On 11th June 2020, the United States reacted with outrage that the International Criminal Court (ICC) intends to investigate the United States and Israel for crimes against humanity. How dare they? Surely the exceptional nation and its closest ally have every right to conduct mass-murder and torture with impunity?
By 2012, U.S. Congress had threatened that it would use military force to rescue any US citizens that were somehow called to account by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and has signed agreements with more than 100 governments pledging them not to hand over US citizens to the ICC. U.S. Secretary of State, Texan, Mike Pompeo ; the epitome of the “exceptional nation” in all its bravado, bullying and sheer brutality , has also recently threatened the families of ICC justices with ‘consequences’ should any indictments proceed.
Impact of sanctions
Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Libya, Yemen, Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea, Palestine, and hundred other little hidden wars were American troops are engaged in “counter-terrorism” and ‘black sites’ of torture.
Only when it becomes the international norm that any war fought by an aggressor shall require full reparations to the victim state, will wars be finally deemed not to be financially advantageous. That day is coming; the United States should be aware that its leaders are likely to be prosecuted and condemned for the litany of war crimes they have committed since the most heinous of all- their merciless slaughter of Koreans in the Korean War, and that the reparations for their endless wars will be in the many trillions of dollars.
The United States and its allies will one day soon, no longer be able to inflict its savagery on the world.
George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers on May 25th 2020. Preliminary autopsy reports showed that George’s air supply was cut off at the neck by external ongoing pressure.
The videos of the event clearly shows police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George’s neck while George gasps that he can’t breathe. Derek seems to looking for approval from the 3 other police officers nearby.
President Trump is undoubtedly one of the most incompetent, ignorant and bigoted of U.S. presidents, and his actions both during the ongoing pandemic, and his response to the sometimes violent demonstrations that have occurred in response to George Floyd’s murder, have been extraordinarily counter-productive and dangerous. However it is clear that his actions are applauded by a large proportion of the United States’ population. Donald Trump is a symptom, not a cause, of America’s dysfunction.
America is a country where lying and cheating, cheap exploitation and unmitigated violence at all levels of society are projected as capitalism unfettered – an Ayn Rand society where anything goes, and to hell with anyone and anything else. Such a society (despite the country’s enormous wealth from its natural resources) is destined for disaster. Former President Obama was a master at saying all the right things, while continuing to lie, cheat, steal and murder on behalf of the “exceptional nation”.
It is a society and culture that has pursued the propaganda of selling “product” , no matter the cost to vulnerable workers or the environment, or the lies required to make that sale, with religious zealotry for over a hundred years. And as a consequence, where those who are not wealthy are not worthy. Adam Shatz ,in “America Explodes’ describes the phenomenon of systemic racism in America with great clarity.
The disjunct between those in power staying “all the right things” about prejudice poverty and violence, and the reality on the ground has in the past 20 years, grown to become an enormous sink-hole of hypocrisy. It is vital that all people recognise that actions and good conduct alone determine whether we are a force for good or evil in this world. Words are cheap.
And we have seen this commodification of “terror’ creep all across the globe in the last decade like a virus. Police officers around the world now dress in absurd black clothing or camouflage outfits armed with sub-machine guns. Such foolish role-playing dress-ups encourages police (often with minimal training in de-escalation and risk assessment) to behave like frightened ‘warriors’ in a war setting, where no such threat exist.
A supreme irony then that one of the bigger earlier demonstrations for “Black Lives Matter’ outside of the U.S. , was in Auckland, New Zealand.
However the lead global agency for systematic violence, brutality and torture must surely go to Israeli ‘security ‘ forces operating day and night against largely defenseless Palestinians for the past 70 years (with unequivocal and unquestioning support by the United States and its Western allies for this brutality) . And not because Palestinians are a threat to the huge Israeli military juggernaut, but because they have land that Israeli settlers covet.
What is needed therefore, is not simply righteous indignation and protestations at police brutality, but a systematic global assessment of where the fault lines that lead to to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable members of all of our societies, occur. Once those systemic and sociological drivers of violence and exploitation are identified – (and named-and they are both complex and many)- have been identified, then a complete overhaul of global societal values and systems is required.
Footnote:The current simplistic motions in the United States to “defund the Police” will create ever more divisions in an already fractured society and the potential for vigilante groups on the “right” and “left’ to determine ‘justice for others.
An impartial government policing system ( one federal system) with regulations that underscore that no police-person is immune from prosecution for violence; that recognizes but does not excuse, the roles that colonialism, slavery, discrimination, poverty and historical injustice have played in creating communities which tend to be more dangerous, and addresses those needs; that ensures that every police officer is extensively trained in de-escalation, conflict management, and only uses force as a very last resort (which can be prosecutable) and that the endemic U.S. culture of violence and gun use is recognised and addressed.
It may be useful to note that most of the statues and monuments about important people ( almost exclusively men) are of people who lives were dominated by the need for power, fame and/or money. These were damaged people often exposed to early trauma in their lives, and a determination to succeed at all and any cost.
To know where we have come from is to empower us. It is well to remember where other societies’ book burnings and erasure of history have led us in the past.
