" ... We end [up] waging war against Russians with the proxy. We are investing our emotions just like playing a computer game. Unable to distinguish dying in a computer game from dying for real. When we die, we might start another game. Ukrainians, after being dead once, can not do that. No more games after dying for real.
Obama says G7 to discuss Russian aggression in Ukraine (7/6/15) | Reuters
Contrary to what is implied by the article's headline, its content does not explicitly claim that Russia is guilty of aggression against Ukraine, let alone provide proof. Rather than making such a claim, the content of the article merely reports President Barack Obama's utterances about the Ukraine conflict:
U.S. President Barack Obama said ... that leaders would discuss how to stand up to Russia's "aggression" in Ukraine ...
Note the quote marks around the word "aggression". It's as if 'reporters' Noah Barkin, Michelle Martin and Paul Carrel did not want to be seen, by more conscionable readers, to be personally endorsing the lies coming out of Obama's mouth. It's unfortunate that they 'neglected' to also include quote marks in the heading. The above lie is repeated, coming directly out out of President Obama's own mouth, in the next paragraph:
"So over the next two days in Schloss Elmau we're going to discuss our shared future, the global economy that creates jobs and opportunity, maintaining a strong and prosperous European Union, forging new trade partnerships across the Atlantic, standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine, combating threats from violent extremism to climate change," Obama said in a town near the summit site at Schloss Elmau. (my emphasis)
Only a minority of readers, who are adequately informed, will be able to see the deceit in this article for what it is.
Ref: RN Breakfast interview with Joe Hockey on 26 February 2015
Traitor: "A person who betrays someone or something, such as a friend, cause, or principle." Substitute "a nation of people" for "friend".......
Fran Kelly's interview with Joe Hockey provides yet another example of the "don't mention the population growth" policy of Government, all the major political parties and the ABC. This betrays the principles set out in the ABC Code of Practice. This betrays a cause, which is impartial discussion of humane and sustainable solutions for Australia and its international conduct. This betrays a nation of people.
Is the ABC's conduct an attack on causes including:
- Objective assessment of what Australia can do to maximise it's humanitarian support for the world's most needy people using responsible economic management that incorporates detailed analysis of the economic impact of extreme population growth?
- Objective assessment of what Australia can do to optimise its strategy for reducing carbon emissions by considering the impact of extreme population growth on these emissions and on the means (economic and technical) available for their reduction?
- Objective assessment of the impacts of extreme population growth on the Federal Budget and what measures, if any, might be taken to address these impacts?
Australians are a "Weird Mob". In Australian schools in the 60s Australian history lessons made very little mention of the convict origins of Australian settlers and the dispossession of the Aboriginal peoples. Was this somehow due to shame and awkwardness?
Today we have Fran Kelly and her colleagues at the ABC using a far more destructive form of concealment and denial to bury the population growth issue. Are they ashamed and confused about the relationship between Pauline Hanson's perceived racism and xenophobic intolerance and the population growth management issue?
The interview with Joe Hockey displayed the contempt for logic we've come to expect from Kelly. She failed to ask Joe Hockey about a significant root cause of demand for real estate in the context of foreign buyers; which is extreme population growth.
The legacy of Pauline Hanson is a different issue to Population Growth Management for Goodness sake! Extreme Population Growth is like Convict Origins and Aboriginal Dispossession. It does exist!
There are three groups engaged in the population growth management debate:
- The inept, Pauline Hanson style, attacks on immigration which supported baser levels of resentment. This is analogous to an Aboriginal throwing a spear at someone from the First Fleet
- The ludicrous, ABC style, Government sanctioned, taxpayer funded, population growth denial
- The moderate, reasonable, scientific, humanitarian, intellectually competent group who may represent a majority of Australians who just want to see open, impartial, public policy debate of population growth management instead of an Intergenerational Report issued once every 5 years as a concocted justification for doing nothing to address the complex myriad of consequential issues
Without allowing the last group to have a voice on the ABC, Fran Kelly, and all who support her, are arguably traitors and criminals.
Politicians do not sign an oath of impartiality.
But the ABC is legally bound to act with impartiality and is therefore an unlawful organisation because it deliberately misrepresents or conceals (otherwise known as taxpayer funded fraud) what is arguably the most important humanitarian, social, environmental and economic issue facing modern Australia.
Update, 27 Sep 2013 : CNN's fake translation of Iran President Rouhani's statement regarding Holocaust (also added as an Appendix). (This article was originally published 31 March 2010.) From Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), 30 Mar 2013.
PRAGUE, (SANA)- Ex-CNN reporter Amber Lyon revealed that during her work for the channel she received orders to send false news and exclude some others which the US administration did not favor with the aim to create a public opinion in favor of launching an aggression on Iran and Syria.
See also: WARNING: "Final" Psy-Op Vs. Syria Begins of 29 March 2013 by Tony Cartalucci, Syrian Conflict: The Price of Defying the West and Obstructing a US-Israeli Attack on Iran of 28 Mar 2013 by Tony Cartalucci (also here), How Obama Chose War Over Peace in Syria of 28 March 2012 by Shamus Cooke. Follow Amber Lyon on Twitter
Lyon was quoted by the Slovak main news website as saying that the mainstream US media outlets intentionally work to create a propaganda against Iran to garner public opinion's support for a military invasion against it.
She revealed that the scenario used before launching the war on Iraq is being prepared to be repeated where Iran and Syria are now being subject to constant 'demonization'.
The former reporter clarified that the CNN channel manipulates and fabricates news and follows selectiveness when broadcasting news, stressing that the Channel receives money from the U.S. government and other countries' governments in exchange for news content.
Editorial Comment: As only one of countless examples of how the Australian public have been similarly deceived about the Syrian conflict, see Fisk says the Arab states are no longer afraid of the US on ABC's Lateline of 28 March and read Socrates' response, The Truth According To Robert Fisk.
#FabricatedTranslation" id="FabricatedTranslation">Appendix: CNN's fake translation of Iran President Rouhani's statement regarding Holocaust
Originally published on Global Research on 27 Sep 2013
TEHRAN (FNA)- American news channel CNN fabricated the remarks made by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in response to the network’s question about the Holocaust.
The CNN aired its interview with Rouhani on Tuesday but the news channel added to or changed parts of his remarks when Christiane Amanpour asked him about the Holocaust.
Here is the exact transcript of the Farsi text according to the CNN broadcast:
Here is the exact English translation of President Rouhani’s remarks:
Rouhani’s: “I have said before that I am not a historian and historians should specify, state and explain the aspects of historical events, but generally we fully condemn any kind of crime committed against humanity throughout the history, including the crime committed by the Nazis both against the Jews and non-Jews, the same way that if today any crime is committed against any nation or any religion or any people or any belief, we condemn that crime and genocide. Therefore, what the Nazis did is condemned, (but) the aspects that you talk about, clarification of these aspects is a duty of the historians and researchers, I am not a history scholar.”
And here is what the CNN translation says:
“One of the things your predecessor (President Ahmadinejad) used to do from this very platform was deny(ing) the holocaust and pretend(ing) it was a myth, I want to know you, your position on the holocaust, do you accept what it was, and what was it?”
“I’ve said before that I am not a historian and then, when it comes to speaking of the dimensions of the Holocaust, it is the historians that should reflect on it. But in general I can tell you that any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime that Nazis committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jews is reprehensible and condemnable. Whatever criminality they committed against the Jews, we condemn, the taking of human life is contemptible, it makes no difference whether that life is Jewish life, Christian or Muslim, for us it is the same, but taking the human life is something our religion rejects but this doesn’t mean that on the other hand you can say Nazis committed crime against a group now therefore, they must usurp the land of another group and occupy it. This too is an act that should be condemned. There should be an even-handed discussion“.
FNA NOTE: The Red parts have been added or completely altered. The Yellow parts are the product of conceptual, and not precise, translation.
Yet, the underlined parts are the worst parts of the fabrications which totally change what President Rouhani has said.
After the CNN released the interview, hundreds of news agencies, TV and news channels, websites and weblogs broadcast this title: “Iran’s President Rouhani Calls Holocaust ‘Reprehensible’ Crime Against Jews”, a title quoted from the CNN; Or “Rouhani Recognizes the Holocaust as Crime against Jews”.
Earlier this evening, Australia's Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) television news featured a chilling report by BBC journalist Ian Pannell who rode with a group of Syrian rebels as they attacked the town of Alleppo in Syria. The report featured groups of captives being threatened at close range with automatic rifles. At one point a gun seemed to discharge and wound one of the captives. Ian Pannell did not inform his viewers of the fate of the captives. Shortly after I found on Land Destroyer a comprehensive dissection of the deceit and hypocrisy in Ian Pannell's report. It is republished here.
Article by Tony Cartalucci. Originally published on Land Destroyer
BBC Covers Up War Crimes - Misleads Over Syrian Security Operations.
by Tony Cartalucci
July 25, 2012 - When big lies must be told, BBC is there. From Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya and now Syria, BBC has paved the way for Western disinformation meant to mange public perception around a war the public would otherwise never support or tolerate.
The BBC, caught on record producing entire "documentaries" on behalf of corporate-financier interests, has already been caught in immense lies regarding the NATO-fueled destabilization of Syria. This includes the disingenuous use of photos from Iraq, to depict a so-called "massacre" in the village of Houla, Syria.
Now, as NATO's Al Qaeda mercenaries operating under the banner of the so-called "Free Syrian Army" flow over the Turkish-Syrian border in an attempt to overrun the city of Aleppo, BBC is there, attempting to manipulate the public's perception as the conflict unfolds.
BBC's Ian Pannell admits he rode with a convoy of militant fighters into Aleppo at night. He claims many are desperate for the FSA to succeed, "clamoring for freedom denied by their president," but concedes many others fear an "Islamic takeover" and sectarian "division and bloodshed." The latter of course, is self-evident, while the former is the repeated, unfounded mantra of the Western media used to cover up the latter.
Pannell poses amongst staged settings, claiming a single burning tire equates to a barricade set up by the militants (see more on the use of burning tires as propaganda here and here). He concedes that militants are taking to the rooftops with sniper rifles in the districts they claim they control - begging one to wonder where else terrorist snipers have been, and how many "sniper" deaths have been mistakenly blamed on the government.
Covering Up FSA War Crimes
Pannell then attempts to cover up serious war crimes committed by the FSA militants he is traveling with, claiming that men the FSA arbitrarily rounded up while "seeking revenge" were "suspected Shabiha," harking back to Libya's NATO-backed terrorist death squads rounding up and killing Libya's black communities in orgies of sectarian genocide - which outlets like the BBC defended as simply rebels targeting "suspected African mercenaries." Pannell papers over what he just reported with the unqualified claim that there is "little justice" on either side. What became of the FSA's victims is not revealed.
Image: From BBC's Ian Pannell - young men "suspected" of being "Shabiha" are rounded up as the FSA "seeks revenge." BBC fails categorically to explain how NATO-backed terrorists can "liberate" a city that is admittedly pro-government - but it appears it will be done through terrorism, brutality, mass murder, and intimidation.
BBC reporter Ian Pannell's failure to report on the war crimes he admitted witnessing, smacks of endorsement and complicity - an attempt to preserve the romanticism the West has desperately tried to associate with their FSA death squads. Pannell's report also confirms earlier descriptions of widespread atrocities committed by the so-called "Free Syrian Army."
In Libya, when the government of Muammar Qaddafi collapsed, and as Libyan terrorists overran the last of the nation's security forces, entire cities of Libya's blacks were overrun, their populations either mass-murdered, imprisoned, or forced to flee to refugee camps. These are people who had lived in Libya for generations. A similar fate awaits Syrians should NATO prevail.
BBC Confirms Syrian Army Use of Heavy Weapons ARE Proportional to FSA Threats
Pannell's propaganda in Aleppo continues, where he admits FSA militants possess tanks they allegedly "captured" from the Syrian military, but then, showing video of what is clearly an anti-tank SU-25 aircraft rolling in with machine guns, claims it marks a "dramatic escalation" and a sign of "desperation."
Image: From BBC's Ian Pannell -FSA tanks are positioned in or around Aleppo, according to BBC. The myth that NATO-backed militants are "lightly armed" is unraveling as they attempt to take on large cities flush with cameras and media from both sides. Eager propagandists attempting to portray victories have more than once shown "captured tanks" in the hands of militants. Heavy militant weapons beget heavy government weapons.
In reality the Syrian army is using force directly proportional to the threats NATO-backed militants have presented. Tanks and heavy weapons mounted on trucks, also featured in the BBC report, are legitimate targets for government heavy weapons. The precision an SU-25 lends the battlefield verses heavy artillery bombardments when neutralizing FSA heavy weapons is the only conceivable way to minimize civilian casualties.
Images: (Top) From BBC's Ian Pannell - BBC and other Western media outlets have claimed "MIGs" are bombing Aleppo's civilian populations. This all based on a single "tweet" made by BBC's Ian Pannell. Pannell now reports this video depicts what he saw - which in reality is an anti-tank SU-25 deploying machine guns, not bombs, verses what Pannell already admits are FSA heavy weapons, not civilian populations. (Bottom) Several orthographic views of the SU-25 for comparison.
And as the Western media is so found of reminding its viewers, Aleppo is decidedly pro-government, and pro-President Bashar al-Assad. Therefore to indiscriminately use disproportionate force serves no purpose for the Syrian government, who has gone through extraordinary lengths and placed its soldiers at great risk to minimize damage to the city and its inhabitants - a city and population that serves both an important role economically and culturally for all Syrian people.
Remember Fallujah, Iraq
A government is put in a difficult position when armed gangs enter a city "seeking revenge" as BBC's Ian Pannell puts it, when these gangs have trucks mounted with heavy weapons as well as tanks in their possession. For the West, to berate the Syrian government and portray its security operations as unmitigated "brutality" is disingenuous at best, especially considering the militants are there solely because of years of financial, military, and political support from the US, Israel, and the Gulf State despots.
Image: Western hypocrisy - Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 was bombarded by artillery and airstrikes for weeks leading up to the final invasion. When over 10,000 troops entered the city, they were accompanied by tanks, and supported by heavy artillery and airstrikes. When the West is subjugating others, heavy weapons seems acceptable - but not when another nation attempts to defend itself from admittedly Western-backed terrorists.
