Friday, April 08, 2011

Western Government and War Crimes!

Making the World Safe for Hypocrisy
By Michael Parenti
From the book Dirty Truths
Global Research, June 30, 2011
Why has the United States government supported counterinsurgency in Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, and many other places around the world, at such a loss of human life to the populations of those nations? Why did it invade tiny Grenada and then Panama? Why did it support mercenary wars against progressive governments in Nicaragua, Mozambique, Angola, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Indonesia, East Timor, Western Sahara, South Yemen, and elsewhere?
Is it because our leaders want to save democracy? Are they concerned about the well-being of these defenseless peoples? Is our national security threatened? I shall try to show that the arguments given to justify U.S. policies are false ones.
But this does not mean the policies themselves are senseless. American intervention may seem "wrongheaded" but, in fact, it is fairly consistent and horribly successful.
The history of the United States has been one of territorial and economic expansionism, with the benefits going mostly to the U.S. business class in the form of growing investments and markets, access to rich natural resources and cheap labor, and the accumulation of enormous profits.
The American people have had to pay the costs of empire, supporting a huge military establishment with their taxes, while suffering the loss of jobs, the neglect of domestic services, and the loss of tens of thousands of American lives in overseas military ventures.
The greatest costs, of course, have been borne by the peoples of the Third World who have endured poverty, pillage, disease, dispossession, exploitation, illiteracy, and the widespread destruction of their lands, cultures, and lives.
As a relative latecomer to the practice of colonialism, the United States could not match the older European powers in the acquisition of overseas territories. But the United States was the earliest and most consummate practitioner of neoimperialism or neocolonialism, the process of dominating the politico-economic life of a nation without benefit of direct possession.
Almost half a century before the British thought to give a colonized land its nominal independence, as in India-while continuing to exploit its labor and resources, and dominate its markets and trade-the United States had perfected this practice in Cuba and elsewhere.
In places like the Philippines, Haiti, and Nicaragua, and when dealing with Native American nations, U.S. imperialism proved itself as brutal as the French in Indochina, the Belgians in the Congo, the Spaniards in South America, the Portuguese in Angola, the Italians in Libya, the Germans in Southwest Africa, and the British almost everywhere else. Not long ago, U.S. military forces delivered a destruction upon Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia that surpassed anything perpetuated by the older colonizers. And today, the U.S. counterinsurgency apparatus and surrogate security forces in Latin America and elsewhere sustain a system of political assassination, torture, and repression unequaled in technological sophistication and ruthlessness.
All this is common knowledge to progressive critics of U.S policy, but most Americans would be astonished to hear of it. They have been taught that, unlike other nations, their country has escaped the sins of empire and has been a champion of peace and justice among nations. This enormous gap between what the United States does in the world and what Americans think their nation is doing is one of the great propaganda accomplishments of the dominant political mythology.
It should be noted, though, that despite the endless propaganda barrage emanating from official sources and the corporate-owned major media, large sectors of the public have throughout U.S. history displayed an anti-interventionist sentiment, an unwillingness to commit U.S. troops to overseas actions-a sentiment facilely labeled "isolationism" by the interventionists.
The Rational Function of Policy Myths
Within U.S. ruling circles there are differences of opinion regarding interventionist policy. There are conservatives who complain that U.S. policy is plagued by weakness and lacks toughness and guts and all the other John Wayne virtues. And there are liberals who say U.S. policy is foolish and relies too heavily on military solutions and should be more flexible and co-optive when protecting and advancing the interests of the United States (with such interests usually left unspecified).
A closer look reveals that U.S. foreign policy is neither weak nor foolish, but on the contrary is rational and remarkably successful in reproducing the conditions for the continued international expropriation of wealth, and that while it has suffered occasional setbacks, the people who run the foreign policy establishment in Washington know what they are doing and why they are doing it.
If the mythology they offer as justification for their policies seems irrational, this does not mean that the policies themselves are irrational from the standpoint of the class interests of those who pursue such policies. This is true of domestic myths and policies as well as those pertaining to foreign policy.
Once we grasp this, we can see how notions and arrangements that are harmful, wasteful, indeed, destructive of human and social values-and irrational from a human and social viewpoint-are not irrational for global finance capital because the latter has no dedication to human and social values. Capitalism has no loyalty to anything but itself, to the accumulation of wealth. Once we understand that, we can see the cruel rationality of the seemingly irrational myths that Washington policy makers peddle. Some times what we see as irrational is really the discrepancy between what the myth wants us to believe and what is true.
But again this does not mean the interests served are stupid or irrational, as the liberals like to complain. There is a difference between confusion and deception, a difference between stupidity and subterfuge. Once we understand the underlying class interests of the ruling circles, we will be less mystified by their myths.
A myth is not an idle tale or a fanciful story but a powerful cultural force used to legitimate existing social relations. The interventionist mythology does just that, by emphasizing a community of interests between interventionists in Washington and the American people when in fact there is none, and by blurring over the question of who pays and who profits from U.S. global interventionism.
The mythology has been with us for so long and much of it sufficiently internalized by the public as to be considered part of the political culture. The interventionist mythology, like all other cultural beliefs, does not just float about in space. It must be mediated through a social structure. The national media play a crucial role in making sure that no fundamentally critical views of the rationales underlying and justifying U.S. policy gain national exposure. A similar role is played by the various institutes and policy centers linked to academia and, of course, by political lead ers themselves.
Saving Democracy with Tyranny
Our leaders would have us believe we intervened in Nicaragua, for instance, because the Sandinista government was opposed to democracy. The U.S.-supported invasion by right-wing Nicaraguan mercenaries was an "effort to bring them to elections." Putting aside the fact that the Sandinistas had already conducted fair and open elections in 1984, we might wonder why U.S. leaders voiced no such urgent demand for free elections and Western-style parliamentarism during the fifty years that the Somoza dictatorship-installed and supported by the United States-plundered and brutalized the Nicaraguan nation.
Nor today does Washington show any great concern for democracy in any of the U.S.-backed dictatorships around the world (unless one believes that the electoral charade in a country like El Salvador qualifies as "democracy").
If anything, successive U.S. administrations have worked hard to subvert constitutional and popularly accepted governments that pursued policies of social reform favorable to the downtrodden and working poor. Thus the U.S. national security state was instrumental in the overthrow of popular reformist leaders such as Arbenz in Guatemala, Jagan in Guyana, Mossadegh in Iran, Bosch in the Dominican Republic, Sukarno in Indonesia, Goulart in Brazil, and Allende in Chile.
And let us not forget how the United States assisted the militarists in overthrowing democratic governments in Greece, Uruguay, Bolivia, Pakistan, Thailand, and Turkey. Given this record, it is hard to believe that the CIA trained, armed, and financed an expeditionary force of Somocista thugs and mercenaries out of a newly acquired concern for Western-style electoral politics in Nicaragua.
In defense of the undemocratic way U.S. leaders go about "saving democracy," our policy makers offer this kind of sophistry: "We cannot always pick and choose our allies. Sometimes we must support unsavory right-wing authoritarian regimes in order to prevent the spread of far more repressive totalitarian communist ones."
But surely, the degree of repression cannot be the criterion guiding White House policy, for the United States has supported some of the worst butchers in the world: Batista in Cuba, Somoza in Nicaragua, the Shah in Iran, Salazar in Portugal, Marcos in the Philippines, Pinochet in Chile, Zia in Pakistan, Evren in Turkey, and even Pol Pot in Cambodia.
In the 1965 Indonesian coup, the military slaughtered 500,000 people, according to the Indonesian chief of security (New York Times, 12/21/77; some estimates run twice as high), but this did not deter U.S. leaders from assisting in that takeover or from maintaining cozy relations with the same Jakarta regime that subsequently perpetuated a campaign of repression and mass extermination in East Timor.
U.S. leaders and the business-owned mainstream press describe "Marxist rebels" in countries like El Salvador as motivated by a lust for conquest. Our leaders would have us believe that revolutionaries do not seek power in order to eliminate hunger; they simply hunger for power. But even if this were true, why would that be cause for opposing them?
