How an American Anthropologist Tied to US Regime-Change Proxies Became the MSM’s Man in Nicaragua -By Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal – MINT PRESS

Carl David Goette-Luciak

It might seem cavalier for an academically credentialed anthropologist to assert political influence on the population he is supposed to be studying; however, Goette-Luciak’s activities fit within a long tradition.

MANAGUA, NICARAGUA — (Investigation) The Guardian, The Washington Post, the BBC and NPR have assigned an American anthropologist with no previous journalistic experience to cover the crisis in Nicaragua. The novice reporter, named Carl David Goette-Luciak, has published pieces littered with falsehoods that reinforce the opposition’s narrative promoting regime change while relying almost entirely on anti-Sandinista sources.

An investigation for MintPress reveals that Goette-Luciak has forged intimate ties to the opposition, and has essentially functioned as its publicist under journalistic cover. Having claimed to work in the past as an anthropologist and “human rights defender,” Goette-Luciak operated side-by-side with activists from a U.S.-backed opposition party known as the Sandinista Renovation Movement, or MRS. As we will see in this investigation, U.S. government-funded organizations have supplied the MRS with millions of dollars worth of election assistance, and continue to fund its activists by funding their NGO’s and social media training.

Goette-Luciak now lists himself as “director of investigations” for an obscure outlet called Radio Ciudadana that was founded a month before the chaos erupted last April. That outlet’s founder, Azucena “Chena” Castillo, is an outspoken member of the MRS party who has devoted herself to the government’s overthrow. Goette-Luciak’s social-media profile reveals intimate ties to numerous MRS leaders and, in a recently deleted podcast interview, he has described his own work to encourage indigenous opposition to the Sandinista front.

 

Media outlets like the Guardian, NPR and The Washington Post feign objectivity before their readers, presenting themselves as arbiters of truth in an era of fake news. However, in countries where Washington is pushing regime change, these same outlets have dispatched a corps of writers to embed with U.S.-backed opposition elements, provide them with publicity, and sell their goals back to the American public.

Goette-Luciak is one of clearest embodiments of the disturbing trend.

 

Western media versus the Sandinistas

Goette-Luciak vaulted suddenly into the world of journalism after student-led protests erupted last April 18 in Nicaragua. President Daniel Ortega had announced a set of tax increases to keep the public pension system solvent, triggering mass protests that quickly transformed into a full-scale attempt at regime change.

Within days, violent elements had taken over university campuses and were setting up roadblocks around the country to paralyze its economy.

While American officials condemned killings and abuses by the Nicaraguan government, scores of Sandinista members and national police officers were murdered by opposition gunmen; hundreds more were kidnapped, tortured and abused; and institutions affiliated with the government were destroyed.

Almost as soon as the Sandinista-led government defeated the coup attempt in July, it became the target of a sustained campaign of attacks in Western media. A raft of articles portrayed Ortega, the former guerrilla leader, as a reincarnation of the bloodthirsty, U.S.-backed dictator he had deposed, Anastasio Somoza. The opposition, meanwhile, was painted as a collection of peaceful protesters gunned down for supposedly demanding democracy.

The death and suffering experienced by average Sandinista members was whitewashed across the board, and the role the U.S. played in laying the groundwork for the coup was dismissed as “fake news.” In Washington, the media campaign propelled a push in Congress for crushing sanctions targeting Nicaragua’s previously productive economy.

Many Western reporters have embarked on short regime-change fishing expeditions guided by opposition activists from one anti-Sandinista source to the next. But Goette-Luciak had been in the country all along, and he stayed after the violence subsided. This provided him with special value to publications like the Guardian, which were apparently hungry for more on-the-ground reporting painting the Sandinistas as uniquely evil and unqualified to govern.

 

Misinformation in the service of the opposition

On September 7, Goette-Luciak published an article in the Guardian claiming that the country had been brought to a virtual halt by a general strike by the anti-government Civic Alliance umbrella group. His co-author was Caroline Houck, a staff correspondent for the website Defense One, which leverages ad revenue from the arms industry to “provide news, analysis and ideas for national security leaders and stakeholders.”

The Nicaraguan-born activist Camilo Mejia highlighted several pieces of misinformation contained in the article. Contrary to the claim that the Civic Alliance interrupted the country’s economy with its general strike, Managuan marketplaces were bustling that day and commerce proceeded as usual. As Mejia noted, the opposition had only managed to close the high-end businesses that supported its regime-change agenda.

Carl David Goette-Luciak | Ana Margarita Vijil

Goette-Luciak and Houck published extensive quotes from Ana Margarita Vijil, falsely describing her as “national director of the outlawed Sandinista Renovation Movement (MRS).” In fact, the marginal MRS had not been “outlawed;” its candidates had garnered a pitiful 1.3 percent of the popular vote in the last election, which is below the legal threshold to qualify to run as a political party.

The authors then quoted Vijil claiming that, “[w]ith 200 political prisoners and [new] murders every day, this strike is just one more sign that nothing is normal here in Nicaragua.” What Goette-Luciak and his co-author failed to mention was that those recent murders have consisted largely of Sandinista supporters. The recent murder victims include Lenin Mendiola, an FSLN militant and son of two revered Sandinista historical figures, Benigna Mendiola and Bernardino Díaz Ochoa.

But the most striking omission by Goette-Luciak was of his relationship with his source and her party, which has enjoyed direct support from the U.S. government. Below, the two can be seen together at a conference in an image that highlights their mutual affinity.

Vijil is the former president of the MRS, or the Sandinista Renewal Movement. She has served as a fellow of the Central American Leadership Initiative at the Aspen Institute, a hub of neoliberal thought funded by the Ford Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, among others.

Just before the coup erupted in April, Vijil was in Washington for a “high level executive meeting,” according to Yaser Morazan, an MRS activist whose “Agente de Cambio” initiative and social-media training have been sponsored by USAID — an arm of the U.S. State Department — and the U.S.-funded Instituto de Estudios Estratégicos y Políticas Públicas (IEEPP). Three weeks before the coup, Morazan posted a selfie outside IEEPP’s office promising a series of “surprises” and pledging his secrecy about them.

For his part, Goette-Luciak has been connected with the MRS most directly through Azucena Castillo, a prominent party activist whom he lists as his employer at Radio Ciudadana.

Goette-Luciak did not respond to an emailed request for an interview.

 

The best ex-Sandinistas the U.S. could buy

Goette-Luciak appears to have inherited his affinity for the MRS party from his father, Ilja Luciak, an academic who focused his research on Central America and served for several years as the chair of political science at Virginia Tech.

In an interview with an obscure travel website called the Edge of Adventure, Goette-Luciak credited his father with inspiring his interest in Nicaragua. He described him as a “Marxist” who was inspired by the Sandinista revolution that unfolded during the 1980’s. But according to his academic CV, Luciak’s work on Nicaragua has been backed by European foundations, the European Commission, and USAID.

In his book After the Revolution: Gender and Democracy in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Guatemala, Luciak wrote sympathetically about the female former Sandinistas who helped lead the MRS party’s crusade against Ortega.

His son, Goette-Luciak, channeled the purist sensibility of the MRS in his interview with Edge of Adventure:

As a leftist, I was intrigued by where the Sandinista revolution — which to me was a very utopian idealistic revolution and a great example of potential social change for Latin America — where it had gone awry.”

The MRS was established to expose and exacerbate the supposed failings of the Sandinista front. Founded in 1994 by ex-Vice President Sergio Ramirez and a collection of ex-FSLN militants — most of them from more affluent, educated backgrounds than common Sandinistas — the party’s disruptive agenda made it a natural candidate for assistance from Washington.

In 2006, the MRS and the U.S. government plotted to prevent Ortega’s election. A September 6, 2006 U.S. embassy cable — revealingly entitled, “MRS: We Want To Bring Ortega Down” — laid out some of those plans. Authored by U.S. Ambassador Paul Trivelli, the cable described a meeting between the ambassador and Israel Lewites, the nephew of MRS presidential candidate Herty Lewites, who had just died from a heart attack.

Trivelli confirmed direct U.S. government support for the MRS election campaign, noting that 30 percent of its election observers had been trained by the International Republican Institute, a U.S.-funded, Republican Party-run soft-power organization overseen by then-Sen. John McCain.

“The MRS intends to have at least two people per voting table […] on election day, but they need funds to feed and transport the fiscales and other helpers,” Trivelli stated.

In all, the U.S. government contributed a whopping $12 million in 2006 towards “election technical assistance, outreach, and observation” in Nicaragua’s 2006 election. In other words, it spent two dollars for every Nicaraguan citizen to defeat Ortega.

A separate leaked diplomatic cable detailed a meeting during that election campaign between MRS co-founder Dora Maria Tellez and the ambassador, Trivelli. Foreshadowing the coup that unfolded this year, Tellez told U.S. embassy officials that “the MRS will warn the FSLN that if it steals the election, the MRS will ‘take to the streets,’ opining that this is the ‘only kind of message Ortega understands.’”

The MRS ultimately failed to prevent Ortega’s victory and wound up reaching out to the U.S. again as its domestic support base collapsed. In 2016, the MRS’s Vijil joined a delegation to lobby in Washington for the Nica Act, a bill proposing crushing sanctions on her country.

On Capitol Hill, Vigil posed alongside a cast of U.S.-backed activists and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a neoconservative Cuban-American Republican who was the main author of the sanctions bill.

Ana Margarita Vigil

Two years later, MRS activists were at the forefront of the coup attempt that sought Ortega’s removal. Several participants in the protests this April who later turned against the opposition described witnessing MRS leaders providing truck loads of supplies for opposition forces occupying university campuses.

While the MRS performed its historic role as the knife in the FSLN’s back, it supplied Western media with a cast of English-speaking voices demanding regime change in the name of supposedly progressive values. Its most prominent voice was Gioconda Belli, an affluent U.S.-based poet and professional former Sandinista, who took to mainstream U.S. outlets to paint Ortega as a murderous dictator, as she has done for years. (Belli’s brother, Humberto, is a Catholic priest affiliated with the far-right Opus Dei cult and a client of the militantly anti-abortion American tycoon Tom Monaghan).

Carl David Goette-Luciak | Gioconda Belli

Then there was Goette-Luciak (seen above with Belli), who functioned on the ground as the MRS party’s publicist in photo-journalistic attire.

 

A “dual use” anthropologist

Prior to the unrest that swept across Nicaragua last April, there was little record of Goette-Luciak’s presence as a writer or journalist. He had written one piece for NPR on how Nicaraguans were not as happy as the World Happiness Report said they were.

His co-author, Carlos Salinas Maldonado, was a writer for the opposition magazine Confidencial, which is funded by the U.S. government’s regime-change arm, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Open Society Foundation.

In his byline, Goette-Luciak described himself as “an anthropologist in Managua.” He was listed in conference papers as a graduate student at the University of Virginia around that time, focusing his work on the Rama-Kriol and Miskito populations of Nicaragua’s eastern coast.

These indigenous groups have been at loggerheads with the Sandinista movement since the civil war in the 1980’s, when the CIA cultivated them as U.S. allies. Ronald Reagan made the relationship a centerpiece of his administration’s Cold War crusade when he declared in a 1985 speech, “I am … a Miskito Indian. I too, am a potential victim of totalitarianism.”

The indigenous North Atlantic Autonomous Region of Nicaragua remains a key target for U.S. influence, as Washington seeks to exploit the simmering conflict between its local population and the leftist government in Managua. Leaked diplomatic cables demonstrate efforts by the U.S. embassy to cultivate anti-Sandinista sentiment in the area by working to facilitate human-rights complaints by former CIA-backed Contra fighters against FSLN leadership.

In 2013, the Ortega government announced plans by a Chinese magnate to construct a canal through his country, presenting a direct threat to U.S. control over shipping lines in the western hemisphere and prompting an outcry from the U.S. embassy. Soon, an anti-canal movement emerged in the countryside as one of the main drivers of anti-Sandinista sentiment. The campaign against the canal poured fuel on the fire of the coastal indigenous population’s long-simmering conflict with the government.

Though Goette-Luciak described himself in his bio as an “anthropologist in Managua,” he later revealed that he was working among the Miskito population and with the Rama-Kriol communal government to stimulate opposition to the Sandinistas.

“I worked on informing the indigenous community of their rights at a time of crisis, when the government was attempting to depict to the international audience consent among the indigenous population for the sale of their land,” Goette-Luciak said in an interview this year with The Edge of Adventure.

It might seem cavalier for an academically credentialed anthropologist to assert political influence on the population he is supposed to be studying; however, Goette-Luciak’s activities fit within a long tradition. As author David Price illustrated in several book-length studies on what he called “dual use anthropology,” many American anthropologists were supported during the Cold War by private foundations and even the CIA to conduct activities on behalf of their government. More recently, the Pentagon weaponized the field of study through programs like its Human Terrain System, which lured newly graduated anthropologists with lucrative salaries to assist U.S. military counterinsurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There is no evidence that Goette-Luciak is an asset of the CIA or any other U.S. agency. However, his advancement of Washington’s divisive political objectives during the course of his ethnographic fieldwork represented a fairly clear example of dual-use anthropology.

 

Selective stories from the front lines

In his interview with Edge of Adventure, Goette-Luciak cited the killing of Angel Gahona — a reporter he described as his “neighbor” in the city of Bluefields in southeastern Nicaragua — as his inspiration for moving into the field of journalism.

Gahona was killed while delivering a Facebook live report during an anti-government protest. He was shot while filming a bank that had been looted, and unidentified men could be seen in the shadows of the bank moments before Gahona was hit. This prompted some observers to allege that he was killed by professional criminals for filming them while they took advantage of the chaos to rob a bank.

