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#Harper’s War(s): Ten + Reasons to Vote Against the Use of Military Force #cdnpoli #GPC #NDP #LPC #CPC

With the hyper-accelerations and unprecedented fear-mongering campaign being waged upon “We the People” of Canada and our “Allies” with regards to the “terrorist” threat posed by IS/ISIL/ISIS. With the recent tragic friendly-fire death of a Canadian soldier, the reports that an Agent employed by a Canadian intelligence organization was involved in the delivery of the 3 U.K. schoolgirls into Syria and the media blackout by the Canadian media conglomerates regarding the very important Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing titled “The President’s Request for Authorization to Use Force Against ISIS: Military and Diplomatic Efforts” (AUMF), we feel it is necessary to republish an open letter by former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich Members of Congress detailing 10 reasons to vote against the use of military force.

The reason this is of utmost importance is that the Harper Regime is hell-bent on furthering our military intervention and has thus far been less than transparent, actually rather deceptive and opaque, regarding our role in Iraq/Syria and beyond while the U.S. is proposing an initial 3 year open ended commitment. According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, President Barack Obama’s proposed resolution authorizing the use of military force against the Islamic State contains no geographic limitations. The proposal allows attacks on “associated persons or forces” or any “closely related successor entity” to IS/ISIL/ISIS that is at war with the United States or its partners.

Yes, this is the very same Dennis Kucinich that announced the raising of the Al Qaeda flag over the courthouse in Benghazi in Libya back in November 2011 after the “successful liberation” of Libya by NATO air power. Oddly enough, the Canadian military predicted Libya would descend into civil war and Top Pentagon officials distrusted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2011 march to war in Libya as well.

We may also presume why John Baird has decided to “quit” the game of geo-poltics, maybe there was too much blood on his hands and realized that the fix is in within the Harper Regime. Now this is extremely problematic considering the rush by the war-mongering Harper Regime to ram Bill C-51 through and the implications of these combined issues. Within a few days we have several “Allies” that are publicly stating views that counter the narrative of not only the Harper Regime, but our so called “free and independent” media conglomerates. Unlike the coordinated one-sided Ukraine/Russia propaganda campaign, this poses such an interesting and convoluted conundrum that even the AP and Reuters can’t seem to deliver a straight storyline. This is presumably, much like the dueling Israel/Iran narrative, due to the fact that their dueling narratives reach a much broader audience on both sides of the false left/right paradigm with the single solid connection that there are a small group of fear-mongering war-profiteering NeoCons within both “official” political Parties, whether they may be Liberal/Democrats or Conservative/Republicans. Below this open letter, we will embed the above mentioned video uploaded by former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich along with another article titled “How Governments Twist Terrorism” since there seems to be no clear “definition” being presented by the Harper Regime with regards to Bill C-51 and the Harper Regime members of the Committee seem to have a serious problem asking questions of the witnesses and instead are presenting monologs to the witnesses.


Ten Reasons to Vote Against the Use of Military Force

Dear Colleague,

I was honored to serve in Congress for 16 years. During that time I provided information and helped to create debates over U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other nations, defending the Article I, Section 8 responsibilities of Congress on matters of war and peace. Those of you who know me are aware that I avoid partisanship. I have challenged Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

Congress rightfully lacks confidence in this administration, given its bungling of a war against Libya and its general mishandling of international policy.

Why would Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, be so ready to give up its constitutional power to this president with an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), which represents a wholesale appropriation of war power?

This could be one of the most important votes you will ever cast, so I want to share with you, collegially, information that I hope will be of use in your deliberations.

I present some thoughts for your consideration as you enter into a momentous, new debate over the authorization of military force, this time against the Islamic State.

This could be one of the most important votes you will ever cast, so I want to share with you, collegially, information that I hope will be of use in your deliberations.

Here are 10 reasons why Congress should not grant the president authority to use military force against the Islamic State, based on fact, consequences and the U.S. Constitution:

  1.  ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. homeland.

Writing in The American Conservative, Senior Editor Daniel Larison points out that the U.S. is taking on an unnecessary risk:

“… the U.S. mistakenly volunteers to address a regional security problem that poses no real threat to America, [while] its regional partners do as little as they can get away with, and in some cases stop doing even that in order to get the U.S. to take additional risks on their behalf.”

If the U.S. enters the fray, of course, regional partners will let us do the fighting.

There is no credible information available that indicates ISIS is a direct threat to the U.S. According to a Wall Street Journal article, “Lawmakers Told Islamic State Isn’t Terror Threat on U.S. Soil,” Congress has already been advised by U.S. counterterrorism officials that ISIS is not a threat to the U.S. homeland. Additionally, no new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) has been produced alleging ISIS is a direct threat to America. However, an all-out U.S. war against ISIS could expose America to unnecessary threats, without any national security benefits.

  1. The AUMF disingenuously calls for a “limited” war, while it is written to guarantee a permanent war, thus nullifying the power of the people’s representatives in Congress.

The framers of the U.S. Constitution were vitally concerned with the separation of powers, especially when it came to war. The power to declare war is vested in the Congress, in Article I, Section 8. The AUMF is written to enable the administration to conduct war, unilaterally, against any group, anywhere, at any time, over a period of three years, which opposing combatants will ignore.

If the administration succeeds in gaining approval for this particular AUMF, it will not have to return to Congress for approval as it takes its war from nation to nation. This is clearly contrary to the intent of the founders. It weakens Congress’ constitutional power (checks and balances) and undermines the Constitution.

  1. The AUMF is a blank check and a fiscal black hole.

Since the AUMF sets the stage for a worldwide conflict, the cost of action will run into the hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars, particularly if ground troops are involved in a war with religious overtones that go back 14 centuries. This war will inevitably require an emergency wartime supplemental appropriation and massive borrowing, adding to the $16 trillion U.S. deficit and weakening the U.S. economy internally while providing great wealth to war profiteers who are already draining America’s wealth.

  1. Regional armies appear to be rising to their own defense; U.S. presence will escalate war.

At this very moment ISIS is finally under pressure from Iraqi forces and pro-government militias, without U.S. boots on the ground. Additionally, ISIS is said to be experiencing internal pressures and conflicts. The Washington Post points out: “The Islamic State is battling major offensives waged on at least three fronts — by Kurds in northern Syria, Kurds in northern Iraq and the combined force of Iraqi army and Shiite militia fighters advancing on the central Iraqi city of Tikrit.”

