Articles and Interviews by John Robles From Nov. 09, 2012 Feb. 08, 2013
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8 February, 22:27
Want to be a US diplomat? Got a million dollars? Call Obama
By John Robles
By John Robles
If it happened in Russia or any other country the U.S. Government and the western mass media would be screaming corruption, foul, nepotism, cronyism, bribes, and transparency! What I am talking about is the “selling” of top diplomatic posts by none other than the U.S. president. Although the U.S. does not “sell” such postings openly, “wink-wink,” two respected researches at the University of Pennsylvania have very carefully compiled a “price list” for diplomatic postings.
In their report titled: “What Price the Court of St. James’s? Political Influences on Ambassadorial Postings of the United States of America” the authors of the study, Johannes W. Fedderke and Dennis C. Jett, looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of career diplomats as opposed to political appointees to ambassadorial positions worldwide. Their conclusion is that the price for obtaining the juiciest postings, such as London U.K. or “The Court of St. James,” in terms of political “campaign” contributions is between a whopping $650,000 and a staggering $2.3 million.
Other than the facts that selling diplomatic positions is an obvious act of cronyism and bribery is supposed to be illegal, the main problem here is that for the over 30% of such diplomatic postings held by current and past political appointees chosen in this manner, no experience was, nor is, necessary. That’s right. You don’t have to have had one day of diplomatic training to be the head of a US mission abroad, as long as you are a “political” appointee chosen by the president: which might explain a lot about people who are in such posts worldwide, including here.
The American mass media has reported on the findings of the reports but are reporting it as if it just another normal occurrence and par-for-the-course rather than expressing outrage and calling for an investigation. According to most US mass media, this is pretty much normal and has been done by all “modern presidents before Obama”, this said the New York Times.
In the report the authors state that they did not have access to all US
Presidential Campaign contributions, but, and this is an important “but,”
they did have access to the campaign contributions of all political
appointees to diplomatic posts. It was on this data that they formed the
basis for their findings. The authors stated that they could not formulate
figures on over all correlations between contributions and postings,
something which is worthy of further research due to this lack of “all”
The authors suggest the US State Department carry out oversight on the qualifications and training of such appointees, however this is unlikely to take place. As we also know many of these overseas posts are not only filled by political appointees but by CIA undercover operatives and the like as well. Something that career Foreign Service employees must find insulting and demeaning as well.
According to the authors of the report the most sought after posts are in Western Europe and in the Caribbean and most of these are filled by presidential appointees. We could then assume that other postings, in countries of strategic or military interest, or “hot spots” if you will (such as Russia), are filled by CIA or other intelligence or military specialists, leaving those qualified, dedicated, trained and experienced foreign service personnel, who have worked most of their lives to obtain high level positions, to bake in places in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia or any other God-forsaken-hell-hole no one else would want to be posted in. Not to say certain places on Earth are hell holes, every place is wonderful in its own way, but there are places one might prefer over others.
The authors argue that “standard models of rational institutional design posit that appointments to public administrative office should be on the basis of merit related to the deliverables associated with the post,” something that I am sure the American taxpayer would want as well, especially in places such as Moscow, where people have been posted who have had “no” diplomatic experience or training whatsoever. However Russia is not a location the authors would consider attractive.
The report is very well laid out and the rationale behind the conclusion is very well thought out, researched and backed up with solid data and analysis. In conclusion the authors state that “… political appointees are more likely to obtain posts in high- income countries that are members of The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), that popular tourist destinations, are located in Western Europe, and that carry lower hardship allowances, than are career diplomats. We have also shown that the greater t he personal or bundled campaign contributions to a presidential campaign, the more lucrative the posting the contributor can expect in terms of per capita GDP, tourist volumes, hardship allowances, and the more likely the posting will be in Western Europe, and the less likely it will be in Central and South Asia or Sub- Saharan Africa. Finally, we have established an implicit price list for a range of ambassadorial postings. The price for the Court of St. James appears to lie between $650,000 and $2.3 million.”
If this were to be said of any other country in the world the international outrage would be profound, but in America, hypocrisy is par-for-the-course and every office, including that of the President is for sale, if the price is right.
The views and opinions expressed above are my own. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 February, 16:43
How Did They Allow CIA to Become Death Squad?
CodePink director and co-founder Medea Benjamin spoke with VoR about the recently exposed US Justice Department white paper rationalizing and making legal the execution of Americans. She talks about the illegality of drone assassinations, recounts her recent trip to Pakistan, where CodePink peace activists apologized to the Pakistani people, who she says were more than a little shocked to hear Americans saying "Your lives and your children are worth as much as ours." CodePink is one of the most active and most publicly heard peace groups which has been protesting the illegal use of drones and the assassination machine that the US Executive Branch and the CIA have become.
Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Medea Benjamin. She is the co-founder and director of the peace group Code Pink in the US.
I’m doing fine, thank you very much.
I don’t know any people like that in the world. I do know that of the thousands of people that have been killed by drones only 2% of them are seen to be high target people. So, it is very confusing to know what the Government means when they say “high target people” and who is to determine that. And especially, since the whole program is secret, I don’t think that we can rely on our Government to have the right intelligence to know who is a high target that deserves to be killed without any kind of possibility of being captured or having a chance to a trial.
That’s the view of this, that if we allow this kind of legal underpinning that is so open-ended and we allow Government officials to define it in secret, then we are opening a door to anybody being labeled that.
Well, certainly we know now that on “Terror Tuesdays” President Obama meets with his counterterrorism chief John Brennan and other members of the national security team and make these kinds of decisions, and they’ve been doing this for years already. And so, really, we are leaving this either to a president or to people that have not been elected by the American public.
And certainly, even the people in Congress who are supposed to have knowledge of this, people who are on the Intelligence Committee and supposed to be doing the oversight, certainly have not had access to this information. So, it is an unprecedented power grab by the Executive Branch.
It could even be lower than that, I mean it could be a Deputy Cabinet Minister. Who knows? It is not defined.
Remember that all of this is secret. So, even if the definitions were clear, even if we felt that they had narrowed it down more, it is all done in secret which means that we never know who is doing the deciding. And I think the underpinnings of the whole thing are so undemocratic.
The Government says that it has been doing this killing based on legal memos that the Department of Justice had put out before the killing of Americans in September 2011, under the Obama administration. But this document has still not been released.
So, the fact that it exists is meant to give them a legal cover, but the fact that this legal cover is hidden, even from the people in the Intelligence Committee, who are supposed to be doing the oversight leaves it in this Orwellian kind of catch-22 that we have to speculate. Even with this white paper, it isn’t the 40 page legal memo that exists that not only should the Intelligence Committee and other people in Congress have the right to see, but the American people should have the right to see it.
We took a group of 34 people to Pakistan to protest the drone strikes and tell the people of Pakistan that we were disgusted by our Government’s policies, that we apologize for the deaths of so many innocent people and for the lawlessness of our Government. And it was quite amazing because we went up to the tribal areas, we talked to victims of the drone strikes and their family members and it was the first time that they had any positive interaction with Americans: Americans who are saying that your lives are as valuable as ours, your children are as valuable as ours. And we were well received and on the major news every day because it was so unusual.
I think the big thing is that the American people didn’t know much about it until this last year. And really, just these last months there hasn’t been very much in the media. And the only thing the American people have been told is that this is a positive alternative to US troops on the ground that is expensive and that puts our soldiers’ lives in jeopardy. And so when they see it in those terms and they hear that it is so precise and it doesn’t kill innocent people, they have a false image of the drones.
So, I think it is important that we educate people as to the numbers of innocent people who are killed, the illegal nature of these drones, the ethical and moral issues that come into play when you are killing from an air-conditioned room in an air force base in the US, killing people thousands of miles away, that you have no understanding of who they are and how they behave.
And then finally to understand the dangerous precedent that is being set with so many other nations now getting a hold of drones and what kind of chaos and lawlessness we are setting up by our example.
I think Americans should be shocked when they hear that our Government now says that we don’t have the right to a judicial process. The due process is something so vague that it can mean that the President and his aides sit in a room in the White House on “Terror Tuesdays” and put your name on a “kill list”.
I’m excited that there is more awareness and that we have been building a protest movement at the bases where the drones have been operated. And we will be very vocal at the hearing tomorrow with John Brennan. We know there are questions that our senators won’t ask him, that we will ask, and we also have questions for our senators as well, as to how they let this get to this point and how they allowed the CIA that is supposed to be an intelligence-gathering organization to become a death squad.
6 February, 12:59
Heightened Tensions in the DPRK as War of Words Escalates: Pyongyang to Respond Aggressively
Surrounded by enemy forces, besieged by sanctions, demonized by the Western propaganda machine, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea says and that anyone who encroaches upon its dignity and sovereignty with any form of "sanctions" will not be able to avoid deadly retaliation. The media is rife with speculation as to what that retaliation may be but one thing is certain, unless pushed into a corner, the DPRK will never launch a first strike. That would be literal suicide.
In response to new sanctions and more threats from the West North Korea has said that they would be forced to take more serious measures than a simple nuclear test. Although there was no exact description what those measures would be, the West has ramped up the anti-Korean propaganda to new levels, forcing the North to issue numerous responses.
The Russian Federation has urged North Korea to show restraint despite the heightened level of confrontation evident in the latest escalation of tensions between North Korea and South Korea, the United States and their allies.
North Korea continues to be pushed into a corner with dozens of statements being released by various officials and committees of the People’s Republic of North Korea. The Secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) issued a on the second of February full of extremely strong language against the South and the United States.
The language of the CPRK’s statement titled, “DPRK Will Retaliate against Provokers: CPRK Secretariat” was unusually strong. In the statement they called Chon Yong U, chief of Diplomacy and Security in Chongwadae, Ryu U Ik, the Minister of Unification, confrontation maniacs of South Korea who along with others had said that "the north should choose one, either survival or nuclear weapons" and "stronger sanctions that the north can hardly hold off have to be imposed".
The almost open threat by the South to destroy the DPRK was a sign of the increasing assertiveness of the South, something that has been stoked by the US Forces in the region and the new sanctions that have been imposed on North Korea by the United Nations.
With regards to the statements made by Official Seoul the CPRK stated the following: “The U.S. and the south Korean regime do not hesitate to make such outbursts as calling for not ruling out even military ‘sanctions’. Warmongers are inciting war fever while touring units in the forefront areas.”
The CPRK called intensified confrontation a “racket on the part of the U.S., the Lee group and other hostile forces” and that, “… the UN "resolution on sanctions" against the DPRK is a product of the deliberate and planned intrigues to escalate the hostile steps against it to bar it from building an economic giant, and to isolate and stifle it. But they are seriously mistaken.”
In equally threatening language the CPRK echoed calls made by other official representatives for unspecified moves in response to what it sees as deliberate actions to destroy the DPRK and a hint at just how bad the new sanctions may be affecting the North Korean people: “The "sanctions" of the enemies further hardened the will and strength of all service personnel and people of the DPRK to defend their just cause and build the most powerful nation, a highly-civilized socialist nation under the banner of justice.”
“The DPRK is fully ready for both economic and military "sanctions", and anyone who encroaches upon its dignity and sovereignty even a bit with any form of "sanctions" will not be able to avoid deadly retaliation.”
Again what that retaliation is, is not clear.
Yonhap quoted the Minju Chosun, a newspaper published by the North's Cabinet and the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying: "If the United States and warmongers attack and try to weaken us, such expectations will be a huge miscalculation…” and “…if North Korea is attacked, its military and people will rise up and mercilessly repel the perpetrators and start a victorious war of national unification."
Meanwhile amid reports that a third North Korean nuclear test is soon to take place Sky News that a strange video appeared on You Tube, showing a North Korean dreaming of an attack on the United States of America. According to Sky News “The video was released via a website linked to the North Korean state news agency.”
The official DPRK news agency KCNA issued a statement which read: "The DPRK has drawn a final conclusion that it will have to take a measure stronger than a nuclear test to cope with the hostile forces' nuclear war moves that have become ever more undisguised."
The South has reported that the DPRK may stage a double nuclear test but has not provided details to support the claim and the South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations said a North Korean nuclear test "seems to be imminent."
North Korea which is struggling under intense sanctions and whose people are paying the price for, the “sanctions” imposed on the country, sees the development of its nuclear program as a right and a necessity. A right, the same as any country has, to develop cheap and efficient nuclear power, and a necessity, to protect its sovereignty and its territory from attack and invasion by the South and the United States, two countries who continually hound and provoke it.
North Korea knows that one of the few things stopping the West and the South from launching a full scale invasion is the fact that they are afraid that the DPRK may in fact have a nuclear weapon which it may use to defend itself. After the disarming or Iraq, Libya and other countries which were then invaded, the DPRK knows that it cannot afford to stop its nuclear program, it is the main deterrent they have.
The DPRK also knows and has been very careful in not making initial provocative statements but continues to respond aggressively to threats from the South, it is also aware that any first strike would be suicide as it has seen the US building up its forces all over the region.
In the latest scandal the West is following the same old script we have seen time and time again, namely: while provoking and carrying out aggressive in-your-face- policies, imposing sanctions and building up military forces near a country’s borders, this time the DPRK, the West claims the DPRK is the aggressor and must be dealt with.
North Korea is wise enough and mature enough to refrain from any act of aggression against the South and the West, but it must walk a fine line between showing it has might and can defend itself and making sure it does nothing that can provoke an open military confrontation, hence the aggressive statements in its own defense.
While South Korea enjoys a relatively prosperous existence and is comfortable that it has the United States to defend it, the North sees itself as more and more being pushed into the corner and the people as well as the sate are ready to fight to the end in what for them is a do or die situation. Sanctions are not softening the resolve of the DPRK, but the opposite is quite true. The DPRK is growing harder as South Korea is growing softer.
With the United States attempting to consolidate its power and bring the entire region under its sphere of military and economic influence, the DPRK is country that they believe has to go. As does any country that follows independent and robust foreign and internal polices and as with any communist country.
The DPRK has the right to defend itself and to defend its sovereignty, but it is complete nonsense to believe that they would launch any kind of a first strike.
6 February, 12:03
Nobel-Peace-Prize-Winning “Assassination Incorporated”: White Paper Justifies Even the Killings of US Citizens
A , justifying the killing US citizens is currently in the spotlight worldwide. However the paper does more, it gives “high-level officials” the right to order the killing of anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances and frees them of any responsibility as long as they have determined the person assassinated posed an imminent threat. Meaning the US can now kill anyone, if they think they “might” do something, and it will be in justifiable “self-defense”.
Normally self defense, especially when lethal force is applied, requires an imminent and real physical threat. If you throw a punch I have the right to punch you back or if you point a gun at me, I have the right to shoot you. The US has now decided if an official “thinks” you are “planning” to throw a punch, they can kill you, in self-defense, before you even make a fist.
It is therefore a stretch of logic to say that an imminent threat exists when there is no real or tangible physical evidence to back that threat up. According to the US Department of Justice, any person deemed to be a “senior leader” of al-Qaeda or an “associated organization” is constantly planning to attack America and is a target, but soon, if this is allowed to stand, anyone deemed to be in any way connected to al-Qaeda, or an associate, will be deemed an “imminent threat” and subject to extra-judicial execution.
So basically, on a personal level, if you follow their logic: if you merely “believe” someone is planning to commit an act of violence against you or is an imminent threat to your safety, you can kill them and it’s okay.
of the DOJ white paper attempts to convince the reader that the scope of the findings and the paper itself only applies to “senior operational leaders of al-Qaeda or an associated force”. It also lays out the three conditions which must be met to consider the assassination of an American legal, “in a foreign country, outside the area of active hostilities”.
The attempt to explain that the paper relates to only senior leaders is obviously a distraction from the fact that such a finding can and will be easily updated and expanded to include other categories once such conditions are adopted and legalized.
The use of the words “associated force” is troubling because possibilities for interpreting that term are many and so far reaching that it could, if one wanted to, include almost anyone. For example: a journalist sympathetic to al-Qaeda, a banker who inadvertently transferred al-Qaeda funds or even a doctor who treated a supposed al-Qaeda operative. The DOJ attempts to define that term as co-belligerents under the laws of war.
In practice it would be more likely that any US citizen associated with any group anywhere in the world that the US does not like and that the US brands as “al-Qaeda associated” will be targeted for assassination. The language and conditions are so broad that almost anyone could be deemed to meet the criteria.
The three criteria that must be met for the US to carry out what is no more than an extra-judicial execution of an American citizen are as follows: 1. An informed high-level official must make the determination, 2. Capture is infeasible but the US continues to monitor whether it becomes feasible 3. The operation is carried out under applicable law of war principles.
Again problems, first of all an “informed high-level official” could be anyone from the Attorney General to the president. This is also a problem because it grants single individuals the right to issue assassination orders as opposed to a court or another body. The term “capture is infeasible” can be, again, used so broadly that almost any circumstance could fall within that category and defining such is subjective. The last is telling and troubling, troubling because there has never been a formal declaration of war against al-Qaeda and telling because the authors know the “rules or laws of war” do not apply, so they use the word “principles”.
Lastly the term “… outside the area of active hostilities” makes it legal to target Americans anywhere in the world, including in the U.S.
states the President has the authority to defend the country and that there exists an armed conflict “with” al-Qaeda under international law. Therefore they argue the assassination of a US citizen who has joined al-Qaeda is “not unlawful”. The DOJ states that such an operation would be “consistent with international legal principles of sovereignty and neutrality” with the host nation’s consent or after “a determination that the host nation is unable or unwilling to suppress the threat…”
Again the DOJ does not use the word “war” to describe its al-Qaeda-based “War on Terror” and they give the President complete authority to kill whoever he deems is a threat. The DOJ says assassinating a US citizen is “not unlawful” again avoiding the word “legal” because in reality such an act of extra judicial execution is illegal.
The DOJ stating “consistent with international legal principles” again is disingenuous and eschews the use of the term “international law”. Stating that with the consent or without if the host nation does not want to allow it, basically allows the US to now “legally” violate the sovereignty of any country (something they are already doing) in order to assassinate anyone they view as a threat.
states that citizenship and due process are not factors when they are “balanced against the United States’ interest in forestalling the threat of violence and death to other Amerticans… That arises from an individual… who is plotting against the United States.
Basically if the government says you are a threat, even if you are a citizen, they can kill you and there is nothing you can do about it. The next paragraph continues along the same vein stating that the killing of US citizens who are “senior operational leaders” is neither illegal under laws barring the killing of US citizens abroad nor a war crime.
starts out by repeating “… the US is in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda and its associated forces” again the words “at war” are not used and as throughout the document the term: “The US is in an armed conflict “WITH” al-Qaeda and its associated forces” is repeated. In a cursory reading the use of the word “with” instead of, for example: “against”, might not seem important, but when one dwells on the fact that the US has been “secretly” working “with” and funding al-Qaeda in places such as Libya and Syria, as they did in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union when the USSR was asked to assist the government of Afghanistan, the term is indeed important. 9-11 is of course mentioned.
attempts to classify someone who is connected to al-Qaeda as a “part of enemy forces” and thus is subject to death.
is interesting because it seems to contradict paragraph 2 and say the US is a “non-international conflict with al-Qaeda”. Paragraph two said: “the conflict exists under international law”. But as we see it is not an international conflict. The reason for this is because the US is supposedly at war with a “transnational non-state actor”, the whole basis for the “Global War on Terror”, which means the US can attack and strike in any country where there exists the threat of al-Qaeda.
justify the US launching attacks in any country being used as a base by al-Qaeda, which by the way, means “The Base”.
give justification why assassination targets do not have the right to due process and state that if the government determines a threat and the three criteria that are stated in the beginning are met, then killing Americans is okay.
repeats the events 9-11 in detail and further seeks to justify the endless and worldwide nature of the “War on Terror” and pre-emptive assassinations by stating that terrorists plan and move and it is impossible to predict when an attack will occur. So according to the US Department of Justice, it is okay to kill them before they commit their “crime” as it is to kill Americans, “who may pose an imminent threat”.
claims al-Qaeda is “constantly planning attacks” thus they are always fair game.
says if al-Qaeda is a threat then any associate or member is a threat.
justifies the use of drones and smart bombs by saying there are no rules against them.
gives the justification for assassination when someone is attempting to escape, in short, allowing the US to shoot you in the back.
states that there is no proper judicial forum to evaluate the considerations. In other words there is nowhere for the people to redress the government.
are sickening to read as they attempt to provide the legal justification for the government and officials to commit murder and assassinations under any circumstances when they deem necessary. The way the Department of Justice has twisted the act of cold-blooded unprovoked murder into something lawful and in self-defense is chilling and completely and totally morally reprehensible.
The conclusion of section III is that under the “public authority doctrine” and if the murder is committed “in a manner consistent with the fundamental law of war principles” such murders are “not unlawful” and do not “violate the assassination ban” and that if the person is deemed a “threat” even if they have not actually done anything “yet” then killing them is in “self-defense” and the murder is a “lawful killing” and does “not violate the assassination ban.”
The paper also concludes that even if someone is not in active combat or has removed themselves from operations but is still considered a “senior operational leader” they can be assumed to be actively planning and thus are subject to being killed, and even in this case the murder cannot be called illegal or fall under the category of assassination.
In conclusion the paper allows the United States of America to murder anyone they want, anywhere they want, whenever they want, under any circumstances, and whether the person is guilty of aggression or not. And no one who takes part in the murder will be guilty of a crime, provided of course that they deemed those murdered, to be a threat.
5 February, 17:00
Sweden No Longer Neutral, Drones Totally Illegal
In part 2 of an interview with the Voice of Russia, Agneta Norberg, Vice Chair of the Swedish Peace Council, Member of Steering Committee in International Peace Bureau and a member of the board of directors of Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space discusses the facts surrounding Sweden's non-neutrality and the country's involvement in NATO and Western military expansion. Ms. Norberg gives her views on drones which she calls "murder machines" and the development and testing of drones in Sweden, including a new drone being developed in a joint European project.
Well, when we drift to Arctic, I think there are two things going on here. When they are interviewed, those who are in charge of these maneuvers, they always answer that this is for the Arctic, they openly express this – these maneuvers are for the Arctic and the resources which will be available when the ice is melting.
But the NATO maneuvers are so seldom covered in the news, in media, specifically not here in the south, I live in Stockholm, up in the north, in the local newspapers they are covered rather extensively. And they used to send quotes from the newspapers for me, otherwise I wouldn’t have known it, because the media doesn’t cover it in the south, in Stockholm, where most of the people live.
So, it is, a sort of: secretly hidden from the public to understand what is really going on. But when they are asked, they say: this is for the Arctic.
And also one thing I think you’ve mentioned is that Sweden is neutral. Forget that! We are not neutral! We have for long abolished the neutrality. We are not non-aligned; we are nothing, because we are openly conducting war games with NATO.
But there is one difficulty because the people in Sweden and in Finland are against. It is only about 19% of the Swedish population that accept NATO, the others don’t. So, they have that problem here.
But I can see the lust, how they try to form an enemy out of Russia, and you should understand this: how Russia now is demonized, again. And I’m so old, so I remember how they were demonizing the former Soviet Union, always, and almost on daily basis. And now we are there again.
So, we have here in one of the latest (Names Swedish newspaper in Swedish) a picture of Putin and Russia is arming, here, and how the Russian bear now starts showing its muscles. So, at the same time, as you have these military maneuvers and military flexing of muscles, you seldom get information to the public here.
I was speaking in Norway last summer and they didn’t know about these things. I’m very often on speaking tours in the north. I was in Finland last autumn and they didn’t know about these military maneuvers either. They were really shocked when I told them.
So, here we are again, from the Cold War days, gradually Russia is the threat. And when I talk to Russian people they are not aware of this. It is like when I was travelling in the former Soviet Union, they were not aware of how you were depicted and described as a big-big threat. And I think we are there again, hiding what the NATO is doing in our country and in the north, and describing the threat of Russia coming. There we are again.
It is about the same now. We are in square one, we are back in the Cold War sentiment in a way. But it is even worse now because during the Cold War, at least Sweden had a posture that we are non-aligned and neutral. Not anymore! We have left our neutrality, we have left our non-aligned posture.
Not openly, the neutrality we have left openly, but not the non-aligned posture. I can give you an example: they are now training in the North America (for) war in Nevada.
They were training together with the US in 2006 in Alaska. They went with 6 or 7 war planes to Alaska and made a huge maneuver outside North Korea together with the US.
So, we are actively joining in different parts of the world. Of course we are in Afghanistan now.
And so I think you have to start to understand that Sweden has quite another position now and we are a NATO country. It is only a document that is left to be done. That’s the situation now in Sweden.
I can see that they are making a lot of war games together up in the north.
And I also know that the US and Canada are the same, I mean they are in the same organization. Canada has lost much of what they had before. I have a map in front of me where I have all the installations, and the North American-Canada Command had merged together.
So, up in the north you have a very strong militarization from Canada's point of view and they are building up their military as never before.
And one thing that I think is important to mention is the drones. Canada is planning for a huge drone fleet, and so is Sweden. Now we have one of the world’s biggest drones which is ready in the North European Airspace Test Range which is one of the biggest in Europe for training drones.
They should be banished, abolished or banned because they are terrible murder…, we call them “murder machines”. They are conducted from Nevada test site. They sit there in front of computers and kill people in Yemen, in Pakistan and many places.
We have a huge training area: as big as Macedonia, called the North European Airspace Test Range in the northern part of Sweden where they train these drones. So, we are in this arms buildup, it’s rather dangerous I think.
The newest one is Neuron. It is a cooperation between Sweden, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland on one of the world’s biggest drones Neuron. That is a prototype that is now ready this year.
They are totally illegal. You sit in a bunker, you don’t see anything, you just sit in front of a screen and see the target. We call them “murder machines” because these are murders. They “say” they kill Al-Qaeda.
4 February, 21:57
Bin Laden's Death Changed Nothing
In part 2 of an exclusive interview for the Voice of Russia, In part 2 of an exclusive interview for the Voice of Russia, , a renown American author, historian and critic of United States policy, continues his dialogue with VOR correspondent John Robles and gives his views on the execution of Osama Bin Laden and the official version of the events of September 11, 2001. Mr. Blum puts forward the theory that Osama Bin Laden may have been killed in the initial bombings by the U.S. of Tora-Bora in Afghanistan and discussed the fact that building 7 of the World Trade Center was taken down in a controlled demolition, possibly for the financial gain of the owners of the building.
Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with William Blum. He is the author of several books on US foreign policy. He also sends out a monthly newsletter called the Anti-Empire Report.
I’ve never heard that before.
Yes, right of course he was fighting on the same side as the US, or to put it another way the US was fighting on the same side as Bin Laden. War makes strange bedfellows.
That was the first of at least five instances where the US have fought on the same side as people that we call terrorists. The latest example is Syria. But Afghanistan was the first of those five.
I don’t see as much in this as many other people do. Bin Laden had his own reasons for wanting to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan and the US wanted the Soviets out for their own reasons and so they fought together. No big conspiracy was needed for that.
Well, some people think it was staged, that it really didn’t happen, that he died in the first wave of attacks by the US in Afghanistan, during the major bombings of Afghanistan by the US.
Some people are convinced that Bin Laden died then. I don’t know for sure and I cannot know for sure. And I don’t really care, I don’t think it is very important. I don’t think that his death is important.
In my last Anti-Empire Report, or maybe the one before, I have a piece about how that there is no difference at all, the US Government is doing the same things it was doing before he died, including at home. They are suppressing civil liberties at home just as much to the extent as they did when Bin Laden was alive. His death has not made any difference at all, in a purely practical sense, maybe psychologically it’s made some people feel good, but that’s something else.
I can accept all the flaws and shortcomings in the official report which I’ve read and which have been well documented by the 9-11 activists. But that’s not the same as my accepting that it was an inside job.
I’m not saying it wasn’t, it is conceivable. But that’s such an extraordinary charge to make against any government, that they purposely killed about three thousand of their own citizens just to gain some political advantage, it’s so far out that one has to ask for a large measure of proof. One just can’t just accept that on its face.
And I don’t think the 9-11 people, the investigators or the so called truthers have provided this level of proof of that, I have asked many of them to tell me what happened. If it wasn’t the official story, then what actually happened? What happened to the planes and the passengers? And who were the pilots? And so on. What actually happened?
I don’t know, and they don’t either. But I’m not making these wild assumptions that there was an inside job, that the planes were being piloted by remote control and so on.
You really have to have a lot of proof for all these theories. And even, we don’t know that building 7, which they insist and the pictures show that it was a controlled demolition… I agree that it looks that way. But what do I know? I’m not an expert. And experts have said it was a controlled demolition.
But there is also the story floating around that the owner of the building wanted it demolished for his own personal financial reasons. And that seems to have been forgotten about.
So, I don’t know. I cannot give ultimate answers to these questions but I can say that I am not convinced yet that it was an inside job.
I’m convinced that it was not 100%, I mean there are too many things they say which have been shown to be false and too many questions raised. I wouldn’t expect that commission to issue any really good truth on such a sensitive subject. But that still doesn’t tell me what actually happened.
4 February, 16:30
In an interview to the Voice of Russia, James Corbett, the writer, editor and publisher of the Corbett Report, talked about the ever-present threat of a WWIII scenario developing from any number of threats. According to Mr. Corbett, the crimes, excesses and involvement of the Bush Administration in the events of 9/11 were an important reason for the creation of alternate media outlets. He spoke about the suppression of the reality behind the world's central banking systems as another chief motivator to get the truth out.
