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Wars "R" US


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#1 John Dolva

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:36 AM

Wars "R" Us: Making The World Safe For American Domination

By Emily Spence

05 January, 2010
Countercurrents.org

In destructive economic systems, there is a feedback loop wherein it becomes self-confirming that greed and aggression lead to gains rather than acts that involve "playing by the rules", sharing profits, cooperating and helping others to prosper. As activities on Wall Street and in transnational corporations confirm, successful players are expected to produce income by any means possible, pay workers as little as required, charge as much as can be obtained for products and always tap into new markets for an enlarged customer base. It, also, requires a perception to be created that some newly devised product is desirable and must replace the older versions for which there is often built-in obsolescence.

In any case, new markets must always be found in order to raise financial yields. Any corporate manager who did not strive to develop them would quickly find himself in an unemployment office in addition to his being blacklisted by former colleagues.

Moreover, new stocks of resources, the raw materials from which products are made, must be tapped for global industries regardless of whether the people in the regions supplying these stores want to share them or not. In a similar vein, large scale commercial operations heavily rely on fossil fuels in the obtainment of raw resources, haulage of them to manufacturing sites, production of finished products and transportation of merchandise to market. So a steady source of petroleum must, also, be guaranteed.

This entire process, therefore, requires government leaders in support of their countries' industries to wrestle control of needed goods. Simultaneously, they have to convince the public that there are solid reasons to carry out assaults in resource rich regions of the world -- places like the Caspian Sea, with its oil estimates ranging up to about 200 billion barrels or 15% of total world reserves. Add to this treasure the fact that the Caspian Sea, also, is believed to contain 4% of the world's proven reserves of gas according to the Congressional Research Service, an organization supplying bipartisan information to Congress, in its report titled "Caspian Oil and Gas: Production and Prospects".

Indeed, its author Bernard A. Gelb, a specialist in industry economics, states: "There is a likelihood of relatively large reserves of crude oil and natural gas in the Caspian Sea region, and a consequent large increase in oil and natural gas production from that area. Because diversity of energy sources and energy security are considerations in Congressional deliberations on energy policy, this prospect could play a role in such discussions. However, there are obstacles to increases in Caspian Sea region production of oil and gas [such as Russia's and Iran's unwillingness to hand Caspian Sea resources over to U.S. control] that may slow development." He goes on to add: "However, Iran now can compete somewhat with the BTC pipeline through oil “swaps” that ultimately divert Caspian region oil away from Western, including U.S., markets. Iran has enlarged its tanker terminal at Neka on the Caspian Sea coast, enhancing its capacity to deliver Caspian oil to refineries for local consumption, with an equivalent amount of Iranian oil exported through Persian Gulf terminals." [1]

Put alternately, uncooperative countries, such as Iran and Venezuela, with assets coveted by western corporations give the perfect excuse to western governments to demonize them, threaten them and seek out destabilization of their regimes. All the same, the maligned nations will not let their reserves be plundered whether bullied or not by outside groups willing to use any means possible to obtain their prizes.

Further, full government support of corporate goals is nearly always available. After all, members of Congress want huge donations for reelection campaigns.

At the same time, it becomes quickly clear about whose interests they, ultimately, serve (rather than the public's) when government officials' desire for these contributions, lucrative future jobs after exiting public service and maximization of personal profits from their financial holdings are added into the mix. Indeed, "members of Congress invested nearly 196 million dollars of their own money in business that receive hundreds of millions of dollars a day from Pentagon". [2] So taken all together, these conditions provide plenty of motivation to keep the nation's war drums beating.

Therefore, wars are big business, most notably for investors and employees in the aerospace and defense industries. The related purposes, like the ones guiding most corporations, are hardly humanistic. Instead new sources of revenue, cheap resources from conquered lands, and new markets for products and services are the sine qua non.

Accordingly, the Pentagon and the corporations that supplies goods and manpower for wars have one general intention in mind and that is not even to win wars. Winning wars would mean that money-spinning contracts and growth of the organizations' national and global influence would shrink. Jobs, then, would disappear, high salaries would not be commanded and gargantuan earnings would cut back if wars were, actually, won and, thus, completed.

Instead, the intention is to strengthen control of regions and their resources, open up new markets for one's own country's products, continually advance into new territories to create the same outcome and, eventually, dictate assorted policies across the entire world. Consequently, the U.S.A., despite having a $12T federal deficit, aims to advance its ongoing plans to have full-spectrum dominance over the economies, territories, politics, military affairs and other entire governments on a full global scale and in support of American enterprises.

It, also, means that an all-out attempt to quell the Taliban will take place since Afghanistan and Pakistan are both needed to move the fossil fuels to emerging markets and ensure that central Asian economies are tied to U.S. corporate interests rather than those of Russia and China. On account, it is critical that both latter nations be blocked if western dominion over Asian markets for obtainment of raw resources and sales of final products, i.e., fossil fuels, are to result.

In the same vein, American citizens are not much of a consideration. After all, markets and remuneration for oil and other supplies might be superlative in India, China or other lands with advancing economies and plenty of money to spare. As such, concern over protection of us from terrorists (the latest justification for carrying out assaults abroad in lands like Yemen) and any desire to improve the lives of peoples in the U.S. or developing countries are minor considerations at best. Instead, it is far more on the mark to ask, as did Woodrow Wilson: "Is there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?"

So one winds up wondering whether a moment will ever arrive in which the public can, actually, identify this origin for wars and rise up in resistance to such a degenerate state of affairs. As an alternative, the populace can continue to equate support of war with a patriotic spirit, enthusiastically wave flags every time that there's a parade with tanks and other weaponry, and endorse far-away assaults with hardly a dissenting murmur. Meanwhile war activities, themselves, increasingly bankrupt the country morally and financially.

As such, it is useful to bear in mind that warfare almost exclusively concerns resources and trade except for religious rivalries and the small scale fighting of feudal lords. With the desire to gain ever greater advantages for oneself and one's own group by taking these away from other subjugated groups, campaigns have always been perpetuated under false pretexts, especially so when energy supplies are involved.

It follows, then, that any politician not exhibiting Woodrow Wilson's stark honesty on this point is both a liar and a propagandist with the ulterior motive to control public perception so there is advancement of war. This understanding, if nothing else, should be absolutely clear.

At the same time, the use of contractors all but guarantees that the sort of public backlash that occurred from so many troops having been killed and injured in Vietnam will not be repeated. If there exists no mandatory conscription due to freelancers being used, American citizens will feel less threatened by war even though they are paying an exorbitant amount for it and for the aid to far-away lands that the U.S. government wants to influence through bribes.

And the bribes keep coming. For example, a record State Department and foreign aid budget, amounting $49 billion, cleared the House last summer.