Lieutenant-General Soleimani; leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, was, as Soleimani himself expected, assassinated by United States drone or helicopter rockets on the morning of Friday 3rd January 2020, while leaving Baghdad Airport by car after a civilian flight in to Baghdad from Tehran to meet with the Iraqi prime minister.
Soleimani was revered by many Shiite Muslims around the world for his military successes in helping Shiite Hezbollah protect and defeat an Israeli invasion of Lebanon (part of Israel’s ‘grand’ strategy of building a mythic “Greater Israel”), but more importantly, for his work in both Iraq and Syria coordinating the largely successful battle against Al Qaeda in Syria (or HTS) and ISIS (otherwise known as Daesh).
The Wahhabist Muslim sect believes that all non Sunni Muslims are ‘heretics’ and should either be forcibly converted or killed . General Soleimani was therefore following the lineage of the great Shiite Imams of medieval times, in protecting all Shiites -this time from the scourge of Wahhabism.
In collaboration with the Russians, a revitalized Syrian Arab Army (Assad’s forces), a re-armed Iraqi Army, and Shi-ite militias under his command, Soleimani had at the time of his death largely succeeded in defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The jaws are rapidly closing in on the remnants of Al Qaeda, HTS, ISIS and other Saudi and Western backed jihadists in Idlib in Northern Syria and Iraq. There is real fear in Washington “intelligence” circles that mainstream media will finally be forced to expose the direct linkage between Washington and the head-chopping jihadists.
The recent death in Ankara of James Le Mesurier, leader of the White Helmets, supposedly humanitarian aid workers in Syria, but in reality well funded propaganda units for the jihadist groups and their backers, is likely to be directly linked to the imminent exposure of the White Helmets as fakes, and the revelation of Western governments’ manipulation and likely bribery of senior staff at the OPCW to create a ‘scientific finding” that the Assad government had gassed civilians. Western governments will consequently be finally forced to acknowledge their appalling collaboration and support of pyschopathic jihadist killers in the Middle East- all in the name of oil and support for the Israeli entity.
American intelligence agencies consequently panicked and reasoned that a decisive provocation against Iran, would ensure that Iran would ‘over-react”, and could thus be seen by the world as the crazed religious pariah state that the United States has always tried to portray Iran as being since the Islamic revolution.
It might be useful at this point to list just some of the legitimate grievances Iran has against the United States.
The shooting down of a civilian Iranian Airbus A300 by a US warship in the Persian Gulf , with 290 resultant deaths. There was no official apology from the United States although some compensation was paid out belatedly.
Ongoing promotion of Iran as a pariah state at the UN and with other Western governments, which resulted in severe sanctions and the deaths of many innocent Iranians because of Iran’s non existent nuclear weapons programme.
Unconditional support by the United States of the Wahhabist Saudi clan who have funded and managed Sunni jihadist groups, killing many Shi-ite across the world, but particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
United States unconditional support for the Israeli entity, in their desire to create a “Greater Israel” by the theft and extremely brutal occupation of land from (largely Sunni) Palestinians, Shi-ite Lebanese and Syrians.
Perhaps it might therefore be understandable why Iran’s leadership calls the United States, the “Great Satan”.
Iran is, unlike many of the United States’ allies in the Middle East, a democracy of sorts. However the rules for democracy are managed and controlled at a central level by its Shi-ite Islamist leaders, and democratic choice is very limited (not too dissimilar in fact to the U.S. presidential election process).
While there are undoubtedly many in Iran who long for what Western democracy appears to promise, most are also fiercely patriotic; proud of their many thousands of year’s history as Persians. Faced with ‘existential” external threats, as Iranians have been since the Islamist revolution in 1979, few Iranians would support an overthrow of their current government.
Soleimani’s death was mourned by hundreds of thousands of Shiites in Iraq and Iran. Memorials in Tehran had to be postponed because of the size of the crowds mourning him in other cities in Iran, but the most crucial memorial was held for him in the Iranian city of Qom . “Qom is considered holy by ShiʿaIslam, as it is the site of the shrine of Fatimah bint Musa, sister of Imam Ali ibn Musa Rida (Persian Imam Reza, 789–816 CE). The city is the largest center for Shiʿa scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage, with around twenty million pilgrims visiting the city every year..” -Wikipedia.
The red Shi-ite flag of the blood of the martyrs and revenge, was raised in Qom at his funeral procession. According to local reports it is the first time in the Qom mosque’s history – a holy site since the Middle Ages – that the red flag has been raised over the building.
It should be noted that the raising of the red-flag over Qom is not simply an Iranian government contrivance, but a religious appeal to all Shi-ite believers around the world to avenge Soleimani’s death -one who battled with the forces of evil to save Shi-ites.
Albawaba .com notes that ‘Last night Khamanei and Rouhani consoled Soleimani’s family.
‘Who is going to avenge my father’s blood?’ One of the commander’s daughters asked.
In response, Rouhani promised her that ‘everyone will take revenge’ and assured her as she wept, ‘we will, we will avenge his blood, you don’t worry.’
‘The Americans did not realize what a grave mistake they have made. They will suffer the consequences of such criminal measure not only today, but also throughout the years to come,’ Rouhani said.
