Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Ideology of Humanitarian Imperialism

Àngel Ferrero: It has been 10 years since Humanitarian Imperialism appeared in Spanish. What made you write the book?
It started as a reaction to the attitude of the Left during the 1999 Kosovo war, which was largely accepted on humanitarian grounds and to the rather weak opposition of the peace movement before the 2003 invasion of Iraq: for example, many “pacifists” have accepted the policy of sanctions at the time of the 1991 first Gulf war and even after it, and were favorable to inspections in the run-up to the war, without realizing that this was just a maneuver to prepare the public to accept the war (this became even public knowledge through later leaks, like the Downing Street memos).
It seemed to me that the ideology of humanitarian intervention had totally destroyed, on the left, any notion of respect for international law, as well as any critical attitude with respect to the media.
Àngel Ferrero: What do you think it has changed in this last 10 years?
A lot of things have changed, although, I am afraid, not because of my book. It is rather reality that has asserted itself, first with the chaos in Iraq, then in Libya and now in Syria and Ukraine, leading to the refugee crisis and a near state of war with Russia, which would not be a “cakewalk”.
The humanitarian imperialists are still busy pushing us towards more wars, but there is now a substantial fraction of public opinion that is against such policies; that fraction is probably more important on the right than on the left.
Àngel Ferrero: The role of the intellectuals in legitimizing Western interventions and interferences is heavily criticized, as well as their symbolic actions (signing public letters or manifestos). Why?
The problem with “intellectuals” is that they love to pretend that they are critics of power, while in reality legitimizing it. For example, they will complain that Western governments do not do enough to promote “our values” (through interventions and subversions) which of course reinforces the notion that “our side” or “our governments” mean well, a highly dubious notion, as I try to explain in my book.
Those intellectuals are sometimes criticized, but by whom? In general, by marginal figures I think. They still dominate the media and the intellectual sphere.
Àngel Ferrero: Another of the preoccupations of your book is the degradation of the public discourse. Do you think that the situation worsened? How do you assess the impact of social media?
The public discourse goes from bad to worse, at least in France. This is related to the constant censorship, either through lawsuits or through campaigns of demonization, of politically incorrect speech, which includes all the bricmontimpquestioning of the dominant discourse about the crimes of our enemies and the justifications for wars.
The social media is the only alternative left to “dissidents”, with the drawback that there, anything goes, including the wildest fantasies.
Àngel Ferrero: Some commentators point that Russia is now using their own version of the “human rights’ ideology” to justify their intervention in Crimea or the air campaign in Syria against the Islamic State. Is it fair?
I don’t think that Russia even claims to intervene on humanitarian grounds. In the case of Crimea, it bases itself on the right of self-determination of a people which is basically Russian, has been attached to Ukraine in an arbitrary fashion in 1954 (at a time when it did not matter too much, since Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union) and had every reason to be afraid of a fanatically anti-Russian government in Kiev.
For Syria, they respond to the request for help of the government of that country in order to fight foreign supported “terrorists”. I don’t see why it is less legitimate than the intervention of France in Mali (also requested by the government of that country) or of the more recent intervention of the U.S. in Iraq, against ISIS.
Of course, those Russian moves may prove to be unwise and maybe debatable from a “pacifist” point of view. But the fundamental question is: who started the total dismantling of the international order based on the U.N. Charter and the premise of equal sovereignty of all nations? The answer, obviously, is the U.S. and its “allies” (in the old days, one used to say “lackeys”). Russia is only responding to that disorder and does so in rather legalistic ways.
Àngel Ferrero: Let’s stay in Syria. Several European politicians demand a military intervention in Syria and Libya  to restore the order and stop the influx of refugees to the European Union. What do you think of this crisis and the solutions proposed by the EU?
They do not know how to solve the problem that they have created. By demanding the departure of Assad as a precondition to solving the Syrian crisis and by supporting so-called moderate rebels (the label moderate meaning in practice that they had been chosen by “us”), they prevented any possible solution in Syria. Indeed, a political solution should be based on diplomacy and the latter presupposes a realistic assessment of forces. In the case of Syria, realism means accepting the fact that Assad has the control of an army and has foreign allies, Iran and Russia. Ignoring this is just a way to deny reality, and to refuse to give diplomacy a chance.
Then came the refugee crisis: this was probably not expected, but occurred at a time when European citizens are increasingly hostile to immigration and to the “European construction”. Most European governments face what they call “populist movements”, i.e. movements that demand more sovereignty for their own countries. The flux of refugees could not come at a worst moment, from the European governments’ point of view.
So, they try to fix the problem as they can: having peripheral countries like Hungary build walls (that they denounce in public but are probably happy about in private), reinstall border controls, pay Turkey to keep the refugees etc.
There are of course also calls to intervene in Syria to solve the problem “at the source”. But what can they do now? More support for the rebels, trough a no-fly zone for example, and running the risk of a direct confrontation with the Russians? Help the Syrian army fight the rebels, as the Russian do? But that would mean reversing years of anti-Assad propaganda and policies.
In summary, they are hoisted by the own petard, which is always an unpleasant situation.
Àngel Ferrero: Why do you think that the Greens and the new left are so adamant in defending the humanitarian interventions?
Ultimately, one has to do a class analysis of the “new left”. While the old left was based on the working class and their leaders often came from that class, the new left is almost entirely dominated by petit-bourgeois intellectuals. Those intellectuals are neither the “bourgeoisie”, in the sense of the owners of the means of production not are they exploited by the latter.
Their social function is to provide an ideology that can serve as a lofty justification for an economic system and a set of international relations that are based ultimately on brute force. The human rights ideology is perfect from that point of view. It is sufficiently “idealistic” and impossible to put consistently into practice (if one had to wage war against every “violator of human rights”, one would quickly be at war with the entire world, including ourselves) to allow those defenders the opportunity to look critical of the governments (they don’t intervene enough). But, by deflecting attention from the real relations of forces in the world, the human rights ideology offers also to those who hold real power a moral justification for their actions. So, the petit-bourgeois intellectuals of the “new left” can both serve power and pretend to be subversive. What more can you ask from an ideology?
Àngel Ferrero: In the conclusions of your book you recommend a sort of pedagogy for the Western audience, so they accept the end of the Western hegemony and the emergence of a new order in the international relations. How can we contribute to this?
As I said above, it is reality that forces the Western audience to change. It was always a pure folly to think that human rights would be fostered by endless wars, but now we see the consequences of that folly with our own eyes. There should be a radical reorientation of the left’s priorities in international affairs: far from trying to fix problems in other countries through illegal interventions, it should demand strict respect of international law on the part of Western governments, peaceful cooperation with other countries, in particular Russia, Iran and China, and the dismantling of aggressive military alliances such as NATO.
Àngel Ferrero: I would like to ask you about  the other book that made you known to the general public, Fashionable Nonsense. This book, co-written with Alan Sokal, is a critique to postmodernism. What is the influence of postmodernism amongst scholars and the public opinion today? It fades away or is it still alive and kicking?
It is difficult for me to answer that question, because it would require a sociological study that I do not have the means to undertake. But I should say that postmodernism, like the turn towards humanitarian interventions, is another way that the left has self-destructed itself, although this aspect has had less dramatic consequences than the wars and the damage was limited to “elite” intellectual circles.
But if the left wants to create a more just society, it has to have a notion of justice; if it adopts a relativist attitude with respect to ethics, how can it justify its goals? And if it has to denounce the illusions and mystifications of the dominant discourse, it better rely on a notion of truth that is not purely a “social construction”. Postmodernism has largely contributed to the destruction of reason, objectivity and ethics on the left and that leads to its suicide.
This interview was conducted by Àngel Ferrero for the Spanish newspaper, Publico.
JEAN BRICMONT teaches physics at the University of Louvain in Belgium. He is author of Humanitarian Imperialism.  He can be reached at

