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"The consequences in human and cultural terms of the destruction of the Iraqi state have been enormous: notably the death of over 1.3 million civilians; the degradation in social infrastructure, including electricity, potable water and sewage systems; over eight million Iraqis are in need of humanitarian assistance; abject poverty: the UN Human rights report for the 1st quarter of 2007 found that 54% of Iraqis were living on less than $1 a day; the displacement of minimum 2.5 million refugees and 2,764,000 internally displaced people as to end 2009. One in six Iraqis is displaced. Ethnic & religious minorities are on the verge of extinction. UN-HABITAT, an agency of the United Nations, published a 218-page report entitled State of the World’s Cities, 2010-2011. Prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the percentage of the urban population living in slums in Iraq hovered just below 20 percent. Today, that percentage has risen to 53 percent: 11 million of the 19 million total urban dwellers." --http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21781 

 

Thank a Vet?

by Laurence M. Vance

November 11, 2010    
http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance216.html

We’ve all seen the bumper stickers: "My son is in the Air Force," "If You Can Read This in English, Thank a Marine," "Proud Vietnam Veteran," "Fly Navy," and of course, "Thank a Vet."

Why should we?

Why should we call them heroes, give them military discounts, grant them veterans preference, express our support for them with ribbons on our cars, honor them with a holiday, hold military appreciation church services for them, and thank them for their "service"?

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day to commemorate the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. It had nothing to do with honoring current and former members of the military like Veterans Day is celebrated today. And if the sole purpose of Armistice Day was to honor World War I veterans, it should never have been celebrated since no American soldier did anything honorable by intervening in a European foreign war. And it doesn’t matter if he was drafted or not.

Britain’s last World War I combat veteran, Harry Patch, died last year at the age of 111. He boasted that he hadn’t killed anyone in combat. "War isn’t worth one life," Patch said, it is "calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings." In his autobiography The Last Fighting Tommy, Patch wrote that "politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder." In the last years of his life, Patch warned some young naval recruits that they shouldn’t join.

Frank Buckles, age 109, is the only American veteran of World War I still living. When asked while being honored for his service at a 2007 Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery what he thought about being there while the United States was at war, he replied: "I’m no authority, but I’m not in favor of war unless it’s an emergency." I think that Buckles is more of an authority on the horrors of war and the folly and wickedness of war than the current members of the Joint Chiefs.

It is only because World War I did not turn out to be the "war to end all wars" that the holiday was changed to Veterans Day as a tribute to all soldiers who fought for their country.

Although I believe World War II to be neither necessary nor good, I come not on this Veterans Day to criticize the "greatest generation," who, it turns out, were also great at pillaging and carousing.

For reasons I explained in "U.S. Presidents and Those Who Kill for Them," World War II marks the permanent establishment of the American military as the president’s personal attack force to kill by his decree Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Grenadians, Panamanians, Yugoslavs, Serbians, Afghans, Iraqis, Somalis, Yemenis, and Pakistanis. Next on the list is Iranians. Sometimes these presidential decrees are rubberstamped by a congressional authorization to use force, but they are always preceded by presidential lies and warmonger propaganda.

So why should a Vietnam veteran be proud? He was typically young, ignorant, deceived, and drafted. He may have fought obediently, valiantly, selflessly, and fearlessly, but since he had no business fighting in Vietnam in the first place, I have nothing to thank him for. And I certainly can’t thank him for preventing the Viet Cong from turning America into a socialist republic. Besides, LBJ beat Ho Chi Minh to that anyway. Many Vietnam veterans have written me and expressed shame, remorse, anger, and resentment – not pride – for having been duped into going thousands of miles away from American soil to intervene in another country’s civil war. In fact, I have found that it is those who are not Vietnam veterans who are the most vociferous defenders of the war in Vietnam.

The most undeserved and oftentimes disgusting outpouring of thankfulness I have ever seen is over those who have fought or are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The praise and adoration of those fighting in "the front lines in the war on terror" reaches its apex on Veterans Day, which has become a day to defend U.S. wars and recognize all things military. These soldiers certainly have done nothing worthy of thanks. Sure, they have rebuilt infrastructure – after bombing it to smithereens. They no doubt removed a brutal dictator – and unleashed American brutality in the process. And yes, they have rescued orphan children – after blowing their parents and brothers and sisters to kingdom come.

What is there to thank our soldiers for? They are not defending our freedoms. They are not keeping us safe from our enemies. They are not protecting us from terrorists. They are not guaranteeing our First Amendment rights. They are not defending U.S. borders. They are not guarding U.S. shores. They are not patrolling U.S. coasts. They are not enforcing no-fly zones over U.S. skies. They are not fighting "over there" so we don’t have to fight "over here." They are not avenging 9/11. They are not safeguarding the American way of life. Oh, and they are not ensuring that I have the liberty to write what I do about the military.

What, then, should we thank our soldiers for? Should we thank them for fighting an unconstitutional war, an unscriptural war, an immoral war, an offensive war, an unjust war, or a senseless war? Should we thank our veterans for helping to carry out an aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and interventionist foreign policy? Should we thank the military for sucking $1 trillion out of the federal budget?

But, some will say, these soldiers are just doing their jobs. They can’t help it if the U.S. military sends them to fight in an unjust war in Iraq or Afghanistan. They are just following orders. They didn’t enlist in the military to kill people.

What would any sane man think about a doctor who takes a job at a hospital knowing that the hospital instructs its doctors to euthanize old and sickly patients – and then says he was just doing his job, following orders, and didn’t take the job to kill people?

Why are soldiers treated so differently? Why do they get a pass on committing or supporting those who commit murder and mayhem?

But, someone else says, the military has lowered its recruiting standards and is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Many soldiers are ignorant about the true nature of the military and U.S. foreign policy. Why should we fault them for their ignorance? Why should they be criticized for unjustly killing Iraqis or Afghans or Pakistanis? They are just following orders.

Let’s go back to the doctor I mentioned. Suppose that after he takes a job in ignorance at what he thinks is a reputable hospital he is instructed to euthanize old and sickly patients? What should he do? I don’t know of anyone who would say anything else but that he should quit his job or at least refuse to euthanize anyone.

Again, why are soldiers treated so differently? Why do they get a pass on committing or supporting those who commit murder and mayhem?

But, comes another reply, soldiers have a term of enlistment. They can’t just quit their jobs. Doctors can walk away from their jobs at any time. Then I guess it all comes down to morality: Be a mercenary and kill for the state or refuse to do so and suffer the consequences of dishonorable discharge and/or imprisonment.

It is high time that Americans stop holding veterans and current members of the military in such high esteem. It is scientists, engineers, inventors, businessmen, industrialists, software developers, and entrepreneurs that made America great – not veterans of foreign wars. It is doctors, iron workers, taxi drivers, bricklayers, writers, electricians, and cooks that positively contribute to society – not soldiers.

I would like to be able to thank a vet – on Veterans Day and every other day of the year – but I’m still searching for a reason.

 

Remembrance Day: Reversing the Tide of War. Say No to Nuclear War

Antiwar protest does not question the legitimacy of those to whom the protest is addressed.

What is needed is to consistently challenge the legitimacy of the main political and military actors, reveal the true face of the American Empire and the underlying criminalisation of foreign policy. Ultimately what is required is to question the Obama Administration's "right to rule".

Even if a majority of the population is against the war, this in itself will not prevent the war from occurring. The propaganda campaign’s objective is to sustain the lies which support the legitimacy of the main political and military actors

While the Obama administration implements a "war on terrorism", the evidence (including mountains of official documents) amply confirms that successive U.S. administrations have supported, abetted and harbored international terrorism including Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. This fact, in itself, must be suppressed because if it ever trickles down to the broader public, the legitimacy of the so-called "war on terrorism" collapses "like a deck of cards." And in the process, the legitimacy of the main actors behind this system would be threatened.

How does one effectively break the war and police state agendas?

Essentially by refuting the "war on terrorism" and America's holy crusade against Islamic fundamentalism which constitute the very foundations of America's national security doctrine. In other words, the mobilization of antiwar sentiment in itself will not reverse the tide of war.

A necessary condition for bringing down the rulers is to question their legitimacy and eventually dismantle their propaganda campaign.

