Articles and Interviews by John Robles from December 10, 2013 to January 16, 2014
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December 10 2013 January 16 2014 , 20:04
Staged suicides, demonization and set ups are just part of the way that CIA and those responsible for 9-11 continue to cover their tracks. In an interview with the Voice of Russia ex-NSA analyst Wayne Madsen discusses the staged suicide of the late 9-11 author and pilot Philip Marshal and the ties of the Bush family to the CIA and 9-11. Mr. Madsen connects the dots of all of the facts in a way that no one else can and the result is a damning picture of an out of control government run by an illegal and criminal network of evil-doers who will stop at nothing to protect themselves and their amassed power and wealth. From ties to Nazi gold, and a family fortune based on it to positions in the CIA, Madsen details some of the connections that the Bush clan has with the introduction of American fascism.
This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Mr. Wayne Madsen, he is the editor of the Wayne Madsen Report in Washington DC. This is part 3 of an interview in progress. You can find the previous and following parts of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com.
Robles: You’ve done a lot of work towards 9-11, I think. Before we got on the air here, you told me a little something about something that happened to you in California. Would you care to speak about that?
Madsen: Yeah, when I was in the Navy I used to handle issues like contingency planning, continuity of government, continuity of operations – these are all operations basically how to react to a fifteen-minute warning that a Soviet cruise missile submarine somewhere off the coast of the United States near Bermuda launched its nuclear tipped missiles at Washington DC. That means fifteen minutes to react. Now, most people, you know, basically – what are you going to do in 15 minutes, except sayyour prayers.
It was very hard for me to believe that within a few-hour period on September 11, 2001 that the entire system, that I remembered would alert national command authorities and so forth and so on on any type of incident, would have just collapsed like that, in almost like a cascading series of events.
After the shock of 9-11 wore off, which was probably about a day, I started looking into it and things didn’t add up, so that is why I became a skeptic. I was a skeptic. Like I say, within 24 hours I was very skeptical of what I was hearing. You know, the story that was being… like the Kennedy assassination, anybody with a half an ounce of the intelligence would not believe the WarrenReport. Likewise I didn’t believe the 9/11 report, now neither do the two authors –Governor Kean and Lee Hamilton don’t believe their own report either.
Robles: Now you just put those two events together and I myself, I believe they are connected in a way. The same people who got away with the Kennedy assassination and were behind project Northwoods, and they have been in the background all this time. I think there might be a connection between 9-11, it was almost the same type of operation as Northwoods, only the scale was different. Do you give any credence to that theory?
Madsen: Oh certainly, because if you agree with, as I believe, that one of the people present, standing there at the front door of the Texas School Book Depository looking right down at the grassy knoll and I was …
Robles: George Bush.
Madsen: George Bush. And George Bush’s son, who was President of the United States,George Bush Senior,was meeting earlier that day in Washington DC, that’s talking about 9/11 (7-11), with people of the Carlyle Group including a cousin of Osama bin Laden at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Washington. So here we have the same family – the Bush family.
And what else doesthe Bush family have their fingerprints on? Everything that came in between, every major scandal: Watergate, the October surprise that drove Jimmy Carter out of office, and later Iran-Contra. You know, their fingerprints are on everything.
So, the two bookends, if you want to look at them as bookends for American fascism, the introduction of an American fascist state: the Kennedy assassination of’63 and 9-11 in 2001, and every little thing that helped keep the momentum going- Watergate, October surprise and Iran-Contra. There are a few other scandals you can throw in there, but they are the major ones.
Robles: You talked about Bush being outside the Book Depository. Are you sure that was him? Because there have been arguments. All I’ve seen is pictures on the Internet and stuff. It looks like it could be him, maybe it is not. Are you sure?
Madsen: Yeah, I’m pretty certain because Bushwas checked in that day; he was checkedinto the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas, and his wife Barbara Bush, who I don’t think should be believed necessarily, she claims that her husband was speaking at some sort of, I think a Kiwanis club meeting or something like that in Tyler, Texas.
Well, Tyler, Texas is pretty far from Dallas. So, why would you be booked into the Dallas Sheraton and be speaking in a town almost near to the Louisiana state line. It makes no sense.
But of course, the Bush family we know…you know,they’re great believers in what Hermann Goering said; "…if you tell the lie long enough, people start to believe it." They are masters of that, they’ve been masters of that through generations; from Prescott to George H.W., to George W. and all the other siblings. Their stock-in-trade is the "Big Lie" and they’ve always had Wall Street and the media basically go along with it.
Robles: Do you know anything about… there was an FBI report that day and George Bush, he actually called in a report on…(now this came out eventually, it was an FBI report where George Bush, he put himself in the location) but he called in a report about a suspicious character or something trying to pin it on somebody. Do you know anything about that report?
Madsen: Yeah, that was a report, George Bush, I think it was identified as George Bushof the CIA,talking about a guy named, with the last name of Parrot. And yeah, and it just shows that Bush had a relationship with the CIAin 1963 and was present in Dallas.
Now later they were trying to… again you get back into the Bush "Big Lie", later they said: "Oh there was another George Bush in the CIA". But they looked… Yes there was, there was a guy named George Bush, but he worked at the National Photographic Interpretation Center (NPIC) in Washington DC. This is a group that analyzes satellite photos, Soviet missile sites and stuff.
So, what in the world would that George Bush have anything to do with anything going on in Dallas or Houston or anywhere else?
Robles: Or Zapata Oil.
Madsen: Yeah, he had a different kind of job, he was a low-level photographic, and that doesn’t explain who this other George Bush was down in Dallas. Of course, that’s because it was the George Bush, who was the 41st President of the United States.
Robles: Back to what happened to you in California, about a pilot, you said you wanted to investigate…
Madsen: Yeah, I read that a … and I didn’t even know this guy and I’d not read his books. I may have met… in retrospect I realized I’d probably met him at a 9-11 Conference in New York City which was held on the 10th anniversary in 2011.
Anyway, his name was Philip Marshal, he wrote two books on 9-11. He was this Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 pilot for United. He was a very good pilot. He had previously flown for Eastern, before they went out of business. He was originally from New Orleans, and he wrote these two books and he questioned the whole 9-11 Commission.
He looked at it like, from as a pilot. You know, these planes made maneuvers that a pilot couldn’t do. I mean, he knows these planes, and he was I would say one of the top pilots for United on those two aircraft. And he also, before he wrote those two books, he wrote a book called Lakefront Airport,and that was about his time, it’s a novel, but it was really about his time flying a guy namedBarry Seal around. And Barry Seal was also an ex-Eastern pilot who went to work for the CIA. There is also a connection between Barry Seal and the people who killed John Kennedy because he was a member of this Committee of Forty which was people in the CIA like E. Howard Hunt, Felix Rodriguez and others, Ted Shackley, the Blond Ghost they called him. So, he was involved with those people.
And then later he became a contract pilot for the CIA and was flying weapons to the Contras. But he got nailed in some drug stuff. The DEA and the CIA have never gotten along, because theyare always usually firing guns at each other, because they had two missions.
The CIA’s mission was to import drugs illegally into the United States to get money for its… you know slush money for its off the book operations. And that’s what the late Gary Webb had written about, who lived in California. And of course they attacked him and they said he committed suicide. You know, two bullets through the head – that’s hard to do. You know, one missed and he has to shoot… you know, that’s hard to do. I never bought the Gary Webb suicide story either…
Robles: They said he shot himself twice in the head?
Madsen: Yes, that’s what they said.
Robles: Like the kid in, the MI6 guy in the UK, who was going to expose stuff to WikiLeaks and they found him locked inside of a duffle bag. Do you remember that one?
Madsen: Yes, inside of a gym bag. He had locked himself in which even Harry Houdini couldn’t have done under those circumstances.
Robles: So, what happened with this guy in California please?
Madsen: OK, they said Philip Marshal shot his two teenage kids, his 17-year-old son and his daughter who was about 13 years or something, and then he shot his little pet shih tzu dog, and then he turned the MAC-10 on himself, it is a semiautomatic weapon.
They found the bodies and the sheriff said: "Oh, yes, instantaneous suicide". But the sheriff wanted the house cleaned up before the forensic investigation was over with, which as anybody who knows anything about crime scene investigation…
Robles: What do you mean he wanted the house cleaned up?
Madsen: Well he actually was looking for a cleaning crew, a commercial cleaning crew to come into the house and clean up the blood stains and make the house presentable for resale. Meanwhile…
Robles: The sheriff was doing that, he was looking for cleaners?
Madsen: He called, one of the county officials told me, she’d got a call from the sheriff saying: "Do you know…" because this was Super Ball weekend. I should also say that Pill Marshal was a great football fan, especially a fan of the New Orleans Saints, because he was from New Orleans.
Now the Saints weren’t in the Super Ball this past year, but the Super Ball was held in the Saints’ home field, the Super Dome in New Orleans. So, he was telling everybody: "Oh, yes, I can’t wait to see the Super Ball and the Super Dome".
And so that he supposedly shot himself and his kids, and his dog between Thursday night and Saturday morning, the coroner finally said it was Saturday morning, because that’s when the bodies were found. That’s not a very good, that’s a very bad investigation. But the Super Ball was Sunday.
So, the Sheriff calls a county official on Saturday night and says: "Do you know any cleaning crew that’s working over the weekend that can start cleaning the house up?".
And she said: "I don’t know, I’ll look around".
And she found somebody that was willing to work on a Sunday, Super Ball Sunday. And yeah, they came and started cleaning the house. But the crime scene, the investigation was not completed yet, because afterwards there were vehicles at the residence from the state of California, some with the antennas on the roof, you know, these black SUV’s you can’t look into.
That was also, the sheriff said: "This is a local – we are handling this investigation locally, there is no outside involvement". That was basically put to rest with the fact that state vehicles were there.
And the computer, Phil Marshal’s computer with the copy of whatever he was working on for his third book… he was looking specifically at what is known as the "Boneyard", the Pinal Airpark, also called Marana is, it is right outside Tucson, Arizona.
Robles: That’s where the Pennsylvanian and the Pentagon planes probably are.
Madsen: Yes Marana, it’s the Marana air field, also known as Pinal Airpark and a lot of CIA stuff goes on there. It was the headquarters for a CIA front called Evergreen International Airlines, which basically took over a lot of the functions of Southern Air Transport. Air America, that was very big during the Vietnam War, and other proprietary airlines: it is all there, it is all there.
So, his computer disappears, I was told it was taken to Sacramento to the computer lab run by the Department of Justice for the State of California. So, there was outside involvement.
The sheriff had continuingly misspoke or basically adds just a nice word that PR people use for lying, and devalues the real word. The sheriff continued to lie about the case, and the case is closed now.
You know "Marshal did it," you know and they fed it, "… oh, yeah he is one of those 9-11 kooks, you know they do it, they shoot themselves or kids, see how mentally unbalanced, they all are". So, somebody wanted to shut down his investigation.
But I believe, and I don’t know this for fact because I haven’t picked up where he left off. I think just looking at the "boneyard", as maybe the source for some of the aircraft of 9-11, because there were 757s and 767s parked there, you know airlines go out of business.
The reason they park them in the desert is because all you’ve got to do is put cowlings over the jet engines, because it is so dry there is no rust and you just got to protect the engines and other airplane parts from the desert sand. I think that’s what he was looking at. At least, that’s what I got from talking to members of his family when I attended his funeral service in Louisiana, which was held about two months afterwards, after his death.
Robles: Back to the place that you are talking about, one more time, where is it exactly? It is called the Boneyard.
Madsen: There are two parts of the Boneyard and people can actually type in boneyard or Marana air field and they’ll see this huge desert, it looks like a parking lot for airplanes of every type, for every era. It is like a museum of aircraft. You’ve got the old DC-3’s and you’ve got the 757’s, 747’s. I don’t know whether any of the Dreamliners are there yet, but given the status of those, they may be there soon. But that’s the civilian part.
Then there is Davis–Monthan Air Force Base which is right next to it and that’s where the military planes are. And then again, that’s like a huge parking lot of every type of military aircraft you can imagine, from the small transports, small jets to the large C-5A’s even.
So, anybody that drives onInterstate 10 past Tucson cannot help but see this thing. I remember seeing it, it was amazing. It is like the airport that never ends. It goes on for miles and miles.
But anyway, that’s what he was interested in, that’s what he was investigating. And he had mentioned that he had been stopped a few times by security when he was in the area, they wanted to know what he was doing there. So, he definitely was sniffing around this facility, and that had to be that he would be suspected.
The only other thing I can say is based on his playing pilot with some of the Iran Contra boys, like I should say Barry Seal, who used to fly for them, he was gunned down in Baton Rouge before he was going to testify about Vice President George H.W. Bush’s involvement in drugs importation, he was gunned down gangland style in Baton Rouge in 1986. And when they’ve looked in the trunk of his car, he had George H.W. Bush’s – the then Vice President – his personal telephone number.
You were listening to an interview with Wayne Madsen – the editor of the Wayne Madsen Report in Washington DC. You can find the previous and following parts of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening and as always I wish you the best, and happy holidays wherever you may be.
16 January, 19:34
Syria and terrorism: the separation of security and politics
It has been revealed that European security personnel and intelligence agents have been in active contact and in fact holding meetings with Syrian intelligence and other unspecified officials since at least the middle of the summer of 2013. A period directly before the US push to invade the country.
With regard to cooperation between the security services, official Damascus has recently stated that there is an apparent schism between politicians and security people in the West. According to RT, citing the BBC, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad confirmed the existence of such cooperation, a fact which is in sharp contrast to the western push for military intervention in Syria and the forceful removal of President Assad, as well as the now confirmed support of the tens of thousands of imported mercenaries and jihadists that the West was supporting.
It is important to note that the countries in question are European and that when the US/NATO decided it was time to invade Syria this past fall they were unable to garner the support for an invasion. It is also telling that US intelligence has not been involved in working with Syrian security, the reason why is obvious, as they have been involved in arming, supporting, training and importing the very jihadists that are now a threat to European and even US security.
Reportedly intelligence agents from France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom have been exchanging intelligence with the Syrians, in particular with regard to over 1,200 terrorists that are on western watch lists. Official Damascus reports that more countries are interested in an intelligence sharing relationship with Syria, this is despite the fact that the West has severed diplomatic relations with Damascus and all western embassies have been closed.
Regarding other European countries that have not yet worked with Syrian intelligence Mr. Mekdad stated: “Some are saying we are exploring the possibilities, some are saying we want to co-operate on security measures because those terrorists they are sending from Western Europe into Turkey, into Syria, have become a real threat to them.”
Recently James Comey, the director of the FBI, spoke out about the threat of jihadists trained in Syria coming to America, something sounding disingenuous coming from the US, but also pointing to an apparent schism between Washington politicians pushing for war, the CIA and the FBI itself. The “cry wolf” manner that the US has used terrorism since 9-11 to strip away rights and get away with everything under the sun has robbed it of any credibility and left the country vulnerable to a real terrorist attack.
While Washington has used terrorism as the pretext for allowing invasions and “intervention” to further the geopolitical goals of the elites and politicians since 9-11, other countries are faced with the now growing threat posed by the very terrorists Washington has backed and in the case of Syria, has imported in order to (in this case) remove president Assad and the government.
Security officers and intelligence agents worldwide have a mission to protect the interests of their respective countries but they also have a more important function and one that should always take precedent, namely guaranteeing the security of their respective populations and territories. In this regard fighting terrorism (real terrorism not the US promoted and hyped bogeyman) is a mission and an issue that may serve to unite security and intelligence agencies worldwide, and one that we can all agree must be fought and won to guarantee we are all protected.
One might argue that the statements by the director of the FBI fly in the face of the known support by CIA for Al-Qaeda elements in Syria and point to an increasing schism within the US intelligence community if they are to be taken at face value and not as yet another means straw man argument to increase the out of control US security state.
With regards to the CIA and the entire “War on Terror” post 9-11 paradigm that the US has unleashed on the world, it can be called a corruption and the abomination of the Obama nation, and this will be the case until those responsible for all of the massive post 9-11 US illegality are safely removed from power and prosecuted (sadly, a fact most agree will never happen).
The mission to fight terrorism was one which (as is the case today) intelligence agencies worldwide could all agree was a noble and necessary one, but unfortunately one that has been exploited and mutated by the US and used to bring about a repressive and illegal security state which has stripped millions of their basic human rights.
The abominations in the Obama nation brought to the world by Bush and his neoconservatives geopolitical planners who were willing to do anything to attain their goals and were continued by Obama include: Guantanamo, torture, aggressive wars disguised as “humanitarian interventions”, massive blanket surveillance, warrantless wiretapping, illegal indefinite detention, the end of Habeas Corpus, extra-judicial executions, foreign based black sites, illegal search and seizure, complete control of and the effective destruction of the free press and the complete and total forfeiture of the US Government and the US Constitution to the intelligence/military industrial complex which has profited from all of it.
All of the above issues are ones that upstanding members of the armed forces, the FBI, the CIA, the US Government and the population oppose but issues they apparently have no power to influence or stop. This has led to a situation, which akin to Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, is an abomination.
If there is a schism between security services and politicians in the West I would argue this is a good thing and it is about time. Intelligence and security agencies, in order to avoid their being used as simply instruments to advance the policies of politicians (as we saw post 9-11 with the Iraq lies and manipulations being a perfect example) must be separated from political forces and allowed to perform their basic functions without political pressure or manipulation. This is something almost any person will agree with, including any conscientious intelligence officer, soldier, agent or official.
Of course intelligence agencies must be subject to vetting, oversight and civilian control but they must be able to exist independent of the flavor of the day politicians in power when it comes to performing the most important and basic mission of guaranteeing security, in this case protecting against terrorism.
With regard to the threat caused by the tens of thousands of jihadists and Al-Qaeda linked fanatics recruited, trained and imported into Syria, this is a threat for all civilized societies and despite the US wish to be rid of President Assad, the threat must be dealt with with extreme prejudice. These fanatics and homicidal lunatics can not be dealt with or controlled, a fact Saudi Prince Bandar may soon learn and one we are seeing today all across the Middle East. They are a disease and the Doctor has only one cure: liquidation.
For politicians who attempt to fund and back these elements, it may seem like a clever way to attain their goals but in the end terrorists can not and must not be negotiated with. The result of such collusion was seen in Benghazi Libya and the price Christopher Stephens had to pay. Yet CIA influenced by politicians such as George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Dick Cheney and the like continues to deal with terrorists and attempt to use them as their own secret non-state army.
The shortsighted policies of politicians and their often unattainable goals have in fact compromised the security services of the US and any country that attempts to have any dealings whatsoever with terrorists. Russian security understands this basic fact, as do countries like Syria and those in Europe working together to protect peaceful populations from the scourge of terrorism.
Hopefully the cooperation that is being carried out in Syria is a signal of a shift in the way that the “War on Terror” is to be fought worldwide. We have seen the US fail and it is time for the kids to leave the room and let the professionals take over.
This shift will hopefully see a more covert secret and precision war being fought against terrorist elements such as that carried out by the FSB and the SVR as opposed to the blanket stripping of rights and terrorist-on-every-corner-tactics that the US has been promoting since 9-11. In other words a Doctor with a scalpel vs a blind Butcher with a sledgehammer smashing everything in sight.
Getting back to the “schism” if you will. Again I would argue that if intelligence agencies are to fulfill their missions and be effective they must not be connected to political winds and politicians with their own agendas. Again CIA is a case in point as is Saudi.
We have seen time and time again since its creation that the CIA is just a tool for political expediency and for bringing about whatever “change” those in power wish to bring about. It is also one that is willing to do anything to fulfill its missions. This is wrong and the result is what we have today. Al-Qaeda has grown thousand fold in strength and size since 9-11 and this is due to failed policies and collusion with the terrorists to bring about geopolitical goals.
So while CIA and Saudi are once again in bed with Al-Qaeda, this time in Syria, the European intelligence agencies and even the FBI are now beginning to realize that they are the ones that are going to have to finally deal with the tens of thousands of jihadists that CIA/Saudi have unleashed in their insane drive to effect regime change in Syria. Had it not been for a threat by Saudi Prince Bandar to President Putin this past summer, regarding terrorist acts during the Sochi Olympics and an admission to controlling terrorists in Syria, including Chechen groupings, the world would not be the wiser to the level of collusion between certain politicians and terrorists.
If we want to make the world a better place, leave the politics to the politicians and security up to the professionals.
14 January, 12:25
Terrorist Joe Smith: trained in Syria, returning to America says FBI
The director of the FBI recently cited Americans recruited by Al-Qaeda in Syria as the next terrorist threat to America. However with the almost 13 years of meddling in the Middle East, the dozens of revelations of US and CIA involvement with Al-Qaeda in places such as Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt and the fact that there has not been a single clear terrorist attack in the US since 9-11, there appears to be a credibility gap that is growing by the day. Is the threat real? Or is it just another attempt to keep people in fear and allow for more funds to be diverted to those who are profiting from the endless war on terror?
The entire US-government-military-industrial-complex-surveillance-security/police-state is dependent on one thing for continuity. One single thing that has allowed it to grow and completely take over the country, dispose of the constitution and drag the world into war after war, that one thing is terrorism. So now whenever you hear a US Government official talking about the threat of terrorism, you can be sure that they need more of your tax dollars to further inflate their budgets, are planning more wars and/or are stripping away more of your rights and want you to continue to live in fear.
From funding, backing, training and arming Al-Qaeda in multiple theaters since the creation of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (when Osama Bin Laden was recruited by the CIA to fight the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics after the USSR was asked to play a peace-keeping role in the country by the then Socialist Afghan Government) to the same support of Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in Syria, the US has almost lost all credibility and believability when it comes to fighting their “War on Terror” and the uncovering of the “threat of the week”.
In Syria Al-Qaeda was rebranded in the same way Osama Bin Laden was renamed “Tom Ossman” and given various names including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Now without the previously scheduled Libyan style open US/NATO support that they were expecting to help them finish off what they started in Syria the groups of fanatical homicidal mercenaries waving the black flag of bloody Islamic fanaticism have begun slaughtering each other in the thousands. Well and good but where does that leave the US?
Robbed of their aggressive war on Syria and without a single clear terrorist attack on the United States since the questionable events of 9-11-01, the “War on Terror” dependent US Government is growing more and more desperate to continue to justify the entire “age of terrorism” paradigm and continues to build straw man terrorists out of anything they can.
The latest “terrorist threat to America” is not some Sunni-Wahabist-Salafist-Sharia-homicidal-fanatic but, according to FBI Director James Comey, the danger is now from Americans who are recruited by Al-Qaeda, particularly in Syria. This may mean that all of the Americans in Syria who are engaged in “covert operations” against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, are now no longer needed and the FBI is in damage control mode, but that is another story.
Press TV quotes the FBI director as having said: “People, including Americans, can go to Syria and learn about dangerous techniques, and it's easy to get in and get out. My concern is that people can go to Syria, develop new relationships, learn new techniques and become far more dangerous, and then flow back to the US.”
Statements relating to Americans recruited by and trained in Syria by the same insurgents that a few months ago the US was backing and arming seem odd to say the least. Coming from the Director of the FBI of course they must be believed by the masses but in reality such statements are a clear condemnation of everything the US has supposedly been doing to stop terrorism. It is a clear condemnation of any action against the Government of President Assad as well since it is Al-Qaeda which is fighting the Assad Government for US/NATO. What is more vague statements and the identification of Americans overseas as a terrorist only goes to shopw the complete failure of the entire “War on Terror” and the hyper security state.
Such a statement from the head of the FBI is also almost an open admission of failure. However as I said earlier, the redeeming factor for the FBI is that it will allow for more funds and more “security”.
Sure there might have been about 70 Americans who have gone to Syria or tried to go there to fight the Syrian government and at least 1,200 Europeans but does this mean they are a threat to the US? Possibly, Washington is worried that al-Qaeda-linked groups might have recruited and trained Americans who have gone to Syria in order to get them to carry out attacks when they return to the US. Sounds plausible but what is more probable is that due to cancellation of the invasion on Syria, the US is left with hundreds (if not thousands) of Al-Qaeda “fighters” who are ready and primed for war but who are quite frankly now robbed of the spoils they had been promised.
Does it really matter who the threat is? Yes it does. In this case the US saying the threat is from Americans recruited by Al-Qaeda will allow internal US security bodies to further escalate the terror hysteria and raise their budgets.
Press TV reports that a US intelligence official said:“We know al-Qaeda is using Syria to identify individuals they can recruit, provide them additional indoctrination so they’re further radicalized, and leverage them into future soldiers, possibly in the US.”
After 12 years of the non-stop war and meddling in the Muslim world, it is not surprising that there may be fanatical terrorists who are now ready to attack the United States, however I would argue that the threat is not from Americans trained by Al-Qaeda, but from Al-Qaeda itself, if such a “database” really exists.
14 January, 08:59
Obama and Guantanamo: “disgusting” – Medea Benjamin
It has been 12 shameful years since the opening of the extra-judicial Guantanamo Bay prison and the US continues to illegally hold 155 men indefinitely in violation of every basic human right. Despite the Obama Administration and the US Government classifying everything about the illegal location, so the world community does not know what is really going on, news continues to seep out. In an interview with the Voice of Russia Medea Benjamin, who has been fighting for the rights of the people at Guantanamo almost since day one, reveals that the hunger strikes continue. The US wants to continue to hold these people because they do not want the world to know what they have done to the prisoners there. Treatment such as that received by Omar Deghayes who had a guard try to gouge out both of his eyes and was left blind is not something Obama wants the world to hear about.
Hello, this is John Robles. I'm speaking with Medea Benjamin, the co-founder and manager of Code Pink. This is part 1 of a longer interview. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at Voice of Russia dot com.
Robles: Hello, Medea, how are you?
Benjamin: I'm very good, thank you.
Robles: Thanks for agreeing to do the interview especially on such short notice. Regarding the date, yesterday was a very important anniversary for many people around the world. What was that anniversary?
Benjamin: It marked the beginning of 12 years since the opening of the Guantanamo prison and every year it is another shameful reminder that the US continues to hold now, 155 men indefinitely in violation of every basic human rights that these people should have.
Robles: One of the detainees Shaker Aamer (if I'm pronouncing his name correctly) recently wrote a letter, an open letter. Can you tell us about his letter? And it portrays to me, I read it myself, and I think this is something that is very important: the human side of these men that are being held in there. I mean, there are human beings.
Benjamin: We had written to Shaker Aamer's lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith with the group Reprieve, and asked could Shaker send a message to us to read out at the different protests that are happening around the world on, today January 11th, and he sent a beautiful message that reminds us that, yes, that these are not people that have just numbers, these are real people with excruciatingly painful lives and what was so beautiful about Shaker Aamer’s message is it talked about his biggest regret being that he hasn't been able to give his children what he called “the reservoir of love” that they deserve.
He even said that he hadn't seen his youngest child ever, because his youngest child was born on the very day that he arrived in Guantanamo, February 14, 2002, which by the was in the US is Valentine's Day.
And it was so agonizing to read this letter because he talked about his obligation of a father to help shape children when they are young and that he hasn't been able to do his duty as a father, it is something that was so painful for him. But he also talked about the conditions there, the cells they are in and the fact that he is on another hunger strike which we did not know.
The Obama Administration has decided that they are no longer even going to give out the numbers of people in prison who are on hunger strike. We got this last year and that what caused the international outcry when it was discovered that over a hundred of the prisoners were on a hunger strike and many of them being force fed. Now we can't even get that information but we do know that Shaker Aamer and I'm sure others are once again on a hunger strike and suffering terribly.
Robles: So that information has been classified as well or..?
Benjamin: Yes, under some ridiculous thing that for “the well being of the Americans there in Guantanamo”, they can't release that information.
It is absolutely ridiculous and it is an attempt to take away the last tiny voice that these prisoners had. Imagine, resorting to a hunger strike because that is the only way you can wake up the world and say “Hello, we are still here, do something about it”.
That is what was happening all of last year. Now they don't even have that ability because if they are on a hunger strike, we don't even know about it.
Robles: Oh my goodness. I recently talked to Michael Ratner, you know who he is, and his Center for Constitutional Rights who are representing a lot of the people being detained there, and he told me that apparently one of the detainees was trying to complain about the conditions. And he was expelled from the court and basically he could not speak about the torture that he was going through because they said that was classified. If you could comment on that, about the classifying of torture and the actual conditions that the inmates or the “prisoners” there are going through?
Benjamin: We only hear about what the prisoners are going through once they are released from prison. There is a prisoner Omar Deghayes, who once he left prison was able to talk about how he was so tortured that he lost one of his eyes while in Guantanamo.
So yes, it is classified the kind of treatment they are getting, it is classified whether they are now participating in a hunger strike.
Journalists who are allowed to go to Guantanamo are not allowed to talk to the prisoners, so it is very difficult to get information about what these prisoners are going through. But just even imagine on the very level of the amount of time that they are spending there, to think that 12 years of these men's life have been taken away from them, and let us remember that of 155 prisoners who are still there, 78 of them and that is a majority of them, have been cleared for release.
That means they have been designated by the Department of Justice, the Homeland Security and other US government agencies that they represent no threat to the US and even when they are on this list of “cleared for release”, they have not been cleared except for a trickle that started last year in fact in December of 2013 – there were 9 prisoners who had been released.
This was the beginning of opening the gate again. But the 78 prisoners cleared for release should be released immediately, they shouldn't be under this agony of knowing that they have been given this designation but still not allowed to leave the prison.
Robles: Yeah, that is unbelievable.
Just a reminder you are listening to an interview with Medea Benjamin.
Robles: I noticed one of the things about Mr. Aamer’s letter, I thought this was a little shocking and very disturbing, he said that they pay the price there inside Guantanamo, every time somebody does something outside.
That seems like an attempt to, maybe, stifle protests or stifle anyone trying to help them. What is going on with that?
Benjamin: What was interesting, I think, was the context in which he put it is that if somebody outside in, let's say, a place like Yemen, does some kind of violent action to protest the indefinite detention of prisoners in Guantanamo, that has negative reverberations inside the prison.
The example is that because of the unrest in Yemen, the Obama Administration now says that it cannot repatriate the Yemeni prisoners (56 of those cleared for release are from Yemen) and so his message was: “We are glad if you are going to do something to show support for us, but do it in a non violent way'”.
And I think that is recognizing that violence is not the answer and so you have to scratch your head and wonder: “Why are they keeping a guy like Shaker Aamer, who has been cleared for release 3 years now, whose message is one of non-violence in this prison, whose family lives in London, in England and only wants to be repatriated to England to be with his family. Why aren't we releasing this person?
It is one thing, and I don't agree with it, to say: “Prisoners, it is too unstable in Yemen to send people back”. I don't agree, but then what excuses are there not to send somebody back to England?
Robles: That is right, absolutely. I know this might seem a little extreme but it seems to me they are being used as hostages.
Benjamin: I wouldn't so much call it “being used as hostages”, I think they are the throwaways according to the Obama Administration, their lives are not worth very much.
The Obama Administration does not want to be in the position of having released people from Guantanamo who are then seen to pick up arms against Americans.
And they would rather violate these prisoners' basic rights, be hypocritical in the eyes of the world in terms of preaching human rights abroad but not doing it at home, they'd rather do that than free these prisoners.
So I think it is a very cold political calculation on behalf of the Obama Administration that it is just not worth it to release them.
Robles: I don't think the security argument washes here, do you? Do you really thing these guys are going to take up arms and all this stuff?
Benjamin: Well, certainly there is always a risk when anybody leaves prison here in the US or anywhere around the world that they might commit some violent activity especially in the case of Guantanamo where you've tortured people for 12 years.
I don't know that you are going to leave there thinking the US is a great place. But that is not the point. The point is you just can't hold people.
Either you give them a fair trial, you convict them, you let them do their time and then you still have to release them unless they've been given life in prison or you can't call yourself a civilized society.
People have been fighting now for almost 800 years since the time of Magna Carta to have the right to a fair trial. And I think whether or not there is a problem that somebody might try fight back against the US, keeping them in prison is not the answer.
Robles: You are absolutely right. It is good you mentioned other situations because basically someone who is convicted of some other crime, shoplifting or something, they could have a vendetta against the Judge that sentenced them, right? So that means what? You have to keep that person in prison for life? So also that argument doesn't wash in that regard.
Benjamin: Right. And you look at the rate of recidivism in the US, it is probably 90 something percent, the rate in the case of Guantanamo I think is 9%.
The majority of these prisoners never committed a crime to begin with, the majority of these prisoners just want to get on with their lives. When you read the letters and not just Shaker Aamer’s but anything that gets out of there, basically what they are saying is “Let me be with my family, that is all I want”.
Robles: Is there anything that you've heard coming out of, or going on in, Guantanamo that hasn't been in the media that you think we should know about? Have you heard anything about the conditions they are being kept in or anything else that is going on? The new hunger strike? Is this hunger strike just by Shaker or is this another massive one? What is going on?
Benjamin: I don't think there is a massive hunger strike at this point.
I think there are a couple of dozen prisoners who are on a hunger strike, but again since this information is not available to people anymore. We only know it on an individual basis from lawyers who were able to speak to their individual clients.
What I heard also is that if they say that they are on a hunger strike they are put in separate cells, they are not allowed to be in the communal area and if they are having something like clear liquid and they have some lemon in it then they are being not on a hunger strike anymore.
So, I think the prison is doing everything it can to stop people from doing the hunger strike because that is what woke up the world to the issue of the ongoing indefinite detention. But we should recognize that the hunger strike, while it didn't achieve its goal of getting these prisoners released or giving them fair trials, it did lead to the Obama Administration being shamed enough to appoint new people to the position of envoys in the State Department and the Pentagon, who are in charge of moving this process forward and it did start to get the wheels turning.
So there was some success in the hunger strike and hopefully this year, 2014, we will see a much greater release of prisoners.
Robles: Medea you are close to all of this. What is your view? Are you optimistic that there will be an actual change in policy or something will finally be done or…?
Benjamin: I think it is just disgusting what the Obama Administration has done. This very two-faced way of saying on the one hand “I'm determined to close Guantanamo, I'm going to do something about it, but it is Congress that is creating the big obstacles”.
Well, that isn't really true. Obama could have released these cleared prisoners without getting any OK from Congress, but he pushed Congress and Congress responded. And so there is now a lifting of some of these restrictions that Congress has imposed on the Administration to determine that these people would never engage in any activities against the US.
So Obama has less of an excuse than he had before to keep these prisoners in indefinite detention.
That was the end of part 1of an interview with Medea Benjamin, the co-founder and manager of Code Pink. You can find the following parts on our website at Voice of Russia dot com. Thank you very much for listening and as always I wish all of you all the best wherever you may be. Stay with the Voice of Russia for more breaking news, interviews and other features.
14 January, 07:12
US continues to attempt to “get” Edward Snowden – Jesselyn Radack
Recently information was being spread that Edward Snowden had 1.7 million files detailing current and ongoing US military operations around the world. After a little digging and some phone calls it became clear that the 1.7 million claim is false as is the military operations claim. After investigating the claim and going right to the source, a legal advisor in close contact with Mr. Snowden and the journalists releasing the Snowden revelations, it became apparent the false information leaked by the US Government was an attempt to damage Mr. Snowden and his relationship with Russia. Snowden’s legal advisor Jesselyn Radack told the Voice of Russia’s John Robles that the actual number of files was 55,000 and that it was the first time she had heard that they pertain to military and JSOC operations. Ms. Radack said it was a campaign against Mr. Snowden as were recent claims of an asylum request sent to Brazil. Edward Snowden is acclimating to his new home in Russia and is grateful to have asylum from Russia and is not attempting to go to another country.
This is John Robles. You are listening to part 1 of an interview with Jesselyn Radack, the National Security and Human Rights Director of the Government Accountability Project. She is also a legal advisor for Edward Snowden. You can find the next part of this interview on our website at Voice of Russia dot com.
Robles: Hello, Jesselyn, it is a pleasure to be speaking with you.
Radack: Thank you for having me.
Robles: Listen, I'd like to get your information, what can you tell us about a reported 1.7 million files that Edward Snowden is said to have that relate to current and ongoing US military operations.
Radack: Well, in terms of 1.7 million number, I've seen that a couple of times and it is coming from the government. And as far as I know Mr. Snowden, according to the journalists who received the documents, the number is really 55,000. I'm not sure if that refers to 55,000 pages or files, but the number is far less than 1.7 million. And this is a first time I have heard that 1.7 million pertain to military documents, ongoing military operations, JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) and things of that nature.
Robles: I see. Are you aware of the contents of the remaining files and can you give us some sort of an assessment maybe on possible damage if everything was released?
Radack: I'm not aware of the content of the remaining files and I'm not worried about any damage resulting because the documents were all given to respectable journalists here in the US who have been carefully writing these articles and running them by the government for approval before they are released.
One of the journalists Barton Gellman said he ran every story by the government and pretty much took out whatever the government wanted removed.
So, it doesn't seem to me that there is a real harm to national security.
Whenever they talk about it, they talk about there could be or might be or would be in the future tense “maybe” a harm but so far there has been no harm and disclosures have been coming out for 6 months now.
Robles: Right. They've been embarrassing I think but affecting national security..I myself haven't seen anything that would cause anyone to lose lives or anything like that but embarrassment, I would say – yeah..I didn't know that they were all being vetted by the government themselves?
Radack: Most of the journalists, as far as I know, call up the government before they write the stories and tell the government what they are writing about and ask the government to respond and if the government sees something that it absolutely thinks would cause harm they will negotiate with the reporter and Barton Gellman, who has been one of the major journalists publishing these things, says he has never left in anything that the government objected to.
Robles: How do you feel about that regarding the fourth estate? Do you think it is proper that the government is vetting everything?
Radack: For me I think in the past journalists have given too much deference to government claims of national security harm, but the US government has lost a lot of credibility on “crying wolf when really there have been plenty of articles, for example the warrantless wiretapping article from 2005 which the government asked the New York Times to hold which it did for more than a year and then published. And there was no difference, it wasn't like anything got harmed other than the NSA's reputation. And evidence said they were engaging in illegal surveillance.
Robles: Have you seen any harm done by Mr. Snowden's revelations at all?
Radack: I've seen no harm done by his revelations. The government has said: “Oh well, these techniques are now known to terrorists, they know we are spying on them”.
But I can assure everybody that the terrorists already knew that the US was spying on them. I haven't seen any information (concrete evidentiary information) that evidences any harm caused by Mr. Snowden.
Robles: You were dealing with..
Radack: I was with the Justice Department and I was a legal ethics advisor. Before Guantanamo became a fixture, I was involved in a case of the first person captured in the war with Afghanistan and that person happened to be an American. And because of his case that in part inspired the US government to create the black hole otherwise known as Guantanamo Bay, or Gitmo, to avoid having to try accused alleged terrorists in an actual real court.
Robles: I'd like to ask your opinion on Guantanamo since it was the 12th anniversary yesterday in a minute, but you as an insider in the US government, I don't know if you are willing to give a statement or say anything about reported collusion between Al Qaeda, which was of course begun to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, what about current collusion between Al Qaeda and the US government and terrorist groups? Can you comment on that at all?
Radack: I'm no longer with the government, I can't comment on that.
I know over the years there have been different agreements for example whereby the US, up until 9-11 (4 months before 9-11) had been supporting the Taliban. And then about 4 months prior to 9-11 stopped supporting the Taliban. But other than that I don't know about collusion, I can't comment on that.
Robles: Do you find it interesting, that the Taliban are going to come back in a power in Afghanistan. And the biggest result of almost a 13-year-occupation is a 40 fold increase in the opium production in Afghanistan?
Radack: Yes, I find that ironic and tragic and something that could have been avoided if the US had not been such a warmonger after 9-11 and that means totally pointless and useless wars, that they have only made the predicate for going to war, namely terrorism, more of a threat rather than less.
Robles: What would you say… for example to Iraq veterans, for example, Fallujah just fell to Al Qaeda, I mean a lot of US veterans are really upset because they were giving their lives, they were risking their lives, they saw their comrades die for Fallujah and now it all seems kind of pointless. Would you like to comment on that?
Radack: I think they are right to be upset because they were lied into a war in which they served dutifully and got certain results but the Iraq war was a war that was based on lies. And now we are seeing the fruit of those lies come to bear. I sympathize with the men and women in uniform, whenever they risked their lives and in some cases gave their lives based on a lie…
Just a reminder you are listening to an interview with Jesselyn Radack.
Robles: And nobody will ever be prosecuted or held accountable for those lies, will they?
Radack: No, no one has been, or will be, prosecuted for lying to the country to get us into the invasion and occupation of Iraq. No one will be punished for all of the mass illegal unconstitutional surveillance that has been going on of the US by the NSA, which has been spying on the US and the entire world. No one will be held accountable, in fact the only person in whom the US has expressed interest in punishing is Mr. Snowden.
Robles: Right, and every whistleblower who has tried to expose the illegality. Back to Mr. Snowden if we could. Since you are his advisor and I understand you were here in Moscow not long ago you were a part of the group that awarded him an award for his work. Can you tell us about that a little bit?
Radack: Sure. I went over as part of the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence to present that very award to him.
He was fine, that was in October. He seemed to be doing well and acclimating to his new home in Russia and was grateful to have asylum from Russia and he was learning Russian and reading Russian history, trying to fit in to his new home.
He seemed fine and well and I communicate with him regularly and he continues to be doing fine. And it was a very nice trip to be able to make and see him in person and meet him in person. He is lovely, smart, grounded, visionary individual and I think we are all thankful that he has safe asylum right now in Russia where he is protected from a lot of people who would like to harm him.
