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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Western Democracy : an Endangered Species

In February 2013, before Pakistan's national elections held later that year in May, I wrote a blog about democracy in Pakistan, the USA and the UK. You can read it here . That blog jolted some of my readers but not sufficiently to shake their faith in USA's corrupt democracy. 

Dr Paul Craig Roberts has written an article on Western Democracy, which he says is an endangered species on its way to extinction. The article was published yesterday at his website, paulcraigroberts.org. The full article is reproduced below.



Western Democracy Is An Endangered Species On Its Way To Extinction — Paul Craig Roberts


The British Labour Party no longer represents the working class. Under UK prime minister Tony Blair, the Labour Party became a vassal of the One Percent. The result has been a rebellion in the ranks and the rise of Jeremy Corbyn, a principled Labourite intent on representing the people, a no-no in Western “democracies.” 
Corbyn is too real for the Labour Party Blairites, who hope to be rewarded with similar nest eggs as Blair for representing the capitalist One Percent. So what is the corrupted Labour Party doing to prevent Corbyn’s election?
The answer is that it is denying the vote to Corbyn supporters. You can read the story here:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/britains-labour-party-purge-is-underway-preventing-supporters-from-voting-for-jeremy-corbyn/5471194
The illegal Egyptian military dictatorship that overthrew on Washington’s orders the first democratically elected government in Egyptian history has issued an edict prohibiting journalists from contradicting the military dictatorship. In brief, the dictatorship installed by Washington has outlawed facts.
Washington rejected the government that the Egyptian people elected, because it appeared that the democratically elected government would have a foreign policy that was at least partially independent of Washington’s. Remember, according to the neocons who, together with Israel, control US foreign policy, countries with independent foreign policies, such as Iran, Russia, and China, are America’s “greatest threats.” 
The Egyptian military thugs, following Washington’s orders, have more or less eliminated all of the leadership of the political party that was democratically elected. The party was called the Muslim Brotherhood. In the presstitute Western media, the political party was described more or less as al Qaeda, and how are the ignorant, brainwashed, and propagandized Americans to know any difference? Certainly neither “their” government nor the presstitute media will ever tell them.
With the military dictatorship’s edict, independent news reporting no longer exists in Egypt. Washington is pleased and rewards the dictatorship with bags full of money paid by the hapless and helpless American taxpayers. 
Americans should keep in mind that most of the dollars that they pay in income tax are spent either spying upon themselves and the world or killing people in many countries. Without resources taken from American taxpayers millions of women, children, and village elders would still be alive in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Ukraine, South Ossetia, and other countries. America is the greatest exporter of violence the world has ever known. So wear your patriotism on your sleeve and be proud. You are a depraved citizen of the world’s worst killer nation. Compared to the USA, Rome was a piker. 
France herself seems to be collapsing as a democracy and no longer respects her own laws. According to this report from Kumaran Ira on World Socialist Website https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/08/19/fkil-a19.html ,
“In the name of the “war on terror,” the French state is dramatically accelerating its use of clandestine operations to extra-judicially murder targeted individuals. French President François Hollande reportedly possesses a “kill list” of potential targets and constantly reviews the assassination program with high-ranking military and intelligence officers.

“This program of state murder, violating basic constitutional rights in a country where the death penalty is illegal, underscores the profound decay of French bourgeois democracy. Amid escalating imperialist wars in France’s former colonial empire and deepening political crisis at home, the state is moving towards levels of criminality associated with the war against Algerian independence and the Vichy regime of Occupied France.”
Where do you suppose the socialist president of France got his idea of an illegal and unconstitutional “kill list”? If you answer from “America’s First Black President,” you are correct. 
The French people should be outraged that “their” president is nothing more than a murderer and an agent of Washington. But they aren’t. False flag operations have made them fearful. The French like other Western peoples, have ceased to think.
Every western democracy is gone with the wind. Washed up, Finished. Every value that defined Western civilization and made it great has been flushed by power and greed and arrogance. 
Proconsuls have replaced democracy. 
I certainly do not believe that Western civilization was ever pure as snow and devoid of sins and crimes against humanity. But it is a fact that in Western civilization, despite the numerous injustices, reforms were possible that improved life for the lower classes. Reforms were possible that restricted the rapaciousness of the rich and powerful. In the US reforms made the impossible come true: ladders of upward mobility made it possible for members of the lowest economic class to become multimillionaires. And this actually happened.
The governments in Washington committed many crimes, but on occasion Washington prevented crimes. Remember President Eisenhower’s ultimatum to Washington’s British, French, and Israeli allies to remove themselves from the Suez Canal in Egypt or else.
Today Washington pushes its allies to commit crimes against humanity. That is what NATO and the National Endowment for Democracy are for. 
In my lifetime Americans have always had a good opinion of themselves. But in the 21st century this good opinion has hyper-jumped into hubris and arrogance. If you haven’t been around very long in terms of a human life, you don’t see this. But older people do. 
Just as the Roman Empire ended in the destruction of the Roman people, the American Empire will end in the destruction of the American people. Judging from histories, Roman citizens were superior to American citizens; yet, Rome failed. 
Americans shouldn’t expect any other outcome. The price to be paid for insouciance, self-satisfaction, and complicity is high.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Horrors of the Old Testament

It is hardly possible nowadays to surf the internet without bumping into brainwashed, ignorant people who try to humiliate Muslims by attacking Islam and the greatest man who ever walked on earth, Muhammad, the Messenger of God. Quite recently, I came across a lady twittering the praises of Christianity and belittling Islam. It was obvious that she knew little about Islam and her knowledge of Christian scriptures was limited. 

