Articles and Interviews by John Robles from January 16, 2014 to January 31, 2014
31 January, 12:29
NSA: no terrorists caught, yet entangled in everything
There is so much missing or purposefully obfuscated in the debate about NSA/Five Eyes spying, US Government illegality, CIA collusion with al-Qaeda, Guantanamo, 9/11, torture, drones, Afghanistan, Iraq and everything that millions of people have been outraged about for over a decade, but the most striking is that almost no one is proposing closing these organizations down and few are talking about prosecuting those responsible.
The glaring problem that everyone seems to be missing or purposefully avoiding, the elephant in the room if you will, is that everything that has been revealed by Edward Snowden and debated about endlessly is completely illegal and for a government and a "secret agency" indefensible, but due America's self promoted "exceptionalism" everyone finds it more comfortable to avoid such talk. In reality the NSA must be shut down but everyone in the West and in the western controlled corporate media do not dare to even debate this issue.
The NSA, as a secret organization whose initials stood for "No Such Agency" 20 years ago, has failed to maintain its secrecy and has gone from being the most secret agency of the US Government to a common household word. This is unacceptable in the world of espionage and the fact that a large quantity of its dirty laundry is available on-line and debated on a daily basis should be reason enough for the whole agency to be shut down. From a security standpoint in allowing leak after leak culminating in the mania that has become Edward Snowden the agency has proven that it is porous, prone to leakage and unable to maintain its secrets. These words are words that should be said by someone on the US Senate Intelligence Committee in serious hearings not by a Russian journalist but we have seen that US politicians, the US President and the US mass-media are completely impotent when it comes to oversight or dealing with real threats to security and even worse than impotent but complicit when it comes to illegality committed by any government body or their security structures.
NSA/CIA etc Illegality, Ineffectiveness
In an article for Global Research by James Corbett dealing with the choreographed media operations that the NSA is engaged in continuing its illegality and escaping oversight. In the article Mr. Corbett writes that prior to 9-11 the NSA was already spying on all Americans, was tracking Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda (the CIA's Data-Base) and then withholding that information from the CIA's Bin Laden unit. In other words the NSA could have prevented 9-11 if it was in fact carried out by Al-Qaeda but did not and then used the event, according to Mr. Corbett to say it needed more powers and to justify its illegal surveillance of Americans.
This usage of 9-11 as a blanket reason to justify all form of US Government CIA/NSA etc. illegality has grown truly tired and unbelievable. From the crimes against humanity that were the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, to the illegal torture prison at Guantanamo, to the illegal extra-judicial execution by drone program and finally to the blanket surveillance of all Americans 9-11 has been the justification. 9-11: events which have not even been properly explained or investigated and will never be because they were the basis for all of the other illegality.
Recently ex MI5 officer David Shayler put it this way in a VoR interview: "… if we stop funding government, it stops funding this nonsense, it stops funding things like the NSA and MI5 and MI6. And it is not like we are going to be attacked if these organizations disappear, because as I say they are causing most of the conflict on the planet in the first place."
Mr. Shayler is not alone in having the bravery to say what has to be said and the public record bears his words out that these agencies are truly the root of all evil and are not engaged in defense or protection but rather in hiding illegality and assuring their own continued funding and illegal conduct and operations.
In an article for wired dot com David Kravets recently wrote about how the NSA's spying was illegal, ineffective and should be stopped: "Based on information provided to the Board, we have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the telephone records program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation," the report found. "Moreover, we are aware of no instance in which the program directly contributed to the discovery of a previously unknown terrorist plot or the disruption of a terrorist attack."
Even though one judge did find it illegal, the NSA just found another judge who it owned to say it wasn't. As for not preventing a single terrorist attack, well let the record speak for itself. If the NSA with its billion dollar budget and the supposed ability to monitor, intercept and store everything anyone says or does through any sort of electronic communication and has been doing so since before 9-11 then why are they unable to show even 1 single terrorist attack that they have prevented? And why were they not able to prevent 9-11 itself, since they could have as the record shows. Could it be that 9-11 was really an inside job?
I dare say if any such organization existed in Russia heads would roll and the whole operation would be shut down. What are they really doing in the billion dollar Puzzle Palace? Playing video games?
They answer to that is undoubtedly no. They are spying on the world and every single citizen of this planet that they can collect data on to guarantee the continuity of the illegal security state, the profits of the paper bankers and the continued existence of the US military industrial complex. Oh and according to Mr. Corbett collecting data on foreign leaders with which to blackmail them with. That used to be the domain of the CIA and the FBI but that is the subject of another discussion.
If you are reading this think about this for a minute: why is this appearing on Russian media being written about by a Russian journalist? Is it because Russia is somehow involved or cares about the NSA? No Russia has enough of its own headaches to deal with but last summer the entire illegal US security paradigm was unwontedly dumped in Russia's lap in the form of American Patriot Edward Snowden who was not a Russian agent, had no connection to Russia nor had even ever been on the territory of the Russian Federation. Even worse for Russia is that Snowden is an unapologetic and outspoken American patriot and an agent of both the CIA and the NSA. Not the normal type of person Russia should or does protect.
Think about this as well if the US mass media was performing its function and if the US president and the government he is supposed to be leading were doing their jobs and serving the interests of the American people by holding those committing illegality accountable, most of the illegality that has been debated in the world media about the US since 9-11 would not have even come to light and all of the matters that I have written about over the years would not have been necessary. But the US is not capable of conducting proper oversight nor of hiding its own illegality, it is out there for the world to see debate and apparently to accept.
That is the key problem in the US. There is no oversight and the last instance of oversight, the president himself, is also a party to the illegality. Terror Tuesdays and Guantanamo prove this. Although it is not entirely his fault, he is afraid of being assassinated no doubt if he does not follow the instructions of the military industrial complex as the Kennedy assassination proved. It is the CIA and the military industrial complex that has the real power in the US and the people are merely an abstraction for them that must serve the state and not the other way around.
Useless US Fourth Estate
As Mr. Corbett writes the mass media in the US is completely useless in performing the function of the Fourth Estate. This has been said hundreds of times before, he is not the only one saying this, and the case of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks bears this out. The US corporate mass media is bought and paid for and is merely a propaganda tool for the US military industrial complex, bankers and the US Government which they now own.
Medea Benjamin recently put it this way in a VoR interview: "… there is not a lot of information through the mainstream channels that can educate the American people and just to circle back to the issue of Guantanamo I would think that if there would be a poll done that most Americans wouldn't even know that we still have people in Guantanamo. They probably think everybody there was let go, it has been shut down or if they thought that anybody was left it is because they have been tried and convicted and happened to be the worst of the worst which is not true at all. So, unfortunately I think that a lot of the reasons that the Administration can get away with policies like this is because the US mainstream media has not been doing its job."
Ex NSA analyst Wayne Madsen recently told me that even Ted Turner, the founder of CNN admitted that the entire mass media is "messed up" in the US. Mr. Madsen stated: "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."This was predicted by John F Kennedy in one of his most famous speeches to the US media. The military industrial complex has taken over.
Recently Jessica Raddack, none other than a legal advisor for Edward Snowden, recently told me in an interview that Snowden did not take 1.7 million files as the world media are reporting, yet not one single media outlet picked up on that fact because it runs counter to the official US Government lie. Nor has any media taken issue with the fact that all of the Snowden revelations are approved by the US Government first. Ms. Raddack, perhaps unintentionally also let it be known that all of the journalists who are publishing Snowden's "revelations" are running them by the US Government first: "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. I am 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."
So there you go. Even the NSA leaks are controlled.
The NSA and the US Government, rather than protecting their public from terrorists and upholding the law and the rights of its citizens (I won't even mention abiding by international law) are instead engaged in, as I have already mentioned, operations to hide and obfuscate their own illegality. This is something no doubt the American taxpayer would not agree to. This is why they have waged a war on journalists and whistleblowers.
Regardless of Mr. Snowden's real "mission" as he keeps saying he has "accomplished his mission" yet nothing much has changed, other than the entire world now thinking the NSA is capable of spying on everyone and has complete control of the internet (perhaps that was his mission?) he is seen as a whistleblower and is apparently hunted by the US Government, just the latest in a long list of enemies of the US. There has to be a point when the world and the US public wake up and say enough is enough, and that is what the NSA and FEMA and the rest of the US apparatus are truly afraid about.
How many years is poor Mr. Julian Assange going to live in an embassy room? How many years is Edward Snowden not going to be allowed to return to his beloved America? How many years is the illegal detention of the human beings at Guantanamo going to continue? How long are they going to continue to hold Bradley Manning, Jeremy Hammond and the rest? How long is the world going to have to ignore the illegal Guantanamo torture prison and the illegal wars and crimes against humanity? Forever? Unfortunately that is what they want and once the complete control of the world media is obtained (including an end to this journalist who has struggled to give a platform to whistleblowers and truth seekers) and the entire planet is within range of NATO nuclear warheads, that is what they will have. Complete impunity until the end of time and a populace plugged into their devices ogling Britney Spears and Lady Gaga.
The media is completely complicit and there is almost no way to fight them then they control everything
Media operations Raddack
Note from the author:
As this article deals with the NSA and the US Government and the US corporate controlled mass media with reference to globalists and big banking and monied interests it is very unlikely that it will go viral or even obtain a normal place in Google so I kindly ask: Dear reader if you are reading this you probably look for alternative sources of information because you know everything the mass media feeds you is tainted and much of it is untrue, please share with anyone you think needs to hear the truth, no matter how ugly it might be.
Views and opinions as always my own and do not reflect those of my employer the Voice of Russia. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If CIA, MI6, NSA and GCHQ disappeared we would be safer – David Shayler
The US relationship with the Saudis appears to be changing and even though several decades ago Saudi agreed to sell the US oil at $10 a barrel in perpetuity, the love affair appears to be over. According to former MI5 officer and whistleblower David Shayler there may be plans to change the official story of 9/11 and the US start pointing the finger at Saudi Arabia. Mr. Shayler believes the way to stop all of the illegality being committed by agencies such as CIA, NSA, MI6 and GCHQ is to simply stop funding them.
He says if they disappear it will make no difference because they are the ones causing most of the conflict on the planet in the first place. By their own admission CIA, MI6 et al created Al-Qaeda and all the threats we are faced with to start with so if we remove CIA etc so if we remove them from the equation we will not have all of these people trying to kill us. Coming from a former MI5 officer on the desk of a key Middle East country, these words are worth listening to. Mr. Shayler also says there is no justification for all of the government's spying, it is all about protecting themselves against the exposure of manufactured war and false flag terrorism.
29 January, 17:11
Welcome to Sochi, no US warships required
Throughout history the Olympics have been a celebration of sport and a time when even warring nations lay down their arms and settle their differences on the playing field. It has been a time when all nations regardless of their geo-political leanings, internal conflicts or spats with their neighbors have a chance to put aside differences and celebrate human advances and achievements in sports.
For the guests, the athletes, the media and the delegations it is a time to show the world the best side of their countries and to get to know the people and the customs of the hosting nation. A time when we can all be friends, regardless of race, religion or political beliefs and above all put aside conflicts and for once, attempt to find peace amongst our fellow citizens of the world.
Given all of that therefore it would truly be antithetical to the spirit of the games and in fact an unthinkable abomination to bring uninvited warships into the hosting nations’ waters no matter what the pretext. But that would be in a normal world. Unfortunately one country believes it can unilaterally propose such a move and pretend it is doing so out of some concern for security against a threat that is being over-hyped to the level of hysteria.
Are US warships really necessary?
The United States has been unilaterally working on “contingency” plans which require two US warships to enter Russian territorial waters in the case of a terrorist attack. This is unheard of US secretary of State Chuck Hagel has stated that the US has already deployed two US Navy warships to “stand guard” in the Black Sea during the games just in case Americans have to be evacuated.
According to Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby: "The United States has offered its full support to the Russian government as it conducts security preparations for the Winter Olympics. Air and naval assets, to include two Navy ships in the Black Sea, will be available if requested for all manner of contingencies in support of – and in consultation with – the Russian government."
In reality however there is no need for US warships. The Russian Black Sea Fleet is perfectly capable of dealing with such contingencies and there is no doubt the Russian Navy could deploy the necessary resources if the need were to arise.
The same is true of the helicopters and C-17 transport planes the US is saying will be on standby in Germany. Russia has analogous aircraft and air support much closer to the scene and ready to respond in minutes if needed rather than the hours that the US aircraft will take.
According to the Guardian (LINK 1) “US officials have concluded there would be major obstacles to mounting a large-scale effort by the military or other US government resources to evacuate Americans from Sochi, said a source familiar with Obama administration debates. The most formidable roadblock US officials have discussed regarding contingency plans for Sochi is that Russian authorities have historically been reluctant to allow foreign military forces, especially those of the United States, on Russian territory.”
So then why the warships?
US flexing of muscles in the Black Sea
US/NATO are desperate to obtain a military footing and eventual military control of the Black Sea, the real reason for the attempts at pulling Georgia and Ukraine and other neighboring countries into NATO and many experts would argue the real reason for the current push to force Ukraine to integrate with the EU and turn its back on Russia.
The US also will do anything to steal the show from Russia or make Russia look weak especially at such an important event as the Olympics. This is obvious by US coverage of the events and the preparations for the games. The level of hysteria in the US media about the Sochi Games would be laughable if it were not for the fact that such coverage is all the Americans get.
There is in reality no threat that requires warships and even former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden has said he trusts Russia’s ability to provide security and that Americans will be safe. If there was such a real and present threat the US Government would issue a travel ban or other such measure to prevent Americans from travelling to Sochi.
The universal pretext
Just like 50 Al-Qaeda fighters are the reason for a 13 year occupation of Afghanistan and the deployment of hundreds of thousands of US troops, one lone “terrorist” woman appears to be the bogeyman for stationing warships in the Black Sea.
Yet terrorism is the reason for the season in the US and in a “war on Terror” how else can they respond? With a quiet team of snipers and special forces? No. Bring in the warships.
Americans are saturated and bombarded with the terrorist behind every tree that allows the US hyper security surveillance state to continue and the American mass media are so used to hyping and over-hyping the terrorist bogeyman, in unison with the entire US Government security apparatus while never foiling a real unarguable terrorist plot that even people like Mitt Romney (who said he would go to the Sochi Olympics and take his family) are amazed that Russia actually has and obtains actionable intelligence, effectively deals with and neutralizes terrorist threats.
According to the Daily Mail (LINK 2) “Mr. Romney who organized the Winter Games in Salt Lake City in 2002, told The Today Show last week that the fact that the Russian organizers have released the names and photos of suspected terrorists who may be plotting an attack shows that they have an 'extraordinary intelligence' program.”
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and the entire Russian security apparatus works very differently than how the Americans do and with regard to terrorism the differences are striking.
Where the Americans love to advertise and raise threat levels etc., and bombard the populace with imagined or possible threats, such as in Sochi, the FSB and Russian security quietly identify, locate and neutralize.
Where the US sends in warships, calls in drones strikes on “suspected” terrorists, and invades countries, the Russian services quietly and with almost no fanfare send in small highly trained teams and quietly “liquidate” or neutralize threats.
Unlike the US, most anti-terrorist operations are only known about in Russia after they have been completed and most threats, such as any that might exist in Sochi, are quietly dealt with by seasoned professionals with effective tried and proven methods and tactics.
Most of the successful anti-terrorist operations in Russia are not even heard about by the populace as the Russian state has no need to make the populace fearful and does not seek to make citizens accept a stripping of their rights in the name of security.
Even as a journalist with access to hundreds of information sources both internal and external, news of FSB anti-terrorist operations sometimes only comes in a year end accounting to the president by the head of the FSB and perhaps a small posting on their site.
As I have written in the past, just like the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, the FSB is staffed by quiet dedicated professionals who know their jobs and understand how to deal with any threat, be they internal or external.
The FSB and Russian security are also no strangers to large scale mass events, this experience (a carryover from Soviet times) has been proven time and time again and with the World’s attention focused on the Sochi Games you can be sure that every resource available has been put into overdrive to guarantee security.
Also unlike their American security counterparts the Russian services deal with human intelligence (HUMIT) on a far larger scale and more effectively. While their US counterparts are sitting at computer screens looking for keywords or gaining questionable intelligence through “enhanced interrogation” Russia’s professional are speaking to reliable sources, intercepting real communications and in the end liquidating real threats rather than some kids with gasoline in a bottle (US NATO Summit in Chicago).
I could continue but I think you get the idea. I would definitely go to Sochi and feel perfectly safe doing so, especially since I am also sure the Russian state would never engage in false flag terrorism and has never negotiated, backed, armed or otherwise cooperated with terrorists.
It is sad to watch the US and Western media coverage of the issue of a possible attack at the Sochi Games. Experts, politicians and every kind of pundit and commentator under the sun is ready to come out of the woodwork and scream about how “dangerous” Sochi is. This cannot be further from the truth and people with real operational intelligence like Michael Hayden are refreshing to hear (I never thought I would say that) when they say they would feel safe and bring their families to the Sochi Olympics.
The western media seems to be in Russo-phobia overdrive on this one with CNN appearing to be heading the unprecedented US campaign to discredit the Sochi Olympics with almost non-stop broadcasts of supposed terrorist threats inside Russia that they themselves seem to have more knowledge about than the Russian security services themselves.
The hysteria which is being promoted by certain elements of the US Government and disseminated worldwide by the subservient US media is disturbing on many levels. However for this writer the most damning omission present (or rather “absent” depending on how you want to look at it) in all of the western media debate and analysis and endless commentary is one very loud, real and documented threat that has been made public and that directly involves the Sochi Olympics. That threat is one made by Saudi Prince Bandar last summer to President Putin. During the conversation in question he even admitted that Chechen terrorists were under Saudi control. To which President Putin quietly responded: “We know”.
Saudi Prince Bandar who has since been on another official visit to Moscow at first attempted to bribe Russia’s president in order to force Russia to pull its support for Syria, then when that did not work, in slightly veiled language threatened a terrorist attack during the Sochi Olympics. Will the US media report on US partner Prince Bandar “Bush”? Not likely. However it is important to recall such a threat was made.
The Olympics are about peace, sports and the brotherhood of all nations. Let’s focus on that, after all if we focus on “phantom terrorists”, the terrorists win without even having to lift a finger.
Let the professionals worry about security, in Russia the FSB, along with other anti-terrorist and security services, may not be making loud press statements or raising the alarm every time there is a threat, that does not mean they are not on the job.
During the Sochi Games there will be literally tens of thousands of vigilant quiet professionals guaranteeing security. Who knows? One of them might sit next to you on a bus. If you happen to meet one of these quiet warriors, tell them thank you. It would mean more to them than the glory many American colleagues seek.
As for the warships? Please keep the warships at home. Believe it or not Russia has plenty of ships and helicopters and transport aircraft (even an entire fleet in the Black Sea) and in the event they are needed is always generous and ready to help anyone in need, especially foreign guests who come in peace to celebrate human achievement in sport.
Welcome to Sochi! Let the games begin.
Any views and opinions expressed above are my own. I can be reached at email@example.com.
29 January, 07:40
The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has completed a summit meeting between the Russian Federation and the European Union which President Putin has summarized as being constructive and held in an open and business-like manner. Moscow has given the summit positive marks on many fronts. According to the Kremlin the meeting was held at the request of the EU. The following report and commentary is by the VOR’s John Robles.
The meeting was held in a narrower format than usual at the request of the EU thus the issues that were discussed were fewer than would normally be expected. The most important outcome of the summit was the signing of a joint Russia-EU statement on combating terrorism, however European-Eurasian integration was high on the agenda as well the current crisis in Ukraine and security at the Sochi Olympics was also touched upon by the president and EU heads.
Eurasian EU integration
During the joint press conference after the summit which was held by President Vladimir Putin, Council of Europe President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, President Putin stated that the most important subjects covered were issues related to the bilateral Russia – EU agenda. According to the Kremlin website President Putin stated that with regard to bilateral issues the creation of an integrated space from Lisbon to the Pacific Coast was one of the most important topics covered.
President Putin: “The most important thing is that we had a very frank discussion of issues on our bilateral agenda. We discussed strategic goals and tasks of our cooperation, including prospects for the creation of a common economic and humanitarian space stretching from Lisbon to the Pacific coast, which my colleagues have already mentioned.”
President Putin underlined the importance of Russia – EU cooperation on many fronts including on trade where record levels are being maintained and continue to grow, now surpassing $410 million. He underlined the strategically important energy trade with the EU where the EU receives 24% of its gas and 27% of its oil from the Russian Federation. Bilateral investment is also continuing to rise according to the president, with EU investment in Russia already at the $288 billion level and Russian investment in the EU now at approximately $80 billion.
Both sides agree that integration is important and but President Putin said there should be more contact between the EU and Russia regarding the Eastern Partnership.
President Putin: "As concerns an agreement on our consultations regarding the Eastern Partnership, our European partners and we have agreed that this would be extremely useful," Putin said at a press conference following an EU-Russia summit in Brussels on Tuesday.” He also stated: "We have invited the European Union leadership to analyze the possibility of forming a free trade area between the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union being set up by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan."
