The politics of aggressive war
When is it acceptable for a country to engage in an act of aggressive war? Can it be justified to engage in an act that has been recognized by the world community and laid down in international law as a crime against humanity? Not just my humanity but all humanity?
These are questions the world community should have been asking itself everyday for approximately the past two decades, but it has not. For it was approximately that long ago that one of the world’s superpowers began engaging in acts of aggression wherever it saw fit in order to show its strength, military might and terrorize the world into bending to its will.
Suppose for a minute you and I are that power. We are righteous, rich and powerful and control much of the planet through our economic manipulations and massive media and political know how. We also have bombs and weapons all over the planet ready to wipe out any adversary and the adversaries of our friends. We are righteous, our God is the proper god and our people are beautiful, fairly well educated and created in our god’s image.
We have more of a right to exist on earth and consume the world’s resources than any of the other nations, because we are the chosen, the beautiful and the strong. They are weak, poor, envious of our power, and worth almost nothing compared to us. What is more their god is the wrong god and they are not as beautiful and tall and proud as we are. The world is ours, we own it and everyone else has to bow down before us. We take what we want, from where we want, when we want.
Above all else is our moral superiority, we have been victimized in the past and the world must side with us and allow us to seek revenge on our enemies who want to destroy us because we are powerful, beautiful, free and our god is better and more righteous than their god. Our word must be good enough for everyone. If we say someone wants to destroy us, that is the way it is. We do not need to provide proof or receive permission from anyone to destroy whoever we decide is our enemy.
We know that one of us is worth thousands of them because we are the chosen and live in God’s land, a land given to us by our God. A land we cleansed of the savages and animals that had claimed it was theirs. We also know we are worth more than them because we were persecuted for our God and our god has chosen us over other false gods.
Since we are the chosen, if we have the idea that you are not worthy of life and are a useless eater, we can kill you, we can bomb you and we can take your lands. After all you are less worthy than us, we are the beautiful and strong and we were created in our god’s image.
So if we have “intelligence” that your country is arming my enemies we can, at our discretion and when we please, enter any country’s territory, including yours, and murder the people and destroy their facilities. Sure we can. After all we are the righteous and you are a bad guy in the eyes of me and my friends. And what is more we control the international courts and all of the international bodies that you could use to complain against us.
What is more if we decide we don’t like your ruler we will replace him, assassinate him or publically execute him before your eyes.
But you will never complain or do anything against us because what is more we control you, and if we decide you are a threat we will come to you, and destroy you. Or cripple you, or torture you, or take you to a secret prison and make you disappear forever. We can even kill you without leaving our own bunker on the other side of the world.
Do you doubt our power? We have satellites, internet, cameras and even tracking devices set up in your cell phone. We know where you are every minute. We record your every move, we know what you watch and what you buy at the shop and we know where your children are and we can kill them if you get out of line. For you are nothing. You are the mud people and we are your masters.
Did you imagine you and I were that power? Did you feel the righteousness and superiority? Do you understand who we are dealing with? If you feel a little uneasy, queasy or even nauseous that is okay. It means you are still human and there is still hope, if you feel rage and feel you are being mocked it is time you took off your blinders and imagined you were the “lesser” people and your lands were being taken and your women and children were being murdered before your eyes and there was nothing you could do about it.
Israeli attack on Syria was an unprovoked act of aggression
The recent attack by Israel on Syria has escalated the situation in the Middle East and has now pulled even more players into the conflict which was and has been from the very beginning an internal Syria conflict. Syria has been torn apart by internal strife fueled by outside terrorists and mercenaries and to attempt to paint a picture that in its embattled state it poses a military threat to its neighbors is both disingenuous and moreover an outright fabrication.
The United States of America has geopolitical plans for the entire Middle East and pre-determined objectives for all countries in the region. The simplest and most obvious objective is the bringing about the conditions needed to assure stable and permanent access to the resources in the region, namely oil, which the U.S. cannot exist without. The others motivations include everything from societal manipulation, access to markets, the opening of resource transit corridors and even religious based domination.
Experts, observers, diplomats and almost anyone who has followed the Syrian situation would agree that it is a given that the U.S. plans for Syria include first and foremost the removal from power of elected President Bashar al-Assad. What the real nefarious reasons the U.S. has for its desire to remove Assad may never be known but it is crystal clear that the aim to remove him and even go so far as assassinate him regardless of whether he leaves office.
No matter what happens in the region or within Syria itself the mission is the same and has not changed since day one. Just as the goal in Yugoslavia was to get Serbia and the facts were constructed around that goa, the goal in Syria is to get Assad, remove the Alawites and replace them with a pliable western puppet regime.
The initial script was organizing public unrest, destabilizing the country, blaming the authorities for civilian deaths and for the ensuing predictable crackdown, and the demonizing of Assad either until the people themselves removed him or until he could be removed by outside forces and “tried” in an international court.
The problem for the U.S. from the beginning has been that cannot just go in openly and assassinate Assad or invade Syria. There has to be a pretext, a credible pretext that the international community and the world will support and believe. The problem for the U.S. is that the pretexts is has tried to create have not panned out.
The first pretext to allow for intervention and the removal of Assad was to have been the deaths of civilians but that did not work out. In reality the civilians being killed in the country are a secondary problem and are of no real concern for the West, again their deaths were to be the reason for the removal of Assad as had been initially planned.
The next major pretext was the shooting down of a Turkish warplane which had violated Syrian airspace, but as we saw for several reasons that also did not go the way the West wanted.
After that came the chemical weapons claim, from the tired old Iraqi script, but once again the West failed to convince the world community of the threat posed by Assad and the supposed chemical weapons he was said to have amassed.
Now we have a new pretext being tested out by the West, not exactly a new one but an old one with yet another actor. Last summer we saw Turkey being pulled in as the world was supposed to be convinced that Syria was a threat to Turkey, now the country under threat is Israel.
