Category Archives: Articles in English

“Color Revolution”: The Grassroots Takeover Technique (2009)

This article and its links constitutes very crucial information, for those who wish to understand why so many new wars and civil wars has began, since 2002, and why they all have been prepared through what some geo-political and intelligence analysts call “color revolutions”. 

This topic and its implications has to become well-known in the western societies plus officially addressed to the UN as the most crucial international matter at this moment. It must be revealed to the public in Europe and adequately understood and dealt with before the next CIA-led provocation and false-flag operation opens up more civil war and war fronts. The Balkans with Greece and a Turkey that is currently falling apart, seem to be the next targets of the western power-centers and their intelligence services. This article is clarifying the term “color revolution”, it’s historic background and gives a number of examples.

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“Color Revolution” Fails in Iran: The Grassroots Takeover Technique 

Bildresultat för Thierry Meyssanby Thierry Meyssan – Originally published in Voltairenet.org June 27, 2009

French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Spanish and Russian. His last two books is published in English. Big Lie and Pentagate

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“Color revolutions” are to revolutions what Canada Dry is to beer. They look like the real thing, but they lack the flavor. They are regime changes which appear to be revolutions because they mobilize huge segments of the population but are more akin to takeovers, because they do not aim at changing social structures. Instead they aspire to replace an elite with another, in order to carry out pro-American economic and foreign policies. The “green revolution” in Tehran is the latest example of this trend (after 2009 there has been a number of them in the Arab world called ‘The Arab Spring” in media).

Origin of the concept.

This concept appeared in the 90’s, but its roots lie in the American public debate of the 70’s-80’s. After a string of revelations about CIA instigated coups around the world, as well as the dramatic disclosures of the Church and Rockefeller Senate Committees [1], admiral Stansfield Turner was given the task by President Carter to clean up the agency and to stop supporting “local dictatorships.” Furious, the American Social Democrats (SD/USA) left the Democratic party and sided with Ronald Reagan. They were brilliant Trotskyist intellectuals [2], often linked to Commentary magazine. After Reagan was elected, he charged them with pursuing the American interference policy, this time using different methods. This is how the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was created in 1982 [3] and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) in 1984. Both of these institutions are organically intertwined: NED administrators sit on the USIP board of directors and vice versa.

Westminster Speech, June 8, 1982: U.S. President Reagan speaks to the British Parliament and outlines his new policy proposal for supporting “democracy” around the world.   The speech sets the stage for the creation of the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center and the Center for International Private Enterprise.

Legally the NED is a not-for-profit organization under US law, financed by an annual grant voted by Congress as part of the State Department budget. In order to operate, this organization is co-financed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which is part of the State Department. This legal structure is used jointly as a cover by the American CIA, the British MI6 and the Australian ASIS (and occasionally by Canadian and New Zealand secret services).

The NED presents itself as an agency promoting democracy. It intervenes either directly or using one of its four tentacles: one designed to subvert unions, the second responsible for corrupting management organizations, the third for left-wing parties and the fourth for right-wing parties. It also intervenes through friendly foundations, such as the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (UK), the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development (Canada), the Fondation Jean-Jaurès and the Fondation Robert-Schuman (France), the International Liberal Center (Sweden), the Alfred Mozer Foundation (Netherlands), the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the Friedrich Naunmann Stiftung, the Hans Seidal Stiftung and the Heinrich Boell Stiftung (Germany). The NED thus claims to have corrupted over 6000 organizations throughout the world over roughly 30 years. All of this, of course, under the disguise of training and assistance programs.

As for the USIP, it is an American national institution. It is financed annually by Congress as part of the Defense Department budget. Contrary to the NED which serves as a cover for the three allied states, the USIP is exclusively American. Under the guise of political science research, it can pay salaries to foreign politicians.

As soon as it commanded resources, the USIP financed a new and discrete structure, the Albert Einstein Institution [4]. This small association for the promotion of nonviolent action was initially charged with designing a form of civil defense for the populations of Western Europe in case of an invasion by the Warsaw Pact. It quickly became autonomous and designed a model following which a state, whatever its nature, can lose its authority and collapse.

First attempts

The first attempted “color revolution” failed in 1989. The goal was to overthrow Deng Xiaoping by using one of his close collaborators, the Chinese Communist Party secretary-general Zhao Ziyang, in order to open Chinese markets to American investors and to bring China into the US orbit. Young supporters of Zhao invaded Tiananmen square [5]. They were presented in the Western media as unpoliticized students fighting for freedom against the party’s Conservative wing, when in fact this was infighting within the Deng entourage between pro-American and nationalist factions. After having ignored provocations for a long time Deng decided to use force. Depending on sources, the repression ended with 300 to 1000 dead. 20 years later, the Western version of this failed coup has not changed. Western media which recently covered the anniversary of that event presented it as a “popular uprising” and expressed surprise that people in Beijing do not remember the event. This is because there was nothing “popular” about this struggle for power within the Party. This was not a concern for people.

The first successful “color revolution” succeeded in 1990. As the Soviet Union was disintegrating, state secretary James Baker went to Bulgaria to participate in the electoral campaign of the pro-American party, heavily financed by the NED [6]. However, despite pressure from the UK, the Bulgarians – afraid of the social consequences induced by the transformation from Soviet Union to market economy – made the unforgivable mistake to elect in Parliament a post-communist majority. While European community observers testified to the legality of the voting process, the pro-American opposition screamed that electoral fraud had occurred and took to the streets. They set up camp in the center of Sofia and threw the country into chaos for the following six months, until pro-American Zhelyu Zhelev was elected president by the parliament.

June 1990: street demonstrations in Sofia, Bulgaria

“Democracy”: selling your country to foreign interests behind the people’s back

Since then, Washington has kept instigating regime changes everywhere in the world, using street unrest rather than military juntas.  It is important here to understand what is at stake. Behind the soothing rhetoric of “the promotion of democracy,” Washington’s actions aim to impose regimes that are opening their markets to the US without conditions and which are aligning themselves to their foreign policy. However, while these goals are known by the leaders of the “color revolutions,” they are never discussed and accepted by the mobilized demonstrators. In the event when these takeovers succeed, citizens soon rebel against the new policies imposed on them, even if it is too late to turn back. Besides, how can opposition groups who sold their country to foreign interests behind their populations’ backs be considered “democratic”?