Washington policy makers have never been bothered by the power appetites of the "moderate" right-wing authoritarian executionists, torturers, and militarists.
In any case, it is not true that leftist governments are more repressive than fascist ones. The political repression under the Sandinistas in Nicaragua was far less than what went on under Somoza. The political repression in Castro's Cuba is mild compared to the butchery perpetrated by the free-market Batista regime. And the revolutionary government in Angola treats its people much more gently than did the Portuguese colonizers.
Furthermore, in a number of countries successful social revolutionary movements have brought a net increase in individual freedom and well-being by advancing the conditions for health and human life, by providing jobs and education for the unemployed and illiterate, by using economic resources for social development rather than for corporate profit, and by overthrowing brutal reactionary regimes, ending foreign exploitation, and involving large sectors of the populace in the task of rebuilding their countries. Revolutions can extend a number of real freedoms without destroying those freedoms that never existed under prior reactionary regimes.
Who Threatens Whom?
Our policy makers also argue that right-wing governments, for all their deficiencies, are friendly toward the United States, while communist ones are belligerent and therefore a threat to U.S. security. But, in truth, every Marxist or left-leaning country, from a great power like the Soviet Union to a small power like Vietnam or Nicaragua to a minipower like Grenada under the New Jewel Movement, sought friendly diplomatic and economic relations with the United States.
These governments did so not necessarily out of love and affection for the United States, but because of something firmer-their own self-interest. As they themselves admitted, their economic development and political security would have been much better served if they could have enjoyed good relations with Washington.
If U.S. Ieaders justify their hostility toward leftist governments on the grounds that such nations are hostile toward us, what becomes the justification when these countries try to be friendly? When a newly established revolutionary or otherwise dissident regime threatens U.S. hegemonic globalists with friendly relations, this does pose a problem.
The solution is to (1) launch a well-orchestrated campaign of disinformation that heaps criticism on the new government for imprisoning the butchers, assassins, and torturers of the old regime and for failing to institute Western electoral party politics; (2) denounce the new government as a threat to our peace and security; (3) harass and destabilize it and impose economic sanctions; and (4) attack it with counterrevolutionary surrogate forces or, if necessary, U.S. troops. Long before the invasion, the targeted country responds with angry denunciations of U.S. policy.
It moves closer to other "outlawed" nations and attempts to build up its military defenses in anticipation of a U.S.-sponsored attack. These moves are eagerly seized upon by U.S. officials and media as evidence of the other country's antagonism toward the United States, and as justification for the policies that evoked such responses.
Yet it is difficult to demonstrate that small countries like Grenada and Nicaragua are a threat to U.S. security. We remember the cry of the hawk during the Vietnam war: "If we don't fight the Vietcong in the jungles of Indochina, we will have to fight them on the beaches of California."
The image of the Vietnamese getting into their PT boats and crossing the Pacific to invade California was, as Walter Lippmann noted at the time, a grievous insult to the U.S. Navy. The image of a tiny ill-equipped Nicaraguan army driving up through Mexico and across the Rio Grande in order to lay waste to our land is equally ludicrous.
The truth is, the Vietnamese, Cubans, Grenadians, and Nicaraguans have never invaded the United States; it is the United States that has invaded Vietnam, Cuba, Grenada, and Nicaragua, and it is our government that continues to try to isolate, destabilize, and in other ways threaten any country that tries to drop out of the global capitalist system or even assert an economic nationalism within it.
Remember the Red Menace
For many decades of cold war, when all other arguments failed, there was always the Russian bear. According to our cold warriors, small leftist countries and insurgencies threatened our security because they were extensions of Soviet power. Behind the little Reds there supposedly stood the Giant Red Menace.
Evidence to support this global menace thesis was sometimes farfetched. President Carter and National Security Advisor Brezinski suddenly discovered a "Soviet combat brigade" in Cuba in 1979- which turned out to be a noncombat unit that had been there since 1962. This did not stop President Reagan from announcing to a joint session of Congress several years later: "Cuba is host to a Soviet combat brigade...."
In 1983, in a nationally televised speech, Reagan pointed to satellite photos that revealed the menace of three Soviet helicopters in Nicaragua. Sandinista officials subsequently noted that the helicopters could be seen by anyone arriving at Managua airport and, in any case, posed no military threat to the United States. Equally ingenious was the way Reagan transformed a Grenadian airport, built to accommodate direct tourist flights, into a killer-attack Soviet forward base, and a twenty-foot-deep Grenadian inlet into a potential Soviet submarine base.
In 1967 Secretary of State Dean Rusk argued that U.S. national security was at stake in Vietnam because the Vietnamese were puppets of "Red China" and if China won in Vietnam, it would overrun all of Asia and this supposedly would be the beginning of the end for all of us. Later we were told that the Salvadoran rebels were puppets of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua who were puppets of the Cubans who were puppets of the Russians.
In truth, there was no evidence that Third World peoples took up arms and embarked upon costly revolutionary struggles because some sinister ringmaster in Moscow or Peking cracked the whip. Revolutions are not push-button affairs; rather, they evolve only if there exits a reservoir of hope and grievance that can be galvanized into popular action. Revolutions are made when large segments of the population take courage from each other and stand up to an insufferable social order.
People are inclined to endure great abuses before risking their lives in confrontations with vastly superior armed forces. There is no such thing as a frivolous revolution, or a revolution initiated and orchestrated by a manipulative cabal residing in a foreign capital.
Nor is there evidence that once the revolution succeeded, the new leaders placed the interests of their country at the disposal of Peking or Moscow. Instead of becoming the willing puppets of "Red China," as our policy makers predicted, Vietnam found itself locked in combat with its neighbor to the north. And, as noted earlier, almost every Third World revolutionary country has tried to keep its options open and has sought friendly diplomatic and economic relations with the United States.
Why then do U.S. Ieaders intervene in every region and almost every nation in the world, either overtly with U.S. military force or covertly with surrogate mercenary forces, death squads, aid, bribes, manipulated media, and rigged elections? Is all this intervention just an outgrowth of a deeply conditioned anticommunist ideology? Are U.S. Ieaders responding to the public's longstanding phobia about the Red Menace?
Certainly many Americans are anticommunist, but this sentiment does not translate into a demand for overseas interventionism. Quite the contrary. Opinion polls over the last half-century have shown repeatedly that the U.S. public is not usually supportive of com mitting U.S. forces in overseas engagements and prefers friendly relations with other nations, including communist ones. Far from galvanizing our leaders into interventionist actions, popular opinion has been one of the few restraining influences.
There is no denying, however, that opinion can sometimes be successfully manipulated by jingoist ventures. The invasion of Grenada and the slaughter perpetrated against Iraq are cases in point. The quick, easy, low-cost wins reaffirmed for some Americans the feeling that we were not weak and indecisive, not sitting ducks to some foreign prey.
But even in these cases, it took an intensive and sustained propaganda barrage of half-truths and lies by the national security state and its faithful lackeys in the national media to muster some public support for military actions against Grenada and Iraq.
In sum, various leftist states do not pose a military threat to U.S. security; instead, they want to trade and live in peace with us, and are much less abusive and more helpful toward their people than the reactionary regimes they replaced.
In addition, U.S. Ieaders have shown little concern for freedom in the Third World and have helped subvert democracy in a number of nations. And popular opinion generally opposes interventionism by lopsided majorities. What then motivates U.S. policy and how can we think it is not confused and contradictory?
The answer is that Marxist and other leftist or revolutionary states do pose a real threat, not to the United States as a national entity and not to the American people as such, but to the corporate and financial interests of our country, to Exxon and Mobil, Chase Manhattan and First National, Ford and General Motors, Anaconda and U.S. Steel, and to capitalism as a world system.
The problem is not that revolutionaries accumulate power but that they use power to pursue substantive policies that are unacceptable to U.S. ruling circles. What bothers our political leaders (and generals, investment bankers, and corporate heads) is not the supposed lack of political democracy in these countries but their attempts to construct economic democracy, to depart from the impoverishing rigors of the international free market, to use capital and labor in a way that is inimical to the interests of multinational corporatism.