President Putin said that Russia was grateful for the cooperation of “certain” EU countries in the area of security for the Sochi Olympics leaving the question open as to which countries were not cooperating. Despite that omission Russia – EU cooperation on security and terrorism continues to grow and is a stable ongoing effort that appears not to be affected by political, economic or other concerns. This unified position is important for guaranteeing the overall stability and security of mutual space. The European part of Russia being the largest “country” in Europe makes this area of cooperation vital.
With regard to the fluid and heightening level of the crisis in Ukraine President Putin was particularly candid but maintained a diplomatic stance particularly in the area of US/EU interference in Ukraine, an area where he could have blasted the EU but instead quietly chided those interfering in the internal crisis.
President Putin: "Concerning advice for Ukraine on what to do and how. I think the Ukrainian people can sort this out themselves. At least Russia will never interfere in this."
"I can only imagine how our European partners would have reacted if amid a crisis, say, in Greece or in Cyprus, our foreign minister had appeared at an anti-European rally and started making calls. We believe this is not very good in general, and, taking into consideration certain specifics of relations between Russia and Ukraine, this is simply unacceptable and impossible for us."
In televised comments given during the press conference on Russia’s Rossiya 24 news channel President Putin stated that Russia would forgive a $2.7 billion gas debt that Ukraine has, and that the further forgiveness of reduced charges for gas deliveries would be considered but that this will be more difficult.
It is again important to note that President Putin reiterated that Russia will not interfere in the affairs of Ukraine. Although Ukraine is perhaps Russia’s closest and historically important ally and friend and “interference” in the form of peacekeeping operations, for example, might be something that “should” occur and is in fact in Russia’s interest, this statement follows Russia’s steadfast policy and calls on other states to avoid interference in internal matters in other countries.
President Putin’s staunch position on non-interference, even when detrimental to Moscow, is a testament to his principles and the following of accepted laws, norms and international standards which Russia has repeatedly called on other states to also abide by. Thus President Putin and Moscow could never be accused of hypocrisy or double standards, something certain western powers have no problem with when it comes to their foreign policies.
President Putin also stated that “… the more outside interference there is the more problems it creates”,and this is entirely true when it comes to Ukraine as it is western meddling and support of the worst elements in Ukraine that has led to the current crisis.
In a candid moment the president let out a piece of information that has not been covered anywhere in the press but which characterizes the conflict in Ukraine for what it really is. President Putin described instances where a religious leader (who he did not name) was calling for Ukrainians to go to Kiev to destroy the government. The calls were so nationalistic in nature that President Putin said they have no place in a civilized society. Underlining the uncivilized nature of the Ukrainian “opposition”.
Apparently a religious leader is attempting to rally people to attack the government by stating through the use of racial epithets that: Black people, Russians and Jews should never be allowed to rule Ukraine.
This goes to the heart of what has occurred in Ukraine, where fascist, neo-nazi, nationalist and racist forces, after having received training, support and financing from the West, have joined together in what can only be described as an insurrection and a coordinated attempt to topple the democratically elected and legitimate government for the sole reason that the government chose to maintain ties with its historical ally Russia.
Armed and armored insurrectionists who set police on fire, kill law enforcement officers, storm and take government building, create havoc and terrorize the populace have proven long ago that they are no longer a reasonable opposition which must be supported. Their actions are a threat to the continuity of the state itself and their tactics have crossed into the area of terrorism for which there can only be one cure, liquidation. However the West continues to tell the Ukrainian Government not to use force, even though the only option those using force have left the government is an equal and entirely justified symmetrical response. Perhaps Ukraine, like the proverbial Russian Bear will slowly wake up and deal with the threat as it should be dealt with before it is allowed to destroy the state further, that is my opinion. President Putin put it thus: Let calls for the non use of force also apply to the opposition.
Have no doubt while Victoria Nuland may have handed out cookies and doughnuts to those aimed at toppling the government in Ukraine, the US and the West would never in a thousand years allow any anti-government forces to seize government building and escalate unrest to the level it has promoted in Ukraine. If anything analogous occurred in the US those responsible would almost no doubt no longer be alive to continue their activities.
Any views and opinions expressed above are my own. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
28 January, 20:05
US wants control of Afghanistan’s resources – Kathy Kelly
The amount of money that the US Government has poured into Afghanistan on non-military aid is approaching $100 billion yet children are starving and the country is completely decimated. The US agencies that are supposed to implement development projects are completely incapable of carrying out their missions due to corruption and a complete lack of oversight. In an interview with the Voice of Russia’s John Robles three time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly, who recently completed her twelfth stay in Afghanistan said she would not recommend that US agencies that are supposed to be involved in development work be given the authority or the funds to provide assistance because their abysmal track records. Ms. Kelly believes the reason the US wants to maintain a militarily presence in Afghanistan may be a US interest in controlling the pricing and flow of precious resources found in Afghanistan. When asked whether opium was one of these resources Ms. Kelly agreed that at this point that appears to be true.
This is John Robles. You are listening to part 1 of an interview with Kathy Kelly, the coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence. She is also a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee. This is part 1 of an interview in progress.
Robles: Hello! How are you this evening?
Kelly: I’m good, thank you.
Robles: It is a pleasure to be speaking with you. I understand you’ve just returned from Afghanistan and I was wondering if you could tell us about your trip and what is going on with your fight against the drones.
Kelly: Thank you. I returned from Afghanistan about four days ago after having spent a month living in a working class neighborhood in Kabul as a guest of a group called the Afghan Peace Volunteers.
I think this was the twelfth time that I’ve been a guest of these young people. It is a privilege really to be with them. They are young people who want to live together inter-ethnically, they come from Hazara and Pashto and Tajik backgrounds and they share together also a good deal of altruism and had initiated projects that try to be of service to people who are extremely needy.
Of course there are many in Kabul special those who are living in refugee camps in the very cold winter time and mothers who are not able to see their children because they don’t have enough income to get anything more than stale bread and tea without sugar.
So a project has been devised in which people from the US and the UK and Australia have donated funds so that women can be paid a meager wage to manufacture very heavy blankets, wool-stuffed coverlets. And then those are given free of charge to people living in refugee camps and to widows, orphans and to several other institutions, they serve people who are pretty desperate.
So I’m able to watch that project unfolding and also be with the young people who have another project which welcomes street children.
There are 600,000 street children working as venders in various places across Afghanistan and many of them are in Kabul, and many of them are children of families who have been displaced by war and violence.
Amnesty International reported in 2012 that the war and violence displaces 400 people every single day. You can imagine living in already overcrowded cities that lack infrastructure to support them, people end up in these refugee camps and they don’t have enough food or water; generally men in the families cannot find work, maybe occasional jobs as porters at a construction side. But often the families resort to send their children out to work as street vendors. And the children can then become prey really to various kinds of criminal gangs. So this is a terrible situation for children.
The Afghan Peace Volunteers have welcomed 20 young children to stop working as street vendors and get ready to enroll themselves in school and they’ve also supplied them with boots and warm clothing and welcomed to come and get some tutoring, a kind of remedial preparation, so that they can eventually go to school.
During the winter months schools are closed down in Afghanistan because there is no way to heat the buildings, and it were just to be too cold to keep children in unheated schools all day long. But spring will come and then these kids, I hope, will be enrolled in schools.
This is a tiny effort in face of the need for as I mentioned 600,000 children under these conditions. It is a good project and I’m glad I had a chance to witness that as well.
Robles: I see. I’d like to ask you a very hard question now. Don’t you think it is a responsibility of the governments that have decimated Afghanistan and I’m talking about the US and its NATO allies? Don’t you think it is part of their responsibility to be helping the people of Afghanistan after they have pretty much destroyed their country?
Kelly: Well, I don’t want to recommend that US agencies that have been involved in development work so far be interested with either the authority or the funds, provide that kind of assistance because their track record has been abysmal.
You know, the Special Inspector General’s report on Afghanistan comes out every year and every year it chronicles and details tremendous corruption, shoddy workmanship, unfinished projects, and ways in which these developments funds have been squandered.
The most recent report this year is no different. And there is a graph in the most recent report which shows that the amount of the US development aid since 2001, non-military aid, is approaching $100 billion, but of that sum of money in all those years only $3 billion was ever spent in humanitarian aid, the other $97 billion was distributed for counter narcotics and governance and what they had called, I’m sorry I’m blanking on the other two things, but the humanitarian aid was only $3 billion.
And so I think the US should pay reparations unquestionably. Money should be invested to groups that have had some track record of being able to engage in development without corruption and without so much inability to complete projects.
Robles: I see, couple of thing before you move on. What you just said was very telling, very damming I think. So you are basically telling me that it is not a matter of that the US has no responsibility, you are saying that even the agencies that should be responsible for implementing development projects can’t be trusted? You said their records are abysmal.
You talked just a minute ago about $97 billion that have gone to counter narcotics and other operations and the level of opium growth in production in Afghanistan has risen 40 fold. And I’ve written on this, that is about the only success of the US-NATO military operation in Afghanistan for almost 13 years.
I think that is worse than abysmal, that is criminal. But if you could comment on development and why you think the opium trade has gone up and why you think the development agencies aren’t to be trusted other than corruption. I mean, is there any way to fix all this?
Kelly: I think that many of the provinces in Afghanistan being governed by very corrupt leaders some of whom are drug lords and some of whom are war lords and some of whom might be both. And I’m sure it is quite difficult for farmers who stand up to people who were saying: ‘We want you to plant opium’.
If they were to say: ’No, we’d rather plant another crop’. Well, then how are they going to have incentives to plant other crops when even the World Bank Report will indicate that growing the opium means that the farmer will have some assurance that people that are selling the opium and transporting the opium will provide them with seeds and tools and transport of the harvest eventually. it is difficult for farmers to say: ‘No, we don’t want to go along with’.
It is certainly a difficult crop to harvest from everything I understand and it requires labor intensive. It seems now that 93% of the world’s opium is coming from Afghanistan. And it is also I think worth noting that they transport of these crops most likely through truck convoys.
And even though the US is engaging in so much drone surveillance of Afghanistan 24 hours a day 7 days a week, it seems that there is almost no evidence that anybody collects about the transport of this opium from Afghanistan across borders by truck and then to other countries.
Robles: I’ve seen pictures and I don’t know if you can verify this, I’ve seen pictures and exposés of pictures of US troops guarding opium fields. Can you comment on that?
Kelly: No, I’m afraid I cannot comment on that. But I think it is also important to note that many of the roads that are used by the US military in order to deliver supplies to bases all across Afghanistan are controlled by drug lords and sometimes war lords or both and they don’t allow free passage along those roads.
The US just has to pay more or less a toll for the trucks in these convoys that go along those roads. And even in the New York Review Books a writer noted recently that these tolls that are paid are very likely ending up lining the pockets of some of the most corrupt people including possible Pakistani and Afghan Taliban leaders who control these roads.
We have to ask ourselves how can it be that it has been costing $2 billion per a week for the US military to maintain its presence in Afghanistan. And at least this past year they were saying that the price per soldier for one year would be $2.1 million.
Previously it was $1 million per year but amount of money required to keep one soldier in Afghanistan for one year went up because of so much money being spent on bringing supplies and equipment home to the US and to getting it out of the Afghanistan.
Robles: You are telling me that these poor soldiers – $2.1 million a year they must be driving Ferrari tanks and eating caviar? What is that? Are they wearing silk uniforms or something? What is going on?
Kelly: Again I want to emphasize that tolls are being paid for every truck that passes along the roadway. And then also there is a plenty of evidence of projects that the US military has undertaken which they then had to spend a lot of money to dismantle.
For example, mine resistant anti-personnel carriers were purchased and the US discovered that they were not mine resistant, they didn’t work very well. And they don’t want to bring those back to the US and they didn’t want to leave them for people in Afghanistan. And so they decided to turn all of them into scrap metal. Just that project alone cost $7 billion.
Recently in the province of Kandahar a big military facility was built that cost $345 million and then they decided that they didn’t really want this big building. So they are going to have to spend huge amount of money to destroy it. Just knock it all down.
These kinds of instances of ways and spending huge amounts of money in a country where right now the estimate is said 1 million children in the south are suffering from severe acute malnourishment really makes you wonder what in the world are the US people doing?
And every time there is an aerial bombardment or a night raid or some kind of a drone attack against people of Afghanistan it seems likely to exacerbate and prolong the war. Because when people are killed they have likely got relatives and friends who will then pledge themselves to engage in some kind of retaliation.
Robles: Millions of children are starving to death, millions of innocents being killed, lives destroyed, $97 billion to fight narcotics but it’s gone up 40 fold, you said 93% of the world’s opium is now coming out of Afghanistan. I think before the war started it was something like in the single digits if I’m correct – 7%-8% or 9% was coming out of Afghanistan 12 years ago. You told me about $345 million projects that were then just destroyed. What is the leadership thinking? Are they thinking anything? I mean, who are these people?
Kelly: Well, I think we should ask ourselves why the US wants to stay in Afghanistan and maintain a military presence in Afghanistan?
If a bilateral security agreement is signed it will allow for 9 major military bases, 3 airfields and the presence of some number of troops, I’m not sure how many, but the Joint Special Operations Forces (JSOC) would be a major contingent of US remaining troop presence. And these are some of the most highly trained professional warriors in the world: Navy Seals, Green Berets, Army Rangers and the other ones that have become very proficient in the night raids and calling in aerial bombardments and possible drone attacks.
Why does the US want to maintain this militarily presence? I think we should at least be asking about a US interest in controlling the pricing in the flow of some very precious resources found in Afghanistan.
Around the Caspian Sea base there are natural gas and fossil fuel deposits and under the Hindu Kush mountains where rare earth elements that are extremely valuable, they are the kinds of elements that are used in a manufacture of cell phones and computers and also iron ore and copper.
The US may not want China for instance to have access to these resources at cheaper rates than what the US might have to spend.
So I think the control over the pricing in the flow and the extraction of resources could be a reason why the US has spent all these years and so much money and resources to prolong the war in Afghanistan.
Robles: Opium is the recourse, isn’t it? I mean it is the biggest recourse, it is the biggest money maker coming out of Afghanistan.
Kelly: I should imagine at this point that is true.
This is John Robles. You were listening to part 1 of an interview with Kathy Kelly. She is the coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Thanks for listening and we wish you the best wherever you may be.
28 January, 16:26
I am in effect banned from being on the BBC – AMB Craig Murray
After 9/11 we were bombarded day and night with propaganda about terrorist plots to blow up the world and carry out massive terrorist attacks, yet most of these attacks were simply false creations or "figments of the intelligence agencies’ imaginations", or "agent provocateur" operations which had been created by the intelligence agencies themselves. According to Craig Murray, the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, terrorism has become a major industry. The military industrial complex and the arms industry are making huge amounts of money off of the West’s wars which are for the most part motivated by the needs of the oil and gas industries to make lots of money as well. During his time as UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Mr. Murray witnessed many horrendous things including over 127 one way rendition flights and false flag attacks blamed on al-Qaeda by the Uzbek Security Services and the CIA. With great candor and honesty the former ambassador retells some of his story to the Voice of Russia’s John Robles and inadvertently delivers several bombshells. With regard to NSA spying he says GCHQ and the NSA are one organization.
Hello this is John Robles, you are listening to part 2 of an interview with Craig Murray, the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, an author and a former whistleblower.
Robles: Are you aware of the "Hague Invasion Act" that the US passed that says if anybody tries to bring a US ally or a member of the US armed forces or a member of the US government in front of the ICC, that they will invade it and forcibly repatriate their national, or their ally? Were you aware of that? In the US it's called the "Hague Invasion Act".
Murray: No, I must confess, I wasn't aware of it, but on the other hand it doesn't surprise me.
Robles: Talking about rule of law now, in regards to security services and governments, let's focus on something I know you are quite an expert on. GCHQ, the NSA, MI-6, the CIA, is all this illegality being promoted and pushed from within the "secret" establishment or is it a secret political establishment and the security services have been compromised? Who do you think is behind all of this?
Murray: I think that the security services are themselves politically powerful, in many cases more powerful than elected politicians, who by and large stand in awe.
I recall in my own time as a British diplomat that Ministers would pay much more attention to anything which came from MI-6, than anything which came from their own diplomats because it said "Top Secret" on it and it looked exciting and black.
It was in fact less likely to be right because certainly if we moved aside atomic surveillance, certainly the standard intelligence, what is called "intelligence" by people like MI-6 and the CIA, depends largely on buying information from informers. And this is not the most effective way to get information, but the glamour of secrecy is important to politicians.
And we were bombarded day and night with propaganda about how literally patterns of plots to blow up the world, to carry out massive terrorist bombings all over the place, had been foiled by the intelligence agencies.
A vast majority of these plots were a figment of the intelligence agencies imaginations in the first place, some of them were "agent provocateur", for which people often, rather simple people were led into activities, which they had never even dreamt of but which had been created by the intelligence agencies themselves.
So, the whole thing has become a major industry. The military industrial complex is a kind of familiar concept, the fact that the arms industry makes huge amounts of money out of war, and that recent wars have been very much motivated by the need for the oil and gas industries to make lots of money, those people paid politicians.
The intelligence communities themselves have become a major economic interest in the state. There are now many thousands of very high paying people with huge budgets who are interested in pushing the security state forward because that's where their money lies and their influence in the state has become disproportionate.
Robles: If I could ask you to explain a little bit. A second ago, if I understood you correctly, you were saying that not only are they capable of, but the security services often are engaged in false flag and other sorts of attacks and create terrorist attacks in order to what…? Are you saying they actually do that? As a former Ambassador I think that would be quite a statement!
Murray: Yes, I mean there were undoubtedly false flag attacks in Uzbekistan while I was there in 2003, which were blamed on al-Qaeda by the Uzbek Security Services and by the CIA, which I was able to investigate at the time, and were nothing of the kind.
I think you would have to be extremely naïve to believe that false flag attacks don't exist.
There is a great book, and I don't use the word lightly, by Graham Greene called "The Quiet American", which is based on a genuine false flag bombing by the CIA that happened in the beginning stages of Vietnam. And so false flags attacks do happen.
I was actually referring more directly to agent provocateur operations where the aim is not to let the attack actually happen. There have been a number of very well documented ones of these, in the states. The La Guardia Airport effort was one very good example. And the object isn't actually to get people killed, the object is to create terrorism for propaganda purposes and then to nip it off before it actually happens.
Robles: I recently talked to an author who has classified all kinds of terrorist attacks and different types of false flag attacks.
If we could get back to GCHQ and the NSA, the CIA in the UK, if you are aware of how, for example, GCHQ spies on American citizens for the US, that would be interesting, and vice versa, how the NSA spies on UK citizens for GCHQ and why they do that? What can you tell us about the relationship between GCHQ and as a British citizen, do you find that your sovereignty has been thrown out the window for American superiority in the world?
Murray: I think it is almost wrong to think of GCHQ and the NSA as separate organizations. When they are, in effect part of the same organization, and they divide the world between them.
For example a GCHQ listening post on Mount Troodos in Cyprus covers the electronic information gathering from the Middle East.
Robles: I'm sorry, I couldn't hear you.
Murray: Okay, I will say that again, the GCHQ intelligence gathering base on Mount Troodos in Cyprus covers much of the Middle East from the point of view of electronic surveillance and because that GCHQ facility exists, the NSA doesn't put nearly as much resources into that area because they get all the reports from GCHQ station.
And in return they get American input in terms of equipment and technology into GCHQ stations like that.
So, these two organizations work so closely together that I think it is much more accurate to think of GCHQ as a subsidiary organization of the NSA, not appropriate to think of them as two different organizations. They do share all their intelligence reports with each other.
Of course there is a disadvantage to intelligence agencies, that the NSA is forbidden from officially spying on American citizens and GCHQ officially said they don't spy on British citizens.
So, because they theoretically set those organizations, of course GCHQ can spy on American citizens and give all the information to Americans and the Americans can spy on British citizens and give all the information to GCHQ.
And in fact it turns out, to a certain extent, that the NSA has been spying on American citizens directly anyway, but anything they can't do, they can just get GCHQ to do it for them. They can do it in relation to hacks on. So, any protection, which Obama claims is in fact there is are in fact totally redundant.
Robles: What is your opinion on Obama, I mean as a president in general, or in specifics, if you would?
Murray: I think, the truth is of course, certainly in the field of foreign policy and the field of civil liberties, nothing whatsoever changed when Obama won the presidency. There is a continuity there of policy, of Americans, policy in terms of continuing aggressive postures in the world and continued assertion, especially continued assaults on freedoms and personal liberties, and Obama is just a better spokesman for that policy than Bush was, and is a figure that has managed to nullify much of the left in the US, largely because of his ethnicity. Which has been extremely….
Obama has been a tremendous disappointment to everybody who thought things might change. For me the most obvious disappointment was his failure to follow through on his promises to investigate and prosecute those who had been responsible for the policy of torture and extraordinary rendition.
Almost immediately upon taking office he declared that he is not "looking backward". It is a great line to throw everywhere! "I robbed a bank yesterday, I shot two people and stole a million pounds from the bank but hey! Let's look forward, let's not look back".
Tony Blair always uses this line as well, he was always saying… when there were protests about illegal action in Iraq, he would say: "Let's move on from that, let's move on from that!" was Blair's mantra.
If you do things which are criminal and wrong, it is great to say "Well let's not look back".
It is another one of those slogans like: "If you've got nothing to hide, you have got nothing to fear".
