Tuesday, 31 January 2006
December 21, 2005
Paper presented at the Perdana Global Peace Forum 2005
Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
14-17 December 2005
VIDEO WEBCAST OF Michel Chossudovsky's Presentation
The debate regarding war and Militarization raises the broad issue of national sovereignty.
I am particularly gratified as an economist to participate in this important event in the nation's capital, in Malaysia, a country which at a critical moment in its history, namely at the height of the 1997 Asian crisis, took the courageous stance of confronting the Washington Consensus and the international financial establishment.
Under the helm of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, carefully designed financial measures were taken to avoid the collapse of the ringgit, thereby foreclosing a scenario of economic dislocation, bankruptcy and impoverishment, as occurred in Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea.
These 1997 measures forcefully confronted the mainstream neoliberal agenda. In retrospect, this was a momentous decision, which will go down in the nation's history. It constitutes the basis for an understanding of what is best described as "economic and financial warfare".
Today we have come to understand that war and macro-economic manipulation are intertwined. Militarization supports economic warfare. Conversely, what is referred to euphemistically as "economic reform" supports a military and geopolitical agenda.
The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. In the largest display of military might since the Second World War, the United States and its indefectible British ally have embarked upon a military adventure, which threatens the future of humanity.
An understanding of the underlying historical background is crucial. This war agenda is not the product of a distinct neo-conservative project. From the outset of the Cold War Era, there is a consistent thread, a continuum in US military doctrine, from the "Truman doctrine" to Bush's "war on terrorism".
Foreign Policy adviser George F. Kennan had outlined in a 1948 State Department brief what was later described as the "'Truman doctrine."
What this 1948 document conveys is continuity in US foreign policy, from "Containment" to "Pre-emptive" War. In this regard, the Neo-conservative agenda under the Bush administration should be viewed as the culmination of a post World War II foreign policy framework. The latter has been marked by a succession of US sponsored wars and military interventions in all major regions of the World. From Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan, to the CIA sponsored military coups in Latin America and Southeast Asia, the objective has been to ensure US military hegemony and global economic domination, as initially formulated under the "Truman Doctrine" at the outset of the Cold War.
Despite significant policy differences, successive Democratic and Republican administrations, from Harry Truman to George W. Bush have carried out this global military agenda.
Moreover, Kennan's writings pointed to the formation of an Anglo-American alliance, which currently characterizes the close relationship between Washington and London. This alliance responds to powerful economic interests in the oil industry, defense and international banking. It is, in many regards, an Anglo-American extension of the British Empire, which was officially disbanded in the wake of the Second World War.
The Truman doctrine also points to the inclusion of Canada in the Anglo-American military axis. Moreover, Kennan had also underscored the importance of preventing the development of a continental European power that could compete with the US.
With regard to Asia, including China and India, Kennan hinted to the importance of articulating a military solution:
"The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better"
Weakening the United Nations
From the outset of the Cold War, the objective was to undermine and ultimately destroy the Soviet Union. Washington was also intent upon weakening the United Nations as a genuine international body, an objective that has largely been achieved under the Bush administration:
The initial build-up of the UN in U.S. public opinion was so tremendous that it is possibly true, as is frequently alleged, that we have no choice but to make it the cornerstone of our policy in this post-hostilities period. Occasionally, it has served a useful purpose. But by and large it has created more problems than it has solved, and has led to a considerable dispersal of our diplomatic effort. And in our efforts to use the UN majority for major political purposes we are playing with a dangerous weapon which may some day turn against us. This is a situation, which warrants most careful study and foresight on our part. (Kennan 1948)
The Post Cold War
The wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq are part of the same "military road-map". Confirmed by military documents, the US war agenda not only targets Iran, Syria and North Korea, but also its former Cold War enemies: Russia and China.
We are dealing with a global military agenda characterized by various forms of intervention. The latter include covert military and intelligence operations in support of domestic paramilitary groups and so-called liberation armies. These operations are largely devised with a view to creating social, ethnic and political divisions within national societies, ultimately contributing to the destruction of entire countries, as occurred in Yugoslavia.
Meanwhile, the US sponsored "democratization" agenda consists in intervening in countries' internal affairs, often with a view to destabilizing national governments and imposing sweeping "free market" reforms. In this regard, the illegal invasion of Haiti following a US sponsored military coup, which was also supported by Canada and France, is an integral part of Washington's global military agenda.
War and Globalization
War and globalization are intimately related processes. Military and intelligence operations support the opening up of new economic frontiers and the remolding of national economies. The powers of Wall Street, the Anglo-American oil giants and the U.S.-U.K. defense contractors are indelibly behind this process.
Ultimately, the purpose of America's "War on Terrorism" is to transform sovereign nations into open territories (or "free trade areas"), both through "military means", as well as through the imposition of deadly macro-economic reforms. The latter, implemented under IMF-World Bank-WTO auspices often serve to undermine and destroy national economies, precipitating millions of people into abject poverty. In turn, so-called "reconstruction programs" imposed by donors and creditors in the wake of the war contribute to a spiraling external debt.
In a twisted logic, "war reparations" financed by external debt are being paid to the US invader. Billions of dollars are channeled to Western construction conglomerates such as Bechtel and Halliburton, both of which have close links to the US Department of Defense.
Iran and Syria: Next Phase of the War
Confirmed in national security documents, a central objective of this war is the conquest and confiscation of Middle East oil wealth. In this regard, the broader Middle East - Central Asian region encompasses some 70 percent of the World?s oil and gas resources, more than thirty times those of the US.