Syria: What Is to Be Done?

Michael Jabara CARLEY | 30.11.2015 | 00:00

Since I published an article on the crisis in Syria little less than two weeks ago, events have unfolded with breath-taking rapidity. On November 17 the Russian government announced that its Airbus 321 was destroyed over Egypt by a terrorist bomb. President Putin pleaded for the creation of a broad coalition to destroy the Islamic State (IS). He seemed to gain a little traction in the West, especially after the terrorist attack in Paris. 
Western media published favourable comments. Politicians, especially in France, supported Putin’s appeal, none more important than French President François Hollande. Until now, Hollande has acted more like a nervous vassal of the United States than the leader of a proud, independent people. Is the French president trying to break free from his US suzerain?
The question was soon put to the test because on Tuesday, 24 November, Hollande flew to Washington to discuss the Middle East crisis with his boss President Barack Obama. On that same day two Turkish F-16 fighter planes came up behind a Russian SU-24 fighter bomber on a mission in northern Syria and shot it down. The Turkish government claimed the Russian fighter had flown over Turkish territory for 17 seconds and that Turkish pilots had warned their Russian counterparts ten times before firing. The Turkish claim unravelled almost as quickly as it was made. 
In Moscow, that same day during a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Putin expressed cold outrage at Turkish action. It’s a «stab in the back», Putin said, «by terrorists’ accomplices». While Putin spoke in Moscow, a drama was playing out in northern Syria. The Russian pilots of the Su-24 had time to bail out of their burning plane. «Turkmen» Jihadis, who were operating in Syria near the Turkish border, shot dead one of the pilots, Lt. Colonel Oleg A. Peshkov, as he descended in his parachute. Let’s call the assassins Turks, for that is who they are or who they are working for. They are not Syrians. These Turkish Jihadis defiled the dead Russian’s corpse and showed it like a trophy to newsmen on the scene who seemed to be present as if by prior arrangement. «Allahu akbar», the brave Turks shouted to celebrate their killing. A photograph of the pilot’s body, redolent of the iconic photograph of Zoia Kosmodemianskaia, the young partisan girl, hanged by the Nazis in 1941, must have enraged Russians. Smug US officials and so-called journalists seemed to gloat over the Russian dead. In Washington Obama declared that Turkey «had the right to defend itself». How preposterous.
Meantime in northern Syria the Turks claimed to have killed the second pilot, though they did not show his corpse to the assembled journalists. Where was it? Putin surely knew whilst he was speaking to the press in Moscow that the second pilot had made it safely to the ground and taken cover in a contested area apparently between Syrian forces and the Turks. He was eventually rescued by Syrian special forces and brought to safety at the loss of a Russian marine.
Journalists interviewed the surviving pilot navigator at the Russian air base in Syria. We were never in Turkish territory, he declared, and there was no warning. We were ambushed from behind. We had no time to react before we were hit. The Russian Ministry of Defence confirmed the pilot’s story. The Turks bushwhacked the Russian plane over Syrian territory.
Putin later indicated that Russian defence authorities had informed their US counterparts of Russian flight plans so as to avoid any accidental confrontations. An American journalist, John Batchelor, then reported that he had heard from unnamed informed sources that the US government had forwarded the Russian information to Ankara, that the ambush was planned, and that US F-16s were in the air to back the Turks in case Russia sent up fighters against them. It has also since come to light that Turkey has repeatedly violated Syrian airspace to protect its Jihadi forces. When Putin declared that Russia had been «stabbed in the back», he was not talking only about Turkey, though he never mentioned Obama’s name.
The Turkish ambush on the Russian fighter jet was a premeditated act of war. Knowing this, of course, the Turks, like a bully’s chicken-hearted shill, ran to hide in the skirts of their NATO allies to discourage Russia from taking reprisals and risking world war. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan must have thought that by shooting down the Russian plane he could stop the talk by Hollande and others of an anti-IS alliance with Russia and prevent any reprisals from Moscow. 
Has he succeeded? It does not seem so. Russia is imposing sweeping economic sanctions against Turkey. It has ordered a missile cruiser Moskva to move closer to the Syrian coast to provide air cover and it has demonstrably shipped S-400 missile anti-aircraft batteries to its airbase in northern Syria. These are the most advanced anti-aircraft missiles in the world. Keep away, the Russians have warned the Turks, or we will shoot you down. Russian fighter bombers have multiplied their air attacks on «Turkmen» targets in the area where Colonel Peshkov was killed. There will be no Russian pity for the Turks or for the Jihadis in northern Syria. Roads leading to and from Turkey are being bombed relentlessly to stop arms supplies into and oil shipments out of Syria. As if to send a message, Russian bombers hit targets two kilometres from the Turkish border. While Erdogan makes belligerent statements and warns Russia against firing on Turkish jets in Syrian airspace, his generals have apparently ordered their F-16s to stay away from the Syrian border. The Russians, they must believe, are not just blowing smoke when they say they will shoot down any plane threatening their fighter jets in Syria. Erdogan seems to want to provoke a NATO-Russia war, prompting one retired US general to recomend that Turkey be kicked out of NATO.
Nor has Erdogan or Obama succeeded in stopping the momentum toward Franco-Russian cooperation. Much to US displeasure, Hollande went to Moscow two days after the Turkish ambush. Once out of Obama’s Washington spider web, Hollande appears to have manned up enough to agree with Putin on various measures to destroy the IS in Syria. Time will tell if Hollande means what he says. If he does, it will signal the end of French support for the Jihadist movement against the government of President Bashar al Assad, and an end also to French vassalage to the United States. It sounds too good to be true, but if a real Franco-Russian alliance develops, it may offer some hope for the future.
Success against IS obviously depends on much more than Franco-Russian cooperation. NATO is a big problem, amongst others. NATO is the bullwhip which the United States uses to keep Europe in line. Do Europeans want war with Russia, now the mainstay of the fight against IS in Syria, in order to support Turkey, a key IS ally? Do Europeans want to become IS allies in effect? Attacking Russia means weakening President Assad, now the main barrier against the IS in the Middle East. If IS takes Damascus, does anyone doubt that Lebanon or Jordan will not be the next to fall? And that would only be the beginning of the cauchemar. Will Europe wake up before it’s too late? A retired American general recommended expelling Turkey from NATO, where are the Europeans who recommend expelling the United States?
What is one to say about the behaviour of the US government? Obama is trying to hinder Russian intervention against IS in Syria. When Hollande was in Washington, Obama strong-armed him to stick to a hostile anti-Russian line. The US president appears to have backed the Turkish ambush of the Russian Su-24. If it is true that there were US F-16s in the air on 24 November to back up the Turks against possible Russian retaliation, it means that Obama is ready to go to the brink of war with Russia. Has he taken leave of his senses? Is his masculinity so much in doubt that he needs a war against Russia to prove he is a real man? 
The United States is a de facto ally of the Jihadi movement in Syria, its year-long anti-IS bombing campaign to the contrary notwithstanding. Until the Russian intervention, the US bombing raids were a joke. American pilots apparently even now drop pamphlets to their Jihadi friends. Before the Russian intervention, the US never bombed the long lines of trucks carrying IS oil to Turkey, and never bombed the long columns of trucks crossing the open desert to attack Palmyra, still in IS hands. Will the American people ever wake up and understand what their government is doing in their name?
«Those who apply double standards when dealing with terrorists, using them to achieve their own political aims and engaging in unlawful business with them, are playing with fire», President Putin said on 26 November: «History shows that sooner or later such actions will backfire against those who abet criminals». President Assad likens them to scorpions who eventually sting the hands of their minders. In American parlance, it’s called «blowback».
Just how deep into evil’s pit is Obama willing to descend? Only the Europeans can discourage the apparent US will to war against Russia. They need to find the courage to say to Obama: «Mr President, you are out of your mind. Regain your sanity before it’s too late. IS is the enemy; Russia is our ally».