A New York Times editorial (3/30183) referred to "the undesirable and offensive Managua regime" and the danger of seeing "Marxist power ensconced in Managua." But what specifically is so dangerous about "Marxist power ?"
What was undesirable and offensive about the Sandinista government in Managua? What did it do to us? What did it do to its own people? Was it the literacy campaign?
The health care and housing programs? The land reform and development of farm cooperatives? The attempt at rebuilding Managua, at increasing production or achieving a more equitable distribution of taxes, services, and food?
In large part, yes. Such reforms, even if not openly denounced by our government, do make a country suspect because they are symptomatic of an effort to erect a new and competing economic order in which the prerogatives of wealth and corporate investment are no longer secure, and the land, labor, and resources are no longer used primarily for the accumulation of corporate profits.
U.S. Ieaders and the corporate-owned press would have us believe they opposed revolutionary governments because the latter do not have an opposition press or have not thrown their country open to Western style (and Western-financed) elections. U.S. Ieaders come closer to their true complaint when they condemn such governments for interfering with the prerogatives of the "free market."
Similarly, Henry Kissinger came close to the truth when he defended the fascist overthrow of the democratic government in Chile by noting that when obliged to choose between saving the economy or saving democracy, we must save the economy. Had Kissinger said, we must save the capitalist economy, it would have been the whole truth. For under Allende, the danger was not that the economy was collapsing (although the U.S. was doing its utmost to destabilize it); the real threat was that the economy was moving away from free-market capitalism and toward a more equitable social democracy, albeit in limited ways.
U.S. officials say they are for change just as long as it is peaceful and not violently imposed. Indeed, economic elites may some times tolerate very limited reforms, learning to give a little in order to keep a lot. But judging from Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, and a number of other places, they have a low tolerance for changes, even peaceful ones, that tamper with the existing class structure and threaten the prerogatives of corporate and landed wealth.
To the rich and powerful it makes little difference if their interests are undone by a peaceful transformation rather than a violent upheaval. The means concern them much less than the end results. It is not the "violent" in violent revolution they hate; it is the "revolution." (Third World elites seldom perish in revolutions. The worst of them usually manage to make it to Miami, Madrid, Paris, or New York.)
They dread socialism the way the rest of us might dread poverty and hunger. So, when push comes to shove, the wealthy classes of Third World countries, with a great deal of help from the corporate-military-political elites in our country, will use fascism to preserve capitalism while claiming they are saving democracy from communism.
A socialist Cuba or a socialist North Korea, as such, are not a threat to the survival of world capitalism. The danger is not socialism in any one country but a socialism that might spread to many countries. Multinational corporations, as their name implies, need the entire world, or a very large part of it, to exploit and to invest and expand in. There can be no such thing as "capitalism in one country."
The domino theory-the view that if one country falls to the revolutionaries, others will follow in quick succession-may not work as automatically as its more fearful proponents claim, but there usually is a contagion, a power of example and inspiration, and sometimes even direct encouragement and assistance from one revolution to another.
Support the Good Guys?
If revolutions arise from the sincere aspirations of the populace, then it is time the United States identify itself with these aspi rations, so liberal critics keep urging. They ask: "Why do we always find ourselves on the wrong side in the Third World? Why are we always on the side of the oppressor?"
Too bad the question is treated as a rhetorical one, for it is deserving of a response. The answer is that right-wing oppressors, however heinous they be, do not tamper with, and give full support to, private investment and profit, while the leftists pose a challenge to that system.
There are those who used to say that we had to learn from the communists, copy their techniques, and thus win the battle for the hearts and minds of the people. Can we imagine the ruling interests of the United States abiding by this? The goal is not to copy communist reforms but to prevent them.
How would U.S. interventionists try to learn from and outdo the revolutionaries? Drive out the latifundio owners and sweatshop bosses? Kick out the plundering corporations and nationalize their holdings? Imprison the militarists and torturers? Redistribute the land, use capital investment for home consumption or hard currency exchange instead of cash crop exports that profit a rich few?
Install a national health insurance program and construct hospitals and clinics at public expense? Mobilize the population for literacy campaigns and for work in publicly owned enterprises? If U.S. rulers did all this, they would have done more than defeat the communists and other revolutionaries, they would have carried out the communists' programs. They would have prevented revolution only by bringing about its effects-thereby defeating their own goals.
U.S. policy makers say they cannot afford to pick and choose the governments they support, but that is exactly what they do. And the pattern of choice is consistent through each successive administration regardless of the party or personality in office. U.S. Ieaders support those governments, be they autocratic or democratic in form, that are friendly toward capitalism and oppose those governments, be they autocratic or democratic, that seek to develop a noncapitalist social order.
Occasionally friendly relations are cultivated with noncapitalist nations like China if these countries show themselves in useful opposition to other socialist nations and are sufficiently open to private capital exploitation. In the case of China, the economic opportunity is so huge as to be hard to resist, the labor supply is plentiful and cheap, and the profit opportunities are great.
In any one instance, interventionist policies may be less concerned with specific investments than with protecting the global investment system. The United States had relatively little direct investment in Cuba, Vietnam, and Grenada-to mention three countries that Washington has invaded in recent years.
What was at stake in Grenada, as Reagan said, was something more than nutmeg. It was whether we would let a country develop a competing economic order, a different way of utilizing its land, labor, capital, and natural resources. A social revolution in any part of the world may or may not hurt specific U.S. corporations, but it nevertheless becomes part of a cumulative threat to private finance capital in general.
The United States will support governments that seek to suppress guerrilla movements, as in El Salvador, and will support guerrilla movements that seek to overthrow governments, as in Nicaragua. But there is no confusion or stupidity about it. It is incorrect to say, "We have no foreign policy" or "We have a stupid and confused foreign policy."
Again, it is necessary not to confuse subterfuge with stupidity. The policy is remarkably rational. Its central organizing principle is to make the world safe for the multinational corporations and the free-market capital-accumulation system. However, our rulers cannot ask the U.S. public to sacrifice their tax dollars and the lives of their sons for Exxon and Chase Manhattan, for the profit system as such, so they tell us that the interventions are for freedom and national security and the protection of unspecified "U.S. interests."
Whether policy makers believe their own arguments is not the key question. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Sometimes presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton were doing their hypocritical best when their voices quavered with staged compassion for this or that oppressed people who had to be rescued from the communists or terrorists with U.S. missiles and troops, and sometimes they were sincere, as when they spoke of their fear and loathing of communism and revolution and their desire to protect U.S. investments abroad.
We need not ponder the question of whether our leaders are motivated by their class interests or by a commitment to anti-communist ideology, as if these two things were in competition with each other instead of mutually reinforcing. The arguments our leaders proffer may be self-serving and fabricated, yet also sincerely embraced. It is a creed's congruity with one's material self-interest that often makes it so compelling.
In any case, so much of politics is the rational use of irrational symbols. The arguments in support of interventionism may sound and may actually be irrational and nonsensical, but they serve a rational purpose.
Once we grasp the central consistency of U.S. foreign policy, we can move from a liberal complaint to a radical analysis, from criticizing the "foolishness" of our government's behavior to understanding why the "foolishness" is not random but persists over time against all contrary arguments and evidence, always moving in the same elitist, repressive direction.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and other Eastern European communist governments, U.S. Ieaders now have a freer hand in their interventions. A number of left reformist governments that had relied on the Soviets for economic assistance and political protection against U.S. interference now have nowhere to turn. The willingness of U.S. Ieaders to tolerate economic deviations does not grow with their sense of their growing power.
Quite the contrary. Now even the palest economic nationalism, as displayed in Iraq by Saddam Hussein over oil prices, invites the destructive might of the U.S. military. The goal now, as always, is to obliterate every trace of an alternative system, to make it clear that there is no road to take except that of the free market, in a world in which the many at home and abroad will work still harder for less so that the favored few will accumulate more and more wealth.