‘This crime committed by the US will go down in history as one of their unforgettable crimes against the Iranian nation.’
Is it possible that United States intelligence officials were unaware of the paramount importance of Soleimani to the 112 million people in the Shiite world? Did they not understand that his killing would provoke a desire for revenge against the United States which would be unstoppable?
No matter whether President Trump carries out his threats to bomb 52 targets in Iran including “cultural sites”. (which would of course be a war crime, but nothing new to the United States, which has been guilty of horrendous war crimes and genocide in so many parts of the world since the U.S began: see our blog article; America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars) or whether the United States might lose its residual sanity and nuke Tehran, the revenge would continue .
The United State’s only option now is to seek forgiveness from the Iranians and negotiate a deal which allows their soldiers to leave safely from their many many bases circling Iran.
In just one example, the United State’s main military base in the Persian Gulf is located on the island of Bahrain. Bahrain is ruled by an autocratic and brutal Sunni ‘prince” over a population which is 62% Shi-ite. It would not require any intervention on the part of the Iranians for a rebellion to once again boil over to depose the Bahrain Al Khalifa royal family and for Shi-ites in Bahrain to destroy the U.S. base there and its occupants.
While Western media choose to portray any actions by Shi-ite groups around the world as being by “Iranian proxies”, Shi-ite groups, whether military of otherwise, will seek to avenge the death of Soleimani; they have now been called to do so.
It would be timely for someone in Washington who is sane, and with more than the level of intelligence currently displayed, to seek the mediation skills of someone with credibility to both sides, like Russian Federation Foreign Minister Lavrov- who may be able to help forestall what currently looks like the inevitable tragedy for the 60,000 plus United States soldiers stationed in the Middle East, as a result of General Soleimani’s killing.
The September 19th precision attacks on the oil processing facility at Abqaiq in Eastern Saudi Arabia have raised many questions for the Saudis and their allies in UAE, the United States and Israel. How did the attackers ( whether they be Houthi, Iranian or Saudi dissidents or a combination of any of those),manage to breach what should have a very well protected site from air borne attack.
The attacks should not have come as a surprise however. The Houthi “rebels’ in Yemen (against which the Saudis and their British, U.S. , Al Qaeda and UAE allies have been conducting a barbaric war of attrition for the past 4 years ) have both threatened and carried out increasingly ambitious attacks on Saudi infrastructure in the past year with drones and missiles to varying effect. (note the map below showing earlier Houthi drone attacks on the oil pipeline leading to Abqaiq.)
Recent news releases from the Houthi indicate major military successes against the Saudi mercenaries on the front line.; and the latest report of 500 Saudi mercenaries killed and 2000 captured in ongoing Houthi/Yemen Army raids into Saudi territory is outlined here.
So if by some absurd chance , what Western governments are saying is true; how did the Iranians fly drones and missiles at Abqaq from across the Persian Gulf directly in the face of large batteries of Saudi and American air defenses? The analysis by “Juliet Guy Oscar” clearly shows that Houthi manufactured Quds1 cruise missiles have both the capacity and range to have attacked Abqaiq and beyond.
For U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo to state that “the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war and to fight to the last American,(and) we’re here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution to this,” is of course pure nonsense and lies. America wants to make Iran once again a client state like the Saudis , Egypt or Jordan, which can bend to the expansionist whims of the Israelis.
While its very likely that the Houthis have been using and adapting Iranian missile and drone technology, the evidence suggests that the Yemen military, supported by the Houthis, have also been making their own or adapting military equipment salvaged from the Saudi/UAE conflict – with perhaps technological advice from Iran.
The Saudis, amusingly enough, cannot believe that Houthi “savages” could develop and deliver such weapons. ( the same kind of sad racist mistake that the Americans have continuously made against the Russians, Chinese, North Koreans and many other nations. (“If they have such weapons then they must have stolen the technology from us”.)
The Yemen ‘rebel’ commentary on the attacks is however interesting, noting that “various kinds of combat drones were used in the Second Deterrent Balance Operation, noting that they were launched from three different locations according to their flight endurance and designated targets. He underlined that the third generation of domestically-designed and -manufactured Qasef (Striker) combat drones, long-endurance Sammad-3 (Invincible-3) drones – which have an operational range of 1,500 kilometers to 1,700 kilometers and newly-developed drones equipped with jet engines.
Each of the new drones can carry four precision-guided bombs with fissionable heads every time, and can monitor and hit their targets from several angles.“Other aircraft were also used so the main combat drones could hide in their shadow without being detected, and signal jamming devices effectively disabled the enemy’s air missile defense systems.”
Like the Iranians, the Houthi and the Yemen military are fighting for their survival against much better equipped and financed opponents. Opponents whose ruthlessness and commitment to war crimes on a grand scale is known to all.