The West might want to also revisit the lessons it learned from flattening the Iraqi city of Fallujhah, twice. The US bombarded the city for weeks prior to its final invasion in 2004, where over 10,000 troops entered with heavy artillery and air support. Apparently it is acceptable for the West to subjugate others using such tactics, but nations are prohibited from using similar tactics to defend themselves. The Syrian uprising was a foreign-plot stretching back as far as 2007, foreign militants admittedly flowing over the border from across the Arab World, admittedly armed and funded by the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
The Battle of Fullujah is considered a notch in the belt of Western military prowess, while the West condemns Syria's attempts to defend one of its most important cities from foreign-subversion and destruction. While NATO believes it can still win the geopolitical battle it is waging against the Syrian people, it has already long lost the battle for moral superiority.
Originally published on Land Destroyer
Michael Moore, producer of Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), Sicko (2007), and Capitalism: A Love Story in his YouTube broadcast of 20 March 2012 entitled WHAT IS GOING ON IN SYRIA? has shown himself to be an apologist for NATO military aggression.
Michael Moore, producer of Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004), Sicko (2007), and Capitalism: A Love Story in his YouTube broadcast of 20 March 2012 entitled WHAT IS GOING ON IN SYRIA? has shown himself to be an apologist for NATO military aggression and a phony progressive. Michael Moore lies about Syria on YouTube. Broadcast dated 20 March is entitled WHAT IS GOING ON IN SYRIA?. Note how there is no mention of Libya in which more than 30,000 were killed during NATO's invasion last year in this broadcast, nor any other broadcast on YouTube by Michael Moore which concerns Libya.
The respect I once had for Michael Moore has now vanished.
The link to the video embedded below was provided in one of the many posts harshly critical of Michael Moore's anti-Syrian propaganda.
1 January 2012
According to a report on VoltaireNet.org, at two recent meetings in Qatar and a further meeting in Riyadh, operatives of the Arab dictatorships and NATO met to coordinate a disinformation campaign including interference with satellite broadcasts to conceal a coup against the Syrian Government. As the article notes, the actions proposed, including the planned complicity of the international newsmedia violate intentional law. Nazi German propagandists were tried at Nuremburg for committing similar crimes.
Previously published in Land Destroyer as URGENT: Expose NATO Dirty Tricks in Syria BEFORE They Happen and originally on Voltaire.net as NATO preparing vast disinformation campaign on 11 June 2012.
Source of cartoon: www.historians.org/projects/giroundtable/Propaganda/Propaganda3.htm Another, better source for discussion on the nature of war propaganda is http://www.globalissues.org/article/157/war-propaganda-and-the-media#PropagandaandWar.
In a few days, perhaps as early as Friday, June 15, at noon, the Syrians wanting to watch their national TV stations will see them replaced on their screens by TV programs created by the CIA. Studio-shot images will show massacres that are blamed on the Syrian Government, people demonstrating, ministers and generals resigning from their posts, President Al-Assad fleeing, the rebels gathering in the big city centers, and a new government installing itself in the presidential palace.
This operation of disinformation, directly managed from Washington by Ben Rhodes, the US deputy national security adviser for strategic communication, aims at demoralizing the Syrians in order to pave the way for a coup d'etat. NATO, discontent about the double veto of Russia and China, will thus succeed in conquering Syria without attacking the country illegally. Whichever judgment you might have formed on the actual events in Syria, a coup d'etat will end all hopes of democratization.
The Arab League has officially asked the satellite operators Arabsat and Nilesat to stop broadcasting Syrian media, either public or private (Syria TV, Al-Ekbariya, Ad-Dounia, Cham TV, etc.) A precedent already exists because the Arab League had managed to censure Libyan TV in order to keep the leaders of the Jamahiriya from communicating with their people. There is no Hertz network in Syria, where TV works exclusively with satellites. The cut, however, will not leave the screens black.
Actually, this public decision is only the tip of the iceberg. According to our information several international meetings were organized during the past week to coordinate the disinformation campaign. The first two were technical meetings, held in Doha (Qatar); the third was a political meeting and took place in Riyad (Saudi Arabia).
The first meeting assembled PSYOP officers, embedded in the satellite TV channels of Al-Arabiya, Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, Fox, France 24, Future TV and MTV. It is known that since 1998, the officers of the US Army Psychological Operations Unit (PSYOP) have been incorporated in CNN. Since then this practice has been extended by NATO to other strategic media as well.
They fabricated false information in advance, on the basis of a "story-telling" script devised by Ben Rhodes's team at the White House. A procedure of reciprocal validation was installed, with each media quoting the lies of the other media to render them plausible for TV spectators. The participants also decided not only to requisition the TV channels of the CIA for Syria and Lebanon (Barada, Future TV, MTV, Orient News, Syria Chaab, Syria Alghad) but also about 40 religious Wahhabi TV channels to call for confessional massacres to the cry of "Christians to Beyrouth, Alawites into the grave!."
The second meeting was held for engineers and technicians to fabricate fictitious images, mixing one part in an outdoor studio, the other part with computer generated images. During the past weeks, studios in Saudi Arabia have been set up to build replicas of the two presidential palaces in Syria and the main squares of Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. Studios of this type already exist in Doha (Qatar), but they are not sufficient.
The third meeting was held by General James B. Smith, the US ambassador, a representative of the UK, prince Bandar Bin Sultan (whom former U.S. president George Bush named his adopted son so that the U.S. press called him "Bandar Bush"). In this meeting the media actions were coordinated with those of the Free "Syrian" Army, in which prince Bandar's mercenaries play a decisive role.
The operation had been in the making for several months, but the U.S. National Security Council decided to accelerate the action after the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, notified the White House that he would oppose by all means, even by force, any illegal NATO military intervention in Syria.
The operation has a double intent: the first is to spread false information, the second aims at censuring all possible responses.
The hampering of TV satellites for military purposes is not new. Under pressure from Israel, the USA and the EU blocked Lebanese, Palestinian, Iraqi, Libyan and Iranian TV channels, one after the other. However, no satellite channels from other parts of the world were censured.
The broadcast of false news is also not new, but four significant steps have been taken in the art of propaganda during the last decade.
- In 1994, a pop music station named "Free Radio of the Thousand Hills" (RTML) gave the signal for genocide in Rwanda with the cry, "Kill the cockroaches!"
- In 2001, NATO used the media to impose an interpretation of the 9/11 attacks and to justify its own aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq. At that time already, it was Ben Rhodes who had been commissioned by the Bush administration to concoct the Kean/Hamilton Commission report on the attacks.
- In 2002, the CIA used five TV channels (Televen, Globovision, ValeTV and CMT) to make the public in Venezuela believe that phantom demonstrators had captured the elected president, Hugo Chávez, forcing him to resign. In reality he was the victim of a military coup d'etat.
- In 2011, France 24 served as information ministry for the Libyan CNT, according to a signed contract. During the battle of Tripoli, NATO produced fake studio films, then transmitted them via Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya, showing phantom images of Libyan rebels on the central square of the capital city, while in reality they were still far away. As a consequence, the inhabitants of Tripoli were persuaded that the war was lost and gave up all resistance.
Nowadays the media do not only support a war, they produce it themselves.
This procedure violates the principles of International Law, first of all Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights relating to the fact of receiving and imparting information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers." Above all, the procedure violates the United Nations General Assembly resolution, adopted after the end of World War II, to prevent further wars. Resolutions 110, 381 and 819 forbid "to set obstacles to free exchange of information and ideas" (like cutting off Syrian TV channels) and "all propaganda provoking or encouraging threats to peace, breaking peace, and all acts of aggression". By law, war propaganda is a crime against peace, the worst of crimes, because it facilitates war crimes and genocide.
#WarPropaganda" id="WarPropaganda">Appendix: War propaganda from Australian newspapers which violate international law.
The misreporting of the Syrian conflict in order to overcome public opposition to NATO's planned war against Syria, examples of which are shown below, are no less violations of Interntional law than was Nazi Propagandist Hans Fritzsche who was tried at Nuremburg for his crimes.
From The Age newspaper
More than 100 people have been killed in violence across Syria, as international mediator Kofi Annan says he is "gravely concerned" by the ...
Syrian army using kids as human shields of 9 June 2012
The Syrian army has killed at least 23 civilians in two protest cities, a watchdog says, as international outcry mounts over a massacre in a central village. ...
Syrian army using kids as human shields of12 June 2012
Syrian troops have tortured children, executed them and used children as young as eight as "human shields" during military raids against ...
Murder of children tops UN's shame list of 12 June 2012
Syrian troops have tortured children, executed them and used children as young as eight as "human shields" during military raids against rebels, according to a UN report to be released today.
The United Nations named the Syrian government one of the worst offenders on its annual "list of shame" of conflict countries where children are killed, tortured and forced to fight.
The Syrian army has killed at least 17 civilians, including nine women and three children, in the flashpoint southern town of Daraa, the Syrian ...
From The Australian newspaper
Syrian army 'uses kids as human shields' of June 12, 2012
SYRIAN troops have tortured children, executed them and used children as young as eight as "human shields" during military raids against rebels, according to a UN report.
The United States voiced fears that Syria's government is planning a new massacre, as regime helicopters fired on rebel stronghold towns and raging violence killed over 100 people. ...
Syrians suffer - UN paralysed of June 11, 2012
As the bloodbath in Syria continues, with grotesque new atrocities being committed on a daily basis, the international community must not allow itself to be frozen into inaction or acquiescence by the veto wielded at the United Nations by President Bashar al-Assad's two protectors, Russia and China.
Tyrants the world over - be they Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Sudan's Omar al-Bashir, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong-un - rest easier knowing that when it comes to human rights and decency, they can count on support from Moscow and Beijing. Mr Assad is no exception. ...
Further editorial comment: The contents of all the items listed above are demonstrable fabrications of which their authors cannot be unaware. These lies are certain to be paid for in coming days with Syrian lives. In a fair trial those who authored and edited these lies would almost certainly be convicted and jailed for violating international law.
Australia's new Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr continues his predecessor's enthusiastic volunteering of Australia in the Coalition of the Willing, this time against Syria. Between 1991 and now, the Coalition caused the deaths of possibly 1,500,000
Iraqis and 20,000 Afghan civilians. A copy of the interview in which Carr repeated corporate media lies to justify action against Syria can be found on YouTube and is embedded in this article. Readers may wish to contrast Carr's words with facts about the Syrian conflict to be found on Global Research. See also: Young Syrian patriot fights corporate media lies against her homeland of 10 May 2012, Syria -70% vote to end one-party state - why aren't we celebrating? of 1 Mar 2012, Young Syrian patriot fights corporate media lies against her homeland of 12 Apr 2012 on candobetter, AN ONGOING DISASTER: Libya, Africa and Africom - More than 50,000 Deaths of 26 May.
Australia's new Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr continues his predecessor's enthusiastic volunteering of Australia in the Coalition of the Willing, this time against Syria. Between 1991 and now, the Coalition caused the deaths of possibbly 1,500,000 Iraqis and 20,000 Afghan civilians. A copy of the interview in which Carr justify action against Syria due to civil conflict can be found on YouTube and is embedded in this article. Readers may wish to contrast Carr's words with facts about the Syrian conflict to be found on Global Research. See also: Syria -70% vote to end one-party state - why aren't we celebrating? of 1 Mar 2012 on candobetter, AN ONGOING DISASTER: Libya, Africa and Africom - More than 50,000 Deaths of 26 May.
Australia's new Foreign Minister Senator Bob Carr continues his predecessor's enthusiastic volunteering of Australia in the Coalition of the Willing, this time against Syria. Between 1991 and now, the Coalition caused the deaths of possibbly 1,500,000
Iraqis and 20,000 Afghan civilians. A copy of the interview in which Carr justify action against Syria due to civil conflict can be found on YouTube and is embedded in this article. Readers may wish to contrast Carr's words with facts about the Syrian conflict to be found on Global Research. See also: Syria -70% vote to end one-party state - why aren't we celebrating? of 1 Mar 2012 on candobetter, AN ONGOING DISASTER: Libya, Africa and Africom - More than 50,000 Deaths of 26 May.
By Geoffrey Taylor with Sheila Newman
Australia's new Foreign Minister, Senator Bob Carr, has wasted little time in rekindling Australia's participation in the Coalition of the Willing, this time against Syria. In 2003 the Coalition illegally invaded Iraq using, as a pretext, the fraudulent claim that Iraq posed a threat to the world with Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). This followed Australia's participation in the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, based on an inadequate official investigation of the events of 9/11. As a result of the 2003 invasion of Iraq one million Iraqis may have died according to one study in the British Lancet medical journal. In the ten years prior to that invasion a further one million Iraqis had died from hunger as a result of sanctions imposed upon Iraq by the US, Australia and its allies after the conclusion of the 1991 war against Iraq in which a further 130,000 Iraqis were killed.
Embedded below is a YouTube broadcast of a recent interview with Bob Carr in which he uses inflammatory corporate newsmedia reports about the Syrian conflict to justify the imposition of sanctions on Syria. The journalist in the interview asks Carr if he would consider expelling the Syrian ambassador and Carr does not rule this out.
Carr says nothing of the 2011 invasion of Libya, shamefully supported by Australia's previous foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, nor, of course, anything about Australia's past participation in the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, mentioned above.
Nor does the interviewer. This is a failure of journalism to situate our current policy and actions in their historic context where our recent actions turned out to be entirely wrongly based. For instance, the fact that many Australians remain unaware that the excuse used by the US to invade Iraq, that it had weapons of mass destruction, was proven to be a CIA fabrication is a complete failure of journalism and national education. This is despite the clear accessibility of the truth in this case. (See Fair Game and the book of the same name.)
These continuing failures of accurate reporting by the Australian mass media - commercial and public - are shunting Australians and the rest of the world blindfolded towards a third world war with the Middle East.