So is it surprising that some Americans are furious that universal single-payer healthcare, infrastructure repairs, WPA-style jobs and budget relief for insolvent States in the union aren't adequately provided? Is it flabbergasting that they are outraged over Israel receiving $2.4B in foreign aid (ostensibly used to buy weapons primarily manufactured by U.S. companies) in 2008 with an additional $30B promised over the next 10 years period? Should there be annoyance that many other countries receiving aid, i.e., Egypt ($1.7B in 2008), have the funds slated to purchase armaments ($1.3B of that Egyptian total) and have less than sterling human rights records? In any case, USAID's total assets amounted to $26.1 billion as of September 2009. This huge amount will, certainly, help guarantee that many U.S. agendas abroad will be heartily followed by others.

Moving to become a largely authoritarian militaristic state -- the U.S.A. shows little self-constraint as it forces its will, through a combination of buy-offs and assaults, wherever and however it pleases upon the rest of the world. As a result, it has to create a positive perception and ever larger gifts of money to acquire allies, certainly, fit the bill.

In addition, Americans no longer getting riled up because their sons were conscripted through a mandatory recruitment system, also, does so. Instead of a draft, the Pentagon will authorize, according to the Congressional Research Service, between 26,000 to 56,000 additional battlefield contractors in Afghanistan, which would total as a force between 130,000 to 160,000, or very nearly two for every single troop despite the added 30,000 troops recently authorized to ship off to Afghanistan.

In other words, outsourced war, while terribly expensive for taxpayers, seems the wave of the future as it doesn't foment comprehensive anti-war activism. As such, the act of killing will increasingly become a large scale, lucrative industry supported by U.S. taxes and overseas loans (most notably from China).

So if any unemployed American wants a job, all that he needs to follow is the money, which is increasing going into U.S. invasions largely carried out by private mercenaries. Besides, he has many options if he doesn't want to become an outworker.

For instance, he could join the armed forces, which offer plenty of opportunities for work since the U.S. government currently has over 1,000 military bases spread out across the world and roughly the same number on U.S. soil. He'd, also, have plenty of company as there, presently, exist 1,445,000 active-duty armed service members, 800,000 DOD civilian employees and 1.2 million National Guards, along with other reservists who are periodically tapped for Middle East ventures.

This vast setup translates to the U.S., with only 4% of the world's population, allocating more than $711B annually in military spending, which obviously burdens the taxpayer and removes funds from other programs that would, actually, serve human welfare at home and abroad. In addition, arrangement, obviously, does not lead to global security, nor the alleviation of poverty. If there is any doubt on these points, ask any Iraqi or Afghani his assessment.

Instead regions are destabilized, and the social and material structures that previously had contributed to human benefits largely are blown to smithereens. Even so, fighting insurgents, at least for the U.S.A., will continue to be a mainstay of foreign policy, as well as the U.S. economy, itself.

All in all, the following facts well lay out the course that, instead of heavy reliance on diplomacy, the U.S. leadership has chosen:

> "US military spending accounts for 48 percent, or almost half, of the world’s total military spending

> US military spending is more than the next 46 highest spending countries in the world combined

> US military spending is 5.8 times more than China, 10.2 times more than Russia, and 98.6 times more than Iran.

> US military spending is almost 55 times the spending on the six “rogue” states (Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) whose spending amounts to around $13 billion, maximum. (Tabulated data does not include four of the six, as the data only lists nations that have spent over 1 billion in the year, so their budget is assumed to be $1 billion each)

> US spending is more than the combined spending of the next 45 countries.

> The United States and its strongest allies (the NATO countries, Japan, South Korea and Australia) spend $1.1 trillion on their militaries combined, representing 72 percent of the world’s total.

> The six potential “enemies,” Russia, and China together account for about $205 billion or 29% of the US military budget."


"[T]he lion’s share of this money is not spent by the Pentagon on protecting American citizens. It goes to supporting U.S. military activities, including interventions, throughout the world. Were this budget and the organization it finances called the 'Military Department,' then attitudes might be quite different. Americans are willing to pay for defense, but they would probably be much less willing to spend billions of dollars if the money were labeled 'Foreign Military Operations.'” [3]

In any case, anyone choosing to enter military service should keep in mind that contracting companies often show little loyalty to U.S. troops, nor a sense of responsibility for their actions when involving civilians of war torn countries. This lapse in accountability is clearly demonstrated by the shootings and the recent dismissal of charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards for civilian deaths in Iraq. [4]

So instead, there increasingly exist situations in which depraved indifference to life is exhibited. One of many such circumstances is this one describing KBR's seemingly deliberate neglect to inform in a timely fashion about troop exposure to a highly poisonous chemical, sodium dichromate, at a site in Iraq overseen by KBR. In addition, KBR is fighting a reparatory lawsuit related to the incident. After all, any deserved payout for damage and death is to be avoided at all costs as remuneration would, absolutely, impact company earnings.

Concerning the event:

"What upsets some of the Guardsmen most of all is that, after serving their country faithfully, they believe the Army and KBR let them down by not fully acknowledging or investigating their exposure to the toxic chemical or their serious health problems. Some suffered for years and only recently have a possible explanation why."

"[Sodium dichromate] had been used by Iraqi workers prior to the war to prevent corrosion in the pipes at the plant. There were hundreds of bags at the chemical at the plant, some of them clearly labeled.

"The mission's official military name was Task Force RIO ('Restoration of Iraqi Oil'). KBR got the contract.

"Six years later, some of the Guardsmen assigned to provide security for Task Force RIO at the plant are dead, dying or suffering from serious health problems--including rashes, perforated septums and lung disease. One of the foremost experts in sodium dichromate, Dr. Herman Gibb, says the Guardsmen's symptoms are consistent with 'significant exposure' to the chemical.

"KBR argues that the company is not to blame. The company says it told the Army about the dangerous chemical as soon as it was identified at the plant. That, the company says, was on July 25, 2003.

"But, international KBR documents contradict that claim, and indicate that the company became aware of the chemical at the site two months earlier." [5]

Of course, one cannot expect mercenaries and outside contractors operating in war zones to care much about the lives of troops or others. After all, their main loyalty is not to the U.S. military, nor the U.S.A. as a whole, but to the companies that hired them and through which they are being paid to do whatever they are told.

Aside from war zone contracting firms, many other transnational consortiums are doing equally well during the economic downturn, as the multimillion dollar bonuses given to management of these power houses continually remind. One such company is McDonald's. In fact, its balance sheet even indicates that it has been wildly prospering since the recession worsened.

With always more deforested land available around the globe, impoverished peoples looking to make a fast buck are more and more turning to cattle ranching and soy farming for animal feed. So therein lies plenty of breaks for McDonald's.

