Thursday, September 18, 2014

Obama's 'stupid stuff' turned upside down By Pepe Escobar




THE ROVING EYE
Obama's 'stupid stuff' turned upside down
By Pepe Escobar 


PARIS - I've been rovin' around Europe for a while and the star of the show is definitely The Caliph. Former Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has totally outstripped Vladimir Putin as Doctor Evil of the hour. Where's a good ol' Cold War 2.0 when you need it? Well, upstaged by the Pentagon's "long war" - our familiar GWOT (Global War on Terror).

First Obama promised there would be no ground troops to fight The Caliph - as in a re-invasion of Iraq. Then General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that if the current gambit of Obama's self-defined "Don't So Stupid Stuff" foreign policy doctrine does not work - and it won't - he'll go for ground troops, embedded or otherwise.

Right on cue, The Caliph went Hollywood, releasing the trailer of The Caliphate's upcoming mega-production, Flames of War. Directed by Michael Bay (Fall, 2014). Will that go straight to Netflix?

You just can't beat the Marvel Comics school of geopolitics.

Confide in me, baby 
Meanwhile, in Paris, President General Francois Hollande is itching to deploy his Rafales and get into a new war - considering that's about the only thing that could lift the mood of a wretched president, whose administration has barely survived a "confidence" vote; compare that "confidence" with the nasty epithets with which his team is showered by largely unemployed, taxed to death or swamped by red tape Parisians.

Obama has already sent 475 extra military "advisers" to Baghdad and Iraqi Kurdistan. There are at least 1,600 US military already on the ground in Iraq. That's how Vietnam started. The CIA, supported by unmatched ground intel, swears there are exactly 31.785 jihadis fighting for The Caliph. Well, roughly. Two-thirds of these are supposed to be in Syria. So the new war, in fact, is all across "Syraq". Or what The Caliph calls IS, Islamic State, his own private emirate.

The no less meticulous Dempsey, for his part, is sure it will take up to five months to train and weaponize a new bunch of "moderate" rebels to fight the Caliph. Wait a minute; foolish global public opinion was supposed to believe the previous "moderate" rebels - supported by Qatar - would one day fulfill the "Assad must go" Obama mandate. Well, they didn't.

"Our" bastards at the petrodollar racket known as GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) have duly promised to help Obama's new war, alongside Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. Turkey will only get involved in the "humanitarian" front - while allowing smuggled oil sold by The Caliph's goons into its territory.

The members of the wretched Arab League have solemnly promised to be "determined" in cutting off the flux of weapons and cash to The Caliph show. Yet they would never have the balls of the Kurdish peshmerga, who have just killed the Mosul chief of IS. This kind of ground intel, plus following the money, as in the oil smuggling routes, would finish off the Caliphate in no time. But that's not what endless GWOT is all about.

Caliph, give us a hand 
With such an array of Hollywood thrills on show, who cares about Ukraine? Well, it may have been snuffed out of the news cycle after the latest nasty package of US/EU sanctions, but it's back in the spotlight this Thursday, as Ukrainian oligarch turned president Petro Poroshenko visits The Caliph's nemesis in Washington.

So expect a frantic rerun of Evil Empire rhetoric - plus ample indignation caused by the Russian "invasion" of Ukraine. That will last barely a day. "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" changes its tune like surfing on iTunes. And the tune now is the "Syraq" offensive; yet another Obama "kinetic" operation, Billy Idol's Rebel Yell remixed.

That leaves plenty of space for US Think Tankland to carp that Russia "aggression" will profit from the new tune to "advance" in Central and Eastern Europe, and the China "threat" will profit to "dominate" the Western Pacific. So what's more crucial for the Empire of Chaos; Russia, China or "Syraq"? They don't have a clue. They are just trying not to do "stupid stuff". \

For all that volcanic Beltway paranoia, the Big Picture in the long run spells out Moscow expanding its Pipelineistan nodes throughout Eastern Europe all the way to Western Europe, thus enlarging, commercially, its "soft" zone of influence. No "invasion" required.

On Ukraine, the Big Picture spells out the European Union mired in a horrendous crisis, under a third recession in five years, obviously without the cash, not to mention the will, to pay Ukraine's humongous bills. Sooner - with negotiations starting this Saturday in Berlin - or later the EU will have to find an accommodation with Moscow to guarantee its precious gas supplies.

That leaves warmongering NATO - as in the EU under the Pentagon's thumb. All rhetoric about that puny "rapid reaction force" aside, the fact is that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization won't have the balls to confront Russia, via troops deployed in Ukraine. And there will be no Obama "Stupid Stuff" aerial bombing of federalists in Donbass - as if Russophones in Ukraine defending their land and their language against a form of slow motion ethnic cleansing could be compared to The Caliph's multinational goons in "Syraq". US public opinion very well knows - well, maybe not - that people in Donbass are not threatening to cross into El Paso tomorrow.

So much hard work to pivot from GWOT to the Big Boys in Eurasia. So little time - and competence. The Caliph's goons have announced on the record they would go for beheading Putin. If only the Pentagon would subcontract the job.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.
 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ukraine and neo-Nazis - The Anti-Empire Report #132 By William Blum


