America’s Bases of War in the Greater Middle East. From Carter to the Islamic State – 35 Years of Building Bases and Sowing Disaster

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With the launch of a new U.S.-led war in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State (IS), the United States has engaged in aggressive military action in at least 13 countries in the Greater Middle East since 1980. In that time, every American president has invaded, occupied, bombed, or gone to war in at least one country in the region. The total number of invasions, occupations, bombing operations, drone assassination campaigns, and cruise missile attacks easily runs into the dozens.

As in prior military operations in the Greater Middle East, U.S. forces fighting IS have been aided by access to and the use of an unprecedented collection of military bases. They occupy a region sitting atop the world’s largest concentration of oil and natural gas reserves and has long been considered the most geopolitically important place on the planet. Indeed, since 1980, the U.S. military has gradually garrisoned the Greater Middle East in a fashion only rivaled by the Cold War garrisoning of Western Europe or, in terms of concentration, by the bases built to wage past wars in Korea and Vietnam.

In the Persian Gulf alone, the U.S. has major bases in every country save Iran. There is an increasingly important, increasingly large base in Djibouti, just miles across the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula. There are bases in Pakistan on one end of the region and in the Balkans on the other, as well as on the strategically located Indian Ocean islands of Diego Garcia and the Seychelles. In Afghanistan and Iraq, there were once as many as 800 and 505bases, respectively. Recently, the Obama administration inked an agreement with new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to maintain around 10,000 troops and at least nine major bases in his country beyond the official end of combat operations later this year. U.S. forces, which never fully departed Iraq after 2011, are now returning to a growing number of bases there in ever larger numbers.

In short, there is almost no way to overemphasize how thoroughly the U.S. military now covers the region with bases and troops. This infrastructure of war has been in place for so long and is so taken for granted that Americans rarely think about it and journalists almost never report on the subject. Members of Congress spend billions of dollars on base construction and maintenance every year in the region, but ask few questions about where the money is going, why there are so many bases, and what role they really serve. By one estimate, the United States has spent $10 trillion protecting Persian Gulf oil supplies over the past four decades.

Approaching its 35th anniversary, the strategy of maintaining such a structure of garrisons, troops, planes, and ships in the Middle East has been one of the great disasters in the history of American foreign policy. The rapid disappearance of debate about our newest, possibly illegal war should remind us of just how easy this huge infrastructure of bases has made it for anyone in the Oval Office to launch a war that seems guaranteed, like its predecessors, to set off new cycles of blowback and yet more war.

On their own, the existence of these bases has helped generate radicalism and anti-American sentiment. As was famously the case with Osama bin Laden and U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, bases have fueled militancy, as well as attacks on the United States and its citizens. They have cost taxpayers billions of dollars, even though they are not, in fact, necessary to ensure the free flow of oil globally. They have diverted tax dollars from the possible development of alternative energy sources and meeting other critical domestic needs. And they have supported dictators and repressive, undemocratic regimes, helping to block the spread of democracy in a region long controlled by colonial rulers and autocrats.

After 35 years of base-building in the region, it’s long past time to look carefully at the effects Washington’s garrisoning of the Greater Middle East has had on the region, the U.S., and the world.

“Vast Oil Reserves” 

While the Middle Eastern base buildup began in earnest in 1980, Washington had long attempted to use military force to control this swath of resource-rich Eurasia and, with it, the global economy. Since World War II, as the late Chalmers Johnson, an expert on U.S. basing strategy, explained back in 2004, “the United States has been inexorably acquiring permanent military enclaves whose sole purpose appears to be the domination of one of the most strategically important areas of the world.”

In 1945, after Germany’s defeat, the secretaries of War, State, and the Navy tellingly pushed for the completion of a partially built base in Dharan, Saudi Arabia, despite the military’s determination that it was unnecessary for the war against Japan. “Immediate construction of this [air] field,” they argued, “would be a strong showing of American interest in Saudi Arabia and thus tend to strengthen the political integrity of that country where vast oil reserves now are in American hands.”

By 1949, the Pentagon had established a small, permanent Middle East naval force (MIDEASTFOR) in Bahrain. In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy’s administration began the first buildup of naval forces in the Indian Ocean just off the Persian Gulf. Within a decade, the Navy had created the foundations for what would become the first major U.S. base in the region — on the British-controlled island of Diego Garcia.

In these early Cold War years, though, Washington generally sought to increase its influence in the Middle East by backing and arming regional powers like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Iran under the Shah, and Israel. However, within months of the Soviet Union’s 1979 invasion of Afghanistan and Iran’s 1979 revolution overthrowing the Shah, this relatively hands-off approach was no more.

Base Buildup 

In January 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced a fateful transformation of U.S. policy. It would become known as the Carter Doctrine. In his State of the Union address, he warned of the potential loss of a region “containing more than two-thirds of the world’s exportable oil” and “now threatened by Soviet troops” in Afghanistan who posed “a grave threat to the free movement of Middle East oil.”

Carter warned that “an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America.” And he added pointedly, “Such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.”

With these words, Carter launched one of the greatest base construction efforts in history. He and his successor Ronald Reagan presided over the expansion of bases in Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and other countries in the region to host a “Rapid Deployment Force,” which was to stand permanent guard over Middle Eastern petroleum supplies. The air and naval base on Diego Garcia, in particular, was expanded at a quicker rate than any base since the war in Vietnam. By 1986, more than $500 million had been invested. Before long, the total ran into the billions.

Soon enough, that Rapid Deployment Force grew into the U.S. Central Command, which has now overseen three wars in Iraq (1991-2003, 2003-2011, 2014-); the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan (2001-); intervention in Lebanon (1982-1984); a series of smaller-scale attacks on Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011); Afghanistan (1998) and Sudan (1998); and the “tanker war” with Iran (1987-1988), which led to the accidental downing of an Iranian civilian airliner, killing 290 passengers. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan during the 1980s, the CIA helped fund and orchestrate a majorcovert war against the Soviet Union by backing Osama Bin Laden and other extremist mujahidin. The command has also played a role in the drone war in Yemen (2002-) and bothovert and covert warfare in Somalia (1992-1994, 2001-).

During and after the first Gulf War of 1991, the Pentagon dramatically expanded its presence in the region. Hundreds of thousands of troops were deployed to Saudi Arabia in preparation for the war against Iraqi autocrat and former ally Saddam Hussein. In that war’s aftermath, thousands of troops and a significantly expanded base infrastructure were left in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Elsewhere in the Gulf, the military expanded its naval presence at a former British base in Bahrain, housing its Fifth Fleet there. Major air power installations were built in Qatar, and U.S. operations were expanded in Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman.

The invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and of Iraq in 2003, and the subsequent occupations of both countries, led to a more dramatic expansion of bases in the region. By the height of the wars, there were well over 1,000 U.S. checkpoints, outposts, and major bases in the two countries alone. The military also built new bases in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan (since closed),explored the possibility of doing so in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, and, at the very least, continues to use several Central Asian countries as logistical pipelines to supply troops in Afghanistan and orchestrate the current partial withdrawal.

While the Obama administration failed to keep 58 “enduring” bases in Iraq after the 2011 U.S. withdrawal, it has signed an agreement with Afghanistan permitting U.S. troops to stay in the country until 2024 and maintain access to Bagram Air Base and at least eight more major installations.

An Infrastructure for War

Even without a large permanent infrastructure of bases in Iraq, the U.S. military has had plenty of options when it comes to waging its new war against IS. In that country alone, a significant U.S. presence remained after the 2011 withdrawal in the form of base-like State Department installations, as well as the largest embassy on the planet in Baghdad, and a large contingent of private military contractors. Since the start of the new war, at least 1,600 troops have returned and are operating from a Joint Operations Center in Baghdad and a base in Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital, Erbil. Last week, the White House announced that it would request $5.6 billion from Congress to send an additional 1,500 advisers and other personnel to at least two new bases in Baghdad and Anbar Province. Special operations and other forces are almost certainly operating from yet more undisclosed locations.

At least as important are major installations like the Combined Air Operations Center at Qatar’s al-Udeid Air Base. Before 2003, the Central Command’s air operations center for the entire Middle East was in Saudi Arabia. That year, the Pentagon moved the center to Qatar and officially withdrew combat forces from Saudi Arabia. That was in response to the 1996 bombing of the military’s Khobar Towers complex in the kingdom, other al-Qaeda attacks in the region, and mounting anger exploited by al-Qaeda over the presence of non-Muslim troops in the Muslim holy land. Al-Udeid now hosts a 15,000-foot runway, large munitions stocks, and around 9,000 troops and contractors who are coordinating much of the new war in Iraq and Syria.

Kuwait has been an equally important hub for Washington’s operations since U.S. troops occupied the country during the first Gulf War. Kuwait served as the main staging area and logistical center for ground troops in the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. There are still an estimated 15,000 troops in Kuwait, and the U.S. military is reportedly bombing Islamic State positions using aircraft from Kuwait’s Ali al-Salem Air Base.

As a transparently promotional article in the Washington Postconfirmed this week, al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates has launched more attack aircraft in the present bombing campaign than any other base in the region. That country hosts about 3,500 troops at al-Dhafra alone, as well as the Navy’s busiest overseas port.  B-1, B-2, and B-52 long-range bombers stationed on Diego Garcia helped launch both Gulf Wars and the war in Afghanistan. That island base is likely playing a role in the new war as well. Near the Iraqi border, around 1,000 U.S. troops and F-16 fighter jets are operating from at least one Jordanian base. According to the Pentagon’s latest count, the U.S. military has 17 bases in Turkey. While the Turkish government has placed restrictions on their use, at the very least some are being used to launch surveillance drones over Syria and Iraq. Up to seven bases in Oman may also be in use.

