Monthly Archives: May 2012

The People’s Media!

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Bilderberg 2012 Power Elites Plot in Secrecy

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WTF: SOPA, CISPA, FISA

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Mike Shedlock on the Spexit, the Grexit and Running for the Eurozone Exit!!

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Record Low 10 Year Bonds

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MSM: Eager to Arrest Occupy, Lazy to Prosecute

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Got war if you want it

By Pepe Escobar 
Pentagon head Leon Panetta told ABC News that the US is “ready” to attack Iran. It depends on US President Barack Obama giving it a go. Will he or won’t he? 
Nobel Prize winner and Drone Godfather Obama has been busy “justifying the ‘just war’ theories of Christian philosophers”, as Ray McGovern graphically put it – and as attested by the New York Times orgasmically promoting its piece “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will’. 
Apparently there’s no Iranian “kill list’ so far – apart from scientists being whacked by the unsavory association of the Israeli Mossad and the Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist outfit. And there’s no evidence – yet – Obama considers attacking Iran a “just war”. On the contrary; Obama might flaunt a nuclear deal with Iran as a major foreign policy victory on the way to re-election. But – just in case – the Pentagon is keeping up the pressure. 
Enrich, and you’re history
Panetta regurgitated the same old fallacy perpetrated ad infinitum, since at least 2006, by the neo-cons, the Israel lobby and US corporate media, according to which Iran is about to build a nuclear bomb like … tomorrow. “We will do everything we can to prevent Iran from developing a weapon”, Panetta said. Once again, it doesn’t matter that the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, plus 17 US intelligence agencies have stressed this is not the case. 
Panetta’s move must be seen as the Pentagon preemptively bombarding the P5 + 1 talks about the Iranian nuclear program – now scheduled for a third round in Moscow on June 18. As Gareth Porter has shown, there can be no deal as long as Washington insists on absolutely ditching the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to which Iran subscribes (See US hard line in Iran talks driven by Israel, Asia Times Online, May 29, 2012). The US position amounts to never allowing Iran to even enrich uranium for civilian purposes. 
Panetta also insists that the “international community’s been unified” about it. That’s nonsense. Not only the BRICS group of emerging powers but also the whole Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has insisted Iran has a right, like any other country that subscribes to the NPT, to maintain a civilian nuclear program. 
Now let’s turn to the Iranian position. Iranian nuclear chief Fereydoon Abbasi said, “We have no reason to retreat from producing the 20% because we need 20% uranium just as much to meet our needs,” according to Iranian state TV. 
Not only that; Iran will start building two new nuclear power plants in 2013, and its sole active nuclear reactor is now close to full production levels. 
Under the NPT, a member state with a consistent civilian nuclear program essentially may also acquire a nuclear weapons capability – what is also defined as a “nuclear option”. Japan, Brazil and Argentina, for instance, all NPT member states, have maintained their “nuclear option” for decades. They could ditch the NPT and build a nuclear bomb in a few months if they wanted to. They won’t. But Washington, on a mission from God, believes Iran will. 
The fact is Tehran is not doing anything illegal in its pursuit of nuclear technology. It has even agreed to talk in Baghdad about suspending its 20% uranium enrichment. But then Iranian negotiators found out in Baghdad that for the US, the red line – no enrichment at all – is definitive. At best, in exchange Iran might receive supplies of medical isotopes. 
So Tehran won’t be moved from its position; it will only consider suspending its 20% enrichment if the ultra-harsh Western oil embargo plus the financial war via banking sanctions is reconsidered. 
By the way, Iran’s Central Bank Governor Mahmoud Bahmani said that Tehran has already activated an alternative payment clearing system to SWIFT – thus foiling another vector of Washington’s relentless economic war. What this means is that Iran, BRICS members Russia, India and China, plus Iran’s trading partners in the developing world are moving one step beyond in their flight from the US dollar as global reserve currency. 
Sanction me baby one more time 
Even in the – unlikely – possibility that the leadership in Tehran suddenly decided to stop all uranium enrichment, and kill the whole nuclear program on the spot, Iran would still be under US sanctions. The sanctions have practically nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear program. It’s all about regime change. 
By 401-11, Congress in the US last Friday approved a resolution that goes even beyond “crippling” sanctions. 
US sanctions are bound to remain forever unless President Obama certifies to the extremely unpopular US Congress (14% approval rate), “Iran has released all political prisoners and detainees; ceased its practices of violence and abuse of Iranian citizens engaging in peaceful political activity; conducted a transparent investigation into the killings and abuse of peaceful political activists in Iran and prosecuted those responsible; and made progress toward establishing an independent judiciary.” 
There’s more; Obama also has to certify, “The government of Iran has ceased supporting acts of international terrorism and no longer satisfies certain requirements for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism; and [that] Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of nuclear, biological, chemical, and ballistic weapons.” 
Into this mire of wishful thinking steps Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey. He told CNN on Monday, “the military option should be considered”. Oops, but that refers to that other war in the making – in Syria. General Dempsey said he would prefer for the “international community” to effect regime change in Syria, but – just in case – the Pentagon is ready to pounce (“Of course, we always have to provide military options.”) The NATOGCC compound is barely containing its shrieks of joy. 
So what’s it all about, Barack? So many wars to choose, so little time till Re-election Day. 
Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His most recent book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). 
He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com 
(Copyright 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

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‘Rebels behind Houla massacre, US plan to destabilize & save Syria in fu…

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‘Ireland year away from Greek devastation unless austerity stopped’

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WeAreChange Proves Tony Blair Lied To Parliament About Bilderberg

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Queen’s Diamond Jubilee: A distraction from failing economy?-A simple qu…

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UN officials acknowledge armed gangs’ role in Syria unrest

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Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, May 31

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The new American job killer is Bank of America

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Julian Assange Extradition Update

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Truthout Investigates: The Other Abu Zubaydah

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State Dept. HumanRights Report: What They Missed

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Militant Mitt guarantees military expansion

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News 2200

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Berlusconi’s €20 million bunga-bunga

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Sarkozy War Echo: Hollande picks up intervention flag

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Israel fans a virtual Flame against Iran