“…the risks of escalation are enormous. The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself. The provocative videos, in which a black-hooded executioner addresses President Obama by name, are clearly made to draw America into the fight. An [U.S.] invasion would be a huge propaganda victory for jihadists worldwide … they all believe that the United States wants to embark on a modern-day Crusade and kill Muslims.” — Graeme Wood in the Atlantic Magazine, March 2015.

ISIS desperately needs to draw the U.S. in, to provide a rallying cry “against the foreign invader.” Why should America put our troops in harm’s way to provide this terrorist organization with new life, especially since armies in the region are stepping up to take the fight to ISIS?

In the AUMF, the president wants language that provides for U.S. ground forces to have “flexibility.” Read: “Boots on the ground!” If Congress passes the AUMF, it will have no say in the conduct of this war, except for appropriations.

  1. The U.S. could get drawn into a worldwide religious war.

President Obama says, “We are not at war against Islam.” Congressional approval of the president’s request for the AUMF against the Islamic State will change that quickly. The AUMF will become a powerful recruiting tool for ISIS. How else will it be interpreted abroad, other than America at war with Islam? The U.S. could blunder into a complex, multidimensional conflict with explicit religious overtones, no matter what the president says.

ISIS wants to draw the U.S. into a religious war, to secure its role as the self-proclaimed defender of Islam against crusading foreign invaders.

Jihadis, anticipating a great war for Islam, have streamed into the region from all over the world to join ISIS ranks. An estimated 20,000 fighters from 90 nations have converged to fight alongside ISIS.

“This is a fight the Islamic State should be denied. And yet we should have learned that it is a bad idea to get into a ground war with people whose idea of victory is martyrdom.” — Richard Cohen in the Washington Post, Feb. 23, 2015.

  1. ISIS and Al Qaeda are divided. US re-entry into war could unite them.

ISIS and Al Qaeda are in a deep rift. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri differ on strategy, tactics, methods, religious interpretations and on Baghdadi’s establishment of a caliphate.

An all-out U.S. military attack against ISIS will force Al Qaeda into an alliance it does not want, to join ISIS in a “fight against Western invaders,” creating a united front much stronger and more deadly to America and her allies.

  1. A Solution: Follow ISIS’ money, and shut it down.

Where is ISIS getting its money? Up to 100,000 ISIS fighters are funded by Gulf State donors, identified in the past as being from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait. Fully equipping and providing for one modern combat-ready soldier can cost $850,000 to $1,000,000 a year. ISIS’ army could be gaining $85 billion to $100 billion a year from various sources. We can either commit the U.S. military to another war, and the U.S. to further risk of impending attacks through the genesis of a new crusade, or we can fight this threat with intelligent power and high technology.

The administration must identify the specific sources of ISIS’ money, the individuals, the nations and the means of transfer, and shut them all down. It must sanction countries and individuals, tie up their bank accounts and commercial activities, freeze their assets and cancel their credit cards. Send platoons of accountants from the Treasury Department and the IRS into the fray, not platoons of U.S. soldiers. The U.S. must track oil sales, sales of antiquities and other valuables. Anyone involved in any transactions of any kind with ISIS must be identified and sanctioned.

  1. Solution: Cyber response.

The U.S. has the ability to identify and disrupt terror networks using digital technology. The CIA, in a major reorganization, has just created a fifth directorate, the Directorate of Digital Innovation, in recognition that intelligent power means using the most technologically advanced tools available. For its part, the NSA, which has admitted gaps, is also strengthening its information collecting. If, as Clausewitz said, “War is the continuation of politics by other means,” in the 21st century we  have other means to avoid a “boots on the ground” shooting war.

  1. Endless wars enable Washington to ignore a domestic agenda.

It has been said that others attack us in order to destroy the way we live. Since 9/11, our own government has been responsible for shredding the Constitution through wars of choice and the imposition of a national security state with a permanent state of emergency.

The U.S. now spends about $1 trillion a year to “defend” America using lethal means. Yet the more money we spend, the greater the peril. Why? Meanwhile, at home, America’s middle class is falling apart, wages and benefits have dropped, retirement savings have vanished and Wall Street and war profiteers clean up. Americans, punished through unwarranted, massive surveillance, have forfeited constitutional rights and civil liberties. The right to privacy, which is protected by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, has been destroyed in the name of security.

  1. The time has come for the U.S. to review the effects of interventionism.

ISIS grew out of U.S. interventions. Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria have disintegrated into chaos and violence. The price tag has been extraordinary in loss of human life and the cost of trillions of dollars. Bad judgments, misinformation and even lies have caused our nation to intervene, inspiring radical elements, stoking the fires of nationalism and engendering religious conflict. A great price has been paid and continues to be paid by our troops and their families.

This is the time for Congress and the administration to rethink the failed national security strategy, the failed doctrine of intervention, the failed “right to protect” doctrine and the abominable intrusion into the private lives of Americans.

Congress must refuse to give up its constitutional power under Article I, Section 8 and hold the executive branch in check on matters of war. It should defeat the AUMF and stop the administration from spreading war around the world.

Congress has a new opportunity to get control of runaway spending and keep America strong without wasting resources. In my early years in Congress, I was shocked to learn, from the inspector general to the Department of Defense, that DOD had over $1 trillion in accounts that could not be reconciled. According to the GAO, the Army “lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch units.” The Constitution, Article I, Section 9, requires an accounting. With the national security budget at $1 trillion annually, and trillions spent for wars of choice, and a trillion unaccounted for, and countless billions in cost overruns, the question is who is defending the taxpayers?

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force provides a new opportunity for a much-needed debate over the direction of America, our priorities and the best way to protect our nation from harm. Thank you for considering my views.

Respectfully,

Dennis Kucinich
Member of Congress 1997 – 2013

source: http://www.kucinich.com/?_escaped_fragment_=10-Reasons-to-Vote-Against-the-Use-of-Military-Force/c1z12/5500a8330cf27b8ab26b528e
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/03/11/open-letter-to-members-congress-about-authorization-to-use-military-force/


Uploaded on Nov 2, 2011

Hi, Congressman Dennis Kucinich here. I just got off the phone with a very well-known talk show host from Cleveland, Mike Trivisonno, who told me about calls that he is getting from people who are concerned that there is an Al Qaeda flag flying over the courthouse in Benghazi in Libya. It was put there by the same group that we helped to oust the Gaddafi regime.