That’s sadly a very good question, not because there’s one identifiable answer, but because there’re several candidates. And I think we could seriously face the possibility of an economic collapse, because of the global system of central banking and debt-based fiat money which has stretched to its breaking point and really threatens the economical livelihood of hundreds of millions of people around the world.
We could look at the ever-present threat of a WWIII scenario developing from any number of threats; from confrontation between the West and Iran and a scenario involving an exchange between India and Pakistan to some scenario involving North Korea or Taiwan upsetting the balance of powers in East Asia.
If I was pressed to think of just three off the top of my head, the first that would come to mind is Bob Chapman. He was the world’s largest silver and gold stock broker for a number of decades before his retirement in the 1980s. But he also was a prolific publisher of: Garry Allen, amongst other authors and researchers.
And he came to found his own International Forecaster newsletter, which was going out on a by-weekly basis there for a number of years. And the International Forecaster was one source of information that I looked forward to certainly every week to find out what was happening on the global, economic, financial, societal and geopolitical stage. Bob Chapman had a wealth of information and experience in that.
He had been a former military navy intelligence officer after WWII, had a lot of experience, spoke many languages and had a lot of connections around the world. So he had a wealth of information and, sadly enough, he did succumb to cancer last year and passed away. He was very greatly missed by a lot of people around the world. I’ve heard from quite a few of them.
The second name that comes to mind is Sibel Edmonds, she’s a whistleblower who was working in FBI language translation unit in the Washington Field Office in the wake of 9/11, when they had fired a number of people because of a backlog of information that they had to translate.
Basically, in the wake of terrorist attacks there was so much information that they had not translated, that they suddenly realized it might be important.
So they hired a number of translators, including Sibel Edmonds and she was working in the translation unit, but the information that she was coming across, combined with the reticence of some of some of her FBI colleagues and superiors to actually look into the information that she was uncovering, started to raise her suspicions and eventually - there’s quite a big back story about this - but eventually she was approached by certain people who were working for foreign governments, including the government of Turkey, within the FBI that were basically starting to try to incorporate her into a spying/nuclear smuggling ring that was going on within the FBI.
When she attempted to blow the whistle, she kept encountering resistance from the superiors and the people who were put into place, supposedly to collect the information from the whistleblowers.
She tried that for a number of years and was actually gagged by the Bush administration with a State Secrets Privilege, which, up to that point, had almost never been invoked in the history of the United States, only a few times. She was one of the few, and since then it’s became something of a norm for both the Bush and Obama administrations to use that State Secrets Privilege to gag people from using their First Amendment right to free speech. But Sibel did not stop and she has not stopped and she now runs a website.
The third name that comes to mind, off the top of my head is Pepe Escobar, who is an independent journalist. He writes for a number of outlets, including the Asia Times online. And he’s absolutely just a complete encyclopedia of geopolitical information.
One thing that particularly struck me when I started the website and was speaking quite vocally against the Bush administration at that time and the excesses of that administration and the crimes that had been committed by that administration.
I was approached by many of my friends who were not skeptical about the information I was presenting, regarding the U.S. government complicity in the 9/11 attacks and other such things, but they were more concerned that I would be out on some type of list, some Homeland Security list of some sort of whatever it was.
And I was approached by a number of friends in that regard, which I find somewhat surprising, because to me, that was the exact reason that I started the website. If I wasn’t concerned about the existence of the lists, I wouldn’t have started the website and started to speak out against the entire phony-war-on-terror-paradigm that the Bush years unfortunately brought into the global geopolitical theatre.
So this was exactly what I was fighting against. I think the perspective that we have to have is what price we pay for covering up the truth, for concealing the truth, for ignoring the truth, for knowing the truth, but not doing anything about it. That, to me, is the ultimate calculation at the end of the day, even if I’m not able to accomplish anything whatsoever in terms of a transformation in society or even amelioration of what’s going on, even if I accomplish nothing in regards to that, I don’t think I could look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day, knowing this type of extremely important information and not doing my level best to get that out to other people. So I really do think that the greater price to be paid is if we all are silent on these issues.
For the most shocking thing I’ve ever heard, I think I’d have to go back to the origins of my website and what type of information I was really encountering, when I started to get involved in this.
It was a combination of things, but one of the things that really struck me was, first of all, the documentary called “The Money Masters” and then other information that I encountered that backed up the information presented in that documentary. That really outlined how central banking actually functions and where the money supply actually comes from.
And it’s not a very large step between finding out about how money is actually created for the most part in most of the countries: in the Western world, at any rate. And really thinking about how much of the information has been suppressed and really kept from the general public, combined with the information that this was, in fact, one of the central themes of American history and the history of many countries around the world regarding central banks and whether there should be a central bank and how it should function and who should control it, who gets the control of printing the money.
This was something that was really dwelt upon by the citizens for a long time. And there were also political movements that arose around those ideas and you had all these political dynasties and fortunes that swell and fell upon these great ideas of how many and the economy should be organized.
4 February, 10:52
Assange Receives Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts
In New York on Sunday, in absentia, Julian Assange, the co-founder of the whistleblower web-site WikiLeaks, received the Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts 2013. Mr. Assange received the award for his work, which according to a WikiLeaks press release, is awarded to people who have displayed extraordinary courage and whose work has changed the world.
On Sunday February 3rd 2013, in an event attended by approximately 150 invited guests, WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange was awarded the Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts. The guests included the Honorable Judge Baltasar Garzon Real and the Foreign Minister of Ecuador, the Honorable Ricardo Patino Aroca. From the Ecuadorian Embassy in London Julain Assange delivered a speech thanking those who support him and WikiLeaks.
Although Mr. Assange could not attend the event as he remains trapped in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, England, he did provide a speech for the over 150 people who attended the event.
Receiving the award for Mr. Assange were the Honorable Judge Baltasar Garzon Real, one of Assange’s lawyers and Michael Ratner the President Emeritus of the Centre for Constitutional Rights.
According to the press release the Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honorable Ricardo Patino Aroca and Daniel Ellsberg, the famous source of the Pentagaon Paper, were also in attendance and gave speeches at the event.
Julian's speech in absentia was as follows: “First of all, I want to thank Yoko Ono Lennon for her courage and spirit in granting me this award. A fine woman whose many actions define her. The test for all of us.”
“People often ask me how I keep going. They ask as if my work was some kind of burden to me. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no greater pleasure than fighting for your principles. There is no greater pleasure than in fighting for those who have risked all to share your vision. And there is no greater pleasure than seeing those who you admire, in turn, move to fight for you.”
“And while the embassy that shelters me is still surrounded by armed police, my voice is free. Within the constraints of the UK surveillance operation outside, I am free to see my staff and my friends. Many have fought and continue to fight to permit this basic liberty and I am grateful to them.”
Mr. Assange then made a rare comment to the Ecuadorian people: “I want to thank the Ecuadorian people. I want to thank President Rafael Correa and Foreign Minister Patino for their courageous and unyielding support. Their stance strengthens, not just my rights, but the rights of political refugees everywhere. Support them. “
He commented on the award and thank those who work for the WikiLeaks organization said, quote: “I dedicate this award to our courageous sources, supporters and to my staff. Through their courage and wit they are revealing the true nature of our global human civilisation. This is how we may reform it. Elevate it - and make it just, beyond its humble origins. Their courage in documenting war crimes, gross human rights violations, and the corruption of our societies is unequaled.”
Assange was gracious enough not to forget to thank some of those who have paid the biggest price and have provided material that has exposed more evil than anyone else in recent history: “I want to thank all our anonymous volunteers and all those volunteers from Anonymous. You are unseen in your work but your work far from unseen. But I want to specifically name some. Volunteer, Aaron Swartz, aged 26. Political activist, hounded to death, right here in New York last month as part of the broader political crackdown against our ideals. Alleged source, now political prisoner Bradley Manning. Bradley is now two weeks away from 1,000 days in prison. The longest pre-trail detention in US military history. Alleged source, now political prisoner Jeremy Hammond, detained without trial, right here in New York, for the last 336 days as of today. Volunteer and alleged source, now political prisoner, Gottfrid Svartholm, detained in Sweden for almost five months. WikiLeaks banking blockade protestors Christopher Weatherhead, aged 22 and Ashley Rhodes aged 28. Sentenced in the UK last week to 18 months and 7 months in prison respectively.”
In closing Assange thanked his lawyers Baltasar Garzon and Michael Ratner who are accepted the award for him, and said that along with other lawyers in the US, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Ecuador they would fight to make sure that the rights of WikiLeaks are respected and that they can continue their mission.
Regarding WikiLeaks being silenced Assange said this was a fantasy due to the courage, tenacity, love and support of friends. He said they would continue the fight to: “document the world, understand its institutions and hold our civilisation to a higher standard.”
2 February, 23:03
Israeli Attack on Syria was an Unprovoked Act of Aggression
The recent attack by Israel on Syria has escalated the situation in the Middle East and has now pulled even more players into the conflict which was and has been from the very beginning an internal Syria conflict. Syria has been torn apart by internal strife fueled by outside terrorists and mercenaries and to attempt to paint a picture that in its embattled state it poses a military threat to its neighbors is both disingenuous and moreover an outright fabrication.
The United States of America has geopolitical plans for the entire Middle East and pre-determined objectives for all countries in the region. The simplest and most obvious objective is the bringing about the conditions needed to assure stable and permanent access to the resources in the region, namely oil, which the U.S. cannot exist without. The others motivations include everything from societal manipulation, access to markets, the opening of resource transit corridors and even religious based domination.The United States of America has geopolitical plans for the entire Middle East and pre-determined objectives for all countries in the region. The simplest and most obvious objective is the bringing about the conditions needed to assure stable and permanent access to the resources in the region, namely oil, which the U.S. cannot exist without. The others motivations include everything from societal manipulation, access to markets, the opening of resource transit corridors and even religious based domination.
Experts, observers, diplomats and almost anyone who has followed the Syrian situation would agree that it is a given that the U.S. plans for Syria include first and foremost the removal from power of elected President Bashar al-Assad. What the real nefarious reasons the U.S. has for its desire to remove Assad may never be known but it is crystal clear that the aim to remove him and even go so far as assassinate him regardless of whether he leaves office.
No matter what happens in the region or within Syria itself the mission is the same and has not changed since day one. Just as the goal in Yugoslavia was to get Serbia and the facts were constructed around that goa, the goal in Syria is to get Assad, remove the Alawites and replace them with a pliable western puppet regime.
The initial script was organizing public unrest, destabilizing the country, blaming the authorities for civilian deaths and for the ensuing predictable crackdown, and the demonizing of Assad either until the people themselves removed him or until he could be removed by outside forces and “tried” in an international court.
The problem for the U.S. from the beginning has been that cannot just go in openly and assassinate Assad or invade Syria. There has to be a pretext, a credible pretext that the international community and the world will support and believe. The problem for the U.S. is that the pretexts is has tried to create have not panned out.
The first pretext to allow for intervention and the removal of Assad was to have been the deaths of civilians but that did not work out. In reality the civilians being killed in the country are a secondary problem and are of no real concern for the West, again their deaths were to be the reason for the removal of Assad as had been initially planned.
The next major pretext was the shooting down of a Turkish warplane which had violated Syrian airspace, but as we saw for several reasons that also did not go the way the West wanted.
After that came the chemical weapons claim, from the tired old Iraqi script, but once again the West failed to convince the world community of the threat posed by Assad and the supposed chemical weapons he was said to have amassed.
Now we have a new pretext being tested out by the West, not exactly a new one but an old one with yet another actor. Last summer we saw Turkey being pulled in as the world was supposed to be convinced that Syria was a threat to Turkey, now the country under threat is Israel.
: “To believe for a moment that the Syrian Government was arming Hezbollah fighters with weaponry for use against Israel when the Government of Syria itself is under siege from foreign supported insurgents, including terrorists, defies one’s credibility.” Further: “… but I think also what needs to be seen here, is the fact that Israel has now exposed itself as being on the very same side as extremist elements, that is Wahhabi and Salafi elements, backed by the likes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf monarchies in their attack against the Government in Damascus, against the Syrian Government.” And finally: “… it is the aggressor who is claiming they are being threatened and have to launch “so called” preventive attacks, it is a complete inversion of the truth.”
Yes the new invasion scenario and the reason to remove the Assad “regime” is that Syria is now a threat to Israel and warrants a preventive invasion.
The problem is once again indicative of a disease that has hit the United States, one where intelligence is not used to determine policy but where intelligence is manufactured to support and make policies possible.
As we have seen time and time again and objective is pre-determined and a goal is set, then the facts are fabricated to make that goal possible. So the script changes, the reasons change, but the goal remains the same.
Israel is the perfect surrogate for beginning a military operation against Syria. Israel is a country surrounded by Islamic countries, supported by the United States at every level, and is almost untouchable politically in most of the world, as it has been since World War II.
A policy of preventive war was evident in Israel’s attack on Syria, an unprovoked aggressive military attack carried out to guarantee their own security.
Preventive war was first initially practiced by the Nazis at the beginning of WWII. A preventive war is nothing more than an aggressive war under the pretext of guaranteeing the aggressors own security.
The Russian Federation has officially condemned the Israeli attack(s) and called them what they were; “… an unprovoked attack against a sovereign state and a gross violation of the United Nations Charter and unacceptable, whatever the motives are."
Israel must answer for this act of aggression; no matter how “bad” the Western propaganda machine says the target of their attack may be and hopefully Syria will be wise enough and exercise restraint and not launch a counter attack in response to the provocation, something which they are justified in doing, but which is what the architects want in order start an operation involving an all out invasion of Syria so their ultimate goal may be attained: the removal of Bashar al-Assad.
1 February, 23:24
Israel Preemptively Strikes Syria Why Can’t Syria Do the Same?
Voice of Russia regulars Rick Rozoff and Alon Ben-Meir, NATO and Middle East experts respectively, both gave their views on the air-strike by Israel on the sovereign territory of Syria near the capitol Damascus. Their views on the matter are almost diametrically opposed with both giving solid arguments.
Hello! I’m John Robles, I’m speaking with . He is the manager and the owner of the stop NATO website and mailing list.
Can you give us your views on the strike by Israel inside of Syria, supposedly on a convoy, supposedly supplying Hezbollah, with supposed weapons?
: Yes, those supposeds are all the warranted. The fact to the matter is what we know from the Syrian Government sources: is that an Israeli war plane launched an attack against a military research center within Syria, on the outskirts of the capital city of Damascus. So, this marks a dramatic escalation of the conflict, not so much in Syria, but against Syria.
And what it does is confirm, the suspicions and the statements made, not only by governmental officials in Iran but by a lot of us throughout the world, that part of what is going on inside Syria right now is a warm-up exercise, if you will, a miniature version or a preview of what is intended for Iran. So, the fact that an Israeli war plane could strike near the capital-city of Syria is clearly I think an indication that Israel might harbor both the intent and the means to try something similar within Iran. That’s the first thing.
The second of all, the brazen unprovoked attack within the borders of a sovereign nation, is, as I believe the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov mentioned over the last 24 hours since the Israeli attack, a crude and flagrant violation of international law and should be condemned as such. And what is necessary is for there to be an international investigation to substantiate the Syrian Government’s claim of the Israeli attack and it needs to be taken up in the United Nations Security Council.
If the situation were reversed, I can promise you that the United States and its allies would not hesitate a second to take the case up, to demand that a hearing be held in the United Nations. And this is what has to happen because what this is, is more than just a blatant criminal violation of the national sovereignty of Syria, but it is clearly an escalation of the conflict to the point where if you are sitting in Tehran, as well as Damascus, you are wondering what the next move is going to be and this is why it think it is so dangerous.
What would you say to people on the Israeli side, who were claiming and who will claim that Israel was defending itself?
: To believe for a moment that the Syrian Government was arming Hezbollah fighters with weaponry for use against Israel when the Government of Syria itself is under siege from foreign supported insurgents, including terrorists, defies one’s credibility. It is very difficult to believe that could have been the case.
And again the Syrian Government’s case is that Israel bombed well inside Syrian borders. This is comparable to for example the deployment by Turkey of a war plane inside Syrian air space, summer of last year. But I think also what needs to be seen here, is the fact that Israel has now exposed itself as being on the very same side as extremist elements, that is Wahhabi and Salafi elements, backed by the likes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf monarchies in their attack against the Government in Damascus, against the Syrian Government.
So, you have this interesting motley medley of forces arrayed against Syria at the moment, you have the US and its NATO allies, you have Israel, you have the most backwards and benighted governments on the face of the earth in the Persian Gulf all operating in tandem.
So, when the United States talks about democracy or praises Israel as being the only democracy in the Middle East and so forth, we have to understand with the military attack of yesterday that it is aiding and abetting, it is supporting, it is complementing other efforts by the likes of governments in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
he is a professor in international relations and affairs at NY University. Could you give us your views and your comments on the Israeli airstrike and of the supposed convoy?
Israel has stated all along that if it detects anything that may constitute a threat to its national security, it will act.
In this particular case the Israelis have detected two things. One, there was a convoy moving from Syria towards the Lebanese border, apparently a shipment carrying the SA-17, which is a very accurate anti-aircraft missile. Several trucks actually.
As well there was also a military research center near Damascus and I think the Israelis have concluded that the first convoy has to be destroyed because they do not want these kinds of weapons fall into the hands of Hezbollah and hence constitute a serious threat to Israel.
And the other one is the concern over the chemical weapons. I’m not sure it was an attack on one or the other, I believe it was the two simultaneously.
Do you believe they have the right to attack within another country if they say that the threat is to their own security?
It is not what they say. I think every country, including Russia, the United States, al European, anyone, if they feel there is a credible threat, and I repeat the word “credible”, it is not an excuse to attack. But if there is a credible threat, and I think Israel shared that with the United States before it took action, then the country has the right to do whatever it takes in order to protect national security interests. And I have no doubt, any country irregardless of where it is and where the threat is coming from, is going to take similar actions.
Using that logic, I mean, then… We know that Patriot missiles have been deployed in Turkey, so then if we follow the same line of logic, then I guess Syria has the right to strike these Patriot missiles in Turkey. Why not?
The Patriot missiles in Turkey is a different story. These Patriot missiles are there in a defensive posture. Every country has many-many such weapons in a defensive posture.
Mr. Rozoff, if you follow that logic, then wouldn’t that give Syria, for example, the right to strike inside of Turkey which is basing Patriot missiles and NATO armaments aimed at Syria?
: It is an extremely vital point you raise. Not that the two of us believe in pre-emptive or preventive attacks or wars. This is a notoriously criminal concept that was really practiced, to its furthest degree, by the 3rd Reich in the late 1930s and the early 1940s, so called preventive war.
That’s correct! If Israel can claim that Syria, under a siege as it is, is capable in any way of threatening the internal security of Israel, then with a thousand times, a million times, more justification, Syria can claim that it is being threatened by its neighbor Turkey, that it is being threatened by other governments in the area, including those I’ve mentioned in the Persian Gulf, by the United States, by its European NATO allies, who are providing material sustenance, as well as diplomatic coverage to terrorist groups within Syria which are implicated in the deaths of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of civilians in that country.
And the fact that Israel has now struck Syria makes it the aggressor and not the other way around of course.
China is being surrounded by NATO, Russia is being surrounded by NATO, I mean there are weapons all around both countries that pose a threat to their national security. So, if we followed that same logic Russia and China could launch first strikes on the United States and all NATO countries I believe.
: With far more justification again, than anything that Israel has the right to claim, in regard to the attack of yesterday, or the American invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, or murderous drone hellfire missile attacks inside nations like Yemen and Libya, and Somalia and all-the-way-down-the-line.
Yes, it is in fact a nations’ aggressor, China and Iran which are being militarily encircled by the United States and its regional and global allies. And it is the aggressor who is claiming they are being threatened and have to launch “so called” preventive attacks, it is a complete inversion of the truth.
1 February, 17:00
The Politics of Aggressive War
When is it acceptable for a country to engage in an act of aggressive war? Can it be justified to engage in an act that has been recognized by the world community and laid down in international law as a crime against humanity? Not just my humanity but all humanity?
These are questions the world community should have been asking itself everyday for approximately the past two decades, but it has not. For it was approximately that long ago that one of the world’s superpowers began engaging in acts of aggression wherever it saw fit in order to show its strength, military might and terrorize the world into bending to its will.
Suppose for a minute you and I are that power. We are righteous, rich and powerful and control much of the planet through our economic manipulations and massive media and political know how. We also have bombs and weapons all over the planet ready to wipe out any adversary and the adversaries of our friends. We are righteous, our God is the proper god and our people are beautiful, fairly well educated and created in our god’s image.
We have more of a right to exist on earth and consume the world’s resources than any of the other nations, because we are the chosen, the beautiful and the strong. They are weak, poor, envious of our power, and worth almost nothing compared to us. What is more their god is the wrong god and they are not as beautiful and tall and proud as we are. The world is ours, we own it and everyone else has to bow down before us. We take what we want, from where we want, when we want.
Above all else is our moral superiority, we have been victimized in the past and the world must side with us and allow us to seek revenge on our enemies who want to destroy us because we are powerful, beautiful, free and our god is better and more righteous than their god. Our word must be good enough for everyone. If we say someone wants to destroy us, that is the way it is. We do not need to provide proof or receive permission from anyone to destroy whoever we decide is our enemy.
We know that one of us is worth thousands of them because we are the chosen and live in God’s land, a land given to us by our God. A land we cleansed of the savages and animals that had claimed it was theirs. We also know we are worth more than them because we were persecuted for our God and our god has chosen us over other false gods.
Since we are the chosen, if we have the idea that you are not worthy of life and are a useless eater, we can kill you, we can bomb you and we can take your lands. After all you are less worthy than us, we are the beautiful and strong and we were created in our god’s image.
So if we have “intelligence” that your country is arming my enemies we can, at our discretion and when we please, enter any country’s territory, including yours, and murder the people and destroy their facilities. Sure we can. After all we are the righteous and you are a bad guy in the eyes of me and my friends. And what is more we control the international courts and all of the international bodies that you could use to complain against us.
What is more if we decide we don’t like your ruler we will replace him, assassinate him or publically execute him before your eyes.
But you will never complain or do anything against us because what is more we control you, and if we decide you are a threat we will come to you, and destroy you. Or cripple you, or torture you, or take you to a secret prison and make you disappear forever. We can even kill you without leaving our own bunker on the other side of the world.
Do you doubt our power? We have satellites, internet, cameras and even tracking devices set up in your cell phone. We know where you are every minute. We record your every move, we know what you watch and what you buy at the shop and we know where your children are and we can kill them if you get out of line. For you are nothing. You are the mud people and we are your masters.
Did you imagine you and I were that power? Did you feel the righteousness and superiority? Do you understand who we are dealing with? If you feel a little uneasy, queasy or even nauseous that is okay. It means you are still human and there is still hope, if you feel rage and feel you are being mocked it is time you took off your blinders and imagined you were the “lesser” people and your lands were being taken and your women and children were being murdered before your eyes and there was nothing you could do about it.
1 February, 17:00
The US Was Killing Russians Defending their Homeland
The story of the Polar Bear Expedition or what was also called the American North-Russia Expeditionary Force is told by the Voice of Russia regular contributor Rick Rozoff. The operation took place between 1918 and 1919 and saw at least 5,000 US troops sent into Russian territory to kill Bolsheviks in the North of Russia. The goals were to secure weapons cached in the North, assist Czechoslovakian forces who were fighting the Bolsheviks and overthrow the Communist Government.
Sure, I would. And that’s something that first came to my attention through a… in a very personal way which I’ll describe in a moment. But the event, or the operation we are talking about, is something that is proverbially known as the Polar Bear Expedition. The formal designation for it was the Northern Russia Expedition or the American North-Russia Expeditionary Force. And what that was, was the deployment somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 US, troops starting in September of 1918 and continuing into at least July of 1919, in northern Russia, fighting armed forces of the Russian Government of that time, which was after the October Revolution in Russia… So it was the Government of Lenin.
But that American troops were sent, in some instances, after the armistice was signed, from the trenches in France, and in some cases directly from the state of Michigan to fight near the Arctic Circle in Russia.
In 1972 the last time I saw my maternal grandfather, my mother’s farther, shortly before he died. I knew that he had been in Pershing’s Allied Expeditionary Force, they’ve been with the US forces in France in World War I. And I happened to ask him, I was a very young man at the time, and I happened to ask him: what happened after the armistice was signed and the troops were demobilized in France. And his colorful characterization of it was, and I quote him, he said: “They sent us to fight the Bolsheviks”. That’s a quote I can recall, you know, 41 years ago almost.
And in fact I knew that his unit had received basic training at what was called at that time Camp Custer, after George Custer, “General Custer”, later became Fort Custer and it is outside the Battle Creek, Michigan.
My grandfather was born in Michigan, though spent most of his life in the Canadian province of Ontario. But when the US entered World War I in 1917, he enlisted in the US Army and was trained in Camp Custer. And it is from there, from the 85th division trained at Camp Custer, that regiments were selected to fight in Russia in 1918-1919: that’s the Polar Bear Expedition or operation.
Over a hundred US troops were killed in fighting, scores of others died because of disease and other ailments, probably hundreds wounded. There is no telling how many Russian citizens were killed by the American troops during that period.
And what happened, almost four years ago now, a documentary film was made and shown in the state of Michigan where Camp Custer is. And amongst other people attending the show and praising the so-called Polar Bear Expedition was the senior senator from the state of Michigan Carl Levin who at the occasion of the unveiling of the film, stated, and I’m quoting from a Michigan newspaper at the time, in 2009: “It is a perfect time for us to meet, a perfect place. There are lessons to be learned in history, there are lessons here.”
I’m not sure which lessons senator Levin was referring to but the fact that for the last four years the United States has renewed its claim to the Arctic Ocean, at the expense of other nations, Canada in the first instance, but Russia most directly, one would guess. You know, the fact that the US is celebrating its first effort in the Arctic region, the first combat operation against Russia in 1918 and 1919, I think is something worth noting.
Yes, I remember my grandfather telling me, again I have to go back a number of years, I tend to recall him saying he was deployed in Murmansk. But what I’ve read on the subject subsequently suggests that it’s not terribly far from there Archangel (Arkhangelsk) and that the US troops were sent there, the traditional understanding of it evidently is that the British War Minister at the time, who was Winston Churchill, prevailed upon the American President Woodrow Wilson to deploy the troops, supposedly for a number of objectives, one of which was to secure armaments that have been stored there during the war before the Russian Revolution and the withdrawal of Russia from the war.
The second of all,was, really to fight the newly founded Government in Russia, the Bolshevik Government. And thirdly to support Czech Legion, which were Czechoslovak, for the most part Czech soldiers, who had served in the Russian Army during World War I and then became anti government, you know, fighters against the Government after the Revolution of November 1917.
So, I think the third factor, that is supporting the Czech Legion, is a more plausible explanation for the involvement of the US troops and suggests that nothing less than countering the Russian Government at that time and ultimately overthrowing, it was the intent of the deployment of the American soldiers.
With what reading I’ve done on the subject, it wasn’t of course the entire division that was sent. It was, I believe, two or perhaps three, regiments from the 85th division that were deployed.
They arrived in Archangel at the very beginning of September of 1918, and at least, according to one account I’ve read, they were placed under British Command with other, evidently British armed forces, in the area as well.
The British supposedly had arrived in Archangel a month earlier, early August of 1918, and apparently the Russian forces had already moved the armaments or the material that the British intended to seize or secure, and that led to an expedition up river evidently, the Dvina River, with acts of fighting between indigenous Russian forces and American troops.
And by most accounts, early on, this was winter time of course, it was maybe in October or so, the American campaign clearly had come to a dead end, it wasn’t successful. Their attempts to link up with the Czech troops fighting the Government of Moscow were unsuccessful. And it was prolonged into the summer of 1919 but ultimately abandoned.
The casualties again that I… actually I’ve seen by one account, an estimated 110 American soldiers were killed in fighting with Russian forces.
People defending their soil, you know, their territory.
I suspect because the fact that British soldiers have been sent to the same area, the Archangel-Murmansk region, a month earlier to prepare, it was easier for them to get there I guess. But we know that Britain had played a role in the interim period between the February Revolution in 1917 in Russia and the October one, that is during the provisional Government of the Kerensky period, in trying to secure the continued involvement of the Russian Government, whatever it was, whatever it turned out to be, in the war.
And the Kerensky Government indeed, I’m sure under the pressure and perhaps no little bribery from Britain, France and the United States did continue Russian involvement in the war, one which cost several million Russian lives.
31 January, 15:29
Renowned author Dr. Edward Herman spoke with the John Robles regarding the facts surrounding the Srebrenica Massacre, the pretext for the "humanitarian" invasion of the former Yugoslavia, and takes apart the "official" version that has always been promoted by the West. Dr. Herman reveals that there were in fact multiple massacres at Srebrenica, and that the killing of Bosnian-Muslim soldiers at Srebrenica (the West's pretext) was in response to the killing of over 2,000 Serb civilians, mostly women and children, at the location.
The Srebrenica Massacre, actually I always put it in quote marks, because actually there were lots of massacres in the Srebrenica area, the one before July 1995 there were vast numbers of Serbs killed by Muslim, Bosnian Muslim, forces who went out of Srebrenica.