In response to growing competition for ultimately scarce oil resources, world blocs have formed in an effort to get favorable terms for long-term access to Middle Eastern oil. What is going on now represents attempts to isolate Iran by disorganising and possibly invading its neighbours. Iranian oil reserves have been of great interest to the world since the early 20th century, beginning with Anglo-Persian oil. Iran continues to hold a disputed but considerable volume of remaining accessible oil reserves in the world and this is the reason that world attention is currently focused in this area. Iran's position on the Caspian Sea is critical. See "What's in it for Russia? Georgia, Ossetia, & Caspian oil and gas". Multi-national oil companies tend to be aligned with particular national blocs and rely on governments in their negotiations. Access to oil is never left to the international market alone.
Growth economics, combined with population growth in the first world has made us hungry for oil at almost any cost.
Above broadcast embedded from http://youtube.com/watch?v=0H9H2XsvS20
Australians seeking a more three dimensional view of these conflicts will find other views on Russia Today's media internet media outlet. The video, "Judging Syria," for instance, talks about how US allies, Saudi Arabia, are engaging in repressive violence that goes almost completely unreported in the media. Other videos ask why the media have lost interest in humanitarian causes in Libya when the country has now dissolved into armed gang warfare. The answer to that question probably resides in the very close cooperation between the Western political blocs and its mass media.
Get more background on Syria from the articles listed below
Here are links to articles about Syria from Global Research and Global Research TV, where readers can get more information than the Anglophone mainstream press provide. Please feel most welcome to add your comments below, whether critical or supportive.
SYRIA: NATO's Next "Humanitarian" War? - by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky - 2012-05-11
SYRIA: WESTERN POWERS ARE SUBVERTING THE PEACE PROCESSPress Conference, Syria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations - 2012-04-09
BREAKING NEWS, SYRIA: Imperialist Powers Manipulate Syrian "Peace Plan" to Prepare for All Out War - by Johannes Stern - 2012-04-09
VIDEO: Syrian Journalist: CNN, Al-Jazeera Falsifying Events in Syria Get all the info on GRTV - by Rahshan Saglam, Rafik Lutf - 2012-04-08
SYRIA AND THE UN: Diplomatic Confrontation at the UN regarding The Kofi Annan Syria "Peace Plan" - by Ronda Hauben - 2012-04-08
US-led conference backs Syrian puppet group, threatens war - by Niall Green - 2012-04-02
Shocking Report Reveals Terrorists' Crimes in Syria - 2012-03-28
Syria Denounces Foreign Support for Terrorism - 2012-03-25
VIDEO: US/NATO Proxy War in Syria Follows Precedent Set in Bosnia Find out more on GRTV- by Benjamin Schett - 2012-03-22
Syrian opposition accused of "human rights abuses" - by Chris Marsden - 2012-03-22
Foiling Peace: The Imperial “Friends” of Syria - by Ben Schreiner - 2012-04-11
SYRIA: THE WINDS OF WAR - by Stephen Lendman - 2012-04-11
Syrian Peace Deal: UN's Cloak to NATO's Dagger - by Tony Cartalucci - 2012-04-09
"RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT" SYRIA: A US-NATO "TROJAN HORSE" - by Carla Stea - 2012-04-09
Kofi Annan is the "War-maker" in Syria Interview- by Michel Chossudovsky - 2012-04-08
THE HISTORY OF "REGIME CHANGE": Putting Syria into some perspective - by William Blum - 2012-04-06
“Friends of Syria”—the Antechamber of a Wider Mideast War - by Bill Van Auken - 2012-04-04
VIDEO: Free Syrian Army Foot-Soldiers of Western Military Alliance - by Michel Chossudovsky - 2012-04-02
See also: Syria -70% vote to end one-party state - why aren't we celebrating? of 1 Mar 2012, Young Syrian patriot fights corporate media lies against her homeland of 12 Apr 2012 on candobetter, AN ONGOING DISASTER: Libya, Africa and Africom - More than 50,000 Deaths of 26 May.
 Iraq had been set up by US Ambassador to Kuwait, following Kuwait illegally slant drilling for oil under Iraqi territory. As shown in the transcript of the interview April Glaspie assured Hussein that there would be no adverse consequences from the US were Iraq to invade Kuwait in retaliation for the slant drilling.
As the US was preparing to attack Iraq in reprisal for the invasion, the Public Relations firm Hill and Knowlton manufactured the lie of the "incubator babies" to overcome opposition to the war. See YouTube broadcast, embedded on candobetter in this comment.
Whilst the Murdoch newsmedia has, in the past, been able to manipulate political, economic and military outcomes in Australia, the US, the UK and across much of the rest of the world with its messages of hate and misinformation, it is no longer able to wield as much influence for harm as it was formerly able to. Much of the work, which was formerly handled by the likes of the Murdoch newsmedia is now handled by the supposed 'alternative' and 'left wing' newsmedia
The source of this illustration was Giordano Bruno, "Disinformation Tactics: The Methods Used To Keep You In The Dark," which is an excellent article about the methodology of disinformation professionals.
Murdoch media disinformation
I found this comment in a mailing list discussion:
One vital thing necessary to accompany any form of Direct Democracy would be the responsible neutering of the Murdoch press as an agent of hate, fear and misinformation.
Whilst I can only agree with what was written above about the Murdoch newsmedia, I think it is no longer able to sway public opinion to its hateful views in the way it used to.
Certainly, at least until the 2003 Iraq War the Murdoch Media was able to wield enormous influence, which it used to almost at will, decide the outcome of elections and and have whatever Government won office dance to its tune. I recall, how Murdoch's overtly harmful role in Australian politics began in 1974, when it turned savagely against the Federal Labor Government of Gough Whitlam. Prior to that, I had considered Rupert Murdoch's Australian a truthful, left-wing and pro-Labor newspaper. From the middle of 1974 it began a relentless campaign to discredit the Whitlam Labor Government in which it ignore its achievements, blew up almost every mistake, nor matter how trivial, of every Labor Minister into a major front-page scandals lasting days, weeks and months. It blamed the Whitlam Government for all of Australia's misfortunes regardless of their causes and almost never bothered to report any of the Whitlam Government's positive achievements.
The Murdoch Press created the climate in which it was possible for the Governor General Sir John Kerr to dismiss the Government of Gough Whitlam on 11 November 1975 and for Labor to lose the subsequent Federal election in spite of the initial public outrage against the dismissal.
Overseas, a particular target of the Murdoch Press was the now late Senator Edward Kennedy, the last surviving brother of the Kennedy family of his generation. His eldest brother Joseph was killed in action in the Second World War. His brother John was assassinated as President in 1963 and his murder blamed on the Patsy Le Harvey Oswald. His last surviving brother, Robert, was assassinated in 1968, just when he appeared to be set to win the US Democratic Party nomination to stand for President, Robert was assassinated. Another patsy Sihran Sihran was tried and found guilty at a rigged trial and remains in jail to this day.
In 1979 Edward Kennedy announced his intention to contest for the Democratic party nomination. According to Wikipedia:
A midsummer 1978 poll had shown Democrats preferring Kennedy over (then President) Carter by a 5-to-3 margin. During spring and summer 1979, as Kennedy deliberated whether to run, Carter was not intimidated despite his 28 percent approval rating, saying publicly: "If Kennedy runs, I'll whip his ass." Carter later asserted that Kennedy's constant criticism of his policies was a strong sign that Kennedy was planning to run for the presidency. Labor unions urged Kennedy to run, as did some Democratic party officials who feared that Carter's unpopularity would lead to bad losses in the 1980 congressional elections. By August 1979, when Kennedy decided to run, polls showed him with a 2-to-1 advantage over Carter, and Carter's approval rating slipped to 19 percent. Kennedy formally announced his campaign on November 7, 1979, at Boston's Faneuil Hall. He had already received substantial negative press from a rambling response to the question "Why do you want to be President?" during an interview with Roger Mudd of CBS News broadcast a few days earlier. The Iranian hostage crisis, which began on November 4, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which began on December 27, caused the electorate to rally around the president, allowed Carter to pursue a Rose Garden strategy of staying at the White House, and knocked Kennedy's campaign out of the headlines.
Edward Kennedy lost the campaign in 1980 largely as a result of him being attacked for his role Chappaquidick Incident of 1969 in which a friend, Mary Jo Kopechne drowned after he ran a car over a bridge into a river in 1969.
However, given that Kennedy was not pursued over this incident after he lost his Presidential campaign and allowed to remain in office until his death in 2009, it seems that the motives of the Murdoch and the rest of the US corporate newsmedia was less for justice than for preventing Edward Kennedy reaching the White House. Had he won, it seems highly likely that he would have ordered proper inquiries into the murders of his two brothers and almost certainly have uncovered a lot of embarrassing secrets about the US military industrial complex.
"Left wing" media disinformation
Today the task of misleading public opinion has largely fallen on what most take for 'alternative', 'left wing', 'socialist' and 'far left' media, and if their record at least back to the early 1960's, the time of the murder of President Kennedy and its cover-up by the US establishment, it can be shown that they have also played no less a role in misleading the public on behalf of powerful vested interests.
In more recent years, the role of misleading the public has more and more fallen on the hands of the supposed ''left' newsmedia than on the likes of the Murdoch Media.
In Chapter 5 of "Towers of Deception" of 2006 Canadian Malthusian and truth activist, Barrie Zwicker warned that the "left wing" newsmedia, in fact, played a more vital role than the right wing corporate newsmedia in misleading public opinion on behalf of corporate interests. Two examples he gave were:
the role of the supposed "left wing" in helping the US Government cover up the truth about the false flag terrorist attack of 11 September 2002.
The role of many left wing organisations in helping to cover up the truth about the conspiracy to murder President John F Kennedy in 1963. This includes concealing the fact that President Kennedy stood up to the military industrial complex to prevent them from launching nuclear war on three occasions ans worked tirelessly to prevent the outbreak of wars in Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, Indonesia ans other places.
In 20011, we can add to this the efforts of far-left groups to mislead about the war against Libya and the threatened war against Syria.
For most phony left-wing groups, their disinformation is either somewhat subtle or else they are almost completely silent. However, one UK group Workers' Liberty has come out openly in support of NATO's attacks on Libya and Syria.
Disinformation about Libya
It is recommended that, before following the links below and risking becoming confused and disoriented by the disinformation linked to by those links, you read the truth about the wars being waged against Libya and Syria, if you have not already done. One good place to read the truth is Global Research
(http://globalresearch.ca/). Articles about Syria and Libya include: The Pentagon's "Salvador Option": The Deployment of Death Squads in Iraq and Syria. . VIDEO: Make No Mistake. NATO is Committing War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in Libya , Syria: Obama Threatens U.S. Military Intervention , US/NATO War of Aggression in Lybia Continues. Libyan Deaths, Media Silence. VIDEO: Proof that Demonstrations in Syria are Not "Peaceful".
Libya, the Left and Intervention: a Debate - a A teaser and headline linked collection to a series of articles, currently on the front page of www.workersliberty.org. Curiously the most current article in the 'debate' is dated 4 May 2011! That's over 4 months ago?! The teaser follows, followed by the links to articles from the linked page:
Gilbert Achcar, Ira Berkovic, Clive Bradley, Barry Finger, Martyn Hudson, Dan Katz, Sean Matgamna, Solidarity [US] National Committee, Peter Taaffe, Martin Thomas debate the proper socialist attitude to the conflict in Libya and UN- sanctioned outside intervention.
- Martyn Hudson: Libyan rebels fight for life
- Sean Matgamna: Why we should not denounce intervention in Libya
- Barry Finger: Libya and the no-fly zone: precedents for socialists
- Dan Katz: The Left, slipping towards Qaddafi?
- SSean Matgamna: The battle for democracy in the Arab Revolution
- Barry Finger: Once again on "Stop the Bombing"
- Peter Taaffe: Libya, the no-fly zone, AWL and the Left
- Martin Thomas: Peter Taaffe equates Libyan rebels with Nicaraguan "Contras"
- Ira Berkovic: The left and Libya
- Clive Bradley: No illusions in West, but "anti-intervention" opposition is abandoning rebels
- Gilbert Achcar: A legitimate and necessary debate from an anti-imperialist perspective
- Sean Matgamna: The poverty of "anti-imperialism" and today's Left
- Sean Matgamna: Why does the Socialist Party boycott its own politics?
- Solidarity [USA] National Committee: US revolutionaries debate Libya
- Peter Taaffe: The ‘no-fly zone’, the Left and the ‘Third Camp’ (a second reply to the AWL)
- Sean Matgamna: Libya, anti-imperialism, and the Socialist Party
Also, linked to on the front page is of Workers' Liberty is another collection of articles in the 'debate' with the Socialist Party (formerly the Militant tendency):
Peter Taaffe of the Socialist Party on the "no-fly zone" in Libya; the Socialist Party on imperialism; how the proto-AWL separated from the proto-SP; and other disputed questions.
Surprisingly, The UK Socialist Party has not taken up Workers' Liberty's Challenge to a public debate (52K pdf file is linked to from that page) and little can be found on its front page about Libya. Most curiously, I was not even able to find on the pages of the UK Socialist Party newspaper an article by by Peter Taaffe, Libya: the no-fly zone, AWL, and the left. I could only find it published on Workers' Liberty with a publication date of 25 May 2011.
So, why the UK Socialist Party, presumably opposed to the capitalist government of the UK and its participation in the criminal war against the sovereign nation of Libya would avoid a public debate with Workers' Liberty is a mystery.
In any public debate any opponent would have little difficulty, with an abundance of facts obtained from sites like globalresearch.ca, tearing shreds off Workers'' Liberty for its support of war. They could not lose.
The only plausible explanation I can come up with is that, in truth, the UK Socialist Party is no more 'socialist' and no more opposed to the bombing of Libya than Workers Liberty nor a large number of other phony socialist organisations, both from the UK and Australia already discussed on candobetter. Rather, it is controlled by people who are consciously working on behalf of the British elites. They help to prop up their rule by diverting the energies of people, who would otherwise be engaged in more effective campaigning into supporting political campaigns for relatively trivial causes or phony progressive causes (such as, in Australia, the fight for the rights of the relatively tiny numbers of supposed asylum seekers, who are able to pay people smugglers to bring them to Australian shores) and "party building" activities.