Robles: I am sure if Hitler were alive, he would say the same thing, wouldn't he?
Murray: He certainly would: "Let's not look back".
Robles: Do you think he was placed in power by the same neo-conservative architects that brought about 9/11 and everything else? And could you give your opinion on 9/11 if you would speak about that?
Murray: I think in effect the media would stop anybody who doesn't have the same conservative views to get to power because you wouldn't be able to express those views.
I don't actually have any particular views. I have an attraction to liberty which is quite personal. I am in effect banned from being on the BBC.
Robles: You are a former Ambassador of the UK. You have a stand on liberty and you were banned from the BBC?
Robles: That's unbelievable!
Murray: They usually do it quite subtly. I am very frequently called by BBC producers of individual programs. They called me up saying "Oh we would like you on the news at 10 o'clock or whatever ", and then about 10 minutes later I get a phone call saying "Oh no, we have had to cancel you".
And this has happened to me 60 or 70 times in a row, not once or twice, this has happened again and again and again.
The program producer calls you up and books you, and then 10 minutes later they have to phone back and unbook you because at some point in the system a banning order has come into effect.
That was the end of part 2 of an interview with Mr. Craig Murray, he's the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, an author and a former whistleblower. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening.
28 January, 13:13
The US mainstream media is not doing its job – Medea Benjamin
Obama’s lies on Guantanamo are hurting people worldwide. For the families of the human beings held without trial or charge indefinitely it is an agony to hear Obama promise to close the illegal prison and then get their hopes up only to be dashed again and again. The US corporate/government controlled media is not helping bring an end to the situation and even reports of the hunger strike that continues is not talked about in the US media. According to the founder and director of CodePink Medea Benjamin, most Americans do not even know the illegal prison is still open. In an interview with the Voice of Russia’s John Robles, Ms. Benjamin retells the story of the 12-year-old daughter of Shaker Aamer, who has never seen her father, and who finally was able to talk to him through the Red Cross, only to see he was too weak to even pick up his head because of the ongoing hunger strike. Ms. Benjamin says the lawyers are enraged at Obama but he gets away with whatever he wants because the US mainstream media is complicit in the illegal policies of the Obama Administration.
Hello, this is John Robles. I'm speaking with Medea Benjamin, the co-founder and manager of Code Pink. This is part 2 of an interview in progress.
Benjamin: So Obama has less of an excuse than he had before to keep these prisoners in indefinite detention.
So I think it is a question of will he… (every excuse is starting to be peeled away) … will he really do something about this?
And I think the prisoners are sick and tired of hearing Obama say he is going to close Guantanamo, certainly what they need after all these years now is action, not words.
Robles: Yeah right! Your personal opinion, do you think he is going to do something or..?
Benjamin: I think he does want to start releasing more of these prisoners, I think he has boxed himself in, in the case of the Yemenis, the 56 Yemenis, because he had previously declared self-imposed moratorium on sending people back to Yemen. He lifted that himself.
But he has now shone of spotlight that the Republicans and others can really focus on to say Yemen is unstable, they need a rehabilitation center and it is going to take time to get that running and all kinds of things that will get in the way of a release. So I think that is a situation that he himself created it is going to be difficult to get out of.
But then there are over 20 other prisoners from other countries that could easily be released. We talked about the case of Shaker Aamer, but he is not the only one.
And then there are the countries that said that they would take other prisoners. Kuwait has its own rehabilitation center, Saudi Arabia has its rehabilitation center, there are plenty of places to send people.
So the excuses are quite threadbare at this point. I unfortunately think Obama will not be quick in doing the right thing in the year to come.
Robles: I see. There were demonstrations, I don't know if we discussed this, on the news wires a couple hours ago that there were huge demonstrations in Yemen outside the US embassy. So people there are aware, apparently there was no violence or anything. I guess that was good. And also..
Benjamin: Yes we... I'm sorry.
Robles: Go ahead, please.
Benjamin: We have been in touch with the families in Yemen, in fact we went and visited with some of them in June of last year and heard the agonizing stories of these families and the way that they would get their hopes up when their lawyers would give them news of things like they have been put on a list of cleared for release. But then their hopes have constantly been dashed.
And just like we talked about Shaker Aamer having a child that he has never met, so we met with a 12-year old girl who had never seen her father. She has been born while her father was in prison and she said that her father at that time was on a hunger strike and that he was so weak when he had a chance through the Red Cross to have a video conference with him, he could not even pick up his head.
So we heard these very agonizing stories, we continue to be in touch with the organizations in Yemen that work with these prisoners' families as well as the Human Rights Ministry in Yemen, the Minister herself is very outraged that these prisoners have not been released. And we knew they were having a demonstration today as we were having ours here in Washington DC and there were other demonstrations in the US. So it was good to be in solidarity together.
Robles: That is wonderful. Do you have anything big coming up that we should be looking out for?
Benjamin: Well, we have a lot of things that we are doing as Code Pink we are on our way to Geneva next week when the peace talks around Syria are supposed to happen.
We are there with women that are coming from different parts of the world, mostly from war-torn countries to be calling for a cease-fire and end to all from all sides being sent to the warring parties and to be calling for women to have a voice at the peace table.
We are also planning in March to have a trip to Gaza for International Women's Day, that is March, 8 to have women from different countries around the world saying:' It's time to break the siege of Gaza, the conditions there are so terrible'.
We will continue to do our efforts around the prisoners in Guantanamo as well as people who have been whistleblowers in the US giving support to Chelsea Manning, to Edward Snowden. We are doing work to try to counter the NSA spying. And then Iran and the terrible legislation that Congress is trying to pass in the Senate that would increase the sanctions against Iran just as negotiations that are taking place. So we are trying to stop that from happening. So we have a full plate in a coming month.
Robles: I see. Can I ask you about your Geneva protest?
Benjamin: We really are not doing a protest, we are actually in favor of the peace talks. But we are there to be a voice and a presence, we don't want to take any sides. We are just saying that the fighting is hurting the civilian population, that there is no military solution to this.
This is coming from a position, the reason that Code Pink is going there, is that we were very active in trying to stop the US government from getting involved militarily in Syria. And we felt very proud that we were able to stop our government from doing that, yet on the other hand to see the agony that the Syrian people are going through it doesn't seem enough to say:' We are glad, we didn't get involved militarily'.
We have to do more than that. And I think certainly we want to be calling for more humanitarian aid, for open corridors for that aid to get through. But the main thing is to say, the world has to stand up and say: 'Let's put an end in the fighting'.
Robles: Definitely. I don't know if you are aware, right now, currently as we speak, right now Al Qaeda affiliated groups are battling each other there. I mean, it is complete insanity.
Benjamin: Well, yes. I mean, the level of..I've read that there is over 1,000 armed groups in Syria right now. I mean, this is just insane.
So anybody who thinks that there is a military solution is just not watching how much splintering has gone on and how much suffering for the civilian population, the millions of refugees, the people who are internally displaced.
There has really got to be a cease-fire.
Robles: Really, really. Most of the world I think agrees 100% on that. I want to ask you regarding Guantanamo. Have you seen any movement, or whispers, or anything, amongst the lawyers or anyone regarding a possible boycott of all proceedings at that location?
Benjamin: I'm not close enough to the lawyers to know that. But I can say that there were several lawyers out on the streets with us today in the pouring rain and the cold in Washington DC in front of the White House and then the march that we had and they were just unbelievably angry.
They just could not believe what Obama has been doing, the lies they have been said in terms of things supposedly changing, the violations. And it is very interesting to see these lawyers, some of whom come from prestigious law firms that were very supportive of the Obama Administration, and to see how angry they have become.
One thing we did today which was quite profound is that we had a march that went from the White House to the National Museum of American History. And inside we set up displays of people in orange jumpsuits with hoods over their heads and signs attesting to the violation of the US Constitution.
And at first the security in the museum wanted to arrest people, throw them out and then decided no, that they were going to let this exhibit stand and so for hours we were inside the museum giving all of the visitors not only a visual but an oral discussion of how the US is violating its own constitution.
And yes, President Obama, “the constitutional lawyer” and of course “the Nobel Peace Prize winner” should have a hard time sleeping at night knowing that thanks to him these men remain in indefinite detention in the US GULAG.
Robles: I don't think he does. I mean, when I saw him laughing… laughing it up, at Nelson Mandela's funeral, any humanistic ideas I had about Obama were completely out the window, but anyway...
Benjamin: Politics is dirty and he has gotten down in the dogs and you are right probably he doesn't think very much about it when he goes to bed at night.
Robles: So, Medea, how do you do that? I mean, you put that display up there in the museum and it seems… I’ve got to hand it you sometimes you pull off some things that nobody else can. What is your secret?
Benjamin: Well, this was a coalition of groups led by a group called Witness Against Torture that is namely people from a faith-based background and there were about 60 people who are willing to get arrested in the museum if that was the way things were going to evolve.
But luckily they didn't and I think it was very beautiful to be in there and to be singing and chanting with the message 'Make Guantanamo history', so in the Museum of American History to be saying: 'Let's not just look at these rooms full of, depictions of the US Revolutionary War, the Civil War, other things throughout the history. Let's look at what we are doing right now. And how this is going to go down in history as such a shameful mark on the US.
Robles: They will have to open up an exhibit 'The Hall of Shame' or something..
Benjamin: That is right, but I don't think it is going to happen because even in the exhibit that I poked into today looking at the depiction of the War in Vietnam, it was not a very clear one talking about the use of Agent Orange, the killing of 2 million Vietnamese, the reall shame of that war.
So there is a lot of our history that is hidden from the American public.
Robles: I see. Medea, have you had… (I just want to ask you one last question if I could and anything you would like to say, please go ahead) …have you had any experience with media being more inaccessible than say it was a year ago in the US?
Have you seen anything like that going on? I mean stricter control on the media, more people being, basically shut up.
Benjamin: Are you talking about in relationship to Guantanamo?
Robles: In general, with the Snowden revelations, with Guantanamo, with government secrecy. I mean, are they winning are they losing? Are things getting out the way they were a year ago? What is the situation with media access, etc?
Benjamin: I really can’t answer that what I can say is from my own experience, in that, a lot of the times that we have had actions like the one we had today we used to get mainstream media that would cover them. We used to have CNN there, MSNBC would come there and these days we don't get any mainstream US media.
The media that we get is Russia Today, maybe we would get Al Jazeera, maybe we would get TV from Europe, from Japan, but the US media tends to ignore what the activists are doing, tends to ignore a lot of these key issues that are so damming of US foreign policy.
So unfortunately I think we have a media that is obviously under corporate control and has also been cutting back on the funding of reporters and so we have fewer and fewer reporters especially on weekends.
And it means that there is not a lot of information through the mainstream channels that can educate the American people and just to circle back to the issue of Guantanamo I would think that if there would be a poll done that most Americans wouldn't even know that we still have people in Guantanamo. They probably think everybody there was let go, it has been shut down or if they thought that anybody was left it is because they have been tried and convicted and happened to be the worst of the worst which is not true at all.
So, unfortunately I think that a lot of the reasons that the Administration can get away with policies like this is because the US mainstream media has not been doing its job.
Robles: Oh boy. And that is a problem, that is not going to be corrected any time soon as far as I know. What do you think?
Benjamin: No but thank goodness we do have alternative kinds of media from other countries and people who are anxious to get information from other sources, at least have that opportunity.
So let's hope more and more people start searching for that and it perhaps will even shame the mainstream media to start covering more of these things.
Robles: Yeah, sure, right. Let's hope they don't take the Internet away from us. What do you think?
Benjamin: Yeah, I think we have a huge movement on our hands to try to stop that from happening but it is very scary to see not only the NSA spying but in general the government and corporate control of more and more of our lives.
But thank you for the work that you are doing and for this interview and I'm actually optimistic that in 2014 we can fight back against these policies and take back some of the freedoms that we've lost in the past years.
Robles: I hope so. I've gotten some rumblings that big changes are coming up, hopefully they will be for the best.
Listen, you're going to be in Geneva, I'm sorry, what date?
Benjamin: We are going to be there from January 20 to January 24.
Robles: If people want to support you or take part or learn more about your activities where should they go?
Benjamin: They should go to our website which is codepink.org and the summit that we are having the Women’s Summit the day before the official talks start, we will be live-streaming and you can find all that information on our website.
Robles: Of course this is not only for women, you welcome men into your activities, right?
Benjamin: We welcome men into all of our activities, the summit I'm talking about is a summit for women to speak but everybody is invited to be part of it.
Robles: Ok, I'm just making sure so nobody is scared off or anything. One more time, that will be January..
Benjamin: January 20 – January 24.
Robles: January 20 – January 24 and one more time for the listeners your website..
Robles: Ok. Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
Benjamin: Ok, bye-bye.
Robles: Bye-bye, take care.
This is the final installment of an interview with Medea Benjamin, the co-founder and manager of Code Pink. You can find the previous parts of this interview on our website at Voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening.
27 January, 17:59
Ukraine: the authorities vs gangsters – Rick Rozoff
The situation in Ukraine is a fluid one and changing by the hour. Although it had appeared that there was a resolution to the protests that had broken out after the government of Ukraine had made the sovereign decision of sticking with Russia and saying no to closer European Union integration, excessive violence from the western backed opposition has spread like a wave throughout the country. The so called Ukrainian “opposition” now resembles something more akin to armed insurgents in Syria involved in a coup d’état than opposition protestors. The situation in Ukraine once again underlines US hypocrisy. The US, which prides itself on protecting its police, supports an “opposition” which is threatening, attacking, kidnapping and setting young police officers on fire. The scene currently playing out in Ukraine has all of the signs of a foreign engineered regime change operation and with the taking of government buildings, has unarguably moved into a scenario where the continuity of the state is in question. Voice of Russia regular and NATO expert Rick Rozoff discussed all of these issues and more as the situation threatens to spin out of control.
Hello. This is John Robles, I'm speaking to Voice of Russia regular contributor Mr. Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.
Robles: Hello Rick. I hope you had some happy holidays. How are you this evening?
Rozoff:I'm doing very good, John. Thanks again for having me on your show.
Robles: Thanks a lot. I was wondering if we can get your views on what is going on in Maidan or Independence Square in Ukraine. It seems like the level of violence is escalating with … looks like no endin sight, I don't know. What do you think?
Rozoff:No, you are absolutely correct. Ukraine has become, you know, the center of attention I think globally right now, you know the sinecure. People are focused on it with good reason in a way it’s replaced Syria as the, how would I put it, proxy conflict between the East and West with the West once again on the offensive. That is in anattempt to do something, nothing short of toppling an elected government of a nation that has close state-to-state relationships with Russia.
And what is happening is fluid of course, but it is also tense and it is also fraught with not only dangerous but potentially catastrophic consequences if the violence that exists in Kiev in and around Independence Square and now by recent reports spreading into parts of Western Ukraine where the hotbeds of nationalist and even fascistic extremism are.
So I think what you are seeing is well-coordinated series of activities that began in Kiev and may very well spread to the Western part of Ukraine.
Robles: I see. What are your views on who is behind all this, and the reasons for it? Now at first they came up with that there was the EU integration, then they were protesting the government, and then they were calling for early elections, then they were protesting against Russia.
Now one of the objects of the protesters' actions is something about some students that were beat several weeks ago. It just seems like they are finding any reason whatsoever to keep escalating and continuing their violence.
During the night there were negotiations and the opposition said they had agreed to the conditions set by the government to stop their violent activities, and then they went out and announced this to their supporters. Their supporters weren’t happy about it and they went back on their word, they said: 'No, we are not going to agree to any cease in our violence'.
And they are continuing with their violence which, they’re throwing Molotov cocktails at Police. All of the Police and the security forces they are suffering severe burns and the violence against the police is escalating.
And of we look at who the leaders are, it brings a lot of questions to my mind – as who is actually running all of this? I mean they’ve got this ex-boxer, he is promoting all this violence.
Can you give us some comments on him and on the resolution by the Russian State Duma yesterday, if you could, regarding the violence?
Rozoff:Yes, the opposition, and again we have to keep in mind in a fluid situation like this, and what we are looking at is really not only destabilization but ultimately a regime change technique or scenario. But what we see is the boxer, you know the heavy weight boxer Vitali Klichko, and two other nationalists emerging as what is a typical color revolution scenario where there is a triumvirate or triad of political leaders.
This was true by the way during the Orange Revolution, so called, in 2004 and 2005. We had Viktor Yanukovich (Yushchenko?), Yulia Tymoshenko and Alexander Moroz as being the triumvirate, modeled after that in Georgia incidentally the preceding year in 2003.
So, the question is begged of course, about whether the public or nominal leadership is really anything more than figureheads, or are anything more than figureheads, and whether in fact there is not something more substantive behind it both internally and of course externally.
So what we are looking at is a degree of violence against police officers that would not be tolerated in any other European country, I can assure you, certainly not in the West. But being cheered on and supported unequivocally by western political leaders in the European Union, in the United States, in NATO I might add.
Yesterday Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Anders Fogh Rasmussen said: 'Violence can never be used for political means'. You know, a lightening bolt should come from the Heavens and strike anyone making a statement like that when they’re the Head of NATO which has used violence for political means uninterruptedly since 1995 in several countries on three continents.
Robles: Well that’s their only tactic. How could you say that?
Rozoff:But of course. But I mean, there is a difference between official use of force by a government to maintain peace in a country, where there could be abuses. There could be excessive use of that force, but at least it is legally sanction, as opposed to people who are a little bit better than gangsters at times hitting Police officers with hammers or throwing petrol bombs at them.
You don't see much of it here in the West but luckily with the Internet we can see a television broadcast around the world. And we've seen the horrifying pictures of the results of the use of so called Molotov cocktails in Kiev. Seeing your young Police officers' heads and arms are on fire and so forth and you can only imagine the degree of, third degree I'm sure, of burns that they suffer as a result of gasoline bombs.
But I think rather than focusing on the mechanics of what is going on, which will be debated ad nauseam in the Western press of course, what is important, to again come back to you, and you and I have had occasion to talk about this before, John, is the regional and ultimately the global context within which the battle for Ukraine, and I would term it exactly that 'the battle for Ukraine' is occurring.
One factor which is very significant but didnot receive the attention it certainly warranted was in the middle of last month, the middle of December, now former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, he had served in the US House of Representatives for 8 terms, for 16 years. He is a native of my home state of Ohio incidentally, wrote a very revealing article stating that the so called European Union Association Agreement with – an initiative rather - with Ukraine was simply NATO's Trojan Horse in Ukraine.
This is precisely how former Congressman Kucinich put it. And what he did indicate and he shows a fairly good degree of familiarity with all these things are done that Ukraine would first to join NATO and then join the European Union because traditionally that is how it has occurred, you know, with the newer members, with the exception of tiny island nations of Cyprus and Malta.
So that what we are looking at is Ukraine is a geo-strategically pivotal nation, it clearly is that nation that separates what geo politicians or strategists would talk about from East to the West. It borders of course Poland and other nations that are now considered to be in Central Europe for that matter and Russia to its East which of course is in Eastern Europe and even in Eurasia. I mean, in fact, the greater part of Russia being in Asia itself.
What we are seeing is something almost evocative of formal struggles and there is a history of Ukraine being pivotal in that sense. Many of your listeners maybe acquainted either with the 19th century novel TarasBulba, by the Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol, who is from Ukraine or the movie adaptation at the end of the last century, more people might know.
It is a fact that Ukraine is a bone of contention between the westernized Slavic part of Europe, if you will, you know, those who with the Latin alphabet and the Roman-Catholic religion and those with the Cyrillic alphabet and the Orthodox religion which Ukraine for the most part is. And that we've seen similar situations after World War 1, during the World War 2.
In World War 1 Germany, in the first instance, tried to wean Ukraine away from Russia; in World War 2Stepan Bandera and other Nazi collaborators, who were heroes incidentally to the modern nationalists in Ukraine, who under the Yushchenko government rehabilitated, members of the Ukrainian insurgent army and others who had collaborated with the Nazi Germany.
So we are looking at very extremist elements, probably the most visible and prominent of the so called Youth Activist or members of the so called Svoboda or Freedom Party, which up until a few years ago had as its logo a variant of a Nazi swastika. Well let's be very clear about what we are dealing with. There are may be any number of innocent youth who want, going out for a dare, much as Orange Revolution in 2004-2005, but behind it there are some very hardcore nationalists, and Russo-phobic extremists, who whether be known to themselves or not, are serving the purpose of turning yet another country into a battle zone in a renewed post-Cold War East-West conflict.
Robles: Can you give us your views on the statement by the Crimean Parliament and by the Russian Duma yesterday? The Russian Duma is calling for foreign actors, foreign players -we know who we are talking about: the West, the US - to refrain from interfering in Ukraine.
The Crimean Parliament, they adopted a statement with a vote of 78-81 deputies in favor of it. The statement reads: 'The political crisis, the formal pretext for which was a pause in Ukraine's European integration has developed into armed resistance and street fights. Hundreds of people have been hurt and, unfortunately, some people have been killed. The price for the power ambitions of a bunch of political saboteurs - Klichko, Yatsenyuk and Tyagnibok- is too high. They have crossed the line by provoking bloodshed using the interests of the people of Ukraine as cover and pretending to act on their own behalf.'
