Monday, December 12, 2011

America's Covert War Against Iran : Do 'All Options' Mean Nukes?


Definition of insanity:  Obama, Clinton and company believe they can survive nuclear exchange to emerge as sole rulers of a destroyed America

Global Research
By Tom Burghardt
12/12/2011

Legendary investigative journalist I.F. Stone famously observed: "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." Amongst Washington elites and the courtier press, it appears that more than a pipe or two has been passed around of late as the political and psychological ground is prepared for a military attack on Iran.
    Do 'All Options' Mean Nukes?

   During a White House press briefing Thursday, President Barack Obama said that "No options off the table means I am considering all options."

Madman:  Obama thinks nuclear war "winnable"
Many of those "options" are already in play. Ranging from a covert program of assassination and industrial sabotage to planting computer malware as "beacons" for future attacks on civilian and defense infrastructure, the United States, NATO and Israel are already engaged in a campaign of violent destabilization inside the Islamic Republic.

As former CIA officer Philip Giraldi pointed out on Antiwar.com, "the White House has issued several findings to the intelligence community authorizing stepped-up covert action against both Damascus and Tehran."

    "A 'finding,'" Giraldi noted, "is top-level approval for secret operations considered to be particularly politically sensitive. Taken together, the recent findings, combined with the evidence of major intelligence operations being run in Lebanon, amount to a secret war against Iran and its allies in the Mideast."

    In 2007, President Bush "authorized attacks against Iranian nuclear scientists and other facilities in Tehran and elsewhere as well as coordination with the Israelis to develop computer viruses to disrupt the Iranian computer network, a program that led to the production of the Stuxnet worm."

    "While the media credits 'the Israelis' in the assassination of Iranian scientists," Giraldi noted "the reality is that no Israeli (or American) intelligence officer could possibly operate effectively inside Iran to carry out a killing."

    "The assassinations, which are acts of war, have actually been carried out by followers of the dissident Iranian Mujahedin e-Khalq (MEK), the separatist Baluch Jundallah, and the Kurdish PJAK, all acting under direction from American and Israeli intelligence officers," Giraldi grimly observed.

    More ominously however, five years ago The New Yorker revealed that "One of the military's initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites," such as the one at Nantaz.

    At the time, a "senior intelligence official" familiar with the plans told Seymour Hersh: "'Nuclear planners go through extensive training and learn the technical details of damage and fallout--we're talking about mushroom clouds, radiation, mass casualties, and contamination over years. This is not an underground nuclear test, where all you see is the earth raised a little bit. These politicians don't have a clue, and whenever anybody tries to get it out'--remove the nuclear option--'they're shouted down'."

    As Global Research analyst Michel Chossudovsky warned in Towards a World War III Scenario: "Code named by US military planners as TIRANNT, 'Theater Iran Near Term', simulations of an attack on Iran were initiated in May 2003 'when modelers and intelligence specialists pulled together the data needed for theater-level (meaning large-scale) scenario analysis for Iran'."

    "In 2004," Chossudovsky wrote, "drawing upon the initial war scenarios under TIRANNT, Vice President Dick Cheney instructed USSTRATCOM to draw up a 'contingency plan' of a large-scale military operation directed against Iran 'to be employed in response to another 9/11-type terrorist attack on the United States' on the presumption that the government in Tehran would be behind the terrorist plot. The plan included the pre-emptive use of nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state."

    Writing on Iran war plans back in 2005, Philip Giraldi disclosed in The American Conservative magazine, "The plan includes a large-scale air assault on Iran employing both conventional and tactical nuclear weapons. Within Iran there are more than 450 major strategic targets, including numerous suspected nuclear-weapons-program development sites. Many of the targets are hardened or are deep underground and could not be taken out by conventional weapons, hence the nuclear option."

    "As in the case of Iraq," Giraldi wrote, "the response is not conditional on Iran actually being involved in the act of terrorism directed against the United States. Several senior Air Force officers involved in the planning are reportedly appalled at the implications of what they are doing--that Iran is being set up for an unprovoked nuclear attack--but no one is prepared to damage his career by posing any objections."

    While Israel is portrayed as an irrational actor which the United States is powerless to control, this manufactured reality is a smokescreen meant to conceal America's hidden hand.

    According to Chossudovsky, "What we are dealing with is a joint US-NATO-Israel military operation to bomb Iran, which has been in the active planning stage since 2004. Officials in the Defense Department, under Bush and Obama, have been working assiduously with their Israeli military and intelligence counterparts, carefully identifying targets inside Iran."

    "In practical military terms," Chossudovsky averred, "any action by Israel would have to be planned and coordinated at the highest levels of the US-led coalition."

    With these disturbing facts in hand, and the chilling implications of policies which have been concealed from the American people, one can reasonably inquire: Is this what President Obama means when he says "no options off the table means I am considering all options"?

    Given the heated rhetoric employed by the president and his national security team, moves towards economic- and other forms of warfare by Congress, as well as even-more bellicose threats by Republican presidential contenders angling for the Oval Office, the use of a nuclear weapon in any attack upon Iran cannot be ruled out.

'Sentinel Down'

    Much to their consternation, Iran may not be the pushover claimed by the war hawks and their media acolytes.

    After decades of regaling the public with lurid tales of U.S. technological prowess, replete with grandiose plans for "full-spectrum dominance," the Aerospace Division of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) released video Thursday of the captured RQ-170 Sentinel spy drone brought down last Sunday some 140 miles from the Afghan border, well into Iranian territory.

    The incident has become a huge embarrassment to the Pentagon and chest-thumping American politicians who have oversold their oft-repeated claim that the United States is the world's "sole superpower."

    According to PressTV, a Tehran-based English language media outlet which reflects the views of the Iranian government, Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said: "After the aircraft's entry into the country's eastern [air]space, it fell in the electronic ambush of the Iranian Armed Forces and was brought to the ground with minimum damage [caused to it]."