In 2005, the Kyrgyz opposition contested the legislative elections and brought to Bishkek demonstrators from the south of the country. They toppled President Askar Akayev. This was the “Tulip Revolution.” The national assembly elected Kurmanbek Bakiyev as president. Unable to control his supporters who were looting the capital, he announced having chased the dictator and pretended that he intended to create a national union government. He pulled General Felix Kulov (former Bishkek Mayor) out of prison and named him prime minister. After the situation was back under control, Bakiyev got rid of Kulov and sold the country’s few resources to US companies with no invitation to tender but with significant backhanders. He set up a US military base in Manas. The population’s standard of living had never been lower. Felix Kulov offered to get the country back on its feet by federating it to Russia as it used to be. He was quickly sent back to jail.

Realpolitik in Central Asia: the 2001 opening of a U.S. military base in Manas, Kyrgyzstan has placed American military hardware on the doorstep of both Russia and China

A blessing in disguise?

It is sometimes objected that for states which were subjected to repressive regimes, even if these “color revolutions” only bring the appearance of democracy, they nonetheless constitute an improvement for their populations. Experience shows however that this is far from certain. The new regimes can turn out to be far more repressive than the old ones.

In 2003, Washington, London and Paris [7] organized the “Rose Revolution” in Georgia [8]. According to a classic scheme, the opposition blew the whistle about electoral fraud during legislative elections and took to the streets. The demonstrators forced president Eduard Shevardnadze to flee and they seized power. His successor, Mikheil Saakashvili, opened the country to US economic interests and broke off from his Russian neighbor.

The economic aid that Washington promised to replace Russian aid never came. The already weakened economy collapsed. In order to continue to please his backers, Saakashvili needed to impose a dictatorship [9]. He shut down the media and filled up the prisons, which did not prevent Western media from continuing to describe him as a “democrat.” Continuing on his collision course, Saakashvili decided to bolster his popularity by engaging in a military adventure. With the help of the Bush administration and of Israel to which he rented air bases, he ordered the bombing of the population of South Ossetia, killing 1600 people, most of whom also held Russian citizenship. Moscow stroke back. American and Israeli advisers fled [10]. Georgia was left devastated.

Enough!

The main mechanism of the “color revolutions” consists in focusing popular anger on the desired target. This is an aspect of the psychology of the masses which destroys everything in its path and against which no reasonable argument can be opposed. The scapegoat is accused of all the evils plaguing the country for at least one generation. The more he resists, the angrier the mob gets. After he gives in or slips away, the normal division between his opponents and his supporters reappears.

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak: the scapegoat ‘unifier’ of the Egyptian opposition.  Since at least 2004, the Washington-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) used the Egyptian government as an instrument to intensify attacks upon the living standard of regular Egyptians.  At the same time, the United States government funded and trained Egyptian opposition leaders in pursuit of a “democratic revolution.”  There is absolutely no contradiction here.  Austere economic policy always intensifies social unrest; and social unrest normally requires an enemy to blame.  The U.S. regime change infrastructure works to ensure that replaceable leaders always play that role, thereby diverting attention from the real menace–international financial hegemony and the austere policies that continue unabated.

In 2005, in the hours following the assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri, a rumor spread in Lebanon according to which he was killed by “the Syrians.” The Syrian army, which had been maintaining order since the end of the civil war according to the Taëf agreement, was now booed. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was personally accused by the US authorities, which was as good as proof for the public opinion.

To those who noted that Rafik Hariri, despite stormy episodes, had always been useful to Syria and that’s his death deprived Damas of a central collaborator, it was answered that the “Syrian regime” is so fundamentally evil that it cannot help but killing even its friends. The Lebanese people were calling for the G.I.s to come and get rid of the Syrians. But to everyone’s surprise, Bashar al-Assad, considering that the costly deployment of his army was not welcome in Lebanon any longer, decided to pull it back. Legislative elections were organized in which the “anti-Syrian” coalition triumphed. This was the “Cedar Revolution.”  After the situation calmed down everyone realized that even if Syrian generals had looted the country in the past, the departure of the Syrian army did not change anything to the country’s economic situation. Furthermore, the country was now in danger: it was not able to defend itself from the expansionism of the Israeli neighbor. The main “anti-Syrian” leader, general Michel Aoun, thought better of it and joined the opposition. Furious, Washington multiplied assassination plans to get rid of him. Michel Aoun formed an alliance with Hezbollah on a patriotic platform. It was about time: Israel attacked.In every case, Washington prepared the “democratic” government in advance, which confirms that these are takeovers in disguise. The names composing the new team are kept secret for as long as possible. This is why the pointing out of the scapegoat is always done without suggesting a political alternative.

In Serbia, young pro-US “revolutionaries” chose a logo that belonged to the Communist popular imagination (the raised fist) to hide their subordination to the United States. They used “he is done!” as a slogan, which federated the anger against the personality of Slobodan Milosevic, who was held responsible for the bombing of the country even though it was done by NATO. This model was replicated numerous times, for example by the Pora! group in Ukraine, or by Zubr in Belarus.

The deceiving appearance of nonviolence

The PR staff members of the State Department maintain the non-violent image of the “color revolutions.” They all put forward the theories of Gene Sharp, who founded the Albert Einstein Institution. Yet nonviolence is a combat method used to persuade authorities to a political change. In order for a minority to seize power and to exercise it, it must always use violence at some point. All “color revolutions” did.

Srdja Popovic, Serbian leader of the Otpor movement, Gene Sharp, founder of the Albert Einstein Institution, and his assistant colonel Robert Helvey, most senior member of the training academy for embassy military attachés. In 2000, Slobodan Milosevic called for anticipated elections despite still having a year to run as president. After the first round, neither he nor his principal opponent, Vojislav Koštunica, had secured a majority of the votes. Without waiting for the second round, the opposition claimed voting fraud and took to the streets. Thousands of demonstrators walked on the capital, including the miners from Kolubara. Their daily salaries were paid indirectly by the NED, without them realizing that they were paid by the United States. The pressure from the demonstration was insufficient so the miners started attacking buildings with bulldozers that they had brought, hence the name “bulldozer revolution.”