And they finish up by saying:' The people of Crimea will never engage in illegitimate elections, will never recognize their results. And will not live in Bandera Ukraine.'- they say. So, can you comment on that and on the Russian resolution, if you would?
Rozoff:First of all I want to commend you, as of I think yesterday or perhaps today, of compiling a list of I think significant statements by the Russian State Duma, the Duma or the Parliament in Crimea and others and putting them into a very condensed form that has been very useful to me.
A couple of things: the trio of opposition figures is exactly the triumvirate I alluded to earlier with Vitali Klichko playing what could only be described as a sort of Rocky Balboa meets Rambo, Sylvester Stallone compilation of pseudo populist, right wing, dangerous, and ultimately violent sort of activity.
The Bandera allusion we've talked about earlier, he was a leader during World War 2 of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army and fought against the legitimate political authorities and what was then Nazi occupied Soviet Union, but often times in conjunction with the Third Reich with the Nazis. So they are using the same language you and I had used.
Now, what we are talking about here in Crimea is of the upmost importance. The US has for several years now been waging in conjunction with its NATO allies, annual fairly large scale naval war games called Sea Breeze, and they are conducted in the Crimea dangerously close to where the Russian Black Sea fleet is stationed at Sevastopol. And even though a public outcry led to, or resulted in,a Sea Breeze exercise I think three years ago, perhaps four, being called off, they had been resumed and what has happened over the last two or three years,this is very significant, and I hope your listeners pick up on this – the US as a matter of course has been sending missile cruisers into the Black Sea to go to Crimea, to dock there.
These are what are called the Ticonderoga-class guided - missile cruisers, of the sort that are part of the US international missile, so called missile shield, that is they are to be equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptor missiles, and these ships are visiting Ukraine on a regular basis.
As the US continues its military takeover of the Black Sea, they've already done this with Bulgaria and Rumania, where they've acquired 8 major military basses in those two countries. Turkey of course is a NATO ally and Ukraine then becomes a very significant factor in the US military takeover of the Black Sea largely through NATO expansion. But what is even I think of more concern – a WikiLeaks document of in the last couple of years, revealed that in 2006 the then Head of the US Missile Defense Agency, he’s now retired, General Henry (or “Trey”) Obering met with Ukrainian officials, this was during the Yushchenko agreement, to recruit Ukraine into the European missile shield.
And in the subsequent year,2007, General Obering headed the Missile Defense Agency visit to Ukraine during the Yushchenko years, their Administration's years, and met with the Defense Minister and other key officials in Ukraine in an effort to bring Ukraine into that. If Ukraine were to join along with Poland, Romania, Turkey and other countries, the beginning stages of the so called European Phased Adaptive Approach for the interceptor missile system, this would be extremely dangerous. This would be such an open provocation to Russia, that I don't see how Russia could not take some fairly dramatic action in response to it.
So when we talk about the factors that are involved we have to keep several significant ones in mind. First of all Ukraine is strategically vital, it is indispensable. In the energy wars that the US and its European Union allies,we should say NATO allies, have been waging over the past decade to try to curtail Russian exports of natural gas and oil to Europe, ultimately perhaps to cut them off altogether in favor of natural gas and oil projects bringing Caspian Sea energy into Europe via the Caucasus, Azerbaijan and Georgia, but of course from there to Ukraine, from Ukraine into the Western Europe. So Ukraine is significant in that sense.
Ukraine is also one of four countries that NATO has announced, four non-NATO countries that are to join the NATO Response Force that is the international strike force that NATO has developed. The other three are Georgia, Finland and Sweden. Of course three of those four countries, all except Sweden, have lengthy borders with Russia. And that Ukraine has been gradually, I think unbeknownst to most people in Ukraine, and certainly outside, has been dragged into the NATO net deeper and deeper and deeper.
Ukraine is, and these are significant facts, so I hope you don't mind my emphasizing them. Ukraine’s second to that became the first,and to date only, non-NATO country to supply a naval vessel to what is now NATO's permanent surveillance and interdiction naval operation in the Mediterranean Sea - Operation Active Endeavor. Ukraine’s second to that became the first, and to date only, non-NATO country to supply a ship to NATO's Arabian Sea -Operation Ocean Shield. Ukraine, during the Kuchma government, supplied 2,000 troops to the United States, NATO inIraq, they have a small contingent of troops serving under NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
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.
27 January, 10:55
A former pilot who had admitting to working for the CIA in the Iran Contra affair and had written several books investigating the events of 9-11, was found dead along with his children in what many are calling a Black Operations hit, including former US National Security Agency Officer Wayne Madsen. In an interview with the Voice of Russia’s John Robles Mr. Madsen says the author was working on his fourth book which he said would expose information that would be a bombshell and blow 9-11 wide open. The author had been told that the key to solving 9-11 was at the “Boneyard” (the Marana Air Field) in the US state of Arizona.
The events of 9-11 continue to be the subject of intense investigation and Mr. Madsen reveals that he had talked to people who worked for the CIA, NSA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and they had all pleaded to testify about what they knew to the 9-11 Commission, but they were not allowed to. Why?
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 4 of an interview in progress. You can find the previous and following parts of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com.
Madsen: What I was told is that two of his old colleagues from the Iran Contra days had come to Phil Marshall and said you need to look down at the Marana Air Field. That is going to help you solve the case of 9-11. So he got this from people on the inside.
Robles: I see. Two questions regarding… (now that kind of makes it clear to me a little bit) remember the rotor that they found in the Pentagon? They said it was from a… I can’t remember the exact name of the plane, but it was an old outdated jet, they said and when you just mentioned this "boneyard", I thought where else could they find an old plane like that? Do you remember that?
Madsen: Yeah, I remember, there were all kinds of problems with some of the aircraft parts and there was also that piece of an aircraft they found between two buildings in a narrow alleyway in Manhattan.
They were trying to say that that was missed for like 11 years, nobody ever found it on 9-11, I mean the planes that hit the trade center . Yeah, I mean, there is all these anomalies, sometimes people who question their government’s official lines on these things are accused of being conspiracy cooks and conspiracy nuts, but the people who come up with these government explanations really are the real lunatics.
You’d have to be a fellow lunatic to believe their stories.
Robles: Yeah. I think any kid would tell you that, I always liken it to this: I mean, you stand a pencil on its end, you hit it on the side, it is going to fall over, it is not going to implode and collapse into its own footprint. So there it is… even a ten-year old kid would tell you that there is something wrong there.
Now, back to Mr. Marshalll, you think he was killed then? And they killed his children as well?
Madsen: Well what I believe happened; I don’t think his children were intended targets.
Robles: Of course, I mean. These people, they just come in, they wipe everybody out it doesn’t matter.
Madsen: Yeah, I think because Phil Marshall normally..on a Thursday night or Friday night his children would have been staying with his (soon to be) ex-wife, the divorce was almost finalized, they also tried to say: “Oh, he killed himself because of that”. But it was a very amicable divorce, he was trying to help his wife out.
He actually had paid for her to go over to Turkey. She wanted to set up an import business and start importing some Turkish products and sell them into the various boutiques in Northern California, which there are many.
Calaveras County of course is a big tourist destination during the summer months because the local vineyards, and Yosemite being close by. And so that was that he was trying to do for her, she was out of the country so the two kids would normally stay with her, because she was closer to their schools where they attended and because she was out of the country, they were staying with him.
So whoever would have been tracking Phil Marshalll’s routine would have said: “Ok, it is Thursday night, he is there by himself”.
Robles: So, the kids were not supposed to be there.
Madsen: The kids were not supposed to be there and neither was the dog. The dog belonged to the wife and he was taking care of the dog. And I’ve already figured the dog was probably the first victim because it was a small dog, Shih Tzu, one thing they are they are not a German shepherd..
Robles: Sure, they are not going to attack of course.
Madsen: Yes, they are going to make hell a lot of noise and then obviously it was a professional hit. It was a professional hit. The crime scene that, the whole scene had been laid out to kind of indicate… but there were some real issues, like I talked to the first witness who found his body, he said that he was lying on top of the Mac-10 and clearly that the bullet had entered the left side of his head but he was right-handed. So you’ve got to be pretty agile.
Again we have one of these cases where the bullet hole is in the wrong side because what hand was preferably used, that happens a lot in these case.
Vince Foster comes to mind, that was the case with Vince Foster, Clinton’s deputy counsel, they found him in a park outside of Washington, and unfortunately the gun was in the wrong hand.
You get what you pay for, so I’m thinking whoever they hired was probably a second string professional hitman, certainly not like the ones who killed Kennedy, they were the bestmany interested parties had to offer.
Robles: I see. they screw up with the hands all the time. I remember the Bin Laden video, remember that one? First, he said he didn’t do it, then he said he did it and the video had his hands…
Madsen: Yeah, and the fat Bin Laden or the skinny Bin Laden or then it was the Bin Laden whose… only his lips moved, it looked like a cardboard cutout, reminds me an old cartoon called Clutch Cargo here where the only thing that moved were the lips, I think there were human lips on like a still frame cartoon spell. That is what they did, yeah.
Robles: Do you know anything about the Asteroids?
Madsen: I’m not certain.
Robles: The Asteroids were a team of assassins, they are supposed to be the best in the world. I just wondered if you heard anything about them.
Madsen: Yeah, I have not heard them called that. I’ve heard of them, but you don’t know how much of this is Hollywood. Hollywood influencing the reality or vice versa.
Robles: I just wonder because their name hasn’t come up too much but apparently with IMF and with some very complex assassinations their name has come up a couple of times. I was just wondering if you had heard about them since.
Madsen: I have not.
Robles: So, with Mr. Phil Marshall, I’d like to get your conclusion: is there anything going to be done about that or that is it? Or they’ve whitewashed it and it is gone… ?
Madsen: Yeah, I wrote about it and again there was a couple of local papers out there, they really seem to have a problem with Marshall really attacking his credibility. I’m not surprised by that kind of thing. I wrote my piece. But you know, if there is ever any new development in the case I would certainly be right on it.
Certainly I talked a lot to his friends and family that didn’t believe that he took his life nor that of his children. But I have to say that, it is a small town where he lived, out there in Calaveras County and just like any small town there were gossipy people who said: “Oh, he was unbalanced”. But I think the people I talked to were much more credible because they were people who held government positions who he knew – he was not a right-winger, he was not a tea-bagger, the sheriff was.
As a matter of fact it looked like Phil Marshall supported Barack Obama, even though there is no background that can indicate that.
Somebody worked with the CIA during Iran Contra and he was somebody who had attended an inaugural party, he just had attended a week before he supposedly shot himself and his kids.
Robles: I see. But the plane, since we are talking about 9-11, we were talking about the Boneyard, Marana Air Field, what do you know about those planes being sighted – the one that apparently hit the Pentagon and the one that evaporated into that field in Pennsylvania? Their registration numbers are still active, and they are spotted occasionally by plane spotters.
Madsen: In both cases... I’ve only spoke to one person who said he claimed he actually saw the plane hit the Pentagon and that was from a distance, that was from north Arlington, Virginia. So if you are looking at Washington you have Pentagon and then you have the Potomac River and about maybe 3-4 miles north you have the Key Bridge that goes from Arlington over to Georgetown in Washington.
And that person said they were basically on that bridge. I just don’t know how you could have seen the Pentagon from there. I really had a problem, and the person was a diplomat from an Arab country.
I’m not saying that because I don’t think Arabs tell the truth but I don’t think this person was in a position. First of all to have seen the plane, as he said he did, but also he was obviously trying to make it look like it’s the government official story, especially the country he happened to be from.
Robles: He wasn’t Saudi, was he?
Madsen: He was not Saudi but he was from another country, Arab country that produces a lot of oil and natural gas. I’ll put it that way.
I don’t want to divulge something that he told me in confidence but I don’t know if this is the truth, but anyway.
Really, I don’t know anyone who actually saw the plane hit, when we finally saw a video of the Pentagon, you don’t see any plane. Nobody sees a plane hitting the Pentagon.
So, there is a lot of..people said they saw the plane, one cab driver said it veered off to the left but then a missile came inand that is what actually struck the Pentagon.
But like David Copperfield who can make 10,000 people see something he wants them to see, so this is playing tricks with the human mind.
When I was in Shanksville I talked to the coroner for that county, Somerset County. And he went out there and when he did not find any body parts he said: “Well you don’t need me here, I don’t see that a plane hit!”.
And the late mayor of Shanksville said the same thing, but he is deceased now, they said he died of old age, I would like to see the autopsy on him. But anyway that is what they both said.
Robles: If I could just jump back to the Pentagon for a minute, another thing like the buildings imploding and collapsing into their own footprint, right after, the lawn was untouched, the second story windows were intact, all the windows where the wings would have been were intact. I mean, it was either a missile or something small that went into this..
Madsen: Or a bomb that was already placed inside because there was construction going on, or a bomb and a missile. And what happened?
The Pentagon is one of the most secured facilities on the planet and where are all the videos? Either trained on the Pentagon or in that area? I mean, the Virginia Department of Transportation cameras on the broads and that is only for traffic purposes, that is not for security. The videos from the Sheraton Hotel which is across the street, the video from the Navy Exchange Gas Station, the video from the Mall in the parking lot which is there for any crime purposes.
Robles: I’m sorry, the only part of the Pentagon that blew up- the office, do you remember who was inside, the people that were killed? That section that was hit? Do you remember what was going on in there.
Madsen: There was a major audit, it was the Defense Audit Service. Just the day before, I think, Rumsfeld talked about a few trillion dollars missing and they couldn’t account for it. And of course the Navy’s Worldwide Intelligence Center was also taken out in that. What information might they have had?
Robles: There was also, I think if I remember right, there was about from 6 to 8 people that were working on contingency plans for an attack on a World Trade Center and the exact scenario that had been taken place in attack on the Pentagon. I think there was even a room in there where they had a small model of the Pentagon where it was hit by an airplane, and the World Trade Centers.
Madsen: The 9-11 Commission didn’t look into any of this. I talked to people who worked for the CIA, NSA, Defense Intelligence Agency, you name it, the NGA that nobody has ever heard of (the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency). I spoke to people from all these agencies, they asked to testify at the 9-11 Commission, they pleaded to, and they were not allowed to by their bosses, and these were very senior individuals. The 9-11 Report was written before the actual Commission was even convened, just like the Warren Report was written before they came to any conclusions.
You were listening to an interview with Wayne Madsen – the editor of the Wayne Madsen Report in Washington DC.
26 January, 03:01
Internal meddling, the new threat to state security
Throughout history states have risen and fallen and those that have risen and prospered have successfully understood and dealt with the threats to state security that were prevalent in their times. In the post 9-11 world we are faced with a new paradigm that the events of 9-11 were manipulated to bring about. Therefore it is of ultimate importance for the peaceful nations of the world to understand exactly who was behind those events. It is already clear who has benefitted and who has manipulated the events to engage in a plethora of activities that amount to crimes against peace and crimes against all humanity. Those actors have plunged our world into a lawless paradigm where the biggest threat to the states of the world today is not terrorism but those who would use terrorism and the threat of terrorism to bring about their own ends and in the extreme facilitate the destruction of states and the overthrowing of governments.
The subject of this article is one that warrants much further research and study by security specialists. My goal is not to attempt to properly address the issue but to shine light on it and hopefully stir debate and further study of the problem.
Terrorism in itself is a real and continuing threat, that is an unarguable fact, but the bigger danger we have seen comes from those who finance and promote terrorism and even worse from those who use it as a pretext for military invasions and occupations.
Pretext for invasion and regime change
A perfect case in point is Afghanistan which has been occupied for almost 13 years by the US, has seen hundreds of thousands of troops deployed, has seen up to a million civilian lives extinguished and yet according to American intelligence agencies and even the Defense Department in an assessment to US President Obama in 2009 there were only 100 AL-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan.
In 2010, then CIA Director Leon Panetta said there were less than 50 Al-Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan and even worse in 2011 Congressman David Cicilline stated that there were only 25 to 30 Al-Qaeda fighters in the country. Meaning the US has spent over one trillion dollars of their taxpayer’s money, occupied a country for more than a decade and lost over 3,400 of the world’s best trained and equipped troops to fight a couple of dozen rag-tag Islamic terrorists, all of whom could have been quietly liquidated in one night in a JSOC operation.
Supporting anyone against the state
As we have seen in Yugoslavia, in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, throughout the Middle East, in Syria, in Venezuela, Cuba, South America, Russia and now in Ukraine, the US and its surrogates have supported any element that is against the state in any country that the US has unilaterally determined requires regime change.
This support for destabilizing, militant, insurgent and more often than not murderous forces has worked for the West to affect regime change in scores of countries and this support is in fact the biggest threat that countries face today if they wish to follow a sovereign path independent of the US and NATO.
The hegemony of the empire
The tactic of using, supporting and promoting any “opposition” to bring about the collapse of states or the change of governments has been seen from Egypt to Ukraine and is used to maintain waning US hegemony in countries that the US has decided they need to control or which possess resources or other “interests” for them.
These interests can be of any type including economic, resources, geopolitical influence or even the projection of military force to maintain hegemony. The playbook is the same and we are seeing it played out once again in Ukraine.
Preventing, dealing with and identifying forces
Organs of state security in all countries around the world need to be vigilant of any forces within, but most importantly without, their territories which may seek to bring about the destruction of their states.
A healthy open and just society and a government that looks out for the interests of its people is not an automatic cure or guarantee for security but it is a good foundation. A government that properly addresses the grievances of its citizens and subjects does more to prevent the growth of dissent and destabilizing forces than any other.
If grievances and the voice of the people are heard by the government then the state is almost guaranteeing its own security. However there is still the danger of outside forces and actors introduced into a country to destabilize it. Such as in Ukraine and Syria and the attempts in Russia.
Russia which has a long experience of dealing with almost every kind of nefarious force possible has dealt with the threat effectively, more or less quietly and identified methods and means that were being used and dealt with them. However for smaller countries with less robust organs of state security and more volatile less educated populations dealing with forces of outside interference is much more difficult if not impossible.
In the area of prevention in the age of the internet, special attention must be paid by the security services to the manipulation, dissemination and targeting of information that runs counter to the interests of the state and the people. This includes, for example, the introduction of previously non-issues into a populace to divide it and cause dissent. The West has been very successful at this and the most obvious case in point is the introduction of the divisive issue of same sex marriages, which although “normal” for Americans, was never an issue for the most of the rest of the world until the US introduced it and attached it to its foreign policy.
The most important area when it comes to identification in my opinion is the timeliness and effectiveness of the identification.
Dealing with the threat
With the case of a normal opposition in a democratic or fair system, of course the threat is dealt with through normal political discourse, debate and an address of grievances. In short sitting down at the negotiating table and working things out. That is with a normal opposition. However when there are fanatical or extremist elements who use violence they must be dealt with using extreme prejudice and force and effectively liquidated immediately.
The new opposition
A new phenomena we have seen in the post 9-11 world is an irreconcilable opposition, and with the case of Russia, one which had no clear goal or even grievances other than the destruction of the state or the removal from power of the elected leader.
This is the form of “opposition” that we are seeing in Ukraine. An opposition funded, backed and instructed from the outside, in this case from the US. In a normal scenario these “traitors” would be dealt with using the full force of the state as they are a threat to the continuity of the state and the government and the people, but this new western backed opposition is like a disease, once you have it, it is almost impossible to get rid of.
As in Ukraine the “opposition” has the advantage of the full array of US instruments at its disposal, in this case the most important is a complete and total media onslaught, with the “opposition” even allowed on television to call for the kidnapping and punishment of police.
New methods to secure the state
Ukraine, due to western meddling and its open society has been an easy target for the West and in the current climate the state would be wise to take emergency measures which should have been in place before the current unrest escalated into bloodshed. But it is not too late.
First and foremost the state should shut down the instruments that are being used by the outside actors to communicate, instruct and propagandize their installed opposition. The most obvious and simple measure would be shutting down internet access and cell phone communications. The US has shown that this is their favorite tool and we saw it used during the Arab Spring and in Syria.
The other methods that must be developed and implemented to effectively deal with the threat are something the security services must study and bring about once the threat is identified and contingency plans put in place.
A free net
In this regard (identification) the internet can be an invaluable tool if it is kept free and allowed to operate without interference. A wise government will monitor the net and use it to connect with its citizens. It will use it to understand the wishes of its populace and to work out strategies to address grievances. Not as the US has done namely to manipulate, spy on and crack down on the population.
If the threat of outside interference is in fact the largest threat to the security of the world’s states, as I have put forth, then the world community, and I mean the real world community not the US and its surrogates, needs to take measures to deal with that threat.
As more and more situations come about such as that in Ukraine, the US may find itself more and more isolated as more and more countries begin to realize that secretaries of state of foreign powers handing out cookies to violent protestors who wish to overthrow the government is not something normal but direct outside interference and part of a concerted effort to destroy the state.
My hope is that the above piece will stir debate and help the people of the world realize that just because your country does not allow gay marriage does not mean it is illegitimate. We are all different and all our differences are legitimate and must be respected and protected.
Finally, never take food from a stranger, especially when that stranger wants to overthrow your president.
The views and opinions expressed above are my own. I can be reached at email@example.com.