That is the vision of the future to which most U.S. Ieaders are implicitly dedicated. It is a vision taken from the past and never forgotten by them, a matter of putting the masses of people at home and abroad back in their place, divested of any aspirations for a better world because they are struggling too hard to survive in this one.
Federal Reserve System
The Elite, the ‘Great Game’ and World War III
By Prof. Mujahid Kamran
Global Research, June 7, 2011
New Dawn Special Issue 16
The control of the US, and of global politics, by the wealthiest families of the planet is exercised in a powerful, profound and clandestine manner. This control began in Europe and has a continuity that can be traced back to the time when the bankers discovered it was more profitable to give loans to governments than to needy individuals.
These banking families and their subservient beneficiaries have come to own most major businesses over the two centuries during which they have secretly and increasingly organised themselves as controllers of governments worldwide and as arbiters of war and peace.
Unless we understand this we will be unable to understand the real reasons for the two world wars and the impending Third World War, a war that is almost certain to begin as a consequence of the US attempt to seize and control Central Asia. The only way out is for the US to back off – something the people of the US and the world want, but the elite does not.
The US is a country controlled through the privately owned Federal Reserve, which in turn is controlled by
the handful of banking families that established it by deception in the first place.
In his interesting book The Secret Team, Col. Fletcher Prouty, briefing officer of the US President from 1955-63, narrates a remarkable incident in which Winston Churchill made a most revealing utterance during World War II: “On this particular night there had been a heavy raid on Rotterdam. He sat there, meditating, and then, as if to himself, he said, ‘Unrestricted submarine warfare, unrestricted air bombing – this is total war.’ He continued sitting there, gazing at a large map, and then said, ‘Time and the Ocean and some guiding star and High Cabal have made us what we are’.”
Prouty further states: “This was a most memorable scene and a revelation of reality that is infrequent, at best. If for the great Winston Churchill, there is a ‘High Cabal’ that has made us what we are, our definition is complete. Who could know better than Churchill himself during the darkest days of World War II, that there exists, beyond doubt, an international High Cabal? This was true then. It is true today, especially in these times of the One World Order. This all-powerful group has remained superior because it had learned the value of anonymity.” This “High Cabal” is the “One World Cabal” of today, also called the elite by various writers.
The High Cabal and What They Control
The elite owns the media, banks, defence and oil industry. In his book Who’s Who of the Elite Robert Gaylon Ross Sr. states: “It is my opinion that they own the US military, NATO, the Secret Service, the CIA, the Supreme Court, and many of the lower courts. They appear to control, either directly or indirectly, most of the state, county, and local law enforcement agencies.”
The elite is intent on conquering the world through the use of the abilities of the people of the United States. It was as far back as 1774 that Amschel Mayer Rothschild stated at a gathering of the twelve richest men of Prussia in Frankfurt: “Wars should be directed so that the nations on both sides should be further in our debt.” He further enunciated at the same meeting: “Panics and financial depressions would ultimately result in World Government, a new order of one world government.”
The elite owns numerous “think tanks” that work for expanding, consolidating and perpetuating its hold on the globe. The Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and many other similar organisations are all funded by the elite and work for it. These think tanks publish journals, such as Foreign Affairs, in which these imperialist and anti-mankind ideas are edified as publications, and then, if need be, expanded in the form of books that are given wide publicity.
Zbigniew Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger et al, as well as the neo-con “thinkers,” owe their positions
and good living standards to the largesse of the elite. This is an important point that must be kept in full view at all times. These thinkers and writers are on the payroll of the elite and work for them. In case someone has any doubts about such a statement, it might help to read the following quotes from Professor Peter Dale Scott’s comprehensively researched book The Road to 9/11 – Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (University of California Press, 2007): ...Bundy’s Harvard protégé Kissinger was named to be national security adviser after having chaired an important “study group” at the Council on Foreign Relations. As a former assistant to Nelson Rockefeller, Kissinger had been paid by Rockefeller to write a book on limited warfare for the CFR. He had also campaigned hard in Rockefeller’s losing campaign for the Presidential nomination in 1968. Thus Rockefeller and the CFR might have been excluded from control of the Republican Party, but not from the Republican White House. (Page 22)
The following quote from page 38 of the book is also very revealing: The Kissinger-Rockefeller relationship was complex and certainly intense. As investigative reporter Jim Hougan wrote: “Kissinger, married to a former Rockefeller aide, owner of a Georgetown mansion whose purchase was enabled only by Rockefeller gifts and loans, was always a protégé of his patron Nelson Rockefeller, even when he wasn’t directly employed by him.”
Professor Scott adds: Nixon’s and Kissinger’s arrival in the White House in 1969 coincided with David Rockefeller’s becoming CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank. The Nixon-Kissinger foreign policy of detente was highly congruous with Rockefeller’s push to internationalise Chase Manhattan banking operations. Thus in 1973 Chase Manhattan became the first American bank to open an office in Moscow. A few months later, thanks to an invitation arranged by Kissinger, Rockefeller became the first US banker to talk with Chinese Communist leaders in Beijing.
How They Manipulate Public Opinion
In addition to these strategic “think tanks” the elite has set up a chain of research institutes devoted to manipulating public opinion in a manner the elite desires. As pointed out by John Coleman in his eye opening book The Tavistock Institute on Human Relations – Shaping the Moral, Spiritual, Cultural, Political and Economic Decline of the United States of America, it was in 1913 that an institute was established at Wellington House, London for manipulation of public opinion. According to Coleman: The modern science of mass manipulation was born at Wellington House London, the lusty infant being midwifed by Lord Northcliffe and Lord Rothmere. The British monarchy, Lord Rothschild, and the Rockefellers were responsible for funding the venture... the purpose of those at Wellington House was to effect a change in the opinions of British people who were adamantly opposed to war with Germany, a formidable task that was accomplished by “opinion making” through polling. The staff consisted of Arnold Toynbee, a future director of studies at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA), Lord Northcliffe, and the Americans, Walter Lippmann and Edward Bernays. Lord Northcliffe was related to the Rothschilds through marriage.
Bernays was a nephew of Sigmund Freud, a fact never mentioned, and developed the technique of “engineering consent.” When Sigmund Freud moved to Britain he also, secretly, became associated with this institute through the Tavistock Institute. According to Coleman, Bernays “pioneered the use of psychology and other social sciences to shape and form public opinion so that the public thought such manufactured opinions were their own.”
The Tavistock Institute has a 6 billion dollar fund and 400 subsidiary organisations are under its control along with 3,000 think tanks, mostly in the USA. The Stanford Research Institute, the Hoover Institute, the Aspen Institute of Colorado, and many others, devoted to manipulation of US as well as global public opinion, are Tavistock offshoots. This helps explain why the US public, by and large, is so mesmerised as to be unable to see things clearly and to react.
Bilderberg researcher Daniel Estulin quotes from Mary Scobey’s book To Nurture Humanness a statement attributed to Professor Raymond Houghton, that the CFR has been clear for a very long time that “absolute behaviour control is imminent... without mankind’s self realisation that a crisis is at hand.”
Also keep in mind that currently 80% of US electronic and print media is owned by only six large corporations. This development has taken place in the past two decades. These corporations are elite owned. It is almost impossible for anyone who is acquainted with what is going on at the global level to watch, even for a few minutes, the distortions, lies and fabrications, incessantly pouring out of this media, a propaganda and brainwashing organ of the elite.
Once your picture is clear it is also easy to notice the criminal silence of the media on crimes being perpetrated against humanity at the behest of the elite. How many people know that the cancer rates in Fallujah, Iraq are higher than those in Hiroshima and Nagasaki because of the use of depleted uranium, and maybe other secret nuclear devices, by US forces? Fallujah was punished for its heroic resistance against the American forces.