Bahrain is now the headquarters for the Navy’s entire Middle Eastern operations, including the Fifth Fleet, generally assigned to ensure the free flow of oil and other resources though the Persian Gulf and surrounding waterways. There is always at least one aircraft carrier strike group — effectively, a massive floating base — in the Persian Gulf. At the moment, theU.S.S. Carl Vinson is stationed there, a critical launch pad for the air campaign against the Islamic State. Other naval vessels operating in the Gulf and the Red Sea have launched cruise missiles into Iraq and Syria. The Navy even has access to an “afloat forward-staging base” that serves as a “lilypad” base for helicopters and patrol craft in the region.

In Israel, there are as many as six secret U.S. bases that can be used to preposition weaponry and equipment for quick use anywhere in the area. There’s also a “de facto U.S. base” for the Navy’s Mediterranean fleet. And it’s suspected that there are two other secretive sites in use as well. In Egypt, U.S. troops have maintained at least two installations and occupied at least two bases on the Sinai Peninsula since 1982 as part of a Camp David Accords peacekeeping operation.

Elsewhere in the region, the military has established a collection of at least five drone bases in Pakistan; expanded a critical base in Djibouti at the strategic chokepoint between the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean; created or gained access to bases in EthiopiaKenya, and the Seychelles; and set up new bases in Bulgaria and Romania to go with a Clinton administration-era base in Kosovo along the western edge of the gas-rich Black Sea.

Even in Saudi Arabia, despite the public withdrawal, a small U.S. military contingent has remained to train Saudi personnel and keep bases “warm” as potential backups for unexpected conflagrations in the region or, assumedly, in the kingdom itself. In recent years, the military has even established a secret drone base in the country, despite the blowback Washington hasexperienced from its previous Saudi basing ventures.

Dictators, Death, and Disaster

The ongoing U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, however modest, should remind us of the dangers of maintaining bases in the region. The garrisoning of the Muslim holy land was a major recruiting tool for al-Qaeda and part of Osama bin Laden’s professed motivation for the 9/11 attacks. (He called the presence of U.S. troops, “the greatest of these aggressions incurred by the Muslims since the death of the prophet.”) Indeed, U.S. bases and troops in the Middle East have been a “major catalyst for anti-Americanism and radicalization” since a suicide bombing killed 241 marines in Lebanon in 1983. Other attacks have come in Saudi Arabia in 1996, Yemen in 2000 against the U.S.S. Cole, and during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Research has shown a strong correlation between a U.S. basing presence and al-Qaeda recruitment.

Part of the anti-American anger has stemmed from the support U.S. bases offer to repressive, undemocratic regimes. Few of the countries in the Greater Middle East are fully democratic, and some are among the world’s worst human rights abusers. Most notably, the U.S. government has offered onlytepid criticism of the Bahraini government as it has violently cracked downon pro-democracy protestors with the help of the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Beyond Bahrain, U.S. bases are found in a string of what the Economist Democracy Index calls “authoritarian regimes,” including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Yemen. Maintaining bases in such countries props upautocrats and other repressive governments, makes the United States complicit in their crimes, and seriously undermines efforts to spread democracy and improve the wellbeing of people around the world.

Of course, using bases to launch wars and other kinds of interventions does much the same, generating anger, antagonism, and anti-American attacks. A recent U.N. report suggests that Washington’s air campaign against the Islamic State had led foreign militants to join the movement on “an unprecedented scale.”

And so the cycle of warfare that started in 1980 is likely to continue. “Even if U.S. and allied forces succeed in routing this militant group,” retired Army colonel and political scientist Andrew Bacevich writes of the Islamic State, “there is little reason to expect” a positive outcome in the region. As Bin Laden and the Afghan mujahidin morphed into al-Qaeda and the Taliban and as former Iraqi Baathists and al-Qaeda followers in Iraq morphed into IS, “there is,” as Bacevich says, “always another Islamic State waiting in the wings.”

The Carter Doctrine’s bases and military buildup strategy and its belief that “the skillful application of U.S. military might” can secure oil supplies and solve the region’s problems was, he adds, “flawed from the outset.” Rather than providing security, the infrastructure of bases in the Greater Middle East has made it ever easier to go to war far from home. It has enabled wars of choice and an interventionist foreign policy that has resulted in repeateddisasters for the region, the United States, and the world. Since 2001 alone, U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Yemen have minimally caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and possibly more than one million deaths in Iraq alone.

The sad irony is that any legitimate desire to maintain the free flow of regional oil to the global economy could be sustained through other far less expensive and deadly means. Maintaining scores of bases costing billions of dollars a year is unnecessary to protect oil supplies and ensure regional peace — especially in an era in which the United States gets only around 10% of its net oil and natural gas from the region. In addition to the direct damage our military spending has caused, it has diverted money and attention from developing the kinds of alternative energy sources that could free the United States and the world from a dependence on Middle Eastern oil — and from the cycle of war that our military bases have fed.

David Vine,TomDispatch regular, is associate professor of anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C.

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-bases-of-war-in-the-greater-middle-east-from-carter-to-the-islamic-state/5414558

Canada’s False Flag Terror: Fingerprints of U.S. Involvement

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The  “Terrorist” Events of Wednesday October 22nd in Ottawa and two days earlier in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu bear all the hallmarks of a coordinated cross-border one-two punch false flag operation.

The first, the left jab hit-and-run killing of a Canadian soldier, would be the psychological softening up for the follow-up right cross, the killing of another Canadian soldier in Ottawa. Together they dazed the public to an extent that even the ostentatiously-iconic murder at the National War Memorial alone might not have achieved.

The context was within the intensification of the so-called “global war on terror” and in concert with the pro-military Stephen Harper government’s deployment of warplanes supposedly fighting “the terrorists” of the suddenly-emerging “Islamic State.” The first bombing sorties of Canadian F-18s took place hours after the violent acts of supposed “homegrown” and “self-radicalized” supporters of “Islamic jihad.”

Domestically the second outrage occurred on the very day the government was to introduce legislation giving the RCMP, CSIS and CSEC [CSEC is changing its name (to CSE) so that it can continue to spy – and indeed do more spying abroad – but not have the word “Canada” associated with this spying. “Spy agency CSEC says goodbye to Canada” is the headline over an October 31st  Toronto Star story by Tonda MacCharles. ]

These coincidences of timing, I submit, are not coincidences at all but quite deliberately planned to maximize the intended impacts: greater public support for a new war in the Middle East, better chances for faster and less-questioned support in Parliament for the increased police and spy powers, and enhanced public approval ratings for the Harper government in the run-up to next year’s general election.

This article delves deeper into the timing including that the events happened, to the day, as military-intelligence “exercises” were taking place that precisely mirrored the “surprise” events. Other hallmarks include the prior involvement of government agents with both of the supposed jihadists, the fact that both were easy-to-manipulate “human wreckage” and the early “terrorism” branding led by the Prime Minister. Other hallmarks include the unfolding parade of memorable iconic elements and images, the “lone wolf” narratives, the dual role of the media in general to both to reinforce the official narrative and to fail to ask fundamental questions about it.

Ottawa shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, especially, is tied to the “war on terror.” At the highest level of visibility, he’s a pawn marketed for public consumption to reinforce “global jihad” rhetoric.

On a subterranean level are two sets of fingerprints. One set shows the involvement of both Canadian and U.S. spy agencies and possibly other of the so-called “Five Eyes” (the others being the UK, Australia and New Zealand), not to mention the grotesquely corrupt FBI, with its record of mounting scores of false flag ops, that will be referred to later.

The second set of prints shows the work of the agencies’ gatekeeper “assets” in the media, in this instance in the USA as well as in Canada. They manipulate “the news.”

Telltale hallmarks of false flag ops

1 The timing. The exquisite timing of the National War Memorial outrage on the very day new laws were to be introduced by the Harper regime giving expanded powers to spook agencies – as well as additional cover for their “informants” so deep as to be impenetrable – is one hallmark of a world-class false flag op.

Added police powers at all times in any country, when an atmosphere of hysteria has been generated, are railroaded into laws in a flash, historically speaking. The new or expanded laws take decades to undo or ratchet down, if they ever are.

As Prof. Graeme MacQueen, author of an insightful and detailed new book, The 2001 Anthrax Deception: The Case for a Domestic Conspiracy, (Clarity Press, Inc.,www.claritypress.com, writes, the timing of the 2001 “anthrax letter attacks” or the “anthrax attacks” was just as the USA Patriot Act “was being hurried through Congress.” The notorious bill, propagandistically entitled “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” Act, was signed into law October 26th, 2001, about three weeks after the first news of an “anthrax attack” broke. Bush followed up by giving his approval “to the first bulk domestic spying by the National Security Agency (NSA).” Such are the sea changes set into motion by perfectly-timed false flag ops. (Watch for an upcoming review of MacQueen’s book in Truth and Shadows.)

Interestingly MacQueen notes that

“gradually the hypothesis became widespread that the [anthrax] attacks were the second blow in a ‘one-two punch’ delivered by terrorists, the first blow having been the attacks of 9/11.”

Ottawa has gone the U.S. government one better by compressing the time between introduction of “anti-terror” legislation and a false flag “terror attack” to hours. Ottawa also subjected MPs and others on Parliament Hill to the sounds of gunfire amidst fearful uncertainty, in a fast-moving operation, again outdoing the Americans.

These events have also taken place during the lead-up to Remembrance Day.  Government TV ads are in heavy rotation featuring World War I and World War II footage in black and white and colour, as well as video clips of Canadian peacekeepers. They send us to http://www.veterans.gc.ca/iremember. Stirring and nostalgic, these ads cannot be divorced from consideration of the impact of the Ottawa events. The ads (and much else) knit together in the public consciousness.

My wife and I almost always attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies at Toronto’s Old City Hall.

(I posted a piece for this blog about the ceremonies in 2012 (http://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/peacenik-reflects-on-remembrance-day/).