Though the government arrested two suspects in the killing, Gahona’s family blamed the national police for deliberately targeting him in retaliation for his coverage of alleged police abuse. Goette-Luciak presented these allegations and accusing the government of a cover-up in his first article for the Guardian on May 29.

Goette-Luciak also described to the Edge of Adventure having witnessed the so-called Mother’s Day Massacre, where several demonstrators commemorating those who had already died in the unrest were killed on May 30.

The bloodshed that took place that day remains a source of heated contention. Violence had erupted across the country, with the opposition opening fire on a Sandinista caravan in the city of Esteli, killing one and wounding dozens. Opposition vandals burned the leftist Radio Ya station for the third time as well as parts of Managua’s Metrocentro complex. Videos show opposition gunmen opening fire that day on the streets of Managua and toting weapons near the Mother’s Day march. The opposition and Western media placed the blame squarely on Sandinista-affiliated elements for sniping into the crowd of marchers, but have yet to produce clear evidence proving their case.

Speaking to the Edge of Adventure, Goette-Luciak conceded that he had left the march and was several blocks away drinking a beer when the shooting began. He said he returned after he heard shooting and described the deaths as the result of targeting killings by Sandinista paramilitaries.

“I witnessed two deaths…” he told Edge of Adventure. “A young man standing a few yards from me was hit by a bullet in the head, and standing behind him, what I saw was the back of his head explode like a watermelon that got dropped.”

Hours after the violence, a ferociously anti-government network known as “100% Noticias” published a grisly photo of a man supposedly killed by government forces whose brain was spilling out of his skull. The image was soon exposed as a fake and has since been deleted. In fact, it depicted a death from a separate conflict and had been taken years before.

Though Goette-Luciak said he had taken photos of the march, he has yet to publish any of the killings he said he witnessed.

In a separate incident this June, Goette-Luciak appeared momentarily in a highly disturbing video filmed by 100% Noticias. He could be seen taking photos of a mob of opposition thugs in the act of kidnapping and beating an aging Sandinista member they had found squatting on a local oligarch’s abandoned property. Oddly, Goette-Luciak published no photos of the incident and did not report on it.

Goette-Luciak

The Radio La Ciudadana outlet where Goette-Luciak is listed as “director of investigations” contains sparse evidence of journalistic production: a section on the site marked as “investigations” is empty; the photos section contains 15 images Goette-Luciak captured on Mother’s Day, where he claimed to have witnessed two murders: a grand total of three news stories are featured on the site. Radio La Ciudadana was founded by Azucena “Chena” Castillo, an MRS party activist who has also worked as director of the USAID-funded outlet Radio Universidad.

Goette-Luciak | Chena Castillo

The only other record of Goette-Luciak’s photojournalism existed at the Edge of Adventure website, which had published about 20 images he captured — one of which depicted him posing with an opposition gunman. The Edge of Adventure is a little-known media site founded by Adam Asher Wattenbarger, a self-styled travel journalist who is listed as an executive at the right-wing, Christian-oriented Salem Media Group.

This month, Goette-Luciak fell under sustained criticism from Sandinista supporters on Facebook for his one-sided coverage of the country’s political crisis. Many accused him of operating as a U.S. intelligence asset. The Edge of Adventure promptly deleted its podcast interview with him and scrubbed most of his photos from the site.

Goette-Luciak then began cleaning up his own Facebook page, deleting his selfies with MRS party leaders.

 

Objective journalistic promoters of the “resistance”

Earlier this summer, Goette-Luciak was in the thick of the most intense fighting between opposition gunmen and Sandinista-aligned forces. It was in Masaya, a city where the opposition had seized and cordoned off entire neighborhoods in an attempt to declare a junta.

As I found when I visited Masaya a month later, the opposition had waged a campaign of terror against Sandinista supporters, burning their homes, kidnapping, beating, torturing and even killing them, while laying siege to the local police station. In one of the most gruesome incidents, an unarmed community police officer named Gabriel Vado was kidnapped by opposition gunmen, dragged to death from the back of a truck, and torched on camera while slumped before a roadblock.

There was virtually no mention of the opposition’s ongoing campaign of terror in Goette-Luciak’s June 23 report for The Washington Post, which he co-authored with Houck of the arms industry-funded Defense One. Instead, Goette-Luciak painted the gunmen as valiant resistance fighters and promoted their call for the U.S. to send them heavy weapons: “Several asked a reporter whether President Trump would send support to the resistance,” he wrote.

Goette-Luciak Nicaragua

To be sure, Goette-Luciak was far from the only Western media figure to embed with the armed opposition in Masaya and trumpet its gallantry. Some of the most overtly pro-opposition messaging arrived courtesy of a reporter named Tim Rogers. An American who spent years publishing news of interest to the local emigre and tourist population, Rogers emerged this year as a ferocious promoter of the armed opposition.

In Masaya, Rogers seemed to throb with admiration for the masked gunmen manning the barricades.

While characterizing the opposition as “an unarmed population,” Rogers glorified the lethal weaponry they deployed from behind the roadblocks. Goette-Luciak’s now-deleted photo gallery at the Edge of Adventure demonstrated that the gunmen not only toted homemade mortars, but assault weapons and handguns as well.

Like Goette-Luciak, Rogers’ cheerleading for the armed opposition was rewarded with bylines in mainstream publications from Public Radio International and The Atlantic, where he claimed Nicaragua was a “failed state” that was undergoing “democratic renewal” thanks to the push for regime change. He was ultimately hired as the Latin American editor of Fusion, a website owned by the Israel-American oligarch and Democratic Party mega-donor Haim Saban. There, Rogers produced a viral propaganda video likening the Sandinista movement to ISIS.

The out-of-the-blue emergence of figures like Goette-Luciak and Rogers as correspondents for legacy Western publications can not be viewed as an aberration or mistake. In Nicaragua, as in so many other countries targeted with regime-change operations, outlets like the Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post seem to demand on-the-ground coverage that reinforces the regime-change agenda.

And so they credentialed opposition publicists as journalists, instilling in them the illusion of their own professionalism. “I think I’ve come to realize the value of objective and impartial journalism,” Goette-Luciak said in his Edge of Adventure interview, “and I no longer consider myself as an activist for or against any particular cause.”

Top Photo | Carl David Goette-Luciak poses with an opposition gunman in the city of Masaya, Nicaragua. Photo | Edge of Adventure

Max Blumenthal is the founder and editor of GrayzoneProject.com, the co-host of the podcast Moderate Rebels, the author of several books and producer of full-length documentaries including the recently released Killing Gaza. Follow him on Twitter at @MaxBlumenthal.

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Starving Off-Camera: In Yemen 20 Million Fuel the Saudi-US-NATO War Machine – By AbdulRahman Qahtan and Mnar Muhawesh Mnar Muhawesh @mnarmuh – MINT PRESS

Yemen Starvation
The Forgotten War

Within days of starting the war, Saudi Arabia imposed a total land, air and sea blockade, along with targeting vital agriculture and food supply infrastructure that sustains life for the 29 million Yemenis — all of which constitute war crimes under international law.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/cZP7CLDx6Vc?rel=0&showinfo=0

The UN estimates that nearly 20 million Yemenis could die of starvation by the end of this year. That’s about 70 percent of the entire population.

That horrific number includes more than 2 million children who are already going hungry, including 500,000 who are suffering from severe malnutrition.

 

The people of Yemen have found themselves struggling not only for survival, but for a space in the Western media’s war coverage.

In the shadow of the conflict in Syria, the men, women and children of Yemen are being deliberately starved and targeted by strategic airstrikes and an illegal blockade in a war initiated by Saudi Arabia and aided, massively if not entirely, by the United States.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia, backed by Washington with over $200 billion in weapons assistance and billions more worth of military training under both the Obama and Trump administrations, took the already poorest nation in the Middle East and manufactured the worst humanitarian crisis of the modern era.

Within days of starting the war, Saudi Arabia imposed a total land, air and sea blockade, along with targeting vital agriculture and food supply infrastructure that sustains life for the 29 million Yemenis — all of which constitute war crimes under international law.

Saudi Arabia opened its checkbook in response to a UN appeal for funds, contributing nearly $300 million to cover the most urgent humanitarian aid to Yemen. But that Saudi aid would come at a steep price, and with more than a few strings attached, considering this was the same nation bombing Yemen and creating the disaster to begin with.

While the UN accepted Saudi money, it also allowed Saudi Arabia to weaponize humanitarian aid by blocking all aid shipments from reaching the starving population.

This meant that medicine, food, water treatment supplies, and basic necessities for survival were prevented from entering Yemen, exacerbating the already dire situation.

According to data collected by local rights groups, Saudi Arabia has waged over 230,000 airstrikes on Yemen since 2015, with the intention of deliberately targeting Yemen’s lifeline for survival: its food supply.

Fishing boats, fishermen and fish markets became targets of the Saudi-U.S.-backed coalition warships and helicopters in the Red Sea, depleting Yemen’s access to it’s key food staples.

To make food-supply matters even worse, the U.S.-backed Saudi air raids intentionally targeted agricultural fields, marketplaces and food-storage sites from March 2015 to the end of June 2018, creating the perfect storm to ignite famine and starvation.

Yemen relies on maritime imports for more than 80 percent of its annual staple food supplies.

Although staples remain available, the Saudi import restrictions, combined with a rapidly depreciating currency, mean food prices have skyrocketed.

Millions of Yemenis can no longer afford to buy food, forcing more than 75 percent of the population to rely on humanitarian assistance — aid that is mostly controlled and blocked by Saudi Arabia.

As the crisis rages on with no accountability in sight, Yemen’s last remaining lifeline is under threat: Hodeida, relied upon by 18 million Yemenis, is home to the major port where virtually all aid and food must enter the impoverished and war-ravished nation currently importing 90 percent of its food.

According to UN estimates, a quarter-million men, women, and children could die from the military assault alone should the U.S.-backed coalition continue its invasion of Hodeida. In fact, Saudi warplanes have already bombed buses of refugees fleeing the airstrikes.

The goal of the deadly operation, dubbed “Golden Victory,” is to capture Hodeida: a bustling port city and home to over 600,000 Yemenis.

Although Saudi Arabia catches most of the heat for this humanitarian catastrophe and the countless war crimes, another U.S. Gulf coalition ally, the United Arab Emirates, is leading the assault on Hodeida port.

An Emirati-led occupation of Hodeida would put nearly a million people at risk for suffering not only famine but instances of rape and torture, as the UAE currently occupies Southern Yemen and has set up dozens of illegal torture prison sites known for sexual torture.

While creating a state of affairs that intensifies hunger for over 20 million people, Saudi Arabia has faced no accountability from the international community. Instead, it has enjoyed receiving billions worth of weapons from the U.S. and the U.K., training from the U.S. military, and a major position on a human-rights panel at the UN, only enabling what can best be described as genocide.

Perhaps Saudi impunity derives from the fact that this war is also the fuel that fires up the United States and NATO’s war machine, which allows for the continuation of resource exploitation, war on terror, military occupation and destabilization in the small but strategic and resource-rich nation.  

This cynical agenda has forced Yemen to become the new face of skeletal children in the 21st century.

Top Photo | In this Feb. 15, 2018 photo, Awsaf, a thin 5-year-old who is getting no more than 800 calories a day from bread and tea, half the normal amount for a girl her age, drinks tea, in Abyan, Yemen. Nariman El-Mofty | AP

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9/11 Was an Israeli Job How America was neoconned into World War IV By Laurent Guyénot – The UNZ REPORT

Table of Contents
shutterstock_1147749479

Technical impossibilities

Thanks to courageous investigators, many anomalies in the official explanation of the events of 9/11 were posted on the Internet in the following months, providing evidence that this was a false flag operation, and that Osama bin Laden was innocent, as he repeatedly declared in the Afghan and Pakistani press and on Al Jazeera.[1] The proofs of this appalling fraud have been accumulating ever since, and are now accessible to anyone willing to spend a few hours of research on the Web. (Although, while preparing this article, I noticed that Google is now making access to that research more difficult than it was five years ago, artificially prioritizing anti-conspiracy sites.)

For example, members of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth have demonstrated that it was impossible for plane crashes and jet fuel fires to trigger the collapse of the Twin Towers. Even Donald Trump understood this. In fact, speaking of “collapse” is perhaps misleading: the towers literally exploded, pulverizing concrete and projecting pieces of steel beams weighing several hundred tons hundreds of meters laterally at high speeds. The pyroclastic dust that immediately flooded through the streets, not unlike the dust from a volcano, indicates a high temperature mixture of hot gasses and relatively dense solid particles, an impossible phenomenon in a simple collapse. It is also impossible that WTC7, another skyscraper (47 stories), which had not been hit by a plane, collapsed into its own footprint at near free-fall speed, unless by “controlled demolition.”

Testimonies of firefighters recorded shortly after the events describe sequences of explosions just before the “collapse”, well below the plane impact. The presence of molten metal in the wreckage up to three weeks after the attack is inexplicable except by the presence of incompletely burned explosives. Firefighter Philip Ruvolo testified before Étienne Sauret’s camera for his film Collateral Damages (2011): “You’d get down below and you’d see molten steel—molten steel running down the channelways, like you were in a foundry—like lava.”