    Also on Thursday, DebkaFile, a Jerusalem-based military intelligence web site with close ties to ultra-rightists in Israel and the United States, reported that the RQ-170 captured December 4 in "almost perfect condition confirmed Tehran's claim that the UAV was downed by a cyber attack, meaning it was not shot down but brought in undamaged by an electronic warfare ambush."

    How did the Iranians bring the Sentinel down? While speculation is rife amongst aviation experts, a plausible theory has emerged.

    According to the Israeli defense industry publication, Defense Update, "Russia has transferred a number of Kvant 1L222 Avtobaza Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) systems to Iran in October." Each "system includes an passive ELINT signals interception system and a jamming module capable of disrupting airborne radars including fire control radars, terrain following radars and ground mapping radars as well as weapon (missile) data links."

    The Russian-supplied system, Defense Update analysts report, is also "capable of intercepting weapon datalink communications operating on similar wavebands. The new gear may have helped the Iranians employ active deception/jamming to intercept and 'hijack' the Sentinel's control link."

    On Saturday, the AviationIntel web site, citing photographic documentation released by Iran that the "evidence is unbelievably conclusive" that Iranian cyberwarriors captured the U.S. spy craft.

    In other words, AviationIntel analysts averred, "there is no reason why [that] system [Avtobaza] could not have detected the Sentinel's electronic trail and either jammed it and/or have alerted fighter aircraft and SAM [surface-to-air missile] installations as to its whereabouts."

    While the RQ-170 "could have operated with limited electronic connectivity, making it less visible," AviationIntel reported that a "more likely scenario" would be that the Sentinel actively transmitted "live video, detailed radar maps, or electronic intelligence, in real-time," making detection all-the-more easier when "pinged" by the Russian-designed system.

    However you care to spin this story, the Iranian military are no slouches; an attack on the Islamic Republic would hardly be the proverbial "cake-walk" touted by the neocons and other armchair warriors.

    In a further sign that the Tehran government take ongoing terror attacks by London, Tel Aviv and Washington very seriously, The Daily Telegraph reported that IRGC commander, General Mohammed Ali Jaafari, "raised the operational readiness status of the country's forces, initiating preparations for potential external strikes and covert attacks."

    The Telegraph disclosed, citing unnamed "Western intelligence officials," that Iran's armed forces "had initiated plans to disperse long-range missiles, high explosives, artillery and guards units to key defensive positions."

    "The Iranian leadership fears the country is being subjected to a carefully co-ordinated attack by Western intelligence and security agencies to destroy key elements of its nuclear infrastructure," The Telegraph reported.

    In response to bellicose threats emanating from Western capitals, a new round of crippling sanctions meant to crater the economy and attacks by intelligence agencies and terrorist assets operating inside Iran, orders were issued "to redistribute Iran's arsenal of long-range Shahab missiles to secret sites around the country where they would be safe from enemy attack and could be used to launch retaliatory attacks."

    On Friday, The Christian Science Monitor reported that conservative lawmaker Mohammad Kossari warned that "'Iran will target all US military bases around the world,' in case of further violations ... [and that] Iran's response would be 'terrifying'."

    Investigative journalist Scott Peterson, who has done yeoman's work exposing the propaganda blitz by current and former U.S. intelligence officials and lawmakers to delist the bizarre Iranian political cult, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from the State Department's list of terrorist organizations, disclosed that "the drone flights have apparently not yielded new evidence that would change conclusions by the United States and the United Nations that Iran stopped systematic nuclear weapons-related work in 2003."

    This of course, confirm Iranian assertions that efforts by Western imperialists over Iran's alleged "nuclear weapons programs" is a pretext for "regime change."

    Defense journalist Robert Densmore, a former Navy electronic countermeasures officer told Peterson that the capture of the RQ-170 drone is "very significant."

    "Strategically," Densmore told the Monitor, "the US will suffer from the loss of this because ... it has radar, a fuselage, and coating that makes it low-observable, and the electronics inside are also very high-tech."

    But perhaps the biggest loss to the Pentagon is not the drone's bat-wing design nor coatings which render the craft less visible to detection by radar--long known to America's capitalist rivals China and Russis--but the "cutting-edge cameras and sensors that can 'listen in' on cellphone conversations as it soars miles above the ground or 'smell' the air and sniff out chemical plumes emanating from a potential underground nuclear laboratory," as the Los Angeles Times disclosed.

    Built by defense giant Lockheed Martin at a cost to taxpayers of some $6 million dollars per unit, the secret state's drone program, greatly expanded by the Obama regime, may be a boon to Washington's opaque Military-Industrial-Surveillance Complex but it is also something of an Achilles' heel.

    "Ever since it was developed at Lockheed Martin Corp.'s famed Skunk Works facility in Palmdale," the Los Angeles Times averred, "the Sentinel drone has been cloaked in tight secrecy by the U.S. government. But now the drone that the Iranian military claims to have brought down for invading its airspace might be made far more public than the Pentagon or Lockheed ever intended."

    On this count, along with many other assumptions underpinning the doctrinal constructs of Washington's technophilic military, they have no one to blame but themselves.

    As Antifascist Calling reported back in 2009, Iraqi insurgents deployed $26 off-the-shelf spy kit that enabled them to intercept live video feeds from Predator drones.

    According to The Wall Street Journal the Pentagon's "potential drone vulnerability lies in an unencrypted downlink between the unmanned craft and ground control." Although this flaw was known to the Pentagon since the 1990s during imperialism's campaign to dismember socialist Yugoslavia, nothing was done since it might prove too costly to the drone's prime contractor, General Atomics Inc.