The Anti-Empire Report #132

By William Blum – Published September 16th, 2014

Ukraine and neo-Nazis

Ever since serious protest broke out in Ukraine in February the Western mainstream media, particularly in the United States, has seriously downplayed the fact that the usual suspects – the US/European Union/NATO triumvirate – have been on the same side as the neo-Nazis. In the US it’s been virtually unmentionable. I’m sure that a poll taken in the United States on this issue would reveal near universal ignorance of the numerous neo-Nazi actions, including publicly calling for death to “Russians, Communists and Jews”. But in the past week the dirty little secret has somehow poked its head out from behind the curtain a bit.
On September 9 NBCnews.com reported that “German TV shows Nazi symbols on helmets of Ukraine soldiers”. The German station showed pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps. (Runes are the letters of an alphabet used by ancient Germanic peoples.) A second soldier was shown with a swastika on his helmet. 
On the 13th, the Washington Post showed a photo of the sleeping quarter of a member of the Azov Battalion, one of the Ukrainian paramilitary units fighting the pro-Russian separatists. On the wall above the bed is a large swastika. Not to worry, the Post quoted the platoon leader stating that the soldiers embrace symbols and espouse extremist notions as part of some kind of “romantic” idea.
Yet, it is Russian president Vladimir Putin who is compared to Adolf Hitler by everyone from Prince Charles to Princess Hillary because of the incorporation of Crimea as part of Russia. On this question Putin has stated:
The Crimean authorities have relied on the well-known Kosovo precedent, a precedent our Western partners created themselves, with their own hands, so to speak. In a situation absolutely similar to the Crimean one, they deemed Kosovo’s secession from Serbia to be legitimate, arguing everywhere that no permission from the country’s central authorities was required for the unilateral declaration of independence. The UN’s international court, based on Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the UN Charter, agreed with that, and in its decision of 22 July 2010 noted the following, and I quote verbatim: No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to unilateral declarations of independence. 
Putin as Hitler is dwarfed by the stories of Putin as invader (Vlad the Impaler?). For months the Western media has been beating the drums about Russia having (actually) invaded Ukraine. I recommend reading: “How Can You Tell Whether Russia has Invaded Ukraine?” by Dmitry Orlov 
And keep in mind the NATO encirclement of Russia. Imagine Russia setting up military bases in Canada and Mexico, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Remember what a Soviet base in Cuba led to.

Has the United States ever set a bad example?

Ever since that fateful day of September 11, 2001, the primary public relations goal of the United States has been to discredit the idea that somehow America had it coming because of its numerous political and military acts of aggression. Here’s everyone’s favorite hero, George W. Bush, speaking a month after 9-11:
“How do I respond when I see that in some Islamic countries there is vitriolic hatred for America? I’ll tell you how I respond: I’m amazed. I’m amazed that there’s such misunderstanding of what our country is about that people would hate us. I am – like most Americans, I just can’t believe it because I know how good we are.” 
Thank you, George. Now take your pills.
I and other historians of US foreign policy have documented at length the statements of anti-American terrorists who have made it explicitly clear that their actions were in retaliation for Washington’s decades of international abominations.  But American officials and media routinely ignore this evidence and cling to the party line that terrorists are simply cruel and crazed by religion; which many of them indeed are, but that doesn’t change the political and historical facts.
This American mindset appears to be alive and well. At least four hostages held in Syria recently by Islamic State militants, including US journalist James Foley, were waterboarded during their captivity. The Washington Post quoted a US official: “ISIL is a group that routinely crucifies and beheads people. To suggest that there is any correlation between ISIL’s brutality and past U.S. actions is ridiculous and feeds into their twisted propaganda.”
The Post, however, may have actually evolved a bit, adding that the “Islamic State militants … appeared to model the technique on the CIA’s use of waterboarding to interrogate suspected terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” 

Talk given by William Blum at a Teach-In on US Foreign Policy, American University, Washington, DC, September 6, 2014