How best to achieve this objective? By fully uncovering the lies behind the "war on terrorism" and revealing the complicity of the US administration in the events of 9/11. This is a big hoax, it’s the biggest lie in US history. The war pretext does not stick and the rulers should be removed. Moreover, it is important to show that "Enemy Number One" (Osama bin Laden) is fabricated.

The terrorist attacks are indeed real, but who is behind them? The covert operations in support of terrorist organisations, including the history of Al Qaeda’s links to the CIA since the Soviet Afghan war are known and documented. They must be fully revealed. These covert operations relate directly to the wave of terrorist attacks which have occurred since September 11, most of which are said to have been ordered by Al Qaeda.

To reverse the tide, the spreading of information at all levels, which counteracts the propaganda campaign is required.

The truth undermines and overshadows the lie.

Once the "real truth" becomes fully understood, the legitimacy of the rulers will be undermined.

When the lies – including those concerning September 11 – are fully revealed and understood by everybody, the legitimacy of the US NATO Israel military agenda will be broken.

While this will not necessarily result in a fundamental and significant "regime change" in the US, a new "anti-war consensus" will have emerged, which may eventually pave the way for a broader struggle against the New World Order and the American Empire's quest for global domination.

A war agenda is not disarmed through antiwar sentiment or through protest. Protest accepts the legitimacy of the leaders to whom the protests are being addressed.

One does not reverse the tide by asking President Barack Obama: "please abide by the Geneva Convention" and the Nuremberg Charter. Ultimately, a consistent antiwar agenda requires unseating the war criminals in high office as a first step towards disarming the institutions and corporate structures of the New World Order.

To break the Inquisition, we must also break its propaganda, its fear and intimidation campaign, which galvanizes public opinion into accepting the "war on terrorism".


The Existing Anti-War movement

The existing antiwar movement has since 2003 been substantially weakened and divided. It does not at present have the required organizational capabilities to wage this campaign.

The antiwar movement is misinformed on the nature of the US military agenda. Several non-governmental organizations have placed the blame on Iran, for not complying with the "reasonable demands" of the "international community". These same organizations, which are committed to World Peace tend to downplay the implications of the proposed US bombing of Iran.

An important segment of the antiwar movement, including prominent "progressive" intellectuals, are tacitly supportive of the "war on terrorism". Al Qaeda is considered a threat. "We are against the war but we support the campaign against terrorism".

The 9/11 Truth Movement which challenges US military doctrine and the pretext for waging war is categorized by segments of the anti-war movement as "Conspiracy Theorists". 

While we should build upon existing antiwar structures, a meaningful mass movement would require entirely different premises and strategies.

Manufacturing dissent

The antiwar collectives in the US, Canada and Western Europe are composed of  numerous trade unions, NGOs, community groups, etc, many of which are dependent on foundation and/or government funding.

The programs of these NGOs and people's movements rely heavily on both public as well as private funding agencies including the Ford, Rockefeller, McCarthy foundations, among others. While the anti-globalization and antiwar movements are opposed to Wall Street, the Big Five Defense Contractors (ie. weapons producers) and the Texas oil giants controlled by Rockefeller, et al., the foundations and charities of Rockefeller et al will generously fund progressive anti-capitalist anti-war networks as well as environmentalists (opposed to Big Oil) with a view to ultimately overseeing and shaping their various activities.

These mechanisms of "manufacturing dissent" require a manipulative environment, a process of arm-twisting and subtle cooptation of individuals within progressive organizations, including anti-war coalitions. 

Whereas the mainstream media "manufactures consent", the complex network of NGOs (including segments of the alternative media) are used by the corporate elites to mould and manipulate the protest movement. In the US, the main antiwar coalitions including United For Peace and Justice and  MoveOn are funded by the corporate establishment.

Similarly, part of the "Left Leaning" alternative media, which has accepted the official 9/11 narrative, tends to pay lip service to the US led war. (See Michel Chossudovsky, "Manufacturing Dissent": the Anti-globalization Movement is Funded by the Corporate Elites, Global Research, September 2010)

At this juncture, "progressives" funded by major foundations are an obstacle to the formation of an articulate grassroots antiwar movement.

A consistent antiwar movement must also confront various forms of cooption within its ranks, the fact that a significant sector of progressive opinion tacitly supports US foreign policy including "humanitarian interventions" under UN/NATO auspices.

An antiwar movement funded by major corporate foundations is the cause rather than the solution. A coherent antiwar movement cannot be funded by warmongers.

Jus ad Bellum: 9/11 and the Invasion of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan

Both the wars of Yugoslavia and Afghanistan were upheld by several "Progressives" as "Just Wars". In the case of Afghanistan,  the "self-defense" argument was accepted at face value as a legitimate response to the 9/11 attacks, without examining the fact that the US administration had not only supported the "Islamic terror network", it was also instrumental in the installation of the Taliban government in 1995-96.

In 2001, when Afghanistan was bombed and later invaded, several "Progressives" upheld the Administration's "just cause" military doctrine.

In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement against the illegal invasion of Afghanistan was isolated. The trade unions, civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, which allegedly was harboring Al Qaeda. Several prominent "left leaning" intellectuals upheld the "war on terrorism" agenda.

Media disinformation prevailed. People were misled as to the nature and objectives underlying the invasion of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were identified as the prime suspects of the 9/11 attacks, without a shred of evidence and without addressing the historical relationship between Al Qaeda and the US intelligence apparatus. In this regard, understanding 9/11 is crucial in formulating a consistent antiwar position.

9/11 is the pillar of  US war propaganda, it sustains the illusion of an outside enemy, it justifies pre-emptive military intervention.

A meaningful anti-war movement requires breaking the 'war on terrorism" and upholding 9/11 Truth.

To reverse the tide of war and globalization requires a massive campaign of networking and outreach to inform people across the land, nationally and internationally, in neighborhoods, workplaces, parishes, schools, universities, municipalities, on the dangers of a US sponsored war, which contemplates the use of nuclear weapons. The message should be loud and clear: Iran is not the threat. Even without the use of nukes, the proposed aerial bombardments could result in escalation, ultimately leading us into a broader war in the Middle East.  

Debate and discussion must also take place within the Military and Intelligence community, particularly with regard to the use of tactical nuclear weapons, within the corridors of the US Congress, in municipalities and at all levels of government. Ultimately, the legitimacy of the political and military actors in high office must be challenged.

The corporate media also bears a heavy responsibility for the cover-up of US sponsored war crimes. It must also be forcefully challenged for its biased coverage of the Middle East war. 

For the past year, Washington has been waging a "diplomatic arm twisting" exercise with a view to enlisting countries into supporting of its military agenda. It is essential that at the diplomatic level, countries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Latin America take a firm stance against the US military agenda.  

Both Hillary Clinton and her predecessor at the State Department Condoleezza Rice have trekked across the Middle East, "expressing concern over Iran's nuclear program", seeking the unequivocal endorsement of  the governments of the region against Tehran. Meanwhile both the Bush and Obama administrations have allocated funds in support of Iranian dissident groups both within Iran and the US.

Fake Anti-war Activism: Heralding Iran as a Nuclear Threat

Many people in the antiwar movement, while condemning the US administration, also condemn the government of President Ahmadinejad for its bellicose stance with regard to Israel.  The Jus ad Bellum reasoning used as a pretext to bomb Yugoslavia on humanitarian grounds is now being applied to Iran.

President Ahmadinejad allegedly wants Israel to be "wiped off the Map" as first reported by the New York Times in October 2005:

"Iran's conservative new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said Wednesday that Israel must be "wiped off the map" and that attacks by Palestinians would destroy it, the ISNA press agency reported.

Ahmadinejad was speaking to an audience of about 4,000 students at a program called "The World Without Zionism," .... His tone was reminiscent of that of the early days of Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979. Iran and Israel have been bitter enemies since then, and anti-Israel slogans have been common at rallies."(See Nazila Fathi, Wipe Israel 'off the map' Iranian says - The New York Times, 27 October 2005)

The alleged "Wiped Off the Map" statement by Iran's president was never made. The rumor was fabricated by the American media with a view to discrediting Iran's head of state and providing a justification for waging an all out war on Iran:

On October 25th, 2005 .... the newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a program, titled "The World Without Zionism"....