The Importance of Eurasia
Why is the US in Central Asia? In order to understand this, one has to look at the writings of the stooges of the elite – Brzezinski, Kissinger, Samuel P Huntington, and their likes. It is important to note that members of these elite paid think tanks publish books as part of a strategy to give respectability to subsequent illegal, immoral and predatory actions that are to be taken at the behest of the elite. The views are not necessarily their own – they are the views of the think tanks. These stooges formulate and pronounce policies and plans at the behest of their masters, through bodies like the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, etc.
In his infinitely arrogant book The Grand Chessboard, published in 1997, Brzezinski spelled out the philosophy behind the current US military eruption. He starts by quoting the well-known views of the British geographer Sir Halford J Mackinder (1861–1947), another worker for the elite. Mackinder was a member of the ‘Coefficients Dining Club’ established by members of the Fabian Society in 1902. The continuity of the policies of the elite is indicated by the fact Brzezinski starts from Mackinder’s thesis first propounded in 1904: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland: Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island: who commands the World-Island commands the world.”
Brzezinski argues that for the first time in human history a non-Eurasian power has become preeminent and it must hold sway over the Eurasian continent if it is to remain the preeminent global power: “For America the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia... About 75 percent of the world’s people live in Eurasia... Eurasia accounts for about 60 percent of the world’s GNP and about three fourths of the world’s known energy resources.”
It is not just the geostrategic location of this region – it is also its wealth, “both in its enterprises and beneath its soil,” that holds such attraction for the elite whose greed for money, and lust for power, remain insatiable, as if there was a sickness afflicting it.
Brzezinski writes: “But it is on the globe’s most important playing field – Eurasia – that a potential rival to America might at some point arise. This focusing on the key players and properly assessing the terrain has to be a point of departure for the formulation of American geostrategy for the long-term management of America’s Eurasian geopolitical interests.”
These lines were published in 1997. Millions of people have died in the past two decades and millions have been rendered homeless in this region but it remains a “playing” field for Brzezinski and his likes! In his book Brzezinski has drawn two very interesting maps – one of these has the caption The Global Zone of Percolating Violence (page 53) and the other (page 124) is captioned The Eurasian Balkans. The first of these encircles a region which includes the following countries: Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, all Central Asian states, Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of Russia as well as India. The second one has two circles, an inner circle and a wider circle – the outer circle encloses the same countries as in the first map but the inner circle covers Iran, Afghanistan, eastern Turkey and the former Soviet Republics in Central Asia.
“This huge region, torn by volatile hatreds and surrounded by competing powerful neighbours, is likely to be a major battlefield...” writes Brzezinski. He further writes: “A possible challenge to American primacy from Islamic fundamentalism could be part of the problem of this unstable region.” These lines were written at a time when this kind of fundamentalism was not a problem – subsequently the US manipulated things and chose to make it one by its provocative and deceptive tactics. According to its strategic thinkers, the US might face a serious challenge from a coalition of China, Russia and Iran and must do whatever it can to prevent such a coalition from forming.
For Brzezinski, “terrorism” – a Tavistock-type concept – is just a well planned and well thought out strategy, a lie and a deception, to provide cover for a military presence in the Central Eurasian region and elsewhere. It is being used to keep the US public in a state of fear, to keep Russia in a state of insecurity about further breakup (the US has trained and supported Chechen fighters, “terrorists,” throughout) and to justify presence of US troops in and around Central Asia. The Concocted War on Terrorism
Terrorism provides justification for transforming the United States into a police state. According to the Washington Post of 20 & 21 December 2010, the US now has 4,058 anti-terrorism organisations! These are certainly not meant for those so-called terrorists who operate in Central Asia – the number far exceeds the number of so-called terrorists in the entire world. Unbridled domestic spying by US agencies is now a fact of life and the US public, as always, has accepted this because of the collusion of media and Tavistock type institutes owned by the elite.
The US historian Howard Zinn puts it very well: “The so-called war on terrorism is not only a war against innocent people in other countries, but also a war on the people of the United States: a war on our liberties, a war on our standard of living. The wealth of the country is being stolen from the people and handed over to the superrich. The lives of our young are being stolen. And the thieves are in the White House.” Actually the thieves control the White House and have been doing so for a very long time.
In his outstanding book Crossing the Rubicon, Michael Ruppert points out that much of the violence in the Central Asian region as well as in Pakistan, which has been encircled in two maps in Brzezinski’s book, was “initiated by the US proxies.” “Given that these maps were published a full four years before the first plane hit the World Trade Centre, they would fall in a category of evidence I learned about at LAPD [Los Angeles Police Department]. We called them ‘clues’.” This means that the eruption of US militarism after 9/11, and the event itself, were part of a pre-planned and coherent strategy of global domination in which the people of the US were also “conquered” through totalitarian legislation carried out in the wake of 9/11.
As Brzezinski puts it: America is too democratic at home to be autocratic abroad. This limits the use of America’s power, especially its capacity for military intimidation. Never before has a popular democracy attained international supremacy. But the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion, except in conditions of a sudden threat or challenge to the public’s sense of domestic well-being... The economic self-denial (that is, defence spending) and the human sacrifice (casualties even among professional soldiers) required in the effort are uncongenial to democratic instincts. Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation.
Certainly post 9/11 legislation, the extraordinary expansion of agencies and surveillance of the US public is a cause of great satisfaction for the elite – the US can hardly be called a democracy now. As reported by the Washington Post, the National Security Agency intercepts over 1.7 billion emails, phone calls and other communications every day and stores them. No wonder Bush called 9/11 “a great opportunity” and Rumsfeld saw it analogous to World War II to “refashion the world.”
In order to achieve the objectives of the elite, the US destroyed Yugoslavia while Russia stood by mesmerised and impotent, carried out regime changes in Central Asia, set up military bases in East Europe and Central Asia, and staged highly provocative military exercises testing Russia’s and China’s will. It set up a military base in Kyrgyzstan that has a 500 mile or so border with China. When the Chinese protested recent naval exercises with South Korea were too close to Chinese territory, a US spokesman responded: “Those determinations are made by us, and us alone... Where we exercise, when we exercise, with whom and how, with what assets and so forth are determinations that are made by the United States Navy, by the Department of Defence, by the United States government.” As journalist Rick Rozoff notes: “There is no way such confrontational, arrogant and vulgar language was not understood at its proper value in Beijing.”
The US has acquired bases in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, and the Czech Republic – and set up the largest military base ever built in the region, Camp Bondsteel, in Kosovo. According to a report in the Russian Kommersant newspaper on 3 March 2011, a four-phase plan for deployment of a US missile system in Europe is to be fully implemented by the end of 2020. The US is also busy setting up bilateral military ties in Russia’s backyard with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and is pursuing the goal of a “Greater Central Asia” from Afghanistan right up to the Middle East, a great corridor from where the oil, gas, and great mineral wealth of this region will flow to the coffers of the US elite, at bloody expense to the local people.
As remarked by the Indian career diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar: “The time is not far off before they begin to sense that ‘the war on terror’ is providing a convenient rubric under which the US is incrementally securing for itself a permanent abode in the highlands of Hindu Kush, the Pamirs, Central Asian steppes and the Caucasus that form the strategic hub overlooking Russia, China, India and Iran.” The scene for a great war involving the great powers of the time – US, Russia and China – is now set, by design of the elite. It is just a matter of time.
Time and again the US elite has taken its good people into great wars through documented and proven deceptions – the sinking of the Lusitania during World War I, Pearl Harbour in World War II, and so on. The elite considers us “human garbage” – a term first used by the French in Indo-China. It is also generating a good deal of “human garbage” in the US. A World Bank report points out that in 2005, 28 million Americans were “insecure” – in 2007 the number had risen to 46 million! One in every five Americans is faced with the possibility of becoming “destitute” – 38 million people receive food coupons!
Michael Ruppert laments: My country is dead. Its people have surrendered to tyranny and in so doing, they have become tyranny’s primary support group; its base; its defender. Every day they offer their endorsement of tyranny by banking in its banks and spending their borrowed money with the corporations that run it. The great Neocon strategy of George H.W. Bush has triumphed. Convince the America people that they can’t live without the ‘good things’, then sit back and watch as they endorse the progressively more outrageous crimes you commit as you throw them bones with ever less meat on them. All the while lock them into debt. Destroy the middle class, the only political base that need be feared. Make them accept, because of their shared guilt, ever-more repressive police state measures. Do whatever you want.