The versions of the Bible that the various Christian sects follow differ widely. Generally, the version that the Protestant Christians in western Europe and North America follow is made up of two parts: The Old Testament (OT), which has 39 books, and The New Testament (NT) which has 27 books. The OT is also broadly accepted by the Jews as a part of their holy scriptures while the NT, being a collection of writings attributed to Christ's disciples and other followers, is not. 

Growing tired of the Christian lady's boasts about Christianity and her ignorant comments about Islam, I tweeted:"I've read the Bible. Do you want me to quote from this pornographic book, preaching violence?"
The Christian lady (CL) replied: "You mean from the old testament? Have you read the New Testament too?"
Me: So, you don't believe in Old Testmnt? As for the New Testament it's a heap of illogical drivel.
CL: I believe in both parts as they are from the one true God. Also let me enlighten you, as for the new testerment jesus came to take away all the sins of the world i.e. the violence that was caused in the old testerment.
I thought it was the right time to give her a dose of the medicine she was dispensing to Muslims through disparagement of Islam:
"You believe in the Old Testament and wallow in its orgy of incest, sex & violence?"
Needless to say she hit back with lies about the Quran and its teachings. My stock response to such ignorant attacks is to provide links to three of my most popular blogs about Quran/Islam, which I did:
To explain why I consider the OT pornographic, I have set out numerous extracts below. Christians and Jews may be offended and they may see this as an attack on their religion. It is nothing of the sort. I have made similar comments about what passes for "Hadith" in Islam. My view is that God has given us a mind and power of thought, which the Quran tells us we must apply to all things. Blind belief is an insult to human intelligence.

Extracts from the Old Testament (King James version - 39 books)

The reason I consider the OT a pornographic book is obvious from the extracts below:

Book 1 Genesis

While the Quran refers to all Messengers as exalted men of impeccable character, they come across as licentious men in the OT.
"[Lot said to his people] Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes." Gang rape is OK?
For a crude description of Lot's incest with his daughters, refer to the original. This blog is not the right place.
Abraham openly committed incest with his half-sister: "And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife."
Jacob married two sisters. He also committed incest with his daughter-in-law. He wrestled with God most of the night:
"And he [God] said, let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me."
Jacob's son followed his father's footsteps when it came to licentiousness:
"...., that Reuben went and lay with Bilah his father's concubine: "
God slew Onan, not for incest with his brother's wife but for spilling his seed outside her!
"And Onan ..., when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother."
And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.

Book 2 Exodus

ARAM married his aunt (father's sister) ... "and she bare him Aaron and Moses"!
"... whosoever doth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death." Death penalty for working on "wrong" day!

Book 3 Leviticus 

"And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death"
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death." Death penalty for homosexuality, no gay rights!
For good measure, OT goes on to mention bestiality, resulting in the deaths of man, woman and beasts!
"And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire."
Death for apostasy: "Bring forth him that hath cursed [the Lord] without the camp; ... and let all the congregation stone him"
If the Lord became furious with people's disobedience: "And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat."
The Quran, by contrast, does not invoke the death penalty for any of these acts and Allah does not turn people into cannibals. The punishments of the OT are thought to have been introduced among the Muslims by Jews and Christians through the deceitful practice of infiltrating "Hadith" stories with false ones which mimic Biblical savagery.

Book 4 Numbers


Death by stoning if you work on the sabbath: "And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the Lord commanded Moses."

Was Moses as bad as Pharaoh? Or worse?
"And they warred against the Midianites, ... and they slew all the males. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones,...
And they burnt all their cities .....
And Moses said unto them, have ye saved all the women alive?
Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves."


All this filth comes from just the first four books of the OT, which has 39 books altogether. These and other sickening topics are repeated again and again in books 5 to 39 in stark pornographic detail. For example, book 5 Deuteronomy, describes in lurid detail what happens to a bride who cannot provide bloodied tokens of her virginity the following morning: 

"Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die"

David and his sons come across as lechers, insane with blood lust. And "God" can only be described as a figure of fun, a vengeful, jealous voyeur.

The deluge of filth continues in later books of the OT

OT 10 The Book of Samuel 2 describes in sordid detail how David tortured and killed his enemies. He also hated disabled people: "And David said on that day, ..and the lame and the blind that are hated of David's soul, .."
"And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem."
Then there was Bathsheba, married to Uriah, who David first saw from the roof of the king's house as she washed herself, and was smitten by her beauty. "And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her". Then, when she became pregnant with David's child Soloman, David sent her husband to "the forefront of the hottest battle, ...that he may be smitten and die". And that is exactly what happened, and left David free to marry Bathsheba!
"Thus saith the LORD, Behold, ...and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun"! What kind of beast is this "God"?
Amnon, son of David, distinguished himself by raping his own sister (refer to the original for sordid details). Another son of David, Absalom, committed incest with his father's women: ".. and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.

