The Middle East is reorganizing

In Athens on February 11, 2021, Bahrain, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Greece participated in the Philia Forum (Brotherhood Forum). Egypt was invited to represent the Arab League, and France to represent the European Union. Israel soon followed.

Since the end of the Second World War, the political landscape of the Middle East had become fixed around a few crises:

The expulsion of the Palestinians from their land (1948), the weakening of the British and French empires in comparison to the USA and the USSR (Suez, 1956), the surveillance of Gulf oil by the USA (Carter, 1979), the disappearance of the USSR and the hegemony of the USA (Desert Storm, 1991), the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy (2001), and finally the return of Russia (2015).

Israel’s secret department Malmab hides documents containing reality of the country’s brutality on Palestinians during Nakba. | Photo: Reuters

What makes the Middle East difficult to understand is that it comprises a multitude of actors with different logics who, depending on the circumstances, make or break alliances.

We often think we know the region politically, who our friends and enemies are.

But when we return to the same place years later, the landscape has changed dramatically: some of our former friends have become enemies, while some of our former friends want us dead.

This is what is happening now. In a few months, everything will have changed.

- 1) First of all, we have to understand that some of the protagonists, who lived in desert regions, organised themselves into tribes by force of circumstances.

Their survival depended on their obedience to the chief.

They are alien to democracy and have communitarian reactions.

This is the case, for example, of the Saudi and Yemeni tribes, the Iraqi Sunnis who come from the latter and the Kurds, the Israeli and Lebanese communities or the Libyan tribes.

These people (except the Israelis) were the main victims of the US military project: the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy of destroying state structures.

They did not understand what was at stake and now find themselves without a solid state to defend them.

- 2) A second category of actors is driven by self-interest.

They are only interested in making money and have no empathy for anyone.

They adapt to all political situations and always manage to be on the winning side.

It is this category that provides the contingent of die-hard allies of the imperialists of all stripes who have dominated the region (recently the Ottoman Empire, then the British and French Empires, now the United States).

- 3) Finally, the third category acts to defend its nation. It has the same courage as the tribal populations, but is able to perceive things in a broader way.

It is this group that, over the millennia, has created the notions of the city and then the state. Typically, this is the case of the Syrians, who were the first to form states and are now dying to keep one.

Seen from the West, we often think that these people are fighting for ideas: liberalism or communism, Arab unity or Islamic unity, etc.

But this is always false in the case of the Syrians. But this is always wrong in practice.

For example, the Yemeni communists have now become almost all members of al-Qaeda.

Above all, we judge these people as if they were not capable of being on our level.

The opposite is true: Westerners, who have lived in peace for three quarters of a century, have lost touch with simple realities.

The world is full of dangers and we need alliances to survive.

We choose to join a group (tribal or national) or to go it alone among our enemies, abandoning our friends and family.

Ideologies exist, of course, but they are only to be considered after we have positioned ourselves against these three categories.

Since the end of the Second World War, the political landscape of the Middle East had become fixed around a few crises:

The expulsion of the Palestinians from their land (1948), the weakening of the British and French empires in comparison to the USA and the USSR (Suez, 1956), the surveillance of Gulf oil by the USA (Carter, 1979), the disappearance of the USSR and the hegemony of the USA (Desert Storm, 1991), the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski strategy (2001), and finally the return of Russia (2015).

Israel’s secret department Malmab hides documents containing reality of the country’s brutality on Palestinians during Nakba. | Photo: Reuters

All political and military events, including the Iranian revolution or the ’Arab Spring’, are only epiphenomena in this framework.

None of them have created new alliances. On the contrary, all have strengthened existing alliances in a vain attempt to give one or the other a victory.

President Donald Trump, whose sole task in the Middle East was to stop the Rumsfeld/Cebrowski ’war without end’, did not have time to complete his project.

He did, however, succeed in convincing the Pentagon to stop using jihadis as mercenaries in its service (although the Department of Defense is now going backwards).

Above all, he turned the tables by questioning the validity of the Palestinian cause.

Contrary to what one might say at first glance, it was not a question of favouring Israel, but of acknowledging the lessons of the past: the Palestinians have lost five successive wars against Israel.

During this time, they tried twice to move and to conquer by force new lands (Jordan and Lebanon).

Finally, they signed an agreement with Israel (Oslo). Under these conditions, how can we still talk about their inalienable rights when they themselves have violated them?

Whether one agrees or not with this reasoning, it is clear that it is shared within the Arab world, although nobody admits it.

Everyone can see that the powers that pay lip service to the Palestinian cause do absolutely nothing for it; that it is a legal posture to keep things as they are, to their benefit.

It so happens that President Trump has managed to get the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Israel to sign the “Abraham Accords”.

Yesterday’s enemies have agreed to make peace. Contrary to popular belief, it was not easier for Israel than for its Arab partners.

Indeed, peace forces Israel to stop being a colonial state inherited from the British Empire, but a nation like any other called to live in harmony with its environment.

These changes, if they can be sustained, will take time.

However, the United Arab Emirates and Israel on the one hand, and Saudi Arabia and Iran on the other, are now facing a new question: should they not all be prepared for a new danger: the expansionism of Turkey and Qatar?

This is why the United Arab Emirates and Israel have formed an alliance with Greece and Cyprus, while Saudi Arabia and Iran have entered into secret talks.

Egypt (representing the Arab League, of which some of these countries are members) and France (representing the European Union, of which the other participating countries are members or partners) were involved in a preparatory meeting, the Athens Philia Forum.

This complete and brutal reversal of alliances is being done as quietly as possible. But it is happening.

The most important event is the military alliance between Greece and Israel on the one hand and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on the other.

The totality of the agreements is unknown, but it is known that the Israel Defense Forces will train the Greek military aviation for 1.65 billion dollars, while Greece will send Patriot missiles to Saudi Arabia and the Emirates may hand over some of their fighter planes to Greece.

Relations between Israel and the UAE have been formalised since a so-called Israeli “representation” at a UN office in Abu Dhabi was opened, unofficially acting as an embassy.

While those between Israel and Saudi Arabia date from their secret negotiations in 2014-15.

The negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Iran demonstrate once again that the Sunni/Shiite opposition is perfectly artificial.

Let us remember that in 1992, far from hating each other, the two countries fought together under US command to support Muslim Bosnia-Herzegovina against Orthodox Serbia.

Has Israel Effectively Colonized the United States?

British Colonial War Crimes: Unpunished, Unaccounted and awaiting Apology - Sri Lanka Guardian

We normally think of colonizers as large countries, and the colonized as smaller and weaker nations.

But this is not always the case. Colonization does not require occupation.

It merely requires the subjugation of the colonized.

With ambition, superior information and calculation, and the right mindset, smaller nations can (and have in the past) colonized and dominated larger and nominally more powerful countries.

India was successfully colonized by tiny Britain in the 18th century. The vehicle for colonization was the East India Company.

It was only after the Indian mutiny that Britain acted directly and sent in troops to establish the British Raj.

For the next 200 years India was drained of its wealth, its economy was restructured to support England’s needs and global ambitions, and its people militarized to fight and die on behalf of the British crown.

The Indian leaders who remained were willing participants in this venture; those who felt otherwise were destroyed or marginalized.

In a similar vein, Israel today is in the process of colonizing the United States, which is vital to its global projection and exercise of power.

The steps Israel is taking are visible to all (as was the case with British designs on India) and yet it is remarkably difficult to connect the dots while such a takeover is in process. Or, to do anything about it.

Colonization does not mean total control of everything

It means total control of what matters.

The British were interested in Indian wealth, and a standing army of Indians willing to die for their wars.

They couldn’t care less about India’s internal petty politics that did not directly or indirectly impact their mission.

An effective “divide and conquer” strategy pit Indians against each other and discouraged any kind of coordinated response, or sedition.

The British leveraged their “outsider advantage” to objectively collect data with which to calculate and coordinate which Indian princes to support in battles, and which to connive with.

Like pieces on a chessboard, Indian leaders exhausted themselves through internal battles, and were prevailed to seek cover provided by the British.

Small amounts of leverage can change outcomes (as the Israeli lobby AIPAC has shown, in its path to dominating Congress and regional/local US politics), and over the years the British were able control and align India to the British crown.

Less than 10,000 English controlled colonial India, which at that time had a population of 300 million.

It is instructive to note that while there were relatively few white Englishmen, a class of local “brown sahibs” was developed, to actually run things.

This elite class was educated in English ways, and rewarded monetarily and through social stature.

Britain was too small a country to ultimately matter by itself, but by leveraging India the English could pursue their global ambitions. India was the “Jewel in the (British) Crown”.

Today, Israel has effective control of US policy in the Mideast, and similar goals.

Much has already been written about Israel’s control of Congress.

Israel is now edging towards control over the US Executive Branch, with both presidential candidates supported by billionaires whose #1 agenda is Israel (Saban and Adelson).

The Supreme Court will be one-third Jewish, and justices have community ties and families.

As Israel demonstrated through its successful intimidation of Judge Goldstone, jurists are human and everyone has their price.

Goldstone claims that the theoretical two-state solution to come provides the legal justification not to consider the Israeli regime as practicing apartheid. Yet the state of Israel created and continues to develop the settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories for 500,000 Jews, and only for Jews, while not building for the Palestinians from the refugee camps and elsewhere. This is sufficient to call this Israeli practice a form of apartheid.

Israel’s “occupation force” in the US has long included AIPAC as well as the dense network of community organizations at the State and local levels.

Through relationships that have been developed over years and with unlimited funds at their disposal, the “Israel Lobby” ensures that votes go the right way, and that opponents are squashed when Israel demands unity.

In 2003 at the onset of George Bush’s Iraq war this occupation force was multiplied through the inclusion of Christian Zionists.

Critics of the Israel Lobby are marginalized by whatever means available, including being called anti-Semitic.

The Lobby has been effective in securing massive aid packages for Israel even though Israel’s per-capita GDP exceeds that of several European nations.

Israeli insiders permeate the US government, and it is US policy that there be “no light” between the countries so that where Israel is concerned there is no debate.

Israel’s top priorities are the top priorities of the US. There are of course instances where this does not happen (such as, Iran) but the direction points to a tighter colonial noose in the years ahead.

The media matters: establishing beliefs and narratives

The colonizer must be a “Sacred Object” above criticism or objective review, and dangerous critics must be either destroyed or marginalized.

No Englishman in India spoke of the mother country and its ways with anything other than reverence, even though during periods of the British Raj England was in turmoil.