Each of you I’m sure has met many people who support American foreign policy, with whom you’ve argued and argued. You point out one horror after another, from Vietnam to Iraq. From god-awful bombings and invasions to violations of international law and torture. And nothing helps. Nothing moves this person.
Now why is that? Are these people just stupid? I think a better answer is that they have certain preconceptions. Consciously or unconsciously, they have certain basic beliefs about the United States and its foreign policy, and if you don’t deal with these basic beliefs you may as well be talking to a stone wall.
The most basic of these basic beliefs, I think, is a deeply-held conviction that no matter what the United States does abroad, no matter how bad it may look, no matter what horror may result, the government of the United States means well. American leaders may make mistakes, they may blunder, they may lie, they may even on the odd occasion cause more harm than good, but they do mean well. Their intentions are always honorable, even noble. Of that the great majority of Americans are certain.
Frances Fitzgerald, in her famous study of American school textbooks, summarized the message of these books: “The United States has been a kind of Salvation Army to the rest of the world: throughout history it had done little but dispense benefits to poor, ignorant, and diseased countries. The U.S. always acted in a disinterested fashion, always from the highest of motives; it gave, never took.”
And Americans genuinely wonder why the rest of the world can’t see how benevolent and self-sacrificing America has been. Even many people who take part in the anti-war movement have a hard time shaking off some of this mindset; they march to spur America – the America they love and worship and trust – they march to spur this noble America back onto its path of goodness.
Many of the citizens fall for US government propaganda justifying its military actions as often and as naively as Charlie Brown falling for Lucy’s football.
The American people are very much like the children of a Mafia boss who do not know what their father does for a living, and don’t want to know, but then wonder why someone just threw a firebomb through the living room window.
This basic belief in America’s good intentions is often linked to “American exceptionalism”. Let’s look at how exceptional US foreign policy has been. Since the end of World War 2, the United States has:
  1. Attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected.
  2. Dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries.
  3. Attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
  4. Attempted to suppress a populist or nationalist movement in 20 countries.
  5. Grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries.
  6. Led the world in torture; not only the torture performed directly by Americans upon foreigners, but providing torture equipment, torture manuals, lists of people to be tortured, and in-person guidance by American teachers, especially in Latin America.
This is indeed exceptional. No other country in all of history comes anywhere close to such a record.
So the next time you’re up against a stone wall … ask the person what the United States would have to do in its foreign policy to lose his support. What for this person would finally be TOO MUCH. If the person mentions something really bad, chances are the United States has already done it, perhaps repeatedly.
Keep in mind that our precious homeland, above all, seeks to dominate the world. For economic reasons, nationalistic reasons, ideological, Christian, and for other reasons, world hegemony has long been America’s bottom line. And let’s not forget the powerful Executive Branch officials whose salaries, promotions, agency budgets and future well-paying private sector jobs depend upon perpetual war. These leaders are not especially concerned about the consequences for the world of their wars. They’re not necessarily bad people; but they’re amoral, like a sociopath is.
Take the Middle East and South Asia. The people in those areas have suffered horribly because of Islamic fundamentalism. What they desperately need are secular governments, which have respect for different religions. And such governments were actually instituted in the recent past. But what has been the fate of those governments?
Well, in the late 1970s through much of the 1980s, Afghanistan had a secular government that was relatively progressive, with full rights for women, which is hard to believe, isn’t it? But even a Pentagon report of the time testified to the actuality of women’s rights in Afghanistan. And what happened to that government? The United States overthrew it, allowing the Taliban to come to power. So keep that in mind the next time you hear an American official say that we have to remain in Afghanistan for the sake of women’s rights.
After Afghanistan came Iraq, another secular society, under Saddam Hussein. And the United States overthrew that government as well, and now the country is overrun by crazed and bloody jihadists and fundamentalists of all kinds; and women who are not covered up are running a serious risk.
Next came Libya; again, a secular country, under Moammar Gaddafi, who, like Saddam Hussein, had a tyrant side to him but could in important ways be benevolent and do marvelous things for Libya and Africa. To name just one example, Libya had a high ranking on the United Nation’s Human Development Index. So, of course, the United States overthrew that government as well. In 2011, with the help of NATO we bombed the people of Libya almost every day for more than six months. And, once again, this led to messianic jihadists having a field day. How it will all turn out for the people of Libya, only God knows, or perhaps Allah.
And for the past three years, the United States has been doing its best to overthrow the secular government of Syria. And guess what? Syria is now a playground and battleground for all manner of ultra militant fundamentalists, including everyone’s new favorite, IS, the Islamic State. The rise of IS owes a lot to what the US has done in Iraq, Libya, and Syria in recent years.
We can add to this marvelous list the case of the former Yugoslavia, another secular government that was overthrown by the United States, in the form of NATO, in 1999, giving rise to the creation of the largely-Muslim state of Kosovo, run by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The KLA was considered a terrorist organization by the US, the UK and France for years, with numerous reports of the KLA being armed and trained by al-Qaeda, in al-Qaeda camps in Pakistan, and even having members of al-Qaeda in KLA ranks fighting against the Serbs of Yugoslavia. Washington’s main concern was dealing a blow to Serbia, widely known as “the last communist government in Europe”.
The KLA became renowned for their torture, their trafficking in women, heroin, and human body parts; another charming client of the empire.
Someone looking down upon all this from outer space could be forgiven for thinking that the United States is an Islamic power doing its best to spread the word – Allah Akbar!
But what, you might wonder, did each of these overthrown governments have in common that made them a target of Washington’s wrath? The answer is that they could not easily be controlled by the empire; they refused to be client states; they were nationalistic; in a word, they were independent; a serious crime in the eyes of the empire.
So mention all this as well to our hypothetical supporter of US foreign policy and see whether he still believes that the United States means well. If he wonders how long it’s been this way, point out to him that it would be difficult to name a single brutal dictatorship of the second half of the 20th Century that was not supported by the United States; not only supported, but often put into power and kept in power against the wishes of the population. And in recent years as well, Washington has supported very repressive governments, such as Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Indonesia, Egypt, Colombia, Qatar, and Israel.
And what do American leaders think of their own record? Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was probably speaking for the whole private club of our foreign-policy leadership when she wrote in 2000 that in the pursuit of its national security the United States no longer needed to be guided by “notions of international law and norms” or “institutions like the United Nations” because America was “on the right side of history.” 
Let me remind you of Daniel Ellsberg’s conclusion about the US in Vietnam: “It wasn’t that we were on the wrong side; we were the wrong side.”
Well, far from being on the right side of history, we have in fact fought – I mean actually engaged in warfare – on the same side as al Qaeda and their offspring on several occasions, beginning with Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s in support of the Islamic Moujahedeen, or Holy Warriors.
The US then gave military assistance, including bombing support, to Bosnia and Kosovo, both of which were being supported by al Qaeda in the Yugoslav conflicts of the early 1990s.
In Libya, in 2011, Washington and the Jihadists shared a common enemy, Gaddafi, and as mentioned, the US bombed the people of Libya for more than six months, allowing jihadists to take over parts of the country; and they’re now fighting for the remaining parts. These wartime allies showed their gratitude to Washington by assassinating the US ambassador and three other Americans, apparently CIA, in the city of Benghazi.
Then, for some years in the mid and late 2000s, the United States backed Islamic militants in the Caucasus region of Russia, an area that has seen more than its share of religious terror going back to the Chechnyan actions of the 1990s.
Finally, in Syria, in attempting to overthrow the Assad government, the US has fought on the same side as several varieties of Islamic militants. That makes six occasions of the US being wartime allies of jihadist forces.
I realize that I have fed you an awful lot of negativity about what America has done to the world, and maybe it’s been kind of hard for some of you to swallow. But my purpose has been to try to loosen the grip on your intellect and your emotions that you’ve been raised with – or to help you to help others to loosen that grip – the grip that assures you that your beloved America means well. US foreign policy will not make much sense to you as long as you believe that its intentions are noble; as long as you ignore the consistent pattern of seeking world domination, which is a national compulsion of very long standing, known previously under other names such as Manifest Destiny, the American Century, American exceptionalism, globalization, or, as Madeleine Albright put it, “the indispensable nation” … while others less kind have used the term “imperialist”.
In this context I can’t resist giving the example of Bill Clinton. While president, in 1995, he was moved to say: “Whatever we may think about the political decisions of the Vietnam era, the brave Americans who fought and died there had noble motives. They fought for the freedom and the independence of the Vietnamese people.” Yes, that’s really the way our leaders talk. But who knows what they really believe?
It is my hope that many of you who are not now activists against the empire and its wars will join the anti-war movement as I did in 1965 against the war in Vietnam. It’s what radicalized me and so many others. When I hear from people of a certain age about what began the process of losing their faith that the United States means well, it’s Vietnam that far and away is given as the main cause. I think that if the American powers-that-be had known in advance how their “Oh what a lovely war” was going to turn out they might not have made their mammoth historical blunder. Their invasion of Iraq in 2003 indicates that no Vietnam lesson had been learned at that point, but our continuing protest against war and threatened war in Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere may have – may have! – finally made a dent in the awful war mentality. I invite you all to join our movement. Thank you.