This will not end well for all sides…but the writing is on th wall for the Saudi clan if Pepe Escobar’s analysis is anything to go by
We have often heard that it is in America’s “interests” to start this or that war, to “defend democracy and human rights” or some other envisioning of the United States as that Shining City on the Hill of freedom and light. However when we come to examine what particular Interests are at stake for the United States in these aggressions, we somehow fail to note that those interest are solely business interests- – and not just any businesses- but big business- large powerful corporations with tentacles in many countries whose financial interests may either be jeopardized or opportunities lost if this or that country is not subjugated once again by the U.S. military for the profit margins of United States’ businesses.
Pity the poor country that dares to not bend its knee to U.S. corporate interest…it will be sanctioned, ridiculed, its minority groups funded and trained to create instability, (or worse), and if that doesn’t succeed in bringing that recalcitrant country to the ‘negotiating’ table- then a little genocidal war might help.
As U.S Major-General Smedley Butler has often been quoted:
Supporting big business in any way the U.S. military can ( regardless of international conventions, human rights, human lives, human decency or any other ‘soft’ issue) is and always has been, therefore the complete and total sum of United States international relations- it has no other purpose.
“Foolish” and soft issues like the global emergency ( maybe more like global ‘catastrophe’?) are therefore a complete irrelevance. American exceptionalism is seen in its true form- red in tooth and claw as Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote about nature. No morality, no ethics, pure barbarism and pure profit.
It is small wonder that those poor American soldiers coming back from America’s pointless and endless wars of total barbarism, struggle to come to terms with their “moral injury” to the propaganda they have been force-fed from an early age, of the United States being a civilizing and enlightened country in a world of barbarism.
Peculiar to those pink-skinned Americans who front for big business in the military and in Washington, is a deeply entrenched racism of those who are “other” and darker skinned:- whether they be Plains Indians, Filipinos, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqi’s, Libyans, Syrians- even the Slavic Russian and Serbian nations .. the list goes on and on and on….
It is time for the world to recognise the savagery and brutality of United States’ international relations. It is time to press for reparations for the environmental destruction, the war destruction, war crimes, loss of life, the torture and the murders that the United States has inflicted on the world in the fictitious name of “democracy and freedom” in the past 100 years. It is time to end this barbarism and stupidity.
The United States is indeed ‘exceptional’, but not quite in the way that their propagandists planned it. The American state is exceptional in it being a war machine; the government’s role is largely to fund and plan wars which will assist the American armament industry to sell more weapons at home abroad.
That racist old warmonger, Winston Churchill, has often been quoted as saying, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”…
Is it true now?- and was it ever true?
The capacity of taxpayer funded government institutions to manipulate public opinion has grown over the past 100 years as the theories of propaganda and the power to influence individuals’ beliefs with media, particularly electronic media, has grown exponentially.
Modern government bureaucracies have always constructed ‘stories’ for their publics about how the world is: who is our ‘enemy’ – what is ‘safe’ and what is ‘appropriate’ etc; and the major medium in the past has been via status quo newspapers ( the vast majority of modern newspaper and visual media publishers are active mouthpieces of state propaganda ( as in the U.K. with the BBC and The Guardian) perhaps because of the enormous costs of printing and distribution which requires substantial funding from status quo funders.
Solely online social media however; blogs and online newspapers require far less input and resources, and their legitimacy and media sources can be easily hidden. They are easily accessible at minimum cost to every member of society, and the public can be ‘fed’ the official line-subtly and invisibly through advertising and other online preference algorithms. The one small downside of the electronic medium world for governments however, is that ‘rogue’ alternative media outlets also have access to this cheap media distribution process (hence the desperate measures by ‘respectable’ news outlets and governments to promote the ‘fake news’ narrative and the need for major search engine algorithms to be tightly controlled by ‘respectable governments.
To foster and maintain the government narrative therefore requires more and more input to feed the official media line. As Craig Murray notes, in the U.K. there are very large amounts of tax payer money going into manipulating public opinion for the benefit of those currently in power. The 77th Brigade of the British Army, the Integrity Initiative, MI5 and MI6 and GCHQ all run major programmes of covert online propaganda. These information warriors operate on twitter, facebook, and in comments sections across the internet.
We can be sure that those U.K. manipulation agencies also exist everywhere across the world where there is sufficient taxpayer money, and sufficient need to maintain the status quo.
We could accurately call these individuals and agencies, the ‘Secret Thought Police’.
Perhaps, if those agencies had some access to a higher truth; a global need for a better life for all, saving the planet or simply creating a more equitable world, we might be able to possibly argue that those secret agencies are to our mutual benefit. But the reality is far from that. Those agencies are designed to entrench those in power with more power, and with more money, and to negate, satirize and destroy by whatever means available, alternative arguments, alternative strategies that might benefit and save ourselves and the planet. They are in consequence, administered by humans with limited understanding of their world, with vast prejudices and with limited ethics and morality.
With those huge resources of thought engineering at their disposal, ‘governments’ which across the world, have demonstrated their blindness and total incapacity to respond to the catastrophes of global heating and species loss facing us now, have instead steadfastly maintained their incestuous linkages with the very corporations and industries which have created the nightmare unfolding day by day in front of us.
When many Western governments, but especially the U.K. and U.S., have knowingly and actively collaborated with states, individuals and agencies over many years in many countries that create public fear through violence (the anatomy of terrorism), then we have a sick and debauched set of governments who have no moral right to govern. Certainly the current leaders of Britain and United States will, in the future, be key defendants in the dock for war crimes in Yemen and other countries.