I tend to agree with predictions that turnout this year may exceed previous years. Remembrance Day speeches, as well as the whole setup of Remembrance Day ceremonies, tend to ennoble if not glorify war. This year the homilies are certain to make reference to the events in St-Jean-sur-Richeleau and Ottawa.

More than ever, this year the understandable sentiments of many will be channeled into reinforcing belief in the “reality” of the “war on terror.” Emotions will be manipulated into support for a militarized monopoly capitalist anti-life system of perpetual war and ever-increasing inequality.

Metrics are being reported that bear this out.  A front-page story in The Globe and Mailon November 7th reports “a steady stream of support for the military in the days leading up to Remembrance Day.”

Under the headline “Poppy sales a sign support for military surging after attacks,” Tristan Simpson reports. “Legion officials say those events have become emblematic of a renewed patriotism – and have sparked an increase in military support.”

2 Prior “involvement” of agents of the state

“Prior contact” with alleged terrorists is a virtually guaranteed hallmark of false flag ops.

Both Zehaf-Bibeau and hit-and-run killer Martin Couture-Rouleau were “known to authorities.” As the main front page headline of the Toronto Star had it of Couture-Rouleau on October 22nd: “RCMP had suspect on their radar for months.”

On page A4 on the next day in the same paper, an edition dominated by 17 pages of coverage out of Ottawa, is a half-page devoted to how much “a Canadian security source” knew about Zehaf-Bibeau’s past.

The usual phraseology is that agents of CSIS or the RCMP “had been in contact with” the criminals or “had (these individuals) under surveillance” or “had been monitoring their activities.”

Is it entirely coincidental that both “terrorists” – as Harper labeled both early and often – were Quebeckers? Quebeckers as a generality are cool to Harper and his “war on terror” rhetoric. But they might be expected to warm up to his “national security” agenda on the basis of fear — insofar as they buy the official narratives.

Canadian authorities, it was reported, asked the FBI to assist in the investigation of the “terrorist” events in Canada. The FBI’s record shows that the assistance would most likely be in sharing with their buddies north of the border in the finer points of how to mount a false flag op. Investigative reporter Trevor Aaronson’s book The Terror Factoryexposes the FBI’s inside role in creating “false flag terror.” He writes that as of 2011 the FBI was involved in more than 500 cases of “manufactured” terror.

References here can be found at : http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/0…ainst-america/

In a 2011 article in Mother Jones, Aaronson wrote:

Since 9/11, there have been hundreds of arrests of “terrorist suspects” and 158 prosecutions. Of all the reported “major terror plots,” only three can’t be directly tied to terror suspects who were directly recruited, trained and supplied by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Truth is, we also have questions about the other three.

In the case of the “anthrax attacks” the spider web of government agents and suspicious civilian players interacting with those initially put forward as anthrax terrorists and/or 9/11 “hijackers” was almost monolithic. Most were in Florida, within close geographic proximity. As MacQueen writes:

Academic researchers have largely tended to dismiss the Florida connections by accepting the FBI’s coincidence theory. … The question, however, is not whether actual hijackers were involved in sending out letters laden with anthrax spores: the question is whether fictions, verbal or enacted, were intentionally created to make this narrative seem credible. The [alleged hijackers] did not have anthrax, but the script portrayed them as likely to have it. [page 138]

The U.S. government repeatedly attempted to link the “anthrax attacks,” the “9/11 hijackers” and Iraq (remember Colin Powell’s now totally discredited dog-and-pony show at the UN?). But when those attempts fell apart, the domestic terror purveyors turned to Plan B, as MacQueen persuasively shows. Plan B was to finger a domestic “lone wolf,” scientist Bruce Ivins, who then became conveniently dead.

“The evidence suggests a grand plan, not an opportunistic foray,” writes MacQueen.

3 The chosen miscreants are “human wreckage”

It was Webster Tarpley, author of 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA who described the typical patsy recruited for manipulation by spy agencies as “human wreckage.”

It’s easy to understand how such individuals can easily be manipulated through bribes, other inducements, threats or psychological pressure up to and including sophisticated brain-washing techniques. These are known to have been developed by “spy” agencies over decades and in this country go back at least to the CIA’s self-admitted funding of “psychic driving” experiments under the Project MK-Ultra mind control program on unknowing civilians at McGill University from 1957 to 1964 under the direction of Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron:

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Ewen_Cameron).

Frequently mentally-disturbed people have been in trouble with the law. This was true of Zehaf-Bibeau and Couture-Rouleau. Zehaf-Bibeau was desperate, on the edge, unpredictable, wanted to die. Spy agencies find such people easily. The “chosen ones” will have Arabic names and be converts to Islam. Or have Middle East connections. Many combinations fill the bill to help the label “suspected terrorist” stick.

Run-ins with the law render disturbed individuals additionally vulnerable. Police or “intelligence” agents can promise to use their influence to gain shorter sentences if they’ve been convicted, more leniency if they’ve already been sentenced. Or get them off altogether. Conversely agents can threaten to use their influence to make things much worse for these individuals. Those promising or threatening often are in a position to deliver.

In this connection, the lead article  in the Focus section of The Globe and Mail on October 25th by Doug Saunders actually describes, without his using the term, false flag ops by U.S. “authorities.”

It’s worth excerpting that section of his piece:

Authorities in the U.S. adopted the practice of catching lone-wolf figures in sting operations, in which they’d find disturbed young men online, provide them with prefabricated terror plots and (fake) weapons, and arrest them a moment before they were about to carry out their planned attack. This approach has been numerically successful – that is, it has intercepted a lot of putative terrorists – but many wonder if it’s simply making the problem worse, and turning police agencies into terrorism enablers.

“Often these are down-and-out losers in society who wouldn’t be able to pull off a decent attack on their own,” Dr. [Ramon] Spaaij, an Australian scholar with Victoria University and author ofUnderstanding Lone Wolf Terrorism, says, “but the undercover police provide the weapons and suggest the targets … what that does is it has sown a lot of bad blood in Muslim communities – we’re out there preying on vulnerable young people and turning them into terrorists.”

What Saunders, whose body of work I happen to greatly admire, fails to note is that these “sting” (e.g., false flag) operations generate thousands of fear-inducing headlines; this may be their main purpose. Readers, listeners and viewers are led to believe that police have caught “real terrorists.” These false flag ops contribute the bulk of the “proof” for the so-called “war on terror.” It’s a continuous psychological assault and distortion of reality through manufacture of “reality.” The impact goes ‘way beyond “sowing bad blood in Muslim communities.” It’s a main driver of the fictional “war on terror.”

Besides, “bad blood” in Muslim communities would be one of the goals of the authors of this continuous fakery. This “bad blood” would fulfill at least two functions. One is to keep many Muslims in docile fear mode in which they can be more easily controlled. Second is that less docile Muslims, especially young unstable men, will react with anger and possibly go off the deep end. Perfect.

This is the same entrapment technique used to create the “Toronto 18.” And this is the same modus operandi the police use when they enable or program or bribe or threaten their patsies to cause violence.

As University of Guelph professor Michael Keefer wrote:

The theatrical arrests of 18 (mostly young) Muslims in Toronto in the Summer of 2006 reinforced media-driven paranoia that homegrown terrorists were everywhere. The unraveling of the case two years later exposes to view yet again the sinister and disgraceful behavior of Canada’s security intelligence apparatus, which has formed a habit of confecting false accusations of terrorism against Canadian citizens. The threat to Canadian society is not a bunch of Muslim boys playing paintball, it’s an ideologically driven government willing to curtail our civil liberties.

4 The “lone wolf” or “lone gunman” narrative

Without doubt there are instances of demented individuals who perform outrages single handedly. The USA provides the most examples by far, with a plethora of berserk gunmen mowing down innocent citizens in malls, on college campuses and elsewhere.

In politically-charged false flag ops, by definition in virtually all cases agents in the shadows pull the levers to bring about the outrages. In the three highest profile assassinations of the last century and arguably most impactful historically, those of JFK, RFK and MLK, the establishment narrative has been that lone gunmen were responsible, in each case in the face of much evidence to the contrary. Lee Harvey Oswald was known to have worked for U.S. intelligence. He’s a classic “lone gunman” who wasn’t. Others include James Earl Ray, allegedly the killer of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who wasn’t, as proven in a civil trial in Memphis in 1999. The half white half black jury returned a verdict that civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was the victim of an assassination conspiracy involving the CIA and the U.S. Army and did not die at the hands of an unaided lone gunman.

In the case of Zehaf-Bibeau the likelihood of enablers is rendered very high because of many unanswered questions. Among them, how did a deranged misfit living in shelters obtain both a gun and a car needed for him to go on his rampage?

5 “Lone wolves” tend to become quickly deceased

From Lee Harvey (“I am just a patsy”) Oswald to Rolando Galman (who gunned down Benigno Aquino, Jr., former Philippine Senator, as he stepped off his plane, and then himself was gunned down) to the “Boston bomber” Tamerlan Tsarnaev, patsies or hired assassins tend to become deceased – quickly. Dead men tell no tales. Typically, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau are no more.

In 2002 U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft named scientist Steven Hatfill a “person of interest” in connection with the “anthrax attacks” of a year before. As Graeme MacQueen writes: “The FBI concentrated on investigating him, publicly and aggressively. A year later Hatfill sued the Justice Department for libel and eventually he received $5.82 million in compensation…”

The FBI – presumably after a massive search for patsy material – decided in 2008 that the “anthrax killer” was Dr. Bruce Ivins, who had been working on an anthrax vaccine at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

“This time,” MacQueen writes, “the FBI faced no serious challenge from its chosen perpetrator because Ivins died shortly before he was to be charged with the crime. He was said to have committed suicide.” Tellingly, no autopsy was performed.