Within England there was a free press and active debate; but this was not permitted in India, about Britain. The only acceptable posture was that of reverence.

Today Israel has a free press, and it is easy to read translations of the Hebrew language press.

Israeli commentators compare Netanyahu to Hitler, Israel is called a racist apartheid state based on evidence, and the extreme violence against and ongoing abuse of Palestinians is well documented.

But, these same conversations are forbidden in the US.

No newspaper would report them, nor are they permitted in polite company. Transgressors are labeled anti-Semitic, whether Jewish or not.

In the US today, boycotts are seen as a permitted non-violent form of free speech. Citizens have the right to boycott whatever they want from wherever they want without risk of penalty. The sole exception is Israel.

Exceptionalism

The British conquests were “for God and country”, and therefore justified. The British were superior, the natives inferior.

This setup the moral justification for the mayhem wrought by the British as they colonized Asia and the Mideast.

At that time, all men were not born equal, and it took the US Constitution to establish that self-evident fact.

Israel is seeking to revert to those days, by acting as though Arab lives are inferior, and (more recently) promoting Islamophobia to serve their Christian Zionism wing.

In 2003, uber Zionist Bernard Lewis posed as “Arab expert” and advised president Bush that the only language Arabs understood was force.

In the decades to come, Islamists launched movement after movement, terrorist act after terrorist act; Bernard published essay after essay, bestseller after bestseller. In 1990, his cover essay on “The Roots of Muslim Rage” in the Atlantic relaunched the “clash of civilizations” with, now, special reference to the United States. The hatred emanating from the Islamic world, Bernard repeated, “goes beyond hostility to specific interests or actions or policies or even countries and becomes a rejection of Western civilization as such, not only what it does but what it is, and the principles and values that it practices and professes.”

This helped to justify the attack on Iraq, as part of a neocon plan to “creatively destroy” the sovereign Arab states in Israel’s neighborhood, to facilitate Israel’s dominance.

The Nazis at Nuremberg were shown greater respect than Saddam and his Ba’at leadership, and the contempt for Arabs was in full display.

Today, Israeli Jews are in the process of destroying Palestinian society and erasing Palestinian culture, with impunity.

Churches and mosques are both being destroyed, though Israel would prefer to keep the spotlight on mosques, to fan a religious war between Islam on one side, and Christians and Jews on the other.

While the Israeli press records and debates Israel’s bad behavior, Americans are forbidden to publicly debate Israeli behavior critically.

Three Recent Examples:

Schumer and Macron equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism so as to target BDS - Mondoweiss

Senator Chuck Schumer 5th column Jew

1/ During the Congressional debate around the Iran deal president Obama had negotiated, Senator Chuck Schumer said he would vote “against”…not because of any independent analysis, but because this is what Netanyahu wanted.

In other words, he publically said that he would follow the Israeli prime ministers’ direction, over that of his own president.

Because, as he said, he was “guardian of Israel”.

A sitting US senator proclaimed allegiance to a foreign country, and nobody asked him to resign!

2/ The Israeli Prime Minister addresses the full US Congress to lobby against the Iran nuclear deal.

When the deal does go through, Israel demands more US aid! And, is likely to get it.

One can try various definitions of “blackmail” to see which one fits.

The US president is impotent in dealing with Israel.

The so-called “pro Israel lobby” effectively functions like an agent of Israel.

The Israel lobby is playing the role of the East India Company, in Britain’s colonization of India.

3/ The Israel Lobby interferes massively in US foreign policy in the region.

The “mainstream” media such as NYT spins events to reflect Israel’s views (bureau chiefs are typically Jewish and resident in Israel).

The Iraq war cost $1 trillion+ and cost thousands of US lives, created ISIS, and was pushed by the Lobby. Israel benefits from the distraction.

The colonization of the US by Israel is becoming increasingly explicit.

It is now increasingly seen as “normal” to have a double standard: one for Israel, another for the rest of the world.

The boycott-Israel movement is an example of that: you can boycott anything or anyone, but not Israel. This is true power, and the face of colonization.

US judge dismisses lawsuit linking Palestine solidarity group to ‘terrorism’

Crowd clapping applauding - gif | Gif, Cumprimentos, Sábias palavras

‘The smearing of human rights advocates as terrorists is a troublingly common and dangerous tactic’

– Diala Shamas, lawyer

By Ali Harb
30 March 2021

A US judge has dismissed a lawsuit that aimed to link a Washington-based Palestinian rights advocacy group to “international terrorism”, in a decision that activists hailed as a victory for free speech.

In a ruling released on Monday, federal judge Richard Leon rejected a claim that the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) is liable for militant attacks against Israelis because of its support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Gaza’s Great March of Return.

The lawsuit was led by the Israeli government-aligned Jewish National Fund and group of US citizens living in Israel.

They argued that the USPCR aided and abetted acts of “international terrorism” by supporting the Great March of Return and the BDS National Committee (BNC).

The plaintiffs sought a jury trial demanding compensation under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), a US law that allows victims of terrorism to sue accomplices in militant attacks for damages.
‘Not convincing’

Image result for John kerry animated gif

Sen John Kerry: “The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to non-violence. And in fact when the intifada (in 2015) took place they delivered non-violence – in the West Bank.”
However, Kerry said this was “overlooked by the general population because it’s not a topic of discussion. Why? Because the majority of the cabinet, in the current Israeli government, has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state.”

Leon tossed the lawsuit, rebuffing the attempt to equate support for BDS with material support for Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Washington.

He also said the plaintiffs failed to establish a direct link between the US-based group’s activities and actual attacks against Americans.

“While the plaintiffs make broad allegations that the US Campaign provided financial assistance to Hamas, they fail to plead factual allegations sufficient to support these claims.

The more specific factual allegations involving the BNC and other groups are simply too removed from a terrorist act or organization to state a claim under the ATA,” the judge wrote in his ruling.

Israel Now Arming Seven Terrorist Groups in Syria - Report | The Liberty Beacon

Israeli Weapons Used in Genocide Against Rohingya Muslims

“Plaintiffs’ argument to the contrary are, to say the least, not convincing.”

USPCR executive director Ahmad Abuznaid lauded the ruling.

He said the lawsuit reflected Israeli efforts to collectively punish Palestinians for their activism, even those living abroad.

“This reinforces that not only is justice on our side, but also affirms our constitutional rights and ability to continue to fight for the freedom of the Palestinian people,” Abuznaid told MEE.

The Great March of Return started in 2018 as a peaceful protest campaign along the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel.

It demanded an end to the blockade on the Palestinian territory and emphasized the right of return for Palestinian refugees who were displaced from their homes in what is today Israel. Gaza is home to 1.9 million Palestinians who are mostly refugees.

Israeli forces killed more than 180 Palestinians, including medics and journalists, during the Great March, which lasted for months.

Protesters responded by lighting up balloons, kites and condoms and flying them into Israeli territories.

 

The JNF lawsuit described the Palestinian balloons as “arson terrorism” that caused emotional suffering and material damage for the US citizens suing the USPCR.

Judge Leon said that while he empathises with the plaintiffs’ “suffering”, he cannot conclude “that the law provides the relief” that they seek.

Diala Shamas, a staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which helped represent the defendants, said she hopes the ruling would be a “turning point” against efforts by private actors to weaponise terrorism laws to silence critics.

“The smearing of human rights advocates as terrorists is a troublingly common and dangerous tactic. The JNF’s complaint perversely cites our clients’ human rights advocacy in an attempt to support their ultimately fruitless effort to hijack US courts,” Shamas said in a statement.


Anti-BDS efforts

Abuznaid said the lawsuit is part of a broader effort to silence Palestinian rights activism, including laws penalizing individuals and companies that boycott Israel.

“But we have constitutional rights in this country, rights that Israelis are obviously denying us in our ancestral homeland, but that they cannot deny us here in the US,” he told MEE.

‘The smearing of human rights advocates as terrorists is a troublingly common and dangerous tactic’

– Diala Shamas, lawyer

Dozens of US states have anti-BDS laws on the books. Federal courts have struck down such legislation in Kansas, Arizona and Texas for violating free speech rights.

Earlier this year, a court of appeals also ruled that an anti-BDS law in Arkansas is in violation of the First Amendment.

The ruling in favour of the USPCR comes weeks after a judge in California dismissed a defamation lawsuit brought by a former Israeli soldier against a Palestinian rights activist.

Abuznaid said he hopes these legal victories would convince US politicians to stop the crackdown on Palestinian rights activism in the United States.

“They cannot silence us. They cannot stop us. I want to keep fighting for a day where freedom and liberation truly includes the Palestinian people,” he said.

North Korea Steadfastly Resisting US Hegemony

by Kim Petersen / February 26th, 2021

 

I learned a while back to be especially skeptical of western mass media and their governments.1

My experience of life in China is nothing like how western demonization portrays it to be.

Therefore, I looked forward to the chance to experience North Korea first hand.

I traveled there with a Chinese group departing China. Starting out from Dandong, China, we crossed the Yalu River to Sinuiju, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

From Sinuiji we took a train to Pyongyang and explored other areas of the DPRK in 2017.

I wrote about this in “There Are Human Beings in North Korea. Neither Wealthy Nor Poor.”

My impression of North Korea was extremely positive, and I look very forward to returning there one day.

A.B. Abrams has written a comprehensive book, Immovable Object: North Korea’s 70 Years at War with American Power,2 that is extensively footnoted and details how American imperialism works.

Abrams does this by focusing on a United States-designated enemy state: the DPRK.

Abrams begins with the history.

He writes about the role of Lyuh Woon Hyung (aka Yo Un Hyung)3 and the seldom-mentioned grassroots formation of the People’s Republic of Korea at the end of World War II, a republic that was successfully functioning before the arrival of the Americans in Korea.

However, the “independence and nationalist character of the People’s Republic was seen as a threat to American designs for the Korean nation…” and the republic was deposed and outlawed. (p 14)

The US split the peninsula into northern and southern states.

The United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) ruled the southern half of the Korean Peninsula using the despised former Japanese occupiers to aid in ruling.

Later the US brought in an Americanized Korean, Sygnmann Rhee, to be a dictator.

The US staunchly opposed reunification fearing a democratic result that would bring about socialism in the entire peninsula.

North Koreans formed their own government and at the outset outperformed the Republic of Korea (ROK, i.e., South Korea) economically.

To maintain a grip, the Americans and Rhee government brutally suppressed socialism in South Korea, committing many massacres. (ch 6)

This helped set the stage for war on the peninsula.