One estimate is that there were more than 150 Serbs villages that were totally wiped out and one study gives actually gives the namesof 2,383 Serb civilians who were killed between 1992 and July, 1995. So then we’d call that “The First Srebrenica Massacre”. Then in July 1995…
Yes! We’re talking about 2,383 Serb civilians killed before July 1995. And the Bosnian Serb Army took over Srebrenica in July, 1995, and there were deaths and executions after that. That’s what’s called in the West “The Srebrenica Massacre”, but, in fact, that’s really mainly a political construct.
The numbers executed there were probably in the order of between 500 and 1,000. In other words, less than half of the number of Serbs civilians killed before July, 1995.
And the Western claim is that 8,000 men and boys were executed in the quote Srebrenica massacre, but notice these were men, always men, all men, they were all soldiers, whereas those 2,383 civilians killed included very large numbers of women and children.
We’re talking about the execution in the Second Massacre of essentially army people. And of course they had never proved that there were 7,000 or 8,000, even men and boys killed. The bodies in the graves added up to something like 2,500.
A lot of those bodies were combat deaths. One of the beauties of the Western propaganda system is that all the bodies they found after July, 1995, they count as executed, even though we know very well that a large number were killed in combat.
Also another important fact about the Srebrenica massacre is that all those killings of Serbs took place coming out of an area that was supposed to be a “safe haven”. Srebrenica was a safe place, a safe haven. It was supposed to be demilitarized, but it never was.
So the Bosnian Muslim soldiers would come out to Srebrenica and they would kill Serb civilians. This is all completely ignored in the Western media. It’s as if the Serbs came in July and started to kill arbitrarily.
In fact, the U.N. military in that area, a French Offical name Phillip Movion, was asked by the Yugoslav tribunal, “Why the Serbs did it?”
He said he’s absolutely convinced that they did it because of what the commander of Srebrenica’s Bosnian Muslims did to the Serbs before July 1995.
This is the UN Army head, but you won’t see that in the Western press!
In other words, the first massacre is what led to the lesser second massacre of namely military aged people.
The whole business of the Srebrenica Massacre is a gigantic political fraud. There was a massacre, but it was a responsive vengeance massacre, women and children were not killed.
One of the features of the “quote” Srebrenica Massacre, that is the second one, is that 20,000 Srebrenica women and children were bussed to safety by the Serb army. Women and children were not killed, only military aged people and a very large fraction of those that did die, died in combat.
So my own estimate, as I said, is that maybe there were 500 to 1,000 executions. Vengeance executions.
500 to 1,000 I would say.
Yes. So there was a significant massacre, but put it in its context! This was a war, this was an army that had seen their own civilians massacred on a much larger scale. That is completely suppressed in the West, as if the Serbs came in to Srebrenica and started to kill because of a blood lust! It’s absolutely a fraud!
So, I regard the Srebrenica massacre as a tremendous propaganda triumph. The West wanted to go after Serbia and they avoided peace. They needed this massacre.
Serbian women and children, yes.
The first massacrebetween 1992 and July 1995. These were Serb civilians. There were also hundreds of Serb military killed in that period, I am just talking about civilians!
That’s misleading, because the thrust of the 8,000 claim is that they were executed but those 2000-plus that were killed, a very large fraction were killed in combat.
Yes, and the executions were, as I say probably in the order of 500 to 1,000.
The Serbs actually had lists of Bosnian Muslim soldiers they wanted to get, but I can’t honestly say they were the only ones who were executed. But certainly, a significant number of those executed were on those lists, those vengeance lists.
31 January, 15:00
‘America's Nazi scientists fulfilling dream of ruling the world’
In an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia, Bruce Gagnon shares little known facts about the militarization of space by the United States, the development of first strike space drones and the foundation of the US Military Industrial Complex by Nazi scientists bent on victory in World War III. If you thought missile defense and drones were bad, you haven't heard anything yet.
Well, indeed the United States likes to believe that it is its own space, and particularly the Space Command, who on their headquarters building in Colorado Springs, just above the doorway they have their logo that reads “Master of Space”. So, I think that it is quite evident that the Space Command does indeed view space as US territory that must be controlled because they clearly understand that all warfare on the earth today is coordinated by space technology and that whoever essentially controls space will control the planet below, in this case on behalf I believe of corporate globalization. And so the Space Command in our thinking has become the military arm of corporate globalization.
And so today the US is developing a whole host of technologies to allow it to fight war from space, through space and in space, controlling not only the Earth but also the pathway on and off the planet Earth, the pathway to other planetary bodies as resources are discovered on other planets: magnesium, cobalt, uranium, gold, water etc.
In a congressional study done back in the 1980s, the Congress gave the Pentagon the mandate to develop the technologies to control the pathway on and off the planet Earth. So, the Space Command sees its role in a very-very robust kind of way.
Well, in this particular study entitled “Military Space Forces the Next 50 Years”, they talk about the Earth-Moon Gravity Well, that whoever controls the Earth-Moon Gravity Well, essentially with bases on the Moon and armed space stations between, what they said were the L4 and L5 positions in space, they would be able to control these.
And interestingly enough, we know that it was in fact the former Nazi scientists that were brought to the United States following World War II under a program, a secret program, called Operation Paper Clip. These Nazi scientists that ran Hitler’s V1 and V2 rocket programs, they were the first to bring to the Congress of the United States, this idea of having orbiting battle stations controlling the pathway on and off the planet as well as the Earth below.
So, today again there is the whole host of technologies that are being developed by the Space Command. They say at the Pentagon that we are not going to get all of these technologies to work, but through the investment and the research and development in these various technologies, things like “Rods from God”: orbiting battle stations with tungsten-steel rods they would be able to hit targets on the Earth below…
Yes, they call it “Rods from God”. The new military space plane that is being tested now by the Pentagon, it has shown its ability to stay in orbit for a whole year at a time: an unpiloted space drone essentially. And then with ground stations all over the planet that the United States has established, what they call downlink stations that communicate with US military satellites all over the planet. This whole network has been put into place to really give the US, as they say in one of their planning documents, “control and domination of space”.
It is called the X37B, it’s been over the past couple of years. The testing program has accelerated and they’ve had three successful launches of it now. Just recently, I believe it was just at the end 2012, was the last of the missions, the third mission actually. But prior to that they had one of them spend a whole year in space.
The role of this X37B, or the military space plane, is somewhat in dispute. Some people believe that it is for surveillance, to spy on various countries, like Russia and China. Or others believe that it is actually a first strike weapons system whose job would be to fly down from orbit, drop an attack on a particular country.
In fact the Space Command annually war games a first strike attack on China set in the year 2016. And in one of the articles, in one of the industry publications, Aviation Week and Space Technology, I read a report about the first weapon that was used in one of these computer war game attacks of China, was this military space plane. So, indeed they are war gaming with it as a first strike weapon.
Under Operation Paper Clip, 1,200 Nazis were brought into the United States, former Nazi intelligence. They were brought in to help create the CIA.
Wernher von Braun, the Nazi scientist that ran the V1 and V2 operations was brought in. He became one of the leaders of NASA and he built the first successful rockets that were launched by the US military after the Kennedy Administration wanted to respond to the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik.
Other Nazi scientists were brought in to create US Flight Medicine programs, the MKUltra LSD-drug experiments of the 1960s in the United States, where people were jumping out of windows and killing themselves because they were given drugs.
The people that were running these were the former Nazi scientists who had been doing similar tests on prisoners of war and Jews and other people in concentration camps inside of Germany.
So, the entire military industrial complex was seeded with these top Nazi operatives. And I’ve always maintained that when you do that: “Is there an ideological contamination that comes along with that?” My belief is: indeed there is.
Major-General Walter Dornberger was the Head of Hitler’s secret Space Development Program. He was brought to the United States to work for Bell Aerospace in New York State after the war.
He testified before the Congress in the 1950s. And I can quote him, he said to the Congress: “Gentlemen, I didn’t come to this country to lose the third world war, I lost two already.” And he again was one of the first to layout this vision of control of space, giving the US full control of the planet Earth.
30 January, 23:04
Assange Running for Office May Affect his Asylum
Julian Assange has decided to run for public office in his native Australia. This information came out in a Tweet by WikiLeaks and has been confirmed in statements to the press by Kristinn Hrafnsson, the official spokesperson for WikiLeaks, and Christine Assange, mother of Julian Assange.
According to the WikiLeaks Twitter page and media reports Mr. Assange will be running for Senate on a WikiLeaks Party ticket. According to Australian media Assange stated that plans to register a WikiLeaks Party are ''significantly advanced,'' and that "… a number of very worthy people admired by the Australian public have indicated their availability to stand for election on a party ticket.”
Assange said he meets the Australian requirements to “register as an overseas elector in either New South Wales or Victoria and will soon be making a strategic decision about which state he would be a senate candidate for.” Whether the public will support his candidacy is another question altogether but according to Assange he is encouraged by a number of Australian polls, which had been conducted over the previous years and which he says show a high-level of unwavering support for himself and WikiLeaks. The key question will be if that support can be translated into actual votes in the polling booth from an Australian Electorate that has been fed a steady stream of anti-Assange propaganda for years.
Some might argue that this is just another media stunt by Assange to cause another media frenzy, with the very important question be raised as to how he will be able to serve the Australian people, if elected, and he is unable to return to Australia. According to Fairfax Media Assange said if that is the case a nominee would occupy his Senate seat.
Other questions arise as to how running for political office in Australia might affect his political asylum claims under international treaties and how Ecuador will react to the fact that someone who they are protecting wishes to run for public office in a country where he is supposedly unwelcome and would be in danger.
The level of danger to Ecuador and to the Ecuadorian President, caused by their sheltering Assange, was once again underlined by Mr. William Blum, a famous American writer and academic, in an interview I conducted with him for
Mr. Blum said: “The CIA attempts to assassinate people for much less reasons than that. Assange is the public enemy No. 1 in America. The U.S. is obsessed with him and they are afraid that he will be issuing the release of more classified documents so they’d really like to put him out of the way, if they can.”
There are further questions that arise with the fact that Assange and WikiLeaks associates have stated in the past that; Australia has done nothing to protect Assange and that he would be handed over to the Americans for prosecution if he set foot on Australian soil.
Whether him winning a seat to public office will provide him with immunity from persecution and prosecution is also questionable and one might contend that Assange would be better of concentrating his efforts on perhaps running for office in the country that has granted him asylum and has been protecting him even though it has put that country’s president in the proverbial “cross-hairs of a CIA drone”.
According to Fairfax Media, Assange's biological father, John Shipton, is the person on the ground organizing the formation of the Australian WikiLeaks Party, and has already drafted the party's constitution which is now under legal review.
For the party to be registered with the Australian Electoral Commission they would need "... the confirmation of 500 members who are listed on the electoral roll", says Fairfax Media.
As Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London it is not clear how he would be able to carry out his plans but perhaps he has several cards up his sleeve.
According to Mr. Blum Mr. Assange might prefer to be cautious and avoid open spaces as: “There is a drone somewhere with his name on it, and if he walks around in the world and he is not in the midst of a big city, he’s a marked man. There’s a rocket with his name on it inside of a drone with his name on it.”
Whether refugee Assange becomes Senator Assange, only time will tell.
The views and opinions expressed here are my own. I can be reached at email@example.com.
30 January, 16:37
‘The US Government has no right to take away guns’ – interview
In an interview for the Voice of Russia, Bill Wilson, talks about why Americans have the right to stay armed. He says a small percentage of the population is responsible for gun violence in America and that these people must be aggressively dealt with. According to Mr. Wilson US law enforcement in incapable of protecting the American people and it is time for the people to stand up and take their liberty back.
Well, if you look at the country as a whole, obviously we have high numbers of gun crimes and murders committed with a fire arm. So it strikes us as kind of counter-productive or almost disingenuous to attempt to disarm the mass of the public which are law-abiding and are not using fire arms for crimes.
First off, the incidents of mass shootings in the United States are no greater today “mass acts of violence” than they were 20, 30 or 50, 60 years ago. And in point of fact the incidents have actually become less!
The idea that somehow the United States is uniquely a violent country is absurd propaganda. You don’t see Americans killing people of a different ethnic group just for the hell of it!
We’re 100% opposed to anything that reduces the right of an individual to have a fire arm. And that the government: they don’t have the right, period, to take guns away from the American people. That right was put in the Constitution for a reason. And that reason was that an armed citizen was the best defense from the government itself!
You have the police chiefs now of major cities admitting that they can’t possibly help citizens in time. By the time you call 9-11 and if someone is beating on your door, or you’re in a high crime area: you better be able to defend yourself. Now! That’s the police chief of Milwaukee!
You have these single most egregious, strict gun control laws in the country in Chicago and in Washington D.C., and it makes no difference. The criminals have no problem getting guns. The only thing you do with your laws is you disarm law-abiding citizens and you make them dependent on the state for their own protection. We believe that all of the facts prove, and inherently, that an individual depending on the state, we have another name for that: it’s called “victim”, that the state is unable to defend, and can not, in fact has proven it cannot.
I believe that the state is incapable of defending the people. American philosophy is that if we’re free individuals, we take care of ourselves. Only look to government when either: we have to or we’re forced to.
The large number of guns in the United States is directly attributable, I think, to the safety of most neighborhoods.
My answer to the problem is an aggressive all-out confrontation of gangs and of people who are already barred by law from owning a firearm.
Felons: they’re not allowed to have guns!
I would contend that it is a proper role for government to provide for the common defense to go after those gangs and those elements in society that are perpetrating 80% of the gun violence.
What do you mean, “If they don’t?” Then their reaction is to take away rights from everyone else. I think that’s the height of insanity and collectivist goal.
Because they fear the American people and they want to disarm the American public.
Because I don’t think they believe the American people will fall for the collectivist totalitarian crap that they’re spreading.
I think the government is afraid of an armed populace. I think that is the key of it, yeah. That was the purpose to the Second Amendment. That individuals, an armed citizenry could defend its freedom from those that would take it away. That was what the founders wrote.
I think government has been taking away individual liberty for the past 50 years, yeah.
If you think you’ll get me to call for an armed uprising that will never happen. Do I want to the see the American people take back their liberties? Yeah, I do!
Yeah. I do!
You know? The interesting thing John is the disconnect between the elites in this country, the political elites, regardless of party, and the average citizen has never been greater. And I’m not talking about NBC polls that are manipulated by the question. All you have to do is to go to neighborhoods, go out around the country and talk to people and you can see that there’s a total disconnect.
I think they’re afraid of the American people being in a position to not accept their rules or orders. Why else would the act this way? Why else would you have people talking about disarming the public, in a total sense?
Well. The events in Connecticut were not 72-hours-old, and what you had was a well-orchestrated campaign from the White House on gun control.
Nowhere was there a discussion of the fact of addressing the mental health systems in the country. Nowhere was there a discussion of school security. Nowhere was there a discussion of the incidents of psychotropic drugs and shooters. There was none of that!
But there was certainly a push for “We have to take guns away from the American people!
Somehow that was the instant solution. And so you’re left with the question: Why was the immediate knee-jerk reaction backed up with a very major propaganda campaign aimed at one thing: Let’s take guns! Let’s take them!
(), a Maryland native born in 1953, is a limited government activist, referred to by one New York Times article as, “a member of Washington’s permanent class of ideological activists.” Wilson currently presides as the president of Americans for Limited Government; a Virginia based non-profit group promoting small government. He has been active in the limited government movement for more than 30 years, working with various groups pushing right-to-work laws, term limits and school choice.
30 January, 11:02
Militarization of the Arctic: ‘We have to rethink how war is fought’
As the Arctic ice continues to melt and resources slowly begin to be available the West has decided to begin the militarization of the Arctic zone in a bid to gain control over the precious resources. In an interview with the Voice of Russia Agenta Norberg, Vice Chair of the Swedish Peace Council gives her views on the issue and also comments on the militarization of Sweden, Norway and the North and the NATO expansion into "neutral" areas.
Well, I’m not a technician but I can tell you that recently it was published: a book the Satellite War by Bård Wormdal – a journalist at Norwegian radio. And it was a very important book, it was published in 2011.
I invited him to Stockholm in October when we had a day about the Arctic and the situation in the Arctic. And what he says is rather? You have to change your whole idea of how war is conducted. War is conducted via satellite and via radar installations.
And for instance, to make it clear, to understand what we should understand is: that the war on Libya, the former year, was conducted via satellite from Svalbard. This is very dangerous because, this island, the Svalbard Islands are a peace area undersigned by 14 different nations but Norway has allowed the United States of America to deploy radar installations, and in connection with the satellite they are conducting war. This is a quite new understanding of how war is conducted.
You have to differ between all these: the national missile defense, they call it. The Vardo radar close to the Russian border is one installation, and there are also those in Poland and in Turkey, and they will also be deployed in Romania it is a missiles shield. It is one thing.
The other thing are all the other radars and satellites which are informing the pilots and the war planes how to bomb and where to bomb. I have a globe here in front of me and it is almost all covered by US radar installations for different purposes. So, you have this national missile shield, which they claim is for defense, and it is an offensive weapon. It can be used as defensive but it can as well be used as an offensive weapon. And one of those radars are installed just outside the Russian border in Vardo.
I’ve been rather surprised when I’ve met Russian scientists and visitors in Stockholm, last year in October, I arranged a seminar as I mentioned about the Arctic, and the Russian representative, he didn’t agree with me that this was a dangerous situation. The only one who agreed with me was Bård Wormdal, the journalist who had written the book Satellite War.
There seems to be lack of understanding about the installations surrounding the Russian border, that is my opinion. And I think it is rather dangerous.
Because he said that the Vardo radar is not dangerous, and I disagreed with him. And also Bård Wormdal disagreed with him.
This Vardo radar, a few kilometers outside Russian border, is rather dangerous because it is in the missile defense system, so called missile defense system. So, I think he was not aware of this. We disagreed rather strong on this matter and that’s why I’m very happy that you called me so I can tell this.
Then I think I will drift back to Sweden because during the last years, starting with 2007, there’ve been huge war maneuvers on the Swedish and Norwegian soil, with all NATO, and specifically the American State participating in huge maneuvers in the north.
They were called for instance: Nordic Air Meet in 2007 where a lot of countries took part, and then in 2009, it was Loyal Arrow: history’s largest air maneuver in the northern part of Sweden and Norway, and also Finland was the area. And then it continued with the Cold Response №1, a winter maneuver in the northern part of Sweden and northern Norway. And it continued in March 2012 with the Cold Response №2 with 16,500 soldiers from 15 different countries. And then after this you had last autumn a huge maneuver in the north called Nordic Air Meet №2.
So, there are ongoing military war games and some Russian military has protested, specifically against Cold Response №2.
Nobody in Sweden would have known about this unless 5 Norwegian personnel crashed into Kebnekaise, a mountain in the northern Sweden, we would never have known about these 16,500 troop military maneuver.
So, it is ongoing, not on daily basis, but certainly every year it is about two huge maneuvers in the north, and even in the south, in the Baltic. And this should be highlighted I think.
Well, when we drift to Arctic I think there are two things going on here. When they are interviewed, those who are in charge of these maneuvers, they always answer that this is for the Arctic. They openly express this. These maneuvers are for the Arctic and the resources which will be available when the ice is melting.
29 January, 09:53
Obama Equates Opposition to Gay Marriage with Miscegenation Laws
Doctor Robert Gagnon
In part 3 of our conversation with Dr. Robert Gagnon he tells us about some of the consequences people face in the workplace and in society for speaking out against gay marriage. Dr. Gagnon also reveals that for the most part the US educational system and the media are places where it is forbidden to say anything against gay marriage, not speaking against gays in general, but about gay marriage, and how this is a reason for which one might lose their job.
Well, not really. Once you get it put into the legal system. Once you say sexual orientation is a civil rights category, then you are pretty much down the road, where it is going to be hoisted on everybody, because then the state has essentially taken a decision on this question and made its choice to say that anyone who opposes such unions or anyone who finds such unions offensive is essentially a bigot and will be prosecuted accordingly.
So, if they don’t provide the goods and services, again in Canada… They had somebody who had a copying place, in Canada, and he did not want to copy literature for promoting a homosexual, I think it was like a sex party, it was virtually an orgy, homosexual sex orgy. And he recommended: “Go down the street there are other copiers you could find there”, and the persons would have certainly had access to, but they sued him, as a result of sexual orientation law in Canada. And he subsequently had to pay over $10,000 in his own legal fees and their fees. I think they might have fined him $10,000 plus his own fees, plus he had to pay the fees of those who were suing him.
And a counselor, a teacher, in the British Columbia School System, as a private citizen, wrote a letter to a newspaper when they were having a gay pride celebration: saying that he didn’t think it was something they should be celebrating because of some of the medical consequences of homosexual behavior. He was immediately suspended without pay and then it went all the way up to the British Columbia Supreme Court. The British Columbia Supreme Court ruled that if you are in a white collar position, and if you even say anything that can be considered discriminatory, by the legal system of the state, then it is perfectly ok if your employer were to terminate you, even if the action does not come in the context of your employment.
So, Big Brother reaches out. I mean this is what it is coming down to. It is Orwellian, essentially.
My solution will be the same way that we basically view promiscuous behavior, or persons who want to have non-promiscuous unions consisting of three or more persons concurrently. Really, nothing is being done about that. But we are not going to grant state licenses for it, we are not going to provide state endorsement of the behavior, we are not going to subsidize it in any way, and we are not going to persecute anyone who is opposed to it, and it can be taken into consideration in certain employment situations.
If you are employed at a certain responsible white collar position, and let’s say you are the face of the company in effect, and it is known that you are in a sexual relationship with your mother, consensual relationship, or with three other persons concurrently, this reflects on the corporation and that can be taken into consideration. As it is now though, it is in the reverse.
I have friends for example who are in the banking system, who are high up in particular bank companies, and now they have, in those companies, affirmative action policies for those who describe themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, or transgender, so that the company actually now gives incentives for hiring persons who act out in that way. And it puts a person, like my friends, in a difficult position because if they don’t go along with the affirmative action policies for this, then their own jobs become in jeopardy.
So, now we are at a point where in the corporate world, in many corporations if you don’t actually promote homosexual behavior, if you don’t actually give greater benefits to those engaged in homosexual practice, as you would to those engaged in a normal heterosexual union or marriage, then you are going to have your job put in jeopardy.
A kind of absurd! It is not even now an equal playing field where those in homosexual unions get the same kind of benefits as those in heterosexual unions, but they actually get affirmative action programs, because they are now viewed as “quote-unquote” sexual minorities.
The state really should say: “Look, we are not going to approve it, we are not going to prosecute for your homosexual relationships, like the former sodomy laws that were in place. But we are not going to also approve it. That’s the position that the US was in about ten years ago, but we are way passed that now.
That is a big part of it. For example, those who run Amazon.com are major supporters of homosexual rights issues (so called). Bill Gates has been a major supporter of it, and on and on goes the list of billionaires and millionaires who have expended enormous amount of money. Some of them expended enormous amount of money to support candidates who identify as gay or lesbian, or supporting of gay or lesbian causes and to get rid of congressmen and senators who were not. And a lot of good Christians who should have spoken up about issues like this and should have made it an issue of voting concern, have decided to relinquish that responsibility.
Many people within the church are fearful of being labeled a bigot. So, they hide in closets themselves. And there is usually a price to pay. For example, I came out with a book on Bible and homosexual practice just before I came up for tenure, I teach at a Presbyterian Church USA Seminary. Even thought the position that I was upholding at that time, (It’s a 500 page book, very well reviewed by biblical scholars and theologians and church historians around the world. I got blurbs from about 30 different people, top-notch scholars), but even so it made it a very difficult attempt for me to get tenure at my institution, even though at the time I was basically supporting the official position of the Presbyterian Church USA because; it is a sort of take-no-prisoner-kind-of-approach.
Those who claim to be tolerant on this issue are very often highly intolerant on this and their view of tolerance is that: we are tolerant about those who support homosexual unions, those who don’t we have to get rid of.
So, that kind of thing that people have experienced in the workplace, in society generally, and certainly in educational systems, certainly in all the media outlets, certainly in Hollywood: if you indicate that you are not absolutely, 100% supportive now of gay marriage, you are likely going to lose your job.
Not everywhere, but in particular places more so, than in others. Again in the entertainment industry, the media industry, educational institutions…
Yes, that’s right! It is not good enough anymore that you are only for civil unions. You got to be completely for gay marriage, otherwise you are a bigot.
It is not good enough anymore. It is not that way everywhere, but it is certainly that way in many avant-garde institutions of the United States right now. And it is only going to get more so that way with Obama’s statement about gay marriage. Obama has been long for gay marriage, even before he was elected as president. He basically made equivalent opposition to gay marriage with miscegenation laws in the south in the 1950s and early 1960s. So, that tells you where he is on the issue. And when you think about persons who were supportive of miscegenation laws in the US…
Yes, miscegenation laws are laws that were passed in the South before the Civil Rights Legislation, of the mid and late 1960s in the United States, which forbade marriage across races. So, an African-American could not marry a white person, for example. Now, I myself, I’m married to a Jamaican woman who is mostly of African descent. So, for me to hear this equation that somebody like Obama did, between those who oppose homosexual practice and those who oppose interracial marriages, I mean this is the height of offensiveness, this is absurdity.
Race is a benign characteristic, it doesn’t lead somebody to do things that are inconsistent with their embodied existence as a male and female. To compare race with an innate urge (sexual urge) to unite with somebody who is not a true sexual complement, well this is absurd.
But when you have a President making those kinds of connections and essentially equating anyone who does not support gay marriage with persons who support miscegenation laws, then you are going to get this kind of vitriolic reaction in society now, to those who don’t support gay marriage.
28 January, 12:29
The US did not set up US/AFRICA Command as a social service agency - Rozoff
Photo: © Flickr.com/Changhua Coast Conservation Action/cc-by-nc-sa 3.0
Regular Voice of Russia Contributor Rick Rozoff discusses Syrian defenses and how they are preventing a Western invasion, Russian-Syrian cooperation, the pretext of the war on terror to invade countries which he says was part of phase 2 of the US/NATO global expansion, other pretexts used to justify military expansion, the ties between al-Qaeda and the US and the massive expansion by US/NATO into the African continent which will, in effect, bring all of Africa under US/NATO control.
I think that’s a very plausible contention. And that in fact over the decades, during the Soviet period and in the post-Soviet period, that Russia has maintained military-to-military ties with the Government in Syria and has, as is the Russian policy, provided strictly defensive weapons to an ally, to a client state, to Syria.
And that I’m sure anyone in the know about this thing wouldn’t be talking about it. But I think it is a safe assumption that Syria has an integrated air defense system that is substantially more advanced and effective than anything that the countries that have been in recent years the victims of US-NATO military onslaughts have had. For example Libya and certainly Afghanistan, Iraq after over a decade of sanctions, and perhaps even Yugoslavia. So, one of the factors, as you mention, that may have already prevented more reckless provocative military action by Western powers against Syria is the fact that Syria has the ability to protect itself.
As you are aware of and this has been mentioned by the Russian officials is the deployment of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Interceptors in Southeastern Turkey may in fact, in part, be to effectively enforce a no-fly zone over the border land, you know, the area on the other side of the Syrian border, to prevent aircraft, as well as cruise missiles or other theatre missiles, from being used in that area, and as such, may be preparatory to plans to cripple or neutralize the Syrian air defense system on a more ambitious scale. That’s certainly a possibility.
While reflecting on developments in Syria, and even more so, developments by outside players meddling in internal affairs in Syria, and I’m talking of course about the United States and its NATO allies and their allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council; the monarchies and sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf, we have to recall that Russia does have its only military facility in the entire Mediterranean in Tartus, in Syria, and that, affecting, as the West and its Persian Gulf allies intend to, regime change in Damascus would inevitably lead to the eviction of the Russian Naval Forces, or their ability to use the facility in Tartus.
We also have to recall that Syria is the only Arab country currently that has particularly close state-to-state relations with Russia, as it does with Iran, same category, and that with the displacement or the replacement of the Government in Damascus we will see the entire Mediterranean Sea basin turned into a Pentagon-NATO stronghold. With no… Libya being knocked out last year and Lebanon presumably going the way of Syria, so that Russian strategic interests in the Mediterranean would be seriously hurt with the overthrow of the Government in Syria and its replacement by a US puppet regime.
Yes, along with the so called pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, which is meant to create an alliance based on a model of NATO by the US and the several of its NATO allies, like Britain and France who are past colonial powers in the East Asia and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, to encircle and contain China much as NATO expansion in Europe is aimed to do it vis-à-vis Russia, but we are also seeing the increased military focus on Africa by the United States, by the entire continent, following in the wake of the creation of the US-Africa Command. The latest, and in terms of the number of countries included, the largest, overseas US regional military command in history.
And because nations like China, Russia, India and others are reaching out to Africa for trade, economic and natural resource purposes, we are seeing the US increasingly intensifying its military presence and activity on the continent. A recent article many of your listeners may be aware of, documents the United States is to deploy, initially at least, limited contingents of military forces to 35 nations in Africa. Depending on how one counts them there are 54 members of the African Union, so that’s a pretty sizeable percentage of the total number of countries in Africa. And that’s in addition of course to the US-NATO war against Libya in North Africa last year.
Most of what we’re talking about will be covert activities. The official explanation is “fighting al-Qaeda forces in Africa”. I cannot believe there are 35 nations in Africa that are threatened by al-Qaeda in Africa or anything like it.