What is going on in America? On the one hand, we have soldiers dying in Afghanistan fighting Al Qaeda. On the other hand, we just helped a group of people take over Libya and the Al Qaeda flag is flying over their capital city headquarters.

What are we doing? It is time for America to get its story and its priorities straight about what we stand for as a nation. Its time to get out of all these wars and all of these conflicts where we think we can play both sides against the middle and it usually ends up with U.S. soldiers getting killed.

Its time to bring our troops home and take care of things here at home. As we approach Veteran’s Day 2011, we should really honor those who serve by having a foreign policy that is straight. That speaks directly to the concerns of the American people. That is mindful of the fact that we can’t tell the whole world what to do and we have an obligation to get our own house in order here at home and put people back to work.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0FQzhWy0VI


How Governments Twist Terrorism
By Philip Giraldi | March 12, 2015

States craft terror definitions and designations to absolve themselves and satisfy their constituencies.

The Washington Post reports that “terrorism trend lines are ‘worse than at any other point in history.’” But what is terrorism? It has frequently been pointed out that “terrorism” is a tactic, not an actual physical adversary, but it is less often noted that a simple definition of what constitutes terrorism is hardly universally accepted, while the designation itself is essentially political. The glib assertion that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter fails to capture the distinction’s consequences as the terror label itself increasingly comes with a number of legal and practical liabilities attached. Describing an organization as terroristic in order to discredit it has itself become a tactic, and one that sometimes has only limited connections to what the group in question actually believes or does.

The bone of contention in defining terrorism is where to draw the line in terms of the use of violence in furtherance of a political objective. In practice, it is generally accepted that state players who employ violence do so within a social framework that confers legitimacy, while nonstate players who use political violence are ipso facto terrorists, or at least susceptible to being tagged with that label, which confers upon them both illegitimacy and a particularly abhorrent criminality. But some on the receiving end of such a Manichean distinction object, noting that the laws defining terror are themselves drawn up by the governments and international organizations, which inevitably give themselves a pass in terms of their own potential liability. They would argue that established regimes will inevitably conspire to label their enemies terrorists to marginalize both resistance movements and internal dissent in such a way as to diminish the credibility of the groups that are so targeted. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently been doing precisely that, and one might reasonably argue that government use of violence is often in practice indistinguishable from the actions of nonstate players.

Some common dictionary definitions of terrorism include engaging in “the systematic use of terror,” surely an indication of the inscrutability of an issue when the word must be used to define itself. The United Nations has been unsuccessfully negotiating a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism since 2002 that would define terror as causing death or serious injury or destroying or damaging public or private property “to intimidate a population, or to compel a Government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.”   The United States Federal criminal code uses similar language, as does the Patriot Act, with the key elements being the use of violence or physical destruction to “intimidate or coerce” a civilian population or an existing government.

Governments are aware of what can be accomplished by invoking the word “terrorism.” The diplomacy-averse United States frequently hides behind the label, as it is prohibited by law from negotiating with groups so-labeled, and thereby avoids having to confront the possible legitimacy of what they represent. And it also justifies a uniformly violent response, which is invariably described as self-defense.

Fourteen years ago the “global war on terror” was used to justify wholesale American intervention in predominantly Muslim countries. A number of European countries, including France and Britain, have followed the example of the two Patriot Acts by introducing antiterrorism legislation that provides special police and intelligence service authorities that limit normal legal protections in terrorism cases. The broadly written laws have largely rendered the authorities immune from either regulation or prosecution, and governments in the West have generally been reluctant to allow any third-party inquiries into the related behavior of military and police forces. In the United States the state secret privilege, originally intended to prohibit the exposure of classified information in court, has been used to completely derail judicial proceedings relating to offenses allegedly committed by the government in terrorism cases.

And critics of the essentially hypocritical double standard used in defining terrorism certainly have a point. One might reasonably argue that the use of drones, in which “signature” targets are killed because they match a profile, fits comfortably within the definition of terrorism. During 2003-4, American Army and Marine forces in Fallujah sometimes shelled and bombed targets in the city indiscriminately and were certainly responsible for hundreds of civilian deaths. The Israeli Defense Forces killed thousands of civilians in two incursions into Gaza as well as several attacks on Lebanon. There was no declaration of war to justify the use of armed force in either case, and independent observers noted that many of the civilian casualties could have been avoided, normally a defining factor that makes an incident terror. Both Israel and the United States turned the tables on the situation by referring to their opponents and victims as “terrorists.” There has been no accountability for the deaths because it was two governments that carried out the killing.

In a world seemingly obsessed with terrorism it was inevitable that something like an anti-terrorism industry would grow dramatically. Every television and radio network has its own stable of pundits who pontificate on every violent incident, and there also are well-compensated freelancers, who describe themselves as experts, such as Evan Kohlmann and Steve Emerson. Emerson recently had to apologize after claiming that Birmingham, England had a number of no-go areas controlled by local Muslim extremists.

It should be no surprise that lawyers have now also gotten into the game. In 1996 Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which allows victims of terrorism to file civil suits in federal and state courts against sponsors or supporters of terrorism. Once you have a group or individual labeled as terrorist, or providing assistance to terrorists, there are a number of options you can pursue. The burgeoning antiterrorism industry appears to be in some ways linked to the increasing employment of Lawfare, which uses the legal system to wage war by alternative means, making it possible to obtain a favorable judgment and damages from the assets of a recognized terrorist organization. Such litigation benefits from favorable legislation in the United States that makes terrorism a worldwide crime subject to U.S. judicial review.

Recent court cases have involved both states that allegedly sponsor terrorism or actual organizations that are now parts of governments that either currently or at one time were perceived to be terrorists. Many of the groups targeted are enemies of Israel, and the Israeli Lawfare center Shurat HaDin is most active in pursuing such litigation. In a recent case in New York City, the Palestinian Authority was successfully sued by a group of Israelis and Americans over terrorist attacks that took place in Israel in 2002-4. If the appeal fails, the Palestinian Authority will be required to pay $1 billion in damages and will be bankrupted, with negative consequences for the United States, which has been seeking to create a viable government on the West Bank.