    The Journal noted "the stolen video feeds also indicate that U.S. adversaries continue to find simple ways of counteracting sophisticated American military technologies."

    In fact, as the Journal disclosed in a subsequent report, the video feed wasn't encrypted "because military officials have long assumed no one would make the effort to try to intercept it."

    Talk about imperial hubris!

    "'It's bad--they'll have everything,' in terms of the secret technology in the aircraft," an unnamed U.S. official told the Los Angeles Times. "'And the Chinese or the Russians will have it too'."

    The Associated Press reported that "Iran will not return a U.S. surveillance drone captured by its armed forces, a senior commander of the country's elite Revolutionary Guard said Sunday."

    "Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Guard, said in remarks broadcast on state television that the violation of Iran's airspace by the U.S. drone was a 'hostile act' and warned of a 'bigger' response. He did not elaborate on what Tehran might do."

    "'No one returns the symbol of aggression to the party that sought secret and vital intelligence related to the national security of a country'," Salami said.

    On the diplomatic front, the drone's capture was a tactical boost for Tehran.

    On Thursday, Iran's UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee complained in a letter to the UN Security Council that the "blatant and unprovoked air violation by the United States Government is tantamount to an act of hostility against the Islamic Republic of Iran in clear contravention of international law, in particular, the basic tenets of the United Nations." Khazaee demanded "condemnation of such aggressive acts." Needless to say, none will be forthcoming.

A One-Two Punch: Iran and China

    As Washington seeks to impose a stranglehold over vital petrochemical resources in Central Asian and Middle Eastern energy corridors, efforts to overthrow the Tehran government, as with U.S. machinations against Libya and now Syria, are daggers aimed directly at Washington's largest creditor and geopolitical rival, China.

    Writing in Asia Times Online, analyst Kaveh L. Afrasiabi warned that the "United States government is on the verge of taking its problems with the Islamic Republic of Iran to a whole new and ominous level that portends clashing interests with China and a number of other countries, including in Europe, which receives some half a million barrels of oil from Iran on a daily basis."

    As previously reported, the 2012 Defense Authorization Act, wending its way through Congress will impose new crippling economic sanctions on Iran, and threaten any corporation or financial institution that does business with Iran's Central Bank with stiff punitive measures.

    "Unwilling to compromise, hawkish lawmakers sponsoring the bill and their impressive army of pro-Israel lobbyists have mounted a counter-attack," Afrasiabi averred, "arguing that the bill is sound and does not require any 'watering down' that would weaken its impact on Iran--the hope being that this will bring Tehran to its knees over the nuclear issue."

    Last week, pro-Israel lobby groups, including the the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the American Jewish Committee, "began a loud campaign in favor of the latest US sanctions bill, pressuring Obama to go along and reminding him of his 'waiver authority'" under terms of the draconian legislation.

    "This argument traps the White House into difficult choices, for example, exempting China, which receives 13% of its imported oil from Iran, would ignite a bush fire of political criticism, and not doing so on the other hand would inevitably harm US-China relations," Afrasiabi wrote.

    Indeed, the current legislation is a double-edged sword aimed at both Iran and China because "the bill in effect asks Beijing to forego its energy ties with Iran and look elsewhere, clearly not something the Chinese are prepared to do in today's age of energy insecurity."

    "That insecurity," Asia Times reports, "would be exacerbated as a result of an oil embargo on Iran, which relies on its oil exports for some 80% of its foreign income. Oil prices would jack up, perhaps to about US$250 a barrel as warned by Tehran," and would have a deleterious effect on countries "such as Spain and Greece, which receive 14% of their oil from Iran, some on Iran credit," directly impacting their already troubled economies.

Reframing Western Propaganda

    Underscoring Western unity regarding the terrorist campaign targeting Iran, the director of "Germany's Institute for Security and International Affairs (SWP), Volker Perthes, and their Iran expert Walter Posch" argued in a secret 2010 diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks that "a policy of covert sabotage (unexplained explosions, accidents, computer hacking etc) would be more effective than a military strike whose effects in the region could be devastating."

    As German Foreign Policy reported last month, the "German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) recently recalled the cause for the renewed escalation of tensions. 'Since the demise of British colonial rule and the announcement of the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine,' according to the think tank's recent analysis, the USA has been pursuing the objective of thwarting the rise of any Middle East country to become a regional predominating power--'if necessary by military means'."
    "'The growth of power and influence of a regional player' would 'automatically be equated with loss of US power and influence in that region.' Washington has always sought, through 'alliances and inter-alliance policies, to create a regional balance of power' that guarantees western hegemony in this resource-rich region."

    "Therefore," GFP's analyst concludes, "the conflict between the West and Iran--regardless of ideological wrappings--is simply a hegemonic conflict."

    This has been borne out by recent statements by neoconservatives in the United States. Shifting gears, neocons in leading U.S. think tanks are busily manufacturing new reasons why the United States, Israel, or both, need to attack Iran--now.

    As journalist MJ Rosenberg pointed out for Media Matters, "suddenly the struggle to stop Iran is not about saving Israel from nuclear annihilation."

    Rosenberg reported that "after a decade of scare-mongering about the second coming of Nazi Germany, the Iran hawks are admitting that they have other reasons for wanting to take out Iran, and saving Israeli lives may not be one of them."

    "Suddenly," Rosenberg wrote, "the neoconservatives have discovered the concept of truth-telling, although, no doubt, the shift will be ephemeral."

    In late November Danielle Pletka, the head of the American Enterprise Institute's "foreign policy shop" explained: "The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it's Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don't do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, 'See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you Iran wasn't getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately.' ... And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem."

    Never mind the inconvenient fact that Iran has repeatedly stated their nuclear program is exclusively for civilian purposes, a point clearly established by two National Intelligence Estimates by American secret state agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Indeed, no evidence exists that Iran has diverted enriched uranium towards a secret military program to develop a weapon, despite howls of protest to the contrary by powerful pro-Israel lobby groups and their pets in Congress.