You are raising a very interesting question, particularly as it seems to be a real drum beat for military intervention in Mali, in Northwest Africa, and again, ostensibly to combat al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Yes, that’s the irony that I think needs to be emphasized, is the fact that while the US and its NATO allies are actively supporting al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda -linked foreign fighters and terrorists against governments in Libya and Syria, and who knows where else tomorrow, they are using the pretext of fighting al-Qaeda to introduce military forces into Africa, throughout the continent of Africa indeed. So, I think we can take that at face value, that this is a charade, this is a pretence.
We should also of course, since we talked about earlier, the fact that the US has pivoted to the Asia-Pacific region after having subjugated the greater Middle East, that somebody is playing off an old script, if you will, when they come up with these sorts of bogus excuses, because that really belongs to phase 2, if you will, of post-Cold War global US military expansion. So, they need a new script writer in the State Department and the Pentagon.
The reason why they are increasing military forces in Africa. We know for example that last year the Obama Administration announced a deployment of (special operations) special forces troops to four countries in Central Africa to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army. And they were going to Uganda, the Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan. So, in that case it is clearly not al-Qaeda. The US military forces have been involved in counter-insurgency operations in Mali for several years and not against al-Qaeda but against ethnic Tuaregs.
So, they’ll use whatever excuse, I guess is at hand, you know, fighting pirates in the Horn of Africa, or pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, or the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa, but at the end of the day, the US did not setup the US-Africa Command as a social service agency. They set it up as the scaffolding for increased US military activities in Africa. And what we’ve seen, with the confirmation of the fact that the Pentagon is going to deploy new military forces to 35 nations, is that the US is intent on establishing a permanent military presence throughout the length and breadth of Africa.
28 January, 12:27
‘There is a drone with Assange’s name on it’ – William Blum
Assange will be assassinated if freed, expert says. In an exclusive interview with the Voice of Russia, , an American author, historian, and critic of United States foreign policy spoke about CIA assassinations (one of his areas of expertise) and some of his past work. Mr. Blum is candid in his assessment of CIA assassination plots against such people as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. He also has some surprising things to say about Julian Assange and Osama Bin Laden.
Well, American interventions carried out via the CIA and all the U.S. military have been my specialty for many-many years. My books emphasize those things. As does my monthly newsletters “The Anti-Empire Report”.
As far as the backlash: the U.S. government doesn’t bother American authors that much, because they know we don’t have that much influence, they can afford to have us write things and point to that as proof of freedom of speech in America. So they don’t care.
That was in 1969 when I was working for the “Underground Press” in Washington D.C. and I and a colleague we parked our car outside the CIA headquarters in Virginia and for a couple of hours or so, we recorded the license plate numbers of all the cars going into the CIA. And with that information we were able to compile a list of names and addresses of these people, which we published in our underground newspaper.
Assassination attempts? That was in 2004, the U.S. government met with the coup plotters both in Venezuela and Washington and these people then carried out a military coup which overthrew Chavez and the people took him to custody, but he was freed after about two days, because of a combination of public outcry and pressure from the remaining members of the military who were not part of the coup. So then he actually had and still has a lot of support in the military. He, himself was a member of it. So a combination of the military and a public outcry forced the coup plotters to abandon their plans and after two days Chavez was released.
It was supposed to be a mini-encyclopedia of all the nefarious things done by the U.S. foreign policy. There’s a chapter on assassination, a chapter on bombings and so on. There are many chapters covering the gross and illegal aspects of U.S. foreign policy. It’s compiled together many things which most Americans, and most people in the world are not aware of.
Individual elements of each of these compilations one could find in some public area or other but to put it together into long tables of information was my contribution and that came out in about 2000. And then in 2006 the Arabic version of the book, the book had many foreign translations, there were two in Arabic and one of those two was read by Osama bin Laden and he, in one of his periodic audio recordings, mentioned that Americans would be well served if they read my book and get a better understanding of their enemy.
And I can only guess that the theme in that book Rogue State which most caught his attention and his sympathy was one chapter dealing with the motivations of anti-American terrorists. Contrary to what we were being taught, and still now to a large extent, were that these people were: just hated America, or they hated Christianity, or they were just crazy, or they were just envious of democracy and our wealth, all of these reasons, but never even a hint that they were acting out of retribution for the decades of very serious military and other infringements upon people in the Middle East. All kinds of bombings and overthrows of governments, supporting dictatorships, supporting Israel,all kinds of things I gave a long list of the American actions which created all these anti-American terrorists, and that is what I am assuming most appealed to Bin Laden.
This month you are speaking about?
I wouldn’t doubt that. I would be surprised if the CIA did not attempt to assassinate him. I mean among other reasons, he’s sheltering Assange! That by itself is reason to assassinate him.
The CIA attempts to assassinate people for much less reasons than that. Assange is the public enemy №1 in America. The U.S. is obsessed with him and they are afraid that he will be issuing the realease of more classified documents so they’d really like to put him out of the way, if they can.
They were all set to invade the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, when the British government was finally talked out of it by their own people: That it would set a terrible precedent, that the U.K. Embassies all over the world would not be safe then. That was the reason that they called off the invasion plan.
They’re very serious about Assange. I mean he has to go. He’s the most marked man in the world.
As far as being put out of the way? Yeah. I would say that if the US had a choice it would get him out of the way before anyone else.
There is a drone somewhere with his name on it, and if he walks around in the world and he is not in the midst of a big city, he’s a marked man. There’s a rocket with his name on it inside of a drone with his name on it. So I can not imagine that would not be the case. The CIA has, if you delve as much as I have into the history of assassinations and so on, that is totally expected.
If he’s walking around free somewhere. Yeah.
24 January, 17:57
Taking apart and rebuilding government policy is hacktivism – interview
Craig Rouskey, micro-biologist, citizen scientist and organizer with Occupy San Francisco spoke about his move from activism into Hacktivism and explained some of the principles involved in Hacktivism and why it may be more effective in the changing world.
No, I would say first a couple of things. First, the Occupy Movement is still going pretty strong. We still have a huge number of people participating in a housing justice and other issues. I myself, I’m still continuing the on-the-ground activism in the community with a group which is a rights focused group where we are working on local community issues in San Francisco, in the community. So, there’s been a lot of spin-out groups of the Occupy that are focused on specific communities.
I want to be very clear about some things. First of all, Hacktivism is an iterative concept, it changes whatever iteration. In its first iteration, Hacktivism was a lot of computer work, where people were breaking into systems to liberate information, which I think is a noble goal. I think it is important that information that people paid for up front, especially like scientific research, I believe that that should be liberated.
I think everyone should have access to that, especially the tax payer. We paid for that information and that research up front and we should have access to it downstream. With that said, the kind of Hacktivism I do, is actually taking apart systems, whether that’s actual physical tools or whatever, and rebuilding them in ways that are more advantageous for people.
So, some of the Hacktivism that I would consider Hacktivism is the evaluation of public policy, breaking down public policy and reforming it in a way that is actually useful and more advantageous to the community. So, it is not all computer work. I’m horrible at coding, I could never be like a computer hacker.
Right, exactly! I would say that the general principles of Hacktivism or the people who call themselves Hacktivists generally focus on freeing up information. I think they believe that having access to information or the tools to acquire information is a goal that we have been working towards.
I would also say that there is a general theme of decentralization which was also a main theme in the Occupy Movement, and it remains a central theme in the Occupy Movement.
And I think the other important thing is that there is like a lack of hierarchy among hacktivists. It is not about your degree, it is not about your age, your sex but anarchist decentralized principle to it, which I think is beautiful and important.
23 January, 21:44
Foreign child adoption as sound “investment” and business for Americans, or why Dima Yakovlev Law is necessary to protect Russian children
As the media and the public debate the Dima Yakovlev Law the real reasons for the law are being lost in the debate, namely the abuse of Russian adoptees by American adoptive parents and the fact that American officials are not allowing Russian officials access to children who are Russian citizens in order to verify that they are being cared for in an appropriate manner. Russia seeks to protect its most defenseless citizens, it is as simple as that.
With the passing of the Dima Yakovlev law many Russians are debating the issue of adoptions and sadly another rift, albeit small has appeared in Russian society due to America’s actions. What is being lost in the debate here in Russia as sides point fingers at each other, namely the Western backed “opposition” who come out on every occasion to belittle any decision are action that protects Russia’s sovereignty and those who are interested in the well being of Russian children, is the real reason for the Dima Yakovlev law: the deaths and murders of Russian adoptees at the hands of their American foster parents.
Many have said the law was in answer to the U.S. Magnitsky Act, however this is far from the case. The real reason was the continued abuse of Russian adoptees by American adoptive parents and the obfuscation and interference by the US authorities in granting Russian Officials access to Russian adoptees in order to check their well-being. It is important to recall that all Russian adoptees are Russian citizens until their 18th birthday and Russia is simply seeking to protect the rights of its smallest and most defenseless citizens.
To start off I think it is important to look at why Americans want to adopt Russian children in the first place. One reason is because they did not have to go through the extensive background checks and even the US checks that exist are more lenient when it comes foreign adoptions.
Another and perhaps more significant reason is the simple fact that most American adoptive parents are white and many openly state of their dream to have a blonde blue-eyed white child, problematic in the US where parents may have only children from other race groups to choose from or where the competition for the child of their choice is too great or the wait could take years.
“Parents” such as these are not interested in charity or providing a child with a good life but are in reality simply engaged in the act of “buying goods” to fulfill whatever motivations they have for pursuing the “purchase” in the first place.
The argument they may use that a white child is easier to integrate into a white family may seem valid on the surface but true familial harmony has nothing to do with racial make-up, unless you are a racist of course.
For adoptions agencies and child “brokers” engaged in the business of selling and buying children for their clients, having a source of cheap white children was a “God-send”. Like anything where there is a demand there is always someone ready to capitalize on that demand and fill it, and for them Russia was ideal.
One “Christian” organization in Russia openly states that the cost of a Russian child was $5,000, almost nothing when Americans are ready to pay from $35,000 to $120,000 for a white blue-eyed child. The profits to be had are huge.
Of course it is distasteful to call the process what it is; “the buying and selling of children”, especially for the parents, so the agencies and those involved have to come up with mountains of supportive arguments and self-satisfying reasoning to make their business palatable to the world at large.
The constant propaganda against Russia and the “deplorable conditions in Russian orphanages”, etc etc ad-nauseum by people who have never set foot in a Russian orphanage or even in the Russian Federation is necessary to assist them in selling their product and placating the consciences of people who are uprooting a child from the child’s natural surrounding and attempting to recreate the child in whatever image they desire on the other side of the planet.
Another reason Americans seek to adopt children from overseas is the fear that the birth mother may show up and “interfere” in the upbringing of the child or take the child away altogether, something which may happen in the US if for example; a mother had her child taken away due to substance abuse issues and has since reformed her behavior.
All of these reasons; the long waiting lists, the stricter internal US controls, the fact that the birth mother may show up at any moment, the fact that the child itself may seek out its mother or father, make adopting children from a foreign country attractive to Americans. There are also issues with parents who may have an affinity for a country or possess imperialistic sentiments assuaged by the fact that they “possess” a person from a certain country and can make them “American”.
Another fact that few pay attention to but is also important is the tax breaks that Americans may receive for adopting foreign children, there is the primary tax break for having a dependent child (applicable to all adoptions) and then tax breaks for foreign travel and “charitable contributions” if the adoption is done for example through a “Christian” organization. Again, from a “business” viewpoint a very sound “investment”, and from an oversight viewpoint such organizations enjoy almost no oversight by the authorities.
Unfortunately no serious studies on the subject have been done and data is extremely difficult to find as to the primary driving motivations so what you have just read are the results of my own research on the matter at hand.
Most of the information about adoptions in the US is almost impossible to find and even the number of actual children eligible for adoption is a fact that is not available to the public. As an example; in one state an adoptive parent, who went through all of the steps to be allowed to adopt a child and was finally allowed to “choose” a child, was shocked to learn that apart from the 30 children she was at first told were available, there were in fact more than 500 more in her state.
According to official data; in the US the figures regarding international as opposed to internal adoptions stands at roughly 20% international and 40% from the foster care system and 40% from private adoptions.
Currently there are officially about 129,000 children in the US in the foster care system ready for adoption and the number from private adoptions may be far greater bringing the number of children in the US waiting to be adopted to what could be close to half a million or more, this does not include children who the states are waiting to take parental rights away from.
The US does not officially list children as being eligible for adoption until the parents have lost all parental rights and states intentionally refrain from taking this final step until there are adoptive parents, making the number of children eligible for adoption but not on official lists possibly ten times greater.
In 2008, a year I was able to find data on, there were approximately 1,494 child homicides in the United States. Of those killed 1,035 were male, while 453 were female, these figures are more or less average with reports seeing an increase in the past few years.
Indeed, even the 19 Russian-born children who died while in the care of their adoptive parents are a tiny minority of the 60,000 Russian children who have been adopted in the United States since 1991. Using this number, the death rate of Russian adoptees is 1.5 per 100,000 per year. By comparison, the general child fatality rate due to neglect and abuse has hovered around 2.2 deaths per 100,000 children per year over the past few years in the US. One might argue from the facts that Americans kill more of their own children than Russian children, but the point is moot when even one death is unacceptable.
Some more figures: in the US in 2011 an estimated 1,570 children died of abuse and neglect, making the numbers: 2.1 per 100,000, and in the past 6 years the number has fluctuated between a high of 1,608 in 2007 and a low of 1,494 in 2008.
By age the number of children killed in the US is disproportionately high when it comes to children under 3. In 2011: 98 3-year-olds were murdered, 166 2-year-olds, 229 1-year-olds and 534 children under the age of one were murdered by their caregivers, making almost 82% of all murdered children in America under the age of 4.
According to US Government statistics for 2011 the race of parents who murdered their children is as follows: 490 children were killed by white parents (40.5%), 341 by black parents (28.2%) and 215 by Hispanic parents (17.8%), figures from which any number of conclusions could be reached.
The figures for those killed by neglect stand at 895 deaths (71.1%), from abuse 602 dead (47.9%) with the rest dying from other causes.
An argument in defense of adoptive parents might be had from the fact that there were 617,858 cases of abuse reported by parents in 2011 and by adoptive parents only 5,108. This could be attributed to the fact that adoptive parents are generally better educated and more well-off than the majority of the population.
How do Americans abuse their children? According to US Government figures for 2011 61% of parents abusing their children were guilty of neglect, 9.7% physically abused their children and a whopping 6.2% sexually abused their own children or those in their care.
Sadly, in a country where rapists get an average of 65 months in prison before they are prowling the streets again (according to figures by the FBI), hackers get approximately 10 years for DDoS attacks, and anyone the state deems a “terrorist” can be disappeared for life, parents who murder their own children, and in particular those who murder Russian orphans, get away with nothing more than a slap on the wrist if they are repentant.
The United States has long ago lost its self-perceived position as the world’s moral compass for many reasons, one being the situation surrounding adopted children, others being all of the war crimes, aggressive wars, droning, torture and human rights violations that have existed and come to light since 9-11.
Yet another no less important indicator is the Official US refusal to sign and comply with international treaties and norms including: the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the Mine Ban Treaty, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.
The US is the only country in the world, other than Somalia, that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history. As for the CEDAW, it is one of only seven countries including: Iran, Nauru, Palau, Somalia, Sudan and Tonga that has failed to ratify the convention.
One might argue that the US has ratified the Hague Conventions on International Adoptions, however there is no recourse for violations to the conventions and they are largely ignored.
Despite all of the above many Americans feel that, while dictating to the world what to do and meddling into the affairs of any nation they choose to, any “foreign” oversight or monitoring is somehow an attack on their sovereignty. Hence the obfuscation faced by Russian Officials when it comes to checking on the welfare of Russian adoptees.
As I said before: having lived in both Russia and the U.S. for decades I can honestly say that any Russian travelling to the U.S. would be shocked at the number of stories and cases of child abuse and atrocities against children that exist in the United States and that no one hears about in the filtered international U.S. media.
Societal violence, sexual deviation and the mentality of Americans in seeing every country in the world as being beneath their own contempt make it dangerous for children from other countries to be adopted by Americans. Predators see isolated foreign children as prime targets as they are defenseless and in most cases too afraid to fight back or speak out, which leads to an escalation of the violence against themselves.
For decades few people have understood the reality that in America it is not all milk and honey, yet Russians are beginning to wake up. The Russian Government in particular, with the expulsion of USAID, which was heavily involved in subverting the Russian state, and also in the whole children’s care sphere, has finally begun to take measures against the carefully planned and subtle encroachment on Russia’s sovereignty.
Russians must congratulate the government and President Putin for having the courage and foresight to take measures to protect the Russian Federation and the Russian people and most importantly protect Russia’s defenseless children who were being “sold” to America. Unfortunately after decades of pro-US propaganda many in Russia still believe the lies they have been fed and unfortunately do not know the real motives behind organizations such USAID.
With higher education almost out of reach for the majority of Americans the overall population is one of the worst educated in the world. The societal glorification of violence and force is exacerbated by lack of education, resulting in a situation where many see violence as the only solution, including when it comes to resolving issues with children.
America’s own problems concerning unwanted children are also not helped and possibly driven by the church and the whole anti-abortion craze which has caused millions of unwanted children that no one really cares about adopting.
Economic concerns and the breakdown down in the family, the primary societal unit, also have led to a situation where children are paying the price in America.
Despite all of this the US Media is continuously biased against Russia, and any other country in the world for that matter, and continues to perpetuate the myth that most Americans themselves refuse to part with, that America is the land of milk and honey and everywhere else is “third world”.
One of these myths is the argument by the Russian opposition that disabled Russian orphans have nowhere to go. According to the Pavel Astakhov, the Russian President’s Ombudsman on Children’s Rights, there are more Russian parents ready to adopt Russian orphans than there are children.
There are also hundreds of thousands of disabled American children for Americans to adopt and if there were really charitable motivations behind the actions of these adoptive parents, they would adopt their own disabled children first, but they don’t. Americans who want to adopt Russian children, as I said above, are not interested in charity, they are interested in obtaining a cheap white blue-eyed Russian baby.
I can not say there are no Americans who are driven by charity, there are some and they must be applauded, but they are few and generally they are overburdened and run group homes which attempt to deal with the needs of these special children in an environment where there is minimal support.
As for Russia and I can say this honestly and with the insight of an educator, the respect for children is much higher than in the U.S. and the level of crimes and cases of inhumane acts against children are so much lower as to almost be non-existent if one compares them to the U.S.
In the better part of two decades here there have been less than a dozen high profile cases of crimes against children and once again I cannot help but to compare that with the almost daily onslaught in the U.S. media of cases of child abuse, kidnappings, child murders and pedophilia.
Russia is not the only country that has put a halt to American adoptions. One important source for children used by those in the child trade business was Guatemala. In 2008 it was the leading country providing children for Americans with 4,123 children being adopted by Americans. Several countries have also drastically cut back on the number of adoptions to America or increased the requirements on those wishing to adopt, these include: Ethiopia, Vietnam, South Korea and even China.
Since the ‘90s 19 Russian children have died at the hands of their American adopted parents.
1. Ivan Skorobogatov “Nathaniel Craver” aged 7, died August 25, 2009 after being taken off life support in Hershey Pennsylvania. The autopsy revealed Vanya suffered 80 external injuries, including 20 to the head and had been abused for an extended period of time. His killers Michael and Nannette Craver were released after time served.
2. Dmitry Yakovlev, “Chase Harrison” aged 21 months, died July 8, 2008 in Herndon, Virginia. Child was baked alive in the back of the car of adopted “father” Miles Harrison, who “forgot” the child and was acquitted of any wrongdoing in the murder of the infant. His killer was released.
3. Nickolai (Kolya ) Emelyantsev, 14-months-old, died on March 7, 2008 in Tooele Utah. He was murdered by his adoptive mother Kimberly Emelyantsev, he died of a fractured skull after being repeatedly bashed on a concrete floor and had cuts and bruises to over 90% percent of his little body. His killer has already been released.
4. Denis Uritsky “Dennis Gene Merryman” 8-years-old. Died January 22, 2005 in Harford County, Maryland of cardiac arrest brought on by starvation. At 3 he weighed 40 pounds, at the time of death he weighed 37. His killers were released then received 22 years each.
5. Victoria Bazhenova “Nina Hilt”. 2.5-years-old. Died July 2, 2005 in Manassas, Virginia of blows and internal injuries to the abdominal area after being repeatedly kick and punched in the stomach and back. Murdered by Peggy Sue Hilt. Killer sentenced to approximately 20 years.
6. Konstantin Shlepin “David Polreis Jr” aged 2. Died February 9, 1996 in Greeley, Colorado after being beaten to death. Had cuts and bruises over 90% of his body. Killed by Renee Polreis. Killer was released in 2005.
7. Logan Higginbotham aged 3. Died November 25, 1998 in Shelburne, Vermont of massive head injuries after being slammed into a wall. Killer Laura Higginbotham was sentenced to 1 year and has been released.
8. Viktor Sergeivich Tulimov “Viktor Matthey” aged 6. Died October 31, 2000 in Hunterdon County, New Jersey of hypothermia after being locked in an unheated service room overnight. Had over 40 cuts and bruises on his body as well as untreated bone fractures. Killers Robert and Brenda Matthey were released in 2008.
9. Luke Evans aged 1.5 years. Died November 30, 2001 in Lowell, Indiana of massive head injuries and shaken baby syndrome. His killer Natalie Fabian Evans was found not guilty and released.
10. Alexei Vasilovich Geiko “Alex Pavlis” 6-years-old. Died December 18, 2003 in Schaumburg, Illinois of massive injuries after going into a coma. His killer Iram Pavlis was sentenced to 12 years in prison but was released in 2008.
11. Ilya Kargyntsev “Isaac Jonathan Dykstra” aged 21 months. Died August 14, 2005 in Iowa City, Iowa of massive internal injuries. Killer Brian Dykstra was charged with 2nd degree murder then acquitted. Free 12. Jacob Lindroff aged 5. Died December 14, 2001 in Gloucester Township, New Jersey of a blunt force trauma to the head. Jacob has 2nd degree burns on his feet. Killers James and Heather Lindroff have been released. They were later charged with conspiracy to commit murder after attempting to hire a someone to kill a witness in the case. They are free after those charges as well.
13. Jessica Albina Hagmann age 2 years 7 months. Died August 11, 2003 in Prince William County, Virginia of mechanical asphyxia due to compression against an adult: lack of blood and oxygen. Jessica weighed only 27 pounds when she died and was covered with bruises including multiple bruises and cuts to her face and head. Killer Patrice Lynn Hagmann received 2 suspended sentences and has been released.
14. Dmitry Sergeyevich Ishlankulov “Liam Dmitry Thompson” aged 3. Died October 16, 2003 in Columbus, Ohio of burns to his entire body after being boiled alive in a bathtub in 140 degree water and placed in a crib in a freezing basement for five days. Killers Gary Allen Thompson received 15 years. Will probably be released in 2018. Killer Amy Thompson will be released in 2017.
15. Maria Anastasia Bennett aged 2. Died October 23, 2002 in Columbus Ohio of fatal head wounds and eye injuries. Her killer Susan Jane Bennett received 3 years with release after 2 years and the probation. She has been released.
16. Sacha Vallée aged 4. Died October 9, 2002 in Verdun, Quebec, Canada after being beaten for 4 days, dropped on his face, punched in the stomach and left outside in the Canadian winter. His killer Eric Grenier was found guilty of non-premeditated homicide and sentenced to life in prison with no possiblility of parole for 12 years( by Canada).
17. Nikita Khoryakovont “Zachary Higier” aged 2. Died August 15, 2002 in Braintree, Massachusetts of a bilateral skull fracture, a massive stroke on the right side of his brain, a smaller stroke on left side, brain swelling and detached retinas consistent with a fall from a 3 storey building. Killer Natalia Higier was sentenced to 2 1/2 years. Has been released
18 and19 Yana and Anatoly Kolenda. Both aged 11. Died on October 21, 2002 in Westfield, Massachusetts after being brutally murdered by the Richard Kolenda who then killed the adoptive mother and later shot himself in the head.
Then there are multiple cases of abuse such as:
Kuzma Cochran, 4-years-old. Abused by Jane and Timothy Cochran. Kuzma was tortured, had bruises over 90% of his body, was beaten and had a piece of his ear cut off. Abusers received 3 and 2 months. Were released.
Kelsey Hyre, aged 2, living in Akron Ohio and permanently paralyzed on September 26, 2002 when her spine severed by Gerald Hyre after he slammed her on the floor.
Russian children should be cared for and looked after by Russian parents or caregivers, especially in light of the lack of access allowed Russian Officials to Russian children abroad, in reality that is in the best interest of the children. As for America they should take more steps to solve their own internal issues with regards to child abuse and child homicide before dragging in the international community and asking it to accept the atrocious conditions faced by adoptees in America. In short America should be banned from all international adoptions until they can take care of their own children.
21 January, 11:55
Under the Radar-3: RFID chips being used to track students and US and al-Qaeda working hand in hand
The surveillance of Americans by their government continues unabated, the US was in Mali long before the French arrived supposedly working with al-Qaeda, and Germany is withdrawing its gold reserves worldwide. All of these events are currently taking place “Under the Radar”.
Every week hundreds of important events occur that are important to all of us but which do not get enough media attention, either because they are over-shadowed by other major news or because they do not fit the pre-planned message that many of the world’s media are trying to promote, there is a journalistic responsibility to tell the whole story which we always attempt to do. Although we keep our eyes on the world this week’s most pressing issues that have been suppressed come from the US.
Have you hear of an IMSI catcher or Stingray? Neither did I until I read this story. The device is being used by the FBI and is basically a fake cell phone tower that is used to determine the location of all cells phones in a certain area and intercept all phone calls and texts. It is just one of the US FBI’s new tools to spy on you and one they do not want you to know about.
“Currently, EFF is suing the government for its secret interpretation of the Patriot Act Section 215, and for secret FISA court opinions that could shed light on the NSA warrantless wiretapping program. In addition, the ACLU has sued the Obama administration for its legal opinion stating it can kill US citizens overseas, away from the battlefield.”
2. Maybe it is not surprising anymore that the to spread war and terror and keep the endless global “war on Terror” alive, but it may be a little known fact that they were operating in Mali when the Tuareg took over the country.
“… there was already a US presence in Mali in the summer of 2012. What they were doing there remains a mystery, as it is a mystery if the ever co-present flip flops on the ground were there inciting the perpetual scapegoat Al Qaeda to do this, or that. Or maybe it was not the CIA. Maybe it was the Army's "little-known and secretive" branch known as the Intelligence and Security Command.”
3. of New York and is in the process of testing all of its gold worldwide. Why? This articles claims that “they” now have a TEMPEST style device that can locate and analyze gold emanations.
“News that Germany will remove 300 tons of gold from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York gold vault repeats the oft-made claim the vault is 80 feet below ground."
4. rarely get caught but when they do it should not be ignored, especially when they are .
“For the first time in history, an Israeli agent of Pakistani origin has been arrested from Lahore, who is reportedly from the Seraiki belt region. Sources have revealed that the culprit was held at Guantanamo Bay for two and a half years, during the course of which he was subjected to brainwashing. After that, he was sent to Afghanistan where he was specially trained to plan terrorism. And finally, he was sent back to Pakistan.”
5. Well Americans, you were warned and you allowed it to happen. Now if you protest what your government does or do anything that appears to be aimed at “coercing” the populace in any way, you may be labeled a terrorist and secretly arrested and disappeared.
— enraging civil liberties advocates and activist groups who say it shows blatant disregard of the First Amendment.”
6. The fact that like cattle is something I wrote about before but the fact that the state is able to win the right to do such a thing in court is something that should be making the headlines worldwide.
“Hernandez, who has been threatened with expulsion for refusing to wear a chipless RFID tracking badge, had her request for a preliminary injunction denied by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Western District of Texas.”
7. . This has been going on for decades but the idiocy of it has as far as I know never been filmed until now.
“As a result of the man ‘arguing’ with him, the criminal in uniform insists on adding a made up charge for ‘speeding’ to add on top of the made up charge of biking on the wrong side of a bike path.”
US media watchdog, Media Matters for America calls out fearmongering gasbag Bill O’Reilly as he insults ALL Americans and calls them “stupid”.
“So, I have to play Paul Revere here. I have to continue to tell you the truth. But I also believe many Americans simply will not listen. And even worse, they are not smart enough -- not smart enough to even care. Disaster could be coming.”
9. is something the mass media may not want you to know about, especially as many are claiming his death . If you are interested in some of the writings of Mr. Swartz please visit Cryptome which is keeping a large archive of Mr. Swartz’s writings and work.
10. and the Syrians they claim to be fighting for are not happy. Surprise, surprise!
"They see stealing things that used to belong to the government, like copper factories, or any factory, as no problem," said the rebel commander. "They are selling it to the Turks and using the money for themselves. This is wrong. This is money for the people."
18 January, 15:11
The state demanding support for gay marriage - interview
© Flickr.com/Eduardo Amorim/cc-by-nc
In part 2 of our conversation with Dr. Robert Gagnon he talks about some of the ways in which members of society are being forced to accept, endorse and support homosexual behavior, even though not something that a majority considers to be acceptable. Dr. Gagnon discusses how the US is attempting to promote homosexuality and equate the acceptance of homosexuality the fight against racial discrimination.
So, even in the US, we’ve had something like in New Mexico, a photographer did not want to photograph a lesbian wedding. It was a freelance photographer. And the lesbian couple, as a result, sued the photographer and won several thousand dollars worth of damages in New Mexico because of sexual orientation laws that they have. So, in effect, when such laws get passed Christians are compelled in many different venues then to support, to affirm, to promote forms of sexual behavior that they regard as immoral.