Before we get to the infamous remark, it's important to note that the "quote" in question was itself a quote— they are the words of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution. Although he quoted Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad. Thus, Ahmadinejad has essentially been credited (or blamed) for a quote that is not only unoriginal, but represents a viewpoint already in place well before he ever took office.

THE ACTUAL QUOTE:

So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi:

"Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."

That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).

So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel".

THE PROOF:

The full quote translated directly to English:

"The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time".

Word by word translation:

Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from).

Here is the full transcript of the speech in farsi, archived on Ahmadinejad's web site: 

www.president.ir/farsi/ahmadinejad/speeches/1384/aban-84/840804sahyonizm.htm

(See the detailed article by Arash Norouzi,
Israel: "Wiped off The Map". The Rumor of the Century, Fabricated by the US Media to Justify An All out War on Iran , Global Research  February 20, 2007)

What President Ahmadinjad was essentially calling for in his statement was "regime change" in Tel Aviv. (Compare Ahmadinejad's bland statement on regime change in Israel with that of former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who called for "Ending states that sponsor terrorism”. 

This alleged "Wiped off the Map" statement has served not only to justify a pre-emptive attack against Iran but also to subdue and tame the antiwar movement.

While the danger of an all out war on Iran is a matter of concern, it is by no means a priority for the US, Canadian and European antiwar movements. In the US, there are very few antiwar events focussing on US-Israeli threats directed against Iran (See Main US antiwar collective: United for Peace & Justice : Index, United for Peace & Justice : Events).

On the other hand, there is an ongoing campaign led by United Against Nuclear Iran" (UANI), calling on President Obama  and the US Congress to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. (See UANI home page). The UANI collective, founded by Obama appointees Richard Holbrooke and Gary Samore, claims to be integrated by "human rights and humanitarian groups, the labor movement, political advocacy and grassroots organizations" (Coalition | UANI)

UANI’s advisory board consists of a number of U.S. government insiders and big shots who have close ties with the U.S. statesmen including R. James Woolsey, the former head of CIA,... By publishing propagandistic reports and articles on the purported hazard of Iran’s nuclear activities, UANI also functions as a mouthpiece which is exclusively dedicated to fear-mongering and spreading falsehood about Iran. (See Spreading falsehoods about Iran: “United Against Nuclear Iran”: America’s war propaganda mouthpiece"   Orwell's Dreams, September 20, 2010)

Notwithstanding Arash Norouzi's disproval, many in the antiwar movement, while condemning the US, continue to believe that Iran constitutes a threat and that the solution is "regime change".  The funding of NGOs (which are constituent members of major antiwar collectives) by tax exempt charities and corporate foundations, has also contributed to weakening antiwar activism in relation to Iran.  Iran is viewed by many within the antiwar movement as a potential aggressor. Its non-existent nuclear weapons are considered, a threat to global security.

The Road Ahead

What is required is the development of a broad based grassroots network which seeks to disable patterns of authority and decision making pertaining to war.

This network would be established at all levels in society, towns and villages, work places, parishes. Trade unions, farmers organizations, professional associations, business associations, student unions, veterans associations, church groups would be called upon to integrate the antiwar organizational structure. Of crucial importance, this movement should extend into the Armed Forces as a means to breaking the legitimacy of war among service men and women.

The first task would be to disable war propaganda through an effective campaign against media disinformation. The corporate media would be directly challenged, leading to boycotts of major news outlets, which are responsible for channelling disinformation into the news chain.  This endeavor would require a parallel process at the grass roots level, of sensitizing and educating fellow citizens on the nature of  the war and the global crisis, as well as effectively "spreading the word" through advanced networking, through alternative media outlets on the internet, etc.

The creation of such a movement, which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of the structures of political authority, is no easy task. It would require a degree of solidarity, unity and commitment unparalleled in World history. It would require breaking down political and ideological barriers within society and acting with a single voice. It would also require eventually unseating the war criminals, and indicting them for war crimes.  

Abandon the Battlefield: Refuse to Fight

The military oath taken at the time of induction demands unbending support and allegiance to the US Constitution, while also demanding that US troops obey orders from their President and Commander in Chief:

"I,____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God"

The President and Commander in Chief has blatantly violated all tenets of domestic and international law. So that making an oath to "obey orders from the President" is tantamount to violating rather than defending the US Constitution.

"The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20), makes it clear that military personnel need to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer," 891.ART.91 (2), the "lawful order of a warrant officer", 892.ART.92 (1) the "lawful general order", 892.ART.92 (2) "lawful order". In each case, military personnel have an obligation and a duty to only obey Lawful orders and indeed have an obligation to disobey Unlawful orders, including orders by the president that do not comply with the UCMJ. The moral and legal obligation is to the U.S. Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders, especially if those orders are in direct violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ." (Lawrence Mosqueda, An Advisory to US Troops A Duty to Disobey All Unlawful Orders, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MOS303A.html, See also Michel Chossudovsky, "We the People Refuse to Fight": Abandon the Battlefield!<>  March 18, 2006 )

The Commander in Chief is a war criminal. According to Principle 6 of the Nuremberg Charter:

"The fact that a person [e.g. Coalition troops] acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

Let us make that "moral choice" possible, to enlisted American, British, Canadian and Coalition servicemen and women.

Disobey unlawful orders! Abandon the battlefield! ... Refuse to fight in a war which blatantly violates international law and the US Constitution!

But this is not a choice which enlisted men and women can make individually.

It is a collective and societal choice, which requires an organizational structure.

Across the land in the US, Britain, Canada and in all coalition countries, the anti-war movement must assist enlisted men and women to make that moral choice possible, to abandon the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This will not be an easy task. Committees at local levels must be set up across the United States, Canada, Britain, Italy, Japan and other countries, which have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We call upon veterans' associations and local communities to support this process.

This movement needs to dismantle the disinformation campaign. It must effectively reverse the indoctrination of coalition troops, who are led to believe that they are fighting "a just war": "a war against terrorists".

The legitimacy of the US military authority must be broken.

What has to be achieved:

Reveal the criminal nature of this military project,
Break once and for all the lies and falsehoods which sustain the "political consensus" in favor of a pre-emptive nuclear war.
Undermine war propaganda, reveal the media lies, reverse the tide of disinformation, wage a consistent campaign against the corporate media
Break the legitimacy of the war-mongers in high office.
Dismantle the US sponsored military adventure and its corporate sponsors. 
Bring Home the Troops
Repeal the illusion that the State is committed to protecting its citizens.
Expose the "fake crises" such as the global flu pandemic as a means to distract public opinion from the dangers of a global war.   
Uphold 9/11 Truth. Reveal the falsehoods behind 9/11 which are used to justify the Middle East Central Asian war under the banner of the "Global War on Terrorism" (GWOT)
Expose how a profit driven war serves the vested interests of the banks, the defense contractors, the oil giants, the media giants and the biotech conglomerates
Challenge the corporate media which deliberately obfuscates the causes and consequences of this war,
Reveal and take cognizance of the unspoken and tragic outcome of a war waged with nuclear weapons.
Call for the Dismantling of NATO
Implement the prosecution of war criminals in high office
Close down the weapons assembly plants and implement the foreclosure of major weapons producers
Close down all  US military bases in the US and around the World 
Develop an antiwar movement within the Armed Forces and establish bridges between the Armed Forces and the civilian antiwar movement
Forcefully pressure governments of both NATO and non-NATO countries to withdraw from the US led global military agenda.
Develop a consistent antiwar movement in Israel. Inform the citizens of Israel of the likely consequences of  a US-NATO-Israeli attack on Iran.
Confront Target the pro-war lobby groups including the pro-Israeli groups in the US
Dismantle the homeland security state, call for the repeal of the PATRIOT legislation
Call for the removal of the military from civilian law enforcement. Call for the enforcement of the Posse Comitatus Act
Call for the demilitarization of outer space and the repeal of Star Wars

People across the land, nationally and internationally, must mobilize against this diabolical military agenda, the authority of the State and its officials must be forcefully challenged.

This war can be prevented if people forcefully confront their governments, pressure their elected representatives, organize at the local level in towns, villages and municipalities, spread the word, inform their fellow citizens on the implications of a nuclear war, initiate debate and discussion within the armed forces.  