Notes

  1. NBC News, “German TV Shows Nazi Symbols on Helmets of Ukraine Soldiers”, September 6 2014
  2. BBC, March 18, 2014
  3. Information Clearinghouse“How Can You Tell Whether Russia has Invaded Ukraine?”, September 1 2014
  4. Boston Globe, October 12, 2001
  5. See, for example, William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower(2005), chapter 1
  6. Washington Post, August 28, 2014
  7. Foreign Affairs magazine (Council on Foreign Relations), January/February 2000
Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission, provided attribution to William Blum as author and a link to this website are given.

ISIL/ISIS: Another contrivance brought to you by Mossad, MI6, and the CIA - Part III McCain's consorting with terrorists exposed by Wayne Madsen



 ISIL/ISIS: Another contrivance brought to you by Mossad, MI6, and the CIA - Part III

McCain's consorting with terrorists exposed
WMR's knowledgeable sources have revealed the extent of Senator John McCain's links to the terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham [not Syria, as falsely reported by the corporate media] and the "Islamic State."


McCain's Middle East adviser Elizabeth O'Bagy, who falsely claimed to have had a PhD from Georgetown University, accompanied McCain on an unofficial trip to Syria last year where the two met with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi [circled in red at right] and Mohammed Nour of the Northern Storm Brigade of the ISIL-linked Al Nusra Front [circled in red at far right]. Standing next to Salim Idriss, the former head of the Supreme Military Council of the "Free Syrian Army" who now lives in exile in Doha, Qatar, is O'Bagy, wearing a head scarf and pink sweater.

WMR has learned that when McCain met with Nour, the Northern Storm Brigade had already kidnapped Shi'a pilgrims in Syria, as well as a Lebanese journalist. Had any other Americans met with documented terrorists such as Nour and al-Baghdadi, unlike McCain and O'Bagy, they would have been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting a terrorist group. Several Americans are now serving long prison terms for doing much less than McCain and O'Bagy and were entrapped in FBI sting operations merely because they were Muslims.

At the time O'Bagy accompanied McCain to Syria to meet in Bab Salama with the chief of ISIL and other terrorist leaders, including 20 Syrian rebel brigade commanders representing Al Nusra and the nascent ISIL, O'Bagy worked for Kimberly Kagan, the wife of arch-neocon Zionist Frederick Kagan of the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, and sister-in-law of Robert Kagan, a resident neocon scholar at the Brookings Institution, and his wife, Victoria Nuland, the neocon Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department. Nuland was primarily responsible for funding and coordinating the coup in Ukraine that resulted in a bloody civil war between Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and the Nazi- and Zionist-dominated central and western Ukraine.

O'Bagy and McCain have been at the center of neocon intrigue within the Obama administration. In fact, the neocons never lost their influence inside the State Department and the National Security Council after the George W. Bush administration. In some cases, their influence increased under Barack Obama.

Working under Kimberly Kagan, O'Bagy was the Syria analyst in the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), another neocon operation in Washington that has had undue influence over U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. After it was disclosed that she committed resumé fraud by falsely claiming to have a PhD from Georgetown, O'Bagy was officially "fired" by ISW but continued on as the Political Director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force (SETF) NGO, a George Soros-like nonprofit that seeks donations from other NGOs, including the neocon Freedom House and the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. SETF admitted to having "sub-contracts with the U.S. and British governments to provide aid to the Syrian opposition." O'Bagy also served as a legislative assistant to McCain. The SETF is an extreme anti-Bashar al-Assad organization that has used Pentagon-grade psychological warfare tactics to demonize the Assad government and falsely blame him for atrocities carried out by Syrian rebels, including sarin and chlorine gas attacks in Syria.

O'Bagy's operations security (OPSEC) left something to be desired as she voraciously sent out Twitter messages during her clandestine visit to Syria with McCain in 2013. After the visit was publicized, O'Bagy deleted her Twitter messages but WMR was provided copies of them by a knowledgeable source.

O'Bagy is most infamous for writing an August 30, 2013 Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal that was cited by both McCain and Secretary of State John Kerry. The article, titled "
On the Front Lines of Syria’s Civil War," was cited by McCain during a Senate hearing as "an important op-ed by Dr. Elizabeth O’Bagy." Kerry also cited the article in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, calling it a "very interesting article."

In the article, O'Bagy, who claimed to have made a number of trips to Syria to liaise with Syrian rebels, falsely stated that Syrian "moderates" led the fight against the Syrian government. The Op-Ed called for the United States to provide "sophisticated weaponry" to the rebels and enter the civil war militarily. Obama refused to follow this advice, a decision that earned him the scorn of McCain and other neocons. McCain continues to suggest that the Syrian "moderate" rebels have a chance to seize control of Syria, an indication that he continues to fall under the spell of O'Bagy and her neocon associates.













In the Tweets, O'Bagy takes responsibility for everything from McCain's attire in Syria to the individuals with whom he met. We now know that these individuals included al-Baghdadi and Nour, as well as other terrorist commanders. O'Bagy also is at pains to distance her Syrian rebel allies from Abu Sakkar, aka Khalid bin Hamad, the rebel commander who was filmed eating the heart of a Syrian soldier. O'Bagy denies that Abu Sakkar was a member of the Free Syrian Army's Homs-based Farooq Brigages, but independent news reports stated that he was a commander of the Farooq Brigades. O'Bagy misidentified bin Hamad as Faraouq Mustaqila, a familiar tactic of the neocons and no surprise from an individual who lied about having a PhD.

ISIL and the Saudis, Qataris, and Israelis

WMR has also learned that ISIL/Al Nusra is enriching itself from ransom payments for hostages being received mostly from Qatar, a member of Obama's newly-formed "coalition" to fight ISIL. The most recent ransom paid by Qatar to ISIL was for 45 Fijian peacekeepers captured by ISIL's Al Nusra allies in the Golan region of Syria bordering Israel. Qatar also paid ransom payments to Al Nusra-ISIL units for some Syrian nuns and captured Lebanese Army soldiers. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is, under Obama's "coalition," training so-called Free Syrian Army "moderates" to fight ISIL/Al Nusra and the Assad government. In the past,  the Saudis have conducted such training to radicalize Sunni Muslim volunteers for the Syrian civil war and funnel them to ISIL units in Syria and Iraq.