The Anglo-American oil giants in alliance with Wall Street and the military-industrial complex are indelibly behind America's war agenda.
The next phase of this war is Iran and Syria, which have already been identified as targets.
Iran is the country with the third largest oil and gas reserves (10%) after Saudi Arabia (25%) and Iraq (11%). The US is seeking with the complicity of the UN Security Council to establish a pretext for the bombing of Iran, which is presented as a threat to world peace.
Israel is slated to play a key role in launching the military operation against Iran.
This operation is in a state of readiness. Were it to occur, the war would extend to the entire Middle Eastern region and beyond. At the same token, Israel would become an official member of the Anglo-American military axis.
In early 2005, several high profile military exercises were conducted in the Eastern Mediterranean, involving military deployments and the testing of weapons systems. Military planning meetings were held between the US, Israel and Turkey. There has been a shuttle of military and government officials between Washington, Tel Aviv and Ankara.
Intense diplomatic exchanges have been carried out at the international level with a view to securing areas of military cooperation and/or support for a US-Israeli led military operation directed against Iran. The UN Security Council resolution regarding Iran's nuclear program provides a pretext, which the US plans to use to justify military intervention.
Of significance is a November 2004 military cooperation agreement between NATO and Israel. A few months later, Israel was involved for the first time in military exercises with NATO, which also included several Arab countries.
A massive buildup in military hardware has occurred in preparation for a possible attack on Iran. Israel has taken delivery from the US of some 5,000 "smart air launched weapons" including some 500 BLU 109 'bunker-buster bombs.
Nuclear Weapons in Conventional War Theaters: "Safe for Civilians"
An attack on Iran using tactical nuclear weapons (mini-nukes) has also been contemplated. Tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity between one third to 6 times a Hiroshima bomb have been cleared for use in conventional war theaters. .
The mini-nukes have been redefined as a defensive weapon, which is "safe for civilians" "because the explosion is underground". The Senate in a December 2003 decision, has authorized their use in conventional war theaters
Air strikes against Iran could contribute to extending the war to the broader Middle East Central Asian region. Tehran has confirmed that it would retaliate if attacked, in the form of ballistic missile strikes directed against Israel (CNN, 8 Feb 2005). These attacks could also target US military facilities in the Persian Gulf, which would immediately lead us into a scenario of military escalation and all out war.
In recent developments, Israel's armed forces have been ordered by Prime minister Ariel Sharon, "to be ready by the end of March  for possible strikes" on Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities (The Sunday Times, 11 December 2005).
Meanwhile, Iran is building its air defense capabilities. Russia has recently announced that it plans to sell to Iran some 29 Tor M-1 anti-missile systems.
The planned attack on Iran should also be understood in relation to the timely withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon, which has opened up a new space, for the deployment of Israeli forces. The participation of Turkey in the US-UK-Israeli military operation is also a factor, following an agreement reached between Ankara and Tel Aviv.
Global Military Agenda
The war in the Middle East is part of a carefully defined military agenda. Formulated in September 2000, a few months before the accession of George W. Bush to the White House, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) published its blueprint for global domination under the title: "Rebuilding America's Defenses."
The PNAC is a neo-conservative think tank linked to the Defense-Intelligence establishment, the Republican Party and the powerful Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which plays a behind-the-scenes role in the formulation of US foreign policy.
The PNAC's declared objectives are:
defend the American homeland;
fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars;
perform the "constabulary" duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions;
transform U.S. forces to exploit the "revolution in military affairs;"
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who now heads the World Bank, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, had commissioned the PNAC blueprint prior to the 2000 presidential elections.
The PNAC outlines a roadmap of conquest. It calls for "the direct imposition of U.S. "forward bases" throughout Central Asia and the Middle East "with a view to ensuring economic domination of the world, while strangling any potential "rival" or any viable alternative to America's vision of a 'free market' economy" (See Chris Floyd, Bush's Crusade for Empire, Global Outlook, No. 6, 2003)
Distinct from theater wars, the so-called "constabulary functions" imply a form of global military policing using various instruments of military intervention including punitive bombings, covert intelligence operations and the sending in of US Special Forces, etc.
New Weapons Systems
The PNAC's "revolution in military affairs" (meaning the development of new weapons systems) consists of the "Strategic Defense Initiative", the concurrent weaponization of space and the development of a new generation of nuclear weapons:
"While it has long been a U.S. policy to use nuclear weapons in order to respond to a nuclear attack... the new policy allows the U.S. to use nuclear weapons against states that do not have nuclear weapons and for a host of new reasons, including rapid termination of a conflict on U.S. terms or to ensure success of the U.S. forces."
statement of Jorge Hirsh, see Global Research
The National Defense Strategy
Since 2000, the basic premises of the PNAC have been reasserted in a number of national security documents. In March 2005, The Pentagon released its National Defense Strategy document. While the latter follows in the footsteps of the administration's "preemptive" war doctrine as detailed by the Project of the New American Century (PNAC), it goes much further in setting the contours of Washington's global military agenda.
It calls for a more "proactive" approach to warfare, beyond the weaker notion of "preemptive" and defensive actions, where military operations are launched against a "declared enemy" with a view to "preserving the peace" and "defending America".