Abrams casts serious doubt on the notion that the war in Korean was started by the North.

Several South Korean attacks on North Korean communities “confirmed by U.S. and British intelligence” and the seizure of the small North Korean city of Haeju initially confirmed by South Korean sources. (p 68)

Regardless of whichever side fired the first shots, Abrams posits this may be inconsequential to the actual casus belli. He points to

… the forceful abolishment of the Korean People’s Republic and later extremely brutal suppression of its remnants by the United States Army Military Government with the assistance of youth groups–described as terrorists even by their American allies–and with the backing of the Rhee government itself. (p 59)

After the onset of war, the DPRK almost achieved a quick military victory, but after the US landing at Inchon, the forces and military equipment of the US were too much for the small republic to withstand.

In addition, the DPRK was facing a United Nations coalition arranged to back the US.

The US pushed back and carried out a scorched earth campaign. General Douglas MacArthur of the UN Forces in Korea referred to the devastation as “a slaughter never heard of in the history of mankind.” (p 65)

Chapters 3 to 8 in Immovable Object are a must read to grasp the magnitude of the extreme brutality and gore fomented by US warfare; the killing of civilians (including South Korean political prisoners);4 widespread rapes and sexual violence; torture by US forces; its willfulness to lie for imperial ends; the obliteration of agriculture (to create famine), industry, cities, towns, and buildings; firebombing and the use of chemical and biological weapons along with the demands by the US military brass to use nuclear bombs.

*****
US wars are not only a function of its government and military. It is important to realize that the US carries out it warring and provocations against foreign countries often with overwhelming approval of the American populace.

Abrams writes that the majority of American citizens supported using nukes against North Korea.

(p 131) American public support for warring was also evident by support for intensified bombing by the US during armistice negotiations.

(p 224) That this American public support for militarism was not an anomaly was revealed during the US attacks on Muslim nations following 9-11, with 70% of Americans indicating a belief in Saddam Hussein being connected to Al Qaeda. (p 390)

 

*****
 

Massacres and gore were a staple of US-inflicted violence in Korea. Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and My Lai are just more recent accounts of the cornucopia of American war crimes. WARNING: The following accounts are graphic!

Kim Sun Ok, 37, the mother of four children [who had been] killed by a bomb, stated that she was evacuated in the village by Americans…. The Americans led her naked through the streets and later killed her by pushing a red-hot iron bar into her vagina. Her small son was buried alive. (p 175)

Kim Sen Ai, another 11-year-old girl…, said she was in the fourth class in school when American soldiers entered her village and apprehended her and her parents. Her mother was a member of the Korean Workers’ Party, and so earned special treatment–her breasts were cut off. Her father was tortured and thrown in a river, and her four-year-old sister was then buried alive. (p 177)

Jo Ok Hi, chairman [sic] of the Haeju women’s organization, was imprisoned and submitted to slow torture. Her eyes were pulled out, and after some time her nose and breasts were cut off. (p 178)

The Commission of the Association of Democratic Lawyers issued a report that concluded:

Taking the view that excessive murders are not the result of individual excesses, but indicate a pattern of behaviour by the U.S. forces throughout the areas occupied by them… the Commission is of the opinion that the American forces are guilty of the crime of Genocide as defined by the Geneva Convention of 1948. (p 183)

With the US military approaching the Yalu River despite warnings from China to steer clear, China entered the war and together China and the DRRK pushed the US-ROK-UN forces back to the middle ground of the peninsula.

China had recently emerged from a civil war, and the war on the peninsula was a costly proposition for China.

The middle ground represented a return, more-or-less, to the geopolitical border prior to the outbreak of war. Here was a seeming stalemate, perhaps a result that war-weary combatants could accept without loss of face.

But Americans threw a wrench in talks to end the war by

… what can only be described as gross violations of the law and serious war crimes.

These pertained to the brutal mistreatment of prisoners including killings, medical experimentation, torture and coercion of the most extreme kind to force them to remain behind enemy lines after the war’s end. (p 230)

China has trumpeted the end of the warring 70 years later as a victory for itself and North Korea. Abrams is more circumspect: “Which party, if any, ‘won’ the Korean War5 remains open to interpretation.” (p 240)

The results reverberate through to today as the clean-up for unexploded American ordnance is estimated to endanger North Koreans for another century. (p 66, 242)

An armistice has been signed but no peace treaty; therefore, the foes remain technically at war.

The DPRK has learned from its experience and has made itself militarily adept at defending itself.

North Korea has become a leader in underground fortifications, and has placed much of its armaments and materials deep beyond easy reach of missiles.

Northerners have also become technically proficient and have developed an intercontinental ballistic missile capability of striking anywhere in the continental US, including submarine-launched ICBMs.

These missiles can be topped with miniaturized nuclear devices and pose a most credible deterrent.

And a deterrent it is, as the DPRK has pledged no first use of nukes — unlike the US. As well, it is well known that the DPRK will not hesitate to respond to provocation.

The DPRK’s nuclearization has prevented any attack against it by a rational actor, as both sides would be extremely bloodied and damaged by such a conflict.

It is an important lesson that Iran ought to closely consider: the effectiveness of military strength, including nuclearization, as deterrence.

In fact, much of Iran’s missile capability and fortification resulted from cooperation with the DPRK. (p 289-295)

Libya paid the price for

… having ignored direct warnings from both Tehran and Pyongyang not to pursue such a course [of unilaterally disarming], Libya’s leadership would later admit that disarmament, neglected military modernization, and trust in Western good will proved to be their greatest mistake–leaving their country near defenseless when Western powers launched their offensive in 2011. (p 296)

Has South Korea Not Also Paid a Price for Trusting Western Goodwill?

Abrams examines how the ROK has fared as an independent and sovereign state.

Is South Korea independent and sovereign?6 Asked Abrams, “Could America claim to ‘liberate’ southern Korea while at the same time occupying it, forcefully dismantling its existing government and threatening those Koreans who did not abide by its will with death?” (p 310)

Abrams describes the “apparently sadistic pleasure [American] personnel took in tormenting the [South] Korean people…,” (p 312) the objectification of “servile Korean women,” (p 313) and the massive expansion of the Japanese system of comfort stations.

“Methods used to recruit comfort women to serve American soldiers involved rape and violence to disorient and break women in.

They would afterwards have little choice but to ‘consent’ to sex work for the U.S. Military.” (p 327)

In contrast,

Pyongyang not only abolished the comfort women system from 1945, but strictly enforced the outlawing of prostitution entirely and establishing formal legal equality for women…. [Thus] the nation’s dignity, pride and right to self-determination were never violated–neither were its women. (p 330)

DPRK Resilience

In the 1990s, the North Koreans were hit hard by weather calamities, crop failures, while the western sanctions continued to be applied, but the DPRK pulled through what they call the Arduous March.

How did the North Koreans resist? Early on, the war-ravaged homefront on the Korean peninsula ably put up a staunch defense, abetted by a Chinese peasant fighting force.

North Koreans practice Juche (self-reliance) and Songun, a military first posture that “is firmly rooted in resistance to external pressure as a means of safeguarding Korea independence.”

(p 553) To this end, the DPRK has emphasized modernization, advanced technologies, and providing for economic needs.

Pyongyang Photo: kim

The DPRK has a no first use of nukes policy, but any strike against the DPRK will result in a lethal counter attack.

It must be emphasized that the DPRK military’s orientation is: “among the most defensively oriented in the world, with its power projection capabilities negligible to non-existent–in stark contrast to the U.S. Military which is heavily oriented towards overseas power projection.”

(p 437) Along with having achieved a self-sustaining economy that provides the basics for the people, it would appear that the DPRK has withstood, and some would say triumphed, against US machinations aimed at the country and its system of governance.

To be fair, it is not just US warring against the DPRK. Every country that participates in the warring and sanctions against the DPRK, arguably, has sullied itself.

Take Canada, for example; Canadian peace activist James Endicott was harassed by his government for verifying American biological weapon use in the war, in which Canada was also a belligerent against the DPRK.

(p 141) Reporter George Barrett wrote that Canadian troops along with US troops committed “widespread and regular rapes.” (p 168, 184) Egregiously, Canada was also a destination for human trafficking of young girls and women from South Korea. (p 330)

It must also be pointed out that in stark contrast to western forces committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Korea, the Chinese and North Korean troops were highly disciplined in their conduct toward civilians and adversaries. (p 152)

A Highly Recommended Read

Abram has irrefutably laid bare the intentions of US imperialism. Immovable Object leaves no stone unturned.

The sordid history of the US toward Koreans, in the north and south, is scrutinized, detailed, and substantiated.

It is a battle of ideologies that drives Americans to pursue information warfare (actually a disinformation war) and economic warfare (sabotaging the economies of designated enemy states through sanctions, “a weapon of mass destruction,” and hence the well-being and lives of the people in targeted countries).

In the case of imposing US hegemony to Korea, it appears that while the US is succeeding in the ROK, it has suffered ignominious failure against the DPRK.

Immovable Object: North Korea’s 70 Years at War with American Power is a superb book that I most highly recommend.

There is so much more information and narrative to be gleaned from Abrams’s book that a review (even as lengthy as this) can touch on.

Abrams goes into western media disinformation and propaganda campaigns against the DPRK.

He answers why the DPRK state secrecy, media censorship, and why North Korean defector accounts should be regarded with deep skepticism.

Read the impeccably substantiated Immovable Object and find out for yourself what undergirds the DPRK’s resistance to US hegemony.

Are Zionist Terrorists a Protected Species?

Will Zionists be able to run the beautiful Earth into eternal damnation, or will Gentiles be able to overcome the evil?

It’s as if, over the last few decades, the term Semite has been hi-jacked to exclusively reference people who observe the Jewish faith and even includes white European Jews,  most of whom are unlikely to be able to trace their ancestry back to any of the historically Semitic ethnic, cultural or racial groupings.

Flashback from 2018
In the middle of the last century there was such a thing as Zionist Terrorism but today, criticizing Zionism is considered anti-Semitic.

Given that Zionism is an ideology supported by many non-Semites, you do have to question why challenging this ideology is considered anti-Semitic at all?

According to Wikipedia, Zionismis both ‘an ideology and nationalist movement’ but it is never described as a religion or a peculiar trait of a specific racial group.

Of course that brings me neatly onto the question of how anti-Semitism has become a label that exclusively references people who observe the Jewish faith.