Hände weg von Syrien! Von Willy Wimmer –

“Um es ganz klar zu sagen: In Übereinstimmung mit dem Völkerrecht und nur das wird durch die Charta der Vereinten Nationen in Zusammenhang mit kriegerischen Handlungen akzeptiert und dargestellt, handelt nur die legitime syrische Regierung in der Verteidigung Syriens. Das gilt selbstverständlich auch für jene Staaten wie die Russische Föderation, die durch die legitime Regierung in Syrien um Hilfe gebeten worden sind.
Es ist fast traditionelle Politik der USA, sich einen Dreck um das Völkerrecht zu scheren.”

Hände weg von Syrien! von W. W. 29. 11. 2015

Jetzt wird in Berlin die Axt angelegt. Die Republik soll eine andere werden. Das zeigt sich in der Migrationsfrage. Menschlichkeit war bislang staatliche Fehlanzeige. Als in diesem Jahr an die Schlußakte von Helsinki aus dem Jahre 1975 erinnert wurde, da hat man die Mahnung aus dem Text von vor vierzig Jahren schamhaft ignoriert. Schon damals wurde auf das Mittelmeer und den südlichen Rand desselben als großes Sorgenkind hingewiesen. Man ahnte und wußte, was sich da zwischen Israel und Marokko entwickeln würde. Kohl und Kinkel haben mit anderen Europäern nach der Wiedervereinigung Pläne zur Integration und Stabilisierung dieser Großregion  geschmiedet, die spätestens 1994 von den USA und Israel in die Ecke gefegt worden sind.
Merkel schleift die Eckpfeiler der westlichen Zivilisation
Schutzlose Grenzen, hunderttausende Menschen, die sich unerkannt im Lande aufhalten, alles das zerstört die Pfeiler unserer westlichen Zivilisation. Souveränität und territoriale Integrität, das waren die Errungenschaften des westfälischen Friedens aus dem Jahre 1648. Wie alle anderen Friedensschlüsse seither zogen diese beiden Grundsätze die Konsequenzen aus den kriegerischen Verheerungen zuvor, die unser Land und weite Teile Europas zerstört hatten. Das verstockte Beharren der Bundeskanzlerin auf Fehlentscheidungen schlimmster Art aus dem Sommer dieses Jahres  war es nicht alleine, das die Substanz unseres Staates in diesem Kontext zerstört hatte. Sie und andere wußten seit langer Zeit, was sich an den Grenzen Europas zusammengebraut hatte. Weder Sie noch andere haben überhaupt die Konsequenzen daraus gezogen und gehandelt. Sie und andere haben auch nicht gehandelt, als sich die Dimension der sommerlichen Fehlentscheidungen klar herausgestellt hat. Die Bestimmungen, die offene Grenzen in Europa und den Schutz unserer Außengrenzen erst möglich gemacht hatten, wurden weiter in dem illegalen Zustand belassen. Die Verfassungsposition des Deutschen Bundestages wurde unter dröhnendem Schweigen seines Präsidenten beseitigt. In Berlin ist es nicht mehr weit bis zur Volkskammer und die Kroll-Oper läßt grüßen.
Fluchtursachen bekämpfen heißt Merkel bekämpfen.
Substanzloses Gerede der Bundeskanzlerin geht bei den deutschen Einpeitsch-Medien glatt durch. So auch die mantra-artigen Beschwörungen von der „Bekämpfung der Fluchtursachen“. Warum sollte das deutsche Volk nicht einmal genauer hinsehen? Diejenigen, die derzeit an der mazedonischen Grenze noch durchgelassen werden, stammen aus Afghanistan, Irak und Syrien. Die Bundeskanzlerin weiß besser als jeder andere, wie sehr die USA die Auflösung des Staates Afghanistan und die Leiden der Menschen in Afghanistan verursacht haben. Die in die Luft gejagten Hochzeitsgesellschaften sind doch nur ein Ausdruck dessen, was das westliche Bündnis in einem Land angestellt hat, das schon 2004 nach Aussage seines Präsidenten Karsai den Frieden hätte haben können. Mord und Totschlag, dafür steht seit 1999 die NATO als ehemaliges westliches Verteidigungsbündnis.
Kriegsgeiler als man sich in Berlin beim heraufziehenden Irak-Krieg der USA und der üblichen Verdächtigen, vor allem in der Person von Tony Blair, zeigen durfte, ging es wirklich nicht. Die heutige Bundeskanzlerin fiel öffentlichkeitswirksam ihrem Vorgänger im Amt, Gerhard Schröder, in den Rücken. Verpaßte Gelegenheit, bei der Zerstörung des Irak dabei sein zu können.  Man muß nicht ins Ausland fliehen, wenn man in Teilen des Irak nicht unter die Fuchtel des IS geraten will. Aber das Schwadronieren der Bundeskanzlerin über Fluchtursachen im Falle des Irak macht nur deutlich, daß es die von ihr persönlich propagierte Politik war und ist, die erst Fluchtursachen schafft. Wie im übrigen auch durch  das deutsche Kürzen von Hilfsgeldern an die UN, wie wir jetzt schmerzlich feststellen.
Jetzt Syrien?
Das Ermächtigungsgesetz für eine deutsche Beteiligung an einem völkerrechtswidrigen Krieg gegen Syrien soll in diesen Tagen durch die Reststruktur des demokratischen Deutschland in Berlin gepeitscht werden. Um es ganz klar zu sagen. In Übereinstimmung mit dem Völkerrecht und nur das wird durch die Charta der Vereinten Nationen in Zusammenhang mit kriegerischen Handlungen akzeptiert und dargestellt, handelt nur die legitime  syrische Regierung in der Verteidigung Syriens. Das gilt selbstverständlich auch für jene Staaten wie die Russische Föderation, die durch die legitime Regierung in Syrien um Hilfe gebeten worden sind. Es ist fast traditionelle Politik der USA, sich einen Dreck um das Völkerrecht zu scheren. Sie agieren lieber nach dem Gesetz des Dschungels, wenn sie - und das gilt auch für andere Staaten des sogenannten Westens - ohne Zustimmung durch die syrische Regierung auf syrischem Staatsgebiet kriegerische Handlungen durchführen.