In an interview with the Voice of Russia Rick Rozoff said: “To believe for a moment that the Syrian Government was arming Hezbollah fighters with weaponry for use against Israel when the Government of Syria itself is under siege from foreign supported insurgents, including terrorists, defies one’s credibility.” Further: “… but I think also what needs to be seen here, is the fact that Israel has now exposed itself as being on the very same side as extremist elements, that is Wahhabi and Salafi elements, backed by the likes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf monarchies in their attack against the Government in Damascus, against the Syrian Government.” And finally: “… it is the aggressor who is claiming they are being threatened and have to launch “so called” preventive attacks, it is a complete inversion of the truth.”
Yes the new invasion scenario and the reason to remove the Assad “regime” is that Syria is now a threat to Israel and warrants a preventive invasion.
The problem is once again indicative of a disease that has hit the United States, one where intelligence is not used to determine policy but where intelligence is manufactured to support and make policies possible.
As we have seen time and time again and objective is pre-determined and a goal is set, then the facts are fabricated to make that goal possible. So the script changes, the reasons change, but the goal remains the same.
Israel is the perfect surrogate for beginning a military operation against Syria. Israel is a country surrounded by Islamic countries, supported by the United States at every level, and is almost untouchable politically in most of the world, as it has been since World War II.
A policy of preventive war was evident in Israel’s attack on Syria, an unprovoked aggressive military attack carried out to guarantee their own security.
Preventive war was first initially practiced by the Nazis at the beginning of WWII. A preventive war is nothing more than an aggressive war under the pretext of guaranteeing the aggressors own security.
The Russian Federation has officially condemned the Israeli attack(s) and called them what they were; “… an unprovoked attack against a sovereign state and a gross violation of the United Nations Charter and unacceptable, whatever the motives are."
Israel must answer for this act of aggression; no matter how “bad” the Western propaganda machine says the target of their attack may be and hopefully Syria will be wise enough and exercise restraint and not launch a counter attack in response to the provocation, something which they are justified in doing, but which is what the architects want in order start an operation involving an all out invasion of Syria so their ultimate goal may be attained: the removal of Bashar al-Assad.
Nobel-peace-prize-winning “Assassination Incorporated”: White Paper justifies the killings of US citizens
A US Department of Justice white paper, justifying the killing US citizens is currently in the spotlight worldwide. However the paper does more, it gives “high-level officials” the right to order the killing of anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances and frees them of any responsibility as long as they have determined the person assassinated posed an imminent threat. Meaning the US can now kill anyone, if they think they “might” do something, and it will be in justifiable “self-defense”.
Normally self defense, especially when lethal force is applied, requires an imminent and real physical threat. If you throw a punch I have the right to punch you back or if you point a gun at me, I have the right to shoot you. The US has now decided if an official “thinks” you are “planning” to throw a punch, they can kill you, in self-defense, before you even make a fist.
It is therefore a stretch of logic to say that an imminent threat exists when there is no real or tangible physical evidence to back that threat up. According to the US Department of Justice, any person deemed to be a “senior leader” of al-Qaeda or an “associated organization” is constantly planning to attack America and is a target, but soon, if this is allowed to stand, anyone deemed to be in any way connected to al-Qaeda, or an associate, will be deemed an “imminent threat” and subject to extra-judicial execution.
So basically, on a personal level, if you follow their logic: if you merely “believe” someone is planning to commit an act of violence against you or is an imminent threat to your safety, you can kill them and it’s okay.
The first paragraph of the DOJ white paper attempts to convince the reader that the scope of the findings and the paper itself only applies to “senior operational leaders of al-Qaeda or an associated force”. It also lays out the three conditions which must be met to consider the assassination of an American legal, “in a foreign country, outside the area of active hostilities”.
The attempt to explain that the paper relates to only senior leaders is obviously a distraction from the fact that such a finding can and will be easily updated and expanded to include other categories once such conditions are adopted and legalized.
The use of the words “associated force” is troubling because possibilities for interpreting that term are many and so far reaching that it could, if one wanted to, include almost anyone. For example: a journalist sympathetic to al-Qaeda, a banker who inadvertently transferred al-Qaeda funds or even a doctor who treated a supposed al-Qaeda operative. The DOJ attempts to define that term as co-belligerents under the laws of war.
In practice it would be more likely that any US citizen associated with any group anywhere in the world that the US does not like and that the US brands as “al-Qaeda associated” will be targeted for assassination. The language and conditions are so broad that almost anyone could be deemed to meet the criteria.
The three criteria that must be met for the US to carry out what is no more than an extra-judicial execution of an American citizen are as follows: 1. An informed high-level official must make the determination, 2. Capture is infeasible but the US continues to monitor whether it becomes feasible 3. The operation is carried out under applicable law of war principles.
Again problems, first of all an “informed high-level official” could be anyone from the Attorney General to the president. This is also a problem because it grants single individuals the right to issue assassination orders as opposed to a court or another body. The term “capture is infeasible” can be, again, used so broadly that almost any circumstance could fall within that category and defining such is subjective. The last is telling and troubling, troubling because there has never been a formal declaration of war against al-Qaeda and telling because the authors know the “rules or laws of war” do not apply, so they use the word “principles”.
Lastly the term “… outside the area of active hostilities” makes it legal to target Americans anywhere in the world, including in the U.S.
Paragraph 2 states the President has the authority to defend the country and that there exists an armed conflict “with” al-Qaeda under international law. Therefore they argue the assassination of a US citizen who has joined al-Qaeda is “not unlawful”. The DOJ states that such an operation would be “consistent with international legal principles of sovereignty and neutrality” with the host nation’s consent or after “a determination that the host nation is unable or unwilling to suppress the threat…”
Again the DOJ does not use the word “war” to describe its al-Qaeda-based “War on Terror” and they give the President complete authority to kill whoever he deems is a threat. The DOJ says assassinating a US citizen is “not unlawful” again avoiding the word “legal” because in reality such an act of extra judicial execution is illegal.
The DOJ stating “consistent with international legal principles” again is disingenuous and eschews the use of the term “international law”. Stating that with the consent or without if the host nation does not want to allow it, basically allows the US to now “legally” violate the sovereignty of any country (something they are already doing) in order to assassinate anyone they view as a threat.
Paragraph 3 states that citizenship and due process are not factors when they are “balanced against the United States’ interest in forestalling the threat of violence and death to other Amerticans… That arises from an individual… who is plotting against the United States.