Not having to subsume the environmental costs for its policies, it and several other fast food syndicates are cornering the market in sales for families wanting to eat out, but without the funds to dine at more costly eateries. So for the first quarter of 2009, sales went up and earned an impressive $979.5 million, a nearly 4% increase. The rest of the year followed suit despite fears that a strengthening dollar might lower gains due to the exchange rate for other currencies collected at overseas' sites.

However, the company's management in Oak Brook, Ill really needn't have worried. After all, there are over 31,000 restaurants worldwide, with more than 1.5 million workers operating in 119 countries on six continents with over 47 million daily customers. So major losses would hardly be in the picture given that the majority of people around the world are now struggling to make ends meet.

At the same time, these stats are bound to change for the better when even more populations are inundated by American armed forces bent on subduing them, inadvertently destroying local businesses and creating opportunities for ever more McDonald's workers forced to accept minimum wages as an alternative to no job in their newly destroyed lands. Like their impoverished American counterparts, who've been stripped of good jobs with decent wages in the mad rush towards globalized industry, they too can find the satisfaction of a secure employment position with a low salary and, at the end of a weary day, a happy meal as an extra perk.

As McDonald's leadership surely must know, bringing "democracy" to developing nations, eventually, has a big payoff for American businesses focused on wiping out the small scale competition like Mom and Pop restaurants overseas. If one can endure patient waiting, the further openings will be a veritable whopper. It's just a matter of time.

In the end, wars are successful commercial enterprises. As a result, they are, progressively, becoming the foundation for the new American economy. Especially this is so as former jobs are not coming back to the American shores in that it's cheaper for transnational companies to outsource and offshore work.

In relation, the Second World War not only jump-started the American economy in the aftermath of the Great Depression, it provided lots of employment prospects for many subsequent years on account of the need to rebuild across whole continents and in their devastated cities like London, Dresden, Mukden (now Shenyang) and Ningbo. This is not the case this time around due to the heavy reliance on outside contractors, who more often than not don't reconstruct much well at all, as the U.S. soldier electrocutions on a base in Baghdad and the Task Force RIO poisonings clearly demonstrate. In other words, they often are potentially dangerous and largely useless.

This all in mind, any financial and other benefits from warfare will not uplift Main Street. Instead, they increasingly will serve the special interests of corporations. As such, the economic downturn will continue to deepen throughout the U.S.A. while thousands of foreigners in assault zones are maimed and murdered.

Consequently, all that we can hope is that Russia and China will persist in making improvements in their own nations and the lives of their citizens. It's obvious that, if they were to mimic America's squandering of money in ever enlarging wars, the outcome wouldn't be good at all.

[1] "Caspian Oil and Gas: Production and Prospects", CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web, Bernard A. Gelb; Resources, Science, and Industry Division at Caspian Oil and Gas: Production and Prospects
[http://italy.usembas...her/RS21190.pdf].

[2] FINANCE: U.S. Lawmakers Invested in Iraq, Afghanistan Wars - ... [
http://ipsnews.net/n...sp?idnews=41893].


[3] "In Context: US Military Spending Versus Rest of the World" and "The Billions for 'Defense' Jeopardize Our Safety", Center For Defense Information at World Military Spending — Global Issues
[http://www.globaliss...litary-spending].

[4] Blackwater Dismissal Risks Hurting Iraq Relations - WSJ.com
[http://online.wsj.co...6969112429.html].

[5] NBC News Investigation: Toxic water in Iraq - The Daily ...
[http://dailynightly....es/2120353.aspx].


#2 John Dolva

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 05:05 PM

Havana. January 19, 2012


The U.S. economic war on Iran

Pepe Escobar

NEW YORK - Here's a crash course on how to further wreck the global economy.

A key amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act signed by United States President Barack Obama on the last day of 2011 - when no one was paying attention - imposes sanctions on any countries or companies that buy Iranian oil and pay for it through Iran's central bank. Starting this summer, anybody who does so is prevented from doing business with the U.S.

This amendment - for all practical purposes a declaration of economic war - was brought to you by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), on direct orders of the Israeli government under Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu.

Torrents of spin have tried to rationalize it as the Obama administration's plan B as opposed to letting the Israeli dogs of war conduct a unilateral attack on Iran over its supposed nuclear weapons program.

Yet the original Israeli strategy was in fact even more hysterical - as in effectively preventing any country or company from paying for imported Iranian oil, with the possible exceptions of China and India. On top of that, American Israel-firsters were trying to convince anyone this would not result in relentless oil price hikes.

Once again displaying a matchless capacity to shoot themselves in their Ferragamo-clad feet, governments in the European Union (EU) are debating whether or not to buy oil from Iran anymore. The existential doubt is should we start now or wait for a few months. Inevitably, like death and taxes, the result has been - what else - oil prices soaring. Brent crude is now hovering around $114, and the only way is up.

Get me to the crude on time

Iran is the second-largest Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producer, exporting up to 2.5 million barrels of oil a day. Around 450,000 of these barrels go to the European Union - the second-largest market for Iran after China.

The requisite faceless bureaucrat, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Ottinger, has been spinning that the EU can count on Saudi Arabia to make up the shortfall from Iran.

Any self-respecting oil analyst knows Saudi Arabia does not have all the necessary extra spare capacity. Moreover, and crucially, Saudi Arabia needs to make a lot of money out of expensive oil. After all, the counter-revolutionary House of Saud badly needs these funds to bribe its subjects into dismissing any possibility of an indigenous Arab Spring.

Add to it Tehran's threat to block the Strait of Hormuz, thus preventing one-sixth of the world's oil and 70% of OPEC's exports from reaching the market; no wonder oil traders are falling over themselves to lock up as much crude as they can.

Forget about oil at an accessible $50 or even $75 a barrel. The price of oil may be destined to soon reach $120 a barrel and even $150 a barrel by summer, just as in crisis-hit 2008. OPEC, by the way, is pumping more oil than at any time since late 2008.

So what started as an Israeli-concocted roadside improvised explosive device has now developed into a multiple economic suicide bombing targeting whole sections of the global economy.

No wonder the chairman of the Iranian parliament's national security and foreign policy commission, Ala'eddin Broujerdi, has warned that the West may be committing a "strategic blunder" with these oil sanctions.

Translation: as it goes, the name of the game for 2012 is deep global recession.

Obama rolls the dice

First Washington leaked that sanctions on Iran's central bank were "not on the table". After all, the Obama administration itself knew this would translate into an oil price hike and a certified one-way ticket for more global recession. The Iranian regime, on top of it, would be making more money out if its oil exports.

Still, the Bibi-AIPAC combo had no trouble forcing the amendment through those Israel-firster Meccas, the US Senate and Congress - even with US Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner expressly against it.