What is required is the development of a broad and well organized grassroots antiwar network which challenges the structures of power and authority, the nature of the economic system, the vast amounts of money used to fund the war, the shear size of the so-called defense industry.

What is required is a mass movement of people which forcefully challenges the legitimacy of war, a global people's movement which criminalizes war. 

What is needed is to break the conspiracy of silence, expose the media lies and distortions, confront the criminal nature of the US Administration and of those governments which support it, its war agenda as well as its so-called "Homeland Security agenda" which has already defined the contours of a police State.

The World is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in modern history. The US  has embarked on a military adventure, "a long war", which threatens the future of humanity. 

It is essential to bring the US war project to the forefront of political debate, particularly in North America and Western Europe. Political and military leaders who are opposed to the war must take a firm stance, from within their respective institutions. Citizens must take a stance individually and collectively against war.

We call upon people across the land, in North America,  Western Europe, Israel, The Arab World, Turkey and around the world to rise up against this military project, against their governments which are supportive of military action against Iran, against the media which serves to camouflage the devastating implications of a war against Iran.

The military agenda supports a profit driven destructive global economic system which impoverishes large sectors of the world population.

This war is sheer madness.

World War III is terminal. Albert Einstein understood the perils of nuclear war and the extinction of life on earth, which has already started with the radioactive contamination resulting from depleted uranium. “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

The media, the intellectuals, the scientists and the politicians, in chorus, obfuscate the untold truth, namely that war using nuclear warheads destroys humanity, and that this complex process of gradual destruction has already commenced.

When the lie becomes the truth there is no turning backwards.

When war is upheld as a humanitarian endeavor, Justice and the entire international legal system are turned upside down: pacifism and the antiwar movement are criminalized. Opposing the war becomes a criminal act. 

The Lie must be exposed for what it is and what it does.

It sanctions the indiscriminate killing of men, women and children.

It destroys families and people. It destroys the commitment of people towards their fellow human beings.

It prevents people from expressing their solidarity for those who suffer. It upholds war and the police state as the sole avenue.

It destroys both nationalism and internationalism.

Breaking the lie means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force.

This profit driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies. 

Let us reverse the tide.

Challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.   

Break the American inquisition.

Undermine the US-NATO-Israel military crusade.

Close down the weapons factories and the military bases.

Bring home the troops. 

Members of the armed forces should disobey orders and refuse to participate in a criminal war. 

 

 

War Propaganda

by Michel Chossudovsky   
16 January 2003 
http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO301A.html


Part I

Military planners in the Pentagon are acutely aware of the central role of war propaganda. Waged from the Pentagon, the State Department and the CIA, a fear and disinformation campaign (FDC) has been launched. The blatant distortion of the truth and the systematic manipulation of all sources of information is an integral part of war planning. In the wake of 9/11, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld created to the Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), or "Office of Disinformation" as it was labeled by its critics:

"The Department of Defense said they needed to do this, and they were going to actually plant stories that were false in foreign countries -- as an effort to influence public opinion across the world.1

And, all of a sudden, the OSI was formally disbanded following political pressures and "troublesome" media stories that "its purpose was to deliberately lie to advance American interests."2 "Rumsfeld backed off and said this is embarrassing."3 Yet despite this apparent about-turn, the Pentagon’s Orwellian disinformation campaign remains functionally intact: "The secretary of defense is not being particularly candid here. Disinformation in military propaganda is part of war."4

Rumsfeld later confirmed in a press interview that while the OSI no longer exists in name, the "Office’s intended functions are being carried out" 5 (Rumsfeld’s precise words can be consulted at http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/11/dod111802.html ).

A number of government agencies and intelligence units --with links to the Pentagon-- are involved in various components of the propaganda campaign. Realities are turned upside down. Acts of war are heralded as "humanitarian interventions" geared towards "regime change" and "the restoration of democracy". Military occupation and the killing of civilians are presented as "peace-keeping". The derogation of civil liberties --in the context of the so-called "anti-terrorist legislation"-- is portrayed as a means to providing "domestic security" and upholding civil liberties. And underlying these manipulated realties, "Osama bin Laden" and "Weapons of Mass Destruction" statements, which circulate profusely in the news chain, are upheld as the basis for an understanding of World events.

In the critical "planning stages" leading up to an invasion of Iraq, the twisting of public opinion at home and around the World, is an integral part of the War agenda, War propaganda is pursued at all stages: before, during the military operation as well as in its cruel aftermath. War propaganda serves to drown the real causes and consequences of war.

A few months after the OSI was disbanded amidst controversy (February 2002), The New York Times confirmed that the disinformation campaign was running strong and that the Pentagon was:

"…considering issuing a secret directive to American military to conduct covert operations aimed at influencing public opinion and policymakers in friendly and neutral nations …The proposal has ignited a fierce battle throughout the Bush administration over whether the military should carry out secret propaganda missions in friendly nations like Germany… The fight, one Pentagon official said, is over ‘the strategic communications for our nation, the message we want to send for long-term influence, and how we do it….’We have the assets and the capabilities and the training to go into friendly and neutral nations to influence public opinion. We could do it and get away with it. That doesn't mean we should.’6

Fabricating the Truth

To sustain the war agenda, these "fabricated realities", funneled on a day to day basis into the news chain must become indelible truths, which form part of a broad political and media consensus. In this regard, the corporate media –although acting independently of the military-intelligence apparatus, is an instrument of this evolving totalitarian system.

In close liaison with the Pentagon and the CIA, the State Department has also set up its own "soft-sell" (civilian) propaganda unit, headed by Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Charlotte Beers, a powerful figure in the advertising industry. Working in liaison with the Pentagon, Beers was appointed to head the State Department’s propaganda unit in the immediate wake of 9/11. Her mandate is "to counteract anti-Americanism abroad."7 Her office at the State department is to:

"ensure that public diplomacy (engaging, informing, and influencing key international audiences) is practiced in harmony with public affairs (outreach to Americans) and traditional diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and security and to provide the moral basis for U.S. leadership in the world." (http://www.state.gov/r/ )

The Role of the CIA

The most powerful component of the Fear and Disinformation Campaign (FDI) rests with the CIA, which, secretly subsidizes authors, journalists and media critics, through a web of private foundations and CIA sponsored front organizations. The CIA also influences the scope and direction of many Hollywood productions. Since 9/11, one third of Hollywood productions are war movies. "Hollywood stars and scriptwriters are rushing to bolster the new message of patriotism, conferring with the CIA and brainstorming with the military about possible real-life terrorist attacks."8" The Sum of All Fears" directed by Phil Alden Robinson, which depicts the scenario of a nuclear war, received the endorsement and support of both the Pentagon and the CIA.9

Disinformation is routinely "planted" by CIA operatives in the newsroom of major dailies, magazines and TV channels. Outside public relations firms are often used to create "fake stories" Carefully documented by Chaim Kupferberg in relation to the events of September 11: "A relatively few well-connected correspondents provide the scoops, that get the coverage in the relatively few mainstream news sources, where the parameters of debate are set and the "official reality" is consecrated for the bottom feeders in the news chain."10

Covert disinformation initiatives under CIA auspices are also funneled through various intelligence proxies in other countries. Since 9/11, they have resulted in the day-to-day dissemination of false information concerning alleged "terrorist attacks". In virtually all of the reported cases (Britain, France, Indonesia, India, Philippines, etc.) the « alleged terrorist groups» are said to have «links to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda», without of course acknowledging the fact (amply documented by intelligence reports and official documents) that Al Qaeda is a creation of CIA.

The Doctrine of "Self Defense"

At this critical juncture, in the month(s) leading up to the announced invasion of Iraq, the propaganda campaign is geared towards sustaining the illusion that "America is under attack". Relayed not only through the mainstream media but also through a number of alternative internet media sites, these "fabricated realities" portray the war as a bona fide act of self-defense, while carefully concealing the broad strategic and economic objectives of the war.

