Sunday, July 17, 2016

Turkey: A 'Coup" -- or not!


I spoke to RT on Saturday, July 16 @ 9 a.m. Pacific as the 'coup' in Turkey was unfolding. There was little news and at the situation was very fluid.  It is important to keep our eyes on Turkey and hope that it will head in the right direction.



Friday, July 15, 2016

28 Pages of Distraction

It seems that 28 pages of previously 'classified' inquiry into the Saudi role into 911 has been de-classified.  But has it?  There is absolutely nothing new.   Looking at the 28 pages (published with commentary by The Atlantic today, it seems as if the 'de-classification' is a replica of a 2002 news report published by Newsweek tracing the money back to the Saudis - many prominent ones.

What gives?  What is the plan?  Don't look into the 28 pages for the answer!



Monday, July 11, 2016

Militarization And Police Violence

Hardly a day goes by without news of a police killing.  And each time we hear from scholars and observers that the police is too militarized.   No doubt!

In 2014, I was flattered to have been approached by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Shasta Chapter to be their keynote speaker to address Government Secrecy, Drones, and Militarization.  After each police involved death, I would revisit my notes and wonder why I never published them.   After watching this video clip on my FB page on July 10, 2016, I decided to share an excerpt from the ACLU address of April 13, 2014.  

(Of note, at the time of the talk, “Black Lives Matter” had not appeared on the national stage, nor had the training of police in Israel been fully exposed; as such, these very important factors were not included in the talk/excerpt below.  The following is simply talking points stringed together and lacks the flow and flare of academic writing.)


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Historians and political scientists have warned us about  dangerous war fever sweeping the United States. Today we have gone beyond that.   
The “Global War on Terror”, a war indefinite in duration, against an ill-defined and shifting enemy, al-Qaeda, [ISIS did not exist in the official narrative at the time] is now being armed in Syria [“moderates”] without a clear explanation of American strategy or a specific definition of victory, or even a way to measure progress in the struggle has taken its toll on civil liberty.  The problem of militarization poses a danger to the very character of American government and society.

In his first public interview after retiring from active duty in 2003, General Tommy Franks identified the single most dangerous possibility offered by an endless war on terrorism: An attack with weapons of mass destruction “just to create casualties ... to terrify” could lead “the western world, the free world” to forfeit its “freedom and liberty,” to lose its democracy, and “begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass-casualty event, ... to potentially unravel the fabric of our Constitution.”
Over half a century ago,  Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson concluded that  “by giving way to the passion, intolerance and suspicions of wartime, it is easy to reduce our liberties to a shadow, often in answer to exaggerated claims of security.”.

That day is here.  

Not only are we under constant surveillance, but  take for example the kill list.  A list which began under the Bush administration as a rationale for murdering suspect citizens of countries with which the United States was not at war has become Obama’s kill list and the scope of the list has been expanded to include the execution, without due process of law, of U.S. citizens accused, without evidence presented in court, of association with terrorism. And this is accepted by the people. No protests.

The Framers of the Constitution recognized such dangers when they carefully subordinated the military to civilian authority and attempted to limit the power of the President to initiate war. 

Gregory Foster, a former Army officer and West Point graduate who now teaches national security studies at the National Defense University in Washington said that principle of civilian control of the military—an early building block of American democracy-  has become the  civilian subjugation to the military.  

Today, the degree to which  society’s institutions, policies, behavior, thought, and values are devoted to military power and shaped by war are alarming.  

The incursion of military recruiters and teachings into the public school system is well known.  Presidents favor speaking to captive audiences at military bases, defense bases, and on aircraft carriers.  Lawmakers’ constant use of “support our troops” to justify defense spending.   TV programs and video games like “NCIS,” “Homeland” and “Call of Duty,” to reality show “Stars Earn Stripes,” demonstrate that Americans are subjected to a daily diet of stories that valorize the military while the storytellers pursue their own opportunistic political and commercial agendas

Former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged publicly in an October 24, 2003, interview in the Washington Times: “We are in a war of ideas, as well as a global war on terror. Ideas are important, and they need to be marshaled, and they need to be communicated in ways that are persuasive to the listeners.”