The amendment just passed may not represent the "crippling sanctions" vociferously demanded by the Israeli government. Tehran will feel the squeeze - but not to an intolerable level. Yet only those irresponsible people at the US Congress - despised by the overwhelming majority of Americans, according to any number of polls - could possibly believe they can take Iran's 2.5 million barrels of oil a day in exports off the global market with no drastic consequences for the global economy.

Asia increasingly will need more oil - and will continue to buy oil from Iran. And oil prices will keep flirting with the stratosphere.

So why did Obama sign it? For the Obama administration, everything now is about electoral calculus. Those terminal wackos in the Republican presidential circus - with the honorable exception of Ron Paul - are peddling war on Iran the moment they're elected, and substantial swathes of the American electorate are clueless enough to buy it.

No one, though, is doing some basic math to conclude the American and European economies certainly don't need oil flirting with the $120 level if some minimal recovery is in the cards.

IRAN UNMOVED BY THREATS

Apart from that self-defeating, terminally in crisis euro/North Atlantic Treaty Organization bunch, everyone and his neighbor will be bypassing this Israeli-American declaration of economic war:

- Russia already said it will circumvent it.

- India is already paying for Iranian oil via Halkbank in Turkey.

- Iran is actively negotiating to sell more oil to China. Iran is China's second-largest supplier, only behind Saudi Arabia. China pays in euros, and soon may be paying in yuan. By March they both will have sealed an agreement about new pricing.

- Venezuela controls a bi-national bank with Iran since 2009; that's how Iran gets paid for business in Latin America.

- Even traditional US allies want out. Turkey - which imports around 30% of its oil from Iran.

- Will seek a waiver exempting Turkish oil importer Tupras from US sanctions.

- And South Korea will also seek a waiver, to buy around 200,000 barrels a day - 10% of its oil - from Iran in 2012.

China, India, South Korea, they all have complex two-way trade ties with Iran (China-Iran trade, for instance, is $30 billion a year, and growing). None of this will be extinguished because the Washington/Tel Aviv axis says so. So one should expect a rash of new private banks set up all across the developing world for the purpose of buying Iranian oil.

Washington wouldn't have the guts to try to impose sanctions on Chinese banks because they will be dealing with Iran.

On the other hand, one's got to praise Tehran's valor. After a relentless campaign of covert assassinations; abductions of Iranian scientists; cross-border attacks in Sistan-Balochistan province; Israeli sabotage of its infrastructure, with viruses and otherwise; invasion of territory via US spy drones; non-stop Israeli and Republican threats of an imminent "shock and awe"; and the US sale of $60 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia, still Tehran won't balk.

Tehran has just tested - successfully - its own cruise missiles, and in the Strait of Hormuz of all places. Then when Tehran reacts to the non-stop Western aggressive barrage, it is blamed with "acts of provocation".

Last Friday, The New York Times editorial board was totally in love with the Pentagon's threats against Iran, as well as calling for "maximum economic pressure".

The bottom line is that average Iranians will suffer - as average, crisis-hit, indebted Europeans will also suffer. The US economy will suffer. And whenever it feels the West is getting way too hysterical, Tehran will keep reserving the right to send oil prices skyrocketing.

The regime in Tehran will keep selling oil, will keep enriching uranium and, most of all, won't fall. Like a Hellfire missile hitting a Pashtun wedding party, these Western sanctions will miserably fail. But not without collecting a lot of collateral damage - in the West itself.

* Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan.

(Taken from Asia Times Online.)




#3 John Dolva

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:46 PM

http://www.johnpilger.com/

John Pilger's latest film 'The War You Don't See' available to watch online

John Pilger's latest film 'The War You Don't See' is now available to watch online (worldwide excluding Australia) for $4.99

'The War You Don't See' premiered at the Barbican in London on Tuesday 7 December 2010 and on British television on Tuesday 14 December 2010. It is also available to buy on DVD in the UK and in Australia

On 7 June 2011, the Lannan Foundation in the United States banned the film and cancelled a visit by John Pilger without explanation. Read John Pilger's response to Patrick Lannan's subsequent statement about the cancellation.

On 17 November 2011, John Pilger presented 'The War You Don't See' at its Indian premiere in Delhi. Read an interview with John Pilger in The Indian Express.

Reviews: The Guardian | Total Film | Time Out | Little White Lies | The Quietus | Cine Vue | ABC News

Watch the trailer | John Pilger - Why are wars not being reported honestly? | Watch Democracy Now! interview with John Pilger about the film | Read New Internationalist interview with John Pilger about the film | Listen to a BBC Radio 4 interview with John Pilger about the film | ABC Breakfast interview | ABC Late Night Live interview | ABC Book Show interview

More about the film.




-----------------------

http://www.moviesfou...ou_dont_see.php



The War You Don't See (2010)

"A powerful and timely investigation into the media's role in war, tracing the history of 'embedded' and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq. As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an 'electronic battlefield' in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims. But who is the real enemy? John Pilger says in the film: "We journalists… have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country… That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home… In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us… Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power.""

official site: johnpilger.com/dvds/the-war-you-dont-see-uk-
buy at: Amazon.com or Stream HD Movies Online

#4 John Dolva

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 02:40 PM

M

ark Steel: Iraq was so much fun, let's do it to Iran
Sunday, February 26, 2012 By Mark Steel

Posted Image

Governments and commentators keen on promoting a war against Iran should be stridently opposed, not so much because of the threat to world peace, but because their reasons display a shocking lack of imagination.

The most common one is that Iran has "Weapons of Mass Destruction". How pathetic to pick the same excuse twice in a row. They should make it more interesting, by revealing evidence that Ahmadinejad has built a Terminator, or plans to fill the Strait of Hormuz with a giant Alka-Seltzer so the Persian Gulf fizzes over Kuwait.

What's become of Western leaders that they can't think up new stories to justify a military attack? Are they going to re-use all the old ones, so if this doesn't work William Hague will say "Iran is threatening the sovereignty of Prussia".

That would be more persuasive than the US government's effort, reported in the Wall Street Journal as "US officials say they believe Iran recently gave freedom to five top al-Qa'ida operatives".

It's as if the last outing was such a laugh, they want to do everything exactly the same. The British are probably already on the lookout for a weapons expert with suicidal tendencies.

One part they've copied accurately from the last war is the practice of interpreting every report as proof of the existence of these weapons.

For example, the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded: "There is certainly no indication that Iran has nuclear weapons capacity or could have it soon." So the New York Times reported this as "a recent assessment by the IAEA confirms Iran's nuclear program has a military objective".

A local book club could produce minutes of a meeting that said "Everyone enjoyed discussing Great Expectations, then retired to the Royal Oak for much deserved refreshments!" And next day half the cabinet would be on the radio saying: "This book club report confirms the Iranian navy is plotting to explode Jerusalem."