The document explicitly acknowledges America's global military mandate, beyond regional war theaters. This mandate also includes military operations directed against countries, which are not hostile to America, but which are considered strategic from the point of view of US interests. Whereas the preemptive war doctrine envisages military action as a means of "self defense" against countries categorized as "hostile" to the US, the new Pentagon doctrine envisages the possibility of military intervention against countries, which do not visibly constitute a threat to the security of the American homeland.
The document outlines "four major threats to the United States":
- "Traditional challenges" are posed by well known and recognized military powers using "well-understood' forms of war."
- "Irregular threats" come from forces using so-called "unconventional' methods to counter stronger power."
- "The catastrophic challenge" pertains to the "use of weapons of mass destruction by an enemy."
-"Disruptive challenges" pertains to "potential adversaries utilizing new technologies to counter U.S. advantages."
(See Michel Chossudovsky, From "Rogue States" to "Unstable Nations": America's New National Security Doctrine)
Mammoth Defense Budget
This military blueprint outlines the contours of a project of global military hegemony. It is predicated on a massive increase in defense spending. The underlying objective consists in overshadowing, in terms of defense outlays, any other nation on earth including America's European allies.
The United States military this year  will be larger than the next 25 countries put together.... So, you know, essentially if spending patterns hold, which is to say European defense spending is declining, American is rising, in about five years, the United States will be spending more money than the rest of the world put together on defense." (Council on Foreign Relations, Annual Corporate conference, 10 March 2005).
The defense budget estimated at 401.7 billion dollars (FY 2005) does not include the "emergency supplemental defense budget" earmarked for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither is the DoD participation's in the "war on terrorism" included in the defense budget. Nor does it include another 40 billion dollars allocated to America's intelligence apparatus, headed by John Negroponte. Approximately 80 percent of the intelligence budget, including America's system of spy satellite's, directly supports US military initiatives.
Extensive War Crimes
The economic and strategic objectives behind this war are rarely mentioned. This military project is presented to public opinion as part of the "global war on terrorism" in which Al Qaeda is unequivocally upheld, as the aggressor. The crimes of war including the torture of civilians are casually presented as "collateral damage".
In this regard, the military occupation of Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians (according to the Lancet, John Hopkins School of Public health study).
The routine application of torture, the setting up of numerous concentration camps is now fully documented, not to mention the kidnapping of civilians including children, who are dispatched to the Guantanamo concentration camp in Cuba.
Killing the messenger: US forces have also targeted and killing of independent journalists in Iraq, who do not report the lies and fabrications of the Anglo-American military axis.
While the international community focuses on Iran and North Korea's nuclear program, the evidence suggests that the US led military coalition is routinely using prohibited weapons. It also plans to use nuclear weapons in the next phase of this war.
Napalm and white phosphorous bombs have been used in Iraq against civilians in densely populated urban areas. The Western media (specifically the BBC) has attempted to camouflage the use of these weapons systems.
Torture is an official US government policy. The orders to torture POWs in Iraq and Guantanamo emanated from the highest levels of the Bush Administration. Prison guards, interrogators in the US military and the CIA were responding to precise guidelines.
The US President had directly authorized the use of torture including "sleep deprivation, stress positions, the use of military dogs, and sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc."
The secret CIA torture chambers and detention centers set up in a number of countries including the European Union are consistent with the Pentagon's guidelines on the use of torture.
While torture is now accepted by the Bush administration, the controversy in the US pertains not to torture per se but to whether the information obtained from suspected terrorists through the application of torture can be used in a court of law to indict an alleged "terrorist".
The Criminalization of Justice
Despite the public outrage, the tendency is towards acquiescence and acceptance of the US torture agenda. The legitimacy of the war criminals in high office, who formally ordered these crimes is not questioned. "Legal opinions" drafted on the behest of war criminals are being used to "legalize" torture and redefine Justice.
War criminals legitimately occupy positions of authority, which enable them to redefine the contours of the judicial system and the process of law enforcement.
It provides them with a mandate to decide "who are the criminals", when in fact they are the criminals.
In other words, what we are dealing with is the criminalization of the State and its various institutions including the criminalization of Justice.
The truth is twisted and turned upside down. State propaganda builds a consensus within the Executive, the US Congress and the Military. This consensus is then ratified by the Judicial, through a process of outright legal manipulation.
Media disinformation instills within the consciousness of Americans that somehow the use of torture, the existence of concentration camps, extra judicial assassinations of "rogue enemies", all of which are happening, are "under certain circumstances" "acceptable" and perfectly "legal" because the Justice department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), says "it's legit".
The existence of an illusive outside enemy who is threatening the Homeland is the cornerstone of the propaganda campaign. The latter consists in galvanizing US citizens not only in favor of "the war on terrorism", but in support of a social order which upholds the legitimate use of torture, directed against "terrorists", as a justifiable means to preserving human rights, democracy, freedom, etc.
Racism and the Anti-Terrorist Legislation
Meanwhile, a wave of racism and xenophobia directed against Muslims has been unleashed throughout the western world. The arbitrary arrests and detention of Muslims on trumped up charges has become common practice.
"Anti-terrorist" legislation has been adopted in a number of western countries which allows for the arrest and detention without charge of alleged terrorists, including leaders of so-called 'domestic radical groups" (meaning antiwar activists), who are now categorized as a threat to Homeland Security.
While "expressing concern" regarding human rights violations, the so-called international community has nonetheless accepted the legitimacy of "the war on terrorism". Moreover, in the wake of 9/11, a significant section of the antiwar movement, while condemning the US-led war, continues to uphold the legitimacy of the "war on terrorism".