This was part of his Information Operations Roadmap.   As part of the plan,  public affairs officers were given the task of briefing journalists.  In 2005 it came to light that the Pentagon paid the Lincoln Group (a private company) to plant ‘hundreds of stories’ in Iraqi papers in support of U.S. Policies

But now, we see that this war has been internalized, whether you look at drones, kill list, or militarization of the police force. 

During the Clinton administration, Congress passed what’s now known as the “1033 Program,” which formalized  Reagan administration’s directive to the Pentagon to share surplus military gear with domestic police agencies. Since then, millions of pieces of military equipment designed for use on a battlefield have been transferred to local cops—SWAT teams and others—including machine guns, tanks, armored personnel carriers, etc.
The Pentagon’s 1033 program has exploded under Obama. 
Bill Clinton also created the “Troops to Cops” program which offered grants to police departments who hired soldiers returning from battle, contributing even further to the militarization of the police force.

In a 2005 PBS documentary, David Grossman, a retired US Army Lt. Colonel spoke of training law enforcement groups worldwise to kill: “most of what I do is I train military and law enforcement in what I call the bulletproof mind.” “Prior preparation is that one variable in the equation that we can control ahead of time, and one of the key things is embracing the responsibility to kill.  So when I teach, one of the things I believe we need to do is embrace this word “kill.””

Is it any wonder that [Mayor] Bloomberg proudly bragged of “hav(ing) my own army in the NYPD” and who used that army to spy on peaceful Occupy Wall Street protestors?
And what of “to protect and to serve”?





Sunday, July 10, 2016

Debate: Saudis and Turks Arming Terrorists in Syria

I was on Press TV this morning - the Debate.  Unfortunately, there was a problem with my Skype (video).  But here it is:The Debate: Turkey, Saudi Arabia Support Terrorists in Syria

Friday, July 8, 2016

Chicolt Iraq Report

With the report out, many are calling for the prosecution of Tony Blair.   And others think Bush should be prosecuted also.  All this is very well and I hope they do get prosecuted for their war crimes.  But they are the instruments as explained in this 2007 article.  

July 17, 2007
The Devil's Genius
By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

::::::::
“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root”.               - Henry David Thoreau  
With censorship abound, we must dodge the bullet of stupor and learn to recognize that Dick Cheney, this Yale drop-out who wore the color of cowardice during the Vietnam War, was chosen to be the devil’s instrument in order to influence George Bush on his destructive path. 
 
While the electronic highways are jammed with petitions to impeach Bush and Cheney, we must not fail to hold to account those who have held our highest office hostage and ax the root of evil.  The destructive forces have already made their way into our future and the sparks alone are more threatening that the blaze we are currently engulfed in.
 
A future determined by the enemies of compassion and humanity. The seeds of damnation have been planted in such places as The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies(IASPS); a Jerusalem-based think tank which spewed out the likes of David Wurmser, the Middle East adviser to Dick Cheney, Douglas Feith, and Richard Perle, the architects of the Iraq war.   They hatched their dastardly schemes among the most ambitious and ruthless of Americans, spreading their lust for hatred, greed, and genocidal wars.  Our collective apathy being the weapon they chose to accept for our submission. 
 
Surely it was no coincidence that David Wurmser found himself at the pro-Israel American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where Lynn Cheney, the Vice President’s wife was a senior fellow (and where she also served on board of directors of Lockheed until 2001.  Lockheed Martin stocks, not surprisingly, soared as a result of the illegal invasion of Iraq).  What good fortune for Wurmser that Lynn’s husband selected him to be his Middle East Security Advisor.  Cheney, the man behind the Iraq war, and the power in the White House.   With a defeated army, he seeks further battles as he turns his lust for another massacre towards Iran[i].   What is the prize of this slaughter?
 Eliminating Competition 
Upon taking office, George W. Bush commissioned the Bakers Institute (Rice University) and the Council on Foreign Relations to study the energy trends and requirements of the 21st century.  The comprehensive 99-page report recommended that not only should the administration ease its Iraqi oil-field investment restrictions, but actions and policies should be taken to promote the well-being of the Iraqi people which was being undermined in light of the sanctions and the continuous bombings.  Although the report strongly recommended the enlistment of allies in order to phase out the sanctions with “highly focused and enforced sanctions that target the regime’s ability to maintain and acquire weapons of mass destruction” it stated that the hostilities should be stopped.
 