Solidarität für Frankreich wo Frankreich keine Solidarität für Europa und Deutschland zeigt?
Die Tragödie in Paris und der dortige Massenmord fordern deutsches Handeln bei diesen Straftaten heraus, die sich auf diese Verbrechen beziehen. Das wiegt umso schwerer, als erneut sich Hinweise auf unser Land ergeben haben, das sich durch die Vorgehensweise der eigenen Regierung als im Inneren unkontrollierbar herausgestellt hat. Selbstverständlich und mit aller Substanz, zu der der deutsche Staat noch fähig ist, nachdem ihn die Forderungen aus Übersee auf einen „lean state“ in Übereinstimmung mit „shareholder value“ zum Krüppel geschlagen haben.
In Zusammenhang mit Syrien hat die Französische Republik schon zu einer Zeit vor dem Ausbruch des syrischen Bürgerkrieges durch Operationen von Spezialkräften jene Fakten geschaffen, die den Bürgerkrieg erst haben entflammen lassen. Das konnte man in aller Breite den internationalen Medien entnehmen. Gemeinsam mit den weiteren kriegstreibenden Mächten wie den USA, Großbritannien, Saudi Arabien und Katar hat man Umstände gefördert, die auf die bekannten Schwachstellen in Syrien gezielt haben. Dabei hatte man zur Änderung der Lage in Europa stets die russische Schwarzmeerflotte auf der Krim in ihrer damaligen Versorgungsfunktion für den syrischen Mittelmeerhafen Latakia voll im Blick. Diese Mächte haben erst das Elend hervorgerufen, in der sich offenbar niemand mehr um den Schutz der Menschen in Syrien gekümmert hat, auch nicht die syrische Regierung. Ein Recht der französischen Regierung für ihr heutiges Vorgehen in Syrien besteht keinesfalls. Die einzige Legitimation hat Frankreich von Anfang an ausgeschlagen: ein Mandat des Sicherheitsrates des UN.
Das koloniale Frankreich zerstört willentlich die Grundlage für europäische Sicherheit.
Das haben wir schon bei Libyen schmerzlich erfahren müssen. Was ist das für eine befreundete Regierung, die Staats- und Regierungschefs nach Paris einlädt, um das Vorgehen gegen Libyen zu besprechen und noch vor der Ankunft der Regierungsverantwortlichen die Bomber gen Tripolis fliegen ließ? In Paris sitzt der koloniale Colt zu locker und wir geraten in des Teufels Küche, wenn wir uns an der Seite von Paris und nicht des Sicherheitsrates der Vereinten Nationen  in kriegerische Abenteuer hineinziehen lassen. Es war nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg und den Tribunalen von Nürnberg der Königsweg für Deutschland, aus den Schatten der von den Verbrechern zu verantwortenden Jahre zwischen 1933 und 1945 wieder heraustreten zu können. Eine der besten Verfassungen der Welt und die strikte Beachtung des Völkerrechts schienen die einzige Möglichkeit zu sein und Deutschland hat diese Möglichkeit bis 1999 genutzt, als ein deutscher Bundeskanzler das Verbot eines von deutschem Boden ausgehenden Angriffskrieges mit dem völkerrechtswidrigen Krieg gegen Jugoslawien schlichtweg kippte.
Ohne Mandat durch den Sicherheitsrat der Vereinten Nationen schließt Deutschland mit einer Beteiligung am syrischen Bürgerkrieg an der Seite Frankreichs an die Politik von 1939 an.
In Berlin entfaltet sich derzeit die ganze Tragik der deutschen“ Öffentlichen Verwaltung“. Selbst die Bundesregierungen in Bonn verfügten über Ministerien, die jeden Gesetzentwurf fertigen konnten. Heute braucht man da angelsächsische Anwaltsfabriken. So sind auch die Argumente rechtlicher Art, die man für den Einsatz deutscher Kampfflugzeuge an der Seite des französischen Partners heranzieht. Winkeladvokaten haben das argumentative Gesetz des Handelns in Berlin voll in der Hand, denn alles das, was man hören und lesen kann, hat nur ein Ziel: über eine deutsche Kriegsbeteiligung an den Bestimmungen der Vereinten Nationen vorbei diese Organisation in ihrer Funktion für den Weltfrieden endgültig zu zerstören und die seit dem Jugoslawien-Krieg angestrebte Rolle der NATO voll ausleben zu können.
Auf diese Welt bereiten sich derzeit die USA vor.
Diplomaten weisen derzeit darauf hin, daß sich die USA in internationalen Organisationen, wie in der OSZE, gezielt sprachlos stellen. Man verweigert sich den Gepflogenheiten und läßt Abgeordnete nicht mehr an den vorgesehenen Sitzungen teilnehmen. Das hatten wir in der ersten Hälfte der neunziger Jahre schon einmal, als amerikanische Senatoren ihr Land zu diesen Zwecken nicht mehr verlassen durften. Das Ergebnis: die USA kamen als Aggressionsmacht auf dem euro-asiatischen Kontinent aus diesem Prozeß heraus. Blüht uns wieder eine solche Erfahrung, diesmal gegen die BRICS? Syrien verheißt nichts Gutes und Deutschland ist wieder dabei, wenn es um die Zerstörung unserer zivilisatorischen Grundpfeiler geht. Die Frage, ob wir etwas aus der Vergangenheit gelernt haben, kann uns getrost im Hals stecken bleiben.
Willy Wimmer, 29.11.2015