Robles: Regarding that, I don't know if you could comment, my view is that only a couple of countries in the world would be able to protect him, right? I think one is Russia, the other is China. Why was he trying to get to Brazil? Can you explain that? Because that had a lot of people wondering what was going on.
Radack: I think he wasn't trying to get to Brazil, he wrote letters to both Germany and to Brazil, open letters for the public to read.
And I think the US intentionally misconstrued those letters as being petitions for asylum in exchange for information which they absolutely were not.
Anyone with their own two eyes can read the letters, they are public and nowhere no letter does he say “I want asylum and in exchange I will give you information”. Nothing of the sort. I think the American government painted it that way in order to try to upset Russia basically and make them upset with him.
Robles: They did a very good job actually because that's the reports we had, that was what was going on everywhere that he was actually ready to exchange this information with the German Parliament (the Bundestag) and the Brazilian government in order for them to give him asylum.
Radack: That is not accurate. And the letters… I'm not familiar enough with your Internet access but the letters at least here in America and around Europe are public and anybody can read them.
Most people have not bothered to read them because they just have heard the exchange. And I think that the reason they were painted that way by the American government was number one: Russia would get upset and number two; so that American politicians could call him a traitor. Because he is offering to sell or trade information in exchange for asylum. And therefore they can accuse him of being a traitor and of committing treason.
That was purely for the government's own convenience to try to pigeonhole him into the Espionage Act law under which he is being prosecuted, a law that is meant to go after spies, not whistleblowers which is a completely inappropriate for Mr. Snowden.
Robles: But that is wonderful for you to say, I'm going to repeat that, I'm going get it out there and to be honest with you, I'm on the Internet a lot, I think I'm pretty “with the curve” on most things and those letters were not available here, I can tell you that. I know a lot of stuff especially since his revelations came out, our Internet here seems to be working very strangely, e-mail and all kinds of stuff. It is not what it was even a year ago.
Radack: I apologize to the Russian people for any misinformation that US propaganda has caused, because again, they’re just out to try to do anything they can to paint Mr. Snowden as a traitor and someone who committed treason and who should be prosecuted for espionage. And at the same time they do anything they can to interfere in his relationship with the Russian government and so I apologize to the Russian people for that.
Robles: Unbelievable, I don't think you should do that. It is not your responsibility, but thank you. And I'm sure the Russian people love you for saying that.
That was the end part 1 of an interview with Jesselyn Radack, the National Security and Human Rights Director of the Government Accountability Project. She is also a legal advisor for Edward Snowden. Thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best wherever in the world you may be.
13 January, 17:24
Russian/Chinese prevention of Syrian invasion: historic event – Rick Rozoff
On the surface it appears that US/NATO lost in Afghanistan. But did they? According to US/NATO’s own assessments and statements Afghanistan has proven to be the testing ground for developing interoperability between NATO members and over 50 nations which provided military forces for the ongoing war in Afghanistan and the consolidation of an international military strike force. Heroin production has also increased 40 fold and has devastated the peoples of many countries while providing black monies for secret operations. There are reports that there is a possible drug route from Afghanistan, through the air base in Manas in Kirgizstan and into the Balkans, probably Kosovo, which is used to get Afghan opium and heroin to market with Hashim Thaçi directly implicated. According to Voice of Russia regular contributor Rick Rozoff, the lack of oversight of US military installations, such as Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo, makes it possible, if the US wants, to place even tactical nuclear weapons closer to the Russian or Iranian border. In part 2 of a 2013 year end summary Mr. Rozoff discusses those issues and more and cites Russian and Chinese moves to prevent an invasion of Syria as a major historical turning point.
This is John Robles, you are listening to an interview with Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the stop NATO website and international mailing list. This is part 2 of an interview in progress. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com
Robles: Two points I’d like to make and then you can continue any way you’d like. You said you wanted to speak about the human toll, the heroin wreaks on the world. The US taxpayers have spent, as far as I know, the figures I saw were about $7 billion in fighting narcotics production; opium production, heroin production – in Afghanistan. I believe that figure is correct, if I’m wrong, please, tell me. So, they weren’t there to stop heroin production. They weren’t there to get rid of the Taliban, while making secret deals with them and they are going to come back in power even more powerful than they were before. So, what was the real point of 12 years in Afghanistan then?
Rozoff: Well, I mean, I know what the answer to that is, but it is not what generally is offered as an explanation for the invasion, the occupation of Afghanistan. To read between the lines slightly all one needs to do, is read Anders Fogh Rasmussen or any other NATO official on their website. I invite people to visit the NATO website, it is where you are going to find out the truth but you may have to decipher it a bit.
And what you hear again and again is that Afghanistan has proven the testing ground or the training ground for a developing interoperability between NATO members and partners. Again, over 50 nations provided military forces for NATO in the ongoing war in Afghanistan. And what NATO walks away from… the Afghans of course have suffered a disastrous period, the region likewise and the world security has certainly not gained in any manner from the spot, NATO has walked away by having fused or integrated military units from 50 different countries.
People without any sense of history may not appreciate the significance of that fact, but for a moment, you know, the act of belligerence, even in WW II, for example, I’d be surprised if formally there were more than 20 on the side of the allies and now you’ve got 50 serving in one country, under one military command – NATO. That’s what NATO used Afghanistan for. It was simply a training ground for consolidating an international military strike force, what is referred to as the NATO Response Force, the nucleus of which will be this 50-nation alliance that NATO was able to put together inside Afghanistan.
On the question of the human toll of heroin, I’ll be brief on that but I’ll be personal. I worked in the past as a substance abuse counselor. I worked at methadone maintenance clinic. I know what heroin addiction does to people. I’ve seen young women out prostituting themselves. I’ve seen young babies left in their own feces and so forth as their parents are hunting down a fix. I know what heroin does to people. And if you multiply that on the level of hundreds of thousands or millions and this is what is happening, this is the untold cost of the Afghan war.
And you don’t have to look too far. The Russian Government will tell you what the figures are in their own country in heroin deaths and heroin addiction. The Iranian Government will tell you the same. I’m sure the five nations of Central Asia can say something similar. I’m sure that Pakistan and India are suffering this as well. And this is going to take generations to rectify.
Robles: It is an insidious cycle, and I’d really like you to comment on this as well, the whole heroin cycle includes the cultivators, the farmers – right? It begins with them, it ends up with somebody dying in a stairwell in Chicago with a dirty needle in their vein or something. But in between you’ve got government officials, you’ve got even US diplomats, maybe, you’ve got the CIA, you’ve got NATO officials and everyone is making money of it. How much do you think the US and NATO have profited from the entire heroin scheme in Afghanistan?
Rozoff: That’s rich ground for speculation. I would reference I think, as you were talking about the golden triangle earlier, Alfred McCoy he is a Professor, or was at least, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He wrote a book on just that topic, about the Southeast Asia during the war in Indo-China.
Robles: I’ve actually read that.
Rozoff: Good, talk about it! Inevitably, all the other plagues follow in the track of war; famine, disease, drug addiction, prostitution, dislocation. It is as sure as the night follows day you are going to find that. However, there is a more insidious side that you are alluding to, which is that one way of in the post WW II period of financing counterinsurgency groups that are artificially governmental in nature is through the drug trade.
This occurred in central America, it has occurred in south America, it has occurred in Indo-China, it has occurred in the Balkans, it is occurring currently in south and central Asia where cutthroat mercenary outfits do the dirty work, particularly for the CIA, and in return are allowed to run narcotics trafficking, perhaps, in conjunction with US military forces, as a way of paying themselves outside of the congressionally scrutinized budget. You know, it is a slush fund or a secret budget of some sort. We just have to assume that’s going on.
There has been discussion, I think there’s even been some degree of proof that there is a drug route that goes now from Afghanistan possibly through the air base in Manas in Kirgizstan fairly directly into the Balkans, probably Kosovo. And we know that criminal gangs or syndicates affiliated with the putative government of Kosovo, of Hashim Thaçi, have been directly implicated in running the preponderance of the drug trade throughout Europe. So, it would seem logical that opium, cultivated, farmed, semi-processed in Afghanistan or even processed into heroin and other by-products would then make their way into the drugs circuit in the Balkans, and from there to the West. It is more than a likely possibility.
Robles: So, this is going through… out of US military installations in Afghanistan to the US base possibly in Kosovo you think or… ?
Rozoff: There has been a discussion about that. And it seems plausible, at the very least. We are talking about the transit center of Manas in Kirgizstan, which is supposed to be closed down finally next year, unless the US raises the bid, as they’ve done in the past to maintain it yet further. But assuming that’s closed down, the US has modernized and expanded several air bases within Afghanistan itself – the Bagram Air Base north of the capital, Shindand near the Iranian border and other places and the US has no intention of vacating those bases ever, I think it is safe in assuming.
So, amongst other things that provide them probably long enough and big enough runways to accommodate strategic aircraft, should the US want to position such in the center of the south Asian region, but also cargo planes – they can bring anything in or out of the country as they choose, much as Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. It is not under any international supervision. The Kosovo force, the NATO military force in Afghanistan is, at least nominally, under the UN mandate but the US military base in Kosovo – Camp Bondsteel, as far as I know, is not inspected by anybody.
There’s been speculation by the Russian officials that if the US chooses to place nuclear weapons, say tactical nuclear weapons closer to the Russian border or the Iranian border, they could do so in Kosovo without anyone being wised up. So, why not narcotics?
Robles: This collusion in narcotics trafficking has been very well documented and proven. And it doesn’t matter how many times Oliver North said “I have no recollection” I mean, this is a fact of their operations.
Rozoff: Yes, war is a filthy business. It is one that by definition really is without ethics. And if Congress puts up even a titular or nominal opposition in any way or demands any sort of supervision of activities, then the Oliver Norths of the world find some way of getting it done otherwise. And that if means arms to terrorist gangs in central America going south and those same cargo planes coming back with marihuana and cocaine coming north, then what is the objection from the point of view of somebody who is willing to kill innocent people. I mean, if murder is justifiable, then what crime is not?
Robles: And you are alluding to?
Rozoff: I mean, you were mentioning the example during the 1980s of the dirty-tricks-operations… oh, not dirty tricks actually, but covert operations run out of the basement of the White House.
Robles: You hit the nail on the head there. I’m sorry, go ahead Rick.
Rozoff: That's actually an allusion to the Nixon committee to reelect the president tactics in 1972. But, you know, be it whatever it is or however we want to call it. I don’t mean to go off on too much of a tangent on that, that is something that, hopefully, enterprising journalists are going to be able to dig up without spending the rest of their life in a dungeon somewhere for revealing the truth.
But in the interim, what we do know about this past year is that it has signaled the beginning of the slowing down of the post Cold War momentum of the US and its military allies around the world.
They still expanded in certain areas, we can’t deny or minimize that. The Asia-Pacific pivot of the Obama administration starting last year, where the new enemy transparently right at this point is China, which is to be encircled militarily by an increased number of new US military bases, including interceptor missile facilities throughout Asia, aimed clearly at China reproducing something analogous to what’s happened with Russia through NATO expansion on the western-southern borders of Russia.
That is something that has occurred, but we’ve seen I think psychologically, as well as maybe a little bit more tangibly, an important pivot with the situation in Syria, as we talked about. And coming out of that a clear resolve by many nations in the world, and we have to remember that Chinese navy is now assisting Russia, the Chinese Navy right now in the removal of chemical weapons from Syria, which a Russian official was quoted as of yesterday as saying: “… this is the first time Russian and Chinese military have cooperated together in a real life crisis.” I think that’s almost a quote.
So, what we are seeing now is the evolution again, and this is so important to emphasize, to underline, of a model of international multipolarity with the basis on international law. And what that means is if countries like Russia and China, who are simultaneously the mainstays of two very-very important organizations – the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and what is loosely known as the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa now)…
Robles: If I can make a little kind of maybe sarcastic comment, but, are you implying that Russia and China are somehow part of the “international community?”
Rozoff: I know they were written off some time, roughly 22 years ago and you didn’t have to consult their interests in any way or form. That has now changed and it changed pretty demonstrably. And what is evident this past year in particular is that because of consistency and determination we had from both those countries, particularly Russia but China also, we have to recall that in an unprecedented series of actions those three countries three times in succession vetoed the proposed resolutions in the UN Security Council that would have laid the groundwork for a replication of the Libyan model in Syria.
And the fact that Russia and China did not back down even in the face of what is very formidable American ability to mould public opinion internationally and even to have that reflected within the affected countries Russia and China, where media, either from the West or parroting the line of the West oftentimes, is able to influence public opinion domestically in those two countries – that despite all that Russia and China stood their ground, refused to back down.
And we can flash back to some of our earlier programs or interviews with the horribly insulting and condescending, and contemptuous statements made by major US political officials, for example, the former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Dr. Susan Rice – the current National Security Advisor – and others who spoke about Russia and China in terms that really do not belong in international diplomacy in any way or form.
But not withstanding all that the fact is a couple of very significant nations – Russia and China – they’ve proven thus far and no farther, I want to say.
They allowed a resolution against Libya in early 2011 to pass the UN Security Council and saw what occurred, which is six months of US and NATO bombardment of the country, as you indicated, and never again this is going to occur. And this is a very important stand that was taken on the issue of Syria. You know, had it not been Syria, it may have been some other nation. But the fact is – historically it was Syria and this is going to be recorded unquestionably as a major historical turning point.
Robles: Thank you Rick!
That was the end of part 2 of an interview with Rick Rozoff – the owner and manager of the stop NATO website and international mailing list. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com
13 January, 15:00
NATO’s Ukrainian target: The Black Sea Fleet - Rick Rozoff
In the coming year the activities of US/NATO in the Arctic, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia will be of particular interest as the US/NATO continues to attempt to expand globally into a historically unprecedented military power unto itself. Voice of Russia regular Rick Rozoff spoke about these issues and more in an end of the year interview in which he recapped the previous years’ events and forecast what is to come. According to Mr. Rozoff the key reason for pulling Ukraine into the EU is to eventually ensnare it in NATO and evict Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.
This is John Robles. You are listening to an interview with Rick Rozoff, the Owner and Manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list. This is part 3 of an interview in progress. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at Voiceofrussia.com.
PART 1, PART 2
Robles: Coming up in the next year what countries, what areas should we be watching out for with regard to NATO expansion? We talked a little bit before about the Arctic, it’s heating up, about Scandinavia I think. What other areas do you think NATO is going to try to expand into? And I'd like you, if you could, comment on what does the loss of Ukraine mean for NATO?
Rozoff: Those are the good questions. On the first I would say it is the international analogue of what we in Chicago would call a crime alert. There are street gangs or burglary rings or something other operating in the area and you want to alert people to where they are likely to strike, and we are doing the world a service I think by anticipating that, but let's be real clear, the Ukraine indeed is one of them. Let me reserve that, discussion of that for a moment.
Let’s look at what is happening in Central Africa. We have seen French military intervention in Mali, direct military intervention with the assistance of the United States, the US Africa Command and US air forces Africa, US air forces in Europe and Africa, directly involved in ferrying and/or transporting French troops and armored vehicles and so forth, for what is a direct military action in Mali. We are seeing that replicated right now in the Central African Republic.
And these action … and now we see US Osprey helicopters attacked in South Sudan, where the US is going to become directly involved militarily, there are already calls for US direct military action in retaliation for that attack. We do have to recollect, that maybe a year and a half ago, the Obama Administration signaled, they announced formally, they were deploying special operations troops to foreign nations in Central Africa. Those are exactly the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Congo and what is the fourth - Uganda.
So that the US is already massively involved in Uganda; Ugandan troops are the US's proxies in Somali for the most part, as well as there are some Burundi and Kenyan. So Central Africa is clearly marked up. There is a massive propaganda campaign, many of your listeners may be aware of, by some shadowy mysterious individual to hunt down Joseph Kony of the Lord's Resistance Army, in a video that … promoted by the likes of Oprah Winfrey went viral and to build up a humanitarian justification for direct US involvement in Central Africa, now we are seeing what that really means.
What that really means is a direct US military role in the newest nation in the world South Sudan. It means the US once again supporting their French NATO ally in military conflicts in Africa, following that of Ivory Coast in 2011 where they overthrew the government of Laurent Gbagbo. And recently, last year in Mali, this year in Central African Republic, it is likely to shift into nations like Chad in not too distant future.
So we are seeing what African command was set up to do, which is to oversee, coordinate or to wage war in Africa in conjunction with the US's military allies and NATO friends it appears currently in the first place. So that is one area I would look at.
Robles: What are the US NATO Western interests in Africa for those of our listeners who aren't really aware of what they have to offer down there?
Rozoff: The American political leader Malcolm X said in entertaining but illustrative speech in the early 1960s called 'I don't mean bananas'. And he was talking about what, at that time, the Patrice Lumumba government in Belgian Congo had been overthrown. It is now clear, for all the conspiracy theorists, that the US all but admits that the Central Intelligence Agency was instrumental in the overthrow of his regime, and in his murder.
But what 40 years ago Malcolm X was talking about was the fact that Africa is one of the resource richest continents in the world and increasingly now with material needed for computer technology and energy, of oil in the first place, natural gas secondarily, that Africa is invaluable to the world. And what it represents is an opportunity for the United States and its allies to reclaim control of the African continent effectively.
We do have to remember that every major colonial power in Africa, former colonial power, is a member of NATO: France, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Turkey, Italy - every single one. So NATO in many ways is a collective of the Western colonial powers internationally, in Asia and in the Western hemisphere as well, South and the Central America, including the Caribbean.
But these are the Africa that we are talking about is a consortium of Western military powers that want to control, the dealing in raw materials, precious and semiprecious metals, or stones and metals and so forth. The diamond trade in South Africa alone is worth looking at.
But we are looking at what are reported to be fairly large reserves of petroleum in Central Africa exactly, with at least tentative plans to have those reserves piped out through countries like Uganda to the Pacific Ocean or the Indian Ocean. And I think it is important that these economic factors be taken into consideration when we look at where our militaries are being deployed and what overall military strategy may be.
The fact that the US set up its first unified combatant command, its first overseas integrated military command since the Cold War, in Africa, is a significant fact and it is not a fortuitous one. It suggests that the battle for Africa is in many ways a strategically important battle for the world resources and control and domination. Africa now is, with the population of over a billion people as of maybe three years ago, the second most populous nation … continent rather in the world, next to Asia.
So it is significant from a number of points of view and the US military is not going to sit aside and watch through diplomatic and economic measures countries like Russia and China are going to become more actively involved in China without putting up a battle to beat them on that board.
Robles: You mean more active in Africa?
Rozoff: Oh, I'm sorry, Africa indeed, pardon me.
Robles: Africa we should be watching at for, what about Scandinavia and the Arctic? Where do you see things - you are usually ahead of the curve Rick - so where do you see things going in the Arctic with NATO expansion and in Scandinavia? And with the continuing ABM placement, the missile shield, do you think they are going to keep doing it?
Rozoff: Yes, there seems to be a renewed interest in, or at least reporting on what five years ago would have been referred to, I certainly referred to it as such at that time as the scramble for the Arctic and what occurred in - it will be shortly five years as a matter of fact the very beginning of 2009 - is that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization held a conference in Iceland, I believe it was called the conference on the High North. High North is the NATO term or euphemism if you will, for the Arctic.
And what they were talking about at that time, this came immediately on the heels incidentally of the - a kind of a parting shot by the George W. Bush Administration in January of 2009 - immediately before his leaving the Oval Office George W Bush, a National Security Agency directive was issued on the Arctic. And it was evident at that time that there were five official claimants to parts of the Arctic Ocean and four of those five were members of NATO: they are the US, Canada, Norway and Denmark.
But other countries like Britain, other NATO members like Britain and Scandinavian countries like Finland, Sweden are getting involved in the oil rush, if I could put it that, amongst other things in the High North, with countries outside the region including China interested in what’s occurring there. But the fact that four of the five official claimants are members of NATO, and that the US is a major one amongst them, signals another potential bone of contention between NATO and Russia.
Russia has the most sizable and I would argue the most legitimate claim to areas, particularly the Lomonosov Ridge comes to mind in the Arctic Circle. And in fact I think it was about 3 or 4 years ago that Norway became the first country in the world to base its military headquarters within the Arctic Circle, it moved it north within the Arctic region.
Robles: I see.
Rozoff: So that we have that going on at the same time as I think you alertly allude to that Scandinavia is being targeted for, all but effective formal incorporation into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. With Denmark and Norway being founding members of NATO, then that leaves of course Finland and Sweden which historically have been neutral, Finland at least since World War 2, Sweden for 200 years. But both of whom have been supplying troops, have been killing and dying in northern Afghanistan under NATO command, International Security Assistance Force. Sweden provided Gripen war planes for NATO's war against Libya in 2011.
So you have Sweden which had been not involved in military conflicts, had been neutral for 200 years, engage in NATO wars in Asia and Africa. I don't know how much of Swedish people really pay attention to this, but Sweden now is formally joining the NATO response force, the international strike force, as well as Finland, Georgia and up until recently the plan was for Ukraine to join them.
So what do we have is, that is not coincidental, that suggests that NATO feels it not only needs to encroach yet further on the Russian border, Finland has a sizable border with Russia of course, but also in the push to the North, to the High North, to the Arctic. And that those two, as you indicate in your question, are related issues, they really cannot be separated and that the US wants dominance at the top of the world as it does in most every other part of the world.
Robles: Can we segue into Ukraine then? And I'd like to get your year end summary on our President Vladimir Putin.
Rozoff:Ukraine became after what appears to be the resolution of the crisis of the crisis, of the catastrophe in fact, in Syria to have been the next point on the chessboard where the US and its western allies decided to face down Russia or challenge Russia by intervening, really interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation, pressuring the government of Victor Yanukovich and his allies in Kiev which was elected expressly to foster cooperative relations with Russia after the government of his predecessor Victor Yushchenko, whose wife of course was born here in Chicago and worked in various capacities for the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations, people should recall. And after he had turned on Russia, including on pipeline arrangements where Russia was disadvantaged vis a vis Western Europe.
But the Yanukovich government was elected in large part to foster friendly relations with its neighbor of some 1400 km and to have them then be strong armed or pressured by the US and its western allies to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union at the very moment that Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus are in the course of consolidating a Customs Union. Well it is quite evident that the intent is to pull Ukraine away from Russia, shift it in the direction of the European Union and NATO.
And that the European Union, again as we had occasion to discuss, is really the cloak under which Ukraine is to be integrated into NATO. And the ships provided by the government of Ukraine already active, and two ongoing and presumably permanent North Atlantic Treaty Organization naval operations, one in the Mediterranean Sea, the other in the Arabian Sea, first is operation Active Endeavor, the second is Operation Ocean Shield, and the US continues to hold, again as we've discussed before, the annual Sea Breeze military exercises in the Crimea in Ukraine, which is also where the Russian Black Sea fleet is based.
Keep in mind, if you want to talk about geopolitics, that people can envision in their mind a map of that part of the world. Were the government of Syria to have been overthrown and Russia to lose its naval docking facility at least in Tartus, and if the government of Yanukovich is to be overthrown in one manner or another through violence, street uprising, we saw it that the press has proven to be quite adept at pulling off in countries from Yugoslavia to Ukraine 9 years ago, or through a rigged or extra constitutional election that brings about a change of regime in the country, and the Russian Black Sea fleet were to be ordered out of the Crimea which is I'm sure what the US is ordering its allies and the Ukraine to do, or to consider. Then you would have seen the eviction of Russia, not only from the Mediterranean, but except for a narrow strip of Russian territory out of the Black Sea. And this is pretty heavy duty geopolitics, and I think in that sense too the two are not unrelated.
That was the end of part 3 of an interview with Rick Rozoff, the Owner and Manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list. You can find the remaining parts of this interview on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. Thanks for listening and I wish you the best.
11 January, 18:04
US/NATO preparing to battle Russia for the Arctic – Bruce Gagnon
According to the National Society of Engineers of America 60% of the roads and bridges in America are falling apart and there is no money to fix them, something which will lead to a complete collapse of transportation infrastructure. Unemployment, under-employment, the loss of jobs and the non-creation of new jobs are also extremely serious problems which are not being address by the government or the corporations and the military industrial complex which controls it. These issues are reaching a crisis level, however the US still has trillions to spend on surveillance and the military industrial complex.
The US also continues with their complete and total disconnect from reality refusing to invest in important strategic infrastructure and alternative energy sources that will save the country when the oil and gas runs out and continues planning for wars and invasions in order to satisfy the voracious insatiable hunger for resources that huge oil corporations have, the profiting on which they refuse to let go.
In an interview with the Voice of Russia Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator for the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and a lifetime activist fighting for social justice, spoke on all of these issues nd more. As the profiteering continues and the US plans to continue their resource wars, the US has now pulled in once neutral Canada. Canada, under pressure from the US, according to Mr. Gagnon, has recently been forced to make the largest military appropriation in its history to build warships that are going to be sent into the Arctic to help the US and NATO battle Russia over control of the Arctic.
According to Mr. Gagnon a serious conflict with Russia is in the making as Sweden, Norway, Denmark and even Finland are being brought in as part of a US program to control the extraction of oil and natural gas from the Arctic region.
The type of myopic- short-term thinking and refusal to plan for the future show a disconnect from our Mother Earth, and according to Mr. Gagnon and many others who hold to the beliefs of the American Indians, we have a responsibility to the future generations to protect the Earth and we do not have the right to be so uncaring about the future generations.
Hello! This is John Robles, I'm speaking with Mr. Bruce Gagnon. He is the coordinator for the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. This is part 3 of an interview in progress.
Robles: Well, Russia now, they are talking about spending up to $702 billion. Now, that could go into a lot of infrastructure and social development and betterment.
Gagnon: And you know, studies show, there is a university here in the US, the Economics Department did a study where they clearly showed that the worst way to create jobs is military spending. And so, I'm sure in every country jobs is a big issue today, right?
Robles: Yes, sure!
Gagnon: So, if you want to create more jobs, you have to move the money away from the military which doesn't create as many jobs.
For example, if my country instead of building weapons, if we build a national rail system – we would more than double the number of jobs that would be created with the same amount of money. More than double the number of jobs! So, that's where we ought to be heading. It is good for the economy, it is good for workers, it is good for the environment….
Robles: There is another very good reason for building rail infrastructure in the US; it is strategically important, because the US, due to the road transportation and all the trucks and the system now, the US is completely dependent on oil. And I know US truck drivers love to say: "Without trucks America stops!" Well that's the truth. The whole country would collapse if there wasn't oil to drive the trade and the cargo and the food that is being transferred over the road.
Gagnon: And a lot of our communities now, to be honest with you, the National Society of Engineers of America have said that 60% of the roads and bridges in America are falling apart and there is no money to fix them. So, we are going to have a literal collapse of this infrastructure in this country…
Robles: Well, there is money to fix it, it is just being put into the pockets of the owners of KBR and McDonnel Douglas and General Dynamics, and everybody else.
Gagnon: Yes, exactly.
Robles: But of course, for the bridge that is going to connect your town to the rest of the civilized world that doesn't matter.
What you said about the Indians and seven generations ahead reminds me, in stark, contrast of one of the quotes by George H. W. Bush that sticks in my mind. Somebody had asked him; "Don't you think about the future, don't you think about your children or what you are going to leave behind?" He said: "No, I don't really care what is here in a hundred years, I won't be around." And that seems to characterize the whole thing.
Gagnon: And that is kind of a sickness, you know. It is a spiritual sickness, a disconnection from our Mother Earth, when people don't understand how we all come from this Mother Earth and that we return to it when we die, and that the only way the future generations have a chance at life is if we – those who are living today – keep the fires burning for all the people.
And when we think back through human history, through the ice ages and droughts, and plagues, and famines, and wars – the reason why you and I are here today living and breathing is because our previous relatives made all kinds of sacrifices and faced all kinds of challenges to get us here. And we don't have the right (we don't have the right) to be so uncaring about the future generations. And so, it just makes me angry when I hear people talk like that.
Robles: It is because you are a good man, that's why.
Gagnon: I try.
Robles: Well, you don't have to try. You either are, I guess, or you aren't. Bruce, anything big you want to finish up with or?
Gagnon: I'd just like to invite people to check out our website, which is www.spaceforpeace.org
Robles: And can you tell us what activities are you guys doing right now? What are you active in?
Gagnon: We are doing a lot of support work around the world where people are fighting against the US bases, this whole anti-base movement. In particular, in Italy right now and in South Korea there are strong campaigns against the US bases that are tied into this whole missile defense.
Robles: How many US bases are there now in the world?
Gagnon: Somewhere between 800 and 1,000 all over the planet. So, we are doing work on that. We are doing work on missile defense, which we spoke about. We are doing work on drones. And ultimately, we are doing work trying to stop the corporate control of our democracy.
Our democracy is being "drowned in the bathtub" by the corporations and they have taken control of our nation. And so, we are fighting back on that as well, both locally and regionally, and across the country, and around the world, because these same corporations obviously have gone global and now these same corporations want to take over Ukraine, they want to take over Russia, they want to take over China, they want to take over the African continent so they can control resource extraction. So, it is work against the corporate criminal syndicate.
Robles: Last question really quick about the Arctic, have you heard anything interesting going on?
Gagnon: Well, the US has got Canada to appropriate the largest military appropriation in the history of Canada – to build warships that are going to be sent up into the Arctic to help the US and NATO battle Russia over control of the Arctic.
And Sweden is being brought into this, Norway is being brought into this, Denmark is being brought into this, they want to bring Finland into this. But clearly, that's a major-major issue on the US agenda and Canada will be very much a part of the US program at this point to really try to control the extraction of oil and natural gas out of the Arctic region. And so, a conflict with Russia is in the making, clearly.
Robles: Okay. Well, let's hope not. Bruce, thank you very much, I really appreciate you taking the time to speak with us.
Gagnon: Thank you John.
That was the end of an interview with Bruce Gagnon – the coordinator for the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Thanks for listening and I wish you the best, wherever you may be.
11 January, 00:15
Only US/NATO success in Afghanistan: 40 fold opium increase – Rick Rozoff
In a review of NATO and US military activity for the year 2013, Voice of Russia regular Rick Rozoff stated that 2013 saw a slowing of, if not the beginning of a reversal of a 22 year US/NATO/Western drive to assert global dominance economically, politically, culturally and militarily. Among the most important events of the last year, if not the last 20, was the stopping of the invasion of Syria by Russia. According to Mr. Rozoff as US/NATO “slinks away with its tail between its legs” from Afghanistan, the only accomplishment they can claim after 13 years of occupation is that opium cultivation has increased by 40 fold. The military monolith of NATO is having a bad time of late and no matter what they say, the fact of the matter is, they have failed. This is part one of a much longer year end interview with Mr. Rozoff.
Hello, this is John Robles, I am speaking with Mr. Rick Rozoff, the Owner and Manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.
Robles: Hello, Rick.
Rozoff: Hello, John.
Robles: End of another year, things seem to have gone kind of in the opposite direction as they seemed to have been going at the end of last year and the previous year. We of course would like to do a year end summary and get your views on where things are going. So, take it away.
Rozoff: You are correct. I mean, there has been, if you will, countercyclical or countervailing tendency dynamic over the past year and even though those who are superstitious about numbers might have thought 2013 would be an inauspicious one. I think that history will record even, you know, in the short term, that it has been momentous year in a number of ways.
And in particular what we have seen is (for the first time) a slowing up of, if not the beginning of a reversal of, what has been just an inexorable, unstoppable momentum by the West, the US primarily of course, in the entire post-Cold-War period (and we are now talking about 22 years) to assert global dominance economically, politically, culturally, but militarily in the first place.
More than in any other manner of course through the expansion of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, throughout the European continent but ultimately to transform it into a global military force. This is what we talked about a year ago if your listeners will recollect. And of course last year was the year of the NATO summit in Chicago here in May of 2012 and the US and its NATO allies set some fairly ambitious objectives, amongst which were the formal launching of the so called launching of the interceptor missiles system in Europe, the expansion of NATO….
Robles: I’m sorry, if I could interrupt you, just to remind our listeners: this was the first ever (in history) debate, an open debate with NATO, it was supposed to be with officials and you were one of the spokespeople there, speaking for the other side, right?
Rozoff: That is correct, John, thanks for reminding me as well as your listeners of that. That was in May of 2012, so roughly a year and a half ago. And there was a nationally and through Youtube, of course, internationally televised debate, the first of its kind.
Robles: And you did quite well. Anyway, please, go ahead.
Rozoff: Well, the fact was that we were looking at this a year ago, we saw, you know, signs that the uncontested role of the US as the “world’s sole military superpower” and pardon me again for quoting the president of the US Barack Obama whose term that is. He used it, well it will be now 4 years ago, when he received the Nobel Peace Prize and boasted of being the Commander in Chief of the world’s sole military superpower.
But what we’ve seen is that the military monolith has been having a bad time of it lately. And these past years signified, I think, on three or four different scores at least an indication there is a shift in the winds. And the most important by a long shot, the most strategically important is the fact that through Russian intervention, through many instances also, the heroic activities of a small group of individuals, I know you’ve interviewed the British Member of Parliament George Galloway recently, and in one of the segments of the interview you conducted with him which has been posted on voiceofrussia recently. The two of you discussed his role in NATO and maybe as few as three colleagues in the British House of Commons, in putting a spoke in the wheel of the Cameron Administration’s plans, to enter into war against Syria with the US and other NATO allies.
So, we saw that occur in the British Parliament, but we saw the intervention of Russia in the first instance around the question of dismantling the chemical weapons arsenal of the Syrian government as a way of really calling the US’ bluff (that of Secretary of State John Kerry in the first instance) and diffusing a situation were just few days earlier US president Obama had a press conference where he was openly laying the ground work for a Libyan style military intervention in Syria.
So, we saw that stopped. I know, amongst other people myself, drew the parallel between Syria this year and Spain in the 1930s in that, in both cases, in the case of Spain you had the emerging Axis Powers: Nazi’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy (Fascist Italy), supporting the armed insurrection of the Generalissimo Franco and his Moroccan mercenaries and others against the legally elected Republic the Government of Spain. And that battle in Spain in so many ways portended what was to happen in the entire European continent shortly thereafter, in other words, had the legitimate government of Spain unable to defend itself effectively and fend off an armed insurrection backed by foreign powers, WWII may not have occurred, and 50 million human lives that were lost may not have been lost.
And I think that Syria represented something comparable/analogues to that. But you had in these case Russia, Iran and China stepping in and saying that foreign military powers are not going to intervene and touch off either cataclysm strictly within Syria, but more likely a conflagration that would quickly pull into its vortex almost every country in the Middle East and perhaps even provoke an international crisis. So, we saw that occur.
Robles: I’d like to underline that point you just said about the possible (and people were saying) escalation of a Syrian war into a regional conflict and then into an actual world war. This all begun and caused by NATO, so what does that tell us about their role in the world as far as being an instrument for security and safety?
Rozoff: Your tone seems straightforward but I’m sure it is meant to imply irony and not only irony I think that almost demonical diabolical inversion of the truth, of course. But NATO itself is directly involved in sending batteries of interceptor missiles Patriot Advanced Capability 3 interceptor missiles to Turkey within the last year and a half which is something NATO has done twice in the past, which is to send the same sort (actually they were not quite as advanced a model of the Patriot the current one is even more long ranged and more sophisticated), but in 1991 and again in 2003 that is on the eves immediately of the wars against Iraq in those years 1991-2003 NATO also sent Patriot batteries as well as AWACS aircraft to Turkey for much the same purpose.
So, when US, German and Dutch Patriot batteries were sent to Turkey under NATO command a sensible person would have seen the analogy and reckoned that a war was imminent against Syria and it would include, because Turkey borders Syria and Turkey is a member of NATO, that NATO would have been involved its article 5, mutual military assistance clause, and the full force of a military alliance comprised of 28 countries accounting for some 70% of world military spending ($1 trillion a year collectively in military spending) arraigned against a very weak and isolated Syrian government.
This is what was in the offing just a few months ago we do have to remember. And that but for heroic efforts in the British Parliament as I mentioned but much more; the direct role of the Russian Government in a fairly sophisticated manner intervening diplomatically… This is what diplomacy is about: it is to prevent wars, not to give cover for wars, not to create the pretense for wars but to stop them.
And I believe history will record the Russian diplomatic intervention around Syria, defusing that crisis is both something likely (as Mr. Galloway, Parliamentarian Galloway, said on your show) something that really ought to get somebody in the Russian government for Nobel Peace Prize. As opposed to the person who got it 4 years ago and then immediately went to work waging military aggression around the globe.
So that we had that occur. We had the Edward Snowden affair which is also something that cannot be...
Robles: I’m sorry, as a force for stability, peace and security, you as one of the eminent (I would say) NATO experts in the world, did NATO do anything in the past year that lent to any sort of peace or stability or security for any of the people in the world?
Rozoff: No, of course it didn’t, nor has it ever been designed to do that. So it shouldn’t be surprising.
Another factor though which is not quite as salient or clear-cut, but I think just as important, is the fact that NATO is licking its wounds in Afghanistan, is getting ready to continue the metaphor I suppose, to slink away with its tail between its legs. And this into the 13th year, of not only the longest war in the history of the US, but the first ground war ever waged by NATO, the first military campaign launched and conducted by NATO in Asia, that is outside of Europe. It was followed of course by a war in Africa, the war against Libya two years ago.
Robles: To call that a war, I don’t know if you could call an onslaught of airstrikes and missile shot from hundreds of miles away a war, but basically just shooting fish in barrel, if I could use that expression.
Rozoff: You are correct about that, I should retract the use of the term “war” and just call it unilateral military aggression, overwhelming unilateral military aggression, the difference is (to use a historical analogy I suppose) between the Battle of Okinawa and the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
So we do see the debacle, I think at this point it is irrefutable no matter how much Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen or any of his underlings, or his deputy –Alexander Vershbow former US ambassador to Russia (who is Deputy Secretary General of NATO), no matter how much these people try to put the best face on it, try to save face in fact, by claiming they have achieved anything in Afghanistan, as we know from the head of the Anti-Drug Agency in Russia, the only unarguable accomplishment if you want to call it that of NATO’s military assault in Afghanistan, is the fact that opium production has increased by a factor of 40.
Robles: I just want to underline, he is not just the head of the Anti-Drug establishment here in Russia – YuriyFedotov he is also the head of the United Nations Agency on Drugs and Crime that issued the 2013 opium report. And he himself was quite shocked at the level of heroine production. And Global Research published an expose of photographs of US soldiers guarding and protecting opium fields in Afghanistan. I mean, if you could comment on that, I’d really love to hear what you have to say about what NATO and the US were “really” doing in Afghanistan for 13 years.
Rozoff: On the question of the explosion of opium cultivation and the expansion of heroine abuse and the human tragedy thereof about which I hope I can speak in a second, being the only provable accomplishment or achievement of NATO in Afghanistan, that is simple beyond questioning, that is it, Nothing else has been accomplished.
Taliban is still active, other groups, which by the way, like the Haqqani network or Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin which are led by people the US supported. Supported primarily in the Mujahedeen war in the 1980s, these forces are still active both in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan.
There has been no consolidation of a viable representative or even reputable government in Kabul. So this has been an unequivocal debacle first of all for the Afghan people who have suffered immeasurably by 12 more years of dislocation, of night raids, of bombing raids, of other catastrophes, destruction effectively of their infrastructure and their agricultural economy.
And in its place we get again as we talked about a second ago, a 40 fold increase in the opium cultivation. This means, and we have to look at this in human terms, this means hundreds of thousands if not millions of Afghans themselves have become addicted to heroin.
This means that millions in Russia, in Iran, in Central Asia and elsewhere in the general region have become dependent on heroine.
This means tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of deaths through overdose, through HIV, through criminal activity, as a result of this epidemic of heroine.
And this is done under the watch of, at peak strength, 150,000 troops serving under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.
Certainly the least that the world community could have asked for a military occupation force, which legally incidentally the US and NATO are in Afghanistan, is they would have provided some modicum of a civilian infrastructure, of extermination of the opium cultivation in the country and such like, but clearly evidences the fact that the West had no intention whatsoever in doing anything of the sort.
I don’t have the exact figures at my fingertips, John, but something in the neighborhood of 80% to 90% of total funds that have gone into Afghanistan since the US/British invasion of October 2001 have gone for military and security purposes, that money has not gone into civilian infrastructure, has not gone into building a viable economy and so forth, notwithstanding comments by certain western foreign ministers that they’ve gone in there for alleged humanitarian reasons.
That was the end of part 1 of an interview with Rick Rozoff, the Owner and Manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening and as always I wish you the best wherever you may be.
10 January, 22:49
Fracking: Champagne for the elites, death for the people
There are so many serious issues concerning the spread of induced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing (fracking) and so many reasons why it should be stopped completely or strictly regulated as more and more becomes known regarding the long-term impact on the planet and so much false propaganda being spread about the practice that it is difficult to choose where to begin attempting to formulate an intelligent presentation of the issue. However the long term dangers are so great to the international community and out very planet that the issue must be looked at at the highest levels and a moratorium if not an all out ban on the process must be implemented.
Corporate Destruction of the Planet
Let us start by being frank the bottom line in the fracking debate was best summed by a corporate executive whose company is making billions from fracking, he said there is gas there and we need it. In other words nothing else matters as long as there is a profit to be made.