The U.S. Department of State identifies four countries as state sponsors of terrorism, making them prime targets for sanctions and other legal action. They are Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran. Cuba is an anomaly as it has not threatened anyone in decades but remains on the list due to the deep passions within America’s politically powerful Cuban Lobby. Sudan likewise should not be so designated, as even the U.S. government admits that it is cooperative on terrorism issues.

This leaves Syria and Iran, both of which are regarded as state sponsors of terrorism even though both are themselves victims of terrorist attacks carried out by groups supported by the United States. They are on the list because they harbor or cooperate with Hezbollah, Hamas, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. All three groups consider themselves to be resistance movements against the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, but Israel regards all three as terrorists, a view shared by the United States on the state department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization list. That viewpoint is not necessarily shared by many European governments, which regard the organizations as having evolved into legitimate political parties. There are also thousands of individuals and groups considered to be terroristic or criminal, collected by the U.S. Department of Justice on its Special Designated Nationals List. Individuals and organizations on the list have their assets blocked and are subject to other punitive action by the United States government.

Being designated by the Department of the Treasury or state does not necessarily mean that someone or some organization was actually involved in terrorism. The Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic charity, was declared a terrorist organization in 2001. Its officers were convicted and imprisoned in a 2008 trial because the Treasury Department determined ex post facto that it had given money to Hamas before that group was itself named as a terrorist organization.

Inclusion on the State or Treasury lists can mean that there is solid evidence of wrongdoing, but it can also represent mere insinuations or a strong desire to see a group singled out for punishment. In any event, once a group or person is designated for a list, it is difficult to get off. Organizations that have not engaged in terrorist activity for many years remain on the list while other groups that are active escape censure. Recently, the Mujaheddin e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian terrorist group that killed six Americans in the 1970s, was removed from the list under political pressure from Congress and the media. Again, Israel was involved. MEK is an enemy of the current government in Tehran and is itself an important component of the Israeli intelligence effort against Iran, having been involved in the fabrication of information suggesting that Iran has an active nuclear weapons program as well as participating in the assassinations of Tehran’s scientists.

So what terrorism actually consists of very much depends on one’s perspective, rendering the word itself largely meaningless. But those who are listed as terrorists experience real consequences even accepting that the designation is both selectively applied and politicized. The United States and Israel in particular use the terrorism label to demonize opponents, drum up fear, and generate popular support for security policies that might otherwise be unpalatable. They also justify their own behavior by asserting that they occupy the moral high ground in the defense of the world against terror, a claim that certainly should be regarded with considerable skepticism.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-governments-twist-terrorism/

 

 


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Canada blocks $5.2 billion Petronas bid for Progress Energy

By Euan Rocha and Stuart Grudgings
TORONTO/KUALA LUMPUR | Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:57pm EDT

Related News

Analysis & Opinion

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Motorists pump natural gas at a Petronas station in Kuala Lumpur July 1, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad
Motorists pump natural gas at a Petronas station in Kuala Lumpur July 1, 2010. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

(Reuters) – Canada has blocked Malaysian state oil firm Petronas’ C$5.17 billion ($5.2 billion) bid for gas producer Progress Energy Resources in a surprise move that could signal problems for a much larger Chinese deal in the country’s energy sector.

Canada’s announcement late on Friday, minutes before a deadline, was a blow to Petronas, whose domestic oil supplies are shrinking and which has been seeking to boost its resources beyond Malaysia and volatile areas such as Sudan.

It also raises doubts over Chinese oil group CNOOC’s C$15.1 billion offer for oil producer Nexen and could weigh on other Canadian firms hoping for foreign investment to tap their vast energy reserves.

A rejection of the CNOOC bid would likely damage trade ties Canada has been trying to build with China, underlining political sensitivity to Chinese corporate expansion in North America.

“I have sent a notice letter to Petronas indicating that I am not satisfied that the proposed investment is likely to be of net benefit to Canada,” Industry Minister Christian Paradis said in a statement.

continue reading source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/20/us-progress-petronas-idUSBRE89J02X20121020


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Foreign Affairs paid $2M for study on threats to embassies

The Canadian Press
Posted: Sep 15, 2012

The Foreign Affairs Department paid almost $2 million to an international security firm for a sweeping intelligence study of potential threats to Canada’s foreign embassies.

The assessment would have undoubtedly informed the Harper government’s decision to close its embassy in Tehran last week.

The contract was awarded earlier this year to Control Risks Group, a company that boasts 34 offices across the world, and a network of government, police, aid groups and media.

Neither the company nor Foreign Affairs would comment specifically on the nature of the work done.

The government has said repeatedly that the safety of its diplomats was the primary reason for pulling out of the Iranian capital.

Canada shut its Cairo embassy for a day on Thursday after anti-U.S. riots broke out in Egypt, Libya and Yemen over an American film that denigrates the prophet Muhammad. An attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, claimed the life of its ambassador, Chris Stevens, and three American embassy co-workers.

$2M for work done in under 10 weeks

According to the government’s procurement notice, Foreign Affairs was looking for an intelligence firm to describe possible threats to its diplomatic corps from terrorism, instability and natural disasters in 174 countries, including 46 major cities.

The government paid $1,997,903 for work done between Jan. 25 and March 31. The government was willing to spend up to $5 million for the Baseline Threat Assessment, or BTA, comprised of 15- to 30-page documents for each country.

The government put out the call for tenders in December, one month after the British embassy in Tehran was stormed by an angry mob. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has cited the attack on the British mission as one of the reasons for the Tehran pullout.

Baird said Friday that planning on the Iranian embassy withdrawal had been underway for several months.

The BTAs were to give a ranking in seven categories: political instability; criminality; terrorism/insurgency; conflict zones; natural disasters; the health environment; and the general environment — “e.g. fatalities, cultural constraints.”

The government called for the study to assign labels of “low, medium, high and critical” to each of those seven categories.

The government wanted the BTAs to be “living documents, which will allow the department to assess the vulnerability of government of Canada assets abroad (people, programs, infrastructure) and determine appropriate security safeguards.”

Angry anti-U.S. protests have spread to 20 more countries, including Sudan, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“I’m obviously very concerned with what is happening in the Middle East and North Africa. As I’ve said before, our diplomatic personnel are not military, they are not paid to put their lives on the line,” Harper said Friday.

“It’s my responsibility to ensure that our people are protected. Obviously we’ve closed one mission that’s in Iran where we thought the risks are particularly high.”