Freigegebener US-Geheimdienstbericht belegt Förderung des IS durch USA

 International "Terroristisches Watergate" - Freigegebener US-Geheimdienstbericht belegt Förderung des IS durch USA 

Der US-amerikanischen Bürgerrechtsgruppe Judical Watch ist es gelungen vom militärischen Geheimdienst DIA die Herausgabe eines Geheim-Berichtes gerichtlich zu erzwingen. Der Bericht belegt, dass die Entstehung des Islamischen Staates (IS) den US-Amerikanern frühzeitig bekannt war und von diesen sogar gewünscht wurde, um den Druck auf den syrischen Präsidenten Baschar al-Assad zu erhöhen. Der Journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer bezeichnet die neuen Erkenntnisse als "terroristisches Watergate". 
Sieben Seiten umfasst ein nun freigegebenes Dokument des Geheimdienstes des US-amerikanischen Verteidigungsministeriums Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) aus dem August 2012, viele Passagen sind zensiert. Doch der Inhalt des ehemals als geheim eingestuften Berichtes ist brisant. So heißt es darin unter Anderem:
"Es gibt die Möglichkeit der Schaffung eines sich konstituierenden oder nicht offiziell erklärten salafistischen Kalifats im Osten Syriens, und das ist genau das, was die Unterstützer der [syrischen] Opposition [also die USA und ihre Verbündeten] wollen, um das syrische Regime zu isolieren und die schiitische Expansion im Irak durch Iran einzudämmen."
Und mit Blick auf den Irak:
"Dies schafft ideale Voraussetzungen für die Rückkehr von 'Al Qaida im Irak' [AQI, ISI] in ihre früheren Enklaven in Mosul und Ramadi. Und einen neuen Impuls, den Jihad der irakischen und syrischen Sunniten sowie der übrigen Sunniten der arabischen Welt gegen die 'Abtrünnigen' - das was als Feind wahrgenommen wird - zu vereinigen. Der ISI könnte, durch seinen Zusammenschluss mit anderen Terror-Organisationen im Irak und Syrien, auch einen 'islamischen Staat' ausrufen..."
Das Dokument, welches auf Grund der Klage des US-amerikanischen Watchdogs Judical Watch herausgegeben wurde, belegt damit nicht nur, dass die USA und ihre Verbündeten über die Entstehung des "Islamischen Staates" frühzeitig Bescheid wussten - nichts desto trotz zeigte man sich im Sommer 2014 medial und politisch überrascht, ob der neuen terroristischen Gefahr - der DIA-Bericht zeigt auch, dass als Folge des strategischen imperialen US-Interesses die Westmächte den Aufbau des Kalifats sogar begrüßten, um einen Gegenpol zu dem syrischen Präsidenten Baschar al-Assad aufzubauen.
Mehr lesen:Der "Islamischer Staat“ droht in einem neuen Video den USA mit Anschlägen im Stil von 9/11