In turn, the UN has endorsed the "war on terrorism". Under the disguise of peacekeeping, the United Nations, in violation of its own charter and the Nuremberg jurisprudence on war crimes, is collaborating with the US led military coalition.
The underlying objective of the media disinformation campaign is provide a humanitarian mandate to the US led war, while galvanizing public opinion in support of America's "war on terrorism" agenda. Racism and Xenophobia, including the arbitrary arrest of alleged terrorists, are an integral part war propaganda.
One of the main objectives of war propaganda is to "fabricate an enemy". As anti-war sentiment grows and the political legitimacy the Bush Administration falters, doubts regarding the existence of this illusive "outside enemy" must be dispelled.
Propaganda purports not only to drown the truth but also to "kill the evidence" on how this "outside enemy", namely Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda was fabricated and transformed into "Enemy Number One". The entire National Security doctrine centers on the existence of an "outside enemy" which is threatening the Homeland.
Possessing a "just cause" for waging war is central to the Bush administration's justification for invading and occupying both Afghanistan and Iraq.
The "war on terrorism" and the notion of "preemption" are predicated on the right to "self defense." They define "when it is permissible to wage war": jus ad bellum.
Jus ad bellum also serves to build a consensus within the Armed Forces command structures. It also serves to convince the troops that they are fighting for a "just cause". More generally, the Just War theory in its modern day version is an integral part of war propaganda and media disinformation, applied to gain public support for a war agenda.
In October 2001, when Afghanistan was bombed and later invaded, several "Progressives" largely upheld the Administration's "just cause" military doctrine. The "self-defense" argument was accepted at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11, without examining the fact that the US administration had not only supported the "Islamic terror network", it was also instrumental in the installation of the Taliban government in 1995-96. Moreover, the invasion of Afghanistan had been planned well in advance of September 11, 2001.
In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement against the illegal invasion of Afghanistan was isolated. The trade unions, civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Media disinformation prevailed. People were misled as to the nature and objectives underlying the invasion of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were identified as the prime suspects of the 9/11 attacks, without a shred of evidence and without addressing the historical relationship between Al Qaeda and the US intelligence apparatus. In this regard, understanding 9/11 is crucial in formulating a consistent antiwar position.
The "war on terrorism" is the cornerstone of the America's propaganda and media disinformation campaign. In an utterly absurd logic Al Qaeda is presented as an upcoming super-power, capable of waging a nuclear attack against the US.
The "War on Terrorism"
Amply documented, the war on terrorism is a fabrication. Al Qaeda is a US sponsored "intelligence asset". Saudi-born Osama bin Laden is a creation of U.S. foreign policy. He was recruited during the Soviet-Afghan war "ironically under the auspices of the CIA, to fight Soviet invaders." During the Cold War, but also in its aftermath, the CIA - using Pakistan's Military Intelligence apparatus as a go-between - played a key role in training the Mujahideen.
With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan's ISI [Inter Services Intelligence], who wanted to turn the Afghan Jihad into a global war waged by all Muslim states against the Soviet Union, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan's fight between 1982 and 1992. Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by the Afghan jihad. (Ahmed Rashid, The Taliban: Exporting Extremism, Foreign Affairs, November-December 1999)
Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have supported the so-called "Militant Islamic Base", including Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda, as part of their military-intelligence agenda. The links between Osama bin Laden and the Clinton administration in Bosnia and Kosovo are well documented by congressional records.
Ironically, the U.S. Administration's undercover military-intelligence operations in Bosnia were fully documented by the Republican Party. A lengthy Congressional report by the Republican Party Committee (RPC) published in 1997 accused the Clinton administration of having "helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base" leading to the recruitment, through the so-called "Militant Islamic Network", of thousands of Mujahideen from the Muslim world:
The Clinton administration's 'hands-on' involvement with the Islamic network's arms pipeline included inspections of missiles from Iran by U.S. government officials... the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a Sudan-based, phoney humanitarian organization ? has been a major link in the arms pipeline to Bosnia. TWRA is believed to be connected with such fixtures of the Islamic terror network as Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (the convicted mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing) and Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi émigré believed to bankroll numerous militant groups. (Congressional Press Release, Republican, Party Committee (RPC), U.S. Congress, Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, Washington DC, 16 January 1997.
The original document is on the website of the U.S. Senate Republican Party Committee (Senator Larry Craig)
The CIA has created it own terrorist organizations including "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia" which is led by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi.
And at the same time, it creates its own terrorist warnings concerning the terrorist organizations, which it has itself created. In turn, it has developed a cohesive multibillion dollar counterterrorism program "to go after" these terrorist organizations.
Counterterrorism and war propaganda are intertwined. The propaganda apparatus feeds disinformation into the news chain. The terror warnings must appear to be "genuine". The objective is to present the terror groups as "enemies of America."
The underlying objective is to galvanize public opinion in support of America's war on terrorism" agenda.
The "war on terrorism" requires a humanitarian mandate. The war on terrorism is presented as a "Just War", which is to be fought on moral grounds "to redress a wrong suffered."
To reach its foreign policy objectives, the images of terrorism must remain vivid in the minds of the citizens, who are constantly reminded of the terrorist threat.
The propaganda campaign presents the portraits of the leaders behind the terror network. In other words, at the level of what constitutes an "advertising" campaign, "it gives a face to terror."