Aviation professionals have also reported impossibilities in the behavior of the planes. The charted speeds of the two aircraft hitting the Twin Towers, 443 mph and 542 mph, exclude these aircraft being Boeing 767s, because these speeds are virtually impossible near ground level. In the unlikely event such speeds could be attained without the aircraft falling apart, flying them accurately into the towers was mission impossible, especially by the amateur pilots blamed for the hijacking. Hosni Mubarak, a former pilot, said he could never do it. (He is not the only head of state to have voiced his doubts: Chavez and Ahmadinejad are among them.) Recall that neither of the black boxes of the jetliners was ever found, an incomprehensible situation.

And of course, there are the obvious anomalies of Shanksville and Pentagon crash sites: no plane or credible plane debris can be seen on any of the numerous photos easily available.

Inside Job or Mossad Job?

Among the growing number of Americans who disbelieve the official version of the 9/11 attacks, two basic theories are in competition: I called them “inside job” and “Mossad job”. The first one is the dominant thesis within the so-called 9/11 Truth movement, and blames the American government, or a faction within the American Deep State. The second one claims that the masterminds were members of a powerful Israeli network deeply infiltrated in all spheres of power within the US, including media, government, military and secret services.

This “Mossad job” thesis has been gaining ground since Alan Sabrosky, a professor at the U.S. Army War College and the U.S. Military Academy, published in July 2012 an article entitled “Demystifying 9/11: Israel and the Tactics of Mistake”, where he voiced his conviction that September 11th was “a classic Mossad-orchestrated operation.”

We can notice from the outset that incriminating Israelis or Arabs are both “outside job” theories (in fact, they are mirror images of each other, which is understandable in light of what Gilad Atzmon explains about Jewish “projected guilt”).[2] Before even looking at the evidence, “outside job” sounds more credible that “inside job”. There is something monstrous in the idea that a government can deceive and terrorize its own citizens by killing thousands of them, just for starting a series of wars that are not even in the nation’s interest. By comparison, a foreign power attacking the U.S. under the false flag of a third power almost seems like fair play. Indeed suspicion of Israel’s role should be natural to anyone aware of the reputation of the Mossad as: “Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target U.S. forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act,” in the words of a report of the U.S. Army School for Advanced Military Studies quoted by the Washington Times, September 10th, 2001 — the day before the attacks.

This is an important point, because it raises the question of how and why the 9/11 Truth movement has been led to endorse massively the outrageous “inside job” thesis without even considering the more likely thesis of an attack by a foreign power acting under an Islamic false flag—and what foreign power but Israel would do that?

Of course, the two dissenting theses do not necessarily exclude each other; at least, no one incriminating Israel denies that corrupted elements from the American administration or deep state were involved. The “passionate attachment” between Israel and the U.S. has been going on for decades, and 9/11 is one of its monstruous offsprings.

I can think of no better symbol of that reality than the marriage of Ted and Barbara Olson. Ted Oslon, after having defended Bush in the disputed 2000 election, had been rewarded with the post of Solicitor General (he also defended Dick Cheney when he refused to submit to Congress Enron-related documents). Barbara was a famous CNN reporter, but before that, she was born Barbara Kay Bracher of Jewish parents, educated at Yeshiva University School of Law, and hired by the legal firm WilmerHale, of which Jamie Gorelick, a future member of the 9/11 Commission, was also a member, and whose clients include powerful Israeli firms like Amdocs, a digital communication company charged with spying for Israel in the United States. On September 11, 2001, Barbara Olson alledgedly was on flight AA77, from which she made two telephone calls to her husband. Her calls were reported on CNN in the afternoon, and contributed to crystallize some details of the official story, such as the “box cutters” used as only weapons by the hijackers. Repeatedly invited on television shows after 9/11, Ted Olson frequently contradicted himself when questioned about the calls from his wife. In a 2006 report, the FBI identified only one call from Barbara Olson, and it was an unconnected call lasting 0 seconds. Like all other reported phone calls from desperate passengers (including the famous “Hi, Mom. This is Mark Bingham”), Barbara’s call was simply impossible, because the technology required to make high-altitude phone calls was not developed until 2004.[3]

9/11 was made possible by an alliance between secret worshippers of Israel and corrupted American elements. The question is: who, of the two, were the masterminds of this incredibly daring and complex operation, and for what “higher purpose”?

Another question is: why do those who keep repeating as a mantra “9/11 was an inside job” ignore totally the compelling evidence pointing to Israel? In other words, to what extent do they constitute a “controlled opposition” intended to cover up for Israel? Asking this type of question does not mean suspecting anyone who defends an erroneous or incomplete theory of being a hypocrite. Most people defending one theory or the other do so sincerely, based on the information to which they have access. I have myself been a believer in the official theory for 7 years, and in the “inside job” theory for 2 years, before progressively moving on to the present argument from 2010. On the other hand, we can assume that those who lead the public into error on a long term are not just mistaken but lying. In any case, it is legitimate to investigate the background of opinion makers, and when they are caught lying or distorting the truth, we can speculate on their motivation. I will come back to this issue at the end of the article.

The dancing Israelis

Researchers who believe Israel orchestrated 9/11 cite the behavior of a group of individuals who have come to be known as the “dancing Israelis” since their arrest, though their aim was to pass as “dancing Arabs.” Dressed in ostensibly “Middle Eastern” attire, they were seen by various witnesses standing on the roof of a van parked in Jersey City, cheering and taking photos of each other with the WTC in the background, at the very moment the first plane hit the North Tower. The suspects then moved their van to another parking spot in Jersey City, where other witnesses saw them deliver the same ostentatious celebrations.

One anonymous call to the police in Jersey City, reported the same day by NBC News, mentioned “a white van, 2 or 3 guys in there. They look like Palestinians and going around a building. […] I see the guy by Newark Airport mixing some junk and he has those sheikh uniforms. […] He’s dressed like an Arab.” The police soon issued the following BOLO alert (be-on-the-look-out) for a “Vehicle possibly related to New York terrorist attack. White, 2000 Chevrolet van with New Jersey registration with ‘Urban Moving Systems’ sign on back seen at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ, at the time of first impact of jetliner into World Trade Center. Three individuals with van were seen celebrating after initial impact and subsequent explosion.”

By chance, the van was intercepted around 4 pm, with five young men inside: Sivan and Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner, and Omer Marmari. Before any question was asked, the driver, Sivan Kurzberg, burst out: “We are Israelis. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are your problem”.The Kurzberg brothers were formally identified as Mossad agents. All five officially worked for a moving company (a classic cover for espionage) named Urban Moving Systems, whose owner, Dominik Otto Suter, fled the country for Tel Aviv on September 14.[4]

This event was first reported the day after the attacks by journalist Paulo Lima in the New Jersey newspaper The Bergen Record, based on “sources close to the investigation” who were convinced of the suspects’ foreknowledge of the morning’s attacks: “It looked like they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park”.The 579-page FBI report on the investigation that followed (partially declassified in 2005) reveals several important facts. First, once developed, the photos taken by the suspects while watching the North Tower on fire confirm their attitudes of celebration: “They smiled, they hugged each other and they appeared to ‘high five’ one another”. To explain their contentment, the suspects said they were simply happy that, thanks to these terrorist attacks, “the United States will take steps to stop terrorism in the world”. Yet at this point, before the second tower was hit, most Americans believed the crash was an accident. The five Israelis were found connected to another company called Classic International Movers, which employed five other Israelis arrested for their contacts with the nineteen presumed suicide hijackers. In addition, one of the five suspects had called “an individual in South America with authentic ties to Islamic militants in the middle east”. Finally, the FBI report states that the “The vehicle was also searched by a trained bomb-sniffing dog which yielded a positive result for the presence of explosive traces”.

After all this incriminating evidence comes the most puzzling passage of the report: its conclusion that “the FBI no longer has any investigative interests in the detainees and they should proceed with the appropriate immigration proceedings”. In fact, a letter addressed to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, dated September 25, 2001, proves that, less than two weeks after the events, the FBI federal headquarter had already decided to close the investigation, asking that “The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service should proceed with the appropriate immigration proceedings”. The five “dancing Israelis”, also known as “the high fivers”, were detained 71 days in a Brooklyn prison, where they first refused, then failed, lie detector tests. Finally, they were quietly returned to Israel under the minimal charge of “visa violation.” Three of them were then invited on an Israeli TV talk show in November 2001, where one of them ingenuously declared: “Our purpose was simply to document the event.”

The Israeli spy network

The five “dancing Israelis,” the only suspects arrested on the very day of the 9/11 attacks, were just the tip of an iceberg. In September 2001, the federal police were busy dismantling the largest Israeli spy network ever uncovered on American soil. In the summer preceding the attack, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) compiled a report which would be revealed to the public by the Washington Post on November 23rd, 2001, followed by a Carl Cameron’s four-part documentary broadcast on Fox News from December 11th, 2001. On March 14th, 2002, an article in French newspaper Le Monde signed by Sylvain Cypel also referred to the report, shortly before the French magazine Intelligence Online made it fully accessible on the Internet.[5]It said that 140 Israeli spies, aged between 20 and 30, had been arrested since March 2001, while 60 more were arrested after September 11. Generally posing as art students, they visited at least “36 sensitive sites of the Department of Defense.” “A majority of those questioned have stated they served in military intelligence, electronic signal intercept, or explosive ordnance units. Some have been linked to high-ranking officials in the Israeli military. One was the son of a two-star general, one served as the bodyguard to the head of the Israeli Army, one served in a Patriot mission unit.” Another, Peer Segalovitz, officer in the 605 Battalion of the Golan Heights, “acknowledged he could blow up buildings, bridges, cars, and anything else that he needed to.”[6]

Of special interest is the mention that “the Hollywood, Florida, area seems to be a central point for these individuals.”[7] More than 30 out of the 140 fake Israeli students identified before 9/11 lived in that city of 140,000 inhabitants. And this city also happens to be the place where fifteen of the nineteen alleged 9/11 Islamist hijackers had regrouped (nine in Hollywood, six in the vicinity), including four of the five supposed to have hijacked Flight AA11. What was the relationship between the Israeli spies and the Islamist terrorists? We were told by mainstream news that the former were monitoring the latter, but failed to report suspicious activities of these terrorists to American authorities. From such a presentation, Israel comes out clean, since a spy agency cannot be blamed for not sharing information with the country it is spying in. At worst, the Israeli Intelligence can be accused of “letting it happen”—a guarantee of impunity. In reality, the Israeli agents were certainly not just monitoring the future “hijackers,” but financing and manipulating them, before disposing of them. We know that Israeli Hanan Serfaty, who rented two flats near Mohamed Atta, had handled at least $100,000 in three months. And we also learned from the New York Times on February 19, 2009, that Ali al-Jarrah, cousin of the alleged hijacker of Flight UA93 Ziad al-Jarrah, had spent twenty-five years spying for the Mossad as an undercover agent infiltrating the Palestinian resistance and Hezbollah.

Israeli agents apparently appreciate operating under the cover of artists. Shortly before September 11, a group of fourteen Jewish “artists” under the name of Gelatin installed themselves on the ninety-first floor of the north tower of the World Trade Center. There, as a work of “street art,” they removed a window and extended a wooden balcony. To understand what role this piece of scaffolding may have played, it must be remembered that the explosion supposedly resulting from the impact of the Boeing AA11 on the North Tower took place between the ninety-second and the ninety-eighth floors. With the only film of the impact on the North Tower being that of the Naudet brothers, who are under suspicion for numerous reasons, many researchers are convinced that no aircraft hit this tower, and that the explosion simulating the impact was provoked by pre-planted explosives inside the tower.

Floors ninety-three to one hundred of the North Tower were occupied by Marsh & McLennan, whose CEO was Jeffrey Greenberg, son of wealthy Zionist (and financier of George W. Bush) Maurice Greenberg, who also happens to be the owner of Kroll Inc., the firm in charge of security for the entire World Trade Center complex on 9/11. The Greenbergs were also the insurers of the Twin Towers and, on July 24, 2001, they took the precaution of having the contract reinsured by competitors. In November 2000, the board of directors of Marsh & McLennan was joined by (Lewis) Paul Bremer, the chairman of the National Commission on Terrorism, who, on September 11, 2001, two hours only after the pulverization of the North Tower, would appear on NBC to name bin Laden as prime suspect, perfectly calm as 400 of his employees are missing (295 will finally be declared dead). “It is the day that will change our lives,” he said. “It is the day when the war that the terrorists declared on the US [. . .] has been brought home to the US.” In 2003, Bremer would be appointed administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq to level the Iraqi state to the ground and oversee the theft of almost a trillion dollars intended for its reconstruction.

The super-sayanim

With Goldberg and Bremer, we have reached the upper level of the conspiracy, comprising a number of influential Jewish personalities, working inside and outside the U.S. government — super-sayanim, so to speak. The most representative of those outside government is Larry Silverstein, the real estate shark who, with his partner Frank Lowy, leased the Twin Towers from New York City in the spring of 2001. The head of the New York Port Authority, who granted Silverstein and Lowy the lease, was none other than Lewis Eisenberg, another member of the United Jewish Appeal Federation and former vice-president of AIPAC. It appeared that Silverstein had made a disastrous deal, because the Twin Towers had to be decontaminated for asbestos. The decontamination process had been indefinitely postponed since the 1980s because of its cost, estimated at nearly $1 billion in 1989. In 2001, the New York Port Authority had been all too happy to shift responsibility to Silverstein.