One trick they use is to insist that, even if Iran isn't building nuclear weapons, it's a threat anyway because it "aspires" to have them.

But if we went to war with everyone who aspired to have deadly weapons, most teenage boys would have to be invaded, David Haye and Dereck Chisora would be overthrown and replaced by the UN, and the whole world would be on fire.

At least Hillary Clinton offered a variation, telling us "Iran is moving towards a military dictatorship". The only slight flaw in her argument was she said this in Qatar, so she was lucky her hosts didn't add, "Yes, what's taking them so long? Instead of fussing about moving towards one, why don't they just become one like us? Sorry, Hillary, carry on."

So, to cut out these embarrassments, they might be better off invading Saudi Arabia. Instead of the rigmarole of trying to prove a dictator has weapons of mass destruction, they can say: "We know they've got 84 warplanes worth $30 billion, because we sold the things to them six weeks ago."

[First appeared in The Independent.]


From GLW issue 912


#5 Len Colby

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:02 AM

M

ark Steel: Iraq was so much fun, let's do it to Iran
Sunday, February 26, 2012 By Mark Steel


[...]


For example, the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded: "There is certainly no indication that Iran has nuclear weapons capacity or could have it soon." So the New York Times reported this as "a recent assessment by the IAEA confirms Iran's nuclear program has a military objective".

[...]



Steel seems to have invented the quotes, I can't find them elsewhere on the Net. The former is a variant of another journalist's statement. Last December Chris Toensing wrote, "The [IAEA] report contains evidence that Iran looked at military applications of nuclear research up to 2003, but no proof of similar efforts since then, and certainly no indication that Iran has nuclear weapons capacity or could have it soon."

http://www.merip.org...peds/oped121211

I'm on the fence over this most experts say Iran stopped working on atomic weapons but others disagree. I wonder why a country with so much petroleum and natural gas and so many pressing social needs would be investing so much in nuclear power at the same time most countries in the world are phasing it out. People on either side making up facts doesn't help.

#6 David G. Healy

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 05:57 AM


M

ark Steel: Iraq was so much fun, let's do it to Iran
Sunday, February 26, 2012 By Mark Steel


[...]


For example, the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded: "There is certainly no indication that Iran has nuclear weapons capacity or could have it soon." So the New York Times reported this as "a recent assessment by the IAEA confirms Iran's nuclear program has a military objective".

[...]



Steel seems to have invented the quotes, I can't find them elsewhere on the Net. The former is a variant of another journalist's statement. Last December Chris Toensing wrote, "The [IAEA] report contains evidence that Iran looked at military applications of nuclear research up to 2003, but no proof of similar efforts since then, and certainly no indication that Iran has nuclear weapons capacity or could have it soon."

http://www.merip.org...peds/oped121211

I'm on the fence over this most experts say Iran stopped working on atomic weapons but others disagree. I wonder why a country with so much petroleum and natural gas and so many pressing social needs would be investing so much in nuclear power at the same time most countries in the world are phasing it out. People on either side making up facts doesn't help.


agreed.... perhaps having a megalomaniac in cahoots with the current imam has something to do with the current impasse... I believe Iran has the 3rd largest oil reserve, for whatever that is worth...

#7 John Dolva

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 03:50 PM



M

ark Steel: Iraq was so much fun, let's do it to Iran
Sunday, February 26, 2012 By Mark Steel


[...]


For example, the International Atomic Energy Agency has concluded: "There is certainly no indication that Iran has nuclear weapons capacity or could have it soon." So the New York Times reported this as "a recent assessment by the IAEA confirms Iran's nuclear program has a military objective".

[...]



Steel seems to have invented the quotes, I can't find them elsewhere on the Net. The former is a variant of another journalist's statement. Last December Chris Toensing wrote, "The [IAEA] report contains evidence that Iran looked at military applications of nuclear research up to 2003, but no proof of similar efforts since then, and certainly no indication that Iran has nuclear weapons capacity or could have it soon."

http://www.merip.org...peds/oped121211

I'm on the fence over this most experts say Iran stopped working on atomic weapons but others disagree. I wonder why a country with so much petroleum and natural gas and so many pressing social needs would be investing so much in nuclear power at the same time most countries in the world are phasing it out. People on either side making up facts doesn't help.


agreed.... perhaps having a megalomaniac in cahoots with the current imam has something to do with the current impasse... I believe Iran has the 3rd largest oil reserve, for whatever that is worth...


I'm impressed by the comments. (apart from some repititions of created perceptions).

The bits that really open doors to serious matters are 'what are nuclear power stations for?', 'what are potent deterrents in a world in serious crisis particularly when that is about sovereign control of important resources when the world is madly scrambling for more new sources. I think the latest one concernsa BP in Somalia and Somalias proven reserves and therein perceiving strategies as nations basically line up for midnight. (that reminds me , I must start a topic on Cynisism)

Anyway, I reckon diplomacy and the reverse of the shock and awe strategy referred to by John Pilger (the war you don't see (see post above.)), a movie well worth viewing in its entirety.

#8 Len Colby

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:35 AM

John

I have no idea what you were trying to say.


Do you think nuclear power would be a good option for Australia, which has a lot of uranium and is more technologically and economically developed than Iran?

#9 John Dolva

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:03 PM

John

I have no idea what you were trying to say.


Do you think nuclear power would be a good option for Australia, which has a lot of uranium and is more technologically and economically developed than Iran?


Yeah, I'm used to that Len.I really cannot understand why. Could you break it down and ask me to explain whatever bits you don't get one at a time, please?

Would - if. I don't see any ifs.

So what?

Which particular technologies and economic developments are you talking about?

#10 Len Colby

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 03:58 PM


John

I have no idea what you were trying to say.


Do you think nuclear power would be a good option for Australia, which has a lot of uranium and is more technologically and economically developed than Iran?


Yeah, I'm used to that Len.I really cannot understand why. Could you break it down and ask me to explain whatever bits you don't get one at a time, please?


I didn’t understand anything in your previous post.

Would - if. I don't see any ifs.


Not really sure what you meant by this either.

So what?


I assume this was in response to my question, “Do you think nuclear power would be a good option for Australia, which has a lot of uranium and is more technologically and economically developed than Iran?” The relevance of which I spelled out in post #5, “I wonder why a country with so much petroleum and natural gas and so many pressing social needs would be investing so much in nuclear power at the same time most countries in the world are phasing it out.”

Which particular technologies and economic developments are you talking about?