A global economic system erected on inhuman and predatory values, where a few possess more wealth than the billions of hungry put together, will end, but the end will be painful and bloody. It is a system in which the elite thrives on war and widespread human misery, on death and destruction by design. As Einstein said, “I do not know how the Third World War will be fought, but I can tell you what they will use in the Fourth – sticks and stones!”
Prof. Mujahid Kamran is Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, and his book The Grand Deception – Corporate America and Perpetual War has just been published (April 2011) by Sang e Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan.
Bahrain: Saudi Forces at Forefront of Brutal Repression
by Finian Cunningham
Global Research, April 10, 2011
Bahraini man Ahmed Farhan was shot in the head by Saudi soldiers as he lay fatally wounded on the ground. He was singled out for the brutal killing simply because he was carrying the Bahraini national flag in his car, witnesses say.
Thirty-year-old Ahmed had the misfortune of going to refuel his car at a petrol station on the outskirts of his hometown, Sitra, when it came under attack from heavily armed troops belonging to the Bahraini Defence Force and Saudi army. The soldiers, backed by armoured cars and tanks, were firing live rounds and raiding homes in the mainly Shia town in northeastern Bahrain – military operations that have become a daily event here in towns and villages across Bahrain.
“There were other customers at the petrol station, but the soldiers noticed that Ahmed had a Bahraini flag in his car,” recalled a close friend.
“Because of this, they saw him as a protester against the regime. They shot him first with shotguns while he was sitting in the car. Ahmed got out of the car and tried to run away, but the soldiers fired at him and hit him in the head. Then as he lay on the ground bleeding, a Saudi soldier walked up to him and shot Ahmed in the
head with a high-velocity weapon.”
His friend continued: “They were wearing masks but they were Saudi soldiers because we could tell from their uniforms and their accents.”
This was only 24 hours after thousands of troops from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states arrived in Bahrain as part of the Peninsula Shield task force on March 14. The Bahraini government headed by King Hamad Al Khalifa declared then that it had called on neighbouring states to help it “restore order and stability” after four weeks of massive pro-democracy, and mainly peaceful, protests were threatening to topple the US-backed Sunni rulers.
When Ahmed’s remains were viewed later in the morgue his body showed the signs of point-blank shooting. His back was riddled with shotgun wounds and when the morticians turned his body over, the back of his skull flopped open revealing a bloody mess and a gaping hole where the brain used to be.
A surgeon said helplessly: “We could do nothing to save him.”
Nearly four weeks after the arrival of the Peninsula Shield forces, the military crackdown against Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement appears to be intensifying, with Saudi troops at the forefront of the assault on mainly Shia villages and districts within the capital, Manama. Some 31 people have been killed since the uprising began on February 14, two-thirds of them since the Saudi-led forces entered the country, according to the Bahrain Centre of Human Rights. More than 20 persons remain missing. The latest victim was named yesterday as Ali Essa Sager (31), from Sihlaa, who died in detention, believed to have been tortured. Over 600 people, including politicians, doctors and lawyers, are reported to be unlawfully detained in unknown conditions – the vast majority having been arrested since the Saudi forces came to Bahrain.
In what appears to be a further sinister twist to the repression, several Shia mosques have reportedly been attacked by Saudi forces. Pro-democracy sources say the attacks on mosques are an attempt to incite sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni communities to provide a political cover for the authorities to
escalate the crackdown against the pro-democracy movement and further tighten the state of emergency that was declared on March 14.
The Shia represent 60-70 per cent of the Bahraini population and have been most prominent in calling for a democratically elected government to replace the Sunni ruling monarchy. As well as constitutional overhaul of the Persian Gulf island state, the Shia majority also complain of decades of discrimination in jobs and housing – grievances that are all the more amplified given the oil wealth of the tiny country of some 700,000 indigenous inhabitants.
Ahmed Farhan’s family is typical of the poor social conditions endured by many Bahrainis.
He shared the cramped, run-down family home in Sitra with his parents, four brothers and two sisters. The four adult brothers slept in one small room. One of his sisters is married with four children, who also live in the family home. Some 50,000 Bahraini families are estimated to be on a waiting list for affordable housing, many of them waiting for over 20 years to be properly housed.
Ahmed worked as a fisherman. He earned 80 Bahraini dinars a month ($212), which is barely enough to cover the weekly food bill for a small family.
Bahrain’s traditional fishing industry used to be a mainstay activity sustaining many communities. But the industry has been badly hit by large-scale land reclamation projects carried out in recent years as part of the
island’s economic modernisation. Some former fishing villages, such as Juffair, have now found themselves in the bizarre situation of being landlocked, surrounded by skyscrapers and five-star hotels that cater for expatriate businessmen. The land reclamation projects are blamed for destroying fishing grounds and depleting fish stocks, which have in turn led to many fishermen losing jobs or, like Ahmed, trying to eke a living from diminishing earnings.
His close friend said: “Ahmed would often tell me how much he wanted to get married and start a family, but he couldn’t afford a house. Like many young Bahraini men, he couldn’t start a family because he was too poor,”
He added: “Ahmed was always talking about his plans to make a better a life for himself. He was always talking about freedom. That’s why he loved the sea and fishing even though he was finding it hard to make a living. He wanted freedom for himself and for his people to have a better life. What is this? People are being killed here just because they are asking for freedom.”
Bahrain: Western Complicity in Saudi-Backed War Crimes
Civilian Killings, Disappearances, Torture, Chemical Warfare and Organ Theft...
By Finian Cunningham
URL of this article:
Global Research, April 6, 2011
Claims of Civilian Killings, Disappearances, Torture, Chemical Warfare Agents and Organ Theft From Victims of State Violence
When Saudi-led military forces intervened in Bahrain on March 14, it was declared by the Bahraini government and its allies among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates that the unprecedented move was a matter of urgency, needed to “restore order and stability” to the tiny Persian Gulf island kingdom. An arcane GCC defence pact was invoked – the Arabian Peninsula Shield – even though legal experts pointed out that such a provision was only applicable in the event of one of the six Gulf states coming under attack from an external enemy.
Three weeks later, the real nature of the Saudi-led intervention is becoming brutally clear. It can now be seen as an invasion that has led to foreign occupation, lawlessness and several categories of crimes against humanity committed by the very forces purported to bring order. In one sense, the rhetorical justification for invoking the Peninsula Shield force, “to restore order and stability”, is literally correct. The aim was to restore the order and stability of the US-backed Al Khalifa Sunni dictatorship that had sat perilously on top of an oppressed Shia majority for decades. On February 14, the Shia majority (60-70 per cent of the indigenous population) along with disenfranchised Sunni and non-religionists from working class communities rose up in numbers that had never been seen before. Inspired by revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab region, Bahrain’s surging pro-democracy movement rocked the royal rulers.
Bahrain’s indigenous population is estimated at 700,000. Official figures are hard to come by because of the demographic sensitivity of the island’s Sunni ruling elite. So when daily demonstrations of up 200,000-
300,000 people were flooding main roads and highways, temporarily disabling government institutions and centres of commerce – and with crowds shouting with increasing boldness “Down, down [King] Hamad” – there was a palpable sense that the regime was facing a serious existential threat. No matter that the protest movement was based on peaceful civil disobedience, the threat to the status quo had reached an unbearable threshold, from the point of view of the regime and its regional and Western backers.
During the four weeks of democracy-euphoria sweeping Bahrain, the Gulf leaders were in constant communication under the aegis of the GCC with its headquarters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Even when Bahrain’s rulers ordered a massacre of seven civilians during the first week of protests, the foreign ministers of the GCC defied an international outcry and rallied in staunch support of their ally in Manama. Evidently, the shaky foundations of the House of Al Khalifa were undermining the House of Al Saud and the other sheikhdoms of the Gulf, as witnessed by the beginnings of civil unrest in Saudi’s oil-rich Eastern Province and Oman. If Bahrain were to succumb to democracy, as its people were demanding, the domino effect on the rigid, autocratic power structure across the Gulf would have revolutionary repercussions.