By Pierre Klochendler 

JERUSALEM – A new super-weapon has entered the Middle East cyber-arena. First detected on Monday by a Moscow-based security company, Worm.Win32.Flame – just call it Flame – might be “the most sophisticated cyber-weapon yet unleashed” on Iran’s secret nuclear networks. 
“Flame can easily be described as one of the most complex threats ever discovered. Big and incredibly sophisticated, it redefines the notion of cyber-war and cyber-espionage,” Alexander Gostev posted on the Securelist blog of Kaspersky Labs, the company that uncovered the worm. Gostev is head of the firm’s Global Research and Analysis Team. 
The newly-discovered multi-task device sniffs network traffic, takes screenshots when certain applications of interest are run, records audio conversations, intercepts keyboard strokes – the web seems to be the limit. 
From an initial analysis performed by Kaspersky Labs, the Flame creators gather intelligence on highly sensitive operations of states, principally in the Middle East – e-mails, documents, messages or discussions inside sensitive locations – and can “target SCADA [supervisory control and data acquisition] devices, ICS [industrial control systems], critical infrastructure and so on”.
The hijacked data is then retrieved by operators through links to command-and-control (C&C) servers. “Key here is Flame’s completeness – the ability to steal data in so many different ways,” Gostev notes. 
Kaspersky Labs discovered Flame following a request from the United Nations. The world body’s International Telecommunication Union suspected the existence of an unknown malware – codenamed Wiper – whose task would be to delete sensitive information across the Middle East. 
Iran is the top target, with the worm “crawling” in at least 189 of its computers. The West Bank comes second with 89 infected computers. 
Sudan comes third with 32 damaged computers. Then almost in a tie, stands Syria with the worm identified in 30 computers. Eighteen computers were targeted in Lebanon; 10 in Saudi Arabia. Next but not last is Egypt, with five contaminated computers. All except the latter are considered enemy states of Israel. 
In its blog, the security software maker Symantec said Flame was also uncovered in computers in Hungary, Austria, Russia, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates. 
Though no trace in the code ties the latest malware to any specific copyrighter, author or state, Iran indirectly blamed Israel for Flame. 
“Some countries and illegitimate regimes are used to producing viruses,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast was quoted on Tuesday in the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars. 
Tehran often refers to Israel as “the illegitimate Zionist regime”. The allegation was based on an interview given on Monday by Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon to Israel Army Radio. 
“Anyone who sees the Iranian [nuclear] threat as a significant threat – it’s reasonable [to assume] that he’ll take various steps, including these, to harm it,” Ya’alon declared. He said “Israel is blessed as a country rich with high-tech; these tools that we take pride in open up all kinds of opportunities for us.” 
According to a New York Times investigation published in January, Stuxnet, the cyber-villain discovered in 2010 that attacked Iranian centrifuges, specifically in the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, was tested within the premises of the Dimona nuclear complex located in southern Israel. 
According to Gostev, links could indicate that the Flame wizards accessed technology used in Stuxnet. Indeed, the worm seems to have run in parallel to the Stuxnet project as preliminary analyses show it’s been disseminated since February 2010. 
Kaspersky Labs points at certain characteristics shared by Flame and Stuxnet, but unlike Stuxnet that damages computerized equipment, Flame is meant to collect information. 
Duqu, another information-gathering malware useful in targeting ICS systems and attached to Stuxnet, was first uncovered in 2011 by the Laboratory of Cryptography and System Security (CrySyS) of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. 
In April, news came out from Iran that Tehran disconnected servers from the Internet as a cyber-outbreak struck at the Kharg island oil terminal (from which Iran exports some 80% of its crude oil). The attack is now thought to have been provoked by Flame. 
The major difference between the Flame and the Stuxnet/Duqu projects lies in the fact that the Flame code is 20 times larger, and targets thousands of systems worldwide, including computers in academia, private companies and of specific individuals. 
What’s more, operators “can conduct analysis of the data of the victim systems and uninstall Flame from systems that aren’t interesting, leaving the most important ones in place. After which they start a new series of infections,” Gostev emphasized. 
Ilan Proimovich, Kaspersky’s representative in Israel, told Army Radio that the worm “is operated by remote control. It’s not always active, thus it’s so difficult to detect.” 
Though the common assumption is that a small code like the one of Stuxnet is easier to hide, the large size of the Flame code (over 20 MB) is precisely why it wasn’t discovered for so long, notes Gostev. 
While the analysis of the Stuxnet code (500K) took months, it’s estimated that deciphering the more complex Flame code will last at least a year. 
Israeli Information Security analysts say the worm highlights the Iranian nuclear program’s Achilles heel – its inability to ward off cyber attacks. 
Assaf Turner, chief executive officer of the Israeli-based Maya Security company, believes that “Flame likely penetrated highly secure computer systems” in Iran. 
“Iran’s brush with Duqu and disastrous encounter with Stuxnet prove that the Islamic Republic is, indeed, lacking in the field of cyber-security,” he asserted on the Israeli news site YNet. 
One could entertain the euphoric dream that the current cyber-espionage war would provide an elegant, virtual, way to put an end to the alarming suspicion that Iran is developing the capability to master the doomsday weapon. This, before other far more mortal means are employed to try to destroy the nuclear threat once and for all. 
(Inter Press Service)

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Syria denounces terrorist attack paid by USA

Adnan Azzouz, president of the General Federation of Trade Unions of the Syrian Arab Republic sent for CGTB the declaration to the executive bureau of the sister entity, denouncing “the aggression by armed gangs supplied with weapons by the colonialist countries.” Terrorist acts were committed against the Syrian people, workers and students in particular, detaching the two bombs that killed 55 people and injured hundreds in Damascus on May 10th.
We share an important document that, once again, witnesses the heroic resistance of workers, the people and Government of Syria to the criminal imperialist interference in that country.
Workers of the world struggling against oppression and tyranny:
To the free and honorable peoples of the world:
Terrorist groups armed, funded and financed by the reactionary regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and the colonialist countries such as the United States, France and England, expand their crimes reaching all Syrian citizens and infrastructure of the Syrian society in which the Syrian people paid for with devotion and sacrifice for a long time. Dozens of innocent civilians have given their lives every day as victims of these crimes that are objectionable from the human, moral and religious point of view. 
These aggressive circles sponsoring, arming and funding these gangs do not hide their evil objectives behind these crimes. It is clear and there is no room for misunderstanding, that the main objective of the obscurantist forces of aggression is to put Syria forever on its knees and remove it from the trench of resistance against the colonial project, of the condition of a country fighting the Middle East redivision project in the fragile sectarian and ethnic entities. The intent is to perpetuate the dominance of the racist Zionist entity in the region. This is the Satanic essence of the project called the Greater Middle East.
It has become clear that some of the slogans of these obscurantist forces are just pretexts and false and empty arguments behind which they hide. Contrary to what their media says, they have no interest in any kind of transparency, democracy or freedom. The forces of obscurantism that govern Saudi Arabia and Qatar do not even know the meaning of democracy and transparency. 
They are countries ruled by gangs and mafias that ally to steal the blessed wealth of other countries. The peoples in those countries do not have the tools or the most basic terms of real democracy. They do not have constitutions, oversight bodies or parliamentarians. At the same time, these governments use every foul means to undermine the struggle of peoples who love justice, peace and freedom, as is the case of Syria.
Honest People of the world,
Syria has already announced and committed to the reforms promised to its people, with the development and modernization of society through all kinds of laws and community relations in line with the needs of human development. All towns and cities testify to relevant policies and procedures consistent with community needs. 
The Syrian Arab people guarantee in all their intellectual, political and ideological organizations, their determination to move forward in the challenge to maintain the approach of development and modernization, despite the suffering imposed by the conspiracies and economic sanctions. These reprehensible terrorist crimes will not stop us. We will continue in the course of civilization. 
The circle of true friends of Syria expands steadily and has no relationship to those involved in the shedding of Syrian blood gathering in Istanbul, Tunis and Paris. Their hatred will not be able to undermine the victories of the proud Syrian people and their steps toward reform represented in the recent parliamentary elections.
The response of the terrorists to this democratic movement was demonstrated in the horrible crime that hit innocent citizens on the morning of May 10, 2012, with dozens of martyrs and wounded, among them innocent hard working employees, civil servants and student victims of this crime.
The workers of Syria and trade unionists appeal to the consciences of all free and honest people in their firm determination against the instruments of the reactionary colonialist conspiracy to condemn the crimes of murder and darkness committed by terrorist gangs.
Long live the militant solidarity between workers and peoples of the world.
Executive Bureau of the General Federation of Trade Unions of the Syrian Arab Republic

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Federal cuts to strip 70,000 more US workers of jobless benefits in June

By David Brown and Barry Grey 

31 May 2012
Next month, another 70,000 US workers will be cut off of unemployment benefits weeks earlier than would have been the case had President Obama and Congress not reduced the duration of extended jobless pay. The early loss of benefits in June will come on top of early cutoffs for more than 200,000 workers two weeks ago as a result of the anti-working class bill brokered by the White House in February.
That bill, which extended a payroll tax cut, included provisions reducing the maximum duration of jobless benefits over the course of this year from 99 weeks to 73 weeks in states with official jobless rates above 9 percent. In most other states, the maximum will be slashed from 93 to 63 weeks. It also incorporated provisions making it harder to obtain benefits, including allowing states to carry out the demeaning practice of drug-testing laid-off workers applying for relief.
The June cutoffs will bring the number of people stripped of benefits thus far due to the bipartisan assault on jobless pay to nearly half a million. This is in addition to the millions of workers who exhausted their benefits prior to the enactment of the February bill. A report issued earlier this year by the Government Accountability Office estimated that 5.5 million workers who lost their jobs between 2007 and 2009 had exhausted their benefits by the end of 2011.
Thirty-three states have thus far cut back on federally-funded extended benefits, and all fifty will do so by September. This is in addition to a growing number of states that have cut the traditional 26 weeks of regular state-provided benefits.