On its website, Control Risks says it provides strategic security advice to companies, governments and non-profit organizations.

“Our services range from providing strategic consultancy, through to expert analysis and in-depth investigations, to handling sensitive political issues, to practical on the ground protection and support,” the company says.

“Whatever the nature of the political, security or integrity risk facing our clients, Control Risks can tailor an effective solution that will meet their exact requirements.”

The 2010 federal budget set aside $450 million over seven years for the Security Abroad Strategy to bolster security at Canada’s foreign embassies.

source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/09/15/pol-canadian-embassies-security-study.html


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The IMF and US African Command (AFRICOM) Join Hands in the Plunder of the African Continent

The IMF and US African Command (AFRICOM) Join Hands in the Plunder of the African Continent

by Nile Bowie

 

January 6, 2012

Lagos Dissents Under IMF Hegemony

Nigeria: The Next Front for AFRICOM

On a recent trip to West Africa, the newly appointed managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde ordered the governments of Nigeria, Guinea, Cameroon, Ghana and Chad to relinquish vital fuel subsidies. Much to the dismay of the population of these nations, the prices of fuel and transport have near tripled over night without notice, causing widespread violence on the streets of the Nigerian capital of Abuja and its economic center, Lagos. Much like the IMF induced riots in Indonesia during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, public discontent in Nigeria is channelled towards an incompetent and self-serving domestic elite, compliant to the interests of fraudulent foreign institutions. 

Although Nigeria holds the most proven oil reserves in Africa behind Libya, it’s people are now expected to pay a fee closer to what the average American pays for the cost of fuel, an exorbitant sum in contrast to its regional neighbours. Alternatively, other oil producing nations such as Venezuela, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia offer their populations fuel for as little as $0.12 USD per gallon. While Lagos has one of Africa’s highest concentration of billionaires, the vast majority of the population struggle daily on less than $2.00 USD. Amid a staggering 47% youth unemployment rate and thousands of annual deaths related to preventable diseases, the IMF has pulled the rug out from under a nation where safe drinking water is a luxury to around 80% of it’s populace.  

 

Although Nigeria produces 2.4 million barrels of crude oil a day intended for export use, the country struggles with generating sufficient electrical power and maintaining its infrastructure. Ironically enough, less than 6% of bank depositors own 88% of all bank deposits in Nigeria. Goldman Sachs employees line its domestic government, in addition to the former Vice President of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is widely considered by many to be the de facto Prime Minister. Even after decades of producing lucrative oil exports, Nigeria has failed to maintain it’s own refineries, forcing it to illogically purchase oil imports from other nations. Society at large has not benefited from Nigeria’s natural riches, so it comes as no surprise that a severe level of distrust is held towards the government, who claims the fuel subsidy needs to be lifted in order to divert funds towards improving the quality of life within the country.

 

Like so many other nations, Nigerian people have suffered from a systematically reduced living standard after being subjected to the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Policies (SAP). Before a loan can be taken from the World Bank or IMF, a country must first follow strict economic policies, which include currency devaluation, lifting of trade tariffs, the removal of subsidies and detrimental budget cuts to critical public sector health and education services.

 

SAPs encourage borrower countries to focus on the production and export of domestic commodities and resources to increase foreign exchange, which can often be subject to dramatic fluctuations in value. Without the protection of price controls and an authentic currency rate, extreme inflation and poverty subsist to the point of civil unrest, as seen in a wide array of countries around the world (usually in former colonial protectorates). The people of Nigeria have been one of the world’s most vocal against IMF-induced austerity measures, student protests have been met with heavy handed repression since 1986 and several times since then, resulting in hundreds of civilian deaths. As a testament to the success of the loan, the average laborer in Nigeria earned 35% more in the 1970’s than he would of in 2012.

 

Working through the direct representation of Western Financial Institutions and the IMF in Nigeria’s Government, a new IMF conditionality calls for the creation of a Sovereign Wealth Fund. Olusegun Aganga, the former Nigerian Minister of Finance commented on how the SWF was hastily pushed through and enacted prior to the countries national elections. If huge savings are amassed from oil exports and austerity measures, one cannot realistically expect that these funds will be invested towards infrastructure development based on the current track record of the Nigerian Government. Further more, it is increasingly more likely that any proceeds from a SWF would be beneficial to Western institutions and markets, which initially demanded its creation. Nigerian philanthropist Bukar Usman prophetically writes “I have genuine fears that the SWF would serve us no better than other foreign-recommended “remedies” which we had implemented to our own detriment in the past or are being pushed to implement today.”

 

The abrupt simultaneous removal of fuel subsidies in several West African nations is a clear indication of who is really in charge of things in post-colonial Africa. The timing of its cushion-less implementation could not be any worse, Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan recently declared a state of emergency after forty people were killed in a church bombing on Christmas day, an act allegedly committed by the Islamist separatist group, Boko Haram. The group advocates dividing the predominately Muslim northern states from the Christian southern states, a similar predicament to the recent division of Sudan. 

As the United States African Command (AFRICOM) begins to gain a foothold into the continent with its troops officially present in Eritrea and Uganda in an effort to maintain security and remove other theocratic religious groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army, the sectarian violence in Nigeria provides a convenient pretext for military intervention in the continuing resource war. For further insight into this theory, it is interesting to note that United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania conducted a series of African war game scenarios in preparation for the Pentagon’s expansion of AFRICOM under the Obama Administration.

 

In the presence of US State Department Officials, employees from The Rand Corporation and Israeli military personnel, a military exercise was undertaken which tested how AFRICOM would respond to a disintegrating Nigeria on the verge of collapse amidst civil war. The scenario envisioned rebel factions vying for control of the Niger Delta oil fields (the source of one of America’s top oil imports), which would potentially be secured by some 20,000 U.S. troops if a US-friendly coup failed to take place At a press conference at the House Armed Services Committee on March 13, 2008, AFRICOM Commander, General William Ward then went on to brazenly state the priority issue of America’s growing dependence on African oil would be furthered by AFRICOM operating under the principle theatre-goal of “combating terrorism“.