Basically if the government says you are a threat, even if you are a citizen, they can kill you and there is nothing you can do about it. The next paragraph continues along the same vein stating that the killing of US citizens who are “senior operational leaders” is neither illegal under laws barring the killing of US citizens abroad nor a war crime.
Section I, paragraph 5 starts out by repeating “… the US is in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda and its associated forces” again the words “at war” are not used and as throughout the document the term: “The US is in an armed conflict “WITH” al-Qaeda and its associated forces” is repeated. In a cursory reading the use of the word “with” instead of, for example: “against”, might not seem important, but when one dwells on the fact that the US has been “secretly” working “with” and funding al-Qaeda in places such as Libya and Syria, as they did in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union when the USSR was asked to assist the government of Afghanistan, the term is indeed important. 9-11 is of course mentioned.
Paragraph 6 attempts to classify someone who is connected to al-Qaeda as a “part of enemy forces” and thus is subject to death.
Paragraph 7 is interesting because it seems to contradict paragraph 2 and say the US is a “non-international conflict with al-Qaeda”. Paragraph two said: “the conflict exists under international law”. But as we see it is not an international conflict. The reason for this is because the US is supposedly at war with a “transnational non-state actor”, the whole basis for the “Global War on Terror”, which means the US can attack and strike in any country where there exists the threat of al-Qaeda.
Paragraphs 8 to 10 justify the US launching attacks in any country being used as a base by al-Qaeda, which by the way, means “The Base”.
Section II Part A, paragraphs 12 to 14 give justification why assassination targets do not have the right to due process and state that if the government determines a threat and the three criteria that are stated in the beginning are met, then killing Americans is okay.
Paragraph 15 repeats the events 9-11 in detail and further seeks to justify the endless and worldwide nature of the “War on Terror” and pre-emptive assassinations by stating that terrorists plan and move and it is impossible to predict when an attack will occur. So according to the US Department of Justice, it is okay to kill them before they commit their “crime” as it is to kill Americans, “who may pose an imminent threat”.
Paragraph 16 claims al-Qaeda is “constantly planning attacks” thus they are always fair game.
Paragraph 17 says if al-Qaeda is a threat then any associate or member is a threat.
Paragraph 19 justifies the use of drones and smart bombs by saying there are no rules against them.
Part B, Paragraph 21 gives the justification for assassination when someone is attempting to escape, in short, allowing the US to shoot you in the back.
Part C Paragraph 23 states that there is no proper judicial forum to evaluate the considerations. In other words there is nowhere for the people to redress the government.
Section III, Parts A, B and C, Paragraphs 24 to 34 are sickening to read as they attempt to provide the legal justification for the government and officials to commit murder and assassinations under any circumstances when they deem necessary. The way the Department of Justice has twisted the act of cold-blooded unprovoked murder into something lawful and in self-defense is chilling and completely and totally morally reprehensible.
The conclusion of section III is that under the “public authority doctrine” and if the murder is committed “in a manner consistent with the fundamental law of war principles” such murders are “not unlawful” and do not “violate the assassination ban” and that if the person is deemed a “threat” even if they have not actually done anything “yet” then killing them is in “self-defense” and the murder is a “lawful killing” and does “not violate the assassination ban.”
The paper also concludes that even if someone is not in active combat or has removed themselves from operations but is still considered a “senior operational leader” they can be assumed to be actively planning and thus are subject to being killed, and even in this case the murder cannot be called illegal or fall under the category of assassination.
In conclusion the paper allows the United States of America to murder anyone they want, anywhere they want, whenever they want, under any circumstances, and whether the person is guilty of aggression or not. And no one who takes part in the murder will be guilty of a crime, provided of course that they deemed those murdered, to be a threat.
Heightened tensions in the DPRK as war of words escalates: Pyongyang to respond aggressively
Surrounded by enemy forces, besieged by sanctions, demonized by the Western propaganda machine, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea says it will fight back and that anyone who encroaches upon its dignity and sovereignty with any form of "sanctions" will not be able to avoid deadly retaliation. The media is rife with speculation as to what that retaliation may be but one thing is certain, unless pushed into a corner, the DPRK will never launch a first strike. That would be literal suicide.
In response to new sanctions and more threats from the West North Korea has said that they would be forced to take more serious measures than a simple nuclear test. Although there was no exact description what those measures would be, the West has ramped up the anti-Korean propaganda to new levels, forcing the North to issue numerous responses.
The Russian Federation has urged North Korea to show restraint despite the heightened level of confrontation evident in the latest escalation of tensions between North Korea and South Korea, the United States and their allies.
North Korea continues to be pushed into a corner with dozens of statements being released by various officials and committees of the People’s Republic of North Korea. The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) issued a press release on the second of February full of extremely strong language against the South and the United States.
The language of the CPRK’s statement titled, “DPRK Will Retaliate against Provokers: CPRK Secretariat” was unusually strong. In the statement they called Chon Yong U, chief of Diplomacy and Security in Chongwadae, Ryu U Ik, the Minister of Unification, confrontation maniacs of South Korea who along with others had said that "the north should choose one, either survival or nuclear weapons" and "stronger sanctions that the north can hardly hold off have to be imposed".
The almost open threat by the South to destroy the DPRK was a sign of the increasing assertiveness of the South, something that has been stoked by the US Forces in the region and the new sanctions that have been imposed on North Korea by the United Nations.
With regards to the statements made by Official Seoul the CPRK stated the following: “The U.S. and the south Korean regime do not hesitate to make such outbursts as calling for not ruling out even military ‘sanctions’. Warmongers are inciting war fever while touring units in the forefront areas.”
The CPRK called intensified confrontation a “racket on the part of the U.S., the Lee group and other hostile forces” and that, “… the UN "resolution on sanctions" against the DPRK is a product of the deliberate and planned intrigues to escalate the hostile steps against it to bar it from building an economic giant, and to isolate and stifle it. But they are seriously mistaken.”
In equally threatening language the CPRK echoed calls made by other official representatives for unspecified moves in response to what it sees as deliberate actions to destroy the DPRK and a hint at just how bad the new sanctions may be affecting the North Korean people: “The "sanctions" of the enemies further hardened the will and strength of all service personnel and people of the DPRK to defend their just cause and build the most powerful nation, a highly-civilized socialist nation under the banner of justice.”