It would if it extends basically all the rights. Like California right now, all the rights were given to homosexual unions short of the title of marriage before they decided to try to impose gay marriage on the citizenry and then the citizen initiative overturned that. And now the courts are saying no, we are going to go back to what we imposed on you despite the citizens’ initiative. And this is the problem that comes about, if you give it all the benefits of being married, essentially it is marriage.
Well, what happens is that the state winds up promoting a form of behavior which is not good for the state to promote and still ends up compelling citizens to promote it. So, in the end it gets taught, like again in California, in the school systems as a civil right and children from the age of first grade on are subjected to this indoctrination, and anyone who disagrees with it is basically relegated to the category of “bigot” and ostracized, and marginalized, and even at some level prosecuted in the society as a result of that belief.
There is no two ways or two options here. Now, in regards to violence – the state prosecutes any form of violence. You are not allowed to be violent towards anyone; you’ll be subjected to criminal prosecution for whatever the reason is. And those laws are already in the books, so there is no need to add anything to that. As far as hospital visitations occur – hospitals have already long since become much more liberal in allowing the kinds of persons that can be involved in visitation rights.
These really are not issues anymore that we face. What really now is being thrust on society is a demand that you support our relationships, that you provide financial incentives for the relationship, that you support indoctrination of children in the schools systems from first grade on and if you don’t do that we are going to marginalize, ostracize and ultimately prosecute you.
That’s right, because they equate the non-acceptance of this behavior with racism; it is the moral equivalent of racism. And think of all the ways in which races will have their abuse attenuated in society. And if they say this is the equivalent of racism, then anybody who opposes homosexual practice will be relegated to the same position. That means loss of job. For example, we’ve already had numerous situations in the US, for example, among teachers, where if on your Facebook page, which is supposed to be your own Facebook page and that’s something you do in private. If you say that you are opposed to gay marriage, there’ve been several incidences where such persons either had their positions terminated or they’ve been put on probation.
And this is extraordinary. Twenty years ago you didn’t have to be for gay marriage, you could be for civil unions and that was enough. And now, if you are not for gay marriage, you now receive the same kind of treatment.
That’s right. That’s how far this has progressed. And it is all incremental. When you give us position A, we are going to move to position B, when you give us be, we are going to go to C, until eventually it moves to the point where it is now in places like in Europe and in Canada. The EU just came yesterday or today with a ruling that in a charity where a Christian psychologist didn’t want to counsel a homosexual couple about how to have good gay sex was fired and now the UN courts have upheld that firing. It is an extraordinary kind of thing.
This was a Christian counselor in a charity in the UK who did not want to counsel two men in a gay sex union on how to have good gay sex.
That’s right. They were having “civil partnership troubles” and part of it involved a sexual relationship and they asked for appropriate counseling for that. And the counselor said – well, you know, I can refer you to somebody else, but I myself don’t approve of this kind of relationship. So, it wouldn’t be appropriate with my biases against your relationship for me to be the one to be asked to counsel.
That’s right. And still got fired for it, exactly. And we’ve had a couple of incidents even in the US along those lines. Even when an attempt was made for referral, but that wasn’t good enough because they say that’s prejudicial, that’s discriminatory and you are not abiding by sexual orientation policies, so therefore you’ll be removed.
And this is where it is getting to. It is getting a sort of to be totalitarian like state where it is not the question of simply now looking the other way and saying you could do what you want to do in the privacy of your own home, but rather we have to actually provide all the supports financially, in terms of professional responsibilities, and we are not allowed to express an alternative viewpoint.
Once you have sexual orientation laws in place you have a right to all the services, good services, societal approval that is expected of this and if you add sexual orientation into the civil rights category, along with, for example, race, then everything that would apply to racial discrimination would apply in the case of homosexual relationships.
Well, not really. Not once you get it put in the legal system. Once you say sexual orientation is a civil rights category, then you’re pretty much down the road where it’s going to be forced on everybody because then the state has essentially taken a decision on this question and made the choice to say that anyone who opposes such unions, or anyone who finds such unions offensive, is essentially a bigot and will be prosecuted accordingly.
So, if they don’t provide them goods and services, again in Canada, a retail store did not want to provide Xeroxes for people who were holding a homosexual celebration of some sort. They recommended them to go down the street to this next copier and that will be fine. That wasn’t good enough, he wound up getting sued.
17 January, 12:57
Homosexual practice is a rejection of the way God has made one - interview
© Flickr.com/owyzzz/cc-by-nc-sa 3.0
With the subject of single sex marriages being debated worldwide and the voices of those in the United States who are against it almost unheard, Voice of Russia correspondent John Robles decided to seek out the opinion and reasoning from the opposing side on the issue. Dr. Robert Gagnon, represents a theological view and presents arguments against such "unions" and states that in the current political climate in North America anyone who opposes the institution of marriage including homosexuals faces the danger of losing their jobs or being sued if they speak out.
Well, there are different views on the issue of gay marriage even within the church many of the mainline denominations already accept gay marriage. Not many but few, the Episcopal Church in the United States is one, the United Church of Christ is another and the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of America is the third and there are others that are considering it. The Presbyterian Church USA of which of which I am a denomination, is entertaining that possibility. Other denominations are not anywhere close to accepting it, including the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, Pentecostal Churches, Evangelical Churches and even an occasional mainline like the Methodist Church.
Well, I think that’s the problem, that it shouldn’t be called a marriage. The Bible presents, from Genesis all the way up to the end of Revelation, understands men and women as sexual counterparts or complements to each other. In fact, that’s the image that is put forward in Genesis two, which says that God will create for the Adam, for the human a helper as his counterpart or complement, the Hebrew’s kenegdo, which uses a preposition that means both corresponding to, a fellow human being, and opposite to, in the sense of sex or gender.
And at every level – anatomically, physiologically, psychologically – the appropriate counterpart or complement to a man is a woman and a woman to a man.
It is why male-female marriages worked reasonably well, obviously with problems, but reasonably well over the centuries is that the extremes of a given sex are moderated in a union with a true sexual compliment or counterpart, a man with a woman, a woman with a man. And not only the extremes of a given sex are moderated but the gaps in the sexual self are filled appropriately. And when you don’t have a true sexual compliment in a sexual union, when you have a male-male or female-female union, those extremes are ratcheted up and the gaps in the sexual self are not filled. And so you have disproportionally high rates of measurable harm that attend such unions, precisely because of the absence of a true sexual complement.
It is not so much a question of whether the church forgives or accepts it, but whether God forgives it or accepts it. And God can forgive everything that is repented of. For those who come to Christ, and we believe as Christians, that Christ’s death makes amends for human sin and that his resurrection makes possible a sharing of his life through his spirit, his resurrection life to enable us to live the kind of life the God wants to live.
In areas where we fall down, we make repentance, we express sorrow for what we’ve done and a desire to follow God’s will. If we fall again, we repent again.
Even if… Jesus said: if you have to repent seven times a day, or seventy times seven times, or seventy seven, depending on how one reads the text in Matthew 18. Some extraordinary number of relapses was possible, but you have to, at the end of the day, repent! And if repentance needs to be done every day then one must do it.
What is not possible within a Christian Communion is to engage in serial unrepentant conduct of an egregious sort and expect that it will be forgiven simply because of what? That God is going to look the other way irrespective of whether we want to be led by his spirit. That’s not a Christian view of things.
So, if somebody wanted to perpetuate having sex with a close sibling, like a sister or a mother, or wanted to perpetuate an act of polyamory, of multiple sexual partners concurrently, that can be forgiven, but a person must repent of the behavior in question. So, that’s really what the church offers.
The behavior itself is changeable. We are not automatons, we are not robots, where we are compelled to carry out whatever desires we experience. Most desires that we experience as human beings are not desires that honor God, they are desires that can be innate, that can be given to us from birth on, congenital desires, and we may not be able to… in most cases we cannot eradicate those desires.
Basic ones that we all accept… is greed, it is certainly an impulse all of us experience jealousy is an impulse we all experience. These are not the things we ask to experience but we do, but that doesn’t make them right, doesn’t make them legitimate in God’s eyes. And we are not allowed to engage in behavior consistent with these desires without repentance.
Same thing with the sexual desires. Persons can have an array of heterosexual desires, to do things that God says don’t do. And just because we experience the desire to do them as an innate urge doesn’t mean that they remain part of God’s will. In fact, Scripture defines sin in Romans 7 as an innate impulse passed on by an ancestor running through the members of the human body and never entirely within human control.
So, that doesn’t characterize that it is being good simply because it is innate, but rather usually it is sin which is why Jesus talks about discipleship as taking up your cross, denying yourself and losing your life because we are not fundamentally good human beings, good persons, but rather we are fundamentally oriented to please ourselves rather than our creator or our neighbor.
So, what the church asks of persons with same sex attractions is not the demand that they lose their attraction, but rather that they conform their lives irrespective of the attraction to the will of God. This is true not only with persons of same sex attraction but with any innate desires to do what God expressly forbids to be done.
Certainly! We are already facing that danger in this country and it is well along and much further along the spectrum in Canada and in Europe. And the dangers are multiple. For one it is a danger to the participants, to the offenders involved in the practice.
Homosexual practice is: in its essence, a rejection of the way God has made one as a male or female, as a counterpart to the other sex that exists, not to a counterpart to their own sex. And to attempt to unite sexually in a union with somebody of the same sex dishonors or degrades the person that God intended them to be.
And once the state gets a hold of this and approves of something like gay marriage, or even at a preliminary stage, civil partnerships, or even at a stage beyond that, sexual orientation laws, it puts into place ultimately a discriminatory system toward persons who do not accept that such unions are moral and good, and ought to be approved by a society.
16 January, 11:32
Clinton's language has no place in international diplomacy - interview
Collage "The Voice of Russia"
The owner of Stop NATO, Rick Rozoff, recently spoke to the Voice of Russia about NATO's global plans and Russian-US relations. In part 2 of our interview Mr. Rozoff states that the US has been intentionally baiting and insulting Russia as it enroaches on Russia geopolitical space, he says that it is only the diplomatic maturity and the sense of responsibility of the Russian Government that has prevented the situation from becoming a far worse crisis.
Yes. NATO planning committee in Chicago, under the pressure from the ad hoc coalition that was protesting the NATO Summit and other forces, agreed to have a televised debate between the two NATO spokespeople and two people taking the opposite position, that is, people in opposition to the world’s first global military bloc. And initially this was to have included two fairly high-ranking NATO officials who were subsequently pulled and that was cancelled. Subsequent to that, the plan was to bring on the NATO side two former US Ambassadors to NATO and that plan was scrapped.
So, eventually two university professors in Chicago with some military background were brought on to defend the NATO position and two of us – a woman who had been a veteran US marine, or a veteran of the Iraq war and myself put forward the anti-NATO position. But because the resources available to the people who sponsored this think tank in Chicago, it was not only televised globally on YouTube but lengthy extracts have appeared on Chicago television. So, for the first time ever I suppose, at least here in the US, the anti-NATO forces were given an opportunity to air their grievances against the bloc.
Yes, in fact even at the time an ire of intimidation and fear-mongering was intentionally pushed by the city administration, and I’m sure the White House is behind it. The very day of the demonstration, for example, the two daily newspapers had banner headlines announcing a terrorist plot in Chicago. That is, that five people had been arrested ostensibly for planning pipe bombs or Molotov cocktails or something of the sort. But the case has really gone no place. But it was enough to intimidate people.
I personally spoke to people at the demonstration and to people I work with who, in both cases, stated that friends or relatives of theirs had intended to come to the demonstration but were scared off by this fact. There was an effort made to intimidate the people and to keep them away from anti-NATO activities. Nevertheless, there was a respectable showing in the march. It included people like the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who was at the front of the march, but it also included several dozen young US former service members who had fought in the Iraq and Afghan wars.
Let’s say no better, no worse. But it is surely no progress. We know for example, there is now a new Russian representative in the NATO-Russia Council who has replaced his predecessor. That format is still active. It had not been, of course, for a long period of time after Georgia's invasion of South Ossetia in August of 2008 and the fact that the US and NATO both immediately afterwards set up special cooperation formats with Georgia to all but award it for its aggression and to pledge continued support to the Saakashvili regime and Tbilisi, as well to modernize its so called defenses, which is in many cases offensive military capabilities.
What we have seen is that the US and NATO still resolutely refuse Russian offers to provide legal guarantees for the interceptor missile system in Eastern Europe. They have sabotaged and effectively destroyed the Russian offer to setup sectoral defense where Russia would have interceptor missiles covering a certain swath of land and then it would be picked up by NATO and the US. So, at every turn the US and NATO are spurning Russian offers to cooperate on a genuine defense system and forging ahead with the unilateral system that, in its initial deployments, will be on countries either bordering Russia or comparatively close to it. You know, Poland and Romania in the first place.
But we do have to recollect that the very same PAC-3 missiles that are heading to Turkey were deployed to eastern Poland in May of 2010, a battery was stationed there and which remains there, which is only in estimated 40 miles from the Russian territory, from the Kaliningrad District. So, I think it is irreputable, what’s happening is that the US and NATO are encroaching upon Russian geopolitical space and essentially taunting Russia. And every effort made by Russia to extend offers of cooperation and so forth are essentially being refused.
In many ways the US attitude towards the Russian Federation is even more abrasive and dismissive than the US attitude and behaviors towards the Soviet Union during the Cold War and I think that’s an incontestable fact. With the recent passage of the so called Magnitsky Bill in the US, what we’re seeing – is almost gratuitous efforts to belittle or demean or insult Russia and whenever Russia attempts to take any countermeasures they are accused of.
This is slightly off the point, but I mean it gives you an indication of where the things are going, when Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus tried to setup a customs union, we had the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warning about the resovietization the former Soviet space. That’s a brash and almost lunatic claim, but this is what passes muster in today’s world. And the US feels that – well, they can make accusations like that, so contemptuous are they, of Russia, and I would add of the rest of the world for that matter, but we are talking about Russia.
And this follows on heels of now I guess the former US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and Hilary Clinton herself over the past years using words like “despicable” and so forth in relation to Russian actions, particularly in the UN. And I’m old enough to remember the Cold War, and I frankly do not remember leading US diplomats using that kind of language in relation to the Soviet Union, the sort of language we are now hearing.
But this is a sort of imperial hubris that accompanies some nation that’s reached the same sort of delusions of grandeur that an individual afflicted with bipolar disorder might. “Being the world’s military superpower”, and that quote is from President Barack Obama, - “they are allowed to engage in any kind of swagger they choose to and that they can insult one of the major nations in the world – Russia, and one more over whose military capacities are the only ones that seriously rival the US”. So, to insult and provoke, and Russia the way it is doing – it is only the diplomatic maturity and the sense of responsibility of the Russian Government that’s prevented this from flaring up and becoming a far worse crisis.
But one wonders when the next provocation is going to occur. The next time Russia is going to be accused of resovietazing the former Soviet space, the next time they are going to be called “despicable” or “shameful”? Such language has no role whatsoever in international diplomacy and really casts a very dark mark on the ruling elite in the US.
15 January, 21:27
Every move you make, we’ll be watching you
© Photo: en.wikipedia.org
30,000 drones flying over the United States in the next 20 years is just one of the things Americans have to look forward too as their government continues to turn their country into a 100% total security state. Americans have long ago traded their “freedom” for security, so drones over Kansas should be no real big deal. The US Government and even the local sheriff are counting on your support, and support you will because you have no choice.
According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) within 20 years there will be approximately 30,000 drones flying over the United States. This month alone the FAA approved the usage of another 348 drones to be used within the United States.
The latest drone-hungry law enforcement body in the US to publically declare they will be using drones is the Sherriff’s Department of Orange County Florida, which has stated it intends to use 2 drones this summer over the metropolitan Orlando area. LINK 1
Proponents of drone usage are attempting to justify yet another intrusion into the privacy of Americans and another tool that will strip away personal freedom and assist in creating a 100% secure-total-control-hyper-security state, by saying they will be used to catch illegal immigrants, criminals, and you guessed it terrorists.
The problem here is that most Americans are buying into these false flag hyped-up arguments based on media-spin and false propaganda being spread by their own government.
Saying that some poor Mexican (or other illegal) who picks their tomatoes, lives in a room with seven other illegals during the picking season only to be deported before he can be paid when the farmer who hired him turns him in to the Immigration and Naturalization Service because, lo’ and behold, unbeknownst to him they were illegal, is a threat to America’s national security, is the most disingenuous xenophobic argument one can possibly imagine.
People conveniently forget that illegal-immigrants are exploited to no end in the United States and then blamed for every problem under the sun. They also forget that without them the price for most fruits and vegetables, for example, would sky-rocket beyond affordability if union-wage paid hands were sent out to the fields to pick the harvests. But of course for the US Government it is easy to blame marginalized and vulnerable members of the population for any problem they wish.
As for criminals, the US for-profit-prison-system is holding more prisoners than other country on earth and the US also has a larger percentage of the population in prison than any other country on the planet.
Does a country that can put a person in prison for life for stealing a Mars bar on three occasions (California’s 3 strikes law) really need to be able to spy on anyone anytime they want? And that is assuming the drones will be used for surveillance. The next step will be arming them, again in the name of security to facilitate arrests and stop criminals.
Does the US law enforcement establishment need to be this militarized? The answer is no. Do they wish to be? The answer is they absolutely and without a do.
What about the terrorist claim? Well, to be frank the entire US terrorist threat is pure hype. Unless of course we take into account the self-created terrorist threat that has existed since 9-11. However even after more than a decade of slaughtering supposed “terrorists” their families and everyone around them, perhaps in the hope of creating real terrorists and thousands who will seek revenge for the killing of their families, there has yet to be a real terrorist attack in the United States of America.
So there you go American populace, you have been duped and the real planners of 9-11 have been rolling over and laughing at you since day one. Here you were asked to believe that some ex-CIA agent (Osama bin-Laden a.k.a. Tom Ossman) organized the most precision demolition in the history of mankind and staged it to look like a terrorist attack using pilotless “drone” aircraft from a cave in Afghanistan, and you believed it. Then you were asked to believe that behind every tree and lamp-post there lurked an al-Qaeda terrorist from the local “cell” that exists in every “hometown” American city, and you believed that too.
So they stripped you of one right after the other and you agreed because you felt afraid and terrorized and trusted your government, yet who in fact was terrorizing you? Your own government and your government-and-corporate-controlled-mass-media, who have worked hand in hand in creating the corporate-controlled fascist state you live in today.
So Americans, you have video cameras on every corner, you have bar codes and computers that record your purchases and upload them to your “file” when you use your credit card, you have dentists who record and upload your data to central data-bases, you have AGPS devices with internet connect-ability that record your every move and can now even determine what floor you are on, cell phones that can be used remotely to listen and even watch you through the camera and which can track your every move, you have traffic cams that record your license number and can ticket you by mail, laser radar that can record your speed from three miles out, auto-mounted transmitters that can help track your vehicle no matter where you might be, satellite cams that can read the title of that paperback you are reading while you try to fall asleep, cameras that can see through walls, acoustic, microwave and other weapons that can cook you alive from the inside from a distance, data-bases of your every move from a doctor’s visit to a late electrical bill, facial identification software being used in public places, retinal scans, brain scanning devices that can supposedly pick up the “abnormal” brain activity of a terrorist, and that is not all. They want to put RFID chips under your skin with all of your information stored on them that can be activated remotely, they already have RFID chips used to track consumer goods and cars and even students (Texas), warrantless wire tapping and surveillance to listen to every word you say and to watch you whenever they want, you have data bases that record all your activities on the internet and Carnivore which saves and records every e-mail and fax you send, there are even tiny micro-chips in your money which record every bank where that money has been, and then there are the lists: the black lists, no-fly lists, watch lists, secret police lists which might contain such information as the fact that you keep a shot gun under the bed in the right corner, etc. etc., so with all that America what is a drone?
If you were to enter the “secret” DHS or CIA or NSA rooms where there are huge screens that they use to track and record everything and anything they want and can bring you up with a few key-strokes and see where you are and what you have been up to, including what you had for dinner last night, you would understand that you are no longer free.
I personally don’t feel too bad for Americans, they have blindly allowed all of this to come about and unfortunately for them it is too late.
Meanwhile, is Russia we have traffic cams, registration stamps with our addresses, and very competent security services who actually prevent real terrorists from attacking. Without demanding the enslavement of the people.
13 January, 19:42
Orwellian methods of US cyber control: DDoS and the Greensboro sit-ins, Anonymous comment
© Flickr.com/evaryont/cc-by-nc-sa 3.0
When there is tyranny free people must fight back, when the tyrants try to take away that right, they must be removed. The United States of America is attempting to implement and exercise tyranny on the world-wide-web, this is evidenced by unproportionate fines and prison sentences for anything they deem they do not like. Cyber space should be free space not a prison planet.
The recent petition by supporters of Anonymous to the Obama Administration to decriminalize DDoS attacks has now received 3,649 signatures, as of time of writing.
One of my sources in Anonymous contacted me with some interesting facts that show the ridiculous over kill possessed by the US authorities. If you are not convinced that ten year felony sentences for a temporary slowdown of a location in cyber-space which then remains undamaged is over-kill perhaps these facts will change your mind.
According to my anonymous source: “The severity of the sentences the government seeks for those who have participated in denial of service protests are dangerously out of line with the harm caused.”
The source says that rapists serve on average 65 months in prison, yet the government seeks sentences of ten years, 120 months, for the nonviolent act of participating in a protest. Liking DDoS in the virtual world to denial of service in the real world is an astute argument but in reality the virtual kind is so much less tangible and in reality does not even exist in the real world that it should not even need to be compared, let alone prosecuted.
One might argue if the people do not have the right to protest and freely express themselves in cyber space, then the government which is supposed to be of the people has absolutely no business attempting to regulate it or control it.
Attempting to control the masses and information with such Orwellian methods and such an iron-hand is nothing if not complete and total tyranny on the part of the US Government and the out of control police state.
The source goes on to say: “Denial of service actions have been instrumental in the pursuit and protection of civil rights in America. Recall that the touchstone moment of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement was the where isolated and vulnerable blacks occupied the "whites-only" lunch counter at Woolworth's.The protest spanned days, rather than the hours typical of a DDoS protest, and the Woolworth's lunch business was blocked entirely, while sales dropped by more than a third. Yet for all of this disruption, protesters were largely unmolested by the police. In fact, the police even protected a protester by arresting an angry assailant! Ultimately, Woolworth's changed their policy of segregation to end the protest, allowing blacks and whites to enjoy equal treatment.”
Comparing the Civil Rights Movement to cyber sit-ins may be a little bit of a stretch but the question here is the methodology to bring about peaceful change. Again to contrast, the Greensboro sit-ins required dozens if not hundreds of people putting their lives on the line and risking real world blowback. So logically the penalty should be more severe than doing something in cyber space. Again DDoS attacks do not damage and just slow things down for a while. So why is the US so heavy-handed on cyber activists?
Our source says: “Yet in recent times, the story does not end so happily. When Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard blocked and confiscated donations intended for Wikileaks, protesters flooded the companies' sites to demand that Wikileaks receive the same service that all other customers enjoy. So much internet traffic was generated by protesters that, effectively, all of the seats at the lunch counters of these financial companies were occupied, temporarily closing their websites. Within hours rather than weeks, the protesters dispersed peacefully and normal operations resumed for Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard.”
The US government is desperate to control the internet and terrify anyone who attempts to exercise any sort of freedom on it, just like they attempt to stifle the freedom of speech in the real world, for several reasons. The main reason being their own criminal conduct and the fact that the internet has done more to show the evil and illegality of government and corrupt officials than anything else in the history of mankind, another secondary but nonetheless important reason is the financial motivations of the corporations which not control the Fascist States of America.
The source said: “Today's powerful federal police, however, no longer exercise the restraint shown by the local police of 1960s. In the following two months, the and released the famous press statement calling for 10-year felony sentences for all involved.”
In reality DDoS attacks are a temporary headache and when addressing legitimate complaints they should not be prosecuted at all. Prosecuting personal or damaging material, launching personal cyber attacks or cracking into systems and defacing or stealing information is another topic entirely. For the out of control police state however prosecuting DDoS attacks in such a heavy handed way is just another way to make the for-profit-prison-system more profitable, terrorize anyone with a dissenting view into silence and protect the government’s corporate controllers.
Source finished with the following statement: “Anonymous stands by the example of the brave men and women of Greensboro. History shows that the bravery of protesters results in a more just society for all, and the public interest is not served by 10-year sentences for peaceful resistance.”
The public interest is not, but the corporate and police state’s interests are. If the people no longer have the right to protest, then they are slaves of the system, and that is exactly what those in power in America want.
13 January, 16:40
Mubarak retrial ordered amid spreading unrest in Egypt
A judge in Cairo has granted an appeal by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and the defense and ordered a retrial in the case which found Mubarak sentenced Mubarak to life in prison for not preventing the deaths of 900 protestors during last year’s Arab Spring uprising. In a related development Mubarak’s sons who were found not guilty on corruption charges in the same trial, will also be re-tried. "The retrial will be based on the same evidence used in the previous trial. No new evidence will be added to the case."
In a short hearing in a court in Egypt, judge Ahmed Ali Abdel-Rahman, has ordered a retrial in the case of 84-year-old former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is currently serving a life sentence for not preventing the killing of approximately 900 protestors during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011.
The decision by the court also applies to Mubarak’s former security head, Habib al Adli, who was tried along with Mubarak and also sentenced to life in prison on the same charges.
The decision by the court came in response to an appeal request that was earlier filed by Mubarak and the defendants in the case.
Reports say that there will be no new evidence presented at the re-trial for which a date has not been currently sent. Sky news quotes Mohamed Abdel Razek, a lawyer for Mubarak as saying: "The retrial will be based on the same evidence used in the previous trial. No new evidence will be added to the case."
Sky news also quotes the lawyer as saying the panel of judges will take into consideration Mubarak’s deteriorating health when reaching their new decision.
Mubarak’s health has steadily deteriorated since he was overthrown, even being pronounced dead at one point by the state news agency when he went into a coma following a stroke he had while in custody.
Mubarak is currently in a Cairo hospital after he apparently slipped and injured himself while in prison recently.
The ruling comes amid intensified protests and violence in the country and a day after a public funds prosecutor filed another detention warrant against Mubarak in connection with gifts Mubarak and other officials received during Mubarak’s time in power. The prosecutors allege Mubarak and other officials received gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from one of Egypt’s most influential news organizations.
On the other side of the equation: Mubarak’s two sons, Gamal who was seen as the successor to Mubarak and Alaa a businessman, who were both acquitted of corruption charges in the same trail as Mubarak, will be retried. On Sunday Judge Abdel Rahman granted a prosecution appeal against the not-guilty verdicts of the two sons.
As Mubarak supporters were cheering the decision in the court, the streets of Cairo were erupting with new violence.
On Saturday Radical Islamists attacked the offices of the Newspaper of the opposition Wafd Party as the country was voting on a new constitution which is hoped will heal the wounds in the country and bring an end to the unrest.
Polls closed at 11pm on Saturday and as officials began the process of vote-counting the Islamists attacked the offices of the publication. The results of the national referendum will not be announced until a second round of voting is complete in other areas of Egypt next Saturday but both sides are claiming victory and battling each other in the streets.
Protestors against the new constitution say it is too “Islamist” and discriminates against minorities. In particular it does not guarantee the rights of minority members of thy Egyptian population or of women.
Protestors who had been staging an “Occupy style” sit-in outside of the presidential palace in Cairo, complete with tents, where they have been camping since December 4, 2012, were attacked by unknown assailants with approximately 30 receiving varying degrees of injuries.
Itar-Tass reports that 27 people were injured in total including 7 members of the security forces who were present at the site of the protest.
The attackers, who numbered approximately two dozen and wore masks, are assumed to be Islamic extremist elements with some reports saying they are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. They attacked the protestors with Molotov cocktails and burned down at least for tents.
In a similar attack on December 5, 2012 ten protestors were killed at the same location. Supporters of current Egyptian President Morsi were blamed for that attack.
Egypt's Court of Cassation on Sunday accepted an appeal for a retrial by former president Hosni Mubarak who was sentenced to life for his involvement in the deaths of protesters in 2011.
Mubarak, his two sons Alaa and Gamal, his former interior minister and top security chiefs will now face a new trial, the court said after a very brief hearing.
The former leader was convicted and sentenced to life behind bars in June for failing to prevent the killing of some 900 protesters during the 2011 uprising. He spent nearly a month in hospital having fallen unconscious shortly after his transfer to prison, with state media declaring him clinically dead on arrival. But medical sources said he appeared to have suffered a temporary coma.
Since then, there were numerous scares connected with the ex-leader’s health. The last time Mubarak was taken to hospital was in mid-December.
Voice of Russia, AFP, RT, AP
Former Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak should stay in a military hospital where he was transferred after a recent fall, his lawyer Farid El Deeb told reporters Friday.
Doctors found fractures in Mubarak’s ribs.
"I have warned many times that the prison hospital conditions are not suitable," he said.
The 84-year-old is serving a life sentence in a Cairo prison for his role in the deaths of protesters during last year's uprising.
Egypt's ousted president Hosni Mubarak was moved to an army hospital on Thursday after falling in prison, sparking fresh concerns about his fragile health.