Michigan, Missouri, and South Carolina have all reduced the length of basic benefits to 20 weeks. In Michigan 12,000 of 200,000 long-term unemployed workers will lose their benefits in June.
Arkansas and Illinois have cut the duration to 25 weeks, and Florida to 23 weeks. The bipartisan character of the assault on the unemployed is underlined by the fact that three of the governors in these states are Republicans and three are Democrats.
States are also imposing new restrictions to make it easier to reject applications for benefits or disqualify workers after they have been granted relief. In Florida, onerous rules have pushed up the rejection rate to more than 50 percent.
The cutting of unemployment benefits in the midst of the deepest jobs crisis since the Great Depression is a class-war measure. It deprives millions of workers and their families of any cash income and consigns them to overnight destitution. It is unprecedented for a US administration to slash federal emergency jobless benefits under conditions of continuing mass unemployment. In previous recessions, Republican and Democratic administrations alike have maintained the extended benefits until jobless rates returned to more normal levels.
This offensive will be intensified after the November elections, regardless of which big business candidate—Obama or his Republican opponent Mitt Romney—emerges victorious. The New York Times, which reported the ongoing loss of benefits on Monday, signaled that the entire program of extended benefits will be wound up at the end of the year. The newspaper, which generally reflects the thinking of the White House, wrote: “After the most recent compromise reached in February, another renewal seems unlikely.”
Stripping unemployed workers of benefits is part of a calculated ruling class policy to keep unemployment high, while providing no serious relief for the jobless, so as to use economic insecurity and social misery as battering rams to destroy the wages and conditions of the working class. Workers are being confronted with the “choice” of accepting near poverty-level wages and brutal speedup or losing their homes and seeing their families go hungry.
Obama has repeatedly hailed the “in-sourcing” of manufacturing back to America, omitting to mention that the basis for the modest increase in US manufacturing jobs is the slashing of wages and benefits. With the indispensable assistance of the United Auto Workers union, Obama in 2009 imposed a 50 percent wage cut on all new hires as well as cuts in benefits for active and retired workers as part of the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler. This was the signal for a campaign of wage-cutting that has spread throughout industry and from the private to the public sector.
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal ran a front-page article headlined “Flat US Wages Help Fuel Rebound in Manufacturing.” The article, part of an ongoing series entitled “Remade in the USA,” noted that US manufacturers’ labor costs were down 2.7 percent in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to 2005, and labor costs for all employers were lower as well. The article gloated over the collaboration of the trade unions in imposing two-tier wage contracts in industry after industry, and gave examples of laid off workers forced to accept pay cuts of 50 percent or more in order to obtain new work.
Jobless benefits are being cut despite continuing mass unemployment and an explosive growth of poverty, hunger and homelessness. The official jobless rate, 8.1 percent, is extraordinarily high entering the fourth year of a supposed “recovery.” However, that figure obscures the actual prevalence of unemployment and underemployment. Some 24 million workers are either unemployed or involuntarily working part-time, 15 percent of the labor force. The recent drop in the official jobless rate is mainly due to the exit of millions of laid off workers from the labor force. Long-term unemployment remains at or near post-Depression records.
Mass layoffs are continuing. Last week Hewlett Packard announced the elimination of 27,000 jobs. The US Postal Service offered to buy out 45,000 mail handlers for the paltry sum of $15,000 as part of its plans to close 48 mail processing centers starting this summer and slash 150,000 jobs.
A measure of social distress is the growth of the food stamp program by 47 percent over the past three years. Earlier this year, the National Poverty Center reported that 1.46 million US households (some 4 million people) were living in “extreme poverty,” subsisting on less than $2 per day per person, more than double the number in 1996, the year the Clinton administration abolished the welfare entitlement.
Meanwhile, banks and corporations are recording bumper profits as a result of trillion-dollar bailouts, cheap credit from the Federal Reserve, tax breaks and the gutting of business regulations. Just last week US banks reported their highest quarterly profits since 2007, prior to the Wall Street crash. CEO pay continues to climb to the tens and even hundreds of millions. A recent study showed that CEO compensation at major corporations in the US increased 2.8 percent last year to a median of $10.3 million.
The cruel assault by the Obama administration on the unemployed underscores the lack of any choice for working people between the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in the upcoming elections. The Socialist Equality Party is running Jerry White for president and Phyllis Scherrer for vice president in order to advance a socialist program to secure the social rights of working people for decent-paying jobs, education, housing and a secure retirement.
The SEP candidates call for the nationalization of the banks and corporations under the democratic control of the working class in order to reorganize the economy to meet social needs, rather than private profit. They propose a multi-trillion-dollar public works program to provide good-paying jobs for the unemployed building homes and schools and rebuilding the country’s crumbing infrastructure.
The fight for this program requires the building of a mass socialist movement against the two parties of big business and the corporate-financial oligarchy that controls them. The SEP campaign is dedicated to providing the political and organizational basis for this movement. We urge all those who are looking for a way for fight the assault on jobs and living standards to actively support the SEP campaign.

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Hands off Syria!

31 May 2012

The media’s attempt to whip up public outrage over the Houla massacre, combined with the coordinated expulsion of Syrian diplomats by the major powers, are acts of brazen cynicism. Their aim is to legitimise the ongoing campaign of destabilisation by the Obama administration and its European and Middle-Eastern allies that is directly responsible for Houla and every other outrage perpetrated in Syria since the conflict began in 2011.
In the midst of such naked propaganda, workers and young people must above all maintain steadfast opposition to all calls for Western military intervention against Syria.
There is still no reliable account of what took place in Houla that would allow anyone to dismiss out of hand the Assad regime’s insistence that it played no part in the massacre and that it was the work of provocateurs. All witnesses so far are from the Sunni community and will have been vetted by the opposition leadership. Everything from casualty figures to the identity of victims—who are always portrayed as civilians rather than insurgents—is routinely exaggerated and misrepresented, as admitted by the United Nations’ own observers.
However, even if the account advanced by the opposition is wholly true—that most lives were lost due to sectarian murders committed by pro-regime Alawaite militias after initial shelling by the armed forces of opposition bases—Houla is only one terrible example of the innumerable atrocities taking place in Syria.

The exclusive focus on Houla divorces it from the daily acts of sectarian violence perpetrated by both sides, including kidnappings, torture, murders and car bombings in Damascus and elsewhere by al-Qaeda elements within the opposition that have claimed dozens of lives—55 in a single incident in Damascus on May 10 and over 40 in December last year.
Thousands have died on both sides and many more have been maimed or driven from their homes. Whatever crocodile tears are shed in the White House, Downing Street and the Élysée Palace, this is exactly what the Western powers counted on when they took the decision to fund and arm the Sunni insurgency last year.
The imperialist powers are past masters in manipulating religious, ethnic and tribal divisions in order to pursue a policy of divide and rule. In response to the fall of trusted client regimes in Tunisia and Egypt as a result of mass popular protest, they were determined to shape any subsequent political shifts in the strategically vital areas of North Africa and the Middle East. Where opposition threatened Western allies—in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia—it would be opposed outright or channelled behind Sunni-based movements like the Muslim Brotherhood that could then be cultivated as a new regional power base in alliance with the Gulf regimes and Turkey. Alternatively, Sunni insurgents could be pitched against those regimes considered either unreliable, like Muammar Gaddafi’s in Libya, or too close to Iran, like Assad’s Syria.
Iran has always been the ultimate target of the machinations against Syria, along with the more general geo-strategic aim of curtailing the influence of Russia and China.
Talk of Syria’s “descent” into civil war and the statement by United Nations-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan that a “tipping point” has been reached are an insult to the collective intelligence of the world’s people. The major powers have been pushing for such an outcome since day one.
Syria’s insurgents were armed at the behest of Washington via its allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and organized around a base provided by Turkey. They were pitched against the Syrian Army in areas surrounding Deraa and Homs.
The plan was that Syria would be destabilized politically and, thanks to sanctions, ruined economically to the point where Assad would be forced to step down. Or, given the lack of popular support for a sectarian insurgency in Syria’s multi-faith urban areas such as Damascus and Aleppo, a proxy war might be mounted using the Arab League and Turkey as a possible front. Arguments continue within ruling circles over whether this course of action should now be taken using the pretext of Houla.
France’s newly elected Socialist Party President Francois Hollande, stepping into the shoes recently vacated by Nicholas Sarkozy, insists most strenuously that “Military intervention is not excluded provided it is carried out with respect to international law, meaning after deliberation by the United Nations Security Council.”
A politically despicable role is played on behalf of the imperialists by ex-left outfits such as Britain’s Socialist Workers Party, who reprise their role in Libya by portraying a Western-sponsored sectarian insurgency as a “revolution” carried out by the masses. As with Libya, they caution against Western military intervention (as if this is not already taking place), while supporting bourgeois movements—the Syrian National Council, the Local Coordinating Committees and the Free Syrian Army—whose express aim is to provoke such an intervention.
In Syria, as elsewhere throughout the Middle East, everything depends upon overcoming the political domination of the masses by bourgeois forces, whether Islamist, nominally liberal or pseudo-left, which have allowed events to be dictated by the imperialists. This has already led to the election of an Islamist regime funded by Qatar in Tunisia, elections in Egypt that are also dominated by Islamists with the military still firmly in charge, and a bloody war in Libya that installed a pro-Western client regime.
The stakes are high. Syria’s escalating civil war and the growing threat of Western intervention raises the danger of a regional war, involving Iran on one side and Turkey and the Gulf monarchies on the other, which would tear the Middle East apart. It is up to the working class to do all in its power to prevent such an outcome.
The reactionary regimes in Riyadh, Doha, Cairo and Tunis are no less deserving than Syria’s Baathists of meeting their end. They must all be overthrown and replaced by socialist, anti-imperialist and genuinely democratic governments, uniting the working class and the rural masses irrespective of their religious or ethnic affiliations.
In the West a new anti-war movement is required that is likewise liberated from the stranglehold of the pseudo-lefts and liberals who are now, for the most part, transformed into open advocates of “humanitarian war”. The responsibility of workers and young people in America and Europe is to repudiate the cynical moral posturing of their own governments and to demand an end to their predatory designs on Syria and the rest of the Middle East.
Such a mass movement requires a new leadership that advances a strategy of world socialist revolution, the International Committee of the Fourth International.
Chris Marsden

