Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Washington-backed “Rebels” Surrender US Arms to Al Qaeda in Syria

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 04.11.2014 | 23:33
Washington’s strategy in its three-month-old war in Iraq and Syria appeared to suffer another humiliating blow over the weekend as one of the last remaining strongholds of US-backed “moderate rebels” in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib fell to the Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda.
The collapse of the US-backed force in Syria came amid reported plans for a major retraining of the Iraqi army in preparation for a US-orchestrated offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq sometime next year.
Both developments underscore the unreliability of the proxy forces the Obama administration has indicated are to serve as the “boots on the ground” in the two countries and point to the inevitable expansion of the number and role of US troops deployed to prosecute the new Middle East war.
Washington Post correspondent Liz Sly, who has been one of the most enthusiastic media propagandists for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the so-called “moderate rebels,” questioned whether the FSA would “manage to survive the trouncing inflicted in recent days” by the Nusra Front. She described the events in Idlib as “throwing the rebels into disarray and upending the Obama administration’s hopes for a moderate alternative to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”
The “trouncing” was accomplished without a shot being fired. Two US-backed groups, the Syrian Revolutionary Front and Harakat Hazm (Steadfastness Movement), surrendered without opposing the Al Qaeda-linked militia. It was reported that a large number of their members went over to the Nusra Front, while others fled.
The clashes between the various “rebel” groups have been developing and growing in intensity for over a year, pitting the Nusra Front and ISIS (which Al Qaeda disavowed earlier this year) against other US-backed groups as well as against each other. While these conflicts have been attributed in some instances to Islamist ideological differences, they have often arisen over control of oil and gas fields, border crossings and other sources of wealth.
One of the reasons for the latest clashes appears to be the US air strikes against Nusra Front positions in Syria, carried out under the pretext of disrupting a previously unheard of “Khorasan group,” which was supposedly plotting attacks against the West. The reaction of the Nusra Front, which had previously fought together with the Western-backed militias against ISIS, has been an offensive against US-backed groups, which it sees as a threat. The US attacks also have led to a mending of fences between the Nusra Front and ISIS, which have recently fought together in joint operations.
In the latest developments, significant stocks of arms supplied by the US, including heavy weapons such as TOW anti-tank missiles and Grad rockets, have been turned over by the so-called moderates to the Nusra Front, which is classified by Washington as a foreign terrorist organization.
“For the United States, the weapons they supplied falling into the hands of Al Qaeda is a realization of a nightmare,” the British daily Telegraphcommented.
Following the overrunning of the northern Idlib province villages previously held by the Syrian Revolutionary Front and Harakat Hazm, Nusra Front fighters have reportedly begun massing near a strategic Syrian town on the Turkish border, Bab al-Hawa, which has served as a key pipeline for arms and supplies funneled by Washington and its allies to the “rebels.” It is also a major smuggling route, providing whoever controls it with a reliable source of revenue.
Despite support from the US, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf State monarchies, the so-called “moderate rebels” never developed into a serious force, with the Western-backed war for regime-change in Syria remaining dominated by extreme Islamist groups such as ISIS and the Nusra Front. Nonetheless, Washington had hoped to draw on these “moderate” militias to carry out its stated plan to train 5,000 fighters a year as a new force to be turned against both ISIS and the Assad government. That plan now lies in ruins.
An article by independent journalist Theo Padnos in the Sunday magazine section of the New York Times on his abduction and two-year imprisonment by the Nusra Front in Syria is instructive in terms of the reliability and allegiance of supposedly “vetted” forces.
In the article, entitled “My Captivity,” Padnos recounts how not once, but twice, he managed to escape from his Nusra Front captors and seek aid from the so-called moderates of the Free Syrian Army, only to be quickly handed back to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group.
He also writes that FSA soldiers, who were fighting alongside the Nusra Front group that was holding him about 20 miles east of Damascus, told him that they had recently returned from training at a US base in Jordan, ostensibly for the purpose of combating groups such as the Nusra Front and ISIS.
Asked by Padnos about fighting the Nusra Front, one of the FSA fighters replied, “Oh that, we lied to the Americans about that.”
In Iraq, meanwhile, the New York Times reported Monday that US and Iraqi officials have agreed to prepare a “major spring offensive” against ISIS, which the newspaper notes “is likely to face an array of logistical and political challenges.”