    "Earlier this week," Rosenberg reported, "one of Pletka's colleagues at AEI said pretty much the same thing. Writing in the Weekly Standard, Thomas Donnelly explained that we've got the Iran problem all wrong and that we need to 'understand the nature of the conflict.'"

    Donnelly continued: "'We're fixated on the Iranian nuclear program while the Tehran regime has its eyes on the real prize: the balance of power in the Persian Gulf and the greater Middle East'."

    In other words, warmongers on both sides of the rather narrow Washington "divide" view Iran not as a so-called "existential threat" to America's "stationary aircraft carrier in the Middle East," Israel, which possesses upwards of 200 nukes, but as a direct competitor for hegemony over the control of the vast petrochemical resources of Central Asia and the Middle East.

    As Seumas Milne wrote last week in The Guardian, "a US or Israeli attack on Iran would turn that regional maelstrom into a global firestorm."

    "Iran would certainly retaliate directly and through allies against Israel, the US and US Gulf client states, and block the 20% of global oil supplies shipped through the Strait of Hormuz. Quite apart from death and destruction, the global economic impact would be incalculable."

    As Reuters reported, "the chance of a military strike on Iran has roughly tripled in the past year, the senior geopolitical risk analyst at Barclays Capital said on Thursday."

    "New York-based analyst Helina Croft, writing in a note titled 'Blowback: Assessing the fallout from the Iranian sanctions', said even increased sanctions without an all-out military strike was increasing the risk of a spike in oil prices."

    "We still contend that the risk of either an Israeli or US strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities remains low, but it has risen, in our view, from 5-10 percent last year to 25-30% now," Croft said.

    Despite, or possibly because the severe economic fallout an attack on Iran would threaten their global competitors, the crisis-ridden U.S. Empire just might view the risks as "manageable."

    But as the World Socialist Web Site warned, "what is being attempted is no less than redrawing the political map of the entire Middle East. It threatens not only region-wide conflict, but to involve those major powers Washington is trying to exclude from this area of vital geostrategic concern: Russia and China."

    This dangerous and deadly game is fraught with peril. As Michel Chossudovsky warned on Global Research: "If such a war were to be launched, the entire Middle East-Central Asia region would flare up. Humanity would be precipitated into a World War III Scenario."

    Such a scenario, as readers undoubtedly surmise, would be anything but "manageable."

    In this light, it is hardly an accident that the same 2012 Defense Authorization Act which threatens to collapse Iran's economy also targets dissident Americans with loss of their constitutional rights and indefinite detention under a creeping martial law regime.

    One crime begets another.



Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, he is a Contributing Editor with Cyrano's Journal Today. His articles can be read on Dissident Voice, Pacific Free Press, Uncommon Thought Journal, and the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press and has contributed to the new book from Global Research, The Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes

Building a Pretext to Wage War on Syria: NATO's "Humanitarian Watchdog"


The Pro-Israel NGO behind War on Libya is targeting Syria

Global Research
By Maidhc Ó Cathail
12/11/2011

Who will watch the watchdog?

On December 2, the Geneva-based UN Watch welcomed that day’s “strong condemnation” of Syria by a UN Human Rights Council emergency session, and its establishment of a special rapporteur to monitor the situation therefollowing what it called“a global campaign to create the post by a coalition of prominent democracy dissidents and human rights groups” led by UN Watch itself. The non-governmental organization, whose self-appointed mandate is “to monitor the performance of the United Nations by the yardstick of its own Charter,” expressed regret, however, that the UNHRC resolution “paid special deference” to Syria’s “territorial integrity” and “political independence,” decrying the provision as “a clear jab at NATO’s intervention in Libya, and a pre-emptive strike against the principle of the international community’s responsibility to protect civilians under assault.”

On the same day, UN Watch delivered a speech to the Human Rights Council plenary session in which it denounced the UN Security Council’s “shocking silence on Syria’s atrocities,” calling on it to take “urgent action to protect the civilian population before thousands more are beaten, tortured and killed.”It also urged UNESCO to reverse its recent decision to elect Syria to two human rights committees. Submitting that day’s UNHRC resolution to UNESCO’s Executive Board, the NGO demanded that they “expel the Assad government from those panels immediately.”The statement went on to berate the UNHRC for its “longtime policy, and that of the old Commission, of turning a blind eye to Syria’s gross and systematic violations.” Also “wrong and harmful,” in UN Watch’s view, was the UN body’s “policy of supporting Syria’s cynical and transparent ploy each year to condemn Israel for alleged violations of human rights, which should not be repeated this March.”

Assad with Iran's Ahmadinejad
 For those familiar with the NGO’s unmistakable governmental ties, it will come as no surprise that UN Watch could downplay Israel’s extensively documented human rights abuses as “alleged” while at the same time confidently asserting that “the facts are clear” regarding Syria’s “gross and systematic violations of human rights.”As Ian Williams, a former president of theUnited Nations Correspondents Association, wrote in a 2007 Guardian opinion piece, “UN Watch is an organization whose main purpose is to attack the United Nations in general, and its human rights council in particular, for alleged bias against Israel.”

    Founded in 1993 under the chairmanship of Ambassador Morris B. Abram, the former US permanent representative to the United Nations in Geneva, UN Watch is affiliated with the American Jewish Committee. Described by one expert on US-Israeli relations as “the foreign policy arm of the Israel lobby,”the AJC also takes a keen interest in the UN’s alleged bias against Israel. According to a 2003 article in the Jewish Daily Forward, a “sustained effort” by the lobby’s foreign policy arm resulted in the United States “embarking on the most comprehensive campaign in years to reduce the number of anti-Israel resolutions routinely passed by the United Nations General Assembly.”