“The DPRK is fully ready for both economic and military "sanctions", and anyone who encroaches upon its dignity and sovereignty even a bit with any form of "sanctions" will not be able to avoid deadly retaliation.”
Again what that retaliation is, is not clear.
According to South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, citing media reports from the DPRK: “North Korea will "ruthlessly strike" back if the United States launches preemptive attacks on its nuclear facilities.”
Yonhap quoted the Minju Chosun, a newspaper published by the North's Cabinet and the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying: "If the United States and warmongers attack and try to weaken us, such expectations will be a huge miscalculation…” and “…if North Korea is attacked, its military and people will rise up and mercilessly repel the perpetrators and start a victorious war of national unification."
Meanwhile amid reports that a third North Korean nuclear test is soon to take place Sky News reported that a strange video appeared on You Tube, showing a North Korean dreaming of an attack on the United States of America. According to Sky News “The video was released via a website linked to the North Korean state news agency.”
The official DPRK news agency KCNA issued a statement which read: "The DPRK has drawn a final conclusion that it will have to take a measure stronger than a nuclear test to cope with the hostile forces' nuclear war moves that have become ever more undisguised."
The South has reported that the DPRK may stage a double nuclear test but has not provided details to support the claim and the South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations said a North Korean nuclear test "seems to be imminent."
North Korea which is struggling under intense sanctions and whose people are paying the price for, the “sanctions” imposed on the country, sees the development of its nuclear program as a right and a necessity. A right, the same as any country has, to develop cheap and efficient nuclear power, and a necessity, to protect its sovereignty and its territory from attack and invasion by the South and the United States, two countries who continually hound and provoke it.
North Korea knows that one of the few things stopping the West and the South from launching a full scale invasion is the fact that they are afraid that the DPRK may in fact have a nuclear weapon which it may use to defend itself. After the disarming or Iraq, Libya and other countries which were then invaded, the DPRK knows that it cannot afford to stop its nuclear program, it is the main deterrent they have.
The DPRK also knows and has been very careful in not making initial provocative statements but continues to respond aggressively to threats from the South, it is also aware that any first strike would be suicide as it has seen the US building up its forces all over the region.
In the latest scandal the West is following the same old script we have seen time and time again, namely: while provoking and carrying out aggressive in-your-face- policies, imposing sanctions and building up military forces near a country’s borders, this time the DPRK, the West claims the DPRK is the aggressor and must be dealt with.
North Korea is wise enough and mature enough to refrain from any act of aggression against the South and the West, but it must walk a fine line between showing it has might and can defend itself and making sure it does nothing that can provoke an open military confrontation, hence the aggressive statements in its own defense.
While South Korea enjoys a relatively prosperous existence and is comfortable that it has the United States to defend it, the North sees itself as more and more being pushed into the corner and the people as well as the sate are ready to fight to the end in what for them is a do or die situation. Sanctions are not softening the resolve of the DPRK, but the opposite is quite true. The DPRK is growing harder as South Korea is growing softer.
With the United States attempting to consolidate its power and bring the entire region under its sphere of military and economic influence, the DPRK is country that they believe has to go. As does any country that follows independent and robust foreign and internal polices and as with any communist country.
The DPRK has the right to defend itself and to defend its sovereignty, but it is complete nonsense to believe that they would launch any kind of a first strike.
Want to be a US diplomat? Got a million dollars? Call Obama
If it happened in Russia or any other country the U.S. Government and the western mass media would be screaming corruption, foul, nepotism, cronyism, bribes, and transparency! What I am talking about is the “selling” of top diplomatic posts by none other than the U.S. president. Although the U.S. does not “sell” such postings openly, “wink-wink,” two respected researches at the University of Pennsylvania have very carefully compiled a “price list” for diplomatic postings.
In their report titled: “What Price the Court of St. James’s? Political Influences on Ambassadorial Postings of the United States of America” the authors of the study, Johannes W. Fedderke and Dennis C. Jett, looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of career diplomats as opposed to political appointees to ambassadorial positions worldwide. Their conclusion is that the price for obtaining the juiciest postings, such as London U.K. or “The Court of St. James,” in terms of political “campaign” contributions is between a whopping $650,000 and a staggering $2.3 million.
Other than the facts that selling diplomatic positions is an obvious act of cronyism and bribery is supposed to be illegal, the main problem here is that for the over 30% of such diplomatic postings held by current and past political appointees chosen in this manner, no experience was, nor is, necessary. That’s right. You don’t have to have had one day of diplomatic training to be the head of a US mission abroad, as long as you are a “political” appointee chosen by the president: which might explain a lot about people who are in such posts worldwide, including here.
The American mass media has reported on the findings of the reports but are reporting it as if it just another normal occurrence and par-for-the-course rather than expressing outrage and calling for an investigation. According to most US mass media, this is pretty much normal and has been done by all “modern presidents before Obama”, this said the New York Times.
In the report the authors state that they did not have access to all US Presidential Campaign contributions, but, and this is an important “but,” they did have access to the campaign contributions of all political appointees to diplomatic posts. It was on this data that they formed the basis for their findings. The authors stated that they could not formulate figures on over all correlations between contributions and postings, something which is worthy of further research due to this lack of “all” data.
The researchers hypothesize that political campaign contributors and those who contribute “political” capital, in exchange for their support, demand a return on their investment. I think we can agree with them that it would be foolish to believe otherwise. For the individual, one such reward might be a diplomatic posting whereas for corporations for example, it might be legislation.
The authors suggest the US State Department carry out oversight on the qualifications and training of such appointees, however this is unlikely to take place. As we also know many of these overseas posts are not only filled by political appointees but by CIA undercover operatives and the like as well. Something that career Foreign Service employees must find insulting and demeaning as well.