At the center of these plans is the US training of three new Iraqi divisions, some 20,000 troops, to replace units that disintegrated in the face of the ISIS offensive last summer, with commanders deserting and troops throwing down their weapons, tearing off their uniforms and fleeing for their lives. The Pentagon had spent $25 billion over the course of eight years to train those forces.
To prepare for the planned offensive, the Pentagon, according to the Times, has set up a new task force under Lt. Gen. James Terry, the top Army commander for CENTCOM, which oversees all US forces in the Middle East. The newspaper reports that as these preparations are implemented “the American footprint is likely to expand from Baghdad and Ebril to additional outposts,” including in the predominantly Sunni Anbar province, which has been largely overrun by ISIS.
Citing senior US officials, the Times reported that “Army planners have drafted options that could deploy up to an additional brigade of troops, or about 3,500 personnel, to expand the advisory effort and speed the push to rebuild the Iraqi military.”
No matter how many US “advisers” Washington deploys to the country, however, the contradictions underlying the US intervention—not least the bitter sectarian divisions provoked by a decade of US war and occupation—are overwhelming. The Iraqi army that Washington claims will do the fighting in predominantly Sunni areas such as Anbar is some 90 percent Shia and is seen by the population in these areas as an occupying force. Moreover, in recent fighting, the army has leaned heavily on Shia militias that have openly engaged in ethnic cleansing operations against Sunni populations.
Until now, Washington has tried to paper over these contradictions while waging a sporadic campaign of air strikes that has had little effect on ISIS’ control over a broad swath of Iraq and Syria. The real war is still to come and will be launched in earnest once today’s midterm elections are over. Given the sorry state of Washington’s chosen proxy forces in both Iraq and Syria and the real aims that it is pursuing—US imperialist hegemony over the entire Middle East—sooner rather than later this new war will involve large numbers of US ground troops in another killing spree.

Mogherini urged to suspend EU-Israel Association Agreement by 309 human rights groups and unions

More than 300 human rights groups, trade unions and political parties from across Europe have called for the EU to hold Israel accountable for its massacre of Gaza earlier this year by suspending the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the main treaty between the EU and Israel.
“Through the continued existence of the EU-Israel Association Agreement and the strengthening of the bilateral relations, the European Union and its member states are sending Israel the message that it does not have to abide by international law,” explains the declaration, which has been jointly issued by major civil society bodies from across 19 countries.
The written statement calling for the suspension of the agreement was delivered this morning to the Middle East advisors for Federica Mogherini, the new EU foreign policy chief who begins her new role this week and will make her first trip overseas to Palestine/Israel.
Signatories to the statement include the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and national unions in Spain, France, Belgium and political parties including Podemos, who currently top the Spanish polls, and major NGOs including CNCD in Belgium and Trocaire in Ireland.
The EU-Israel Association Agreement is the main framework for the close relationship between the EU and Israel, granting Israel preferential access to European markets and allowing it to participate in more EU programs and projects than any other non-European country.
The appeal for action condemns Israel’s deliberate targeting of civilians during its recent attack on Gaza that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and argues that the failure of the EU to take tough action against Israel “contributes to the climate of impunity and lack of accountability”.
“The EU is providing material support to Israel’s violations of international law and failing to uphold its own commitments under international law,” the statement adds.
The EU has previously suspended its Association Agreement with Sri Lanka and recently introduced a raft of measures restricting trade and investment against Russia in relation to the Ukraine crisis.
The failure to impose similar measures on Israel despite decades of serious violations of international law amounts to a double standard, campaigners say.
The statement also argues that the Israel’s largely unrestricted access to European markets and participation in EU programs amounts to “material support to Israel’s violations of international law”.
Aneta Jerska, the coordinator of the European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP), one of the organisations that has signed the statement, said:
“The huge number of mainstream organisations that are calling for the suspension of the EU-Israel Association Agreement reflects the growing frustration across Europe with the failure of European governments to respond to Israel’s repeated massacres and violations of international law.”
“The EU has long argued that its close relations with Israel put it in strong position to engage in dialogue with Israel regarding its oppression of Palestinians, but Israel’s brutal massacre of Gaza shows that this dialogue has failed. It is time for the EU to take action that will pressure Israel to comply with international law.”
The ECCP will  launch a campaign that encourages people to contact members of the European parliament about the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

Pictures from delivering the call to EEAS

Ebola Manufactured by Western Pharmaceuticals, US DoD?: Scientists Allege

EDITOR'S CHOICE | 21.10.2014 | 09:36
Are bio weapons being tested on Africans. Reports have linked the Ebola virus outbreak to an attempt to reduce Africa’s population. Liberia happens to be the continents' fastest growing population.