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The Allegory of the Optimist and the Realist: A Cautionary Tale

By Charles Sullivan

May 30, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Imagine entering a room in which the electrical wiring is defective. You turn the switch on. Nothing happens. Someone replaces the bulb but the room remains dark. The circuit breaker is deemed operational. Most people, after a few attempts at flipping the switch, come to the realization that the circuit is broken. They accurately conclude that the light is not going to come on. This is a rational and intelligent response to the reality of the situation; one that weds cause and effect to results.

A few of the people in the room, however, have resolute faith in the defective circuit. They are confident that the light will eventually come on. Among them, the belief persists that if one continues to flip the switch enough times, eventually it will start working. Convinced that the problem is a defective bulb, they replace one light bulb with another every few minutes. As with political elections, one dim bulb follows another into the socket. Case after case of new bulbs is exhausted. And yet, despite the best of intentions of the optimists, the room remains as dark as a sarcophagus.
Suffering from cognitive dissonance, the eternal optimist, like Joe Hill’s fictitious character Mr. Block, ignores the fact that the wiring is broken and the circuit can never be operational without a major overhaul, regardless of how many times the switch is turned on. They contend that changing the bulb is easier and safer than rewiring the circuit. The optimists insist that when the right bulb is found light will dispel darkness and everything will become clear. This is what they have always done. It has never worked.
Nevertheless, despite decades of contrary results, the positivity and faith of the optimists cannot be blunted. In darkness, they busy themselves trying the switch again and again. Ignoring the enduring darkness, some outsiders admire the optimist’s diligence and determination. Light, they insist, like change one can believe in, is a matter of faith.
Others, seeing the absurdity of these actions, scoff at the optimist’s foolishness. Having forged a Faustian alliance with the building’s landlords, the corporate media lauds the optimist’s determination as a civic duty that is bound to bring enlightenment, if only they will persist indefinitely in their endeavor. Both the realists and the optimists want to shine light into the darkness; however, there is fierce disagreement about their methodology. Like the reformer and the revolutionary, their differences are irreconcilable.
Eventually an exulted priest, Reverend Friedman, is consulted, who advises everyone to ignore the darkness and to obey the proprietors of the building. “There will be light for everyone in the afterlife,” he advises the crowd. “One must have faith in the system and the people it attracts to serve. Do not be deceived by the lack of results in the present. God will see that we are not wanting when we are dead. The free market, the divine oracle of capitalism, will provide a solution to all of our problems.” The good Reverend admonishes the realists for their lack of faith and departs for the Big Top, where barkers are attracting a crowd and organ grinders ply their trade.
The darkened house sits on the corner of Egalitarian Avenue and Democracy Boulevard in a town called Plutocratville. Thievery Corporation and Fascism Incorporated, now headquartered in Capitalist China, were once the primary businesses.
The landlords of the house, The Big “O” and Capito, propose to keep the occupants in the dark, where they conspire to do their work, each deflecting criticism from the other. The landlords cynically use the optimist’s faith and their naiveté to keep them from making the circuit function as intended by its designers. Among historians, there is intense debate about what their real intentions were.
Darkness prevents some of the tenants from seeing the dilapidated condition of the house as it falls down around them. This permits the unscrupulous landlords to continue collecting rent while covertly looting the building of its contents, including its copper wiring. The optimist’s preoccupation with the switch and their unstinting faith prevents them from noticing the pilferage.
Meanwhile, the optimists have become contemptuous of the realists, who have abandoned the switch and propose to bring in an electrician to replace the defective wiring with a functioning circuit. They label the realists as doomsayers, pessimists, negativists, and conspiracy theorists. Invoking the language of fear, the most optimistic believers refer to the realists as socialists, communists, or Marxists. From the optimist’s perspective, the problem is not the broken circuit; it is lack of faith in the system on the part of the realists.
Beset with delusion, the most extreme optimists have convinced themselves that the light is actually shining by refusing to acknowledge the darkness around them. They create inspirational euphemisms that substitutes light for dark and dark for light. Thus, hate becomes love and war, peace. The euphoric optimists are delighted by the system; however, they falsely perceive themselves as enlightened. Reality and powerlessness terrifies them, so they retreat into catacombs of fantasy. Their time-worn strategies are predicated upon false premises.
Equipped with only vestigial eyes and terrified about the implications of existing in utter darkness, the optimists refuse to adopt the more revolutionary strategy of the realists as too radical and too dangerous. They contend that the people are not ready for directly confronting the underlying causes of the failed circuitry.
Much like reformers during America’s era of chattel slavery, the optimists reason that directly confronting cause and effect must be postponed until after the November elections and the mid-terms thereafter. The reformers hypothesize that The Big “O” and Capito must be reelected to a second term as landlords of the tenement, when they will reveal their humanitarian intentions and make things right.
To accept the darkness as the absence of light would be so psychologically disorienting that it would cause the optimist’s mental circuits to shut down, much like the events of 9-11 has suspended critical thinking and scientific analysis in the USA. Karl Marx called this state of mind false consciousness.
Although fictionalized, the Allegory of the Optimist and the Realist raises important questions about human nature, irrational faith in dysfunctional systems of power, and reality. For instance, if one continually confounds false consciousness for true consciousness and illusion for reality, how can one make progress?
One must begin by acknowledging reality and accepting it for what it is, regardless of how painful or undesirable its truth. Faith does not always serve human need; it often undermines progress and promotes oppression of the working class, despite its occasional good intentions. Broken systems of power do not promote justice. 
Ultimately, we can only begin our respective journeys to true consciousness and thus revolution from wherever are. But we must have the courage to acknowledge where that is. False hope and wishful thinking can prevent us from doing what must be done. It can perpetuate the very inequality we are trying to eradicate. Reality, no matter how disturbing, provides a solid base from which to move forward. Take it for what it is. 
Charles Sullivan is a naturalist, an educator, and freelance writer residing in the Ridge and Valley Province of geopolitical West Virginia. He does not vote or lend the appearance of legitimacy to corrupt systems of power by participating in them.

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Obama’s God Complex

By Yvonne Ridley

May 30, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — The fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin shocked a nation, inspired tens of thousands to march for justice and even prompted the US President to declare, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon”.

It took nearly six weeks for George Zimmerman, the Florida man accused of killing the teenager, to be arrested and charged with second-degree murder after enormous pressure from the public.

Zimmerman – the captain of a Neighbourhood Watch group – pursued Trayvon because he said that he thought he was acting “suspicious” and “up to no good”. And that is exactly the same excuse used by President Barack Obama as he justifies ticking off names on a “kill list” for drone attacks.

While Obama called on federal, state and local authorities to work together as part of the investigation into the killing of Trayvon, just who is going to investigate the President for his extra-judicial killings? He is a man out of control, and while his predecessor justified his actions with a catch-all “God told me to do it”, this president thinks he is God, making decisions about who should live and who should die.

If he was the head of a banana republic the UN Security Council would be meeting as I write to bring about regime change, with the International Criminal Court on standby with a writ to charge Obama with war crimes.