The propaganda campaign has been supported by an extensive fabrication of intelligence.
Revelations regarding the controversial Downing Street Memorandum and the forged Niger uranium dossier are but the tip of the iceberg.
Known and documented prior to the invasion of Iraq, the substance of Colin Powell's presentation to the UN Security Council was not only fabricated, it was actually based, in what constitutes a clear case of plagiarism, on a student's text which had been "lifted" (copy and paste) from the internet:
A close textual analysis of the British Intelligence report quoted by Colin Powell in his [February 5, 2003] UN Address suggests that its UK authors had little access to first-hand intelligence sources and instead based their work on academic papers, which they selectively distorted.
The authors of the dossier are members of Tony Blair's Press Relations Office at Whitehall. Britain's Secret Service (MI6), either was not consulted, or more likely, provided an assessment that did not fit in with the politicians' argument. In essence, spin was being sold off as intelligence.
The bulk of the 19-page document (pp.6-16) had been directly copied without acknowledgement from an article in last  September's Middle East Review of International Affairs entitled "Iraq's Security and Intelligence Network: A Guide and Analysis". The author of the piece is Ibrahim al-Marashi, a postgraduate student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He has confirmed to me that his permission was not sought by MI6; in fact, he didn't even know about the British document until I mentioned it to him.
The so-called "War on Terrorism" is a lie.
Amply documented, the pretext to wage this war is totally fabricated.
Realities have been turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards restoring 'democracy'.
Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping operations."
The derogation of civil liberties under the so-called "anti-terrorist legislation" is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties.
Meanwhile, the civilian economy is precipitated into crisis; expenditures on health and education are curtailed to finance the military-industrial complex and the police state.
Under the American Empire, millions of people around the world are being driven into abysmal poverty, and countries are transformed into open territories.
U.S. protectorates are installed with the blessing of the so-called "international community." "Interim governments" are formed. Political puppets designated by America's oil giants are casually endorsed by the United Nations, which increasingly performs the role of a rubber-stamp for the U.S. Administration.
Reversing the tide of war can not be limited to a critique of the US war agenda. Ultimately what is at stake is the legitimacy of the political and military actors and the economic power structures, which ultimately control the formulation, and direction of US foreign policy.
While the Bush administration implements a "war on terrorism", the evidence (including mountains of official documents) amply confirms that successive U.S. administrations have supported, abetted and harbored international terrorism.
This fact, in itself, must be suppressed because if it ever trickles down to the broader public, the legitimacy of the so-called "war on terrorism" collapses "like a deck of cards." And in the process, the legitimacy of the main actors behind this system would be threatened.
How does one effectively break the war and police state agendas? Essentially by refuting the "war on terrorism" which constitutes the very foundations of the US national security doctrine.
A war agenda is not disarmed through antiwar sentiment. One does not reverse the tide by asking President Bush: "please abide by the Geneva Convention" and the Nuremberg Charter. Ultimately a consistent antiwar agenda requires unseating the war criminals in high office as first step towards disarming the institutions and corporate structure of the New World Order.
To break the Inquisition, we must also break its propaganda, its fear and intimidation campaign, which galvanizes public opinion into accepting the "war on terrorism".
Michel Chossudovsky is the author of the international best seller "The Globalization of Poverty " published in eleven languages. He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization which hosts the critically acclaimed website: http://www.globalresearch.ca/ . He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.
His most recent book is entitled: America's "War on Terrorism", Global Research, 2005.
There is vast body of documentary evidence on the role of al Qaeda, There is growing evidence from a number of recent disclosures that the US sponsored intelligence apparatus is behind the terrorists.
1. Operation Able Danger
Official Pentagon documents reveal that the 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta and 3 other hijackers were under close surveillance as part of a secret Pentagon operation more than a year prior to 9/11.
These documents largely refute the official US government narrative as presented by the 9/11 Commission.
For the past four years, we have been told by the administration of George Bush and by the official 9/11 Commission report of Chairman Thomas Kean and Executive Director Philip Zelikow that Egyptian extremist Mohammed Atta was the key player in the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. Atta, according to the Kean report, was the "tactical leader of the 9/11 plot". He was the pilot who on that dreadful morning flew the first plane, American Airlines 11, into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York. It was Atta's face, on television and in newspapers across the world, that became the symbol of Islamic terrorism. And it was Atta's name - not the names of any of the 18 other hijackers allegedly lead by Atta on that day - that was cited by international security researchers. Atta was, as the Kean report stresses, "the tactical commander of the operation in the United States". According to both the Bush administration and the official 9/11 Commission report, he was working on the orders of Osama Bin Laden who, from remote Afghanistan, controlled the entire operation.
Now, almost exactly four years after 9/11, the facts appear to have been turned upside down. We now learn that Atta was also connected to a top secret operation of the Pentagon's Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the US. According to Army reserve Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Shaffer, a top secret Pentagon project code-named Able Danger had identified Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the attacks.
Able Danger was an 18-month highly classified operation tasked, according to Shaffer, with "developing targeting information for al-Qaida on a global scale", and used data-mining techniques to look for "patterns, associations, and linkages". He said he himself had first encountered the names of the four hijackers in mid-2000.
(see Daniele Ganser, Able Danger adds twist to 9/11, 9/11 Ringleader connected to secret Pentagon operation,
2. The Bali 2002 Bombing: Recent Disclosure
In a recent interview, former president of Indonesia Abdurrahman Wahid admitted that the Indonesian military and police played a complicit role in the 2002 Bali bombing.