OT 11 The Book of Kings 1

Solomon was even more extreme - if you can imagine that - than his extremist father!
"But king Solomon loved many strange women ...... And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines". Wow!
OT 12 The Book of Kings 2 borders on insanity. A chariot of fire, and horses of fire, appeared and Prophet Elijah "went up by a whirlwind into heaven"! But the dead Elijah's spirit descended upon Elisha. Little children who mocked this "bald head" were cursed by him in the name of the LORD whereupon "there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children". Then Elisha brought back to life one dead child!
"Elisha prayed unto the LORD ..., smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha."
"... This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him today, and we will eat my son tomorrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him"!
"But Rabshakeh said unto them, hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung and drink their own piss with you?"
Does any of this sound remotely "holy"?
Inexplicably, both Solomon and David are referred to as sons of God. 
OT 13 The Book of Chronicles 1: "... Solomon thy son, he shall build my house and my courts; for I have chosen him to be my son, and I will be his father."
In OT 19 The Book of Psalms, God begets David:
".. Thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee."
Then there is OT 22 Song of Songs. The song is attributed to Solomon and describes the pleasures of unrestrained lust. Embarrassed Christians have unsuccessfully tried to have this "abomination" expunged from the Bible.
Over the remaining 17 OT books it gets worse. For example, in OT 24 The Book of Jeremiah, we have descriptions of people burning their own children alive and God-created cannibalism: "And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters." In later books the recurring themes of adultery, incest, massacres, whoredom, cannibalism continue to be mentioned in lurid, obscene terms. In addition, there are strange references to "God" practising deception, referring to some women as his, who "bare sons and daughters". Then "God" is crushed and devoured by Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and acts like the worst sort of human tyrant by going into uncontrollable rage and committing evil deeds on people (sending famine, evil beasts, etc). Would any sane person want to worship the "God" as described in the OT?

How the evil in the OT has affected those who treat it as "holy"

A year ago the Jews of Israel mercilessly massacred over 500 children in Gaza and devastated the land and infrastructure. Altogether, over 2,200 men, women and children died, and hundreds of thousands are still homeless. Perhaps we should not be surprised. People who believe in a book like the OT are quite capable of committing such atrocities without feeling remorse at their vile actions.
What applies to Jewish believers of the Old Testament also applies to the Christian followers in western governments. Over the past decade, the number of Muslim lives that the US/NATO monster has destroyed in Iraq/Afghanistan/Syria/Libya/Pakistan exceeds 2 millions. Though a majority of population in the West professes to be agnostic or atheist, western culture is heavily influenced by Christian scriptures and traditions. 
Apart from direct assaults by their armed forces, the US/Nato/Israel monolith has spawned a number of terrorist outfits - ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, Pak Taliban, etc - to wreak mayhem in the aforementioned Muslim countries and create conditions of civil war, which then serve as an excuse to intervene and take control of the countries. If the OT continues to be regarded as sacred or holy then I see little improvement in the wanton killings and destruction by US/NATO/Israel. 

The sleep-walking Muslims

Indeed, this culture of unbridled violence has become so infectious that Muslim states of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, armed to the hilt with weapons supplied by the West, have ganged up to attack Muslim Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world. Then there is the enigma of Turkey, a Muslim country that is also a NATO member, which is being cleverly used by its fellow NATO members to serve their interests by attacking Muslims who do not conform to Turkey's majority sunni sects.
Muslims are being cleverly manipulated to commit suicide through sectarian warfare. Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan are utterly destroyed. Only Pakistan has been saved from that ignoble fate by the cohesion of its powerful armed forces.
The US/NATO governments, and their servile media, invariably use the term "terrorism" as euphemism for violent acts committed by Muslims, who are then described as "terrorists". No matter how many people are killed by a Jew or a Christian, the terms "terrorism" or "terrorist" are never applied. By means of such disgraceful psychological techniques a majority of people in the West has come to see Islam/Muslims as the arch enemies, much as the communist countries behind the "Iron Curtain" were once.
When will the Muslims wake up from their slumbers and recognise the depth of degradation to which they have sunk?









Sunday, May 10, 2015

The British General Election, 7 May 2015 : A Post-mortem

During the days leading up to Thursday, 7 May, the mainstream media bombarded the poor electorate with stark warnings of a hung Parliament and a minority government, either Tory or New Labour (Old Labour having died a painful death when the unspeakable Tony Blair made his pact with the media moguls and Big Business way back before his 1997 landslide victory). Increasingly, the hapless Ed Miliband, not accepted as genuine New Labour by BigBiz and media moguls, was emerging as a figure of fun in the media which was kinder towards Cameron. During those days Cameron's habitual poker faced expression metamorphosed into a passionate Churchillian one as he delivered speeches with arms flailing and his body language on fire. What exactly was going on, I wondered?

Having cast my vote for the Green candidate earlier in the day, I decided to take a pre-midnight nap. Shortly after the stroke of twelve I switched on the television. I stared aghast as the BBC exit poll shown on the TV screen predicted a comfortable victory for the Tories. I soon learnt that many people did not believe it. A former LibDem leader, Paddy Ashdown, declared the exit poll to be nonsensical and promised to eat his hat in public if he was proved wrong. By 3 o'clock in the early hours it was obvious that the swing to the Conservatives was too sharp and LibDems were being slaughtered, in Scotland by Nicola Sturgeon's Scottish Nationalists and in England by the Conservatives. I had had enough and I decided to go back to bed. I do not know if Paddy Ashdown publicly ate his hat as he had promised to do!