 

At an AFRICOM Conference held at Fort McNair on February 18, 2008, Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller openly declared the guiding principle of AFRICOM was to protect “the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market“, before citing China’s increasing presence in the region as challenging to American interests. After the unwarranted snatch-and-grab regime change conducted in Libya, nurturing economic destabilization, civil unrest and sectarian conflict in Nigeria is an ultimately tangible effort to secure Africa’s second largest oil reserves. During the pillage of Libya, its SFW accounts worth over 1.2 billion USD were frozen and essentially absorbed by Franco-Anglo-American powers; it would realistic to assume that much the same would occur if Nigeria failed to comply with Western interests. While agents of foreign capital have already infiltrated its government, there is little doubt that Nigeria will become a new front in the War on Terror.


:: Article nr. 84585 sent on 07-jan-2012 05:57 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=84585


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Power, Propaganda and Conscience in The War On Terror

by John Pilger
UWA Extension Summer School Lecture
Winthrop Hall, The University of Western Australia, 12 January 2004

In the days before September 11, 2001, when America routinely attacked and terrorised weak states, and the victims were black and brown-skinned people in faraway places like Zaire and Guatemala, there were no headlines saying terrorism. But when the weak attacked the powerful, spectacularly on September 11, suddenly, there was terrorism.

I am a reporter, who values bearing witness. That is to say, I place paramount importance in the evidence of what I see, and hear, and sense to be the truth, or as close to the truth as possible. By comparing this evidence with the statements, and actions of those with power, I believe it’s possible to assess fairly how our world is controlled and divided, and manipulated – and how language and debate are distorted and a false consciousness developed.

When we speak of this in regard to totalitarian societies and dictatorships, we call it brainwashing: the conquest of minds. It’s a notion we almost never apply to our own societies. Let me give you an example. During the height of the cold war, a group of Soviet journalists were taken on an official tour of the United States. They watched TV; they read the newspapers; they listened to debates in Congress. To their astonishment, everything they heard was more or less the same. The news was the same. The opinions were the same, more or less. “How do you do it?” they asked their hosts. “In our country, to achieve this, we throw people in prison; we tear out their fingernails. Here, there’s none of that? What’s your secret?”

The secret is that the question is almost never raised. Or if it is raised, it’s more than likely dismissed as coming from the margins: from voices far outside the boundaries of what I would call our ‘metropolitan conversation’, whose terms of reference, and limits, are fixed by the media at one level, and by the discourse or silence of scholarship at another level. Behind both is a presiding corporate and political power.

A dozen years ago, I reported from East Timor, which was then occupied by the Indonesian dictatorship of General Suharto. I had to go there under cover, as reporters were not welcome – my informants were brave, ordinary people who confirmed, with their evidence and experience, that genocide had taken place in their country. I brought out meticulously hand-written documents, evidence that whole communities had been slaughtered – all of which we now know to be true.

We also know that vital material backing for a crime proportionally greater than the killing in Cambodia under Pol Pot had come from the West: principally the United States, Britain and Australia. On my return to London, and then to this country, I encountered a very different version. The media version was that General Suharto was a benign leader, who ran a sound economy and was a close ally. Indeed, prime minister Keating was said to regard him as a father figure.

…This episode is a metaphor for what I’d like to touch upon tonight.

For 15 years, a silence was maintained by the Australian government, the Australian media and Australian academics on the great crime and tragedy of East Timor. Moreover, this was an extension of the silence about the true circumstances of Suharto’s bloody ascent to power in the mid-sixties. It was not unlike the official silence in the Soviet Union on the bloody invasion of Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

…During the 1990s, whole societies were laid out for autopsy and identified as “failed states” and “rogue states,” requiring “humanitarian intervention.” Other euphemisms became fashionable – “good governance” and “third way” were adopted by the liberal realist school, which handed out labels to its heroes. Bill Clinton, the president who destroyed the last of the Roosevelt reforms, was labelled “left of centre.”

Noble words like democracy, freedom, independence, reform were emptied of their meaning and taken into the service of the World Bank, the IMF and that amorphous thing called “The West” – in other words, imperialism.

Of course, imperialism was the word the realists dared not write or speak, almost as if it had been struck from the dictionary. And yet imperialism was the ideology behind their euphemisms. And need I remind you of the fate of people under imperialism. Throughout 20th century imperialism, the authorities of Britain, Belgium and France gassed, bombed and massacred indigenous populations from Sudan to Iraq, Nigeria to Palestine, India to Malaya, Algeria to the Congo. And yet imperialism only got its bad name when Hitler decided he, too, was an imperialist.

So, after the war, new concepts had to be invented, indeed a whole lexicon and discourse created, as the new imperial superpower, the United States, didn’t wish to be associated with the bad old days of European power. The American cult of anti-communism filled this void most effectively; however, when the Soviet Union suddenly collapsed and the cold war was over, a new threat had to be found.

At first, there was the “war on drugs” – and the Bogeyman Theory of History is still popular. But neither can compare with the “war on terror” which arrived with September 11, 2001. Last year, I reported the “war on terror” from Afghanistan. Like East Timor, events I witnessed bore almost no relation to the way they were represented in free societies, especially Australia.

The American attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was reported as a liberation. But the evidence on the ground is that, for 95 per cent of the people, there is no liberation. The Taliban have been merely exchanged for a group of American funded warlords, rapists, murderers and war criminals – terrorists by any measure: the very people whom President Carter secretly armed and the CIA trained for almost 20 years.

One of the most powerful warlords is General Rashid Dostum. General Dostum was visited by Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, who came to express his gratitude. He called the general a “thoughtful” man and congratulated him on his part in the war on terror. This is the same General Dostum in whose custody 4,000 prisoners died terrible deaths just over two years ago – the allegations are that wounded men were left to suffocate and bleed to death in containers. Mary Robinson, when she was the UN’s senior humanitarian representative, called for an inquiry; but there was none for this kind of acceptable terrorism. The general is the face of the new Afghanistan you don’t see in the media.

…Like the Suharto dictatorship, these warlords are our official friends, whereas the Taliban were our official enemies. The distinction is important, because the victims of our official friends are worthy of our care and concern, whereas the victims of our official enemies are not. That is the principle upon which totalitarian regimes run their domestic propaganda. And that, basically, is how western democracies, like Australia, run theirs.

The difference is that in totalitarian societies, people take for granted that their governments lie to them: that their journalists are mere functionaries, that their academics are quiet and complicit. So people in these countries adjust accordingly. They learn to read between the lines. They rely on a flourishing underground. Their writers and playwrights write coded works, as in Poland and Czechoslovakia during the cold war.