The huge US multi-national corporations involved in oil, energy and resource extraction have a long and black record when it comes to protecting the people of the world and the planet. From the Gulf Oil Spill to the Bhopal disaster, the release of a mind-boggling plethora of toxic and deadly chemicals into the global environment (a list too long to detail here), the destruction of seas and forests and the egregious practice of moving dirty industries to unregulated countries (among top issues) all have proven that the corporations are interested in one thing and one thing only: maintaining their bottom line.
Halliburton, Cheney and convenient exemptions
It is not a secret that these corporations will do anything to make profits and when we look at the records of the players and who they are the truth becomes even clearer. A case in point is Halliburton, the company run by ex-US Vice President Dick Cheney, the snarling neo-conservative architect of the Bush wars and a man who (it was revealed by the release of the infamous torture memos) personally developed and signed off on torture techniques such as “puncturing an eye” and “slicing a testicle”.
Fracking profiteers Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Shlumberger were revealed to be the subjects of a U.S. Justice Department federal antitrust probe initiated against the $36 billion a year fracturing industry this past summer. It was reported that documents were being sought however the current state of the action is unclear.
Halliburton, with the coming to power of its “former” chairman Richard “Dick” Cheney was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the War on Terror, the invasion of Iraq and the entire indefinite-detention-torture-paradigm. The company is one of the top war profiteers on the planet and also heavily involved in oil field support operations and resource exploitation, including fracking.
So it is no coincidence that during the Bush/Cheney occupation of the White House fracking was exempted from major EPA regulation. The US Government’s Energy Policy Act of 2005 was written with a provision that benefits fracking profiteers and is now known as the "Halliburton Loophole". The provision allows Halliburton and others to be exempt from many of the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act.
It is no secret that the US Government has been (quite literally) taken over by corporations and special interests willing to spend billions on lobbying and “greasing the wheels” and corporations involved in fracking spent a mind-boggling $726 million dollars on lobbying from 2001-2011.
With the inherent dangers of fracking one has to question whose interests the government is supposed to be protecting and it is clear in this case that the interests of the people and the environment fall far behind to the interests of the entrenched US corporations.
What Exactly is Fracking?
Fracking is controversial but what exactly is it? Hydraulic fracturing is the process of extracting gases by fracturing rock using a pressurized liquid mixture which cracks or “fractures” the rock. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally, for example certain veins or dikes.
With induced hydraulic fracturing a bore is drilled vertically to the desired depth, then turns ninety degrees to the horizontally and continues for several thousand feet (going thousands of feet deeper than traditional natural gas wells) into the shale containing the trapped natural gas.
When the bore or “well” is complete a mixture; usually water, sand and various chemicals, is injected at high pressure into the bore to create small fissures which are typically less than 1mm in size through which the gas can escape.
Fracking requires between two and eight million (Yes, million!) gallons of local freshwater per well which is over a 100 times more than what is required using traditional extraction methods. This water is permanently contaminated when it is mixed into the "fracking fluid". This mix is a virtual cocktail of toxic chemicals and while corporations such as Halliburton refuse to disclose the exact chemicals used, saying the information is “proprietary”, studies have shown the fluid contains: acetic acids, boric acids, citric acids, ethylene glycol, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid, lead, mercury, methanol, radium, uranium and other deadly chemical contaminants, many of which would kill a human being in the minutest amount.
After the rock is fractured hydraulic pressure is removed from the well, then small grains of proppant (sand or aluminium oxide) hold the fractures open. The technique is very common in wells for shale gas, tight gas, tight oil, and coal seam gas and hard rock wells. The natural gas then escapes through the fissures and is drawn back up the well to the surface, where it is processed, refined, and shipped to market.
It is claimed that the wastewater returns to the surface after the fracking process is completed. Reportedly it is contained in steel tanks until it can be stored long-term by deep injection in oil and gas waste wells.
Benefits of Fracking
Proponents of hydraulic fracturing say there is about a 100 year supply of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons in the US which can be extracted by fracking. However this amount has not been proven.
Dangers of Fracking
Opponents to fracking cite the environmental effects, including the permanent contamination of vast amounts of ground water, the depletion of fresh water reserves, air and noise pollution, the return and leakage of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface which then enter the atmosphere are carried by winds and poison water supplies, land and everything they come in contact with and can be passed to humans through livestock and the like. Again for one single fracking operation between two and eight million gallons of freshwater are required. Water which then has to be completely contained and isolated from humans. Although self-interested corporations might claim the deadly mixture is contained, there is no way to guarantee that seepage into the earth will not occur.
US proponents of fracking love to jump on the “energy independence” and “economic benefits” band-wagon but all of these arguments are ludicrous when one considers the wasteland that is created by the process, the dangers to health and the massive amount of freshwater that is contaminated forever. All arguments about “energy independence” and are also completely ridiculous and absolutely annulled when you consider these corporations will never even consider promoting energy independence through renewable and alternative energy resources. They have one goal: making money the only obtuse way they know how.
The 100 year “golden age of gas” is a fallacy, this meaning one where the US is energy independent and produces enough gas to export. Any attempt at such will surely lead to 100 years of completely raping and destroying the environment for future generations.
The idiocy of American corporations and those claiming fossil fuels are the only source of energy available cannot be overstated or exaggerated, especially given the fact that we know that workable electric cars and alternative sources of safe renewable energy have existed for decades. But of course economies and corporations making billions and based on fossil fuel trade do not want these facts to be known. Alternative fuels include everything from solar energy to vegetable oil.
Protests against fracking are growing larger and more frequent as the public becomes aware of the dangers. However those in power who are obviously catering to the interests of large corporations, such as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, choose to ignore the concerns of the public and their constituents.
Recently over a thousand protestors took part in an anti-fracking demonstration in Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York the capital of New York state, during the State of the State address. Governor Andrew Cuomo however chose not to mention fracking during his speech nor to address the concerns of the thousands gathered outside.
According to RT one of the protestors said his reason for being against fracking was the “Air contamination, high levels of radiation, earthquakes,” and that it is an incredibly dirty form of extreme energy extraction that cannot have any place in New York state. Another protestor citing the fact that “Water is non-renewable.”
Brainwashing the Children
How would Walt Disney feel if he knew that his life’s work and everything he worked for to bring hope and joy and wonderment to children was turned into a propaganda tool for corporations like Halliburton. Well that is exactly what happened.
Al-Jazeera America reported on January 8th that: “An educational program funded by Ohio’s oil and gas industry and sponsored by Radio Disney has environmental activists — and some parents — up in arms over what they say is a hijacking of public education by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) interests, in a state sitting on billions of dollars’ worth of gas-rich shale.”
They also updated their article on the 9th to include:”Disney emailed a statement to Al Jazeera, saying the company has pulled out of the remaining installments of the Rocking Ohio tour. ‘The sole intent of the collaboration between Radio Disney and the nonprofit Rocking in Ohio educational initiative was to foster kids' interest in science and technology. Having been inadvertently drawn into a debate that has no connection with this goal, Radio Disney has decided to withdraw from the few remaining installments of the program,’ the statement read.”
All is well that ends well perhaps but the fact that energy companies are now targeting children to spread their pro-fracking and dangerous agendas is extremely disturbing to say the least and the fact that the US Government would allow such corporate propaganda is also disturbing. Clearly the attempt to brain-wash the next generation so as to reduce to a minimum protests to corporate long-term strategy.
This brain-washing of children in America is not isolated to energy corporations. We have seen how children, almost any of whom would normally say “yuck” if you told them about to men having “relations” are anesthetized to believe that things like “single-sex-marriages” are normal. Something Russia has protected children from and for which the West has no end of qualms about.
Truly these matters are a damning and very sad statement on a society that has decimated its educational system in order to appease corporations and begun to privatize education, even at the elementary school level, to allow for profits to be made.
The fracking companies themselves shave been engaged in publicity stunts themselves and such events would be better ignored except for their ridiculousness. For example at the annual Quebec Oil and Gas Association meeting in Montreal at the end of October of last year. Top Halliburton executives including Halliburton Canada vice-president John Gorman and others claimed that they were drinking “frack fluid” from champagne bottles. Although no independent analysis was carried out as to what in fact they were drinking.
The Halliburton exec claimed they only had to replace a few chemicals with some food additives, however it is seriously doubtful that they were really drinking water laced with mercury, uranium, radium, lead, ethylene glycol, formaldehyde, hydrochloric acid or any of the other chemicals that could instantly kill a horse.
Halliburton loves such stunts according to the Financial Post. “In 2011 Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar asked one of his executives to take a sip of the fluid during a presentation in front of industry executives. Critics wondered why the CEO did not drink it himself.”
Non-disclosure Bribes and Corporate Secrecy
The way that Halliburton and these corporations subvert and manipulate the law in order to get away with murder is something that is almost unbelievable in modern times. But these corporations have been successful in silencing everyone from medical personnel to activists by bribing, terrorizing and tricking into signing “non-disclosure” agreements.
According to Bloomberg: “… in Pennsylvania Range Resources Corp and two other companies agreed to a $750,000 settlement in a fracking suit requiring the plaintiff’s not to tell anyone, according to court filings. In cases from Wyoming to Arkansas, Pennsylvania to Texas, (Bloomberg continues) drillers have agreed to cash settlements or property buyouts with people who say hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, ruined their water, according to a review by Bloomberg News of hundreds of regulatory and legal filings. In most cases homeowners must agree to keep quiet.The strategy keeps data from regulators, policymakers, the news media and health researchers, and makes it difficult to challenge the industry’s claim that fracking has never tainted anyone’s water.”
According to Truth Out one Pennsylvania family began suffering from headaches, nosebleeds, burning eyes and sore throats as drilling operations expanded on their land and in their neighborhood. The family ended up filing a lawsuit in 2010 and abandoning their home and eventually won their case in a hearing which was closed to the press and during which the gas companies persuaded a judge to permanently seal the case from public view.
What can be done?
As long as the government is being controlled by corporations and lobbyists continue to offer mountains of lucre to politicians and regulators to “look the other way” not much. However I would like to finish with one of my favorite quotes stated in 1964 by an activist named Mario Savio in Berkeley: “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious — makes you so sick at heart — that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”
Coming soon the 100 year total destruction of the environment. Brought to you from the people who brought you the Iraq war and $4.00 a gallon gas prices.
The opinions and views expressed here are my own, I can be reached at email@example.com.
9 January, 21:54
Technologically the NSA is always ahead of the game – Wayne Madsen
Approximately a decade ago the US NSA did not exist and the acronym was said to stand for “No Such Agency”, that has all changed and we know now that every time we do anything electronically, no matter where we are in the world, whether it be going on-line, paying for something electronically or using our cell phones the NSA is most likely recording everything we do. An ex-member of the NSA named Wayne Madsen spoke to the Voice of Russia and gave us some details about the inner workings of NSA. Mr. Madsen reveals that the NSA has had relationships with not only US allies but with countries such as the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People’s Republic of China.
He says it is important to fight to get the truth out and keep the Fourth Estate alive in the US because if they destroy the last outlet people have for learning the truth it is going to get hundred times worse.
As for NSA operations and capabilities he speaks about a new NSA facility in Bluffdale, Utah and their Cascade supercomputer that handles information at a level of several yottabytes of data. Mr. Madsen says the NSA is already using biochips as well as laser and crystal type based computers and that they are always ahead of the game, technologically speaking. But do we really want NSA knowing about every little thing we do? It is written on a sign in front of the NSA’s Utah Data Center: "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear", obviously privacy rights and the right to be free from surveillance mean nothing to the NSA.
This is John Robles I am speaking with Mr. Wayne Madsen, the editor of the Wayne Madsen Report in Washington DC. This is part 2 of an interview in progress.
Robles: What countries were you talking about that are in cooperation with NSA and Five Eye (FVEY)?
Madsen: Well we start with the Five Eyes. They are called the second partners... The first part is the United States, that is the NSA. Then you’ve got the 4 others in the Five Eyes and that is Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Then you’ve got the non-English-speaking NATO countries, for the most part, form this other close group, which is: Germany, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, even countries like Iceland which doesn’t even have a military have a SIGNIT relationship as we know from some of the Snowden documents.
So, you get the Five Eyes, and then it is like the Nine Eyes, and they are a little bit close, they are like the Germans and the French and the Danes. Then you get the Fourteen Eyes and then it goes all the way up to 35 or greater than 40 countries that have a Signals Intelligence relationship with the NSA.
Now this is all based on what they have to offer, not every country has a significant signals intelligence capability. Let’s take Iceland for example, what would they provide? Well they would provide obviously some means of access for microwave interceptions because there is a lot of microwave, there is also sub-marine cable feeds that go through Iceland, so that is what they are providing, also probably a pass right into the Icelandic telephone network, so that is what a country like Iceland can do.
But when you see a country like Luxemburg too, what they are providing would be basic access. We know for example from the Snowden revelations that the GCHQ, Britain’s NSA, tapped right into the switches of Belgacom the Belgium telecommunications companies.
Robles: Right, right.
Madsen: Which is what these other partners do, we also know that the US and Israel had a signals intelligence sharing relationships which I know is not popular for some of the old-timers at NSA to read, but that the Israeli SIGINT unit had direct access to raw NSA intercepts.
Now this is the same country that viciously attacked an NSA intelligence gathering ship during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, the USS Liberty, killing 34 US sailors and a few NSA civilian personnel. That is not forgotten by a lot of the old-timers in NSA. So, I think that came as quite a shock for them to see that Israel had direct access to some of the raw NSA data.
But other countries of course, the Eastern European countries now, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, all have signals intelligence relationship with NSA.
Finland and Switzerland do, which flies in the face of their proclaimed neutrality, as well Austria and I mentioned Sweden, so these neutral countries are all participating.
In Asia it’s Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, India, and other countries all have a signals intelligence relationship with NSA. So, the list is very long, it is either based on limited capabilities or ad hoc relationships. If there is something going on in some part of the world where all of a sudden NSA has some feed because of a certain situation that exists at any given time.
It certainly looks like Afghanistan’s cooperation with NSA tapping into the cell phone in that country was only because of the current conflict in Afghanistan, whether that relationship will continue, if and when the US withdraws its troops is anyone’s guess.
So, these relationships have a way of coming and going. I should add, way back in the 1970s and 60s NSA had a relationship with Iran, but that was when the Shah was in power. And that was replaced with a relationship with the People’s Republic of China. So yeah, these relationships sort of change with the times.
Robles: Even with China?
Madsen: Yes in China. When NSA lost its two listening stations, which basically monitored Soviet telemetry for nuclear tests and missile tests, we had, NSA had, a few stations in Northern Iran. When they lost those, they were replaced by two stations in Western China, in Xinjiang province. Whether those are still operational now, I am not sure but they used to be.
NSA stations even had code words like, we know from Snowden’s revelations, we know a lot of these code words that have come out, they are very strange for somebody who’s never worked in NSA to hear these code words (or cover terms is the more exact term), the two for China were Saucepan and Saugus. Whether Saucepan and Saugus are still operational, I have no idea. I have been out of that for a long time.
Robles: What kind of backlash have you had living in the US because of your work and your revelations and what you have been doing to fight for the truth?
Madsen: Well, it’s not easy, thank God I haven’t wound up like Jack Anderson, where people in the Nixon White House were determining how to assassinate him and somebody suggested: "Well you can’t really get him drunk, or put something in his drink in a bar because he is a Mormon, he has eight kids, he doesn’t drink.
So, they were figuring out some way that could cause his car to go off the road and it would burst in the flames and the autopsy would be meaningless at that point in time, which I think this was actually discussed by some of Nixon’s cronies on how to get rid of Jack Anderson.
So, it with the fiery death in the car crash of Michael Hastings. I recall that that is exactly how they were going to get rid of Jack Anderson. But it is not easy because first of all, you’re poverty stricken doing this kind of journalism, you are not going to wind up on 60 minutes or MSNBC or any of the big networks, so it is not easy but I think it is really necessary to keep the Fourth Estate alive in the US because if they destroy our only outlet now which is the Internet, then it is going to get hundred times worse.
People will not know what is going on and the whole purpose of the Freedom of Press in the First Amendment was: Jefferson, Madison and the other founders wanted to keep alive the press as it existed in those days, and in those days it was largely pamphlets.
The printing press was available to just about everybody and they would roll off these pamphlets with the most un-sourced vile information, commentary, but they saw there was a need for this free form of speech and they wanted to protect it and I know there’s many blogs out there that are questionable, dubious in nature, but I think the founders would say "keep them all alive", let the readers determine which blogs are legit and which aren’t.
What happened after I was interviewed by the Observer, was this vicious attack, even CNN had four panelists on, three of which were from the Daily Beast, which had attacked me originally, and they were just calling me out on the story, saying I was fableist, saying I was a conspiracy nut, that the Observer and the Guardian should be ashamed of themselves of interviewing me, and this is CNN, this is what CNN’s become.
Ted Turner told me himself, at the United Nations a few years ago that if it had to do it all over again, he wouldn’t have gotten into that deal with Time Warner and AOL, that destroyed the network but it is too late.
So, CNN can attack me all day long. Its founder told me that "they are screwed up", so I will take his word over Wolf Blitzer or any of those clowns at CNN, I will take Ted Turner’s word over anything they have to say.
Robles: Ted Turner said that himself?
Madsen: He told me that, yeah, at the UN. It’s screwed up. He said it is all screwed up. He said, "How it’s messed up? Don’t get me started on that!"
Robles: What was that, if I remember right, that ‘91, right?
Madsen: When CNN became part of Time Warner?
Madsen: It was actually after that. That was actually their heyday when… after they covered the Gulf War, I think it was in the mid-90s, I want to say 95 or 6, right after Clinton got through that telecommunications reform act that we saw these mergers taking place which of course Clinton has really done more to destroy the free press in his country than any other recent president. You’d have to go back to Woodrow Wilson to find somebody as bad as Bill Clinton. I think it was after that, ‘96-‘97, when we saw the merger.
Robles: Couple of questions here: you mentioned at the beginning, Echelon. I wanted to ask you a personal question because some friends of mine, we did a little experiment on Facebook when all this started coming up, we have these lists of old Carnivore/Echelon key words and one of us posted them on a Facebook page (a post with all these key words on it) and within about 7 or 8 minutes the thing had about 7,000 hits, whereas normal posts wouldn’t get that. Are you going to tell me Carnivore, Echelon are no longer active because it seems like they really are?
Madsen: Well they have been improved upon. See, any time you get a new system or an upgrade to a system they are going to change that cover term anyway. So, now there is a system called PRISM,
Madsen: Yeah. X-Keyscore. Because of Snowden we now know what these new names are and I would imagine NSA is changing them, or started to change them in the minute they had the Snowden disclosures, I mean you would call that "compromised".
I remember I disclosed the presence in NSA of a system that monitored journalists who wrote about NSA, I was told my name was on the list and others, it was called First Fruits and the minute I exposed it, I was told they changed the name of the system, the cover term for the system. That sort of happens a lot, but yeah...
In the old days, you could put all the key words on there, some people thought it would slow down NSA’s ability to monitor everything because you could just jam it with so many keyword but these are not humans that are doing this, these are actual programs, that NSA… sophisticated programs are out there that are capturing these key words. So, computers don’t sleep, they don’t demand a paycheck, they work 24/7 and they are more powerful in some cases than human brain.
Robles: Can I ask you a technical question, you can comment, you can not comment, as you wish. Can you comment on the size of their network?
Madsen: Yes, we know that there is a new NSA facility, in Bluffdale, Utah that can handle… this is one of these numbers with so many zeros, I forget how many zeros come after the one but it is yottabyte of data ( a yottabyte). That is a lot of information.
These are not 7,000 computers, these are new generation super computers. NSA was the first user of the Cray Super Computer by the way because they would do so much number crutching to try to break foreign encryption codes.
NSA has always been the biggest customer for the best and the biggest and the most powerful super computers but now it is not the size of the computer (I mean physical size they used to be fairly big) now it is just their capacity.
So what you have out, Utah, in Bluffdale, are a lot of really sophisticated next generation super computers to mine data, break codes so forth and so on. And I do remember that the NSA, this was over 10 years ago, was looking at biochips, binding silicon with biological material because it could actually… they found out that they could perform calculations much faster and I think they have also gotten involved in lasers and crystal type based computers. So, this is pretty far advanced stuff, almost sounds like Star Trek stuff.
I have to say one thing about NSA and I know this from being there, every NSA director will tell Congress: "We can’t keep up with the threat, we need greater capabilities", which means we need more money. But NSA directors have always understated their capabilities and overstated the threat, that is how they keep in business, that is how they get the billions of dollars they do to get all of this new generation hardware, and they are always way ahead of the game, they are not behind the game, in technology.
Robles: You don’t know anything about something called Genetic Algorithms do you?
Madsen: I think that gets into some of the state-of-the-art business that they are involved with. I’ve been out of the business for a while. I was in the computer security business full time in 1997, so I know there’ve been all kinds of improvements but anything that sounds futuristic, NSA is either helping to fund the study, or helping to market or produce whatever product it is.
So the latest revelation is that RSA which was a very sophisticated 124 bit algorithm, that everybody thought was safe to use, banks would use this for even ATM transactions and whatnot. Now we know that NSA cut a deal with RSA, that they were able to break the RSA encryption codes.
Back when I worked with people in RSA, back in 90s, that would have been just shocking information because they said: "Look, we don’t have any deals with NSA", but apparently later they did after the company was sold and acquired by somebody else.
So, anybody who says that something is NSA-proof is probably not telling the truth.
NSA will go to a startup company and cut a deal with them, and if they don’t do it then, they’ll wait till the company is successful, and then somebody will buy the company and then NSA will cut a deal with the new merged company.
Robles: Like PGP, right?
Madsen: Yes, PGP was good in its early versions but then later on, from what I gathered it was compromised, after a certain release.
Robles: It was 6.5.8, and then Network Associates bought it.
Madsen: Yeah at the end of it. I know Phil Zimmerman, when Phil Zimmermann had the company, he would have never cut a deal like that, but that’s what happens after a company is acquired.
You were listening to an interview with Wayne Madsen, the editor of the Wayne Madsen Report in Washington DC. This is part 2 of an interview in progress. You can find the previous and following parts of this interview in the near future on our website at Voice of Russia dot com. Thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best where ever you may be.
8 January, 18:21
Fallujah falls to Al Qaeda, veterans question illegal Iraq war
With the fall of Fallujah to Al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, many veterans of the Iraq war and the massive fighting that took place in Fallujah during the US occupation are beginning to realize that their sacrifice and the ultimate sacrifice paid by many of their comrades was completely and totally for nothing, and for many veterans that is a truly hard pill to swallow.
The fall of Fallujah and the fact that Al-Qaeda linked terrorists and murderous Sunni radicals now control the Anbar province where Fallujah is located and where approximately 1,500 US troops lost their lives during the Iraq war further underlines the complete and total failure of an illegal aggressive war based on complete and total lies and might also cause those who served their country and killed what are reported to be as many as one million Iraqis to finally wake up and realize that they were simply callously used. The fact that CIA-created-Al-Qaeda was never allowed to operate and had no presence in Iraq under Saddam Hussein only further brings to question what the US was really doing in Iraq and why the US-installed-puppet-government has done almost nothing to stop Al-Qaeda from taking over massive parts of the country. It is also of interest to note that US forces are being prevented from fighting Al-Qaeda elements.
Illegal Oil Petro-Dollar War
The hard and cold fact that US veterans and Americans must come to terms with is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about but one whose emanations are now visible every time every American goes to the gas pump and forks over a fortune they could rather spend on food or clothing or on their children’s education to put a little fuel in their cars as they prepare to sit in endless traffic jams burning up millions of gallons of fuel attempting to get to their poorly paid insecure jobs to continue to vicious cycle.
It was determined by those holding the real power in the US, the criminal, oil and banking elites that Saddam Hussein had to go because less than 24 hours before the invasion Hussein had made the sovereign decision to change the oil trade to the Euro, something that was also done by Muammar Gaddafi right before his country was wiped out.
As with the illegal US/NATO war on Libya, which for all intents and purposes was simply the providing of air-support for Al-Qaeda and all of their sub-groupings, the US was also in bed with Al-Qaeda and Sunni/Wahabist/Falafist radical elements in Iraq for the purpose of toppling the government in order to maintain the flow of oil but more importantly to continue the oil trade in the dollar. As with Libya, a country that the tribal groups say is now almost completely “owned” by Al-Qaeda groups, it is very convenient and profitable to extract oil and resources from warlords and fiefdoms than it is from legitimate governments who might seek to protect their own interests.
The war in Iraq was a war for oil and greed and to prevent the collapse of the US petro-dollar. Without the oil trade the US dollar is a completely worthless paper based currency with nothing to back it. This should be alarming to veterans and all Americans alike but what should be more alarming is that the oil companies and the banksters that Iraq veterans went and killed and died for are also raping Americans at the pump every time they go to put some fuel in their vehicles.
US soldiers take an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States of America so it should be particularly disturbing for all members of the US armed forces that they risked their lives and engaged in an illegal aggressive war to protect not the Constitution and not even the American people (who were never threatened by Iraq) but to protect the profit margins of big oil and big money and those who have quite literally cancelled the US Constitution and relegated it to a paper shredder.
US Iraq War Lies
The illegal aggressive war (a crime against humanity) on Iraq was one based on lie after lie. There were no weapons of mass destruction, there was no tie to 9-11, Hussein was not supporting or in collusion with Al-Qaeda (unlike the US) and Iraq never once threatened the United States. Even the reason for executing the leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein as it turned out was also a lie, there was no hard evidence presented to the world community that he gassed Kurds, but will the US ever pay a price for executing the leader of a sovereign nation? For that is what happened, the US installed a government and under their control the president was executed in a show trial that had taken place in a their own kangaroo court.
In 2004 a committee in the US House of Representatives identified “237 misleading statements about the threat posed by Iraq that were made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell, and National Security Advisor Rice. These statements were made in 125 separate appearances, consisting of 40 speeches, 26 press conferences and briefings, 53 interviews, 4 written statements, and 2 congressional testimonies.” According to the committee, at least 61 separate statements “misrepresented Iraq’s ties to al-Qaeda.” These finding were backed up by another committee in 2006.
It was based on these lies that American forces were ordered to fight and die in an illegal act of aggressive war and the people who promoted the lies will never be prosecuted or forced to account for the bloodshed and loss of over 4,500 American lives in Iraq, not to mention the approximately 1 million Iraqis.
The Rise of Sectarian Violence
To fully understand the situation in Iraq and throughout the Middle East one must first understand the true nature of the “sectarian violence”, something which did not exist in Iraq under Hussein. A fact that might also be said of Afghanistan and US collusion with the Taliban, of Bahrain, of Yemen, of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi, of Syria until tens of thousands of homicidal mostly Sunni Islamist mercenaries and terrorists were imported into the country and other countries in the region. One must also understand the true nature of Al-Qaeda (the CIA terrorist data-base) and the alliances that exist between Israel, Saudi, the US and finally Al-Qaeda.
In Iraq the US supported and armed the Sunni Sahwa (Awakening) movement to overthrow Hussein and in Syria the US and its “allies” supported the same Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant that has now brought their amassed weapons and homicidal madness in force to Iraq to take over Anbar province and Fallujah.
The forces that the US has used to advance their geopolitical agenda in the region (largely Sunni), to overthrow legitimate governments and take over resource rich and strategic areas have their own agenda. One which is the fanatical blood thirsty elimination and genocide of all brands of Islam which they deem to be unworthy and the other is their own rise to power. These fanatical Islamic barbarians have no interest in advancing US positions and have no qualms about killing Americans, but they do need Saudi and US backing to supply them with weapons, funding, training and in the case of Libya and almost in Syria, air and military support.
Hidden Agenda in Iraq and the Rise of Al-Qaeda
With regard to Iraq, the US-installed-puppet-government has shown that they have their own mostly hidden radical Sunni agenda, something unheard of during Hussein’s rule when Sunnis and Shias intermarried and shared an absolutely normal and peaceful coexistence. Their calls for the civilian population to expel Al-Qaeda from Fallujah also underlines their complete ineptness or their collusion with Al-Qaeda.
Here it is important to note that Al-Qaeda (the umbrella Sunni proponent), which according to Saudi Prince Bandar himself is under the control of Saudi, as are Chechen terrorists and almost all of the groups operating in Syria, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the Al-Nusra Front, has been allowed to take root in Iraq and in Fallujah, which became the Al-Qaeda base (the base of the base if you will), after the US surge. Again under Hussein there was no Al-Qaeda presence whatsoever in Iraq.
As with Afghanistan the US has failed. Their complete lack of vision, advanced planning and an obtuse overall policy of the ends-justifying-the-means, has led to what we see today. Homicidal US founded Al-Qaeda extremist Sharia toting elements taking over Libya, soon Afghanistan, Iraq and scores of other countries and areas in the Middle East.
With CIA agent Tom Ossman (Osama Bin Laden) gone, the Frankenstein monster of Al-Qaeda, that the US created in Afghanistan to fight the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (that had been asked to intervene and save the Socialist Government and maintain peace), Al-Qaeda may no longer be even remotely under US control, they are becoming a power unto themselves and if the world ever wants to see peace in the Middle East. Real peace, not some US compliant subservient “peace”, these radical Al-Qaeda elements must be stopped and the US must not be allowed to meddle any longer in a region they have broken but refuse to admit: they have bought.
The Pentagon has been silent about the fall of Fallujah and the subservient US media is now more than ever clearly in complicity. One has to do nothing more than look at the headlines on news outlets such as Fox News, where they are now calling “the evil Al-Qaeda terrorists who staged 9-11” simply “militants”, “rebels”.
7 January, 23:15
The US Government would support the devil himself – Dr. Michael Parenti
One of the ways that western imperialists justify their military expansion and conquering country after is by putting on a “messianic front” and demonizing countries that follow independent policies. The US and the West use pretexts such as mass killings to launch attacks under the flag of fighting “humanitarian” wars paired with demonization to stop leaders like Milošević, Gaddafi, Hussein and Assad while at the same time supporting some of the worst dictators and leaders in history. According to well-known scholar Dr. Michael Parenti, the US would support the devil himself and has absolutely no virtue whatsoever, not even supporting its own people! To the US/West there are only two kinds of countries: satellites and enemies. Any country that is independent and can shut out the US and Western plutocracy gets in the way of profits and dominance and has to be destroyed. Dr. Parenti says there is a class war going on to make the world safe for global capitalism. It is disguised behind things like security, democratic elections, humanitarian wars, genocide and terrorism, but in reality it is world war of domination.
This is John Robles. I'm speaking with Dr. Michael Parenti, he is a Yale graduate, a noted scholar and the author of several books including The Face of Imperialism. This is part 2 of an interview in progress. You can find the previous part of this interview on our website Voiceofrussia.com.
Robles: Since the end of the Soviet Union the Russian people just opened their arms to the West and welcomed everything.
Parenti:Well they have such a mythology, they just self-generated a mythology about the West. Everything in the West: “Oh yes, you have things that are wrong but you fix them, we don't. Oh, you are this, oh, you are that. There is no starvation, there is no poverty in the West”. I used to hear that from people. It was really something to hear it.
There was a guy in Moscow, he had gone to Moscow University, he spoke very good English, so he had a good education. He had a fairly small apartment, but a wall full of books and all that, and he seemed like he lived fairly comfortable. And he said: “The very poorest people in your country (in the United States) the very poorest people in your country live better than I do”.
And I say: “No, you don't know. They sleep in doorways in my country, the very poorest people, and there are hundreds of thousands of them.”
He said: “That’s all right, you don't have to lie to us anymore”. That was what he said. I couldn't believe the guy, yeah.
And they’ve even got racist, some of them, and they say: “Oh, well, that is just the blacks, they are stupid and lazy anyway and blah blah”.
I said: “No, it’s not just the blacks”. And anyway that’s an outrageous comment. So they were very much brainwashed.
I thought Lech Walesa, a couple of years ago (a few years ago) made a very, very good comment, I mean it is the first thing that ever came out of his mouth that I could tolerate anyway. He turned to his people, he was talking to the Polish people who were full of complaints about how terrible things were and how this and that. He said: “Look, you wanted America, you are getting America”. And that was it.
And their favorite theme, I mean, we saw some of this right here on the western media and I was so surprised that they even ran it. But they did a few little specials, like documentaries on what's happening in Poland. And these people were repeatedly saying, people they interviewed, were repeatedly saying: “It was better under the Communists. This is terrible, we've got to pay for this, we've got to pay for that, and so it was better under the Communists. I'm going to lose my little plot of land here now and it was better under the Communists’. Well, too late. you wanted America, and you are getting America.
And I think that same element, by the way, there is an element of that in Ukraine. Some of the people who are opposing the Russian and Ukrainian relationship and want Ukraine to go West, some of those people have the dream of: someday I’ll be dancing in Paris or New York or something, or there is so much I can get still, and some of its going to come down to me, I talked to all those people who rallied us and gave us some money. And there they are.
Robles: Do you believe like some people do (and I think some people cannot believe it’s any other way) that the US government actually cares about people, or cares about countries, or cares about the people?
Parenti:No, as I tried to say, they put out that messianic front about how we have to fight this humanitarian war. We have to go in and stop Milošević who is another Stalinist, and demonizing the Serbs for killing all these people, when in fact the Croats and the Kosovars and the Bosniacs were all engaged in savage killings with each other. And the Serbs were the only honest ones who said: “We weren't angels”. While all the others pretended that they were angels.
And the US has supported some of the worst and horrible people, as I’ve mentioned with Afghanistan for instance. No, they support the devil himself, there is no virtue, there is no virtue in their position. They don't even give support to their own people! When hurricane Katrina almost destroyed all of New Orleans. They didn't do a thing, they had been warned about it, we again and again told them.
Robles: But that was because they were blacks, right?
Parenti:They were blacks and they voted against the Republican Party when they did vote. They were people who were critical and were not really adoringly swept up in the American dream. So that’s it.
So the process has been, again and again, to take leaders, demonize them (if they are leaders who have been recalcitrant and trying to take an independent course) and use that as an excuse to bomb their people, or coop their people, take their people in.
And they do want, of course they want, Ukraine in NATO, that would be wonderful for them. They would be right at the doorstep, it would be a way of really hemming in their enemy (or potential enemy) which is Russia.
The Russians haven’t been acting like an enemy, they don't rattle their sabre against the United States, and neither do the Chinese nor anybody else. But it doesn't matter, you could just declare that: “They’re enemies and they are hostile to us and we try to negotiate with them”, and that means unless you agree in the negotiation with the proposal that I put up, you are not negotiating; “We try to negotiate but they don't want to, they don’t want to cooperate”.
For those the word cooperate means: “you've got to do what I tell you.” But yes, they don't want to cooperate, if that’s what cooperate means.
Robles: I believe it was Sergey Lavrov, when all this Ukrainian stuff started up, and he says: “Well, it might sound ridiculous, but I'm telling you to make an independent sovereign decision, even it is slapping ourselves in the face”. Something (I'm paraphrasing) something to that effect, and you would never hear a US official saying that, it’s ridiculous.
Parenti:Well Yanukovich though is not… he is not wanting to get dragged into the EU net, is he? I mean, here I will defer to you, because you are right there on the spot, but it does seem to me that he seems quite pleased with the offer that the Soviets just made.
Robles: Russians, Russians there are no more Soviets, Doctor.
Parenti:I know, this is absolutely outrageous. I have for 30 years been fighting (or more, I forget for how many years now) for the Russians. Doesn’t that sort of pull the rug out of some of these “democracy-loving-protestors”, or what?
Robles: Well yeah, but they were open to the agreement right, and they sat down and they looked at the benefits. Of course, he is the president of the country, any president he wants to do what is better for his country, right? And when you are talking about.. this is just the first part, $100 billion for your country over 7 years, as opposed to $1 billion, and giving up your sovereignty, and the one thing that the Ukrainians thought ...
Parenti:What do you mean giving up their…?Who’s giving up their…? The Ukraines are giving up their sovereignty?
Robles: Well, in my opinion and I think many people would agree, that any country that joins the EU, and that is one reason the UK didn't want it, they would give up a lot of their sovereignty.
Robles: In joining NATO they give up their sovereignty. I mean, when you have American troops in your country…
Robles: Like in Serbia, what did they do? They recognized Kosovo and the first thing they did, they built the biggest military installation (US military installation) in the world outside the USA, in Kosovo?
Parenti:In Kosovo! Yeah, yeah.
Robles: Yeah.You've written and spoken about Serbia in the past?
Parenti:I wrote a book called “To Kill a Nation: The Destruction of Yugoslavia”. And that was what it was about, it was about the whole war that took Yugoslavia, which was a viable social democracy where more than 80% maybe 90% of its economy was publicly state owned and it was going well and they were trying to also build up the worker-controlled enterprises and such, and turn it into a cluster of small right-wing mini-republics where everything has been privatized and everything has been deregulated and the people are poor and miserable, and that is what they got.
Or in the immortal words of our “friend” Lech Walesa: “you wanted America, you got it”. But now most of those people did not want it, they got bombed into it, you know.
Robles: You know who Doctor Edward Herman is right? He has done some really good work on exposing the Srebrenica Massacre, there was actually two: the first one(s) were when these Albanian Muslims came in and they obliterated thousands of … they murdered, Serbian women and children. Do you know anything else about ...?
Parenti:Right.The Bosnians made the big complaint that the Serbs massacred them.
Robles: Yeah, and that was the pretext for the invasion.
Parenti:Right, yeah. Well, all I can say is Milošević stood trial for one year about Bosnia and Srebrenica,and all that stuff and at the end of it, the head jurist, their Carla del Ponte, she said: “We do not have a case of genocide here. We haven’t made the case, we haven’t won the case.” People would get up and then they were cross-examined by Milošević, and they would recant and say: “No, no I didn’t kill that many, no, no…”.
Robles: Why is the US now…(you’re there, I’m here right, so this is a good dialogue here,) can you tell me from sitting over there, why does the US keep demonizing Russia and why is it surrounding Russia with missiles, and China as well? And why is NATO continuing to expand, in your opinion?
Parenti:Well, as I just said, there are only two kinds of countries: satellites and enemies. And any country that can go its own willful way, and do what it chooses; any country that can shut out the US and Western plutocracy, that country is getting in the way of the profits and the dominance that people could have.
Some of the writers here in America will talk about this as “craving for power”, but I don't think so. They use the power for a particular function, which is to make the world safe for global capitalism because they have a huge link or investment in that global capitalism. It’s a class war, still very nicely disguised behind things like “security, democratic elections and humanitarian wars and fighting against genocide or something like that, and terrorism”.
But in fact, just take an area like the Middle East. If you have leaders who let the IMF in, let the World Bank in, opened the country to the western plutocratic investors, who rally their own people into a work force that works at a level of servitude, very poorly and all that, then that guy… those leaders are fine.
I'll give you example of one: Mubarak in Egypt. Now there has never been a harsh word in the US media about Mubarak, and the guy was a murderer and he was an oppressor, he was a dictator. But you never heard a word, now the US supported demonstrations and uprisings when it was in Libya and Syria, and Iraq, and Yugoslavia. But in Egypt, they didn't support that at all (they weren’t supporting it), and they would rather … they would rather end up as they did in Afghanistan.
They would rather end up supporting Islamic militant terrorists (not that I'm saying all Islamists are militant and terrorists but this extreme Sharia group)…
Robles: Of course not….
Parenti: … they would rather see those guys take over, they would rather see the Taliban take over in Afghanistan, rather than seeing the kind of country that the revolutionary movement in Afghanistan was trying to build: a country where the children could go to school, women could go to school, there was land reform, all the things I mentioned before; human services and the country was developing.
They don't want development, they want exploitation. They don't want people who have a keen sense of their own entitlement, who have a high level of expectations.
They do the same thing here in the United States. They fight against human services, they are still trying to attack and destroy Social Security, what little that we have left of our own social services.
They are furious against anything that resembles a social democracy of any kind. For them, they want us poor and hungry and ready to work at any desperate level that we have to. And it is time that we get our chains back on, and so that kind of struggle that they are carrying out in Ukraine or in the Middle East or in Central Europe with Yugoslavia, it’s the same struggle they are carrying out here in the United States itself.
Robles: That's become clear to me since 9-11, I think. But I think maybe a lot of us: we believed this stuff about “promoting democracy” and “freedom” and “helping build societies” and everything”. So it was quite a… I think a lot of people were kind of shocked…
Robles: If I could just for a second, why they went in and invaded/destroyed Iraq? And then people were kind of surprised: “Why isn't there a plan for rebuilding? There is no plan for afterwards”. But what you are saying now is that was done on purpose, there was not supposed to be any rebuilding, right?
Parenti:What country are we talking about?
Robles: Well, we could talk about Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya...what they are trying to do with Syria.
Parenti:Yeah, there is no plan to rebuild. No. They want it shattered, they want it on its knees, they want to be able to go in and make their own terms. That’s exactly what they want to do.
Robles: It is a shame. Regarding Afghanistan, I've talked to some people that were there in Soviet times, I’ve interviewed some Afghani “patriots” (I would say), and people who commented that everything they had in Afghanistan was built by the Soviet Union, almost, all the infrastructure: roads, airports, buildings, apartment blocks, right? And effectively 12 years (13 years almost) of NATO occupation and US occupation - they destroyed everything. There is nothing left.
Robles: And there is no plan for rebuilding. I mean, some people thought: “Oh, KNBR and Halliburton they will go in and they’ll start building stuff”. But they are not interested in building anything.