In der Jungen Welt schreibt der ehemalige Top-Agent und Geheimdienst-Experte Rainer Rupp:
"...die Entstehung eines mit Al-Qaida verbundenen 'salafistischen Kalifats' wird in dem US-Dokument sogar als 'strategische Chance' bezeichnet, um Washingtons Ziele in der Region zu erreichen: Regimewechsel in Syrien und Zurückdrängung der 'schiitischen Expansion' beziehungsweise des Iran."
Der Journalist und Nahost-Experte Jürgen Todenhöferbezeichnet die neuen Erkenntnisse gar als "terroristisches Watergate" und führt aus:
"Der Inhalt des Geheimdokuments verschlägt einem die Sprache. Ein Friedens-Nobelpreisträger als Terror-Pate! Der Westen an der Seite des internationalen Terrorismus! Als wissentlicher Förderer des internationalen Terrorismus! Des ISI! Das ist die bittere Realität.
Obama und der Westen wussten früh, wer in Syrien wirklich kämpft und welche weltweite terroristische Gefahr aus ihrer Politik erwuchs. Während sie der Welt das übliche Märchen erzählten, sie kämpften für Freiheit, Demokratie und Menschenrechte, unterstützten sie gezielt terroristische Organisationen."
In der Tat wird seit dem Machtzuwachs des IS in Syrien und dem Irak genau damit auch eine zunehmende autoritäre Politik im Westen begründet. Zahlreiche politische Entscheidungsträger mit enger Transatlantik-Bindung, flankiert von medialen Meinungsmachern, versuchen seit der Entstehung des IS und dem Heraufbeschwören ebendieser Gefahr umfassende Überwachungsmaßnahmen, die Einschränkung der bürgerlichen Freiheitsrechte und auch Kriegseinsätze zu legitimieren, wie auch zuvor mit der diffusen Bedrohung durch "islamistischen Terrorismus" geschehen. Bedenkt man, dass westliche Geheimdienste den Aufbau des salafistischen Kalifats schon frühzeitig als wünschenswert erachteten, erscheinen all diese antidemokratischen Forderungen in einem völlig neuen Licht.
Mehr lesen:Half der IS? US-Senator McCain reiste illegal nach Syrien

Dass die USA und ihre Verbündeten nicht ganz untätig bei der Entstehung des Islamischen Staates waren wird schon länger vermutet, galt aber bisher als so genannte"Verschwörungstheorie". Nachdem diese Zusammenhänge nun mit offiziellen Dokumenten belegt sind, bleiben den NATO-Schreibern und den politischen Vasallen nur noch zwei Möglichkeit: Ignorieren oder leugnen. So vermutet auch Todenhöfer:
"Wetten, dass die westlichen Politiker und die Mainstream-Medien alles tun werden, um diese Perversion der offiziellen westlichen Anti-Terrorpolitik herunterzuspielen oder totzuschweigen? Die DIA-Analyse ist der Offenbarungseid einer abenteuerlichen und leider auch kriminellen Strategie. Obama und der Westen als vom US-Geheimdienst überführte Terrorpaten - das ist schwer zu verdauen."
Die USA und der IS, in der Tat eine unappetitliche Mischung. Die Vorgehensweise erinnert stark an die geopolitische Strategie der USA, die Stratfor-Chef George Friedman jüngst in Bezug auf Russland und Deutschland bekannt gab. So schreiben die Deutschen Wirtschafts Nachrichten:
"Die Strategie folgte laut Middle East Eye den Überlegungen der RAND Corporation, die schon vor Jahren empfohlen hatte, man möge die unterschiedlichen Glaubensrichtungen der Muslime gegeneinander ausspielen. Wenn sich Schiiten und Sunniten gegenseitig bekämpfen, gäbe dies der US-Regierung die Möglichkeit, ihren Einfluss in der Region zu vergrößern. Die Strategie ist als „divide et impera“ („teile und herrsche“) gut bekannt und seit jeher fester Bestandteil aller politischen Aktivitäten."