    In February, UN Watch organized 70 “rights groups” to send a letter to President Obama, EU High RepresentativeCatherine Ashton, and UN Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon demanding international action against Libya by invoking the “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine. Speaking to the Jerusalem Post at the time, the NGO’s executive director,Hillel Neuer, said that “the muted response of the US and the EU to the Libyan atrocities is not only a let-down to the many Libyans risking their lives for freedom, but a shirking of their obligations, as members of the Security Council and the Human Rights Council, to protect peace and human rights and to prevent war crimes.”Despite the unsubstantiated nature of its allegations,”UN Watch’s “Urgent Appeal to Stop Atrocities in Libyaproved sufficient to get Libya suspended from the Human Rights Council before being referred to the Security Council, and ultimately provided the spurious justification for NATO’s eight-month “humanitarian” bombing of the country.  
    Undoubtedly the most significant signatory of the UN Watch-sponsored letter was Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy. Funded by American taxpayers but outside Congressional oversight, the Endowment has been meddling in other countries’ internal politics since its inception in 1983. As Allen Weinstein, NED’s architect and first acting president, famously told the Washington Post in 1991, “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

    A lot of what NED does today can also be understood by observing its longtime president’s career path.
    A former head of the neo-Trotskyite Social Democrats-USA who steadily evolved into neoconservatives, Gershmanis no stranger to the pro-Israel lobbying,having worked in the research department of the Anti-Defamation League in 1968 and served on the governing council of the American Jewish Committee in the early 1970s.

    Although the UN Watch purports to believe in the United Nations’ mission to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” the pro-Israel NGO bears significant responsibility forinducing a devastating war on the current generation in one Arab countryalready this year and is clearly determined to repeat the carnage in another. As long as UN Watch’s motto of “Monitoring the United Nations, Promoting Human Rights” continues to obscure its real mission of “Manipulating the United Nations, Promoting Israel’s Interests,” the warning of a Roman poet becomes increasingly pertinent: “Quiscustodietipsoscustodes?”


Maidhc Ó Cathail is a political analyst and editor of The Passionate Attachment.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



Afghan leader: Toll from attacks on Shiites now 80


Obama promised to get the U.S. out of Afghanistan, is along with CIA responsible for deaths

Associated Press
By Patrick Quinn
12/11/2011

KABUL, Afghanistan —

The death toll from last week's rare sectarian attacks on Shiite Muslims in Afghanistan has risen to at least 80, the country's president said on Sunday.

    Hamid Karzai said during a speech in Kabul that the Dec. 6 bombings were carried out by people seeking to undermine peace and stability. An extremist group in neighboring Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the deadliest of the attacks, a suicide bombing that targeted Shiite crowds gathered around a shrine in Kabul.

Shiite civilians being murdered:  by who?
Karzai did not say if the new toll included only those killed in that attack or whether it also included those killed in another blast on the same day targeting Shiites in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sarif. The earlier casualty toll was 56 killed and more than 160 wounded in Kabul, and four killed in Mazar-i-Sharif.
The Pakistani extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi says it carried out the Kabul bombing, raising fears it was trying to stoke Shiite-Sunni tensions in Afghanistan. The group is blamed for many attacks on Shiites in its own country.

   Afghanistan, by contrast, has largely been spared the kind of sectarian violence in which civilians are targeted simply for their membership in a particular religious group. The Dec. 6 attacks suggest that at least some militant groups may have shifted tactics, taking aim at ethnic minorities such as the Hazara, who are largely Shiite and support the Afghan government and its Western partners.

    On Saturday the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, said it was unlikely the attack would open up a new sectarian front in the decade-long war.

    "I do not see this turning into a sectarian conflict just looking at the reactions on the part of the Shia leadership calling for calm," he said.

Survivor:  Zabiullah Mujahid
Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said Sunday that the Afghan insurgent group's leadership had recently gathered in a shura, or council, to condemn the attacks. The Taliban also strongly condemned the two bombings on the day they took place.

Mujahid blamed the attacks on the "foreign occupation" of the country but was not specific. In an email sent to the media, he said the Taliban leadership called for the unity of Afghans and had ordered all its fighters to be on the alert and "prevent these kinds of attacks."

    Islamabad is accused of tolerating some militant groups on its soil, but the government has emphatically denied that it has any links to Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, saying the group has been targeted by its military.

    There was new violence in Afghanistan on Sunday with NATO announcing that a roadside bomb killed two of its service members in the east. It did not release details. The deaths bring to six the number of foreign soldiers killed in December, for a total of 522 since the start of the year.

   Karzai's speech touched on another major challenge facing Afghanistan, corruption. Specifically, he asked the United States to send home the former head of Afghanistan's central bank, Abdul Qadir Fitrat.

   Afghanistan has issued an arrest warrant for Fitrat, who along with other officials at the central bank face allegations of failing to act on warnings about widespread corruption at Kabul Bank. The institution nearly collapsed last year because of mismanagement and questionable lending practices.

Shiites are becoming enraged
Fitrat fled to northern Virginia in June after claiming he received threats to his life in connection with the Kabul Bank scandal.

"The government of the United States should cooperate and hand him over to us. Bring Fitrat and hand him over to Afghanistan to make clear who is to blame. But our hand can't reach to America," Karzai said in the speech, made during an event marking U.N.-sponsored International Anti-corruption Day.

    He said Fitrat held American citizenship.

    Fitrat said at the time of the Kabul Bank scandal that he and other central bank officials charged with overseeing the nation's financial system were being made scapegoats, while the Afghan government refused to charge politically connected individuals involved in making or receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in questionable loans.

    Kabul Bank became a symbol of the country's deep-rooted corruption.

   Afghanistan's financial system appears to be slowly recovering from the aftereffects of the near-collapse, which required a massive central bank bailout.