According to the authors of the report the most sought after posts are in Western Europe and in the Caribbean and most of these are filled by presidential appointees. We could then assume that other postings, in countries of strategic or military interest, or “hot spots” if you will (such as Russia), are filled by CIA or other intelligence or military specialists, leaving those qualified, dedicated, trained and experienced foreign service personnel, who have worked most of their lives to obtain high level positions, to bake in places in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia or any other God-forsaken-hell-hole no one else would want to be posted in. Not to say certain places on Earth are hell holes, every place is wonderful in its own way, but there are places one might prefer over others.
The authors argue that “standard models of rational institutional design posit that appointments to public administrative office should be on the basis of merit related to the deliverables associated with the post,” something that I am sure the American taxpayer would want as well, especially in places such as Moscow, where people have been posted who have had “no” diplomatic experience or training whatsoever. However Russia is not a location the authors would consider attractive.
The report is very well laid out and the rationale behind the conclusion is very well thought out, researched and backed up with solid data and analysis. In conclusion the authors state that “… political appointees are more likely to obtain posts in high- income countries that are members of The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), that popular tourist destinations, are located in Western Europe, and that carry lower hardship allowances, than are career diplomats. We have also shown that the greater t he personal or bundled campaign contributions to a presidential campaign, the more lucrative the posting the contributor can expect in terms of per capita GDP, tourist volumes, hardship allowances, and the more likely the posting will be in Western Europe, and the less likely it will be in Central and South Asia or Sub- Saharan Africa. Finally, we have established an implicit price list for a range of ambassadorial postings. The price for the Court of St. James appears to lie between $650,000 and $2.3 million.”
If this were to be said of any other country in the world the international outrage would be profound, but in America, hypocrisy is par-for-the-course and every office, including that of the President is for sale, if the price is right.
Cashing in on Osama: SEAL who killed Osama complains to the media
A Navy SEAL who claims to have been the one who killed Osama Bin Laden has told the press that he has been forgotten by the U.S. Government, however there are so many holes in his story that it is hard to believe. Has he been forgotten, or is he just trying to cash in on the killing of an unarmed Osama Bin Laden. Whatever the case may be, the world’s press is all abuzz with speculation, and the Armed Forces are none to happy for the unjustified bad publicity.
In an article for Esquire magazine a supposed Navy SEAL Team 6 member who claims to have been the one who shot Bin Laden three times in the forehead, once as he was already dead, states that he is forgotten and has been treated unfairly by the military after his voluntary retirement.
Among the allegations of the SEAL, who Esquire calls “The Shooter”, are that he will not receive his pension, that he and his family have no healthcare and that the government has offered him no protection.
The problem is that all of his allegations are not true and judging from the article the ex-Seal is disgruntled because he cannot cash in on his “service” to America.
The claim that he has no healthcare has been refuted and proven to be false: according to Stars and Stripes: “All combat veterans, including the SEAL, are eligible for five years of free health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. And no service member who does less than 20 years gets a pension, unless he or she has to medically retire.”
According to the Center for Investigative Reporting: “…in an interview, Col. Tim Nye, spokesman for the U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., said that the Shooter was treated according to military regulations. He did not deserve a pension, Nye said, because he served for 16 years, not the required 20. Those are the rules that are in place, and he was well aware of those.”
The article also states that “Shooter” has a disability claim that has been slightly slowed down by a backlog of claims at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Stars and Stripes says; “… the story’s claims are getting a lot of buzz… … disconcerting veteran advocates like Brandon Friedman, who served as an Army infantry officer in Iraq and Afghanistan and used to be a VA public affairs officer. “Misinformation like this doesn’t help veterans,” he said. “When one veteran hears in a high-profile story that another veteran was denied care, it makes him or her less likely to enroll in the VA system.’”
According to the author of the article we are supposed to believe that “Shooter”, after serving 16 in the U.S. Military and taking part in “Secret” operations, was not aware that he had benefits.
As for protection, while “Shooter” claims none was offered, in particular he wanted free fortifications done on his home, the government did offer to place him in a witness protection program which apparently did not meet the standards of “Shooter” who told Esquire: “The best he was offered was a witness-protection program similar to that provided for Mafia snitches – he could be given a new identity driving a beer truck in Milwaukee.” Apparently “driving a beer truck” is not good enough.
Nye, the spokesman for U.S. Special Operation’s Command, said that if the Shooter was concerned for his safety, he should have not spoken to the media. “He’s made himself a public figure,” Nye said. “That doesn’t track that well.”
The noise generated by the article surrounding the claims that he is forgotten are overshadowing the fact that according to quotes by “Shooter” himself, the Seals trained to kill Osama, and not capture him, and that Osama was unarmed when shot in the head. However these facts are being ignored by the western media. Human rights defenders made a point of this right after the execution, when it was clear that no contingency had been made for capturing Osama.
The “Shooter” stated in the article: “For me, it was a snapshot of a target ID, definitely him. Even in our kill houses where we train, there are targets with his face on them. This was repetition and muscle memory. That's him, boom, done.”
“I'm just looking at him from right here [he moves his hand out from his face about ten inches]. He's got a gun on a shelf right there, the short AK he's famous for. And he's moving forward. I don't know if she's got a vest and she's being pushed to martyr them both. He's got a gun within reach. He's a threat. I need to get a head shot so he won't have a chance to clack himself off [blow himself up].”
“Shooter” did not dispute another account which stated that two more SEALS entered the third-floor room after bin Laden was already dead, and “continued to fire shots into the al-Qaida leader until his body was torn apart.”
Despite the fact that his granting an interview with Esquire violates his disclosure agreements, as all of those involved in the “operation” were sworn to secrecy, Esquire quite openly published details concerning the entire operation. A fact in and of itself that might question the credibility of the story and the motivations of the “Shooter” who is obviously in need of finances, although Esquire says he was not paid anything for the story.
Whether the whole thing is a ploy organized to support the official version of the Obama/Osama extra-judicial execution and to take away credibility from those who say Osama died at a location very far from away from Abbottabad a long time before, is yet to be seen.
As for “Shooter” being mistreated, all I can say is that the US Armed Forces are probably the best paid and have the most benefits of any in the world. For soldiers worldwide who live hard while serving their countries and who know this fact, it seems ludicrous for “Shooter” to be complaining.