Israel has been transporting Al Nusra/ISIL terrorists across the Golan frontier into Israel, ostensibly for medical treatment,  but also, as reported exclusively to WMR, for intelligence and other military training. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's recent Twitter statement that "Hamas is ISIS" has much truth. Israel's Mossad originally created Hamas as a more radical foil for Fatah, the largest group in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Israel now likens ISIS/ISIL, which it has supported, to its other creation, Hamas.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Plum Island, Nazi scientists, and the CIA by Wayne Madsen




Plum Island, Nazi scientists, and the CIA

WMR has uncovered a Central Intelligence Agency document that reveals that the mysterious Plum Island Animal Disease Center, located off Montauk, Long Island in eastern Long Island Sound, has maintained a strong link to the CIA since the early 1950s. Once part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Plum Island facility, which supposedly studies animal diseases, particularly foot-and-mouth disease in cattle, has been part of a secret U.S. biological warfare program that once included the use of Nazi scientists. The facility was transferred in 2002 to the Department of Homeland Security's Directorate for Science and Technology. Plans by Homeland Security to transfer the research center to Manhattan, Kansas are on hold amid safety concerns.

Plum Island is the counterpart of a similar Nazi facility located on Riems Island in the Baltic. In fact, Nazi veterinarian Dr. Erich Traub, who was a leading scientist at the 
Reich Research Institute for Virus Diseases of Animals on Riems Island. While at Riems, Traub developed a project to infect Soviet livestock with foot-and-mouth disease by dropping infected ticks over Russia. Exfiltrated by British intelligence from the Soviet zone in Germany after the war and provided safe passage to America as part of Operation Paperclip, Traub was placed in charge of the new Plum Island facility in 1952. Among the scientists recruited by Traub and his CIA bosses were Japanese veterans of Unit 731, the Imperial Japanese biological warfare research center that was located in Harbin in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo during World War II. Traub worked with U.S. biological warfare experts from Fort Detrick, Maryland in developing some of America's most lethal bio-warfare weapons. The Department of Agriculture affiliation of Plum Island was merely a cover established by the CIA to mask the facility's actual work.

Using Google Earth-supplied satellite imagery, WMR discovered a strange helicopter landing pad on the highly-secure Plum Island that resembles a German Iron Cross.



Plum Island's Iron Cross chopper pad [top] and the Iron Cross [bottom] awarded to many Nazi scientists who worked on Plum Island's Nazi counterpart of Riems Island.

Traub, a virologist, was an expert on using insect vectors to spread various diseases in livestock, other animals, and humans. Traub's pioneering work on tick-born disease vectors is believed to have resulted in the 1975 outbreak of Lyme Disease in nearby Connecticut.

According to CIA director Allen Dulles's log of March 23, 1954, the Agriculture Department Agricultural Research Center deputy administrator, M.R. Clarkson, requested that Dulles authorize a CIA representative to work with Plum Island "advisors" in April 1954 to determine the "material to be screened" by the Plum Island scientists and the "kinds of tests to be used." The lead scientist of Plum Island was Traub who was largely exfiltrated from Germany by the chief facilitator of Paperclip, Dulles.

Plum Island largely replaced a biological warfare research center active during World War II. It was located on Horn Island, off of Biloxi, Mississippi. In 1942, the Army Chemical Warfare Service evicted the 26 inhabitants of Horn Island, which was 12 miles off the coast of Mississippi in the Gulf of Mexico.

Plum Island serves as a major research center in a bio-warfare network that includes Fort Detrick, the Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah; the Joint Pathology Center in Silver Spring, Maryland; the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta; and the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Plum Island is believed to store cultures of smallpox, Lassa fever and an artificially-derived variant of it known as "Legionnaire's Disease, Rift Valley fever, and malaria.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gaza and the threat of world war By John Pilger




Gaza and the threat of world war
By John Pilger 

"There is a taboo," said the visionary Edward Said, "on telling the truth about Palestine and the great destructive force behind Israel. Only when this truth is out can any of us be free." 

For many people, the truth is out now. At last, they know. Those once intimidated into silence can't look away now. Staring at them from their TV, laptop, phone, is proof of the barbarism of the Israeli state and the great destructive force of its mentor and provider, the United States, the cowardice of European governments, and the collusion of others, such as Canada and Australian, in this epic crime. 

The attack on Gaza was an attack on all of us. The siege of Gaza
is a siege of all of us. The denial of justice to Palestinians is a symptom of much of humanity under siege and a warning that the threat of a new world war is growing by the day. 

When Nelson Mandela called the struggle of Palestine "the greatest moral issue of our time", he spoke on behalf of true civilisation, not that which empires invent. In Latin America, the governments of Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador, Peru and Ecuador have made their stand on Gaza. Each of these countries has known its own dark silence when immunity for mass murder was sponsored by the same godfather in Washington that answered the cries of children in Gaza with more ammunition to kill them. 

Unlike Netanyahu and his killers, Washington's pet fascists in Latin America didn't concern themselves with moral window dressing. They simply murdered, and left the bodies on rubbish dumps. For Zionism, the goal is the same: to dispossess and ultimately destroy an entire human society: a truth that 225 Holocaust survivors and their descendants have compared with te genesis of genocide. 

Nothing has changed since the Zionists' infamous "Plan D" in 1948 that ethnically cleansed an entire people. Recently, on the website of the Times of Israel were the words: "Genocide is Permissible". A deputy speaker of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, Moshe Feiglin, demands a policy of mass expulsion into concentration camps. An MP, Ayelet Shaked, whose party is a member of the governing coalition, calls for the extermination of Palestinian mothers to prevent them giving birth to what she calls "little snakes". 