Engaging in an effective debate that would reveal to the UK public the truth about Workers' Liberty, at least, and help pave the way for an effective campaign to oppose the war against Libya and the planned war against Syria runs counter to the script of the pantomime in which 'opposed' supposedly Trotskyist organisations denounce the other as 'reformists' or 'revisionists', 'apologists for Stalinism', etc in the tradition of sectarian far left politics which dates back to at least the 1970's
Disinformation about Syria and preparations by NATO to make war against Syria.
Home >> International >> Middle East >> Syria
"Syrian people can no longer live under this regime"
of 11 August 2011b by Ali Khalaf, a "Syrian activist based in the UK"
Syrian regime sinks to new low of 4 August 2011
The Syrian state under Bashar al-Assad used tank fire and heavy machine guns on Sunday 31 July as the army overran barricades erected by the citizens of Hama. 500,000 had marched in Hama on Friday 29 demanding 'the regime must go!'...
Syrian rebels gain confidence of 20 July 2011
The heroic uprising of the Syrian people against brutality and despotism continues to grow despite intimidation, mass arrests, torture, extreme violence and murder. ...
An Australian lawyer criticises Australia's participation in war in Afghanistan. Australia's participation in the Afghan war has helped bring world Opium production to record levels, with Afghanistan leading the way. The justification for this war was given in 2001, and remains the justification for the war, which is set to become Australia's longest war, nearly 10 years later. This justification has never been scrutinised by Australia's mainstream newsmedia nor what passes for Australia's 'alternative' or 'far left' media. In this article, that case for war is comprehensively examined.
By James O'Neill#contact">*
See also: My submission to the Human Rights Consultation on National Security of 7 Sep 09 by James Sinnamon. Submission is on an 8.2K pdf file and is linked to from the National Security and Terrorism Public Submissions page.
Contents: #intro">Introduction, #history">A Brief History, #carter">Carter and Brzezinski, #oil">Oil and Gas, #legality">The Legality of the Afghanistan War, (#realReason">What is the Real Reason?: #reason1">1. Oil and Gas, #reason2">2. Geopolitical Ambitions, #reason3">3. Drugs), #conclusion">Conclusion, #footnotes">Footnotes.
On 1 December 2009 US president Barack Obama announced in a speech to cadets at the West Point Military Academy that he was authorizing the sending of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. In justifying the "surge" in troops, Obama said, inter alia#fn1" id="fn1b">1
1. "I am convinced that our security is at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the epicenter of the violent extremism practiced by al Qaeda. It is from here that we were attacked on 9/11.
2. It is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. On September 11 2001, 19 men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3000 people."
Speaking from Washington on 1 December 2009 the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke in support of the US President's plans. Australia, he said, "takes its alliance with the US very seriously. That's why we have been with America for a long time in Afghanistan and why we will be with America for the long haul."#fn2" id="fn2b">2
Rudd was reflecting the bi-partisan approach adopted by the Labour party to the policies first advanced by the Liberal-National coalition. In a speech to the Australian Senate on 28 October 2009 Senator Russell Trood referred to the formidable military, political and economic challenges facing Afghanistan. They demand, he said, "a long-term commitment from all who have a strategic interest in the outcome, and this certainly includes Australia." That is the reason, he said, "the Opposition strongly supports the Rudd government's commitment in Afghanistan."#fn3" id="fn3b">3
Nowhere in the reported remarks of the three men is there any questioning of the ostensible reasons for the attack and invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. None seemed troubled by any potential issues such as the legality of the invasion. In common with the bulk of the media's treatment of the issue, all assumed that the history of the West's involvement with Afghanistan commenced on 11 September 2001 and that no US polices that preceded that date had any relevance to the attack and subsequent invasion and occupation. That occupation is now well into its ninth year representing, in Australia's case, nearly half as long again as its involvement in World War 2 and similar to its length of involvement in two other American led tragedies, Iraq and Vietnam.#fn4" id="fn4b">4
This article will suggest that the official rationale for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is false. It involves a rewriting and/or ignoring of history on the part of the participants. It shows the same cavalier disregard for international law that was apparent in Iraq. It accepts without question the validity of the two premises argued by Obama in the above quote. Perhaps most disturbingly it persistently fails to address the reality of the present policies and their likely true intention.
The archaeological record shows that humans have occupied the area currently known as Afghanistan for more than 100,000 years. Strategically located at the crossroads of some of the ancient world's greatest civilizations Afghanistan was crisscrossed by the Silk Road. This network of routes carried silk and spices from China to the west, and wool and gold to the east.
The divergent tribes of Afghanistan were united in the 18th century under Ahmed Shah Durrani who had been chosen by a tribal jirgah (meeting of tribal leaders). At the peak of Durrani's power Afghanistan influence ruled from Mashad in northeastern Iran to Kashmir and Delhi in India in the southwest, and in the north from the Amu Darya River bordering Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, to the Arabian Sea in the south.
After Durrani's death in 1772 the Afghan empire began to crumble. The biggest threat to Afghani integrity was the British Empire, intent on expanding northwards from India. One of the major driving forces in this imperial expansion was the opium trade, then as today. The British assumed a monopoly on control of opium exports to China in 1773. By 1818 Britain's reach included all of Western India's opium growing region.#fn6" id="fn6b">6
The competing interests of Russia to the north, Iran to the west, and the British from the south inevitably lead to the destabilization of Afghan society. The reluctance of the Afghans to accede to Britain's imperial demands lead to the first British invasion of 1839. That invasion ended in ignominious defeat for the British. One important consequence however, was to drive the Afghans into an alliance with Russia. This laid the foundation for what was later to be labeled "the Great Game".#fn7" id="fn7b">7
In the decades following the first Anglo-Afghan war the British steadily expanded their empire between the Indus and the Hindu Kush, including Sind, Baluchistan and the North West Frontier. These were all regions that had formerly been ruled by Ahmed Shah Durrani.
In 1893 the British established what was then the boundary between Afghanistan and India (later Pakistan) by the drawing of what is known as the Durrand Line named after a British official of the time. The Durrand line was drawn in the interests of British colonial requirements with scant regard for local sensibilities. It partitioned land that had from the earliest times been considered part of Afghanistan. It was bitterly contested at the time and remains so to this day. It is an outstanding example of colonial hubris and stupidity.
One of the main results of this partition was to separate people, primarily Pashtuns, who shared common linguistic, cultural and family ties. Afghanistan was, and still is, a highly tribal society where value is placed on familial ties at the expense of the more ethereal concept of the modern nation state. The Pashtuns in the south essentially failed to acknowledge the national border imposed by the British, preferring to move back and forward across that line as work and family loyalties dictated.
The King was a nominal head binding at least some of these disparate loyalties, but he in turn exacerbated tribal tensions, particularly between the more urban, educated and more progressive Tajiks to the north, and the rural, uneducated and more reactionary Pashtuns to the south.
In 1973 these internal tensions boiled to the point where the King was deposed. The government that replaced him however, was autocratic and corrupt. It lacked popular support. In 1978, following massive demonstrations, that government was forced out, with the intervention of the army on the side of the protesters proving decisive.
The military invited Noor Mohammed Tariki, the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (the PDP), a left wing progressively oriented party, to form a government. Tariki was a novelist and poet. His government instituted a series of major social changes. Labour unions were legalized, a minimum wage was established, as was a progressive income tax. It initiated a mass literacy campaign, importantly, extending to women and girls.#fn8" id="fn8b">8
The Tariki government also moved to eradicate poppy cultivation. Up to that time Afghanistan had been producing more than70 percent of the world's heroin supply. Such a series of reforms, radical by Afghan standards, inevitably set up counter forces within the country. It was the reaction of the western powers in general and the United States in particular that had the greatest influence, and it is to that aspect that I now turn.
#carter" id="carter">Carter and Brzezinski
Jimmy Carter was elected President of the United States in November 1976. An important element of his campaign was the promise to reduce military expenditure. Inevitably, as so often before in US history, such a promise invoked opposition from the powerful non-elected groups who largely control the direction of military and economic policy. The military and economic forces are closely allied, especially in foreign countries, where the role of the US military is overwhelmingly to secure the economic interests of the large industrial corporations, especially in the energy sector.#fn9" id="fn9b">9
Eisenhower had famously warned against the growing power of what he termed the "military-industrial complex" in his farewell speech in January 2001. His successor John F Kennedy was the first (but not the last) President to incur the wrath of this powerful cabal. Kennedy's speech to the America University in June 1963 in which he spoke of "peace.....as the necessary rational end of rational men" was a remarkable speech, the radical content of which is the probable reason it is rarely quoted today. Kennedy went on to announce high-level discussions with the USSR and the UK on a comprehensive test ban treaty and the cessation of atmospheric nuclear tests. "We must labor on" he said, "not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a strategy of peace."#fn10" id="fn10b">10
That speech, together with his decision to commence the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam, undoubtedly set in train the events culminating in his assassination in November of the same year.#fn11" id="fn11b">11
As is well known, among the first acts of Lyndon Johnson as Kennedy's successor on his accession to the presidency was the reversal of many of Kennedy's policies that reflected Kennedy's turning toward peace. The military industrial complex and the associated drug trade prospered mightily during the Johnson and Nixon years.#fn12" id="fn12b">12 Those powerful forces therefore were unlikely to accept at face value Carter's intentions to scale back on military expenditure.
Beginning during the Ford presidency (1974-76) a powerful group including Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Cheney, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz planned to subvert official US policy and to put in place policies of both confrontation with the USSR and China, and also to expand America's military and economic hegemony around the world, especially those areas of the world with major energy resources.#fn13" id="fn13b">13
For Brzezinski, Carter's National Security adviser and a sympathizer of the deep state alternatives led by Cheney et al, the unfolding turmoil in Afghanistan provided a golden opportunity to strike at Russia. To Brzezinski, the destruction of the Soviet Union was a dream and a passion.
To achieve this dream, Brzezinski considered it necessary to draw the Soviet Union into Afghanistan, to give it its "own Vietnam". Brzezinski was able to persuade Carter to sign a Presidential Finding that "would bring a military intervention by the Soviets" even though the US could not be seen as promoting such an outcome.#fn14" id="fn14b">14
The policies directed against the Soviet Union took a number of forms. When Carter approved active subversion against the USSR, particularly in its Muslim minority states on the Afghan border, he was setting in train policies that were to have disastrous consequences.
Working closely with the military run Pakistan government of president Zia al Haq the US began training and financing of Islamic fundamentalists. By siding with the Islamic fundamentalists in opposition to the PDA government the US knew that it would destabilize the Tariki government in Afghanistan and alarm the USSR sufficiently that it would regard the need for intervention as imperative, not only to ensure a stable neighbour on its southern boundary, but also to suppress unrest in its own Muslim republics.#fn15" id="fn15b">15
Tariki was overthrown in September 1979. He was then murdered by his successor Hafizulla Amin who many believe to have been recruited by the CIA during his years as a student in the US.#fn16" id="fn16b">16 Amin halted Tariki's reforms, which was hardly surprising given that the feudal landowners, reactionary tribal chieftains, the fundamentalist mullahs, and the drug warlords, all of whom had felt threatened by the Tariki reforms, supported him. Amin was himself in turn overthrown by survivors of the PDP plus elements of the military.
In late 1979 the Afghan government asked the Soviet Union for a contingent of troops, to assist it to ward off the large-scale attacks of Islamic fundamentalists. It took several requests before the Soviet government agreed.#fn17" id="fn17b">17 Brzezinski publicly admitted, months before the Russian troops entered Afghanistan, that the Carter administration was providing huge sums to the Islamic mujihideen to subvert the Tariki government.#fn18" id="fn18b">18
The Soviet intervention was a godsend to the Americans. It provided a huge propaganda coup enabling them to portray the Russians as imperialists, embarking on the next stage of their interventionist program that would eventually lead to the takeover of the Middle East oil fields. Such a view was widely disseminated uncritically by the western media.
From Brzezinski's point of view, it was a golden opportunity to give the Soviet Union its own Vietnam. In his book, The Grand Chessboard#fn19" id="fn19b">19 he openly boasted of both the aims and its claimed success. When asked in 1998 by Le Nouvel Observateur about the pursuit of policies that would knowingly increased the probability of a Soviet intervention he said that "a few irate Muslims" was a price worth paying for the destruction of the Soviet Union.#fn20" id="fn20b">20
As a result of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan the CIA stepped up its program of subversion. Scott refers to the policy as not only the largest covert operation in history, but also one of the worst conceived. He identified five core elements of the policy developed and implemented under the direction of CIA Director William Casey and US Vice-President G.H.W. Bush.#fn21" id="fn21b">21
(1) The decision to favour Islamic fundamentalists rather than Sufi nationalists.
(2) To sponsor an Arab-Afghan foreign legion that from the outset hated the US almost as much as the USSR they were being paid to dislodge.
(3) To use narcotics as a means to weaken the Soviet army.#fn22" id="fn22b">22
(4) To help expand the resistance campaign into an international jihadi movement to attack the Soviet Union itself.
(5) To continue supplying the Islamists after the Soviet withdrawal, allowing them to make war on Afghan moderates.
These policies included the formulation of the organization known as al Qaeda. Originally the term translated as "the data base". It contained the names of Islamists recruited for the cause of waging jihad, or holy war, against the Soviet army in Afghanistan. That limited role rapidly evolved however, with al Qaeda assets being used by the Americans not only as proxies in Afghanistan, but for forays into the USSR and China to foment unrest among the Muslim minorities in those countries.#fn23" id="fn23b">23
Between 1986 and 1992 the CIA, MI6 and the British SAS trained more than 100,000 Islamic militants in Pakistan camps. The leaders, including Osama bin Laden, were trained at a CIA camp in Virginia. The program was known as Operation Cyclone. The program continued long after the Soviet withdrawal in February 1989, with CIA/MI6 trained units being utilized in Libya, Kosovo, Chechnya and elsewhere.#fn24" id="fn24b">24
The Soviet withdrawal was followed by an intense struggle by different factions of the mujihideen for control. Most of the factions were less interested in control of the government, which lasted a further three years, than in re-establishing the heroin trade. Within two years of the Soviet withdrawal the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world's biggest producer of heroin.
The factional fighting and brutality of the warlords led to the rise of the Taliban, and even more extremist form of Sunni Islam. They were largely funded by Saudi money, the Pakistan ISI and the CIA, the same trio of forces that had financed the mujihideen during the Soviet occupation.