Dear World Citizens:
I have read a number of articles from your Internet outreach as well as articles from other sources about the casualties in Liberia and other West African countries about the human devastation caused by the Ebola virus. About a week ago, I read an article published in the Internet news summary publication of the Friends of Liberia that said that there was an agreement that the initiation of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was due to the contact of a two-year old child with bats that had flown in from the Congo. That report made me disconcerted with the reporting about Ebola, and it stimulated a response to the “Friends of Liberia,” saying that African people are not ignorant and gullible, as is being implicated. A response from Dr. Verlon Stone said that the article was not theirs, and that “Friends of Liberia” was simply providing a service. He then asked if he could publish my letter in their Internet forum. I gave my permission, but I have not seen it published. Because of the widespread loss of life, fear, physiological trauma, and despair among Liberians and other West African citizens, it is incumbent that I make a contribution to the resolution of this devastating situation, which may continue to recur, if it is not properly and adequately confronted. I will address the situation in five (5) points:
Horowitz (1998) was deliberate and unambiguous when he explained the threat of new diseases in his text, Emerging Viruses: AIDS and Ebola - Nature, Accident or Intentional. In his interview with Dr. Robert Strecker in Chapter 7, the discussion, in the early 1970s, made it obvious that the war was between countries that hosted the KGB and the CIA, and the ‘manufacture’ of ‘AIDS-Like Viruses’ was clearly directed at the other. In passing during the Interview, mention was made of Fort Detrick, “the Ebola Building,” and ‘a lot of problems with strange illnesses’ in “Frederick [Maryland].” By Chapter 12 in his text, he had confirmed the existence of an American Military-Medical-Industry that conducts biological weapons tests under the guise of administering vaccinations to control diseases and improve the health of “black Africans overseas.” The book is an excellent text, and all leaders plus anyone who has interest in science, health, people, and intrigue should study it. I am amazed that African leaders are making no acknowledgements or reference to these documents.
I am now reading The Hot Zone, a novel, by Richard Preston (copyrighted 1989 and 1994); it is heart-rending. The prolific and prominent writer, Steven King, is quoted as saying that the book is “One of the most horrifying things I have ever read. What a remarkable piece of work.” As a New York Times bestseller, The Hot Zone is presented as “A terrifying true story.” Terrifying, yes, because the pathological description of what was found in animals killed by the Ebola virus is what the virus has been doing to citizens of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in its most recent outbreak: Ebola virus destroys peoples’ internal organs and the body deteriorates rapidly after death. It softens and the tissues turn into jelly, even if it is refrigerated to keep it cold. Spontaneous liquefaction is what happens to the body of people killed by the Ebola virus! The author noted in Point 1, Dr. Horowitz, chides The Hot Zone for writing to be politically correct; I understand because his book makes every effort to be very factual. The 1976 Ebola incident in Zaire, during President Mobutu Sese Seko, was the introduction of the GMO Ebola to Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and several other UN Agencies have been implicated in selecting and enticing African countries to participate in the testing events, promoting vaccinations, but pursuing various testing regiments. The August 2, 2014 article, West Africa: What are US Biological Warfare Researchers Doing in the Ebola Zone? by Jon Rappoport of Global Research pinpoints the problem that is facing African governments. 
Obvious in this and other reports are, among others: 
(a) The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), a well-known centre for bio-war research, located at Fort Detrick, Maryland; 
(b) Tulane University, in New Orleans, USA, winner of research grants, including a grant of more than $7 million the National Institute of Health (NIH) to fund research with the Lassa viral hemorrhagic fever; 
(c) the US Center for Disease Control (CDC); 
(d) Doctors Without Borders (also known by its French name, Medicins Sans Frontiers); 
(e) Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company;  
(f) The UK’s GlaxoSmithKline; and 
(g) the Kenema Government Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone. 
Reports narrate stories of the US Department of Defense (DoD) funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus. Hence, the DoD is listed as a collaborator in a“First in Human” Ebola clinical trial (NCT02041715, which started in January 2014 shortly before an Ebola epidemic was declared in West Africa in March. Disturbingly, many reports also conclude that the US government has a viral fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Kenema, a town at the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The only relevant positive and ethical olive-branch seen in all of my reading is that Theguardian.com reported, “The US government funding of Ebola trials on healthy humans comes amid warnings by top scientists in Harvard and Yale that such virus experiments risk triggering a worldwide pandemic.” That threat still persists.