Belgrade, Serbia, October 5, 2000

In cases when the tension is just dragging on, and when counter-demonstrations are being organized, the only solution for Washington is to throw the country into chaos. Inciting agents are then placed in both camps to fire on the crowd. Each party can then observe that the others are shooting while they are peacefully advancing. The confrontation spreads.In 2002, Caracas’ upper-class took to the streets to protest the social policies of President Hugo Chavez [11]. Using clever manipulation, private TV stations created the impression of a human tidal wave. There were 50,000 people according to observers and 1 million according to the press and the State Department. Then there was the Llaguno Bridge incident. TV stations clearly showed armed pro-Chavez supporters firing on the crowd. In a press conference, the National Guard general and vice minister of domestic security confirmed that the “Chavez militias” fired and killed 19 people. He resigned and called for the dictator to be overthrown. The president was quickly arrested by military rebels. However millions of people descended in the capital’s streets and constitutional order was restored.A subsequent journalistic investigation went over the details of the massacre of the Llaguno Bridge. It brought to light a deceptive picture manipulation, where chronological order was modified as proved by the protagonists’ watch dials. In reality, the pro-Chavez supporters were under attack and after having fallen back, they were trying to escape by using their weapons. The inciting agents were local policemen trained by a US agency [12].

In 2006, the NED reorganized the opposition to Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. It funded the creation of the Orange party of Raila Odinga. He received the support of Senator Barack Obama, who was accompanied by destabilization experts (Mark Lippert, current chief of staff for the national security adviser, and general Jonathan S. Gration, current US special envoy to Sudan). During a meeting with Odinga, the Illinois Senator invented a vague family relationship with the pro-US candidate. However Odinga was defeated during the 2007 legislative elections. Supported by Senator John McCain as president of the IRI (the NED’s Republican pseudopod), he disputed the validity of the vote and called for his supporters to take to the streets. This is when anonymous text messages were sent en masse to ethnic Luo voters.  “Dear Kenyans, the Kikuyu have stolen the future of our children… we must treat them in the only way that they understand… with violence.” The country, despite being one of the most stable in Africa, suddenly erupted in violence.

After days of rioting, president Kibaki was forced to accept the mediation of Madeleine Albright as president of the NDI (the NED’s Democrat pseudopod). A prime minister position was created and offered to Odinga. Since the hate text messages had not been sent from the Kenyan installations, one can wonder which foreign power was behind them.

Mobilizing the international public opinion

During the last few years, Washington had the opportunity to instigate “color revolutions” with the understanding that they would fail to seize power but that they would help manipulate public opinion and international institutions.In 2007, many Burmese were up in arms because of the domestic fuel price increase. Demonstrations spread as Buddhist monks took a leading role in the protest. This was the “Saffron Revolution” [13]. Washington could not care less about the Rangoon regime; however they were interested in orchestrating the people of Burma in order to exercise pressure on China which holds strategic interests in Burma (pipelines and military bases for electronic intelligence gathering). It was therefore crucial to distort people’s perception of reality. Pictures and films shot on mobile phones started to appear on YouTube. They were anonymous, impossible to verify and without context. It was precisely their lack of reliability that gave them authority, and allowed the White House to fit them with their interpretation of the situation.

Burma, 2007

More recently, a 2008 student demonstration brought Greece to a grinding halt following the murder of a 15 year old young man by a policeman. Hoodlums were soon seen rioting. They had been recruited in neighboring Kosovo and brought in by bus. The city centers were devastated. Washington was trying to scare foreign investors away in order to secure a monopoly on the investments in the gas terminals that were being built. The weak Karamanlis government was portrayed as being iron fisted. Facebook and Twitter were used to mobilize the Greek Diaspora. Demonstrations spread to Istanbul, Nicosia, Dublin, London, Amsterdam, The Hague, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, etc.

The Green Revolution

The operation conducted in 2009 in Iran belongs to the long list of pseudo revolutions. First, a 400 million dollar budget was voted in 2007 by Congress to orchestrate a “regime change” in Iran. This was in addition to the ad hoc budgets of the NED, the USAID, the CIA & Co. How this money is being used is unclear, but the three main recipients are the following: the Rafsanjani family, the Pahlavi family and the People’s Mujahedin of Iran.The Bush Administration decided to instigate a “color revolution” in Iran after confirming a decision by the Joint Chiefs of Staff not to conduct a military attack of that country. This choice was then approved by the Obama Administration. The plans for a “color revolution” which had been drawn up by the American Enterprise Institute in 2002 with Israel were then reopened. I had published an article at that time regarding this plan [14]. In it, one can identify the current protagonists: that plan has not changed much since then. A Lebanese chapter was added which predicted an uprising in Beirut in case of a victory of the patriotic coalition (Hezbollah, Aoun), but it was later cancelled.The script included huge support for the candidate chosen by Ayatollah Rafsanjani, the disputing of the presidential election results, widespread bombings, the toppling of president Ahmadinejad and of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, setting up a transition government headed by Mousavi, restoring the Monarchy and creating a government headed by Sohrab Sobhani.

Tehran, Iran, 2009: young demonstrator holds up a poster of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the pre-packaged “revolutionary” leader of Iran

According to the 2002 plans, the operation was overseen by Morris Amitay and Michael Ledeen. It mobilized in Iran the Irangate network. Here is a necessary quick historical background: the Irangate (Iran–Contra affair) was an illegal arms deal. The White House wished to supply weapons to the rebels in Nicaragua (to fight against Sandinistas) and to Iranians (in order to drag the Iran-Iraq war for as long as possible), but was prevented from doing so by Congress. Israelis then offered to act as subcontractors for both operations. Ledeen, who has both US and Israeli citizenships, served as a link in Washington, while Mahmoud Rafsanjani (the brother of the Ayatollah) was his counterpart in Tehran. This took place over a background of widespread corruption. When the scandal broke out in the United States, an independent inquiry committee was headed by Senator Tower and General Brent Scowcroft (Robert Gates’ mentor) to investigate.

Michael Ledeen is an old fox involved in many secret operations. He could be found in Rome during the assassination of Aldo Moro. He also appears to have been linked to the fake Bulgarian connection after the assassination attempt on John Paul II, or more recently to the fake claims of Nigerian uranium supply to Saddam Hussein. He currently works for the American Enterprise Institute [15] (with Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz) and for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies [16].