By 1985 the Taliban had succeeded in taking over the country. Drawing its main support from the illiterate and impoverished Pashtun tribes to the south that had been most opposed to the PDA's attempts at reform, the Taliban imposed a reign that was unsurpassed in its brutality, not least in its treatment of women.#fn26" id="fn26b">26
The Taliban government was successful however in eliminating the drug trade. By 2000 they had eradicated the cultivation of the poppy in areas under their control. The United Nations Drug Control Program lauded it as perhaps the most successful drug eradication program it had witnessed.#fn27" id="fn27b">27 Opium cultivation and drug production continued only in those areas not under Taliban control, mainly the northern regions where there were close ties between the CIA and major drug lords such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Ahmed Shah Massoud.#fn28" id="fn28b">28
#oil" id="oil">Oil and Gas
Historically, the US had shown little interest in Afghanistan.#fn29" id="fn29b">29 The question then is, what caused a change in perspective sufficient to lead to the investment of lives and treasure in what for Americans was a remote and scarcely understood nation?
It was argued above that Brzezinski in the 1970s saw Afghanistan as a vehicle for luring the Soviet Union into a trap that he hoped would lead to its disintegration. But that is insufficient to an understanding of US policy then and subsequently. The other factors that have to be taken into account are oil and gas reserves, the importance of the drug trade, and the geographical position of Afghanistan viz a viz the Soviet Union and China.#fn30" id="fn30b">30
In the 1980s vast oil and gas reserves were discovered in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, at that time still part of the Soviet Union. As early as 1991 the Pentagon had plans for a military presence in Central Asia.#fn31" id="fn31b">31 The location of US military bases, as well as much of US military interventions abroad, can best be understood in the context of the location of scarce and valuable resources such as oil and gas. The disintegration of the Soviet Union made plans for Central Asia more feasible.
US oil companies rapidly acquired the rights to 75 percent of the Kazakh and Turkmen reserves.#fn32" id="fn32b">32 The problem was how to transport the oil and gas from this landlocked region to a safe port from where it could be transported to the US and European markets.
Routes via China, Iran or Russia were ruled out for strategic reasons. The alternative, favoured by Unocal, a US based oil company, was Afghanistan. Two Unocal executives were Condoleeza Rice, later National Security adviser and Secretary of State under George Bush Jnr, and Hamid Kharzai, later to be installed by the Americans as President of Afghanistan.
Notwithstanding its appalling human rights record the US government had no trouble in dealing with the Taliban government. In fact, up until mid 2001 the US government had paid the wages of the members of the Taliban government.#fn33" id="fn33b">33 In July of that year there were negotiations with the Taliban government over the terms of the pipeline through Afghanistan from the Caspian basin to an oil refinery on the Pakistan coast operated by Enron. The Taliban refused to accept the American's demands. According to reports of that meeting the Americans delivered a blunt ultimatum: the Afghans could have either a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs.#fn34" id="fn34b">34
Shortly after the Taliban refusal of American terms President Bush signed a directive ordering the bombing of Afghanistan.#fn35" id="fn35b">35 Plans for this operation had been in place for more than a year. All that was needed was a means by which the invasion could be justified.
On 11 September 2001 that justification duly arrived. Within hours of the first plane striking the north tower of the World Trade Centre the FBI had named the nineteen alleged hijackers.#fn36" id="fn36b">36 It was said by the US government to have been an al Qaeda operation masterminded by Osama bin Laden from his hideout in Afghanistan where he was being "sheltered" by the Taliban government. Completely absent from US government statements at the time was the central role bin Laden had played on behalf of the CIA as a mujihideen leader trained in the US and financed in part by American money.#fn37" id="fn37b">37
The US demanded that bin Laden be handed over to them. The response of the Afghan government was immediate. If the Americans would provide proof of bin Laden's involvement then they would hand him over to an independent tribunal for trial.#fn38" id="fn38b">38
This was not how the US government or the US media portrayed it. Instead, the Afghan government's response was described as a "refusal". The following month an attack was launched on Afghanistan by the US and its allies. Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State promised before the attack was launched that he would produce a White paper demonstrating proof of al Qaeda complicity in the attacks of 11 September.#fn39" id="fn39b">39 The following day he was forced to make a humiliating withdrawal of that promise. To this day no such proof has ever been offered.
The American people were never told of the United States' long standing interference in Afghanistan that preceded the Soviet intervention. They have never been told that bin Laden was a CIA asset, trained in the United States, nor his important role on behalf of American interests in the 1979-89 period. Rather than proof of his involvement in the attacks of 11 September 2001 the public in most western countries, including Australia, has been subject to an argument of iteration and repetition.#fn40" id="fn40b">40
The tone for Australia was set by the then Prime Minister John Howard on 25 October 2001. In addressing the Australian Defence Association on why Australia was joining the coalition of countries attacking Afghanistan he said:
"No one now doubts that the al Qaeda network led by Osama bin Laden was responsible for the attacks and that the Taliban has allowed Afghanistan to become a safe haven for international terrorism."#fn41" id="fn41b">41
Mr Howard had a similarly unshakeable belief in Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction when he told the Australian parliament why Australia was joining that coalition of the willing led by the Americans to attack yet another country.#fn42" id="fn42b">42
Of course, to claim that "no one now doubts" al Qaeda culpability in the attacks in general, and the involvement of the Taliban government and bin Laden in particular was not true in October 2001 when he made that speech. It is even less true now. But even if it were true, was the attack justified in international law?
#legality" id="legality">The Legality of the Afghanistan War.
Australian troops have now been involved in the war in Afghanistan for more than eight years. At the time the Australian government took the decision to join the American attack and in all the years since there has never been a public debate in Australia about the legality of that momentous decision.
The United Nations Charter is the starting point for a consideration of whether or not a State is justified in going to war. Article 2(4) of the Charter stipulates a general prohibition on the unilateral use of force. The International Court of Justice has confirmed that a general ban on the use of force exists in customary law, running parallel to the Charter. Ironically, the leading case in this area, Nicaragua v USA (1986) ICL Reports, the US was the defendant.#fn43" id="fn43b">43
There are three exceptions to the general prohibition on the use of force: the right to self-defence (Article 51); action authorized by the Security Council (Chapter vii of the Charter); and action by regional bodies with Security Council authorization (Chapter vii of the Charter).
The US government sought Security Council authorization for military force against Afghanistan following the 11 September 2001 events. Although the Council passed two resolutions condemning what had happened on 11 September, neither resolution contains an authorization for war. Indeed, the resolutions are careful to refer to "terrorist attacks" not "armed attacks" by one State upon another.
The Nicaragua Case established a broad definition of "armed attack". It is improbable in any case that the Afghan government sent al Qaeda forces to the United States to commit terrorist attacks, and as noted, no evidence has ever been adduced to demonstrate that they did. If such evidence existed, as the Americans claim, then they have a duty under the Charter to disclose that evidence to the Security Council. They never have. Further, the Security Council resolutions specifically stopped short of using the terminology of "armed attacks."
The third option regards the use of regional bodies such as NATO or in Australia's case ANZUS. The US invoked Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, claiming that an attack upon the US was an attack upon all its members, thereby invoking the treaty's collective security provisions. It is implicit in the Security Council resolution however that its members did not accept that there had been an "attack" as that term is understood under the Charter.
In his October 25 2001 speech referred to above the Australian Prime Minister John Howard said:#fn44" id="fn44b">44
"On 14 September  the Australian government, in consultation with the US, decided that the relevant provisions of the ANZUS Treaty would be invoked. Under ANZUS we each agreed that an attack on the other would be dangerous to our own peace and safety and that we would act to meet the common danger in accordance with our constitutional procedures."
Although the decision to commit Australian troops was approved by the Australian parliament, the government has never published any White Paper setting out the basis of its involvement in the Afghan war. It has similarly not made available any briefing papers prepared in connection with Cabinet's consideration of the decision. Eight years later there is still no parliamentary debate on the legality of the war.#fn45" id="fn45b">45
Invoking either the NATO or ANZUS mutual assistance provisions is not the end of the matter. There is still an obligation to act within the terms of the UN Charter. Regional treaties of the ANZUS type are subservient to the Charter.#fn46" id="fn46b">46
There remains the issue of whether customary law could be invoked. In the Caroline Case#fn47" id="fn47b">47 it was established that force in terms of self-defence under international customary law needed to be immediate, proportionate and necessary.
The "immediate" component of this classic formulation is sufficiently flexible to allow time to establish the source of the attacks and the responsibility to allow a targeted response. As has been argued above however, attribution of the attacks has at best been tenuous and on at least one view wholly spurious.#fn48" id="fn48b">48
The test for "necessity" is that there be "a necessity for self-defence, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation".#fn49" id="fn49b">49 That clearly is not applicable in the present case.
The last component of the Caroline test is proportionality. While proportionality does not require that the response exactly match the quantum of the attack, it must be commensurate with the type of attack actually suffered.#fn50" id="fn50b">50
The prevailing view is that a full-scale invasion of a country cannot be considered a proportionate response. The objective, stated by both Bush and Howard, of replacing the Taliban government of Afghanistan was not proportionate and almost certainly contrary to international law.#fn51" id="fn51b">51 No international instrument permits armed intervention to impose "regime change" on another State, even if the stated goal is the nominal one of establishing a democratic State.#fn52" id="fn52b">52
The US has hitherto not been noted for its support of regime change when the incumbent one was amenable to US foreign policy goals, no matter how repugnant that government might be.#fn53" id="fn53b">53 In the case of Afghanistan the US had actively subverted the nearest thing Afghanistan had to a democratic government under the Tariki regime.#fn54" id="fn54b">54 Its changed attitude to the Taliban government only came when the pipeline plans of Unocal were thwarted in June 2001, more than two months before the events of 11 September.#fn55" id="fn55b">55
The United States and Australia therefore have no basis in international law for the attack upon, and occupation of, Afghanistan. Before leaving this issue however it is necessary to address whether the Afghanistan government's alleged "harboring" of al Qaeda terrorists who allegedly attacked the United States on 11 September 2001 might provide a justification for an invasion and occupation.
Again this was the justification invoked by both Bush and Howard and repeated by Obama last December.#fn56" id="fn56b">56 The issue of State responsibility for allegedly harboring illegal actors has been considered in the Nicaragua Case, op cit, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in Prosecutor v Tadic,#fn57" id="fn57b">57 and by the International Law Commission in its draft articles on State Responsibility for Internationally Wrongful Acts published in 2001.
The Nicaragua Case established that it would require the United States to demonstrate that the Afghan government issued "specific instructions" to al Qaeda to carry out the attack. The Tadic Case established that the Court had to be satisfied that the State in question exercised "overall control" over the relevant actors. The ILC's draft articles regards a State as responsible only.
"if the ......group of persons is in fact acting on the instructions of, or under the direct control of, the State that is carrying out the conduct; if the group of persons is in fact exercising elements of the governmental authority in the absence or default of the official authorities; and if and to the extent that the State acknowledges and adopts the conduct in question as its own."
There is no evidence that any of these three conditions prevailed, and indeed neither the US or Australian governments have sought to demonstrate that they have any evidence to support such an inference.#fn58" id="fn58b">58
Lacking any mandate in international law or under Article 51 of the UN charter the United States and Australia have nonetheless sought to invoke Article 5 of the Washington Treaty (i.e NATO) to draw in its European allies and Article V.of the ANZUS Treaty to involve Australia. This latter article provides that:
"For the purposes of Article IV, an armed attack on any of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack on the metropolitan territory of any of the Parties..."
It needs to be noted however that this Article is to be read subject to Article VI which says that the Treaty:
"Shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the rights and obligations of the Parties under the Charter of the United Nations."
Article 5 of the Washington Treaty also requires an "armed attack" to justify the invocation of Article 51 of the UN Charter. As noted above, in the circumstances of this case Article 51 does not apply and cannot therefore be invoked, rending null and void the purported invocation of both the NATO and ANZUS treaties.
Further, the NATO North Atlantic council, meeting on 13 September 2001 passed a resolution that:
"if it is determined that the 11 September 2001 attack against the United States a was directed from abroad against the North Atlantic area it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty."#fn59" id="fn59b">59
The resolution also required that it be shown that al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden had ordered the "attack from abroad" on the US and that the terrorist attacks of 11 September constituted a bona fide military operation by an alleged foreign country against a NATO member State.
That evidence has never been forthcoming.#fn60" id="fn60b">60 The so-called "confession videos" of bin Laden admitting responsibility for the attacks has been widely discredited, not least because they are almost certainly fakes.#fn61" id="fn61b">61 In one of the two videos put forward the person in the video was not even bin Laden himself.
It was previously been announced by the NATO Secretary General that the evidence was contained in a report prepared by a US State Department officer named Frank Taylor. His report was provided to the NATO Council on 2 October 2001, five days before the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan began. That report has never been released and therefore its purported evidence never subject to critical scrutiny. As noted above, a Member State intending to use force is required to provide the evidence justifying the force to the Security Council. Mr Taylor's report has as far as can be ascertained never been given to members of the Security Council.
It is astonishing that a war that has now lasted more than eight years was allegedly based on information that has never been disclosed. It is all the more surprising given that Member States of the United Nations are obliged to comply with the provisions of the Charter. They cannot supercede the Charter's provisions by the invocation of secret evidence.
This is reinforced by the fact that two United Nations resolutions passed in the wake of 11 September 2001 (Resolutions 1368 and 1373) called upon Member States to co-operate in a variety of measures, including the suppression of terrorism financing, but nowhere mentioned the authorization of military force by a Member State against another Member State.
What has been said about the NATO Treaty applies, ceteris paribus, to the ANZUS Treaty purportedly invoked by the Howard government after "consultations" with the Americans and referred to in Mr Howard's speech of 25 October 2001. In short, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by United States, Australian and other troops is almost certainly illegal. That there continues to be an almost complete absence of informed debate on these issues is perhaps the most concerning of all.
#realReason" id="realReason">What is the Real Reason?
If the claimed reasons for invading Afghanistan are false, what are the real reasons? It is submitted that on the basis of the available evidence there are three principal reasons.
#reason1" id="reason1">1. Oil and Gas.