The U. S., Canada, France, and the U. K. are all implicated in the detestable and devilish deeds that these Ebola tests are. There is the need to pursue criminal and civil redress for damages, and African countries and people should secure legal representation to seek damages from these countries, some corporations, and the United Nations. Evidence seems abundant against Tulane University, and suits should start there. Yoichi Shimatsu’s article, The Ebola Breakout Coincided with UN Vaccine Campaigns, as published on August 18, 2014, in the Liberty Beacon.
Africa must not relegate the Continent to become the locality for disposal and the deposition of hazardous chemicals, dangerous drugs, and chemical or biological agents of emerging diseases. There is urgent need for affirmative action in protecting the less affluent of poorer countries, especially African citizens, whose countries are not as scientifically and industrially endowed as the United States and most Western countries, sources of most viral or bacterial GMOs that are strategically designed as biological weapons. It is most disturbing that the U. S. Government has been operating a viral hemorrhagic fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Sierra Leone. Are there others? Wherever they exist, it is time to terminate them. If any other sites exist, it is advisable to follow the delayed but essential step: Sierra Leone closed the US bioweapons lab and stopped Tulane University for further testing.
The world must be alarmed. All Africans, Americans, Europeans, Middle Easterners, Asians, and people from every conclave on Earth should be astonished. African people, notably citizens more particularly of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are victimized and are dying every day. Listen to the people who distrust the hospitals, who cannot shake hands, hug their relatives and friends. Innocent people are dying, and they need our help. The countries are poor and cannot afford the whole lot of personal protection equipment (PPE) that the situation requires. The threat is real, and it is larger than a few African countries. The challenge is global, and we request assistance from everywhere, including China, Japan, Australia, India, Germany, Italy, and even kind-hearted people in the U.S., France, the U.K., Russia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else whose desire is to help. The situation is bleaker than we on the outside can imagine, and we must provide assistance however we can. To ensure a future that has less of this kind of drama, it is important that we now demand that our leaders and governments be honest, transparent, fair, and productively engaged. They must answer to the people. Please stand up to stop Ebola testing and the spread of this dastardly disease.
Thank you very much.
Dr. Cyril E. Broderick, Sr. 
About the Author:  
Dr. Broderick is a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia’s College of Agriculture and Forestry.  He is also the former Observer Farmer in the 1980s.  It was from this column in our newspaper, the Daily Observer, that Firestone spotted him and offered him the position of Director of Research in the late 1980s.  In addition, he is a scientist, who has taught for many years at the Agricultural College of the University of Delaware.

Der militärisch-energiewirtschaftliche Komplex braucht Krieg - Die Menschheit braucht Frieden

"...wenn du irgendwann die Ruinen der Städte, die zerstörten Dörfer, die niedergebrannten Tempel, die verwüsteten Felder betrachtet hast, bedenke, dass dies die Frucht des Krieges ist!  Raub, Vergewaltigung, Mord:  Der Lehrmeister von all  diesem  ist der Krieg. … Kein Sieg ohne Blutvergießen. Addiere den Verlust von Moral und  Sitte und den Verfall der  öffentlichen Ordnung! Du erschöpfst die Staatskasse, plünderst das Volk aus, belastest die Guten, treibst die Nichtsnutze zu Schandtaten an. Nachdem der Krieg geschlagen  ist, sind dessen Überbleibsel aber keinesfalls  unverzüglich zur Ruhe gekommen. Die Künste verlieren an Ansehen, Handelsgeschäfte werden eingeschränkt."  aus: Die Klage des Friedens Erasmus von Rotterdam 1516/17
"Kaum je kann ein Friede so ungerecht sein, als dass er nicht besser wäre als der gerechteste Krieg" ebd.
"Falls man sich nun früherer Kriege nicht erinnert, vergegenwärtige sich, wer will, die im Zeitraum der letzten zwölf Jahre geführten Kriege, möge er die Ursachen prüfen, er würde erfahren, dass alle um der "Fürsten" unternommen und mit großem Unheil für das Volk geführt wurden, obwohl sie das Volk nicht das geringste angingen" ebd.
Soweit die  Mahnung des großen Europäers, Klassiker der Friedensliteratur, Glanzstück der Renaissance-Rhethorik, Manifest für den nicht statt gehabten international angedachten  Friedenskongress von Cambrai,  Die Aktualität des Gesagten könnte brennender nicht sein.