Morris Amitay is a former director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He is today the vice president of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the director of a consulting company for the weapon industry.On April 27, Morris and Ledeen held a seminar on Iran with Senator Joseph Lieberman at the American Enterprise Institute, regarding the Iranian elections. On May 15, a new seminar was held. The public part of the event consisted of a round table discussion headed by Senator John Bolton about the “haggling” over Iran: would Moscow agree to end its support of Tehran in exchange for Washington renouncing its missile shield project in Central Europe? French expert Bernard Hourcade took part in the debates. At the same time, the Institute launched a website, intended for the press, about the coming crisis: IranTracker.org. The website includes a section on the Lebanese elections.

In Iran, the responsibility for overthrowing old rival Ayatollah Khamenei rested on Ayatollah Rafsanjani. Born in a family of farmers, Hashemi Rafsanjani built his fortune on real estate speculation during the time of the Shah. He became the main pistachio dealer in Iran, and increased his wealth during the Irangate. His assets are estimated to several billion dollars. After he became the wealthiest man in Iran, he became successively president of the parliament, president of the Republic, and now chairman of the Assembly of Experts (an arbitration body for the parliament and the Guardian Council of the Constitution). He defends the interests of Tehran’s merchant class. During the electoral campaign, Rafsanjani required Mir-Hossein Mousavi, his former adversary who became his protégé, to promise he would privatize the oil sector.With no connection to Rafsanjani, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran have been used by Washington [17]. This organization, protected by the Pentagon, is considered a terrorist organization by the State Department and has been considered as such by the European Union. Indeed, it is responsible for dreadful operations in the 80s, including a huge bombing which killed Ayatollah Beheshti, four department heads, six department head assistants and one fourth of the parliamentary group of the Islamic Republic party. The People’s Mujahedin of Iran is headed by Massoud Rajavi, who first married the daughter of former President Abol-hassan Banisadr and then the cruel Maryam. Its headquarters are located outside of Paris and its military bases in Iraq, first under the orders of Saddam Hussein, are now under the Defense Department. The People’s Mujahedin provided the logistics for the bombing attacks which took place during the electoral campaign [18]. They were responsible for instigating clashes – which they probably did – between Pro Ahmadinejad supporters and their opponents.Should chaos have followed, the Supreme Leader could have been overthrown. A transition government, headed by Mir-Hossein Mousavi, would have privatized the oil sector and brought back the Monarchy. The son of the former Shah, Reza Cyrus Pahlavi, would have ascended to the throne and would have nominated Sohrab Sobhani as prime minister. With this in mind, Reza Pahlavi published in February a number of interviews with French journalist Michel Taubmann, the director of Arte’s information office in Paris, and who presides the Cercle de l’Observatoire, the club for French neo conservatives. It is useful to remember that Washington had made similar plans for the restoration of the Monarchy in Afghanistan. Mohammed Zahir Shah was supposed to ascend to the throne again and Hamid Karzai would have become prime minister. Unfortunately, at age 88, the pretender had become senile. Karzai thus became president. Both Sobhani and Karzai hold United States citizenships. Both were involved in the Caspian sea’s oil sector.

As far as propaganda was concerned, the initial plan had been given to Benador Associates, a public relations firm. But it evolved with the influence of Goli Ameri, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. This American Iranian woman is John Bolton’s former colleague. As a new media specialist, she implemented infrastructure and Internet training programs for Rafsanjani’s friends. She also developed radio and television programs in Farsi for the State Department propaganda, in conjunction with the BBC.

Iran’s destabilization failed because the main drive behind the “color revolutions” was not appropriately initiated. Mir-Hossein Mousavi did not manage to make Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the focus of popular anger. The Iranian people did not fall into the trap; they did not hold the outgoing president responsible for the United States’ economic sanctions against the country. Therefore the protests were limited to the northern suburbs of Tehran. The authorities refrained from creating counter demonstrations, and let the plotters expose themselves.

However, it must be noted that the propaganda was successful with the Western media. International public opinions really believed that two million Iranians took to the streets, when the real figure was ten times lower. The fact that foreign correspondents were under house arrest facilitated these exaggerations because they were exempt from having to provide evidence for their allegations.Having given up war, and having failed at overthrowing the regime, what is Barack Obama’s remaining option?

Complementary links after the footnotes.

Footnotes:[1] The numerous reports and documents published by these committees are available online on the following website: The Assassination Archives and Research Center.[2] “New York Intellectuals and the invention of neo-conservatism“, Denis Boneau, Voltaire Network, November 26 2004.

[3] “The NED, the networks of democratic interference“, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, January 22 2004.

[4] “The Albert Einstein Institution: non-violence according to the CIA“, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, January 4 2005.

[5] “Tiananmen, 20 ans après“, professor Domenico Losurdo, Réseau Voltaire, June 9 2009.

[6] At the time, the NED was relying in Eastern Europe on the Free Congress Foundation (FCF), operated by Republicans. Later on, this organization disappeared and was replaced by the Soros Foundation, operated by Democrats, with the assistance of which the NED would plot new « regime changes ».

[7] Concerned with smoothing out relations between France and the US, French president Jacques Chirac tried to establish better relations with the Bush Administration on Georgia’s back, all the more because of French economic interests in Georgia. Salomé Zourabichvili, number 2 in the French secret services, was nominated as ambassador in Tbilisi. She then switched nationalities and became the Foreign Secretary for the « Rose Revolution ».

[8] “The Secrets of the Georgian Coup“, Paul Labarique, Voltaire Network, January 7 2004.

[9] “Géorgie : Saakachvili jette son opposition en prison” (Georgia: Saakachvili jails the opposition) et “Manifestations à Tbilissi contre la dictature des roses” (Protests in Tbilisi against the dictatorship of the roses), Réseau Voltaire, September 12 2006 and September 30 2007.

[10] The Bush Administration was hoping that this conflict would act as a smoke screen. Israeli bombers were supposed to take off simultaneously to strike neighboring Iran. But even before attacking Georgian military installations, Russia bombed the airports that had been rented out to Israel, pinning its planes to the ground.

[11] “Opération manquée au Venezuela” (Failed operation in Venezuela), Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, May 18 2002.