Furthermore, the joint report favored the Iranian route for the Caspian oil exports which would serve several purposes.  In itself, it would translate into a policy shift towards Tehran, and throw Iran as a counter weight to Iraq.  The transport of oil through Iran versus the prohibitively expensive longer and costly Baku-Ceyhan pipeline would be pf great benefit to the West, and the world, and help build up the drastically low global spare capacity, according to the report.   Another strong contention of the report was that the U.S. ought to move the Caspian region into a zone of cooperation with Russia instead of a zone of competition and confrontation, enabling future cooperation such as jointly countering Islamic militants in the region (Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century, 2001, pp. 38-40,45,)[ii].   Of note, the Kazakh officials had been in favor of the Iran route, as well as the U.S. oil companies such as Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and Conoco[iii]
 
There would have been no wars except…. 
 
A.Nesdat Pamir delivered a strategy paper in September 2001 which countered the Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century.   His paper was entitled “Turkey: The Key to Caspian Oil and Gas”.  He woefully cites the Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century paper while in his own strategy paper he argues that since the Persian Gulf is expected to be responsible for almost 80% of the world crude exports between 2000-2020,  the control of this oil is of utmost importance; citing a Turkish source, continues:  “ given that the price of oil have allowed states to invest heavily in Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), the primary external of this development, both economically and diplomatically, has been Russia”[iv].   Russia, therefore, is arming the Middle East with WMD and the 80% oil potential should be rescued.   According to him, the lifeline of America would be for it to use the prohibitively expensive Ceyhan –Baku Pipeline [through Turkey and Israel] in order to avoid the anti-American Middle East . 
 
In his paper, Pamir sounds the alarm at the Russian-EU friendship.  It is worthwhile reminding the readers that this report was written three months after George W. Bush invited Vladimir Putin to be his guest having “looked deep into his eyes” and trusting Putin.  Today, there are missiles pointing towards Russia and Russia is aiming missiles at Europe.  Indeed, the devil is a genius; so clever that the report Bush himself had commissioned was tossed aside.  War was chosen over peace.
 
Eleven short days after the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Israeli National Infrastructures Minister, Joseph Paritzky showed his keen interest in running Iraqi oil from Mosul to Haifa; an idea that had been previously discussed in the 80’s with non other than Donald Rumsfeld.[v]   That was just to wet the appetite….
 
Not only does Israel want to be the transit point for Iraq’s oil, but for the whole Caspian region.  According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (Oct 21, 2005), Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Israel’s infrastructure minister visited Turkey to discuss a $4 billion, 1,093 project to bring Caspian Sea oil and gas to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast from Azerbaijan via Georgia.   The Israeli interest is to see how this pipeline can serve Israeli interests.   Alternatives discussed were to transport the oil across Israel from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, where it would be loaded onto tankers headed for Asia.  Another option was to use the 158-mile Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline to transport the oil from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.  The pipeline build in 1968 during the Shah’s regime was designed to ferry oil in the opposite direction, from east to west.[vi] 
 
It would seem that the flow of oil through Israel warrants the dropping of bombs on the region.  As IASPS adjunct scholar D.Y. Anaximander said in 2004: “The depths to which we've come … now marked by the convergence of terrorist Islam and Western elites (represented at this moment by the Democrat candidate for president of this country) are such that we must be grateful—it is horrifying to say—that we were attacked by Muslims.” [vii]  But if only oil were the only source of all evils.   A more precious and scarce commodity that is causing this butchery is water. 
 