Unlike most countries where soldiers are required to serve, the US Army pays and aims to make the lives of soldiers comfortable, they state: “… we offer money for education, comprehensive health care, generous vacation time, family services and support groups, special pay for special duties and cash allowances to cover the cost of living.”
However that is not all, they do not say that soldiers do not pay taxes, have access to credit programs at low rates and are given food and other allowances which allow a soldier to live and not spend a dime of their salary.
If “Shooter” claims he cannot find a job, according to the Guardian, this is disputed by “Zach Iscol, a former marine captain who runs Hire Purpose, a group that matches military veterans with civilian companies, and who said the department of defense had made strides in recent years in improving its help for veterans. Iscol predicted that the Shooter's doubts about his ability to find a meaningful role in civvy street would prove to be unfounded. As an operator in the Navy Seals he has incredibly marketable leadership skills that countless companies would be delighted to benefit from."
If this were a court of law then “Shooter’s” credibility may have just been compromised, so much so that perhaps we can doubt the rest of the “story”. Or is it that he just wants to cash in on the “Execution of the Century” and become a star? Rather than being like everybody else who quietly serves their respective countries.
Ugly Gorilla and Chinese Unit 61398 to replace Osama and Al-Qaeda as the new global threat, or “How do we sell our overpriced product?”
A company selling network security services has issued an extremely detailed report on how the Chinese Army is relentlessly attacking Western computer networks and companies. With the war on terror not really producing enough terrorists to justify the hyper security state of America, they need a new focus to justify cracking down on the last bit of freedom Americans have, namely the Internet. The threat to the world is now from the Chinese Army and the evil hacker UglyGorilla, and they will get you. Really! Run for the hills!
When a message is being delivered by a messenger whose self interests are served by the message, one must always be wary.
A cyber security firm named Mandiant, based in Alexandria, Virginia, 26 minutes from the unincorporated community of Langley (the metonym for the CIA) in McLean, Virginia, has come out with a much publicized and self-serving report detailing the evil and dangerous threat posed by relentless Chinese hackers.
The report claims that advanced threat “actors”, or the more ominous sounding “Advanced Persistent Threat” (APT), operating in China and with the blessing of the Chinese Government, have been conducting, quote: “… a cyber espionage campaign against a wide range of victims since 2006” unquote.
The experts at Mandiant have no doubt done a huge amount of hacking themselves because they have, according to their own claims, “discovered” a mountain of information about that these evil Chinese “hackers” who are a part of the 2nd Bureau of the People’s Liberation Army, General Staff Department Unit 61398. Mandiant claims their information is from “open source observations” yet they make many claims that, if they are true, point to a concentrated attack on a very well defined location and the accessing of information that for China would be considered secret.
The hackers at Mandiant, or as the West would call them “cybersecurity personnel”, (U.K. Guardian calls Western hackers who attack China “cybersecurity forces”), have apparently discovered that Unit 61398 is involved in work that for China is a “state secret” and that they are involved in “harmful Computer Network Operations”.
The spying that the hackers at Mandiant have done on China does not stop there, they have named the exact building where Unit 61398 is apparently located, its physical address, the layout of the compound and the buildings, its square footage, when it was built, how many people work there, the kind of wiring and infrastructure at the facility, the training requirements of the personnel, how many networks they use, the exact data they have “stolen”, the tools the Chinese supposedly use, the exact length of time they have accessed a “victims” network (example 1,764 days), the number of victims, exactly how many terabytes of data were stolen and even three individuals who are guilty of “following orders”.
Mandiant’s hacking is superb, (Oh I am sorry when they do it, it is called “cyber security”), and they even give names to these evil Chinese “hackers”: UglyGorilla, DOTA and SuperHard! (Very Chinese sounding names of course) They even claim to have: “… videos showing actual attacker sessions and their intrusion activities”! They state this on page 5 of their report, right above a paragraph detailing their “security” products and which ones you can buy.
On page 6 Mandiant does say they are: quite possibly, perhaps a little, maybe a wee bit: mistaken, and the operations may be taking place not in the headquarters of Unit 61398 itself but quote: “… right outside of Unit 61398’s gates.”
The rest of the 74 page report gives details about the structure of the Communist Party of China and includes many pages detailing how the information was obtained, what the threats are and how you can purchase their products.
According to Mandiant’s website the threat is dire and the only one who can save you is Mandiant. Their site says, quote: “Mandiant is the ONLY information security company that can both: A) TELL A COMPANY WHEN IT HAS BEEN COMPROMISED AND B) TELL WHAT THE MATERIAL IMPACT OF THE BREECH WAS!!!
They call this an “extraordinary statement” but personally I would go with a company that could STOP THE THREAT BEFORE IT HAPPENED! Not tell me about it afterwards.
Some examples: “makes us the go-to company for organizations that are looking to protect their most valuable assets”, “advanced persistent threat (APT) and other targeted attackers that are attempting to compromise your most valuable assets”, “known nefarious domains to perform malicious activity”, “persistent attackers execute a series of activities to entrench themselves and compromise your systems. If you manage to kick them out, rest assured they will be back”, “Skilled, determined attackers can break, enter and succeed within minutes. Other times, they spend days plotting, establishing backdoors and fortifying their positions inside your company” and “There is no such thing as perfect security. Attackers get smarter and change tactics all of the time.” But with all this they will help you, for a price of course.
According to SC Magazine “Mandiant Intelligent Response”, the only thing to protect you from the Chinese super hackers will only cost you a mere $86,000.00. Yes that’s right ONLY $86,000.00. (Mandiant was too modest to post pricing anywhere on their site hence SC’s price quote and no other prices were found).
The Guardian seems to agree and so does Obama, the threat is real and you are a target and China is everywhere, just like Al-Qaeda: behind every tree.
$86,000.00. No problem. OR if you only have $80,000 and can’t seem to find that other $6,000 measly bucks, I will give you John’s security advice for free, two simple and cheap things any organization handling sensitive information knows: NEVER connect a sensitive and/or secure network to the Internet and ALWAYS hire people you know you can trust.
As for China, I think they might have grounds to file a complaint as it seems that they have been hacked. Or then again, maybe Obama needs to target UglyGorilla with a drone.