Enter the US and Britain
The threat of democracy in the Gulf is not just a concern to regional despots fighting to maintain their anachronistic privileges over the mass of impoverished people. The threat to autocratic rule in the Gulf goes to the heart of global power domination by Western capitalist governments and their imperialist control of resources and nations. The continued flow of oil from the earth’s largest proven reserves of hydrocarbons, and perhaps more importantly the continued flow of petrodollars from the Gulf puppet states to buy Western treasury bonds and thus prop up debt-crippled economies, are hugely vital interests. Reflecting this dependence on maintaining the autocratic Gulf status quo, the Western governments every year sell billions of dollars worth of weaponry to the dictatorial regimes – weapons that are used mainly to suppress their own people from seeking democracy.
It is worth thinking about that for a while. Western governments, despite lofty rhetoric and platitudes about democracy and human rights, are, under the operation of the capitalist order, in direct conflict with such values. This fundamental contradiction of Western powers can of course be seen right across the Middle East and North Africa, having backed dictators in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen, and until recently Libya under Muammar Gaddafi. But the Gulf’s primary oil riches and its strategic location from which Western powers are able to launch wars of aggression to control the vast energy resources of Central Asia, including the checking of Iran, makes the Persian Gulf region a particularly inviolate vital interest.
Just when the Gulf rulers were reaching their threshold of intolerance towards the democracy movement in Bahrain, the US defence secretary Robert Gates made an unscheduled over night visit to Bahrain’s King Hamad Al Khalifa on March 11-12. Only days before, Britain’s top national security advisor, Sir Peter Ricketts, also had a closed meeting with the Bahraini monarch conveying, it was reported, “a special message” from UK prime minister David Cameron.
Two days after Gates left the Bahraini royal household, on March 14, several thousands-strong armed forces entered Bahrain across the 25-kilometre causeway connecting Saudi Arabia. Two days after that again, on March 16, Bahrain’s rulers declared martial law, beginning with a full military attack on peaceful, pro-democracy protesters camped at the capital’s Pearl Square.
As Middle East analyst Ralph Schoenman points out: “This level of coordination does not result in full-scale invasion 48 hours later by virtual puppet regimes without taking their cues and instruction from their military suppliers and political overseers.”
Pointing to the strategic importance of Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based, Schoenman added: “Bahrain is the linchpin of imperial control of the entire region and, indeed of global capitalist ‘stability’ through hegemony over oil and seething populations chafing under the heel of feudal, autocratic, semi-colonial and country-selling regimes.”
That the US government must have given a green light to the Saudi-led invasion and ongoing repression in
Bahrain is corroborated by Pepe Escobar in Asia Times on April 2. He writes: “Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via secretary of state Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a ‘yes’ vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya - the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.
On the morning of March 16, around 5.30am, Bahrain’s mobile telecommunication networks were abruptly shut down. Minutes later, members of the Bahraini Defence Forces and police, supported by Saudi-led GCC troops, fired on civilians with machineguns, tanks and US-made Cobra helicopter gunships.
One of those killed, Jaffar Maioof, from A’ali village, was shot in the back and the legs. Thirty-two-year-old Jaffar had been earlier entreating the armed soldiers who came to crush the pro-democracy movement camped for nearly a month at the Pearl Square.
“We only want peace and democracy,” Jaffar told the soldiers of the Peninsula Shield. “The rights we are fighting for are rights for you too... the right to vote, to work, to have a good house, health and education.”
The soldiers didn’t want to listen, recalled Jaffar’s cousin, Abdulllah, who was with him on that fatal morning.
“They starting firing machineguns from helicopters and tanks,” said Abdullah. “Jaffar was hit in the back and then in the legs. He fell to the ground, but we couldn’t help him because the soldiers were firing at us and they wouldn’t let an ambulance near Jaffar. They shot at the tyres of one ambulance vehicle that tried to reach my cousin.”
The total number of dead civilians since the February 14 uprising in Bahrain is estimated between 25 and 30. It is hard to put an exact figure on the numbers murdered on March 16 and subsequently because of the second violation of international law committed by the Peninsula Shield forces – the immediate targeting of
hospitals, medics and the injured in the hospitals.
The prime target was Salmaniya Medical Centre, Bahrain’s biggest public hospital and only a few kilometers from Pearl Square, which had defied ministerial orders in previous weeks to keep its doors open to treat the thousands injured by state violence involving shotguns,
high-velocity weapons, tear gas, and rubber bullets fired at point-blank range.
Several of the doctors and nurses at Salmaniya were physically abused when the military attacked the hospital – crimes against humanity on two counts. One senior consultant, Dr Ali Al-Ekri, was arrested while he was conducting surgery. His whereabouts remain unknown. In total, nine doctors and senior nursing staff have been unlawfully detained, accused of being “disloyal” by the regime simply because they adhered to medical ethics to treat dying and injured protesters.
Injured among up to 400 missing
Added to the detained medics, it is estimated by human rights groups that between 200 and 400 injured patients were and continue to be detained by military forces that commandeered Salmaniya and all other public hospitals following the crackdown on March 16.
A spokeswoman for US-based Human Rights Watch said: “We are deeply alarmed by the number of disappeared. And we are even more concerned by the number of people who had been reported missing and who are now being found dead. There seems to be a blatant campaign to silence people by fear,” she added.
In recent days, at least four people have been reported dead after they went missing during the military crackdown. One of them was named as Abdulrazul Al Hujairi (38), from Burri village. He worked as a cleaner at Salmaniya Hospital in Manama and was taken into custody on March 19, according to witnesses.
His badly beaten body, including a broken neck, was found the next day near the remote oil fields of Awaali. (His body also bore evidence of deep surgery on his torso – unrelated to the cause of death. See more on this below).
The father of another man Hani Abdulaziz (32), from Belad Al Qadeem, west of Manama, described how he saw his badly injured son being taken away by military police while he was being treated at the International Hospital on March 19. Abdulaziz is believed to have been tortured after he was snatched by a police squad earlier that day. He was taken to a nearby construction site and shot in the legs and arms, said witnesses. The bare concrete room where he is said to have been shot four times at close range bore the evidence of massive blood loss. His father said subsequent inquires with the police failed to produce any information on the whereabouts of his son. His body was eventually released five days later – the same day he was buried. Abdulaziz’s family rejected the official death certificate, which claimed that he was killed in a car accident.
Chemical warfare agents cleared by Washington?
Another violation of international law concerns the alleged use of chemical warfare agents by the Peninsula Shield forces.
One Bahraini senior consultant said: “We are sure that nerve agents are being used against protesters. Hundreds of people have been treated for severe symptoms of nerve poisoning that are quite distinct from exposure to teargas.”
This diagnosis of nerve gas poisoning was verified independently by other senior doctors. One toxicologist said: “I am 100 per cent sure that these people were suffering from nerve gas poisoning. All the symptoms match those of poisoning with organophosphate chemicals that are used as chemical warfare weapons.”
The toxicologist went on to explain that the effects of teargas are relatively mild and shortlived, causing coughing and streaming of eyes for 15-60 minutes. However, the medic noted: “People were being brought into the hospitals suffering from unconsciousness, severe convulsions, spasms in their hands and limbs, memory loss, vomiting, the loss of voluntary muscle function, leading to urination and diarrhea. These symptoms match closely those of poisoning with organophosphate neurotoxins. Furthermore, we treated people with the drug, atropine, which is an antidote specific to this organophosphate toxicology.”
It should be pointed out that the use of such nerve agents is illegal under the 1993 UN Convention against Chemical weapons, to which the Bahrain state and its Western allies are signatories. It should also be noted that the same toxicology and claims of neuro toxins being deployed against civilian protesters have been reported in the US-backed Yemeni regime. That such a grave violation of international law was conducted contemporaneously by two US-backed regimes strongly suggests that these states were given clearance from Washington.