In turn, the propaganda campaign develops a casus belli, "a justification", a political legitimacy for waging war. The "official reality" (conveyed profusely in George W’s speeches) rests on the broad "humanitarian" premise of a so-called "pre-emptive", namely "defensive war", "a war to protect freedom":

« We're under attack because we love freedom… And as long as we love freedom and love liberty and value every human life, they're going to try to hurt us.» 11

Spelled out in the National Security Strategy (NSS), the pre-emptive "defensive war" doctrine and the "war on terrorism" against Al Qaeda constitute the two essential building blocks of the Pentagon’s propaganda campaign. The objective is to present "pre-emptive military action" --meaning war as an act of "self-defense" against two categories of enemies, "rogue States" and "Islamic terrorists":

"The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration. …America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed.

…Rogue states and terrorists do not seek to attack us using conventional means. They know such attacks would fail. Instead, they rely on acts of terror and, potentially, the use of weapons of mass destruction (…)

The targets of these attacks are our military forces and our civilian population, in direct violation of one of the principal norms of the law of warfare. As was demonstrated by the losses on September 11, 2001, mass civilian casualties is the specific objective of terrorists and these losses would be exponentially more severe if terrorists acquired and used weapons of mass destruction.

The United States has long maintained the option of pre-emptive actions to counter a sufficient threat to our national security. The greater the threat, the greater is the risk of inaction— and the more compelling the case for taking anticipatory action to defend ourselves, (…). To forestall or prevent such hostile acts by our adversaries, the United States will, if necessary, act pre-emptively."12 (National Security Strategy, White House, 2002, http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html )

Feeding Disinformation into the News Chain

How is war propaganda carried out? Two sets of "eye popping" "statements" emanating from a variety of sources (including official National Security statements, media, Washington-based think tanks, etc.) are fed on a daily basis into the news chain. Some of the events (including news regarding presumed terrorists) are blatantly fabricated by the intelligence agencies. These statements are supported by simple and catchy "buzzwords", which set the stage for fabricating the news:

Buzzword no. 1. "Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda" (Osama) is behind most news stories regarding the "war on terrorism" including "alleged", "future" "presumed", and "actual" terrorist attacks. What is rarely mentioned is that this outside enemy Al Qaeda is a CIA "intelligence asset", used in covert operations.

Buzzword no. 2. The "Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)" statement is used to justify the "pre-emptive war" against the "State sponsors of terror", --i.e. countries such as Iraq, Iran and North Korea which allegedly possess WMD. Amply documented in the case of Iraq, a large body of news on WMD and biological attacks, are fabricated.

The "WMD" and "Osama bin Laden" statements become part of day to day debate, embodied in routine conversations between citizens. Repeated ad nauseam, they penetrate the inner consciousness of ordinary people molding their individual perceptions on current events. Through deception and manipulation, this shaping of the minds of entire populations, sets the stage --under the façade of a functioning democracy—for the installation of a de facto police State. Needless to say, war propaganda weakens the antiwar movement.

In turn, the disinformation regarding alleged "terrorist attacks" or "weapons of mass destruction" instils an atmosphere of fear, which mobilizes unswerving patriotism and support for the State, and its main political and military actors.

Repeated in virtually every national news report, this stigmatic focus on WMD-Al Qaeda essentially serves as a dogma, to blind people on the causes and consequences of America’s war of conquest, while providing a simple, unquestioned and authoritative justification for "self defense."

More recently, both in speeches by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, as well as in the news, WMD statements are now carefully blended into Osama statements. UK Defense Minister Jack Straw warned in early January "that ‘rogue regimes’ such as Iraq were the most likely source of WMD technology for groups like al-Qaeda."13 Also, in January, a presumed al Qaeda cell "with links to Iraq" was discovered in Edinburgh, allegedly involved in the use of biological weapons against people in the UK. The hidden agenda of "the links to Iraq" statement is blatantly obvious. The objective is to discredit Iraq in the months leading up to the war: the so-called "State sponsors of terror" are said to support Osama bin Laden, Conversely, Osama is said to collaborate with Iraq in the use of weapons of mass destruction.

In recent months, several thousand news reports have woven "WMD-Osama stories" of which a couple of excerpts are provided below:

"Skeptics will argue that the inconsistencies don't prove the Iraqis have continued developing weapons of mass destruction. It also leaves Washington casting about for other damning material and charges, including the midweek claim, again unproved, that Islamic extremists affiliated with al-Qaeda took possession of a chemical weapon in Iraq last November or late October."14

North Korea has admitted it lied about that and is brazenly cranking up its nuclear program again. Iraq has almost certainly lied about it, but won't admit it. Meanwhile Al Qaeda, although dispersed, remains a shadowy, threatening force, and along with other terrorist groups, a potential recipient of the deadly weaponry that could emerge from Iraq and North Korea.15

Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair listed Iraq, North Korea, the Middle East and al-Qaeda among "difficult and dangerous" problems Britain faced in the coming year.16

The WMD-Osama statements are used profusely by the mainstream media. In the wake of 9/11, these stylized statements have also become an integral part of day to day political discourse. They have also permeated the workings of international diplomacy and the functioning of the United Nations.

 

Notes

1. Interview with Steve Adubato, Fox News, 26 December 2002.

2. Air Force Magazine, January 2003, italics added..

3. Adubato, op. cit. italics added

4. Ibid, italics added.

5. Quoted in Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Secrecy News, http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/secrecy/2002/11/112702.html , Rumsfeld’s press interview can be consulted at:

http://www.fas.org/sgp/news/2002/11/dod111802.html .

6. New York Times, 16 December 2002.

7. Sunday Times, London 5 January 2003.

8. Ros Davidson, Stars earn their Stripes, The Sunday Herald (Scotland), 11 November 2001).

9. See Samuel Blumenfeld, Le Pentagone et la CIA enrôlent Hollywood, Le Monde, 24 July 2002, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BLU207A.html .

10. Chaim Kupferberg, The Propaganda Preparation for 9/11, Global Outlook, No. 3, 2003, p. 19, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/KUP206A.html .

11. Remarks by President Bush in Trenton, New Jersey, «Welcome Army National Guard Aviation Support Facility, Trenton, New Jersey », 23 September 2002.

12. National Security Strategy, White House, 2002, http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html

13. Agence France Presse (AFP), 7 January 2003.

14. Insight on the News, 20 January 2003.

15. Christian Science Monitor, 8 January 2003

16. Agence France Presse (AFP), 1 January 2003

 

Fabricating an Enemy

It is the Bush Administration, rather than Baghdad, which is supporting Al Qaeda
by Michel Chossudovsky
28 January 2003

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO301B.html

Part 2

One of the main objectives of war propaganda is to «fabricate an enemy» . As anti-war sentiment grows and the political legitimacy the Bush Administration falters, doubts regarding the existence of this "outside enemy" must be dispelled.

As the date of the planned invasion of Iraq approaches, the Bush Administration and its indefectible British ally have multiplied the "warnings" of future Al Qaeda terrorist attacks. The enemy has to appear genuine: thousands of news stories and editorials linking Al Qaeda to the Baghdad government are planted in the news chain. Colin Powell underscored this relationship in his presentation to the Davos World Economic Forum in January. Iraq is casually presented in official statements and in the media as "a haven for and supplier of the terror network":

"Evidence that is still tightly held is accumulating within the administration that it is not a matter of chance that terror groups in the al Qaeda universe have made their weapons of choice the poisons, gases and chemical devices that are signature arms of the Iraqi regime."1

In this context, propaganda purports to drown the truth, and kill the evidence on how Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda was fabricated and transformed into "Enemy Number One".

Meanwhile, "anti-terrorist operations" directed against Muslims, including arbitrary mass arrests have been stepped up. In the US, emergency measures are contemplated in the case of war. The corporate media is busy preparing public opinion. A «national emergency» is said to be justified because «America is under attack»:

« the U.S. and Western interests in the Western world have to be prepared for retaliatory attacks from sleeper cells the second we launch an attack in Iraq.» 2

Defence of the Homeland

Emergency procedures are already in place. The Secretary of Homeland Defence - whose mandate is to «safeguard the nation from terrorist attacks» -- has already been granted the authority « to take control of a national emergency», implying the establishment of de facto military rule. In turn, the Northern Command would be put in charge of military operations in the US «war on terrorism » theatre.