Technically, the term ‘Semite’ references a specific Semitic speaking, ethnic, cultural, racial group that lived throughout the ancient Near East, including the Levant, Mesopotamia, the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa from the third millennium BC.

In fact, according to Britannica, the term ‘Semites’ “came to include Arabs, Akkadians, Canaanites, Hebrews, some Ethiopians, and Aramaean tribes… Mesopotamia, the western coast of the Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Horn of Africa”

It’s as if, over the last few decades, the term Semite has been hi-jacked to exclusively reference people who observe the Jewish faith and even includes white European Jews,  most of whom are unlikely to be able to trace their ancestry back to any of the historically Semitic ethnic, cultural or racial groupings.

This then begs the questions that if most European Zionists are probably not even ethnically, culturally or racially Semitic, how has it become normalized to label any criticism of Zionism as anti-Semitic?

For that matter, as Zionism is effectively an ideology that supports white European colonial occupation of Palestinian Arab lands, why is criticizing white European Zionism considered anti-Semitic whilst the occupation and persecution of people who could actually trace their ethnicity, culture and racial grouping back to Semitic peoples not be considered anti-Semitic?

By the way, there’s also such a thing as Christian Zionism and Zionist Churches.

It turns out that some Christians believe that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land is prophecised in the bible and so some Christians see the Jewish return to Israel as a prerequisite for the second coming of Jesus.

So if Zionist ideology is not an exclusively Jewish doctrine then why is it anti-Semitic to criticize Zionism, or is criticizing Zionism both anti-Semitic and anti-Christian, at the same time, despite the fact that a good proportion of European Jews and Christians are unlikely to have any Semitic ancestry?

Isn’t it time we also recognized the fact that ‘Zionism’ is just white European colonialism and that the ‘State of Israel’ is effectively the last European colonial project, albeit born out of the desire of certain post-war European governments to come up with a solution to ‘the Jewish refugee problem’.

Of course Zionism meant something a little different back then.

British Pathé recently uploaded some historical footage to their youtube channel showing some documented incidents of Zionist terrorism leading up to the Nakba.

According to the British military at that time, the Zionists terrorist “threatened reign of terror” needed to be rooted out of Palestine.

According to Wiki, Zionist terrorism by Jewish paramilitary groups, like the Irgun, initially trained by the British Military during the 1st world war (which is why they often had possession of British weapons and uniforms), started back in the early 1920’s and even targeted British authorities and United Nations personnel, as well as Palestinian Arab fighters and civilians.

The aim of the Zionist terrorists was to gain control over land, immigration and, essentially, over Palestine. As well as attacks on personnel and civilians, they attacked domestic and commercial properties, government buildings and infrastructure.

1946. British military searches uncover hidden Zionist weapons stores containing British and German weapons.

Irgun militants started bombing Palestinian Arab civilian targets in 1938, while at the same time the British Mandatory authorities were working to disarm Palestinian Arabs and promising them that the British authorities would be imposing significant limits on Jewish immigration. No effort was made to disarm the Zionist militias.

The Haganah and Irgun Zionist militias only suspended terrorist activities against the British when Britain declared war against Nazi Germany in 1939.

However, other Zionist terrorist groups, like the Lehi, actually continued attacking the British throughout the 2nd world war.

At the same time the British were now training and equipping a new Zionist unit – the Palmach – to respond to any German offensive in the region.

The Irgun then resumed attacks on British soldiers and policemen immediately after the war was over. The Haganah and the Palmach militias would also actively join the Jewish Resistance Movement for a period of time.

Wiki lists a sequence of Zionist terrorist attackscommitted by the Irgun, Haganah and Lehi militias between June 1924 and September 1948…

  • June 30, 1924. Dutch Jew Jacob Israël de Haan was assassinated by Avraham Tehomi on the orders of Haganah leader Yitzhak Ben-Zvi for his anti-Zionist political activities and contacts with Arab leaders.
  • 1937–1939 During the later stages of the 1936-1939 Arab Revolt in Mandatory Palestine The Irgun conducted a campaign of violence against Palestinian Arab civilians resulting in the deaths of at least 250.
  • July 15, 1938. A bomb left in the vegetable market in Jerusalem by the Irgun injured 28.
  • July 25, 1938. The Irgun threw a bomb into the melon market in Haifa resulting in 49 deaths.
  • November 6, 1944. Lehi assassinated British minister Lord Moyne in Cairo, Kingdom of Egypt. The action was condemned by the Yishuv at the time, but the bodies of the assassins were brought home from Egypt in 1975 to a state funeral and burial on Mount Herzl.
  • 1944–1945. The killings of several suspected collaborators with the Haganah and the British mandate government during the Hunting Season.
  • Letter bombs sent to British officials, including foreign minister Ernst Bevin, by Lehi.
  • July 26, 1946. The bombing of British administrative headquarters at the King David Hotel, killing 91 people — 28 British, 41 Arab, 17 Jewish and 5 others. Around 45 people were injured. In the literature about the practice and history of terrorism, it has been called one of the most lethal terrorist attacks of the 20th century.
  • Railways and British military airfields were attacked several times.
    Workers clearing a train wreck on a railway line after explosives were detonated on a stationary freight train by Zionist terror groups
  • October 31, 1946. The bombing by the Irgun of the British Embassy in Rome. Nearly half the building was destroyed and 3 people were injured.
  • April 16, 1947. An Irgun bomb placed at the Colonial Office in London failed to detonate.
  • The woman arrested for planting the bomb, alias “Esther,” was identified as a Jewess claiming French nationality by the Scotland Yard unit investigating Jewish terrorist activities. The attack was linked to the 1946 Rome embassy bombing.
    1946. Bombing of Tel Aviv Area Security Office by Zionist groups in which several people died.
  • 14 June 1947. The Reuters office in Tel Aviv was raided by “Jewish terrorists.”
  • July 25, 1947. The Sergeants affair: When death sentences were passed on two Irgun members, the Irgun kidnapped Sgt. Clifford Martin and Sgt. Mervyn Paice and threatened to kill them in retaliation if the sentences were carried out. When the threat was ignored, the hostages were killed. Afterwards, their bodies were taken to an orange grove and left hanging by the neck from trees. An improvised explosive device was set. This went off when one of the bodies was cut down, seriously wounding a British officer.The bodies of Sgts Clifford Martin & Mervyn Paice, left hanging by their necks in an orange grove.
  • December 1947 – March 1948. Numerous attacks on Palestinian Arabs in the context of civil war after the vote of the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine.
  • 1947 Letter bombs sent to the Truman White House by Lehi.
  • January 5–6, 1948. The Semiramis Hotel bombing, carried out by the Haganah (or, according to some sources, Irgun) resulted in the deaths of 24 to 26 people.
  • April 1948. The Deir Yassin massacre carried out by the Irgun and Lehi, killed between 107 and 120 Palestinian villagers, the estimate generally accepted by scholars.
  • September 17, 1948 Lehi assassination of the United Nations mediator Folke Bernadotte, whom Lehi accused of a pro-Arab stance during the cease-fire negotiations.

 

In February 1947, the British announced their withdrawal from Palestine, passing arbitration over to the United Nations and leaving a powder keg behind. However, unlike the Palestinians, who had effectively been disarmed by the British, the Zionist malitias were, by now, well trained and well equipped, thanks to the British military.

As the UN voted in favour of the partition of Palestine on 30 November 1947, they effectively lit the powder keg and war ensued.

Jewish militias immediately launched various terrorist attacks. Over the coming months we would see a spree of bombing attacks by Zionist terrorists. A car bomb killed 20 people in Damascus, a lorry bomb in Jaffa’s Town Hall targeted the headquarters of the paramilitary Najjada and killed 15 people, the Semiramis Hotel in Jerusalem was bombed killing 24 people, a barrel bomb was rolled into a large group of civilians waiting for a bus at the Jaffa Gate and killed about 16 people, Ramla market was bombed killing 7 people and a garage in Haifa was bombed killing a further 30 people.

Then, in April, the terrorists moved to control the territory and committed numerous atrocities. Arabs in Tiberias, Safed, Haifa, Jaffa, Beisan and Acre and also in neighbouring villages were forced to flee their homes and during the Battle for Jerusalem most Arab villages along the Tel Aviv / Jerusalem corridor were completely destroyed.

Whichever side of the fence you sit on over the question of partition or who you believe should control Palestine, what no one can deny is the fact Zionism is not a religion, it does not represent any specific ethnic or cultural group, it is not an exclusively Jewish ideology and for many Zionist, it advocates ongoing terrorism, occupation and subjugation of an indigenous Semitic population.

So, the question we must all ask ourselves today is, why has Zionist terrorism been brushed under the carpet and how has Zionism morphed into a protected ideology, of which any criticism is instantly denounced as anti-Semitism?

Lydda Air Port. Palestine Airways plane close-up

1948: The British commander of Transjordan’s Arab Legion, had toured Palestinian Arab towns, including Lydda and Ramle, urging them to prepare to defend themselves against the Zionist horde.

The PLUNDER and LOOTING of Palestinian homes, farms, plantations, banks, cars, ports, railroads, schools, hospitals, trucks, tractors, etc. in the course of the 1948 war were a crime on a massive scale. For example, the looting of Lydda City was described by the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Abandoned Property in mid-July, 1948:

“From Lydda alone, the army took out 1,800 truck-loads of property.” (1949, The First Israelis, p. 69)

It should be noted that the great majority of the Palestinian people have been dispossessed for the past five decades, meanwhile, their properties are being used by mostly European Jews (who were victims of similar war crimes committed by anti-Semitic Europeans). Prior to being ethnically cleansed in 1948, the Palestinian people owned and operated 93% of Palestine’s lands, and contributed up to 55-60% of its national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Zionists capture Lydda: Palestine’s main railway junction and its airport (now Ben Gurion International Airport) were in Lydda, and the main source of Jerusalem’s water supply was 15 kilometers away.

American President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary are welcomed at the Gaza airport by President of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat and wife Soha. (Photo by Ira Wyman/Sygma via Getty Images)

“The airport used to be packed with thousands of travelers and we received presidents and world leaders,” he said, pointing to parts of the site in various stages of decay.
“Now it’s turned into a ruin, a waste dump. It’s a tragedy.”

Daifallah Al-Akhras, the chief engineer of the airport, admitted he wept on a recent visit to the terminal.

“We built the airport to be the first symbol of sovereignty,” he said. “Now you don’t see anything but destruction and ruin.”

When the airport opened in late 1998 it was one of the most tangible symbols of the Oslo accords.