Immediately after acquiring the Twin Towers, Silverstein renegotiated the insurance contracts to cover terrorist attacks, doubling the coverage to $3.5 billion, and made sure he would retain the right to rebuild after such an event. After the attacks, he took his insurers to court in order to receive double compensation, claiming that the two planes were two separate attacks. After a long legal battle, he pocketed $4.5 billion. Silverstein is a leading member of the United Jewish Appeal Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, the biggest fundraiser for Israel (after the US government, which pays about $3 billion per year in aid to Israel). Silverstein also maintained “close ties with Netanyahu,” according to Haaretz (November 21, 2001): “The two have been on friendly terms since Netanyahu’s stint as Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations. For years they kept in close touch. Every Sunday afternoon, New York time, Netanyahu would call Silverstein.” Besides being a powerful man, Larry is a lucky man: as he explained in this interview, every morning of the week, he had breakfast at the Windows on the World on top of the North Tower, but on September 11th, he had an appointment with his dermatologist.

Accomplices to the 9/11 false flag attack with strong Israeli connections should also be tracked at the other end of the trajectory of the planes reported to have crashed into the Twin Towers. Flights AA11 and UA175 took off from Logan Airport in Boston, which subcontracted their security to International Consultants on Targeted Security (ICTS), a firm based in Israel and headed by Menachem Atzmon, a treasurer of the Likud. So did Newark Airport where flight UA93 reportedly took off before crashing in Shanksville.

A serious investigation would follow many other trails, such as the Odigo instant messages received by employees at the WTC two hours before the plane crashes, as reported by Haaretz on September 27th, 2001. The first plane hit the WTC at the precise time announced, “almost to the minute,” admitted Alex Diamandis, vice-president of Odigo, headquartered in Israel. Also disturbing is the behavior of the American branch of Zim Israel Navigational, a maritime shipping giant 48% owned by the Jewish state (occasionally used as a cover for the Israeli secret services), which moved its offices from the WTC, along with its 200 employees, September 4th, 2001, one week before the attacks —“like an act of God, we moved”, said the CEO Shaul Cohen-Mintz when interviewed by USA Today, November 17th, 2001.

But of course, none of these trails were ever pursued. That is because the most powerful conspirators were at the highest level of the Justice Department. Michael Chertoff was head of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice in 2001, and responsible, among many other things, for securing the release of the Israeli agents arrested before and after 9/11, including the “dancing Israelis.” In 2003, this son of a rabbi and of a Mossad pioneer would be appointed Secretary of Homeland Security, in charge of counter-terrorism on the American soil, which allowed him to control dissenting citizens and restrain access to the evidence under the pretext of Sensitive Security Information.

Another chief of the cover-up was Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 presidential Commission established in November 2002. Zelikow is a self-styled specialist in the art of making “public myths” by “‘searing’ or ‘molding’ events [that] take on ‘transcendent’ importance and, therefore, retain their power even as the experiencing generation passes from the scene” (Wikipedia). In December 1998, he co-signed an article for Foreign Affairs entitled “Catastrophic Terrorism,” in which he speculated on what would have happened if the 1993 WTC bombing (already attributed to bin Laden) had been done with a nuclear bomb: “An act of catastrophic terrorism that killed thousands or tens of thousands of people and/or disrupted the necessities of life for hundreds of thousands, or even millions, would be a watershed event in America’s history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented for peacetime and undermine Americans’ fundamental sense of security within their own borders in a manner akin to the 1949 Soviet atomic bomb test, or perhaps even worse. … Like Pearl Harbor, the event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects and use of deadly force.” This is the man who controlled the governmental investigation on the 9/11 terror attacks. Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, who nominally led the commission, revealed in their book Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (2006), that the commission “was set up to fail” from the beginning. Zelikow, they claim, had already written a synopsis and a conclusion for the final report before the first meeting. He controlled all the working groups, prevented them from communicating with each other, and gave them as sole mission to prove the official story; Team 1A, for example, was tasked to “tell the story of Al-Qaeda’s most successful operation—the 9/11 attacks.”

A tight control of mainstream media is perhaps the most delicate aspect of the whole operation. I will not delve into that aspect, for we all know what to expect from the MSM. For a groundbreaking argument on the extent to which 9/11 was psy-op orchestrated by MSM, I recommend Ace Baker’s 2012 documentary 9/11 The Great American Psy-Opera, chapters 6, 7 and 8.

Machiavellian meta-Zionists

If we move up to the very highest level of the conspiracy, we find ourselves in Tel Aviv. The preparation for 9/11 coincided with the coming to power of Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996, followed by Ehud Barak in July 1999, and Ariel Sharon in March 2001, who brought back Netanyahu as minister of Foreign Affairs in 2002 (with Netanyahu again becoming prime minister in 2009). It must be noted that both Netanyahu and Ehud Barak were temporarily out of the Israeli government in September 2001, just like Ben-Gurion at the time of Kennedy’s assassination (read my article on JFK). A few months before 9/11, Barak, a former head of Israeli military intelligence, was “recruited” as a consultant to a Mossad front company, SCP Partner, specializing in security and located less than seven miles from Urban Moving Systems.[8] One hour after the explosion of the North Tower, Barak was on BBC World to point the finger at bin Laden (the first to do so), and concluded: “It’s a time to launch an operational, complete war against terror.”

As for Netanyahu, we are not surprised to hear him boast, on CNN in 2006, of having predicted in 1995 that, “if the West doesn’t wake up to the suicidal nature of militant Islam, the next thing you will see is militant Islam bringing down the World Trade Center.” Netanyahu is exemplary of the ever closer “special relationship” between the US and Israel, which started with Truman and blossomed under Johnson. Netanyahu had lived, studied, and worked in the United States from 1960 to 1978, between his 11th and his 27th year—except during his military service—and again after the age of 33, when he was appointed deputy ambassador to Washington and then permanent delegate to the United Nations. Netanyahu appeared regularly on CNN in the early 1990s, contributing to the transformation of the world’s leading news channel into a major Zionist propaganda tool. His political destiny was largely planned and shaped in the United States, under the supervision of those we now call neoconservatives, and the only thing that distinguishes him from them is that, for public relations reasons, he does not possess American nationality.

“What’s a neocon?” once asked Bush 43 to his father Bush 41, after more than three years in the White House. “Do you want names, or a description?” answered 41. “Description.” “Well,” said 41, “I’ll give it to you in one word: Israel.”[9] That anecdote, quoted by Andrew Cockburn, sums it up. The neoconservative movement was born in the editorial office of the monthly magazine Commentary, which had replaced the Contemporary Jewish Record in 1945 as the press organ of the American Jewish Committee. “If there is an intellectual movement in America to whose invention Jews can lay sole claim, neoconservatism is it,” wrote Gal Beckerman in the Jewish Daily Forward, January 6, 2006. “It is a fact that as a political philosophy, neoconservatism was born among the children of Jewish immigrants and is now largely the intellectual domain of those immigrants’ grandchildren.”

The founding fathers of neoconservatism (Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, Donald Kagan, Paul Wolfowitz, Adam Shulsky) were self-proclaimed disciples of Leo Strauss, a German Jewish immigrant teaching at the University of Chicago. Strauss can be characterized as a meta-Zionist in the sense that, while an ardent supporter of the State of Israel, he rejected the idea that Israel as a nation should be contained within borders; Israel must retain her specificity, which is to be everywhere, he said in essence in his 1962 lecture “Why We Remain Jews.” Strauss would also approve of being called a Machiavellian, for in his Thoughts on Machiavelli, he praised the “the intrepidity of his thought, the grandeur of his vision, and the graceful subtlety of his speech” (p. 13). Machiavelli’s model of a prince was Cesar Borgia, the tyrant who after having appointed the cruel Ramiro d’Orco to subdue the province of Romania, had him executed with utter cruelty, thus reaping the people’s gratitude after having diverted their hatred onto another. Machiavelli, writes Strauss, “is a patriot of a particular kind: He is more concerned with the salvation of his fatherland than with the salvation of his soul” (p. 10). And that happens to be exactly what Jewishness is all about, according to Jewish thinkers such as Harry Waton: “The Jews that have a deeper understanding of Judaism know that the only immortality there is for the Jew is the immortality in the Jewish people” (read more here). As a matter of fact, in the Jewish World Review of June 7, 1999, Michael Ledeen, a neocon and founding member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), assumed that Machiavelli must have been a “secret Jew,” since “if you listen to his political philosophy you will hear Jewish music.”

The neoconservatives of the first generation originally positioned themselves on the far left. Irving Kristol, one of the main editors of Commentary, had long claimed to be a Trotskyist. It was soon after the 1967 successful annexation of Arab territories by Israel that the Straussians experienced their conversion to right-wing militarism, to which they owe their new name. Norman Podhoretz, editor-in-chief from 1960 to 1995, turned from anti-war activist to defense budget booster in the early 70s. He gave the following explanation in 1979: “American support for Israel depended upon continued American involvement in international affairs—from which it followed that an American withdrawal into the kind of isolationist mood [. . .] that now looked as though it might soon prevail again, represented a direct threat to the security of Israel.” (Breaking Ranks, p. 336). Leading the U.S. into war for the benefit of Israel is the essence of the Machiavellian crypto-Zionists known deceptively as neoconservatives.

The Project for a new (((American))) Century

The story of how the neoconservatives reached the position of influence they held under George W. Bush is a complicated one, which I can only outline. They entered the state apparatus for the first time in the baggage of Rumsfeld and Cheney, during president Ford’s cabinet reshuffle known as the “Halloween Massacre,” following Nixon’s resignation. When the Cold War calmed down after America evacuated its troops from Vietnam in 1973, and the CIA produced reassuring analyses of the USSR’s military capabilities and ambitions, Rumsfeld (as Secretary of Defense) and Cheney (as Chief of Staff) persuaded Ford to appoint an independent committee, known as Team B, to revise upward the CIA estimates of the Soviet threat, and reactivate a war attitude in public opinion, Congress, and Administration. Team B was chaired by Richard Pipes and co-chaired by Paul Wolfowitz, both introduced by Richard Perle.

During the Democratic parenthesis of the Carter presidency (1976–80), the neoconservatives worked at unifying the largest number of Jews around their policies, by founding the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), which became the second-most powerful pro-Israel lobby after AIPAC. According to its “mission statement”, it is “dedicated to educating Congressional, military and civilian national security decision-makers on American defense and strategic interests, primarily in the Middle East, the cornerstone of which is a robust U.S.-Israeli security cooperation.” In 1980, the neocons were rewarded by Ronald Reagan for their support by a dozen posts in national security and foreign policy: Richard Perle and Douglas Feith to the Department of Defense; Richard Pipes at the National Security Council; Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, and Michael Ledeen in the State Department. They helped Reagan escalate the Cold War, showering billions of dollars on the military-industrial complex.

The long term planning of 9/11 probably started then. Isser Harel, founder of Israeli secret services (Shai in 1944, Shin Bet in 1948, Mossad until 1963) is reported as prophesizing in 1980, in an interview with Christian Zionist Michael Evans, that Islamic terrorism would end up hitting America in their “phallic symbol”: “Your biggest phallic symbol is New York City and your tallest building will be the phallic symbol they will hit”.[10] (A whole article would be needed to document and explain the revival of the Jewish gift of apocalyptic prophecy in recent decades.)

In 1996, during the Clinton years, the neoconservatives threw all their weight into their ultimate think tank, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), directed by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. PNAC recommended taking advantage of the defeat of communism to reinforce American hegemony by preventing the emergence of any rival. Their Statement of Principles vowed to extend the current Pax Americana, which entailed “a military that is strong and ready to meet both present and future challenges.” In its September 2000 report entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses, PNAC anticipated that US forces must become “able to rapidly deploy and win multiple simultaneous large-scale wars.” This required a profound transformation, including the development of “a new family of nuclear weapons designed to address new sets of military requirements.” Unfortunately, according to the authors of the report, “the process of transformation […] is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event—like a new Pearl Harbor.” It is certainly no coincidence that the three-hour-long blockbuster Pearl Harbor was released in the summer 2001, conveniently entrenching the “New Pearl Harbor” meme into the minds of millions.

PNAC’s architects played the American hegemony card by draping themselves in the super-patriotic discourse of America’s civilizing mission. But their duplicity is exposed in a document brought to public knowledge in 2008: a report published in 1996 by the Israeli think tank Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), entitled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, written specifically for the new Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The team responsible for the report was led by Richard Perle, and included Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, who figured the same year among the signatories of PNAC. As its title suggests, the Clean Break report invited Netanyahu to break with the Oslo Accords of 1993, which officially committed Israel to the return of the territories it occupied illegally since 1967. The new prime minister should instead “engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism” and reaffirm Israel’s right to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

In November 2000, Bush Jr. was elected under conditions that raised protests of electoral fraud. Dick Cheney, who had directed his campaign, named himself vice-president and introduced two dozens neoconservatives in foreign policy key positions. The State Department was entrusted to Colin Powell, but he was surrounded with neocon aides such as David Wurmser. As National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, a specialist of Russia with no expertise in the Middle East, was entirely dependent on her neocon adviser Philip Zelikow. William Luti and Elliott Abrams, and later Eliot Cohen, were also tasked with steering Rice. But it was mainly from within the Defense Department under Donald Rumsfeld that the most influential neocons were able to fashion US foreign and military policy. Richard Perle occupied the crucial position of director of the Defense Policy Board, responsible for defining military strategy, while Paul Wolfowitz became the “soul of the Pentagon” as deputy secretary with Douglas Feith as under secretary.