Mubarak, 84, is serving a life sentence for his role in killing protesters during last year’s uprising.
Mubarak's health has been the subject of intense speculation in Egypt and he has spent much of the time before and after his trial in the prison hospital.
His lawyer said he was transferred to the military hospital after fracturing a rib in the fall in his prison clinic.
He said Mubarak also suffered from lung complications and dizziness.
11 January, 22:13
“Anonymous” petitions Obama to decriminalize DDos attacks
The Anonymous hactivist group, or someone posing as a member of the group, recently posted a petition on the US White House web-site attempting to gather signatures to force Obama to consider making DDoS attacks a legal form of protest. Although Obama himself signs off on an illegal extra-judicial “kill list” everyday, there is to be no mercy for hacktivists and no such petition will be allowed to stand, or will it? Read on…
The hacktivist group Anonymous, or someone claiming to be associated with them named Dylan K., has taken the unusual step of petitioning the Obama Administration to make Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) legal.
The number of signatures required for the matter to be taken up by Obama is 25,000, which have to be collected by February 6th, 2013. However even if they required number is reached there is no guarantee Obama will do anything to fulfill the wishes of the petitioners.
Whether Anonymous intended the move to be a serious one or not, the fact that the petition has not been taken down, despite the U.S. Government’s stance on hactivism and Anonymous, is surprising if not commendable.
Anonymous is hoping to make the legalization of DDoS attacks retroactive so that the slate would be cleaned, so to speak, something we have seen the US Government do very often in the past decade or so, with water-boarding, torture, warrantless wiretapping, Guantanamo, secret arrests, rendition, unauthorized aggressive wars, extra-judicial executions, droning and Obama’s daily kill list, to name a few, but alas it may not be meant to be.
A government that brands information activists, hacktivists, Occupiers, whistle-blowers and others as “terrorists” and “enemies of the state” is very unlikely to allow anyone other than themselves to have the benefit of the doubt.
Anonymous, hacktivists and many others, share the thinking that a DDoS
attack is the equivalent of a sit in, only it takes place in cyber-space.
The following message was posted by Anonymous on several forums and someone has been nice enough to provide the audio. Unfortunately I doubt Obama will even consider such a petition.
"Greetings Obama and fellow Americans,
This is Anonymous. At the time this message was sent to you, Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS) are illegal. This is not hacking, it's the equivalent of hitting the refresh button on a webpage, which every one of us has done at least one time in life. Should we be sent to jail if we push that button a thousand times a second? No! When we start this kind of attack it's just the same as a sit-in. If we "refresh" a thousand times a second it will slow down the website, which is a type of protest or a sit-in at work. Both of those are completely legal. The only difference is that we are doing it on the internet, at home, at school, at a coffee shop or at a library. Why are people protesting? They do it because they want to see changes, positive ones.
We Anonymous, are calling upon not only fellow anonymous. We are calling on Americans to rise up for the change. There is a petition on the White House website asking President Obama to make denial of service attacks a legal way of protesting, release and clear all criminal records of those who have been jailed for DDoS attacks. Remember, when president Obama was first elected he wanted change. So does Anonymous.
We Are Anonymous
In a fair world the virtual sit-ins would not be prosecuted, after all they do no real harm, but the US Government is at war with anyone who threatens their secrecy. We have seen this with Jeremy Hammond who is facing life in prison for the Stratfor e-mail release, Julian Assange who has been declared a terrorist and enemy of the state and many other hacktivists who are wanted or doing serious prison time for DDoS attacks and other forms of cyber “hactivities.”
Anonymous, or those posting the “petition,” are hoping that by legalizing the DDoS attacks the criminal records of past offenders would also be wiped clean but alas I seriously doubt that will happen.
As Anonymous is a highly decentralized and anonymous organization, pinning down the petitioner “Dylan K.” is impossible as is ascertaining the seriousness with which the petition will be received. One might note that the White House petition site has been used for some strange things recently and its credibility may be suffering for it.
Some argue that a sit in or demonstration is not the same as a DDoS attack as they involve thousands of people and a DDoS attack could be carried out by one sick individual who has a bone to pick or aXe to grind, but regardless, the DDoS attack may have no real tangible effect, except for whatever exists in cyber space.
Certain Anonymous members said that no one really knows who filed the petition and it was perhaps a single Anon, or a small group, pretending to speak for the group as has happened many times in the past. Anonymous or not, the petition, a legitimate way to seek justice and make positive change is not to be allowed to stand by an administration that treasures escalation, shuns “change we can believe in” and wishes to brand anything and anyone it can an “enemy-of-the-state.”
On another note, since the petition site of the White House requires the giving of personal information and the creation of an account, the whole thing may be just another fishing expedition by federal authorities trying to collect names of individuals sympathetic to Anonymous, something that may be stopping the petition from going viral. We don’t know and the White House has not returned our requests for comment.
10 January, 18:54
Who was behind PKK assassination in Paris?
As peace talks got under way between the Kurdistan Workers Party (Parti Karkerani Kurdistan or PKK) and the Turkish Government three women associated with the PKK including a co-founder were found assassinated in Paris France. The heinous crime is currently being investigated but there is speculation, mostly from the Turkish side that the executions have to do with the fact the PKK and the Turkish authorities have begun peace talks to end the decades old conflict.
Sakine Cansiz a female co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (Parti Karkerani Kurdistan or PKK) militant group and two other women have been found dead in Paris. All three of the women were shot in the head execution style with one of the victims also being shot in the stomach.
Other than Cansiz, according to The Firat News Agency, the victims include Fidan Dogan, a representative of the Brussels based National Congress of Kurdistan and Leyla Soylemez who is described as a young activist.
Shortly after midnight on Thursday morning, when the women were reportedly missed, several workers went to the Information Centre of Kurdistan, an institute located in the 10th district of Paris, near the center of the city, where the women had last been seen.
According to the website of the institute it is “… an independent, non-political, secular organization, embracing Kurdish intellectuals and artists from different horizons as well as Western specialists on Kurdish Studies.”
When the employees arrived and noticed blood on the locked doors of the establishment, the workers broke in and discovered the three bodies of the women who had all been shot in the head.
The Firat News Agency reports that the murder weapon was believed to have been fitted with a silencer. However did not elaborate on whether it was found at the scene or not.
Leon Edart, a spokesperson for The Federation of Kurdish Associations in France (FEYKA) told the French BFM news channel that there were no surveillance cameras in building where the crime took place.
Currently there are no suspects but Turkish authorities are saying that the executions were an internal PKK issue. There is speculation, mostly from the Turkish side, that the executions have to do with the fact the PKK and the Turkish authorities have begun peace talks to end the decades old conflict.
Recently the Turkish Government began peace talks with imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is being held by the Turkish authorities on the prison island of Imrali located off the coast from Istanbul.
On Wednesday there were reports in the Turkish media that an agreement had been reached on a plan to end the conflict which has raged on since 1984 and has claimed over 40,000 lives.
There are many on all sides to the conflict that are against any kind of a peace settlement. These include Turkish elements who do not want to see the Kurds receive any kind of recognition or autonomy and among radical elements of the PKK itself who do not want to see any concessions made to Ankara and who believe that any kind of a peace plan will include giving up certain demands.
Police have so far not announced any leads, theories or suspects. According to the AFP a police source sated: “The scene [of the crime] could give rise to the idea that this was an execution, but the investigation will have to establish the exact circumstances of this incident."
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls who arrived on the scene shortly after the bodies were discovered said the killings were "intolerable".
“The three women were undoubtedly executed", Valls said.
Valls said the French authorities would get to the bottom of the crime and that he had come to express his sympathy to the relatives and close friends of the three murdered women.
It is important to recall that Turkey recently authorized military incursions into Iran, supposedly for operations where the Turkish Regular Army is in hot pursuit of PKK militants.
With military build ups by NATO and the US in the region and the constant search for a pretext to invade Iran and Syria, there are many of those actors who would also see any kind of peace as detrimental to planned provocations and optional scenarios which will allow for an invasion of either Iran or Syria.
According to Reuters Remzi Kartal, a Kurdistan National Congress leader, said: "This is a political crime, there is no doubt about it. Ocalan and the Turkish government have started a peace process, they want to engage in dialogue, but there are parties that are against resolving the Kurdish question and want to sabotage the peace process."
A co-founder of the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and two female activists were murdered today in downtown Paris, police report.
PKK’s Sakine Cansiz, Kurdish National Congress Paris representative Fidan Doğan and a young Kurdish activist, Leyla Söylemez, were found dead late on Wednesday night by their friends who became concerned after no one picked up the receiver in the Center’s office.
The women were found outside the Kurdish institute in the French capital. All the victims appear to have been shot in the head by a gun with a silencer. Police say the murder took place about 3pm on Wednesday.
Kurdish community has referred to the triple assassination as an “execution.”
Agence France-Presse quoted an unidentified police official as saying the circumstances of the killings “could lead to the conclusion that this was an execution but inquiries will determine the precise nature of this drama.”
Police officials said a murder investigation had been opened. The bodies and three shell casings were found in a room at the institute. The women were all said to hold Turkish passports.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls called the killings "intolerable".
In the meantime, hundreds have taken to the streets of the French capital, after the Federation of Kurdish Associations in France (Feyka) called for a demonstration in Paris.
The motive for the shootings is unclear. Some 40,000 people have died in the 25-year conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK.
However, Turkey has recently begun talks with the jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, with the aim of persuading the group to disarm.
Three Kurdish women were found killed with a gunshot to the head early Thursday inside the Kurdish Institute of Paris, a police source said.
The women were found outside the Kurdish institute in the French capital, and one of the victims’ names has already been disclosed: 32-year-old Fidan Dogan reportedly worked for the institute.
One of the women was 32-year-old Fidan Dogan who worked in the institute's information centre, according to its director, Leon Edart.
The identities of the other two women, who were reportedly Kurdish activists but did not work at the Institute, were not immediately available.
The three were last seen mid-day on Wednesday at the centre, which was found locked by late afternoon, according to Edart.
Voice of Russia, AFP, RT, FP, BBC
9 January, 20:31
Syria must be defenseless for America to illegaly invade, Rated:XXX
Poised and ready to invade Syria and continue its plans for complete global military and political domination at any cost, the US is faltering and has yet to invade Syria. Most likely stopped by the fact that Syrian defenses are robust enough to effectively deal with the invader's forces and that Russian troops are on the ground, the US is stuck in a holding pattern. The next illegal US act of aggressive war is Syria. Coming soon! Rated: XXX.
The West continues to debate what the United States should do in Syria and the US what options it has to bring about another interventionist invasion yet is continuing to have problems in bringing about the conditions it needs to give the green light to military forces staged and waiting to pounce.
The arrogance of those debating the fate of Syria from thousands of miles away, as if they even have a right to in the first place, is mind boggling. Who told the United States that they are responsible for deciding the fate of Syria or the Syrian people? No one. Who told the United States that they have some right or some mandate under international law to “intervene” wherever they desire? No one. Yet that is what they are doing.
Some pundits and analysts are saying: Use the Kosovo model, or the Libyan scenario, or the Afghanistan example, or don’t repeat the mistakes in Iraq. However each and every one of them is missing the whole point and that being from Yugoslavia to Iraq, from Afghanistan to Libya, from the Arab Spring to Syria, US intervention is not wanted or asked for.
The US understands this and knows the real reason it is going after these countries, that being resources and geo-political plans, yet it can not openly state such to the world.
Yugoslavia worked because the right propaganda was spread at the right time and the world was not ready nor did it have reason to believe that the US’ intentions were anything more than what they were publically touting. Since then every pretext for invading Yugoslavia has been found and proven to have been false and self-created by the US whose real goal was to carry out the geo-political redesigning of the Balkans.
It became clear in Yugoslavia and in what has taken place since then in that region that the United States has one thing in mind when carrying out their interventionist invasions and that is control of resources and the advancement of geopolitical ambitions and position.
If anyone doubts look at who they supported and continue to support in Serbia and in Kosovo, Muslim extremists, drug traffickers and black-market organ traders. Why? Because the US is able to manipulate and “work” with these elements, whereas Christian Serbians who lean geopolitically towards Russia are a bit more difficult to manipulate and bend to the American will.
We can see this same kind of thinking all over the world and in particular in the Middle East. The United States has no real interest in human rights or in oppressed peoples, that is a proven given, what it does care about is resources, ease of manipulation and geo-political clout.
Yugoslavia was a watershed moment for NATO and the US and the more or less success of the operation emboldened the US to attempt to do more. To launch a war, reshape part of Europe, devastate a people and do so all on the whim of a president who wanted to distract the electorate from a sex-scandal, seemed bold and dangerous, but it more or less worked.
There were doubters and there were detractors and the destruction of Yugoslavia did not have the broad support that the planners in Washington had hoped for. So a group of Neo-Conservatives was tasked with studying the issue of how to bring about the pre-text for a global war of domination. Those in power were tired of the United Nations and the international community and even the American electorate always sticking their noses into everything and asking for reasons and justifications, they wanted free-reign.
So those Neo-Conservatives, calling themselves the Project for the New American Century came up with a plan for complete and total world domination. The only problem as they saw it was that to allow for the implementation of the plan, after all what they were doing was illegal, would require a catalyst, and as the called it themselves, “A new Pearl Harbor!”.
The carefully planned and orchestrated events of 9-11 were the catalyst that they needed to launch an open ended and endless “War on Terror” that had no borders and allowed for anyone to become a target. First on the list was the invasion of Iraq and second Afghanistan, Hussein was the first target because he had changed all oil trade in Iraq to the Euro the day before the invasion and the United Nations and International inspectors already knew that Hussein had no weapons with which to fight back.
Afghanistan was another story but it did not really matter because the Taliban, like al-Qaeda had always been on the US payroll and wiping out that little backward country, as the US military planners thought, would be no problem. That little invasion took place over ten years ago and the US is still in Afghanistan and has been completely defeated.
Then we have the case of Libya, another country that had agreed to US inspections for those evil WMDs and had proven it did not possess weapons and then was invaded after changing its oil trade to the Euro. Libya had long been on the US wish list of countries to invade but the problem was that by then the US had pretty much lost of the capital it had gained from the orchestrated events of 9-11, and people started questioning.
Now we have the Syrian “intervention”, and everything that the United States now does is being questioned. The world has seen one act of aggressive invasion after the other carried out by the US and NATO and has quite frankly had enough.
Why hasn’t the US invaded Syria yet? One reason is you and I. Every false flag plan they come up with, we are there to expose it. Every false and sanctimonious move they make to allow them to invade and rape another country we are there to document. We know they are funding terrorists and mercenaries and that the Syrian people themselves do not want America. Lastly Russia is stopping it, by giving the Syrian people what Libya and Iraq did not have, the tools and the ways and means to defend themselves and defend their country.
9 January, 12:50
‘NATO is in phase 3 of its global expansion’ – Rozoff
© Colalge "The Voice of Russia"
NATO is engaged in completing phase 3 of its post-Cold War global expansion, and the global nature of what once was the "North Atlantic" alliance is now official, says the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website Rick Rozoff in part one of a 2012 year-end summary interview on the activities of NATO. He also talks about NATO’s military activity in regards to “partners across the globe”, a bilateral organization of cooperation which initially consisted of 8 countries, all in the Asia-Pacific region: Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Japan.
It’s been another year of the expansion of the U.S. dominated military block. That was highlighted, I suppose, by the summit that was held here, in Chicago, in May of this year, where amongst other things, NATO announced the fact that it retains its status as a nuclear alliance, meaning it maintains offensive nuclear weapons in Europe, for use in the European theater and perhaps in the Middle East.
NATO had also announced in May at the summit that it had achieved initial operational capability of the so-called European Phased Adaptive Approach Interceptor Missile System, with the now permanent deployment of interceptor missile warships in the Mediterranean and a command-and-control center in Germany. And that’s preparatory, of course, to placing 48 or more land-based interceptor missiles in Poland and Romania in the upcoming years.
What we see most alarmingly this year, and it’s a theme that needs to be dwelled on somewhat, is the active expansion of NATO military hardware into, what, the Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen repeatedly refers to as “the alliance’s southeastern border”, meaning Turkey, and southeastern Turkey at that: where Turkey meets with not only Syria, but with Iran and Iraq.
At the beginning of this year the U.S. under NATO auspices moved in an X-Band transportable interceptor missile radar facility to Turkey, and after the placement of the interceptor missile radar, the U.S. and NATO consolidated two; what are called Allied Land Command Centers, in Europe, and had moved them into Turkey into one command.
And, as we know, that within the next week or so, we’re to see the deployment of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Interceptor Missile Batteries in southeastern Turkey along with several hundred U.S., Dutch and German troops to accompany those.
So what we’re seeing is that NATO is shifting its emphasis towards the southern-most and eastern-most member of the alliance: Turkey, and is making a bid to expand its influence and perhaps to engage in active military operations in the Middle East. So that I think is the most significant aspect of NATO’s expansion so far this year.
That, in addition to, another development that occurred immediately prior to and then was officially enshrined during the summit in May, which was the creation of new non-geographically specific partnership format called “Partners Across the Globe”, this is the official designation that NATO knows it by, and it initially consists of 8 countries, all in the broader Asia-Pacific region, the Middle-East – East Asia: they are Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand and Japan, so we’re seeing the open manifestation of NATO now as an international military force.
That, of course, as you know has been under way since 2001 with the invasion of Afghanistan and currently the United States and NATO still maintain military facilities, not only in Afghanistan, but in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The talk is for the U.S. and its NATO allies to eventually withdraw, of course, from those nations, but I wouldn’t expect to see that happen in the imminent future and I think their long-term plans are to maintain Pentagon and NATO military capacities in Central and South Asia, with Afghanistan being the hub of those operations but, as mentioned with NATO Partnership for Peace Allies, like Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, maintaining some sort of U.S. and NATO presence in the countries. However there was an intriguing article in China’s People’s Daily that suggested that what we’re seeing right now with the U.S. pivot or shift to the Asia-Pacific region is basically Phase 3 of the U.S. global military expansion in the post-Cold War Era.
The first phase was, of course, the expansion of NATO into Central and Eastern Europe, where it has now absorbed as “full members”, every single former Warsaw Pact country outside of the Soviet Union, in addition to, of course, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and two former Yugoslav Republics and Albania. That was the first phase.
The second phase, what was referred to from 2001 onwards as being the “greater” or the “broader” Middle East Project: that is where the U.S. in conjunction with its NATO Allies expanded influence from Northern Africa all the way to the Chinese border, in nations like Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
And the third phase then being the only part of the world that hasn’t come under the boot of the Pentagon: the Asia-Pacific Region, and I think that’s a pretty astute analysis and I think that three-phase model is a very accurate one.
As mentioned: the fact that they announced that they have initial capability for their European and Mediterranean based interceptor missile systems, which is really the opening salvo in creating a global missile shield. Initially, it will be in Eastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, but it’s expanding already throughout most of the world. That’s probably the most single significant fact with NATO expansion; is they’re on a new ‘plane of battle’ if you will.
It’s no longer simply positioning themselves: ground forces or even air forces. Now they’ve quite openly proclaimed that they’re setting up what is potentially a first strike: son of ‘Star Wars’ as it is colloquially known, an interceptor missile system that could potentially impede the ability of a nation, that has been either targeted or attacked, to launch effective retaliation because of a series of sea-based and land-based interceptor missiles. That would have to be the most significant and most dangerous initiative by NATO this past year.
By holding a NATO Summit for only the second time in the United States, the only preceding one was in 1999 in Washington D.C., which marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of NATO, but to have held that only for the second time in the United States and then in the very heartland of the country, in Chicago, rather than in the administrative capital of the country, Washington: drew a lot of attention to an alliance that many Americans had either neglected to inform themselves about or had downplayed the significance of, but when it came to Chicago it forced a lot of people to take notice of it, and as a result there was a coalescence of peace forces and other anti-war and anti-intervention forces that gathered in a series of actions in Chicago, but culminating in, by some accounts 15-20 thousand people, the large anti-NATO protest on the second day of the summit in Chicago, so it has brought to people’s attention both within the United States and I think globally, the scope and the potential danger of the world’s only military alliance.
8 January, 20:48
Correa was to be assassinated by CIA before elections
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa says that he is being targeted for assassination by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and judging from all available information it is almost a given that he is right. The reasons are many: oil, trade, exploitation of resources, geopolitical ambitions, military and strategic positioning, foreign policy objectives, regional alliances and once again that name comes up: Julian Assange. If Correa knows everything Assange does he is definitely walking around with crosshairs on his head.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has stated that a plot to assassinate him has been uncovered and that the timeline calls for him to be killed prior to the upcoming elections. His assassination is part of a CIA plot to destabilize the entire region.
Given the long and sordid history of the CIA in Latin America and the almost countless cases of assassination, regime changes and propping up dictators throughout Latin America, Correa’s claim is not only believable but also almost a given when we look at a few of the things he has and has not done for and against the all powerful US interests.
When I began investigating for this article I was surprised at the number of witnesses and sources that have disappeared or had “strange” problems preventing them from getting evidence to the public, but of course that is not unusual, what is unusual here is the sheer number.
The most egregious “sins” Correa is guilty of are the closing of the US Manta Military Base and the eviction of all US forces and the subsequent offering of the base to China and the granting of political asylum to WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange.
For Correa, if he is right, the clock is ticking. Ecuadorians go to the polls on February 17 less than a month and a half from now. Reportedly his life will be at greatest risk when campaigning begins and after he registers to run, on January 15th until the actual election, unless of course Correa becomes afraid and decides to not run and hides in the shadows, something which is highly unlikely.
The latest information about a plot to assassinate Correa came from a Chilean journalist named Patricio Mery Bell who was investigating an alleged $88-million drug-money-funded CIA plot to destabilize the Ecuadorian government and the region.
Correa has also become a pain in the neck for the US as he often maintains the same stance on issues as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, currently battling with a strangely coincidental case of cancer.
Another huge sin by Correa is that, just like Muammar Gaddafi, he has reduced poverty in his country, increased the standard of living for all citizens, expanded democracy and while doing all of this has maintained an independent political and economic stance. Like Libya, Cuba, Iraq before the invasion and other countries where social democratic and socialist systems were growing and prospering, Ecuador’s societal model can not be allowed to stand as it contradicts US propaganda and capitalist interests.
Ecuador is also one of Latin America’s largest oil exporters and rejoined OPEC in 2007, and like Iraq and Libya is diversifying its trade and hard currency reserves away from the dollar. Something both Hussein and Gaddafi did days before their countries were invaded.
So the reasons for the CIA assassinating Correa are many and obvious, if he can be replaced by a US leaning puppet, the US can exploit Ecuador’s oil, enable the exploitation of the population by US corporate and business interests, further undermine other countries and leaders in the region, expand its influence, regain its lost military position and bases, important for logistical support for covert missions and illicit trade, and lastly evict Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
7 January, 21:31
Media-bias, Syria and Russia - an Arab spin
Syria and Russia will go to war, the US is not doing enough to funnel weapons into the area of the Syrian conflict, the US is giving the Russian Federation assignments, Brahimi and Russia intentionally railroaded their own peace plan and finally “Washington has always looked for a political solution… ” These are just some of the false statements that appear in the world’s press with regard to the Syrian conflict, but having them all in one place makes one really wonder who is pulling the strings.
What is intentionally being left out by the West in any debate concerning Syria is the fact that Syria is a sovereign nation and no matter how much one country might not like the leader of any nation and how badly the leader’s removal may be desired, it is, for lack of better phraseology “illegal” to bring about the forceful removal of a leader from the outside and it is also illegal to extra-judicially execute a head of state.
The continued vilification of Russia due to the position it has maintained from day one with regards to Syria is so patently transparent and self-serving that one wonders how dumbed down the writers believe the readership must be to be buying into it.
A recent article regarding Syria by Abdul Wahab Badrakhan in reflects the blatant bias against Russia and Syria and the adage “if you repeat a lie long enough it becomes true”, but what makes the work in question stand out other than the Fox News style of repeating mindless talking points, is the fact that it chides the US for not doing enough and attempts to portray some sort of conspiracy between Russia and the US.
The Clinton State Department either did not actually listen to Assad’s speech or chose to ignore all of the points made by Assad. The statement released after Assad’s speech is what we have heard all along: "… another attempt by the regime to cling to power and does nothing to advance the Syrian people's goal of a political transition… His initiative is detached from reality, undermines the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi …” and of course the ever repeated calls for Assad to step down.
Back to the previous article in question by Mr. Badrakhan who would appear to be a serious expert on Lebanon and the Arab World, writes some things that seem at odds with reality and like empty talking points when it comes to Syria. He states that Russia which has promoted a political solution to the crisis from the beginning and Lakhdar Brahimi deliberately caused such a solution to fail. He also says that Russia and the US have some sort of secret agreement, which might be indicative of the real Arab attitude to the US, which has long believed the Arab World is supportive of their geopolitical plans for the entire Arab World.
Here are some more talking points from the article:
“The Americans are clear about their willingness to dismantle any situation that might drag them later into direct intervention.” This statement is so patently false as to be laughable for anyone who has even briefly followed US war policies over the last several decades. The US quite frankly, does the opposite as it has been doing in Syria, perpetually looking for a pretext to invade.
“The regime got the message that it’s free to use the chemical weapons within specified geographical limitations…” There is no evidence that Assad or anyone in the government has ordered or allowed the use of any form of chemical weapons whatsoever.
“It seems now that the promises of the U.S. to the Syrian opposition, that it can count on U.S. financial and armed support… were merely words.” Amid constant reports of mercenaries and western backed foreign fighters in Syria this statement seems ridiculous. The writer also takes no issue with the fact that funding an armed opposition to over-throw a government by force is not in keeping with internationally accepted norms.
“Washington had always looked for a political solution, with an ideal scenario consisting of keeping the “acceptable” part of the regime and the immediate departure of Bashar Al-Assad, as it just cannot deal with him”, another completely false statement and the unbelievable arrogance in saying “Assad must go because the US “just cannot deal with him” is stunning.
“… the U.S. commissioned the Russians with the assignment, so they can deal with their favorable regime.” Apparently the writer believes that the Russian Federation which is one of the few countries in the world with a robust and independent foreign policy is another lap-dog for the US.
The writer then continues to demonize Russia for attempting to mediate a peaceful resolution to the crisis by saying things like: “Moscow sends an invitation to the opposition coalition to visit the Russian city for dialogue. What dialogue? With who? How will it be discussed? According to which agenda and upon which conditions?” Maybe he should answer these questions before demonizing Russia for attempting to hold talks.
And he says:”…. not offering them more than a chair at the negotiation table…” We are talking about armed insurgents and terrorist groups attempting to overthrow a legitimate government by force, they should be grateful that they are allowed a seat.
“In the imminent days, the regime will battle with Russia, which supports its reliance on Iran’s and Hezbollah’s experience…” I have no idea where he got such information but Russia and the “regime” have had and continue to have a normal relationship.
“And while the opposition was waiting to be supplied with advanced weapons…” The writer contradicts his own statement made above.
If this is the Arab position then what we can see is that they want more bloodshed and more weapons and money to be flowing into Syria so that the endless cycle of violence continues. If we take into account the Sunni-Alawite animosity then the reason for this is understandable, but to vilify and twist the facts in an already muddled situation, in reality, helps no one.
7 January, 18:57
Berezovsky knows something will come out - Smith
Photo: RIA Novosti
Michael John Smith, the last person in history convicted of spying for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the world, and a former quality control officer who turned intelligence specialist after his unfair conviction, spoke to the Voice of Russia about the case of Alexander Litvinenko and the recent revelations that Litvinenko was working for MI-6 and Spain's secret service. In part 2 Smith gives his views on the connection between oligarch-on-the-run Boris Berezovsky and Litvinenko.
Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Michael John Smith. He is the last person convicted of spying for the Soviet Union in the UK.
Well, I believe he came from that part of the world when he was a young man, I believe. So, he may have had some affinity for that part of the country. The other thing I was going to say, I mean, looking at the role of the MI-6 in the world, there was a case in 2004 when two Libyans were abducted and “rendered”, a polite way of calling it, back to Libya to face torture at the hands of the Gaddafi regime. One of those people has actually won some compensation: 2.2 million pounds, which is a lot of money, that was paid by the British Government because they accept that this man has been rendered illegally by MI-6.
I’m not saying these people worked, they didn’t actually work for them. But I’m saying that this is the sort of activity that MI-6 has got up to in the past. That time, in 2004 if you remember, Tony Blair was trying to get on to better relationships with the Libyans, and particularly Gaddafi, and he had that meeting in the tent with him. And that was all over oil, and having some sort of good relationships with Gaddafi to get access to his market and his oil, so that’s MI-6 just playing a role. And actually, what happened there was that the MI-6 head Sir Mark Allen, he sent letters to the Libyan secret service head. And after the war, if you remember, they’ve found secret files from the Libyan secret service. So, he sent letters from the MI-6 to the Libyans and I’m putting it on very good terms but after rendered these two guys back to Libya for Gaddafi to torture.
I believe one of them has gone back to Libya, I’m not sure but he is lucky that he is still alive because in those circumstances many people died.
She wants the murder investigated and wants to, obviously find out who is responsible. And we don’t know because it is still under way, this inquest into the death. Exactly, what is going to come out in the future – it might be the things in the files which have not been revealed yet, which will perhaps shed new light on what really happened and whether Litvinenko was doing some secret mission maybe and got into trouble over that.
We just don’t know, but his wife has a personal interest in this. So, let’s hope she is not being misled by the British Government into thinking it was only the Russians who could have been responsible.