Many saw the deals as paving the way to the creation of an independent Palestinian state, but their five-year transitional period expired without a resolution to the conflict.

The airport was opened despite the assassination of the most senior Israeli signatory to Oslo, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, by a Jewish ‘radical’ opposed to the agreements.

By 1998 the accords were fraying, but Clinton, along with his wife Hillary, still attended the ceremony to inaugurate the Yasser Arafat International Airport.

Built with funding from countries across the globe, it hosted the newly formed Palestinian Airlines and was able to handle hundreds of thousands of passengers a year, with many airlines opening up routes there.

Once a commercial airport was established, the Palestinian Authority moved forward with a plan to establish a flag carrier for the embattled country.

The airline was officially announced in 1995 with financial backing coming from the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, who donated two Fokker 50s and a Boeing 727 to help start operations.

The newly-formed Palestinian Airlines would also join the Arab Air Carriers Organization, with its introduction to the alliance coming in 1999.

While the airline officially started operations in 1997, limits were quickly established on where it could fly.

The Yasser Arafat International Airport was still under construction in Gaza, leaving the airline to commence service in the Egyptian towns of Port Said and Arish to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Amman, Jordan.

Once the airline’s home in the Gaza Strip was completed, all operations were transferred to the new airport.

Palestinian Airlines quickly expanded to include service to additional countries including Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

The airline would also come to take hold of an Ilyushin Il-62 to help with their expansion plans.

While the airline was expanding, it was not completely free of Israeli restrictions.

Under the Oslo II Accord, Israel had the right to restrict the airport’s schedule, which frequently saw the airport shuttered during the nighttime hours.

The airport’s security was also administered by the Israeli government due to fears that the Palestinians would lapse on security due to the economic instability of Gaza.

Unfortunately, the Oslo II Accord soured over time and increased tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians led to the breakout of the Second Intifada in the early 2000s.

Palestinian Airlines was forced to suspend operations while Israel and Palestine escalated their conflict.

Fearing that the Palestinians would use Yasser Arafat Airport for weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip, Israel made the airport a primary target, destroying both the radar and control towers in 2001 before carving up the runway using bulldozers in 2002.

In addition to its smuggling fears, Israel also claimed that the dismantling was in response to a Palestinian raid that killed four Israeli soldiers.

The destruction of Yasser Arafat International Airport did not sit well with Palestinians or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

For Palestinians, the ruins of the airport were a symbol of a potential nation now reeling from the Second Intifada and a sign that Israel and Palestine may never trust each other.

Meanwhile, the ICAO saw Israel’s destruction of the airport as a violation of Palestine’s right to operate a commercial airport and strongly condemned the Israelis for their actions.

The ICAO called for Israel to pay for any repairs from the damages caused to the airfield, which Israel ignored.

With no home airport inside Palestine, the flag carrier fled back across the border and restarted operations at El Arish International Airport in Egypt.

However, getting Palestinians to Arish was a struggle, as Egyptian security could take up to a day processing those traveling into and out of the country.

To attempt to ease the issue, the airline still manned the ticket counters at Yasser Arafat Airport, hoping to sell tickets to passengers inside Gaza and simplify their flying experience.

With this restriction, and the flag carrier operating 30 miles from its home opposite a major international border, the consumer base for Palestinian Airlines slowly dried up. The airline removed the Boeing 727 and Ilyushin Il-62 from its fleet before suspending operations outright in 2005.

The Palestinian Authority would hold on to the two Fokker 50s and lease them to other airlines while they waited for a chance to restart operations.

That chance would finally come in 2012, when the airline announced it would restart service using its Fokker 50s and a route map that would, yet again, be based in Arish, Egypt with flights to Cairo, Amman and Jeddah.

But much like their previous experience at Arish, Palestine was at too much of a disadvantage to make use of their airline.

The airline would last less than two years before re-suspending operations.

The Palestinian Authority returned to leasing their Fokker 50s, with Niger Airlines currently being the home for the two aircraft.

Despite having no current operations, the airline is still an active member in the ICAO, IATA and Arab Air Carriers Organization.

While Palestine hopes to have the airline flying again, the prospect of coming home to Gaza grows bleaker and bleaker.

The airport sustained more damage in recent years, with the terminal and ramps areas taking heavy bombings by Israeli forces in 2014.

Given that the Egyptian rehabilitation attempts have proven too costly for the airline, Palestinian Airlines is currently a flag carrier with no home, no service and no clear future.

Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror

Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror

The book’s argument that “[t]he war on drugs and terror in Colombia is in fact a war for the control of the cocaine trade — in a system of imperial domination — by means of state-sponsored terror” is summarized in the conclusion as follows: “This war as decreed by successive Washington administrations was, is, and remains its opposites: a war for drugs and a war of terror.”

Of course, such assessments are not easily grafted onto the consciousness of a populace conditioned to impute noble — or at least sincere and non-paradoxical — motives to US projects abroad.

If the US is to attain the minimum amount of self-awareness necessary for any society that considers itself free, the proliferation of studies like Villar and Cottle’s is a prerequisite.

The scholars explain that, starting in the late 1980s, “the Colombian state commenced efforts to manufacture its image as a defender of democracy at war with narco-terrorists,” enlisting the talents of US public relations firm the Sawyer/Miller Group.

The firm earned nearly a million dollars in the first six months of 1991 for its efforts, which included “us[ing] the American press to disseminate Colombian government propaganda, with the routine production of pamphlets, letters to editors signed by Colombian officials, and advertisements placed in the New York Times and Washington Post.”

As tends to happen with even the most diligently manufactured threats, however, the traitorous truth has consistently failed to rise to the occasion, and “in 2001 Colombian intelligence estimated that [the] FARC controlled less than 2.5 percent of Colombia’s cocaine exports, while the AUC controlled 40 percent, not counting the narco-bourgeoisie [the updated incarnation of the Colombian oligarchy] as a whole.”

The exclusive assignment of the “terrorist” label to the FARC is meanwhile not entirely congruent with the fact that it was the Colombian military and not the guerrillas that resuscitated the Vietnam-era collective punishment method of “draining the sea to kill the fish.”

According to Villar and Cottle, “[h]uman rights groups contend that the AUC and Colombian armed forces have been responsible for approximately 90–95 percent of all politically-motivated killings, which have included massacres by chainsaw and other methods designed to terrorize the campesinos in rural areas under FARC control.”

As for the US request in the 1980s for the extradition of Medellín cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar for “conspiring to introduce cocaine into the United States via Nicaragua,” this allegation might have just as aptly been levied against other characters such as US Marine Lt Col. Oliver North, whose activity did not result in a collaborative assassination effort by the CIA, AUC, Cali Cartel, and Colombian police.

You Cannot Mention Monsanto!

When Amelia and I met Milber in 2009, his parents had just acquired a coca plot after failing to make ends meet with less lucrative crops.

Other farming families in the area described additional obstacles to diversifying away from coca, such as repeated US-sponsored aerial fumigation of sugar cane, banana, and corn crops.

Fumigated children, livestock, and water supplies were also reported.

Journalist Jeremy Bigwood has investigated the toxic effects of fumigation for CorpWatch, drawing attention to a revealing episode in 2001 in which a recalcitrant US senator — who had criticized military aid to Colombia and the dangerous inaccuracy of fumigation — was hauled down to the South American nation for an honorary cropduster flyover that was intended to negate his concerns.

Bigwood quotes the senator’s spokesman on the resulting spectacle: “On the very first flyover by the cropduster, the US Senator, the US Ambassador to Colombia, the Lieutenant Colonel of the Colombian National Police, and other Embassy and congressional staffers were fully doused — drenched, in fact” — with the herbicide Roundup, a product of the US-based biotech giant Monsanto, former manufacturer of the infamous defoliant Agent Orange.

Remarking on the relevance of the Agent Orange legacy given the deforestation of large sections of Vietnam, the “over 50,000 birth defects and hundreds of thousands of cancers both in Vietnamese civilians and soldiers, as well as in former US troops serving in South East Asia”, and the similarity in post-contact symptoms between victims of Agent Orange and Roundup, Bigwood notes that the lack of transparency with regard to Monsanto’s machinations in Colombia is entirely logical: “[D]uring a meeting with US Embassy staff in Bogotá, the top officer at the State Department’s Narcotics Affairs Section was emphatic and his tone threatening: ‘You cannot mention Monsanto!’ he boomed, spit flying from his mouth.”

Villar and Cottle meanwhile allude to the helpfulness of fumigation policies in “draining the sea”, and emphasize — with regard to fusarium oxysporum, a fungus whose appeal to proponents of Washington’s multibillion-dollar Plan Colombia presumably had something to do with its success in wiping out a coca plantation in Hawaii in the 1970s — that “the mono-crop drug fincas of the narco-bourgeoisie in Colombia were not sprayed. The fungal spraying was proposed only for the rebel-held areas.”

Addicted to Narco-Imperialism

As Peter Dale Scott asserts in his excellent foreword to Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror, the book “shows how in the last half-century the United States has helped to centralize and militarize the class conflict [in Colombia], and above all how cocaine has come to play a central role in financing this oppression.”

Villar and Cottle write:

The cocaine decade saw the consolidation of the Colombian drug trade as a source of profit for U.S. capital via banks that were established to launder and invest drug money in legitimate U.S. corporations.

The United States contended it was at war with drugs and terrorists in Colombia, but, in reality, the economic relations between U.S. imperialism and the Colombian narco-bourgeoisie permitted cocaine production to flourish in Colombia, and the cocaine market to expand within the United States and Western Europe.

The authors stress that, though Colombian paramilitary death squads may not constitute a “proxy army for the United States,” they do “function… as a vanguard force of the counterinsurgency strategy” in eliminating obstacles to foreign investment, corporate exploitation of resources, and the continuing economic preponderance of the Colombian elite.

These obstacles come in a variety of forms, among them campesinos, human rights workers, journalists, trade unionists, and indigenous citizens maliciously inhabiting resource-rich land.

Colombian paramilitaries were
trained by Tel Aviv

The Colombian AUC paramilitaries are always in need of arms, and it should come as no surprise that some of their major suppliers are Israeli. Israeli arms dealers have long had a presence in next-door Panama and especially in Guatemala.

The AUC, for its part, happens to inhabit the same list of US State Department-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations as Al Qaeda, but one suspects that a more substantive uproar would have been made over the discovery that Chiquita Brands International was funneling millions of dollars to the latter group.