Other reports point to links between Indonesian intelligence (BIN) and the alleged terrorist organization Jemiah Islami (JI).
Asked who he thought planted the second bomb, Mr Wahid said: "Maybe the police ... or the armed forces."
"The orders to do this or that came from within our armed forces, not from the fundamentalist people," he says.
The [Australian SBS's Dateline] program also claims a key figure behind the formation of terror group Jemaah Islamiah was an Indonesian spy.
Former terrorist Umar Abduh, who is now a researcher and writer, told Dateline Indonesian authorities had a hand in many terror groups.
"There is not a single Islamic group either in the movement or the political groups that is not controlled by (Indonesian) intelligence," he said. (see the Australian, 12 October 2005)
3. The Basra September 2005 British Covert Operation
Two British undercover "soldiers" wearing wigs and dressed in Arab clothing, were driving a car loaded with weapons and ammunition, towards the center of Basra.
The two SAS Special Forces agents were arrested by the Iraqi police authorities They were subsequently "rescued" by British forces, in a major military assault on the building where they were being detained:
"British forces used up to 10 tanks " supported by helicopters " to smash through the walls of the jail and free the two British servicemen."
The incident, which resulted in numerous civilian and police casualties, has caused "political embarrassment".
Several media reports and eyewitness accounts suggested that the SAS operatives were disguised as Al Qaeda "terrorists" and were planning to set off the bombs in Basra's central square during a major religious event.
The citizens of Basra witnessed the arrest. Civilians were killed and injured when British forces under the command of Brig Lorimer led the military assault on the prison. Al Jazeera reported the circumstances of the arrest in an interview with Fattah al-Shaykh, member of the Iraqi National Assembly:
If you really want to look for truth, then we should resort to the Iraqi justice away from the British provocations against the sons of Basra, particularly what happened today when the sons of Basra caught two non-Iraqis, who seem to be Britons and were in a car of the Cressida type. It was a booby-trapped car laden with ammunition and was meant to explode in the center of the city of Basra in the popular market. However, the sons of the city of Basra arrested them. They [the two non-Iraqis] then fired at the people there and killed some of them. The two arrested persons are now at the Intelligence Department in Basra, and they were held by the National Guard force, but the British occupation forces are still surrounding this department in an attempt to absolve them of the crime. (Al Jazeera TV 20 Sept 2005).
Nobody in Basra believes that the two arrested SAS men were "working undercover against militants linked to Iran":
"The Iraqi police stopped a car with two foreigners dressed as Arabs, and full of weapons and explosives," he said. "There have been terrorist attacks and explosions in Basra - of course the police wanted to investigate.".... Mr Hakim dismissed as "propaganda" reports that the soldiers were working undercover against militants linked to Iran. Officials in Basra have called for an espionage trial for the two in an Iraqi court. British soldiers' legal immunity "does not apply when they are out of uniform", Mr Hakim said. (Mr. Hakim is a leading official in Iraq's largest Shia Muslim party, quoted in the Financial Times, 29 Sept 2005)
Thwarting the Investigation
In his capacity of Commanding Officer of the Special Investigation Branch of the Royal Military Police in Basra, Captain Ken Masters was responsible for investigating the circumstances of the arrest of two undercover elite SAS men, wearing Arab clothing, by Iraqi police in Basra. The investigation was not completed. Ken Masters died in unusual circumstances three weeks later.
Captain Ken Masters had a mandate to cooperate in his investigations, with the civilian Iraqi authorities. As part of his mandate he was to investigate "into allegations that British soldiers killed or mistreated Iraqi civilians". Specifically in this case, the inquiry pertained to the circumstances of the British assault on the prison on 19 September. The press reports and official statements suggest that the assault on the prison was authorized by the Ministry of Defense.
Was the British military blocking Captain Masters police investigation?
There were apparent disagreements between British military commanding officers and the military police officials dispatched to the war theater in charge of investigating the actions and behavior of military personnel. (The Independent 17 Oct 2005).
Was pressure put to bear on Captain Masters by the Ministry of Defense? According to Michael Keefer, the British Army led by Brig Lorimer was determined
"to remove these men from any danger of interrogation by their own supposed allies in the government the British are propping up?even when their rescue entailed the destruction of an Iraqi prison and the release of a large number of prisoners, gun-battles with Iraqi police and with Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia, a large popular mobilization against the British occupying force, and a subsequent withdrawal of any cooperation on the part of the regional government?tends, if anything, to support the view that this episode involved something much darker and more serious than a mere flare-up of bad tempers at a check-point."
(See Michael Keefer, Were British Special Forces Soldiers Planting Bombs in Basra? 25 September 2005,)
This text is intended to provide an overview of the key issues underlying the US war agenda. Selected references and supporting documentation are indicated below.
A comprehensive archive of articles on different dimensions of the US War is available at the website of the Centre for Research on Globalization at http://www.globalresearch.ca/
Niloufer Bhagwat, The Security Council Resolution on Syria is a pretext for the bombing and occupation of Syria, by, November 2, 2005, GlobalResearch.ca
Michel Chossudovsky, America's "War on Terrorism", Second edition, Global Research, 2005, 387 p.