With hindsight I can see with more clarity what had happened. Thanks to Blairite manoeuvrings, the differences between the Conservatives and New Labour had largely disappeared. The position in the UK had become similar to that of the USA, where the two major political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, both enjoy the financial support of Wall Street and giant multinationals. With the departure of Blair there was an Old Labour backlash in the Labour Party which cast doubts on Ed Miliband's loyalty to the City of London and Big Business. The mainstream media, mostly owned by the super-rich/large conglomerates, and the perfidious BBC, began a process of disparagement against Labour. The spectre of a coalition government between Labour and Scottish Nationalists, who were presented as being interested only in Scottish independence with scant regard for the rest of the Union, was kept constantly before the English electorate. Brainwashed by this constant bombardment, the voters went out and cast their vote for the Conservative Party.


It is obvious that unless the Labour Party sells its soul to the devil Blair-like it will never receive the support of mainstream media or funding from large multinationals. The dice are loaded in favour of the Tories and the game of democracy is conducted on uneven playing fields. This dishonest system is further exacerbated by the "First Past the Post" method of selecting the winning candidate in each constituency irrespective of the proportion of votes received. Thus, we have a majority Conservative government which is supported by less than a quarter of the total electorate or a little more than one-third of those who actually voted. Without a complete overhaul of the mainstream media, and the sources of funding for political parties, the elections are an exercise in dishonestly brainwashing the electorate.

David Cameron's New Government


 

Mr Austerity

















Sadly, there is little new about the new government. Cameron lost no time following his victory to re-confirm his closest cronies in their old posts. "The Witch" returns to the Home Office, "Mr Austerity" marches back as the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Israeli stooge Philip Hammond stays at the Foreign Office. So what is on the horizon?

* Expect stricter surveillance by the State as the "Snoopers' Charter" becomes law, and citizens' rights are watered down

* The sufferings of ordinary people will increase as the discredited austerity bites deeper and re-distributes wealth to the financial elite

* The US/NATO/Israeli adventurism abroad will continue to lay waste foreign countries and decimate their populations

The irony is that the electorate has willingly voted for this hellish scenario because it cannot escape from the conditioning, the brainwashing that hired journalists working for the media conglomerates constantly subject it to. Unless we grasp this basic truth and try to free our minds and our lives from such mental and spiritual oppression by discarding mainstream media in favour of independent/alternative media we shall remain entrapped in a fascist state.


LATER ADDITION (13 May 2015)

I published my post-mortem on the British General Election on 10 May. The following day Global Research published "UK Election Aftermath" which sets out in stark detail what to expect from the new government over the next 5 years. The full article is re-produced below.