In every index I’ve seen Australia is near the top of the list in both human development (HDI) and per capita income. Iran despite its huge store of fossil fuels and other natural resources is in the middle of them. For example as of 2011 the UN ranked your country 2nd out of 187 countries in the world in HDI slightly behind Norway, Iran was 88th behind most South American countries and slightly ahead of Tunisia with about ¼% is proven reserves of petroleum. Australia is ranked 13th – 15th in nominal per capita GDP, Iran 25th – 29th. In per capita GDP considering purchasing power parity Australia rises to 11th – 13th and Iran to 73rd – 81st.

http://en.wikipedia....velopment_Index
http://en.wikipedia....by_GDP_(nominal)
http://en.wikipedia....ies_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

#11 John Dolva

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:15 PM


John

I have no idea what you were trying to say.


Do you think nuclear power would be a good option for Australia, which has a lot of uranium and is more technologically and economically developed than Iran?


Yeah, I'm used to that Len.I really cannot understand why. Could you break it down and ask me to explain whatever bits you don't get one at a time, please?


I didn't understand anything in your previous post. - ok, I'll try to make it simpler.

Would - if. I don't see any ifs.


Not really sure what you meant by this either. - your whole question is problematic. I think it is interesting that you don't get that. I'm often actually impressed by a number of your posts. Why do you approach these things like this?

So what?


I assume this was in response to my question, "Do you think nuclear power would be a good option for Australia, which has a lot of uranium and is more technologically and economically developed than Iran?" The relevance of which I spelled out in post #5, "I wonder why a country with so much petroleum and natural gas and so many pressing social needs would be investing so much in nuclear power at the same time most countries in the world are phasing it out."

No, the color coding indicates that which I refer to.

The first bit of the question is interesting. Why indeed? However what follows ..at the same time...etc, I think is arguably silly.

Which particular technologies and economic developments are you talking about?



In every index I've seen Australia is near the top of the list in both human development (HDI) and per capita income. Iran despite its huge store of fossil fuels and other natural resources is in the middle of them. For example as of 2011 the UN ranked your country 2nd out of 187 countries in the world in HDI slightly behind Norway, Iran was 88th behind most South American countries and slightly ahead of Tunisia with about ¼% is proven reserves of petroleum. Australia is ranked 13th – 15th in nominal per capita GDP, Iran 25th – 29th. In per capita GDP considering purchasing power parity Australia rises to 11th – 13th and Iran to 73rd – 81st.

http://en.wikipedia....velopment_Index
http://en.wikipedia....y_GDP_(nominal)
http://en.wikipedia....PPP)_per_capita

There are lots of indexes.
There are a lot of fields to excel in.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to a countrys development.
There are many that hamper.


#12 Len Colby

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 06:44 PM

your whole question is problematic.



How was my ‘whole question problematic’? If nuclear is not a good option for Australia, why would be one for Iran? Iran has tremendous oil and natural gas reserves as well as sizeable solar and wind potential. It has yet to meet many of its populations social needs would pursue the economically and politically costly option of going nuclear. But especially problematic is their insistence on enriching uranium to 20% when most power stations, including Iran’s operate on much lower concentrations 2 – 5%. 20% has some medical applications and other research applications but is also an important technological step towards weapon grade which is 80% or higher. The Iranians want to produce relatively large amount of 20% and don’t always co-operate with inspectors. This is why the UN Security Council [including Russia, China and occasionally Muslim countries] has repeatedly voted to impose sanctions.

http://en.wikipedia....ns_against_Iran

I'm often actually impressed by a number of your posts. Why do you approach these things like this?



Can you be more specific?

No, the color coding indicates that which I refer to.



Nuclear power would be more economically viable in a country with uranium than one without it, yet uranium rich Australia has opted not to pursue it.

The first bit of the question is interesting. Why indeed? However what follows ..at the same time...etc, I think is arguably silly.


‘Silly’ how so?

There are lots of indexes.
There are a lot of fields to excel in.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to a countrys development.
There are many that hamper.


The point was nuclear energy would seem to be a better fit for Australia but your countrymen (and women) decided not to use it. Iran is spending a lot of money on this, money that presumably could be better spent on education, health care and infrastructure. Despite its abundance of fossil fuels Iran ranks very poorly in health, education, poverty and development stats.
http://en.wikipedia....ankings_of_Iran

So one wonders what the government’s real motives are, one must wonder if it has anything with comment from the country’s leaders that Israel is a "cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut" and their festooning missiles with the phrase “The Jerusalem occupying regime must be wiped away/wiped off the map/erased from the page of time” or whichever translation you wish to accept.

#13 John Dolva

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Posted 02 March 2012 - 05:56 PM

God, you make it difficult, Len. It's such a mish mash of opinions that you want me to decipher, and remember it must be in context, there's precious little there that are simple questions and comprehensive facts. You are arguing for a position without stating it or asking me what my opinion on things are that are not questions with a slant that puts the very question on shaky ground and unanswerable. No, I'm not going to elaborate.
Australia is historically a primary producer.
I don't like nuclear energy.
I think all should be scrapped, except,. imo, arguably, for positive medical and research purposes and then not until the world properly addresses the disposal of nuclear waste which is basically what nuclear power stations are for (to answer my own question).

#14 John Dolva

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Posted 12 March 2012 - 04:26 AM

I think the following two articles from Granma helps to get a number of things in perspective.

I N T E R N A T I O N A L

Havana. March 8, 2012


Russia faces Western voracity

Aliana Nieves Quesada

THE United States is having a little harder time in its umpteenth attempt to eliminate another government. Once again, Washington has made use of its political arsenal – in order to later deploy its military – in Syria, under the usual pretext of defending civil rights. However the process of convincing the international community of the need for another war on the planet has come up against an adversary which until recently had not assumed this role, at least not as forcefully.

This time, Russia has said no, that this is different, and has vetoed, along with China, two resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. The first was introduced by the European countries in October 2011 and the second, just weeks ago, by Morocco. It was precisely this body which approved NATO's armed intervention in Libya and it was the Arab League and other countries in the region which smoothed the way for Washington and the European Union, preparing the terrain.

On that occasion, Russia abstained and NATO was able to attack with the blessing of the United Nations. In the case of Syria however, the approach has been different. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, has emphasized that the world has learned its lesson and that a country's internal problems should be resolved through dialogue, free of threats from abroad. Russia has worked diligently, insisting upon this objective.

Russia's veto and the mediating role it has taken on between Damascus and groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, have shown that alternatives to military intervention exist. Historic links unite the two countries and Syria has been an important Russian associate since the days of the Soviet Union. Russia's only naval base in the Mediterranean is located in the port city of Tartus and Syria is the fifth greatest importer of Russian arms. Thus the country, along with Iran, has become a critical ally in the Middle East.