For years, reporters have watched Israeli soldiers bait Palestinian children by abusing them through loud-speakers. Then they shoot them dead. For years, reporters have known about Palestinian women about to give birth and refused passage through a roadblock to a hospital; and the baby has died, and sometimes the mother. 

For years, reporters have known about Palestinian doctors and ambulance crews given permission by Israeli commanders to attend the wounded or remove the dead, only to be shot through the head. 

For years, reporters have known about stricken people prevented from getting life-saving treatment, or shot dead when they've tried to reach a clinic for chemotherapy treatment. One elderly lady with a walking stick was murdered in this way - a bullet in her back. 

When I put the facts of this crime to Dori Gold, a senior adviser to the Israeli prime minister, he said, "Unfortunately in every kind of warfare there are cases of civilians who are accidentally killed. But the case you cite was not terrorism. Terrorism means putting the cross-hairs of the sniper's rifle on a civilian deliberately." 

I replied, "That's exactly what happened." 

"No," he said, "it did not happen." 

Such a lie or delusion is repeated unerringly by Israel's apologists. As the former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges points out, the reporting of such an atrocity invariably ends up as "caught in the cross-fire". For as long as I have covered the Middle East, much if not most of the Western media has colluded in this way. 

In one of my films, a Palestinian cameraman, Imad Ghanem, lies helpless while soldiers from the "most moral army in the world" blew both his legs off. This atrocity was given two lines on the BBC website. Thirteen journalists were killed by Israel in its latest bloodfest in Gaza. All were Palestinian. Who knows their names? 

Something is different now. There is a huge revulsion across the world; and the voices of sensible liberalism are worried. Their hand wringing and specious choir of "equal blame" and "Israel's right to defend itself" will not wash any more; neither will the smear of anti-Semitism. Neither will their selective cry that "something must be done" about Islamic fanatics but nothing must be done about Zionist fanatics. 

One sensible liberal voice, the novelist Ian McEwan, was being celebrated as a sage by the Guardian while the children of Gaza were blown to bits. This is the same Ian McEwan who ignored the pleading of Palestinians not to accept the Jerusalem Prize for literature. "If I only went to countries that I approve of, I probably would never get out of bed," said McEwan. 

If they could speak, the dead of Gaza might say: Stay in bed, great novelist, for your very presence smoothes the bed of racism, apartheid, ethnic cleansing and murder - no matter the weasel words you uttered as you claimed your prize. 

Understanding the sophistry and power of liberal propaganda is key to understanding why Israel's outrages endure; why the world looks on; why sanctions are never applied to Israel; and why nothing less than a total boycott of everything Israeli is now a measure of basic human decency. 

The most incessant propaganda says Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel. Khaled Hroub, the Cambridge University scholar considered a world leading authority on Hamas, says this phrase is "never used or adopted by Hamas, even in its most radical statements". The oft-quoted "anti-Jewish" 1988 Charter was the work of "one individual and made public without appropriate Hamas consensus ... The author was one of the 'old guard'"; the document is regarded as an embarrassment and never cited. 

Hamas has repeatedly offered a 10-year truce with Israel and has long settled for a two-state solution. When Medea Benjamin, the fearless Jewish American activist, was in Gaza, she carried a letter from Hamas leaders to President Obama that made clear the government of Gaza wanted peace with Israel. It was ignored. I personally know of many such letters carried in good faith, ignored or dismissed. 

The unforgivable crime of Hamas is a distinction almost never reported: it is the only Arab government to have been freely and democratically elected by its people. Worse, it has now formed a government of unity with the Palestinian Authority. A single, resolute Palestinian voice - in the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court - is the most feared threat. 

Since 2002, a pioneering media unit at Glasgow University has produced remarkable studies of reporting and propaganda in Israel/Palestine. Professor Greg Philo and his colleagues were shocked to find a public ignorance compounded by TV news reporting. The more people watched, the less they knew. Greg Philo says the problem is not "bias" as such. Reporters and producers are as moved as anyone by the suffering of Palestinians; but so imposing is the power structure of the media - as an extension of the state and its vested interests - that critical facts and historical context are routinely suppressed. 

Incredibly, less than 9% of young viewers interviewed by Professor Philo's team were aware that Israel was the occupying power, and that the illegal settlers were Jewish; many believed them to be Palestinian. The term "Occupied Territories" was seldom explained. Words such as "murder", "atrocity", "cold-blooded killing" were used only to describe the deaths of Israelis. 

Recently, a BBC reporter, David Loyn, was critical of another British journalist, Jon Snow of Channel 4 News. Snow was so moved by what he had seen in Gaza he went on YouTube to make a humanitarian appeal. What concerned the BBC man was that Snow had breached protocol and been emotional in his YouTube piece. 

"Emotion," wrote Loyn, "is the stuff of propaganda and news is against propaganda". Did he write this with a straight face? In fact, Snow's delivery was calm. His crime was to have strayed outside the boundaries of fake impartiality. Unforgivably, he didn't censor himself. 

In 1937, with Adolf Hitler in power, Geoffrey Dawson, editor of The Times in London, wrote the following in his diary: "I spend my nights in taking out anything which will hurt [German] susceptibilities and in dropping in little things which are intended to soothe them." 

On July 30, the BBC offered viewers a masterclass in the Dawson Principle. The diplomatic correspondent of the program Newsnight, Mark Urban, gave five reasons why the Middle East was in turmoil. None included the historic or contemporary role of the British government. The Cameron government's dispatch of ?8 billion worth of arms and military equipment to Israel was airbrushed. Britain's massive arms shipment to Saudi Arabia was airbrushed. Britain's role in the destruction of Libya was airbrushed. Britain's support for the tyranny in Egypt was airbrushed. 

As for the British invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, they didn't happen, either. 

The only expert witness on this BBC program was an academic called Toby Dodge from the London School of Economics. What viewers needed to know was that Dodge had been a special adviser to David Petraeus, the American general largely responsible for the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan. But this, too, was airbrushed. 