Weil Kriege unpopulär sind, wird ihnen seitens der "Fürsten" unserer Zeit und ihrer Kopflanger ein ideologisches Mäntelchen umgegangen. Längst ist nicht  mehr die Rede von Kriegszielen, von Ressourcen-Sicherung,  von  Eroberungsplänen,   von Handelsrouten,  von politischer Einflussnahme oder  dergleichen. Vielmehr werden hehre Ideale  vorgeschoben:  Freiheit, Demokratie und Menschenrecht, Schutzverantwortung, Anti-Terror- oder Seuchenkampf,  darum geht es angeblich in den Kriegen der  Postmoderne . Es  läuft aber immer  auf das selbe hinaus, nämlich mehr Einsatz von Militär und Waffentechnologie. Verdienen tun die Waffenschmiede  und  die Opfer erbringen  die Habenichtse. Sie erbringen Opfer  auf dem Altar der Verheerung. Es sind weltweit die Armen, die Schutzlosen, die Minderheiten, die Zugewanderten,  jene also , die keine "Vetterchen" im Himmel haben. Die Elenden und Beleidigten  sind es, die immer und  überall   und an den Kriegen am meisten leiden.
Weil aber  am Kriege immer auch  verdient wird, auch dann, wenn dieser als  Anti-Terrorkampf  oder Anti-Seucheneinsatz getarnt daherkommt, wird  dieser  erst dann  beendet werden, wenn  dereinst die Verdienstquellen versiegen oder wenn die Massen sich organisiert   erheben. Das war beides   der Fall im Roten Oktober 1917. Frieden war das erste Wort  und die ersteTat der Sowjets.
Das Wissen um die Errungenschaften der Oktoberrevolution ist bei den meisten Menschen, die heuer  um den Frieden zu Hause und in der Welt ringen, leider verloren gegangen. Deswegen ist dem Friedenskampf  in unseren Tagen die Speerspitze geraubt. Deswegen wird nur noch  selektiv Solidarität ausgeübt mit jenen Völkern, die Opfer imperialistischer Kriege sind und  sich dagegen zur Wehr setzen. Die  meisten der vom Kriege heimgesuchten Völker werden alleine gelassen vom Rest der Welt.
Wo ist die Solidarität mit dem palästinensischen Volk etwa geblieben? Wo die Solidarität mit den nach wie vor  vom imperialistischen Nachbarn bedrohten Nationen Lateinamerikas? Wo die Solidarität mit jenen asiatischen und afrikanischen Völkern, die täglich  mit Drohnen-Kriegen bedroht werden? Wo die Solidarität mit jenen Staaten, die von gedungenen Söldnern des Terrors verfolgt werden  und von jenen, die vorgeben den Terror zu bekämpfen und noch mehr Elend nach sich ziehen?
Wo ist die Solidarität mit jenen zu unrecht verunglimpften Staatsführern, die ihren Völkern beispielhaft vorangehen?
In den 70iger Jahren des vorigen Jahrhunderts war das noch anders! Da gab es große Bewegungen zur Unterstützung des tapferen vietnamesischen Volkes, da sammelte man Waffen für Nicaragua, das sich gegen die "Contra-Banden" zur Wehr setzen musste.
Jetzt gibt es immerhin Solidarität mit Kobane! Aber diese Solidarität hinkt, der Pferdefuß lässt grüßen. Solange der tapfere  Anti-Terrorkampf  der syrischen Kurden nicht mit einer Solidaritätsbewegung für das ganze syrische Volk und seinem Präsidenten verbunden wird, solange muss sich die Solidaritätsbewegung fragen, ob sie sich nicht vor den falschen, nämlich den Anti-Assad-Karren spannen lässt und damit der Fortsetzung der Kriegspolitik dienlich ist.
Wir müssen die Kräfte erkennen und benennen, die am Kriege verdienen, jene die das Kriegshandwerk für sich als Pfründe entdeckt haben, jene die Zwietracht säen und daher Völker, Ethnien und Religionsgemeinschaften gegeneinander hetzen.
Ohne diese Erkenntnis verharren wir trotz des entfalteten  Aktionismus   in ohnmächtiger Hilflosigkeit.
Das muss aber nicht so sein. Lesen, denken, begreifen, damit beginnt der Kampf für Frieden und Gerechtigkeit, ohne den der erstere nicht zu gewinnen ist, was schon Erasmus Rotterdam wusste.
 Irene Eckert 3. 11.14