But the USA is not a banana republic – not yet, anyway – and Obama is the head of a superpower and supposed to be the most powerful man in the world; the man who in 2009 went to Cairo and convinced us all that he was going to engage positively with the Muslim world from the Middle East to Asia.

Looking back at that historic day all I can visualise is a fox being heralded and saluted by his victims as he walks up the ramp into the chicken coop.

We don’t know how many people Barack Obama has ordered to be killed, but according to the New York Times he has “placed himself at the helm of a top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical”.

There is huge hypocrisy in the media and from the so-called liberal left when it comes to this particular White House incumbent. The tame journalists who make up the Washington press pack ignore the fact that several times a month around 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to discuss who should live and who should die.

This murderous secret nomination process was the invention of the Democrat Obama Administration, just as the Democrat Bill Clinton Administration brought kidnap and extraordinary rendition flights to the world. Republicans must look on enviously at how the Democrats get away with breaking international laws and conventions without being challenged.

It is almost beyond belief that this kill list has been sanctioned by a man who won the Nobel Peace Prize and ran his US Presidential campaign on a human rights platform. Remember Obama’s declaration that he wanted to close down Guantanamo, end torture, stop secret renditions and raise the bar in fairness and justice? He clearly doesn’t.

In Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan, Obama’s killing machines are not even clinical or always on target; thousands of innocent men, women and children have been taken out by his drone attacks. Their blood is on the US President’s hands, and even his own people are sickened by the hypocrisy and double standards coming out of the White House.

America’s outgoing Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, a man with more backbone and guts than his predecessor, has revealed that he regards the drone strike-driven policy of his government unacceptable. Rather tellingly, he has complained to colleagues that “he didn’t realise his main job was to kill people”.

This was revealed in another article published this week in the New York Times, one of the few US media titles finally to adopt a critical stance over Obama’s foreign policies.

I can only assume that Obama’s killing spree has gone largely unchecked by ordinary Americans because they haven’t a clue what this president is doing in their name. This is sad, because Americans do care about justice and fair play; they showed this when they rallied and demonstrated after the killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin by a man who thought he was “up to no good”.

Trayvon’s killer will now stand trial for his actions and his fate will be decided by a judge and jury looking at openly presented evidence. That is real justice, not the shoot and kill version which is coming to define Obama’s presidency.

Many of us who cheered when the first non-white president moved into the White House were hoping for a new era of peace and justice, but we have been conned. The true Barack Obama is an out of control psychopathic killer with a loaded God complex, and he’s running America. This makes him the most dangerous man in the world as well as the most powerful. And that should make every right-minded person in America and beyond shudder with disbelief.

Yvonne Ridley is a patron of the London-based human rights NGO, Cageprisoners

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The International Translation Team of AE911Truth Speaks Out – Japanese

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Attack on Assange: ‘Whistleblowers warned as war criminals walk free’

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Mental Health Movement Resists Chicago Austerity Measures

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Bill Black: Uninvited for "Bank Bashing"

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MSM: Birtherism Trumps Yemen; Kill List

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The Face of Collateral Damage

Photos of missile debris help trace the path of a CIA drone missile that killed a young girl

By Jefferson MorleySalon.com

The face of collateral damage
Al-Qaida commander Mustafa Abu Yazid; debris from a Hellfire missile; and Fatima, shortly before her death.
May 30, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Around midnight on May 21, 2010, a girl named Fatima was killed when a succession of U.S.-made Hellfire missiles, each of them five-feet long and traveling at close to 1,000 miles per hour, smashed a compound of houses in a mountain village of Mohammed Khel in North Waziristan along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Wounded in the explosions, which killed a half dozen men, Fatima and two other children were taken to a nearby hospital, where they died a few hours later.
Behram Noor, a Pakistani journalist, went to the hospital and took a picture of Fatima shortly before her death. Then, he went back to the scene of the explosions looking for evidence that might show who was responsible for the attack. In the rubble, he found a mechanism from a U.S.-made Hellfire missile and gave it to Reprieve, a British organization opposed to capital punishment, which shared photographs of the material with Salon. Reprieve executive director Clive Stafford Smith alluded to the missile fragments in an Op-Ed piece for the New York Times last fall. They have also been displayed in England.
“Forensically, it is important to show how the crime of murder happened (which is what it is here),” said Stafford Smith in an email. “One almost always uses the murder weapon in a case. But perhaps more important, I think this physical proof — this missile killed this child — is important to have people take it seriously.”
In the religious rhetoric used by al-Qaida’s online allies, Fatima was a “martyr.” In a statement quoted byLong War Journal, the al-Ansara forum said the senior al-Qaida commander Mustafa Abu Yazid had been killed in a “convoy of martyrs on the road with his wife and three daughters and his granddaughter; men, women and children; neighbors and loved ones.” But Fatima was not Yazid’s daughter, according to Noor, who reported from the scene. She was the daughter of another man who lost two wives and three children in the barrage.
In the euphemistic jargon of Washington, Fatima was “collateral damage” in the successful effort to assassinate Yazid, an Egyptian jihadist also known as Saeed al-Masri. In disregard for the official secrecy that envelops the drone war, U.S. intelligence officials leaked the classified details of the attack, telling the New York Times that they considered Yazid to be al-Qaida’s “No. 3 leader.” Relying on similar sources, the Washington Post said that al-Masri was the group’s “chief organizational manager.” Unlike other news organizations reporting on the attack, neither the Post nor the Times mentioned that women and children had been killed in the attack.
(In news reports published before the Post and Times stories, CNN cited Pakistani intelligence officials as saying that two children and two women had been killed in the attack. Dawn, a leading Pakistani news site, reported three children and two women had died. Reuters quoted residents as saying four women and two children were killed.)
Some might say that Yazid invited the killing of his wife and children by traveling with them while allegedly plotting attacks on U.S. targets. But Fatima was not his child. She was just a girl in the neighborhood who came into the crosshairs of the CIA.
“It seems easy to say it was the children of a terrorist rather just the children of anyone else,” said Shahzad Akber, a Pakistani lawyer who represents families of the drone victims. “For us it is difficult to say otherwise. How do we question that, because the CIA, who is [doing the] killing, is not sure either.”
Whether Fatima was murdered, as Stafford Smith alleges, has yet to be determined. But the responsibility for the chain of events that culminated in her death are becoming clearer as the mechanics of the drone war continue to emerge.
The Hellfire Romeo
The laser-guided missile that killed Yazid, Fatima and the others was probably made at Lockheed Martin’s“Mission and Fire Control” facility in Troy, Alabama. The Hellfire missile, the most frequently cited weapon used in drone attacks, is produced in a factory located 30 miles south of Montgomery. The plant, which employs 271 people and is a mainstay of the local economy, produces a wide variety of missiles for the U.S. Armed Forces. The latest version of the missile, known as the Hellfire Romeo, “defeats a broad range of targets,” according to Lockheed Martin.
The missile destined to land in Mohammed Khel was then shipped by plane to a base in Afghanistan, where U.S. airmen fitted the missile onto the fuselage of another technological miracle, the Predator B drone (also known as the MQ-9 Reaper), which is built by Pentagon contractor General Atomics. Assembled at three different General Atomics factories in San Diego, this mammoth unmanned aircraft with a 66-foot wingspan was first deployed to Afghanistan for combat sorties in October 2007, according to the company.
But in as early as 2002, the CIA had obtained its own Predator for use in armed attacks in Pakistan, according to news reports. Because of the need to officially deny U.S involvement in Pakistan, the CIA — not the U.S. Air Force — runs the drone program in Pakistan. The CIA now controls a fleet of up to 30 drones worldwide, according to a Washington Post story last year. The Federation of American Scientists says the CIA fleet includes several Predators/Reaper drones.
The CIA flight crew that sent the armed Reaper aloft in May 2010 was probably operating out of a U.S. air base in Afghanistan. Once in the air, the drone was most likely controlled by a two-man crew sitting at an ergonomically adjusted ground control station in a CIA office in northern Virginia. Former CIA counsel John Rizzo told Daily Beast reporter Tara McKelvey last year that he had witnessed drone attacks at such an office. The drone operators acted on the orders of senior Agency officials, he said.
In the first officially sanctioned public description of how the drone attacks work, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said last month that individuals targeted for assassination must actively be involved in a plot to attack American forces, facilities or other targets. “The intelligence is vetted at high levels, and the decision to fire a missile is made with extraordinary care and thoughtfulness,” he said.
In his interview with McKelvey, Rizzo said that he had signed off on CIA cables requesting “approval for targeting for lethal operation.” Rizzo, who resigned as general counsel in June 2009, said the cables provided a space for his signature, along with the word “concurred.” A typical cable targeted 30 people, he said. “The agency was very punctilious about this,” Rizzo said. “They tried to minimize collateral damage, especially women and children.”
The CIA general counsel at the time of the attack that killed Yazid and Fatima was Rizzo’s successor, Stephen Preston, appointed by President Obama. In a talk at Columbia University Law School last October, Preston insisted that all decisions in cases of lethal force complied with “the four basic principles in the law of armed conflict governing the use of force: Necessity, Distinction, Proportionality, and Humanity.”
“Great care would be taken in the planning and execution of actions to satisfy these four principles and, in the process, to minimize civilian casualties,” he said in remarks that were cleared for release by the CIA.
“To enforce the law”
The specific actions U.S. officials believed Yazid was planning in May 2010 have not been disclosed, but Yazid was public in his desire to retaliate for U.S. drone strikes. He had praised the “supreme bravery” of the suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees at the U.S. airbase in Khost in December 2009 to avenge the death of a Pakistani militant leader in a previous CIA drone strike.
Whether CIA officials watching Yazid’s convoy on live video feed on the afternoon of May 21, 2010, were aware that it carried women and children is not known. So it is impossible to know if “great care” was taken to prevent the death of Fatima and the other children in the convoy. The presence of non-combatants in the immediate vicinity of targeted individuals has not prevented other CIA drone attacks in the past, most notoriously in the case of a June 2009 drone attack on a funeral ceremony that killed an estimated 60 people.
In the face of persistent complaints from the Pakistani government and near universal opposition in Pakistani society, the U.S. has since reduced the number of drone attacks. After a peak of 118 reported attacks in 2010, attacks declined to 70 in 2011, according to the New America Foundation in Washington. So far in 2012 there have been 14 drone attacks in Pakistan. The most recent one was on Monday, in which eight people were reported killed, none them named or identified.
Civilian casualties from U.S. drone attack are “exceedingly rare,” Brennan said in his public comments, a characterization that critics hotly dispute with hard data and eyewitness testimony. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which monitors news reports of drone strikes, says 175 children have been killed in CIA drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004. Using a different methodology, the New America Foundationestimates that 11 percent percent of all victims in 2011 were civilians. Akbar’s Foundation for Fundamental Rights says U.S. attacks “frequently hit civilians.”
Stafford Smith says Reprieve hopes to end the drone attacks by publicizing evidence from the scene of the strikes and taking legal action.
“Not all drone use is a war crime,” he said in his email, “but what is happening in Waziristan most definitely is — as was Nixon’s illegal war in Laos and Cambodia 40 years ago — so we will be pressing to enforce the law.”
In response to questions about the Hellfire missile debris found at the scene of May 2010 attack , a Lockheed Martin spokesperson referred Salon to a U.S. Army Public Affairs office in Alabama near the factory where the missiles are built. Salon has asked the Army if the serial numbers found near the place where Yazid was killed and Fatima was fatally injured came from missiles built in Troy. The Army has yet to reply.
In response to questions from Salon, a CIA spokesman cited Stephen Preston’s remarks, added some “off the record” observations about Yazid, but otherwise declined to comment.
Jefferson Morley is a staff writer for Salon in Washington and author of the forthcoming book, Snow-Storm in August: Washington City, Francis Scott Key, and the Forgotten Race Riot of 1835 (Nan Talese/Doubleday). More Jefferson Morley.
Copyright © 2012 Salon Media Group, Inc