Michel Chossudovsky, Al Qaeda and the Iraqi Resistance Movement, September 18, 2005, GlobalResearch.ca,
CIA Uses German Bases to Transport Terrorists, Deutsche Welle, 27 november 2005
Thomas Eley, Did Big Oil participate in planning invasion of Iraq? December 11, 2005, wsws.org,
Chris Floyd, Sacred Terror: The Global Death Squad of George W. Bush, December 10, 2005,
Max Fuller, Crying Wolf: Media Disinformation and Death Squads in Occupied Iraq, November 10, 2005, GlobalResearch.ca
Daniele Ganser, Able Danger adds twist to 9/11, 9/11 Ringleader connected to secret Pentagon operation, GlobalResearch.ca, 27 August 2005
Seymour Hersh, Where is the Iraq war headed next? December 10, 2005, The New Yorker,
Michael Keefer, Were British Special Forces Soldiers Planting Bombs in Basra? Suspicions Strengthened by Earlier Reports, Globalresearch.ca, 25 September 2005
Uzi Mahnaimi and Sarah Baxter, Israel Readies Force to Strike on Nuclear Iran, December 11, 2005 , Sunday Times
Serendepity, Torture and the CIA, December 10, 2005, GlobalResearch.ca.
Eric Waddell, The Battle for Oil, December 14, 2004, GlobalResearch.ca,
Mike Whitney, Why Iran will lead to World War 3, GlobalResearch.ca, 9 August 2005
it shouldn't be this uncomfortable
The treatment of racism in Australia is evident in the coverage of Queensland's The Courier-Mail today. The ICC's decision to send Goolam Vahanvati, India's solicitor-general, to investigate the appalling crowd behaviour at Australian grounds, including the state's main stadium in Brisbane, appeared on the sport section's third page. On the front cover John Howard, the prime minister, was telling television stations to watch their Ps and Qs, but mainly their Fs and Cs, when producing reality shows.
Vulgar language and the odd flash of skin during Big Brother is apparently too offensive for the many conservative viewers, but when it comes to colour the country is expert at clamming and covering up. An embarrassed Cricket Australia has had to ask the government, a coalition of the Liberal and National parties who have refused to apologise to the Aboriginals' stolen generation, for help punishing spectators yelling racist abuse at visiting sportsmen.
Stump microphones have been turned down so viewers aren't shocked by the players swearing, but the words in the stands this summer have been much more upsetting. South Africa have complained throughout the tour of racial taunts, which have resulted in a handful of offenders being ejected and the threat of future boycotts, and last week the Sri Lankans were targeted as "black c****" in Adelaide and Sydney. The mainstream theory condemns ex-pat South Africans for bringing in words like "kaffir", as if the only place the pure locals have seen them is in cookbooks next to vine leaves.
"Don't blame Australians for the racist remarks," a reader wrote to Cricinfo's feedback this week. "They were made by South Africans now living in Australia." This popular comment misses the problem that has been pushed underground for decades.
A bay of supporters was decked in patriotic gold shirts at the SCG last summer to watch Australia play Pakistan. Closer inspection of their garb revealed a slogan including the words "Pakis" and "towelheads". The year before Indian supporters were upset to be called "coolies" at Adelaide and in response to the Barmy Army's 2002-03 chants the locals fans responded with "I'd rather be a Paki than a Pom". All were probably expat South Africans.
At the Twenty20 international in Brisbane earlier this month a family visiting from Perth wanted only to watch Ricky Ponting bat. They saw him and were excited, but they also heard a group of men behind them speaking quietly about the "monkeys" in South Africa's team before a fight broke out a few rows further back. The punching man was thrown out but the group of old-world attitudes remained. Before the 2003 World Cup Darren Lehmann was banned for yelling "black c****" in a Gabba dressing room after being run out against Sri Lanka. Lehmann's supporters said he was definitely not a racist, but a "good bloke" who was affected by the heat of the moment.
Is there a pattern here, or are there just a lot of South Africans in Australia? The attitudes seem so ingrained they go unnoticed by the users or their sympathisers. The rest of the world sees the damage through international coverage of the recent beach riots at Cronulla, the Tampa boat crisis over refugees in 2001, the policies of the popular One Nation party in the 1990s and its cricket grounds.
However, national immaturity prevents Australia from recognising the racism even though terms such as "Lebs", "blacks" and "Abos" appear in many conversations. Yesterday a sports-loving gentleman at a club morning tea wondered what all the fuss was about: "They've been called kaffirs all their life, why does it matter now?"
English football set up a Let's Kick Racism Out of Football group in 1993 and a similar exercise would be valuable in cricket as a tool of education and understanding. Tim Cahill, the Australian midfielder at Everton, holds a prominent position on their website. "Racism is not only unacceptable, it is criminal," Cahill says. At best this summer's offenders are guilty of gross ignorance, at worst they are racist. Cahill's description must become the standard line.
Peter English is the Australasian editor of Cricinfo
Monday, 30 January 2006
I know a lot of people don't like Hamas, both Arabs and non-Arabs, both Palestinians and non-Palestinians, and both Muslims and non-Muslims. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I most certainly respect that. But I've read some comments in the past 24 hours that are at best faulty and at worst, absurd.
One of the major arguements or rather fears is that Hamas will turn Palestine into an ultra-conservative Muslim state (state as in state of mind). In my opinion this is doubtful. Let us keep in mind that Hamas did and does have the power to dominate Palestine with violence, today it's been voted in democratically. This isn't exactly Afghans voting in the Taliban. Palestinians know what they're getting.
