia into a “free market” paradise, secure it for capital, assure US dominance, control its resources, exploit its people, transform all its nations into American vassals, and likely aim to dismantle Russia’s huge landmass if that idea ever comes to fruition.

Russia, however, isn’t standing idle and is partnered in two strategic alliances:

– the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) since June 2001 along with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan with Iran in observer status. It defines its goals as: “good neighborly relations;” promoting “effective cooperation in politics, trade and economy, science and technology” and more as well as “ensur(ing) peace, security and stability in the region.” Given NATO’s potential threat, its main purpose is military; and

– the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) since 2003 “in close liaison with the SCO” with a heavy emphasis on security against NATO Eurasian expansionism; its members include: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

The stakes are huge as both sides prepare to confront them. All part of the new Cold War and Great Game. Reinventing the Evil Empire and beating up on Russia as part of it. Risking a potential nuclear confrontation as well and what a new US president will inherit with no assurance a Democrat will be any more able than a Republican. And with a global economic crisis unresolved, either one may resort to the age old strategy of stoking fear, going to war, hoping it will stimulate the economy, and be able to divert public concerns away from lost jobs, home foreclosures, and a whole array of other unaddressed issues.

In early 2003, it worked. Will 2009 be a repeat? Will it deepen what author Kevin Phillips calls “the global crisis of American capitalism?” Will the Doomsday Clock strike midnight? It moved two minutes closer on January 17, 2007 to five minutes to the hour. It cited 27,000 nuclear weapons, 2000 ready to launch in minutes. It said: “We stand at the brink of a second nuclear age. Not since….Hiroshima and Nagasaki has the world faced such perilous choices.” It said the situation is “dire.” It called for immediate preventive action. Its message went unheeded, and conditions today have worsened. The high Eurasian stakes up things further, and neither side so far is blinking.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Mondays from 11AM – 1PM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9899

© Copyright Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2008

The url address of this article is: www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9933

see

Honest Obama To Continue Surrounding Russia by Bruce Gagnon

We’ve Always Been At War With Russia by Cindy Sheehan

Nuclear Chicken in Poland – Putin Can’t Afford to Back Down By Mike Whitney

The Saakashvili Experiment By Ramzy Baroud

Deconstructing Brzezinski’s Russia By Jim Miles

Pat Buchanan: Georgia started the war + It’s like the Cold War

Planning For Cold War And Beyond + Full spectrum dominance

The Eurasian Corridor: Pipeline Geopolitics & the New Cold War by Michel Chossudovsky

Dr Helen Caldicott: The Earth is in the Intensive Care Unit

Georgia

Deconstructing Brzezinski’s Russia By Jim Miles

Dandelion Salad

Sent to me by Jason Miller from Thomas Paine’s Corner. Thanks, Jason.

By Jim Miles
8/22/08

The warrior ethic of the American Imperial elite, embodied in its fullest measure by Zbigniew Brzezinski, has been rejuvenated momentarily by Russia’s attack on Georgia. Reading Brzezinski’s words leaves one choking on their overt hypocrisy or laughing insanely at the obvious absurdity of them. His writing technique is flawless, based on the big lie technique – tell it straight up, tell it often enough, and ignorant masses will tend to believe it. In a current TIME magazine article Brzezinski does this extremely well. Continue reading

Imperial Playground: The Story of Iran in Recent History by Andrew G. Marshall

by Andrew G. Marshall
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
October 4, 2007

PART 1

In recent months and even years, the United States and it’s close allies have been stepping up efforts to display Iran in a very negative light, labeling it as a terrorist nation bent on developing nuclear weapons to use against Israel and other allies of the United States in the Middle East, and possibly further outside of the region, or to deliver those nuclear weapons to the hands of terrorists hoping to use them against the United States and its allies.

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