The death of an actual bona fide terrorist or, much more often the case, a recruited patsy (the classic being Oswald) obviates the possibility of a trial in a court of law (as distinguished from trial in the “court of public opinion”). Trial in a court of law carries with it the possibility of evidence emerging that could be damning to the state and the Crown’s case.

The bodies of killers, alleged killers or dead “terrorists” frequently are not dealt with appropriately. As Prof. John McMurtry of Guelph, author of The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure, wrote in an October 29th Global Research essay: Zehaf-Bibeau

“…went on a killing spree, with no known blood testing afterwards for the drugs he was evidently driven by, in the video record of his frenzied and super-charged behaviour, just as there was no known test of the body of crazed drive-over killer, Martin Couture-Rouleau. How extraordinary. How unspoken in the lavish profusion of other details… All such strange coincidences are part of the now familiar covert-state MO.”

The de facto executions of the killers or alleged killers are, however, less a necessity than a convenience to the national security state. This is because in those cases where the patsies, killers or alleged killers survive, their trials uniformly are fixed, as was the case with the “Toronto 18,” who rapidly became the Toronto nine, as charges were dropped against many of the teenaged “terror suspects.”

6 The branding

The St-Jean-sur-Richelieu events were instantly defined as “terrorism” by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the House of Commons and thereafter were widely so defined by the military, by “intelligence experts,” RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson and by many media players. (There are honourable exceptions to the general rush to judgment within the media. We identify some later.)

The “anthrax attacks,” MacQueen writes, “were the result of a [domestic] conspiracy meant to help redefine the enemy of the West, revising the global conflict framework from the Cold War to the Global War on Terror.”

The events in Ottawa were not meant to replace the global-conflict framework but rather to reinforce the new 2001 model: “Islam” as the permanent mortal enemy of “the West.”

The rhetoric, like ad copy, is part and parcel of the branding.

Buzzwords (“war on terror,”), code words (“national security”), snarl words (“terrorists,” “radical Islam,” “threats”) and purr words (“our allies,” “security”) as semanticist S. I. Hayakawa dubbed them, displace rational thought.

Equal in impact to that of language repetition, if not greater, were the iconic elements. The National War Memorial and Parliament are about as iconic as one can arrange in Canada. So to have the shooter start at one, then skedaddle over to the other on the same crazed mission is to do so on iconosteroids.

Add to that: two worthy soldiers representing Everyman, all Members of Parliament, the Prime Minister, a car-jacked driver, a hero in the person of the gun-toting Sergeant-at-Arms, the heart-wrenching footage of Corporal Cirillo’s five-year-old son wearing his father’s regimental hat, the corporal’s pet dogs, the grieving spouses and relatives and more.

It would be a mistake to overlook that the flesh and blood victims, Corporal Cirillo and Warrant Office Patrice Vincent, also were symbolic. They represent “Canada’s military,” “our men and women in uniform” who “serve our country” who “made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Many of the iconic themes of October 22nd were pre-echoed in the Toronto 18 trials, one of them being the alleged planning by the teen-aged patsies and dupes of “blowing up Parliament” and “beheading the prime minister.”

7 “Security exercises” and the false flag curiously overlap

A hallmark of false flag ops is that military, security, police or “intelligence” exercises precede or run simultaneously with a false flag operation. Run-throughs are necessary for all complex maneuvers. A drill also justifies assembling the human and other resources required.

Perhaps the most egregious exercise was the one admitted to be taking place at the time of the “London 7/7” tube “terror bombings” of July 7th, 2007. Peter Power, managing director of crisis management for the firm Visor Consultants, in a live interview on ITV News that was aired at 8:20 p.m. on the evening of the bombings, tells the host “…today we were running an exercise …. 1,000 people involved in the whole organization … and the most peculiar thing was that we based our scenario on simultaneous attacks on the underground and mainland station and so we had to suddenly switch an exercise from fictional to real.” Elsewhere he said the exercise specified the same stations that the “surprise bombers” targeted, which would qualify as one of the most far-fetched coincidences of all time.

On the day of 9/11 a minimum of five military drills were underway. One of them, Vigilant Guardian, involved the insertion of false radar blips onto radar screens in the Northeast Air Defense Sector, a fact that even made it into the fraudulent 9/11 Commission Report (although the others did not, which made the appearance of Vigilant Guardian a limited hangout).

All of which is relevant to what Mark Taliano wrote about the events in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa on the Global Research website on October 31st:

“The theory that U.S agencies were somehow implicated in the [Ottawa] tragedy is further reinforced by … Operation Determined Dragon, a joint Canada/U.S counter-terrorism drill…”

The first Canadian event, the fatal hit-and-run carried out by Couture-Rouleau, occurred on the first day of that drill, October 20th. From that day to 29th was the “execution phase” of a joint Canada-U.S.-NATO military-intelligence “linked exercise” named Determined Dragon 14 (in internal documents called “Ex DD 14”).

For details of Determined Dragon 14 one need look no further than the National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces website

http://www.forces.gc.ca/en/operations-exercises/ddragon.page:

“Ex DD 14 will primarily focus on the lateral interface between NORAD, United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) specifically in cyber and space domains,” visitors to the site are informed.

Among the strategic objectives specified on the are to “enhance interagency partnerships” and to “institutionalize battle procedures with partners such as regional and component commanders, the Strategic Joint Staff, the Associate Deputy Minister (Policy), and the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command.” Another is to enhance “bilateral planning with USNORTHCOM and USSTRATCOM; and CJOC coordination with NORAD.

Under the heading “Linked Exercises” the Canadian site says that Ex DD 14 “is bound to other allied exercises by a common scenario and linked through multiple events:

  • Ex VIGILANT SHIELD, a NORAD-USNORTHCOM exercise focused on homeland defence and homeland security missions; and
  • Ex GLOBAL THUNDER, a USSTRATCOM-led exercise with the primary emphasis on exercising nuclear command and control capabilities.

It concludes that Ex DD 14 “offers an opportunity for regional joint task forces (RJTF) to leverage their own exercises.

For someone paying close attention to CBC-TV’s The National on October 25th, CBCsenior correspondent Adrienne Arsenault came close to giving away the game. Anchor Peter Mansbridge begins by saying there are “lots of questions” about the day’s events. After he hears the usual line from regularly seen Ray Boisvert, “ex-CSIS,” Mansbridge turns to Arsenault, “who’s been looking at this whole issue of radicalization for the past year or so” and asks her what she can say. Arsenault replies:

(http://www.globalresearch.ca/canadian-authorities-ran-war-game-drills-depicting-isis-attack-scenarios/5409707)

They [Canadian authorities] may have been surprised by the actual incidents but not by the concepts of them. Within the last month we know that the CSIS, the RCMP and the National Security Task Force engaged in, I suppose they, ran a scenario that’s akin to a war games exercise if you will where they actually imagined literally an attack in Quebec, followed by an attack in another city, followed by a tip that that “hey some guys, some foreign fighters are coming back from Syria.” So they were imagining a worst case scenario. We’re seeing elements of that happening right now. … [Canadian authorities] may talk today in terms of being surprised but we know that this precise scenario has been keeping them up at night for awhile.” [my emphasis]

Mansbridge shows no interest in this remarkable statement by his senior correspondent.

But truth activist Josh Blakeney of the University of Lehbridge  who also was one of the first out of the block in nailing these events as false flags, comments:

What an amazing coincidence that Canadian intelligence ran a drill envisioning an attack first in Quebec, then another city. What are the chances that these mock terror drills are just a coincidence? In nearly every instance of a major terrorist occurrence in the West, it has been revealed that intelligence services were conducting war games exercises mimicking the very events that later come to pass. And now we have confirmation that Canada’s intelligence services were doing the same thing.

All of which would seem to reflect adequate “information exchanges” with “our U.S. partner” and other “allies.” Yet Harper’s new “anti-terror” legislation will merge Canadian spooks and military even more into the global apparatus that can manufacture terror incidents pretty well anywhere any time.

8 Media manipulation on both sides of the border

On the crucial propaganda front the evidence is that “U.S. officials” initiated journalistic input, and government agents planted within the media on both sides of the border meddled with journalistic output.

Key mainstream media stories as well as tweets “disappeared.” Stories disappeared from Google. Both U.S. and Canadian mainstream reports were altered significantly. This could only be carried out by internal gatekeeper agents. Inputs and outputs left permanent fingerprints of the overt as well as behind-the-scenes manipulation.

Students of false flag operations have learned – just as regular detectives have learned in regard to standard non-political crimes – the first 24 or 48 hours provide critical evidence, before the criminals can begin covering their tracks.

Amy MacPherson of Free The Press Canada (https://www.facebook.com/FreeThePressCanada) hit the ground running in those first hours and days. On Tuesday, October 23rd she posted a lengthy piece, carried the next day on GlobalResearch containing damning evidence of rolling censorship on social media including Twitter and in mainstream media including the Toronto Star and the CBC.

Equally if not more damning are her frame grabs showing that U.S. news outlets were fed information by “U.S. officials” identifying Zehaf-Bibeau as the Ottawa shooter prematurely, before Canadian media were able to identify him.

With accompanying grabs, MacPherson writes: “While Canadian news personalities were at police gunpoint, American outlets like CBS News and the [always suspect]Associated Press had a full story to sell, complete with the dead shooter’s name.”

At 10:54 a.m. Eastern, when the National War Memorial crime scene was not yet secured, CBS News stated: “The gunmen [sic] has been identified by U.S. officials to CBS News as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian national born in 1982.” MP Charlie Angus described gunshots around 10 a.m. American media had solved the murder 54 minutes later.

“By 4:58 p.m.” MacPherson notes, “the [CBS] story was edited to remove the shooter’s name, or any mention of the U.S. government’s knowledge.” She continues: “The only problem is no one could update the Google database quick enough with these changes, so the original information still appeared with general search results.