Imminent threats! Evil plots and relentless Communist attack! That is what has made (Langley) Virginia great and the profiteers rich! Is that UglyGorrila in your server?
New York Times promotion of tired old cold war clichés
In an “Op-Docs” video the New York Times published, a “KGB Agent” endorses and congratulates the stripping away of Americans’ rights and freedoms, the authorization to kill Americans and the out of control spread of drones in the United States. The use of Russia and the KGB to somehow imply any connection between the hyper-security state paradigm that exists in America is an affront to Russia.
The New York Times recently published a very odd and provocative video on its web-site which seriously brings into question, once again, the editorial policies of the publication, its journalistic ethics, its independence and the hidden motivations behind its editorial decisions.
Who the New York Times truly serves has been a matter for debate for a very long time with an almost endless list of scandals ranging from outing CIA agents to charges of fabrication and plagiarism to libeling the Premier of China Wen Jiabao.
Do they serve the right-wing, the US Government, commercial interests or as some Americans call it, the “liberal” mass media establishment? Perhaps all of the above, but more likely than not, at the end of the day the true masters of the New York Times are extremely powerful right-wing hawks with deep pockets and with an agenda, which does not include the betterment of the American people, world peace or respect for the international community but which does include the advancement of their own goals: those being global domination, continued militarization and aggression and the economic takeover of the entire globe. You can call them neo-conservatives or members of America’s “black” government or what have you, that is not of primary import.
What is important is that these individuals and those who serve them, in regard to Russia, are continuously maintaining the old tired cliché’s of the “evil Soviet Union” and “Reds under the bed” and perpetually demonizing the Russian Federation, President Vladimir Putin, the Russian people in general, and any parties who promote Russian interests or strive to rid the world of these old stereo types, which were fabricated to begin with, but that is another story.
Sometimes the New York Times’ bias towards Russia and anything Russian is not so easy to spot and sometimes you might miss it unless you are looking for it and know the key words, just like American racism, but it has been the subject of my work in the past and a continuous affront to myself, my colleagues and many other Russians in all spheres including those in diplomatic and commercial circles, and those who are trying to build relations and end the tired old stereotypical “profiling” and bias that the West continues to hold and promote.
This time the biased promotion of outdated cold war thinking by the New York Times is so blatant and patently fabricated that it demands an answer. Under the “Op-Docs” video the author, Drew Christie, writes: “When I began thinking of this animated Op-Docs video, I had two things in mind. The first was the adoption of drones by the Seattle Police Department. (The program has since been scuttled.) The second was Yevgeny Zamyatin’s 1924 novel ‘We,’ which was a forerunner to dystopian novels including George Orwell’s ‘1984,’ Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ and Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Player Piano.’” Fair enough I suppose.
The problem that we have with it, and by we I mean my humble self most of the Russian people, my colleagues and fair thinking reasonably intelligent people everywhere, is the fact that Mr. Christie chose to portray a KGB General as one applauding the U.S. obsession with drones and the hyper-security state.
First off I would like to underline this fact for the entire planet to read, in particular those who do not know this at the New York Times, and please, if you need to repeat it three times to make sure it sets in your memory do so: “THE KGB NO LONGER EXISTS.”
The portrayal by Mr. Christie and the New York Times of a KGB General, that is if we are to assume his uniform is pre 1974 since his epaulettes had four stars, is disingenuous and offense on many levels and in many ways. The most obvious I mentioned above. The next is that it attempts to portray Russia, Russian Intelligence and the Russian people by proxy as somehow being behind or supporting the stripping away of the rights and freedoms of Americans by their own government.
In all fairness if the New York Times had wanted to make a statement on the stripping away of the civil rights, liberties and freedoms of the American people, they could and should have portrayed the Director of the CIA, a “Black Operations” General, Obama, Petraeus, Bush, Cheney, Bin-Laden or any of the other architects of the entire hyper-security state paradigm that has existed in the US and brought suffering to the entire planet since 9-11.
If you are a regular reader or listener of the Voice of Russia, then you know that we, my colleagues and I, do not personally, nor as an Official State Broadcaster, support the paradigm that has come into existence in the United States since the tragic events of 9-11 and the Neo-Conservative takeover over a decade ago. If I dare to speak for all of “us”, my colleagues, myself, Russian Officials, Russian Diplomats, Russia’s business professionals, Academics, and so on down the line, and even Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, for decades “we” have done nothing but attempt to improve relations between our two countries, improve economic and diplomatic cooperation, end cold war stereo types and the unnecessary heightened militarization between our countries and fight for the rule of law and liberty and justice.
The Voice of Russia and I personally have been and continue to document and report on the illegality of drones (the subject of the video) and the close to 5,000 human beings they have eradicated, the stripping away of Americans’ rights and the continuation of cold war stereo types by the West and in no way do we support or endorse the American Government’s unregulated use of drones, or their illegal use to assassinate or further commit activities that further unjustly cause harm to the American people or take away their liberties, wherever they may be.
Fortunately, the Russian people are intelligent and mature enough to take this and every other previous affront, with a grain of salt and not to go out and burn embassies and such and we will continue to work to better understand each other so that we may all live in peace.
Freedom House crackdown
Bringing the problem to center stage again is a U.S. taxpayer funded NGO called Freedom House, which has gathered an all star cast of U.S. backed and funded Russian “opposition” members, U.S. Congressmen, NGO representatives from the United States and Russia as well as European Officials for an upcoming forum titled: “New Approach or Business As Usual? US-EU-Russia Relations After Putin's Crackdown.”
The United States of America does not even try to hide the fact anymore that it is actively attempting to subvert the Russian Government and funding and supporting those within the Russian Federation who would attempt to do so for their own selfish gains.
American backed Russian Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and their American colleagues continue to push for “tougher measures” against the Russian Federation, many even calling for the U.S. and the West to implement a policy of “containment,” something Washington did during Soviet times to “stop the spread of Communism.”
One has to wonder as to the real motivations of these organizations and individuals as they are on the U.S. payroll and are funded by U.S. taxpayer monies routed to them by hawkish mainly right-wing organizations and individuals who seek to propagate out-dated cold war clichés and Russo-phobic hysteria. Their reasoning is also to question: contain what? Some sort of undefined “evil” ideology or some non-existent military expansionism? Utterly ludicrous.