[12] Llaguno Bridge. Keys to a Massacre. Documentary by Angel Palacios, Panafilms 2005.

[13] “Birmanie : la sollicitude intéressée des États-Unis” (Burma: United States’ selfish concern), Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, November 5 2007.

[14] “False reasons to intervene in Iran“, Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, February 12 2004.

[15] “The American Enterprise Institute in the White House“, Voltaire Network, June 21 2004.

[16] “Les trucages de la Foundation for the Defense of Democracies” (The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’ tricks), Réseau Voltaire, February 2 2005.

[17] “Les Moudjahidin perdus” (The lost Mujahedin), Paul Labarique, Réseau Voltaire, February 17 2004.

[18] “Le Jundallah revendique des actions armées aux côtés des Moudjahidines du Peuple” (The Jundallah claims responsibility for actions with the People’s Mujahedin), Réseau Voltaire, June 13 2009.

Complementary links: 

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Color Revolutions and Geopolitical ‘takeover of nations’ (Videos, Audio and Books).

Some of the absolute most important videos, audios, books and documents in the subjects of Color Revolutions and Geopolitical takeover of sovereign nations, are gathered here.

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Webster Tarpley’s critique on Obama in 2008: A Color Revolution in the USA? (2 parts)

Webster Tarpley's critique on Obama in 2008: A Color Revolution in the USA? (2 parts)

BBC Documentary: The Century of the Self (2002)

BBC Documentary: The Century of the Self (2002)

Russia Today TV Segments on US “Democracy Promotion”

Russia Today TV Segments on US "Democracy Promotion"

Aldous Huxley, “The Ultimate Revolution” (Berkeley Speech, 1962)

Aldous Huxley, "The Ultimate Revolution" (Berkeley Speech, 1962)

 

The Pussy Riot Deception

The Pussy Riot Deception

 

Checkmate: Strategy of a Revolution

Checkmate: Strategy of a Revolution

The Weight of Chains (2010)

The Weight of Chains (2010)

John Pilger: The War You Don’t See (2011)

John Pilger: The War You Don't See (2011)

War Made Easy (2007)

War Made Easy (2007)

CIA Influence on the Mass Media: How Disinformation Campaigns Work (1985, 3 parts)

CIA Influence on the Mass Media: How Disinformation Campaigns Work (1985, 3 parts)

Webster Tarpley: Geopolitical Goals of the Anglo-American Empire in Central Asia (2009)

Webster Tarpley: Geopolitical Goals of the Anglo-American Empire in Central Asia (2009)

Geopolitical View From Pakistan: Conversation With Ahmed Rashid

Geopolitical View From Pakistan: Conversation With Ahmed Rashid

Webster Tarpley Lecture: After the Neocons: A New Phase of Anglo-American Empire (2008, 6 parts)

Webster Tarpley Lecture: After the Neocons: A New Phase of Anglo-American Empire (2008, 6 parts)

Former CIA Agent Philip Agee on “Alternative Views” (1995, 2 parts)

Former CIA Agent Philip Agee on "Alternative Views" (1995, 2 parts)

Hearts and Minds (1974)

Hearts and Minds (1974)

The American Dream

The American Dream

The Money Masters (1996)

The Money Masters (1996)

The Secret of Oz (2010)

The Secret of Oz (2010)
 

Money As Debt (2007)

Money As Debt (2007)

Michael Parenti Lecture: The U.S. War on Yugoslavia (1999)

Michael Parenti Lecture: The U.S. War on Yugoslavia (1999)

Bill Domoff on “Alternative Views”: Who Rules America? (1986, 2 parts)

Bill Domoff on "Alternative Views": Who Rules America? (1986, 2 parts)

To Sell a War: Gulf War Propaganda (1992)

To Sell a War: Gulf War Propaganda (1992)

Our Brand is Crisis (2005, 11 parts)

Our Brand is Crisis (2005, 11 parts)

Consuming Images (1990)

Consuming Images (1990)

Political consultants discuss the impact of political advertising on the electoral process(2007)

Political consultants discuss the impact of political advertising on the electoral process(2007)

How to Plan a Revolution (2007)

How to Plan a Revolution (2007)
BBC sells the attempted “Orange Revolution” (2005) in Azerbaijan

US Army Training Film: Psychological Operations in Support of Internal Defense (1968, 2 parts)

US Army Training Film: Psychological Operations in Support of Internal Defense (1968, 2 parts)

US Army Video: Psychological Operations in the US Military: The Invisible Sword (1995)

US Army Video: Psychological Operations in the US Military: The Invisible Sword (1995)

US Army Film: Psychological Warfare: Enemy Propaganda and its Danger to the American Way of Life

US Army Film: Psychological Warfare: Enemy Propaganda and its Danger to the American Way of Life

1980 Interview with Anthony Sutton: The Best Enemies Money Can Buy

1980 Interview with Anthony Sutton: The Best Enemies Money Can Buy

Rare Audio Interview with Georgetown Professor Carroll Quigley (1974)

Rare Audio Interview with Georgetown Professor Carroll Quigley (1974)

Interview with John Perkins, former Economic Hit Man (2 parts)

Interview with John Perkins, former Economic Hit Man (2 parts)

Former CIA Angola Operations Director John Stockwell, Lecturing in 1989 (16 parts)

Former CIA Angola Operations Director John Stockwell, Lecturing in 1989 (16 parts)

Bill Moyers, “Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis” (1987)

Bill Moyers, "Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis" (1987)

Human Resources (2010, 9 parts)

Human Resources (2010, 9 parts)

The Panama Deception (1992, 12 parts)

The Panama Deception (1992, 12 parts)

US Army Film: The Big Picture: Why Was NATO Formed?

Documentary on CIA MK-Ultra Mind Control Experiments (1979)

Documentary on CIA MK-Ultra Mind Control Experiments (1979)

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Book suggestions:

Soft Power (2004), by Joseph Nye Jr.

Soft Power (2004), by Joseph Nye Jr.