UK Election Aftermath: Cameron to Continue Waging War on Working People

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England
Today in the UK, people are waking up to their first week of a five-year rule under a Conservative majority government. It’s been the first time the Tories have managed to form such a government since 1992. Only 37 percent of those who bothered to vote actually voted Conservative. In fact, the current administration is in government with 24 percent of support from all those who were eligible to vote.
Under the UK’s ‘first past the post system’, the Scottish Nationalist party gained 56 seats with 4.8 percent of votes cast. The Greens gained one seat with a share of 3.8 percent. Under a system of proportional representation, the Greens would now have 25 seats in the new parliament. With the current system, a party could theoretically gain the most number of seats nationally but fail to gain a single seat. This is the nature of the ‘democratic’ voting system in the UK.
What the UK now has in store is five years of an ideologically driven administration that will push through its welfare-cutting, pro-privatisation policies wrapped up in talk of a need for austerity and presided over by a millionaire-dominated cabinet which represents the interests of the richest echelons of global capital.
Out of those who voted Tory, a good deal comprised people of relatively modest means: people who will have been led to believe that ordinary people’s interests equate with the ‘national interest’ as defined by Tory politicians. These are people who for some strange reason believe that more privatisation, more deregulation, more austerity, more inequality, more concentration of wealth and more attacks on the public sector will be good for them as individuals and good for the economy.
The acceptance of this ideology is not just down to Tory methods of persuasion but is also due to its perpetuation by the corporate mainstream media and the other main political parties, which have fully embraced neoliberalism. However, many people feel that the Tories can be best trusted to see through such things, unlike Labour (Tory-lite) or the Liberal Democrats who might mismanage, waver or may not be quite as committed to the neoliberal cause. As a party by the rich, for the rich of and of the rich, they may have a point.
What we can now expect to see is the attempted completion of a project that had begun under Thatcher in the eighties: the complete subservience of ordinary working people to the needs of powerful corporations, the tax-evading corporate dole-scrounging super rich and the neoliberal agenda they have imposed on people. And key to securing this is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The European Commission tries to sell TTIP by claiming that the agreement will increase GDP by one percent and will entail massive job creation. These claims are not supported even by its own studies, which predict a growth rate of just 0.01 percent GDP over the next ten years and the potential loss of jobs in several sectors. Corporations are lobbying EU-US trade negotiators to use the deal to weaken food safety and restrictions on GM food and agriculture as well as labour, health and environmental standards, among other things. Through certain regulatory and investor trade dispute stipulations, the outcome would entail the by passing of any existing democratic processes in order to push through the ultimate corporate power grab.
This proposed trade agreement (and others like it being negotiated across the world) is based on a firm belief in ‘the market’ (a euphemism for subsidies for the rich, cronyism, rigged markets and cartels) and the intense ideological dislike of state intervention and state provision of goods and services. The economic doctrine that underpins this belief attempts to convince people that they can prosper by having austerity imposed on them and by submitting to neo-liberalism and ‘free’ trade: a smokescreen the financial-corporate elites hide behind while continuing to enrich themselves.
Current negotiations over ‘free’ trade agreements have little to do with free trade. They are more concerned with loosening regulatory barriers and bypassing any current democratic processes that hinder their profits. These deals could allow large corporations to destroy competition, enforce privatisations and secure lucrative government procurement markets and siphon off wealth to the detriment of smaller, locally based firms and producers. We see this from TTIP, to the US-India Knowledge Agreement on Agriculture, CETA, TPP and beyond.
Cameron: handmaiden to the rich
Whether based in New York, London, Berlin or Delhi, the planet’s super rich and their corporations comprise a global elite whose members have to varying extents been incorporated into the Anglo-US system of trade and finance. For them, the ability to ‘do business’ (exploit labour – or automate – and make profits) is what matters, not national identity or the capacity to empathise with an ordinary working person that was born on the same land mass and who will lose their livelihood.
Notions of the ‘national interest’ that governments churn out are merely rhetorical devices to be used to rally the masses. And notions of being ‘against the national interest’ are used to curtail of destroy dissent, as we currently see happening with Greenpeace in India.
In order ‘to do business’, government machinery has been corrupted and bent to serve their ends. In turn, organisations that were intended to be ‘by’ and ‘for’ ordinary working people to challenge capital have been successfully infiltrated and dealt with.
The global takeover of agriculture by powerful agribusiness, the selling off and privatisation of assets built with public toil and money and secretive corporate-driven trade agreements represent a massive corporate heist of wealth and power across the world.
Whether it concerns rich oligarchs in the US or India’s billionaire business men, corporate profits and personal gain trump any notion of the ‘national interest’. 300,000 dead farmers in India who killed themselves or the ranks of the unemployed in Spain or Greece are regarded as mere ‘collateral damage’ in what is ultimately a war on working people and the environment itself.
Looting economies for personal gain is disguised as ‘free trade’. Austerity is sold as ‘growth’. Massive profits is ‘wealth creation’. Ecological degradation is ‘progress’. From Obama in the US to Cameron in the UK or Modi in India, their neoliberal agenda betrays them as handmaidens to the rich.
In Britain expect to see militarism, brutality and imperialism continuing to be sold under the banner of ‘humanitarianism’ and ‘democracy’. Expect more cronyism, an increasingly wider revolving door to facilitate the flow between private interests and government, more insidious lobbying by big business and a continued free for all in the corrupt City of London.
Some 11,334,000 voted Conservative in the UK last Thursday. The other 53 million in the country now face having deal with the outcome for the next five years.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

THE TRUTH ABOUT YEMEN

The bombing of Muslim Yemen by the US vassal state of Muslim Saudi Arabia, backed up by a motley group of countries including the US, Israel, Gulf sheikhdoms, etc is a shameless and dishonourable act. The relentless bombing, which has killed and maimed thousands while destroying civilian infrastructure, has been grossly misrepresented in the mainstream western media, controlled by a handful of Jewish/Neocon families. One has to turn to the independent/alternative media to dig out the truth. Below are two articles published by Global Research which explain the geo-political intrigues which threaten Yemen.

On paper the Arab forces look impressive but their fighting prowess is highly doubtful. Moves are afoot to get the Pakistanis to send over their formidable army to fight the cowardly Arabs' war for them. Summoned by the Saudi King Salman, the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, and the head of the Army, General Raheel Sharif, have flown to Riyadh today. Although Pakistan's Parliament has already voted to stay out of the internecine warfare between Muslim countries, Nawaz is notorious for his penchant to ride roughshod over Parliamentary decisions. General Shareef is reputedly a hard headed realist who will resist any attempts by Nawaz to get Pakistani soldiers to fight Salman's war.


The War on Yemen: Where Oil and Geopolitics Mix

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Yemen RT Op-Edge
Everything about the war on Yemen is a smokescreen. Concealed behind the smoke is a tale of geopolitics and petro-politics that aims to control the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden.
The House of Saud and a military coalition that consists mostly of anachronistic monarchies are claiming to bomb Yemen as a means of saving the Yemenite people and their transition to democracy. The irony should not be lost on observers that recognize that the Saudi-led coalition — consisting of the Kingdom of Morocco, UAE, Kuwait, Kingdom of Bahrain, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Qatar, Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia itself — is comprised of an unhealthy mixture of backward family dictatorships and corrupt governments that essentially are the antithesis of democracy.
Just as important to note, the Saudi-led war on Yemen is a criminal act. The military attack on Yemen was not authorized by the UN Security Council. Nor can the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia justify its bombing campaign under Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, because Yemen and Ansarullah (the Houthi movement) pose no threat of war to Riyadh and never had any intentions of igniting a war in the Arabian Peninsula. This is why the Kingdom’s war on Yemen is categorically a violation of the Charter of the UN and international law.
The Houthis never wanted to aggravate Saudi Arabia let alone start a war against the Kingdom. Days before the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the Houthis had stealthily sent a delegation to Riyadh to establish an understanding with the Saudis and to calm them down.
Instead of opposing the illegal war on Yemen, Washington and its allies, including Britain, have thrown their political support behind the bombing of Yemen by the malfeasant Royal Saudi Air Force, which has committed war crime by intentionally bombing civilian infrastructure, including refugee camps and children’s schools.
It is no coincidence that most of the victims in Yemen are civilians. This is part of a Saudi strategy of establishing rapid military dominance, which is colloquially called “shock and awe.” Ring any bells? This is a strategy taken right out of Uncle Sam’s playbook that intends to demoralize resistance and scare the opponent into surrendering.