“The story was altered again in the evening, when the Canadian government allowed [her emphasis] the name of a shooter to be released and American media added law enforcement to their list of official sources.  They also added a middle name, Abdul, to emphasize the suspect’s Islamic ties with an accusation of terrorism.”

She asks:

“…how American intelligence knew the name of a ‘possible terrorist’ as the mayhem was still unfolding. How did Americans know when Canadians didn’t, and how was this information so widespread that American media and Google had access to distribute, but domestic reporters on the scene did not?

“Canadian parliamentary bureau chiefs didn’t possess the same information as their U.S. counterparts and faced the barrel of police guns as a press narrative was provided on their behalf by another country. If this is dubbed an act of terrorism that American sources had knowledge about to pre-report, then why weren’t steps taken to prevent the violence?”

Then there are the all-Canadian media anomalies. “The Toronto Star reported [that] multiple witnesses saw [Couture-Rouleau] with his hands in the air,” writes MacPherson, “when at least one police officer opened fire. They also say a knife was ‘lodged into the ground near where the incident occurred.’

“Well,” MacPherson continues, “that’s what the original story by Allan Woods, Bruce Campion-Smith, Joanna Smith, Tonda MacCharles and Les Whittington stated. A syndicated copy had to be located at the Cambridge Times, because a newer, edited version at the Toronto Star appeared dramatically altered by Tuesday.”

That article (changed without disclosure) claims Couture-Rouleau was an Islamic radical who emerged from the vehicle with a knife in his hands. No mention of eyewitnesses who saw his hands in the air and the knife lodged in the ground (an image seen later on CBC-TV news).

As MacPherson writes: “The article was more than edited and qualifies as being replaced entirely, having lost its tone, facts and spirit from the original published version.

If it weren’t for smaller papers carrying The Star’s original syndicated content, there would be little or no proof of the first comprehensive version, she adds.

9 Failure of media to ask fundamental questions

These include, first and foremost: “Is it possible that agents of the state had a hand in this outrage?” This question might not be as difficult to raise as one might imagine. Suppose it were handled this way:

“There’s a long and well-documented history of authorities staging iconic events aimed at stampeding their publics into supporting government initiatives, especially initiatives supporting existing or proposed wars. Examples include Colin Powell’s introduction at the United Nations of alleged compelling proof – subsequently proven false – that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. [pause] Can it be ruled out definitively that behind-the-scenes actors in government circles in Canada had no hand whatsoever in the events of October 22nd?”

Of course, for any media person to ask such a question would pre-suppose that those who reach the level of Parliamentary correspondent or, higher still, anchor of a national news program would have developed deep skepticism based on hard-won knowledge of the history of such operations.

It would further pre-suppose that, had they developed such a grasp of history, they would be promoted to those levels.

What can we say? We can say: “These things ain’t going to happen.”

Tihe “failure” to ask fundamentally important fully justified questions based on documented history known to many readers, listeners and viewers deserves extensive treatment in itself. The “failure” represents, from the point of view of a cover-up, success for the real perpetrators.

Such unasked questions are masked by the repetitive posing of essentially superficial questions and questions that beg answers. Press conferences are rife with the acceptance of the official line along with questions about minutiae within the line. One also hears a lot of really dumb and repetitive questions.

The graphically impressive front page of The Globe and Mail had it on October 23rd: “The murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, the storming of Parliament and the tough questions[my emphasis] arising from the chaos.”

The phrase “tough questions” in this context suggests – and their subsequent rollout reinforces – a central theme that buttresses the official line: that there have been “security lapses,” that these lapses are serious, that therefore “security agencies” need “more resources” to do their jobs “protecting our security” and “making us safe,” and so on and on.

Included among the questions most frequently trotted out by the media: “How can we strike a balance between “the need for greater security” on the one hand, and “the protection of privacy,” on the other.

This endlessly posed question has embedded within it several unexamined major premises, concealed significant historical facts and trends, as well as an ambiguity serving both concealments and that drives conclusions among readers, listeners and viewers that are ill-based, self-defeating and that inoculate those who are so manipulated against gaining greater understanding.

The premises include that privacy is ever and always a stand-alone good; that every person’s privacy is at risk equally with every other person’s; that privacy for each person or group means the same as for every other person or group; that in fact the two sides of the equation are security vs. privacy (as opposed, for instance, to security vs. freedom, although that equation – much more relevant – is raised fairly frequently) and that it is the good-faith activities of “security forces” that endanger “privacy.” Left out of the equation are the proven bad faith activities of “security forces.”

The concealments include that the threat to citizens can come from the good-faith actions of “security forces,” yes, but that in fact by a large preponderance come from rogue actions of “security forces” and “intelligence agencies,” both of which are virtually out-of-control now.

On protecting the identity of “intelligence sources

The historical record – not in the slightest acknowledged by the “security vs privacy” equation – shows conclusively that those most spied upon, whose personal security is threatened repeatedly, are those who question authority, those who are peaceful dissidents, those who seek and act for improvements to the status quo, specifically for more equality and justice, those who are left-of-centre up to and including revolutionaries. The danger posed to loss of privacy among those on the left is much greater than it is for those on the right or for those not politically involved at all, which is to say the vast majority of citizens. This historical record goes unaddressed in 99% or more of the discourse about the dangers of “loss of privacy.”

The large majority of people have little reason to fear the state, because they pose no perceived threat to the state. Accordingly, their need or wish to protect their privacy – for instance about their personal sex or financial lives – is of less interest to, is far less important to, the national security state than are the personal facts and political beliefs or acts of those on the left who pose a perceived threat to the status quo, however lawful or justified their words or actions may be.

Providing deeper, almost impenetrable, cover for informants, otherwise known colloquially as rats or ratfinks, is far from a pressing need for national security.

Rather, the history of informants shows that the majority, and in particular those who are chosen or come forward to “intelligence” agencies (or are assigned by these agencies), are owed much less protection from identity than they even now enjoy.

The case of RCMP informant Richard Young is just one that should give pause.

Young was recruited by the RCMP in British Columbia (he approached them) prior to 2007. He convinced them he had information on drug operations. An accomplished con man, he suckered the Mounties big time.

While they, through failure to carry out due diligence among other things, came under his spell he was taken under their witness protection program. Doing so is labour intensive and expensive. Under it, Young committed a murder, which is uncontested. The Mounties then did all in their considerable power to shield him from the consequences of that. This and more was documented by two CanWest reporters and then a Globe and Mail investigative team in 2007.

At the heart of the stupidity, naivete and wrong-doing by the RCMP was the continued insistence on protecting Young’s identity. Ultimately the Mounties’ failure and the harm done (wasted public money, a man getting away with murder under the protection of the RCMP, and the RCMP not properly held to account) were exposed by less than a handful of dedicated reporters.

A compelling but illegitimate reason for these agencies to seek total anonymity for their “informants” is that so many of these do not even qualify as such, but rather are individuals planted to manufacture false “intelligence” or carry out dirty tricks on targets chosen by these agencies. Documented history shows that typically the targets are law-abiding, well-informed, politically active (on the left) and even courageous citizens who nevertheless are considered “enemies of the state” by the security apparatus and its overlords.

Remember that the RCMP spied on Tommy Douglas to the extent that his dossier numbered 1,100 pages, only a few of which CSIS, which inherited the RCMP dossier, has released. The grounds for CSIS’s refusal are that it must protect the informants. This is the very group of unsavoury snitches that the Harper government wants to give deeper cover.

The otherwise much-touted need for transparency and accountability is not only forgotten within “terrorist threat” hysteria. It is turned on its head. It is claimed that transparency and accountability are threats to the public! And that anyone who suggests otherwise also is a threat. In a world of fear the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good.

The so-called “war on terror,” fed by the national security state to the public like slops to pigs, paves the way through regression to a world of “military tribunals” (an oxymoron), of Star Chambers, to a new Dark Ages.

Outcomes of this particular false flag op

√ It makes the task much harder for those warning the public of the dangers of the government’s legislation endowing intelligence agencies with greater powers, more resources, fewer restrictions and less transparency.

√ Providing the RCMP and other spy agencies with even more anonymity for informants is a particular danger, as noted at length above.

If the laws being pushed by Harper today go through, the RCMP, CSIS or CSEC in a similar case in the future would be even more enabled to waste the time of personnel and of other resources, and of taxpayer public money, for little or no gain in public safety or security.

√ Reduction of civil liberties:  easier detentions, extraditions

√ Increased invasion of privacy

√ Intimidation of legislative branch, as happened in spades in the USA in response to the “anthrax attacks.”

√ More pressure on the judiciary to bow to omnipresent low-level “terrorism” hysteria

√ Marginalizing of both the legislative and judicial branches

√ Increased integration of Canadian spy agencies with those

of “our” allies, so that the globalist integrated deception apparatus can operate even more freely and in ever more sophisticated ways.

√ Buttressing of the grand made-in-Washington pax Americana imperial design.

Honourable exceptions in the media

In fairness, quite a number of voices of reason, caution, skepticism and outright objection to the Harper government’s obvious exploitation of the events of the week of October 20th to forward its militaristic pro-American pro-Israeli agenda could be found. Unfortunately, as usual with false flags, these voices accepted the government’s version of what happened.

With this fundamental caveat in place, however, here are just a few individuals within the Canadian mainstream who made cogent arguments of dissent.

In the Toronto’s Star’s 17 pages of coverage on October 23rd Martin Regg Cohn cautioned:

“The risk is that we will overreact with security clampdowns and lockdowns that are difficult to roll back when the threat subsides. The greater risk is that we will hunker down with over-the-top security precautions that pose a more insidious menace to our open society.”

Tom Walkom pointed out the events were not unprecedented. In 1984 a disgruntled Canadian Forces corporal killed three and wounded 13 in Quebec’s national assembly. “We know,” Walkom continued, “that in a situation like this, facts are secondary,” and “at times like this, it is easy to lose all sense of proportion.” Haroon Siddiqui asked why, “if Martin Rouleau, a.k.a. Ahmad the Convert,” was in the crosshairs of CSIS and the RCMP for months, he was not being tailed.