Propaganda Technique in World War 1 (1927), by Harold D. Lasswell

Propaganda Technique in World War 1 (1927), by Harold D. Lasswell

Propaganda (1928), by Edward Bernays

Propaganda (1928), by Edward Bernays

Branding Democracy (2010), by Gerald Sussman

Branding Democracy (2010), by Gerald Sussman

Public Opinion (1922), by Walter Lippmann

Public Opinion (1922), by Walter Lippmann

The Phantom Public (1925), by Walter Lippmann

The Phantom Public (1925), by Walter Lippmann

Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923), by Edward Bernays

Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923), by Edward Bernays

The Invasion From Mars (1940), by Hadley Cantril

The Invasion From Mars (1940), by Hadley Cantril

One-Dimensional Man (1964), by Herbert Marcuse

One-Dimensional Man (1964), by Herbert Marcuse

How We Advertised America (1919), by George Creel

How We Advertised America (1919), by George Creel

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1898), by Gustave LeBon

The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind (1898), by Gustave LeBon

Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919), by Halford Mackinder

Democratic Ideals and Reality (1919), by Halford Mackinder

The Grand Chessboard (1997), by Zbigniew Brzezinski

The Grand Chessboard (1997), by Zbigniew Brzezinski

Fools’ Crusade (2002), by Diana Johnstone

Fools' Crusade (2002), by Diana Johnstone

The Anglo-American Establishment (1981), by Carroll Quigley

The Anglo-American Establishment (1981), by Carroll Quigley

If – Poem by Rudyard Kipling

A poem that every father on this planet should understand the context of, and pass it on to his son!

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(ελληνικά)

If – Poem by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master,
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Techno-Financial Capital and Genocide of the Poorest of the Poor

petras

Today, the ‘poorest of the poor’ are superfluous to empire and thus the policy of genocide. The current world war between the classes has become a war between exterminators and those who would fight to survive!

‘The war and its results have turned Yemen back a hundred years, due to the destruction of infrastructure . . . especially in the provinces of Oden, Dhalea and Taiz.’

Izzedine al-Asbali Yemeni Human Rights Minister

‘Yemen is devastated. There are no roads, water or electricity. Nobody’s left but thieves.’

A resident of Sana (Yemen)

Introduction

The Euro-American and Japanese ruling classes, as well as their collaborators in the Afro-Asian and Latin American countries, have accumulated vast profit. This has occurred through a complex stratified system re-concentrating the world’s wealth through: 1. The exploitation of labor in the First World (North America and Western Europe); 2. super-exploitation of labor in the Second World (China, ex-USSR); 3. dispossession of peasants, native communities and urban dwellers to grab resources, land and real estate in the Third World; and 4. wars of genocide against the poorest of the poor in the ‘Fourth World’. Besides all the forms of brutal exploitation and dispossession, which enrich the Euro-US ruling classes, by far the most sinister and threatening to humanity is the concerted worldwide effort to literally exterminate the poorest-of-the poor, the hundreds of millions of people no longer essential for the accumulation and concentration of imperial capital today.

This essay will begin by mapping the genocidal wars against ‘the wretched of the earth’, identifying the geography of genocide, the countries and subjects under attack, and the trajectory, which has been chosen and executed by the leaders of the Euro-American regimes.

Then we will examine the reason for genocide within the dynamics and forms of contemporary capitalism. In particular, we will develop the genocide hypothesis: that imperial genocide of the poorest of the poor is a deliberate policy to reduce the growing surplus labor, which is no longer needed or wanted for wealth accumulation but is increasingly feared as a potential political threat.

In the last section, we will discuss how the ‘wretched of the earth’ are responding to this policy of imperial genocide and what is to be done.

Mapping Genocide Against the Poorest of the Poor

It is no coincidence that the most violent assaults and invasions by the Euro-American powers have taken place against the poorest countries in each region of the world. In the Western hemisphere, the Euro-US regimes have repeatedly invaded the absolutely poorest country, Haiti, overthrowing the popularly elected Aristide government, decimating the population via a cholera epidemic spread by UN mercenary ‘peace-keepers’, killing tens of thousands of poor Haitians and rounding up thousands of protestors. The occupation continues. Honduras, the second poorest country in the region, experienced a US-backed coup d’état deposed their recently elected president and imposed a terrorist puppet regime, which regularly assassinates dissidents and landless rural workers. Peasants are dispossessed; the economy and society are in shambles with tens of thousands of Hondurans (especially children) fleeing the violence.

Today, the Euro-American powers actively support the absolutist regime of Saudi Arabia as it bombS and slaughters thousands of Yemeni civilians and resistance fighters. Yemen is the poorest country in the Gulf region.

In South Asia, the US invaded and occupied Afghanistan; its coalition of puppets and NATO allies have massacred and displaced millions of poor farmers and civilians. Afghanistan is the poorest of the poor countries in the region.

In Africa, the Euro-American powers and their local collaborators have invaded, bombed and occupied Somalia, Chad and Mali – among the poorest of sub-Sahara countries.

After the US-NATO campaign of destruction against Libya, 1.5 million sub-Saharan Africans and black citizens of Libya lost their stable employment and became the victims of ethnic slaughter. Their attempts to escape the violence and starvation by fleeing to Europe are blocked by the leading powers (the same powers that destroyed the Libyan economy and society). Those, who do not drown in their flight, are detained and returned to their devastated countries and early deaths.

In Western Europe, millions of Greeks, Spaniards and Portuguese, inhabiting the poorest countries in the region, have faced massive job losses, widespread impoverishment and spiraling suicides – all induced by austerity programs designed to pillage their economies and enrich their Euro-US creditors.

In the United States, 1.5 million black (mostly male) Americans, are ‘missing’ – products of early death, industrial-scale incarceration and police assassinations. American Indian communities are subject to depredations and early death from the policies of the Federal and State governments. Their lands have been handed over to mining (and now fracking) to serve the interests of the mining and agro-business elite. Throughout the US Latino agricultural workers are increasingly viewed as ‘expendable’ with technology and the effects of global climate change (such as the severe drought in California) depriving them of livelihood.

In the Levant, Palestinians, now the poorest of the poor and the most disenfranchised, face continued Israeli land grabs, pillage and violence in the West Bank and genocidal attacks in Gaza. Iraq and Syria have experienced millions of deaths and displacements, reducing previously prosperous, educated and sophisticated multi-ethnic populations into impoverished, uprooted and desperate people deliberately driven backwards to tribal loyalties.