   Last month, the IMF approved a three-year $133.6 million loan for Afghanistan because it found the government had taken steps to address governance and accountability issues that surfaced during the Kabul Bank crisis. The decision reassured international donors, many whom had withheld aid while waiting for the IMF decision. 
Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Gilad Atzmon: The United States of Denial


American sheep in denial, schizophrenic, bi-polar; Gingrich and disciples satanic war prostitutes

World News
By Gilad Azmon
12/1/2011

Newt Gingrich is no doubt a revolutionary political thinker.
 
    He has managed to offer an adequate solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. In an interview with Steven Weiss of The Jewish Channel, Gingrich said that the Palestinians are an 'invented people.'

 Gingrich: another psycho war monger emerges preaching genocide
"I think that we've had an invented Palestinian people, who are in fact Arabs, and were historically part of the Arab community. And they had a chance to go to many places."

Such an approach to world affairs is consistent with both Walt Disney's phantasmic vision of reality and Zionist Golda Meir who back in 1969 announced that there was "no such thing as a Palestinian people... It is not as if we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn't exist."[1]

    No doubt, Gingrich's/Meir's 'genius' visionary idea should be applied to every American war and conflict. I guess that it is just a question of time before Gingrich announces that the Iraqi people are also 'invented', like the Palestinians they were also part of the Arab community. They may also have to schlep around and leave their beloved country to America and its Zionist rulers.

"Invented" casualty of U.S. made munitions used by IDF
In fact Gingrich's approach can be applied to every people in the region and beyond. The Libyans, Syrians, Egyptians, Pakistanis and Afghanis are all invented and should look for a new place to accommodate them. But it can also be applied to the current Western financial turmoil and ethical crisis. All we have to do is just to agree that the current crisis is 'invented'. We should then close our eyes and hope that once we open them again, peace and prosperity would flourish.

    In psychological terms Gingrich is subject to a state of denial. Considering Gingrich being a leading Republican candidate for the presidency, we have good reason to believe that if elected to lead America, the United States of America may as well become the United States of Denial.

[1] Golda Meir, statement to The Sunday Times, 15 June, 1969

Gilad Atzmon is an international jazz saxophonist, novelist and writer.

Atzmon's album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. he is known as the "hardest-gigging man in British jazz." His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and humanist themes. He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.





Forget Embassy Wars, the Real War Is Over Memory


American sheep ignorant to most important historical events, let alone remembering wars blacked out for a decade by "mainstream media"

World News
By Dallas Darling
12/11/2011

When Michelle Bachmann, a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and GOP presidential contender, declared she would close the U.S. Embassy in Tehran after the British Foreign Ministry pulled all U.K. nationals out, it was obvious she had forgotten that the U.S. has not had an embassy in Tehran since 1980. And later, when Congresswoman Bachmann tried clarifying her gaffe by saying that she was simply making a "hypothetical" about not allowing "an American embassy in Iran," it was emblematic of how the U.S. still has an imaginary memory of 1979 when the people of Iran overthrew the U.S.-backed shah and then developed their own democratic government. Given that Iranian students stormed the building, smashed windows, ransacked offices, shouted "Death to Britain!", and then removed the mission's flag, British Foreign Secretary William Hague ordered immediate closure of the Iranian embassy in London and asked all Iranian diplomats to leave. Meanwhile in Bahrain, a small explosion occurred near the British embassy in the Bahraini capital. Iran has also just arrested 12 CIA spies and shot down a U.S. military drone that was invading its air space. Still yet, sources have revealed that sleeper agents in Iran have been attacking and attempting to disrupt Iran's peaceful intent in developing nuclear enrichment for civilian uses.

"Take up the White Man's Burden/Send forth the best ye breed..." Rudyard Kipling, British Poet and Writer.

Actually, these embassy wars and attacks against Iran date back centuries, when Britain, and then the U.S., attempted to colonize the Persian Gulf in order to monopolize trading routes and exploit its natural resources. Starting in the 19th century, Britain dominated the political, economic and social aspects of the Gulf States, including Iran, by forcing ruling sheiks and monarchs to sign the Exclusive Agreements. No Gulf states could negotiate with any foreign powers or formulate any foreign policies without British consent. In addition, no lands could be leased to any other power than Britain.(1) Britain was also granted extraterritorial rights that favored British citizens over those of Iran.

    Ruling from Bushire and Bahrain, Iran (Persia), Britain introduced few socioeconomic reforms. Contacts to the outside world were not encouraged. In the 20th century, Britain and the U.S. began exploiting Iran's oil resources and its labor forces. They also strengthened and preserved the traditional dictatorship of the sheikhs.(2) During World War II, 30,000 U.S. troops occupied Iran, supplying it with almost $10 million in military aid. Although the 1943 Tehran Conference promised Iran independence, events soon moved the opposite direction, as Iran became a pawn in America's Cold War containment strategies that was mainly aimed at Russia and then China.(3)

"The overthrow of Mohammad Mossadegh is an object lesson in the heavy cost that must be paid by a country that goes berserk with fanatical nationalism." -"New York Times," 1953

"I owe my throne to God, my people...and to you." -Mohammad Reza Pahlavi thanking Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. who was an agent and Directorate of Plans for the CIA and later Vice-President of Gulf Oil, 1953

    To make matters worse, the U.S. backed an unpopular leader, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and militarized Iran to counter popular movements. The key opposition figure was Mohammad Mossadegh, who advocated political democratization and the nationalization of oil industries controlled by Britain and the U.S. When Mohammad Mossadegh became prime minister and achieved the latter goal just mentioned, Britain countered by instituting a worldwide boycott of Iranian oil. The U.S. then orchestrated a coup and overthrew Mohammad Mossadegh, reinstating shah Pahlavi. It also maintained a greatly feared and tortuous intelligence agency, the SAVAK.(4)

Shah of Iran, his wife and son
Under the U.S.-backed shah Pahlavi, tens of thousands of teachers, union activists, and political reformers were arrested, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered. Shah Pahlavi was free to order sophisticated weapons systems from American armament industries. Through a series of secret agreements, Iranian weapons orders jumped from $500 million in 1972 to $2.2 billion in 1973 and $4.3 billion in 1974. Between 1970 and 1978, President Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford allowed $20 billion worth weapons to be purchased by shah Pahlavi and the SAVAK.(5) Some of these weapons were used to repress popular uprisings, slaughter innocent people, and massacre peaceful protesters.