In his speech on 1 December 2009 cited above, President Obama said that he was convinced that US security was at stake in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said that it was important to recall that the US and its allies were "compelled" to fight a war in Afghanistan because it was from there that the US was attacked on 11 September 2001. The spurious nature of this claim, so readily adopted by Australia, has been discussed above. Notably absent from the President's address was any reference to the importance of Afghanistan to supplies of oil and gas upon which the US economy, and its war machine, are so dependent.
On 10 September 2001 an article in Oil and Gas Journal had pointed out that "those who control the oil routes out of Central Asia will impact all future direction and quantities of flow and distribution of revenues from new production."#fn62" id="fn62b">62
Enron, which in 2000 was George W. Bush's largest campaign contributor, had conducted a feasibility study on the Trans-Caspian pipeline. This pipeline was to be built in accordance with a joint-venture agreement signed in February 1999 by Turkmenistan and US companies Bechtel and GE Capital Services.#fn63" id="fn63b">63
In 1998 Uzbekistan ambassador to the US had met with then Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss the proposed pipeline. It was agreed that the Texas based Enron would have the rights to Uzbekistan's natural gas deposits. The company slated to build the pipeline was Unocal, two of whose executives were Condoleeza Rice and Hamid Kharzai.
As noted above,, the Taliban government refused the American's terms for the building of the pipeline. According to a report from one person present at the meeting, the Afghan government was offered "a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs."#fn64" id="fn64b">64 That was in June 2001. Bush approved the plans (already drawn up) for the invasion shortly thereafter. All that was lacking was a casus belli and the attacks of 11 September 2001 provided that.
Afghanistan was the logical route for transporting the vast Caspian reserves to a secure warm water port. This is dictated by geographical and geo-political considerations. Russia is to the north of the "stans", China to the east, and Iran to the west. As Dorion had pointed out in his 2001 article in Oil and Gas Journal,#fn65" id="fn65b">65 those who controlled the routes could dictate the distribution and supply of an increasingly scarce commodity. The US was not prepared to cede that control to Russia, China and Iran.
It is no coincidence that the four major US military bases that have now been built in Afghanistan (and hundreds of smaller ones) closely parallel the pipeline route, due to be completed in 2014.#fn66" id="fn66b">66 Once built, the pipeline would have to be secured. For that reason alone any voluntary withdrawal by the Americans is highly unlikely.
#reason2" id="reason2">2. Geopolitical Ambitions.
The second major reason for the American occupation of Afghanistan is the expansion of its vast network of military bases. The bases already built, and excluding the nine additional major bases announced by the then Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld in December 2004 are hardly necessary to "smoke out al Qaeda," as Bush defined the American mission in December 2001. The Americans own intelligence estimates say that the number of al Qaeda members left in Afghanistan now numbers probably fewer than one hundred.#fn67" id="fn67b">67
Nor is the extension of the war into Pakistan justified in terms of al Qaeda members alleged to be taking refuge in the North Western provinces. The major US goal is the assertion of "full spectrum dominance" set out in the Defence papers of the late 20th century.#fn68" id="fn68b">68 It is a policy that has been pursued by successive American Presidents since at least the end of the Second World War. Despite his rhetoric of "change" the present incumbent of the White House is to all practical intents and purposes indistinguishable from his predecessors in this regard.
These bases perform a number of functions, as Chalmers Johnson among others have pointed out, only some of them military.#fn69" id="fn69b">69 In Afghanistan they are used for the training of fighters who are then inserted into Iran and the Muslim regions of China and Russia for the purpose of disruption through terrorism in those communities.#fn70" id="fn70b">70 This is after all only an extension of the mujihideen insurrection in Afghanistan during the years of Soviet occupation of that country.
In the huge Bagram air force base and other so-called "dark sites" in Afghanistan they also play a major role in the interrogation, torture, rendition and disappearances of hundreds of Afghan and foreign citizens captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan.#fn71" id="fn71b">71
In his 1997 book Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that with the collapse of the Soviet Union a non-Eurasian power had emerged as the key arbiter of power relations in Eurasia and the world beyond. The way in which this was to be exercised he said, was:
"To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."#fn72" id="fn72b">72
Brzezinski's view is hardly unique among senior American strategists. In 1992 during the dying days of the elder Bush administration, Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby drafted a Defence Planning Guidance for the then Secretary of Defence Richard Cheney, in which they argued:
"We must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role". Those views were reiterated in later documents such as the 2000 PNAC study "Rebuilding America's Defenses" and the National Security Strategy of 2002.
In the Joint Chiefs of Staff strategic document Joint Vision 2020 full spectrum dominance was defined as:
"The ability of US forces, operating alone or with allies, to defeat any adversary and control any situation across the range of military operations."#fn73" id="fn73b">73
Scott describes this as "overblown rhetoric, out of touch with reality, dangerously delusional, and even arguably insane."#fn74" id="fn74b">74 That is a conclusion difficult to challenge, but it has not prevented the US from pursuing precisely those policies for many years. When one views those policies in the light of Brzezinski's "brutal terminology" quoted above it is not difficult to see how those policies are given effect.
American hegemony is increasingly threatened by the development of those regional blocs that so concerned the neo-cons back in before the advent of the second Bush administration.#fn75" id="fn75b">75 One of the most significant of these is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization that includes not only China and Russia but also the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
The American counter to this development has been to increase its asymmetrical warfare, partly through the huge increase in the use of so-called private military contractors such as Xe (formerly Blackwater), Diligence and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).#fn76" id="fn76b">76 Much of the funding for these operations comes from the so-called ‘black budget' i.e off the books funding not accountable to congressional committees. The source of that money is the CIA's involvement in the illegal drug trade, discussed below.
Another advantage of using private military contractors, better known by their former title of mercenaries, is that their activities give a degree of deniability to the US when their activities are exposed to public scrutiny.
The on-the ground part of the asymmetrical warfare operations are also carried out by soldiers of the US joint special operations command (JSOC) whose former head was General Stanley MacChrystal currently head of all allied military operations in Afghanistan.
According to a report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation magazine#fn77" id="fn77b">77 JSOC black operations are carried out in Pakistan, the Baluchistan province of Iran, and Uzbekistan, and include kidnappings, torture, attacking villages and wedding parties, and general acts of terrorism. Holding these soldiers and their commanders and the politicians who authorise them to account is difficult. Not only is there an almost total mainstream media blackout of accounts of these operations, but any protests by affected countries are muted by the threat of or actual action against their leadership. International accountability is further rendered difficult by the refusal of the United States to recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.#fn78" id="fn78b">78
None of this is consistent of course with the stated objectives of American foreign policy in general and their public rationale for being in Afghanistan. It is consistent however with the long-standing public policy goals of the US "prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."#fn79" id="fn79b">79
#reason3" id="reason3">3. Drugs
Insofar as the role of drugs in the Afghanistan war are discussed in the mainstream media it is usually limited to a grudging acceptance that heroin production declined during the years of the Taliban government but that it has once again increased. The increase is impliedly the responsibility of the same Taliban leaders who are portrayed as seeing heroin as a means of income to finance their "insurgency" against the Americans and their allies.
Like much of the media's portrayal of the war this is a gross distortion of reality. According to the United Nations ODC annual report the Taliban received only 3 percent of the total income earned from heroin in Afghanistan that is about 5 percent of the crop's value on the world market.#fn80" id="fn80b">80 As McCoy and Scott have both documented, there is a direct correlation between American military intervention in key areas of the world and increases in local drug production.#fn81" id="fn81b">81
In the 1950s in Burma following CIA intervention in that country heroin production rose from 40 tonnes in 1939 to 600 tonnes in 1970. Similar increases were observed in Thailand (from 7 tonnes to 200 tonnes between 1939 and 1968), and Laos (less than 15 tonnes in 1939 to 50 tonnes in 1973). Heroin production in Indo-China was enormously assisted by the Vietnam War and the opportunities that provided for export to the United States.#fn82" id="fn82b">82
In Columbia US troops intervened in the late 1980s, purportedly as part of the so-called ‘war on drugs'. Coca production in fact increased between 1991 and 1999 from 3.8 to 12.3 thousand hectares and cultivation of the opium poppy increased from 0.13 to 0.75 thousand hectares.#fn83" id="fn83b">83 Cocaine was shipped to the United States by CIA linked entities through Mena Arkansas among other pipelines.#fn84" id="fn84b">84 In Los Angeles the CIA Inspector General's report confirmed the earlier newspaper reports of the late Gary Webb that the CIA was the major instrument of the crack cocaine epidemic in that city.#fn85" id="fn85b">85
In Afghanistan the use of illegal drugs for military and political purposes was a central part of US strategy since at least 1979. Under a plan known as Operation Mosquito heroin, hashish and cocaine was used to addict Soviet troops.#fn86" id="fn86b">86 One of the American's key allies in this endeavour was a warlord named Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who apart from his notoriety as a warlord was known for throwing acid in the faces of unveiled women. He was and is a key American ally.
In the decade of the mujihideen fighting against the Soviet army, half of US aid went to Hekmatyar who rapidly consolidated his position as one of Afghanistan's leading drug traffickers.
The huge funds generated by this trade were laundered through the CIA-ISI linked bank, BCCI. The closure of BCCI did not diminish the cash flow. A report from the US Senate in 2001 estimated that between $500 million and one trillion dollars in criminal proceeds are laundered through banks worldwide, of which half goes through American banks.#fn87" id="fn87b">87
Heroin production in Afghanistan was 3276 tonnes in 2000 and dropped to 185 tonnes in 2001, the year of the Taliban ban on production. Following the American invasion production leapt again to over 8200 tonnes in 2007. According to the United Nations Afghanistan now accounts for 93% of the world's production.#fn88" id="fn88b">88
James Petras argues that largely as a consequence of these capital flows the US economy has become a narco-capitalist one, dependent on these huge sums to remain solvent.#fn89" id="fn89b">89 He says that US banks have developed highly elaborate policies for transferring these funds to the US where they are invested in legitimate businesses or US government bonds to "wash" them clean.
In 2009 Antonia Maria Costa the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said that drug related billions "kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global [financial] crisis."#fn90" id="fn90b">90 He said that a majority of the $352 billion in drug profits in 2008 was absorbed into the economic system and that this money was the only liquid investment capital available at that time. The source of this information he said was intelligence agencies from around the world.
It is not only the banks that benefit. Since at least the 1950s profits from illegal drugs have been an important source of finance for the CIA. This money is not allocated by Congress and is thus not subject to congressional budgetary scrutiny, even by the standards of the notoriously lax oversight of CIA activities. It is probably the central reason why increases in drug production invariably follow US military and intelligence agency involvement in countries capable of providing both the raw materials and the means of production.#fn91" id="fn91b">91
Heroin is shipped across the Afghanistan border into Pakistan by truck or flown out from the US Bagram air base in Afghanistan or the Manas base in Kyrgyzstan.#fn92" id="fn92b">92 According to at least one report much of the heroin is flown to yet another major US base in Kosovo where the Kosovo mafia then transship it to Germany and other European markets.#fn93" id="fn93b">93
This transshipment is important. The value of the current Afghan opium crop is approximately $65 billion. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime only 5 or 6 percent of that sum stays in Afghanistan itself. More than 80 percent of the profits are earned in the countries of consumption, mainly the United States, Russia and Europe. Those profits are used not only to finance off the books intelligence operations and provide liquidity for western banks but also provide the means for the corrupting of governments.#fn94" id="fn94b">94
The persistent refusal of the western mainstream media to recognize and report upon these realities raises inevitable questions as to whether or not our system is so compromised that events as diffuse as the Kennedy assassination and the attacks of 11 September 2001, far from being deviations from social norms are in fact reflections of the way we are systematically governed.#fn95" id="fn95b">95
Australia's involvement in the Afghan war is based upon multi-layered levels of deception and illegality. Although there is a long history of western interference in Afghanistan's affairs the present troubles can be directly traced to the plans formulated by Brzezinski in the late 1970s to arm and finance Islamic militants to destabilize the Afghan government of Tariki.
Having successfully enticed the Soviet government to send troops to support its Afghan ally, the destabilization through terrorism was expanded beyond Afghanistan into Kashmir, the Muslim areas of western China and the Caspian Sea Muslim states of the former Soviet Union.
The objectives were multifold. Beyond destabilization the mainly American oil majors had their eyes on the huge oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea states. The military saw the opportunity to expand their empire of bases in pursuit of full-spectrum dominance, and the lucrative drug trade financed both covert activities and the bottom line of western banks.
The events of 11 September 2001 provided a nominal casus belli for the attack and occupation of Afghanistan, heavily promoted by the mainstream media, which particularly in the United States is closely linked to the major armaments manufacturers. The same mainstream media have uncritically accepted and promoted the US government's version of events about 11 September 2001, not because that account is plausible, which it manifestly is not, but because to question the rationale for military intervention is to question the whole of post world war 2 US foreign policy. If US foreign policy is seriously flawed then that in turn must raise serious questions about the level and extent of Australia's adherence to the policies of its powerful ally.
Even if al Qaeda could be shown to have been responsible for the attacks of September 2001 as is constantly claimed but never proven, that would still not have provided a justification in international law for the attack and occupation of a sovereign nation. Australia is therefore a party to what amounts to an ongoing crime against international law.
We know that the attack on Afghanistan was planned and approved prior to 11 September 2001 and was designed in furtherance of the geopolitical goals set out above. Given that US intelligence estimates put the number of al Qaeda fighters in Afghanistan at fewer than 100, the public rationale for the war has morphed into "defeating the Taliban" and "bringing democracy" to Afghanistan. The logical absurdities of that argument are never subject to critical analysis. Much less is there ever any discussion in the Australian media about the legality or otherwise of the war.
The acquiescence of the mainstream media and the major political parties in this charade strongly supports the proposition that the decisions are not being made by the elected representatives of the people of Australia (a majority of whom support withdrawal). Rather, as is the case in the United States, those people whom Scott refers to as making up the "deep state" make these critical decisions.
The continuation of this state of affairs poses a deep threat to the public state and the democratic values it purports to represent. It may be too late and the deep events that Scott refers to are in fact components of our political structure and not deviations from it. In that case nothing short of major structural change is likely to lead to meaningful changes in our body politic.