The Colour revolutions of the past 10 years , (harnessing local discontents with resources from foreign governments and NGOs and businesses such as Soros) which have destabilized both authoritarian and socialist governments alike across the globe, have also, perhaps inadvertently , cast into question the authority of ‘democratic’ governments. Election results are more easily able to be questioned and invalidated in their eyes of their voting publics. Even those governments who have destabilised other foreign governments with such tools for many years; particularly the U.K. and the U.S. , now find themselves the victims of such anti-establishment processes.
We have the somewhat unique situation of the U.K.s Brexit poll being questioned by many in the U.K.; not because the voting was flawed, but simply because it was not the result that the powers that be , wanted. The U.K. may therefore hold further Brexit votes until they get the answer they want; a process which naturally underlines the key premises of the democratic system- that you vote for a party or issue at a certain moment in time to make longer term changes which you may or may not disagree with later.
The recent Hong Kong riots are an example of the complexity of the issues where governments are actively destabilised by internal groups. The fears that the proposed new extradition laws from semi-autonomous Hong Kong to mainland authoritarian China will create opportunities for Hong Kong dissidents to be controlled or imprisoned in China are likely correct. As a former British colony , ceded by the Qing dynasty of China to the British after the First Opium War, a brutal and ethically bankrupt war raged by the British to ensure a good supply of Chinese opium addicts, British Hong Kong was governed by a British Governor appointed by the British “Crown” and who had significant powers of authority up to 1997 . The current dissidents therefore hancor for a non existent time when there was in fact a democratic Hong Kong not controlled by ‘foreigners”. It is very likely that , in the current anti-Chinese climate being rapidly developed by U/S. intelligence agencies, that their British underlings are supporting the dissidents in Hong Kong to put further pressure on Communist China, along with the National Endowment for “Democracy”, an NGO front for the U.S. government destabilization agenda.
We are in desperate need of change. Our ‘democratic’ system is deeply flawed, easily manipulated by the powerful, and does not benefit in the longer term or even, in many cases, the short term , its constituent publics.
With dear little Mike Pompeo immediately accusing Iran of attacking two Japanese-bound tankers in the Gulf of Oman with supposed “torpedoes” or limpet mines (note that limpet mines have limited effect above the waterline and would only punch a small hole in a large tanker, and that torpedoes have not been known to fly out of the water to hit targets above the waterline) – we reach new heights of lunacy within the United States foreign policy arena. The attack was precisely timed to ‘fit’ with Iran’s meeting with a Japanese foreign policy team attempting to defuse a confrontation between Iran and the U.S. -which cannot be defused. (Clear principle of mediation Mr Trump (oh wise and great mediator!) – where one party is attempting to threaten and bully another party into total submission- no agreement is possible until the bullying party desists. The other party will fight to defend itself unless physically defeated. Where the bullied is aware of the bully’s strengths and weaknesses , the bullied party can and will come up with alternative strategies that defeat the bully at their own game…they are after all, fighting for their survival and their lives, not for new profits in the weapons industry..
It is quite likely that one of John Bolton’s terrorist allies, like his good friends the brutal MEK , played a part in the tanker bombings after having not achieved the desired result a few weeks ago in a botched attack on other tankers in the Gulf that caused minimal damage . The fact that Pompeo, -ex CIA Director, ( it tells one a lot about ‘intelligence’ agencies when they have men with the extraordinarily limited intellectual capacities like Pompeo at their heads ) has immediately come out saying it was ‘Iran wot did it’, does somehow demonstrate the crudity and stupidity of American foreign policy, and its total reliance on violence and intimidation as its sole foreign policy tool.( with a little bit of bribery and corruption thrown in for good measure)
The United States has been forthright in saying that Iran does not behave like a ‘normal country’ . What they mean is that Iran does not accept the United States’ right to impose its will and ‘values ( such as they are) on other countries – Iran does not behave according to ‘accepted international norms’.
An article by Christopher Black in New Eastern Outlook article by notes that the (U.S.) ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy Report’, of June 1, 2019 includes the statement that, “We will not accept policies or actions that threaten or undermine the rules-based international order (my emphasis)– an order that benefits all nations. We are committed to defending and enhancing these shared values”.
Christopher Black notes that, ‘”What they mean by “rules based international order” is not the order of international law as accepted by the world governments in the United Nations Charter and other international agreements but a US imposed international order, – an order that does not yet exist except in the fantasies of these gangsters-but which they never stop trying to impose on the world, an order of militarism, fear, and tyranny for the rest of the world”.
The fact that the United Kingsom’s current government can immediately endorse the wild accusations of these crazed and foolish Americans about Iran being the cause of the tanker attacks , is not unsurprising. Britain since the First World War has promoted and supported the brutal Saud tribe in Arabia and its fanatical Wahhabist ( and anti-Shi-ite) teachings, and used to such great effect in Libya, Iraq Afghanistan and Syria in promoting sectarian division and violence to provide power and profit for both British and American business interests in the Middle East.