Pentagon’s not-so-hidden bloody hands

Not eager to reveal their roles in another illegal war on another sovereign country, the US and undoubtedly several of its NATO allies have decided to keep low profiles in the attack on Yemen. This is why Washington has opted to publicly present itself as only providing logistical and intelligence support to the Saudis for the war on Yemen.
The war on Yemen, however, would not be possible without the US. Not only have countries like the US and Britain provided military hardware to Saudi Arabia, but they are providing it with bombs for the attack, refueling its warplanes, providing intelligence, and giving the Kingdom logistical support.
Does this sound like non-involvement? Can the US really be considered a non-combatant in the war?
History — and very recent history at that too — is repeating itself in Yemen.
Observers should recall how Washington deceptively claimed that it did not want to go to war with the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya in 2011. The US publicly let the British and French take the lead in the NATO war on Tripoli while the Pentagon was actually the main force behind the war. US President Barack Obama called this a strategy of leading from behind.”

A Saudi soldier loads ammunition at their position at Saudi Arabia's border with Yemen April 6, 2015. (Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser)
A Saudi soldier loads ammunition at their position at Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen April 6, 2015. (Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser)

The US strategy in Yemen is not too different from that of the NATO war on Libya. It is another case of cloak and dagger where the US does not want to be seen pulling the strings behind the aggression and violation of international law.
The Saudis would never have dared attack Yemen without Washington’s green light or help. The Pentagon is even selecting the bombing targets in Yemen for the Kingdom. “American military planners are using live intelligence feeds from surveillance flights over Yemen to help Saudi Arabia decide what and where to bomb,” the Wall Street Journal casually reported when the war began. National Security Council Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan, even stated that the US had established a joint planning cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate the attack on Yemen.
This is why it should not come as a surprise that Saudi Arabia used Washington as the platform to announce the launching of its war on Yemen. The Associated Press even noticed the weird podium that the Kingdom had selected. “In an unusual tableau, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States announced the rare military operation by his country at a Washington news conference about a half-hour after the bombing began,” the Associated Press reported on March 25.

Double standards: Remember EuroMaidan in Ukraine?

One ugly double-standard after another ugly double-standard sticks out. While the House of Saud argued that it has intervened militarily in Yemen to restore Abd-Rabbuh Manṣour Al-Hadi, who Riyadh claims is the legitimate president of Yemen, it has pushed for a war on Syria and worked with the US to topple Bashar Assad’s government.
Washington’s reaction is even more lopsided. When EuroMaidan was underway in Kiev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was forced to flee in 2014, the US and its allies claimed that Yanukovich had lost all legitimacy because he fled Ukraine. Even as recently as February 2015, US officials have maintained this argument. “Well, let’s all refresh ourselves on the facts here. President — former President Yanukovich abdicated his responsibilities by fleeing Kiev during a political crisis,” the US Department of State’s spokesperson, Jennifer Psaki, told reporters during a press briefing.
Well Mr. Al-Hadi also fled his country. Nevertheless, the same measuring stick that was used in Ukraine is not applied to assess Al-Hadi’s legitimacy. Unlike its position on Ukraine, Washington claims that Al-Hadi is still the legitimate leader of Yemen.
The US is even willing to put aside its differences and work with Sudan, which the US Department of State claims is a state sponsor of terrorism, to bomb Yemen into accepting Al-Hadi back.
The basis for all of these contradictory positions is really a marker of US interests and Machiavellianism. It has nothing to do with legitimacy, democracy, or human rights.

Al-Hadi’s (il)legitimacy

While there some parallels between the two, there are key differences between Ukraine and Yemen. These key differences set Yanukovich and Al-Hadi apart and are what made Yanukovich legitimate and Al-Hadi illegitimate.
Firstly, unlike President Yanukovich, Al-Hadi resigned from office. For arguments sake, however, we will not dwell on this. There are much more important points for evaluating Al-Hadi’s legitimacy.
Unlike Yanukovich, Al-Hadi’s term had actually expired. While President Yanukovich was elected into office by the Ukrainian people for his term, President Al-Hadi’s term was extended through an administrative process. To quote Reuters“Yemen’s political factions extended the president’s term by a year” on January 21, 2014. Al-Hadi was only kept in office to execute reforms, and this is the criterion for his legitimacy.
Under the above context, it has to be remembered that Al-Hadi was selected as a transitional figure. He became the president of Yemen to usher democracy and his term was extended in 2014 for this purpose. Instead, Al-Hadi dragged his feet on the democratic reforms — the fundamental basis for his legitimacy — that he was supposed to institute in Yemen. He was not fulfilling his mandate to share power and to enfranchise Yemen’s different political factions.
President Al-Hadi actually tried to concentrate power into his own hands while working to weaken Yemen’s other factions, including the Houthis, through gerrymandering by redrawing Yemen’s administrative regions.