Absent such radical change Australia is likely to continue the role it has played at least since the Vietnam War of being America's loyal acolyte facilitating the undermining of democratic nationalist movements, promoting chaos whose main objective is the pursuit of private profit, and creating a world where the lives of billions are affected by the decisions of the unaccountable few.
#contact" id="contact">* Barrister at Law in Brisbane. He may be contacted at j.oneill [AT] bigpond.net.au
#fn1">1 #fn1b">[back] Mr Obama repeated the same message in a flying visit to Afghanistan shortly before Easter 2010. The repeated invoking of the events of 11 September 2001 as justification for the use of military force, renditions, torture and other offences against international law makes the critical examination of the official "9/11" conspiracy theory all the more important.
#fn4">4 #fn4b">[back] The issue worthy of further examination and public debate is why Australia so readily aligns itself with America’s foreign policy goals when they are manifestly of little or any direct concern to Australia’s vital interests. The historical antecedents of this attachment to a major colonial power are explored in an important new book Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds What’s Wrong with Anzac: the Militarisation of Australian History, New South, 2010.
#fn6">6 #fn6b">[back] A. McCoy The Politics of Heroin. Chicago Review Press, 2003. Along with the work of Peter Dale Scott, cited below, this provides the most insightful analysis of what Scott refers to as the "deep state".
#fn7">7 #fn7b">[back] The foremost modern exponent of this neo-colonial strategy is probably Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter. His best known book in which he candidly discusses his motivations and strategy is The Grand Chessboard Basic Books, 1998
#fn17">17 #fn17b">[back] The western media preferred to portray it as a Russian "invasion" and the event was used to foster public alarm about Soviet expansionism as far as the Middle East oil fields. Fitzgerald and Gould op cit
#fn34">34 #fn34b">[back] Cited in D.R. Griffin The New Pearl Harbor Revisited. Olive Branch Press 2008. This book was Publishers Weekly’s book of the week in November 2008. It has yet to be reviewed in the Australian mainstream press.
#fn39">39 #fn39b">[back] Seymour Hersch What Went Wrong? New Yorker 1 October 2001. After Powell’s back down the British government offered to produce a White Paper. This duly eventuated, but the Prime Minister admitted that its "evidence" would not be good enough for a court of law. Good enough apparently, to launch a war.
#fn40">40 #fn40b">[back] There has been a persistent refusal by the mainstream media to engage in rational debate. For example in April 2009 a paper by Harrit et al was published in the Open chemistry and Physics Journal disclosing the discovery of nano-thermite (a military grade highly secret explosive material) in the debris of the three WTC towers destroyed on 11 September 2001. More than a year later not a single reference to this paper has appeared in the Australian mainstream media despite its enormous implications.
#fn42">42 #fn42b">[back] Hansard 18 March 2003. The speech is remarkable for two aspects in particular. First, virtually every proposition advanced to justify the invasion was false, and arguably known to be false at the time it was delivered. Secondly, no-one in the Australian government has been held accountable for the manifold untruths told about Iraq, and before then the reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan.
#fn45">45 #fn45b">[back] In July 2009 and February 2010 the Green Party through its Senate representation attempted to have the Afghanistan war debated in the Senate. On both occasions Labour and Coalition senators blocked the move. A debate of sorts was subsequently held in October 2010 but the legality of the war was never seriously addressed by any of the speakers in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.
#fn47">47 #fn47b">[back] 1837 Brit & For. Papers 1137. See also The Caroline Case: Anticipatory Self Defence in Contemporary International Law. www.unimiscolc.hu/www.drint/20042rouillard1.htm See also Steven Welsh Preemptive War and International Law (2003) www.cdi.org/news/law/preemptive-war.cfm
#fn52">52 #fn52b">[back] The publicly stated rationale for the invasion has morphed over time. The one constant is the repeated invocation of the events of 11 September 2001 as a justification for the invasion and occupation. A more realistic appraisal of both the causes and current consequences of the invasion can be found in P.D. Scott "Can the US Triumph in the Drug-Addicted War in Afghanistan? The Asia-Pacific Journa14-5-10 5 April 2010.
#fn60">60 #fn60b">[back] See the chapters by Griffin, Kolar and Ralph in Zarembka (ed) op cit. Even the official conspiracy theory advanced by the US government says that four planes on internal flights within the continental USA were hijacked by 19 Muslims armed with no more than boxcutters. Even on the most elastic of definitions that hardly constitutes an "armed attack" from a foreign country. Even the boxcutter element of the story is to be doubted. The sole source of that part of the official story was said by the 9/11 Commission Report to originate in a cell phone call by Barbara Olsen to her husband the then Solicitor General. Mrs Olsen was said to have been a passenger on Flight 77, which allegedly crashed into the Pentagon. The FBI’s sworn evidence to the Moussaui trial however disclaimed that any such phone calls took place.
#fn68">68 #fn68b">[back] For example Defence Planning Guidance 1992 prepared for then Defence Secretary Richard Cheney by Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby. PNAC Rebuilding America’s Defences (2000) which among other things noted that the required military build-up to achieve that status would take a very long time unless a "new Pearl Harbor" persuaded Americans to commit to greater military expenditure; the Bush-Cheney National Security Strategy (NSS 2002); and the JCS strategic document Joint Vision 2020 (2007). See also F.W. Engdahl Full Spectrum Dominance (2009).
#fn76">76 #fn76b">[back] D.C. Bartlett and J.B. Steele Washington’s $8 Billion Shadow Vanity Fair March 2007; A. Leander The Power to Construct International Security. Journal International Studies 2005 33, 803; T. Shorrock Spies for Hire: the Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing. Simon & Schuster 2008.
#fn78">78 #fn78b">[back] The United States has preferred to negotiate individual status of forces agreements with more than 100 countries. The net effect of these agreements is to exclude criminal acts committed by US servicemen from local jurisdiction.
#fn96">96 #fn96b">[back] Mercille Afghan Hash at an all-time High Asia Times Online 20 April 2010 See for example Parenti Dirty Truths. City Lights Books 1996. The evidence emerging about the events of 11 September 2001 completely discredit the official version. Even the co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission have publicly distanced themselves from their own report saying, inter alia, it was clear they were lied to and that crucial information was withheld from them. The discovery of active thermitic material in the debris of the three WTC buildings raises questions that the mainstream media refuse to address. See: Harrit et al Open Chemistry and Physics Journal April 2009. Their refusal to report these findings is in itself hugely significant
"World opinion" has accepted an act of overt military aggression against Libya, a sovereign country guilty of no violation of the UN Charter, in an act of de facto neo-colonialism, a 'humanitarian' war in violation of basic precepts of the laws of nations. Much of the credit for so moulding international public opinion can be claimed by Gareth Evans the Minister for Foreign Affairs in the former Australian 'Labor' Governments of Paul Keating and Bob Hawke.
The most remarkable facet of NATO's war against Libya is the fact that "world opinion," that ever so nebulous thing, has accepted an act of overt military aggression against a sovereign country guilty of no violation of the UN Charter in an act of de facto neo-colonialism, a 'humanitarian' war in violation of basic precepts of the laws of nations. The world has accepted it without realizing the implications if the war against Gaddafi's Libya is allowed to succeed in forced regime change. At issue is not whether or not Gaddafi is good or evil. At issue is the very concept of the civilized law of nations and of just or unjust wars.
The Libya campaign represents the attempt to force application of a dangerous new concept into the norms of accepted international law. That concept is what is termed by its creators, 'Responsibility to Protect.'
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has stated that the justification for the use of force in Libya was based on humanitarian grounds, and referred to the principle known as Responsibility to Protect, 'a new international security and human rights norm to address the international community's failure to prevent and stop genocides, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.'
An American President, Barack Obama, has invoked this novel new concept as justification for what is de facto an unlawful US-led military war of aggression and acquisition. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as Presidential candidate in 2008 said about the concept: "In adopting the principle of the responsibilty to protect, the United Nations accepted the principle that mass atrocities that take place in one state are the concern of all states." Nice words and highly dangerous. According to White House insider reports, the key person driving Obama to move to military action in Libya, citing a nebulous "Responsibility to Protect" as the basis was Presidential Adviser, Samantha Power.
In effect, via the instrument of a controlled NATO propaganda barrage, the US government with no verifiable proof claimed Gaddafi's air force slaughtered innocent civilians. That in turn has been the basis on which Amr Moussa and members of the Arab League bowed down before heavy Washington pressure to give Washington and London the quasi-legal fig leaf it needed. That unproven slaughter of allegedly innocent civilians was why a "humanitarian" war was necessary. On that basis, we might ask why not put a no-fly NATO bombardment operation as well on Bahrain, or Yemen, or Syria? Who decides the criteria in this new terrain of Responsibility to Protect?
There has been no serious effort on the side of Washington or London or Paris to negotiate a ceasefire inside Libya, no effort to find a compromise as in other countries. This is the marvelous flexibility of the new doctrine of Responsibility to Protect. Washington gets to define who is responsible for what. National sovereignty becomes a relic.
Back in 2004 George Soros authored a little-noted article in Foreign Policy magazine on the notion of national sovereignty. He wrote,
"Sovereignty is an anachronistic concept originating in bygone times when society consisted of rulers and subjects, not citizens. It became the cornerstone of international relations with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648...Today, though not all nation-states are democratically accountable to their citizens, the principle of sovereignty stands in the way of outside intervention in the internal affairs of nation-states. But true sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments. If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified."
Responsibility to Protect
The coup represented by the NATO intervention into events in Libya has been years in assiduous preparation. The first to publicize the concept, 'The Responsibility to Protect,' was Gareth Evans, a former Australian Foreign Minister and CEO of the International Crisis Group.
In 2002, one year before the illegal US-UK aggression against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Evans published a seminal paper in Foreign Affairs, the elite foreign policy journal of the New York Council on Foreign Relations.
In his article Evans called for the debate on whether or not to intervene into a given country on human rights grounds, even if the events are strictly internal to that country, to be "reframed not as an argument about the 'right to intervene' but about the 'responsibility to protect.' "
That clever linguistic"reframing" created a necessary blurring of lines of the original UN Charter Principle of sovereign equality of states, of Article 2, Section 1 of the Charter. There was a very sound reason that the founding nations signing the UN Charter in 1946 decided to exclude UN police intervention into internal disputes of a sovereign state.
Who should now decide which side in a given conflict is right? Under "responsibility to protect" essentially the United States and a few select allies could potentially define China as in violation of the human rights of its Tibetan or other ethnic minority citizens and order NATO troops to intervene in a humanitarian action. Or NATO might decide to intervene into the internal unrest in Chechnya, an integral part of the Russian Federation, because Moscow troops are attempting to enforce order over insurgents being secretly armed by NATO via Al Qaeda or Mujahideen networks in Central Asia. Or a similar "humanitarian" excusemight be used to call for a NATO no-fly zone over Belarus or Ukraine or Venezuela or Bolivia or perhaps at some point, Brazil.
The so-called humanitarian "responsibility to protect" doctrine opens a Pandora's Box of possibilities for those powers controlling world opinion via CNN or BBC or key media such as the New York Times, to justify a de facto neo-colonial policy of military intervention. This is the real significance of what Gareth Evans blithely terms "reframing."
Framing as deliberate manipulation
In mass media framing is a very well-researched subject. The technique refers to a technique of manipulating an individual's emotional reaction or more accurately, his or her perception of meanings of words or phrases. When the Republican Party sought to get support for a huge tax cut for the wealthy on inheritances, something people like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett found relevant to keeping their billions, the Bush Administration reframed the term inheritance taxes to become "death taxes," making it subtly seem like something everyone who ultimately dies should support--only the wealthy inherit, but everyone dies became the subtle reframed message.
A rhetorical phrase is packaged thus to encourage a certain interpretation and to discourage others. Two authorities on framing, Susan Fiske and Shelley Taylor identify why framing is so remarkably powerful as a tool to manipulate perception. It creates a mental "shortcut." According to them, human beings are by nature 'cognitive misers', meaning they prefer to do as little thinking as possible. Frames give us a quick and easy way to process information. Hence, people will use the previously mentioned mental filters to make sense of incoming messages. As Fiske and Taylor note, this gives the sender and framer of the information enormous power to use these schemas to influence how the receivers will interpret the message.
What is emerging, with the aggression against Libya as a major test case in the reframing of military intervention as responsibility to protect, is acceptance of radical new forms of US-orchestrated military intervention, with or without UN Security Council sanction, a radical new form of neo-colonialism, a major new step on the road to a New World Order, the Pentagon's much-sought Full Spectrum Dominance.
Those ever-present NGOs
The steering organization for embedding the nebulous notion of responsibility to protect is another of the ever-present Non-Governmental Organizations, this one called the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. It in turn, much like the famous wooden Russian dolls, was created by other human rights NGOs including by the International Crisis Group, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam International, Refugees International, typically financed by a small network of donors.
Gareth Evans is co-chair of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect's International Advisory Board, as well as being President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group which he led from 2000 to 2009.
Evans' International Crisis Group which once described itself humbly as "widely regarded as the world's leading independent, non-government source of information, analysis and advice to governments and international organisations on conflict issues,' is hardly a voice of independence or democracy. It is a creation of the leading Washington policy circles pledged to advance an agenda the Pentagon calls Full Spectrum Dominance, which I referred to in an earlier book as "Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order."
In addition to getting government funds from the US and UK governments, Evans' International Crisis Group also gets generous support from the Rockefeller, Ford and MacArthur foundations. George Soros, founder of the Open Society Institute sits on the ICG Board of Trustees. Until he made his dramatic and well-timed return to Egypt in January 2011, Mohamed El Baradei also sat on the board of the Brussels-based ICG.
The ICG was previously headed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to US presidents and long-time associate of David Rockefeller. Among other leading figures linked to Evans' International Crisis Group have been founder, Morton Abramowitz, former board member of the National Endowment for Democracy.
The present chair of ICG is Thomas Pickering, former US Ambassador to Moscow and to El Salvator where he was accused of backing creation of death squads. ICG's board also includes General Wesley Clark, former NATO-commander who led the destruction of Yugoslavia in 1999 and Samuel Berger, former US National Security Advisor. Former NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen is also a member. This should cause at least some perceptive readers to rethink what Evans' agenda of Responsibility to Protect is really about.