The need for a paramilitary proxy army in the first place is meanwhile called into question by the behavior of the Colombian army itself, recipient of large quantities of US military aid and renowned for its expertise in slaughtering civilians and dressing the corpses up like FARC guerrillas.

As for even more direct US contributions to violence and oppression in Colombia, Villar and Cottle note that, when the administration of former President Álvaro Uribe Vélez “stepped up its civil war preparations in 2002, the US government demanded cooperation in shielding US forces stationed in-country from prosecution for war crimes.”

Prior to being hailed in the US as a democratic hero and role model for Latin America on account of his neoliberal enthusiasm for societal repression, Uribe’s claims to fame included appearing on a 1991 Defense Intelligence Agency list of the More Important Colombian Narco-Traffickers and Narco-Terrorists.

Blood and Capital Accumulation

Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror is a vital antidote to the fatuous propaganda that functions as mainstream news on Colombia.

In tracing the history of the relationship between imperial America and “its most important client state on the continent,” Villar and Cottle demonstrate that the emergence of the FARC was a direct result of social inequality and CIA-backed class repression.

Prospects for conflict resolution thus appear dim given the authors’ note that “Colombia is the only major country in Latin America where the gap between the rich and poor has markedly widened in recent years, according to the UN Commission on Latin America.”

Colombian President Alberto Lleras Camargo (1958–1962) may have put it best himself when he commented — in reference to the devastating US-assisted counterinsurgency campaign that followed the assassination of Liberal presidential candidate Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, who had “promised to end the rule of the landed oligarchy and eliminate mass poverty” — that “blood and capital accumulation went together.”

In conclusion, it is worthwhile to recall the following passage from Glenn Greenwald’s piece “The Wars on Drugs and Terror: mirror images,” which underscores the rhetoric of Villar and Cottle:

It’s the perfect deceit. These wars, in an endless loop, sustain and strengthen the very menaces which, in turn, justify their continuous escalation. These wars manufacture the very dangers they are ostensibly designed to combat. Meanwhile, the industries which fight them become richer and richer.

The political officials those industries own become more and more powerful. Brutal drug cartels monopolize an unimaginably profitable, no-competition industry, while Terrorists are continuously supplied the perfect rationale for persuading huge numbers of otherwise unsympathetic people to join them or support them. Everyone wins — except for ordinary citizens, who become poorer and poorer, more and more imprisoned, meeker and meeker, and less and less free.

source

With this accord, I thee normalize

“It’s okay to celebrate, writes Ari Shavit in Yedioth. “You can lift your head up from the coronavirus, from politics and shame and see how history is starting to flow in a new, secure channel. The Israeli-Arab conflict starts to end today. Peace.”

“Anyone who really ever wants peace with the Palestinians should also be pleased. Because that will happen only when the Palestinian leaders recognize that their tactics have failed.

Peace will arrive when the Palestinians acknowledge the limits of their identity, as well as the legitimacy of the Jewish state,” he writes.

“The peace deal with the Emirates brings us closer to the Palestinians recognizing that.”

79 percent of the Sudanese people oppose normalization. The weeks ahead and the outcome of US elections will decide whether Palestinians and the Sudanese will have any chance of confronting this forced normalization avalanche.

It happened a few days after the flamboyant signing ceremony at the White House of ‘peace deals’ between the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel.

White House National Security Council’s senior Director for Gulf Affairs, Brig. Gen. Miguel Correa and UAE’s National Security Advisor Tahnoun Bin Zayed boxed in Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and his justice minister, who also happens to be a US citizen, in the UAE for trilateral talks.

The focus was Sudan’s coveted goal: getting delisted from the US list of State Sponsors of Terrorism in exchange for normalisation with Israel.

Already, the US secretary of state had informed rulers in Sudan during his August visit to Khartoum that they had until the end of October to reach this deal; conspicuously timed to benefit Trump’s re-election chances.

The extortion was clear and public. Sudan must pay $335 million in compensation to the United States and make friends with Israel in order to receive up to $2 billion in urgently needed food and oil assistance as well as help repaying its crushing $62 billion foreign debt.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia had pledged to assist Sudan with $3 billion after the overthrow of Omar Al-Bashir, but such unconditional support was no longer in play.

Interestingly, Omar Al-Bashir had warmed up to both states towards the end of his rein.

He had even sent a military contingent to fight alongside Saudi Arabia and the UAE in Yemen, led by none other than Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan.

But this was not enough to sustain his grip on power.

When the protests in Sudan started, the UAE and Saudi Arabia moved in to secure that a post-Bashir regime would strictly gravitate in their orbit.

The Creation of the Modern Middle East > The Middle East in Bible Prophecy

By 2020, it was time to collect on the political debt Al-Burhan and the rest of the military figures owed.

Dizzy with normalization fever, the UAE pressured Al-Burhan towards acquiescence in exchange for financial assistance.

This approach served two purposes. On the one hand, the UAE does not want to be alone on the normalisation train.

Bahrain, being a satellite Saudi state, is not exactly company that carries enough regional weight.

On the other hand, the UAE rulers understand that extending this service would gain them more of Trump’s favour.

After all, the US president is packaging these ‘peace’ deals as grand achievements that his Evangelical base and right-wing donors are overly eager to support during the increasingly tight race for the White House, especially with more such deals promised ‘soon.’

After the Trump announcement about the ‘deal’, the acting Foreign Minister Omar Gamareldin, a technocrat, was quick to admit that the military and civilian rulers of Sudan lack the legitimacy and mandate to make this decision.

Under the transition to civilian rule agreement in Sudan, the yet unformed legislative council would have to endorse the normalization deal before it becomes formal.

But a critical look at the happenings in Sudan clearly shows that the balance of power is now tipping in the direction of the generals, not civilians.

After all, it is the generals who are signing peace deals to end civil wars inside Sudan, sharing a stage with the international and regional big guns, and securing what Sudan needs most: economic relief.

Sudan’s economy is in tatters. In addition to crippling debt and civil strife, the African Union projects that GDP will contract by 1.6 percent in 2020 and 0.8 percent in 2021, with inflation now at 61.5 percent and expected to go higher next year.

Meanwhile, the IMF forecasts economic stagnation for Sudan.

The announced deal with Israel and the United States, along with funding and political support from the UAE and Saudi Arabia will only strengthen Al-Burhan and his military allies in Sudan, possibly setting the stage for a new form of military rule in the country only this time with international blessings.

It is a covert political overthrow of the fragile new social contract Sudanese civil society and political parties were hoping to forge following the overthrow of Al-Bashir.

In this grand play for power, the popular sentiment and political opposition in Sudan have been disregarded.

According to the Arab Opinion Index, 79 percent of the Sudanese people oppose normalization.

Not surprisingly, political parties and professional associations represented, including those in the governing coalition have decried the deal as illegitimate.

In response to the overwhelming opposition, the deputy head of State and feared general, Mohammed Hamdan “Hemeti” Dagalo said “Sudan needs Israel.”

No surprise given that Hemeti, who made his fame by being the pro-Bashir military man in Darfur, is also interested in cleansing his political credentials from any Western objections.

Upcoming US elections could complicate things for the generals in Sudan and the Gulf rulers eager to further advance their military, political, and economic partnership with Israel.

A Biden administration will support normalization with Israel but not at any cost.

Particularly, the UAE and Saudi Arabia could face significant pressure from a Democratic administration to end their brutal war in Yemen and their military exploits elsewhere in the region.

Such a change could alter the political calculus and dynamics in Sudan.

In Palestine, the sentiments towards the Sudan announcement are more nuanced than the unequivocal anger regarding the deals signed between the UAE and Bahrain with Israel.

Palestinian intellectuals and politicians are aware of the punishing circumstances in Sudan and the bullying it faced to make this move.

Many described the deal as a confession extracted under torture. Despite decades of autocratic rule, Sudan boasts a vibrant political and civil society scene that has longstanding relations with Palestinian partners.

Between Jerusalem and Khartoum, there is shared concern that this deal only entrenches the hegemony of Israel, bankrolled by Gulf dollars.

The weeks ahead and the outcome of US elections will decide whether Palestinians and the Sudanese will have any chance of confronting this forced normalization avalanche.

Nour Odeh is a political analyst and public diplomacy consultant. A former award-winning journalist, Odeh was also Palestine’s first female government spokesperson

Follow her on Twitter: @nour_odeh

France Calls for Recolonization of Lebanon

“President Macron’s trips had been preceded by the circulation of a petition calling on France to restore its mandate over Lebanon, that is to say, to recolonize it.”

by Thierry Meyssan

✂️ SNIP

Playing Deus ex machina, President Macron came to distribute the good and bad points to the Lebanese leaders.

Sure of his superiority, he said he was ashamed of the behavior of this political class.

But all this is just a bad play. Underhandedly, he is trying to destroy the Resistance and to transform the country into a tax haven.

Completing the implementation of Resolution 1559 [4] today means disarming Hezbollah and transforming it into a simple political party, as corrupt by Westerners as the others.

Let us recall, moreover, that when France established secular institutions, it immediately deprived all its colonies of them, considering that religion was the only way to pacify the peoples it controlled.

Lebanon is the only country in the world where a Shiite mullah, a Sunni mufti and a Christian patriarch can impose their views on political parties.

President Macron’s repeated attacks against Hezbollah are precisely in line with my hypothesis: the ultimate goal of the West is to destroy the Resistance and transform Hezbollah into a party as corrupt as the others.

Indeed, according to Emmanuel Macron, the current Hezbollah is at the same time a “militia”, a “terrorist organization” and a political party.

Yet, as we have seen, it is in reality both the first non-governmental army dedicated to the struggle against imperialism and a political party representing the Shiite community.

It has never been responsible for terrorist actions abroad. According to Macron, it has created “a climate of terror”, inhibiting other political formations.

However, Hezbollah has never used its gigantic arsenal against its Lebanese rivals.

The brief war of 2008 did not pit it against the Sunnis and Druze, but against those who housed spy centers of foreign powers (notably in the archive premises of FuturTV).

For those who observe precisely what is happening, France is not honest in its concern for Lebanon.

Thus, President Macron’s trips had been preceded by the circulation of a petition calling on France to restore its mandate over Lebanon, that is to say, to recolonize it.

It was quickly established that this spontaneous petition was an initiative of the French secret service.

Or that the French president’s second trip was the centennial of the proclamation of Greater Lebanon by General Henri Gouraud, leader of the French Colonial Party.

It is not very difficult to understand what France hopes to get in return for its action against the Resistance.