Parenti:That is a good point, a very good point.
Robles: I mean if they do go and rebuild they are going to profit from it, right?
Parenti:Yeah. Or if they do go in and build, as in Kazakhstan or in Kosovo,they build a big monster military base. That’s what they build.
Robles: They are not going to build hospitals; they are not going to build schools.
Parenti:No, no, they are not interested in that. And that’s again and again that is the case. And that is why they can support a Mubarak, but if you had a political group or individual leader like Gaddafi or even Assad, or Milošević or anybody else, then they would really be putting the heat on Egypt.
Even with Iran. Iran is big, it is still a counterweight, it is not socialist, it is not even particularly maybe anti-capitalist, but it is independent and it is critical of the US and it doesn't fall in line, and Israel is very keenly hoping to see Iran go the way of Libya, Yugoslavia, Syria, and the like.
That was the end of part 2 of an interview with Dr. Michael Parenti, a Yale graduate, a noted scholar and the author of several books, including The Face of Imperialism. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening and as always I wish you the best wherever you may be.
6 January, 22:33
UK nuclear weapons components and arms sales under question
Recent news that the United Kingdom may in fact be arming or assisting in weapons deliveries to Somali pirates should be of great concern not only to the companies and individuals who have paid millions upon millions of dollars to the pirates to secure the release of ships, cargoes and crews, but also to all of the governments, including that of the Russian Federation, that have also spent millions and risked lives while engaged in anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and other pirate-infested waters off the coast of Africa and Somalia.
The UK's Independent, a publication which has regularly published articles and information shedding a less than positive light on the dealings of the UK Government, recently reported that in a 15 month period, between April 2012 and June 2013, over 44,000 guns of various types were sent to "tackle piracy in East Africa".
Although officially the weapons were supposed to be used by security firms the sheer number of fresh weapons exported by the UK during the period in question raised the alarm among members of the House of Commons Arms Export Controls Committee especially in light of the fact that the firms in question already have thousands of weapons in their armories. Surely it is suspicious and call for concern why these firms which have been operating at full force would all of a sudden need to escalate the level of their already adequate arsenals with the addition of 30,000 assault rifles, 11,000 rifles and 2,536 pistols.
Members of the committee are right to voice concern especially given the light that the scourge of piracy has all but been eliminated and that the weapons could be destined to the pirates themselves or to other regimes in Africa and perhaps even the Middle East where ongoing violence is taking place.
According to the Independent Ann McKechin, a committee member said: "The evidence provided to us by Mr. Bell seems to suggest that the department did not have a process of looking at the cumulative number of weapons and whether those exports fitted the scenario on the ground needed for protection."
Unfortunately for those profiting from weapons deals the latest enquiry is only part of a wider inquiry into arms exports from the UK which the Independent continues has already attempted to force the UK's recalcitrant Business Secretary Vince Cable into publicly revealing the names of British companies who were given licenses to export items to Syria that could be used to make chemical weapons, something he continues to refuse to do.
Given the record of US/UK/NATO in the Middle East and Africa and the propensity for continuing and escalating conflicts in order to further expand militarily and maintain the profit margins of their military industrial complexes and self-serving desire to stay relevant while justifying their over-bloated military budgets, it is very reasonable to question whether so many weapons are needed, not in fact to maintain "security", but to continue to have a well armed "enemy" thus justifying their own expansion and existence, something particularly true of NATO which has arrogated unto itself authority to operate almost worldwide.
NATO may be meddling in the region, as the African coast is nowhere near the North Atlantic, but anti-piracy concerns and missions have in fact been supported by a wide range of countries that may in other areas be at odds against each other.
The Russian Federation's mission which began in 2008 has been one of the most successful in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa with deployments by such sleek and deadly craft as the Udaloy I class anti-submarine destroyer Severomorsk and other flagships of the Russian Navy successfully freeing hostages, capturing and liquidating pirates and escorting over 800 commercial vessels and convoys through the dangerous waters off the Somali coast without a single loss of life.
Thanks to Russia's patrols and increased security 2013 saw piracy in the region almost completely eliminated. Currently over 60% of all vessels have armed guards onboard and travel through the pirate infested waters at higher cruising speeds making them much harder to catch and board, as does razor wire, high-pressure hoses and secure areas on ships from which crews can wait out an attack and call for assistance.
In 2012 the economic loss to piracy off of Somalia was calculated at being about $18 billion annually but that figure has dropped to a negligible amount as have the number of attacks, boardings and hostages taking situations. All of which begs the question: why the 44,000 guns?
When we look at the UK's record regarding arms sales and in particular those to regimes and states with questionable records in the sphere of human rights, then the 44,000 guns does not seem that bad. In July of 2013 the Independent also published a damning article titled "Blood Money: UK's £12.3bn arms sales to repressive states" in which details were given regarding questionable arms and technology deals.
The US and the UK have a long and bloody track record of profiting from war and from weapons sales, with UK lawmakers sounding the alarm multiple times in recent years regarding the supply of weapons, include components for nuclear bombs that have been delivered to questionable regimes and countries with poor human rights records.
Multiple sources support the Independent which claims the UK had over 3,000 export licenses for military and intelligence equipment worth a total of £12.3bn for 2013. The UK's Mirror reported in October that: "Nuclear weapon chemicals, CS gas, bomb parts, grenades and guns are included in 5,000 controlled product licenses granted since 2010. Other orders of note include one from Egypt for 1,900 assault rifles and combat shotguns, Deuterium compounds which are used in nuclear weapons for Saudi Arabia.
So while the US/UK are dictating to the world about democracy and human rights and "rogue nations" the hypocrisy or the UK is stunning when one takes into account that of the 27 countries on the UK Foreign Office's (FCO) own list of countries where they deem there are human rights concerns, only 2 of them are not beneficiaries of UK weapons export licenses.
Countries that have been demonized and against which the drums of war have been often beaten but who the UK is arming include: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Columbia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and other countries where there is open armed conflict.
Of course it is naïve to believe that weapons are actually only sold to countries that deserve them or are worthy. With the record of US/UK creation and support of groups like Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood this should be clear. However it is particularly dirty when these same forces are used to begin and foment conditions or pretexts for invasions which do nothing but slaughter innocent civilian populations. OF course for the weapons manufacturers and the war profiteers this means nothing, the only concern is maintaining their profit growth and their own bottom lines.
Sky News reports that the UK actually sold materials to Syria that could have been used to make chemical weapons, with the Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) citing that as one example of questionable deals being carried out by UK contractors and countries on the (FCO) list.
The world community should rightfully be concerned about 44,000 guns which may have "fallen" into the hands of Somali pirates, but it should be more concerned about nuclear bomb components that may have been delivered to Saudi Arabia and ingredients for chemical weapons that may have fallen into the hands of the Syrian "rebels" who the West is so found of arming and supporting and who have been guilty of some of the most horrendous acts of blood thirsty violence in recent world history.
6 January, 01:16
US statesmen were involved in 9-11 – Len Bracken
© Photo: ru.wikipedia.org
There are different categories of state sponsored terrorist attacks, but almost all of them are carried out with one goal in mind, namely as a pretext by a state for the beginning of a war. The events of 9-11 are no different and if one looks at all of the evidence that exists related to the events of 9-11, it is clear that statesmen were involved. Author, researcher and expert on state-sponsored terrorism, Len Bracken, who lost a relative who was also seeking the truth as to the events of 9-11, spoke to the Voice of Russia about the events of 9-11 and the different types of state sponsored terrorism.
Hello, this is John Robles, I'm speaking with Mr. Len Bracken, he is the author of six books including the "Shadow Government: 9-11 and State Terror", he is also a specialist in international affairs and international relations and an accredited journalist. This is part 4 of an interview in progress.
Robles: Who gave you that warning? Can you tell us?
Bracken: I can tell you that the same verbatim words were spoken to me twice by two different people in the course of one week when I was writing the book in the summer of 2002 and that my apartment was opened, I would come home two days in a row and the front door would be open.
So I was given these very direct, but not too ominous messages, I would have to say that (How can I put it?), I was scared, but you know, I survived.
I don't think I'm particularly brave, I'm not particularly brave, I would be the first one to say that. There are a lot of other people out there who have gone further with all of this and I think about somebody like a family member named Beverly Eckert who died in a plane crash herself, and she was one of the people who did not accept the money, and was trying to get to the bottom of what really happened.
For me I just tried to make an early case and sort of pulled back and only very rarely do I speak about this publicly and just I look to others who have done, probably better work than I have.
I don't want your readers, I mean excuse me, your listeners to get the wrong impression; that my book has the last word on 9-11 and that I know exactly what happened at World Trade Center. It deals a lot more with the diplomatic history and the circumstances that would have led up to justify the attack.
Robles: Don't detract from yourself, everybody is doing a small part, everybody is covering certain angles. I mean, it is so big. I think it is impossible for someone to cover everything: the technical, chemical angle, the structural engineering angles, I mean, everything together, points to the fact that this was a very carefully staged and planned event. And it wasn't planned by some Islamic terrorists in a cave in Tora Bora.
Bracken: We certainly agree on that. There was a report in the summer of 2002 coming out of France, Le Figaro, that said Osama bin Laden was being treated in the American hospital in Dubai in the summer of 2001.
Robles: That is true, he was there. I think he was, if I'm correct, the day before and the day after he was still in the hospital and the CIA came in there, he was being operated on and there was like five CIA doctors or something, if I remember right.
Bracken: Yeah, and of course there was a denial from the CIA.
Robles: Do you remember, it lives only in memory I think now, there might be some references somewhere on the Internet I don’t know, do you remember Osama bin Laden's initial statement?
Bracken: There was a denial! It was issued in a paper in, I'll probably butcher the name, “Rawalpindi”.
Robles: Right, he said: “I had nothing to do with this! Al Qaeda had nothing to do with this”.
Bracken: Exactly and yet that would never be repeated. So; you would think that just for the sake of fair journalism, that the denial (and you can sort of dispute the denial or you could rebut the denial) but you would at least allow the other side to have their say. But instead what do we get? We get these doctored videos.
Robles: Right, he is wearing a US army coat, I think he has a wedding ring on his right hand or on his left hand, which Muslims wouldn't have, and in the videos I think he was left-handed and in the video he was right-handed, etc., etc., all kinds of things like that.
The main thing that I think that your message could be… one thing I’d really like you to talk about because you are one of the few people that I've heard that is willing to even broach this topic: “governments using terrorism and shadow governments using terrorism. Can you expand a little on the so called ”war on terror”?
Bracken: Historically it's demonstrably been the case and it's been used predominantly to bring about wars. I think that there was even an admission by the National Security Agency regarding the Gulf of Tonkin to justify the war with Vietnam, this was in 1964.
So you even have the government coming out and saying: 'Hey, at least in this one instance there was a provocation'.
Robles: What would you say to people who’d say: “Why do this, why to start a war on terror? I mean, that is not a reason to kill 3,000 people. To start as hyper security state and strip away civil rights; that is not a reason.” What would you say to people who say that?
Bracken: You know, it is a great question and it is a great question because I always say that the question “why?”, is always fraught with epistemological dilemmas and danger. We are never going to know why.
You know, you can tell me why you called me today and that might be the real reason why and there might be some other reason that you don't even know, some subconscious reason why.
The whole question “why?” is one of these things that I say: “Don't ask why”. There is The Doors' song “Don't Ask Why”. But I mean, of course, you can ask why, but you never really are going to know. That is not satisfying but I think that is the reality.
Robles: With 9-11 and all these events would you agree with the premise that when there is a crime you look who benefits from it and you will find the guilty party? Would you agree with that?
Bracken: I would say it would give probably the best indication.
You know, I was engaged in Marxist debates and we had this dialectical logic for many years, now I'm working in legal journalism, and I appreciate legal logic and it is the logical application. And what is the logical application of all of this evidence that we've talked about now and, of course, you and I both know there is much more. The logical implication is that statesmen were involved.
Robles: Who benefited from 426 children being cold bloodily murdered in Latakia Syria? Who would have benefited from that in your opinion?
Bracken: Well it’s the people who want to topple Assad, the people that have blood on their hands and they’re blood-thirsty killers and they’re aiming to kill Christians and Alawites and people that are different from them even if it's just in the slightest degree. Madmen…
Robles: Would you say that this would be the perfect surrogate for carrying out like these… let's call them black operations?
Bracken: I think that you are getting into this area, this forth category I mentioned, this indirect offensive attack. I'm working on that now, I'm trying to develop it, I see a lot of problems with it, because it requires that you have a lot of subcategories and it gets to the point where I really even ask myself – is this type of categorization really useful and beneficial in terms of the theory of terrorism? I'm working on it but I recognize the limitations, even of my own, research.
Robles: Indirect offensive attack would be exactly what?
Bracken: For example, the Brits dressed as Muslims that were found in Syria. They were pretending to be someone else and they are staging these attacks, making it look like Assad's troops had done it, for example, or people who are sympathetic to Assad, it is sort of my conception.
Robles: I see. I like the way you divide things up into different categories, it makes much more sense, it is more logical to my mind. Thanks a lot, take care, buddy.
That was part 4 of an interview in progress. You can find the rest of that interview at our website Voiceofrussia.com. Thanks for listening and as always I wish you the best wherever you may be.
29 December 2013, 18:02
The US is a knuckle-dragging, low grade moronic culture – George Galloway
Photo: RIA Novosti
The high point of the American Empire has passed and mercifully we have emerged intact from the 20 very dangerous years during which the United States was the sole superpower in the world. We must never allow ourselves to endure that trial again. Power in the world is now passing to the East, to China, to Russia and to other rising nations as the United States is an aging tiger whose teeth are falling out. This was stated in an interview which outspoken and brutally honest British MP George Galloway granted to the Voice of Russia's John Robles. With regard to US surrogate NATO which is circling both Russia and China with bases and nuclear weapons, he labeled it an "imperial war machine" and called it "the greatest danger to peace and security in the world." Mr. Galloway was also candid on his assessment of Saudi Arabia which he called a "gangster state" with Prince Bandar acting as chief capo who delivers severed horse's heads into the bed of whomsoever they wish to intimidate. As for Ukraine Mr. Galloway put the situation into stark perspective by saying: "Can you imagine what would happen if President Putin went to the streets of Toronto on street demonstrations whipping up anti-American feeling, in neighboring country. And yet this is precisely what is happening on the front line in Kiev now," he added; again President Putin has again played a masterful diplomatic game. As for declining US hegemony he stated: "… they are losing and losing and losing. … they are losing because their power is waning, because hard power is waning, their financial power is defunct and their soft power, their cultural power is virtually non-existent. Anyone who takes a look at John McCain and thinks that that is a cultural soft power icon to desire, to head towards, would need their head examined. This is knuckle-dragging, low grade moronic culture," he stated.
This is John Robles, you are listening to an interview with George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament. This is part 3 of an interview in progress. You can find the previous parts of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com
Robles: Another country that, I just want to add to your list, was Saudi Arabia when Prince Bandar threatened terrorist attacks on the Olympic Games in Sochi. Russia would have had every right to just wipe it off the map.
Galloway: Well, Saudi Arabia is a gangster state and Bandar is increasingly the chief capo. He is the man who goes around delivering the severed horse's headinto the bed of whomsoever they wish to intimidate.
They try bribery first of all and then they try browbeating, and finally they are ready to bully through the use of their surrogate auxiliary terrorist army.
And they found that President Putin could be neither bribed nor bullied, and he was sent away with a flea in his ear. But he was very lucky; it was only a flea in his ear. Frankly if he'd tried it with me he'd have gone home without an ear.
Robles: Yeah, I mean, you don't threaten a nuclear superpower, I'm sorry, the West can say whatever they want but Russia is still a nuclear power. You don't tell a president: "We are going to unleash Al Qaeda; we control your Chechen terrorists". What about Scotland? You are Scottish, yes, sir?
Galloway: Yes, I am, yes.
Robles: What about Scottish independence? Do you think that will happen? How is it going?
Galloway: I don't think it will happen and I don't want it to happen. I'm against the breakup of states. This small country has been one country for more than 300 years. We speak the same language, we have a common language, a common culture, a common economic situation and once upon a time, if only briefly, we did some good things in the world, particularly in 1940 and 1941 when we stood alone against Fascist barbarism,and we didn't ask the people who did so whether they were Scottish or whether they were English.
And I just think that working people divided are always weakened, working people together will be stronger. So, I was against the breakup of Yugoslavia, I was against the breakup of the USSR, I can hardly be in favor of the breakup of this small country.
Robles: Ok. Can you give us your opinion of sovereignty in the EU with regard to, for example, Ukraine and how much do countries lose in terms of sovereignty in your opinion when they join the EU?
Galloway: Before I answer that, let me just make this point. Can you imagine what would happen if President Putin went to the streets of Toronto on street demonstrations whipping up anti-American feeling, in neighboring country. And yet this is precisely what is happening on the front line in Kiev now. European and North American politicians are on the streets of Russia's neighboring country whipping up anti-Russian feeling. But it seems to me, maybe I'm wrong - you will know better than I - but it's running out of steam.
Again President Putin with his economic arrangements that he has now made with the President of Ukraine has again played a masterful diplomatic game. And the European Union, virtually bankrupt, is not in a position to match what Russia can do to help Ukraine in this terrible economic situation that it is in.
But to answer your point, the European Union is a good idea in principle. It has stopped the countries of the west of Europe in the first instance, from attacking each other, and murdering each other in their millions, which they did from 1870 until 1945, three times at least. And that is a good thing.
It is a good thing if working people in the European continent, not only within the boundaries of the European Union but throughout the European continent, can reach a common agreements on social policy, on environmental issues, on issues of social security and even common defense. There is nothing wrong with any of these things.
But the European Union is utterly dysfunctional when it comes to the manner in which it is run and the free market banking principles on which it is based.
We have a Reganite-Thatcherite European Central Bank which sets monetary and fiscal policy for the Franco-German center and not for the periphery even of Western Europe, never mind Central and Eastern Europe as they become more often members of the European Union.
So it is a very dysfunctional organization, it is broke and it ought to fix its own problems rather than sticking its nose into the problems of Ukraine and the Ukraine's relationship with Russia.
Robles: I see. And by extension – NATO, what is your opinion about NATO and their expansion?
Galloway: Well, NATO is an imperial war machine; its name is increasingly of course a misnomer. The North Atlantic has been stretched as a geographical definition as far as the desserts of North Africa. And the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is circling both Russia and China with bases and nuclear armed warships and airplanes and so on. And it is the greatest danger to peace and security in the world.
And one of the many reasons why I find the call for Scottish independence implausible is that the Independence Party plans on making the independent Scotland a member of NATO which makes a mockery of its professed intention to be rid of nuclear weapons. You cannot be rid of nuclear weapons whilst joining a nuclear armed club.
Robles: Do you see NATO weakening or just growing and growing beyond all control?
Galloway: No, no, they are definitely weakening. The high point of the American Empire has passed as the high point of the British Empire before it passed.
Power is passing to the East, to China, to Russia and to other rising countries in the East and the South. I wouldn't say as Chairman Mao said 30 years or 40 years, prematurely, that the United States was a paper tiger, but it is definitely an aging tiger whose teeth are beginning to fall out.
Robles: I see. Very well put, thank you sir - brilliant.
Galloway: Thank you.
Robles: If I could last, very last point and then I'll let you go: Ukraine, right; Syria, we think Ukraine it was like revenge for their loss in Syria, right? Now if they lose in Ukraine what is the next hot spot going to be in your opinion?
Galloway: Well, the thing is they are losing and losing and losing. Now that might make them more angry but it doesn't make them more able to win. They are losing because they are losing, they are losing because their power is waning, because hard power is waning, their financial power is defunct and their soft power, their "cultural power" is virtually non-existent.
Anyone who takes a look and a listen to John McCain and thinks that that is a cultural soft power icon to desire, to head towards, would need their head examined. This is knuckle-dragging, low grade moronic culture. And I don't think that the great people of the Ukraine or in many other places are attracted to the soft power of the United States. The United States doesnot have the financial and economic wherewithal to make it worth their while.
So people are increasingly looking to themselves I hope, and looking elsewhere to other rising powers in the world. And let's hope that in the next year and the next decade we have a number of great powers in the world.
Mercifully we have emerged intact from the very dangerous twenty years in which the United States was the sole superpower in the world, we escaped that and we must never allow ourselves to endure that trial again.
Robles: I see. Can we finish up with your film? Can you give us a few details, maybe plug it if you want to, tell us where can we go to see it. I understand your film is very unique in that it's being funded by the people.
Galloway: Yes, the Killing of Tony Blair began on Kickstarter, which is a crowd-funding mechanism. We asked for £50,000 and we got £160,000. And the money is still coming in, it can't come in now by Kickstarter but you can still support us through PayPal, you can go to theblairdoc.com.
You can follow us on Twitter at the @TheBlairDoc. There are many many ways, if you forget any of those, just go to George Galloway MP on Facebook or follow me @George Galloway on Twitter and I'll put you in the right direction. The film should be out next autumn, and it is coming to a cinema near you.
Robles: OK. I'm sure it will be very popular in Russia; hopefully we can get a Russian version.
Galloway: I hope so. Thanks very much indeed, John.
Robles: Ok, thank you, sir, it was an honor and a pleasure, and thanks for your time.
Galloway: My pleasure, my pleasure, thanks, bye.
Robles: Ok, bye-bye.
That was the end of Part 3 of an interview with British Member of Parliament George Galloway. You can find the previous parts of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening and as always I wish all the best and happy holidays wherever you may be.
27 December 2013, 19:00
More than 40 countries have a SIGINT relationship with the NSA – Wayne Madsen
Among the illegal activities that the NSA is currently engaged in on the internet is site jamming. According to 12 year NSA veteran Wayne Madsen the NSA is also actively spying on NGOs and human rights organizations as the attempt to monitor every type of communication that exists all over the world. Joining the NSA and their SIGINT alliance called FVEY are another 35 countries that routinely allow the NSA to access their networks and assist the NSA in spying on their own citizens. Surprisingly one of these countries is Germany which was recently surprised and outraged that the NSA was spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel. During the interview with John Robles, Mr. Madsen also had the chance to defend himself after a vicious attack from US neo-conservatives caused an interview he gave to the UK Observer to be pulled because Mr. Madsen was critical of Obama.
This is Part 1 of a longer interview.
Robles: This is John Robles, I'm speaking with Mr. Wayne Madsen, he's the Editor of the Wayne Madsen Report in Washington DC.
Madsen: Hi, good to be with you.
Robles: A pleasure speaking you. What is going on in your opinion right now with interference and spying on the Internet? Now I am asking this because, and it hasn't really been touched upon in the media, but judging from all my contacts, which are not small in number, reports I am getting from all over the world, is that there has been some weird things going on with the internet. I am talking e-mail disappearing for 3 or 4 days and all kinds of stuff. Have you noticed that since Edward Snowden's revelations?
Madsen: I've noticed it and I've noticed an increase and I don't know whether it is because we now, because of Edward Snowden's revelations, we know exactly how it is done. I think in the past even I would joke with other people about yeah I didn't get your email probably the NSA – "Ah". It's more of a joke, but now that we see how the NSA is actually inserting itself as the, as for example what they call 'man in the middle' operation, also these metering of websites – it is not really a joke anymore because we now know how the NSA and its partners around the world can conduct this type of surveillance and in some cases its interference.
Robles: I've had real issues in the last couple of months and I know a lot of people who run kind of alternative media websites, and they've had all kinds of problems. Regularly my email keeps disappearing and I use different accounts and I am writing all over the world, so this never happened like this before, not regularly and not this often. So I am a little concerned about it.
Madsen: I think everybody has a right to be concerned and should be concerned because as far as my own website has experienced problems, where it is almost like the old jamming that used to take place during the Cold War where radio stations would be jammed by whatever opposing side did not want that information being heard within their borders. So, it is almost like this jamming where people would go to my website and I know this is happening to other websites, and I will get one of these error messages, there are other different kind of messages - this error security token, something that makes no sense except to maybe some very good programmers.
But when you try to refresh the screen, then all of a sudden the site will come up. So, it is almost like if somebody goes to a website "Oh the website's down", and they move on. But the website is not really down, it's being - I would call it jamming. And I am actually surprised that anyone at NSA these days would be old enough to remember the days of what they called MIJI, it is an old technique, called meaconing, intrusion, jamming and interference. And this was done when most communications took place over the radio frequency spectrum.
Now it doesn't happen anymore, now these communications are digital, they are carried by fiber optic cables, for example. And now we know the NSA is able to tap into these fiber optic cables. Because of Snowden we know now that anything, in any way shape or form, that has to do with surveillance or interference, can be done by NSA and its partners because we've seen the blueprints thanks to Snowden.
Robles: I see. What happened with you back in the summer, on the front page of the Observer, I believe it was? It was quite a scandal.
Madsen: Yes this was one of these, what I called drive by journalism; I wouldn't even call it journalism. I was part … I used to work for an organization called the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which is the NGO based in Washnigton DC. Back in the 1999-2000 timeframe I testified before the European Union Parliament, they sent a delegation of parliamentarians to Washington. We met them at the delegation for the European Union in Washington.
It was not a full-blown hearing but they wanted to know about NSA's capabilities, especially a system that was in the news back then called Echelon, and that's now been replaced by new technology but it was basically an intelligence sharing system among the what are now know as the Five Eyes Partners. That name wasn't used back in 1999, they were called the UK-USA Signals Intelligence Alliance Partners. But this is the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. It was well-known they were spying on the European Parliament in those days.
Again much of what Snowden has reported more recently was taking place back in 1999 except we didn't have a smoking gun document appearing as we have had with Snowden. But anyway I had testified about even things that came out just within the last 48 hours about NSA monitoring NGOs and organizations like UNICEF.
Back in 1999-2000 I testified, based on a Freedom of Information Act request, that were made to NSA. We had documents that showed that NSA was spying on groups like Amnesty International and Christian Aid.
Robles: Now this was all … I'm sorry just for our listeners now. Can you tell our listeners what is your background with the NSA?
Madsen: Yes, well I was in the US Navy as a Lieutenant back there in the 1970s/1980s, and in the middle 1980s I was actually assigned to the NSA, I worked in NSA and then after I'd left the Navy I continued to work for an SA contractor which was RCA, which actually had most of the patents on the old NSA technology as it existed in those days, anyway it was mostly radio frequency direction finding.
But I had been associated with NSA, working there, working with them for a few years when I was in the Navy, and you know like post-navy time. So, I was able to see it from the inside. But I do remember one thing, even back in the late 80s when people like General Alexander, the Head of the NSA, Director of the NSA said: "we don't want to listen to every communication, we are not interested in everybody's phone calls".
Well, that is not even close to what their intentions were in 1986 because I clearly recall the goal of NSA - and this is from seminars and meetings that I attended with NSA people, putting this information out - they were saying what we want is total earability, now that is not even a word. But in those days remember, this was before the, largely before, the worldwide web. An Internet existed, but most communications were by telephone, fax; cellphones were only coming in to play. But when they said a total earability, they meant they wanted to hear everything. I don't think anything has changed.
From what we know about Snowden's revelations, nothing has changed. Their catch has gotten wider because of more technology available.
But anyway, back in 2000, I told the European Parliament about what we had uncovered in the NSA, even eavesdropping on Princess Diana, and only because of her work with the anti-landmine campaign. And this made news, and then it was relegated to the back shelf. And everybody forgot about it, and now we have recently heard, yes, now they are fighting against organizations like UNICEF.
Robles: So, a lot of the stuff that you actually exposed and blew the whistle on, this was stuff that then Edward Snowden has repeated and he has gotten the world's attention. But when you did it, it was pretty much ignored. Am I correct?
Madsen: I actually was on 60 Minutes when 60 Minutes wasn't a PR operation for the NSA, like it recently was when it ran a very pro-NSA … 60 Minutes ran a very pro-NSA piece. But they featured me on 60 Minutes back in, I think it was in 2000, when the story broke. It got its sort of Andy Warhol 15 minutes, but then that was the end of it.
And so this past year in the Observer called me because I gave an interview to an old colleague of mine, Simon Davies, who was the founder of a group called Privacy International, and we were looking at this whole situation with Angela Merkel saying "Oh I am shocked that NSA is spying on my cell phone", when in fact we knew that the NSA, in addition to those 5 English speaking partners, had third party partnerships with non-English speaking countries where these countries were assisting NSA and collecting this intelligence, and among them were Germany, France, and I named them, I named them to the Observer.
They interviewed me, and I said it is Germany, it is France, I think I mentioned Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and now we all know that because Snowden's newer documents have shown that yes, all these countries and others participated with NSA in eavesdropping.
Robles: Can I ask you for some details on that? That's very interesting. Now what you are talking about, it is called Five Eyes, or Five Eye, it is the intelligence gathering conglomeration or Union, or whatever you want to call it, between Canada, the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom – correct?
And as far as I understand it, for example, NSA needs information on American citizens, they can get the UK to do that legally, and vice versa, if GCHQ needs information on UK subjects, they can ask the NSA to do it because technically they can't spy on their own citizens. Is that correct? If you could I would really appreciate it if you can name as many countries that are involved in this as you dare to?
Madsen: Yes, that is correct, and that all came out back in the 90s as well. An employee of the Canadian version of the NSA, the Communication Security Establishment, now called Communications Security Establishment Canada. Mike Frost wrote a book called "Spy World", where he said exactly that, that when Margaret Thatcher wanted to spy on two of her cabinet members, she couldn't get the GCHQ to do it, she got the Canadians to do it, and there were ample examples of the US asking either Canada or the UK to spy on Americans and vice versa. So, this was of course denied by the NSA Director at the time.
You know one thing that NSA directors specialize in is obfuscation and really basically lying when they are caught. But what happened when I gave this interview to the Observer, I was immediately attacked by these … this Twitter cell, which is mostly made up of pro-NSA people. One guy is an employee of the US Navy, he is a professor at the Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island, his name is John Shindler, launched this vicious attack on me, called me, basically was interviewed and he used expletive deleted to refer to my interview, and what I had to say, and he was joined by a bunch of others, people with the … you know usual suspects, like the Daily Beast, this guy Michael Moynihan in them, he used to work for Karl Rove affiliated think tank in Sweden.
So a lot of these are Neo-Con types – I think they're all Neo-Con types – but anyway they'd attack me as a conspiracy theorist. And the Observer not only pulled the interview off its front page on its website, its paid view, its most important paid view on its website, but they pulled the print edition, which had me on front page, they actually pulled it back from the newsagents.
And then the Guardian, its sister paper, also pulled down the interview off their website. So, you know, it is shocking. For me the Guardian gets all these praises because they're publishing Snowden documents, but all of what I provided them was actually some declassified documents from NSA showing that yes there are third parties, and then another one showing who the third parties were.
Just a reminder you are listening to an interview with Wayne Madsen.
Robles: What exactly did they object to? Why did they pull it? What was the information that they were hiding?
Madsen: They said because I am a controversial journalist I am doing what Jacky Anderson used to do in this country with Washington underground and Drew Pearson I publish stories because I have sources and never are they named, but I don't get sources anymore.
I embarrass politicians, and so that leaves me open to be called conspiracy theorist and that is exactly what the Twitter campaign was all about because I had done some investigations of Barack Obama's background in Chicago, which the pro-Obama people hate. They hate to see anything negative about their President. I try to say "hey look, I supported Obama in 2008". It's just that when you look underneath, he is not what he appears to be.
Robles: Oh you don't have to go very deep either.
Madsen: No you don't, no.
Robles: Can you tell us, I have a couple of questions here, really interested, what countries were you talking about that are in cooperation with NSA and Five Eye?
Madsen: Well we start with the Five Eyes, they are called Second Parties. The first party is the United States, that is NSA. Then you've got 4 others in the Five Eyes, and that is Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and United Kingdom. And then you've got the non-English-speaking NATO countries, for the most part form this other close group – its Germany, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy, even countries like Iceland, which doesn't even have a military, have an SIGNIT relationship as we know from some of the Snowden documents. So, you get the Five Eyes, and it is like Nine Eyes, and they're like a little bit close; like the Germans, and the French and the Danes, and then you get the Fourteen Eyes. It goes all the way to like 35, and greater than 40 countries, have a signals intelligence relationship with the NSA.
27 December 2013, 11:10
US/NATO missile defense key to first strike – Bruce Gagnon
US "missile defense" is the key element in US first-strike attack planning. After the US launches a first-strike attack against a country like Russia or China they want to ensure that there is no retaliation, in effect guaranteeing a successful first-strike attack. This was stated by Bruce Gagnon the Coordinator for the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space in an interview with the Voice of Russia. Mr. Gagnon is an expert in US weapons system and proliferation and has been an activist against militarization for decades. He also said that the US needs to stop spending trillions on weapons and start using the money to help deal with the reality of climate change as well as improve infrastructure if we are to have a future for our children and our grandchildren. He also reminded us of the teaching of the native Americans who believed that every decision we make has to be based on the impact to the next seven generations.
You are listening to Part II of an interview with Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. You can find the previous part pf this interview on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. This interview is in progress.
Robles: It's interesting you'd mentioned that, yesterday Gennady Zyuganov, the leader of Communist Party here in Russia, was speaking on TV, he gave an interview and he said that the principles of the Catholic Church and the Church in general of humanism and caring for people are almost the same as socialist ideals.
Gagnon: If the Catholic Church would just sell all of their gold artifacts that surround the Pope that would help to be able to reduce poverty in a big way all over the planet.
Robles: Yeah. That is true. Back, if we could, to the weapons. You've given us some really interesting information about weapons systems. I remember you informed us about the space drones. We're talking about hypersonic missiles and first-strike weapons and all of the stuff that is being put together in the guise of a "defensive shield". Can you give us more details about the shield, the missiles, what is going into it and what the real dangers are?
Gagnon: So-called missile defense, this is a system that has had a long life ever since the days of Ronald Reagan. Bill Clinton kept it alive, George Bush the second kept it going, Obama now continues it. And the funding for it has held steady and continues to grow over the years.
The whole idea of quote unquote "missile defense" in the real world: it is the key element in US first-strike attack planning, after the US launches a first-strike attack against another country like Russia or China. They want to ensure that there is no retaliation, right? The US wants a successful first-strike attack.
So by surrounding Russia and China with the so-called missile defense systems. What they do is they say: "After we hit Russia or China with a first-strike attack, they then try to fire their remaining retaliatory capability". And the US would them pick that off, pick off that retaliatory strike with these missile defense systems.
They would be ground-based, be put right now into Poland and Romania, there are radars going into several places and then there would also be sea-based. The US is putting these missile defense systems on navy destroyers that are going to be sent into the Mediterranean, into the Baltic, into the Bering and Barents Seas.
So clearly the US intention is to, and in as many ways as possible, encircle Russia and they are doing the same thing with China, they are putting these missile defense systems on the ground and on ships in Taiwan and South Korea, in Japan, in Okinawa, in Guam.
So, they are beginning the same kind of coastal encirclement of China with these missile defense systems.
So what is Russia or China to do? Well, Russia has early said that "it is not in our interest now to reduce the number of nuclear weapons when you are creating the so-called missile defense system to essentially take out our retaliatory capability".
So, Russia is saying "we think, we might have to step back from some of these treaties that reduce our retaliatory capability", that of course means we're off to new arms raise. At the same time the US is working on what they call "global strike weapons". And these are the weapons that Putin talked about in his big speech yesterday, that would be able to go from one end of the Earth to the other in a first strike capacity but not necessarily carrying a nuclear warheads.
The US would have bunker-buster missiles, for example, and their job would be to reach the other side of the world in a very short period of time and then burrow underground and destroy underground missile silos.
When Russia sees, or China sees, these global strike weapons coming through space towards them: do they know whether they are nuclear weapons or do they know whether they are conventional warheads? No. And so it is still the same reaction necessitated by the part of the country being attacked.
So the US knows that these new global strike systems are very destabilizing and they are going to create a new arms race but that is what they want to do.
They want to do it for two reasons. Number one is they want to say: "Look, Russia and China are building up their military, they are bad. We need more, we should be afraid of them. We here in the US need more". And that is exactly what they are saying today.
And secondly, of course, it means that we have to cut more and more social programs in the US to fund these new military programs in a way that obviously the US, its moves are helping to create these counter moves which then justify further US military expansion. It's all a big shell game on the part of the military industrial complex.
Robles: Now; social spending in the US, I don't think there is too much more they can actually cut, do you?
Gagnon: They are getting down to the bone, but there still is some. They are trying to privatize public education now and that means that the corporations would take over public education and they would do a corporate brainwashing, teaching children that capitalism is the "Holy Grail".
It would become like a religion even stronger than it already is in this country. So that is one goal to continue to defund public education.
They are dying to get a hold of people's Social Security there, the meager retirement fund that we have in this country, one of the few socialized programs we have. And they are just dying to get their hands on that money.
Robles: I thought they've already had.
Gagnon: Well, no. People love Social Security and people don't want it touched. They've touched it but they haven't taken it apart yet.
Robles: I see. I think it is the only security that Americans have when they get old. That is it.
Gagnon: The corporations have gone after the private pension plans, because these private pension plans get invested in Wall Street and when Wall Street goes down, people lose money in their private pension plans. And so what the capitalism wants to do, what Wall Street wants to do is to get rid of self-security and move all that money into Wall Street so they can just steal it from the people.
But I have a friend who lost 40% of his retirement savings that is invested by the corporations that run these private retirement programs, it gets invested in Wall Street. He lost 40% of his life-time savings because of the shenanigans on Wall Street. This is a kind of thing that is going on today.
Robles: Have you seen anything linking NSA to space defense and NATO expansion and satellite surveillance and all that..
Gagnon: Sure it is all part of it. Two of the bigger NSA listening stations are Menwith Hill up in Yorkshire, England and Pine Gap in the outback in Australia. Those are two of the biggest US NSA spy bases and the very same bases are involved in flying drones, they are involved in espionage, both against the people of Asia or Europe and against companies, corporations in Europe for example, that are bidding against American corporations.
US is spying on those with the NSA spy base at Menwith Hill up in Northern England. And this has been brought to the EU in fact during the George W. Bush Administration, EU sent people to Washington to talk to Bush about it and he refused to meet with them to discuss this US industrial espionage. So the NSA, it is tied into all of that stuff, it is tied into surveillance, it is tied into war fighting, it is all playing the same shtick.
Robles: And it is all serving who? Just the military/ industrial/pharmaceutical/corporate/banking complex or…? What are we going to call it now?
Gagnon: Yeah, what I like to call increasingly: the corporate–criminal syndicate. Yeah, the interlocking boards of directors and don't forget the media corporations, the oil corporations. That what it is about.
Robles: Scary part is the media part for me. I mean, there is like a war going on journalist now and it is coming from all sides, even though we are Russian state media we sometimes feel it here.
Gagnon: When people get in power, they don't like anybody knowing what they do. So no matter what country you are from, I think everybody understands that.
We in the US are working hard to create our own media, alternative media, so that is a big task that we all take on.
I do it, I have a TV show that plays on 14 stations across the State of Maine where I live. I have a daily blog that a lot of people read. And in fact some of my best readership I think is coming out of your show to be honest with you, because since I've been a couple of times on your show and I've been picking up all these readers on my blog from countries like Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine.
Gagnon: It is amazing, you know. So I don't know how else they would have heard about this show than maybe Voice of Russia. It's pretty amazing.
Robles: Well, thank you. I'm glad that we are appreciated by somebody. Get a lot of comments like that from a lot of people who have very real and very important things to say, but US mass media doesn't want to hear it. Bruce, anything else do you think we should get into?
Gagnon: All I can say is that all of us everywhere, in every country have to continue to demand the end of the militarization of the planet. Because we face one common enemy today, that is called climate change. What we saw recently happen in the Philippines, the severe weather that is happening everywhere on the planet today. It is getting worse every season.
Robles: But that is the elephant in the room: no one wants to talk about it. I know, we are losing islands, we are losing territory, we are losing hundreds of kilometers of land every day due to rising sea levels, but no one wants to talk about that.
Gagnon: My feeling is that we need to all be focused globally, all of us need to be focused on: stop wasting our money on militarism, on more weapons. We need to use that money to help us deal with this coming reality of climate change.
I mean, in my country we need a national rail system to get us out of our gas guzzling cars that help contribute to climate change. And so we continue to call for the conversion of the weapons productions system so that we can do something else, build something else, build rail, build solar, build a solar society, imagine putting solar devices on every house and business in the USA, imagine the jobs created doing that, imagine how much less oil we'd need when we do that.
So, the use of the kind of things that we all have got to demand if we are going to have a future for our children and our grandchildren. That's what we need to be talking about.
The native Americans talked about every decision we make has to be based on the impact to the next seven generations. So all this money on star wars and space technology and space weapons technology – my country is leading the way.
China and the EU, and Russia, India think about the money that has been wasted on this incredibly stupid plan to militarize space.
That was the end of Part II of an interview with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best wherever you may be.
26 December 2013, 23:37
US/NATO protecting opium in Afghanistan
Almost the entirety of the facts regarding the US invasion and “involvement” in Afghanistan raise serious questions as to the real intentions that the US had in invading the country in the first place and what they have done there since. The questions are many, some that are impossible to answer, some that have been answered and brushed under the carpet and still others that are not be answered or even asked, with anyone attempting to do so facing a violent reaction or concerted backlash. Among these questions is why has opium production increased after 12 years of US/NATO occupation?