People gather on the wreckage of a house destroyed by an air strike in the Bait Rejal village west of Yemen's capital Sanaa April 7, 2015. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)
People gather on the wreckage of a house destroyed by an air strike in the Bait Rejal village west of Yemen’s capital Sanaa April 7, 2015. (Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)

Petro-politics & Bab-el-Mandeb Strait: Another war for control of oil?

The geopolitical significance of Yemen has weighed heavily in the equation. This war is as much about oil as it is about Saudi suzerainty and the House of Saud’s objectives to make Yemen a vassal state. Alongside Djibouti, Yemen forms part of an important maritime chokepoint, called the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait (also known as the Gateway of Tears/Anguish), which connects the Indian Ocean’s Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.
It is no exaggerations to call the Mandeb Strait one of the world’s arteries. As a maritime chokepoint, the strait is just as important as Egypt’s Suez Canal — which connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea — and the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf, because Bab-el-Mandeb overlooks one of the most strategic and important global corridors for the transportation of energy and international commerce.
Preventing US and Saudi rivals from gaining a strategic foothold over the Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden is a major objective of the war on Yemen. The US and the House of Saud see control over the Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden as strategically important in the scenario of a conflict with Iran where Tehran closes the Strait of Hormuz to oil shipments and international shipping. As the New York Times points out“Nearly all Saudi commerce is via sea, and direct access to the Arabian Sea would diminish dependence on the Persian Gulf — and fears of Iran’s ability to cut off the Strait of Hormuz.”Plan B in such a scenario for the Kingdom includes using Aden and other Yemeni ports.
Support for the balkanization of Yemen chimes with this and ideas about dividing Yemen have been floating around since the Arab Spring. In 2013, the New York Times had this to propose about a Saudi takeover and annexation of southern Yemen: “Arabs are abuzz about part of South Yemen’s eventually merging with Saudi Arabia. Most southerners are Sunni, as is most of Saudi Arabia; many have family in the kingdom. The poorest Arabs, Yemenis could benefit from Saudi riches. In turn, Saudis would gain access to the Arabian Sea for trade, diminishing dependence on the Persian Gulf and fear of Iran’s virtual control over the Strait of Hormuz.”
Houthi control over Yemen, however, complicates and obscures US and Saudi plans.

Mandeb Strait and control of strategic chokepoints

As Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah has rightly pointed out, the Houthis and the Yemeni military are capable of closing the Mandeb Strait. One of the reasons that Saudi Ambassador to Washington Adel Al-Jubeir stressed that the Houthis should not have control over ballistic missiles, heavy military hardware, and Yemeni bases is because the US and Saudi Arabia want to neutralize the potential of Yemen to close the Mandeb Strait, especially if Yemen should coordinate with Tehran as an Iranian ally in the future. In this regard, the Saudis have attacked Yemen’s missile depots. The aim of the air strikes include not only preventing Yemen’s missile arsenal from being used to retaliate against any exertions of Saudi force, but to also prevent them from being on hand to a Yemeni government aligned to Tehran or other US rivals.
Moreover, it has to be remembered that control over Yemen is not only important for mitigating the effects from a scenario where the Strait of Hormuz are closed by Tehran. Control over Mandeb Strait is also important for tightening the noose around the Iranians and in the scenario of a war with Iran. The same can be argued about a US strategy in the Indian Ocean against the Chinese.
Back in 2011, when Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin was serving in Brussels as Moscow’s envoy to NATO, he noted that Washington was not only planning on taking over Syria as a beachhead for a war with Iran, but that the US and its allies would later try to control Yemen as the next step in preparing the grounds for an attack on Iran. At the time, RIA Novosti (now renamed Sputnik) reported that “Rogozin agreed with the opinion expressed by some experts that Syria and later Yemen could be NATO’s last steps on the way to launch an attack on Iran.”

Why did Netanyahu warn US Congress about Yemen?

Reports that Israel is a not-so-secret member of the Saudi-led coalition that is bombing Yemen need to be read, understood, analyzed in the above context about the Mandeb Strait too. Netanyahu’s unspoken concern is that Yemen could cut off Israel’s access to the Indian Ocean and, more specifically, its ability to easily deploy its Dolphin class submarines to the Iranian coast in the Persian Gulf.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) acknowledges applause at the end of his speech to a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2015. (Reuters/Gary Cameron)
Netanyahu (L) acknowledges applause at the end of his speech to a joint meeting of Congress in the House Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 3, 2015. (Reuters/Gary Cameron)

Who is threatening who? According to the Sunday Times and Israeli sources, three nuclear-armed Israeli submarines are deployed near Iran’s shores at all times waiting on standby for orders from Tel Aviv to bomb Iran. In part, this is why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was ringing the alarm bells about Yemen and the Mandeb Strait in the Washington Beltway when he went to speak on Capitol Hill on March 4.
Israel is concerned about Yemen because an independent Yemeni government could inhibit Israel’s nuclear-armed submarines from easily deploying from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf to menace Iran with the threat of an attack.