Why Imperialism ‘Genocides the Poorest of the Poor’

With the exception of Iraq and Syria, all of the violated countries have been poor in resources and markets, and possess large unskilled labor. The people are targeted and savaged because they no longer serve as ‘labor reserves’ – they are now excess-surplus labor – in Nazi racial hygiene terminology, they have become ‘useless mouths to feed’. This has intensified as crisis engulfs the West and the least productive sectors of capitalism, finance, real estate and insurance (FIRE), have become the leading sectors of capital. ‘Cheap labor’ is less needed, least of all overseas labor from conflictual regions.

The ‘poorest of the poor’ countries under attack lack rich resources ripe for plunder; their populations do not exist among the priorities of the multi-national bankers – except when seen as ‘obstacles’. In the colonial past, sectors of these populations would have been recruited by imperial countries to submit, obey and serve as imperial mercenaries or coolie labor. They would have been transported and employed by empire for ‘dirty’, dangerous and poorly paid jobs in other colonized countries – like the millions of Indians scattered throughout the former British Empire. Today, such coolies have no value.

The genocidal nature of the wars against the ‘poorest of the poor’ is best demonstrated by the actual targets and primary victims of these wars: Millions of civilians, families, women, children and heads of households have suffered the worst. These ‘targets’ represent the most stable and essential elements responsible for family reproduction and security. The ‘poorest of the poor’ communities are being destroyed. Genocidal bombing has overwhelmingly targeted the essential factors for survival: cohesive households, communal settings, subsistence food growing regions and access to clean water. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that marriage ceremonies and traditional social gatherings have been ‘mistaken targets’ of missiles and drone strikes. Despite the denials from the White House, the geographic extent and nauseating number of such attacks demonstrate that according to the ‘genocide hypothesis’ there is ‘nowhere to hide’: The targeted populations will have no marriage celebrations, no social life, no increase in children among the poorest of the poor, no protection for the elders, no social fabric and no communal organizations – there will be no survival networks left for the superfluous of empire.

The ‘genocide hypothesis’ underlies the practice of ‘total war’. The practice includes massive attacks on non-military targets (‘Shock and Awe’) and the use of high tech weaponry to target collectives of the poorest of the poor – repeatedly, over long periods of time and wide geographic regions.

If, as the apologists of genocidal wars claim, the bombings of weddings and slaughter of school children are ‘collateral’ in the ‘Global War on Terror’ why are they happening everywhere in the fourth world and virtually everyday?

The genocide hypothesis best explains the data. Even the terminology and claims made by imperialist experts regarding their weapons systems support the genocide hypothesis. These weapons, we are told, are ‘intelligent, precise and highly accurate’ in targeting and destroying ‘the enemy’. By their own admission, then, the poorest of the poor have become ‘the enemy’, as imperial weapons makers support ‘intelligent’ genocide with ‘precision’.

When liberals and leftists criticize how imperial drone strikes kill civilians, instead of ‘armed terrorists’, they are missing the essential point of the policy. The prime purpose of the wars and the imperial weapons of mass destruction is to kill the largest number of the very poorest in the shortest time.

No member of the financial-high tech capitalist class has ever complained about the mass killing of the ‘poorest of the poor’ anywhere or at any time because the victims are, for the purpose of accumulating imperial profit and concentrating wealth superfluous. The poorest don’t figure into the formulae of profit and productivity; they don’t ‘make or take’ markets. On the other hand, their continued existence is a potential liability. They are aesthetically unappealing on the outskirts of luxury resorts. To the rich, they represent a desperate criminal element and they may pose a real or imagined ‘terrorist’ threat. For these reasons, the rich would ‘prefer’ that they would quietly cease to exist, or if the warlords have to dispose of them, the world will be a safer and more attractive place to accumulate wealth. ‘Let them kill each other, as they have done for millennia’, the empire piously opines and the bankers and their high tech allies can use their military and mercenaries without soiling their own hands. The elite ignore the mass immiseration while the militarists bomb ‘the problem’ out of existence.

Today genocide occurs in once vibrant living and working communities, not hidden in ‘concentration camps’. The secret ovens and gas chambers have been replaced by an ‘open range’ of incendiary weapons that end lives, burn neighborhoods and workshops, devastate livestock and crops. Those who survive the bombing are starved, enclosed, malnourished and inflicted with disease. Eminent doctors tell us that the misery is ‘self-inflicted’ and that the poorest of the poor are ignorant and lack healthy habits. Recurrent epidemics from HIV to cholera to Ebola are quintessential ‘4th world diseases’. Even though the Caribbean had not seen cholera for over a century, its introduction into Haiti via the bowels of imperial mercenary troops (UN peacekeepers from Nepal) was blamed on the Haitians’ lack of access to clean water! Not since the small pox blankets passed out by the US Army to freezing Native Americans in their concentration camps of the 19th century have we heard such apologists for genocide!

The truth about genocide is that all this is known, repeatedly documented and forgotten. White workers in the First World cannot even register these ‘facts’ under their own noses, let alone express any form of solidarity. Imperial genocide, committed by proactive militarists and ‘passive’ rich elites, are no secret even if they deny their complicity. The key word here is ‘mission’. ‘Mission Accomplished’ was the celebratory banner over the total destruction of Iraq. The warlords claim rewards for successfully completing ‘the mission’. Yemenis are dying under US-supplied Saudi bombs; Somalis are scattered in tens of thousands of tents to the four corners of the earth; Haitians continue to enjoy the ‘gift of cholera’ from UN ‘peacekeepers’ and rot in massive open air prison-slums – their leaders imprisoned or assassinated.

The Poorest of the Poor Respond

In the face of genocide and their irrelevance to the profit motive of modern high tech and finance capital, the poorest of the poor have chosen multiple responses: (1) Mass out-migration, preferable to the First World, where they won’t be bombed, raped or starved as they had been at ‘home’; (2) Internal migration to the cities, under the illusion of an ‘urban safe haven’ when in fact their concentration in slums makes it easier for the bombers; (3) return to the countryside and subsistence farming or the mountains and subsistence herding, but the missiles and drones relentlessly follow them; (4) mass flight to a neighboring country where the local gendarmes will ‘herd’ them into camps to rot and (5) finally resistance. Resistance takes various forms: There are spontaneous upheavals when the scope of abuse exceeds all endurance. This form involves attacking the local collaborators and gendarmes and authorities and sacking food warehouses. Such action burns briefly and dies (many times literally). Some choose to join armed resistance bands, including gangs of brigands, political ethno-religious rivals and terrorists who retaliate against authors of their genocide and its collaborators with their own version of justice and material and celestial rewards.