The fact that the US does not want the world to know what they have really been doing in Afghanistan, the embedded reporters who only report what they are supposed to report and their attempts to silence anyone who has exposed crimes (Bradley Manning for example), along with the level of duplicity that exists within the Karzai “puppet” government, the Taliban and their intertwined relationship with the US has made it extremely difficult if not impossible to ascertain the real situation in the country. However if one is to look at the results of their invasion and occupation and what has transpired there in the now over 12 years of occupation things become clearer.
Like any crime, the crimes that have occurred in Afghanistan and against the Afghan people by the US/NATO coalition in collusion with the Taliban, other non-state actors and foreign powers, have been carried out to benefit particular actors or a particular geopolitical or other plan. From the concerted destruction of almost all Soviet built infrastructure to the decimation of all institutions that supported civil society the end result of over 12 years of US/NATO occupation has been the complete destruction and splintering of the country and the predicted return of the Taliban to power. This benefits US/NATO strategy of destroying countries to keep them weak and prevent the formation of anti US blocs, such as one that may have formed between Russia, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan and it has also followed US strategy with regard to exploitation and resource extraction, that it is better and more profitabler to deal with warlords and illegal fiefdoms when obtaining resources than with legitimate state actors who demand contracts, quotas, controls and taxes.
Following the line of thought that with any crime someone benefits, we then have to ask what has benefitted the most from the US occupation. The answer to that is the opium production and trade and the Taliban. This is not a theory or an accusation but the facts as laid out by the United Nations. So while the US has been taking money from US taxpayers to “fight” the illicit narcotics business in Afghanistan, to the tune of $70 billion, Afghan opium cultivation is up 36% and production is up 49%.
According to a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): “Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose 36 per cent in 2013, a record high, according to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey released today in Kabul by the Ministry of Counter Narcotics and UNODC. Meanwhile, opium production amounted to 5,500 tons, up by almost a half since 2012.”
Mr. Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of UNODC, called the news "sobering" and stressed that this situation poses a threat to health, stability and development in Afghanistan and beyond: "What is needed is an integrated, comprehensive response to the drug problem. Counter-narcotics efforts must be an integral part of the security, development and institution-building agenda".
The problem with this and the elephant in the room that everyone is ignoring is the fact the United States and their CIA are colluding with the producers of heroin and in fact protecting the opium fields in Afghanistan while running duplicitous policies with the Taliban and the Karzai government.
The reality is that US/NATO and their “coalition of the willing” are involved in actively protecting the opium fields in Afghanistan according to a recent exposé consisting of almost exclusively photographs by the Global Research group(LINK2). Global Research apparently made the editorial decision that a picture is worth a thousand words and in this case the pictures, are a visual and unarguable condemnation of the US “mission” in Afghanistan.
Global research quotes Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the outgoing leader of the Afghanistan office of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which produced the above report as saying: “This has never been witnessed before in the history of Afghanistan,”.
Global Research wrote: “The U.S. military has allowed poppy cultivation to continue in order to appease farmers and government officials involved with the drug trade who might otherwise turn against the Afghan Karzai government in Kabul. Fueling both sides, in fact, the opium and heroin industry is both a product of the war and an essential source for continued conflict.”
They also say: “It is well-documented that the U.S. government has – at least at some times in some parts of the world – protected drug operations. (Big American banks also launder money for drug cartels. Indeed, drug dealers kept the banking system afloat during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis. And the U.S. drug money laundering is continuing to this day.)
Scores of other reports say the CIA, which has funded operations from drug money received in Columbia and in other locations, has a long history of such collusion and Afghanistan, which now produces approximately 75% of the world’s opium, is a literal gold mine for illicit narcotics revenues and shifts the balance of the illegal heroin trade from the Golden Triangle and other organizations.
In a book by Alfred W. McCoy, called the The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade : Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Central America, Colombia, he writes: “American diplomats and secret agents have been involved in the narcotics traffic at three levels: (1) coincidental complicity by allying with groups actively engaged in the drug traffic; (2) abetting the traffic by covering up for known heroin traffickers and condoning their involvement; (3) and active engagement in the transport of opium and heroin. It is ironic, to say the least, that America's heroin plague is of its own making.”
UNODC chief Yury Fedotov believes the UN report is a warning: "As we approach 2014 and the withdrawal of international forces from the country, the results of the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2013 should be taken for what they are - a warning, and an urgent call to action. If the drug problem is not taken more seriously by aid, development and security actors, the virus of opium will further reduce the resistance of its host, already suffering from dangerously low immune levels due to fragmentation, conflict, patronage, corruption and impunity".
After 12 years and perhaps a million dead the only mission that has been accomplished in Afghanistan is the increase of heroin production, could it be that this was the goal all along? Food for thought and serious investigation.
26 December 2013, 03:21
With regard to Syria, President Vladimir Putin, in the words of George Galloway, "played a blinder" and prevented a cataclysm for the entire world an accomplishment more than worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was also instrumental in preventing the evisceration of the Syrian people and Syria and also had a "great year". Outspoken defender of rule of law, sovereignty and the rights of the people, British MP George Galloway, spoke with the Voice of Russia about these issues and more. Calling US President Obama an "empty raincoat", he blasted Obama’s hypocrisy and callousness with regard to his attitude to the mothers of children who are "eviscerated by Hellfire Missiles" under Obama’s illegal and extra-judicially murder by drone of people around the world.
This is John Robles, you are listening to an interview with George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament. This is part 2 of an interview in progress. You can find the previous and the following parts of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com
Robles: Can I ask your opinion, since this is the Voice of Russia, what is your opinion about Russia’s position on Syria?
Galloway: President Putin is my man of the year. And I don’t see how anyone could stand up against that nomination. He really has played a blinder, first of all on the Snowden affair and then seizing the moment: I mean, John Kerry was in London when he presented that opportunity, when he said at a press conference with William Hague beside him, he said that: "… the only thing that can stop this imminent attack is for President Assad to give up his chemical weapons in their entirety."
And as soon as I heard that, I realized that an opening had just presented itself, that no sooner had Kerry spoken, when President Putin and Minister Lavrov, who is another man who has had a great year, seized that opportunity and saved the world from a cataclysm. And if you don’t get a Nobel Peace Prize for that, I'm not sure what you’d get it for. Perhaps, like Obama, you get it for actually creating war and mayhem around the world.
Robles: I think that Nobel has lost its credibility anyway, especially with Obama. I mean, they should have demanded it back. He is engaged in continuous, open extra-judicial execution and he is non-apologetic about it.
Galloway: That’s right! And he holds a meeting every week, I think it is on Thursday, but it may be on Tuesday…
Robles: Terror Tuesday.
Galloway: It’s Tuesday. He goes through a kill list and signs people’s death warrants. Absolutely extra-judicially, extra-territorially, murderously. And yet at Sandy Hook and other places, he goes there and sobs and breaks into tears rolling down his face over the death of innocents in these maniacal shootouts in American schools. But it doesn’t seem to occur to him that mothers whose children are eviscerated by these Hellfire Missiles, are crying just the same as the mothers at Sandy Hook.
Robles: What did you think about Obama at Nelson Mandela’s funeral? I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
Galloway: I do, of course. I felt that the Obama myth has survived in some parts of the world, perhaps, obviously and particularly in Africa, but in truth President Obama is just an empty suit. The only thing that he has going for him, the only thing that is praiseworthy about him, is that he was a black man who got elected as President of the US.
He is a little better, if better at all, than George W. Bush, and you can’t say worse than that. And he doesn’t even have the alibi that George W. Bush had of being an imbecile. President Obama is a professor. He is probably the best educated president there’s ever been. And the alibi that Bush had just doesn't wash with him. So, that is all the more condemnable.
Robles: Who would you say…? People have said: "Well, it is not his fault, there is this shadow government controlling everything, it is the CIA, it is the banking interests and monied interests that are controlling everything, it is not Obama’s fault that he betrayed his own people and everybody else when he became President."
Galloway: I just don’t buy that. The elected President of the US is the most powerful man in the world. And that, at the beginning of his first term in his landslide victory, with the American capitalism on its knees, with the country embroiled in unpopular and losing wars, it was open to Obama to become Roosevelt +. He could have utterly transformed the landscape and he utterly failed to do so. He is just an empty raincoat, I’m sorry.
Robles: That’s true! I mean, even black Americans, they are worse off now than they were even in the 60s, when they were trying to get out of segregation. And they can’t say anything, the liberal left can’t say anything in the US against Obama because he is supposed to be "their" man. How can you say something bad about the first black president in history? But…
Galloway: You know, feminists, were equally wrong footed, when Margaret Thatcher became the Prime Minister of Britain in 1979, for a decade they had been telling us how different things would be if only women were in the top positions of power, how many fewer wars there would be, how much less aggression there would be in public life, how nicer and kinder and gentler politics would be. And Mrs. Thatcher came along and proved that it is not the presence of testicles in a leader that makes them venal, it is the politics and the economic beliefs that they have running through their veins; that’s what counts.
Robles: Well I think it’s what they have as well - a complete lack of conscience. Speaking about Thatcher, I was shocked when I found out about the people she’d let that had starved themselves to death.
Galloway: Indeed, the Irish hunger strikers were willfully starved to death by the Thatcher administration, and ten men were dead and blood flooded pitifully in Ireland and in Britain for many-many years, directly as a result of her obduracy. She thought nothing of assassination, she thought nothing of killing and she certainly thought nothing of laying waste industrial Britain and leaving it as a kind of postindustrial slagheap which sowed problems an ocean deep.
Robles: She devastated, as I understand, all the unions and all the working collectives and everything.
Galloway: Indeed, she destroyed the trade unionism; she destroyed 35% of manufacturing capacity in Britain which was considerably more than Hitler’s Luftwaffe managed to do. And her legacy is still causing grief and pain, even now that she is dead and twenty years after she left office.
Robles: I would call you, if don’t mind, a champion of legality and rule of law. I think you are one of the few people that I’ve heard that I agree with almost everything you say. Sergey Lavrov and President Putin have also been calling on the rule of law in solving conflicts, respect for sovereignty, respect for international law. Do you see any way to bring back, or rein in, or somehow bring sanity back into the world?
Galloway: We have to draw a line in the sand now. And that line should have been drawn over Libya. The Libyan dictatorship was a vile one. And it took an act of real genius to replace the vile dictatorship of Gaddafi with a worse set of rulers than existed before them. And this should have been stopped, and it wasn’t.
And Russia and China should have vetoed the proposal to impose the NATO-led no-fly zone on Libya, which became not a no-flies but a plenty-fly zone, it became a free-bomb zone. And it led to the thirst for regime change by foreign attack, invasion of one kind or another, and that thirst becoming literally ravenous. And we are lucky that we stopped it after Libya, and we had to.
We have to undo the Blair-Chicago doctrine – this notion of a responsibility to protect – which of course is open to the interpretation of any member state. I mean, for example, according to the Chicago doctrine which has been now used in Yugoslavia…
Robles: You are speaking about NATO doctrines, as far as I know.
Galloway: Yes, but they have been allowed to become United Nation’s doctrine. They were stopped by Russia and China over Syria. But they must be rolled back, because if you allow any member state to invade any other member state, because it claims that it has a responsibility to protect people in that country, then the recipe for a total international anarchy is complete.
Imagine now, if President Putin were to invade Ukraine, he could easily claim that he had a responsibility to protect the Russian-speaking people there and he could move the Russian armed forces in there. He could easily have done so in Latvia and Lithuania, and other places where the rights and even the safety of Russian-speaking people there were being prejudiced, some of them extreme prejudiced.
You simply can’t have a world where any member of the United Nations can invade any other member on the basis of this responsibility to protect. We have to go back to a time, it seems long and distant. Alas, I’ve lived long enough to remember when it was the norm, which is that every nation state is sovereign and that it has sovereign rights, and one of those sovereign rights is not to be invaded and occupied and regime-changed by other states. We have to get back to that situation or the world will become increasingly lawless and anarchic.
That was the end of part 2 of an interview with British Member of Parliament George Galloway. You can find the previous and following parts of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening and as always I wish you all the best, and happy holidays wherever you may be.
25 December 2013, 02:33
9-11 WTC fires and collapses were a lie, steel melts at 1500°C – David Conner
The most obvious and easily provable discrepancy in the official version with regard to the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2013 lies in the way the buildings "collapsed". Not only, for the first time in the history of the world, did three steel-framed skyscrapers collapse into their own footprints from fires, but they did so through the path of maximum resistance; something unheard of. Even more alarming is the fact that WTC 7 collapsed due to small fires even though no "aircraft hit" had occurred or any other major damage. Worse still is the fact that the owner of the WTC, Larry Silverstein, admitted on-camera that he "gave the order to pull", a fact corroborated by none other than now US Secretary of State John Kerry. David Connor spoke to the Voice of Russia about these matters and the structural aspects of the WTC buildings.
Hello this is John Robles, I'm speaking with David Conner, he is a former design engineer and an expert on the events of 9-11. This is Part 1 of a longer interview.
Robles: Hello David, how are you?
Connor: I'm doing fine man.
Robles: And nice to be speaking with you. Can you tell us a little bit about your theory about 9-11 and particularly with the structural put it clear with the structural part?
Connor: OK, there is a lot of jargon floating around as far as I can see and read,and very often the term comes up 'the path ofmaximum resistance'. Now, unless you are actually technically orientated, this is quite a thing to handle. And whatthat means is: these buildings collapse through the path of maximum resistance, they collapsed vertically.
Now, if you get a piece of paper, A4 paper, and roll it upto a cylinderaround about a centimeter in diameter;you put it on one end, press it down with your hand on the other – there is a lot of resistance. If you lay it on its side and just crush it with your hand, it disintegrates. So, if you put the piece of paper on its end rolled up, and you press it down – that is the path of maximum resistance, yes?
Now as far as I know, no buildings have before 9-11 and after 9-11 collapsed vertically, except thethree Trade Centers buildings. World Trade Centers 1 and 2 collapsed within an hour and a half of each other after being hit by two airplanes. I believe the smoking gun is World Trade 7, which wasn't hit by airplane. It had a diesel fire in its basement and also they are saying, and it collapsed in about 9 seconds or 7 seconds I believe.
And it went to free fall within 3 seconds of that collapse. That is extraordinary, how could it happen? And there is also so many things that have turned up which over the last few years that makes me feel that this is just a really horrible lie.
I just went onthe Internet, just before you phoned up, and I asked what was the question - the question I asked was: 'What temperature does steel melt at?' I got some real great guy from Jefferson Lab, who I suspect has never been to a steelworks,and he said that steel melts at around about 1510°C. I thought it was 1600°C actually, but it doesn't matter. He said: 'It starts to lose its stiffness at around about 538°C'.
Well actually it’s not an answer that would have any viability in explaining the collapse of World Trade Center 1 and 2. Steel is a great conductor of heat, so if there was that amount of heat introduced from these airplanes crash into that steel, it would have gone, it would have been transferred quite quickly away from the center of where the fires were and what have you.
There are so many films on the Internet, where you see red molten steel pouring outside of the buildings. Office fires and jet fuels cannot achieve that sort of melting point.
If you think of a steel works once again, howcould you equate asteel works with what was going on in World Trade Centers 1 and 2. So I believe that there was some sort of explosive devices that knocked the integrity out of that structure and that allowed it to fall vertically.
Just one point, you probably have read, and it is something which I've picked up on from Richard Gage, he has made out that about five or six months before 9/11, there was an extensive modification made to the lift systems in both 1 and 2, Trade Centers 1 and 2. Perfect cover – OK.
So then, another thing about steel melting: if you go around some steel works there’s one in Port Talbot in in South Wales if it's still open, they used to move the molten steel in torpedoes mounted on railways,and the steel would be transported from one section of the steel works to the other. So it would still contain hot steel and whole journey used to take about 20 or 30 minutes I think. And thosetorpedoes never melted you know.
The raw steel, molten steel was coming out of the furnaces, put into thesetorpedoes, and they were transported to the rolling mills you see. And so those things got really red hot and glowed, and what have you, and they didn't lose their integrity, their strength, their strength integrity if you can say that, I think you can, yes. But anyway, so that is the general gist of what I'm saying is why I'm very interested in this lie that is being perpetuated about the World Trade Center.
Robles: Now there was reports of molten steel that was found up to four or five days after the buildings collapsed in like subbasement 4 and 5. How hot would have the steel had to have been to still been molten after three or four days?
Connor: OK then, I saw pictures of that. It is really horrible, straggly stuff. If steel has lost its form, it has reached its melting point, there is no question about that. There were no jack hammers or there were no steel hammers floating around, it was just gravity. The steel must have reached at least 1500°C. There is no question.
Robles: Now, what could cause that kind of heat?
Connor: Thermite, there’s another name for it as well. There is something other than thermite, and it is used in joining railway lines together and it takes about half a second for temperature of 2200°C to be reached and then therails are joined together. And it takes about half a second. In 19 … in the year of 2010 … now hang on … in the year 2000 that was, it was a known way of joining metal rails together, no question. I think what is being suggested from the debris from the World Trade Center 1 and 2, there was this nano-thermite, I think he is called.
Robles: You are right.
Connor: This nano-thermite, and it’s a deadly piece of the equipment, and in the wrong hands- steel could be melted in half a second – no question. Bingo!
Robles: What can you comment about the cement being pulverized into dust? I mean, that didn't seem normal.
Connor: No, indeed, I quite agree. It seemed to me absolutely un-normal. Well the other example I can give you is that, I've seen many films now on the Internet about buildings being blown up, you know being blown up for various reasons, and normally when concrete’s compressed it doesn't explode into dust, it takes an explosive device to turn it to dust. To pursue to the miniature particles that were floating around New York that day.
Robles: So what could have caused that? I've heard the term "directed energy weapons".
Connor: As far as I've read from the experts, and a lot of experts out there were saying this nano-thermite is a prime candidate for the source of the destruction of World Trade Center 1, 2 and 7.
Robles: So regarding the speed with which the buildings collapsed, and for me it is the most obvious problem with the whole affair. You take a building, now these building were designed to withstand the impact I think of up to 3 or 4 aircraft one after the other. And even a two-year old child could tell you, now youused the rolled piece of paper example, I'd like to think of if you took a pencil, and you stood it on one end and you hit it on the side, even a small child would tell you – it's going to fall over. It is not going to collapse into itself, right?
Connor: Indeed, indeed, yes.
Robles: So a hit on this side – the buildingscollapse into themselves. And then there was all these … what about the speed with which they collapsed? And I think it’s a given, everybody knows now but it was filmed there was all this blasts before they collapsed.
Connor: Indeed I think that’s, I think that’s absolutely fascinating. And the steel, the red steel coming out below the part of building that already collapsed a few floors down. Molten steel being … it is like a foundry, a steel works, you know, fueled by jet.
Robles: What is the maximum temperature that jet fuel could reach?
Connor: I believe it is about 700°C.I have read that the office fires and the jet fuel couldn't reach more than 600°C. And with all the films I have seen the jet fuel was disispregated in the first half second or second of the hit on the trade centers themselves. It just exploded, you know, it just went out. And so, I think what they are trying to tell us is that office fires that resulted from that collision were the source, the heat sources for the melting of the steel and the subsequent collapse of the three buildings, which I think is just baloney I think.
Robles: I've been in a steel foundry, you've been in one and you know the heat, and there is no way of burning office furniture, diesel fuel or something like that could produce so much heat.
Connor: I think that is exactly my point, yes.
Robles: Why do you think all of the wreckage was moved, all the steel was taken over to New Jersey and then it was like there was like smelted and it disappeared?
Connor: Well you see, you are more familiar with American laws than I am. That was absolutely out of order, completely. A crime scene was absolutely cleared up and anything was taken away. The evidence was taken away, transported to India or somewhere, that was areally extraordinary thing to happen.
Robles:Yes, of course, of course.
Connor: Absolutely ridiculous. They said one vertical column buckledand the rest came down, went into free fall. John, that cannot happen – it is as simple as that. I cannot give you a definition of just how sound those buildings were. I even remember watching them from JFK on my flight back to Europe from New York, andlooking at those two magnificent buildings from JFK and the wind and the storms, and the hurricanes they had withstood without any problems. And then all of a sudden two planes crashinto them and one hour and a half later they all collapse. It's not plausible.
Robles: Yeah, it is not. And we saw when they impact.I mean, it was there live, the second one, had the buildings were so weak, I think immediately at point of impact there would have been cement flying off and pieces of building coming off and everything and the buildings remained pretty much intact. It was obvious at the time,after what, an hourright,it was pretty obvious that the buildings were going to keep standing.
Connor: Yeah, there are two points if I may raise on that one. The guy that bought the lease from the New York Port Authority, six months before that happened, was Larry Silverstein I think his name. Well, you see, if you see that crook on the television, on the TV, and how he was heard saying "World Trade 7 we’ve got to pull it". There is only one way that can be interpreted.
Robles: Yes he said "we gave the order to pull".
Connor: I’ve heard that argument many times. It’s a term that’s used in the demolition industry to say: 'ok then, bring it down'.
Robles: Did you know John Kerry said the same thing?
Connor: Did he?
Robles: Yeah, he was asked what was going on at the time or something, and he said this on television, he said well there was a decision made to pull.
Robles: John Kerry who is now the Secretary of State of the United States, and he was a fellow Skull and Bones man with George Bush at Yale.
Connor: Yeah, but he was a Democrat.
Robles: It doesn't matter, there is Democrats, Republicans. They’re all - it is one party now.
Connor: OK, there is just another thing that has come up, there’s one little piece, Idon’t know … you've probably seen it as well. The BBC put out a news report25 minutes before World Trade 7 collapsed, from a very unfortunately poor woman reporter, who was saying: 'Well we’ve just got news in', she says 'where World Trade 7 has just collapsed'. And behind her was World Trade 7 that hadn't collapsed, you see. As she went to ground – it's very hard to get any news about her, they put her on ice or something, I’m not quite sure what’s happened there.
You were listening to an interview with David Conner. He is a former design engineer and a researcher into the events of 9/11. Thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best, wherever you may be. Stay with us.
24 December 2013, 21:46
Islam an inclusive religion – Dr. Kevin Barrett
Part of the Islamic faith and a concept shared by some conservative Christians is the “notion of opposing usury”, an aspect of the wars in the Middle East that is often under looked along with the fact that what are now referred to as “paper bankers” will do anything to prevent the emergence of a gold based currency or a move away from the US dollar for conducting international trade, in particular trade in oil. Dr. Kevin Barrett recently spoke to the Voice of Russia and gave his candid, no-holds-barred assessment of the real situation in the Middle East. He warned that one day the Muslim world will wake up and insist on precious metals based currency in exchange for their oil, something which will fundamentally change the economic structure of the world.
Hello this is John Robles. I’m speaking with Dr. Kevin Barrett, he is a Doctor in Arabic and Islamic Studies, the owner and manager of truthjihad.com, and a member of Scientific Professionals Investigating 9/11. This is part 3 of an interview in progress.
Robles: Well, I think his biggest sin and his final sin, and this happened less than 24 hours before the first bombs drop, and the same thing with Saddam Hussein - this was also within 24 hours to the invasion - I don’t know if you aware of this, but they decided to change the oil trade from the petrodollar to the Euro.
Barrett:Right, right! And they were also working on a plan to make the Dinar the currency of Africa.
Robles: A gold-based Dinar, right, which would have put the paper bankers completely out of business.
Barrett:Right! And this is one of the underlying issues, really, of this war in the Middle East. I think primarily the Zionists are trying to maintain their hegemony in the region. But there is also this aspect of propping up the petrodollar.
And one of the really interesting areas of this Islamic resurgence of the past several decades is this notion of opposing usury, and in particularly standing up against these Zionist usurers, the Rothschild family and their friends, who created Israel. You know, those people have been natural enemies of Muslims everywhere. And Muslims, unlike most other religious folks, have really held tightly to their ban on usury.
Robles: I would argue, I’m sorry, I would argue not just Muslims.
Barrett:There are conservative Christians out there who are with us on this, of course. But I think that it’s a dominant, if you ask somebody like an American Christian, what is your take on usury – the answer will be “Huh?”.
Robles: What is that?
Barrett:Yes! Whereas, if you talk to an average Muslim, “oh yes, you are not allowed to lend at interest”. And you say “well, are you borrowing at interest?” And yes, a lot of Muslims are forced to do this, because there is no other way they can have a house.
But, for instance, I know a guy who is by far from the most pious and honorable lifelong Muslim. He is the real Muslim, he prays and he believes, but he is not exactly an ultra-pious guy or much less a fanatic. But he won’t buy a house, taking a bank loan.
He’s working jobs, stacking boxes in a warehouse, trying to save up enough to buy a house outright. And obviously, he is not going to buy much of a house when he finally saves up enough. But he’s not … he just doesn't want to take a loan at interest. And there are a lot of people like that all over the Islamic world.
And that is the dominant attitude,is that’s how it is supposed to be. And that is not true in most other religions. Most religions have kind of made some kind of an accommodation with usury, and Islam really hasn’t.
And so for that reason, plus this opposition to Western imperialism, opposition to Zionism, the Islamic world is really ripe to tell the Western gangsters to go to hell, and say that from now on we are not going to take your funny-money-paper anymore for our oil. From now on, if you want oil, you are going to pay with gold.
Now guess what, and if that happens, and they create a gold Dinar based on the gold that is going to be flowing into the coffers of the Islamic world for their oil, suddenly the Islamic currency has to be become the dominant financial force on earth. And this is the nightmare of the imperialists.
And so that, I think a lot of this screwing around with the Islamic world that they’ve been doing and destabilizing it, creating phony radical movements, is really designed to prevent Muslims from just waking up and saying “Wait a minute!” Like the answer this is obvious – “all we have to do is unite on insisting on precious metals for our currency, insisting on obeying our religious edicts on usury.
Robles: Talking about Islam as a religion, if you don’t mind if we could go into that a little bit, where are these deviations, now you mentioned that Al Qaeda was a deviation? Can you explain for our listeners, a lot of people don’t really know really what Islam is and what the Muslim faith is? They just hear ‘terrorists’, ‘fanatics’ and horrible stuff all the time.
Barrett:And that is pretty ironic, because historically Islam has been the most moderate of the Abrahamic faiths. And how this happened is, I say I think it is a defensive phenomenon. When people are defensive, then, paradoxically, they become aggressive. They feel like they are weak and under attack, and then they become sort of fanatical and aggressive in response. I think that’s what happened to Muslims.
But historically Islam was a very, very tolerant, broad-minded, inclusive, open to forging alliances with all sorts of different people, including different religions. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) helped draft the Constitution of Medina, one of the earliest sort of federalist constitutions which brought into alliance a whole lot of groups, both the Muslims, Jews, Christians and some polytheists in various tribes, they also made alliances with the Muslim community in Medina.
So, he was making alliances with all kinds of people and being open to pursuing justice, and pursuing the larger objective through working things out with people. And that culminated in the peaceful takeover of Mecca. You know the (unintelligible) was at war with this new faith and this prophet. And they were dedicated to stamping out Islam.
So, there was an existential war and the Muslims against all odds won this war almost completely peacefully with this final entry into Mecca without any bloodshed. And all of that was though this kind of open-minded working with all different kinds of people and being inclusive.
And that’s how Islam grew. It took over the Persian and especially the Byzantine empires by appealing to the broad masses of people who were sick of being oppressively taxed or sick of religious persecution.
The Muslims moved in to the Byzantine empire and offered religious freedom, protection of all religious communities, including many of those which had been persecuted by the Byzantines, and lowered the taxes drastically.
And the Muslims kept order as they lived in tents on the outskirts of town and let everybody keep on worshiping in their own faith. And this is how they were able to conquer so much territory, because the people actually liked this and helped them.
If they had been nasty oppressive conquerors, they probably wouldn’t have had such a quick victory. And that was of course the conquest, Islam actually spread mostlythrough not by conquest but the example of merchants and traders. And local communities always had a place for non-Muslims in their communities and they actually encouraged non-Muslims to remain in their faith, of their traditions.
And that’s why we’ve had these sizeable Jewish and Christian minorities in all parts of the Islamic world. In fact, in the past several centuries there was a huge wave of people fleeing religious persecution from Europe to the Ottoman Empire, because it was much more religiously tolerant.
And before that the Spanish Muslims of Andalusia had been even more tolerant. There is a book by Maria Menocal called The Ornament of the World, that describes how in her view the society of Muslims in Spain was actually considerably more tolerant in several key respects than any modern society today.
So, there is a history of a pretty… you know, it has its ups and downs, but overall the history of Islam has been one of tolerant inclusiveness. And this kind of Wahhabi string of Islam flows from, I think it starts really with Ibn Taymiyyah, who was a scholar in Arabia. And it’s actually now they are not just from Arabia, but his followers arose and moved into Arabia.
He was living at the time of the Mongol conquest and invasions and he was always on the defensive, and so he rallied the people against this terrible threat that was destroying the Islamic world. And to do that he took very-very strong or even extreme positions saying “no, this Muslim governor who’s been set up by the Mongols isn’t really a Muslim because he drinks wine” – and this kind of rallying people on their Islamic identity to resist invasion and oppression.
So, actually today we have a similar situation where in the last 200 years we’ve seen the West conquering and inflaming most of the Muslim world. And so, naturally, anybody who stands up and waves the Islamic flag, and rallies people to their tradition in a very kind of strong way is going to get a following.
And I think that’s left the field open for these so-called extremist groups, many of which are sort of fabricated, manufactured false opposition groups.
Robles: I see. Very interesting! Dr. Barrett, anything big you want to finish up with? I think we have about an hour already. And that’s a lot of your time, and I really appreciate it.
Barrett:Yes, no problem. And I appreciate the work you are doing. And we need keep fighting to keep the Internet free and have real independent journalism, like the kind that you are conducting.
I hope that the recent moves to a total surveillance society will not end up squashing what remainsof Internet freedom. It is great to be able to get on these shows with you and other shows and tell the truth.
Robles: Thanks a lot. Before we go, could you comment on Ukraine, if you could, geopolitically? I mean, what do you see going on there? I know it is a big topic, but maybe you could give us your quick take on what is going on there.
Barrett:Well, I lean towards the view of people like William Engdahl. We’ve seen this attempt to go after these independent countries or in this case Ukraine. Ukraine has maintained a certain amount of a tie to Russia and so these Western gangsters have been trying to undermine that, and to bring Ukraine into the NATO camp.
And so, they had a color revolution, and now I think what we are seeing is just sort of color revolution 1.2, where they are drumming up all of this bogus, populist, you know footpath – “let’s join the EU” kind of…
Robles: It seems insane. The reaction is completely unbelievable.
Barrett:I don’t understand how the heck they can get huge crowds to run around waving flags “Let’s join the EU”. They must be using the same mind control technology they were using in Egypt to get all those idiots out there undermining the first democracy.
Robles: They had the whole orange revolution infrastructure already in place. They pay 30 euros a day for these unemployed hooligans or criminals, or whoever to go out and cause unrest.
Barrett:Yes, rent-a-mob. I guess the rent-a-mobs are a key thing in these kinds of situations. So, I hope that the people of Ukraine will see through all of this manipulation and preserve their country’s independence.
Robles: Hopefully we’ll be able to communicate further. We’ve had a lot of problems with the email and I’m sure a lot of our listeners have been having problems. And you’ve been having problems with Internet, it seems.The more we hear from Edward Snowden, it seems like it’s becoming clearer why. But I hope we will be able to continue our discussions and continue trying to publish the truth, as I’m sure you are.
Barrett: Okay, likewise. I look forward to the next conversation.
Robles: OK. It is an honorto be speaking with you, thank you Sir. I really appreciate you.
Barrett: Likewise, yes thanks John. Bye.
That was the end of an interview with Dr. Kevin Barrett, a Doctor in Arabic and Islamic Studies, the owner and manager of truthjihad.com,he is also a member of the Scientific Professionals Investigating 9/11. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best wherever you may be.
23 December 2013, 13:20
UK’s GCHQ doing the NSA's heavy lifting – George Galloway
The United Kingdom has been co-opted by the United States to carry out illegal surveillance and spying on its own citizens and on European countries, their citizens and officials. According to UK Member of Parliament, George Galloway, the way that the UK spyies on and hacks the phones of European leaders, while being paid a very small amount, is a crime against the world. Mr. Galloway described the way imperial powers and capitalist countries pretend to maintain legality as "lipstick on a pig". In an interview with the Voice of Russia’s John Robles, Mr. Galloway also discussed his upcoming documentary, financed by donations from common UK citizens, titled "The Killing of Tony Blair" in which he will exposewhat he claims are heinous crimes committed by the former prime minister.
This is John Robles, you are listening to an interview with George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament. This is Part 1 of a longer interview.
Robles: Hello, Mr. Galloway. It's a great pleasure speaking with you, I'm actually an admirer of yours from way back.
Galloway:Thank you! No, the pleasure is mine, thanks.
Robles: Thanks. First question I'd like to ask you about… if we could talk a little bit about your film that you are putting together regarding Tony Blair and his war crimes…
Galloway: Yes, not just his war crimes, but those will loom large in the charge sheet that the film intends to make.
It's called "The Killing of Tony Blair," it's a triple entendre. It deals with his "killing of the Labor Party," as we knew it, a party that working people in Britain had come to depend on for the best part of a century and which was murdered by him, and turned into quite the opposite of what it was intended to be.
The second "killing of Tony Blair," of course, is the killing of a million people in Iraq and Afghanistan and by extension in Lebanon and in Palestine and other places.
And the third "killing" is the financial killing that he is making out of the previous two killings, having made the British economy more comfortable for the corporations, making their income tax bills shrink, easing their regulatory burden. He's being rewarded by them now at vast eye-watering salaries as a consultant (whatever that means) for a variety of sundry corporations.
And of course having helped various tyrannies around the world he is now on the payroll of more countries than it is almost possible in one radio broadcast to adumbrate.
Some of them are very dodgy indeed, the Kuwait Royal Family for example, the previous Gaddafi dictatorship, and of course the government of South Sudan has also been the beneficiary of Mr. Blair's "wisdom" and their country, the poorest in the world, the most corrupt in the world, just fell apart this very week and has collapsed as a state.
So, I'm not sure why these countries want to hire Mr. Blair. He did enough damage to the British economy. I don't know why anyone else would want to employ him. But there you go.
Robles: I see. You mentioned Kuwait, Sudan, what about Saudi Arabia? Now there are coming out more and more revelations about their involvement with the 9-11 and terrorist groups in Syria, etc.
Galloway:Well of course, he is up to his neck with them, as the so-called "Peace Envoy," and one of the objectives of our film is to have him dismissed from that position, which is I've said is the most inappropriate appointment since Caligula appointed his own horse as a Proconsul of Rome.
Mr. Blair is dripping in the blood of the people of the Middle East. And yet he's employed by The Quartet as its Peace Envoy. But, so, he is up to his neck with the Saudis in that. I am not able to say at this point what if any financial involvement he has with them but of course he works for a number of corporations who do very big business throughout the Gulf, and that would not exclude Saudi Arabia.
Robles: I see. Now, you mentioned a number of a "million" people, I think it is purposefully obfuscated, the number of people that have died in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in Libya, that are being killed in Syria, etc. Where did you get your number of one million?
Galloway:Well, the Johns Hopkins University, one of the world's greatest, and the Lancet, the journal of the British Medical Association, their estimation is that more than one million people have died in Iraq as a direct and indirect result of Blair and Bush's invasion. And I think you don't have to be Einstein to work it out: a vast number of people were killed in the "shock and awe" of the initial invasion,and then of course the "serpent" of sectarianism was unleashed by the war and occupation, and deliberately fostered by the occupation. And it’s now taking a daily death toll in Iraq, almost as high as it ever was, at the very highest point of the post invasion killing around 2006 and 2007.
And of course, you rightly say, the same mindset - although Mr. Blair had gone from office - the same mindset is involved in the imperial attacks against Libya and the one that was putative attack against Syria, and also those plans that definitely existed for an attack on Iran. All of these things run out of the same stable as the Bush and Blair stable.
Just a reminder, you are listening to an interview with George Galloway
Robles: You mentioned Syria, I'd like to complement you. I feel you were instrumental in preventing another invasion. I watched (we watched) your speech in front of the Parliament.
Galloway:Well, it is kind of you to say that. I must say that in a lifetime in politics I don't think I ever experienced a better day, than the day that in our debate in the British Parliament, my own speech being one of two or three, perhaps four, taken at the very height of the debate definitely switched the audience, no doubt. And we only won by 13 votes, which means if we hadn't persuaded 7 people,if those 7 had voted the other way, then Britain would now be at war with Syria, and Iran by extension, and with Russia and China on the other side. And that would be a catastrophe hardly worth thinking about.
Robles: Now, I've heard you speak about conspiracy theories before, and stuff,and I know you take a very realistic “show me the evidence” type of stand, I think, if I understand properly?
Galloway:Yes, yes, you are right.
Robles: Do you think…? This has been said several times by several people and some people I've interviewed that: they don't care, they would love to start – "they" meaning the banksters, or the elites or the 1 percent or whatever you want to call them - it would be very profitable for them to start World War 3, and they don't really care about anything?
Galloway:Up to a point, John. Because if there has been war throughout the region, all-out-war throughout the region, then you wouldn't have been able to purchase a barrel of oil, not at $150, not at $550. And the British and other western economies would have slumped into collapse.
So, of course, there are always some who profit from war. But few would have profited from that war, which is one of the reasons why I think the imperial powers have stepped back from it.
It is a rather more complex matter. I don't buy the thesis that the 1 percent are organized in a kind of Bilderberg type of formation. It’s rather more complex than that. The oligarchies and the political elites just all automatically face the same direction because they have the same interests, by and large. They don't need a conference to discuss it, they don't need even a telephone call between each other in order to coordinate it. They, as a matter of instinct know which way to face in any conflict, in any big issue.
And that’s not surprising because, well, on the other side I also instinctively know which way to face, I also can ask my question of "who benefits cui bono." And that gives me a diametrically opposite conclusion to them.
So, and I don't need to consult anyone, I didn't need to consult Moscow in the old days, and I don't need to consult anybody now. I know what is in the interests of the mass of the working people, and the poor and the downtrodden of the world, and I know what is in the interests of the rulers of the world. And I'm with the poor and the working people always.
Robles: Wonderful to hear that. Very few people will dare, especially with some sort of power, will dare to take that position. I think the record has shown that is entirely the case, and you should be commended for that.
Galloway:Well, I once said, John, to a certain Senator, now ex-Senator Norman Coleman in the US Senate in 2005, when he was trying to push me around procedurally before we got started. I said: "Senator, don't make the mistake of imagining that I'm afraid of you. I'm afraid only of God." And that is the way that I conduct my life.
Just a reminder, you are listening to an interview with George Galloway-
Robles: You are in the halls of power, I mean you are dealing with things and you are witness to things that most people don't know about that are affecting everybody. I'd like to ask your opinion about all the illegality. I mean where do they get this carte blanche?
Galloway:Well, John, I never put much store in their faith, or faith in their attitude to legality. I think this is lipstick on a pig. The capitalist states and the imperial powers – this is all just window dressing – its cosmetic. They talk about Law, but they practice something completely different overseas, and now increasingly in their decline they are practicing that same something different in their own countries.
Let's just take one example. Edward Snowden's revelations which were a signal service to humanity, for which he should get the Nobel Peace Prize, were treated by the British State as an act of terrorism. And the British State then began acting like a pirate.
The Guardian Newspaper, one of the great liberal institutions in the land, was raided by the political police with sledgehammers; I'm not making this up. And with those sledgehammers they,by force and without the permission of the owners of the computers, namely the Guardian Newspaper, smashed the hard drives – smashed them into pieces – so as to destroy evidence of malfeasance and wrong doing on the part of the British State.
Now, such actions would have been caricatured in the past by the British State as being the kind of thing that happens in dictatorships and autocracies, the kind of thing that happens anywhere except Britain. But it did happen in Britain and it happened in 2013.
So, I'm afraid it’s all just a veneer, that is very easily shredded, and if the British State had to, it would cast that veneer aside altogether.
So, I never place much faith in laws and justice. At the end of the day all states will treat existential threats to their own continuance in exactly the same way.
Robles: Do you think that the UK has lost a lot of sovereignty to the US, especially with all this NSA spying and stuff? Or is that…?
Galloway:No, I do, I believe that the British State has essentially rented itself out, I don't want to be too candid in the analogy, but it has …
Robles: I was going to say lapdog, but I tried not to.
Galloway:Well it’s worse than that. It has prostituted itself to the United States. The GCHQ at Cheltenham is doing most of the heavy lifting for the National Security Agency, in the illegal vacuuming of the spectrum, and is collecting uncountable scores of millions of telephone calls, texts and e-mails every day across Europe, and further beyond, as the fiber optics cross the British landmass, coming from the United States across the Atlantic and thence to Europe.
Now, the British State is doing this through GCHQ because of the fact that there are more restrictions on the American State – imagine - the American State is more circumscribed by law than the British State is.
So the British hire themselves out to the US to carry out those things which would be illegal in the United States and hand over the rest. And by the way, if we are talking of prostitution, the price is no more than a $20 hooker, metaphorically speaking. We get 120 million pounds per year for carrying out this crime against the world, hacking the telephone of other European state’s people. For £120 million a year - my goodness! How cheap do you think we are? Well, pretty cheap as it turns out.
That was the end of Part 1 of an interview with British Member of Parliament George Galloway. You can find the next part of this interview on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening, and as always I wish you all the best, and Happy Holidays wherever you may be.