Evans' Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, in addition to being active in North Africa and the Middle East, is also directly active in Asia from their center in Australia.
In short they are making major efforts to propandagize the notion of responsibility to protect under the guize of protecting various populations from what they define as "genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity..."  The world community is being subtly brainwashed to accept the radical new proposition with nary a peep of serious opposition
As Michael Barker, an Australian analyst of the use of humanitarian rhetoric and US-based NGOs to advance a Washington agenda noted, "Perhaps if 'evil' Qaddafi had been a bona fide US-backed dictator...the US government could have exerted more influence over Qaddafi's political choices, and encouraged him to back down and allow himself to be replaced with a suitably US friendly leader. However, it is precisely because Qaddafi is not a Western-backed dictator that external powers cannot force his hand so easily: this helps explain why the world's leading...elites were so keen to use the humanitarian pretext to support his opponents in the civil war." It sets a dangerous precedent indeed, as many nations are now beginning to realize.
F. William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order
1. Ban Ki-Moon, cited in Omri Ceren, "Responsibility To Protect," Not Remotely New, March 20, 2011, Commentary.
2. Bonney Kapp, Obama's Libya Speech: The Highlights, March 28, 2011, CNN, accessed in http://whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/28/obamas-libya-speech-the-highlights/.
3. Hillary Clinton, 2008 Presidential Aide Questionnaire, accessed in http://globalsolutions.org/08orbust/pcq/clinton.
4. Indira A.R. Lakshmanan and Hans Nichols, Samantha Power Brings Activist Role Inside to Help Persuade Obama on Libya, Bloomberg News, March 25, 2011.
5. George Soros, The Peoples' Sovereignty: How a new twist on an old idea can protect the world's most vulnerable populations, New York, Foreign Policy, January 1, 2004, accessed in http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2004/01/01/the_peoples_sovereignty.
6. Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun, The Responsibility to Protect, Foreign Affairs, Vol.81, no.6, November/December 2002. pp. 99-110.
8. S.T. Fiske, and S.E. Taylor, Social Cognition (2nd ed.), 1991, New York, McGraw-Hill.
9. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Who We Are, accessed in http://globalr2p.org/whoweare/index.php
10. F. William Engdahl, Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order, Wiesbaden, 2009, edition.engdahl.
11. Jan Oberg, The International Crisis Group: Who Pays the Piper?, The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Press Info #219, 15 April 2005, accessed in http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/27a/201.html
12. International Crisis Group Website, accessed in http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/about/board.aspx
16. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Who We Are, accessed in http://globalr2p.org/whoweare/index.php
17. Michael Barker, Stephen Zunes, Libya, and Seemingly Moral Imperatives, March 31, 2011, accessed in #comment-24720">http://wagingnonviolence.org/2011/03/zunes-critiques-war-on-libya-offers-nonviolent-alternatives/comment-page-1/#comment-24720.
See also: Libya: NATO Transitions To Terror Bombing Phase Of War of 3 May 11 by Rick Rozoff on Global Research, comment Media falsification of 'protest movement' in Syria ond candobetter.netand links,
The US government's bin Laden story was so poorly crafted that it did not last 48 hours before being fundamentally altered. Indeed, the new story put out on Tuesday by White House press secretary Jay Carney bears little resemblance to the original Sunday evening story. The fierce firefight did not occur. Osama bin Laden did not hide behind a woman. Indeed, bin Laden, Carney said, "was not armed."by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts Originally Published on Global Research on 4 May 2011.
The US government's bin Laden story was so poorly crafted that it did not last 48 hours before being fundamentally altered. Indeed, the new story put out on Tuesday by White House press secretary Jay Carney bears little resemblance to the original Sunday evening story. The fierce firefight did not occur. Osama bin Laden did not hide behind a woman. Indeed, bin Laden, Carney said, "was not armed."by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts Originally Published on Global Research on 4 May 2011.
The US government's bin Laden story was so poorly crafted that it did not last 48 hours before being fundamentally altered. Indeed, the new story put out on Tuesday by White House press secretary Jay Carney bears little resemblance to the original Sunday evening story. The fierce firefight did not occur. Osama bin Laden did not hide behind a woman. Indeed, bin Laden, Carney said, "was not armed."
The firefight story was instantly suspicious as not a single SEAL got a scratch, despite being up against al Qaeda, described by former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld as ‘the most dangerous, best-trained, vicious killers on the face of the earth."
Every original story detail has been changed. It wasn't bin Laden's wife who was murdered by the Navy SEALs , but the wife of an aide. It wasn't bin Laden's son, Khalid, who was murdered by the Navy SEALs, but son Hamza.
Carney blamed the changed story on "the fog of war." But there was no firefight, so where did the "fog of war" come from?
The White House has also had to abandon the story that President Obama and his national security team watched tensely as events unfolded in real time (despite the White House having released photos of the team watching tensely), with the operation conveyed into the White House by cameras on the SEALs helmets. If Obama was watching the event as it happened, he would have noticed, one would hope, that there was no firefight and, thus, would not have told the public that bin Laden was killed in a firefight. Another reason the story had to be abandoned is that if the event was captured on video, every news service in the world would be asking for the video, but if the event was orchestrated theater, there would be no video.
No explanation has been provided for why an unarmed bin Laden, in the absence of a firefight, was murdered by the SEALs with a shot to the head. For those who believe the government's story that "we got bin Laden," the operation can only appear as the most botched operation in history. What kind of incompetence does it require to senselessly and needlessly kill the most valuable intelligence asset on the planet?
According to the US government, the terrorist movements of the world operated through bin Laden, "the mastermind." Thanks to a trigger-happy stupid SEAL, a bullet destroyed the most valuable terrorist information on the planet. Perhaps the SEAL was thinking that he could put a notch on his gun and brag for the rest of his life about being the macho tough guy who killed Osama bin Laden, the most dangerous man on the planet, who outwitted the US and its European and Israeli allies and inflicted humiliation on the "world's only superpower" on 9/11.
When such a foundational story as the demise of bin Laden cannot last 48 hours without acknowledged "discrepancies" that require fundamental alternations to the story, there are grounds for suspicion in addition to the suspicions arising from the absence of a dead body, from the absence of any evidence that bin Laden was killed in the raid or that a raid even took place. The entire episode could just be another event like the August 4, 1964, Gulf of Tonkin event that never happened but succeeded in launching open warfare against North Vietnam at a huge cost to Americans and Vietnamese and enormous profits to the military/security complex.
There is no doubt that the US is sufficiently incompetent to have needlessly killed bin Laden instead of capturing him. But who can believe that the US would quickly dispose of the evidence that bin Laden had been terminated? The government's story is not believable that the government dumped the proof of its success into the ocean, but has some photos that might be released, someday.
As one reader put it in an email to me: "What is really alarming is the increasingly arrogant sloppiness of these lies, as though the government has become so profoundly confident of their ability to deceive people that they make virtually no effort to even appear credible."
Governments have known from the beginning of time that they can always deceive citizens and subjects by playing the patriot card. "Remember the Maine," the "Gulf of Tonkin," "weapons of mass destruction," "the Reichstag fire"--the staged events and bogus evidence are endless. If Americans knew any history, they would not be so gullible.
The real question before us is: What agenda or agendas is the "death of bin Laden" designed to further?
There are many answers to this question. Many have noticed that Obama was facing re-election with poor approval ratings. Is anyone surprised that the New York Times/CBS Poll finds a strong rise in Obama's poll numbers after the bin Laden raid? As the New York Times reported, "the glow of national pride" rose "above partisan politics, as support for the president rose significantly among both Republicans and independents. In all, 57 percent said they now approved of the president's job performance, up from 46 percent."
In Washington-think, a 24% rise in approval rating justifies a staged event.
Another possibility is that Obama realized that the the budget deficit and the dollar's rescue from collapse require the end of the expensive Afghan war and occupation and spillover war into Pakistan. As the purpose of the war was to get bin Laden, success in this objective allows the US to withdraw without loss of face, thus making it possible to reduce the US budget deficit by several hundred billion dollars annually--an easy way to have a major spending cut.
If this is the agenda, then more power to it. However, if this was Obama's agenda, the military/security complex has quickly moved against it. CIA director Leon Panetta opened the door to false flag attacks to keep the war going by declaring that al Qaeda would avenge bin Laden's killing. Secretary of State Clinton declared that success in killing bin Laden justified more war and more success. Homeland Security declared that the killing of bin Laden would motivate "homegrown violent extremists" into making terrorist attacks. "Homegrown violent extremists" is an undefined term, but this newly created bogyman seems to include environmentalists and war protesters. Like "suspect," the term will include anyone the government wants to pick up.
Various parts of the government quickly seized on the success in killing bin Laden to defend and advance their own agendas, such as torture. Americans were told that bin Laden was found as a result of information gleaned from torturing detainees held in Eastern European CIA secret prisons years ago.
This listing of possible agendas and add-on agendas is far from complete, but for those capable of skepticism and independent thought, it can serve as a starting point. The agendas behind the theater will reveal themselves as time goes on. All you have to do is to pay attention and to realize that most of what you hear from the mainstream media is designed to advance the agendas.
If today were April 1 and not May 2, we could dismiss as an April fool’s joke this morning’s headline that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight in Pakistan and quickly buried at sea. As it is, we must take it as more evidence that the US government has unlimited belief in the gullibility of Americans [and Australians - Editor].
Think about it. What are the chances that a person allegedly suffering from kidney disease and requiring dialysis and, in addition, afflicted with diabetes and low blood pressure, survived in mountain hideaways for a decade? If bin Laden was able to acquire dialysis equipment and medical care that his condition required, would not the shipment of dialysis equipment point to his location? Why did it take ten years to find him?
Consider also the claims, repeated by a triumphalist US media celebrating bin Laden’s death, that “bin Laden used his millions to bankroll terrorist training camps in Sudan, the Philippines, and Afghanistan, sending ‘holy warriors’ to foment revolution and fight with fundamentalist Muslim forces across North Africa, in Chechnya, Tajikistan and Bosnia.” That’s a lot of activity for mere millions to bankroll (perhaps the US should have put him in charge of the Pentagon), but the main question is: how was bin Laden able to move his money about? What banking system was helping him? The US government succeeds in seizing the assets of people and of entire countries, Libya being the most recent. Why not bin Laden’s? Was he carrying around with him $100 million dollars in gold coins and sending emissaries to distribute payments to his far-flung operations?
This morning’s headline has the odor of a staged event. The smell reeks from the triumphalist news reports loaded with exaggerations, from celebrants waving flags and chanting “USA USA.” Could something else be going on?
No doubt President Obama is in desperate need of a victory. He committed the fool’s error of restarting the war in Afghanistan, and now after a decade of fighting the US faces stalemate, if not defeat. The wars of the Bush/Obama regimes have bankrupted the US, leaving huge deficits and a declining dollar in their wake. And re-election time is approaching.
The various lies and deceptions, such as “weapons of mass destruction,” of the last several administrations had terrible consequences for the US and the world. But not all deceptions are the same. Remember, the entire reason for invading Afghanistan in the first place was to get bin Laden. Now that President Obama has declared bin Laden to have been shot in the head by US special forces operating in an independent country and buried at sea, there is no reason for continuing the war.
Perhaps the precipitous decline in the US dollar in foreign exchange markets has forced some real budget reductions, which can only come from stopping the open-ended wars. Until the decline of the dollar reached the breaking point, Osama bin Laden, who many experts believe to have been dead for years, was a useful bogyman to use to feed the profits of the US military/security complex.
Paul Craig Roberts is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Other Global Research Articles by Paul Craig Roberts
On 18 May 2009 a site visitor objected to the controversy surrounding 9/11 being raised on this web-site.
As that site visitor is considered an authority on the question of petroleum and other fossil fuels and is moderator of the Australian Yahoo Group Running on Empty, Oz (roeoz) concerned with Peak Oil, I would have thought he would have been interested to know that many authoritative people don't accept the version of events used to justify the wars that have ravaged much of the oil-rich regions of the world, but I learnt from his unsolicited post, objecting to my article Why do Larvartus Prodeo, WebDiary and other alternative news sources impede discussion of 9/11?, reproduced below, that he was not interested.
Why do Larvartus Prodeo, WebDiary and other alternative news sources impede discussion of 9/11? How about "because it's a load of rubbish..."
Frankly, I'm disappointed this subject has turned up on this blog. 9/11 truthout beliefs are like religion: you either fervently believe the conspiracies, or you don't. In my experience, no amount of discussion will sway one camp or the other, which is why I too banned discussion on roeoz. End of story. There is ample material on the web to form an opinion with. Google the matter, and leave us all alone...... I'm sick to the back teeth of even mentioning it.
As I was on holidays at the time I could not respond until 30 May. I advised him by e-mail that I had responded, but he never acknowledged my response.
Update:23 May 2011
My Google search using the term 'roez', showed up the following:
roeoz is also a 9/11 conspiracy free zone. The matter was dealt with years ago, the US Government took advantage of the incident, ...
Whether that is what Google shows to all Internet users is unclear. The full pronouncement on 9/11 on the linked Yahoo Groups page is:
roeoz is also a 9/11 conspiracy free zone. The matter was dealt with years ago, the US Government took advantage of the incident, quite likely even allowed it to happen in order to launch the wars it was already planning, so that was a conspiracy in a sense, but the conspiracy that they planned the incident or had the buildings demolished by controlled explosions is too far-fetched, unprovable over 8 years and a change of government, and tedious. This is the decision taken by all 3 moderators of this list.
Discussion on whether it is any less 'far-fetched' that three unprecedented engineering disasters all to have occurred on the one day and never before and never again since is as censored on roeoz as it is in the mainstream media.
One recent article, which may have been considered suitable for roeoz, if it were not a "9/11 conspiracy free zone" is the article Why Australia's presence in Afghanistan is untenable. Much of the article describes the grab for oil and gas by US corporations which is being facilitated by the Afghan War. Not surprisingly, it questions the 9/11 justification for the Afghan war, which is forbidden in the "roeoz 9/11 conspiracy free zone".