As the inquest proceeds, possibly Berezovsky knows that there is going to be something coming out in the future that he doesn’t want to be known, and possibly that may have something to do with why he’s withdrawn his funding.
That’s right, he lost a very big court case a few weeks ago.
Well, I’m not quite sure what Berezovsky’s involvement with MI-6 is, I mean he is probably not that close to them. He seems to be a bit of a maverick in the UK. And he behaves in some ways that he can do what he likes and I don’t think he is somebody that British Government particularly like having on our shores.
I guess at that time perhaps he was seen as a useful ally. The fact he had a lot of money that he could bring to the UK he had lots of investments in Russia, and possibly they saw him as being a useful asset to them. But I’m not so sure they see it that way now because he obviously has his own agenda and it is not necessarily in the best interests of the British people.
It is very strange I think. We have talked about Tomlinson in the past and he was on the scene making comments on his blog, he had at least one blog I think on the Internet. And he was constantly causing trouble for MI-6 and eventually they sent a team over to search all of his belongings. They took a lot of stuff back to London including his computer hard disks. And they gave him a pretty hard time for a few weeks. Then it all went quiet. And I actually had a few conversations by email with Tomlinson about my own case.
And he seemed very interested and helpful. I didn’t find him at all difficult. You know, he was quite open about what he knew. And he also got involved in the inquest into Princess Diana, if you remember…
That’s right. What came up in the newspapers about the time he disappeared was that he had done some sort of deal with MI-6 and that everything was going to be good. And whether he got a financial settlement out of it, I don’t know. But he just seemed to disappear and I’ve not heard any more about him and I’ve seen no mention of him on any website. And it seems very strange. Whether he is still alive, it makes us question that, doesn’t it? He is certainly not somebody whom I’ve seen any comment from in the past year or two.
Thank you John, nice to talk to you again.
6 January, 19:55
Reasons for teen crime in America, or of murderous teenagers and torturing cops
© Flickr.com/ greg westfall./cc-by
Cases of violence and horrific acts carried out by youth who have been influenced by the internet and computer games continues to grow as the first generation of children “raised by the net” come of age and are able to turn their virtual playrooms into real and tangible mayhem. Are they to blame? Or is the society that raised them to blame?
In Russia there was an old saying that said we must protect and cherish our children because they are the future. This saying is just as topical today as it was hundreds of years ago but who is responsible for raising our children?
Of course the immediate family unit is the primary structure responsible for raising children, and this is more or less true until the age when the child is given to a state or other educational facility to begin their education. The family unit carries the responsibility of shaping the basis for the future adult. This includes moral values, ethical behavior, sexual orientation, respect for life and fellow humans, and a host of other areas that the person then bases their world view and future behavior on.
When economic, moral and other factors, in anyway, cause a disruption in, or the destruction of, the primary family unit this has a negative effect on the development of the child, and once that damage is done it is almost impossible to undo it.
When we look at societal models from around the world with regard to the support of the primary family unit there are many factors which have to be taken into account, these include economic, educational, religious, moral guidance, health care and other kinds of support which most often have to take place at the local level and be easily accessible to the family unit.
The role of the state and the church in many regards has a huge effect on the preservation and support of the family unit. If overall society does not support the family unit or does not provide adequate conditions for it to thrive then there is a qualitative deterioration in the quality of the guidance provided to the child who is helpless and totally dependent on those around him or her.
If we look at the US capitalist model and that of states which seek to emulate the societal norms and conditions prevalent in that country we see many complete and utter failings and a dysfunctional state and societal structure unable to properly carry out the task of properly raising children who enter its citizenry.
One of the most basic needs of all humans, if not arguably the most basic need, in particular in a capitalist system, is the need for employment that is able to allow the individual to support him or herself and support the family unit.
Employment is of utmost importance in other regards as well in allowing the individual to realize and fulfill their potential and be a productive and contributing member of the society where he or she finds themselves and those factors are no less important, but we are focusing on family.
The failing capitalist system in the US is an example we will look at since its eventual collapse will have severe consequences around the world.
Almost any American will agree the “American Dream” is dead, buried and almost forgotten. That dream of having a home, a family and rewarding education and employment has long ago become out of reach for the larger part of society.
The American economy is devastated and will never recover, it was hi-jacked and gutted by a few who continue to profiteer from an endless illegal war not even allowing the populace the industrial and manufacturing boon that may be found in a “war economy” as most of the jobs have been outsourced to third countries and manufacturing profits stay in the hands of an elite few.
The resulting “natural escalation of capitalism” and move into fascism, where corporations run the state, has meant that the American populace and in particular the family unit has been devastated.
The primary necessities of the family unit have become almost unattainable, these include health care, education, housing, transportation and even basic sustenance. Under such conditions the first and foremost societal structure, the family unit, has become unsustainable, leading to irreparable damage to the children dependent on the family. Factors which have destroyed the family unit include both parents working, inadequate health and dental care, poor living conditions, poor life conditions and overall poverty.
A state run by corporations where even basic healthcare is the object of corporate profiteering can not be expected to solve any of these problems, although it is in the power of the state to do so and one might argue their most important responsibility. We could thus conclude that a healthy state and societal model can be determined by simply analyzing the health of the family unit, for as the old Russian saying goes: children are out future.
In the US the breakdown of the family unit has been coupled with a police state that has cracked down on all marginalized segments of society including parents, teens and children. In order to compensate for the societal breakdown caused by its own destructive self-serving policies the US state is dealing with the problems through the use of force and attempting to control the populace with an iron-fist.
One of the results of the breakdown of the family unit and the move to an information based society is the fact that children and teens who once spent free time doing homework, playing, reading or even watching endless hours of mind-numbing television are now spending their time on the internet.
With both parents working, less societal support for youth and advances in technology this dependence on the internet is a logical transition that has been promoted and allowed to grow despite warning by educators, psychologists and analysts as to the harm that could be caused to children.
We are beginning to see the results of such developments. Since the advent of the internet there has been a qualitative change in the youth of the world and in their lives. In most cases this has been a change for the worst.
The fault is not that of the internet but lies in the destruction of the family unit and the lowering levels of education, lack of supervision and absence of positive constructive activities for youth. These factors apply to the US societal model.
If we look at the Japanese model for example, where there is a concerted societal attempt to keep youth busy in positive productive and socially acceptable activities we might cite the old adage: idle hands are a devil’s plaything.
Although I have said the family unit is the most important factor in raising children, the second most important factor, the societal unit, can not be ignored. Parents have their role in the early formation and development of the child but once school starts they are then exposed to the societal component and this continues for the rest of their lives.
Hence we as members of society teach the children and youth in society what is acceptable and normal. Any society that does not take that responsibility seriously does so at its own imminent peril.
In the US this societal factor is largely to blame for the acute rise in youth crime. This is largely due to the amoral nature of the signals that yuth receive on a daily basis namely with regard to the continued glorification of violence, crime, force and sex in the media and in the things that are marketed for their consumption.
The victims of society are then demonized as the victimizers when they succumb to hopelessness and an endless diet of violence and go out and emulate what they see on a daily basis.
Some examples include the autistic youth in Connecticut who recently gunned down over 20 people was an isolated child who spent most of his time playing violent computer games.
Then we have the case of the 18 year-old from Astoria Oregon who was so influenced by Facebook that he posted the fact that he was drunk driving as a status update and . Apparently he thought he was being cool.
Another poor young man whose life was destroyed by the glorification and perceived acceptability of guns was an 18 year old who was evicted by his girlfriend and her new boyfriend and decided to threaten them with a gun, he is now a felon and will enter the . There are many reasons for teen crime in America, another is the endless sex and pornography available to youth, a factor no doubt leading to cases such as a recent home invasion and rape by near Seattle and . The response by the authorities only serves to escalate the violence and rather than attempting to consul and rehabilitate these youth they are turned into criminals and subjected to more brutality by a merciless system. By, arrest parents for letting , attempt to make an example of an honor , and the list goes on.
Sure some youth may do horrible things, but it is the responsibility of societal structures that helped to steer them to these deeds that must also be looked at and reformed and restructured so that such events are not allowed to happen again. It is also the responsibility of society to stop allowing the glorification of violence and to demand from those who can affect change to do so, in a positive direction.
Without our children, we have no future.
5 January, 21:50
Saudi Arabia joins US in drone war, Obama obfuscates
© Photo: en.wikipedia.org
Although the US has not officially declared war on any country, this time Yemen, drone attacks are on the rise and in Yemen went from eight in 2011 to 53 in 2012. The new US policy of prosecuting their “war on Terror” in now “kill or kill” as it is inconvenient to deal with “combatants” if they are captured. In Yemen Saudi Arabia has been pulled in and their air-force is assisting in attacks within Yemen, and now, it is their “problem”.
The latest reports on the global US drone war again raise the subject to the forefront and more questions as to the legality of the use of drones.
The Times recently reported that eternal US ally Saudi Arabia is now assisting the US in “.” Saudi Arabia is now providing its fighter jets to assist Washington in perpetuating its illegal covert drone war in the sovereign territory of Yemen.
The Times quoted a source in the US Intelligence Community as saying that "some of the so-called drone missions are actually Saudi Air Force missions". Saudi Arabia has also not officially declared war on Yemen.
the new interventionist war by the United States in Yemen is connected with the illegality and the “legal problems” associated with capturing foreign nationals and indefinitely detaining them in the illegal prison at Guantanamo Bay Cuba.
The Times cites an unnamed US official as saying "There is no kill or capture anymore. It's kill or kill”, meaning the US policy of carrying out extra-judicial execution and targeted assassinations, even of US citizens, is apparently justified by the US Government and Barrack Hussein Obama, because of the “legal problems” involved in actually allowing their targets due process and Geneva Convention rights.
The Australian reports that Bruce Riedel, an ex-CIA officer stated: "There's a part of our policy that goes back to Saudi Arabia. We outsource this problem of Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) to the Saudis, make it their problem. It is their problem."
The reason that al-Qaeda (created by the US to fight the USSR in Afghanistan) or more particularly AQAP, has gained force in Yemen is due to the US’ own meddling in the country and the US instigated Arab-Spring. After the 2011 uprising AQAP seized expansive territories in the south of Yemen.
Underlining once again the illegality of the “War on Terror” and the highly illegal nature of the US’ extra-judicial execution program (droning), are continued attempts by Obama and the US Government to obfuscate and use the tenet of secrecy to successfully avoid responsibility for the assassinations and murders that they are carrying out.
Many have been up in arms about the US use of drones since day one yet the fleet has grown from approximately 40 in 2001 to over 7,000 today. Outspoken critics have included the United Nations Special Envoy for Extrajudicial Killings, the ACLU, Amnesty International, dozens of peace groups such as Code Pink, law scholars and experts from a plethora of disciplines and institutions, and a list that is too long to list here, yet Obama and the US Government have not listened and have instead obfuscated, stone-walled and re-written laws to justify their criminal conduct.
At the heart of the illegality of the use of drones is the fact that the combatants, if the targets of an illegal war can be called that, have no chance to face their accusers or surrender, as they would in a normal battlefield scenario.
by the Oxford Research Group in London stated, as did Paul Rogers, an Oxford Research Group consultant and professor at Bradford University's Peace Studies Department in England, that "Drone users cannot escape a legal responsibility to expose the human consequences of their attacks”, which I would argue is exactly what Obama and the US are doing (escaping responsibility).
In a more recent related ruling United States District Court Judge Colleen McMahon issued a 75-page ruling declaring that the US Justice Department does not have a legal obligation to explain the rationale behind killing Americans with targeted drone strikes. She wrote: "There are indeed legitimate reasons, historical and legal, to question the legality of killings unilaterally authorized by the Executive that take place otherwise than on a 'hot' field of battle".
Her decision was dealing the Obama Administration’s continued rejection of FOIA requests in particular regarding drone strikes which assassinated American citizens.
Judge McMahon further stated: "The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me; but after careful consideration, I find myself stuck in a paradoxical situation in which I cannot solve a problem because of contradictory constraints and rules — a veritable Catch-22,” she writes.
She continued: “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the Executive Branch of our Government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reason for their conclusion a secret.”
Regardless of whether drones are a “legal” instrument on the battlefield under the rules of war or whether extra-judicial executions and daily kill lists being used to carry them out are offenses that demand immediate international sanctions and prosecution, the US and Barrack Hussein Obama will continue to use them and expand their drone programs.
We do not have to be enslaved to the idea that we are helpless as humans to do anything against the US in their drone war. There are steps that can be taken. For one, and this is a question for scientists to take up, we can develop the means and the electronic counter-measures to render drones useless.
What has been lost on many is that simple electronic noise and electromagnetic interference can render a drone useless. All that has to be done is disconnect the electronic link they have with their command centers, if the US will continue to ignore international law and continue to engage in illegal extra-judicial executions. Today it may be a “terrorist” and everyone around him in the middle of nowhere, tomorrow it may be the head of state of an “unfriendly” country.
4 January, 16:51
Israel supporting al-Qaeda terrorists - Asafari
In a little publicized statement Mohammad Hassan Asafari, a Member of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, blasted Israel and the United States for supporting and providing intelligence to terrorists groups who are destroying the countries in the region. The fact that the West is arming and supporting al-Qaeda terrorists should be setting off alarms, but sadly no one is listening.
Last Tuesday a Member of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Hassan Asafari blasted the West for supporting terrorists and providing them with training and operational intelligence support. that such support has turned countries in the region, such as Syria, into what can be described as war zones, namely the scenes of military clashes.
Mr. Asafari blames Israel for allowing terrorists to use the country as a base of operations and for providing them with intelligence that is being used to launch attacks: "The Zionist regime,” he says, “has become the largest training base for active terrorists in the Middle-East region and the footprint of this sinister regime can be easily traced in recent terrorist operations." With regards to Syria the official stated that al-Qaeda’s presence in Syria and their terrorist activities there are evidence of their close relationship to the United States.
Asafari stated that thousands (not hundreds but thousands) of terrorists with links to al-Qaeda have recently entered Syria from Saudi Arabia, Libya, Jordan and other countries to wage war against the Syrian Government. He also states that they are receiving intelligence support from Israel.
Mr. Asafari’s statements have of course gotten extremely little if any press attention by the West but they should be setting off alarms.
We know that al-Qaeda was created by the CIA to help them fight their war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan that is an open secret. What should be alarming, especially in light of the events of 9-11, a crime no one has been punished for yet, is that while continuing to wage an illegitimate war against “terror” (a methodology) the West continues to fund, support, train, arm and even provide intelligence to the very al-Qaeda terrorist organization, and those linked to it, that they claim was responsible for 9-11.
The American people have given up so many of their liberties and freedoms and have been bankrupted by their government until the end of time in the fight against terrorists who are lurking behind every light post, that any hint that what should be rogue elements in their government are in bed with the very terrorists that apparently want to destroy America, should be causing the people to take to the streets demanding answers. Will they? Not possible.
In the name of terror, thanks to al-Qaeda, the US “security” apparatus is so brutal and ever present that apart from an all out revolt, the American people are powerless to do anything. In the name of security the majority of Americans have become slaves to a “government” that was supposed to be of the people by the people and for the people.
The US Government is no longer there to serve the people, the people are there to serve the government. Call it fascism, enslavement, a police state what have you, that is the reality. What can you do about it? In reality, like I said, nothing. It is too late.
9-11 was the catalyst the Project for a New American Century needed to crack on down on liberties and launch their endless war of global domination, there is no way they are going to give up on that now, not after it has been raging on for more than a decade. If the so-called black operations community in the US actually trained al-Qaeda terrorists to be able to carry out the most precision demolition in the history of mankind and have been funding and cooperating with them ever since, there is nothing any of us can do.
On January 1st four Saudi and Kuwaiti terrorists were killed on the outskirts of Damascus, and that is just a drop in the pan. The Syrian Regular Army has captured everything from al-Qaeda terrorists to insurgents with British accents, to Turkish high-level officers, to Libyan “freedom-fighters” and everything in between. Even a recent report by the United Nations states that extremists from 29 countries have infiltrated Syria to . The fact that the U.S. is using funding and arming al-Qaeda terrorists should also set off alarm bells in Israel because if the US is willing to fund and arm the very same terrorists who supposedly carried out 9-11, what would stop them from stabbing Israel in the back in the pursuit of their military and geopolitical goals?
3 January, 20:58
Depardieu is a friend - Putin
As part of France's austerity measures an attempt was made to introduce a 75% tax on the richest French citizens. One target of this tax was famous French actor Gerard Depardieu who was then embroiled in a row with the French authorities. In the end Depardieu renounced his French citizenship and was granted Russian citizenship by President Putin. Is this the beginning of a mass-migration of wealthy Europeans to Russia?
The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has granted Russian citizenship to French actor Gerard Xavier Depardieu under Article 89 of the Russian Constitution according to a brief statement issued on the .
Under Article 89, point (a) of the Constitution of the Russian Federation the President of the Russian Federation has the right to grant citizenship and political asylum to Russian nationals, foreign citizens and stateless individuals.
Further powers and more specific laws defining the president’s authority come under a November 28, 1991 “Federal Law On Citizenship of the Russian Federation", amended by the Judiciary on the 17th of June 1993 and a Federal Law dated February 6th 1995. Article 33 of the Act defines the specific powers of the President and states that the President decides on: granting Russian citizenship to foreign nationals, citizens of the former Soviet Union and stateless persons. The President also decides on the restoration of Russian citizenship, the revocation of citizenship, permission to have dual citizenship and the issuing of honorary citizenship. The President exercises these powers by issuing Presidential Decrees.
Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has stated that the decision by President Putin to grant Mr. Depardieu Russian Citizenship was due to his substantial contributions to the development of Russian culture and cinema. Mr. Peskov stated that Depardieu played in a number of very famous feature films about Russian history and performed many roles depicting important Russian historical figures, including work depicting Grigory Rasputin.
A promise to grant the French actor Russian citizenship was made during a recent press conference given by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said the promise was made due to the significant contributions to Russia’s national culture by Depardieu and his films.
After being granted citizenship the Depardieu camp has not yet issued an official statement but the story began with attempts by France to institute a 75% tax on the super-rich. Russia’s flat rate of 13% tax for all citizens was then seen as an attractive option for Depardieu who has stated publically that during his life he has paid over $191 million in taxes to the French state over the past 45 years. Something the state apparently does not value.
The new French tax which was to target people making more than €1 million a year was thrown out by France’s highest constitutional authority because it was to only target individuals and not households, meaning the law would only apply to 1,500 people and not affect those making just under €1 million a year.
Mr. Depardieu’s problems with the French authorities came to a boil when after announcing his plans to renounce French citizenship, his only recourse in the row, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault publically called Mr. Depardieu's actions "pathetic." To which Mr. Depardieu answered "I've no place to complain or to boast, but I refuse to be described as pathetic."
During a press conference that was covered by the VOR in December, President Putin called Mr. Depardieu a “friend” and said that "If Gérard really wants to have either a residency permit in Russia or a Russian passport, we will assume that this matter is settled and settled positively.”
Mr. Depardieu is very well known and loved in Russia and appears on billboards around Moscow and in ads for. His films are some of the most popular in Russia and he has been very active in the Russian cultural scene over the years.
Russian media reports that Mr. Depardieu will soon begin working on several projects where he will star in adaptations Russian literary classics including the Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment and The Captain's Daughter by Alexander Pushkin.
In related news, upon hearing that Mr. Depardieu received Russian Citizenship, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin the beginning of the migration of wealthy Europeans to the Russian Federation. Mr. Rogozin stated on his Twitter page that “In the West people have very poor knowledge of the Russian tax system but when they learn about it we can expect the mass migration of wealthy Europeans to Russia".
29 December 2012, 09:36
Litvinenko converted to Islam and was buried under Muslim law – Smith
© Photo: ru.wikipedia.org
Michael John Smith, the last person in history convicted of spying for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the world, and a former quality control officer who turned intelligence specialist after his unfair conviction, spoke to the Voice of Russia about the case of Alexander Litvinenko and the recent revelations that Litvinenko was working for MI-6 and Spain's secret service.
Hi John! Nice to talk to you again.
This is another one of these surprising things that suddenly comes out of the blue. While it was speculated and discussed, about what he was actually up to over the time of his death, it now comes out in public that yes, he was actually working for MI-6 and he was earning something like 2,000 pounds per month as a salary. So, he was quite a regular agent working for the government. And also it seems he was working, or was going to work, for the Spanish secret service as well.
Litvinenko apparently knew quite a lot about what was going on in Russia and he had links with the Russian mafia or he knew of links. And he was going to help the Spanish Government in trying to combat Russian mafia activity in Spain. Whether the really did know what was going on or it was just a way of earning more money, I don’t know. It appears that he had links not only with MI-6 but also with the Spanish secret service.
Possibly he was involved in some activity involving arms being sold to Chechen paramilitary groups. It’s only an allegation I think in the UK, but it seems there might be some truth in it. And one of the reasons that seems to be also possible is that just before he died, he converted to Islam, and I believe he was buried under Muslim law.
So, I think you wouldn’t do that I think, if you are about to die unless you had some sort of firm connection with Islamic culture.
Yes, it is very rare. But it is not only the fact that it is rare, it is the fact that it is hard to get hold of it. How would you actually obtain polonium unless you had access to it? And that’s one of the reasons there was a lot of speculation in the UK that the Russian Government was behind this murder, was because Polonium 210 is very difficult to come by.
Now that sort of raises another issue, doesn’t it? Because if it is a nuclear material, it must come from some nuclear process. And any country that has activity in that sort of field could possibly have produced this Polonium 210. And that raises another further issue which has come up this year: the case of Yasser Arafat who died two years before Litvinenko in 2004. There’s been a lot of speculation that he died of polonium poisoning as well.
Well they are the only two that I have actually come across which makes it very unusual.
There might be, there might be a connection, if possibly the same people are behind both murders. That could raise lots of possibilities, like: would it be the same group who want to see Yasser Arafat dead as wanted to see Litvinenko off-the-scene. I mean possibly Mossad or the Americans could be behind it, as much as anybody else.
I think in the UK, in particular, there are lots of organizations and individuals who don’t want to see good relationships with Russia. And I believe about that time we were getting on better in the UK with Russia, in terms of trade and mutually beneficial processes of getting to know each other better.
When this murder came up in November 2006, this caused a lot of friction and I don’t think relations have been good ever since between Russia and the UK. And that suits certain people I think. For instance it was almost immediately said that Andrey Lugovoi must be the person responsible because he’s met with Litvinenko shortly before the murder. But he’s denied it and as I understand he took a lie-detector test.
Which as far as the CIA are concerned, a lie-detector is almost evidence that guy is not lying. So, there are very strange circumstances around this murder. I do feel that it is in the interests of certain organizations and individuals in the UK to not want to get on best terms with Russia.
As far as trade is concerned having better relationships and developing more economic ties.
The Conservative Party has never been very happy with good relationships with the Russians. And it’s always been seen as a negative thing because I suppose back in the days of the Soviet Union there was all this fear that was used as a weapon, sort of propaganda that anybody who supported socialist viewpoint must be in league with the Russians. They used to talk about “Reds under the bed”, if you remember.
I think it is still evident. It is maybe not the same as it was then because Russia is no longer the same country as it was 20 years ago. But it is still evident I think in the UK.
Yes, I mean the KGB is still a term used in the UK whenever Russian secret services are involved.
It is said that the UK MI-6 doesn’t do that sort of thing. They don’t assassinate people. But there’ve been lots of instances over the years when people have disappeared or died and it’s been mysterious. There was a recent case two years ago of Gareth Williams who actually was an officer working for the GCHQ in the UK, which is the Government Communications Headquarters. He was succumbent to MI-6 and working in London.
That’s right, yes. He was working in London, didn’t appear for maybe a week or so and then they’ve found him dead in his flat, trussed up in a bag, locked inside a bag, with the lock on the outside. So, obviously he couldn’t have done that himself which again looks like a murder nobody came up with a solution to that one.
Whatever he was up to, obviously that has something to do with his death. I think he must have been delving into something which is not in his best interests. But Litvinenko would have been using any knowledge he had of what was going on in Russia to inform his MI-6 handlers, what they should be doing in Russia I would have thought, to undermine the Russian Government in some way.
28 December 2012, 12:27
Under the Radar-2: The US Embassy in Benghazi was not an embassy
© Collage: Voice of Russia
Every week hundreds of important events occur that are important to all of us but which do not get enough media attention, either because they are over-shadowed by other major news or because they do not fit the pre-planned message that many of the world’s media are trying to promote, there is a journalistic responsibility to tell the whole story which we always attempt to do. Although we keep our eyes on the world this week’s most pressing issues that have been suppressed come from the US.
How is the US Army going to carry out more wars of aggression? This week the US Army quietly unveiled its new strategic guidelines. Global NATO, global US Army.
“… the Army is now "more CONUS-based," Soldiers will deploy worldwide in support of theater commanders and their regional alignment strategies.”
In order to control the world it is necessary to control the world’s money. Here is yet another tool for global domination by the US
“A ‘Google bank’ or ‘Apple bank’ that’ll certainly emerge will swallow the greatest part of the traditional banking market.”
With complete disregard to what will happen if, for example, a reactor melts down, the US and Israel continue aggressive cyber attacks on Iran.
“Iran reported a spree of new cyberattacks Tuesday, saying foreign enemy hackers tried in recent months to disrupt computer systems at a power plant…”
After the events of 9-11 it was said that at 9,000 people were secretly detained without trial, redress, or any way to defend themselves, with many being held completely incommunicado with the outside world. The practice has continued and been expanded yet the numbers are impossible to ascertain.
“Seattle residents Matt Duran and Katherine Olejnik have been imprisoned in the SeaTac Federal Detention Center for weeks. Neither of them has been indicted, arraigned, or even arrested for a crime.”
If the US Government does not like you or what you do, be you a journalist, blogger, protestor, hacktivist, freedom advocate, peace activist, independent entity/country, or any one or thing that does not “tow-the-line”, they label you a terrorist and proceed to destroy you any way they can.
“The FBI: Drowning In Counter-Terrorism Money, Power and Other Resources, Will Apply The Term “Terrorism” To Any Group It Dislikes And Wants To Control And Suppress”
Some in the US are waking up to the fact that their government is supporting dictatorial regimes which brutally suppress democracy in order to advance US interests. Bahrain has been one of the worst example since the Arab Spring.
“… Aqeel Abdul Mohsen, 19, was shot in the face for protesting against Bahrain’s government. He was covered in blood, with the lower side of his face blown open, his jaw shattered, and a broken hand hanging awkwardly from his wrist…”
Extra-judicial assassinations, 9-11, the Kennedy Assassination, FBI tracking guidelines, illegal detention, and even the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, are all things the US Government do not want you to know about, and for good reason: to protect themselves from answering crimes against all of us. The ALL GOV site has published 11 documents you must not see.
“After he took over the presidency, Barack Obama did away with traditional legal niceties and decided to just kill Americans who would previously have been accused of treason or terrorism. His victims have included three American citizens killed in Yemen in 2011, U.S.-born anti-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, an al-Qaeda propagandist from North Carolina, and Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.”
The NSA is the most secret of the secret US “security” agencies, yet sometimes what they are actually doing becomes known to the public. The fact that the NSA is using the rubric of “security” to attack the operating systems of domestic power plants and utilities should be cause for alarm.
“The 190 pages of the NSA's Perfect Citizen files, which EPIC obtained through the Freedom of Information Act last week, are heavily redacted. At least 98 pages were completely deleted for a number of reasons, including that portions are "classified top secret," and could "cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security".
The Benghazi “US Embassy” was not an embassy at all, Clinton continues to avoid testifying and Stevens was not a diplomat at all but a CIA agent.
“In reality, Islamic terrorist factions that work with the US were employed by the Saudi Arabian government to take out one of Petraeus’ CIA spies. That spy’s name was J. Christopher Stevens.”
The site Blacklisted News has compiled a list of 25 facts the mainstream mass media does not want you to know about, including massive global volcanic activity, the US Federal Reserve creating the current economic crisis, a financial disaster is being predicted for 2013 and that Saudi Arabia still kills people if they change their religion.
“#15 The mainstream media doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that hunger and poverty are absolutely exploding in the United States at the same time that they are telling us that the economy is ‘recovering’.”
Although the Guardian article is definitely biased towards the West the information that Russian Air-Defense Systems may be the only thing keeping Syria from being the victim of another aggressive US invasion, is not something the West really wants you to know.
“Over the weekend, the head of Russia's ground forces air defence, Major General Alexander Leonov, told the Ekho Moskvy radio station: "Syria's air-defense system is a no-nonsense force. As a result, no one has ever used serious air combat power against it."
“That "no-nonsense" force, the air defense command, comprises two divisions and an estimated 50,000 troops – twice the size of Muammar Gaddafi's force – with thousands of anti-aircraft guns and more than 130 anti-aircraft missile batteries.”
The US is further expanding its military presence into 35 African nations, under the tried and true pretext of the never-ending global “War on Terror!”
“A US Army brigade will begin sending small teams into as many as 35 African nations early next year, part of an intensifying Pentagon effort to train countries to battle extremists and give the US a ready and trained force to dispatch to Africa if crises requiring the US military emerge.”
27 December 2012, 23:19
ASIO: Meet Bob with D Branch Attorney General's Department, "wink-wink"
© Photo: SXC.hu
It has been revealed that over , operatives and specialists have posted detailed personal and operational information on employment and social networking sites. Could it be that personnel at the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) are so inept or so desperate for work that they are willing to advertise potential damaging information openly on the web. Perhaps I am overly confident in their "intelligence", but I don't buy it. Read on.