Russia's actions contribute to some balance in the international arena, at a time when only allies of the West have benefited from the right to veto which the five permanent members of the Security Council possess. Thus, while there have been several media reports indicating that British and Qatari troops are delivering munitions and tactical support to opposition forces in the city of Homs, a communiqué from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the country intends to continue working with various opposition groups which have refused to participate in a national dialogue thus far, based on a variety of pretexts.

"We believe that countries with much greater influence than the Russian Federation should also be working with these groups," the communiqué emphasized. "We are guided by a simple and clear purpose: It is unacceptable that the massacre of innocent people should continue, regardless of whoever is perpetuating it. The region needs peace, Syria needs peace. Foreign forces must promote dialogue, accords, reconciliation and avoid all interference and provocation."

An expert on the Middle East, Ali Rizk, explained on the Russia Today television program that the intervention is a sign of the opposition forces' desperation. "The West is not interested in reaching a negotiated solution. This is about overthrowing a government which challenges its supremacy in the region."

The U.S. government is taking advantage of the conflict to deflect attention from the crisis within its own borders and Obama is additionally hoping to garner the support generally afforded leaders involved in military conflicts, right before the country's presidential elections.

In this case, Obama can exploit the situation in two ways. His strong anti-Russian stance could win votes among those who miss the heated confrontations between Nikita Khrushchev and John F. Kennedy during the Cold War. Additionally, he could attract patriotic voters with the promise of continuing to extend 'democracy' across the Middle East, drawing closer to the forbidden fruit desired by all those who have occupied the White House: Iran.

PRINT THIS ARTICLE

Syria: heralding a change in the international strategic situation?

Ernesto Gómez Abascal*

EVIDENTLY the Cold War ended in the final decade of the 20th century with the disappearance of the Soviet Union and the European socialist countries, but the U.S. plan of domination enshrined in the Project for the New American Century, drawn up by a group of neoconservative and Zionist strategists, remains in the minds of Washington politicians.

However, Democrat and Republican priorities on the imperial agenda remain. These are: control of the Near East given its energy resources and strategic position, the elimination of governments who stand up to or interfere with its interests, and to exclude the emergence of new rival powers.

While it is a fact that things have not been going well for the U.S. government in Afghanistan and Iraq, this has not resulted in a change of plans, but merely adjustments to the new conditions. Imperialism has many years of experience in methods of regime change, as we in Latin America know very well.

In Libya, included for years on the list of seven countries whose governments had to be changed [1], the United States was initially successful, having taken advantage of some inconsistencies on the part of Muammar Gaddafi, and certain lack of popularity for the leader. Then came an intensive media campaign, Arab League cover and backing, which facilitated a UN Security Council resolution, and subsequently, a large part of the country's infrastructure was bombed by NATO aircraft, thousands of Libyans were killed, and a government subordinated to its interests was installed in Tripoli. Libya's large oil reserves are now more accessible to U.S. and European corporations, although the chaos created in the country has created an uncertain future.

While this was taking place in Libya, the CIA and its allies in the NATO special services were working on the next country listed, Syria. It has been acknowledged that hundreds of Syrians were trained and armed in Turkey and other countries ill disposed toward the Damascus government, especially those of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and in areas of the Lebanon under the control the March 14 alliance (directed by the Hariri clan, pro-Saudi and linked to the French government). These Syrians are predominantly Sunnis and members of the illegal and extremist Muslim Brotherhood, but include mercenaries from other Arab countries, and commandos trained for special operations. These have received a large supply of modern armaments, sophisticated communications equipment and information via NATO satellite networks.

The predominantly Alawite [2] Damascus government, a strong ally of Iran and a supporter of the Lebanese patriotic forces headed by Hezbollah, which controls power in Beirut, had genuine problems – as do all countries in the region and a large part of the world, including the most developed countries. These include repression, lack of democracy, and corruption, and this has provoked malaise within the population, leading to demonstrations initially encouraged by those in other countries of the region, and which were repressed particularly where they originated, in the southern city of Daraa, right on the border with Jordan.

The media war machine immediately was immediately activated against Syria, as was the case with Libya. In Cuba, Venezuela and other Latin America countries we have become experts on how this operates, having suffered it for many years, and we also know how to combat it, despite disadvantageous material conditions given the enormous propaganda resources possessed by the enemy. Even with the abovementioned defects, the Syrian government was practicing a non-sectarian policy in the religious context and one of relative social justice, anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist. It has been an ally of progressive causes in the South and an obstacle to U.S. and Israeli plans in the region. Allegations intended to discredit it, to the effect that its policy of peace serves Israeli interests, have no serious foundation.

Installing a pro-Western government in Damascus would propitiate a change of government in Lebanon and possibly another war there to eliminate the power of Hezbollah, an ally of Iran together with Syria, and viewed as enemies by the Sunni Gulf monarchies, who submit to Western policy in return for protection from an alleged Iranian threat, even though no war has been initiated by that country for centuries.

If the plan concerning Syria is consummated, the Western powers would move against Tehran and, along the way, crush the resistance of Palestine, obliging it to accept crumbs of territory and the minimum rights which Israeli Zionists would be disposed to concede to the people. The U.S. "Grand Middle East" would be completed with its extension to Central Asia, and the siege of Russia and China would be laid.

However, Syria is not Libya. Although its leaders have made undeniable errors and have acted slowly in response to the conspiracy and plans of its powerful enemies, thus losing a lot of time and ground, it would seem to have sufficient internal support and resources to stand up to its enemies and defeat them, albeit at a heavy price in terms of death and destruction.

Apparently, a clear perception of this reality prompted Russian and Chinese representatives to use their veto in the February 4 Security Council vote on a resolution which – regardless of its text – as was the case with Libya – would open the gates to foreign intervention in order to destroy the country and impose a regime change. The highest authorities in both countries have clearly declared a red line and they are not prepared to allow a military intervention in Syria.

The firm stand of Moscow and Beijing and the cooperation they are giving the Syrian government, appears to be starting to change the situation on the ground. The Lebanese army has been mobilized to the border in an attempt to prevent the entry of mercenaries and military supplies into the neighboring area of Homs, center of the anti-government uprising and whose capital city was intended to become the Benghazi of Syria. Syrian government forces have recently moved onto the offensive there.

The Baghdad government, now closer to Iran's influence than to that of the United States, is also trying to prevent Sunni Islamic extremists – possibly linked to Al Qaeda and receiving funds from Saudi Arabia and Qatar – from continuing to infiltrate into Syrian territory. Recent terrorist attacks on the Shiite population in various parts of Iraq would seem to be a message of protest from Saudi Arabia and the United States given the change in position in favor of Syria adopted by the Iraqi government.