Vietnam to Venezuela: US Interventionism

im·pe·ri·al·ism.The definition of imperialism is the practice of a larger country or government growing stronger by taking over poorer or weaker countries that have important resources.

Venezuela’s Maduro to Trump: ‘Why would you want a repeat of Vietnam?’



President Maduro inaugurated the Simón Bolívar Institute

International unity based on popular struggles for emancipation will be the objective to be realized by the Simón Bolívar Institute for Peace and Solidarity, inaugurated this Sunday in connection with the 205th anniversary of the Jamaica Charter.

LATIN AMERICA. U.S. FREE TRADE IMPERIALISM. The natural resources of the Latin American republics made them targets for a form of economic dependence called free-trade imperialism.

In a videoconference that summoned the presence of 106 international leaders, he stressed that this solidarity platform will allow the dissemination of the truth of Venezuela in the face of discrediting campaigns that threaten peace and national stability.

“I ask for all the support of the solidarity movements to bring the truth of Venezuela and with the truth win peace, sovereignty, independence and respect for our peoples,” he emphasized.

From the “Antonio José de Sucre” Yellow House, located in Caracas, the Foreign Minister of the Republic, Jorge Arreaza, indicated that the Simón Bolívar Institute will also promote “the solidarity of the peoples with all the struggles”.

Fotografía del Comandante Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías y Fidel Castro Ruz juntos. | Politica

Anti-Imperialism

He explained that the first day of debate addressed the validity of the thought of the Liberator Simón Bolívar “at this time of recomposition of the struggles” and of the attempts of capitalism to restore itself in the face of the structural failures that it evidenced in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic .

Colombian paramilitaries were trained by Tel Aviv

In this sense, the vice minister for North America, Carlos Ron, pointed out that “in a world where the capitalist model is exhausted, what remains for us is to go back to our roots of struggle for the peoples and emancipation.”

Israeli forces’ involvement in El Salvador runs deep

“We are making a call for solidarity to all the peoples of the world and, at the same time, receiving solidarity in turn because together we will be able to advance and create a new model whose base is solidarity and its most important principle is the construction of peace. ”, He stressed. / Presidential Press.

The Collaborator’s Reward

September 05 ,2020 BY Tim Anderson

What do Panama’s Manuel Noriega, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and the UAE’s Mohamad Bin Zayed (MBZ) all have in common?

They dreamed that their collaboration with the imperial power would allow them the freedom to pursue their own ambitions.

Very wrong. Once Noriega was employed by the CIA to betray compatriot nationalists and to be used as a tool against independent Cuba and Nicaragua, imperialism owned him.

Once Saddam was armed (including with poison gas) by NATO countries to attack Revolutionary Iran and slaughter dissident Iraqis, imperialism owned him

. And once MBZ collaborated with Mossad against the Palestinian resistance and armed terrorist groups against Syria, imperialism owned him.

After Noriega sought to play a more independent role in Central America the US, under Bush the First, invaded Panama killing thousands (see ‘The Panama Deception’), just to kidnap Noriega and jail him on drug trafficking charges.

Saddam was not allowed to pursue his own interests in Kuwait. Instead his ambitions were used as a pretext to starve and then destroy Iraq.

Saddam himself was eventually lynched, under US military occupation.

Qaddafi Warns Chuckling Arab Leaders in 2008 That Their End Is Near - The Atlantic

The  Libyan leader said America’s Arab allies could end up like Saddam Hussein….before  US and western allies murdered him and destroyed his country.

MBZ, for his supposed crime of resuming relations with Syria in 2018, was forced to recognise Israel, thus becoming the new disgrace of the Arab and Muslim world. Once a collaborator is owned he is owned.

The UAE gained nothing by openly recognising the zionist regime. There was no political or economic benefit.

The UAE was already collaborating deeply with Israel, as evidenced by the open access enjoyed by the Mossad team which murdered Palestinian militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in February 2010 (Lewis, Borger and McCarthy 2010), and later kidnapped Australian-Israeli whistle-blower Ben Zygier, after he had provided Dubai authorities with “names and pictures and accurate details” of the team, supposedly in exchange for UAE protection. However Israel kidnapped Zygier in the UAE and he later died from ‘suicide’ in an Israeli jail (Rudoran 2013).

There was no independent motive behind the disgraceful UAE move, other than fear and obedience.

The Trump regime pressured and threatened MBZ into recognising Israel, just to help with its 2020 election campaign.

How do we know this? Two months before the UAE officially recognised Israel, Trump envoy James Jeffrey threatened the UAE regime for its renewed relations with Syria, which went against Trump’s subsequent ‘Caesar Act’ (MEMO 2020), a piece of legislation primarily aimed at imposing discipline on third party ‘allies’ which sought to normalise relations with Damascus.

Washington’s ‘Caesar’ law (part of an omnibus NDAA Act) pretends to authorise the US President to impose fines and confiscate the assets of those, anywhere in the world, who “support or engage in a significant transaction” with the Syrian government (SJAC 2020).

It aimed at Persian Gulf allies, principally the UAE, and perhaps some Europeans who were considering renewed relations with Damascus (Anderson 2020)

As it happened, in late December 2018, the UAE resumed relations with the Syrian Government and resumed investment in the besieged country.

This was despite the anti-Syrian role of the UAE in the early days of the conflict and, in particular, their backing of ISIS terrorism.

That role was acknowledged by senior US officials in late 2014.

Head of the US Army General Martin Dempsey in September 2014 admitted that “major Arab allies” of the US funded ISIS (Rothman 2014).

The following month US Vice President Joe Biden specified that US allies “Turkey, Qatar and the UAE had extended “billions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons” to all manner of fanatical Islamist fighters, including ISIS, in efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad (Maskanian 2014).

Biden later offered a hollow apology to the UAE for his remarks (Al Jazeera 2014). A sanitised Atlantic Council version of this history was that the UAE had backed “armed opposition groups – such as the Free Syrian Army” (Santucci 2020).

In any case, with Washington’s regime change war lost – certainly after the expanded role of Russia in Syria from September 2015 onwards – the UAE began to change tack.

In November 2015 UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Anwar Gargash expressed cautious support for Russia’s role and in April 2018 he characterised the conflict as one between the Syrian Government and Islamic extremism.

On 27 December the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus (Ramani 2020). Bahrain followed suit the next day.

The MBZ regime claims to have provided over $530 million “to alleviate the suffering” of Syria since 2012 (Santucci 2020), though how much of this went into armed Islamist groups is unclear.

But there certainly have been some UAE-funded construction projects in Syria in recent times.

No doubt wealthy UAE investors saw some opportunities in post-war reconstruction.

The Emirates hosted a Syrian trade delegation in January 2019 and in August 2019 some private Emirati companies participated in the Damascus International Trade Fair (Cafiero 2020).

But in early 2020 the Trump regime passed its Caesar law, aimed at reining in its wandering ‘allies’.

In June envoy James Jeffrey pointed his finger at the UAE, saying: “the UAE knows that we absolutely refuse that countries take such steps [in Syria] … we have clearly stressed that we consider this a bad idea … anyone who engages in economic activities … may be targeted by these sanctions” (MEMO 2020).

That could mean big trouble for the UAE.

The Obama regime (through the US Treasury’s ‘Office of Foreign Assets Control’) had already ‘fined’ European banks more than 12 billion dollars for their business with Iran and Cuba, in breach of Washington’s unilateral coercive measures (Anderson 2019: 42).

Two months later in August the UAE’s open recognition of Israel presented the semblance of some sort of change in the region.

An Atlantic Council paper hoped that might be to derail the UAE’s ‘normalization policy with Syria’ (Santucci 2020).

That indeed was one part of the project: tighten the siege on the independent region: from Palestine through Lebanon, Syria and Iraq to Iran.

In the process 80% of the besieged Syrian population was living in poverty, and on the brink of starvation (Cafiero 2020).

This was a determined if failing strategy, set in place by Bush the Second and carried through faithfully by Obama and Trump, despite the latter’s pragmatic misgivings.

The other part of the project was to strong-arm the little petro-monarchy into boosting the Trump election campaign.

The UAE’s recognition of Israel did nothing to help MBZ, but was well received in Tel Aviv (though it did not change the constellation of Resistance forces) and was skilfully presented in the USA as some sort of concession to Palestine.

Yet Trump’s flimsy pretext (a ‘freeze’ on further annexations) was quickly discredited. Israeli Finance Minister Yisrael Katz said that a ‘freeze’ was in place before the UAE deal (Khalil 2020).

Netanyahu maintained that further annexations were still ‘on the table’ (Al Jazeera 2020). Indeed he had announced such ‘freezes’ before (Ravid 2009).

In any case, Trump was clearly no advocate for Palestinian or Arab rights.

He had broken with previous US regimes by giving his blessing to Tel Aviv’s annexation of both East Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan, disregarding international law (BBC 2019).

Disgraced in the region, the UAE was simply acting as Washington’s puppet. That is the collaborator’s reward.

John Foster Dulles’ initiation of covert actions in Vietnam

Ho Che Minh wrote President Harry S. Truman on Feb. 15, 1946, to request the U.S. support for Vietnam’s independence:

“Our Vietnam people, as early as 1941, stood by the Allies’ side and fought against the Japanese and their associates, the French colonialists…. But the French Colonialists… have come back and are waging on us a murderous and pitiless war….  we request of the United States as guardians and champions of World Justice to take a decisive step in support of our independence.”

Truman did not respond.

James DiEugenio:

It was not just ideological because the Dulles Brothers, prior to becoming parts of the government, had pretty high positions in one of the giant, probably the predominant corporate law firm in the United States called Sullivan & Cromwell.

In fact, John Foster Dulles was actually the managing partner there and he brought his younger brother Allen in as a senior partner. It’s not completely correct to say that this was all ideological because it wasn’t.

A large part of this was for commercial reasons in the sense that a lot of the clients that the Sullivan & Cromwell law firm represented had these large business interests in all different parts of the globe and sometimes this included Third World countries.

That’s another reason of course the Dulles Brothers were so intent upon putting down this rebellion against the French attempt to recolonize the area.

Because to them, it was an example of an industrial or already commercialized western power going ahead and exploiting cheap labor and cheap materials in the Third World.

In large part, that’s what that law firm represented. So that’s absolutely correct. It was not just ideological.

It was also a commercial view of the world and what the Dulles Brothers stood for in relation to the use of the natural resources in the Third World.

Now, what happened at Dien Bien Phu, and I don’t think the Burns-Novick film really explained this as well as it should have, is that the French under Henri Navarre decided that they were losing the guerrilla war.