Claims of organ theft
To the catalogue of crimes against humanity committed by the Peninsula Shield forces are allegations that the bodies of victims of state violence are being used to harvest organs. According to pro-democracy sources, as many as 17 bodies of victims released from military custody show signs of deep surgery from the neck to the abdomen. One of those cases is that of Abdulrazul Al Hujairi, mentioned above.
Another case is that of 15-year-old Sayed Ahmed Saeed Shams, who was shot dead on the night of March a  drive-by shooting by police, say witnesses. The youth was killed by a single bullet entry above the left eye. When his body was returned to the family for burial the next day, the entire upper body had been subjected to deep surgery – surgery that was unrelated to the cause of death. This and several other cases of inexplicable surgery on victims of state violence are fuelling claims of illegal organ theft, claims that at least deserve an international independent inquiry.
Finally, it should be noted that while the US and other Western powers have mounted robust military and diplomatic intervention in Libya in the name of “humanitarian concern”, no such action has been taken for protection of civilians in Bahrain despite clear evidence of multiple violations under international law and notwithstanding the fact that thousands of US military personnel are stationed only kilometers from the scenes of appalling violence. Despite condemnations from the UN’s Human Rights Commissioner and rights groups such Human Rights Watch and Amnesty, Western governments have conspicuously failed to voice unequivocal concern to halt the ongoing repression against unarmed civilians in Bahrain. This is not just a case of hypocrisy and double standards. It points to Western government complicity at the highest level in crimes against humanity. And the glaring Western contradiction between Bahrain and Libya also shows the much-vaunted Western humanitarian concern in Libya as being nothing but a cynical cover for alterior motives.
Shadows of Nuremberg
Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
January 14, 2008
While reading a report in the Washington Post (Sunday, 6 January 2008, p. A10) on Republican Presidential candidates who were campaigning in New Hampshire, I came upon an arresting paragraph that referred to an “exchange [that] capped a six-way argument sparked by host Charlie Gibson, who asked whether the candidates support [President George W.] Bush’s policy of preemptive war. The leading candidates”—other than Representative Ron Paul, of course—“all embraced the policy.” This enthusiastic near-unanimity led me to ponder the subject in a way that the Washington Post’s reporter (as well as Charlie Gibson) apparently did not.
The terms “preemptive strike” and “preemptive war” are euphemisms. The unvarnished nouns are “attack” and “aggression.” Aggression is a “war crime” under the contemporary Law of Nations. That was the fundamental principle applied in the Nuremberg Trials: namely, that the Nazi leaders had conspired to, and did, seize control of and misuse the government and armed forces of Germany for the purpose of waging unlawful wars—wars of aggression—against Germany’s neighbors. Indeed, the extensive documentary history of the Nazis’ crimes published by the United States Government Printing Office in the late 1940s was entitled simply, and accurately, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression. Nazi aggression did not commence only with actual hostilities, either. The very first document that evidenced the Nazis’ aggression against Russia was the plan—repeat, plan—entitled Aufbau Ost for movement of the German Heer and Luftwaffe into portions of occupied Poland, merely preparatory to invasion.
A common complaint is that the Nuremberg Trials were examples of ex post facto law, that they were hypocritical (inasmuch as one of the brace of original aggressors in World War II, Stalin’s Russia, sat in judgment of her erstwhile ally, Hitler’s Germany), that the prosecutorial and juridical procedures employed did not comport with due process, and so on. Even if all of these criticisms are to some degree just (and surely at least a few of them are), nonetheless: (i) however novel it may have been in the 1940s, the Nuremberg principle that aggression is a “war crime” is not novel today, perforce of the results of the Nuremberg Trials themselves; and (ii) having been applied by the United States in those trials, to the point of hanging various defendants on the strength of such charges, the principle remains applicable in equity to wayward public officials in the United States today.
The concept that a war of aggression is a “war crime” was not something first introduced into the Law of Nations at Nuremberg in the late 1940s, either. Long before Nuremberg, it was widely accepted that launching a war was unjustifiable: (i) in the absence of an actual attack on, or an imminent danger thereof to, the nation engaging in hostilities; (ii) simply to weaken another country militarily, or to prevent her from becoming a possible threat in the future; or (iii) to impose on another country a form of government that was supposedly more benign or progressive than the one she happened to have. See, e.g., Hugo Grotius, The Law of War and Peace (1646), Book II, Chapter I, §§ IV, V, XVII; Chapter XXII, §§ V, XXII.
Moreover, even if the concept that a war of aggression is a “war crime” had never been part of the Law of Nations, it has always been part of the supreme law of the United States: For “the genius and character of our institutions are peaceful, and the power to declare war was not conferred upon Congress for the purposes of aggression and aggrandizement.” Fleming v. Page, 50 U.S. (9 Howard) 603, 614 (1850). And “[t]he Constitution * * * invests the President, as Commander in Chief, with the power to wage war which Congress has declared.” Ex parte Quirin, 317 U.S. 1, 26 (1942). So, if Congress cannot constitutionally declare a war of aggression, the President cannot wage one—let alone wage such a war without any Congressional declaration at all. And if Congress does purport to declare (or otherwise license) a war of aggression, and the President does purport to wage one, everyone involved is guilty of a violation of his “Oath or Affirmation, to support th[e] Constitution.” Article VI, cl. 2. Therefore, all of their actions are illegal—and if perpetrated other than under the proven influence of insanity or other equivalent mental disease or defect, are “war crimes.”
What, then, had I and thousands of others read in the Washington Post? That all but one of the leading Republican candidates for President of the United States possibly are assuring the country that they will behave as “war criminals” if elected President, by continuing and even extending the Bush regime’s policy of “preemptive war”! I say “possibly,” because it may be that these hucksters—or the masterminds of political propaganda and agitation who turn the keys in the back of their heads to wind up their mouths—can produce some convoluted theory as to why the Bush’s regime’s version of “preemptive war” against “Islamo-fascism” throughout the whole world squares with the Constitution. If so, they should be afforded the opportunity in the court of public opinion, if not some other court, to present that exculpatory argument to their fellow Americans.
This explanation not only is mandatory, but also may be more important right now than the candidates’ being pressed to detail their positions on the two crucial issues I have emphasized in other commentaries: namely, (i) the on-going self-destruction of this country’s monetary and banking systems, and (ii) the creation of a national police state under color of providing for “homeland security.” For any further “preemptive wars” will strain America’s already overextended public and private financial structures beyond the point of collapse, which will provide an excuse for the Dark Forces in the Disgrace of Columbia to complete and attempt to put into full operation a national police state.
So, Mr. and Mrs. America, see—in just two sentences in the Washington Post—how far your country has sunk into the murky depths of History’s septic tank, when all the leading Republican Presidential “candidates [other than Ron Paul] support Bush’s policy of preemptive war,” and apparently no one in the big media considers this “support,” in and of itself, a complete and absolute disqualification for nomination, let alone election—or even asks what such “support” legally entails, so that the question of disqualification can be put before the general public. Now, precisely what do you intend to do about it?
I, for one, should not wish to conclude that evidence sufficient to condemn Nazis at Nuremberg has been transmogrified into a qualification for electing Republicans (or anyone else) to high office in Washington. I, for one, should hope that this country has not forgotten the most sanguinary lesson the history of the Twentieth Century teaches. I, for one, should hope that some plausible, innocent explanation of what these Republican candidates say they “support” is available. I, for one, should hope that, if such an explanation is not forthcoming from them, then all of the Democratic aspirants for nomination will roundly repudiate “preemptive wars” in no uncertain terms. And I, for one, should hope that, if neither the Republican nor the Democratic “front runners” renounce wars of aggression as instruments of American foreign policy—and even if they do—then Representative Ron Paul will be elected President. But perhaps I am only one, or only one of a few. Too few. If so, Heaven help America from the darkness closing in upon her—because nothing else can.