The Smallpox Vaccination Program

In the context of these emergency measures, preparations for compulsory smallpox vaccination are already under way in response to a presumed threat of a biological weapons attack on US soil. The vaccination program – which has been the object of intense media propaganda -- would be launched with the sole purpose of creating an atmosphere of panic among the population:

«A few infected individuals with a stack of plane tickets--or bus tickets, for that matter--could spread smallpox infection across the country, touching off a plague of large proportions …. It is not inconceivable that a North Korea or an Iraq could retain smallpox in a hidden lab and pass the deadly agent on to terrorists.»3

The hidden agenda is crystal clear. How best to discredit the anti-war movement and maintain the legitimacy of the State? Create conditions, which instil fear and hatred, present the rulers as "guardians of the peace", committed to weeding out terrorism and preserving democracy. In the words of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, echoing almost verbatim the US propaganda dispatches:

"’I believe it is inevitable that they will try in some form or other,… ‘I think we can see evidence from the recent arrests that the terrorist network is here as it is around the rest of Europe, around the rest of the world… The most frightening thing about these people is the possible coming together of fanaticism and the technology capable of delivering mass destruction.’"4

Mass Arrests

The mass arrests of individuals of Middle Eastern origin since September 11 2001 on trumped up charges is not motivated by security considerations. Their main function is to provide "credibility" to the fear and propaganda campaign. Each arrest, amply publicised by the corporate media, repeated day after day "gives a face" to this invisible enemy. It also serves to drown the fact that Al Qaeda is a creature of the CIA. "Enemy Number One" is not an enemy but an instrument.)

In other words, the Propaganda campaign performs two important functions.

First it must ensure that the enemy is considered a real threat.

Second, it must distort the truth, --i.e. it must conceal "the relationship" between this "fabricated enemy" and its creators within the military-intelligence apparatus.

In other words, the nature and history of Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and the Islamic brigades since the Soviet-Afghan war must be suppressed because if it trickles down to the broader public, the legitimacy of the so-called "war on terrorism" collapses like a deck of cards. And in the process, the legitimacy of the main political and military actors is threatened.

The "9/11 Foreknowledge" Scandal

On 16 May 2002, the New York tabloids revealed that "President Bush had been warned of possible high jacking before the terror attacks" and had failed to act.5

The disinformation campaign was visibly stalling in the face of mounting evidence of CIA-Osama links. For the first time since 9/11, the mainstream press had hinted to the possibility of a cover-up at the highest echelons of the US State apparatus.

FBI Agent Coleen Rowley, who blew the whistle on the FBI, played a key role in unleashing the crisis. Her controversial Memo to FBI Director Robert Mueller pointed to the existence of "deliberate roadblocks" on the investigation of the September 11 attacks:

"Minutes after the 9/11 attacks the SSA [David Frasca, Director of the Radical Fundamentalist unit in the FBI] said ‘this was probably all just a coincidence’ and we were to do nothing until we got their permission, because we might screw up something else going on elsewhere in the country" 6

In response to an impending political crisis, the fear and disinformation campaign went into overdrive. The news chain was all of a sudden inundated with reports and warnings of "future terrorist attacks". A carefully worded statement (visibly intended to instil fear) by Vice President Dick Cheney contributed to setting the stage:

"I think that the prospects of a future attack on the U.S. are almost a certainty... It could happen tomorrow, it could happen next week, it could happen next year, but they will keep trying. And we have to be prepared."7

What Cheney is really telling us is that our "intelligence asset", which we created, is going to strike again. Now, if this "CIA creature" were planning new terrorist attacks, you would expect that the CIA would be first to know about it. In all likelihood, the CIA also controls the so-called ‘warnings' emanating from CIA sources on "future terrorist attacks" in the US and around the World.

Propaganda’s Consistent Pattern

Upon careful examination of news reports on actual, "possible" or "future" terrorist attacks, the propaganda campaign exhibits a consistent pattern. Similar concepts appear simultaneously in hundreds of media reports:

They refer to "reliable sources", a growing body of evidence --e.g. government or intelligence or FBI.

They invariably indicate that the terrorist groups involved have "ties to bin Laden" or Al Qaeda, or are "sympathetic to bin Laden",

The reports often points to the possibility of terrorist attacks, "sooner or later" or "in the next two months".

The reports often raise the issue of so-called "soft targets", pointing to the likelihood of civilian casualties.

They indicate that future terrorist attacks could take place in a number of allied countries (including Britain, France, Germany) in which public opinion is strongly opposed to the US-led war on terrorism.

They confirm the need by the US and its allies to initiate "pre-emptive" actions directed against these various terrorist organizations and/or the foreign governments which harbour the terrorists.

They often point to the likelihood that these terrorist groups possess WMD including biological and chemical weapons (as well as nuclear weapons). The links to Iraq and "rogue states" (discussed in Part I) is also mentioned.

The warnings also include warnings regarding "attacks on US soil", attacks against civilians in Western cities.

They point to efforts undertaken by the police authorities to apprehend the alleged terrorists.

The arrested individuals are in virtually all cases Muslims and/or of Middle Eastern origin.

The reports are also used to justify the Homeland Security legislation as well as the "ethnic profiling" and mass arrests of presumed terrorists.

This pattern of disinformation in the Western media applies the usual catch phrases and buzz words. (See press excerpts below. The relevant catch phrases are indicated in italics):

"Published reports, along with new information obtained from U.S. intelligence and military sources, point to a growing body of evidence that terrorists associated with and/or sympathetic to Osama bin Laden are planning a significant attack on U.S. soil.

Also targeted are allied countries that have joined the worldwide hunt for the radical Muslim cells hell-bent on unleashing new waves of terrorist strikes. … The U.S. government's activation of antiterrorist forces comes as the FBI issued a warning Nov. 14 that a "spectacular" new terrorist attack may be forthcoming - sooner rather than later. ...

Elsewhere, the Australian government issued an unprecedented warning to its citizens that al-Qaeda terrorists there might launch attacks within the next two months. 8

Although CIA Director George Tenet said in recent congressional testimony that "an attempt to conduct another attack on U.S. soil is certain," a trio of former senior CIA officials doubted the chance of any "spectacular" terror attacks on U.S. soil.9

"Germans have been skittish since the terrorist attacks in the United States, fearing that their country is a ripe target for terrorism. Several of the hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks plotted their moves in Hamburg.10

"On Dec. 18, a senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, briefed journalists about the ‘high probability’ of a terrorist attack happening ‘sooner or later.’ … he named hotels and shopping centres as potential ‘soft targets’… The official also specifically mentioned: a possible chemical attack in the London subway, the unleashing of smallpox, the poisoning of the water supply and strikes against "postcard targets" such as Big Ben and Canary Warf.

The "sooner or later" alert followed a Home Office warning at the end of November that said Islamic radicals might use dirty bombs or poison gas to inflict huge casualties on British cities. This also made big headlines but the warning was quickly retracted in fear that it would cause public panic. 11

The message yesterday was that these terrorists, however obscure, are trying - and, sooner or later, may break through London's defences. It is a city where tens of thousands of souls,… Experts have repeatedly said that the UK, with its bullish support for the US and its war on terror, is a genuine and realistic target for terror groups, including the al- Qaeda network led by 11 September mastermind Osama bin Laden.12

Quoting Margaret Thatcher: "Only America has the reach and means to deal with Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or the other wicked psychopaths who will sooner or later step into their shoes."13

According to a recent US State Department alert: "Increased security at official US facilities has led terrorists to seek softer targets such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts, beaches and planes."14

Actual Terrorist Attacks

To be "effective" the fear and disinformation campaign cannot solely rely on unsubstantiated "warnings" of future attacks, it also requires "real" terrorist occurrences or "incidents", which provide credibility to the Administration’s war plans. Propaganda endorses the need to implement "emergency measures" as well as implement retaliatory military actions.

The triggering of "war pretext incidents" is part of the Pentagon’s assumptions. In fact it is an integral part of US military history.15 In fact in 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had envisaged a secret plan entitled "Operation Northwoods, to deliberately trigger civilian casualties to justify the invasion of Cuba:

"We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," "We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington" "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." 
(See the declassified Top Secret 1962 document titled "Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba"16 (See Operation Northwoods at http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR111A.html ).

There is no evidence that the Pentagon or the CIA played a direct role in recent terrorist attacks. The latter were undertaken by organisations (or cells of these organisations), which operate quite independently, with a certain degree of autonomy. This independence is in the very nature of a covert intelligence operation. The «intelligence asset» is not in direct contact with its covert sponsors. It is not necessarily cognizant of the role it plays on behalf of its intelligence sponsors.