    "Do whatever you consider necessary. I hope people are not killed." -Shah Pahlavi issuing contradictory orders to the SAVAK to crush popular, 1979

    "It can be argued that it was entirely in the tradition of Iranian history for the shah to torture his subjects." -Washington Post, 1979

    "Death to America! Death to Carter! Death to the Shah!" -Iranian protesters demanding the shah be returned, 1979

    "Kill'em! Hang'em! They deserve it!" -Hundreds of college students watching a mob punch, kick and beat two Iranian students, 1980.

Ayatollah Khomeini led the revolution in 1979
In 1978, massive work stoppages, peaceful labor strikes, and nonviolent protests brought an end to the U.S.-backed shah Pahlavi's brutal reign. The exiled Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned and established a conservative theo-democracy. Relations took a dramatic turn for the worse when the U.S. refused to handover shah Pahlavi to Iran for crimes against his people. In 1979, Iranian protesters seized the U.S. embassy and took 52 Americans hostage. The U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Iran. It later attempted to rescue the hostages during a botched military operation. By the time the hostages were released in 1980, the U.S. had encouraged Saddam Hussein of Iraq to invade Iran.

    "We will never apologize for the United States of America! I don't care what the facts are!" -Vice-President George H.W. Bush commenting on an American warship downing Iranian Flight 655 that killed 296 innocent civilians, 1988.

    "Have you ever considered that perhaps God loves those whom we just killed as much as you?" -Dallas Darling responding to a room filled with cheering Americans that just found out on CNN the USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian airbus, 1988.

    The Iraq-Iran War lasted for eight years, killing an estimated 1 million people. During the war, the U.S. provided billions of dollars in military and weapons technologies to Iraq. It also trained exiled Iranians in hopes of someday overthrowing Iran's Islamic democracy. In 1987, both Iraq and Iran attempted to disable each other's economy by attacking oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. The U.S. continued to increase its military presence and to show its hostile intentions by stationing 50 warships in the region. Tensions between the U.S. and Iran rose even more when in July 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian commercial airliner killing 296 people, including 66 children.(6)

Young, Iranian fools take U.S. embassy employees hostage
"Should the Iranian regime-do they have the sovereign right to have civilian nuclear power? So, like, if I were you, that's what I'd ask me. And the answer is, yes, they do." President George W. Bush, 2008 (A Bushism...or was it?)

     "If elected president, I promise not only to end war but the mindset of war. Government by fear and of fear is not a very good adviser. I promise to restore diplomacy...not just talk to friends but to our so-called enemies...to never negotiate out of fear and to never fear to negotiate." Then-Senator Barack Obama, 2008.

    Relations between Iran and the U.S. improved during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. The U.S. offered to pay damages to the families of the airline passengers who died. (Iran wanted an official apology but the U.S. refused.) It also entered into negotiations of releasing over $500 million in Iranian assets that had been frozen in American banks as a result of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. However, U.S. preemptive wars against Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003), along with lengthy military occupations and the building of dozens of military installations in the region, have only made Iran even more weary of U.S. motives, which appears to consist of more militarization and war.

G.W. Bush:  Idiot, War Criminal
Both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have maintained hostile policies against Iran. In 2002, President Bush identified Iran as part of an axis of evil that threatened international peace and stability. He also implemented sanctions against Iran, believing it was developing nuclear enrichment for weapons instead of for peaceful civilian purposes (which Iran claims). The Obama administration and Britain has increased sanctions against Iran. It appears the White House, the House of Representatives and the House of Commons have not only displayed a lack of historical memory regarding Iran, but they have utterly disregard their own imperial pasts in the Persian Gulf.

Obama:  Insane War Criminal, corporate lackey
Sadly, a lack of historical memory leads to selective intelligence and more military debacles. Like the web-based "virtual embassy" that U.S. officials plan on creating via the internet, and costing millions of dollars, over the years America's recollection and understanding with Iran has been, to say the least, virtual, even surreal. No wonder Iran's Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, "The virtual initiatives will neither compensate for (American) mistakes, nor relay the U.S. message to the Iranian people." Forget embassy wars, the real war has always been about uncompensated memories, ones that will cause more needless suffering and deaths unless they are reimbursed.

Dallas Darling (darling@wn.com)

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace.

(1) Page, Melvin E. Colonialism: An International Social, Cultural, and Political Encyclopedia. Denver, Colorado: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2003., p. 465.

(2) Ibid., p. 466.

(3) Hastedt, Glenn. Encyclopedia Of American Foreign Policy. New York, New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2004., p. 243.

(4) Ibid., p. 244.

(5) Ibid., p. 244.

(6) Ibid., p. 245.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



US proposes unmanned border crossing with Mexico


The drug "war" is publicly lost so now they can disband ATF, Border Patrol, FEMA as redundant, too expensive

Associated Press
By Christopher Sherman
12/12/2011

BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK, Texas (AP) — 

The bloody drug war in Mexico shows no sign of relenting. Neither do calls for tighter border security amid rising fears of spillover violence.