The Hanukkah miracle to start WWIV

After eight months in the presidency, Bush was confronted with the “catastrophic event,” the “new Pearl Harbor” that PNAC had wished for a year earlier. 9/11 was a real “Hanukkah miracle” for Israel, commented Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy and Israeli National Security Council chairman Uzi Dayan. Netanyahu rejoiced: “It’s very good […] it will generate immediate sympathy […], strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror.” On September 21, he published an op-ed in the New York Post entitled “Today, We Are All Americans,” in which he delivered his favorite propaganda line: “For the bin Ladens of the world, Israel is merely a sideshow. America is the target.” Three days later the New Republic responded with a headline on behalf of the Americans: “We are all Israelis now.” Americans experienced 9/11 as an act of hatred from the Arab world, and they felt an immediate sympathy for Israel, which the neoconservatives relentlessly exploited. One of the aims was to encourage Americans to view Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians as part of the global fight against Islamic terrorism.

It was a great success. In the years preceding September 11, Israel’s reputation had bottomed out; condemnations had been raining from around the world for its policy of apartheid and colonization, and its systematic war against Palestinian command structures. Increasing numbers of American voices questioned the merits of the special relationship between the United States and Israel. From the day of the attacks, it was all over. As Americans now intended to fight Arab terrorists to the death, they would stop demanding from Israel more reasonable, proportionate retaliation against Palestinian suicide bombers and rockets.

Instead, the president’s speeches (written by neocon David Frum) characterized the 9/11 attacks as the trigger for a world war of a new type, one fought against an invisible enemy scattered throughout the Middle East. First, vengeance must come not only against bin Laden, but also against the state harboring him: “We will make no distinction between those who committed these acts and those who harbor them” (Sept. 11). Second, the war extends to the world: “Our war on terror begins with Al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated” (Sept. 20). Third, any country that does not support Washington will be treated as an enemy: “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists” (Sept. 20).

In an article in the Wall Street Journal dated November 20, 2001, the neoconservative Eliot Cohen dubbed the war against terrorism as “World War IV,” a framing soon echoed by other American Zionists (the odd choice of the name WWIV rather than WWIII comes, I suspect, from the neocons’ ethnocentric worldview, in which every world war is a step toward Greater Israel; since one major step was accomplished in 1967, the Cold War counts as WW3). In September 2004, at a conference in Washington entitled “World War IV: Why We Fight, Whom We Fight, How We Fight,” Cohen said: “The enemy in this war is not ‘terrorism’ […] but militant Islam.” Like the Cold War, the imminent world war, according to Cohen’s vision, has ideological roots, will have global implications, and will last a long time, involving a whole range of conflicts. The self-fulfilling prophecy of a new World War centered in the Middle East has also been popularized by Norman Podhoretz, in “How to Win World War IV” (Commentary, February 2002), followed by a second article in, “World War IV: How It Started, What It Means, and Why We Have to Win,” (September 2004), and finally a book titled World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism (2007).[11]

The hijacked conspiracy and the controlled opposition

In the case of 9/11 as in the case of Kennedy, controlled opposition operates on many levels, and many honest scholars now realize that the 9/11 Truth movement itself is partly channeled by individuals and groups secretly aiming at drawing suspicions away from Israel. Such is certainly the case of the three young Jews (Avery, Rowe, and Bermas) who directed the film Loose Change (2005), the most widely watched 9/11 conspiracy film since its first version in 2005. They hitched their whole thesis on a comparison with the never carried-out false flag project Operation Northwoods (timely revealed to the public in May 2001 in James Bamford’s book Body of Secrets, written with the support of former NSA director Michael Hayden, now working for Michael Chertoff), but they failed to mention the attack on the USS Liberty, a well-documented false flag attack by Israel on its U.S. ally. They did not breathe a word about the neoconservatives’ loyalty to Israel, and treat anyone who cited the Israeli role in 9/11 as anti-Semitic. The same can be said of Bermas’s more recent film Invisible Empire (2010), also produced by Alex Jones: a compilation of anti-imperialist clichés focusing on the Bushs and the Rockefellers, without a single hint of the (((Others))).

It is interesting to note that the 9/11 scenario put forward by Loose Change had actually been prewritten by Hollywood: on the 4th of March, 2001, Fox TV broadcast the first episode of the series The Lone Gunmen, watched by 13 million Americans. The plot is about computer hackers working for a secret cabal within the U.S. government, who hijack a jet by remote control with the intent to crash it into one of the Twin Towers, while making it appear to have been hijacked by Islamic terrorists. At the last seconds, the pilots manage to regain control of the plane. The purpose of the failed operation was to trigger a world war under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Truthers of the “inside job” school fancy that this episode must have been written by some whistleblower inside Fox. Unlikely!

There is, of course, some truth in the “inside job” theory, as I said at the beginning. Israel (in the wider sense) would not be able to pull such an operation and get away with it, without complicity at the highest level of U.S. government. How does that work? Pretty much like for the Kennedy assassination, if you consider that the country was then ruled by its vice-president Dick Cheney, the president being a mere dummy (see Lou Dubose and Jake Bernstein, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency, Random House, 2006). In my book JFK-9/11, I have proposed a plausible scenario of how Israel had in fact hijacked a smaller false flag attack on the Pentagon fabricated by the American Deep State, for the limited purpose of justifying the overthrow of the Talibans in Afghanistan, a goal fully supported by such “Great Gamers” as Zbigniew Brzezinski, but which didn’t in itself interest the neocons.

What the neocons wanted was a new war against Iraq and then a general conflagration in the Middle East leading to the crumbling of all the enemies of Israel, with Syria and Iran high on the list. So they outbid everyone and gave the operation the scale they wanted with the help of their New York super-sayan Silvertein. George W. Bush, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and other goyim who had been kept out of the loop, finding themselves embroiled in geopolitical machinations of global scope, could merely try to save face. On September 19 and 20, Richard Perle’s Defense Policy Board met in the company of Paul Wolfowitz and Bernard Lewis (inventor of the self-fulfilling prophecy of the “clash of civilizations”) but in the absence of Powell and Rice. They prepared a letter to Bush, written on PNAC letterhead, to remind him of his historic mission: “Even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.”[12] This was an ultimatum. Bush was certainly aware of the leverage that the neocons had acquired over the major print and television media. He was obliged, under penalty of ending in the proverbial trash bin of history, to endorse the invasion of Iraq that his father had refused the Zionists ten years earlier.

As for Brzezinski and other genuine U.S. imperialists, their support for the invasion of Afghanistan made their timid protests against the Iraq war ineffective. It was a little late in February 2007 when Brzezinski denounced before the Senate “a historical, strategic and moral calamity […] driven by Manichaean impulses and imperial hubris.” In 2012 he declared, regarding the risk of conflagration with Iran, that Obama should stop following Israel like a “stupid mule.” He soon disappeared from the MSM, as a useful idiot no longer useful.

The “half truth” of the exclusively “inside job” theory, which denounces 9/11 as a false flag operation perpetrated by the American state on its own citizens, functions like a secondary false flag hiding the real masters of the operation, who are in fact agents in the service of a foreign nation. One of the aims of this inside-jobish controlled opposition is to force American officials to maintain the “bin Laden did it” masquerade, knowing that tearing apart the fake Islamic flag would only reveal the U.S. flag, not the Israeli flag. No longer controlling the media, they would not have the means to raise this second veil to expose Israel. Any effort to get at the truth would be political suicide. Everyone understands what is at stake: if one day, under mounting pressure from public opinion or for some other strategic reason, the mainstream media abandons the official bin Laden story, the well-rehearsed slogan “9/11 was an inside job” will have prepared Americans to turn against their own government, while the neocon Zionists will remain untouchable (Machiavelli’s method: make another accomplish your dirty ends, then turn popular vengeance against him). And God knows what will happen, if the government has not by then succeeded in disarming its citizens through Sandy Hook-type psy-ops. Government officials have little choice but to stick to the Al-Qaeda story, at least for the next fifty years.

After reaching this conclusion in JFK-9/11, I had the satisfaction of finding that Victor Thorn, in a book that had eluded me (Made in Israel: 9-11 and the Jewish Plot Against America, Sisyphus Press, 2011), had already expressed it in harsher terms: “In essence, the ‘9-11 truth movement’ was created prior to Sept. 11, 2001 as a means of suppressing news relating to Israeli complicity. By 2002–2003, ‘truthers’ began appearing at rallies holding placards that read ‘9-11 was an inside job.’ Initially, these signs provided hope for those who didn’t believe the government and mainstream media’s absurd cover stories. But then an awful realization emerged: The slogan ‘9-11 was an inside job’ was quite possibly the greatest example of Israeli propaganda ever devised. […] The mantra, ‘9-11 was an inside job’ is only partially true and is inherently damaging to the ‘truth movement’ because it shifts all attention away from Israel’s traitorous assault against America. […] Leaders of these fake 9-11 groups know the truth about Israel’s 9-11 barbarity. Their willingness to perpetuate or cover it up ultimately makes them as guilty and vile as those who launched the attacks. There are no degrees of separation in this matter. It’s a black-and-white issue. Tell the entire truth about Israel’s Murder, Inc. cabal, or sleep in the same infected bed as these murdering dogs lie in. […] Faux conspiratologists complain about the government and news sources not telling the truth, yet they’ve erected an utter blackout on data regarding Israel and 9-11.”

The missing .3 trillion

Some readers will complain that I am making a very complex operation appear too simple. I plead guilty: I have merely tried here to outline the case against Israel in the short scope of an article. But I am fully aware that creating Greater Israel through a world war fought by the U.S. might not have been the only consideration in the preparation of 9/11. Many private interests had to be involved. Yet I believe none of them interfered with Israel’s plan, and most of them supported it.

There is, for example, the missing gold in the WTC basement : $200 million were recovered from the estimated $1 billion stored: who took the rest? But that is nothing compared to the $2.3 trillion that were missing from the accounts of the Department of Defense for the year 2000, in addition to $1.1 trillion missing for 1999, according to a televised declaration made on September 10th, 2001, the day before the attacks, by Donald Rumsfeld. Just for comparison, this is more than one thousand times the colossal losses of Enron, which triggered a chain of bankruptcies that same year. All this money evaporated into thin air under the watch of William Cohen, Defense Secretary during Bill Clinton’s second term. In 2001, the man who was tasked to help track down the missing trillions was Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) Dov Zakheim, a member of PNAC and an ordained rabbi. Practically, the mystery had to be resolved by financial analysts at Resource Services Washington (RSW). Unfortunately, their offices were destroyed by “al-Qaeda” the following morning. The “hijackers” or Flight AA77, rather than hitting the command center on the eastern side of the Pentagon, chose to attempt a theoretically impossible downward spiral at 180 degrees in order to hit the west side of the building precisely at the location of the accounting offices. The 34 experts at RSW perished in their offices, together with 12 other financial analysts, as is noted in the biography of the team leader Robert Russell for the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial: “The weekend before his death, his entire office attended a crab feast at the Russell home. They were celebrating the end of the fiscal-year budget completion. Tragically, every person that attended that party was involved in the Pentagon explosion, and are currently missing”.

By an incredible coincidence, one of the financial experts trying to make sense of the Pentagon financial loss, Bryan Jack, was reported to have died at the precise location of his office, not because he was working there that day, but because he was on a business trip on Flight AA77. In the words of the Washington Post database: “Bryan C. Jack was responsible for crunching America’s defense budget. He was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 77, bound for official business in California when his plane struck the Pentagon, where, on any other day, Jack would have been at work at his computer”. Yahweh must have a sense of chutzpah!

 

Laurent Guyénot is the author of JFK-9/11: 50 years of Deep State, Progressive Press, 2014, and From Yahweh to Zion: Jealous God, Chosen People, Promised Land … Clash of Civilizations, 2018. (or $30 shipping included from Sifting and Winnowing, POB 221, Lone Rock, WI 53556).

Footnotes

[1] Philippe Broussard, “En dépit des déclarations américaines, les indices menant à Ben Laden restent minces,” Le Monde, September 25, 2001.

[2] Gilad Atzmon, Being in Time: a Post-Political Manifesto, Interlink Publishing, 2017 , p. 142.

[3] David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Contradictions, Arris Books, 2008, pp. 170-182; Webster Griffin Tarpley, 9/11 Synthetic Terror Made in USA, Progressive Press, 2008, pp. 321-324.

[4] Christopher Bollyn, Solving 9-11: The Deception That Changed the World, C. Bollyn, 2012, pp. 278–280.

[5] It is quoted here from Bollyn’s book and from Justin Raimondo, The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection, iUniverse, 2003.

[6] Christopher Bollyn, Solving 9-11: The Deception That Changed the World, C. Bollyn, 2012, p. 159.

[7] Justin Raimondo, The Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection, iUniverse, 2003, p. 3.

[8] Christopher Bollyn, Solving 9-11: The Deception that Changed the World, 2012 , pp. 278-280.

[9] Quoted by Andrew Cockburn, who claims to have heard the anecdote from “friends of the family”, in Rumsfeld: His Rise, His fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, Scribner, 2011, p. 219.

[10] Michael Evans told of this prophecy in an interview with Deborath Calwell and in his book The American Prophecies, Terrorism and Mid-East Conflict Reveal a Nation’s Destiny), quoted in Christopher Bollyn, Solving 9-11: The Deception That Changed the World, C. Bollyn, 2012, p. 71.

[11] Stephen Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, Enigma Edition, 2008, p. 193.

[12] Stephen Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, Enigma Edition, 2008, p. 144.

 

Libya in chaos seven years after NATO’s ‘liberation’, but who cares? – By Neil Clark – RT

Neil Clark
Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at http://www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66
Libya in chaos seven years after NATO's 'liberation', but who cares?
Libya remains a lawless land, with rival militias fighting battles in the streets of Tripoli and over 1 million people in need of aid. But the West’s ‘liberal interventionists’ aren’t interested in the catastrophe they created.