Noose Tightens on Turkey’s Sultan of Swing

Finian CUNNINGHAM | 29.11.2015 | 00:00

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – a self-styled neo-Ottoman sultan – was only a few years a darling of Western governments and media, proclaimed as a moderniser of Turkey, overseeing a bustling economy and positioning his country as a strategic bridge to Asia. 
But Erdogan’s involvement in the US-led regime-change project in Syria is now steadily revealing his family’s appreciable criminal enterprises: from smuggling oil and stolen artefacts, to gun-running for terrorist networks. The former Sultan of Swing is swinging alright, but it could be at the end of an incriminating rope whose noose is becoming ever tighter around his neck.
Russia’s air strikes in support of the Syrian government in its nearly five-year war against foreign-backed mercenary brigades are blowing the lid on the corruption at the heart of the Turkish ruling AK Party, and the Erdogan family business in particular. 
One factor in why Erdogan ordered the fatal shoot-down of a Russian Su-24 fighter jet this week was out of revenge for how Russia is destroying the Turkish ruler’s criminal schemes. The destruction of hundreds of oil tankers and other facilities commandeered by the jihadist terror network in eastern Syria and western Iraq is hitting Erdogan’s lucrative racket. 
The smuggling routes – estimated to earn $1 million per day for the terror brigades – are integrated by Erdogan’s son, Bilal, whose licensed shipping companies traffic the illicit goods to global markets. Russian intelligence has laid bare this smuggling empire, as presented by President Vladimir Putin at the recent G20 summit held in Turkey’s Antalya. Further incriminating details are expected in coming weeks. 
This week, following the downing of the Russian warplane, Erdogan boldly dismissed the oil connections as «slander». 
But as Putin retorted, with a touch of sarcasm, it’s hard to imagine how the Ankara authorities could be unaware of an illicit industry involving thousands of oil-laden trucks criss-crossing the heavily militarised Turk border. 
Among the contraband are believed to be precious artefacts stolen from Syria’s ancient dwellings, such as the cities of Palmyra and Iraq’s Nimrod, according to the Syrian information minister, Omran al-Zoubi. These  artefacts dating from 2,000 years ago are designated as world heritage valuables by the United Nations. It says something about the dubious values of Erdogan and his AK Party cronies when world heritage objects are being looted to finance personal gain and terrorism. 
The trade in oil stolen from Syrian and Iraqi state-owned facilities by the jihadists is only one half of a giant cross-border loop tied up by Turkey. 
Convoys of trucks laden with weapons are going back into Syria from Turkey on an almost daily basis. Those weapons, paid for by proceeds from the oil smuggling, are then distributed among the plethora of jihadist terror groups, including the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra and so-called Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh). The arms trade is overseen by Turkey’s National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), headed up by Hakan Fidan, who is closely associated with Erdogan and the AKP leadership. 
Fidan was quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency last month as offering an apologia for the IS terror group. «ISIS is a reality and we have to accept that we cannot eradicate a well-organised and popular establishment such as the Islamic State», said Fidan, who added: «Therefore I urge my Western colleagues to revise their mindset about Islamic political currents… and thwart Vladimir Putin’s plans to crush Syrian Islamist revolutionaries [terrorists]». The statement caused such a controversy that the Anadolu news agency later issued a denial of its prior publication. 
Despite a heavy media crackdown under Erdogan, sections of the Turkish media have courageously carried damning reports on the oil-weapons nexus that is fuelling the war in Syria. This week, the editor of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, Can Dundar, was arrested on charges of «spying» and crimes against the state because he published articles with photographic evidence exposing the massive cross-border weapons dealing, overseen by Turk I ntelligence. Erdogan has threatened the editor with a life sentence for daring to reveal «state secrets».
Another Turk newspaper, Today’s Zaman, also this week reported on an unintended slip made by Adana state prosecutor, Ali Dogan, a protégé of Erdogan. The prosecutor inadvertently revealed in a statement that up to 2,000 trucks filled with arms and operated by Turk intelligence have been ferrying firepower to militants in Syria.  
It thus makes the claims made by the Syrian minister al-Zoubi that the downing of the Russian Su-24 this week – resulting in the death of its pilot – was an act of revenge by Erdogan owing to the severe damage that Russia’s military intervention in Syria is inflicting. That damage includes not only huge financial losses to Erdogan and his family entourage, but also to the entire war effort for regime change against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. 
In an interview with Russian media, the Syrian minister said: «All of the oil was delivered to a company that belongs to the son of Recep [Tayyip] Erdogan. This is why Turkey became anxious when Russia began delivering airstrikes against the IS [Islamic State] infrastructure and destroyed more than 500 trucks with oil already. This really got on Erdogan and his company’s nerves. They’re importing not only oil, but wheat and historic artefacts as well», added al-Zoubi.
If Erdogan thought he could poke the Russian bear in the eye and get away with it, he is sorely mistaken. Russia has stepped up its bombing campaign along the Syria-Turkey border, hitting oil trucks heading north and the reverse-flow of arms trucks heading south. In the Syrian border town of Azaz, a Russian air strike this week reportedly destroyed up to 20 vehicles believed to be stocked with weapons. Seven people were killed in the air raid. 
Ankara claims that the convoys crossing the border are carrying «humanitarian aid» to Turkmen Syrians. Turk Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has complained that Russian air strikes have been targeting Turkmen «brothers and sisters» – inferring civilians. 
But these are the same Turkmen militia who gained notoriety this week by brutally murdering the Russian pilot who parachuted from the Su-24 downed by Turk F-16s jets. 
The Turkmen militia, with names like the 10th Brigade of the Coast, are fighting hand-in-hand alongside the other jihadist terror groups, Al Nusra and IS, to topple the government in Damascus. The Turkmen, who reside in northern Syria but who are ethnically related to Turkish people, have played an instrumental role in waging Erdogan’s covert war of terror in Syria. 
Last year, in April 2014, Turkmen militia carried out a massacre in the northern coastal village of Kessab, in Latakia Province, where 88 Armenian Christians were slaughtered. Thirteen of the victims were beheaded, according to survivors. That attack also involved brigades from al Nusra, IS and the so-called Free Syrian Army, the alleged «moderate secular rebels» much championed by the Western governments and media. (A follow-up column will be published on that specific massacre in the coming days.)
Significantly, a Turkmen commander recently protested bitterly to the Erdogan regime over it not suppling his fighters with enough weapons. 
Turkmen commander Ömer Abdullah of the Sultan Abdülhamit Brigade was quoted as saying: «We are trying to survive under unbearable brutality and we need Turkey’s help.» He was referring to Russian air strikes, adding: «Every day our Turkmen brothers are dying. We expect the [Erdogan] government to support us. Why have they abandoned us? Our martyrs fall every day. Why are we being left alone? I don’t understand». 
As Turkey’s Today’s Zaman points out, the Turkmen’s claim of not receiving sufficient weapons raises the bigger question about the arms trucks that Turk intelligence, MIT, has been running into Syria. Where have the machine-guns, artillery and mortars contained in thousands of cross-border convoys gone to? If the Turkmen brigades are being cut out of the supply chain then that suggests that Ankara’s weapons are being funnelled instead to the other jihadist groups, such as Al Nusra and IS. 
Russia’s military intervention in Syria is turning the tide decisively against the criminal US-led war for regime change, by decimating the ranks for terror brigades that Washington and its allies have deployed for that objective. 
For Turkey’s self-styled strongman Erdogan, Russia’s intervention is also hammering home huge personal losses. His egotistical schemes of resurrecting Turkey as a new Ottoman regional power are being shattered. The international reputation of the country under his leadership is sinking into a putrid sewer. 
Moreover, his family’s criminal involvement in the conflict is also being exposed. And his responsibility for fuelling a criminal war of aggression with the loss of over 250,000 lives looms ahead of Erdogan like a noose. The Sultan of Swing indeed.