21 December 2013, 17:00
US Empire successful in stopping the betterment of the world's people – Dr. Michael Parenti
In destroying country after country, the US Empire is doing well. One devastated country after the other has made it clear that any country which pursues independent sovereign policies and attempts to better its own position and the state of its people becomes a target for the US Empire. According to Dr. Michael Parenti, in an interview with the Voice of Russia; "… any leader who uses the resources, and labor, and substance of his country for the well-being and self-development in that country is seen as someone who is evil, has a hidden agenda, hostile toward America and is hostile toward the West." A term which he says really means the western plutocracy. Ukraine is a perfect example after having chosen a path of economic betterment which does not include US/EU/NATO, US backed "color-revolution" assets which have been left in place are being activated to cause another color revolution and more upheaval in that country. According to Dr. Parenti these people are: "… still so rabidly anti-communist, that even the residue of a shadow of a former Communist country is a little too much."
This is Part 1 of a longer interview.
Robles: Hello Dr Parenti. How are you this evening? And it is a great pleasure to be speaking with you.
Parenti: Thank you John.
Robles: Regarding Imperialism; now, one of your recent books was called "The Face of Imperialism", kind of a big question, I would like to ask you about the United States. Is it a dying empire in your opinion?
Parenti: No, I don't think so. I think the empire is doing very well. The empire is racking up victory after victory.
The US Empire is now, despite its defeat in Indo China and Vietnam, it now has Vietnam in the market system pretty much. In these recent years it has knocked out Iraq, because Saddam Hussein was committing economic nationalism, and that's not allowed by an empire. And they've dismantled Libya and got rid of Gaddafi. They are destroying Syria, and it goes on and on, and they're targeting Iran.
Robles: I'm sorry sir, would you call that success? I mean Afghanistan was an over 12 year quagmire. What was the success there?
Parenti: Yes, that one… They are going to lose Afghanistan, but they do succeed, they succeeded in stopping the betterment of the masses of people.
They are committed to stopping a world in which the land, the labor, the natural resources, the markets are directed toward the betterment of the ordinary people in that world.
When the Soviet Union was in Afghanistan, and it went in only after the third or fourth request by the Afghani military government.
Robles: Thank you very much for saying that.
Robles: They were requested several times and just like when Russia went into Georgia. There were 3 days … there was requests and pleadings by Russian nationals being killed there for Russia to intervene.
Parenti: Right! Exactly.
Robles: Go ahead. I am sorry for the interruption.
Parenti: Well, and the policy that the Soviets pursued in cooperation with the existing Afghani government was to break the feudal class. To do a much needed land reform, to allow schools for women and for children, and all that, and these Mujahidin and these other people were just absolutely furious at this, this was totally intolerable.
Plus they convinced themselves that the Soviets were the Devil's atheist, "Godless Communists" were coming, and the US played on that a lot.
That was a success basically. The Mujahidin, backed by the CIA and such, destroyed the Afghani revolution, destroyed all the reforms that were being made, killed a lot of people, and today we have this horrible retrograde Taliban as the only alternative to the puppet government under Karzai and headed by the US.
Robles: And that is called success? It's a shame; it's a disgrace I think. You mentioned destruction of country after country after country. Now sir, how is that a success then?
Parenti: Ok, it's a success because the goal or the function of the state in the empire is to advance the interests of the empire, and those interests are to make sure that the - as I said - the land, the labor, the natural resources, the human resources, the social organization of culture. The markets of every country should be a part of, and in the orbit of this giant US imperial state.
You see the US Empire sees only two kinds of countries in the world: satellites or enemies (or "potential" enemies). The satellites are the countries that vote the way the US wants in the UN, that had their country opened to investments and resource extraction, all the things we were just saying. Their markets are open, the EU, all of that. Of course they can take independent courses in limited ways on particular issues. But the overall pattern is to make this world safe for the Fortune 500, for the plutocracy in the US, and the plutocrats in other countries too. They are very internationally minded, in the sense of sharing in the wealth and investment, and even as they compete with each other. So that's the satellites.
And if a country doesn't fit as a satellite, such as Russia, or China, or maybe to some extent India, then those countries are seen as potential enemies, or actual enemies. I heard Obama say in one of his speeches – a State of The Union I think it was to the Congress – he said "China, our competitors, are out producing us".
And I'm saying "our competitors", I'm saying "I have no competition with China, I'm not in any fight with China, what is this stuff, what is this?"
And with Russia also, it does seem like the Cold War is going on, as you mentioned when we were talking earlier, before we went on the air. It's absolutely right, has this Cold War ended or what is the US now doing? The US was one of the countries that started this Cold War many decades ago, and they're still doing it.
Well we find out now that you don't have to be a Communist, or a Bolshevik, or anything. If you are charting an independent course, if you are trying to use the land, the labor, the markets, the wealth of your nation, in a way that is for the self-development of your nation for the interests of your own people, then you become marked and the US media goes into high gear and they talk about "Milosevic", and they talk about "Noriega". They talk about just about every…
Robles: A perfect example just right now. A glaring unbelievable example…(Ukraine) and I would like to comment on what you said about the Cold War. I think the Cold War was over for Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Parenti: Since the end of the Cold War, so-called, what back in 91, 2, around there was it?
Robles: Yes, yes.
Parenti: Since then the US military budget, the enormous US military budget has more than doubled in its size. It's now about, counting the money that goes into the Department of Energy and such, almost all of it is targeted for military purposes. It's about a trillion dollars a year. That's just enormous; that's tremendous.
Now why? Who is attacking us, who is doing this? Hugo Chavez in Venezuela wasn't attacking the US, but the minute he started taking some of the oil earnings and using it for … or subsidizing it and putting it out at a subsidized rate for his own people, and making all sorts of other reforms for the poor and the not so poor. But the minute he was doing that he became, he was pegged as a firebrand, hostile to America…
Robles: Well there were plans to assassinate him. For what?
Parenti: Yes, and they overthrew him. They participated in a coup that overthrew him, which didn't work, he got back in. And there are questions about his death, which he himself took with him to the grave. He was saying "isn't it strange that 5 leftist progressive heads of state in Latin America all have cancer suddenly". But we don't know. All right we won't even get into that. The point is…
Robles: Well that's a very good point. I studied that; I researched that and going way back if we could for a minute, if you will humor me for a second? Going back to Lee Harvey Oswald and Ruby, they were actually involved in trying to off Fidel Castro – now this is out there this information – under, I don't know if you read Dr Mary's Monkey, I believe that was the title of the book, it was regarding a CIA cancer assassination program, and that was "way back when", in the 50s right, late 50s early 60s? Can you imagine with the technology that the CIA has, I think they have already delivered mechanisms to install cancer, and I don't think it was a coincidence.
Parenti: Yes, and Ruby himself, Ruby himself was whacked I think that way. And he himself said, he himself said: "They are killing me here, bring me to Washington where I can talk, they are killing me, I'll tell you everything blah-blah and I think someone else, I forget now, I haven't done … I haven't been in there … I did some original research in that area. I republished an old article, it's available on the Internet, anybody can get it about Oswald and all that. But Ruby, or somebody reported, that they were giving him injections of some kind in his cell, and he died of cancer in the cell.
Let me get to the major point, which is any leader who uses the resources, and labor, and substance of his country for the well-being and self-development in that country is seen as someone who is evil, has a hidden agenda, hostile toward America, hostile toward the West – that curious term "The West" – which really means the western plutocracy, the ruling plutocracy
They say "The West", but they do want to make a kind of a multi-national component that is running the globe, and this multi-national, mostly American, but now it's got British plutocrats and multi billionaires and French multi billionaires, and others too are on the ride, and Canadian ones, and so forth.
So … and it's so consistent, it's so consistent. Anybody who starts to do that – Gaddafi, he was demonized – you take the leader and you demonize him, and you say he's got weapons of mass destruction, or he's crazy, he's an extremist, he's a terrorist, he wants to kill us.
Robles: A dictator. A despot.
Parenti: And the American public sometimes falls for the Messianic call that's sent out, which is "we are God's gift to humanity, we Americans really care about the world, America is always on the side of virtue; Americans reach out, when we fight wars they're humanitarian wars to save people from some harsh dictator or ruthless killer," be it Noriega or Chavez, or whomever.
Robles: You are an informed, educated person. What is your opinion on President Bashar Al-Assad? The main thing he did was try to improve the social conditions for his people before all of this happened.
Parenti: The Ba'athist Party that he ruled was a leftist, it was the leftist wing of the Ba'athist Party, and they had a lot of human services.
The tens of thousands of refugees from Iraq that flooded into Syria, Assad gave them, he gave them full human services, the same services that the people in Syria were getting at the time when they were still had them before everything got torn up by this war. And refugees that he got from Libya, he also did the same, and he countenanced a country with multi-denominations of religions, and he didn't try to impose any one sect on anybody else.
So he, it seems to me, he was doing pretty well, and he had an awful lot of support. And, well, but the country's ruined now, I don't know, and the FSA, which is I guess is the CIA/USA backed group is getting knocked out by the Islamic … the other group, these Sharia hardline boys.
Robles: Moving away if we could, a little bit to something that's been very important, and it's very obvious, and when you're talking about Imperialism, and all these nefarious attempts to replace governments and install governments and demonize and everything. It's all right there, on page one, for everyone to see, going on right now in Ukraine.
Parenti: Well I think they might do the old sweetheart revolution, color revolution, which one? Orange, green, blue – they are going to try that.
Secondly, wouldn't it be kind of risky that close to the Soviet borders to start a full-fledged war, they don't have a good alibi cooked up just yet?
Robles: OK, Russian borders, there's no more Soviet Union.
Parenti: Right, I'm sorry, did I say Soviet?
I think President Putin was correct when he said 'the elimination of the Soviet Union, the overthrow of the Soviet Union was one of the great catastrophes of modern history'. He was quite right on that one.
Robles: He also recently said that, "the Soviet Union is gone, and it will never be revived". He said that in July, I believe it was.
I think the way it was done, it could have been done a lot different to preserve some of the power that Russia had at the time, but they gave up too much territory. I think that's a point that always has bothered me. There was no need to give up all the Republics.
What kinds of US imperialist intervention do you see going on in Ukraine right now?
Parenti: Well it just seems that these antigovernment demonstrators are people who were from the earlier demonstrations.
They seem to have, they have resources of all kinds: communications, money, food, headquarters. They seem quite equipped that they've got the world, and that means the western world, and all the western media, they've got all that on their side, so that their efforts doesn't look like a sabotage or trying to advance a rightwing thing their efforts look like "Oh they're just lovers of democracy, and that's all it is", or they want to join the EU, which would really take them, well, would take them to the cleaners – that's the old American expression – it would cost them a lot.
This is that element whose hearts are in the West, who are still so rabidly anti-communist, that even the residue of a shadow of a former Communist country is a little too much.
And what they've go against the present Russian government is that it hasn't completely stripped the entire economy of subsidies and public services.
That was the end of part 1 of an interview with Dr Michael Parenti, a Yale graduate, a noted scholar and the author of several books including "The Face of Imperialism".
You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com.
21 December 2013, 00:12
Part 1: The US has classified people's memories of torture - Michael Ratner
The illegal interrogation facility and indefinite detention prison camp at Guantanamo Bay continues to function as it has since the events of 9-11 and plans to build new facilities are still in place. Due to the illegality of the entire "operation" lawyers for the detainees have considered not taking part in the proceedings as doing so grants the prison credibility but they have decided that they cannot abandon the innocent people being held for more than a decade without charge and without due process. Michael Ratner, the lawyer for Julian Assange, whose Center for Constitutional Rights, and who personally represents many of the "inmates" at Guantanamo, spoke to the Voice of Russia and said that Guantanamo is "completely flatly illegal, it’s a rump court, it is a kangaroo court, and it is a charade", similar to what the Nazis did. He also called the illegal limbo of Guantanamo an outrage and said with regard to due process and human rights that the US, judicially speaking, is done.
23 December 2013, 07:37
Part 2: Russia's granting of asylum to Snowden was a noble act – Michael Ratner
The United States continues to try to fool the world into believing that the Edward Snowden persecution is related to terrorism, when it is in fact related to US hegemony and power. This was the crux of a letter from Edward Snowden to the Brazilian people in which he asked for asylum in that country. The fact that the Russian Federation has given Edward Snowden asylum was an extraordinary noble act and one that has protected Mr. Snowden, according to Michael Ratner in an interview with the Voice of Russia. In part 2 Mr. Ratner also comments on a recent attempt by the US Government to further demonize Julian Assange which was published in the Washington Post.
2 January, 10:01
Part 3: The US/UK should prosecute criminals not truth-tellers – Michael Ratner
The prosecution of the Guardian and other news outlets for publishing the truth about US Government illegality has a chilling effect on the press and journalists. The US has declared a war on journalists and truth seekers and in light of the extreme way that the UK has followed the US’ lead, the American lawyer for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Michael Ratner, is recommending that people involved in exposing UD Government illegality not go to the UK because at minimum they risk being detained for up to nine hours (if they cooperate), questioned without a right to a lawyer and possibly facing terrorism charges. In an interview with the Voice of Russia, Mr. Ratner said it was interesting that they haven’t touched the lawyers yet and stated that there is a real struggle going on between governments and private corporations who want to both surveil people and keep information secret and the people who want to expose their illegality and believe in democracy needs truth. According to Mr. Ratner the US Government is losing and “the forces of light certainly seem to be pushing back heavily against government’s forces of darkness”.
19 December 2013, 22:51
Amid US spying we are living with information totalitarianism – Rick Rozoff
© Flickr.com/Nils Geylen/cc-by-sa 3.0
With the restructuring of the Russian media there are many people worldwide who are hopeful that the changes will produce a balance and a counterweight to the 5 worldwide newswires that are controlled by the West and possess a true and barely transparent bias. The way in which private news agencies make news and information only accessible to governments and bodies and effectively lock out the common people is more like the selling and buying of intelligence. This control of information by the NSA, CIA and other private companies run by the intelligence services are all part of a new paradigm that Voice of Russia regular Rick Rozoff call “Information Totalitarianism”. Information should be free, and as WikiLeaks says: “Information wants to be free.”
Rick Rozoff, the Owner and Manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.
Rozoff: We have to be honest about this, it’s the new totalitarianism and it is information totalitarianism. And amongst other things the Internet not only permits me to communicate with you but it permits any powerful entity, governments in the first instance, to monitor the activity of its citizens and citizens in the world.
What else have we learned by the exposé about international security agency, but just that? That the US is monitoring down to the most minute particular, every telephone call, every key stroke, every visit of everyone on the planet.
You would need a million George Orwells today to anticipate something this far reaching this comprehensive and this frightening. And the fact is the person in charge of the National Security Agency 4-star general Keith Alexander, is the same person who was put in charge of US Cyber Command, which is a cyber “warfare” command, pure and simple.
It should certainly alert people to the fact that what you are dealing with right now is the new mode of conducting warfare. What the Pentagon is referred to in terms of cyber warfare - the 5th battle space after land, air, sea and space.
Robles: And it is not against armies or governments or state actors, the target appears to be you, and me, and Joe Blow, and Marry Smith.
Rozoff: In the initial stages. And what I would suspect is that this is almost war time, blackouts and other activities so as not to alert the enemy to the presence of potential bombing targets or something, but in this case it is almost seeing who in a period of crisis might put out heterodox or unapproved information and so let’s compile a dossier on them so that if it ever comes to a serious crisis, military in the first instance, so we know who they are and we know how to round them up.
Robles: Preventative surveillance. Do you remember the film with Tom Cruise? “The Minority Report” I believe it was called. Where they had police that arrested people before they did a crime. You’ve got preventative detention in the US, now we get preventative surveillance.
Rozoff: For our own good of course!
Robles: Of course! It is against every Al-Qaeda terrorist, it is hiding behind every lamppost in Springfield, Illinois.
Rozoff: Actually they may be receiving military training by the Illinois National Guard, I wouldn’t put it past them. That is how they terrify us but in fact they are taking training courses at air training facilities in Florida and so forth. That is true. That is simply the truth, God knows where else they are getting training or arms.
The façade of combating terrorism, I was thinking about that earlier today: if there is one thing the US Government has no right to ever contend, is that it is combating terrorism.
It is certainly recently, currently in Syria, they may be less high profile about it, but they are supporting, as you described accurately with a lengthy series of hyphenated adjectives, the worst kind of terrorists probably known in history are being actively supported by the US.
Let’s end this nonsense about fighting terrorism.
Robles: I think William Blum who I had the honor of speaking to several times put it best, and he was quoted by Osama Bin Laden himself, when he said that it is all the meddling by the US in these Middle Eastern Islamic countries that has caused the terrorists to terrorize.
Rozoff: Even that is too kind of a perspective. I don’t subscribe to it. I don’t believe that Osama Bin Laden had any legitimate complaint against the US government. Quite the opposite. He would have been the playboy non-entity that he was prior to emerging as whatever he became but for the fact that the US ran a proxy war against the Soviet Union and the Afghan Government out of north-west Pakistan in the 1980s – that is where Mr. Osama Bin Laden became a so-called political figure and that is where he became a terrorist in good earnest. And it is not that he had any complaints whatsoever against the US Government, which helped his Jihad to win in Afghanistan.
Robles: Remember that Tim Osman, he was Mr. Tim Osman and he was known to the FBI Station Chief at the time in Los Angeles when he was staying at the Hilton, there have been documents released then, so no big secret there.
Rozoff: Yes, but I know there is an argument that but for US meddling around the world, that the Osama Bin Ladens of the world would not be able to pick up support because people wouldn’t be disgruntled or upset, and even that I contest.
The fact is I don’t doubt that there are elements in the US Government as well as in so-called Al-Qaeda that exploit dissatisfaction or dissention around the world. There is no question about that they do. But that as often as not and far more often than not they’ve been at the beck of the US government working hand and glove with them.
Robles: Anything else you want to finish up about media? It’s been a pleasure speaking with you all these years. I hope we will be able to continue speaking to each other somehow and getting your voice out there and getting the voice of everybody else we’ve talked to and all the wonderful people I’ve interviewed over the years.
Rozoff: We just mentioned William Blum. And he is someone who has written several books and the fact that somebody like him who around the world is viewed as an authority, with good reason, he’d been published in Russia as a matter of fact, celebrating the anniversary of one of his key books.
And the fact that this man cannot even appear on a local college TV station because of the news blackout and censorship in the US but has been interviewed by yourself several times, where he is exposed to a world audience, I think makes our point as concretely and as effectively as it can be made. This is exactly why you need to continue running your show.
Honestly, this is what is needed. We need a 5th one (newswire) in the world, because all you’ve really got is the German Deutsche Presse-Agentur, the France’s Agence France-Presse, Reuters and Associated Press.
Here is another thing. DPA and AFP are really the best. They are maybe better than the Associated Press, they have correspondents in every damn country in the world. And they have news stories. But here is the thing. This isn’t public, you’ve got to subscribe to their press wire service. They don’t have a website except to sell their service.
So, if you are a government agency or you are a big corporation or a think tank, you’ve got access to all the DPA and AFP, I have none.
About 7-8 years ago or maybe 10 years ago I contacted the North-American Bureaus and I said: “How much does it cost to subscribe to get your material?”
The lowest rate I could get if I called myself an independent journalist was $600 a month, $7,200 a year, 10 years ago.
I contacted Interfax North America, they were going to give me $2,400 a year, but I could not reproduce anything.
So, this isn’t news John, this is intelligence for sale. This isn’t meant to get news out and information out to people. It is meant to be an intelligence service like Jane’s Defense Weekly in England, or Stratfor here, where these CIA ex-CIA and MI-5 guys get together and they set up a news service to be sold to businesses and governments.
So, in that point if a real press agency would develop, that is a Russian Press Agency in English, that would be wonderful!
By the way, I have said for years too, the big mistake is that Mercosur and particularly Alban, Latin America have not put out a press agency in English.
Robles: What about ITAR-TASS? You haven’t been on their site?
Rozoff: ITAR-TASS is not very good. It is bad English, bad editing, it’s circumscribed news.
Now and again you find a good story, they have just reformatted and you can’t even read it now.
In the last week they’ve reformatted it, you can’t find anything. Whoever did that should be fired. They’ve made it worse and worse.
Robles: They are good for Russian news because you are not going to find it in very many other places.
Rozoff: Okay, okay, Interfax, if you go to their site, each page has 20 stories, 2 of their stories are accessible, you have to pay for the others.
They tease you, they give you a couple of hyperlinks, they draw your attention or that is maybe the way it is on the west. Why not sell theirs? Because you don’t get anything for free here. That is for sure. The only thing you get for free is the government sources, Radio free Europe, Voice of America etc.
They are more and more themselves relying on the services like AP, Reuters.
Robles: You are telling me that all the news, you have to pay for it. You have to go through a corporation to get it.
Rozoff: You have to go online, take out your credit card and pay maybe $10,000 dollars a year to read what is happening in downtown Bangkok.
Robles: It is going to get so bad pretty soon, they are going to bring back the short waves.
Rozoff: Exactly, like during the resistance in Nazi occupied Europe.
Robles: Maybe that is a good idea with all the surveillance because the shortwave is a way to reach people where they know they are not being surveilled.
Rozoff: Good point. With satellite surveillance now they are going to catch everything.
Robles: Can they actually pick up a shortwave radio when you turn it on?
Rozoff: I don’t know.
Robles: I suppose they can put a small transmitter chip in there or something.
Rozoff: If they want total surveillance, they are going to have it. The only way of combating that is fighting an information war, a clean information war, an above board one.
Let it be known, you are defending a position, but make it a decent position.
You were listening to part 3 of an interview with Rick Rozoff the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list. You can find the previous parts of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thanks for listening and as always I wish you the best.
End of Part 3
19 December 2013, 20:47
House of Saud, Zionists, Al Qaeda and CIA destroyed Middle East – Dr. Kevin Barrett
Al-Qaeda, a group founded and organized to fight the Soviet Union in Afghanistan by the CIA, is just one of many Muslim extremist groups such as the Wahhabi, Salafi and Takfiri (which some would say are deviations from Islam) that the West has used to destabilize the Islamic world and destroy the enemies of Israel throughout the Middle East. The Arab Spring and all of the upheavals and invasions of countries in the Middle East are all part of a plan devised by neoconservatives from the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) to bring about global American hegemony and destroy the enemies of Israel, according to Dr. Kevin Barrett, who also stated in an interview with the Voice of Russia that the PNAC’s principle document "Rebuilding America’s Defenses" was the blueprint for 9-11 and simply a re-write of a document drawn up for Benjamin Netanyahu titled "The Clean Break".
Hello, this is John Robles I am speaking with Dr. Kevin Barrett, he is a doctor in Arabic and Islamic Studies, the owner and manager of truthjihad.com and a member of Scientific Professionals Investigating 9/11. This is Part 2 of an interview in progress. Part 1
Robles: The Muslim world now, especially with Libya, al-Qaeda, I’d like to get your opinion on al-Qaeda? What is al-Qaeda in reality, is it really just a CIA database or are they really Islamic Jihadists? Can you explain to our listeners a little bit, especially with Libya and Syria, the differences (since you are an expert) between Sunnis and Shia and Salafists and other groups that make up the Muslim world?
Barrett: OK, well al-Qaeda it means the database, and it did refer to a CIA database of Jihadis who were recruited from around the world to go fight in Afghanistan during the Afghanistan war against the Soviet Union. And the CIA and its Saudi and Pakistani and other allies were working with a certain type of Muslim, and in particular I think, especially in Saudi Arabia, they were dealing with people whose style of Islam is what has been variously referred to as Salafi or Wahhabi, and extreme elements of those people are now being referred to as Takfiris.
And all of these words Takfiri in particular, these refer to a very extreme brand of Islam, some would say a deviation from Islam. It goes back historically to the reformer Abdul Wahhab about 300 years ago, and that brand of Islam has always – the good side of it is that it is opposes corruption. The problem is that it basically says everybody who doesn’t think the way we do is corrupt and so we should go out and kill them.
So these Wahhabis did engage in a lot of massacres of Shia and Sufi Muslims and made an alliance with the House of Saud about the beginning of the 19th century, and the British encouraged that alliance. And the House of Saud, and it’s kind of Wahhabi extremists then became a thorn in the side of the Ottoman Empire, and the British used this extremist wing to bring down the Ottoman Empire, and the most famous episode of this is when the British secret agent T.E. Lawrence was sent over to Arabia to open up a new front against the Ottoman Turks.
Robles: I’m sorry, pause for a minute, this was the same one that they made the film Lawrence of Arabia, right?
Barrett: That’s right, yes.
Robles: And just to comment, a sad note that Mr. Peter O’Toole passed away not long ago.
Barrett: I’m sorry to hear that. Lawrence of Arabia may have sent, he was a very complex person but he was a British secret agent, and his job was to rally these extremist Wahhabi Arabian Muslims against the Ottoman Empire, and to help bring down that Empire. And that effort of course succeeded. Post World War I the Europeans completely took over the Ottoman Empire and basically owned the entire Islamic world at that point.
And I don’t think that this alliance of western imperialism and this extremist Wahhabi brand of Islam that has been working with the wealthy Ibn Saud family has ever really stopped. And so when they created al-Qaeda, CIA needs a force to try to give Russia its Vietnam, as Brzezinski said at the time, they went through their Saudi allies and they found all of these Wahhabi extremists who were all hyped up and ready to go, you know fight for Islam against infidels and that was kind of how al-Qaeda was set up.
But I think it was set up partly as a strategy. As I said Bernard Lewis, the grand strategist of British Zionist Orientalism came up with this notion of creating a radical Muslim group to destabilize the Islamic world in the same way that the Ismaili Assassins had destabilized the Islamic world in the Middle Ages. That I think was the concept for al-Qaeda. Lewis was saying that from the time of his dissertation in 1950.
So, when they created al-Qaeda in 1979 or so, they were following this model I believe of creating a radical and destabilizing force in the Islamic world and of course they turned to the usual western assets, the Ibn Saud family and their extremist Wahhabi religious friends. So, that is where al-Qaeda came from.
Now there really are people who embrace that particular brand of or deviation from Islam and in that sense it is "real". But it is heavily manipulated by western imperialism and Zionism, which is the part of western imperialism that is most concerned with the Middle East.
Robles: Now the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s the same thing I think, they were created what in 1917 by MI-6. Can you tell us about them? How are they similar to or working with al-Qaeda, etc?
Barrett: I am actually a bit less conspiratorial about the Muslim Brotherhood. In that, yes I think that they had some contact with the British but if you look at what their program is, it is not as obvious that it is just purely created to manipulate Islam on behalf of imperialism. On the contrary, its ostensible program is to unite Muslims against imperialism and to raise the intellectual, educational, cultural level of Muslims as well as the level of Muslim piety to do that.
So, that is ostensible mission of the Muslim Brotherhood, which I think is actually a fairly reputable and defensible mission. And I think that in this case the Brotherhood like all other groups get approached, infiltrated and feared by these intelligence agencies and the forces of empire, and of course that has happened. For a long time they were getting that support against nationalism in the Arab world, which was at that time seen as the big threat to imperialism and Zionism.
Nasser’s Egypt was the biggest threat, and so to try to counter him the Western Imperialists and Zionists helped the Muslim Brotherhood to create a counterforce, in the same way that they helped Hamas against Israel, because of course at that time the Palestinian Liberation Organization was a sort of secular nationalist group and they wanted a counterweight.
So that is why the Brotherhood has gotten western support over the years, but I don’t think there is anything really inherent in its approach that is conducive to imperialism. It is just that it’s been infiltrated and steered, and it has become dependent on Saudi oil money and Gulf oil money like everybody else. That is the whole problem with everything in Islam these days is, the main money out there is coming from these wealthy reactionary Gulf petro-sheikhs, and those guys are in bed with the Imperialists and Zionists, and so no matter what kind of Muslim group you have, if you want some money to do anything, that is the most obvious source and naturally those guys are out there just buying everybody up.
And the Muslim Brotherhood has had that problem as well, when they won elections in Egypt recently, in these landslides, in real genuine democratic elections, they were I think set up to fail in part by their Saudi sponsors, the Saudis and other Gulf people, Qataris and others gave them money and then tried to steer their policy towards supporting the rebellion in Syria and doing other stupid things, being sectarian.
Robles: Were you aware they were receiving hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars from the US government as well?
Barrett: Yes, the US government has been propping up the Egypt’s government forever. The main US recipient of funds in Egypt is the military, which is the real government in Egypt and always has been, and it worked very tightly with Israel as well. And the military was very uncomfortable with the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power, which is of course why they overthrew it. With a hundred percent blessings of the Israelis, who actually were behind the coup, and the 70% blessings of the Americans who were a little bit skeptical.
Robles: So you wouldn’t characterize, just real quick, you wouldn’t characterize the Muslim Brotherhood as an extremist organization?
Barrett: Not as an organization, no. I think there are extremist tendencies in the Brotherhood, I think that the people who give them money are often fostering extremist tendencies, and certainly the Brotherhood in Syria has become extremist and that is the product of the specific history of Syria, where there’s been this clash between the Brotherhood-linked forces and the government that has been going on forever. That’s created a radical and extremist kind of attitude among the Brotherhood in Syria, and they were just set up to be led into this trap to create the Syrian civil war to destabilize Syria on behalf of the Zionists.
But the Brotherhood itself as a larger organization is I don’t think extremist at all. I mean look at Tariq Ramadan, one of the leading intellectuals affiliated with the Brotherhood, he is anything but extremist and the same is with a lot of other Muslim Brotherhood people as well.
Robles: Now you just talked about Syria, the current situation, and who do you think was behind the Syrian chemical weapons attack? You’ve just mentioned Israel in connection with Syria. Why would Israel want Syria pretty much devastated and destroyed? What is your take on Syria?
Barrett: I think that destabilization of Syria was planned well in advance and the Arab Spring provided a good opportunity to launch demonstrations that could then be used as a pretext to create escalating violence often through false flag incidents. It appears that as the demonstrations broke out in Syria, that some destabilizing professionals went in there and started shooting.
They would shoot at both sides, people on rooftops would shoot at the demonstrators who thought it was the police, somebody would shoot at the police and they would think it was the demonstrators and this created escalating violence and I think that was all part of a plan to create this civil war that has ripped Syria apart. And this is primarily in the interest of the Israelis.
Robles: I don’t know, I wouldn’t call it a civil war because even Assad himself said there is no civil war in Syria, because all the fighters are imported Jihadists.
Barrett: Yes, I think there is an element of civil war but it is actually as you say in a sense it’s more of an invasion of Syria by the Saudis and these other folks who were sending in mercenaries, and emptying their jails. But I don’t think we should go so far as to deny that there has been a split in Syria. There are people in Syria who have felt oppressed and excluded. There were real demonstrations and this was all taken advantage of by these forces of destabilization, it wasn’t just created out of false cloth.
Robles: Oh sure. But then again I think those were stoked and exaggerated and encouraged like what is going on in Ukraine right now.
Barrett: Yes, this was part of … see 9/11 was as I said it was… the blueprint was PNAC’s Rebuilding American Defenses, which was a rewrite of the Clean Break Document prepared for Netanyahu by these same (mostly American-Jewish-Zionist-neoconservatives), and what those guys said was; "We need a clean break from the previous geostrategic situation, we need to essentially have regime change in all these independent Middle Eastern countries that don’t like Israel".
So that’s what they’ve done. They invaded Iraq; they threw out that anti-Israeli-Saddam-Government. They trashed Libya, they hijacked the Arab Spring, they bogged down in Iraq so that they couldn’t do the whole 9 yards of the 7 countries in 5 years that they were planning.
So then they went to plan B, which was to use the Arab Spring, which everybody knew was inevitable that at some point the people were going to start rising up against these predatory autocracies. And then when that broke out, then they steered it, to destabilize the countries that were independent enough to not take orders from the Americans and the Israelis, and so they went after Libya first and wiped out Libya. Oh they split up Sudan of course, they split up Somalia, and then they went after Syria.
And in Syria I think by now everybody has kind of figured out what they are up to, and in particularly Russia and in Iran, and to a lesser extent China, all said: "OK that is enough of these regime changes, we are not going to allow American bombers to destroy Syria, the way they just destroyed Libya".
So, we are kind of at this stalemate situation now and I think the American realists are rethinking everything and wondering whether it wouldn’t make more sense to try to achieve their objectives in a more reasonable and less bloody way.
Robles: The current situation in Libya now, it seems like the tribes are starting to take some power away from the al-Qaeda and the radical elements that have pretty much taken over the country. Are you aware of what is going on there right now?
Barrett: I think Libya has been intentionally destabilized and smashed into pieces. That was what the whole purpose of the operation really was. I think that the people that planned it knew this. We were told by these Neoconservatives that if we invade countries like Iraq, they will greet us with flowers and everybody will unite and form a nice America-style democracy and become strong supporters of Israel.
What Wolfowitz told us was coming, and you know Wolfowitz has something like a 180 IQ, and he can’t possibly be stupid enough to actually believe that stuff. I think these guys know that what they are really doing is just smashing these countries to pieces, so that they are reducing the Israel enemies list.
So Libya is in this kind of chaotic situation of various tribes and their militias and these al-Qaeda forces supported by Saudis and other extremists and then some people who will take money and orders from the Americans and it is all a big mess. Compared to all of these guys Gaddafi was pretty much of a saint.
Robles: Well sure, Libya was the richest country in Africa and everyone I’ve ever talked to who lived there before the invasion, they said that people lived fairly well there. There was peace; there was no interethnic strife, as with Iraq there was no Sunni-Shia hatred. I mean the Sunni and the Shia they would intermarry and they would be friends and everything was normal.
Barrett: Yes, I agree. And it is too bad because a lot of … there were Libyans in eastern Libya in particular, who were I think victimized by propaganda that led them to… you understand how it can happen naturally too, that people who have a somewhat different outlook from the government, end up in conflict with the government, and the Libyan government could be pretty brutal with opponents at times and so that then creates more opposition.
I knew Libyan exiles here in the US who were not at all happy with Gaddafi, and they had people in their families that had been mistreated. There were these affected people there. But overall, I think it was functioning fairly well. It was also ripe for reform. It would have been pretty easy to hold Libya together and have it become even more stable, prosperous and less oppressive. But that is not what the powers that be wanted, they just wanted to destroy it and make an example of Gaddafi who had this audacity to stand up against the west.
That was the end of part 2 of an interview with Dr Kevin Barrett, a doctor in Arabic and Islamic studies and the owner and manager of truthjihad.com. He is also a member of the Scientific Professionals Investigating 9/11. Thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best wherever you may be.
End Part 2
18 December 2013, 00:35
Prior to a very productive and wide-ranging session of the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin met with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in the Kremlin, in a regularly scheduled meeting which takes place between the President of Russian and Ukraine prior to interstate consultations. The meeting between the Presidents and the bodies of government have underlined the inviolability and historic strength of Russian-Ukrainian relations and have mapped out steps for further cooperation and assistance, in particular to Ukraine, currently besieged by a US/NATO/EU attempt to force it into its own sphere of geopolitical influence.
Against the backdrop of the ongoing US/NATO/EU hysteria regarding the signing of an agreement between Ukraine and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, the matter of the Customs Union was not even on the agenda of the meetings between the Presidents or the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission. President Putin noted after the Commission had met that Russia’s plan to invest $15 billion in Ukrainian securities to allow Ukraine to strengthen its economy was done without any preconditions in particular any ties to Ukraine accession to the Customs Union.
When asked about the Russian Government's decision to invest part of its National Welfare Fund in Ukrainian securities President Putin said: "This is not tied to any preconditions, nor the increasing, or reducing, or freezing of any social standards, pensions, allowances, or costs. And I'd like to calm everyone down that we didn't even discuss Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union today."
President Putin, as is the standard protocol, opened the meeting with his Ukrainian colleague President Yanukovych by welcoming him to Moscow and outlined the key areas that were on the agenda. According to the Kremlin the President began by underlining the strategic partnership which has existed historically between Russia and Ukraine and said that Ukraine was an ally to Russia in every sense of the word.
President Putin opened by saying: "There can be no doubt that Ukraine is our strategic partner and ally in the fullest sense of the word. Unfortunately, as we noted during our recent meeting in Sochi, we have seen a decrease in trade over the past two years: 11 percent in 2012 and a further 14.5 percent this year. Therefore, it is time to take vigorous action so that we not only return to the level of previous years, but also create the conditions for moving forward."
Some experts attribute the falling trade levels in recent years to western meddling in Ukrainian markets and the EU attempting to implement trade barriers between Russia and Ukraine, including in the energy sector, but today’s meetings underline the fact, that while the West may be aggressively and even desperately trying to pull Ukraine away from Russia’s sphere of geopolitical influence, they actually have nothing to offer for the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian economy.
It is also important to note when considering the fact that the Customs Union was not discussed, that the accession of Ukraine to the trade union will bring it approximately $100 billion over a seven year period, while joining the EU block will bring it only $1 billion, cause a significant loss in sovereignty and of course be tied to eventual integration with NATO which will cost the Ukrainian people untold billions as funds for the social sector will be required to be moved into expensive military integration programs required by US/NATO.
Russia’s agreements with Ukraine on the other hand, and quite importantly, do not require Ukraine as a sovereign nation nor the Ukrainian people to forfeit or give up any of their sovereign rights and in fact all agreements will bring real benefits for Ukraine across all spheres.
Key areas and agreements that were addressed during today’s meetings addressed many spheres but of particular note was a bilateral "action plan" which has been signed and which will resolve issues concerning restrictions in bilateral trade for 2013-2014. Russia will also convert $15 billion worth of its National Welfare Fund into Ukrainian securities to assist Ukraine in staving off a financial crisis and in the energy sphere Russia's Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukraine have signed an amendment to sell gas to Ukraine at a price of $268.50 for 1,000 cubic meters, President Vladimir Putin has stated.
During the meeting of the Russian and Ukrainian heads of state, President Putin underlined other areas where recent bilateral cooperation has been fruitful for both sides and praised the work that has been done by Russian and Ukrainian colleagues in government including the prime ministers and other members of cabinets. Of the numerous areas where cooperation has been increased President Putin cited energy, machine engineering, space, aviation and shipbuilding as being vitally important sectors. President Putin also underlined the strengthening of the legal base in these areas and the necessity to create conditions necessary for expanding trade and economic relations between Russia and Ukraine.
President Yanykovich for his part underlined the seriousness of Ukraine’s economic situation by stating that the drop in trade volume over the past two years "requires urgent intervention" and that not only is Russian-Ukrainian cooperation vital but coordination with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIA) is also important. Especially in light of the fact that Ukraine will be holding the CIS presidency in 2014. President Yanukovych stated that the conditions for many companies across the CIS are precarious due to the drop in trade.
The Ukrainian leader was quite frank and honest during his meeting with President Putin and began by mentioning many areas where Russian-Ukrainian cooperation could be improved including in the technological spheres, in the production of new quality mutually beneficial products, and even the humanitarian sphere.
Of strategic importance President Yanukovych spoke of the need to expand cooperation in the fields of power engineering, transport engineering, shipbuilding, aviation and space.
With regard to cross border trade and inter-regional cooperation, President Yanukovych, discussed the need to develop these areas and create better conditions to ease the flow of people and goods across borders.
On a shared cultural note President Putin agreed with President Yanukovych on the importance of the humanitarian component of 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko. He said concrete proposals were in the works in the humanitarian sphere and added that much work has yet to be done to improve conditions for the millions of citizens (up to five million) who work for the most part in Russia and support families in Ukraine.
In closing it might be interesting to note that the word Ukraine, roughly translates to, and has its etymological roots as, the "borderland of Rus" just another link in the deep and shared spiritual, cultural, ethnic, political and other ties thank link the two nations. This closeness between Russia and Ukraine goes back approximately one thousand years and is part of the heart and soul of all of Russians and Ukrainians.
It is naïve of US/NATO/EU if they believe they can just come in, arrange another "Color Revolution", fund and back criminal elements in society to support them, pay off some guy who has had head beat too many times to try to lead a revolt and then take over Ukraine. Such moves may have worked in Serbia with Kosovo, because it is a much smaller country and the West’s modus operandi was not so well-known, but such moves have already failed in Ukraine. Today’s meetings between the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine and members of the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission prove that beyond any shadow of a doubt.
17 December 2013, 11:05
Photo: Flickr.com/savethedave/cc-by-nc-sa 3.0
Many of the leaders in the United States are beginning to realize that the policy of destroying countries in the Middle East for Israel is not really in the US’ best interests. Geopolitically the US would be better off dealing more diplomatically with Russia but they continue to attempt to surround Russia with nuclear weapons and try to achieve a first strike capacity while risking World War III. Doctor Kevin Barret, one of the first people to suffer at the hands of the US military industrial complex after speaking about and questioning 9-11, spoke to the Voice of Russia about all of these issues and more and places the blame for 9-11 on the neo-conservative Projest for the New American Century (PNAC) and Zionists who have infiltrated western security and intelligence services.
Hello this is John Robles, I am speaking with Dr. Kevin Barret, he is a Doctor in Arabic and Islamic Studies, the owner and manager of TruthJihad.com and a member of Scientific Professionals Investigating 9-11. This is Part 1 of a longer interview.
Robles: Do you know Len Bracken? He wrote the book "The Shadow Government: 9-11 and State Terror". His conclusion was that it was a Saudi-Israeli-US joint operation, so ...