The continuing activities of most of these bodies, many of whom only exist for the sole reason of subverting (in this case) the Russian Government, weakening the Russian Federation internationally on all fronts and giving reason and justification to U.S. expansionism, military buildup, meddling and interference in the internal and external affairs of the Russian Federation have proven the wisdom and the necessity for the recently passed Russian legislation requiring all members of foreign funded NGOs to register with the government as foreign agents.
Bringing the problem to center stage again is a U.S. taxpayer funded NGO called Freedom House, which has gathered an all star cast of U.S. backed and funded Russian “opposition” members, U.S. Congressmen, NGO representatives from the United States and Russia as well as European Officials for an upcoming forum titled: “New Approach or Business As Usual? US-EU-Russia Relations After Putin's Crackdown."
I am still wondering what “crackdown” they are talking about, but I would suppose they are referring to the recent law mentioned above and perhaps to the recently adopted Dima Yakovlev law which protects Russian children, or perhaps the expulsion of USAID for their questionable activities throughout the country. The real reason I believe is that Russia is strengthening ties and increasing trade with Europe, especially in the energy sector, and this has not pleased Washington who sees Europe as their subordinate.
The adeptness with which the U.S. continues to demonize Russia is daunting due to the level and the massive scale it has attained, as well as increasingly more obvious, this time the more so, especially in light of the fact that the two above mentioned laws were enacted because there were and continue to be clear and present threats against the sovereignty of Russia and against the Russia people.
We know the following is true for the United States: Russia must be kept weak politically, militarily, economically and socially. This is for the sole reason that Russia must be brought under the control of the United States of America and that control must permanent and complete.
A strong Democracy and civil society are bad for the U.S. because a well off and satisfied citizenry are not as pliable and less subject to go against the state. Hence the funding of NGOs and the Russian opposition to sow discontent and strife with false flag arguments, straw man evils and phantom wrongs and injustices.
Just ask any member of the so called “opposition:” what would you change, give me an example of what is wrong with Russia? Like brainwashed hypnotized people just waking from a sleep they will probably answer something to the effect: “Putin bad. America good!” I oversimplify but that is basically what it boils down too. America does not want a strong leader in Russia, they need someone they can manipulate. The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, unfortunately for the U.S., is not that man.
Keeping a country economically weak is also good for the U.S. as a country that is weak economically is easy to manipulate, its markets are easier to access for the dumping of goods and for exploitation, its workforce is easier to exploit, its citizens are easier to manipulate and direct against the state, and its officials are easier to bribe and buy.
Any country, such as Russia, which has an assertive and independent foreign policy is also bad for the obvious reason that it is not under the control of the U.S. This is particularly bad when such countries form alliances, groupings, organizations, treaties and cooperate independently and without the control of the U.S. or the cow-towing to Washington.
The script being used by the NGO mentioned above is old as are most of Washington’s attempts at forming color revolutions, usurping power, overthrowing governments, getting rid of leaders and giving justification to their own expansionist policies. We have seen the script in use over and over again, and in fact, quite frankly, it has gotten old. Demonize, repeat key words over and over until the world accepts them as truth and then move in with “humanitarian” sanctions or missiles. In this case the key words “Putin and crackdown.”
What we are seeing with Freedom House is a clue as to where things are going, especially after the banning of USAID and their activities on the territory of the Russian Federation. The US Government will now attempt to use those inside Russia more and more to usurp the Russian State. This will include politicians, the “opposition,” members of NGOs, academics and even the man in the street. Not to mention the members of the U.S. Diplomatic Corps who are now increasingly being tasked with what could be called subversive activities. Anyone who can spread discontent and destabilize the country will be fair game.
In a recent analysis for the Voice of Russia Edward Lozansky, President of the American University in Moscow gave some insights into Freedom House. According to Mr. Lozansky Freedom House is damaging the national interests of the United States while being paid for by taxpayers. He said: “This organization has already wasted enormous amounts of taxpayers' money on supporting the color revolutions in the post-Soviet space, which ended in total fiascoes… Now they want America not only to "stand in solidarity with Russian activists… but also to "challenge the various authoritarian groupings in which Russia plays a prominent role, such as the Eurasian Union, the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)."
Calling these groups “authoritarian” I am sure was a tongue-in-cheek stab at the ridiculousness of the classification.
He continued: “one item on that agenda is particularly laughable: the call to challenge the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, where China plays a key role. In other words, Freedom House expects China, a top foreign U.S. lender, to provide more funds to the U.S. Treasury to finance the challenge against itself.”
As for the Russian division of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, he says: “… one of its senior associates, (a U.S. paid Russian) finds the Freedom House challenge approach too modest; she calls for a "new way to contain Russia," no more and no less.”
Of course we are all used to U.S. hypocrisy but they are growing bolder and bolder with every passing day. If the shoe were on the other foot, as I love to point out, things would be entirely different.
Were a group of American politicians and civic “leaders” to appear before the Federation Council or the Federal Duma and plea to the Russian Government to expand sanctions, implement harsher measures against the elected government of the U.S. and continue to isolate and “contain” the United States of America, those involved would surely be charged with treason and put in front of a firing squad. But when it comes to Russia, this is supposed to be okay and any move against these individuals, whose sole aim is to assist an increasingly hostile foreign power to harm their own country, should be called a “crackdown.”
As for the shoe being on the other foot, Russia would have far more justifiable and legitimate reasons to take such actions as I detailed above. Russia would have the moral high ground in areas such as droning, the unbelievable numbers of civilians killed in the war on terror, the meddling into the affairs of countries worldwide, the expansion of NATO and the U.S. military presence all over the planet and even in the deaths of so many Russian orphans. Yet as always it is the kettle calling…
For the members of the Russian “opposition” who are attending the event, one last thought, if there were in fact such a “crackdown” here in Russia, as the organization claims, then these individuals would be thinking twice about engaging in such activities or in trying to usurp the state and recreate it in Washington’s image from the outside, such activities used to be called treason, and such individuals used to be shot. Meaning by their own presence they are negating their very argument of totalitarianism and authoritarianism.