“Smoking out such suspects and throwing the book at them requires good policing, not wars abroad or the whipping up of fears at home for partisan political purposes.”

On October 27th in The Globe and Mail Elizabeth Renzetti quoted extensively from James Risen’s new book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War. “The war in question is the war on terror, which Mr. Risen, a Pulitzer-Prize winning security reporter for The New York Times, says has been used as an excuse to conduct a largely secret campaign to undermine Americans’ civil rights, spy on their communications and line the pockets of security consultants. As one reviewer said, it reads like a thriller – except, unfortunately, it’s not fiction.”

She quotes Risen:

“Of all the abuses America has suffered at the hands of the government in its endless war on terror,” Mr. Risen writes, “possibly the worst has been the war on truth.”

On the same day in the Toronto Star Tim Harper wrote:

“Here’s a vote for the power of time and perspective.” “And here’s a vote of confidence in a Parliament that will not jump to conclusions in the heat of the moment and a government that will resist the temptation to use October’s events as an impetus to move into new, unneeded realms.”

“Before we move too far, time and perspective should force us to ask whether we were dealing with mental health issues last week rather than terrorism, even as the RCMP said Sunday it had ‘persuasive evidence’ that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s attack was driven by ideological and political motives.” “We must twin increased powers with increased oversight.”

On November 2nd, the Toronto Star published a long lead editorial headed “’Terrorism’ Debate: Get beyond the word.”

The second paragraph:

“Down one path is a U.S.-like response to the perceived, though unsubstantiated, threat of terror: increased police powers and indiscriminate state snooping, the chipping away of civil liberties. This the way of the government.”

Down the other “is a more considered, deliberate approach that takes the rule of law as primary…” The choice, the editorial continues “ought to be fertile ground for a pivotal public debate but so far that conversation has been eclipsed by a lexicographical matter: whether we can rightly call the attack on Ottawa ‘terrorism.’”

It concludes:

“As long as our leaders insist on reducing these complex issues to a binary debate over a slippery word, we cannot have the conversation we need nor choose the country we’ll become.”

Many writers of letters to the editors of these papers are in no mood to be panicked by inflated “terror” talk. “Denying [Zihaf-Bibeau and Couture-Rouleau] their passports had the equivalent effect of putting them in cages and poking at them with a sharp stick. They broke out and two soldiers are dead.” This was from a retired RCMP officer, in The Globe and Mail.

False flag events benefit the Canadian right

Some commentators to their credit have observed that these events as played are calculated to pay off domestically to increase the Harper government’s chances of re-election next year.

Harper now holds a couple of aces for a winning electoral hand. One is his rightwing anti-taxes stance tied to producing a federal money surplus whatever the cost to the environment, science, social services (including more help for the mentally ill) and more. Some of that surplus is already being earmarked in the highest-profile ways as bribes (with their own money) to Canadians with children.

Last week’s events now constitute another ace. “Family-friendly” leaders seen as standing tall against an external enemy almost always benefit electorally. But this second ace is a fixed card. In this game there are five aces: clubs, spades, hearts, diamonds and false flags.

Only when a politically relevant portion of Canada’s and the world’s people understand the dominant agenda-setting function of false flag operations can decent people the world over begin a successful effort to replace the vast global inequality-and-death structure with a life-sustaining and fair socio-economic structure.

As Prof. John McMurtry of Guelph put it on October 29th in an essay entitled “Canada: Decoding Harper’s Terror Game. Beneath the Masks and Diversions” published by Global Research:

“If the stratagem is not seen through, the second big boost to Harper will be to justify the despotic rule and quasi-police state he has built with ever more prisons amidst declining crime, ever more anti-terrorist rhetoric and legislation, ever more cuts to life support systems and protections (the very ones which would have prevented these murderous rampages), and ever more war-mongering and war-criminal behaviours abroad.

Adds McMurtry:

“Harper rule can only go further by such trances of normalized stupefaction now reinforced with Canadian blood.”

Barrie  Zwicker is a renowned Canadian journalist, best selling author and documentary producer.

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/canadas-false-flag-terror-fingerprints-of-u-s-involvement/5412838

Israel has made 600,000 Palestinians homeless and is turning Gaza into a super-max prison

gaza_homeless_460

IT IS ASTONISHING that the reconstruction of Gaza, bombed into the Stone Age according to the explicit goals of an Israeli military doctrine known as “Dahiya”, has tentatively only just begun two months after the end of the fighting.

According to the United Nations, 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, leaving 600,000 Palestinians – nearly one in three of Gaza’s population – homeless or in urgent need of humanitarian help.

Roads, schools and the electricity plant to power water and sewerage systems are in ruins. The cold and wet of winter are approaching. Aid agency Oxfam warns that at the current rate of progress it may take 50 years to rebuild Gaza.

Where else in the world apart from the Palestinian territories would the international community stand by idly as so many people suffer – and not from a random act of God but willed by fellow humans?

The reason for the hold-up is, as ever, Israel’s “security needs”. Gaza can be rebuilt but only to the precise specifications laid down by Israeli officials.

We have been here before. Twelve years ago, Israeli bulldozers rolled into Jenin camp in the West Bank in the midst of the second intifada. Israel had just lost its largest number of soldiers in a single battle as the army struggled through a warren of narrow alleys. In scenes that shocked the world, Israel turned hundreds of homes to rubble.

With residents living in tents, Israel insisted on the terms of Jenin camp’s rehabilitation. The alleys that assisted the Palestinian resistance in its ambushes had to go. In their place, streets were built wide enough for Israeli tanks to patrol.

In short, both the Palestinians’ humanitarian needs and their right in international law to resist their oppressor were sacrificed to satisfy Israel’s desire to make the enforcement of its occupation more efficient.

It is hard not to view the agreement reached in Cairo this month for Gaza’s reconstruction in similar terms.

Donors pledged $5.4 billion – though, based on past experience, much of it won’t materialise. In addition, half will be immediately redirected to the distant West Bank to pay off the Palestinian Authority’s mounting debts. No one in the international community appears to have suggested that Israel, which has asset-stripped both the West Bank and Gaza in different ways, foot the bill.

The Cairo agreement has been widely welcomed, though the terms on which Gaza will be rebuilt have been only vaguely publicised. Leaks from worried insiders, however, have fleshed out the details.

One Israeli analyst has compared the proposed solution to transforming a third-world prison into a modern US super-max incarceration facility. The more civilised exterior will simply obscure its real purpose: not to make life better for the Palestinian inmates, but to offer greater security to the Israeli guards.

Humanitarian concern is being harnessed to allow Israel to streamline an eight-year blockade that has barred many essential items, including those needed to rebuild Gaza after previous assaults.

The agreement passes nominal control over Gaza’s borders and the transfer of reconstruction materials to the PA and UN in order to bypass and weaken Hamas. But the overseers – and true decision-makers – will be Israel. For example, it will get a veto over who supplies the massive quantities of cement needed. That means much of the donors’ money will end up in the pockets of Israeli cement-makers and middlemen.

But the problem runs deeper than that. The system must satisfy Israel’s desire to know where every bag of cement or steel rod ends up, to prevent Hamas rebuilding its home-made rockets and network of tunnels.

The tunnels, and element of surprise they offered, were the reason Israel lost so many soldiers. Without them, Israel will have a freer hand next time it wants to “mow the grass”, as its commanders call Gaza’s repeated destruction.

Last week Israel’s defence minister Moshe Yaalon warned that rebuilding Gaza would be conditioned on Hamas’s good behaviour. Israel wanted to be sure “the funds and equipment are not used for terrorism, therefore we are closely monitoring all of the developments”.

The PA and UN will have to submit to a database reviewed by Israel the details of every home that needs rebuilding. Indications are that Israeli drones will watch every move on the ground.

Israel will be able to veto anyone it considers a militant – which means anyone with a connection to Hamas or Islamic Jihad. Presumably, Israel hopes this will dissuade most Palestinians from associating with the resistance movements.

Further, it is hard not to assume that the supervision system will provide Israel with the GPS co-ordinates of every home in Gaza, and the details of every family, consolidating its control when it next decides to attack. And Israel can hold the whole process to ransom, pulling the plug at any moment.

Sadly, the UN – desperate to see relief for Gaza’s families – has agreed to conspire in this new version of the blockade, despite its violating international law and Palestinians’ rights.

Washington and its allies, it seems, are only too happy to see Hamas and Islamic Jihad deprived of the materials needed to resist Israel’s next onslaught.

The New York Times summed up the concern: “What is the point of raising and spending many millions of dollars … to rebuild the Gaza Strip just so it can be destroyed in the next war?”

For some donors exasperated by years of sinking money into a bottomless hole, upgrading Gaza to a super-max prison looks like a better return on their investment.

Source: http://stopwar.org.uk/news/600-000-palestinians-made-homeless-how-israel-is-turning-gaza-into-a-super-max-prison

The US is a Leading Terrorist State

usa-criminal-stateBy Noam Chomsky

TeleSur” – An international poll found that the United States is ranked far in the lead as “the biggest threat to world peace today,” far ahead of second-place Pakistan, with no one else even close.

Imagine that the lead article in Pravda reported a study by the KGB that reviews major terrorist operations run by the Kremlin around the world, in an effort to determine the factors that led to their success or failure, finally concluding that unfortunately successes were rare so that some rethinking of policy is in order.  Suppose that the article went on to quote Putin as saying that he had asked the KGB to carry out such inquiries in order to find cases of “financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well.  And they couldn’t come up with much.” So he has some reluctance about continuing such efforts.

If, almost unimaginably, such an article were to appear, cries of outrage and indignation would rise to the heavens, and Russia would be bitterly condemned – or worse — not only for the vicious terrorist record openly acknowledged, but for the reaction among the leadership and the political class: no concern, except how well Russian state terrorism works and whether the practices can be improved.