Barret: Yes, I would agree with that.
Robles: It looks like it was a US, maybe planned, and ...
Barret: Well I would credit the Zionists with a little more of it. I think that people who are kind of committed to Zionism have wormed their way into influential positions in all of these western intelligence agencies and apparatuses. I would imagine that people like Bernard Lewis who was the Dean of British Orientalism and the chief formulator of western Middle East policy.
As far as the responsibility for 9-11; I think it is pretty clear that it was in a sense a sort of US-Israeli-Saudi operation, and personally I would credit the Israelis and their helpers around the world with the prime impetus here.
People like Bernard Lewis, who is an ardent Zionist and is the Dean of Western Oriental Studies, as well as an advisor to the British and US governments on Middle East policy, would seem to me to be a prime suspect.
I think that the concept of 9-11 was probably worked out many decades in advance by people like Lewis whose doctoral dissertation was on the Ismaili Assassins, which was a radical sect that destabilized the Islamic world and allowed the Crusaders to succeed in moving into it during the Middle Ages.
Robles: Can I interrupt you for a second, regarding the roots going way back, do you think this goes back to Operation Northwoods?
Barret: Yes, I think Northwoods style techniques were employed in 9/11. Northwoods was a plan to set off all kinds of bombs in American cities, and sink American ships and blame all these deaths on Castro and launch a war against Cuba, and that follows with the kind of time honored path of these false flags war-trigger operations, which in one sense or another have launched every major US war since the Mexican war. And it is not just the US that does it, other countries have done it as well, going all the way back to Nero, burning Rome and blaming the Christians.
But as far as the more specifics of 9-11, which was a very, very large event that totally changed history, changed the form of government in the US, changed the direction of future foreign policy, I think that that was a product of neo-conservative thought, and two key figures should be the Bernard Lewis side which is the Orientalist who argued that radical destabilizing Muslim groups, like al-Qaeda, should be created in order to continue Zionist and western penetration of the Islamic world and hinder the Islamic Awakening.
This is a barely veiled argument that Lewis makes in, among other places, in an essay that was published in Netanyahu’s volume "Terrorism: How the West Can Win".
The double meaning of that title is quite illuminating, suggesting that terrorism is precisely how the west can win this struggle with the Islamic world, and then Bernard Lewis picks that up and runs with it and puts forward this argument that terrorism is not characteristic of Islamic societies, and the subtext being that the west needs to create artificial extremist terrorist groups, modeled after the medieval Ismaili Assassins, in order to destabilize the Islamic world and keep it open to penetration by Imperialism, especially, Zionism, which is of course the main concern of people like Bernard Lewis.
The neo-conservatives were the other wing of this, would be the people associated with Leo Strauss who founded neo-conservatism. Leo Strauss was also an ardent Zionist and his students at the University of Chicago spent the 1960s sitting around with him in after hours bull sessions, and these were handpicked, almost all Jewish, almost all extremely bright students, that he made his acolytes and sensibly had sexual relations with some of them too, he was quite a dubious character.
These guys would hang around after hours at the University of Chicago plotting a coup d’état in America, that is how could the Zionists take over in a representative democracy in a coup d’état. This turned into a book by a leading neo-conservative military strategist called "Coup D’état: a Practical Handbook" – the author’s name is escaping me briefly; it will come back to me in a moment.
But anyway, since the 60s the neo-cons have been plotting a 9-11 style coup d’état in the US designed to turn the US in a much more hard-line and much more permanent pro-Zionist hard-line imperialist direction in future Mid-East policy.
And so this was all set out. So that is why I think that when we say that it’s a US-Israeli-Saudi operation, it is really being done primarily by people whose first loyalty is to Israel and they are doing it in order to create a 100 years’ war by the west against the Islamic world and to keep the Islamic world destabilized and in chaos.
That is not really in the national interests of the US or even Saudi Arabia. And I think the US and Saudi Arabia have been pawns of these Zionist forces which are very strong in western politics and finance.
Robles: I just thought I would mention, I was doing research for an article I wrote not long ago on 9/11 and I went to the project for a new American century’s website, here from Moscow, and within 6 hours the site went offline. It’s been online since 1997. So, I don’t know if they are trying to cover their tracks or what is going on there.
Barret: Well PNAC shut down after they were exposed. I think they shut down in sort of around 2005 or 2006 officially. They might have had their website still.
Robles: Right, right. Yes, they had a skeleton crew keeping the site up.
Barret: Yes, well they shut down because they were exposed by David Ray Griffin’s book "The New Pearl Harbor", which really popularized that phrase and pointed straight at PNAC as the likely perpetrators of 9-11. And it is interesting that PNAC was actually … when they put out that "Rebuilding America’s Defenses" document calling for a new Pearl Harbor in order to get regime change across the Middle East and to militarize America.
They were actually just rewriting a document that many of the same guys had already written for Benjamin Netanyahu in the mid-1990s. And that was called the Clean Break Document and it argued for really the same things, only it was much more straightforward in pointing out that this was all being done in Israel’s interest. So they repackaged extensively for the American viewpoint in this rebuilding America’s defenses document but, again, all of these guys are Jewish hard-line extreme Zionists whose first loyalty is Israel.
Robles: Originally I had wanted to speak with you about other issues, but this is something that is not going to go away until the people that are responsible are forced to take responsibility for their actions. Regarding everything that’s going on right now, and there is a lot going on in the Muslim world, in the Middle East and in particular Iran, if we could, Libya, Syria.
What do you think now Iran’s nuclear threat, which I would say was never a threat to begin with, is now gone, NATO says now there are 30 other countries that pose a threat, so they have to continue surrounding Russia with their missile batteries. About Iran, if we could a little bit?
Barret: Yes, I think there is a struggle going on in the US policy-making apparatus between the sort of hardline neo-con Zionist faction that did 9-11 and a more realist faction led by people like Brzezinski and those people actually are much more concerned with going after Russia and China.
Robles: Sorry sir, you are saying that Brzezinski, he’s the more "realist faction"?
Barret: Yes, Brzezinski is a relative moderate. Which tells you how crazy American foreign policy is. Brzezinski used to be the ultimate extremist lunatic hawk who was out there arguing to create and fund al-Qaeda, radically anti-Russia, he is from Polish nobility and he never really liked Russia very much.
So, he used to be considered extreme radical hardliner. He has mellowed a bit but I think the problem is that these even more insane people have risen to the highest levels of power and so now he looks relatively moderate by comparison. That is what has happened across the board in American politics.
Nixon was proposing a national minimal income of what would now be $25,000 dollars a year. Nixon would be a radical leftist, civil libertarian communist by today’s standards. That is how terrible things have gotten.
But anyway these "realists" notice that the Zionist strategy of demonizing Islam and putting all of America’s energy into fighting pointless wars in the Middle East to destroy the enemies of Israel, which is what the whole Middle Eastern policy has been since 9-11 is really fruitless from a larger western US geopolitical perspective and people like Brzezinski who are kind of hawkish regarding the grand chessboard and who trying the rule of the world from North America, means that you have to grab the middle of Eurasia where the majority of the world’s population productivity is, the guys like that are noticing that this neo-con policy of demonizing Islam and smashing up the Middle East for no good reason is completely insane.
So, that is the conflict in the American policy-making circles and gradually the sort of relatively realist faction has been taking their power back since the 9-11 coup d’état by the Zionist faction.
The problem is that these realists are not moral or really offended by things like 9-11 or really interested in peace and stability. It is more that they are actually going to use the extra-state power, the extra military money, the surveillance capabilities that 9-11 generated and turn those away from Israel or Middle East where they have been focused until now and fight this rear-guard action to maintain the US-western empire in the face of the rising power of the BRICS axis and these other non-western countries, the collapse of the US dollar which has been underpinning the whole global system.
So, they are desperately trying to prop up this crumbling imperial power and I think they notice that this Middle Eastern stuff is not getting them very far. It is maybe helping Israel by smashing every independent country in the Middle East. That has enough independence to oppose Israel but it as for larger western geopolitical interests it doesn’t do any good.
So, they are now doing this pivot to Asia where they are concerned about the rise of China and all of that, trying to manage that and then they still have this insane policy of being so bellicose with Russia which doesn’t really make much sense. You’d think that geopolitically they would be better off dealing more diplomatically with Russia but they have to surround Russia with nuclear weapons and try to achieve a first strike capacity and they are risking World War III.
I don’t really know what is wrong with these people but if you tell me, I will be grateful.
Robles: I don’t know either. Some people I know say they are not even human, so that is why nobody can understand them.
Barret: I’ve had radio guests who make that argument in all seriousness. David Jacobs is a professor in Pennsylvania who was always considered the leading American scholarly expert on the UFO phenomena from a folkloristic perspective.
All the respectable academicians turned to his work to look at that phenomenon, and I studied him as part of my folklore minor for a PHD. But at the time I was studying him I hadn’t realized that just a few years before that he’d come out with his new book called "The Threat", which argues basically that there is this evil alien invasion of Earth going on and that they are kidnapping people and creating hybrids that will inherit the earth after some kind of massive destructive episode and of course it sounds completely paranoid and insane, especially when you get into the details of "oh these aliens can float people through solid walls and they can erase people’s memories" and all this stuff. It sounds just like the most outlandish paranoid hallucination, but Jacobs is a very well-spoken careful guy who never said anything like this until the mid-90s when he finally came out and said "I think I figured out what is going on".
More and more people are saying that there is some kind of ET aspect to things, but precisely what that is, is still fairly unclear but I do think that sensible people around the world should be supporting the disclosure movement which is pushing for a complete declassification of all UFO related information in all countries of the world and starting with the US, where it seems like there is the biggest and most nefarious cover-up.
I think that is a serious issue and maybe we will find there is really nothing there once we declassify all of this, but my guess is that there actually is something there and that would explain a fair bit of what is going on.
Robles: I’ve come to the conclusion that all the UFO-sightings and all that stuff, because it’s particularly going on in the US, it is all tied up with CIA kidnappings and sex slavery and children being sold, testing of secret aircraft, but I think it is foolish and I think it started incredibly arrogant and imbecilic to believe that we (If you want to call us as a human race "intelligent") are the only intelligence in the universe. If that is the case, it is a very sad, sad fact. But if you followed scientology, it would make sense, wouldn’t it? Some alien cold and calculating force that can come in and take over human bodies.
Barret: There are probably people like this who I deal with, like veterans today, which is a haven for folks from the US military intelligence services who have gotten fed up with the nonsense. It is full of people who really believe this stuff, who claim that they have had classified briefings and stuff that supports this.
I actually was on the phone with a fellow named Leo Wantas who claims to have single-handedly brought down the Soviet Union by some kind of currency scam.
The story goes that he discovered a loophole in the way that the Soviet currency was traded and so he was able to engineer this massive vacuum cleaner operation, suck all the value out of the ruble and supposedly pile up an excessive 10 trillion on dollars which then got embezzled by the Bush crime family. That is the story he tells.
End Part 1
That was the end of part one of an interview with Dr. Kevin Barret, he is a Doctor in Arabic and Islamic Studies, the owner and manager of TruthJihad.com and a member of Scientific Professionals Investigating 9-11.
17 December 2013, 05:45
Iskander-Ms deployed by Russia along western border (years ago)
The Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation has confirmed reports regarding the deployment of a significant quantity of short-range Iskander-M (NATO classification "SS-26 Stone") tactical ballistic missile systems near Russian borders with Baltic states and countries that are members of NATO, including along borders shared with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and at least 10 more complete Iskander-M systems into the Russian Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, the westernmost territory of the Russian Federation.
Various sources including one quoted by Izvestia in the Defense Ministry have stated that the missiles have been in position for at least 18 months. Izvestia quotes the official as questioning the timing of the publication of the reports and why Germany has chosen now to raise an alarm. Judging from the current situation in Ukraine, US/NATO need to raise any outcry they can against Russia in order to continue their infringement on Ukraine. This is a particularly insidious tactic and must be called out for what it is.
Russian intelligence has long known of the first strike capabilities of US/NATO "defense" elements and this has forced Russia to defend itself. Although it is typical for the West to demonize and spread propaganda which is against any country, state or power which can defend itself and/or attempts to do so, as we have seen in country after country that the West has demanded disarm, these claims do not change the fact that every state has the right to defend itself against any threat. This includes any threat to sovereignty, territorial integrity or any other from US/NATO. Yes dear reader, despite what US/NATO want the world to believe, countries do in fact have a right to defend themselves against US/NATO.
The Iskander tactical missiles systems which were cited by the German "Bild" newspaper are capable of delivering nuclear payloads and have been deployed for time in response to long term and long-running threats by US/NATO in their continuing placement of, and surrounding of Russian territory with, so-called European missile "shield" elements. Missile infrastructure which US/NATO have attempted to claim from the outset were in response to a self-conceived and endlessly self-promoted yet entirely non-existent threat to Europe from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed that the deployment of the Iskander missile battalions in the Western Military District does not violate any international treaties. An official spokesman for the Defense Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov stated to Russian media that: "The deployment of Iskander missile battalions on the territory of the Western Military District does not violate any respective international agreements."
Despite being nuclear capable but due to their effective range of only 400 kilometers the Iskander systems cannot be classified as intermediate-range nuclear missiles which were banned by the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty between Russia and the United States. The Iskander-M is an advanced mobile theater missile system and a battalion includes the launch vehicle equipped with two solid-propellant single-stage 9M723K1 guided missiles with "quasi-ballistic" capability and the necessary support vehicles including transporter and loading vehicles carrying extra missiles, data processing and command vehicles and the like.
Russia’s response to US/NATO missile, fighter aircraft, radar installations, military personnel and all of the infrastructure to support them has been extremely low keyed and symmetrical. Politically the announcement by German media and confirming statements coincide with recent reports and public statements by high-level Russian officials regarding the offensive nature of the US/NATO "shield". Again and I have been saying this for years; despite the fact that US/NATO claim their technology is defensive and was against some phantom threat from Iran this has clearly proven without a doubt to be false and the new claim by US/NATO that they need to keep surrounding Russia with missiles because of a new phantom threat by a whopping 30 more countries, is ridiculous propaganda and rhetoric based on fantasy.
In 2008, during his first State of the Nation Address, then President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev stated that Russia would place the Iskander-M systems in Kaliningrad and in fact did so. These latest reports are based on satellite imagery which was released by US/NATO and leaked to the German press and claim 10 installations. Again the timing must be questioned.
Given the length of time that has passed since 2008 Russia could have installed hundreds of Iskander-M missile batteries and deployed them all along Russia’s Western borders and in fact along Northern and Southern and Eastern borders as well, but has not done so. So the big uproar over 10 installations seems ridiculous and self-serving in promoting Russophobia and demonizing Russia yet is understandable with another US/NATO loss on the horizon in Ukraine.
In reality no matter the amount missiles it has on its own territory, this is legal and normal and Russia has the right to defend itself, its territory and its citizens from any threat, including the direct and in your face threat that is posed by US/NATO who have proven almost hell-bent on provoking Russia, at times it seems, to the brink of World War III with constant bellicose rhetoric and provocative military escalation in Russia’s own backyard and around the world.
Russia’s reaction to US/NATO has been refrained, measured and intelligently thought out and even though official Moscow states that all moves will be symmetrical one might argue, and I would put forth, that a true "symmetrical" response would be Russia placing missiles and military infrastructure throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and throughout Canada. While this is impossible given the current geo-political climate, that would be the true "symmetrical response". Of course this has not been said by official Moscow nor by Russian officials, but such a response would in fact be symmetrical.
In the upcoming days officials from countries which are now technically in the range of Russian Iskander-M missiles, may be making a show of seeking "advice" from NATO, as has Lithuania but I would also put forward that it is in fact the populations of these countries who should be questioning the true intentions of NATO and whether their interests are best served in continuing to provoke Russia by allowing US/NATO free reign on their territories to install military infrastructure which for the large part they themselves are paying for.
The governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and all of the other countries that have been pulled into NATO have willingly given up a large portion of their sovereignty in joining EU/NATO and it is this lost sovereignty that has allowed US/NATO geopolitical planners to continue their outdated Cold War strategy of surrounding Russia, provoking a response and guaranteeing an escalation.
It is in this escalation that US/NATO and the US military industrial complex that is driving them, will continue to make billions upon billions of dollars at the cost of the societies of the countries that are foolish enough or too weak to stand up to the US/NATO war machine and simply say no.
The irrationality of joining US/NATO and their desperation to expand at any cost can be made no clearer than in the current situation in Ukraine. US/NATO, and this has been proven time and again, will attempt to destroy any country and any government that does not give up its sovereignty and allow them to exploit and violate its territorial integrity to further US/NATO’s own geopolitical goals. Calls by western backed oppositionist for a new government and the resignation of the president of Ukraine for refusing to sign what was reportedly a simple "economic agreement" should be sounding off warning bells but apparently this is not the case.
Again the hysteria in the West over some Iskander-Ms is ridiculous, given that they were placed in direct response to US/NATO actions. US/NATO maintains American tactical nuclear weapons all over Europe and has recently conducted various war games envisaging different scenarios of war with Russia. The true hysteria should be directed toward US/NATO who continue provoking Russia, seeking new wars all over the world in which to pull in NATO member countries and expanding militarily.
In reality there is no need for NATO anymore. That is a fact. It is an outdated dinosaur which continues to attempt to make itself relevant. The creation of "threats" and continued lies and propaganda being spread by NATO only serve their own interests which is guaranteeing their own continued existence and profiteering. Russia would have never installed such weapons in Kaliningrad had it not been for NATO’s own buildup. This is also true of the Arctic and other regions.
President Putin recently said that the West will never be able to prevail over Russia militarily and this is true. One reason is that US/NATO are technically, financially bankrupt, another is that US/NATO are over-extended in every meaning of that word, from financially to politically, and another is the simple fact that their "shield" does not work. There are also the technological considerations and Russia has the technology to counter US/NATO and even dominate in a war scenario, and the final reason is that it is known that US/NATO defense installations are in fact offensive and hence will be responded to symmetrically. The US/NATO Trojan Horse of a missile "defense" shield therefore has no chance of succeeding. The cat is out of the bag and has been for some time. All they can do is scream bogeyman and demonize and shake and rattle their sabers endlessly now. The dream of installing all of the missiles in their "shield" and then one day flicking a switch and making it first strike capable, is over. They have been exposed.
To underline the ridiculousness of the West’s current hysteria we can recall that in November 2011, when US/NATO refused to make the missile "defense" shield a joint project with Russia, then President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to deal with a threat to Russia’s national security. Again almost saying the same thing he said in 2008 regarding the deployment of defensive and other elements in the west and south of the country, as well as the current Iskander missiles installed in the Kaliningrad region.
Almost since day one Moscow has been calling for US/NATO to sign legally-binding guarantees that its missile "defense" system will not be aimed against Russia, but US/NATO have refused to sign any legal guarantees, meaning they have no interest in peace but only in escalation.
In his State of the Nation address to the Federal Assembly President Vladimir Putin recently stated: "We realize clearly that the anti-missile defense system is only called defensive, while in fact it is a significant part of the strategic offensive potential."
Rather than attempting to continue to surround Russia and China with their missiles, something that will never be allowed to work given the fact that now the world knows that the "defensive" nature of the "shield" is a lie, US/NATO might begin to work for peace and security, something which of course they are incapable of given that they are outdated, irrelevant, controlled by the military industrial complex and willing to do anything to continue along the path they seek of endless war and military buildup.
The only way that people in the West and around the world are ever going to be safe and secure and free of war is if war machines such as US/NATO are disbanded and no longer allowed to control policy and self-perpetuate. However this is unlikely to happen. The West has been taken over by the military industrial complex and they are bent on taking over the world.
There can be no question that they only way we, citizens of the world can have peace is to disband them and that can only be done when their money is cut off. Something which we may not have to worry about much longer for they are already over-extended and as I said earlier, with a real debt of over $200 trillion the US is already completely bankrupt, if they can be prevented from starting World War III a little longer, then perhaps they will implode into oblivion and the world will finally have the peace and security it deserves.
As for the Iskander-Ms, if those of you in the West who are concerned by such developments really want to improve security and stop a military escalation, please fight for peace and tell US/NATO to stop provoking sovereign nations into defending themselves. You cannot keep pointing your gun at your neighbor and not expect him to arm himself and then blame him for attempting to defend himself, and in exactly this manner US/NATO must stop their military escalation because their own well being is at risk. Economically, unless they can pull more countries in NATO, US/NATO do not have the resources to buy a bigger gun, and when their neighbor buys a bazooka, while they are still holding their pistol, they will have lost forever.
US/NATO are the largest threat to security and safety in Europe and in the world, and even in space, the only way we can all be safe and secure and enjoy peace is when they are stopped and the US military industrial complex is dismantled. Will that happen? Unfortunately the answer to that questions is almost a definite no. Does US/NATO want peace? The answer to that is also in the negative.
About the Iskanders? Nothing to see here. Really. Move along.
The views and opinions expressed here are my own, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
16 December 2013, 04:20
Western media provides narrow, constricted, biased, unrepresentative view, unlike Russian outlets – Rick Rozoff
Since the days of the Cold War the West has launched illegal wars against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and attempted to do the same thing in Syria. They have been successful in avoiding blowback and responsibility due to their monopoly on the corporate controlled media and the fact that most of the media in the world passively accepts their interpretation of world events. This is one of the reasons that alternative media and foreign controlled media are important. For many people in the West, the only truth they can actually get comes increasingly from non-corporate and even “foreign” media sources. The Voice of Russia spoke to Rick Rozoff on media and the current paradigm where journalism has lost the honor and ideals it once had.
You are listening to Part 2 of an interview with Rick Rozoff the Owner and Manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list. You can find Part I on our website at voiceofrussia.com.
Rozoff: And we are seeing now what could be a major military altercation in the East China Sea where China's announced an air zone over what China knows as the Diaoyu and the Japanese as Senkaku Islands. And it is the typical US press wire services where we refer to them 100% as Senkaku by the Japanese definition.
Robles: Right, the same thing with the Maldives.
Rozoff: But also occasionally you will see US media, not infrequently by the way, and sometimes government media refer to the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf, which is a direct provocation to the government of Iran, of course; refer to the Russian South Kuril Islands as Japan's northern territory. So what you are seeing is, you know, the sort of political remapping of the world that would be a “casus belli”, I mean it would be a cause for a war under other circumstances, and surely if the situation were reversed so that the war of ideas, the battle of ideas is at least as critical as that of politics, economics and so forth.
And ultimately who presents the most accurate and the most persuasive view of the truth is the person who is probably going to emerge victor, the victor in any contest around the world. And we’ve seen just such atrocious, egregious, unpardonable lies being spewed out by the West, for every war they've conducted over the last 20 years, but particularly in the post-Cold War period - with Yugoslavia, with Afghanistan, with Iraq, with Libya, with Syria. And I for one don't believe the West would have been as successful, or however dubiously successful they have been, as they’ve been, if it wasn't for the fact they could count on basically if not a monopoly then at least a preponderance of news around the world and knowing that most of the world would at least passively accept their interpretation of world events.
Robles: Very good what you've just said and I'm sure everybody will take it to heart and we all agree with you 100%. What you've just brought up raised in my mind recently a new phrase that has come out in alternative media I guess and some other sources that there is a war going on on journalists and on journalism by the US government in particular on whistleblowers, on truth seekers, on anyone who is against the official line. Would you like to comment on that?
Rozoff: That is true, and this is again something that evokes both the Cold War, but I would say probably more World War 2 and the period leading up to it. When in Central Europe, when Nazi Germany became the dominant force in Central Europe, journalists were imprisoned, journalists were tortured, journalists were shot. And we are in a situation right now where truthfully we've already seen the prostituting of journalism, I can't think of any other term for it, where it's become more a profitable and prestigious career than it's become a mission or a vocationin life, where people promote or peddle themselves as the story itself – that is the journalist often times particularly the Tele journalists – often times is the story. And whatever subject matter is being discussed is almost of secondary significance, it's grist to his mill.
And we have to remember that there once was a time when journalists were very dedicated, usually self-effacing, often times anonymous and people who were willing to risk their well-being, their economic well-being, and their lives. And that ideal image of a journalist is something that desperately needs to be revived right now. It, a journalist … journalism rather, can be a dignified and honorable profession instead of what it in many ways has become.
And this again is a distinctly western phenomenon in that the prevalence of corporate media, and mass entertainment media conglomerates that run supposed news sites, so that newspapers, television news programs, radio news programs are put out or issued by the same corporations that are putting out commercials and music videos and cartoons.
Robles: So that basically the days of the intrepid reporter trying to get this scoop, those days are long gone or do you think they are...?
Rozoff: Well certainly on the city beat, I'm living in Chicago where we have two, only 2 newspapers, one is a tabloid. Most of the material in both of them is gathered as we were talking about earlier from the wire services, the press agencies, so that fewer and fewer countries have their own correspondents overseas, or even outside the city there where they’re published. There is a tendency to streamline and consolidate the press.
At one time in Chicago a hundred years ago I'm sure there were dozens of newspapers, literally dozens of newspapers. You had five-star editions; the paper would be publishing five different editions in a day – one newspaper. You had competition between papers -you don't have that anymore. So you don't have that sort of journalist who is really going to go out and fight for his story because that is not what he is paid to do, currently.
But that is more on the local level. I think that what we are talking about is, is the perception of world events, and I would say this: the framework within which we view events and this means basically - there is no other word for it - what is a person's world view? Is that a world view based on equity? Is it a world view based on equity, is it a world view based on peace and development, is it a world view based on fairness and justice - or isn't?
And if you have a world view cultivated throughout the globe based on what are essentially US, British, French and German press accounts of it, then it’s going to be, by definition, a narrow, constricted, biased, unrepresentative view of the news. And you, you hit on it keenly I think when you look at even the most basic terminology that appears in an Associated Press report, let's be honest about it, Associated Press is for all intents and purposes the American government’s press agency.
Robles: Well we can’t, we can’t quote the Associated Press. I don't even know if we can say their name, but go ahead - you said it, so it’s ok.
Rozoff: We are not slandering them; I'm just reporting what it is. You go to a major American press government sources – armed forces online publications like Stars and Stripes, and the US Government, the State Department White House website and there’s photographs in there by Associated Press. The government itself not … doesn’t apparently even pay a photographer to accompany the President.
Here’s where it becomes a little bit more insidious, and this is another vital point I think people have ignored, that the fact that the US government has an obedient presscorps at its beck and call, including Associated Press and Reuters, but pretends that they are independent means one of the ways we can shut down independent journalists, particularly web journalists like ourselves, is through copyright infringement. So, for example, and I'm going to give this point for years, if the Mayor of my city, Rahm Emanuel, goes to a neighboring city like Milwaukee 80 miles away, and makes a statement there and there is a photograph of him there – I cannot put that out on the Internet because it's copyrighted by Associated Press.
Robles: Even though he is a - I don't want to say he is your public official - but I mean your tax Dollars are paying his salary, so...?
Rozoff: That’s correct. So even your content or photographs and other basic elementary material, you would think it was, is permissible to be passed on from one citizen to another - it is not. And you will be reined in quickly; you will be pulled up short, if you without seeking the written permission of Associated Press quote your own public official talking. You certainly can’t be there yourself, and be where these people go, and if you were you wouldn't be a credentialed press person who is allowed to go into the briefing.
Well where else are you are getting this information, except by the government approved private media, which then hides behind copyright infringement. This is a new form of political censorship that is not recognized as such.
Robles: I see. So, the new control mechanism is copyright infringement on the Net?
Rozoff: Yeah, the copyright violation. It's almost to the point where, if you clip out a newspaper article from your local press and mail it to somebody, I guess you could be accused of violating their copyright.
Robles: Maybe you can help me because I have a website, you have a website. Maybe you can tell me what the current standard is, but I remember it was AP that came out with something like: you could not publish more than the first three sentences or something of one of their stories and then include one or two links to it. What is the current standard?
Rozoff: I'd … to be honest with you, I'm familiar with what you are speaking about, I would have to go to each press agency, and each newspaper to see what their particular policy is. But the long and short of it appears to be something quite like that: that you can tease the public with a short introductory ...
Robles: The first paragraph or some … I don't remember what it was, but they had it worked down to something like, even down to a word count or something, but it was pretty specific but ...
Rozoff: But keep in mind, where else if there is no official government site, are you going to find out what your own Congress person, what your own City Counsel person, what your own President has said. Where else you are going to go unless you go to Associated Press, and then if you go there they are going to hold copyright penalties over your head. So you are effectively prevented from even saying what your own elected official said.
Robles: So by default, even just knowing the information, if you even report about it on the Internet you think you could be accused of plagiarizing or copyright or something?
Rozoff: This has happened to me with the Stop NATO mailing list. Roughly three years ago there was a series of websites all more or less subsumed under Military Times, run by the Gannett chain, the chain of newspapers, and they include Defense News, Marine Times, Air Force Times, and so forth. They are all over the country, and they've been taking over small town, medium town newspapers and so forth. And then the printing is done in some other part of the country, and all that, so they are also eliminating jobs.
But anyway, the long and short of what had happened was, an article I had taken from I believe Defense News (part of the Military Times group), and I had sent it out on my private e-mail list - private e-mail list - it had been picked up by somebody (this a Yahoo list) it had been picked up by somebody else in Pakistan, and it was in the archives of a private e-mail list in Pakistan, and I was contacted by an attorney from Defense News and Military Times, saying if I didn't remove it from a site that I don’t … didn't even know exists - I have no idea who runs it - that they would consider legal action against me.
They turned me over to the Yahoo administration, which took their side and told me they would not only close down my e-mail news list, but all my private e-mail accounts, which I've used in the case of Yahoo for 14 years. So, I'm told that any mode of communication I have is being cut off because somebody passed on something - God knows how many times - ended up in another country in the archives of a private e-mail list and I can face a legal penalty.
Robles: When was this, because that sounds exactly like what the SOPA bill was supposed to do and what this new TPP is supposed to be doing. When did that happen?
Rozoff: August of 2011.
Robles: 2011. Was there a legal foundation for that in the United States, or were they just huffing and puffing, or they were testing the water as to how much they could intimidate people, or what's the deal?
Rozoff: When I heard from Yahoo News, they copied and pasted a legal argument against the use of it. Keep an eye on this, it wasn't done for commercial purposes, it wasn't published broadly, it was sent out privately.
Robles:I know, I'm a member of your mailing list by the way.
Rozoff: The only equivalent I could think of in the hard copy age, in the pre-computer age - is that somebody who is interested in fishing or something and they had magazines Field & Stream and they cut out an article about trout fishing, and they mailed it to their friend John, and he liked it so he mailed it to his friend Phil. And somebody caught Phil with the article and threatened the original person with cutting off his mail service.
Robles: It's ridiculous when you take this stuff and put it in real world terms, all this stuff they are trying to do with the Internet. I mean, when Jeremy Hammond - had he in physical terms, as Susan Crabtree told me, when I talked to her right before he was sentenced to 10 years - if you had taken a car and driven right through the front doors of Stratfor and physically stolen all their files, he would have got something like three years and community service or something. And for doing this electronically he gets 10 years.
Rozoff: I know, that’s atrocious.
Robles:I've always wondered, it’s always seemed odd to me that cyberspace and the Internet and in reality it doesn't exist, it's not a tangible place. But why it has such real world effects when small things like this are done is beyond me.
Rozoff: It’s … well it means we have to be honest about this, this is the new totalitarianism, and it’s information totalitarianism. And it’s, amongst other things, the Internet not only permits me to communicate with you, but it permits any powerful entity, governments in the first instance, to monitor the activity of its citizens and the citizens of the world. What else have we learnt by the expose about the National Security Agency, but just that?
But the US is monitoring down to the finest most minute particular: every telephone call, every key stroke, every visit - of everyone on the planet? You would need a million George Orwell’s to be able to anticipate something this far-reaching, this comprehensive, and it’s frightening. And the fact is, we’ve had occasion to talk about it on your show before, that the person in charge of the National Security Agency – a four-star General Keith Alexander - is the same person who was put in charge of US cyber command, which is a cyber-warfare command, pure and simple.
You should certainly alert people to the fact that what we are dealing with right now is a new mode of conducting warfare. What the Pentagon has referred to in terms of cyber-warfare is the fifth battle space – and after land, air, sea and space.
Robles: And it is currently it’s not against armies or governments, or state actors; the target appears to be you and me and Joe Blow and Mary Smith.
That was Part 2 of a 3 part interview with Rick Rozoff the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list. You can find Parts 1 and 3 on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. Thanks for listening and I wish you the best wherever you may be.
End of Part 2
15 December 2013, 22:10
NATO’s claims to surround Russia are propaganda – Bruce Gagnon
For the US/NATO Iran was the excuse for the missile shield that is being deployed to encircle Russia and North Korea is the pretense being used to encircle China. In both cases these are sheer fabrications and the recent agreement with Iran and NATO’s refusal to stop their missile installations with a new pretext of 30 countries that are a threat proves this fact. NATO’s claims are simply propaganda. NATO expansion into Ukraine, Finland, Georgia and other countries is clearly being done to encircle Russia with the end goal being destroying and Balkanizing Russia. Longtime worldwide peace activist Bruce Gagnon spoke to the Voice of Russia on these issues and more.
Hello, this is John Robles. I'm speaking with Mr. Bruce Gagnon. He is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.
Robles: Hello, sir!
Gagnon: Hello. How are you?
Robles: I'm very well, nice to be speaking with you. What is your opinion about what's going on right now regarding the missile shield that was supposed to be designed to protect against an attack from Iran? There is no more threat from Iran and NATO has said, they are not going to stop building the thing. Now there is 30 other countries who, they are saying, “pose a threat”. What can you tell us about that?
Gagnon: I think the “Iran idea” was always hype. The US has clearly been aiming its missile defense system at two countries: one is Russia and the second one is China. And they have used Iran as the excuse for the one that's today being deployed to encircle Russia and they've used North Korea as the pretense to use to encircle China.
And so in both those cases I think those have been sheer fabrications and as you say now that the nuclear threat from Iran is obviously (I don't think it was there to start with but it is even less there now) after this agreement it's clear that the United States never intended for it to be aimed at Iran and so now it has to come up with additional justifications as it continues to encircle Russia with missile defense.
Robles: What do you think about this new statement by NATO? This came out earlier today: “30 other countries that pose a threat” now.
Gagnon: It's crap. It's just pure BS. It's NATO propaganda, it's like everything else you hear from NATO – it's propaganda and there is no other way to put it.
Robles: Where were these 30 countries two weeks ago, or a week ago, or a year ago, or five years ago? Unbelievable..I mean all of a sudden Iran is not a threat, there are 30 more.
Gagnon: Yeah. Well, you know the military industrial complex has made a lot of money by making people afraid of bogeyman and this is just another example.
When I was a kid, you know, I decided I wanted to be an FBI agent so I took a correspondence course and I learnt about FBI definitions and the one that I remember was “modus operandi” every criminal has an “M.O.”, a way of repeating their actions.
And so today what we see with the military industrial complex which I consider a criminal syndicate, they have a way of operating, they have a way of repeating the same behavior over and over again.
They did the same thing with Crazy Horse, the great Lakota warrior was on the reservation in the late 1860s in South Dakota. He was inside his teepee he had had his horse taken away and he had had his guns taken away and the military industrial complex was finding that because of Indian Wars were dissolving “dying out” they weren’t making as much money.
So they had artists and writers create stories of Crazy Horse back on the warpath, attacking women and children, killing them, raping white women. And they planted these stories in the all the major newspapers on the East Coast of the US and of course the American people were outraged and they demanded that Congress do something quickly and they appropriated more money to fight Indian Wars when Crazy Horse was sitting inside of his teepee.
So they've been doing this for a long time in this country. They have it down to an art and now they are internationalizing that whole strategy by expanding NATO and drawing in NATO countries to help pay for this very expensive space warfare technology system, that by itself the US can't afford.
And so by bringing the NATO allies into it now under a program that they call “interoperability” which means NATO allies buy a portion of it, they get to play with it a little bit but it all has to be run through the US satellite command-and-control system. And so this is the way that Pentagon is getting others to help pay for this program, it's just more the same.
Just a reminder you are listening to an interview with Bruce Gagnon
Robles: That's a very interesting fact, I'd like to expand on it a little bit because it's something that you don't hear too much about in the media regarding the fact: a) That the EU is (in my opinion and I think not only in my opinion) the EU is used as a carrot for the stick of NATO that's being held and controlled by the US. So anyone who bites on the EU, like Ukraine for example?
The EU doesn't really need Ukraine, I mean, other than that – they might need resources or need to exploit it financially. But NATO needs Ukraine militarily. Regarding to what you were just saying, if you could give us a few more details on how NATO is exploiting member countries by telling them they are necessary and selling themselves and then...
Gagnon: Well, one of the first things they do when a country joins NATO is they make them buy a whole new generation of weapons systems (US version) because they have to fit, it’s like Legos, they have to fit together with the US military systems, so that they can be again, interoperable.
What we find is that as soon as a country becomes NATO affiliated they then have to begin to cut social spending, to move that money into military hardware acquisition, largely from the US, from Lockheed Martin, from the other big weapons corporations. So that they all can fit together in this global alliance.
So I think that's what it is. And I know that right now the US is pushing hard to get NATO expansion into the Ukraine, into Finland, into Georgia. Clearly, the agenda is to encircle Russia. I've seen references to plans coming out of various think tanks in the US where Russia is Balkanized, in the way that Iraq is today being Balkanized, or Yugoslavia was Balkanized after the Kosovo war.
This is the larger plan of corporate capitalism today. Anybody that doesn't submit to the full authority of corporate globalization must be taken apart and taken down. And if the military industrial complex can make a bunch of money doing that process; why not? All the better..So that is generally their strategy.
Robles: Can you clarify what did you mean on “Balkanization”?
Gagnon: Break it into pieces, break Russia into various pieces, geographical and ethnic pieces even, break it down.
The Soviet Union was obviously broken down and then following that with NATO expansion, Russia being surrounded. Get to the point where they can force internal division within Russia and begin to Balkanize it – breaking into pieces. Again that was the strategy of the Bush Administration was to break Iraq into three different countries: Sunni, Shia and Kurd, after US “shock and awe” invasion in 2001, essentially they created that program.
Robles: Brezinsky said, 68 republics were planned for Russia, way back when… Back to the Ukraine, how much from your side as an activist and someone who involved in this..How much US meddling “if I can call it what it is” do you see going on in Ukraine?
I mean we have the State Department threatening sanctions, we have… they are calling for, and I think this is unrepresented, for earlier elections, for the President to step down, when he merely made a decision to look to the East, where Ukraine would have been receiving in a seven year period somewhere over a hundred billion dollars in benefits for joining the Customs Union and one billion dollars for joining the EU. It's a no brainer. I mean for the country itself, but of course that president has to be gotten rid of. What moves do you see by the West in manipulating this situation?
Gagnon: I think that the US took a public relations hit when it lost on Syria and Iran. And much of my perception is, much of what came out in a positive war out of Syria and Iran. There was a major contribution by Russia. In terms of helping to negotiate those deals and make then happen.
I think the US is very bullying country, we don't like anyone to get in our way when we have a plan or an agenda and for Russia to have kind of interceded particularly on Syria, I think the US is angry about that. And the US I think wants, like any bully, to punish someone, show them that they shouldn't do this kind of things.
I don't have any evidence of this, but again if you are talking about 'modus operandi', if you are talking about a way of working over time – what we see happening in the Ukraine, I would not doubt for a moment - is being assisted by the US's CIA and money from other sources from within the US, from the government and from private sources.
I'm sure that a lot of young people in the Ukraine, a lot of unemployed people (whatever you know, have some grievances with their government) I think every government today is in a position where there is a lot, a lot of people unhappy with their particular government, but I do think that the US is very likely heavily involved in what's happening in the Ukraine.
Especially because; look at the size of the Ukraine, look at the geographical location of the Ukraine. It's the prize that NATO really seeks and I think is out to get both through the EU and through NATO membership itself.
Just a reminder you are listening to an interview with Bruce Gagnon
Robles: Ukraine actually is… (the European part of Russia which makes up 40% of Europe) Ukraine would then be the second largest country in Europe. So, you are right, it is quite a prize and it's right in Russia's face if you want to put it that way and conquering, if you would, Ukraine which was actually the Mother of all of Rus and has very close ethnic and spiritual and cultural and other ties with Russia, I think would be coup de grace for NATO. And you just said about being kind of revenge for Syria. This was just stated not within several hours ago by the State Duma's National Affairs head Alexey Pushkov.
He said that the US attempts to influence the situation show “a desire to take revenge for defeat in Syria”. He says that “European countries and the US continue to treat states as Ukraine as semi-colonies”. What do you think about that?
Gagnon: Well, I would use the word “pawns” in the larger global chessboard, they’re people and places to be played with in a larger grand chess game. I think “pawns” is a word I would use.
Robles: How would the US react if people blockaded Obama from entering the White House or from leaving the White House? Because this happened a few days ago in Ukraine..
Gagnon: They would have their heads beat up and would be arrested and put in jail.
Robles: And how would the US react if then other countries came and told them to stop abusing these hooligans?
Gagnon: Well, let’s just look at recently when we had the Occupy Movement across the US and the word came out, after the police went in and started going into community after community after community and busting people's heads with sticks and arresting them, spraying them with pepper spray and tearing the camps apart, destroying the Occupation camps.