The second arguement seems to be that Palestinians have made a mistake and don't know what their getting. Well I cannot say this isn't true in the sense that what one votes for today can change drastically tomorrow. But then again who am I or anyone else for that matter to say Palestinians voted right or wrong? Most of the news people get on Hamas comes from the media and not on the ground. Palestinians do in fact benefit directly from Hamas socially and politically. Hamas has supported Palestinians with food, medical aid, and education. And when no official authority in Palestine reacts to Israeli aggression, Hamas offers a form of localized social justice when it stands up to Israel. Like it or not, disagree with it or not, it doesn't negate the fact that this is true.
The third arguement centers around the U.S., Israel, and the future of negotiations.
In this arguement it's been said that Israel and the U.S. will refuse to negotiate with Hamas as they identify it as a terrorist organization. This is true, and already Israel has declared it won?t deal with Hamas.
Suprise, Suprise! So we are assuming that had Hamas not won the elections, Israel and the U.S. would rush to the negotiation tables with Palestine. Yeah, I don't think that?s going to happen. Where has the U.S. and Israel been in the past 5 years? When were the last negotiations? In the Clinton era? For the past 5 years the Bush administration has refused to negotiate with Arafat who was once deemed a partner in peace (he even won a nobel for it) back in the 90's. The U.S. turned away from the conflict completely and allowed Israel to continue with building the wall, surrounding Arafat's compound, Jenin, land grabs, illegal settlement building et cetera et cetera.
When did the world even acknowledge Arafat or the PLO as a legitimate negotiator for the Palestinian cause? They were all labeled as terrorists over the past half century only until recently in the context of this conflict.
In the end, Hamas has come to represent everything every other political group in Palestine is not: resistance. And this is what it boils down to. It's easy to talk about negotiations and 2 state solutions but in practice i'?s very difficult to actually sit down and implement. In this conflict when Palestinians come to negotiate for a certain piece of land by the time they get to the tables they find settlements have been built and the land has been taken. Negotiate that.
We as outsiders consistantly make the mistake of framing Palestine as an actual state with citizens. In the process we forget this is a people and a land that is being occupied. Like it or not, disagree with it or not, it doesn't negate the fact that this is true. Reality dictates as such. And for every action there needs to be some form of reaction; Hamas has come to define that reaction.
Allow me to end with a quote from Ali Abunimah, founder of the Electronic Intifada.
The election result is not entirely surprising, however, and has been foreshadowed by recent events. Take for example the city of Qalqilya in the north of the West Bank. Hemmed in by Israeli settlements and now completely surrounded by a concrete wall, the city's fifty thousand residents are prisoners in a Israeli-controlled giant ghetto. For years Qalqilya's city council was controlled by Fatah but after the completion of the wall, voters in last years municipal elections awarded every single city council seat to Hamas. The Qalqilya effect has now spread across the occcupied territories, with Hamas reportedly winning virtually all of the seats elected on a geographic basis. Thus Hamas' success is as much an expression of the determination of Palestinians to resist Israel's efforts to force their surrender as it is a rejection of Fatah. It reduces the conflict to its most fundamental elements: there is occupation, and there is resistance.
A new fight is brewing over the future of communications in the United States. It pits the nation's largest cable and telephone companies against those who believe the Internet should support the free and independent flow of ideas.
Broadband is the battleground. As more Americans upgrade to high-speed Internet connections, the companies that control the "pipes" are plotting out new ways to profit from the demand. The telco and cable giants want to fence off the Internet: one area for the haves - who will pay a premium to enjoy life in the fast lane - and the other for the have-nots.
The innovation and creativity of the Internet are the result of its foundation as an open roadway. At serious risk is the idea of "network neutrality" - a guiding principle of the Internet that ensures all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice. Corporate greed threatens to bring the Internet?s promise of advanced communications for all to a screeching halt.
What is Net Neutrality?
A World Without Net Neutrality
Public Support for Net Freedom
The Debate over the Internet's Future
Reversing the Revolution
The end of net neutrality would shift the online revolution into reverse. If the nation's largest telephone and cable companies are allowed to limit the fastest services to those who can pay their toll, the rest of us - upstart Web services, consumers, bloggers and new media makers alike - will become blocked from digital-age innovations.
The companies that control the pipes want to discriminate in favor of their own applications, while shutting out or slowing down competing services. These companies have a business incentive to create their own affiliates to compete with the most popular applications - like search engines, voice-over-the-Internet, and streaming video archives.
They now seek to pad their pockets further by becoming gatekeepers to all things digital - deciding what content, applications and services we can use. The telco and cable giants - which dominate 98 percent of the broadband market - not only expect consumers to pay to access the Internet, but they want to charge content producers for using their wires to deliver it.
To get a sense of the bargain the industry is proposing, imagine if the maker of your toaster had to give a cut of the sales price to the electric company before it could be turned on. Or suppose the post office charged you to mail and receive the same package if you wanted it sent first class.
Soon all media - TV, telephone, radio and the Web - will be delivered via a broadband connection. But the future of the Internet will decided offline in the corridors of Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. As our representatives rewrite the Telecommunications Act, Free Press is fighting to preserve the digital commons that Americans rely upon to participate in our democracy.
Find out more:
Net Neutrality Policy
Glossary of Terms: Untangling Broadband Jargon
Join the Fight for Net Freedom
Read the Report:
Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and Free Press survey public attitudes on network neutrality.
Act now to protect Internet freedoms from predatory corporations.