What is perhaps most disturbing in recent analyses of the rumours that the U.S. will bomb Iran’s non-existent nuclear bomb facilities -even by those opposed to the bombing-is that this is not going to end well for the United States. As with the previous multiple acts of murder against the Iranian people; (not least the attack by USS Vincennes on an Iranian civilian jumbo-jet which killed 290 people in 1988: -(just one of so many attacks the United States has never apologised for ; let only compensated the victims for)we see the complete absence of analyses of what terror, murder and destruction such attacks will inflict on Iran’s 80 million people -already under atack from years of United States’ vicious sanctions . As with almost every United States war; this is a rascist war- a war of agression against darker skinned peoples who clearly are no match for ‘exceptional’ (white) Americans like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo.
It’s time to acknowledge that the United States is simply a rogue state that needs to be controlled by others more mature and steady and with some modicum of intelligence. Hvaing pychopaths at the helm does not bode well for the survivability of the planet.
With the election of the comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine may possibly be entering a new era- or not….
With no known specific policy agenda items Zelenskiy is a blank canvas, but there are drivers that indicate where the new government may head, based on historical trends.
While promising to eliminate the endemic corruption that has been rampant in Ukraine since the Soviet Union was dismantled on December 25th 1991 ( as have many other recent politicians like Brazil’s new president Bolsonaro or President Trump’s ‘draining of the swamp’) Zelenskiy’s credentials are not promising. His main backer appears to be the Ukrainian /Israeli/Cypriot billionaire ( the second or third richest person in Ukraine) Ihor Kolomoyskiy, who fled Ukraine in 2016 (to Israel?) after being accused by Ukrainian officials of embezzling $5 billion from his now nationalized Privatbank. Once favoured by the post Maidan Ukrainian government and appointed governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Kolomoyskiy is also accused of using his wealth and paramilitary forces to threaten other businesses into submission. Wikipedia notes that: Kolomoyskyi has used Privat’s “quasi-military forces” to enforce hostile takeovers of companies, sending a team of “hired rowdies armed with baseball bats, iron bars, gas and rubber bullet pistols and chainsaws” to forcibly take over a Kremenchuk steel plant in 2006,and has used “a mix of phony court orders (often involving corrupt judges and/or registrars) and strong-arm tactics” to replace directors on the boards of companies he purchases stakes in.[27
You may be amused (or not) of this account of Kolomoyskiy’s behaviour in 2014 in attempting to reclaim his ‘rightful’ ownership of “Ukrtransnafta” a Ukrainian company which manages the transport of oil through the Ukrainian pipeline network.
Kolomoyskiy also owns the TV channel on which Zelenskiy’s comedy programmes were shown and has provided security, lawyers, and vehicles for the candidate. Zelenskiy however, denies, somewhat implausibly, any influence by Kolomoskiy on his political agenda as president.
The former President Poroschenko, the confectionery billionaire and apparent CIA asset, attempted to portray Zelenskiy ( and all the other presidential candidates) as Putin’s stooges; a ploy that has been used extensively by Ukrainian American intelligence assets in the Ukraine since the breakup of the Soviet Union. Zelenskiy, while speaking Russian, does not appear to have the inclination or motivation to break away from these current Ukrainian mindsets, although he has indicated a willingness to at least talk to the Russians about the breakaway primarily Russian speaking oblasts of Donetsk and Lugansk .
Despite a lack of evidence ( somewhat surprising in this age of satellite imagery) Ukraine and many Western governments have continued to insist that Russia is directly militarily involved in the breakaway regions. The Minsk Protocol of 2014, designed to halt the savage war between the breakaway Donbass paramilitaries and the Ukrainian government and paramilitary forces (many of the paramilitary having neo-nazi connections and using nazi-like terms to describe their ‘untermenschen’ Russian speaking opponents) , has failed to stop the fighting, with both sides accusing the other of breaking the agreement. Kolomoisky himself has been accused of ‘funding the Aidar, Azov, Donbas, Dnieper-1, and Dnieper-2 battalions that engaged in a brutal campaign of looting, torture and murder during Kiev’s Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) military action against eastern Ukraine, starting in April 2014 as well as being involved in the burning of Odessa’s Trade Union building with much loss of life . Russia issued a warrant in 2014 for Kolomoyskyi’s arrest for “organizing the killing of civilians”.
Despite monitoring by an independent OSCE force, violations of the ceasefire by both parties continue to occur on a day by day basis. We can be thankful at least that former president Poroschenko’s attempts to further stir up racial hated using the bigotry of the far right groups, have not won the day in Ukraine ( for now). For that, Zelenskiy and the Ukrainian Jewish communities too will be thankful; despite his billionaire sponsor’s apparent support for those groups; Patriots of Ukraine, Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) and White Hammer .
While inflation and unemployment have reduced somewhat since 2017, Ukraine continues to be mired deep in a financial crisis, with the EU and IMF stating that they do not consider Ukraine has done enough to reduce government corruption or government subsidies . Zelenskiy will be caught between the need to satisfy his billionaire supporters, satisfying the demands of the IMF and EU, while appeasing his voters and improving their lot, and somehow reducing the scale of the conflict in the East.