It is indeed hard to imagine that such an article might appear, except for the fact that it just did – almost.

On October 14, the lead story in the New York Times reported a study by the CIA that reviews major terrorist operations run by the White House around the world, in an effort to determine the factors that led to their success or failure, finally concluding that unfortunately successes were rare so that some rethinking of policy is in order.  The article went on to quote Obama as saying that he had asked the CIA to carry out such inquiries in order to find cases of “financing and supplying arms to an insurgency in a country that actually worked out well. And they couldn’t come up with much.” So he has some reluctance about continuing such efforts.

There were no cries of outrage, no indignation, nothing.

The conclusion seems quite clear.  In western political culture, it is taken to be entirely natural and appropriate that the Leader of the Free World should be a terrorist rogue state and should openly proclaim its eminence in such crimes.  And it is only natural and appropriate that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and liberal constitutional lawyer who holds the reins of power should be concerned only with how to carry out such actions more efficaciously.

A closer look establishes these conclusions quite firmly.

The article opens by citing US operations “from Angola to Nicaragua to Cuba.” Let us add a little of what is omitted.

In Angola, the US joined South Africa in providing the crucial support for Jonas Savimbi’s terrorist UNITA army, and continued to do so after Savimbi had been roundly defeated in a carefully monitored free election and even after South Africa had withdrawn support from this “monster whose lust for power had brought appalling misery to his people,” in the words of British Ambassador to Angola Marrack Goulding, seconded by the CIA station chief in neighboring Kinshasa who warned that “it wasn’t a good idea” to support the monster “because of the extent of Savimbi’s crimes.  He was terribly brutal.”

Despite extensive and murderous US-backed terrorist operations in Angola, Cuban forces drove South African aggressors out of the country, compelled them to leave illegally occupied Namibia, and opened the way for the Angolan election in which, after his defeat, Savimbi “dismissed entirely the views of nearly 800 foreign elections observers here that the balloting…was generally free and fair” (New York Times), and continued the terrorist war with US support.

Cuban achievements in the liberation of Africa and ending of Apartheid were hailed by Nelson Mandela when he was finally released from prison.  Among his first acts was to declare that “During all my years in prison, Cuba was an inspiration and Fidel Castro a tower of strength… [Cuban victories] destroyed the myth of the invincibility of the white oppressor [and] inspired the fighting masses of South Africa … a turning point for the liberation of our continent — and of my people — from the scourge of apartheid. … What other country can point to a record of greater selflessness than Cuba has displayed in its relations to Africa?”

The terrorist commander Henry Kissinger, in contrast, was “apoplectic” over the insubordination of the “pipsqueak” Castro who should be “smash[ed],” as reported by William Leogrande and Peter Kornbluh in their book Back Channel to Cuba, relying on recently declassified documents.

Turning to Nicaragua, we need not tarry on Reagan’s terrorist war, which continued well after the International Court of Justice ordered Washington to cease its “illegal use of force” – that is, international terrorism — and pay substantial reparations, and after a resolution of the UN Security Council that called on all states (meaning the US) to observe international law – vetoed by Washington.

It should be acknowledged, however, that Reagan’s terrorist war against Nicaragua – extended by Bush I, the “statesman” Bush — was not as destructive as the state terrorism he backed enthusiastically in El Salvador and Guatemala.  Nicaragua had the advantage of having an army to confront the US-run terrorist forces, while in the neighboring states the terrorists assaulting the population were the security forces armed and trained by Washington.

In a few weeks we will be commemorating the Grand Finale of Washington’s terrorist wars in Latin America: the murder of six leading Latin American intellectuals, Jesuit priests, by an elite terrorist unit of the Salvadoran army, the Atlacatl Battalion, armed and trained by Washington, acting on the explicit orders of the High Command, and with a long record of massacres of the usual victims.

This shocking crime on November 16, 1989, at the Jesuit University in San Salvador was the coda to the enormous plague of terror that spread over the continent after John F. Kennedy changed the mission of the Latin American military from “hemispheric defense” – an outdated relic of World War II – to “internal security,” which means war against the domestic population.  The aftermath is described succinctly by Charles Maechling, who led US counterinsurgency and internal defense planning from 1961 to 1966.  He described Kennedy’s 1962 decision as a shift from toleration “of the rapacity and cruelty of the Latin American military” to “direct complicity” in their crimes, to US support for “the methods of Heinrich Himmler’s extermination squads.”

All forgotten, not the “right kind of facts.”

In Cuba, Washington’s terror operations were launched in full fury by President Kennedy to punish Cubans for defeating the US-run Bay of Pigs invasion.  As described by historian Piero Gleijeses, JFK “asked his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, to lead the top-level interagency group that oversaw Operation Mongoose, a program of paramilitary operations, economic warfare, and sabotage he launched in late 1961 to visit the ‘terrors of the earth’ on Fidel Castro and, more prosaically, to topple him.”

The phrase “terrors of the earth” is quoted from Kennedy associate and historian Arthur Schlesinger, in his quasi-official biography of Robert Kennedy, who was assigned responsibility for conducting the terrorist war.  RFK informed the CIA that the Cuban problem carries “[t]he top priority in the United States Government — all else is secondary — no time, no effort, or manpower is to be spared” in the effort to overthrow the Castro regime, and to bring “the terrors of the earth” to Cuba.

The terrorist war launched by the Kennedy brothers was no small affair.  It involved 400 Americans, 2,000 Cubans, a private navy of fast boats, and a $50 million annual budget, run in part by a Miami CIA station functioning in violation of the Neutrality Act and, presumably, the law banning CIA operations in the United States.  Operations included bombing of hotels and industrial installations, sinking of fishing boats, poisoning of crops and livestock, contamination of sugar exports, etc.  Some of these operations were not specifically authorized by the CIA but carried out by the terrorist forces it funded and supported, a distinction without a difference in the case of official enemies.

The Mongoose terrorist operations were run by General Edward Lansdale, who had ample experience in US-run terrorist operations in the Philippines and Vietnam.  His timetable for Operation Mongoose called for “open revolt and overthrow of the Communist regime” in October 1962, which, for “final success will require decisive U.S. military intervention” after terrorism and subversion had laid the basis.

October 1962 is, of course, a very significant moment in modern history.  It was in that month that Nikita Khrushchev sent missiles to Cuba, setting off the missile crisis that came ominously close to terminal nuclear war.  Scholarship now recognizes that Khrushchev was in part motivated by the huge US preponderance in force after Kennedy had responded to his calls for reduction in offensive weapons by radically increasing the US advantage, and in part by concern over a possible US invasion of Cuba.  Years later, Kennedy’s Defense Secretary Robert McNamara recognized that Cuba and Russia were justified in fearing an attack. “If I were in Cuban or Soviet shoes, I would have thought so, too,” McNamara observed at a major international conference on the missile crisis on the 40th anniversary.

The highly regarded policy analyst Raymond Garthoff, who had many years of direct experience in US intelligence, reports that in the weeks before the October crisis erupted, a Cuban terrorist group operating from Florida with US government authorization carried out “a daring speedboat strafing attack on a Cuban seaside hotel near Havana where Soviet military technicians were known to congregate, killing a score of Russians and Cubans.” And shortly after, he continues, the terrorist forces attacked British and Cuban cargo ships and again raided Cuba, among other actions that were stepped up in early October. At a tense moment of the still-unresolved missile crisis, on November 8, a terrorist team dispatched from the United States blew up a Cuban industrial facility after the Mongoose operations had been officially suspended. Fidel Castro alleged that 400 workers had been killed in this operation, guided by “photographs taken by spying planes.” Attempts to assassinate Castro and other terrorist attacks continued immediately after the crisis terminated, and were escalated again in later years.

There has been some notice of one rather minor part of the terror war, the many attempts to assassinate Castro, generally dismissed as childish CIA shenanigans.  Apart from that, none of what happened has elicited much interest or commentary.  The first serious English-language inquiry into the impact on Cubans was published in 2010 by Canadian researcher Keith Bolender, in his Voices From The Other Side: An Oral History Of Terrorism Against Cuba, a very valuable study largely ignored.

The three examples highlighted in the New York Times report of US terrorism are only the tip of the iceberg.  Nevertheless, it is useful to have this prominent acknowledgment of Washington’s dedication to murderous and destructive terror operations and of the insignificance of all of this to the political class, which accepts it as normal and proper that the US should be a terrorist superpower, immune to law and civilized norms.

Oddly, the world may not agree.  An international poll released a year ago by the Worldwide Independent Network/Gallup International Association (WIN/GIA) found that the United States is ranked far in the lead as “the biggest threat to world peace today,” far ahead of second-place Pakistan (doubtless inflated by the Indian vote), with no one else even close.

Fortunately, Americans were spared this insignificant information.

Source: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40026.htm

Rwanda’s Untold Story Documentary

Twenty years on from the Rwandan genocide, This World reveals evidence that challenges the accepted story of one of the most horrifying events of the late 20th century. The current president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, has long been portrayed as the man who brought an end to the killing and rescued his country from oblivion. Now there are increasing questions about the role of Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front forces in the dark days of 1994 and in the 20 years since.

The film investigates evidence of Kagame’s role in the shooting down of the presidential plane that sparked the killings in 1994 and questions his claims to have ended the genocide. It also examines claims of war crimes committed by Kagame’s forces and their allies in the wars in the Democratic Republic of Congo and allegations of human rights abuses in today’s Rwanda.

Former close associates from within Kagame’s inner circle and government speak out from hiding abroad. They present a very different portrait of a man who is often hailed as presiding over a model African state. Rwanda’s economic miracle and apparent ethnic harmony has led to the country being one of the biggest recipients of aid from the UK. Former prime minister Tony Blair is an unpaid adviser to Kagame, but some now question the closeness of Mr Blair and other western leaders to Rwanda’s president.