25 January, 09:49
US/NATO objective: expulsion of Russian forces – Rick Rozoff
Since its creation in 1949, NATO has gone from an organization founded to protect against an imaginary self-conceived attack by the USSR to a global aggressive attack organization. In the final installment of a 2013 year-end-summary interview with the Voice of Russia's John Robles, Rick Rozoff, the owner of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list, discusses the moves by the alliance and what they are planning for the future. According to Mr. Rozoff the alliance was stopped dead in its tracks in Syria in 2013, an event that may portend peace in the future and an end to the US/NATO aggressive wars.
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 interview is in progress.
Rozoff: There are now 500 Swedish troops in northern Afghanistan, 500 Swedish troops! First time again, in 200 years they are engaged in combat operations, 200 years. They have been killed, they have killed. They've engaged in lethal combat in Afghanistan under NATO command.
Again, they supplied a number of war planes for NATO's air war against Libya two years ago. But what happened two or three years ago was in the name of professionalizing, this is euphemism, the Swedish arm forces and this is a demand of NATO, that conscript armies go out, no more draft, strictly professional army and so forth, that every single member of the Swedish arm forces had to sign a waiver that they could be deployed overseas for the first time.
I mean, there was formally a requirement up until then – if you went to Afghanistan was presumably voluntarily. Now every single member of the Swedish army forces has to sign a waiver acknowledging there are prepared to be deployed anywhere in the world. And this is in conjunction with, of course, Sweden officially announcing its joining the NATO Response Force.
Robles: So basically they've given cannon fodder to NATO's army, basically, right?
Rozoff: That is it exactly – to be deployed any place in the world.
Robles: Any time they want? So NATO can just grab soldiers from all these countries which is why they need to expand, isn't it?
Rozoff: Yes. But they do not need necessarily that each country becomes a full NATO member. I think this is a misconception. Georgia under Saakashvili, Ukraine under "Yushchenko and Company" were perfectly fulfilling NATO's demands, a short of full NATO membership.
The ultimate objective as we talked about a few minutes ago was the expulsion of Russian military forces from Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Crimea and Ukraine.
But it is good enough sometimes simply to be a NATO partner. We talked about the Asia-Pacific Pivot – accidents don't occur except in the movies as somebody once told me (bad movies) where too many coincidences occur.
And at the very time that the Obama Administration announces its Asia-Pacific Pivot – that is a shift away from Europe primarily to Asia, that is to contain China after having encircled Russia – there is no other way of interpreting that.
Rozoff: Immediately before the May Summit of NATO in Chicago last year NATO announces a new international program called "Partners Across the Globe".
I don't know, if anyone in 1949 when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was set up ostensibly to defend against a very unlikely if not impossible Soviet assault across the plains of Central Europe were, to be told that decades later NATO was going to institute a program called "Partners Across the Globe" without changing its name to what it ought to be, which is a Global Aggressive Treaty Organization.
And those 8 countries, the initial ones, are going to be more following them are all in Asia. They are, Asia-Pacific rather: Mongolia, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq. These are the members of NATO's new program, exactly at the time when the US announces its Asia-Pacific Pivot.
Robles: I see. So, Scandinavia, the Arctic, Iraq and the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific region are all places that NATO is looking to expand.
I'd like to back up just a little bit, because you didn't say too much about the military-industrial complex's relationship with NATO. How important is that relationship? And is that the true driving force of global militarization by NATO? Is it just the military industrial complexes or is it something else?
Rozoff: Several of your guests, in conjunction with yourself have been very good at addressing this issue. Bruce Gagnon, who you've interviewed again recently has made this point repeatedly and very trenchantly me . But behind it all –yes, are the merchants of death, behind them all are the Raytheons, and the Lockheed Martins and Northrup Grumman and the other arms manufactures. There is no question about that.
The latest National Defense Authorization Bill is for a repeated $633 billion. This is 23 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact.
Robles: We are always talking about US-NATO as if it is one organization because that is what it seems like it has become to me. Would you characterize that, in that manner?
Rozoff: Yes, of course. Except there is a master-slave relationship obtaining between them, or a ventriloquist-dummy relationship.
I remember once the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche referring to certain theologians as gods ventriloquists, people presuming to speak in the name of, right, throwing their voices so to imitate.
What you see when Barack Obama, the President of the US or any president in the US, or a Secretary of State of the US, you can count the hours before the Secretary General of NATO parrots or mimics, exactly the same thing, you are going to hear slightly different words adjusted for the audience, but almost identical. Because they are reading off the same script inevitably.
Robles: That was very clear recently in Ukraine. Do you remember that?
Rozoff: NATO comes out and says: 'Ukraine's future is in Europe'. Think about the unmitigated audacity to make a statement like that.
Robles: And then, at the same time he said: (I think you published it on STOP NATO or maybe it was even in the same speech that you are referring to), he also said that European countries need to throw (he didn't say throw – I'm paraphrasing), more money or need to invest or whatever he said, more money into NATO or the US may decide it is not too interested in being a member of NATO.
Rozoff: That is a common statement by Rasmussen, his job is to hold up the whip hand and crack the whip on the European NATO members to make sure they cough up the minimum of its 2% GDP that is required of NATO members. That is his job, on behalf of the Pentagon and on behalf of the arms manufactures in the US, France, Britain, Germany and Sweden.
He has been engaging in the most disingenuous, the most dishonest characterization I can imagine. Again, that if we don't supply more men and women to kill and die overseas, if we don't put US interceptive missiles on our soil, if we don't spend 2% of our GDP on offensive weapons to be used in wars of aggression abroad, if we don't the US may abandon us to the big bad bear. No. Isn't that the inevitable? I mean, it is subconscious but isn't that the inevitable threat he's making.
Robles: But it is a completely ridiculous one. It is a completely false one. Is there any other threat in the world that you know about, so called, that justifies anything about NATO?
There is no justification, was not in my estimate, but certainly is not now any justification for the first attempt in history to build an international aggressive military formation, because that is what NATO is.
The US has not had a serious military threat, a serious military challenger, it hasn't had a country outside of perhaps Russia, that has even has even been able to defend itself since the end of the Cold War, over 25 years ago.
Let's be clear about that – there is no adversary that necessitates the expansion of the US lead military block from 16 to 28 countries and that include NATO partners around the world. 70 or more countries, which is over 1/3 of the countries in the world, are either full members of NATO or members of various NATO partnership programs, sometimes members of two or three or more.
Robles: So, I would dare say that the US has never been attacked or never been attacked where it could have prevented the attack, with the case of Pearl Harbor there was forewarning but anyway..
Rozoff: Let's agree on this. The continental US has never been attacked by another nation except when the British came in from Canada and burned down the parts of the capital in Philadelphia at the time after, least according the Canadian interpretation, the US threatened to appropriate British Canada by launching invasion thereof. But with that exception the US has never been the victim of military attack by another nation.
Robles: So you got the strongest nation in the world, that has never been attacked and it is constantly saying that everybody is a threat. It is insanity. Maybe this year we will see some sanity returning to the world. What do you think, Rick?
Rozoff: Yeah, I think the fact that there has been success against what had been and unbroken string or succession of political but particularly military strong arming and aggression around the world, that really has characterized the post-Cold War period.
It starts with a war against Iraq in 1991, the military intervention by the US in Somali or shortly thereafter, then the US bombing of Serbian forces in positions in Bosnia in 1994-1995, then the war against Yugoslavia, then the second war against Iraq and the invasion of Afghanistan and on and on and on.
This has been a steam-roller that has been allowed to violate international law, threaten regional and ultimately world peace and that it seems to have stopped, it seems to have been stopped in its tracks, as of last summer in Syria, appears to have been stopped.
And if politically an equivalent of that in the Ukraine has been accomplished recently than what are we seeing is, I don't want to be too fast and loose with the historical analogies, so I won't to revert to the obvious one, but it almost seems like certain powers in Europe that also win from victory to victory from 1939 to 1943. It was eventually stopped in Southern Africa.
Robles: And it was the same thing – preventive invasion, aggressive invasion of course those guys you are referring to didn't have a "responsibility to protect" clause, but..Rick, would you like to give our listeners a holiday greeting?
Rozoff: Yes, I certainly would. I first of all it would be remiss if I didn't thank you and Voice of Russia for the unbelievably generous opportunities you've provided me and so many other people whom I greatly respect, to be able to speak freely on a wide range of issues, to address concerns that simply are not being addressed any place else truthfully, nowhere else, at least as consistently as your show permits us to do.
And I'm astonished, really. You've had people from Michael Parenti to Gorge Galloway, to Michael Ratner, to Bruce Gagnon. This is only within the last week. And I cannot think of any other program anywhere in the world where people of that caliber, with so much to say, so much expertise who are denied most every other opportunity to speak about this and now get to have their voices heard around the world that is such an amazing contribution, not simply to something as abstract as the impartial dissemination of information, though that is important, but to the fact that it is voices that are calling for end of militarism as you mentioned, who imply strongly that $643 billion can be put in the better use in the US than building weapons and that a new world with some mutual respect and fraternity between nations, a real comedy of nations that instead of this 'the winner takes all' sort of attitude whether there is a competition as we have had opportunity to talk about in this show, in this program, this episode.
We can almost take a map of the world and plot out where the next scramble for oil or for raw materials or for military bases or missile sites or so forth – this is going on right now. That has to come to an end and we need a forum in which to have those opinions, counter opinions expressed and you've provided a truly, unparalleled opportunity for so many of us to be able to speak to that. And I thank you and I thank your employer.
Robles: I'm very grateful, humbled by your words, Rick. It is very nice to hear that a lot of the stuff that you hear here does not get said in the West, it does not get said in the media, it does not get said anywhere.
Rozoff: You are correct. Unfortunately, and I'm offering this is an encouragement for other nations who follow the suit, it is unfortunately not being heard in the Chinese media, it is not being heard in the Indian media, it is not being heard in Latin America in English. It is not being heard other places and that needs to be heard, in Africa.
When more and more programs start emmulating your own and providing a similar opportunity you are particularly because of the language you are broadcasting in English of necessity were people from the Anglo sphere, from the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. But we need something comparable where experts from around the world, especially in those countries and regions most immediately affected by the topic or by the crisis that we often times are talking about.
They need to have an outletalso, because they don't have one. And they don't have one in any language. But the fact that they could have it in English which reaches the world market is almost inestimable opportunity for them to be able to speak the truth in the way they are unaccustomed to do. And if there is one advantage (but there are many of course) to the world wide web it is providing exactly that opportunity for the voiceless, right, for those who thought about things and talked about privately but have no opportunity to formulating their thoughts in a given take exchange as what we are doing right now where the end product is something more than what we thought when we began the discussion.
Robles: You are absolutely right. Once again I'm humbled by your wisdom, the way you are able to connect the dots and express the deep and complex thoughts better than I usually can even if I sit down and think about them for a long time.
Rozoff: You are too self-effacing, I won't accept that. Thank you, John.
Robles: Thank you, Rick.
That was the end 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.
25 January, 04:25
The Empire feeds off of the Republic – Dr. Michael Parenti
What the military industrial complex in the US learned from Yugoslavia was that they could fight an entire war and not lose a single soldier. This emboldened those who use war as a means to advance the interests of the empire, but the Empire feeds off the Republic for its financing and as a source for cannon fodder and the Republic is now in decay and falling apart. According to Dr. Michael Parenti, an expert and outspoken critic of the “Empire” the empire is stronger and better funded than ever. The solution for the people of the Republic if they want to achieve victory over the plutocracy, those whose interests are represented by Dick Cheney, George Bush and Barack Obama, and take their country back is to organize and find strong leaders who can lead the fight says Dr. Parenti.
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 3 of an interview in progress.
Robles:Israel is still receiving much of its oil from Iran, you know that right?
Parenti:I didn’t know that, no, sorry.
Robles:Yeah, Iran is still, to this day as we are speaking, Iran is still the key supplier of oil and gas to Israel.
Parenti:Yeah, but the Israelis huh... well,Netanyahu didn’t sound like he wanted to be nice, nice with Iran. It didn’t sound that way at all. He was talking about a tougher line and the like.
Robles:Well, sure, they wanted to...
Parenti:There was a lot of people here talking about bombing Iran. They don’t … they would not … you see they’ve learnt from Yugoslavia – they could fight a whole war and not lose a single soldier. That’s what’s very unpopular in the US, when American soldiers are killed, and “Oh why are they getting killed there; what are we doing over there”, and all that?
But they could go in now and there have been people, including some Russian commentators, who said: “Well they will never go into Iran. It is a hilly country, it is twice as big as Iraq, it’s a bigger population. They would need a million troops”.
Well, they had no intention of occupying Iran, but they can use the model of Yugoslavia which is simply – to bomb it. They have about 10,000 targets: every warehouse, every utility, every power line, every military base, everything. The air force, the US air force is absolutely ready to do that.
Now the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which are the top military leaders of the Air Force, the Navy, the Army and the Marines, they all got together and most of the other people, aside from the Air Force, were very lukewarm and cool. Chief of the Joint Chiefsof Staff was Admiral Mike Mullen and he said: “What are we going to bomb Iran for? It is 80 million people, every one of them is different from each other, they are all human beings. What is the issue? What is this all about?”
And there was one general who also came out and said: “Why war with Iran? What the heck is that all about?”
So, I think by the way, that had an influence on Obama, along with the fact that the American people did not want to bomb, did not want to go into a war. But the American people did not want to go into a war in Yugoslavia, they didn’t want to go into a war in Iraq. But what happens is they play on the fear, and they say: “Oh, these people, oh Iraq - Saddam Hussein is worse than Hitler, he has these secret weapons of mass destruction. He could destroy the whole world.” And Milošević was another Stalin or something. They made up these bugaboo fright stories and a lot of people on the left even went along with that one.
Robles:Well, and they tried to do the same thing with President Putin here.
Parenti:Yeah, he’s another Stalin, yeah. They demonize him, yeah. That he is a power, that he is a dictator, and he’s a power guy and all that, yeah.
Robles:Yeah,I mean, he has done more for Russia since, and he has actually implemented policies that have helped Russia, and have you know growing the BRICS countries. He is consistently called for rule of law, and cooperation and diplomacy in every conflict, and they don’t like that in Washington.
Parenti:Right, yes. Well, John, I think we’ve pretty much covered the...
Robles:Everything in the world I think.
Parenti:Yes, I think we’ve come up with all the problems and solutions of the entire world and right now we will just leave it to other people to help.
Robles:What about solutions? Maybe we can finish up with what...
Parenti:”Solutions” is to organize ourselves and really the Occupy Wall Street, and all of those things were good, except they were too anarchistic. There were a lot of people, “Oh let’s build a lot of tents, we’ll make a little soup, and the tables here, and we’ve got a little mini-library here, and we’re occupying”.
No, we need leaders, we need the organization, that is what the Egyptian students realized when they got rid of Mubarak, they said: “We need leaders. We need organization”.
I said: “Oh, thank God, it is not just anarchists who think you just get rid of the state and you make nice, nice, nice with each other, and dancing around”.
But we also have to reach the American people and tell them what is in your interest – not just a moralistic argument, not just an argument to say: “Look, look it is more decent if we help the right people in these countries and not the IMF or this or that”. But also tell them how this is not in their interest.
Look, the Empire feeds off the Republic. Our Republic is going down. You asked me at the beginning of this interview: “Is the empire in decay, and all that?”
And I wanted to say, (no, the empire), I did say to you: “The empire is stronger and more better funded, bigger with forces than ever, more victories and all”.
But the Republic is going down the tubes, our bridges are falling apart. They are closing libraries here; the public schools are getting abolished. We have levels of hidden unemployment that they don’t talk about. People who have given up looking for jobs so they’re taken off the unemployment rolls as if they are employed, but they are not employed.
See the unemployment only is for how many people are looking for jobs and don’t have jobs. So if you’ve given up, because you’ve been looking for six years, and you’re in poverty and you don’t have food security, you can’t reach the end of the month with enough money for food and so forth. There are millions of people like this now, people who lost their homes and all that.
So, why? Because that money has to be used to go bomb people in Somalia and in Yugoslavia, and name all the countries, you can name them quicker than I can: Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.
Robles:Doctor, if you could, just please tell me, humor me here, I’d just like to hear you say who is behind all this? Who is destroying everything?
Parenti:It would be the plutocracy, it would be these people, we know their names: Dick Cheney, George Bush, Barack Obama. There’re shadings, they have little differences among themselves, those differences are almost always about strategy and tactics, they are not about the basic scenario of what you ask anyone of them, ask any Barack Obama or anyone in his political household, and he’ll say; he just said few months back: “I believe in nuclear power. I’m for nuclear power”. He looked at, and he said: ‘I’m for nuclear power’ and gave a big smile.
I said, “Oh, nuclear power, great, nuclear”.
By building another nuclear power plant he is going to spend $40 billion on these dangerously, dangerously, as we see with Fukushima right now, we are still facing dangers that haven’t been resolved.
And so those are the people, and their instruments are the highly organized instruments of the state, the CIA, the National Security State, the military. Do they have a one fixed group? No. But they have a keen understanding of their own class interests, they most certainly do.
Robles:I think for me, I was pretty much looking for maybe puppet masters manipulating Obama and I thought maybe he...he was awell-intentioned guy who had some higher moral ideals...
Parenti:Oh you had a wait till then. Oh no God, yeah. No, he is a hypocrite all the way through. He just reaches out and loves the Conservatives and just keeps talking, just making compromises with them. He goes into making compromises even before they start any kind of negotiation about something. He is a real disappointment, I must say.
Robles:What did you expect from him, if you could?
Parenti:OhI expected nothing. I expected nothing. But I hoped, I was saying: ‘I hope this guy surprises me and proves me to be wrong’. But he didn’t, he didn’t do that. He proved me to be right and that makes me sorry. He was not a Franklin Roosevelt, he is just another republican.
Robles:And not good at that I would say, but anyway...
Parenti:Yeah. He himself said: ‘Years ago I would be classified as a liberal republican or moderate republican’, or something like that. You know, even saying that is letting people know. Well, I think we’ve pretty much covered everything.
Robles:Yes, thank you very much, I really appreciate it – we’ve been talking almost an hour or so.
Robles:Thank you very much.
Parenti:Ok, well, thank you very much, John.
Robles:OK, it was a great pleasure meeting you, a great pleasure speaking with you, and I hope to speak with you again.
Parenti:Ok, same here, thanks. Bye-bye now.
That was the end 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.
23 January, 12:10
Russia's Duma calls on West to not interfere in Ukraine's internal affairs
With an overwhelming majority vote of 388 out of 450, the Russian State Duma passed a resolution slamming foreign politicians and forces interfering in what is now an escalating political crisis in Ukraine between protestors and law enforcement. The Crimean Parliament has also issued a statement in an emergency session.
The declaration was proposed by the speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergey Naryshkin and calls on foreign politicians to refrain from involvement in the ongoing developments in Ukraine. This is the first time that such a declaration has been passed and it is unique because it calls out western powers for meddling in the internal affairs of another country, something they have done with impunity for decades, including here in Russia.
According to media sources the resolution reads: "The State Duma urges Western political circles to stop meddling in the internal affairs of sovereign Ukraine in violation of international law and to stop contributing to further escalation of conflict."
The Duma resolution comes as the level of violence has increased in Kiev on the heels of new Ukrainian legislation that seeks to limit the violent nature of the protests and after remarks by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who said the situation in Ukraine is "spinning out of control" and demanding the West stop "artificially undermining" the legitimately elected government.
Russia is also calling on al members of the Ukrainian opposition to refrain from using violence and to seek ways to bring about a constructive dialogue with the authorities.
As if to underline their meddling into the internal affairs of the country and their complete disregard for official Ukraine, the US Embassy in Kiev has responded to the escalation in unrest by issuing a statement saying that it would revoke the visas of several unnamed Ukrainian officials it claims are responsible for the violence. Of course the US does not call on the opposition they are backing and which is responsible for all of the unrest in the country to put an end to the violence and their reckless statements only serve to add fuel to an already raging fire.
The protests which began in November in Ukraine after an EU integration deal which had almost nothing to offer to benefit Ukraine was put on hold in favor of a very beneficial widening of trade ties with the Russian Federation and the countries that are members of the Customs Union. The simple almost benign sovereign economic and trade decision was met by an extremely violent reaction from the West which had planned to use EU integration as the carrot to entice Ukraine to join NATO and eventually evict the Black Sea Fleet and cut Ukraine off from its brethren in Russia. The violent reaction from the West was also due to the recent loss the US faced in attempting to wgae yet another war of aggression against Syria.
US meddling in Ukraine became a blatantly open fact rather than a covert operation after western organized, backed, paid and supported opposition forces began occupying Kiev's Independence Square, and a parade of western politicians came out of the woodwork to blast the government, call for early elections and even make unprecedented visits to Kiev, such as European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and US Senator John McCain.
Although the US and the West continue to attempt to keep their dirty hands clean eschewing responsibility and obfuscating their ties to the violent protestors, many of whom receive 30 euros a day from the West, and continue to blame official Ukraine and Russia for the violence, even the Crimean Parliament has blasted the western backed opposition and even blamed them for the bloodshed.
In an emergency session the Supreme Council of Crimea adopted a statement on the political crisis in Ukraine which passed with the support of 78 of the 81 deputies. The Crimean parliamentarians blame opposition leaders for the bloodshed and have said they will not give Crimea to extremists and neo-Nazis who they state are attempting to seize power.