In matters of war and peace, BBC-style illusions of impartiality and credibility do more to limit and control public discussion than tabloid distortion. As Greg Philo pointed out, Jon Snow's moving commentary on YouTube was limited to whether the Israeli assault on Gaza was proportionate or reasonable. What was missing - and is almost always missing - was the essential truth of the longest military occupation in modern times: a criminal enterprise backed by western governments from Washington to London to Canberra. 

As for the myth that "vulnerable" and "isolated" Israel is surrounded by enemies, Israel is actually surrounded by strategic allies. The Palestinian Authority, bankrolled, armed and directed by the US, has long colluded with Tel Aviv. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Netanyahu are the tyrannies in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar - if the World Cup ever gets to Qatar, count on Mossad to run the security. 

Resistance is humanity at its bravest and most noble. The resistance in Gaza is rightly compared with the 1943 Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto - which also dug tunnels and deployed tactics of subterfuge and surprise against an overpowering military machine. The last surviving leader of the Warsaw uprising, Marek Edelman, wrote a letter of solidarity to the Palestinian resistance, comparing it with the ZOB, his ghetto fighters. The letter began: "Commanders of the Palestine military, paramilitary and partisan operations - and to all soldiers [of Palestine]." 

Dr Mads Gilbert is a Norwegian doctor renowned for his heroic work in Gaza. On August 8, Dr Gilbert returned to his hometown, Tronso in Norway which, as he pointed out, the Nazis had occupied for seven years. He said, "Imagine being back in 1945 and we in Norway did not win the liberation struggle, did not throw out the occupier. Imagine the occupier remaining in our country, taking it piece by piece, for decades upon decades, and banishing us to the leanest areas, and taking the fish in the sea and the water beneath us, then bombing our hospitals, our ambulance workers, our schools, our homes. 

"Would we have given up and waved the white flag? No, we would not! And this is the situation in Gaza. This is not a battle between terrorism and democracy. Hamas is not the enemy Israel is fighting. Israel is waging a war against the Palestinian people's will to resist. It is the Palestinian people's dignity that they will not accept this. 

"In 1938, the Nazis called the Jews Untermenschen - subhuman. Today, Palestinians are treated as a subhuman people who can be slaughtered without any in power reacting. 


"So I have returned to Norway, a free country, and this country is free because we had a resistance movement, because occupied nations have the right to resist, even with weapons - it's stated in international law. And the Palestinian people's resistance in Gaza is admirable: a struggle for us all." 

There are dangers in telling this truth, in breaching what Edward Said called "the last taboo". My documentary, Palestine Is Still the Issue, was nominated for a Bafta, a British academy award, and praised by the Independent Television Commission for its "journalistic integrity" and the "care and thoroughness with which
it was researched." Yet, within minutes of the film's broadcast on Britain's ITV Network, a shock wave struck - a deluge of emails described me as a "demonic psychopath", "a purveyor of hate and evil", "an anti-Semite of the most dangerous kind". Much of this was orchestrated by Zionists in the US who could not possibly have seen the film. Death threats arrived at a rate of one a day. 

Something similar happened to the Australian commentator Mike Carlton last month. In his regular column in the Sydney Morning Herald, Carlton produced a rare piece of journalism about Israel and the Palestinians; he identified the oppressors and their victims. He was careful to limit his attack to "a new and brutal Israel dominated by the hard-line, right-wing Likud party of Netanyahu". Those who had previously run the Zionist state, he implied, belonged to "a proud liberal tradition". 

On cue, the deluge struck. He was called "a bag of Nazi slime, a Jew-hating racist." He was threatened repeatedly, and he emailed his attackers to "get fucked". 

The Herald demanded he apologise. When he refused, he was suspended, then he resigned. According to the Herald's publisher, Sean Aylmer, the company "expects much higher standards from its columnists." 

The "problem" of Carlton's acerbic, often solitary liberal voice in a country in which Rupert Murdoch controls 70% of the capital city press - Australia is the world's first murdocracy - would be solved twice over. The Australian Human Rights Commission is to investigate complaints against Carlton under the Racial Discrimination Act, which outlaws any public act or utterance that is "reasonably likely … to offend, insult, humiliate another person or a group of people" on the basic of their race, colour or national or ethnic origin. 

In contrast to safe, silent Australia - where the Carltons are made extinct - real journalism is alive in Gaza. I often speak on the phone with Mohammed Omer, an extraordinary young Palestinian journalist, to whom I presented, in 2008, the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. Whenever I called him during the assault on Gaza, I could hear the whine of drones, the explosion of missiles. He interrupted one call to attend to children huddled outside waiting for transport amidst the explosions. When I spoke to him on July 30, a single Israeli F-19 fighter had just slaughtered 19 children. On 20 August, he described how Israeli drones had effectively "rounded up" a village so that they could savagely gunned down. 

Every day, at sunrise, Mohammed looks for families who have been bombed. He records their stories, standing in the rubble of their homes; he takes their pictures. He goes to the hospital. He goes to the morgue. He goes to the cemetery. He queues for hours for bread for his own family. And he watches the sky. He sends two, three, four dispatches a day. This is real journalism. 

"They are trying to annihilate us," he told me. "But the more they bomb us, the stronger we are. They will never win." 

The great crime committed in Gaza is a reminder of something wider and menacing to us all. 

Since 2001, the United States and its allies have been on a rampage. In Iraq, at least 700,000 men, woman and children are dead as a result. The rise of jihadists - in a country where there was none - is the result. Known as al-Qaeda and now the Islamic State, modern jihadism was invented by US and Britain, assisted by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The original aim was to use and develop an Islamic fundamentalism that had barely existed in much of the Arab world in order to undermine pan-Arab movements and secular governments. By the 1980s, this had become a weapon to destroy the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The CIA called it Operation Cyclone; and a cyclone it turned out to be, with its unleashed fury blowing back in the faces of its creators. The attacks of 9/11 and in London in July, 2005 were the result of this blowback, as were the recent, gruesome murders of the American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. For more than a year, the Obama administration armed the killers of these two young men - then known as ISIS in Syria - in order to destroy the secular government in Damascus. 