Hundreds escape prison amid deadly clashes in Tripoli,” a headline on the BBC News website declared this week. 

Over 60 people have died in the current fighting with many more injured and hundreds of ordinary citizens displaced. The latest disturbances began after the Tarhuna’s 7th Infantry ”Kaniat‘ Brigade made advances into the capital from the south and clashed with a coalition of Tripoli militias. 

It’s really hard to keep up with who’s fighting who. If you think the situation in Syria is complicated, you haven’t been paying much attention to Libya. As the BBC article acknowledged: “Libya has faced continuing chaos since NATO-backed militia forces, some of them rivals, overthrew long-serving ruler Colonel Gaddafi in October 2011.”

Libya has rival governments but even they don’t control the majority of the country. There is no ‘rule of law’, only the rule of the gun. Libya’s regression from the country with the highest Human Development Index figure in the whole of Africa just ten years ago, to a fragmented and very dangerous failed state, is hard to take in. Last year, the UN Agency IOM reported that slave markets had returned to the country. 

Economic and societal collapse has had a devastating impact on the life of ordinary Libyans.

Take health care. A 2017 Service Availability and Readiness Assessment survey, conducted by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health, found that 17 out of 97 hospitals are closed and only four hospitals were functional between 75-80% of their capacity. Over 20% primary health care facilities are closed and the rest are not “well ready for service delivery“.

In May 2016, the WHO also expressed ‘great concern’ over the deaths of 12 newborns in the Sabah Medical Centre neonatal intensive care unit in Sabha, southern Libya. It records: “The deaths occurred as a result of a bacterial infection and lack of specialized health staff to provide medical care.

The education system is also in a state of collapse or near-collapse. In 2016, it was reported that the start of the school year was postponed because of a “lack of books, lack of security and many other factors.”

It was noted that the Libyan school year had not been regular since the fall of Gaddafi. This year, UNICEF said that 489 schools were affected by the conflict and that around 26,000 students had been forced to change schools due to closures. 

UNICEF also says that 378,000 children in Libya are in need of humanitarian assistance, 268,000 are in need of safe water, sanitation and hygiene and 300,000 are in need of education in emergency support. Overall 1.1m people in Libya are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Given the dire situation it is no surprise that so many Libyans have left, or are leaving. In 2014, it was reported that between 600,000 and 1m had fled to Tunisia

If we add those who went to Egypt and elsewhere, the figure is likely to be in excess of 2 million, quite staggering when you consider that the 2011 population of Libya was around 6 million.

As I argued in a previous op-ed, the Western assault on Libya was an even worse crime than the invasion of Iraq because it came later. There was really no excuse for anyone, seeing how the ‘regime change’ operation of 2003 had turned out, supporting a similar venture in North Africa.

Yet, those responsible for what happened have faced no comeback. The UK Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, is blamed for Brexit (by Remainers), but not for what he did to Libya and the claims he made to justify the military action. This is despite a House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee report concluding, five years later, that “the proposition that Muammar Gaddafi would have ordered the massacre of civilians in Benghazi was not supported by the available evidence.”

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President in 2011, faces a trial (or trials) in relation to three different investigations, including accepting money from Gaddafi to help his election campaign, but he has not yet been prosecuted for his role in the war.

Bernard-Henri Levy, the philosopher considered by some to be the intellectual godfather of the Western intervention – and who boastedwe are the first to say that Qaddafi is no longer the legal representative,” is performing a one-man anti-Brexit play, as the country he helped ‘liberate’ burns. 

Stateside and in ‘liberal’ circles across the West, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are lionised for not being Donald Trump, but what the duo did to Libya is far worse than anything Trump has done up to now.

And the British Home Secretary under whose watch control orders on members of the anti-Gaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group were lifted, one Theresa May, is now Prime Minister, and trying to take the moral high ground against Russia. To add insult to injury, it is a politician who opposed the NATO action in 2011, Jeremy Corbyn, who is under constant media attack and painted as beyond the pale. Just how wrong is that?

Returning to the current violence, a UN-brokered ceasefire to end the fighting in south Tripoli is reported at time of writing to be holding, but bearing in mind how previous ceasefires have collapsed, we can’t be optimistic. Part of the problem is that the country is awash with arms. The sad truth is that Libya is broken and probably will never be put back together again. A great crime has been committed, but you would never think it, judging by the lack of media coverage.

We’ve had a lot of debate this summer in Britain about Israel’s ‘right to exist’- and whether challenging this makes one ‘anti-Semitic’ but the reality is that Libya – as a modern, functioning state – has ceased to exist. And no one in elite, establishment circles seems the least bit bothered. Consider how many column inches were devoted to ‘saving’ Libya in the build up to NATO’s ‘humanitarian’ intervention seven and a half years ago, with the lack of opinion pieces about the country today.  

Try googling the names of some of the leading media war hawks and ‘Libya’ and you see they tend to go as silent after 2011 – shifting their attention to propagandising for ‘regime change’ in Syria. The only conclusion one can draw is their sole interest in the country was seeing Muammar Gaddafi toppled. After that was achieved, who cares?

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A STORM IS COMING TO IDLIB; ZIONIST JIHADISTS KILL LAURELED SYRIAN SCIENTIST; HAMA TERRORISTS BOMBED TO OBLIVION – By Ziad Fadel

MISYAAF, HAMA PROVINCE:   Dr. ‘Azeez Isbir, seen in this photo at a conference for scientists, was killed by an embedded MOSSAD agent with the Turkish-supported Free Syrian Army.  The Zionist cockroach ordered the IED which was placed in a car that was remotely triggered.  It is reported to SyrPer that the FSA officer insisted on detonating the IED himself in order to “kill a Christian”. Dr.  ‘Azeez will be remembered forever for his formidable contributions to Syrian missile technology as Director of the Center for Scientific Research, an institution which will enable our army to vanquish the Zionist grubs in the war to liberate all Palestine.  His missile designs are found not only in Syria, but, in Lebanon with Hizbollah and the Ansaar Allaah Movement in Yemen.  May he rest in peace.

Another photo of the martyred Dr. ‘Azeez Isbir courtesy of SANA.

______________________________________________

LATAKIA:

الجيش يحبط هجوما لـ

AL-SARRAAF:  The Nusra group of criminals launched an attack on a small Syrian Army fortified checkpoint this morning in the early hours close to Al-Rubay’ah on the Turk border.  The attack was a miserable failure.  Eyewitness accounts show that 17 rodents were dropped, either killed or wounded and that the rest crawled back to their lairs in Turk-Occupied Syria.

____________________________________________

HAMA-IDLIB:

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.319607&lon=36.653910&z=14&m=b

Syrian Army artillery savaged the bulldozer-built fortifications belonging to units of the Jaysh Al-‘Izza and the Turkestaan Party.  The revetments were completely destroyed, ironically, by the same kinds of rockets and bombs they were meant to prevent.  The area targeted was in the North of Hama at Lihaayaa and Al-Lataamina 35 kms north of Hama City, close to the Idlib Provincial border.  The SAA was positioned north of Hilfaayaa and Miharda.

______________________________________________

WILE E. COYOTE MOMENT: (Thanks, John Esq.)

https://twitter.com/Zionocracy/status/1026651167110127617/video/1

Israel’s policies in Gaza are genocidal – By Haidar Eid. (MONDOWEISS)

The 1948 Genocide Convention clearly states that one instance of genocide is “the deliberate infliction of conditions of life calculated to bring about the physical destruction of a people in whole or in part.” No matter whether this happens at a fast rate, or in “slow motion.” That is what has been done to Gaza since the imposition of the blockade by Israel, and the subsequent massacres which led to the death of more than 4000 Palestinians in three successive genocidal wars.

Palestinians of Gaza live an ongoing, illegal, crippling Israeli siege that has shattered all spheres of life, prompting the former UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Richard Falk, to describe it as “a prelude to genocide”. In 2009, the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, headed by the highly respected South African judge, Richard Goldstone, found Israel guilty of “war crimes and possible crimes against humanity,” as did major international human rights organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The Goldstone report, for example, concludes that Israel’s war on Gaza was “designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability.”

The same scenario was repeated in 2012, and a worse one in 2014 only because Israel feels that it can carry on its war crimes with full impunity. And last week Israel has decided to tighten the siege by closing the only commercial crossing, even to increase its attacks by targeting peaceful protesters demanding the implementation of UN resolutions, and an end to this deadly, hermetic siege.

In her visit to Gaza, Professor Sara Roy, an expert on Gaza, describes the Strip as “a land ripped apart and scarred, the lives of its people blighted. Gaza is decaying under the weight of continued devastation, unable to function normally…” Professor Roy concludes that “[T]he decline and disablement of Gaza’s economy and society have been deliberate, the result of state policy–consciously planned, implemented and enforced… And just as Gaza’s demise has been consciously orchestrated, so have the obstacles preventing its recovery.” In addition to Israel’s daily attacks and air strikes, Gazans also suffer from the contamination of water, air and soil, since the sewage system is unable to function due to power cuts necessitated by lack of fuel to the main generators of the Gaza power grid. Medical conditions due to injuries from internationally prohibited butterfly bullets and other illegal Israeli weapons as well as from water contamination cannot be treated because of the siege. In addition to the ban on building materials, Israel also prevents many other necessities from being imported: lights bulbs, candles, matches, books, refrigerators, shoes, clothing, mattresses, sheets, blankets, tea, coffee, sausages, flour, cows, pasta, cigarettes, fuel, pencils, pens, paper… etc. In Gaza, people are wondering whether the current Israeli government, the most fascist in the county’s history, might even discuss a ban on Oxygen! Add to this the punitive measure taken by the PA, and the drastic cuts endorsed by UNRWA, not to mention the constant closure of the Rafah crossing–the only exit Gaza has to the external world– leading to one of the highest unemployment rates and poverty on the face of earth.

In fact, the conclusion Gazans have reached is that Israel is intent on destroying Gaza because world official bodies and leaders choose to say and do absolutely nothing. The brazen refusal of Israel to cooperate with the decision of the International Community to re-construct Gaza, for which several billions of dollars were pledged in Sharm El-Sheikh, should not be tolerated. Israel’s attacks have damaged or completely destroyed many public buildings and have according to the UN’s own Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports severely damaged or completely destroyed some thousands of family dwellings, schools, universities and factories. Many other Palestinians who have spent the past several winters and summers in tents and caravans have also been promised the means to rebuild homes and schools, though to date nothing has been done to alleviate their suffering.

The practice of wanton willful killing of civilians exemplified in the extra-judicial sniping of non-violent protesters at the eastern fence of the Gaza Strip is not an isolated incident. It is part and parcel of an ongoing, comprehensive policy targeting the civilian Palestinians of the Gaza strip and systematically denying them their rights to movement, work, medical care, study, livelihood and increasingly life itself. But it is also a reflection of the nature of the state of Israel.i. e., a settler-colony. Israel’s leading, anti-Zionist historian, Ilan Pappe,  sheds light  on the driving ideology behind this genocidal policy:

Zionism is, in essence, a settler colonial movement, which was interested in having as much of the land of Palestine with as few Palestinians on it as possible. As the late scholar of settler colonialism, Patrick Wolfe, has put it; the encounter between the settlers and the indigenous population triggered ‘the logic of the elimination of the native’. In some places, such as North America, annihilation was literally a genocide of the native; in Palestine it was a different kind of elimination, obtained through segregation, ethnic cleansing and enclavement

In spite of Israel’s alleged unilateral withdrawal from the Strip in 2005, it still maintains a permanent military presence in Gaza’s territorial waters and controls the movement of people and goods onto the strip by land and water in addition to movement within the strip through targeting anyone entering the “no go” zone designated by the Israeli military. Israel also continues to control Gaza’s population registry. Yet, Israel claims that it is no longer the occupying power in the Gaza strip and uses this excuse, in addition to the results of 2006 democratic elections, to intensify its policy of siege and lethal attacks on Gaza’s civilians.

And now, Israel has decided to become openly an apartheid state by legalizing racial discrimination. I have tried very hard to find out whether there are constitutions or laws in the world similar to Israel’s “new” Nation-State Basic Law which aims to establish a legal basis for Jewish supremacy and racism against indigenous Palestinians, including those living in what has become the largest open-air prison on earth; only South Africa under apartheid and America in the eras of slavery and segregation.

So, what to do?!

In a piece published in MEE, Gideon Levy asks “Israel, where is your outrage at the legislation of Apartheid?” Actually, we are not expecting a settler-colonial community to act against its own racism. The outside world has to intervene. Hence our call for #BDS. But, in Palestine, we are in urgent need of serious discussions about a program of radical political transformation, what with the disastrous failure of the existing programs, right and left, a program that divorces itself from the racist two-state solution, one that endorses a more inclusive program that guarantees the rights of all segments of the Palestinian people.

About Haidar Eid

Haidar Eid is Associate Professor of Postcolonial and Postmodern Literature at Gaza’s al-Aqsa University. He has written widely on the Arab-Israeli conflict, including articles published at Znet, Electronic Intifada, Palestine Chronicle, and Open Democracy. He has published papers on cultural Studies and literature in a number of journals, including Nebula, Journal of American Studies in Turkey, Cultural Logic, and the Journal of Comparative Literature.