Iran and the Houthis

Just like the case with Ukraine, all the problems in Yemen are also being blamed on a nearby country. While Russia has been blamed as the scapegoat for the plethora of problems in Ukraine, Iran has been blamed for the Saudi war on Yemen.
The Saudis are falsely depicting the Houthis as Iranian proxies or allies, because the movement is composed of Zaidi (Fiver) Shiites. The Houthis, however, are independent from Tehran and have agency as political actors; they are not Iranian proxies whatsoever. A common faith has not brought the Houthis and the Iranians, who are predominately Jaffari (Twelver) Shiites, together. Politics is what has brought the two together.
The sectarian language that falsely depicts Yemen as a battleground between Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims is ill informed or intended to mislead people by design about the actual politics and history of Yemen. This type of sectarian language was never used when the House of Saud supported King Mohammed Al-Badr’s Zaidi imamate against the republicans or Ali Abdullah Saleh, who himself is a Zaidi Shiite, against the Houthis.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is very accurate when he points out that different regional players are turning to Tehran for help, because either Saudi Arabia will not help them or is pushing them in the direction of Iran through its foolish policies. This has been precisely the case for the Houthis. If it was not for the flawed policies of the US and Saudi Arabia, the Houthis would never have turned to Iran in the first place.
The Houthis also sent delegations to Moscow and Beijing to overcome US and Saudi efforts to isolate and weaken them internationally.

Will Yemen become Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam?

Historically, foreign intervention in Yemen has largely proven to be a disaster. Yemeni terrain is rugged and the elevated interior topography is perfect for guerilla warfare. Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt lost many soldiers in North Yemen during its civil war, which was a major liability for Cairo.
When Ibn Saud was conquering Arabia, he was stopped in Yemen by King Yahya.
In more recent history or times, when Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen to fight the Houthis in 2009 and 2010, it was effectively defeated again in Yemen. The Houthis even ended up capturing towns inside Saudi Arabia.
Ground operations will not be a walk in the park for Saudi Arabia. Any invasion and occupation of Yemen will prove to be a disaster for the Kingdom. There are also complex tribal links between southern Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In the chaos a Pandora’s Box could be ignited that would result in rebellions inside the Kingdom itself.
The House of Saud seems to be cognizant of the dangers. This may be why it is pushing Pakistan and Egypt to send their troops.
Someone should tell the House of Saud that according to the Chinese general Sun Tzu, “The best war is the one that never has to be fought.”
This article was originally published by RT on April 9, 2015.

About the author:

An award-winning author and geopolitical analyst, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is the author of The Globalization of NATO (Clarity Press) and a forthcoming book The War on Libya and the Re-Colonization of Africa. He has also contributed to several other books ranging from cultural critique to international relations. He is a Sociologist and Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), a contributor at the Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF), Moscow, and a member of the Scientific Committee of Geopolitica, Italy.

Video: US-Saudi Terror in Yemen: Codenamed “Restoring Hope”. US War Ships in Yemen Waters. Oil Prices Plummet

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Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday it was ending a month-long campaign of air strikes “Decisive Storm” in Yemen. 
According to the Saudi-led coalition spokesman, all goals set by the “Decisive Storm” have been achieved. These included the destruction of ballistic missiles the Houthis had taken control of. At least 944 people have been killed and 3,487 injured during the month-long conflict in Yemen, World Health Organization reported Tuesday.
The Washington-backed, Saudi-led campaign is now switching into a new phase codenamed “Restoring Hope”. The Saudi Defense Ministry says it is going to focus on anti-terrorism, security and finding a political solution to the crisis. But this does not mean a ceasefire will be declared. Saudi spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri stated that the bombing operation will resume if it is deemed necessary. Thus, talking about the political resolution doesn’t involve the real aim on it. Furthermore, footage from Sanaa and reports from Aden showed that the coalition bombing and shelling continued overnight. It showed how diplomacy works throughout where United States and its allies are involved. The statements mean nothing, if they were expressed by U.S. and Co. Meantime Yemen is repeating the fate of Iraq, Syria and Libya which were destroyed and thrown into the perpetual wars too.
Oil prices extended declines after the Saudi announcement. Brent crude dropped 0.71 percent to $61.45 per barrel at 6:51 GMT today. It had risen more than $6 a barrel since the start of the Saudi-led bombing in March. Withal, the price of West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 1.24 percent to $55.91 per barrel.
The Saudis accuse the rebels of being tools of Iran, a claim viewed skeptically by many experts. Moreover, in this approach we can find the idea that Saudi Arabia is the tool of United States to hide own intervention into oil-rich region. Also, western media have forgotten that Saudi-backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi isn’t so legitimate like they want to show. Hadi resigned on January 22, 2015. 1 month before US-backed coalition started military company in Yemen.
The U.S. is beefing up naval presence in the region. On Monday, the US Navy sent two warships to Yemeni waters to conduct ‘maritime security operations’. The Pentagon said in a statement on Monday that the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its escort cruiser USS Normandy have transited from the Persian Gulf to the Arabian Sea on April 19. It cited the “current instability in Yemen” as the reason for the move. A Saudi-led coalition has already imposed a naval blockade around the country, in addition to its bombing campaign, as it seeks to fight back against Shia Houthi rebels.

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