Pull Out the Occupation Troops – The United Nations Will Fail Haiti Once Again

protesters in haiti
by KEVIN EDMONDS & AJAMU NANGWAYA

On October 15, the United Nations Security Council will meet to “debate” the extension of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) which has acted as an occupying force in the country since the summer of 2004. MINUSTAH was created to put an end to the Multinational Interim Force (primarily made up of U.S., French, Canadian and Chilean troops) which occupied Haiti after an internationally backed coup d’état ousted the democratically elected president Jean Bertrand Aristide and his Fanmi Lavalas party from power on February 29, 2004.

During these ten years, MINUSTAH has compiled a horrific record of human rights abuses, including but not limited to extrajudicial murder, an epidemic of sexual assault against Haitian men, women and children, the repression of peaceful political protests, in addition to unleashing cholera through criminal negligence which has caused the death of over 9,000 people and infecting nearly a million more. Despite these well documented abuses, the historical record has shown that the Security Council will mostly likely renew MINUSTAH for another year without any thought to damage being done to Haiti. As evidence of how little resistance there is to the renewal of MINUSTAH’s mandate in the United Nations, on August 21, MINUSTAH’s budget was extended to June 2015 – clearly signalling that the occupation is certain to continue.

When one examines the level of instability in Haiti which is used as the justification for MINUSTAH’s continued presence in the country, the United Nations’ argument of protecting the Haitian people from themselves falls flat. Despite the mainstream media portrayal of Haiti as a lawless and dangerous country, in 2012, it had a homicide rate of 10.2 per 100,000 people, ranking it as one of the least violent countries in Latin America and the Caribbean – in contrast to Washington DC which sat at 13.71 per 100,000. Furthermore, to argue that it is the presence MINUSTAH which has acted as a stabilizing force which has kept violence down, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported that between 2007 and 2012, Haiti’s homicide rate doubled from 5.1 to 10.2 per 100,000.

For the fiscal year running from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, $609.18 million was allocated to MINUSTAH. In the ten years in which MINUSTAH has been operational, their total budget is over $5.5 billion. If this same amount had been applied towards human development in the form of investments in clean water, sanitation, healthcare and education – Haiti would have the potential reclaim its sovereignty and self-determination.

We must be clear, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti is not based on any principles of humanitarianism, but rather those of an imperialist occupation which seeks to make sure that the island’s government can implement and maintain repressive policies favourable to international investors. Thus the reasons for MINUSTAH’s continued presence in Haiti were confirmed thanks to revelations by WikiLeaks. In one of the most up-front classified cables, from US Ambassador Janet Sanderson on October 1, 2008, stated that, “A premature departure of MINUSTAH would leave the [Haitian] government…vulnerable to…resurgent populist and anti-market economy political forces—reversing gains of the last two years.”

The corrupt and repressive regime of President Michel Martelly has proudly boasted that “Haiti is open for business”. Indeed, this is true – however it is the people and the land that are being sold. Canadian mining companies like St. Genevive and Eurasian Minerals have taken advantage of weak laws to prospect new sites covering enormous swaths of territory (an estimated 1/3 of Northern Haiti has been granted to companies via permit), setting up the potential for substantial displacement through forced evictions and environmental destruction. Montreal based Gildan Activewear (the world’s largest manufacturer of blank T-shirts) has routinely pressured the Haitian government to block an increase in Haiti’s abysmally low daily minimum wage and have undermined unionization efforts in their plants.

MINUSTAH has carried out a series of human rights violations resulting in a loss of Haitian sovereignty, stability, dignity and life. Its record of engaging in acts of extrajudicial murder, sexual assault, suppressing peaceful political protests, undermining democracy and introducing cholera into Haiti are more than enough grounds to revoke its mandate. Yet for geopolitical and economic reasons, this does not happen.

As people of good conscience and principled internationalists, we collectively have the capacity and the resources to force an end to the military occupation of Haiti. However, we will not be able to fulfill this potential and stand in solidarity with the laboring classes in Haiti, if we don’t organize campaigns in Canada and across the world that pressure contributing states to end their provision of military and police personnel to MINUSTAH’s occupation force.

Our opposition to the military occupation of Haiti ought to take the form of grassroots-oriented campaigns that educate, mobilize, and organize membership-based organizations to add the end to the occupation to their organizational programme. It is critically necessary to reach out to the people in the spaces in which they are present, and offer specific actions that they may carry out to force the withdrawal of the occupation troops.

We have a moral and political obligation to support the struggle for self-determination by the popular classes in Haiti. The successful Haitian Revolution eliminated the enslavement of Afrikans in Haiti, and lit the fire of freedom in slaveholding states in the Americas.

The people of Haiti demonstrated their solidarity with the colonized peoples in South America by providing a place of refuge, guns, ammunition, personnel, and a printing press to Simon Bolivar’s campaign to liberate the region from Spanish colonialism. The French Revolution and the American Revolution cannot lay claim to being beacons and agents of emancipation in the Americas.

As we work to rid Haiti of MINUSTAH’s occupation forces, we ought to be motivated by the fact that we are continuing a long and proud tradition of people-to-people solidarity in support of emancipation in the Americas. Haiti is the architect and pioneer of this principled political tradition. We should remember this legacy as we call for the Security Council to pull out the occupation troops from Haiti.

Kevin Edmonds is a PhD student and member of the Toronto Haiti Action Committee and the Campaign to End the Occupation of Haiti.

Ajamu Nangwaya Ph.D., is an educator. He is an organizer with the Campaign to End the Occupation of Haiti, and the Organization of Afrikan Struggles and International Solidarity.

Source: http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/14/the-united-nations-will-fail-haiti-once-again/#.VD6sYQwC108.facebook

The 27th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara

1365019565_Thomas-Sankara-653x423

It is the 27th anniversary of the death of Thomas Sankara, and once again we mark the passing of one of the great leaders of the Twentieth Century. Sankara was a Marxist revolutionary in the last years of the Cold War, a Pan-Africanist when the Pan-African project was at its lowest ebb, a committed feminist long before so-called “global civil society” started to preach about “empowerment” of women, a leader who sought to organize the uplift of a whole society long before elites began to boast about “Africa Rising”.

Sankara was murdered on October 15, 1987, by a conspiracy of European and African interests afraid of what transformative potential Burkina Faso under Sankara suggested and the danger of those ideas spreading. Here’s what Fela Anikulapo Kuti (don’t let anyone colonize Fela btw) said after Sankara’s death:

“His departure is a terrible blow to the political life of Africans, because he was the only one talking about African unity, what Africans need, to progress. He was the only one talking. His loss is bad (Long silence) but my mind is cool because Sankara’s death must have a meaning for Africa. Now that Sankara has been killed, if the leader of Burkina Faso, today, is not doing well, you will see it clearly. This means that in future, bad leaders would be very careful in killing good leaders.”

You can look at Blaise Compaore’s record in power since Sankara’s murder, and decide for yourself if he’s a “bad leader”. Back in 2008, AIAC life-president Sean Jacobs remembered Sankara in the Guardian. Here’s a snippet (read the whole thing):

Sankara preached economic self-reliance. He shunned World Bank loans and promoted local food and textile production. Women, the poor and the country’s peasantry benefited mostly from the reforms. Sankara outlawed tribute payments and obligatory labour to village chiefs, abolished rural poll taxes, promoted gender equality in a very male-dominated society (including outlawing female circumcision and polygamy), instituted a massive immunisation programme, built railways and kick-started public housing construction. His administration aggressively pushed literacy programmes, tackled river blindness and embarked on an anti-corruption drive in the civil service.

He discouraged the luxuries that came with government office and encouraged others to do the same. He earned a small salary ($450 a month), refused to have his picture displayed in public buildings, and forbade the uses of chauffeur-driven Mercedes and first class airline tickets by his ministers and senior civil servants.

We remembered Sankara last year and called for a political biopic to be made that could fire the contemporary political imagination:

A revolutionary leader possessed of a towering intellect and extraordinary magnetism,Sankara had rejected the orthodoxies that still today ensure that African nations are structurally dependent on old colonial powers and their global financial institutions.

Like Che Guevara, Malcolm X, and Steve Biko, Sankara’s appeal (to young people in particular) has endured precisely because his transgressive radical politics have proved impossible to subsume within a liberal narrative which is all about the heroism of moderation and non-violence and is in fact predicated on deep racist anxieties. Martin Luther King Jnr and Nelson Mandela were treated as dangerous pariahs by the Western establishment, but in time their histories have been absorbed in popular culture within a bland politics of respectability based on non-racialism and willingness to compromise.

A Thomas Sankara biopic would work partly because there is no white man in this story (except the various shadowy figures of Francafrique). In “Cry Freedom” (1987) Richard Attenborough managed to present Steve Biko’s life as a story in which the hero is white.

There’s the Shakespearian denouement of the trusted lieutenant (Blaise Compaoré) murdering his great friend, usurping his position and tearing up Sankara’s great social project.

But we don’t want to see a film about what might have been, however seductive that aspect of Burkina Faso’s history is. The point is that Sankara’s visionary politics of African sovereignty and unity — like Lumumba’s — remain as impossible today as they were within the context of international affairs towards the end of the Cold War.

We want to see a film showing Sankara’s commitment to feminism and women’s rights, his environmental projects against desertification in the Sahel, his reform of traditional leadership; a film about how his rejection of “support” from the World Bank and IMF enabled a project of galvanizing Burkinabe society that is unimaginable today where these structures of dependency and Western control have come to be the “common sense” basis for all politics in countries like Burkina Faso.

The best film about Sankara is a fantastic 2006 documentary, “The Upright Man” by Robin Shuffield.

Source: http://africasacountry.com/the-great-thomas-sankara-was-murdered-on-this-day-27-years-ago/

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