As the media onslaught and historical emnity to ‘foreigners’ and national ‘patriotism’ of western Ukrainians has surged since Soviet days , the window of opportunity for reconciliation between Eastern , largely Russian speaking Ukrainians and the Western EU oriented populations has begun to close. Fears of a Russian invasion have been fanned relentlessly by intelligence operatives from U.S. and U.K. and several other Western European states with Ukrainian media increasingly hyping the perceived threat to the benefit of the oligarchs and political forces. As Ukraine’s biggest trading partner, and with its many hundreds of years of ethnic , religious and language connections , Russia seems unable to counter that spin. For the medium term at least that may mean a Ukrainian nation both divorced from its historical Rus roots, and also unable to to achieve recognition as a European nation.
A nation which can achieve harmonious integration of both of these paths , despite outside interventions , would be the best of futures. Can Zelenskiy begin the perilous journey down that pathway; juggling the competing interests of Russians, Europeans and Americans whilst maintaining Ukrainian independence?- it is just possible….
The arrest of Julian Assange for absconding while on bail from a UK court; (a charge that normally requires a non custodial ( non-prison) sentence) and his proposed extradition to the United States for ‘conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer network in 2010″ alongside Chelsea Manning, raises important issues , not only for journalistic freedom, but also puts into question the right of those in power to have any moral capacity to make any decisions for the publics they supposedly represent . Assange’s real crime is that his website Wikileaks exposed, and continues to expose, the criminal behaviour of state actors.
The U.K. judge, Judge Michael Snow, presiding over Assange’s arrest, made the highly unprofessional and unscrupulously biased comment when describing Assange in his legal judgement as a “narcissist, who can’t get beyond his own selfish interests” and found him guilty of failing to surrender to bail in 2012. No doubt “Justice” Snow, considered it contemptable that an upstart colonial boy like Assange should challenge his imperial betters in such an unseemly way. The personal characterization of Julian Assange by Judge Michael Snow was “highly improper,” Mads Andenas, former UN special rapporteur on arbitrary detention noted. Should being a narcissist ever become a chargeable crime then certainly most judges and every politician would be spending long periods in incarceration. As Craig Murray notes: One key fact gave away Snow’s enormous prejudice. Julian Assange said nothing during the whole brief proceedings, other than to say “Not guilty” twice, and to ask a one sentence question about why the charges were changed midway through this sham “trial”. Yet Judge Michael Snow condemned Assange as “narcissistic”. There was nothing that happened in Snow’s brief court hearing that could conceivably have given rise to that opinion. It was plainly something he brought with him into the courtroom, and had read or heard in the mainstream media or picked up in his club. It was in short the very definition of prejudice, and “Judge” Michael Snow and his summary judgement is a total disgrace.
Its noted that the current prime minister of the U.K. Theresa May stated in related to Assange’s arrest that “This goes to show that in the United Kingdom, no one is above the law”. . One assumes that May will therefore proceed to the nearest Police Station to confess her direct complicity in genocide in Yemen, and that her predecessor Cameron will come forward to be charged with war crimes in Libya and Syria and that the ever determinedly evil Tony Blair will finally confess to his monumental war crimes in Iraq and elsewhere.
Similarly the media’s constant attempts prior to Assange’s arrest over the previous 6 years to characterize him as some objectionable human being; including his not emptying the kitty litter for his little cat (who was voluntarily extradited to safety in November 2018) , or his personal hygiene (one wonders how much those journalists might smell after being incarcerated in virtual solitary confinement for 7 years?) clearly demonstrates the depths to which Western mainstream journalism has sunk, and its cosy-ing up to “intelligence’ services determined to punish and get rid of Assange. ( as well as the extensive limitations of its case in attempting to justify locking Assange up). One can expect the (linked) type of response from newspapers like the Daily Mail, but Mainstream media’s attempts to character assassinate
Assange have continued after his arrest. Note the language in this screenshot from the ‘respectable’ news outlet Reuters from 12th April 2019 , stating that Assange was being indited for sexual offences (charges which as the U.N. has noted, were dropped almost two years ago). Wikipedia notes:‘On 19 May 2017, the Swedish chief prosecutor applied to the Stockholm District Court to rescind the arrest warrant for Julian Assange, effectively ceasing their investigation against Julian Assange. The case may be reinstated until the expiration of the statute of limitations. Additionally, Britain’s arrest warrant pertaining to bail violations remains open. In 2013, Sweden tried to drop Assange extradition but the English Crown Prosecution Service dissuaded them from doing so.‘
Or we can note another ‘respectable’ media U.K. outlet, with its ongoing wild accusations ( screenshot below) that Assange and Wikileaks were somehow
connected to Russia’s “military intelligence spy agency” who supposedly ( without a shred of evidence) had hacked the U.S. Democratic Party’s servers, exposing the very real corruption within the party to ‘select” Hilary Clinton as a presidential hopeful..
The numerous attempts by the UK Justice system to force Sweden to maintain its prosecution case for rape against Assange, despite their clear resistance, is one more line of evidence of conspiracy against justice by those currently in power in the United Kingdom. Ms. Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions tweeted that the expulsion of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London exposed him to “risks of serious human rights violations”.