NARMIC’s top 100 defense contractors list, which continued after the war. Here is a 1977 edition.

“In our opinion, and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to use the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart.”

So they decided to try and pull out the North Vietnamese forces, led by General Giap, into a more open air kind of a battle ground.

They took over this low-lying valley in the northern part of Vietnam, not very far from the western border.

The strategic idea was to get involved in a large scale battle where they would be able to use their air power and overpowering artillery to smash Giap’s forces.

Well, it didn’t work out that way for a number of reasons. But one of them was that the Russians went ahead and transported these huge siege cannons to Giap, and Giap used literally tens of thousands of civilian supporters to transport these huge siege guns up this incline overlooking Dien Bien Phu.

They began to bombard the airfield there, which negated a lot of the military advantage that the French thought they were going to be able to use.

When that started happening, John Foster Dulles began to arrange direct American aid. And I’m talking about military aid.

He actually began to go ahead and give them fighter planes, which he had repainted and drawn with French insignia run by CIA pilots.

I think there were about 24 of them that he let them use. Then when that didn’t work, then he went ahead and started giving them large imports of other weapons to try and see if they could hold off the siege that was going to come.

Finally, when that didn’t work, he arranged for Operation Vulture. Operation Vulture was the arrangement of a giant air armada.

It was originally planned as something like, if I recall correctly: 60 small bombers, 150 jet fighters in case the Chinese intervened and also, three, I think there were B-36 Convair planes to carry three atomic bombs.

Dulles could not get this through Eisenhower. Eisenhower refused to agree to it because the British had turned him down.

He didn’t want to do this by himself. Even though Dulles tried to convince the British to help, they turned them down twice.

Then Dulles, in a very strange move, he actually offered the atomic bombs to the French Foreign Secretary Bidault, Georges Bidault, in a separate private exchange which is a really remarkable thing to do because I’ve never been able to find any evidence that Eisenhower knew about that.

That’s how desperate he was not to see Dien Bien Phu fall. But the French refused, the guy said straight to Foster Dulles, “If I use those, I’m going to kill as many of my troops as I will General Giap’s.”

Dien Bien Phu fell, and at this point, two things happened that will more or less ensure American involvement in Vietnam.

At the subsequent peace conference in Geneva, Switzerland, it’s very clear that the United States is calling the shots.

Secondly, when the Chinese and Russians see that, they advised Ho Chi Minh to go along with whatever the western powers leaned towards.

If not, they feared that the Americans would intervene immediately. In fact, Richard Nixon in a private talk with American newspaper editors, actually floated the idea of using American ground troops to intervene at Dien Bien Phu.

What happens now is that, John Forster Dulles goes ahead and orally agrees that there will be general elections held in two years in 1956, and whoever wins, will then unify Vietnam.

He didn’t sign it because the lawyer that he was understood that that would expose him later, but he did advise his representative at the conference to go ahead and say they will abide by that decision.

This begins, for all intents and purposes, the American intervention in Vietnam and it begins – and this is really incredible to me that the Burns-Novick series never mentioned – Ed Lansdale, and how you can

make a series, an 18-hour series about Vietnam and American involvement there and not mention Lansdale is mind-boggling.

They did show his picture but they didn’t say his name. The reason it’s so mind-boggling is that Allan Dulles now made Lansdale more or less the action officer for the whole Vietnam enterprise.

In other words, the objective was, number one to create an American state in South Vietnam, and number two, to prop up an American chosen leader to be the American president of this new state.

Lansdale did it and I’ll tell you, it’s an incredible achievement what he did. Because he set up this giant psychological propaganda campaign, that scared the heck out of all the Catholics because the French had occupied the country.

We found some letters, John Newman and myself, up at Hoover Institute near Stanford in which he essentially admitted that he was really working for the CIA the whole time.

He had done a lot of covert operations, most famously in the Philippines before he was chosen by Allen Dulles to lead this giant – which I’m pretty sure at that time – was the biggest CIA operation in their history.

What he was doing here with this pure psychological warfare to get all these people to come south.

And if you expose who Lansdale is, there isn’t any way that you can say that this was not a CIA-run operation.

This whole idea is to thwart the whole Geneva agreement, and number two to thwart the will of the people of Vietnam.

Because the reason this was done of course, and Eisenhower admitted this later, was that there was no way in the world that the CIA could find any kind of a candidate that was going to beat Ho Chi Minh in a national election.

The CIA did these polls and they found out that Ho Chi Minh would win with probably 75 to 80% of the vote if there was an honest, real election.

That’s why the CIA under Lansdale decided first to get all these new people into the south and then prop up this new government in the south to separate it from what they then called Ho Chi Minh’s area in the north.

Now, understand: that didn’t exist before. France had colonized the whole country.

So now you had the beginning of this entirely new country created by the CIA. There’s no other way around that statement and I really think that the Burns-Novick film to be mild, really underplayed that.

There would have been no South Vietnam if it had not been for Lansdale.

He’s the guy who created the whole country. Now, they picked a leader, a guy named Ngo Dinh Diem who was going to be their opposition to Ho Chi Minh.

Well, the problem with picking Ngo Dinh Diem was number one, he spoke perfect fluent English; number two, he dressed like a westerner that is, he wore sport coats and suits and white shirts and ties and number three, he even had his hair cut like an American.

His family was the same thing: his brother Nhu and Nhu’s wife Madame Nhu.

How on earth anybody could think that somehow Diem and his family was going to win the allegiance of all the people in Vietnam and win elections… well, that wasn’t going to happen.

What Lansdale did is and … You got to admire the way these guys think even if you don’t like the goals they achieve, the way they do it is very clever.

Lansdale, number one, wanted to get rid of Bao Dai because he did not want to have anymore – him and John Foster Dulles had agreed – they had to get rid of the stigma of French colonialism.

They sponsored a phony plebiscite, an up or down plebiscite on bringing Bao Dai back in 1955.

Now, anybody who analyzes that election in 1955 will be able to tell you very clearly that it was rigged.

To give you one example, Bao Dai was not allowed to campaign. It was pretty easy to beat somebody if the other guy cannot campaign, and Lansdale, for all practical purposes, there’s no other way to say this, he was Diem’s campaign manager.

Ed Lansdale

It was CIA money going in and running his campaign and there’s a famous conversation where Lansdale, because he has all this money and because they’ve already built up a police force in South Vietnam, he essentially tells Diem that, “I don’t think that we should make this very blatant. I don’t think you should win with over 65% of the vote.”

Well, Lansdale decided he should be out of the country during the actual election so it wouldn’t look too obvious.

So Diem then went ahead and decided he wanted to win with over 90% of the vote and that’s what it was rigged for. And as everybody who analyzed that election knows it was so bad that you actually had more people voting for Diem in certain provinces than actually lived there.

That’s how bad the ballots were rigged. But it did what they wanted to do. It got rid of Bao Dai, so now in a famous quote by John Foster Dulles, he said words to the effect that: Good, we have a clean face there now. Without any kind of hint of colonialism.

Now, you can believe he said that, it’s actually true. And it shows you the disconnect between the Dulles Brothers and Eisenhower with the reality that’s on the ground there because Diem is going to be nothing but a losing cause.

Now that Diem is in power, Lansdale then goes ahead and advises him to negate the 1956 election and that’s what happens. The agreements that were made in Geneva were now cancelled, and this is the beginning of two separate countries.

You get the north part of Vietnam led by Ho Chi Minh and with its capital at Hanoi and you get South Vietnam which is a complete American creation with its capital at Saigon led by Diem.

By the end of 1957, and this is another problem I had with the Burns-Novick series – they try and say and imply that the war began under Kennedy. Simply not true.

And by the way, this is something that Richard Nixon liked to say. He liked to say that, “Well, when I became President I was given this problem by my two predecessors.” No no, not at all.

In the latter part of 1957, I think in either November or December, the leadership in the North, that is Ho Chi Minh and Le Duan and General Giap, they had decided they were now going to have to go to war with the United States.

They began to make war plans at that early date and those war plans were then approved by the Russian Politburo.

And both Russia and China, because in some ways it had been their fault that this happened by advising Ho Chi Minh to be meek and mild at the Geneva conference; they agreed to go ahead and supply Ho Chi Minh with weaponry, supplies and money.

The war now begins. In the first Indochina War, France against the Vietnamese, the rebels in the south were called the Viet Minh.

While now the Viet Minh are converted into the Viet Cong. This rebel force in the south now begins to materialize again except their enemy is Diem.

Now begins the construction of the Ho Chi Minh Trail which crosses down through Laos and Cambodia and this is going to be a supply route to supply these rebels in the south and actually infiltrate troops into the south.

The other way they’re going to do it is through a place called Sihanoukville in Southern Cambodia, there they’re going to bring in supplies by sea.

Now, for all intents and purposes, the war now begins in around 1958.

There begins to be hit and run raids against the Diem regime in the south.

The United States now begins to really build up, not just a police force, which they had done before, but they now begin to build up a military attaché in the south.

By the end of the Eisenhower regime, there’s something like about, if I recall, about 650 military advisers there with the police force that is trained at Michigan State University under a secret program.

The battle in the countryside now begins in earnest: 1958, 1959, 1960. Diem, as he begins to be attacked, now gets more and more tyrannical.

He begins to imprison tens of thousands of suspects in his famous tiger cages.

These bamboo like 2′ by 4′ cages which people are rolled up like cinnamon rolls and kept prisoner, there were literally tens of thousand of those kinds of prisoners by 1960. He actually began to guillotine suspects in the countryside.

As more and more of this militarized situation takes place, it begins to show that the idea that the United States is supporting a democracy is a farcical idea: because it’s not a democracy in the South because the police force is run by his brother Nhu and Diem is very much pro-Catholic and anti-Buddhist and unfortunately, for the United States, about 70% of the population in South Vietnam was Buddhist, even with the hundreds of thousands of people who fled south.

The situation, and by the way, Lansdale was still there. He’s still supervising Diem, trying to hold on to this thing because he had so much invested there.

As time goes on and the situation becomes more militarized, there actually comes to be a coup attempt against Diem in 1960, and the American ambassador in Saigon, I think his name was Elbridge Durbrow, he even lectures Diem that you’ve got to democratize this country, or else you’re going to be the symbol of this whole militaristic situation and you’re going to be under a state of siege, and this won’t work.

That’s the situation that occurs during the election of 1960 with Kennedy versus Nixon. That’s the situation that whoever wins that election is going to be presented with.