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Muslim Brotherhood are Western Proxies Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Joins US-Euro-Israeli Chorus for War in Syria.

By Tony Cartalucci 
May 30, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — One would expect allegedly “outspoken” critics of the US and Israel to represent the antithesis of any joint US-Israeli foreign policy, especially when it involves mass-murdering large numbers of fellow Arabs to expand Western hegemony across the Middle East. Yet the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has done the exact opposite, after a long campaign of feigned anti-American, anti-Israel propaganda during the Egyptian presidential run-up, the Muslim Brotherhood has joined US, European, and Israeli calls for an “international” intervention in Syria.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently called for international intervention in Syria citing the alleged Houla massacre, echoed by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan who stated the same. The Syrian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood has been involved heavily, leading in fact, the US, Israeli, Saudi, and Qatari-backed sectarian violence that has been ravaging Syria for over a year. In a May 6, 2012 Reuters article it stated:
“Working quietly, the Brotherhood has been financing Free Syrian Army defectors based in Turkey and channeling money and supplies to Syria, reviving their base among small Sunni farmers and middle class Syrians, opposition sources say.”
While Reuters categorically fails to explain the “how” behind the Brotherhood’s resurrection, it was revealed in a 2007 New Yorker article titled, “The Redirection” by Seymour Hersh, as being directly backed by the US and Israel who were funneling support through the Saudis so as to not compromise the “credibility” of the so-called “Islamic” movement. Hersh revealed that members of the Lebanese Saad Hariri clique, then led by Fouad Siniora, had been the go-between for US planners and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.
Hersh reports the Lebanese Hariri faction had met Dick Cheney in Washington and relayed personally the importance of using the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in any move against the ruling government: 
“[Walid] Jumblatt then told me that he had met with Vice-President Cheney in Washington last fall to discuss, among other issues, the possibility of undermining Assad. He and his colleagues advised Cheney that, if the United States does try to move against Syria, members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would be “the ones to talk to,” Jumblatt said.” –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh
The article would continue by explaining how already in 2007, US and Saudi backing had begun benefiting the Brotherhood: 
“There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents.” –The Redirection, Seymour Hersh
It was warned that such backing would benefit the Brotherhood as a whole, not just in Syria, and could effect public opinion even as far as in Egypt where a long battle against the hardliners was fought in order to keep Egyptian governance secular. Clearly the Brotherhood did not spontaneously rise back to power in Syria, it was resurrected by US, Israeli, and Saudi cash, weapons and directives. 
PR Roll-out of Orchestrated Regional War
To the general public, the violence in Lebanon seems to have “spilled over” from Syria, with characters like Saad Hariri, a leading figure in an effort at fueling regional bifurcation between Sunni and Shi’ia Muslims, being suddenly “involved” in the ongoing violence. To the general public, because of a willfully deceitful mass media, the Muslim Brotherhood’s sudden backing of US-Euro-Israeli and Gulf State calls for foreign intervention seems like a spontaneous reaction to the so-called Houla massacre.
In reality, for those who are informed regarding the true back story of the geopolitical reordering of the Arab World, it is nothing more than the public roll-out of an orchestrated conspiracy years in the making, with each actor having long practiced their roles backstage together before coming out on stage and being introduced to the audience. Indeed, the Muslim Brotherhood and Saad Hariri have been working together with the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia for years. The Muslim Brotherhood’s political resurrection was solely owed to the US-engineered “Arab Spring” and torrents of cash and backroom diplomatic support. The US State Department on record had been preparing since at least as early as 2008, with Egyptian protest leaders flown to New York, trained, equipped, and funded courtesy of US taxpayers before being sent back to destabilize Egypt beginning in 2010 and culminating in the 2011 “Arab Spring.” 
And while the Muslim Brotherhood is busy feigning hatred and belligerence toward the US and Israel, they in turn have feigned fear and displeasure at the Brotherhood’s rise amidst political destabilization the West itself created and perpetuated solely to place the Brotherhood back in power. This gambit is perhaps best exposed with the rise and fall of another Western-backed proxy, Egypt’s Mohamed ElBaradei. 
Those who “hate” most… 
In fact, the more unreasonable and frothing one’s anti-American, anti-Israeli rhetoric becomes, the more likely they are in fact working directly with the West and using such rhetoric as a smoke screen. Mohamed ElBaradei, for example, attempted to ride the wave of anti-Western sentiment by regularly pointing out the odds he was at with America over Iraq and Iran. Israel and the US in turn accused him of being an “Iranian” agent, and ElBaradei would regularly threaten to make war with Israel, should he be elected president of Egypt. We will see just how absurd this entire charade really is. 
Photo: From left to right, ICG members Shlomo Ben-Ami, Stanley Fischer, Shimon Peres, and Mohamed ElBaradei. Despite claims that Mohomed ElBaradei is “anti-Israeli” or “anti-West,” it is a documented fact that he is indeed an agent of the Wall Street-London corporate-fascist global oligarchy, and a member of the International Crisis Group which includes several current and former senior Israeli officials.
In reality, ElBaradei sits as a trustee of a US corporate-financier funded think-tank, the International Crisis Group (ICG) along side convicted criminal and billionaire Wall Street speculator, George Soros, geopolitical adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, suspected financial criminal Lawrence “Larry” Summers, and Neo-Conservative Richard Armitage. Additionally, sitting around the same table with ElBaradei is the President of Israel, Shimon Peres, Stanley Fischer who serves as governor of the Bank of Israel, and former-Foreign Minister of Israel Shlomo Ben-Ami.
Beyond even this evidence, and before the “Arab Spring” even unfolded, another US corporate-financier funded think-tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, pointed out the necessity of manipulating public perception to maneuver client regimes into power. In a March 2010 article titled, “Is ElBaradei Egypt’s Hero?” published in CFR’s “Foreign Affairs,” it stated:
“Further, Egypt’s close relationship with the United States has become a critical and negative factor in Egyptian politics. The opposition has used these ties to delegitimize the regime, while the government has engaged in its own displays of anti-Americanism to insulate itself from such charges. If ElBaradei actually has a reasonable chance of fostering political reform in Egypt, then U.S. policymakers would best serve his cause by not acting strongly.” 
Clearly, both Western and Israeli press not only refrained from “acting strongly,” they feigned immense displeasure at ElBaradei’s rise in Egyptian politics, while simultaneously showering his enemies and opponents with support to taint them in the eyes of an emotional, and apparently easily manipulated global public. 
In this light it is hard to take ElBaradei’s feigned anti-Western sentiments as anything more than an absolute coordinated deception, to mask the fact that he indeed is a direct representative of these very insidious manipulators. Likewise the Muslim Brotherhood is playing a double game, capitalizing on carefully cultivated hatred verses America and Israel, while in reality leading sectarian extremists toward fulfilling rather than balking Western machinations. Not only is this apparent in the propaganda game played by both the Brotherhood and their counterparts in Washington, London, Doha, and Tel Aviv, but demonstratively as the Brotherhood’s agenda now overtly converges with that of the US and Israel verses Syria, as stated would happen in 2007 by Seymour Hersh. 