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LA GUERRE EST FINIE; ISIS ANNIHILATED IN SYRIA AS TERRORISTS SEEK TO RETURN TO EUROPE – By ZIAD FADEL

With the war in Syria now a vanishing memory, the Syrian Army turns its attention to the north where rodents have recently formed a new front excluding Hay’at Tahreer Al-Shaam (HTS).  Needless to say, Jaysh Al-Islam, the Saudi funded terrorist group that fancied itself some kind of conventional army has been eradicated.  Muhammad ‘Alloosh is reportedly in Turkey or Saudi Arabia wolfing down Alka Seltzer tablets.  He has already been condemned to death and faces a noose the instant he tries to enter Syria.  This new front is primarily made up of the Noor-Al-Deen Al-Zangi group some (which is renowned for its “moderate character” as it beheaded a 12 year-old Palestinian boy in front of cameras) along with a mish-mash of other criminals.  I am told that the individual rodent who beheaded the boy is wanted by the PFLP-GC dead or alive, preferably the former.  If he is taken alive, as the great British director, Ken Russell, once wrote:  “Hell will hold no surprises for him”.

As I reported before, the Kurds are deeply suspicious of American intentions and do not have the desire to repeat historic disasters.  Ghassan Kadi’s article, listed below, is in basic agreement with this proposition.  It is fair to say that even the Kurd issue has been resolved through negotiation – a much more civilized way to resolve conflict.  However, the Syrian government is insisting on Kurdish disarmament, an issue that may encounter some stumbling blocks.

At Al-Qaseer in the Golan, ISIS has been routed from its last stronghold by the Syrian Army.  ISIS terrorists have been monitored looking for ways out of the Middle East, most heading back to Europe or, even, Bangla Desh.  With Angela Merkel in office, we can expect Germany to turn into another Afghanistan if she is given the authority to open European doors to the fleeing rodents.

I have a close relative in Syria who tells me everything is returning to normal.  While there is some fear that the terrorists holed up in Idlib might target Latakia, the Russians have relayed Turk assurances that such a scenario is not going to take place.  Of course, Erdoghan is treacherous and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.  We cannot sit rest assured he won’t renege on his promises.

Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees are returning home.  The news is that the amnesty program is working and is taken seriously by the government.  That is, unless you have a known history of killing Syrian soldiers or security men who were taken hostage.  Those individuals, their hands bloodied, are winding up in European capitals, Canada or the United States.  Applications for refugee status are indicators of an unwillingness to return to Syria out of fear of arrest and trial.  Individuals, such as those in Lebanon are returning without any fear.

Since the Russians have taken a negative attitude toward the liberation of Idlib, we will start to concentrate on that particular issue in future posts.  I will not be reporting on SAA assaults in the East for the reason that these pockets of cockroaches are doomed either because of the elements or their own psychological depression.  The terrorists at Al-Tanf are expected to surrender the moment the U.S. pulls out before the end of the year.  Some may try to move to Jordan, but, the majority will probably melt into the general population – or so they think.  There is a suggestion by some that Jordan will pick up where the U.S. left off at Al-Tanf with Saudis picking up the tab.

NEWS AND COMMENT:

The Western tune has changed indeed.  Read how the liars lick their collective wounds:

https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/23/the-syrian-war-is-over-and-america-lost/

Note how articles like this one are winding up in the public domain.  This makes the NYT grimace:

http://thefederalist.com/2018/08/01/trump-ignore-failed-dc-establishment-get-u-s-troops-syria/

Ghassan Kadi discusses the Kurdish situation with Sputnik:  Thanks, Intibah:

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201808031066917418-syria-kurds-thaw/

The most dangerous man in the world? How Bill Browder’s greed helped spark a new Cold War – By Philip Giraldi /The Unz Review (SOTT)

William browder fraud russia magnitsky

© Reuters
Some of hedgefunder William Browder’s firms were caught involved in $230 million tax fraud in Russia

The darling of the war party needs to answer some questions

At the press conference following their summit meeting in Helsinki, Russian President Vladimir Putin and American President Donald Trump discussed the possibility of resolving potential criminal cases involving citizens of the two countries by permitting interrogators from Washington and Moscow to participate in joint questioning of the individuals named in indictments prepared by the respective judiciaries. The predictable response by the American nomenklatura was that it was a horrible idea as it would potentially require U.S. officials to answer questions from Russians about their activities.

Putin argued, not unreasonably, that if Washington wants to extradite and talk to any of the twelve recently indicted GRU officers the Justice Department has named then reciprocity is in order for Americans and other identified individuals who are wanted by the Russian authorities for illegal activity while in Russia. And if Russian officials are fair game, so are American officials.

Michael McFaul

© Valeriy Levitin / Sputnik
Michael McFaul

A prime target for such an interrogation would be President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who was widely criticized while in Moscow for being on an apparent mission to cultivate ties with the Russian political opposition and other “pro-democracy” groups. But McFaul was not specifically identified in the press conference, though Russian prosecutors have asked him to answer questions related to the ongoing investigation of another leading critic, Bill Browder, who was named by Putin during the question and answer session. Browder is a major hedge fund figure who, inter alia, is an American by birth. He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1997 in exchange for British citizenship to avoid paying federal taxes on his worldwide income.

Bill Browder is what used to be referred to as an oligarch, having set up shop in 1999 as Hermitage Capital Management Fund, a hedge fund registered in tax havens Guernsey and the Cayman Islands. It focused on “investing” in Russia, taking advantage initially of the loans-for-shares scheme under Russia’s drunkard President Boris Yeltsin, and then continuing to profit greatly during the early years of Vladimir Putin. By 2005 Hermitage was the largest foreign investor in Russia.

yeltsin time magazine

Yeltsin had won a fraudulent election in 1996 supported by the oligarch-controlled media and by President Bill Clinton, who secured a $20.2 billion IMF loan that enabled him to buy support. Today we would refer to Clinton’s action as “interference in the 1996 election,” but at that time a helpless and bankrupt Russia was not well placed to object to what was being done to it. Yeltsin proved keen to follow oligarchical advice regarding how to strip the former Soviet Union of its vast state-owned assets. Browder’s Hermitage Investments profited hugely from the commodities deals that were struck at that time.

Browder and his apologists portray him as an honest and honorable Western businessman attempting to operate in a corrupt Russian business world. Nevertheless, the loans-for-shares scheme that made him his initial fortune has been correctly characterized as the epitome of corruption by all parties involved, an arrangement whereby foreign investors worked with local oligarchs to strip the former Soviet economy of its assets paying pennies on each dollar of value. Along the way, Browder was reportedly involved in money laundering, making false representations on official documents and bribery.

Browder was eventually charged by the Russian authorities for fraud and tax evasion. He was banned from re-entering Russia in 2005 and began to withdraw his assets from the country, but three companies controlled by Hermitage were eventually seized by the authorities. Browder himself was convicted of tax evasion in absentia in 2013 and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Browder, who refers to himself as Putin’s “public enemy #1,” has notably been able to sell his tale of innocence to leading American politicians like Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Ben Cardin and ex-Senator Joe Lieberman, all of whom are always receptive when criticizing Russia, as well as to a number of European parliamentarians and media outlets. In the wake of the Helsinki press conference he has, for example, claimed that Putin named him personally because he is a threat to continue to expose the crimes of the mafia that he claims is currently running Russia, but there is, inevitably, another less discussed alternative view of his self-serving narrative.

Central to the tale of what Browder really represents is the Magnitsky Act, which the U.S. Congress passed into law to sanction individual Kremlin officials for their treatment of alleged whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, arrested and imprisoned in Russia. Browder has sold a narrative which basically says that he and his “lawyer” Sergei Magnitsky uncovered massive tax fraud and, when they attempted to report it, were punished by a corrupt police force and magistracy, which had actually stolen the money. Magnitsky was arrested and died in prison, allegedly murdered by the police to silence him.

Magnitsky

Sergei Magnitsky

The Magnitsky case is of particular importance because both the European Union and the United States have initiated sanctions against the identified Russian officials who were allegedly involved. In the Magnitsky Act, sponsored by Russia-phobic Senator Ben Cardin and signed by President Barack Obama in 2012, the U.S. asserted its willingness to punish foreign governments for human rights abuses. The Act, initially limited to Russia, has now been expanded by virtue of 2016’s Global Magnitsky Act, which enabled U.S. sanctions worldwide.

Russia reacted angrily to the first iteration of the Act, noting that the actions taken by its government internally, notably the operation of its judiciary, were being subjected to outside interference, while other judicial authorities also questioned Washington’s claimed right to respond to criminal acts committed outside the United States. Moscow reciprocated with sanctions against U.S. officials as well as by increasing pressure on foreign non-governmental pro-democracy groups operating in Russia. Some have referred to the Magnitsky Act as the start of the new Cold War.

The contrary narrative to that provided by Browder concedes that there was indeed a huge fraud related to as much as $230 million in unpaid Russian taxes on an estimated $1.5 billion of income, but that it was not carried out by corrupt officials. Instead, it was deliberately ordered and engineered by Browder with Magnitsky, who was actually an accountant, personally developing and implementing the scheme, using multiple companies and tax avoidance schemes to carry out the deception. Magnitsky, who was on cardiac medication, was indeed arrested and convicted, but he, according to his own family, reportedly died due to his heart condition, possibly exacerbated by negligent authorities who failed to medicate him adequately when he became ill.

The two competing Browder narratives have been explored in some detail by a Russian documentary film maker Andrei Nekrasov, an outspoken anti-Putin activist, who was actually initially engaged by Browder to do the film. An affable Browder appears extensively in the beginning describing his career and the events surrounding Magnitsky.

Andrei Nekrasov

Andrei Nekrasov. director of “The Magnitsky Act”

As Nekrasov worked on the documentary, he discovered that the Browder supported narrative was full of contradictions, omissions and fabrication of evidence. By the time he finished, he realized that the more accurate account of what had occurred with Browder and Magnitsky had been that provided by the Russian authorities.

When Nekrasov prepared to air his work The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes, he inevitably found himself confronted by billionaire Browder and a battery of lawyers, who together blocked the showing of the film in Europe and the United States. Anyone subsequently attempting to promote the documentary has been immediately confronted with 300-plus pages of supporting documents accompanying a letter threatening a lawsuit if the film were to be shown to the public.

A single viewing of “The Magnitsky Act” in Washington in June 2016 turned into a riot when Browder supporters used tickets given to Congressional staffers to disrupt the proceedings. At a subsequent hearing before Congress, where he was featured as an expert witness on Russian corruption before a fawning Senate Judiciary Committee, Bill Browder suggested that those who had challenged his narrative and arranged the film’s viewing in Washington should be prosecuted under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), which includes penalties of up to five years in prison.

Because of the pressure from Browder, there has never been a second public showing of “The Magnitsky Act” but it is possible to see it online at this site.

Bill Browder, who benefited enormously from Russian corruption, has expertly repackaged himself as a paragon among businessmen, endearing himself to the Russia-haters in Washington and the media. Curiously, however, he has proven reluctant to testify in cases regarding his own business dealings. He has, for example, repeatedly run away, literally, from attempts to subpoena him so he would have to testify under oath.

When one gets past all of his bluster and posturing, by one significant metric Bill Browder might well be accounted the most dangerous man in the world. Driven by extreme hatred of Putin and of Russia, he personally and his Magnitsky Myth have together done more to launch and sustain a dangerous new Cold War between a nuclear-armed United States and a nuclear-armed Russia. Blind to what he has accomplished, he continues to pontificate about how Putin is out to get him when instead he is the crook who quite likely stole $230 million dollars and should be facing the consequences.

That the U.S. media and Congress appear to be entranced by Browder and dismissive of Moscow’s charges against him is symptomatic of just how far the Russa-phobia in the West has robbed people of their ability to see what is right in front of them. To suggest that what is taking place driven by Browder and his friends in high places could well lead to tragedy for all of us would be an understatement.

About the author

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East

Comment: Alex Krainer has also investigated Bill Browder and felt the weight of his legal wrath.

US diplomats act like imperial governors riding roughshod over sovereignty of national governments – By RT

John Laughland
John Laughland, who has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Oxford and who has taught at universities in Paris and Rome, is a historian and specialist in international affairs.
US diplomats act like imperial governors riding roughshod over sovereignty of national governments
On the world’s Grand Chessboard, the US is fighting for control and influence. And there are countries where its ambassadors are perceived more as imperial governors than simple channels of communication.

At the height of the Maidan protests in Kiev in early 2014, a conversation was leaked between the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and the then-Assistant Secretary of State in the Obama administration, Victoria Nuland. The conversation gained notoriety because Nuland said to Pyatt, “F**k the EU” and the recording was almost instantly available on Youtube.

More shocking than Nuland’s bad language, however, was what the conversation was about. The US government officials were discussing how to put their men into power in Ukraine – which of the three then opposition factions would dominate, who would take the lead (Arseniy Yatsenyuk) and who would be excluded (Vladimir Klitschko).  At the time of this conversation, early February 2014, their enemy Viktor Yanukovych was still president. The leaked recording proved that the US and its Kiev embassy were actively involved in a regime change operation. The composition of the post-Maidan government corresponded exactly with US plans.

What few people knew at the time was that such levels of control over the composition of foreign governments had become standard practice for US embassies all over the world. As I could see on my very numerous travels around the Balkans in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the US ambassador was treated by the political class and the media in those countries not as the officially accredited representative of a foreign government but instead as an imperial governor whose pronunciamentos were more important than those of the national government.

This has been going on for decades, although the levels of control exercised by the United States increased as it rushed to fill the political vacuum created by the collapse of Soviet influence in Eastern Europe after 1989. In earlier times, such control, especially regime change operations, had to be conducted either covertly, as with the overthrow of Iranian prime minister, Mohammad Mosaddegh, in 1953, or by financing and arming an anti-government militia, such as in Nicaragua and elsewhere in central and South America, or by encouraging the army itself, most famously in Chile in 1973. There is a huge body of literature on this vast subject (for the coup against Mosaddegh, see especially ‘All the Shah’s Men’ by Stephen Kinzer, 2003) and there is no possibility of denying that such operations took place. Indeed, former CIA director, James Woolsey, recently admitted that they continue to this day.  