Candidates for US Presidency and Their Threats to Russia

Brian CLOUGHLEY | 28.11.2015 | 00:00

The United States chortled with glee about Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian Su-24 on November 24 and the Pentagon called it «a sovereign act of self-defence». It wilfully ignored the fact that even if the Russian pilot had indeed mistakenly violated Turkish airspace there was not, by the wildest stretch of the imagination, the tiniest threat to Turkey. 
Even the Turks say that the alleged incursion was «for 17 seconds from 9.24.05 local time». 
It is bizarre to the point of psychosis to suggest that this could pose a threat requiring «self-defence». But rationality about Russia is not greatly in evidence in the United States at the moment, and in this context it is interesting to examine the attitudes to Russia of the rivals for the US Presidency.
The President of the United States of America has a comparatively small salary, the responsibilities involved, but in spite of the modest recompense there are always many people eager to be elected to the Office which next falls vacant (or even more vacant) at midday on January 20, 2017. The initial selection process will continue through 2016 with ever-increasing intensity until the Republicans and Democrats hold their Conventions (just before the Olympics) to decide who their candidates will be in the final play-off.
The Democrats won’t have too much trouble because they have only three people going forward, and their most appealing candidate, Bernie Sandersis a democratic socialist who supports civil liberties, universal healthcare and other measures designed to benefit ordinary citizens, so he hasn’t a hope of getting the Party’s nomination. One final nail in his coffin was his statement on 19 November that in regard to the terrorist threat «we must work to expand the coalition with Russia». 
The equally decent, open-minded, and principled Martin O’Malleyuntil recently Governor of Maryland, is against the death penalty and supports gun control, which is political death. The National Rifle Association has loads of devotees and bottomless magazines of cash and they’ll destroy O’Malley for being «un-American» because he doesn’t support Guns For Everyone. He’ll get nowhere.
This leaves the Democrats with Hillary Clintona skilful political tap-dancer who says that «the US needs to do more to confront Russian President Putin [because of] his determined policy to sabotage American interests whenever and wherever he can». She is «convinced that we need a concerted effort to really up the costs on Russia».
In February 2015 Clinton met with an erratic British politician called Boris Johnson who afterwards revealed indiscreetly that «she thought the Europeans were being too wimpy [weak and cowardly] in dealing with Putin» and «her general anxiety was that Putin, if unchallenged and unchecked, would continue to expand his influence in the perimeter of what was the Soviet Union».
On 5 October Reuters reported that Clinton «said removing President Bashar al-Assad is the top priority in Syria». Presumably she would have welcomed his removal in the same way as the elimination of President Gaddafi of Libya when, as she recounted, laughing, in 2011, «We came; we saw; he died». (The YouTube video of her giggling declaration is nauseating – but indicative of what the likely future president of the United States finds hilarious.)
If Clinton becomes President there will be further intensification of the present malevolent confrontation with Russia, and her Republican opponents appear to be right up there with her in maximum aggression mode.
There are some dozen Republican candidates, and it’s interesting to record what the main contenders have to say about Russia.
The one female, Carly Fiorinais blunt about Russia, saying that «Having met Vladimir Putin, I wouldn’t talk to him at all ... We've talked way too much to him... What I would do, immediately, is begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defence program in Poland, I would conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states. I’d probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message».
Then Senator Marco Rubio declared that «I believe the world is a stronger and a better place when the United States is the strongest military power in the world... I’ve never met Vladimir Putin, but I know enough about him to know he is a gangster». ABC News reported that his «direct fire earned him applause from the debate hall».
Ohio’s Governor John Kasich was an investment banker from 2001 until he quit when his employer, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy in 2008 causing global chaos. During a television debate on November 11 (the New York Times transcript is terrifying in what it reveals of the shallowness, casual venom, parochial bigotry and appalling ignorance of the candidates), Kasich waxed eloquent about Russia, saying that «in the eastern part of Europe, make sure that Finland and the Baltics know that if the Russians move, we move. In Syria, yes, a no-fly zone in the north on the Turkish border, a no-fly zone on the south on the Jordanian border. Anybody flies in the first time, maybe they can fly out. They fly in there a second time, they will not fly out..». 
Candidate Jeb Bushformer Governor of Florida and brother of the catastrophic George W, speaks of international affairs with familial insularity and intolerance, contending that «without American leadership every other country in the neighbourhood [the Middle East] begins to change their priorities. It is tragic that you see Iraq, and other countries now talking to Russia. It wasn’t that long ago that Russia had no influence in the region at all. And, so, the United States needs to lead across the board». 
Last but most likely of the Republicans is Donald Trumpa grotesque figure of sinister comedy, but one who, in the strange tempo of our times, currently attracts most approval from Republican voters. It is difficult to believe anything that is said by Trump, as his pronouncements swing from the seemingly sane (if mundane) to the downright lunatic, but at the moment he is the most serious Republican contender. He was reported as attacking «President Obama and Hillary Clinton for having destroyed relations with Russia and China. In contrast, he said he instinctively thought he would get along with the Russian president». (There might be two schools of thought about that.) 
* * *
It is likely that the either the spiteful buffoon Trump or the venomous vicious Clinton will be next President of the United States of America, but whatever happens, the world should be prepared for continuation of uncompromising venom against Russia – to the point of increasing military confrontation.
They would be wise to heed what President Putin said at the UN General Assembly last September, when he observed, without naming the perpetrators, that the US-NATO military grouping had interfered militarily around the world with disastrous consequences, because in the Middle East and surrounding regions «aggressive foreign interference has resulted in brazen destruction of national institutions and lifestyle itself. Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress we got violence, poverty and social disaster. Nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life. I cannot help asking those who have caused the situation, do you realize now what you’ve done? But I am afraid no one is going to answer that. Indeed, policies based on self-conceit and belief in one’s exceptionality and impunity have never been abandoned».
The trouble is that every one of the likely candidates for the US Presidency believes in policies based on self-conceit, exceptionality and impunity. There is no possibility whatever that these are going to be abandoned in continuation of the US policy of seeking world domination. On present evidence it seems the future President of the US will confront Russia energetically. But that President would be well-advised to have a long cool think about such a strategy, because times are changing, and the «one indispensable nation in world affairs»as President Obama so repeatedly has described it, will have to take the views and aspirations of other nations into account. Or suffer the consequences.