It seems almost unimaginable that any Arab, regardless of their opinion of Iran, Syria, or Hezbollah in Lebanon, could believe that eliminating this countervailing force vis-a-vis the West and Israel will be to their advantage, especially as it becomes clear their “new” “Arab Spring-installed” leaders are in fact working with, not against Western hegemonic expansion across the Arab World.
Arab Spring Brings Western Client Regimes. 
In addition to the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise in Egypt and Syria, in Tunisia serving Western interests is the recently installed Moncef Marzouki, formally of the Tunisian League for Human Rights, a US National Endowment for Democracy and George Soros Open Society-funded International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) member organization. Marzouki, who spent two decades in exile in Paris, France, was also founder and head of the Arab Commission for Human Rights, a collaborating institution with the US NED World Movement for Democracy (WMD) including for a “Conference on Human Rights Activists in Exile” and a participant in the WMD “third assembly” alongside Marzouki’s Tunisian League for Human Rights,sponsored by NED, Soros’ Open Society, and USAID.
In neighboring Libya, Marzouki’s counterpart, NATO-installed Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib is listedas a “Professor and Chairman” of the Petroleum Institute, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE and sponsored byBritish Petroleum (BP), Shell, France’s Total, the Japan Oil Development Company, and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Both Marzouki of Tunsia and el-Keib of Libya have vocally supported Western efforts at regime change in Syria, with Libya additionally supplying cash, weapons, and fighters drawn from the US State Department-listed terror organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).
Clearly with regime change on the table since the first Gulf War during the 1990’s, specific calls for regime change as early as 2002, and an articulated conspiracy to use sectarian militants to overthrow Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon and in turn, undermine and destabilize Iran, on record since 2007, all hinged on the creation of a front of Western client-regimes across the Arab World. The US-engineered “Arab Spring” has demonstratively created such a front, which in turn has demonstratively contributed to the goal of isolating, undermining, and violently overthrowing Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. 
For the Arab World, it should be clear that the “enemy of my enemy” is most certainly not “my friend,” especially when that “enemy” is the result of an artificial strategy of tension created by those posing as “allies.” Sunni Muslims share a common enemy not only with their Shi’ia neighbors, but with all peoples, races, and religions from Africa to Asia. That enemy is Anglo-American imperialism which has perpetuated itself for centuries by nothing else other than its ability to divide, destroy, and conquer nations pitted against nations, north verses south, one religion verses another, one tribe against another. This is how they subjugated huge swaths of Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, and this is exactly how they are now conquering the Arab World. 
Tony Cartalucci Blogs at Land Destroyer

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Why The Assange Case Is Important

John Pilger
May 30, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — On 30 May, Britain’s Supreme Court turned down the final appeal of Julian Assange against his extradition to Sweden. In an unprecedented move, the court gave the defence team of the WikiLeaks editor permission to ‘re-apply’ to the court in two weeks’ time. On the eve of the judgement, Sweden’s leading morning newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, known as DN, interviewed investigative journalist John Pilger, who has closely followed the Assange case. The following is the complete text of the interview, of which only a fraction was published in Sweden.
DN Julian Assange has been fighting extradition to Sweden at a number of British courts. Why do you think it is important he wins?
JP Because the attempt to extradite Assange is unjust and political. I have read almost every scrap of evidence in this case and it’s clear, in terms of natural justice, that no crime was committed. The case would not have got this far had it not been for the intervention of Claes Borgstrom, a politician who saw an opportunity when the Stockholm prosecutor threw out almost all the police allegations. Borgstrom was then in the middle of an election campaign. When asked why the case was proceeding when both women had said that the sex had been consensual with Assange, he replied, “Ah, but they’re not lawyers.” If the Supreme Court in London rejects Assange’s appeal, the one hope is the independence of the Swedish courts. However, as the London Independent has revealed, Sweden and the US have already begun talks on Assange’s “temporary surrender” to the US — where he faces concocted charges and the prospect of unlimited solitary confinement. And for what? For telling epic truths. Every Swede who cares about justice and the reputation of his or her society should care deeply about this. 
DN You have said that Julian Assange’s human rights have been breached. In what way?
JP One of the most fundamental human rights — that of the presumption of innocence — has been been breached over and over again in Assange’s case. Convicted of no crime, he has been the object of character assassination –perfidious and inhuman — and highly political smear, of which the evidence is voluminous. This is what Britain’s most distinguished and experienced human rights lawyer, Gareth Peirce, has written: “Given the extent of the public discussion, frequently on the basis of entirely false assumptions … it is very hard to preserve for [Assange] any presumption of innocence. He has now hanging over him not one but two Damocles swords of potential extradition to two different jurisdictions in turn for two different alleged crimes, neither of which are crimes in his own country. [and] his personal safety has become at risk in circumstances that are highly politically charged.” 
DN You, as well as Julian Assange, don’t seem to have confidence in the Swedish judicial system. Why not? 
JP It’s difficult to have confidence in a prosecutorial system that is so contradictory and flagrantly uses the media to achieve its aims. Whether or not the Supreme Court in London find for or against Assange, the fact that this case has reached the highest court in this country is itself a condemnation of the competence and motivation of those so eager to incarcerate him, having already had plenty of opportunity to to question him properly. What a waste all this is. 
DN If Julian Assange is innocent, as he says, would it not have been better if he had gone to Stockholm to sort things out? 
JP Assange tried to “sort things out”, as you put it. Right from the beginning, he offered repeatedly to be questioned — first in Sweden, then in the UK. He sought and received permission to leave Sweden – which makes a nonsense of the claim that he has avoided questioning. The prosecutor who has since pursued him has refused to give any explanation about why she will not use standard procedures, which Sweden and the UK have signed up to.
DN IF the Supreme Court decides that Julain Assange can be extradited to Sweden, what consequenses/risks do you see for him? 
JP First, I would draw on my regard for ordinary Swedes’ sense of fairness and justice. Alas, overshadowing that is a Swedish elite that has forged sinister and obsequious links with Washington. These powerful people have every reason to see Julian Assange as a threat. For one thing, their vaunted reputation for neutrality has been repeatedly exposed as a sham in US cables leaked by WikiLeaks. One cable revealed that “the extent of [Sweden’s military and intelligence] co-operation [with Nato] is not widely known” and unless kept secret “would open up the government to domestic criticism”. Another was entitled “WikiLeaks puts neutrality in the dustbin of history”. Don’t the Swedish public have a right to know what the powerful say in private in their name?