Turkey and Jordan, two other countries to have adopted belligerent positions against the Damascus government, are beginning to make more moderate statements. There are even signs of concern in Western capitals at the possibility of extremist Islamic forces linked to Al Qaeda coming to power in Syria in the case of the current executive being defeated.

The situation is highly fluid and extremely complex, but if Syria succeeds in resisting this imperialist, and Zionist counterrevolutionary aggression, and if Russia and China remain firm, there could be a defeat of strategic magnitude. Iran would emerge strengthened and new alliances could be established to oppose imperialist plans of domination. The countries of the BRICS group, the newly independent countries of Latin America, especially the strong core members of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), are in agreement with the principals of a foreign policy opposed to aggression, and would favor the negotiated solution to conflicts. They also defend justice, sovereignty and non-intervention, all of which could initiate the beginnings of a new multipolar balance in the world.

The grave economic crisis affecting the major capitalist powers and the debilitation this implies, in conjunction with the indignados movement, could significantly contribute to this potential panorama. (Taken from Rebelión)

* Ernesto Abascal was the Cuban ambassador to Iraq.

PRINT THIS ARTICLE

edit edit this is pretty much where, for some time, I've been thinking the key to the present situation the world finds itself in. It's a feature of many of my posts. I make no apology for being a Socialist.


Edited by John Dolva, 12 March 2012 - 04:16 PM.


#15 John Dolva

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 03:29 PM

R e f l e c t i o n s o f F i d e l C a s t r o

Havana. March 22, 2012

Reflections of Fidel
The roads leading to disaster
(Taken from CubaDebate)

THIS Reflection could be written today, tomorrow or any other day without any risk of being mistaken. Our species is confronting new problems. When I stated 20 years ago at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, that a species was in danger of extinction, I had fewer reasons than today to warn of a danger, one which could perhaps be perceived as 100 years distant. At that time, a few leaders of the most powerful countries were managing the world. They applauded my words out of mere courtesy and placidly continued digging our species’ grave.

It appeared that commonsense and order reigned on our planet. For some time, economic development supported by technology and science seemed to be the Alpha and Omega of human society.

Today, everything is much clearer. Profound truths have gradually come to light. Close to 200 states, supposedly independent, constitute, in theory, the political organization responsible for governing the destiny of the world.

Approximately 25,000 nuclear weapons in the hands of allied or antagonistic forces prepared to defend the changing order - out if self-interest or necessity - are virtually reducing to zero the rights of billions of people.

I will not disingenuously assign responsibility to Russia or China for the development of this type of weapons, in the wake of the monstrous slaughter of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ordered by Truman after the death of Roosevelt.

Neither will I fall into the error of denying the holocaust, which signified the death of millions of children and adults, men and women, principally Jews, Romanies, Russians or people of other nationalities who were the victims of Nazism. For that reason the infamous policy of those denying the Palestinian people their right to exist is repugnant.

Does anyone think that the United States will be capable of acting with the independence that could preserve it from the inevitable disaster awaiting it?

Within a few weeks, the $40 million which President Obama committed himself to raise for his election campaign will only serve to demonstrate that his country’s currency is very devalued, and that the United States, with its unprecedented and growing public debt, approaching 20 trillion dollars, is living off the money it issues and not off what it produces. The rest of the world is paying for what they are squandering.

Neither does anybody believe that the Democratic candidate will be better or worse than his Republican opponents: whether they are called Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. Light years separate the three from figures as outstanding as Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King. It is really extraordinary to observe a nation so powerful technologically and a government so bereft of both ideas and moral values.

Iran does not possess nuclear weapons. It is accused of producing enriched uranium, which serves as fuel for generating energy or as a component for medical use. Like it or not, its possession or production is not equivalent to the production of nuclear weapons. Dozens of countries use enriched uranium as an energy source, but it cannot be used in the manufacture of a nuclear weapon without a prior, complex purification process.

However Israel, which with the help and cooperation of the United States manufactured nuclear weapons without informing or making itself accountable to anyone, today has hundreds of these weapons, without acknowledging possession of them. In order to prevent research development in neighboring Arab countries, it attacked and destroyed the reactors of Syria and Iran. It has also declared its intention to attack and destroy Iran’s nuclear fuel production facilities.

International politics have been revolving around this crucial issue in this complex and dangerous region of the world, where a major portion of the fuel which moves the world economy is produced.

The selective elimination of Iran’s most eminent scientists on the part of Israel and its NATO allies has become a practice which foments hatred and sentiments of revenge.

The Israeli government has openly declared its intention to attack the enriched uranium production plant in Iran, and the government of the United States has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in manufacturing a bomb for that purpose.

On March 16, 2012, Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham published an article revealing that "A top U.S. Air Force general has described the biggest conventional warhead – the 30,000-pound bunkerbuster bomb – as ‘great’ for a military strike on Iran.

"Such glib comment about a massive killing device comes in the same week that U.S. President Barack Obama appeared to caution against ‘loose talk’ about war in the Persian Gulf.

"…’The massive ordnance penetrator [MOP] is a great weapon,’ said Lieutenant General Herbert Carlisle, the U.S. Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations, who added that the bomb would likely be used in any attack on Iran ordered by Washington.

"The MOP also referred to as The Mother of All Bombs is designed to drill through 200 feet of reinforced concrete before detonating its massive warhead. It is believed to be the biggest conventional, non-nuclear, weapon in the American arsenal.

"The Pentagon is planning on a process of extensive destruction of Iran’s infrastructure and mass civilian casualties through the combined use of tactical nukes and monster conventional mushroom cloud bombs, including the MOAB and the larger GBU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), which surpasses the MOAB in terms of explosive capacity.

The MOP is described as "a powerful new bomb aimed squarely at the underground nuclear facilities of Iran and North Korea. The gargantuan bomb—longer than 11 persons standing shoulder-to-shoulder or more than 20 feet base to nose—"

I beg readers to forgive me for this tortuous military jargon.

As can be noted, such calculations are based on the assumption that the Iranian combatants, which include millions of men and women known for their religious commitment and traditions of struggle, will surrender without firing a shot.

Recently, over a period of just three weeks, Iranians have seen how United States soldiers occupying Afghanistan have urinated on the bodies of murdered Afghans, burned copies of the Koran and killed more than 15 defenseless citizens.

Imagine United States forces dropping monstrous bombs, capable of penetrating 60 meters of cement, on industrial facilities. Never before has such an adventure been conceived.

Not another word is needed to comprehend the seriousness of such a policy. Following this path, our species will be led inexorably toward disaster. If we do not learn to comprehend, we will never learn to survive.

As far as I am concerned, I do not harbor the slightest doubt that the United States is about to commit, and lead the world toward, the greatest error in its history.

Posted Image

Fidel Castro Ruz
March 21, 2012
7:35 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

- Reflections of Fidel





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