The Crimean Statement reads: "The political crisis, the formal pretext for which was a pause in Ukraine's European integration, has developed into armed resistance and street fights. Hundreds of people have been hurt and, unfortunately, some people have been killed. The price for the power ambitions of a bunch of political saboteurs - Klitschko, Yatsenyuk, and Tyagnibok - is too high. They have crossed the line by provoking bloodshed, using the interests of the people of Ukraine as a cover and pretending to act on their behalf."
The statement adopted by the Crimean Parliament also blasts European officials who previously condemned the activities of the all-Ukrainian association Svoboda but have now joined with nationalists in the Ukrainian parliament "… in an unnatural 'political love' with Ukrainian neo-Nazis and their allies to 'be friends' against Russia."
The Crimean Statement finishes by asserting that the Parliament and its members will stick to their mandate and not be swayed: "On behalf of the people of Crimea who elected us, we are saying that we will not give Crimea to extremists and neo-Nazis who are looking to seize power in Ukraine by dividing the country! The people of Crimea will never engage in illegitimate elections, will never recognize their results, and will not live in a 'Bandera' Ukraine! We are full of determination to defend the historical choice that was made at a referendum on the issue of the restoration of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea 23 years ago."
The level of violence in Ukraine is escalating as the West continues to meddle in the internal affairs of the country refusing to give up what was to be their crowning jewel in their takeover of Eastern Europe and their surrounding of Russia with missiles and NATO military infrastructure. Unfortunately for the people of Ukraine the West has no interest in the people of Ukraine and the level of bloodshed will continue to escalate as the people in the country begin to realize what the people of the Middle East already know, there is absolutely nothing humanitarian about US/NATO intervention, and the people are just a frivolous pesky problem for the Washington geopolitical planners.
The views and opinions expressed here are my own. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Free net means no NSA, HRW finally speaks out
While Obama has pretended to address the issue of mass surveillance, in a recent speech which some had expected would be filled with promises to reign in the massive US spying apparatus, Obama said absolutely nothing tangible and was blasted by privacy advocates, whistleblowers and a plethora of interested parties, experts and pundits.
Now in a yearly 667 page report for 2013 released in Berlin, Human Rights Watch (HRW) is warning that the revelations of massive spying by the US will cause countries to install controls to keep their users’ data within their own countries and that this will lead to internet censorship in countries with poor human rights records (no mention of US).
In the report HRW says that NSA spying revelations may cause countries such as China or the Gulf States to:"… force user data to stay within their own borders, setting up the potential for increased internet censorship".
Of course I would say this is a no brainer, such revelations should be forcing all governments to protect their citizens’ data from intrusive NSA spying but in doing so they will be getting in the way of and interfering with the US, the NSA and their FVEY partners’ efforts to mine the data of the entire planet.
Protecting the data of their citizens is every country’s responsibility and must be done, therefore such an argument seems disingenuous and it is also interesting to note that Human Rights Watch has been all but silent to the plight of information activists and free internet proponents until now.
To date HRW has had very little to say regarding internet privacy and censorship inside the United States and has also been all but silent as to the cases of Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Jeremy Hammond, but all of a sudden is concerned with data being unavailable or “censored” and with internet freedom and free speech.
To their credit HRW did chide the US Government for their callousness to privacy rights: "The Snowden revelations have made clear that there has been an intrusion on our right to privacy of unprecedented scope, yet the government is dismissing any complaints about our right to privacy as irrelevant."
The director of Human Rights Watch Kenneth Roth (a former prosecutor) told the Guardian that: “… one of the biggest missteps the US administration had committed was to insist that there was a difference between the content of private communication and "metadata" – information about where, when and between whom the communication takes place.”
Mr. Roth put things into perspective quite well stating: "Imagine the government putting a video camera in your bedroom and saying 'don't worry, the feed will only go into a government computer, which we won't look at unless we have reason to believe that wrongdoing is taking place.”
Finally regarding national data protection from a technical standpoint it would be possible to block NSA to a large extent and protect the user data of citizens and this has nothing to do with censorship. Arguing that firewalling a country’s internet from NSA would lead to censorship is completely absurd.
Monitoring takes place by governments regardless of what the NSA is accessing and data protection and censorship are two different animals, of course for the US and its partners in internet tyranny, spying and control, anything countries do to keep them out will have to be demonized.
The views and opinions expressed here are my own, I can be reached at email@example.com
22 January, 14:05
Green Libyan flags are waving once again - Interview
In an interview with the Voice of Russia unconfirmed reports were received regarding a popular uprising of former "Green" forces in Libya. The speakers claimed that the Green forces have liberated the entire south of the country from Al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups and that Libyan embassies abroad have begun to fly green flags over their compounds. James and Joanne Moriarty and Ahmed Muftah are all representatives of the tribes of Libya and in this interview they relate how the tribal people of Libya are fighting Al-Qaeda and taking their country back and state that more than 95% of the Libyan people are against the currently installed puppet government.
Hello, this is John Robles. I'm speaking with James and Joanne Moriarty and Ahmed Muftah. He is a representative of the tribes of Libya, he is in southern Libya at the current time.
Robles: Hello, Joanne and James and Ahmed. Nice to be speaking with all of you.
James Moriarty: Hi John and Mufti. Thank you, John, for having us on again.
Robles: Great pleasure to be speaking with you. Listen, Joanne, what is going on in Libya? Not too much news coming out of there right now.
Joanne Moriarty: Oh there is a huge amount of things happening inside Libya right now. The Great Green Resistance which is the Libyan patriotshave gone back into their country and they now own the south and they are taking the north as we speak. Their green flag is flying again in the south and in many cities in Libya. That means that Libya will be free shortly and back with the Green patriotic Republic.
Robles: Wow, this is unbelievable. Ahmed, can you give us some details about what is going on?
Muftah: Yes, my friend. My country's fully armed,now we have the chance to look again at the situation there on the ground. We have, I'm speaking with you as representative for the tribes in the south and for the people of Libya including all of the Libyan tribes in southern Libya.
Robles: Last time we talked, the situation was very bad. It was basically like Al Qaeda had taken over the entire country. So, you are saying things have changed.
Muftah: Now our friends say, I told you we are speaking as people of Libya which is consisted of all Libyan tribes in southern Libya decided to defend ourselves against the militias and the criminal groups from Qatar, from abroad who are supported by the mercenaries from Qatar and Suadi and they are attacked and bombed the civilian people in towns, they are part from our country, from Libya.
They are supported by the so called government in Tripoli. There is no government, there are some officials but it's a puppet group and puppet people and puppet government. They live with great privilege, there's no control We do not have a feeling of a consent.
There is no support of the global humanitarian organization. Now the real bombing of the civilian population in south and north Libya and we are being bombed by Sudanese pilots and the payment is made to them from the Qatar state.
That is the truth which you have to know and the world has to know. And our friends around the world have to know it's the truth.
Sudanese pilots are used by the Qatar state and they rent them from Qatar, money to use them to bombing civilian Libyan people in south of Libya.
Robles: How many of these Al Qaeda fighters now are there in Libya approximately would you say? How many different groups and how many of these militias are still in the country?
Muftah: About 1,500 groups
Joanne Moriarty: 1,500 groups.
Muftah: In places, yes 1,500 groups from different places.
Robles: I see. How many people have died so far in the fighting? Is the fighting going on right now?
Muftah: Yes, more than 30civilian people have been killed, in Qafa [3: 16] as a result of bombing by war planes.Like I told you, flown by Sudanese pilots.
Joanne Moriarty: These are war planes sent by the Libyan government.
Robles: OK, and he mentioned Sudan, did he say Sudanese forces or something? I couldn't understand what he said.
Joanne Moriarty: Yes there are Sudanese pilots flying these war planes; they are paid by Qatar.
Robles: Oh, these are Libyan planes being flown by Sudanese pilots? I don't understand the connection with Qatar.
Joanne Moriarty: Qatar ispaying the pilots to fly.
Robles: Ok, and they are supposed to be supporting the Al Qaeda elements in the country or the government?
Muftah: They support the puppet government and Al Qaeda group. This is the truth.
Robles: I see. So basically what happened at the beginning when Muammar Gaddafi was assassinated: NATO came in, they supported Al Qaeda with their air war, Al Qaeda took over the country, now they are running the country and now Libyan patriots are coming back and you are getting rid of these Al Qaeda elements from Libya. You say, there is 1,500 or more groups. How many people are there, and how many people do you have on your side?
Muftah: No, no, it's all the people with us, the Libyan people, all the Libyan people are with us. All the civilian people with us and are supporting us you know.
Joanne Moriarty: All of them would agree resistance, he said, all of the Libyans.
Robles: I'm interested in numbers, are we talking millions, hundreds of thousands, thousands, five hundred people?
Joanne Moriarty: We are talking millions of Libyans, we are talking 95% plus of the population.
Robles: I see. Is the general civilian population arming itself? What is going on with most of the civilians?
Joanne Moriarty: Are the civilians fighting, Muftah?
Muftah: Yes, yes these are civilian people, they are fighting the militia and Al Qaeda groups are bombing and attacking the civilian people in the south part where thetribes are attacked by militia in Tripoli.There is the group attacking our strong people, led people, they defended their ...
Joanne Moriarty: They defeated them. Yes, they defeated them.
Robles: I see, and the capital right now, what is going on in the capital?
Robles: What's going on in the capital? Muftah, you're in the South of Libya, right?
Robles: What's going on in Tripoli, do you know?
Muftah: Yes, in Tripoli, as I told you. I told you many, many tribes. So the the people are attacking.
Robles: I see. Have you heard anything about the South Korean trade official who was kidnapped today? Have you heard anything about the South Korean trade official who was kidnapped in Tripoli today?
Muftah: We don't care anymore about kidnapping processes, you know, because every day they kidnap many foreigners, every day they kidnap civilian people. Today they kidnapped 2 Britons, two women from Italy, they have been to (inaudible) it is part of Libya. On the same day they kidnapped an American and others in Tripoli. And this is happening every day. We don't care about and we don't talk about this problem. It's happening every day.
Robles: So you would say now the south of the country, is this about 50% of the country - how much do you think is under the control of the Libyan patriots and the tribes?
Muftah: All the south parts of our country are under control of Libyan patriots consisting of all Libyan tribes in southern of Libya.
Robles: Ok. What about the north, how much do you guys control the north?
Muftah: We try to, we go ahead, we go ahead, we go towards and we have to left control for south to defend, because there are others. it is the right of the Libyan people to know the truth who will not regret about the difference of ourland
Robles: Now, do you have any, have you made any gains in the north?
Muftah: Yes, this is our land. And we don't care about north, south,all of parts it is our land, our country.
Robles: I understand. I am asking you, is there fighting going on in the north?
Muftah: Yes in Tripoli. Yes in Tripoli now there is a fighting between tribes and terrorist groups from Al Qaeda.
James Moriarty: Let me help a little bit.
Robles: Yes please. James, I'd like to know what kind of advances they are making and I am trying to picture the map in my head about what areas are controlled by the tribes and what are controlled with these Al Qaeda elements, if you can help, please. Benghazi and Tripoli, they are on the north, they are on the coast there.
James Moriarty: John, if you go from the south up to Bani Walid. Bani Walid is now flying the green flag at every entrance and exit from that city. The worship (inaudible) tribe which is a very strong tribe, they just won a major battle in Tripoli with Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and these radicals, they won a major battle in Tripoli, they are continuing to move forward in Tripoli.
They are on the east side of the country, Tobruk, to break many, many locations in Benghazi to fly the green flag. There are green flags flying like in Al-Zawiyah that is the far west side. In fact there are many embassies; you should ask Muftah about which embassies, foreign embassies, I mean the Libyan embassies outside of Libya many of the ambassadors have started to run up the green flag because they were not happy with the phony puppet governmentthat the United States put in there. But ask Muftah about the ambassadors that are running green flags now.
Robles: Wow, that would be great, OK. Ahmed Muftah, did you hear what James said? Can you tell us, in which countries are green flags flying over Libyan embassies?
Muftah: Our flag is the green flag lately and south part is under control of Libyan tribes. The puppet government, they don't have any control of south parts of Libya. My dear friends must know that there is fighting and the battle between Al Qaeda and the civilian Libyan people.
Robles: I see. James, go ahead.
James Moriarty: Outside of Libya there are embassies that are backing or behind Libyan embassies in foreign countries, that are backing the patriots in Libya and they have put up the green flag in Libyan embassies in other countries. Do you know the names of some of those countries where the Libyan embassies are now are flying the green flag?
Muftah: We don't have it here. But I heard from our friends now that many Libyan embassies abroad have the green flag on our embassies. But I will not be able to clarify exactly which country and which embassy.
James Moriarty: OK, If you could do that, if you could find that information out we would like to pass that back to John so we can add it when he does this broadcast, because that is very important for people to know that there are Libyan offices, outside of Libya, that are behind the patriots, the legitimate Libyan people.
Robles: Yeah, that would be very interesting. I think that it would be very important to underline that, especially if that is taking place in many different countries. I think that would be a very important sign that power is going back to the people in Libya. James and Joanne, how much more time do you, guys, have? I understand you are short on time.
Joanne Moriarty: Yeah, I need to jump off, John. We have another guy standing in the wings right now.
Robles : Joanne, would you like to finish up with anything? Did you have anything you would like to add?
Joanne Moriarty: I would just like to say that the Libyans are fighting the world enemy- Al Qaeda- by themselves. They need to be supported, they need to be honored and they need help from the world and they need the truth put out about who they are fighting. They are brave people going in there to take their country back.
Robles: Who is supporting them militarily, do you know, Joanne?
Joanne Moriarty: Are there? Nobody right now, I don't think. Hey Muftah is anybody supporting you militarily from outside Libya?
Muftah: No, never. It is just civilian people, different groups, tribe citizens.
Joanne Moriarty: John, this is planned and they have a plan. They are doing what their plan is to take back their country.
Robles: I see. So they are engaged in pretty much … I mean, this is like grassroots guerilla warfare they are engaged in or what? It doesn't sound like they are very well armed or anything.
Joanne Moriarty: Well, I think they have taken some arms from the other groups inside already, in the south especially. Yeah,I've seen pictures of many many tanks and other people, they have a lot of tribes supporting them, all the tribes.
Robles: I see, I see.
Muftah: All the tribes support the patriots and support civilian people and Libyan tribes in the south partsof Libya. And all of them now are calling for help, calling for support. Now there is a fighting between Libyan people and Al Qaeda terrorist groups.
Robles: I see. Do you see any insight on that, Muftah?
Muftah: It depends on the situation, as soon as there are mercenaries andas soon as Qatar stops its support to Al Qaeda terrorist groups inside, we are ready to finish end between our countries. We will back,this is our decision, we fight Al Qaeda, we attack Al Qaeda, we defeat Al Qaeda.
Robles: Do you have a forecast for taking Tripoli? Because you are going to have to take Tripoli to take back the country of course. Any idea on that?
Joanne Moriarty: I've got to go, John, we will make another appointment.
Robles: Ok, thank you very much, Joanne.
Joanne Moriarty: You are welcome.
Robles: Ahmed, thank you very much. I really appreciate.
Muftah: Thank you.
Robles: And, James, you too.
James Moriarty: Thank you, God bless you.
Robles: Ok, bye-bye.
That was the end of an interview with James and Joanne Moriarty and Ahmed Muftah, representatives of the tribes of Libya. Thank you very much for listening. And as always we wish you the best wherever you may be.
22 January, 10:05
Humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it – Pope Francis
The outspoken new leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has sent a message to the global financial elites gathered in Davos Switzerland for the annual World Economic Forum, an event where the richest of the rich and the world’s financial and political leaders gather to discuss pressing world issues and work out strategies and form alliances to ensure the status quo is maintained and that their businesses continue to grow, expand and profit.
There is usually little room at Davos for discussing the issues that directly concern the plight of the world's poor and the posh exclusive playboy surroundings of the InterContinental Davos luxury hotel and the exclusive resort 5,000 feet up in the Swiss Alps underline that fact, but this year it might seem that the elites are a little worried about the growing inequality in the world.
This year's get together titled: "The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business", is apparently an attempt at addressing growing inequality in the world and as the Guardian reports "international leaders are still in crisis mode".
The opening thematic for the forum states that "technology is creating huge social change, shifting power from traditional hierarchies to networked heterarchies", meaning that the wealth may have to be spread out a bit, which would explain why the most powerful of the powerful may be in crisis mode.
Pope Francis, a true and humble champion for the world's down trodden has taken the unusual and courageous step of addressing those responsible for the huge disparities in wealth worldwide and for the suffering of what some say is 99% of the world's population that is not a member of their exclusive club in order to implore the elites to finally pay attention to the suffering of their fellow humans and he pulled no Papal punches in doing so.
Marking the first time that a message from the Holly See has been presented to the forum, Pope Francis' comments were read to those gathered by Cardinal Peter Turkson. It was unclear why the Pope himself was not invited, as he has a world popularity rating any of those gathered would envy and has become what some might call the new moral compass of the world, but it would be in keeping with his shunning of the accoutrements of the rich and the elites, who he sees as responsible for the plight of their fellow humans.
In his message the Pope addressed to Professor Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, the Pope called on participants to look at "the causes of the economic crisis affecting the world these past few years…"
After praising progress that had been made "…in different areas which have important consequences for the life of humanity", Pope Francis then stated that many achievements have "often have led to a widespread social exclusion. Indeed, the majority of the men and women of our time still continue to experience daily insecurity, often with dramatic consequences."
Pope Francis admonished attendees of the elite forum to attempt to be more inclusive saying it was responsibility: "I wish to emphasize the importance that the various political and economic sectors have in promoting an inclusive approach which takes into consideration the dignity of every human person and the common good. I am referring to a concern that ought to shape every political and economic decision, but which at times seems to be little more than an after-thought."
He called on the wealthy to help the weakest and most vulnerable:"Those working in these sectors have a precise responsibility towards others, particularly those who are most frail, weak and vulnerable. It is intolerable that thousands of people continue to die every day from hunger, even though substantial quantities of food are available, and often simply wasted."
Speaking of the millions of refugees worldwide displaced by the resource wars, seeming to address those directly responsible the Pope then stated: "Likewise, we cannot but be moved by the many refugees seeking minimally dignified living conditions, who not only fail to find hospitality, but often, tragically, perish in moving from place to place."
Pope Francis said his words were a challenge to those gathered to make a difference and a call for: "… decisions, mechanisms and processes directed to a better distribution of wealth, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality."
The Pope's message comes against the backdrop of a report by Oxfam that shockingly concludes that 85 people, yes only 85, share the combined wealth of 3.5 billion of the world's poorest and among them hold approximately 1.6 trillion dollars.
According to Oxfam 1% of the global elites control about $110 trillion which is about 65 times more than the poorest 50% of the world's population. The Guardian reports that Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director of Oxfam said: "It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world's population – that's three and a half billion people – own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus."
Also coinciding with the start of "Davos", the International Monetary Fund is set to publish its latest World Economic Outlook which is expected to shed a positive light on forecasts for global GDP for the elites no doubt.
21 January, 06:56
MI-5 uses tactics from Protocols of the Elders of Zion – David Shayler
One of the purposes of the security services of any country is to stop the enemies of the state but some countries become obsessed with the task and neglect their mission to protect the country itself. One of the ways that the intelligence services deal with opponents is through the spread of disinformation and lies about those it deems to be enemies. Former MI-5 officer David Shayler, a UK whistleblower who exposed a plot by MI-6 to assassinate the late Muammar Gaddafi, spoke to the Voice of Russia’s John Robles about the ways that intelligence services demonize whistelblowers and perceived enemies as well as the current state of Freemasonry and other topical issues not usually covered by the press.
20 January, 06:22
The Iraq invasion fatally damaged the UNSC – Craig Murray
The speech on intelligence reform and NSA spying by US president Barack Obama was one in which nothing was said but which was designed to create a strong psychological impact with its visuals. Former United Kingdom Ambassador and rendition death whistleblower Craig Murray stated: “it was like Hitler at a Nuremberg Rally. I have never seen so many national flags of one country behind a single speaker. It was a kind of an exercise in extreme nationalism, rather than an intellectual speech.” Mr. Murray stated that Obama merely continued the US insistence that they have the right to spy on everybody.
With regard to the US expansion of the Magnitsky List Mr. Murray said the creation of the list reveals the mindset in the United States that still regards Russia as an enemy. The US continues to demonize Russia but does nothing against countries like Bahrain which shoots people dead for demonstrating, tortures women and children, gasses people and imprisons doctors and nurses. The Magnitsky List is a peculiar piece of exceptionalism which reveals a scary Cold War mentality from a country that does nothing to address far worse human rights abuses taking place around the world.
Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Mr. Craig Murray he is the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan an author and a former whistleblower. This is part one of an interview in progress.
Robles: Hello Sir good evening! I understand right now you’re in Ghana. Would you like to tell us what you are doing there for our listeners? It might be interesting.
Murray: Yes! I do some development consultancy work out here and provide some advice to the Government of Ghana.
Robles: I see. What is the situation like in Ghana? Is it pretty stable now or… ?