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Making sense out of Syria

The conflicting stories coming out of Western sources over Houla get more suspicious by the day. Given that the West in general, and the FUKUS Axis in particular, has tried to pull false flag events before, and given that they are itching to find an excuse to enter Syria, no surprises. What is going on? A disgusting manipulation, using kids.
The west (FUKUS Three and NATO) and its terrorist minions in Syria is perpetrating the most appalling and shocking barefaced attempt to dupe the world’s governments and people in an attempt to create a casus belli in Syria.
For a start, let us use common sense on the Syria story because it is a story that could easily start a major international conflagration and before we start, let us remember as we discuss who did what that the murder of innocent civilians and in particular children, goes against the grain of common human civilization and violates any norms of decency. These children are the victims and they should be in the forefront of our memories…but let us apportion the blame to who committed the act and not wrongly blame other innocent parties for the crime.
Regular armies do not commit massacres, mercenaries and terrorists do 
Massacring children also goes against the grain of what regular armies do, anywhere on the planet. It is by now evident that the “Houla massacre” was not caused by long-range artillery shelling of civilian homes because the bodies are intact and appear to have been killed by knife wounds, close-range shooting or RPG fire. This does not however go against the grain of mercenaries or special forces, whose trademark is slitting throats, as we saw in Libya, where the FUKUS Axis special forces and their terrorist friends ran amok slicing breasts off women, raping girls, impaling boys with sticks, torturing old men and women and murdering, torching and looting. We have seen it before.
They have tried it before in Syria
And given that many of the so-called “Syrian” terrorists are in fact these same Libyan terrorists, we now start to read the book and the story with other eyes. It is patently obvious to those of us with international contacts that the FUKUS Axis is itching to get its claws into Syria and will try to do so first by creating false flag events, as it did in Libya, as it did in Iraq, as it did in Kosovo. The chemical weapons attack (chemical weapons allegedly smuggled to the Turkish border from Libya) outed by me in this column several months ago before they had the chance to carry it out did not materialize, and now we have the massacre of Houla just as Kofi Annan appears, on cue to start a massive media campaign.
Now when Russia told the story as it is, there were at first howls of derision from some of the same media outlets, but now silence as they see their story failed. So what next? An Iraq-style attack outside the UNSC, hoping that public opinion would carry them through on the backs of the children they massacred or had massacred?? Is this after all another western mail-order massacre? If so, how callous and evil can you get?
The facts
Firstly, regular armies do not go around slaughtering children. Secondly, there is plenty of evidence of excellent relations between the Syrian Armed Forces and the children they protect from this western-backed scourge. Thirdly, we saw what the western-backed terrorists are capable of in Libya.
Fourthly, the immediate allegations were of sustained artillery barrages. Why then are the bodies intact? Why has the story now changed? Fifthly, would anyone put it past the terrorists to dress up in Syrian Army uniforms and try to incriminate the authorities? Sixth, what about the claims by the Syrian government that it had nothing to do with the massacre, after admitting there were terrorist elements in the area? Why are they ignored?
Point number seven: How can the west argue that “even if the massacre was not committed by the Syrian government, the fact is that it failed to protect the people” a day after it accused the said government of the same? Point number eight: Who is financing and arming the Syrian terrorists?
Point number nine: Who profits? Are the Syrian Armed Forces going to massacre children under the noses of the UN inspectors? Would the Syrian Armed Forces or any Army formation do such a thing? Of course not. It was a staged mail-order massacre, ordered by the west, perpetrated by their terrorists in Syria and peddled on their media outlets. What a cynical and disgusting manipulation of the truth, using tens of children as victims.
Those who have tried to make footage from this should be disgusted with themselves and may their souls burn in Hell for the rest of eternity. How disgusting, how despicable and how shameful, Messrs. Cameron, Hague, Clinton, Obama and Hollande.
Eye-witness accounts tell a different story
“Large numbers of militia from Ar-Rastan attacked on May 25 at 20.00 two villages in the Province of Homs – Tal-Dow and Al-Hula. Now, the village Tal-Dow under the control of government forces. There, as well as in Al-Hula, militants killed young children. In particular, in the same family killed three children – two boys and a girl, the eldest of whom went to the fifth grade. Their mother was raped and shot. All killed in his house shot in the head”.
“Apparently, the purpose of this operation was the adoption of UN Security Council resolution for the start of NATO military operations in Syria. To do this, the international community planned to provide eerie footage of dead children allegedly killed by aircraft and artillery Bashar Assad”.
To exert pressure on public opinion and changes in the right direction positions of Russia and China have been prepared in advance texts and subtitles in Russian and Chinese languages, to read: “Syria – Homs – the city of Hula. A terrible massacre perpetrated by the Syrian regime of force against civilians in the town of Hula. Dozens of victims and their number is growing, mainly women and children were brutally killed by indiscriminate bombing CITY”.
“Coordinated terrorist attack squads began the evening of May 25, in the dark. Filming of the corpses of children were made in daylight on May 26, while the titles to these videos in Russian dating back May 25”.
Grandmother of the Al-Hula (ANNA News Agency):
“We here took place the massacre, and we want to see Al Jazeera took off that there has actually happened, not what they passed by unknown people.
Block positions were attacked by police. All the soldiers were killed, then they attacked our villages, torched a hospital in Al-Hula.
Bandits killed our pharmacy next to the pharmacy for a fact that he has treated a wounded soldier.
Nobody but the army will not help us. In anticipation of the arrival of Kofi Annan, went escalation of violence, and increased the number of terrorist attacks. Our children can not go to school, we can not go to our fields, our gardens and on the job.
That was yesterday – it’s unbelievable cruelty. Thousands of militants from the Al – Rastan attacked the town, killed all the soldiers at checkpoints. Burned the city hospital.”
Syed Abdul Wahab, a resident of Tal – Dau (ANNA News Agency):
“The terrorists who want to come here ostensibly free to take power. We have always lived in peace. We cannot leave the house. Twenty-six hours we were hiding in their homes because of the bandits.
Grandma to UN monitors:
” They say airstrikes have been!. Lies, lies, lies. Liars, all of them come from Ar-Rastan.”
A local woman:
” We are from the villages of Al-Gaunt, which is located next to the Al-Hul. Nine terrorists killed my relatives in the field. The bandits set fire to our houses and we fled into the Al Gore, but there were bandits who kill us, we have a martyr, who was burned alive.
Why, by what law did they die? Is this Islam? Is this justice? All this from Hammad from Qatar. Hamad (emir of Qatar) is you now satisfied?”
Marinella Correggia, ecopeace activist and journalist
Marinella Correggia sent her evidence to Pravda.Ru.
1. Interview with RT: “The children don’t seem to be the victims of shelling or artillery, but of direct killings from a short distance,” she told RT. “Therefore it doesn’t seem possible to make a connection between the accusations by the opposition that the army attacked Houla with heavy weapons and the way the children were murdered.”
“One of the videos on YouTube in Spanish says ‘Assad bands killed children in Hula,’ but in fact shows images of children in houses that SANA and Press TV say were killed by armed groups of the opposition in other villages.”
2. The videos in youtube concerning the martyred children show different locations (http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=7B2_iY9ALpg&feature=endscreen) and
One wonders where those children were killed and where they are.
3. Here another video shows children and says “the hands were tied before the execution”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DhJoeorfDY&feature=related. Very strange. Nonsense to tie the hands before killing them! So it means the hands were tied after: therefore those showing the children fabricated it…
Comment: So the hands are tied and they die in massive shelling? They tried this nonsense before elsewhere in other mail-order massacres
4. I don’t see any videos showing true bombings and artillery firing. Typing on Google “Hula massacre” one can see a video (on Hula?) showing men in the street who run after the sound of firings, leaving some bodies on the ground, but some of the running men have Syrian official flag not the one of the opposition…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o84kc_Y1Gfo
Source: Marinella Correggia
Italian Eco-peace activist and journalist
Once again, another western lie, a cynical and revolting lie, using the deaths of children as a pretext for invasion. Ladies and gentlemen, it does not get much lower than that. Who is going to stop the FUKUS-NATO onslaught against humanity?
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY
Pravda.Ru

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