A Czech friend, a novelist, told me; “You in the West are disadvantaged. You have your myths about freedom of information, but you have yet to acquire the skill of deciphering: of reading between the lines. One day, you will need it.”

That day has come. The so-called war on terror is the greatest threat to all of us since the most dangerous years of the cold war. Rapacious, imperial America has found its new “red scare.” Every day now, officially manipulated fear and paranoia are exported to our shores – air marshals, finger printing, a directive on how many people can queue for the toilet on a Qantas jet flying to Los Angeles.

The totalitarian impulses that have long existed in America are now in full cry. Go back to the 1950s, the McCarthy years, and the echoes today are all too familiar – the hysteria; the assault on the Bill of Rights; a war based on lies and deception. Just as in the 1950s, the virus has spread to America’s intellectual satellites, notably Australia.

Last week, the Howard government announced it would implement US-style immigration procedures, fingerprinting people when they arrived. The Sydney Morning Herald reported this as government measures to “tighten its anti-terrorism net.” No challenge there; no scepticism. News as propaganda.

How convenient it all is. The White Australia Policy is back as “homeland security” – yet another American term that institutionalises both paranoia and its bed-fellow, racism. Put simply, we are being brainwashed to believe that Al-Qaida, or any such group, is the real threat. And it isn’t. By a simple mathematical comparison of American terror and Al-Qaida terror, the latter is a lethal flea. In my lifetime, the United States has supported and trained and directed terrorists in Latin America, Africa, Asia. The toll of their victims is in the millions.

In the days before September 11, 2001, when America routinely attacked and terrorised weak states, and the victims were black and brown-skinned people in faraway places like Zaire and Guatemala, there were no headlines saying terrorism. But when the weak attacked the powerful, spectacularly on September 11, suddenly, there was terrorism.

This is not to say that the threat from al-Qaida is not real – It is very real now, thanks to American and British actions in Iraq, and the almost infantile support given by the Howard government. But the most pervasive, clear and present danger is that of which we are told nothing.

It is the danger posed by “our” governments – a danger suppressed by propaganda that casts “the West” as always benign: capable of misjudgment and blunder, yes, but never of high crime. The judgement at Nuremberg takes another view. This is what the judgement says; and remember, these words are the basis for almost 60 years of international law: “To initiate a war of aggression, it is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”

In other words, there is no difference, in the principle of the law, between the action of the German regime in the late 1930s and the Americans in 2003. Fuelled by religious fanaticism, a corrupt Americanism and corporate greed, the Bush cabal is pursuing what the military historian Anatol Lieven calls “the classic modern strategy of an endangered right-wing oligarchy, which is to divert discontent into nationalism.” Bush’s America, he warns, “has become a menace to itself and to mankind.”

…Today, the United States is currently training a gestapo of 10,000 agents, commanded by the most ruthless, senior elements of Saddam Hussein’s secret police. The aim is to run the new puppet regime behind a pseudo-democratic façade – and to defeat the resistance. That information is vital to us, because the fate of the resistance in Iraq is vital to all our futures. For if the resistance fails, the Bush cabal will almost certainly attack another country – possibly North Korea, which is nuclear armed.

…In the nineteenth century, Australia had a press more fiercely independent than most countries. In 1880, in New South Wales alone, there were 143 independent titles, many of them with a campaigning style and editors who believed it was their duty to be the voice of the people. Today, of twelve principal newspapers in the capital cities, one man, Rupert Murdoch, controls seven. Of the ten Sunday newspapers, Murdoch has seven. In Adelaide and Brisbane, he has effectively a complete monopoly. He controls almost 70 per cent of capital city circulation. Perth has only one newspaper.

Sydney, the largest city, is dominated by Murdoch and by the Sydney Morning Herald, whose current editor in chief Mark Scott told a marketing conference in 2002 that journalism no longer needed smart and clever people. “They are not the answer,” he said. The answer is people who can execute corporate strategy. In other words, mediocre minds, obedient minds.

The great American journalist Martha Gellhorn once stood up at a press conference and said: “Listen, we’re only real journalists when we’re not doing as we’re told. How else can we ever keep the record straight?” The late Alex Carey, the great Australian social scientist who pioneered the study of corporatism and propaganda, wrote that the three most significant political developments of the twentieth century were, “the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”

Carey was describing the propaganda of 20th century imperialism, which is the propaganda of the corporate state. And contrary to myth, the state has not withered away; indeed, it has never been stronger. General Suharto was a corporate man – good for business. So his crimes were irrelevant, and the massacres of his own people and of the East Timorese were consigned to an Orwellian black hole. So effective is this historical censorship by omission that Suharto is currently being rehabilitated. In The Australian last October, Owen Harries described the Suharto period as a “golden era” and urged Australia to once again embrace the genocidal military of Indonesia.

…If Australia is the microcosm, consider the destruction of free speech in the United States, which constitutionally has the freest press in the world. In 1983, the principal media in America was owned by fifty corporations. In 2002, this had fallen to just nine companies. Today, Murdoch’s Fox Television and four other conglomerates are on the verge of controlling 90 per cent of the terrestrial and cable audience. Even on the Internet, the leading twenty websites are now owned by Fox, Disney, AOL, Time Warner, Viacom and other giants. Just fourteen companies attract 60 per cent of all the time Americans spend online. And these companies control, or influence most of the world’s visual media, the principal source of information for most people.

“We are beginning to learn,” wrote Edward Said in his book Culture and Imperialism, “that de-colonisation was not the termination of imperial relationships but merely the extending of a geo-political web that has been spinning since the Renaissance. The new media have the media to penetrate more deeply into a receiving culture than any previous manifestation of Western technology.” Compared with a century ago, when “European culture was associated with a white man’s presence, we now have in addition an international media presence that insinuates itself over a fantastically wide range.”

He was referring not only to news. Right across the media, children are remorsely targeted by big business propaganda, commonly known as advertising. In the United States, some 30,000 commercial messages are targeted at children every year. The chief executive of one leading advertising company explained: “They aren’t children so much as evolving consumers.” Public relations is the twin of advertising. In the last twenty years, the whole concept of PR has changed dramatically and is now an enormous propaganda industry. In the United Kingdom, it’s estimated that pre-packaged PR now accounts for half of the content of some major newspapers. The idea of “embedding” journalists with the US military during the invasion of Iraq came from public relations experts in the Pentagon, whose current strategic-planning literature describes journalism as part of psychological operations, or “psyops.” Journalism as psyops.