Murray: Yes, Ghana is really leading the way in Africa in many ways in terms of economic development. It is a democracy. The political party in charge changes occasionally at elections and it has a very good human rights record. It has a better human rights record than the UK.
Robles: Wow! Which means it is much better than the US’ even. I’d like to get your reaction to a speech by US President Barack Obama regarding surveillance and the intelligence services – the NSA. His speech is being blasted left and right. You saw the speech. I was wondering if you could give us your reaction to it, as a former whistleblower and someone involved pretty closely with all these matters?
Murray: Yes! It was quite remarkable, really, that any speech should be given so much publicity and so much dominance, and so little should be said really.
He didn’t announce anything that makes any substantial change at all to the way the NSA operates or to the scope of their activities, or to how they are regulated and overseen, which of course is not very much at all. So, really, it was an almost empty speech.
I thought the most interesting thing about the entire speech was, if you saw it, the rather scary visuals. It was like Hitler at a Nuremberg Rally.
I have never seen so many national flags of one country behind a single speaker. It was a kind of an exercise in extreme nationalism, rather than an intellectual speech.
Robles: What was the purpose of the speech then? To strike fear into the public or..? What was going on with that?
Murray: I think it was an assertion of American power and authority, a reminder of the scope of their intelligence services and their amassed ability in electronic surveillance and a continued insistence that they have the right to do this, and have the right to spy on everybody abroad and on their own citizens.
And it was like the mollifying, the velvet glove on the iron fist, it was really a very small part of the speech and not very convincing.
Most of it was a strong assertion of American national security and their rights to spy on other people since the 9-11 events.
Robles: I see. There is a sign in front of the NSA’s new data collection center in Utah. It says: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”
I take great issue with sign myself. It implies they have the right, as you just mentioned a minute ago, to spy on anyone for any reason they want, anywhere in the world.
Murray: I find that phrase extremely chilling: “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear”, it is a phrase which politicians use frequently to justify spying on everybody. And the implication is that they have a right to see absolutely everything you do and if you are not doing wrong, then you shouldn’t object.
Of course, that’s absolute nonsense. I mean, to take it to the extreme – I have nothing to hide when I go to the toilet, but I don’t want people watching me.
Murray: It is not that I’m doing anything wrong, it’s that there are legitimate areas of privacy in life. Politicians are not allowed to see everything.
I mean, if I’m exchanging the emails of intimate nature with my wife or my family, I don’t want politicians reading that or spies reading that. It is not as if only if I have criminal activity, am I entitled to object to people seeing what I write. It is absolute nonsense. And it is quite extraordinary the way that this simple phrase is taken as a defense of their ability to spy on absolutely everything you do.
Robles: Right! Thank for bringing that up, because the argument is so disingenuous, in my opinion, but they use it all the time. Why can’t we spy on you? You must be doing something wrong! And you gave some very good examples. Where is the respect for… (I think it is a human right isn’t it?) privacy?
Murray: It is quite extraordinary. And it is like the idea of the presumption that you are doing wrong unless you can prove otherwise, which is creeping in, as opposed to the idea that until you actually commit a crime, you are free to do anything you want.
I recently went to withdraw some money from my bank account in the UK which I wanted to take out in cash. And the banker asked me why I wanted it. I said: “I want it because it is my money.”
Which wasn’t taken as suitable answer. And had to fill in a form, because if you withdraw more than a certain amount, I guess it is about $6,000 or $7,000 USD, you have to fill in a form to prove you are not money laundering and to say what you want it for.
But why should you have to prove you’re not money laundering? There is no evidence whatsoever you are a money launderer and you have no relation with narcotics or criminal gangs, or anything. But why should you have to prove that you are not doing wrong?
The state should intervene only in cases when wrongdoing is going on. You don’t assume all citizens are doing wrong unless they can prove otherwise, but that seems to have become the default that we are seeing….
Robles: Yes! And that seems where it’s gone since 9-11. Many people I’ve talked to and interviewed speak about the introduction of American fascism and world fascism, and everything else. You, as an Ambassador, someone very close to the workings of governments and geopolitical machinations, and everything, what can you tell us about that; about the coming of the global security surveillance fascist state?
Murray: Well, I think the greatest problem in international relations at the moment is American exceptionalism.
The most promising development since the end of the WW II had been the creation of the system of international law, where I think it was possible up till maybe even 80s or the early 1990s to argue the world had advanced.
The International Court of Justice, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the whole fabric of international law, later to be reinforced by the International Criminal Court, for example – it was expanding and there was reason to believe that in the future the relations between the states might be regulated more by law, than by war.
But then, unfortunately, the American ultra-nationalism, exceptionalism nearly vetoed that. We’ve had the invasion of Iraq, which fatally damaged the UN Security Council, because what’s happened was that America, the UK and the others showed that they could openly attack a weak country and invade it without sanction.
It was obviously illegal, but there was nothing anybody could do to stop it. And we’ve not only had the example of America refusing to be subject to the International Criminal Court, but countries which are subject to the ICC, like the UK, we’ve seen a complete refusal by the ICC to act against the UK.
Clearly there were war crimes committed in Iraq, with the introduction of false intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in order to start the illegal war of aggression, which was itself a war crime – this is all very much under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. But the ICC has simply refused to look at it and refused to do anything about it. And instead, it does nothing but concentrates on prosecuting Africans.
So, the lack of general commitment to international law is the most worrying problem on the global level of the last couple of decades.
Robles: I see. I wanted to ask you in detail about this expansion of the Magnitsky list. They are proposing Ukraine, which, up until it said “no” to the EU, was the shining example of democracy in eastern Europe. Now it is the evil human rights violator of the world.
Murray: Yes, the Magnitsky list, I think the extraordinary thing is the specificity of it.
There are, unfortunately, a huge number of human rights violations carried out around the world, many of them in countries closely associated with or allied to the United States and many of them by the United States itself.
The Magnitsky affair and the death of Mr. Magnitsky does seem on first glance (I don’t claim to be an expert on it) but it does seem to indicate some complicity by local Russian authorities. But it is not by a long way the worst human rights problem in the world. It is quite extraordinary there are countries with far-far worse human rights records than Russia, like Bahrain would be a good example.
Robles: I would say theUnited States is probably the prime example. I mean, what other countries have their own illegal, extrajudicial torture prison where they are openly holding people without trial or charge for over a decade? I don’t know. I think the US would take the prize now. I’m sorry go ahead.
Murray: I think that the systematic use and abuse of people abroad and the illegal invasions and wars, I have no doubt that the United States has perpetrated, if you like, more evil in the world than Russia in the last decade. But frankly, governmental elites and people of every country in the world tend to abuse power, and have done it throughout history. And it would be wrong to exempt Russia completely from that charge…
Robles: Yes, but you don’t have a problem with the hypocrisy. I mean, we just spent almost an hour talking about aggressive wars, about war crimes, about torture and everything else.
Now, Mr. Magnitsky, I’ve seen the documentation and it was an accident, in my opinion. I mean, of course, you are going to question my impartiality, since I work for the Russian Government state media.
But honestly, he asked for medical assistance… (and if you knew Russia, I think it is more of a damnation on medical response times). He requested medical assistance, the doctor took very long to get to him and by the time the doctor got there he’d passed away. But the police had made requests, they had called our emergency service’s number… it is not something most people in the West even know about or talk about, but he passed away because of response time, he didn’t pass away because they whacked him in prison. He had a bad heart, he was under a lot of stress, of course.
But comparing that, which I find ludicrous and insane, with… for example, I proposed and some governmental officials here in Russia proposed (I wrote many articles on this topic): something like a “War on Terror List” where Condoleezza Rice and Wolfowitz, and Bush, and Blair, and Cheney couldn’t travel. But comparing the two I think is insane.
You’re saying sure, Russia has a bad human rights record, but other countries have much worse records. Why aren’t they making Magnitsky lists for other countries like Japan or China, or the Czech Republic. I think this is a political tool that is used just against enemy countries or independent countries. I’m sorry go ahead!
Murray: I think the mindset in the United States that still regards Russia as an enemy is revealed by the existence of Magnitsky List. It is undoubtedly very strange that you have the Magnitsky list used against Russia, but there is nothing against Bahrain.
Bahrain is a country which has shot dead people for demonstrating, which has tortured women and children, which has gassed people, which has imprisoned doctors and nurses…
Robles: They kill the opposition there, right? I mean, in Bahrain. They just kill them, they blind them, they cut off limbs. I’ve heard some of the stuff they do, it is horrible.
Murray: And there is no equivalent list for Bahrain. There’s never ever been a mention of human rights abuses in Bahrain, because Bahrain is viewed as an ally. And the difficulty with the Magnitsky List doesn’t really come to the principle of it or the existence of such a list, it comes to the Cold War mentality which is revealed. And that is very scary.
Again, it is a peculiar piece of exceptionalism, that there are worse human rights abuses taking place around the world and they don’t result in any similar action.
That was the end of part one of an interview with Mr. Craig Murray. He is the former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan an author and a former whistleblower. This is part one of an interview in progress. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com
20 January, 04:52
CIA drug operations heat up in Mexico with civilians caught in crossfire
The ongoing long-running drug war in Mexico has taken a new turn as citizens begin to take matters into their own hands in order to finally be rid of the murderous drug gangs that have taken over large swaths of the country. Armed vigilante groups first began to pop at the beginning of 2013 all over Mexico and this past week one such group clashed not with the ruthless narco-killers running the government linked drug cartels, but with Mexican troops backed by none other than US President Barack Hussein Obama. In the incident which left as many as a dozen dead, the civilians in the town of Antenuz in the Mexican state of Michoacán did not have a chance against the heavily armed US trained Mexican forces. After it was over there were bloody bodies lining the streets and the dead included an 11-year-old girl.
Civilians trapped in US-backed drug war cross-fire
The outcry on behalf of the citizens has risen to an international level with the incident once again shining light on yet more collusion between the US Government, American special services and the illegal narcotics trade as reports point to US backing of both Mexican Army units and the drug cartels they are supposed to be fighting.
US supports drug cartels
This duplicity is further underlined by a recent report by the New American that: Federal authorities in the United States have been quietly supporting certain Mexican criminal empires, especially the Sinaloa drug cartel, in a bid to solidify the syndicates’ reign as dominant powerbrokers in particular territories, according to leaked e-mails from a U.S.-based Mexican diplomat to the private intelligence firm Stratfor. If cartel chiefs cooperate with authorities, “governments will allow controlled drug trades,” the diplomatic source wrote.
Although the armed civilian groups may also be said to share blame in the escalation of violence after being forced to react against the non-stop killings that have plagued Mexico. The real victims are the civilians as they have been devastated both by the criminal syndicates and the government.
Although the mission of the vigilante groups should be seen as being in line with that of the government, the government sees them as a threat and they are at odds with police and law enforcement making their struggle all the worse. After the latest incident involving the shooting of an 11-year-old girl it is now going to be even more difficult for the government to bring these groups into its fold and for the vigilantes to trust the federal forces.
Turf war and the “Knights Templar”
The BBC reported thatthe massacre of the civilians came after they launched an offensive against a powerful drug cartel which calls itself the Knights Templar.
According to the BBC and other media outlets including Mexican newspapers there is currently a very strong police and military presence said to be protecting the cartel in the town of Apatzingan where the Knights Templar is based. The narco-group is reportedly in control of most of the methamphetamine trade and traffic that is bound for the US.
The BBC reports one of the leaders of the local vigilante groups as having stated: "How does the federal government imagine that we would lay down our arms when they haven't detained a single leader of the Knights Templar? How is that fair?"
Join the police
Last Monday the Mexican Interior Minister Angel Osorio Chong announced that Mexico would be deploying federal troops to the western state of Michoacan and that the choice had been given to the vigilante groups to either lay down their arms or join the police. This is something many in the groups do not want to do because in many parts of the country the police are working in unison with the cartels and joining them would be suicide.
Federal troops move in
Federal troops have so far moved into the towns of Antunez, Nueva Italia and Paracuaro which had been seized by the armed vigilante groups last week in escalation of the violence in the state of Michoacán.
US needs war on anything
As the War on Terror winds down and the list of countries that were targeted for regime change and intervention has been put on hold, in various places such as in Afghanistan and now Mexico we have seen an upsurge in news related to illegal narcotics trafficking and the narco-trade. The correlation between the two events, the winding down of the War on Terror and the now almost seamless escalation of the US’ decades old War on Drugs is one that cannot be ignored.
Billions in black operations funding
The illegal narcotics trade and the collusion between the CIA and the West is one that is almost impossible to investigate as anyone who attempts to do so or gets too close is quickly shut down, but it is one that we know enough about from what has leaked out in the past 40 years or so and from the brave efforts of a handful of journalists, to say without a doubt that it exists.
Mr. Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), recently called news of a 40 fold increase in opium production in Afghanistan "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".
In an early article I wrote “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.” With regard to Mexico the problem appears to be the same.
Enough is enough
Mexico, if we want to use some metaphors loved by American law enforcement proponents, is suffering from a plague of narcotics related crime that has spread like an epidemic throughout the country, engulfing, diseasing and destroying everything in its path, and the Mexican people have quite simply had enough with the level of crime and the inability of the authorities to stop it and have decided to take their communities back.
Mexico is the main illegal narcotics corridor into the American market and it is a hotly contested one worth billions of dollars annually with rival cartels vying for control in a bloody turf war that has raged for years.
The recent incident in the town of Antenuz in the Mexican state of Michoacán underlines the desperation of the civilian population and the hypocrisy of the Obama Administration and the US Government when it comes to the so-called “War on Drugs”.
US backs troops
According to numerous sources the Mexican troops are backed by the Obama administration which also backs the criminal syndicates. Again the New American reported that American troops and special operations units are already operating in Mexico. “In addition to supporting certain cartels such as Sinaloa, U.S. troops secretly operating in the nation were reportedly working with Mexican forces to perpetrate “surgical strikes.” Leading analysts equated the machinations to “death squads.” Long before those revelations hit the headlines, Obama announced an expansion of the Bush administration’s controversial program to support the Mexican government in its blood-drenched “war.” Despite widespread human-rights concerns, Washington, D.C., has continued to pour hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into the drug-war coffers of Latin American governments — especially the one ruling Mexico — for years. So far, the schemes show no signs of slowing down or getting anywhere near victory.”
Endless CIA drug funding
Gary Webb, who committed suicide by shooting himself twice in the head, was one of the few journalists who successfully exposed a link between the CIA and cocaine traffickers raising funds for the Nicaraguan Contras in what was called the Iran-Contra affair.
The chief bank in that scheme, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), was also used to launder money gained from the sale of opium from Afghanistan and Pakistan and paid to Osama Bin Laden and his Mujahideen.
Although the Knights Templar in Mexico are involved in methamphetamine trafficking and Columbian cocaine groups also work closely with CIA opium appears to be the drug of choice for raising black funds.
One of the first such documented cases was the support of anti-Communist Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) forces who were being funded by opium from China and Burma which was flown to Thailand via the CIA’s now infamous Air America.
In a recent interview with the Voice of Russia I spoke to Wayne Madsen and he mentioned Air America and CIA covert funding and their collusion in the illegal narcotics business. Mr. Madsen said the CIA and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents are often shooting at each other because they have different missions, one to stop drugs and the other to import them.
Cocaine, opium and other narcotics find their way to American consumers through various channels but Mexico almost always figures as part of the voyage. From Afghanistan to Europe and Russia there is Manas and Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo and Hashim Thaçi, in the US the Mena Intermountain Municipal Airport in Mena Arkansas, is one CIA drop point, but almost all shipments go through Mexico.
Miami International Airport is another location where the CIA allowed at least one ton of nearly pure cocaine to be shipped into the US claiming they were doing so to gather intelligence but the cocaine was sold on the street.
In 1993 former DEA head Robert Bonner accused the CIA of importing several tons of pure cocaine into the U.S. via Venezuela.
In 1996 a Venezuelan anti-narcotics chief and longtime CIA asset named General Ramon Guillen Davila, was indicted for working with the CIA to smuggle tons of cocaine into the US.
According to Peter Dale Scott a former diplomat and professor of English, who believed the CIA was involved in the deaths of up half a million people in Indonesia in the mid-1960s, Mexico’s DFS intelligence agency, which was later called the Center for Research and National Security of Mexico, was like Al-Qaeda, a CIA creation and its director Miguel Nazar Haro, a CIA asset, helped the Guadalajara Cartel become Mexico's most drug syndicate in the 1980s. The cartel was also connected to the CIA through Honduran drug baron Juan Matta-Ballesteros, another CIA asset. Ballesteros ran SETCO, an airline used for smuggling drugs into the US.
The Godfather of the Mexican drug business Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo was also working with and providing funds for CIA operations. His narcotics activities were well known to the CIA and DEA, but they were ignored mainly because of his huge charitable contributions CIA backed groups.
Claims made by Vicente Zambada Niebla, the son of Ismael Zambada García a Mexican narcotics baron, that he and other top Sinaloa cartel members had received immunity by U.S. agents to smuggle cocaine into the US, are backed up by the New American story. He says they were allowed to operate as long as they provided intelligence on rival cartels. Which of course would have allowed the CIA to take out their completion.
Citing a Stratfor document the New American wrote: “Another bombshell uncovered in the leaked e-mails indicated that the U.S. federal government had deliberately allowed cartel hit men to murder people inside the United States if they agreed to offer their services to Washington. “Regarding ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) screwing up informants: They (ICE) were handling big hit men from Juarez and letting them kill in the U.S.,” a federal law enforcement supervisor wrote in an e-mail.
The CIA is out of control in their collusion with the global illegal narcotics trade and making billions of dollars in the process but things will soon be looking up. With the now open ended presence of US/NATO air bases worldwide, including those now set up in Afghanistan (now the world’s top opium producer) such as Shindad, Kandahar, Bagram and Kabul and developments in drone technology, such as the General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B-ER and B-003) Altair and Mariner, which can carry up to 3,000 pounds (1,360 kilograms), the CIA can make Air America look like child’s play. One advantage of drone drug trafficking is no more bothersome pilots and ground personnel to expose operations. Which might be why the CIA is adamant at keeping the drones under their control.
The views and opinions expressed here are my own. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: February 4, 2014 to correct naming Mr. Peter Dale Scott "late" as was stated in my source material. Mr. Scott is very much alive and well. John
18 January, 09:25
Regarding Snowden: US lies and lies and lies - Jesselyn Radack
According to dozens of independent sources and principals close to the Edward Snowden affair the US Government and its proxies and agents are continuing their campaign against Edward Snowden and have on multiple occasions either released or distorted information which has appeared in the media and has been designed to damage his relationship with the Russian Federation. Recent reports that Mr. Snowden had one point seven million files that detailed current military operations were a complete fabrication and an attempt to continue to persecute Mr. Snowden and portray him as a traitor rather than a whistleblower. Jessylyn Raddack, former US Justice Department whistleblower and Edward Snowden’s legal advisor spoke to the Voice of Russia’s John Robles and discussed these issues and more.
This is John Robles. You are listening to part 2 of an interview with Jesselyn Radack, the National Security and Human Rights Director of the Government Accountability Project in the United States. She is also a legal advisor for Edward Snowden. This is part 2 of a longer interview you can find part 1 on our website at voiceofrussia.com. This interview is in progress.
Robles: If we can, back to the revelations now. So, it would appear that this 1.7 million files story is also not really legitimate and the fact that there is ongoing JSOC operations and stuff that maybe compromised by some of the information, you would say that is unfounded, right?
Radack: I would say the 1.7 million number materialized out of nowhere. In fact, I don't know how the government, the US government, came up with that considering they have admitted they don't know how much information he took – number one. Number two – even if in that information there happened to be something about military activities, no journalist is going to publish anything about troop movements or military plans or anything like that. That is why Mr. Snowden gave those documents to journalists, so that they could carefully go through them and only print what is in the public interest to know.
Robles: What about our agent names, names of agents and sources? That was another concern.
Radack: Again, I don't think those are among those documents. But even if they were, journalists are never going to compromise an undercover agents' identity. We have a law against that in the US called the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. And even though the US has exposed names of undercover agents to Hollywood so that they can make films, glamorizing certain things: the capture of bin Laden. The only person to be convicted of that is another whistleblower John Kiriakou, who confirmed to a journalist the name of a torturer.
Robles: Ok. I'm sure that was not Mr. Snowden's intention in the first place and it seems to me that that would be another way to get him on some sort of treason charge, right? I mean, if he was exposing agents.
Radack: If he exposed agents, they would add an Intelligence Identities Protection Act charge against him. Again, only two people in the US have been convicted under that law ever. And I seriously doubt given the organization with which journalist Glenn Greenwald described in Rolling Stone magazine about how Mr. Snowden had organized these files, it sounds like he was out to reveal US surveillance, not to unmask undercover agents of an agency he used to work for.
Robles: Right, sure. Well, as I understood, I mean what he said, he saw a world where everything was being scooped up and pried into, and he didn't want to be a part of it, if I remember that. And that sounds completely legitimate and above board and noble to expose something like that, in my opinion.
Radack: I agree. And also if you look at this whole scandal, over and over and over again the US has lied and lied and lied even before Congress on camera, under oath. And Mr. Snowden has not. Mr. Snowden has told the truth, the US government has lied over and over and over again and every week we have a new rumor, we have to try to quash that the US puts out.