The fundamental question is who is behind them? Through what sources are they being financed? What is the underlying network of ties?

A recent (2002) classified outbrief drafted to guide the Pentagon «calls for the creation of a so-called « Proactive, Pre-emptive Operations Group » (P2OG), to launch secret operations aimed at "stimulating reactions" among terrorists and states possessing weapons of mass destruction -- that is, for instance, prodding terrorist cells into action and exposing themselves to "quick-response" attacks by U.S. forces.» 17

The P2OG initiative is nothing new. It essentially extends an existing apparatus of covert operations. Amply documented, the CIA has supported terrorist groups since the Cold War era. This « prodding of terrorist cells » under covert intelligence operations often requires the infiltration and training of the radical groups linked to Al Qaeda.

Covert support by the US military and intelligence apparatus has been channelled to various Islamic terrorist organisations through a complex network of intermediaries and intelligence proxies. Moreover, numerous official statements, intelligence reports confirm recent links (in the post Cold War era) between US military-intelligence units and Al Qaeda operatives, as occurred in Bosnia (mid 1990s), Kosovo (1998-99) and Macedonia (2001).18 The Republican Party Committee of the US Congress in a 1997 report points to open collaboration between the US military and Al Qaeda operatives in the civil war in Bosnia.19 (See US Congress, 16 January 1997, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/DCH109A.html )

Ties to Al Qaeda and Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI)

It is indeed revealing that in virtually all post 9/11 terrorist occurrences, the terrorist organization is said to have "ties to Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda". This in itself is a crucial piece of information. Of course, the fact that Al Qaeda is a creature of the CIA is neither mentioned in the press reports nor is considered relevant.

The ties of these terrorist organizations (particularly those in Asia) to Pakistan’s military intelligence (ISI) is acknowledged in a few cases by official sources and press dispatches. Confirmed by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), some of these groups are said to have links to Pakistan’s ISI, without identifying the nature of these links. Needless to say, this information is crucial in identifying the sponsors of these terrorist attacks. In other words, the ISI is said to support these terrorist organizations, while at same time maintaining close ties to the CIA.

The Bali Bomb Attack (October 2002)

The Bali attack in the Kuta seaside resort resulted in close to 200 deaths, mainly Australian tourists. The bomb attack was allegedly perpetrated by Jemaah Islamiah, a group, which operates in several countries in South East Asia. Press reports and official statements point to close ties between Jemaah Islamiah (JI) and Al Qaeda. The JI’s "operational leader" is Riduan Isamuddin, alias Hambali, a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan war, who was trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to a report by UPI:

"The [Soviet-Afghan] war provided opportunities for key figures of these groups, who went to Afghanistan, to experience firsthand the glory of jihad. Many of the radicals detained in Singapore and Malaysia derived their ideological inspiration from the activities of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan" 20

What the report fails to mention is that the training of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Pakistan was a CIA sponsored initiative launched under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, using Pakistan’s ISI as a go-between.

JI’s links to Indonesia’s Military Intelligence

There are indications, that in addition to its alleged links to Al Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiah also has links to Indonesia’s military intelligence, which in turn has links to the CIA and Australian intelligence.

The links between JI and Indonesia’s Intelligence Agency (BIN) are acknowledged by the International Crisis Group (ICG):

"This link [of JI to the BIN] needs to be explored more fully: it does not necessarily mean that military intelligence was working with JI, but it does raise a question about the extent to which it knew or could have found out more about JI than it has acknowledged." 21 (International Crisis Group,  http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/showreport.cfm?reportid=845 , 2003)

The ICG, however, fails to mention that Indonesia’s intelligence apparatus has for more than 30 years been controlled by the CIA.

In the wake of the October 2002 Bali bombing, a contradictory report emanating from Indonesia’s top brass, pointed to the involvement of both the head of Indonesian intelligence General A. M. Hendropriyono as well as the CIA:

"The agency and its director, Gen. A. M. Hendropriyono, are well regarded by the United States and other governments. But there are still senior intelligence officers here who believe that the C.I.A. was behind the bombing."22

In response to these statements, the Bush Administration demanded that President Megawati Sukarnoputri, publicly refute the involvement of the U.S in the attacks. No official retraction was issued. Not only did President. Megawati remained silent on this matter, she also accused the US of being:

"a superpower that forced the rest of the world to go along with it… We see how ambition to conquer other nations has led to a situation where there is no more peace unless the whole world is complying with the will of the one with the power and strength." 23

Meanwhile, the Bush Administration, had used the Bali attacks to prop up its fear campaign:

"President Bush said Monday that he assumes al-Qaeda was responsible for the deadly bombing in Indonesia and that he is worried about fresh attacks on the United States." 24

The news [regarding the Bali attack] came as US intelligence officials warned that more attacks like the Indonesian bombing can be expected in the next few months, in Europe, the Far East or the US."25

Cover-up

The links of JI to the Indonesian intelligence agency were never raised in the official Indonesian government investigation --which was guided behind the scenes by Australian intelligence and the CIA.

Moreover, shortly after the bombing, Australian Prime Minister John Howard "admitted that Australian authorities were warned about possible attacks in Bali but chose not to issue a warning."26 Also In the wake of the bombings, the Australian government chose to work with Indonesia’s Special Forces the Kopassus, in the so-called "war on terrorism".

Australia: "Useful Wave of Indignation"

Reminiscent of Operation Northwoods, the Bali attack served to trigger "a useful wave of indignation."27 They contributed to swaying Australian public opinion in favour of the US invasion of Iraq, while weakening the anti-war protest movement. In the wake of the Bali attack, the Australian government "officially" joined the US-led "war on terrorism." It has not only used the Bali bombings as a pretext to fully integrate the US-UK military axis, it has also adopted drastic police measures including "ethnic profiling" directed against its own citizens:

Prime Minister John Howard made the extraordinary declaration recently that he is prepared to make pre-emptive military strikes against terrorists in neighbouring Asian countries planning to attack Australia. Australian intelligence agencies also are very worried about the likelihood of an al-Qaeda attack using nuclear weapons.28

The Attacks on the Indian Parliament (December 2001)

The December 2001 terrorist attacks on the Indian Parliament --which contributed to pushing India and Pakistan to the brink of war-- were allegedly conducted by two Pakistan-based rebel groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba ("Army of the Pure") and Jaish-e-Muhammad ("Army of Mohammed"). The press reports acknowledged the ties of both groups to Al Qaeda, without however mentioning that they were directly supported by Pakistan's ISI. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) confirms in this regard that:

"through its Interservices Intelligence agency (ISI), Pakistan has provided funding, arms, training facilities, and aid in crossing borders to Lashkar and Jaish…Many were given ideological training in the same madrasas, or Muslim seminaries, that taught the Taliban and foreign fighters in Afghanistan. They received military training at camps in Afghanistan or in villages in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir. Extremist groups [supported by the ISI] have recently opened several new madrasas in Azad Kashmir."29 (Council on Foreign Relations at http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/harakat2.html , Washington 2002)

What the CFR fails to mention is the crucial relationship between the ISI and the CIA and the fact that the ISI continues to support Lashkar, Jaish and the militant Jammu and Kashmir Hizbul Mujahideen (JKHM), while also collaborating with the CIA. Ironically, confirmed by the writings of Zbigniew Brzezinski (who happens to be a member of the CFR), the training of these "foreign fighters" was an initiative of US foreign policy, launched during the Carter Administration in 1979 at the outset of the Soviet-Afghan war. Coinciding with the 1989 Geneva Peace Agreement and the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the ISI was instrumental in the creation of the militant Jammu and Kashmir Hizbul Mujahideen (JKHM).30 The timely attack on the Indian Parliament, followed by the ethnic riots in Gujarat in early 2002, were the culmination of a process initiated in the 1980s, financed by drug money and abetted by Pakistan’s military intelligence.

Dismantling the Propaganda Campaign, Building an Anti-War Consensus

We are at the juncture of the most serious crisis in modern history, requiring an unprecedented degree of solidarity, courage and commitment. America's war, which includes the "first strike" use of nuclear weapons, threatens the future of humanity.