Many of the ambassadors who engineered or attempted regime change operations in Eastern Europe and the former USSR had cut their teeth in Latin America in 1980s and 1990s. One of them, Michael Kozak, former US ambassador to Belarus, even boasted in a letter to The Guardian in 2001 that he was doing the same thing in Minsk as he had done in Managua. He wrote: “As regards parallels between Nicaragua in 1989-90 and Belarus today, I plead guilty. Our objective and to some degree methodology are the same.”

Kozak did not mention that he also played a key role in the overthrow of General Noriega in Panama in 1989 but he is far from alone. The experience accumulated by the Americans during the Cold War, including in major European countries like Italy where US interference was key to preventing Communist victories in elections, spawned a whole generation of Kermit Roosevelts (the architect of the coup against Mosaddegh) who have made their careers over decades in the State Department. Some names, such as that of Michael McFaul, former US ambassador to Russia who made no secret of his opposition to the president of the state to which he was accredited, will be familiar to RT readers.

Two years after the violent overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych, which he helped coordinate, Geoffrey Pyatt was appointed US ambassador to Greece. He remains in that post to this day – which is why some are asking whether his hand might be behind last week’s expulsion of Russian diplomats from Athens. Greece and Russia have customarily had good relations but they differ on the Macedonian issue. Now, the Greek government headed by the “pseudo-Euroskeptic” Alexis Tsipras, claims that four Russian diplomats were engaged in covert operations in Greece to lobby against forcing Macedonia to change its official name.  

READ MORE: Macedonian MPs ratify Greece name deal again

Like almost every other political issue these days, this relatively arcane one is regarded through the distorting prism of alleged Russian interference: any decision which does not consolidate the power of American-dominated supranational structures like the US or the EU is now routinely attributed to all-pervasive Russian influence, as if all dissidents were foreign agents. Western discussion of this subject now resembles the paranoia of the old Soviet regime, and of its satellites in Eastern Europe, which similarly attacked anti-Communists for being “fifth columnists” – the very phrase used by a prominent European politician last month to lambast all his enemies as Russian stooges. 

US influence is suspected in this case between Greece and Macedonia because the Americans are pushing to bring the whole of the Balkan peninsula under Western control.  This has been policy for nearly thirty years – at least since the Yugoslav wars led to a US-brokered peace deal in Bosnia in 1995. In recent years the tempo has quickened, with the accession of Montenegro to NATO last year leaving only Macedonia and Serbia as missing pieces of the puzzle. The Greek victory over the name of Macedonia removes the last obstacle to that country’s accession to NATO and other “Euro-Atlantic structures” like the EU and soon only Serbia will be left. Will she last long? 

One of the most notorious anecdotes of the Second World War was told by Churchill. While in Moscow in 1944, he and Stalin divided up Eastern Europe and the Balkans into spheres of influence, putting percentage figures to show the respective weight of the West and the USSR – 10:90 in Greece, 50:50 Yugoslavia, 25:75 in Bulgaria, and so on. Churchill recalls how this so-called Percentages Agreement was concluded in a few minutes, and how he scribbled a note of their verbal agreement on a piece of paper which Stalin glanced at for a second and then ticked off. Churchill wrote, “It was all settled in no more time than it takes to set down.”  

Churchill then reflected that it might seem cynical to decide the fate of millions of people in such an offhand manner. Later generations have generally agreed with his self-criticism.  Today’s West would certainly never conclude such an agreement – but not because of any squeamishness or lack of cynicism on its part. Instead, the West, especially the US, could not conclude any agreement because in every case the only acceptable outcome would be 100% influence for itself. That is what Geoffrey Pyatt and his colleagues spend their entire careers trying to achieve – and, to a large extent, they succeed.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Why Russia’s offer to let Mueller come to Russia – in return for interrogations of corrupt Americans – sent Washington into a panic – By Thierry Meyssan/ Voltaire Network (SOTT)

browder

© Reuters
Bill Browder in the US Senate

On 16 November 2009, tax specialist lawyer Sergey Magnitsky died in Matrosskaya Tishina prison (Moscow). Immediately, the US Press claimed that he had been in possession of information concerning a State scandal, and had been tortured by the « régime ».

The Magnitsky Act

The death of Magnitsky shut down the legal procedures that had been launched against him by the Russian Minister of Justice. Billionaire William (“Bill”) Browder declared in Washington that the tax expert possessed proof that Russian Power had stolen 3 billion dollars from him. Despite lobbying by Goldman Sachs, the US Congress believed it had clarified the affair, and in 2012 adopted a law sanctioning the Russian personalities suspected of having murdered the lawyer. Goldman Sachs, which did not believe the information forwarded by the parliamentarians, hired the lobbying firm Duberstein Group in an attempt to block the vote on the law [1].

On this model, in 2016, the Congress extended the « Magnitsky Act » to the whole world, requesting the President to implement sanctions against all people and all states which violate individual property. Presidents Obama and Trump obeyed, placing about twenty personalities on the list, including the President of the Republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov.

These two laws were aimed at giving back to the United States the role it had assumed during the Cold War as defender of individual property, even though they had no communist rival.

The two versions of the « Magnitsky affair »

As for the Russian State Duma, it responded to its US counterpart by forbidding the adoption of Russian children by US families, and by denouncing the responsibility of US personalities in the legalisation of torture (the Dima Yakovlev Law, from the name of the Russian child adopted in the USA who died as a result of negligence by the parents). President Putin applied this text in 2013, also forbidding ex-US Vice President Dick Cheney access to Russian territory.

The « Magnitsky affair » could have ended there. It seems to be independent of the « Khodorkovsky affair », exploited by NATO in order to accuse Russia of interference in Western democracies by way of disinformation or « fake news » [2]. However, the Russian Prosecutor General contests the narrative presented by Wiliam Browder to the US Congress.

According to William Browder, his company Hermitage Capital invested in Russia, particularly in Gazprom. He allegedly discovered signs of irregular practices and attempted to warn the Kremlin. However, his resident’s visa was then cancelled. Then his Russian companies were allegedly robbed by Lieutenant-Colonel Artem Kuznetsov, a civil servant from the Financial Brigade of the Russian Ministry of the Interior. Kuznetsov apparently seized the property documents during a search, then used them to register a new owner. Lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, who apparently blew the whistle on the embezzlement, was arrested, tortured and finally died in prison. In the end, Lieutenant-Colonel Artem Kuznetsov and « godfather » Dmitry Klyuev were allegedly able to deposit the 3 billion stolen dollars in a Cypriot bank. This is a classic case of theft by the Russian mafia with the help of the Kremlin [3]. This narrative inspired the seventh season of the Showtime TV series, Homeland.

On the contrary, according to Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika, William Browder illegally acquired 133 million shares in Gazprom on behalf of the Ziff brothers, via various straw men. Not only did Browder avoid paying 150 million dollars in taxes, but the acquisition of part of this crown jewel of the Russian economy is in itself illegal. Furthermore, his financial advisor, Sergey Magnitsky, who had developed another scam for the same Browder, was arrested and died of a heart attack in prison [4].

It is obviously impossible to tell the truth from the lies in these two versions. However, it is now recognised that Sergey Magnitsky was not a lawyer working freelance, but was employed by William Browder’s companies. He was not investigating embezzlement, but was tasked by Browder with the creation of financial structures which would avoid him having to pay taxes in Russia. For example, the two men imagined remunerating mentally handicapped people as front men in order to benefit from their tax exempt status. Browder had much experience with tax evasion – which is why he lived for ten years in Russia with a simple tourist visa, then abandoned his US citizenship and became a British citizen.

Comment: Magnitsky wasn’t even a lawyer. He was an accountant.

These last elements prove William Browder wrong, and are compatible with Prosecutor Chaika’s accusations. In these conditions, it seems at the least imprudent for the US Congress to have adopted the Magnitsky Act, unless of course the operation was aimed not at defending individual property, but at hurting Russia [5].

A leader of the Russian opposition paid by Browder

Alongside the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Browder abundantly finances the work of a young lawyer, Alexeï Navalny. Thanks to the help of US ambassador Michael McFaul, the young man pursued his studies in the USA at Yale in 2010. He created an Anti-Corruption Foundation in order to promote Browden’s version and accuse Putin’s administration.

Having become a leader of the political opposition, Navalny and his Foundation directed a first documentary accusing the family of Prosecutor Chaika of corruption. But although the video is convincing at first look, it presents no proof of the facts it relates.

Simultaneously, Navalny ordered a second documentary from a Russian film director and member of the opposition about the « Magnitsky affair ». But this journalist turned against his employer during the investigation, which was finally broadcast by Russian public television.

A spook and an ambassador paid by Browder

Thereafter, William Browder engaged an ex-agent of MI6 in Moscow (1990-93), Christopher Steele, and the ex-US ambassador to Moscow (2012-14), Michael McFaul.

It so happens that it was Christopher Steele who, in 2006 – while he was with MI6 – accused President Vladimir Putin of having ordered the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with Polonium. In 2016, he also worked – freelance this time – for the US Democratic Party. That was when he wrote the famous dossier accusing candidate Donald Trump of being under the threat of blackmail by the Russian secret services [6] ; an unwarranted charge which has just resurfaced after the bilateral Summit in Helsinki. We find Steele once again, in 2018, involved in the Novitchok poisoning of Sergueï Skripal – as a « consultant » for MI6, he of course accused the inevitable Vladimir Putin.

The Russian riposte

During the US Presidential campaign of 2016, Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika attempted to influence a member of Congress who was open to Russian thinking, Dana Rohrabacher (Republican, California). He sent her a note concerning his version of the Browder-Magnitsky affair. Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya met the son and son-in-law of candidate Donald Trump at Trump Tower, in order to inform them that a part of Browder’s dirty money was being used to finance the candidacy of Hillary Clinton [7].

Thereafter, William Browder became the main source of the enquiry run by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller about possible Russian interference in « US Democracy ». A long time before he became the Director the FBI, Mueller – who officially has no link to the CIA – had been responsible for the enquiry on the Lockerbie attack, which he attributed to Mouammar Kadhafi. Let’s remember that Libya never recognised that it was implicated in this affair, although it accepted to pay a compensation to the victims. Above all, Scottish Justice established the fact that fragments of the detonator found on site were placed there by the CIA in order to accuse Libya. Mueller used the meeting of Trump’s team with Natalia Veselnitskaya as « proof » of the subordination of Donald Trump to the Russian Intelligence services.

In the USA, Natalia Veselnitskaya represents the interests of several of Browder’s Russian victims. She also acted in 2014 on behalf of one of the companies that Browder accused of being connected to « godfather » Dmitry Klyuev. She also raised the question about the manner in which an agent of Homeland Security, Todd Hyman, had transmitted a trial document without proceeding with the usual verifications.

There will be no moment of truth

During the US-Russia summit in Helsinki, President Vladimir Putin proposed that his US counterpart allow US investigators to question those Russian civil servants suspected of interference in the US Presidential campaign, on the condition that Russian investigators would also be allowed to question suspects in the USA. Donald Trump is reserving his answer.

However, when the office of Prosecutor Yury Chaika transmitted the list of witnesses to be questioned, Washington panicked. Not only did Chaika ask to question British subjects William Browder and Christopher Steele if they should travel in the United States, but also ambassador Michael McFaul, lawyer Jonathan Winer, researcher David J. Kramer, and finally, agent Todd Hyman.

Jonathan Winer was in charge of the Lockerbie dossier at the State Department during the 1990’s. He is a personal friend of Christopher Steele, and transmitted his reports to the neo-conservatives for a decade [8].

During Bush Jr.’s first term, David J. Kramer played an important role in the management of the propaganda system for the State Department as well as looking after the stay-behind agents in Eastern Europe and in Russia. After having worked in various think tanks, he became the president of Freedom House, and campaigned on the « Magnitsky affair ». He is today a researcher at the McCain Institute.

Although, so far, nothing enables us to tell which of the Browder and Chaika versions is accurate, the truth will soon emerge. It is possible that Russian interference may be no more than fake news, but US interference (by introduction into the crown piece of the Russian economy as well as via Alexeï Navalny) may in fact be a reality.

In the context of Washington’s unanimous anti-Russian stand, President Trump declines Vladimir Putin’s proposition.

Translation: Pete Kimberley

Sources

  1. Bank of Putin. Goldman Sachs lobbying against human rights legislation“, Adam Kredo, Free Beacon, July 19, 2012.
  2. The NATO campaign against freedom of expression“, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 5 December 2016.
  3. Foreigner’s Investment in Russia Is Derailed by Kremlin’s Might“, Clifford J. Levy, The New York Times, July 24, 2008.
  4. Note from Yury Chaika Office to Dana Rohrabacher, June 2016.
  5. « Intouchable, Mr. Browder ? », par Israël Shamir, Traduction Maria Poumier, Entre la plume et l’enclume (France), The Unz Review (USA), Réseau Voltaire, 22 juin 2016.
  6. The Steele Report“.
  7. Natalia Veselnitskaya Memo on the William Browder & Sergei MagnitskyCase“, by Natalia Veselnitskaya, Voltaire Network, 1 June 2016.
  8. Devin Nunes is investigating me. Here’s the truth“, Jonathan Winer, The Washington Post, February 8, 2018.
Comment: One thing’s for sure: Browder’s version of events is complete BS. See also:

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