Robles: Now, listen, you just said a very interesting phrase a minute ago. I was wondering if you could expand on it. You said ‘the capture of Osama bin Laden'.
Radack: I probably misspoke, as far as I know they just killed him.
Robles: Ok, you misspoke there, ok. Because there is a lot of people wondering if he is actually dead, I mean why was there never ever any evidence produced that he was actually killed. This goes back to a lot of people who knew about his CIA codename of Osman, that he was just brought in from the Cold or something, and I don't know, ok, anyway.
There is a war going on, I think you would agree and I think you've said that in the last few months, on journalists and whistleblowers. I don't know if you watched the hearings that the Guardian had to face before the UK Parliament, did you see those?
Radack: Yes, a travesty.
Robles: Can you comment on those and this war on journalists and whistleblowers, please if you would?
Radack: I think it is completely frightening in any kind of democracy to have a war on whistleblowers, which is also a backdoor way of being a war on journalists and having people from the Guardian have to answer for committing journalism was a spectacle. It was ridiculous and it was scary that Rusbridger had to describe how the Police came and made him smash hard drives, as if that would really work knowing that the information was housed in a number of other locations and just the whole over … just the heavy handiness of making him comment and answer questions about doing exactly what investigative journalists are supposed to be doing.
Robles: Right, I like that phrase you just said – 'committing journalism'. I thought I was outrageous when, I forgot the MP’s name, and he says: 'Do you love your country’, he asks him. What is that about?
Radack: Exactly. Yeah, I mean by whistleblowers, whistleblowers' attorneys, journalists get that ‘are you patriotic’? I think he was asked if he was patriotic, and if he loved his country. And of course he does, just as Mr Snowden does. Mr Snowden loves the US, he is a patriotic individual. Ultimately, sure he would like to come back to the US if the conditions were right. He did what he did to help the US and save it from becoming a complete surveillance state and to try to rein in a lot of this unconstitutional spying that NSA has been doing on its own people, in the US and on the entire world.
Robles: Now Jesselyn, do you think, is this going to reel them in at all? They opened up that new data center in Utah and it seems like they are just expanding. Have you seen any movement?
Radack: Well, I don't know. That maybe put on hold, the President will give his views on January 17. But it doesn't stop there, because Congress also has 24 bills, yeah,some two dozen bills in front of it to rein in these programs and judges are finally after being blocked for 12 years are finally hearing these cases and also calling the programs likely unconstitutional.
The government is trying to strike a deal on data storage by having the telephone companies do it. But I don't think they want to be the repository of this information. And I don't think the courts are going to allow and I don't think Congress is going to allow the metadata collection and storage program to continue. So, I think there will be an empty building hopefully in the middle of Utah.
Radack: Unfortunately, I have to run.
Robles: Can I ask you one last question really quick about Mr Snowden? As his legal advisor, what have you been advising him? I mean, as far as staying Russia. What is going on with him currently? How is he feeling?
Radack: I think he understands, he is staying in Russia and that his temporary asylum expires in 7 months and he hopes that will be renewed for another year or into a permanent asylum because he is safe there and he knows that.
Robles: Well I'm sure, as long as the danger exists it will be renewed. And I'm sure the threat to his safety from the US government will not change unless there is a complete and total revolution in the United States and the entire government is changed. So I think he will be here for a while. I'm almost 100% certain the Russian government would never revoke his asylum unless, of course, he crosses a border.
Radack: Right, of course. And I'm glad to hear you say that. And the Russian Attorney Anatoly Kucherena said the same thing that they were glad to have him and in the end I'm so glad to hear that that is something that can be continued, it really heartens me. And I'm sure Mr Snowden is quite grateful for it too.
That was the end 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 previous part of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com. Thank you very much for listening and I wish you the best wherever in the world you may be.
17 January, 08:38
US puppet Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia to appease NATO - Rick Rozoff
20-20 hindsight is something we all may have in retrospect but something that at times may be more difficult to attain when there are concerted efforts at obfuscation and twisting the truth. This was the case with the invasion by Georgia of the restive enclave of South Ossetia, an area populated almost entirely by ethnic Russians who held Russian citizenship. We now know, thanks to the untiring efforts of individuals such as eminent NATO expert Rick Rozoff, the entire invasion was a move to evict Russian peacekeepers and settle a “territorial dispute” so that Georgia could join NATO. Sadly for tie-eating-Georgian-leader Mihail Sakashvili Russia defended its citizens and things did not work out as his US instructors had promised. In a long 2013 end of the year summary with the Voice of Russia, long time NATO expert and anti-NATO activist Rick Rozoff details those facts and sheds light on where the alliance is headed in the coming year and onward.
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 4 of an interview in progress. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at voiceofrussia.com
Rozoff: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 either 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.The Russian Black Sea Fleet vessels that have come to Syria recently have left their base in the Crimea, for the most part. By the way, this is a precondition for Ukraine joining NATO rather.
Robles: Evicting the Black Sea Fleet is a precondition?
Rozoff:Well not specifically, but inevitably, and I’ll need to describe how. When NATO re-asserted in 2009, if I’m correct, that Georgia and Ukraine were going to join NATO, that they have been invited to join as full members of NATO, it was with the proviso that two standard NATO conditions be met. And those two conditions are: no foreign military forces on the soil of the country that joins NATO, which is to say – no non-NATO military forces on the soil. That would be the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea exactly in the case of Ukraine. It would have been at that time Russian - actually it was 2008,it was 2008 because it was several months before the five-day war that the Saakashvili regime instigated in the South Caucasus.
The second condition is no unresolved territorial disputes. I read that immediately at the NATO Summit at the beginning of 2008
Robles: No unresolved territorial disputes?
Rozoff:Such as for example Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia but, arguably, Crimea in Ukraine. You know, at the point where the West could have portrayed or can now say that a largely ethnic Russian constituency in Crimea is interfering with the westernization or the European integration of Ukraine, then were a government like that of Yushchenko to call in Western support, including military support into the Crimea, that would not be beyond the realm of possibilities, that’s number one.
So, what we have here is two things. That I believe the war in the Caucasus in August of 2008 was the inevitable result of what NATO offered to Georgia and Ukraine earlier in the year, which was – once you get rid of foreign military forces, even peace-keepers on your territory and once you integrate restive areas and put them under your thumb, then you can join NATO. This was all but an invitation for Mikhail Saakashvili to invade South Ossetia and following that, had he been successful, Abkhazia. And it was also an invitation for Yanukovych to clamp down on political opponents in Eastern Ukraine.
Robles: That’s the first time I’ve heard that one. Why didn’t we talk about that before? You said it was a condition for them to do that. So, basically they invaded South Ossetia and killed all the Russian citizens there to join NATO?
Rozoff:That is my firm contention of this day, that it was known, it was explicitly stated at the NATO Summit in Bucharest, Romania in 2008 that Georgia and Ukraine were to join NATO as full members. As a matter of fact, there were special commissions set up after the war. After the war in August of 2008 the US set up formal commissions with Ukraine and Georgia and NATO set up something comparable to that, you know a special program for both countries for their integration.
But it is common knowledge, and it was reiterated at the Bucharest Summit, that the two impediments for a nation joining NATO were unresolved territorial disputes within their national boundaries and the presence of non-NATO military forces in the country. Russia in this case was meant vis-à-vis Georgia and Ukraine. And that’s why I’m stating it.
In fact, the Commonwealth of Independent States mandated peace-keeping forces – peace-keeping forces mandated by the CIS! (ofwhich Georgia was a member at that time, before the war, let’s recall) – and that they were mandated to be in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. To NATO, itrepresented an impediment to the full incorporation of Georgia as a full NATO member, Mr. Saakashvili understood that and he acted accordingly. That’s my conviction.
But this applies equally, I would argue,or almost equally to Ukraine because the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine would be the biggest impediment, absolutely an impediment. It would be a sinequa non of NATO membership to evict the Russian Black Sea Fleet from the Crimea. Mr. Yushchenko understood that perfectly in 2008 too.
But now that with the eastern partnership, because this is what the association agreement with the European Union meant. It is being done under the auspices of a program created also in 2008, exactly the same year, we’re talking about the Bucharest Summit, on the initiative of Poland and Sweden to invite all of the non-Russian, all the former Soviet republics in Europe and the Caucasus, except for Russia (meaning Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) into the eastern partnership to integrate them into the European Union. Which would mean what? That would mean the effective death of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
How else can that be interpreted? If you’re telling every single non-Central Asian Soviet Republic except Russia that they could be incorporated into the European Union, which is basically co-terminus with NATO. That’s something like 21 out of 28 members of the European Union are members of NATO and the others are partners.
Robles: I don’t think that would ever happen, because all the people have to do is sit down and look at the numbers, like they did in Ukraine and we talked about this before. $100billion in income over 7 years if we join the Customs Union and $1billion in income over 7 years if we join the EU. Plus they would have to divert all theirspending on social programs and everything else into upgrading their military, and becoming NATO compatible.
I don’t think that would ever happen. But, again, NATO was formed and founded to fight the Soviet Union and destroy the Soviet Union, OK or defend against the Soviet Union, however you want to put it. And it seems to me they have just continued along that same road despite the fact that the Soviet Union no longer exists. Would you agree with that?
Rozoff:On the second score I agree. On the first score I think we have to be careful. By the way, a mistake earlier – it is 27 members I believe of the European Union, of which 21 are members in NATO. But the other 6 are all NATO partners in the Partnership for Peace program. So, you know, it’s almost sleightof hand – NATO is EU, EU is NATO, or rather the EU is NATO minus the US and Canada.
Robles: I think people in Serbia know that. I think now people in Ukraine are beginning to realize that. I think people in Poland know that. I think most Russians are now waking up and realizing that but... Go ahead Rick.
Rozoff: However, as we talked about, if at the Bucharest Summit of NATO in 2008 it was told the US puppet regime in Kiev – and that’s all the Yushchenko Government was – you know, he was being led by the nose by his wife Kathy from Chicago. And if anyone doesn’t believe that, I suggest they look into the matter a little more closely. But that all the Government of Yushchenko or the one that would replace Yanukovych now, if some kind of a revived Orange Revolution were to occur, would have to do is to provoke some political crisis in the Crimea.
We know, for example, there’ve been demonstrations by Crimeans, local residents against the US-NATO military exercises – the Sea Breeze exercises that we talked about a few minutes ago. All they would have to do is have a some kind of provocation staged, US uses that as an excuse to protecting Ukraine against Russian proxy subversion or something of this sort, and then you have a real crisis on your hands. So, let’s not dismiss that possibility.
On the first part of the question you asked me – is NATO an outdated organization? That’s one argument by opponents of NATO that I don’t fully share. What it tends to suggest is that NATO was a perfectly legitimate organization at its inception and throughout the Cold War, but now we don’t need it. That is not at all what NATO has been transformed into in the post-Cold War period.
The US and its major allies in NATO – and this is not strictly a US thing – we have to understand that two of the world’s largest arms exporters right now are Germany, which I believe is number three (NATO has worked very well for German death merchants), another major international arms exporter is Sweden. Sweden, which has joined the international NATO response force, has taken good care of its politicians and certainly of its merchants of death as a result of affiliation with NATO. So, this is not simply a matter of an outdated organization to continue on its own momentum with no purpose.
The cliché that’s been used for the last 15 years as “in search of a mission” or “redefining itself” or something of this sort – no, the US instead has seen that, with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc as a whole – you know, the Comecon economic union, and the Warsaw Pact military alliance – as one official stated several years ago that basically the US moved the Berlin Wall to the Russian border.
Notwithstanding the assurances by the George H.W Bush Administration to the Mikhail Gorbachev Government that NATO would not move one inch eastward, we can see what is in fact…
Robles: Well, they made that promise they just refused to put it on paper.
Rozoff: I don’t want to belabor this point. And whatever it was, it is no longer such after 1991, and actually earlier than that.
In 1991 the Warsaw Pact, which had already been moribund for years, formally dissolved itself and then, in the same year, in 1991 the Soviet Union fragmented into 15 republics or nations.
So, that the whatever alleged justification that NATO might ever have had, it disappeared, it dissolved immediately. And at that point, if NATO was a defensive organization (I don’t believe it was, but for those who claim it was at any point in its history), then it of necessity had to dissolve itself too at that point. Yes or no?
Robles: What is NATO then? I mean, it wasn’t a defensive organization to begin with, what exactly was it then?
Rozoff: At the moment Berlin fell in 1945 the war waged by the US, France and Britain and the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany became a conflict between the US, Britain and France against the Soviet Union. Everybody knows that.
One war had not ended before the next one – the Cold War – began. And NATO was necessary to sustain permanent US military presence in Europe, consolidate friendly (one might argue – compliant) governments in the major European countries, that would be beholden to the US military and would in fact be integrated politically and militarily with the United States.
However, at that time at least the name of the organization made some sense and some legitimacy when we speak about the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization. Of the original 12 members I believe all but Italy were on or near the Atlantic Ocean. We are now looking at a North-Atlantic Treaty Organization that from 1999 to 2009, that is in one decade, expanded from 16 countries to 28. That is a 40% increase.
Robles: Now North-Atlantic is into eastern Africa, I believe.
Rozoff: It is all over the world. And the 12 new members are all in eastern and central Europe, from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea, to the Adriatic Sea. And none of them are anywhere near the Atlantic Ocean.
So, if it was a defensive organization to defend democracies and the euro-Atlantic region, then why is up to 28 members, the majority of whom now are not on the Atlantic Ocean.
That’s I think a simple refutation of that claim. I mean, the fact that the three former Soviet republics – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania – were brought in as full NATO members in 2004 and in the NATO Summit in Turkey seven new nations were brought in at one time – that is unprecedented – right? – except for the original inception.
Robles: I’d like to say one thing. Russia, does that pose a threat to the West. I’m sorry, people. Russia is not threatening America. Russia is not and has never threatened Europe. Russia is not threatening Scandinavia…
Rozoff: No, it is a bogeyman. I mean, you’ve talked about the four phantom enemies. You know, they concoct a man of straw, an imaginary threat and then they… as it was evidenced perhaps in the last year, maybe a little longer than that, a major military official, I believe a Defense Ministry official in Sweden has said: “If Russia invades Sweden, without NATO support we’d be overrun in days.” Now, come on!
Robles: Yes, we wouldn’t last eight hours I think he said.
Rozoff: Okay, it is even worse. In what geopolitical and what psychological universe does one frame scenarios like that? But it is clear that this is evoking images, you know, the absolute, the most horrifying images of the Cold War. You know, Russians are coming. And if: “… we – Sweden – do not join NATO immediately by the time you get home from work, there are going to be Russian troops in Stockholm.”
I mean, this is kind of lunacy that goes on. But because the media, as well as the political establishment in Western countries are so subservient, first of all, to the US and, second of all, to the Western elites as a whole… somebody like that should have been drummed out of his position immediately after making a statement like that. That is alarmism, that is fear mongering.
Robles: Who is this serving? It is serving the military industrial complex, isn’t it?
Rozoff: Including that in Sweden, including Sweden’s ability to sell arms around the world, based on its affiliation with NATO, because of the interoperability of weaponry.
There is something else that is significant and only a handful of people in Sweden, evidently, fully I think taken cognizance of this. About two or three years ago the Swedish Army revamped itself. It had been a territorial defense army, a citizen army and it was meant for one purpose only – in the very-very unlikely, if not impossible, case of foreign military forces assaulting Sweden, the Swedish Armed Forces were to defend Sweden, period.
That was the end of part 4 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
16 January, 23:20
Police salaries: a reason US/NATO must obtusely occupy Afghanistan?
Due to clerical errors in filing the proper documents, something which exists in all governments at one time or the other, some police in Afghanistan have not received their salaries since November. The Afghan authorities have reported that the issue is being taken care of and that Afghanistan’s law enforcement personnel will be receiving their full salaries and back pay soon. Those are the facts but of course the US/NATO occupiers have to twist them to meet their own ends.
The narrative again is as old and tired as the hills as US/NATO continue to use the same arguments and propaganda to attempt to stay relevant and put forward an acceptable and believable argument to continue their occupation of Afghanistan, a country they invaded, decimated, occupied and were never wanted in, in the first place. Again the western media is full of statements and reports that the Afghan people are inept, corrupt, incompetent, ignorant and apparently cannot even pay out meager salaries to police despite the “generosity” of the occupiers.
One of the favorite tactics for justifying military occupations, interventions and the subversion of foreign governments by the US has long been one of demonizing and portraying populations and governments as being somehow unable to govern themselves properly to guarantee their own security either because they are too backward and ignorant or too weak to defend themselves. This is a particularly effective tactic with countries possessing non-white populations, particular Middle Eastern and Latin American nations whose “brown” people are portrayed as somehow ignorant and incapable of self-rule.
The tactic plays well to “Americans”, blinded by the country’s institutionalized endemic racism and from birth fed with propaganda that somehow the white “American” race group is the one chosen by God to rule the world and is somehow inherently more intelligent, worthy and exceptional than any other. Non-white Americans are of course forced to live with such a system and are of course figuratively “welcomed along for the ride” as long as they are supportive and live with the pretext that they are inferior and that the land of the “Red” man is the land of the white man.
Of course no one in the debate do those demonizing Afghanistan for the clerical error mention their own government’s complete and total failure economically but that is another issue. US/NATO need to justify their continued presence. With the issue of pay for the police, if one is to listen to many Afghans, the fault lies with the West, who many say is attempting to further weaken the country and who must be evicted as soon as possible. That is the Afghan perspective. The self-serving western perspective is that for the same reason they must stay, which is just in keeping with their long-term strategy in the region.
While blame is being traded by Afghan officials and others are blaming the West the issue appears to truly clerical in nature and does not reflect a need for the US/NATO to continue their occupation. Quite the opposite in fact it shows that law enforcement continues to function even with the absence of pay. Something Americans could never really understand in the first place.
While many western media outlets are jumping on the bandwagon and screaming “See they are ignorant, they must be occupied!” the New York Times appears to be one of the most balanced outlets reporting on the issue. The NY Times reports that: “Basil Massey, who runs the United Nations trust fund through which the police salaries are transferred to the Afghan government from donor nations said the money is in Afghanistan’s treasury and the trust fund was only now becoming aware of the problem because it was reconciling its books from the past quarter, which ended in December.”
According to the NYT “Afghanistan Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal said the Interior Ministry’s paperwork arrived three days before the end of the Afghan fiscal year on Dec. 20. By then, the ministry’s processing system was already closed so the accounting books could be reconciled. The Interior Ministry “might as well have complained about us because we didn’t process their late requests, but we at the Ministry of Finance follow standard budgetary procedures — and that we stick to. Now that the ministry is again dispersing money, the police will soon receive their back pay, he said.”
NYT: Interior Ministry spokesperson Sediq Sediqqi, said the ministry had missed the deadline because of a shift in the dates for the fiscal year, and that the late paychecks affected only a few areas. Interior Minister Umar Daudzai, said he had already fired a number of officials and that the issue would not happen again.
Sounds reasonable, things happen, especially in a war torn occupied country. Sounds reasonable if one is objective, unless of course you want to use such an error for your own propaganda purposes and to justify a further occupation as it appears many western media outlets do.
The Christian Science Monitor is just one such publication reporting that the Afghan Government is “inept”, “does not even notice that their own police did not receive their salaries” and that the error is a “stunning display of incompetence”. In the same article they demonize Karzai for not caving in to conditions to guaranteeing the further occupation of his country and attempt to portray the occupation and the foreign invaders as somehow necessary as a force for good: “… allowing foreign troops to stay is crucial for the continued flow of aid to Afghanistan and for the country's stability.”
The article is a perfect example of American hypocrisy and their messianic approach to their own role in the world and by failing to mention the opposing side of the equation is a disservice to any of the poor readers who happen to come across the piece. Nowhere is there a mention that Afghanistan existed for thousands of years without US occupation, that the US/NATO occupying forces are guilty of thousands of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan or that the only visible result of going on 13 years of occupation is a 40 fold increase in opium production.
The CSM finishes with: “If after 10 years and a war that has cost the US at least $1 trillion the government can't remember to pay its police, how many more years and how much money must be spent before it learns how?”
The idiocy of this statement is so glaring that I can only call it what it is, namely idiotic. First off since when is US/NATO an educational body and has the responsibility to ensure that countries pay their police on time? Second if after the US has spent at least $1 trillion dollars in Afghanistan engaged in a mission that has brought the people of the US nor of Afghanistan any benefit, this while the American people are hurting and the US’ own economy is bankrupt and the country is falling apart, when are the people going to learn to stand up and say “enough is enough”. Mentioning the US Government “learning” anything is a hopeless cause and one which has been abandoned by many long ago.
Afghanistan is a geopolitical prize from which US/NATO will never leave because it allows for placing US/NATO military assets near Russia and within range of central Asia, and it is now, thanks to US/NATO the world largest producer of opium and the biggest provider of CIA black funds on the planet. How many years and how much more money will be spent before the American people wake up and realize they have been duped?
Afghanistan needs to heal, to rebuild its infrastructure and its society and it does not need obtuse war profiteers and war criminals occupying it any longer to do so. Sadly even the Taliban seems a better option than continued US/NATO occupation, and this is according to US analysts and even the same reporter for the CSM. So go figure.