Much of the justification for waging this war without borders rests on the legitimacy of the Bush administration’s anti-terrorist programme. The latter forms part of the propaganda campaign, which in turn is used to sway the US population into an unconditional acceptance of the war agenda.

In the US, and around the world, the anti-war movement has gained in impetus. While millions of people have joined hands in opposing the war, the Bush Administration's fear and disinformation campaign, relayed by the corporate media, has served to uphold the shaky legitimacy of the Bush administration.

At this critical crossroads, the anti-war/pro-democracy movement must necessarily move to a higher plane, which addresses the main functions of the Administration's propaganda machine. The main purpose of propaganda is to sustain the legitimacy of the rulers and ensure that the rulers remain in power.

Undermining the Bush Administration's « Right to Rule»

In other words, the mobilization of antiwar sentiment in itself will not reverse the tide of war.

What is needed is to consistently challenge the legitimacy of the main political and military actors, reveal the true face of the American Empire and the underlying criminalisation of foreign policy. Ultimately what is required is to question and eventually undermine the Bush Administration's «right to rule».

Revealing the lies behind the Bush Administration is the basis for destroying the legitimacy of the main political and military actors.

Even if a majority of the population is against the war, this in itself will not prevent the war from occurring. The propaganda campaign’s objective is to sustain the lies which support the legitimacy of the main political and military actors, including Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Tenet, Armitage, Rice, et al. As long as the Bush Cabinet is considered a «legitimate government» in the eyes of the people and World public opinion, it will carry out the Iraqi invasion plan, whether it has public support or not.

In other words, this legitimacy must be challenged. Similarly in Britain, where a majority of the population is against the US-led war, actions must be launched which ultimately result in the downfall of the Blair Cabinet and the withdrawal of Britain from the US-led military coalition.

A necessary condition for bringing down the rulers is to weaken and eventually dismantle their propaganda campaign. How best to achieve this objective? By fully uncovering the lies behind the « war on terrorism» and revealing the complicity of the Bush administration in the events of 9/11.

This is a big hoax, it’s the biggest lie in US history. The war pretext does not stick and the rulers should be removed.

Moreover, it is important to show that « Enemy Number One » is fabricated. The terrorist attacks are indeed real, but who is behind them? The covert operations in support of terrorist organisations, including the history of Al Qaeda’s links to the CIA since the Soviet Afghan war, must be fully revealed because they relate directly to the wave of terrorist attacks which have occurred since September 11, all of which are said to have links to Al Qaeda.

To reverse the tide, the spreading of information at all levels, which counteracts the propaganda campaign is required.

The truth undermines and overshadows the lie.

And the truth is that the Bush administration is in fact supporting international terrorism as a pretext to wage war on Iraq.

Once this truth becomes fully understood, the legitimacy of the rulers will collapse like a deck of cards. This is what has to be achieved. But we can only achieve it, by effectively counteracting the official propaganda campaign.

The momentum and success of the large anti-war rallies in the US, the European Union and around the world, should lay the foundations of a permanent network composed of tens of thousands of local level anti-war committees in neighbourhoods, work places, parishes, schools, universities, etc. It is ultimately through this network that the legitimacy of those who "rule in our name will be challenged.

To shunt the Bush Administration's war plans and disable its propaganda machine, we must, in the months ahead reach out to our fellow citizens across the land, in the US, Canada and around the world, to the millions of ordinary people who have been misled on the causes and consequences of this war, not to mention the implications of the Bush Administration's Homeland Security legislation, which essentially sets in place the building blocks of a police state.

This initiative requires the spreading of information in an extensive grassroots network, with a view to weakening and ultimately disabling the Bush Administration’s propaganda machine.

When the lies – including those concerning September 11 – are fully revealed and understood by everybody, the legitimacy of the Bush Administration will be broken – Big Brother will have no leg to stand on, that is, no more wars to feed on. While this will not necessarily result in a fundamental and significant "regime change" in the US, a new "anti-war consensus" will have emerged, which will eventually pave the way for a broader struggle against the New World Order and the American Empire's quest for global domination.

NOTES

1. Washington Post, 25 January 2003.

2. Ibid

3 Chicago Sun, 31 December 2002.

4 Reuters, 21 February 2003

5. See Ian Woods, Conspiracy of Silence, McKinney Vindicated, Global Outlook, No. 2, 2002.

6. Coleen Rowley, Memo To FBI Director Robert Mueller, quoted in Global Outlook, No. 3, 2003, p. 28.

7. The Boston Globe, 5 June 2002.

8. Insight on the News, 3 February 2003.

9. UPI, 19 December 2002.

10. New York Times, 6 January 2003.

11. Toronto Star, 5 January 2003.

12. The Scotsman, 8 January 2003.

13. UPI, 10 December 2002.

14. AFP, 3 January 2003.

15. See Richard Sanders, War Pretext Incidents, How to Start a War, Global Outlook, published in two parts, Issues 2 and 3, 2002-2003.

16.Operation Northwoods, declassified top secret document sent by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara on March 13, 1962, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/NOR111A.html .

17. William Arkin, The Secret War, The Los Angeles Times, 27 October 2002.

18. See Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalisation, The Truth behind September 11, Global Outlook, 2003, Chapter 3, http://globalresearch.ca/globaloutlook/truth911.html

19. See Clinton-Approved Iranian Arms Transfers Help Turn Bosnia into Militant Islamic Base, Congressional Press Release, US Congress, 16 January 1997, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/DCH109A.html

20. UPI, 6 January 2002.

21. International Crisis Group, Indonesia Backgrounder: How The Jemaah Islamiyah Terrorist Network Operates, http://www.crisisweb.org/projects/showreport.cfm?reportid=845 , 2003

22, Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez, More Attacks on Westerners Are Expected in Indonesia, New York Times, 25 November 2002

23. Quoted in Raymond Bonner and Jane Perlez, op cit.

24. USA Today, 15 October 2002.

25. Business AM, 15 October 2002.

26. Christchurch Press, 22 November 2002), (Similar warnings were made by the CIA).

27. Operation Northwoods, op cit.

28. Insight on the News, 3 February 2003.

29. Council on Foreign Relations at:

http://www.terrorismanswers.com/groups/harakat2.html , Washington 2002.

30. See K. Subrahmanyam, Pakistan is Pursuing Asian Goals, India Abroad, 3 November 1995.

ANNEX

Supporting evidence that successive US administrations have supported Al Qaeda is summarized below (references are provided to a selected bibliography):

The "Islamic Brigades" are a creation of US foreign policy. In the post-Cold War era, the CIA continues to support and use Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda in its covert operations. In standard CIA jargon, Al Qaeda is categorized as an "intelligence asset".

The U.S. Congress has documented in detail, the links of Al Qaeda to agencies of the U.S. government during the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as in Kosovo and Macedonia.

The evidence confirms that Al Qaeda is supported by Pakistan's military intelligence, the Inter-services Intelligence (ISI). Amply documented, the ISI, allegedly played an undercover role in financing the 9/11 attacks. The ISI has a close working relationship with the CIA.

Pakistan’s ISI has consistently supported various Islamic terrorist organizations, while also collaborating with the CIA.

These various terrorist groups supported by Pakistan’s ISI operate with some degree of autonomy in relation to their covert sponsors, but ultimately they act in the way which serves US interests.

The CIA keeps track of its "intelligence assets". Amply documented, Osama bin Laden's whereabouts are known. Al Qaeda is infiltrated by the CIA. In other words, there were no "intelligence failures"! The 9-11 terrorists did not act on their own volition. The suicide hijackers were instruments in a carefully planned intelligence operation.

For further details consult: Centre for Research on Globalization, 9/11 Reader, which constitutes and extensive bibliography at http://globalresearch.ca//by-topic/sept11/

See also Michel Chossudovsky, War and Globalisation, The Truth behind September 11, Global Outlook, 2002

http://globalresearch.ca/globaloutlook/truth911.html ,

Centre for Research on Globalization, Foreknowledge of 9/11 A Compilation of CRG articles and documents in support of a 9-11 Investigation, http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CRG204A.html

Michel Chossudovsky is author of  War and Globalisation, the Truth behind September 11 .  He is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalisation which hosts the critically acclaimed website: www.globalresearch.ca .  For details on ordering Michel  Chossudovsky's recent book, click here.

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