It's pretty clear we learned that a lot of this came out of the White House, Obama had issued directives saying that he wanted this shut down because it was beginning to become a political problem. And I think frankly (and I don't excuse this because I'm a protester, I was member of the Occupy Movement) again I think all of us have various disagreements with our governments.
I'm sure people in Ukraine have disagreements with their government. I'm sure people in Russia have disagreements with their government.
My point is that I'm an American citizen and I don't think my country has the right to go into the Ukraine and go into Russia or China, or Africa and interfere with what's happening in those countries. And I know my government does that all the time.
So all I can do I can't fight various governments around the world, I live here in the US so I have responsibility to deal with my own government and I'm doing the best I can.
Robles: There is supposed to be a revival in the Occupy Movement coming up this Spring, this time they are going to launch (I don't know if you know about this) but it is coming up in Spring instead of launching in September like they did last time.
Gagnon: Actually I think the new Pope, Francis, has done a lot to re-enliven the Occupy message around the world, but in particular here in the US.
So I can see that already new energy is coming out of the grass roots because of the work of, the words of, the New Pope who has really been critiquing capitalism and the excesses and the brutality and the cold heartedness of capitalism, the way it just uses and abuses people and the environment. The way it uses up the environment as a commodity and just throws it away.
So I think there is new energy for the Occupy Movement in America.
That was the end of Part I of an interview with Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, You can find the next part of this interview on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best wherever you may be.
14 December 2013, 03:53
Today what we are seeing in Ukraine are the now overt manifestations of a long-running covert subversion of Ukraine by all of the instruments used by the United States, including those controlled by CIA, the State Department, the military industrial complex, banks, NGOs, corporations and US surrogates in the EU and NATO, which for simplicity we will call "US/NATO". Since the collapse of the USSR (and some might argue since NATO’s very creation) US/NATO have been intensely consolidating their hegemony and control over Eastern Europe using each and every instrument at their disposal and pouring billions of dollars into the effort.
These efforts include cultural, economic, educational, judicial, media, military, political, religious, security, social and trade manipulations and subversions all designed to subvert the sovereignty of Ukraine and bring it under permanent and total US/NATO control. The efforts by US/NATO in manipulating Ukraine have been so wide-ranging and at times subtle that it may now be difficult to extract the influences entirely from Ukrainian society and even more so from the minds of the Ukrainian people.
Many Ukrainians believe, as do the peoples of many countries that have been the subject of the massive subversion efforts of the US machine, that the parroted words "democracy" and "freedom" actually mean something to the US/NATO, for these are the standard reasons that the common people are given when they are pushed into accepting things that will in fact subvert the sovereignty of their countries and subjugate themselves to the US/NATO machine.
The words "freedom" and "democracy" are constantly parroted by officials and the subservient western media when reporting or discussing Ukraine thus giving the common people the impression that this is in fact what the protests in the abstract-far-way-land are all about. This is also true for western subverted internal Ukrainian media outlets, who claim to be exercising freedom of the press, when in fact they are engaged in the very subversions of their own countries. The promotion and portrayal of efforts at subversion as being in the best interests of the citizens are all important parts of CIA and US/NATO psychological and media operations and are key in bringing about the desired results, including such as what we are seeing now in Ukraine.
Without going into specifics as they are available anywhere on the net subversive efforts in Ukraine have targeted every sector of the population and have benefited from keeping the economic conditions of Ukrainians weak so that Ukrainians are dissatisfied and looking to the "West" for betterment. This is a false hope and a false savior but as Russia found out an idea that took hold and continues to be promoted in Ukraine unlike Russia which finally saw the beast of the West for what it really was and said no to NGOs USAID and US/NATO’s takeover of Russia.
The efforts have included first and foremost information and media manipulation, through organizations like USAID and NGOs civil society manipulation including in educational institutions (through subtle rewrites of history and carefully constructed curricula), health clinics and as we have seen in the past sterilization programs and the like (not necessarily in Ukraine but nonetheless used for population control and getting rid of undesirable populations). Other efforts include everything from fast food outlets (degrading the national diet and more importantly national mealtimes) and addicting the population (through subtle chemical additives and the like), entertainment (glorifying America and their depraved culture of sex and violence), internet (the favored tool for monitoring surveillance and control through social media) and everything and anything else that can be used to subvert the Ukrainian identity and glorify the West. The above tactics are not part of some conspiracy theory but tired and proven instruments of the NSA, the CIA and US/NATO.
When all of these fail (or in addition to the above) US/NATO might foment inter-ethnic, sectarian or religious strife and manipulate divisions and when all of those mechanisms fail to bring about the changes they seek to bring the country under control they will then resort to arming the opposition and as in Yugoslavia, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and then they attempt in Syria, providing military and air-support to forcibly remove the leadership of the country and install their puppet regimes.
In Russia such attempts were in fact stopped thanks to a strong president and attentive security services however in Ukraine, as in almost all of the former Soviet Republics the demonization of Russia coupled with poor economic conditions, glorification of US/NATO/EU, and all or some of the above efforts, the security services failed. In Ukraine this failure has led to a pliable and divided population ready to believe anything the West says and ready to submit to whatever the West wants almost without argument. And in the final ready to engage in treasonous activities against their own country, people and government.
I would hope that this will be read by at least some of the Ukrainian people so that they might take time to consider what in fact they are tearing their country apart over. I would also plea with the Ukrainian people to in fact study what the realities are of what they EU is offering before they criticize their government or take part in western-backed demonstrations.
What the EU offers
On the surface what the West is offering Ukraine with its EU integration package is somehow a better economic situation for the country and its citizens, something that of course is attractive to those facing economic hardships and unemployment, but the reality is that in dollar value the plus for Ukraine is a mere $1 billion over seven years. This will be in exchange for a large part of Ukrainian sovereignty including control of trade, manufacturing and the like which will take the form of legally binding instruments supposedly designed to bring Ukraine into EU "compliance". It will also include the eventual loss of military sovereignty when Ukraine is forced to accept integration into NATO, which will not come cheap, will have to be paid for by Ukraine and take away money from social programs.
This NATO integration is the key goal for the West in Ukraine. Nothing else matters.
Such integration will also call for the Black Sea Fleet to be evicted and for the Ukrainian people to turn their backs (effectively) on their Slavic brothers to the North (Note: I rarely mention ethnic aspects but promoting unity among peoples who share historical roots is not a bad thing I believe) and open their arms and more importantly pockets, to the morally and otherwise bankrupt nations of US/NATO.
In brief what US/NATO offers Ukraine is the giving up of sovereignty, the opening up of markets and workforces to exploitation, and in the end the territory on which to establish their military infrastructure and on which to stations missiles to aim at Russia.
All talk of "assistance packages" must also be looked at with suspicion. While sounding as if the West is interested in assisting Ukraine, such economic mechanism are always come with conditions attached, including "reforms", legislation, regulation and of course there is the question of payback at a percentage. Nothing good is free and the Trojan Horse that the EU is offering is a dangerous one indeed.
What Russia offers
I am not an expert and there are certainly professors, legal scholars and economists who have studied all of the agreements in detail but, overall from the research I have done, the facts are as I have set them out here.
Russia is offering Ukraine further integration in an economic block which will see its trade increased with the Russian Federation and which will bring Ukraine and the Ukrainian people over $100 billion dollars in the same seven year period that US/NATO/EU are offering a mere $1 billion.
What is more Russia is not demanding that Ukraine "reform" its government, or change legislation or in any other way give up an ounce of its sovereignty. Nor is Russia demanding the stationing of its troops in Ukraine or the installation of missiles to point at some bogeyman.
For Ukraine it is a win-win with Russia and it is a logical choice for the Ukrainian Government and the Ukrainian people. Russia and Ukraine share a long and deep shared history, shared languages, shared faith, a shared national character and a shared faith. Any division, even only in the Orthodox Faith, where deeper rapport was recently achieved must not be allowed to stand.
The US/NATO/EU strategy of divide and conquer must not be allowed to stand and anyone guilty of promoting it, I would argue is guilty of treason not only to their own country but to their own people.
Will Ukraine look out for its own best interests?
The President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych must be applauded for having the courage, the intelligence and the vision to pursue a path that is best for his country and for his people. Will he follow the lead of Russian President Vladimir Putin and demand respect for the sovereignty of his nation? The answer to that appears to be yes.
On Friday President Yanukovych promised to sack all of the officials who were in charge of preparing the Association and Free Trade Area Agreement with the European Union which they tried to push through under pressure from US/NATO/EU.
"Those who prepared the agreement will be relieved of their duties or sacked altogether," he said during a round-table discussion to seek a way out of the crisis.
US/NATO/EU try to pressure Ukraine during internal crisis
What the US/NATO/EU are doing, both covertly and now overtly, to attempt to influence the internal political processes in the country and even bring about the removal of yet another leader are clearly acts of subversion and in real terms anyone inside the country who is knowingly assisting in such is guilty of treason. It is an internal sovereign Ukrainian decision which must be supported and must be protected from outside interference.
The level of open US interference has been called many things, even "crazy" by Russian officials, and goes further to underline the real intentions of US/NATO/EU for Ukraine. It is hard to imagine that there would be such a violent reaction from any country for the refusal to sign a mere trade and integration agreement and it shows the insane anti-Russia hysteria that still exists in the West.
US/NATO/EU attempts at influencing Ukraine
The attempts by the West at influencing Ukraine into rushing into an agreement with the EU have been unprecedented in scope quantity and degree and have included everything but threats of military strikes or arming the opposition to start bloodshed in the country.
The infrastructure that CIA installed to bring about the Orange Revolution appears to be intact and has been reactivated but apparently this time around the support is just not there, so CIA/State have brought out every other thing they can think of including:
- Calls by the US backed opposition for early elections and for the government to resign
- German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle arriving at a protest camp with two opposition leaders and saying "Ukraine should be on board with Europe."
EC actions are flagrant interference in internal affairs - Medvedev
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has called recent visits by members of the European Commission to a protest site in Kyiv as "flagrant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state."
"Flagrant interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state is the only way I can describe the trips (to Ukraine) by some officials from the European Union and from other countries with visits to sites of civil protest activity, and sites of unauthorized events," he said.
Prime Minister Medvedev also has branded recent visits of members of the European Commission to a site of mass pro-European Union demonstrations in Kyiv as "crazy."
"It looks pretty crazy when incumbent ministers or European Commissioners come out onto a square. I don't think this is the way to behave in the 21st century," he told a news conference in Moscow.
In a television interview with Russian media Prime Minister Medvedev said the actions by the West were a threat to Ukraine as a country and an attack on their sovereignty.
I may assure you that we have sent all the necessary signals via Ms. Nuland (US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland) to the effect that interference in domestic processes in Ukraine may have very serious consequences," he said.
"But it appears that we haven't been heard in Washington again," he added.
Revenge for Syria worse than just revenge for Syria
"This hysterical reaction of the West to the fact that Ukraine refused to sign the association agreement with the EU, these political troops, which were landed there, the arrival of the Americans (although the European association is not their business), all these immediately shows, who was behind this idea: the wires are in the hands of the United States," the MP said.
"The nerves of the State Department have snapped, it was staying away, but it can resist any longer: '… we can't endure it any more – we are going to you with pies, ' this is not a demonstration of the strength of the EU and USA, but of their weakness," he said.
Pushkov is convinced that after the defeat of the USA in Syria, after all these failures in the foreign policy, Washington has a great desire to "take revenge in Ukraine", to show that the West has the initiative, that the West is still the force that determines the course of events in global affairs. "Ukraine has become the arena, which determines whether the West is losing the initiative or not," he said.
US continues pulling out all the stops in Ukrainian interference
US Senator John McCain, who is a key figure in almost every country that the US has attempted to or succeeded in bringing about a regime change or a military invasion is to arrive in Ukraine over the weekend, the highest-ranking US official to meet with the opposition and protestors.
"Senator McCain is traveling to Ukraine to meet with government officials, opposition leaders and civil society at this critical time as Ukrainians struggle for their future," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told The Daily Beast.
McCain is supposed to be in Kyiv on Saturday and Sunday, according to the report. He will be joined there Sunday by Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, according to The Daily Beast.
It is not clear upon whose invitation he is arriving in Ukraine but it is clear as with Moscow that organizers of color revolutions and middlemen for the CIA are always called in when US/NATO are desperate to effect regime change. Whether his presence will be welcomed by President Yanukovych remains to be seen.
Hopefully the appearance of McCain in Ukraine is not a sign that the West is ready to push Ukraine into a civil war but judging from McCain’s past record and his involvement in Benghazi, Libya, Iraq and other US war zones, this may be a distinct possibility.
Continuing Russophobic hysteria
The irrational and "crazy" reaction by US/NATO/EU to a simple trade decision might be easier to understand given the light of the continuing and even escalated Russophobia in the West, something promoted by NATO which is desperately trying to stay relevant, by the US which needs a bogeyman to maintain the profit margins for the Military Industrial Complex and by the EU which seeks to appease its US/NATO masters.
Again, and I have said this many times, European Russia makes up 40% of Europe and Ukraine is the largest country in Europe aside from Russia, so the ongoing attempts by the EU to somehow exclude Russia from Europe are also not entirely sane or logical to put it mildly.
"… despite the end of Soviet Communism there was no end of Russophobia, that not only continued but I would argue in many ways it has been escalated."
Continuing desperate attempts at achieving hegemony
The attempts by US/NATO/EU to pull Ukraine into its sphere of influence and away from Russia only show the desperation that they have in proving to the world that they are still the masters of all of us and follows the policy of the West that any country that shows any modicum of independence or sovereignty must either have its leader gotten rid of or must be destroyed entirely.
The views and opinions expressed here are my own. I can be reached at email@example.com.
13 December 2013, 13:06
Russian media has provided an outlet for the censored – Rick Rozoff
On December 9 Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree covering major changes in Russian state run media including the Voice of Russia. Regular VoR contributor Rick Rozoff discussed his reaction to the changes with the VoR's John Robles and stated that the VoR and Russian media have been very important, especially in the last five years, in bringing the world real news and alternative to western media which is either under US White House control or act as mere echo chambers parroting US Government lines and does not allow important political figures, academicians and others to have their voices heard.
Hello, this is John Robles, I am speaking with Rick Rozoff, the Owner and Manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.
Robles: Hello Rick, how are you this evening?
Rozoff: Very good John. It's good to be with you again
Robles: You had some interesting things you wanted to say about the Voice of Russia, a station that has been dear, of course to myself, and I think to yourself as well.
Rozoff: Yes, I woke up yesterday morning, as did I think some of the more news conscious people throughout the world and saw the article originally on the Novosti site announcing the fact that Russian information agency Novosti and Voice of Russia would be effectively closed and either folded into a broader media outlet, medium outlet, to be called Russia Today, and I was … we were all shocked of course to see that, me particularly because…
Robles: Well it's a little bit unclear about the name because in Russian it is supposed to be Russia Segodnya, and it is going to be a new organization that is going to include the Voice of Russia, I believe, and elements of RIA Novosti and some other media organizations. So, whether it is related to RT, or Russia Today, that's just in the direct translation for it, as far as I know. But anyway, go ahead.
Rozoff: No, thanks for the clarification. But I was particularly concerned, because it is no secret, but I think it is far past time that the world recognizes it, is that for the past decade, I would say definitely the last 5 years, let's date it from that point, is that the Russian news media has presented the world with an opportunity to hear an alternative to the control of news emanating from, say, the US White House and State Department, and basically nothing other than echo chamber responses from the rest of the western world, and the mass media from the west that is.
So, almost slavishly, dutifully, obedient to the demands of the western governments, so that, we look at the last 5 years, it's been sites like Voice of Russia, RT and others that have presented not only alternative news to the world - and this is not simply in international affairs; it's on incidents like the Occupy Movement here in the United States. You've interviewed several leading members of the Occupy Movement. You know, Julian Assange and Wikileaks, again Voice of Russia, RT and other Russian sites have given an unbelievable outlet to dozens, scores, maybe hundreds of American academicians, political officials. You've interviewed leading members, including the presidential candidate of the US Green Party for example, that could never have dreamt of getting that kind of media exposure in their own country, surely.
One is reminded of the Biblical line about "no prophet is without honor except in his own land", but in any other national media could pinpoint many cases we are talking … you interviewed people like retired professor of economics Edward Herman, people like Steven Cohen or Noam Chomsky, and others have been on Russian media or television and radio regularly over the past 5 years and would never appear, not only on the corporate media in this country, but even on so-called public television or radio, that simply wouldn't be an opportunity available to them.
So, what happens with the Russian news media is an issue, not only of concern to Russian people, and we are talking about foreign language media here. English in the first place because surely in the age on the Internet English is the universal language, and unless there is an outlet countering what's been put out there by Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, major commercial media like Washington Post, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal and so forth, and people aren't going to hear anything, and they're going to believe that that very limited perspective is the only one that exists. That is why the role of the Russian news media, foreign language, English language in the first place, is just vital. There is no way I can overestimate how important it is to the world right now.
Robles: In what international situations or what international events would you say in the last 5 years or so that the Russian media has played a key role in informing and maybe influencing events?
Rozoff: I would almost turn that around, and I am not trying to be paradoxical here in saying in what area or event have they not played that role. But surely, if we are just talking about last 5 years, and we are talking about the Syrian crisis, which in large part has been resolved through Russian intervention, diplomatic in the first instance.
But let's talk about something going on right now. The spokesman for the US State Department, Victoria Nuland, who under current President Obama's predecessor George W. Bush was US permanent envoy, that is Ambassador to NATO, met with her for 2 hours today reportedly with Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich, and the western media is full of - and this kind of resonates here in Chicago - stating "the whole world is watching" according to Nuland - many of your listeners are maybe old enough to remember that slogan in 1968, it was used by the protesters outside the democratic nominating convention here in Chicago.
But the fact is the world is watching, and what we see in, particularly in the internet age, in the worldwide web – the age of the worldwide web - is that the battle of ideas, the battle of news, who has accurate information, who has alternative perspectives is more important I would argue than it's ever been prior to this in history. It was certainly important during the Cold War, it was important during World War II, but in this era right now what has happened with the weakening and ultimately the demise of the Soviet Union starting in the late 1980s was that a vision emerged, an American vision of the world, and not that of the American people but that of the American elite, and the American government, Wall Street and the Pentagon and the White House and it has been allowed, it has been permitted to hold sway pretty much uncontested for 25 years.
And it is only with the emergence of serious rivals within the world news community that we can begin to have anything like a balanced perspective on events internationally or for that matter within the United States where there is media, and there is news control that narrowly constricts the range of topics and perspectives that's permitted to emerge so that again the world … the people can talk about Al Jazeera, they can talk about other outlets but there is nothing comparable to the role that's been assumed by the Russian news media in the last 5 years. It has simply revolutionized the perspective.
People wake up in the morning around the world and they don't go to the New York Times because they know what they are going to get, and they may not go to Le Monde, they may not go to the London Times but I think they are increasingly turning to sites like Voice of Russia, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, and other Russian sites. That is why it is so indispensable to maintain and independent and principled position for the world, reading and listening and viewing public.
Robles: Now this is a particular concern to Russian officials, and to Russians as well, when discussing international media outlets and Russian media outlets. How do you think, or what is your opinion on how Russian media outlets have promoted Russian policies, Russian ideas and Russia as a country? Do you think it has been fair? Do you think it has been effective at all?
Rozoff: Effective, I would say, yes, keeping in mind that we have decades … there's decades of catching up to do, and there is a fact that I think – I don't want to say subconsciously - but intuitively or implicitly most of the world tends to take the New York Times view of the world, or the London Times view of the world, without even realizing perhaps that they do. They just are so inured or accustomed to reading that sort of news that they assume it is true without asking themselves if there is a different perspective to take.
But, so that the Russian news media internationally, even in terms of portraying its own country, and its own government's behavior at home and abroad is fighting an uphill battle. There is just no question about it.
We also have to keep in mind, and this is a very serious issue, is that with the emergence of – it wasn't called détente of course, but I had almost want to say détente too - during the Gorbachev-Reagan administrations and the former Soviet Union in Russia, where there was a thawing of the Cold War as it would have been described and ultimately the dissolution, and the fragmentation of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was a period in which people thought "well, we are entering into an age of tolerance and cooperation in the world, - and anything but that has occurred.
But I think what is extremely significant is that with the end of Soviet communism there was no end of Russophobia, that not only continued but I would argue in many ways it has been escalated. So that the Cold War era Russophobic hysteria that was … kept the respective populations of western countries terrified - the Russian bear ready to bounce on and devour them - far from having disappeared with the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, has been carefully cultivated. That fire has been stoked consistently by western, both government and media personnel, and it is necessary for the Russian media and another world media to counteract that, in particular.
There is a sort of assumed or unspoken Russophobic world view that unless it is taken pretty firmly, could lead to some very catastrophic international incidents. We don't have to enumerate them but the so-called US missile shield in Europe comes to mind most immediately, US and allied NATO penetration of the Arctic circle with their militaries.
There are so many incidents where stirring up the … blowing on the embers of 60 or 80 years of Russophobic cultivation of unconscious thinking amongst the populace in the west could have dangerous consequences that has to be counteracted. I don't know who other than the Russian media can do that.
Robles: I see, but do you think that our Russian media has been effective in countering for example NATO?
Rozoff: I think it's been principled. Now one thing I'll have to say compared to somebody, here we are talking about myself, who has been reading the American media for maybe 45 years pretty attentively, is that the Russian media is far more balanced. I simply have to say there is, even in government media, or government funded government-controlled media, there are negative statements made about the government I would not expect to see, in the corporate media in the United States, again the New York Times, or the Washington Post, or the Chicago Tribune, or the Los Angeles Times. And I think there is an effort to portray both sides of the story in a way that is conspicuously absent from the major western dailies and the western press agencies.
The fact that Interfax in particular is starting to be picked up by other sources is something I think is significant. I think that Russia needs their press agencies to be more effective than they've done. Up until now, let's be honest about it, two American, one German and one French, maybe if you want to throw in BBC, one British wires, press services are just ruling the world – the Americans of course, are Reuters and Associated Press, the German is Deutsche Presse-Agentur, the French's Agence France-Presse and then the BBC. Almost every online newspaper in the world is either running stories from those 5 agencies or is rewriting them under their own byline, but essentially that is where they get the news. You see it with the sort of bias in any situation from the current one in Ukraine to the recent one in Syria, you have the same world view projected, and it is a world view of a tiny percentage of the human race.
Robles: Right, I've taken … I'm sorry, if we could get into that in just a minute because that's a very, very, very serious and a very important point and one that some people might not even notice exists there. A lot of people say, "Oh well it doesn't matter, I am not political", but when for example covering Syria and all the above news agencies you just mentioned, when the Syrian conflict was looking like it was going to turn into a hot war, of course they were all parroting words like "dictator", and "oppression", and "freedom fighters", and things like that, and "regime".
Rozoff: Yes, that stretches euphemism to the breaking point surely, and you are correct about that. These are intentionally loaded terms, they are not only biased but they are meant to evoke emotional responses rather than even a thinking one. And that they negatively portray targets of US foreign policy, positively promote as you are indicating what are little better than operatives, the criminal nature frequently, the terrorist nature frequently who are then routinely in the western press agencies and the newspapers that cover their material, you know referred to as the State Department wants them to referred to.
And we are seeing now what could be a major military altercation in the East China Sea where China's announced an air zone over what China knows as the Diaoyu and the Japanese as Senkaku Islands. And it is the typical US press wire services where we refer to them 100% as Senkaku.
That was Part 1 of a 3 part interview with Rick Rozoff the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list. You can find Parts 2 and 3 on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. Thanks for listening and I wish you the best wherever you may be.
End of Part 1
11 December 2013, 23:13
NATO engaged in wars of aggression against small countries - Rick Rozoff
Having established itself on the European continent in the devastating aftermath of World War II, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has emerged as a tool for the execution of aggressive wars against small countries that maintain some modicum of independence and for which they are targeted for destruction by the West and NATO. US/NATO are following a policy summed up by the words of former US President George Bush, one of “either you are with them or they will destroy you”, and we have seen proof of that since the invasion of Yugoslavia. As for the encirclement of Russia with interceptor missiles, now that the supposed pretext for that missile shield is gone, the threat from Iran, the intent of the encirclement of Russia is clear, the target has always been Russia. Rick Rozoff spoke to the VOR’s John Robles about this and more.
The West and the United States through its military wing NATO, which has expanded into a global military force, continues to attempt to expand its influence into the former Soviet space. Although NATO, which is struggling to stay relevant, should have been disbanded at the same time that the Soviet Union collapsed and the Warsaw Pact was dissolved, continues to expand worldwide. Recently the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Serbia gave a speech in which he called Serbia's membership in NATO a red line for the Russian Federation.
With events in Ukraine and continued war games, which envision military operations against regular army forces in the Caucasus, and the continued building and expansion of the US missile shield, even though the supposed purpose of that shield – the Iranian nuclear program – is no longer a threat, NATO continues to show itself as a threat to regional and international security and continues to operate, apparently, with the goal of existing only to expand itself so as to be, as the US Pentagon recently stated, an "effective tool for the projection of the US force worldwide".
The Voice of Russia spoke to Rick Rozoff – the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list about these issues and more.
You are listening to part 2 of an interview with Rick Rozoff. You can find part one on our website at voiceofrussia.com.
Robles: Back to NATO for a minute and the comments by the Russian Ambassador to Serbia. I believe he said that NATO was, and you quoted him saying that NATO was organized and founded to fight the Soviet Union, and it wasn’t clear what its objectives are now, right? What do you think are its objectives? If you can, again. We’ve talked about this many times in the past.
Rozoff: I think the Russian Ambassador’s comments were meant to be rhetorical rather than strictly accurate. He knows what the current objective of NATO is, as do we and, I’m sure, most of your listeners. And what it is is no longer even maintaining the pretence of being a defensive organization, but rather having been transformed into what I would consider to have been an aggressor in the Cold War, to begin with… maybe, perhaps not in terms of a “hot” war, but, nevertheless, setting up a military bloc in a continent that had just been devastated by a world war.
But, nevertheless, what we know is; in the post Cold War period NATO has emerged not as an alleged defender of the territory of its member states, but as an expeditionary military force that is used outside the territory of NATO member states in wars of aggression against essentially defenseless and, for the most part, small countries, that is evidenced, of course, by the 1999 seventy-eight-day air war against Yugoslavia, the six-month air war and naval blockade against Libya, the war against Afghanistan in its 13th year – that’s what NATO is about now.
Robles: Smaller countries that what?
Rozoff: Smaller countries that maintained some modicum of independence and non-alignment and for which they have been destroyed. Let me as blunt as I can be about that. Countries, like Yugoslavia, that were founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement who had to be taught a lesson and in the words of Voltaire from the novel Candide “for the encouragement of others”.
That is; if anyone dreams about maintaining a semblance of neutrality, of military non-alignment, of not permitting their sons and daughters to be dragooned into foreign wars…as perhaps the Russian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, I mean to Serbia, warned his audience. If you really want your sons and daughters to kill and die in countries like Iraq and Libya and Syria, then joining NATO is your ticket to that.
But if you don’t, then in the viewpoint of the US and its major NATO allies you are marked for extinction. You are either with us or against us, to use the infamous terminology of the last American Commander-in-Chief. And I think it is irrefutable at this point that the world’s sole military superpower (and again, that designation is by Barack Obama, that’s how he identifies his own country, for which he is Commander-in-Chief); “… you are either with us or we’ll destroy you.”
Robles: Back to Ukraine a little bit, and this is a little bit away from NATO. The incentive was economic for Ukraine. There would be billions of dollars coming into the country from the European Union. That figure was in the single digit billions in over like a 7-year period, I think. Yet, if they join the Customs Union of Russia, the Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan and integrate further into other economic blocs, namely Russian-led blocs, the incentives are in the hundreds of billions of dollars in the same period. Can you comment on that?
Rozoff: Yes, thanks for that arithmetic I wasn’t familiar with that but it doesn’t surprise me. The intent of course is to buy off the political leadership of Ukraine, so that somebody retires to Monaco or something with a few billions stashed away as opposed to doing anything for the benefit of the Ukrainian people.
There’s been an energy war being waged for over 20 years. Ukraine is not only targeted by the eastern partnership, but it is one of the countries that contributes to the acronym GUAM; Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova, which the US setup in the early 1990s to act as an energy transit corridor to squeeze Russia out of the European natural gas and oil market.
For a while GUAM was with two Us (GUUAM), because Uzbekistan was in there, but then dropped out. But now it is Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova.
And by the way, John Kerry (the US Secretary of State) has been in Moldova recently, where with the change of government with one of these so-called “color revolutions” recently there is a much more pro-NATO regime.
The thing is, I think we have to remember about Ukraine’s Orange Revolution the occasion to allude to where Viktor Yushchenko through extra-constitutional means was installed as president, essentially, in 2004, when he ran for re-election, he got 5% of the vote, which is a good indication of how popular he truly was with the Ukrainian public.
The US seems to be wanting to punish the Yanukovych Government for making decisions not to align themselves with the West against Russia, not independent of, but explicitly against Russia.
Robles: What do you think about these sanctions? Obama and the US Government is saying they are thinking of sanctions against Yanukovych.
Rozoff: It follows on heels of several years. You talked about the former now Secretary of State Hilary Clinton or the Obama administration as a whole threatening Ukraine because of the court case and the incarceration of Yulia Timoshenko, who was, if you will, Joan of Arc of the Orange Revolution and has been sitting in a jail cell for years now because of crooked natural gas deals. And these are the standard bearers of US democracy or the so-called “democracy” in the former Soviet space.
You know, it is not one thing, it is another. The US has to continuingly exercise pressure and threats and the menace of economic or worse actions against countries to kind of keep them in line.
By the way, before we end this thing, there was a comment a couple of days ago, I think two days ago, by the Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stating that now with the historic, apparent, deal between the US and Iran on Iran’s nuclear program: What conceivable justification can there possibly be for the US and NATO continuing their encirclement of Russia with interceptor missiles.
Robles: Exactly! I was just going to ask you about that. I’m glad you brought that up. And North Korea if you could and Iran.Yes, exactly! What is the point now? What are they going to say now?
Rozoff: I guess, I would ask the question: why didn’t NATO not immediately state (if you are to believe anything they say) that they now see the error of their ways and they are abandoning the phase-adaptive approach interceptor missile system. Of course, they won’t say that, because the target has never been Iran, the target has been Russia. Lavrov has called their bluff.
Robles: Has that had any resonance over there?
Rozoff: Far too little. I mean, I wish people had really seized on that. I’ve seen a couple of comments, but not enough. This is something the whole disarmament and antiwar movement needs to pick up and pick up with a vengeance.
Robles: I think the taxpayers too, I mean American taxpayers are indebted for how many generations?
Rozoff: You are correct!
Robles: I mean, the next, I don’t know, two hundred generations are going to have to pay for the current war debt and they just want to keep building and building it up even more.
Rozoff: Two years ago, when the US military spending was in the neighborhood of $718 billion a year, which is in constant dollars the highest level since WW II, the official military spending came down to something like $2,400 per year for every man, woman and child in the US.
Robles: Against whom? Against some US-backed Al Qaeda terrorists in the desert somewhere in the Middle East?
Rozoff: I have my own opinion about whose assets they truly are, but, I mean that of course is ludicrous.
Robles: Can you comment on where do you think Iran is going? I think that’s very important. That’s going to change the whole game in the Middle East, I think.
Rozoff: Again, assuming even for the sake of argument that Iran is a rogue state, they represented the threat to somebody and now that threat has been diminished, I just don’t buy that argument. It has not been a threat to his neighbours or anybody else, not for centuries surely.
And the fact that a more Western-leaning Government has come to power since the last election, first of all suggests that elections in Iran actually mean something, as opposed to here, where the foreign policy is not going to change in any substantive way because individual on individual/one party wins the election.
But I don’t yet know whether the new Government in Tehran is willing to make peace with the US principally or otherwise and how many concessions they are willing to grant the US in order not to be bombed, I can’t say.
Robles: Can you comment on Netanyahu’s comment? He was huffing and puffing, he was all upset and he said that making an agreement with Iran is granting them some sort of legitimacy, making them a legitimate state. Since when wasn’t the Islamic Republic of Iran a legitimate country?
Rozoff: From the point of view the US and Israel of course it never has been. I mean, they much preferred the hereditary monarch – the Shah of Iran – their close military, as well as political and energy ally incidentally.
And I’m sure in both instances, just like the US, which staged a coup d'état in Iran in 1953 overthrowing Mosaddegh and installing the Shah, until the US and its allies – Israel and Saudi Arabia – which have a joint interest in criticizing Iran, until those three countries install some puppet regime in Tehran, they are not going to be satisfied and they are going to continue to bluster. But I think we have to keep in mind that the sort of government they would envision for Iran would be the one that’s in the least representative or democratic.
Robles: Anything else?
No, but thank you for the opportunity. It’s been a very far ranging, but I hope a coherent discussion and I’m appreciative of the opportunity.
Okay, have a good one Rick.
That was part 2 of an interview in progress. You can find part 1 on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thanks for listening/reading and I wish you the best wherever you may be.
11 December 2013, 16:50
The Russian Federation is responding to developing and current threats to its security and attempts by the West to shift the global strategic military balance in its favor, with US/NATO's missile "defense" shield being cited as one of the key threats faced by Russia in maintaining a strategic balance and one for which against which measures are being taken. Attempts by the US/NATO to militarize the Arctic are also being addressed as well as attempts by US/NATO to tip the balance of the nuclear deterrence and project its "force" globally, in particular with regard to the Middle East.
President Vladimir Putin, speaking to an expanded meeting of the Russian Ministry of Defense on Tuesday stated that plans by US/NATO to expand its missile defense plans in Europe have not stopped and continue unabated, hence Russia is forced to respond. Speaking of the continuation of US/NATO missile "defense" plans is clearly in response to statements by US/NATO that despite the supposed threat of Iran (the pretext for the ABM shield) being eliminated they will not change their plans for installing missiles in Europe.
President Putin has publically stated and now confirmed what many have been saying for years regarding the ABM shield being installed in order to neutralize any response from Russia. The fact that with minor modifications the missiles making up the shield could be converted into first strike weapons were not touched upon by the president but given the context this is clear and is something he is no doubt aware of.
President Putin said that the West is attempting bring about a shift in the strategic balance.
" There are ongoing attempts to violate, "blur " the strategic balance . First of all, they are related, of course, with plans to build a US missile defense," President Putin said.
With regard to the massive modernization taking place in the Russian military and across the entire spectrum of the Russian armed forces President Putin underlined the fact that leading countries are actively modernizing their arsenals, investing heavily in the development of weapons including in are where new generation technologies are being used. He stated that Russia is no exception .
Regarding exercises that have been held in 2013, President Putin said confirmed the reliability of Russia's nuclear shield and he spoke highly of the increased combat capabilities of the aerospace defense forces, especially with regard to Russia's own missile defense warning and interception systems.
Regarding continued upgrades the President stated that in 2014, the Armed Forces will receive more than 40 most advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles, more than 210 aircraft and helicopters and more than 250 armored vehicles . In response to threats the nuclear missile carriers Alexander Nevsky and Vladimir Monomakh and part of a constellation of six new satellites, will be deployed and on active watch.
Recently the Head of the Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Alexei Pushkov also spoke about the US/NATO "shield" and said that NATO will now have nothing to justify the need for the creation of a European missile defense shield if the Iranian "problem" is solved.
Mr. Pushkov stated the: "The NATO missile defense system in Europe needs the so-called " Iranian threat to explain its existence. If the Iranian problem is solved, there will be nothing to explain (missile) defense."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also recently made a similar statement at a media forum in Rome, stating that "… if an agreement on Iran will be realized, the reason for the creation of a missile defense system in Europe will disappear."
US/NATO are recalcitrant however with a source in NATO recently stating that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization sees no reason to revise plans for a European missile defense arrangements in relation to Iran's nuclear program. Despite claiming for years that the ABM shield was being built against an Iranian threat US/NATO has regrouped and updated their clearly false claims taking them one step further.
A NATO spokesperson in Brussels recently told Interfax that: "We know that more than 30 countries have or are acquiring ballistic missile technology that could eventually be used as carriers of not only conventional warheads, but also weapons of mass destruction".
One might ask US/NATO if it is possible for countries with more primitive technologies to change their configurations to deliver, even nuclear payloads, why are we supposed to believe that US/NATO cannot do the same with their Advanced Capability 3 interceptor missiles and their own missile defense elements. The answer is that they can be quickly changed into first strike weapons and Russia knows this. Who these now "30" countries are that US/NATO needs to defend itself against are in not clear nor was it stated, but clearly it is a disingenuous argument needed to justify their continued plans to surround Russia with missiles.
President Putin made the connection between diplomatic efforts and military strength underling Russia's staunch position in always seeking a diplomatic solution to conflicts. He noted in his speech that Russia has consistently advocated settlement of international and regional issues exclusively by diplomatic means, adding that the "factor of military deterrence" often plays a significant role.
It is important to recall that President Putin also recently disbanded the Kremlin working group which was seeking to find ways of cooperation with US/NATO on missile defense. Clearly surrounding Russian and oneself with US/NATO rockets is not something that the Kremlin is too keen on being a party to.
562 writers appeal for end to surveillance
On the occasion of International Human Rights Day 562 authors from around the world, including 5 Nobel Prize laureates, have signed an open letter calling for the defense of civil liberties against surveillance by corporations and governments. The 5 Nobel Prize Winners who signed the appeal are: Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, Elfriede Jelinek, Günter Grass and Tomas Tranströmer.
The appeal is another in a long series of calls by journalists, writers, whistleblowers, truth seekers, activists, hacktivists, human rights defenders, those calling for a return to the rule of law and hundreds of millions of other citizens of the world calling for the rule of law and for governments to respect the rights of the individual.
Such a noble effort only further makes it clear we are no longer living in a world where true democracy and the rights of the individual matter in the least. We are living in a world controlled by elites, corporations, big money, the military industrial complex and intelligence agencies. For these entities the rights of the individual are abstractions and nonsensical concepts that have no bearing on mass control and the bottom line.
The lie of the “War on Terror” and the claim by intelligence agencies in bed with corporations that the massive surveillance is for guaranteeing our safety can no longer justify the extent of the massive spying nor the stripping of our rights as individuals to be free from surveillance.
What is perhaps stunning and further underlines just how far we have come down the road towards global fascism is the fact that the letter is addressed not only to governments and states but to corporations. Such a letter also underlines the growing desperation that citizens of the world have toward governments, corporations and intelligence agencies who operate with impunity, without oversight and completely ignore the wises and the needs of their citizenry.
The text of the letter is as follows:
In recent months, the extent of mass surveillance has become common knowledge. With a few clicks of the mouse the state can access your mobile device, your e-mail, your social networking and Internet searches.
It can follow your political leanings and activities and, in partnership with Internet corporations, it collects and stores your data, and thus can predict your consumption and behaviour.
The basic pillar of democracy is the inviolable integrity of the individual. Human integrity extends beyond the physical body. In their thoughts and in their personal environments and communications, all humans have the right to remain unobserved and unmolested.
This fundamental human right has been rendered null and void through abuse of technological developments by states and corporations for mass surveillance purposes.
A person under surveillance is no longer free; a society under surveillance is no longer a democracy.
To maintain any validity, our democratic rights must apply in virtual as in real space.
* Surveillance violates the private sphere and compromises freedom of thought and opinion.
* Mass surveillance treats every citizen as a potential suspect. It overturns one of our historical triumphs, the presumption of innocence.
* Surveillance makes the individual transparent, while the state and the corporation operate in secret. As we have seen, this power is being systemically abused.
* Surveillance is theft. This data is not public property: it belongs to us. When it is used to predict our behaviour, we are robbed of something else: the principle of free will crucial to democratic liberty.
WE DEMAND THE RIGHT for all people to determine, as democratic citizens, to what extent their personal data may be legally collected, stored and processed, and by whom; to obtain information on where their data is stored and how it is being used; to obtain the deletion of their data if it has been illegally collected and stored.
WE CALL ON ALL STATES AND CORPORATIONS to respect these rights.
WE CALL ON ALL CITIZENS to stand up and defend these rights.
WE CALL ON THE UNITED NATIONS to acknowledge the central importance of protecting civil rights in the digital age, and to create an International Bill of Digital Rights.
WE CALL ON GOVERNMENTS to sign and adhere to such a convention.
One of the key phrases of the letter is the following: “The basic pillar of democracy is the inviolable integrity of the individual.” This phrase is one that must be repeated over and over and one which must be taken to heart by those in power, by government bodies and by intelligence agencies who purport to be part of “democratic” governments, for it is the violation of this simple and inalienable human right that lies at the core of everything that has gone wrong with the world.
We saw the principle violator of human rights and this basic human right, the United States, trample on civil liberties, freedoms and even the right to be free from extra-judicial execution after 9-11 and they have continued to this day having successfully built a worldwide electronic spy network unparalleled to anything that has existed in all of human history. They have enlisted governments all over the world to join their efforts under the guise of a “War on Terror”, and many of the world’s states have willingly followed down that road.
As journalists and whistleblowers and truth seekers we have attempted to expose and stop this onslaught but largely to no avail. Someone speaks out, they are shut up. An organization publishes, they are shut down. Someone connects the dots or exposes evidence of illegality, they are marginalized and gotten rid of. There is currently a war being waged on all of us, it is not a war on terror, it is a war on you and me and you and I have no rights.