The aim, says the Pentagon, is to achieve “information dominance” – which, in turn, is part of “full spectrum dominance” – the stated policy of the United States to control land, sea, space and information. They make no secret of it. It’s in the public domain.

Those journalists who go their own way, those like Martha Gellhorn and Robert Fisk, beware. The independent Arab TV organisation, Al-Jazeera, was bombed by the Americans in Afghanistan and Iraq. In the invasion of Iraq, more journalists were killed than ever before – by the Americans. The message could not be clearer. The aim, eventually, is that there’ll be no distinction between information control and media. That’s to say: you won’t know the difference.

That alone is worthy of reflection by journalists: those who still believe, like Martha Gellhorn, that their duty is to keep the record straight. The choice is actually quite simple: they are truth-tellers, or, in the words of Edward Herman, they merely “normalise the unthinkable.”

….I can almost hear a few of you saying, “OK, then what should we do?”

As Noam Chomsky recently pointed out, you almost never hear that question in the so-called developing world, where most of humanity struggles to live day by day. There, they’ll tell you what they are doing.

We have none of the life-and-death problems faced by, say, intellectuals in Turkey or campesinos in Brazil or Aboriginal people in our own third world. Perhaps too many of us believe that if we take action, then the solution will happen almost overnight. It will be easy and fast. Alas, it doesn’t work that way.

If you want to take direct action – and I believe we don’t have a choice now: such is the danger facing all of us – then it means hard work, dedication, commitment, just like those people in countries on the front line, who ought to be our inspiration. The people of Bolivia recently reclaimed their country from water and gas multinationals, and threw out the president who abused their trust. The people of Venezuela have, time and again, defended their democratically elected president against a ferocious campaign by an American-backed elite and the media it controls. In Brazil and Argentina, popular movements have made extraordinary progress – so much so that Latin America is no longer the vassal continent of Washington.

Even in Colombia, into which the United States has poured a fortune in order to shore up a vicious oligarchy, ordinary people – trade unionists, peasants, young people have fought back.

These are epic struggles you don’t read much about here. Then there’s what we call the anti-globalisation movement. Oh, I detest that word, because it’s much more than that. It’s is a remarkable response to poverty and injustice and war. It’s more diverse, more enterprising, more internationalist and more tolerant of difference than anything in the past, and it’s growing faster than ever.

In fact, it is now the democratic opposition in many countries. That is the very good news. For in spite of the propaganda campaign I have outlined, never in my lifetime have people all over the world demonstrated greater awareness of the political forces ranged against them and the possibilities of countering them. The notion of a representative democracy controlled from below where the representatives are not only elected but can be called truly to account, is as relevant today as it was when first put into practice in the Paris Commune 133 years ago. As for voting, yes, that’s a hard won gain. But the Chartists, who probably invented voting as we know it today, made clear that it was gain only when there was a clear, democratic choice. And there’s no clear, democratic choice now. We live in a single-ideology state in which two almost identical factions compete for our attention while promoting the fiction of their difference.

The writer Arundhati Roy described the outpouring of anti-war anger last year as “the most spectacular display of public morality the world has ever seen.” That was just a beginning and a cause for optimism.

Why? Because I think a great many people are beginning to listen to that quality of humanity that is the antidote to rampant power and its bedfellow: racism. It’s called conscience. We all have it, and some are always moved to act upon it. Franz Kafka wrote: “You can hold back from the suffering of the world, you have free permission to do so and it is in accordance with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering that you could have avoided.”

No doubt there are those who believe they can remain aloof – acclaimed writers who write only style, successful academics who remain quiet, respected jurists who retreat into arcane law and famous journalists who protest: “No one has ever told me what to say.” George Orwell wrote: “Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks the whip. But the really well-trained dog is the one that turns somersaults when there is no whip.”

For those members of our small, privileged and powerful elite, I recommend the words of Flaubert. “I have always tried to live in an ivory tower,” he said, “but a tide of shit is beating its walls, threatening to undermine it.” For the rest of us, I offer these words of Mahatma Gandhi: “First, they ignore,” he said. “Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

Quotable quotes…

“…The so-called war on terror is the greatest threat to all of us since the most dangerous years of the cold war. Rapacious, imperial America has found its new “red scare.” Every day now, officially manipulated fear and paranoia are exported to our shores – air marshals, finger printing, a directive on how many people can queue for the toilet on a Qantas jet flying to Los Angeles. The totalitarian impulses that have long existed in America are now in full cry. Go back to the 1950s, the McCarthy years, and the echoes today are all too familiar – the hysteria; the assault on the Bill of Rights; a war based on lies and deception. Just as in the 1950s, the virus has spread to America’s intellectual satellites, notably Australia…”

“…we are being brainwashed to believe that Al-Qaida, or any such group, is the real threat. And it isn’t. By a simple mathematical comparison of American terror and Al-Qaida terror, the latter is a lethal flea. In my lifetime, the United States has supported and trained and directed terrorists in Latin America, Africa, Asia. The toll of their victims is in the millions…”

“…In the days before September 11, 2001, when America routinely attacked and terrorised weak states, and the victims were black and brown-skinned people in faraway places like Zaire and Guatemala, there were no headlines saying terrorism. But when the weak attacked the powerful, spectacularly on September 11, suddenly, there was terrorism…”

“…The judgement at Nuremberg…says… “To initiate a war of aggression, it is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” In other words, there is no difference, in the principle of the law, between the action of the German regime in the late 1930s and the Americans in 2003. Fuelled by religious fanaticism, a corrupt Americanism and corporate greed, the Bush cabal is pursuing what the military historian Anatol Lieven calls “the classic modern strategy of an endangered right-wing oligarchy, which is to divert discontent into nationalism.” Bush’s America, he warns, “has become a menace to itself and to mankind’…”

John Pilger was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He has been a war correspondent, film-maker and playwright. Based in London, he has written from many countries and has twice won British journalism’s highest award, that of “Journalist of the Year,” for his work in Vietnam and Cambodia.


Please feel free to add feedback, additional info, alternative contact details, related links, articles, anonymous submission, etc. as a comment below, via web-form, through social media or mail us directly and confidentially at: dumpharper [at] live [dot] ca


This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. and intend its use to be for education and instructional purposes only. Therefore, we believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 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.

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