However it should be noted that the U.K.; like its ‘partner’ the U.S. , takes no cognizance of its extensive human rights violations, as it is apparently above international law. In December 2018 the U.N. has noted that the U. K. should: ‘abide by its international obligations” and allow Mr. Assange safe passage out of the embassy.
“States that are based upon, and promote the rule of law, do not like to be confronted with their own violations of the law, that is understandable. But when they honestly admit these violations, they do honour the very spirit of the rule of law, earn enhanced respect for doing so, and set worldwide commendable examples,” said a statement released by the Working Group.
In December 2015, the Working Group concluded in its opinion No. 54/2015 that Mr. Assange – who at the time had a European arrest warrant issued against him for an allegation of crimes committed in Sweden ‑ was being arbitrarily deprived of his freedom and demanded that he be released.
“Under international law, pre-trial detention must be only imposed in limited instances. Detention during investigations must be even more limited, especially in the absence of any charge” said the experts. “The Swedish investigations have been closed for over 18 months now, and the only ground remaining for Mr. Assange’s continued deprivation of liberty is a bail violation in the UK, which is, objectively, a minor offense that cannot post facto justify the more than 6 years confinement that he has been subjected to since he sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador.”
“Mr. Assange should be able to exercise his right to freedom of movement in an unhindered manner, in accordance with the human rights conventions the UK has ratified,” the experts added.
Of course it should be remembered that those U.K. and U.S. people in positions of power are the very same people who ultimately will face extradition to The Hague and life-time imprisonment for their war crimes and facilitation of genocide in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and now Yemen, and whom Wikileaks has exposed as genocidal abnd corrupt psychopaths, time and time again.
It is now high time for the public in both the United States and the United Kingdom, to acknowledge that those who rule those two nations (and who view themselves as the ‘elite’ despite all the evidence to the contrary of their minimal vision and intelligence), are simply parasites who have no moral right to rule. That in fact they are the people who need to be in the dock now for their well documented war-crimes and murders of many millions of people world-wide in their corrupt drive for power and more money.
As Richard Falk notes, the attempt to extradite Assange to answer for his access to, and publication of, criminal wrongdoing by state actors, and thereby muzzle the release of further information on state criminal activity, is indisputably an international act of criminality in itself.
The United States has implemented wide-ranging sanctions against the Maduro administration since 2014 , claiming that it is a dictatorial regime. The sanctions , along with declining oil prices and to a lesser extent, structural failures by the socialist Bolivarian presidents, Chavez and Maduro administrations , has resulted in an economic disaster for Venezuela, with rampant inflation and high unemployment . The working classes and peasants who formerly supported the Maduro government because of its extensive redistribution of state owned oil wealth and its health and social policies, appear now to be increasingly angry with the Maduro administration for the economic failures they have recently endured. Mainstream media in the West and many Western politicians are now able to insist that it is solely the socialist agenda of the Chavez/Maduro administrations that has caused this economic crisis, while ignoring the very deliberate attempts by the United States to de-stabilise the country over an extended period of years via sanctions and supporting an attempted coup in 2002, and using its pressure with other Latin American states to isolate the Venezulean administration.
The United States and its Western and Latin American ‘allies’ have a desperate need to invalidate the socialist wealth distribution policies of Venezuela; both to ensure its corporate elites, the “comprador”, continue to receive their ‘rightful’ incomes, and bank accounts in Miami , but also to ensure that their home populations do not begin to understand that state ownership and wealth distribution is a very valid and effective method to ensure a sustainable and fair world. (where would we be -God forgive!!-if we had an equitable, efficient, sustainable and accountable economic process that ensured a country’s assets actually returned to all of its population?)
The appointment of Elliot Abrams by the Trump administration to coordinate ‘diplomatic’ efforts to replace Mafuro is a clear indication of the regime change efforts of the United States. The contemptible Abrams was heavily involved in the coordination of terrorist activities by the Reagan era contras in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and would clearly be a key contender for long-term incarceration if there was in fact a neutral international War Crimes Tribunal. As the Guardian article on the 2002 notes: the crucial figure around the coup was Abrams, who operates in the White House as senior director of the National Security Council for ‘democracy, human rights and international opera tions’. He was a leading theoretician of the school known as ‘Hemispherism’, which put a priority on combating Marxism in the Americas.
What Guaido and his American neocon advisors seem to fail to understand, is that his possible ascension to the Venezuelan presidency ( a re-run of the coup of the U.S. 2002 attempted coup ), while allowing the US regime to remove sanctions and its stranglehold over the Venezuelan economy, will inevitably lead to a nationalist backlash in Venezuela as it becomes clear that the majority of the country’s resources are being sold off to US corporates and the IMF, with possible negative implications for the recently installed intellectually impaired Bolsonaro extreme right wing administration in neighbouring Brasil-as it becomes clear who is pulling the strings in that country.
In addition, as the centre of global power inexorably moves from the United States to China , Latin American states aligned to increasingly erratic and violent U.S. corporate and state imperialist ambitions, will find themselves isolated.