Policy makers in the Middle East are keenly aware of the fact that climate change, population growth and escalating rates of consumption has made water a critical determinant of foreign policy and national security.  But none have Israel’s leverage given their strategists and implementers in Washington.
 
According to BBC online President Mikhail Gorbachev stated that there have been 21 armed disputes over water in recent history - and 18 of them involved Israel. "It's highly unfair," said Yehezkel Lein, a water expert for Israeli human rights group B'tselem, who help to solve water problems in Palestinian areas. "We are talking about mainly the mountain aquifer and the Jordan River system. Regarding the first one Israel exploits approximately 80% of the renewal water resources, and the Palestinians the remaining 20%.  Regarding the Jordan River system, the Palestinians do not have any access." [viii]  At the rate they are being massacred, Israel will soon have access to 100% of the water.  But that is hardly a drop in the sand for Israel’s insatiable thirst.
 
Israel faced one of its worst droughts in 1990-91.  A second more serious drought in 1998, forced it to turn to water rich Turkey. Years earlier, former Turkish President Turgut Ozal had proposed a “peace pipeline” to sell surplus water from the Seyhan and Ceyhan rivers to parched countries in the region; a costly project, with the daunting challenge of requiring cooperation between nations.  It was time to call in the troops – American troops.
 
In a strategy paper entitled “The Geopolitics of Water” (September 2000 - IASPS) penned by Paul Michael Wihbey and Ilan Berman, the following suggestions were made:
The region contains two sets of countries, each capable of drawing others to follow them, depending on their success. At one pole are the Baathist dictatorships of Syria and Iraq: when the possibility existed, they were aligned with the Soviet Union against the West. At the other pole are the Israeli and Turkish democracies, allies of the U.S. through thick and thin. On the sidelines, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon have swung to and fro.” They convince our policy makers in Washington that :  “There is little doubt that were Turkey and Israel intent on restoring Lebanon and distributing the area’s water in a rational manner, they would stand a chance of success. A stable strategic grouping capable of deterring the militant Baathist regimes in Syria and Iraq would promote the commencement of large-scale regional water planning and grid systems. Since extensive water planning proposals will necessitate the establishment of pipelines and energy grids stretching across borders, a political and military structure that can ensure the safety and security of the carriers will be the prerequisite to effective water sharing. Already, Turkey and Israel have engaged in serious negotiations starting in May 2000 to import 50 billion cubic meters of fresh water from Turkey using tanker ships. But an effective regional system would require political-military cooperation against Syria”  
Contrary to the devils’ predictions, invasion of sovereign Iraq met with resistance.  Turkey claims that the Manavgat River basin is secure and that all necessary measures will be taken to guarantee the safety and quality of water up to the loading point, but the pipeline would have to go through Syria.  Israel needs troops, American troops in the region to ensure the safe passage of water – and oil. 
 
Our policy makers, possessed, have drowned America’s soul in blood, shame, and infamy.  Once again, ignoring a policy of diplomacy which would lead to peace, we are being led to war.  We owe it to future generations to redeem ourselves.  Not only must Bush and Cheney be impeached, all those who endorse the policy of ‘all options are on the table’ be removed from office, but with awareness and sound values, we must hold to account the hijackers of American policy. “When spiders unite, they can tie down a lion”.  Ethiopian proverb
 


[iii] A. Nesdat Pamir “Turkey: The key to Caspian Oil and Gas”, IASPS September 2001
[iv] Elnur Soltan, “Hatemi’nin Rusnya Ziyartei: Soyut Analsmalarin Somut Sonuclari” (Hatemi’s visit to Russia: Concrete Results of Abstract Agreement). Stratejik Analiz. April 2001 [Turkish] pp5-19
[v] http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=278572id="edn6">
[vi] Yigal Schleifer “Isarel and Turkey hope to show that oil, water and business to mix” Jewish Telegraphic Agency  New York Oct 21, 2005