Among the standard operating procedures and the accepted practices for intelligences officers, agents and almost all associated personnel, other than directors and spokes-people, of the world’s intelligence agencies, is one that bans said personnel from maintaining and possessing personal pages on social media sites, dating sites, employment sites and the like.
The security concerns and opportunities for compromising agents, operations, unknowingly providing hostile counter-intelligence organizations and agents with valuable data (among major concerns), are so many and so wide-ranging, that if any trained intelligence officer, agent, operative or support personnel were to do something like posting their special training on the web, they would be stepping so far out of the bounds of accepted practice that they would be instantly disciplined, and perhaps have their heads examined.
The above is true for almost any country in the world, except of course if you work for the intrepid ASIO, the Australian Security Intelligence Organization. Currently the word “intelligence” in their name may be a matter for debate, but regardless, let us not get off the point.
According to the Herald hundreds, that’s right “hundreds” more than 200 to be exact, of former and present “spies” have placed information regarding their employment on-line on sites such as: “LinkedIn, other professional networking sites and social media including Facebook and Twitter”.
The information they have disclosed is so far ranging and potentially damaging for the ASIO and so potentially valuable for “foreign intelligence” that I am cautious as to taking it all at face value. As with all intelligence operations and activities, nothing happens by accident and there is always a huge level of duplicity in any activity they engage in, leading me to believe the whole “data display” may be a carefully planned operation by Australian Counter Intelligence Operations.
According to the Herald some of the information that was disclosed includes the following: fact of employment in top secret bodies such as the Defense Signals Directorate and the Defense Intelligence Organization, location of employment in specific “secret” facilities, overseas operational theater postings, intelligence liaison with other country’s agencies, linguistic skills, specific areas of work, expertise in specific information technology systems, special counter-terrorism training, telecommunications experience, aerospace ties, access to 'special compartmented intelligence' programs and much more.
According to computer forensics experts and information security professionals the information is a gold-mine that can be used by foreign intelligence, particular those engaged in social engineering, the practice of manipulating people into revealing targeted and “secret” information.
For the layman the fact that Raytheon may have secret departments operating in Australia, that the Defense Signals Directorate, RAAF's No. 3 Telecommunications Unit, the Royal Australian Navy's Shoal Bay Receiving Station, Britain's Communications Headquarters in Gloucestershire, GCHQ's Composite Signals Station, the US National Security Agency, and an Australian Defense Satellite Communications Station, cooperate closely and employ each other’s personnel, may seem like something worth knowing but for the “real” intelligence officer, these facts are already open knowledge.
What is dangerous is that if the posting are in fact genuine, and I for one am extremely skeptical, they open up personnel, their friends, present employers, families and all acquaintances, for targeting by every kind of group imaginable, from those involved in industrial espionage, to foreign counter-intelligence operatives and even terrorist groups.
If we undertake to analyze the “surprising” release of the information under the premise that nothing occurs accidentally, then we can look at what is actually being thrown out there like chum in shark infected waters, and more importantly what is not, and attempt to reach an “intelligent” conclusion as to the motivations and the real reasons for the release of the information.
We could start by attempting to determine if these “over 200 individuals” are actually real. Can we prove they are? Or are they cleverly engineered “bots” that will attract “targets” interested in “secrets”. In this case could Australian counter intelligence be so desperate to actually find some work that they are attempting to create it themselves?
If these 200 are in fact real, is it possible they are involved in disinformation or in actually culling their own contacts and targets. For example I might tell the world I can program a nuclear war-head and then wait to see who bites and reel in anyone who is interested in actually doing that. An intelligence victory is had, or another example I could say I work for the NSA in Department “M” and wait to see who shows an interest. Using such reactions and more importantly “non-reactions” to such intelligence is part of what counter intelligence is all about.
If we assume this is a counter-intelligence operation then we can take the whole game to the next level and engage in “counter-counter-intelligence”. For example analyze the information that is “not” being revealed such as: after a causal look at some of the “information” there was no reference to “Russia” or “Russian”.
Are we then to assume that the entire ASIO has no Russia Department? Of course not! But we can ascertain that they have no interest in widening their Russian operations or attracting Russian individuals, a fact from which many conclusions can be reached, one of which might be that they already have someone on the inside of Russian Intelligence, for example. This is more or less pure counter-intelligence.
Another example might be putting out information that intelligence operatives specialize in information technology system “A”, which might then have the less than intrepid hostile agency, going into over-drive to try to crack “A”. All the while ASIO is building defenses for system “B” which is currently vulnerable.
So my little piece of advice, if you are approached by one of these “more than 200” just ignore them, do not interact with them. Real intelligence officers and specialists rarely need social media and web sites to find employment if they are in good standing. And if they pretend not to be, it may be a cover and a ruse. Don’t buy into it.
Lastly according to the Australian Defense Department's own security directives: ''... when engaged in online forums … personnel must exercise professional judgment to ensure no information breaches operational security'', since there is no huge outcry and mass arrests are not taking place, we could assume no security protocols were broken and all of the information is either planted or of no real importance, further evidence that a foul game is afoot.
27 December 2012, 16:44
Men and women: we need each other
© Photo: SXC.hu
In the continuation of our conversation with Dr. Allyson Jule, Dr. Jule continues giving her insights into how gender affects learning and the discusses the stereo-types women and men have to deal with and fight against both as children and then later as adults. She speaks out against uni-sex classrooms and how they limit interaction, growth and proper human development.
With some of the studies we now have we can go in with MRIs and see some fetal development and incredible things that science can tell us but one of the main things is that the synapse patterns of the brain continue to function and develop their own pathways after birth and there is a gendered response at birth: it’s a boy, it’s a girl, or now with new technology you know if you are having a boy or a girl and that the gendered reaction happens before birth, in the rooms decorated in a certain way, certain clothes are purchased, the names chose etc,and then the response of the parents.
They have studies now, quite interesting studies of newborns and how parents hold the eye gaze of a boy child versus a girl child or how they speak to a boy or a girl baby, or handle the boy or a girl baby, bouncing the baby boy “bouncing baby boy”, or holding this beautiful baby girl. And so to say that gender emerges around the age of 7 we can probably no longer say that.
I’d say at 2.
I think I would go with as early as 2. When I walk through some of the toy stores here in Canada, I think: “Oh my goodness, there is probably nothing that could be purchased for child that is not gendered somehow.” Even the LEGO now comes in girl colors and boy colors.
I think it is a strange development in light of the more feminist ideas that are coming through the school system, there seems to be this backlash almost back to like a Victorian kind of view that boys have a very boy-life. They have certain things they do and certain games they play, and that that’s radically different from what girls do. I think that is very surprising.
What I am worried about particularly emerging in the States are these single-gendered classrooms that are happening in the public schools system, and there have always been schools for boys, schools for girls, in private schools often, but this is in a public system, so that of these, I would call them even pseudo-science kind of studies, that say that boys need certain methods and girls need certain methods, so guess what? We should put all the boys in one room and teach them math, and put all the girls in a different room and teach them math together and then they can learn in their different ways together, and I just think, “Holy Mackerel !”
Yes, it seems so popular and yet problematic and teachers themselves seem to be taking this on saying, yes, the boy’s class, we can focus on these sorts of things and the girl’s class we can focus on these sorts of things, but what it takes away, is what you are describing: when you have a variety, you can add a dynamic to the room.
That is really important in presenting our children with a more well-rounded sense of humanity. Which is we need each other: male and female in relationship, in business, in educating our children. To segregate and to reinforcement just seems to me a major step backwards.
Yes, we do know that particularly in the West that girls have been outperforming boys for about 25-30 years and critics of education are saying: “Well that is because there has been a feminization of education that now privileges girls over boys”, girls are outperforming entering law schools.
A study that came out to Harvard maybe 10 years now, that looked at some of the top educated women, some in the US, that would have emerged from Harvard law school around mid 1980s, so that they would have all of the benefits of new opportunities and affirmative action and whatever, that gave them best education in the world, and followed their career trajectories to see what happens throughout, like “Did they become then the heads of law firms around the world?”, as you would expect with that kind of education and preparation, but what they found is that of course they did not, they went part-time, some of them stayed home, some of them changed careers, calling it the opt-out generation because when they asked these very women: “Why with that kind of education and privilege did they not have gone out to do public service, run for president, or other, sort of levels of leadership”, their responses all aligned with this: “Well, it’s not what I wanted for my life. Like I wanted a family, or I wanted relationships, or I wanted a work-life balance. Which was just an interesting kind of set of things to consider because what we have been asking of men in our society? That they have to give up family, relationship, work-life balance to be those leaders. It is an interesting set of requirements for both genders. One would have to give up that kind of career to have those kinds of relationships, but then so does the other.
Tremendous pressure, and unfair, but I think that a well-lived-life includes some accomplishments, areas of interest, relationship, family, work-life balance. I think whether you are a male of a female, all of those things going to a well-rounded life are important, and to set up things that are gender-based that take away the other options, I think that is so sad and I get frustrated when I hear, educators in particular, come on strong with this: “Boys need this and they need this kind of life and that is the kind of life they are going to live”, and I think: “Why limit?”
27 December 2012, 10:55
My wish is to meet Bradley Manning as a free man very soon - Hrafnsson
In the third part of our recent interview with Kristinn Hrafnsson, Kristinn talks about a Russian measure to form an independent banking mechanism that was the subject of diplomatic cables from the US and was susequently killed, US spying and information mining and profiling, communications analysis, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. Kristinn makes the revelation that the entire foreign apparatus of the US was activated by banking concerns to stop the Russian measure.
Will since you brought it up it’s worth mentioning what was revealed in the diplomatic cables from Moscow was a discussion: I believe it was in 2006, around the initiative in the Duma to actually create a Russian processing mechanism taking the power from Visa and MasterCard.
It was argued, in the Duma, that this is necessary not just because of financial considerations because of all the money and transactions fees that were being sucked out of the country, also and not less importantly because of the security concerns around the sheer fact that all information about credit card use in Russia is now transferred outside the borders and stored in supercomputers in the United States and is easily accessible. So from a security and national security concern this was a grave concern.
Now, the cables show that Visa and MasterCard were able to mobilize the State Department and the entire foreign service of the United States to put a great effort to try to crush that initiative in the Russian Parliament, and somehow it died down and didn’t materialize. Now there is a thing to investigate for journalists in Russia. How did that come about? I’m curious to know the answer.
It is extremely dangerous. This has been a concern of WikiLeaks all through. We’ve been trying to point out the grave dangers in the growing surveillance society that we live in and with the growing surveillance industry that we have actually exposed, in the Spy Files that we released last year, in December.
We live in a world where information is a commodity that is highly valued. We saw that in the last IPO of Facebook which was the biggest IPO in history, although this year value has dropped somewhat since then. People were eager to buy into information that was being submitted voluntarily for free.
Information is stored in supercomputers in many places, one is in a new facility erected by Visa a couple of years ago in an undisclosed location on the East Coast of the U.S. and it’s interconnected with fiber-optic cables to other computers in the world where all transactions are stored and shared between computers, so within 0.2 milliseconds, whenever a person strikes or slides his card in Moscow, the information is stored in a computer in the United States.
You can imagine what kind of profiling can be made on the basis of the information when it’s added other information available on the net. There’s active work in storing this and doing this profiling and we have that information because of whistleblowers from NSA. Personnel that have stepped out and have had to pay a dear price for that, and have informed how they were disgusted knowing in the last years how the NSA was being transformed into a spying machine, spying on the American public. And of course it is being used and this against information that is accessible from individuals from other nations, as well. It’s an extremely serious trend and something that people all around the world need to wake up to.
We’re extremely close to that, given the technology. It’s now easy to store the entire telecommunications of an entire nation and to sort and analyze it. We’re getting extremely close to a scenario that George Orwell would never have dreamed of.
The most important thing is to start recognizing the problem and the scope of it. And I hope that WikiLeaks can be an instrument in providing information on this. In the hope that information is, will be, the first steps towards liberation.
I just want to add that today is Bradley Manning’s 25th birthday his third birthday behind bars without trial. He has been, of course, treated in an extremely shameful manner.
I want to mention him in my final words and we think of the plight of this young man, who is a hero, in the hope that we’ll be able to meet him as a free man very soon, at least that is my wish. That is if he is indeed the source of the information that he is alleged to have leaked, he is one of the most important whistleblowers of recent times.
He’s doing fine, considering the situation. Of course, it’s not easy to be locked away for all this time; it’s almost six months now. But he’s holding out pretty well, and in good spirits, good fighting spirits. So I would say he is in a relatively good situation given the circumstances.
26 December 2012, 10:55
We transpose our stereotypes onto children - interview
© Photo: Elena Staroselskaya
The Voice of Russia spoke with Dr. Allyson Jule, an author, professor of education and the co-director of the Gender Studies Institute at Trinity Western University in Canada, about gender issues and education. Dr. Jule who recently completed a study on gender in the classroom, with a focus on the processes involved in linguistics education and how gender affects the attainment of language knowledge, shared her views and conclusions with the Voice of Russia. A must-listen for those involved in ESL education and teachers in general.
Hello! I’m fine. It is good to talk to you.
One of the things I was interested in exploring was that very question about the difference between boys and girls, particularly for teachers and how it would influence teaching methodology.
What I’ve discovered both through my own research and also through reviewing other empirical research studies was that the difference is so small when it comes to anything that neuroscience might suggest. But the differences are magnified by culture or our expectations, and our stereotypes that reinforce certain gender behavior. So, we think that girls are very talkative, let’s say, and we respond to them as such and talk more to them. And then, oh, they become more talkative. And then we say well, they are more talkative.
But it becomes a sort of self fulfilling prophesy for girls in that way, or for boys regarding sports or aggression, or math or other sorts of stereotypical masculine behaviors that culture suggests and reinforces.
And what I noticed in the study, that I did, this was with 7-year-old children and teachers responses to boys and girls in classroom discussions. I looked at full class discussion, full lessons with boys and girls in the classroom and the teachers were giving a teacher directed lesson, for example, talking about capital cities, let’s say, of the world. And when this teacher, for example, asked a question to anyone at all, a boy or a girl could answer this question: “What’s the capital city of Canada?” for example.
If a girl responded to the question: “Ottawa”, the teacher would say: “Yes”. If a boy answered that same question the same way: “Ottawa”, the teacher would say something more like: “Yes, Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. That’s right.”
What that was, was a small moment that the girl’s response was getting minimal linguistic response. It is getting affirmed: “Yes, Ottawa” but the boy’s response was getting more verbal interaction: “Yes, Ottawa is the capital city of Canada. That’s right.” Which was almost ten times more interaction which prompted more verbal interaction in response. So, there were chattier boys in response to a teacher prompting more conversation.
Exactly! I think it has everything to do with the teacher. And as a teacher educator this was my main interest: was how much power could a teacher have in reinforcing stereotypes or in interrupting stereotypes and therefore giving more opportunity for our children to be individuals, to exercise a wide variety of intelligences and a wide variety of skills and linguistic opportunities.
So, the part that I was interested in was this linguistic space. And that the girls tended to be silenced by the teacher, now, this wasn’t deliberate. And all the teachers I interviewed would say things like: “Oh, I treat them all the same” or “I give all the same opportunities to boys and girls”. And they absolutely believed that, and so did I. I think what was interesting when you do this kind of research, like measuring linguistic space, I tape recorded all the conversations, I counted the words, I compared the percentages throughout the whole year between class rooms etc.
Then we can see these patterns and see, “Oh that’s interesting!” because then teacher and even myself as researcher were not aware of this distinctive response until it was there on paper and you could see it.
So, the girls were also treated slightly in other sort of curious ways. And this wasn’t just in my own study. This was something I did find in researching other studies of a similar ilk that were done in the US and in England where the teacher would tend to say something like; “Girls!” But the boys would get direct names, like: “Peter, be quiet”, “Peter turn to your work” or whatever. But “Girls, hush!” there was a sense that girls were kind of en-mass in the room and they were nice quiet girls.
That was the kind of the affirmative stereotypical behavior. But the boys could be quite rowdy or engaging with the teacher, often not hear, but that seems to be considered a “boy” behavior and I think this gets reinforced. And this was with very young children 7-years-old. There are studies that came out through pre-school, kindergarten, 5-year-old children. And all that, that suggest a similar kind of phenomenon that is: we treat our children the way we want them to be, and then say, “Ah, that’s how they are.”
But we are not really that conscious that we have prompted these very behaviors, whether it is what we expect and hope for in little girls, or expect and hope for in little boys. And I found that very interesting, both as a teacher and as a parent myself, just that: how expectations can setup a whole life trajectory regarding things our children feel are confident to attempt to try, like sports for girls or math for girls, or English literature and reading for boys that somehow get a stereotypical bubble around it. And then we just keep to that and even complain about it, like should the boys read more, boys aren’t excelling at school the way we think they should and yet reading more to girls.
So, there is something in the teacher’s life in particular that I was interested in and what the teacher does in her or his class rooms that prompt a kind of gendered life.
Yes and no. We definitely were in a conversation about it. They were very interested. They knew I was there doing gender work. So, they were very conscious, you’d think that they would have been even more careful, let’s say, in many ways. But I think for all of us this was a very subconscious kind of reaction. And I think that we don’t have any quick fixes. I think that my biggest frustration was some of the more popular literature right now that seems to suggest things like boys have boy brains and have to be taught in a certain way and then they will succeed, or girls have girl brains and they need certain things to succeed.
Yeah, or that our culture, or the world we live in responds to us through a gender lens and then it reinforces it. So that: yes, we are different but what I react to is this kind of essentialist biological “We’re different” instead of, a sense that everyone is an individual, there are a whole host of reasons why people are the way they are, the personality traits, the socio-economic status, families.
26 December 2012, 09:58
The Demise of Western Civilization: Rated XXX
© Collage: Voice of Russia
Americans know that many of their politicians and officials are corrupt, that their police are brutal and their justice system is skewed and too often looks the other way when it comes to the crimes of those with money and power. This is the constant subject of American films and television, yet no one is willing to do anything about it. This is partially due to childhood conditioning and is a sign of the decline of Western Civilization.
What happens when self-serving, corrupt and power hungry elements, driven by nothing but pure greed, manipulate and bend the law to their own ends? What happens when they then obtain this power and these positions of authority for the sole reason of maintaining and expanding their own wealth and power?
To add to the equation: What then happens when the above officials come to power in a country with a capitalist system designed and engineered to support and protect the rich, where the majority of the population are suppressed and subjugated with an iron hand and which has a policy of world domination and subjugation, a goal which it is actively willing to promote and reach at any cost whatsoever?
The answer to the above questions lies in the United States of America and is exactly what has happened there. Take heed; unfortunately the above questions are posed in a subdued and understated manner and do not properly reflect the true dire and urgent nature of the real situation in that country. Also to properly answer said question would require volumes. Despite all of that answering these questions is an urgent and pressing matter as the situation in that country is increasingly affecting each and every one of us, all over the world, in real and tangible ways, more and more, with each passing day.
The problem (as we will refer to the total corruption of the entire system) with Western Society and the Capitalist System is not a secret. Americans at all levels who have any level of independent thinking are aware of the “problem”, yet few are willing and/or able to do anything about it, that is assuming that there is a desire to, and even fewer are willing to publically confront the problem in any attempt to right the situation.
Like racism the problems affecting Western Society are ones that are taboo and not a part of serious public debate. Americans do appease themselves and their consciences by admitting that such problems exist, and even laugh about societal wrongs, yet almost no one is seriously attempting to correct the situation and those who do (eg whistleblowers) face the violent opposition and the full wrath of the American system.
For the foreign observer it seems like lunacy watching the American “show” and seeing the endless examples of hypocrisy, injustice, malfeasance of office and the nonfeasance of those in power to do anything, leaving one to wonder what in the world the American people are thinking and if they actually are. Yet everywhere there is evidence that they know there is something wrong with their society and their system and that it is in decline. Like Sodom and Gomorra and the Roman Empire, Western civilization is in decay and will go the way of the aforementioned models of “civilization”.
With regard to awareness, which may be half the battle, most of the population of the world are consumers of Hollywood movies and exposed to American media and with the advent of the internet this has become more so.
Those who watch American films often see examples of corrupt politicians, police and officials doing everything they can to enrichen themselves and committing every variety of crime and machination with the conclusion being the typical Hollywood “happy end”, yet in real life there rarely appears a happy end.
Hollywood knows this and knows that this is one reason that people pay to watch films. For Americans films are escapism, films are a way to escape the reality that they have to live with every single day of their lives and one that they can not escape from. I have always said if you want to know what American society is like watch a Hollywood film and then for the most part imagine the opposite of what is shown on the screen, with relation to the positive.
To understand the full evil that has spread through the West is not enough, something must be done about it, but that has become an almost impossibility as the evil and the corruption has gone all the way to the top and the entire system has been rigged to support and promote those in power and to respond violently to any threat to the status quo.
Psychologically the American public is being very cleverly manipulated and controlled through the media and though Hollywood films for example, this is not some sort of a conspiracy, as anyone who brings the matter up is accused of promoting, but a reality. These are tools to control the masses and stifle public outcry. In this regard psychological manipulation, brain-washing and programming begins from childhood, this is a fact, and continues until death.
The hypocrisy of America begins in the primary school classroom and more importantly in the school yard. The US Education System is designed to instill a high level of patriotism in the population, this is first and foremost and is necessary to keep such a widely disperse population under control.
Unknown to most of the world’s population, every first lesson of the day from primary school until high school begins with what is called the “Pledge of Allegiance” where students stand and face the ever present American Flag, put their hands on their hearts and recite an oath to America learned by rote. However the real learning, which has long lasting effects, occurs in the school yard. In brief children learn from their peers that bullies can do whatever they want and are “kings” and those who come from wealthy white families can also do whatever they want and are untouchable.
Further education, after the “free” system, is then made available for a large part, only to the elites because they are more likely to promote the system which is designed to ensure their own elitist survival and not the survival of the masses, hence what we see today.
This thinking: extreme patriotism, violence as a means for conflict resolution, the rich as untouchable, and the supremacy of the white race, is learned and reinforced from an early age and further promoted and reinforced by society, the media, authorities and peers.
Thinking people know it is wrong and the general public know it is wrong but the system is designed in such a manner and going outside of it is dangerous and nearly impossible, and anyone who seeks accountability is quickly and brutally marginalized and gotten rid of as brutally and permanently as possible.
To tell the American people that their “government of the people by the people” is a fallacy is something that they do not want to hear, although they know it, it does not fit in with their programming. They know they are powerless and merely exist to support and promote the state. This may sound Orwellian but it is the reality.
This powerlessness in conjunction with the glorification of violence, the promotion of the belief that force is the answer to all problems and that weapons are something that are owned by a “free” people leads to bursts of violence that are largely incomprehensible to people outside the US, hence an endless stream of events such as the recent Connecticut shootings.
The powerlessness and injustice also draws people to the box office to see how the hero beats the system, gets rich, finds love and the corrupt villain finally gets what he deserves, things which in reality rarely happen.
The total supremacy of the corporate state and the corrupt leaders running it became evident to anyone who had any doubts after the events of September 11, 2001.
For the neo-conservatives planners behind the Project for a New American Century, who many believe were the actual architects of 9-11, it was not only a watershed moment and a catalyst for global domination; it was also the end of the “liberty” of the American population.
Although the planner’s intention was to create a new era of total American global domination, something we are seeing today, in reality it also created the conditions and all of the mechanisms for the actual decline and demise of Western Civilization. In brief the planners bit off more than they could chew and the global resistance was not something they properly expected or planned for.
I am an optimist and a humanist and still naively believe that human nature is basically good and we all seek justice and fairness and that good will always prevail over evil, no matter how long it suffers or is muffled. In this regard I am sure that real justice must prevail, not the justice meted out by brutal police, corrupt officials and a justice system that serves the interests of the few, but real justice.
The people know there is something wrong with the system and with their society but that is not enough, when the system is designed to be controlled from the top down. Those in power who control and run the system must also be convinced that what they are promoting and protecting is not right. Change in the US must come from the top. Something that is unlikely to happen.
So as with any recalcitrant repeat offender, change must then be forced from the outside. In this regard a multi-polar world is an absolute must as are global independent bodies which serve the interests of true justice and all of the countries of the world and have real “teeth”, not just US controlled “surrogates” such as the UN and Hague.
The American people know there is a problem, yet seem to refuse to do anything about it as evidenced by media depictions of brutal police, corruption, war crimes and the like. However it may be too late to do anything about it. Regardless, courage must be found to battle evil, no matter at what level, for without courage, all will be lost, if in fact it has already not been.
25 December 2012, 14:15
The genocide of the American Indians was the worst ethnic cleansing in history - Dr. Daniel N. Paul
In the third and final part of an interview with Indian Historian and Mi'kmaq elder Dr. Daniel Paul, the discussion continues regarding the genocide of the American indigenous peoples. Dr. Paul discusses the disingenuous "apology" by the US Government which was attached to a Defense Bill, the continued suppression of the real history of North America in the school systems of the continent and the continued institutionalized racism Native Americans face.
This is John Robles. I am speaking with , a Mi’kmaq Elder and an Indian Historian.
All the societies in the Americas, with very few exceptions, were built on genocide, on the blood of the indigenous people. People were wiped out. Some people put the estimate for the Caribbean Taíno people, for instance, as being somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-10 million when Columbus landed there, but within 50 years they were practically extinct.
So when you are looking at the overall total, it is almost unbelievable, and they talk about barbarism, people don’t discuss it too often but the Spaniards were using human flesh to feed dogs. And scalp proclamations were one of the favorite things of the English here in the Americas, putting a price on the heads of men, women and children. And then the spreading the smallpox was another thing they used quite liberally in trying to eliminate populations. And then simple starvation, after they destroyed most of the food sources of the indigenous people and trading patterns, the people lived in a state of malnutrition and many were starving to death, and when you get to that state, even a common cold could be fatal to you.
So, our population in the Americas was reduced, I would say, almost by 90% by time it was all over. And even in this day and age the Mi’kmaq, for instance, in Nova Scotia were down to 1,400 in 1850 and that stayed around the same until the 1940s, and then the Canadian government began to get a little bit of a conscience, or what have you, and started improving health services and food rations and so forth and so on. And today our population is up to about 25,000 now. We’re slowly but surely making a comeback.
The United States has owned up to the atrocities that went on there, there’s an apology I believe, that was issued by the Congress in 2010 but it’s what I call a silent apology. It was never broadcast around the world or anything like that and it was part of a Defense Procurement Bill that went through the Congress. But when you are looking at the overall thing, that is not what we need done in these countries. What we have to see is that they change curriculums and began to place in those school curriculums, the real history of the peoples that were here before the Europeans invaded. And I don’t call it discovery, I call it an invasion.
It was an invasion by people that were superiorly armed and they brought their wars to the Americas. The French and British were fighting almost constantly on this side of the water, at the same time fighting constantly on the European soil. So, they didn’t bring peace and prosperity to the indigenous people in the Americas - we already had that. And we all had good standards of living and some people like to believe that all our ancestors were standing along the shores of the Americas, cheering on the Europeans for coming over and saving them and civilizing them and so forth and so on, which is a pile of bull.
What’s happened here is, there are probably even some Beothuk, some people with some Beothuk blood in them. But when you can’t find a member of a tribe that is full-blooded, that is the point where you would call that tribe extinct in the sense that they are no longer with us in that sense, the Beothuk, for all intents and purposes, were wiped out. I believe there may be a few people around with some Beothuk blood in them but they didn’t live in the traditional way or what have you.
We live under a state of systemic racism. In the United States and Canada you can’t have open discrimination against us anymore such as they had 30-40 years ago but we are still not viewed as equals in these societies and we are not treated as equals, and we are still seen by the vast majority of the people here, because of lack the lack of education, as people that came from barbarous tribes, savage tribes and not as people who came from civilized a community.
So, until we can overcome that kind of perception and like I said before, change curriculums in schools and begin to teach the truth, we still got a long way to go before we are treated as people who have come from civilizations that had every right to continue to exist and prosper in this world, and stop demeaning our people in the sense that we were never a civilized people, where in fact, we were.
And how to get that information out? It is slowly happening, it is going to take a long time and at the rate we’re going, I think we’ll be at it for a couple of centuries before we really make that final step. And one of the biggest steps has to be acceptance by Europeans that the genocide of the American Indians, the indigenous people of the Americas was probably one of the worst mass ethnic cleansings that this world has ever known and begin to make that part of history lessons, and so forth and so on.
There were great civilizations on this side of the water, there were rural civilizations, there were hunter-gathers civilizations, there were city dwellers and what have you, and all these. And how many people in Americas or around the world know that fact? Very few. And the reason that they don’t know is because it’s not taught.
You were listening to an interview with Dr. Daniel N. Paul, he’s an elder with Mi’kmaq Tribe, thanks for listening.
24 December 2012, 12:59
Politicians are being more and more controlled by corporations - Hrafnsson
© Collage: Voice of Russia
WikiLeaks number 2 and the official spokesperson for the portal Kristinn Hrafnsson recently spoke to the Voice of Russia and in part two of that conversation, discusses the struggle of WikiLeaks, the international nature of the organization and leaks from all over the world. Also on the table is the topic of alternatives to US based financial mechanisms and the possible formation of independent international financial mechanisms.