The West's principal "ally" in this imperial mayhem is the medieval state where beheadings are routinely and judicially carried out - Saudi Arabia. Whenever a member of the British Royal Family is sent to this barbaric place, you can bet your bottom petrodollar that the British government wants to sell the sheiks more fighter planes, missiles, manacles. Most of the 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, which bankrolls jihadists from Syria to Iraq. 

Why must we live in this state of perpetual war? 

The immediate answer lies in the United States, where a secret and unreported coup has taken place. A group known as the Project for a New American Century, the inspiration of Dick Cheney and others, came to power with the administration of George W Bush. Once known in Washington as the "crazies", this extreme sect believes in what the US Space Command calls "full spectrum dominance". 

Under both Bush and Obama, a19th-century imperial mentality has infused all departments of state. Raw militarism is ascendant; diplomacy is redundant. Nations and governments are judged as useful or expendable: to be bribed or threatened or "sanctioned". 

On July 31, the National Defense Panel in Washington published a remarkable document that called for the United States to prepare to fight six major wars simultaneously. At the top of the list were Russia and China - nuclear powers. 

In one sense, a war against Russia has already begun. While the world watched horrified as Israel assaulted Gaza, similar atrocities in eastern Ukraine were barely news. At the time of writing, two Ukrainian cities of Russian-speaking people - Donetsk and Luhansk - are under siege: their people and hospitals and schools blitzed by a regime in Kiev that came to power in a putsch led by neo-Nazis backed and paid for by the United States. The coup was the climax of what the Russian political observer Sergei Glaziev describes as a 20-year "grooming of Ukrainian Nazis aimed at Russia". Actual fascism has risen again in Europe and not one European leader has spoken against it, perhaps because the rise of fascism across Europe is now a truth that dares not speak its name. 

With its fascist past, and present, Ukraine is now a CIA theme park, a colony of NATO and the International Monetary Fund. The fascist coup in Kiev in February was the boast of US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland, whose "coup budget" ran to US$5 billion. But there was a setback. Moscow prevented the seizure of its legitimate Black Sea naval base in Russian-speaking Crimea. A referendum and annexation quickly followed. Represented in the West as the Kremlin's "aggression", this serves to turn truth on its head and cover Washington's goals: to drive a wedge between a "pariah" Russia and its principal trading partners in Europe and eventually to break up the Russian Federation. American missiles already surround Russia; Nato's military build-up in the former Soviet republics and eastern Europe is the biggest since the second world war. 

During the cold war, this would have risked a nuclear holocaust. The risk has returned as anti-Russian misinformation reaches crescendos of hysteria in the US and Europe. A textbook case is the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in July. Without a single piece of evidence, the US and its NATO allies and their media machines blamed ethnic Russian "separatists" in Ukraine and implied that Moscow was ultimately responsible. An editorial in The Economist accused Vladimir Putin of mass murder. The cover of Der Spiegel used faces of the victims and bold red type, "Stoppt Putin Jetzt!" (Stop Putin Now!) In the New York Times, Timothy Garton Ash substantiated his case for "Putin's deadly doctrine" with personal abuse of "a short, thickset man with a rather ratlike face". 

The Guardian's role has been important. Renowned for its investigations, the newspaper has made no serious attempt to examine who shot the aeroplane down and why, even though a wealth of material from credible sources shows that Moscow was as shocked as the rest of the world, and the airliner may well have been brought down by the Ukrainian regime. 

With the White House offering no verifiable evidence - even though US satellites would have observed the shooting-down - the Guardian's Moscow correspondent Shaun Walker stepped into the breach. "My audience with the Demon of Donetsk," was the front-page headline over Walker's breathless interview with one Igor Bezler. "With a walrus moustache, a fiery temper and a reputation for brutality," he wrote, "Igor Bezler is the most feared of all the rebel leaders in eastern Ukraine ... nicknamed The Demon ... If the Ukrainian security services, the SBU, are to be believed, the Demon and a group of his men were responsible for shooting down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 … as well as allegedly bringing down MH17, the rebels have shot down 10 Ukrainian aircraft." Demon Journalism requires no further evidence. 

Demon Journalism makes over a fascist-contaminated junta that seized power in Kiev as a respectable "interim government". Neo-Nazis become mere "nationalists". "News" sourced to the Kiev junta ensures the suppression of a US-run coup and the junta's systematic ethnic cleaning of the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine. That this should happen in the borderland through which the original Nazis invaded Russia, extinguishing some 22 million Russian lives, is of no interest. What matters is a Russian "invasion" of Ukraine that seems difficult to prove beyond familiar satellite images that evoke Colin Powell's fictional presentation to the United Nations "proving" that Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction. "You need to know that accusations of a major Russian 'invasion' of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence," wrote a group of former senior US intelligence officials and analysts, the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Rather, the 'intelligence' seems to be of the same dubious, politically 'fixed' kind used 12 years ago to 'justify' the US-led attack on Iraq." 

The jargon is "controlling the narrative". In his seminal Culture and Imperialism, Edward Said was more explicit: the Western media machine was now capable of penetrating deep into the consciousness of much of humanity with a "wiring" as influential as that of the imperial navies of the 19th century. Gunboat journalism, in other words. Or war by media. 

Yet, a critical public intelligence and resistance to propaganda does exist; and a second superpower is emerging - the power of public opinion, fueled by the Internet and social media. 

The false reality created by false news delivered by media gatekeepers may prevent some of us knowing that this new superpower is stirring in country after country: from the Americas to Europe, Asia to Africa. It is a moral insurrection, exemplified by the whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange. The question begs: will we break our silence while there is time? 

When I was last in Gaza, driving back to the Israeli checkpoint, I caught sight of two Palestinian flags through the razor wire. Children had made flagpoles out of sticks tied together and they'd climbed on a wall and held the flag between them. 

The children do this, I was told, whenever there are foreigners around, because they want to show the world they are there - alive, and brave, and undefeated. 

This article is adapted from John Pilger's Edward Said Memorial Lecture, delivered in Adelaide, Australia, on September 11. 

Posted with permission. www.johnpilger.com 

(Copyright 2014 John Pilger)