    This hardly seems a time the U.S. would be willing to allow people to cross the border legally from Mexico without a customs officer in sight. But in this rugged, remote West Texas terrain where wading across the shallow Rio Grande undetected is all too easy, federal authorities are touting a proposal to open an unmanned port of entry as a security upgrade.

    By the spring, kiosks could open up in Big Bend National Park allowing people from the tiny Mexican town of Boquillas del Carmen to scan their identity documents and talk to a customs officer in another location, at least 100 miles (160 kilometers) away.

Drug war victim in lawless Ciudad Juarez
The crossing, which would be the nation's first such port of entry with Mexico, has sparked opposition from some who see it as counterintuitive in these days of heightened border security. Supporters say the crossing would give the isolated Mexican town long-awaited access to U.S. commerce, improve conservation efforts and be an unlikely target for criminal operations.

    "People that want to be engaged in illegal activities along the border, ones that are engaged in those activities now, they're still going to do it," said William Wellman, Big Bend National Park's superintendent. "But you'd have to be a real idiot to pick the only place with security in 300 miles (480 kilometers) of the border to try to sneak across."

    The proposed crossing from Boquillas del Carmen leads to a vast expanse of rolling scrub, cut by sandy-floored canyons and violent volcanic rock outcroppings. The Chihuahuan desert wilderness is home to mountain lions, black bears and roadrunners, sparsely populated by an occasional camper and others visiting the 800,000-acre (320,000-hectare) national park.

    Customs and Border Protection, which would run the port of entry, says the proposal is a safe way to allow access to the town's residents, who currently must travel 240 road miles (390 road kilometers) to the nearest legal entry point. It also would allow park visitors to visit the town.

    If the crossing is approved, the Border Patrol would have eight agents living in the park in addition to the park's 23 law enforcement rangers.

    "I think it's actually going to end up making security better," CBP spokesman William Brooks said.

    "Once you've crossed you're still not anywhere. You've got a long ways to go and we've got agents who are in the area. We have agents who patrol. We have checkpoints on the paved roads leading away from the park."

    A public comment period runs through Dec. 27 on the estimated $2.3 million project, which has support at the highest levels of government from both countries.

Traffickers in complete control
But U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican member of the House Homeland Security committee, questioned the wisdom of using resources to make it easier to cross the border.

"We need to use our resources to secure the border rather than making it easier to enter in locations where we already have problems with illegal crossings," McCaul said in an email. "There is more to the oversight of legal entry than checking documents. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) needs to be physically present at every point of entry in order to inspect for contraband, detect suspicious behavior and, if necessary, act on what they encounter."

     While CBP will run the port of entry, the National Park Service is the driver behind the project, which it hopes will help conservation efforts on both sides of the border. Even as the National Park Service has increased cooperation with its Mexican counterpart, joint conservation has been limited by the inability of personnel to cross the border without making a circuitous 16-hour drive, Wellman said.

    So the National Park Service is building the contact station just above the Rio Grande. It will house CBP kiosks where crossers will scan in their documents and talk to a customs officer in Presidio, the nearest port of entry, or another remote location. Park service employees will staff the station, offering information about the park and guiding people through the process.

    Similar ports of entry are already in operation on remote parts of the border with Canada.

    "We think we can do this without doing any damage to national security and possibly enhance security along the border by having better intelligence, better communication with people in Mexico," Wellman said.



    The crossing would also restore a long-running relationship between the park, its visitors and the residents of Boquillas del Carmen, the town of adobe dwellings set a short distance from the river in Mexico.

    For years, U.S. tourists added an international dimension to their park visit by wading or ferrying in a rowboat across the shallow Rio Grande to the town. There they bought handicrafts and tacos, providing much-needed cash in the isolated community.

U.S./Mexico border crossing
But US officials discouraged such informal crossings in 2002 after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks prompted calls for tighter border security. Without access to tourists or supplies on the U.S. side, the town of just more than 100 people has seen a 42 percent drop in population from 2000 to 2010.

    Gary Martin, who manages the Rio Grande Village store at a nearby park campground, recalls many Mexican residents crossing the river to pick up groceries and other necessities.

    "We're their supply," Martin said. "They don't have any electricity over there. So they would come here and buy frozen chicken, cake mixes and things that they couldn't get over there."

    Martin tried to stock food items Boquillas del Carmen residents wanted, such as eggs and big sacks of beans.

    "After the border closed, well, I got rid of most of my food and went back to gifts because I wasn't making any money," Martin said. He estimated about 40 percent of the store's revenue came from Boquillas residents.

    Few have risked crossing to the store since. "If they get caught over here they get shipped off," he said. "They get deported all the way to Ojinaga and then they've got to find their way home. It's not really worth it."

Drug gang paramilitaries terrorize civilians
Still, most days some Boquillas del Carmen residents wade across the river a short distance downstream of the old crossing and scramble up to a paved overlook perched high above the river.

On boulders near the parking spots they lay out painted walking sticks, scorpions and roadrunners crafted from copper wire and colorful beads. Each craftsman's work occupies a different rock and operates on the honor system with the hope tourists will drop four or five dollars in their jar.

   "Sometimes we don't sell anything," said Boquillas del Carmen resident Guillermo Gonzalez Diaz. "Sometimes we sell one." And other times authorities confiscate everything.

    Gonzalez, a 34-year-old father of three, described his town as "very sad, very hard" and said there was no work. Without access to the Rio Grande Village store, residents depend on a bus that runs once a week to Melchor Muzquiz, a larger town about 150 miles (240 kilometers) away, for supplies.

    A small military presence protects the town from the drug-related violence that has engulfed other Mexican border towns. Now with news of the port of entry, residents are already making plans for restaurants and shops, he said.

    "When it closed nobody crossed and everything went downhill. People began to leave," he said. "Now people are going to return."

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

Images:  Google royalty free unless otherwise attributed.


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

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