Total war from above and the outside breeds total war from the inside and below. The rebellion of the ‘wretched of the earth’ in the 21st century is far different from that portrayed by Franz Fanon in the middle of the last century. Fanon described a revolt against colonialism and neo-colonialism. Today the revolt is against deracination and genocide. During colonialism, the ‘wretched’ needed to be subdued to better exploit their labor and resources. Today, the ‘poorest of the poor’ are superfluous to empire and thus the policy of genocide. The current world war between the classes has become a war between exterminators and those who would fight to survive!

Argentina: A Case Study of Israel’s Zionist-Wall Street Destabilization Campaign

petras

Introduction: A recent article by Jorge Elbaum, the former executive director of DAIA (Delegation for Argentine Jewish Associations), the principle Argentine Jewish umbrella groups, published in the Buenos Aires daily Pagina 12, provides a detailed account of the damaging linksbetween the State of Israel, US Wall Street speculators and local Argentine Zionists in government and out.

Elbaum describes how their efforts have been specifically directed toward destabilizing the incumbent center-left government of President Cristina Fernandez, while securing exorbitant profits for a Zionist Wall Street speculator, Paul Singer of Elliott Management as well as undermining a joint Iranian-Argentine investigation of the 1994 terrorist bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires.

Elbaum’s article was written in response to the death of Alberto Nisman, a Zionist zealot and chief government prosecutor in the terrorist bombing investigation for over 20 years.

The serious issues raised by the political use and gross manipulation of the horrors of the bombing of the Argentine Jewish Community Center shows how Tel Aviv (and its political assets in Argentina and the US) further Israeli power in the Middle East, in particular, by isolating and demonizing Iran. This is important at two critical levels, which this article seeks to highlight.

First of all, Israeli attempted to sidetrack the Argentine investigation, by involving some of its powerful Wall Street assets and influential pro-Israel lobbies (the Anti-Defamation League, AIPAC among others). Their purpose was to fabricate ‘evidence’ in order to implicate Iran in the crime and to manipulate their influential assets in Argentina, especially in this case, chief prosecutor Nisman and many of the leaders of DAIA, to accuse the Argentine government of complicity in an ‘Iranian cover-up’.

The second issue, raised by Israel’s intervention in Argentina’s investigation into the bombing, has wider and deeper implications: How Israel promotes its foreign policy objectives in various countries by grooming and manipulating local influential Jewish officials and community organizations. This furthers Tel Aviv’s goal of regional hegemony and territorial aggrandizement. In other words, Israeli political reach extends far beyond the Middle East and goes ‘global’, operating without any consideration of the dangers it inflicts on Jews in the ‘target countries’. To this end, Israel has been creating a worldwide network of Jews, which calls into question their loyalty to the polity of their home countries where they have resided for generations.

The nefarious impact, which Israel’s intervention has on the sovereignty of its ‘target countries’, presents a danger to innocent and loyal Jewish citizens who are not acting as agents of Tel Aviv.

For these reasons it is important to critically analyze the specific characteristics of Israel’s dangerous meddling in Argentina.

The Crisis of the Argentine Justice System: Unsolved Terrorist Crimes and Israeli Intervention

After the anti-Sematic bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, the Argentine judicial and legal system seriously bungled the investigation, despite collaboration from the US FBI and Israel’s Mossad. Argentina’s then President Carlos Menem was an ardent neo-liberal, unconditional backer of US foreign policy and strong supporter of Israel. His regime was still heavily infested with high-ranking police, military and intelligence officials deeply implicated in the seven-year bloody military dictatorship (1976-83) during which 30,000 Argentine citizens were murdered. Among the victims of this ‘dirty war’ were hundreds of Argentine Jews, activists, intellectuals and militants who were tortured and murdered to the anti-Sematic taunts of their military and police assassins. During this same horrific ‘pogrom’ of Argentina’s committed Jewish activists, the state of Israel managed to sell tens of millions of dollars in arms to the junta, breaking a US-EU boycott. Notoriously, the conservative leaders of the DAIA and AMIA (Argentine-Israel Mutual Association) failed to defend the lives of Jewish activists and militants. After attending meetings with the junta, many conservative Jewish leaders would dismiss the concerns of the families of the disappeared and tortured Argentine Jews, saying: ‘They must have done something…’

The bungled investigation into the 1994 bombing included the arrest of right-wing police officials who were later released and the mysterious loss of vital forensic evidence. Accusations against various foreign regimes and organizations shifted according to the political needs of the US and Israel: First, the Lebanese group, Hezbollah, Israel’s main military adversary during its bloody occupation of southern Lebanon in 1990’s was touted as the responsible party. A few years later, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, prior to the Israeli-backed US invasion of Iraq; then the Palestinians were trotted out, followed by Syria’s Baathist intelligence forces. After the total destruction of Iraq by the US ‘coalition’ and the decline of influential Arab states in the Middle East, the Israelis have settled on Iran as the ‘prime suspect’, coinciding with Teheran’s rise of as a regional power – challenging Israeli and US hegemony.

With the 2001 collapse of Argentina’s version of a kleptocratic neo-liberal, pro-US bootlicking regime, and in the midst of a dire economic depression, there was a popular upheaval and the subsequent election of President Kirchner bringing a new center-left government to power.

The new government, defaulting on its murderous foreign debt, oversaw Argentina’s economic recovery and a vast increase in social spending which stabilized capitalism. Kirchner also promoted greater independence in foreign policy and sought to enhance Buenos Aires relations with Israel by re-opening the investigation into the bombing and retaining Alberto Nisman, as chief prosecutor.

Nisman, the Mossad and the US Embassy Connection

In his article, ‘Vultures, Nisman, DAIA: The Money Route’ (Pagina 12, 4/18/15), Jorge Elbaum, points out that chief prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, opened secret bank account in New York. As Elbaum told prominent figures in Argentina’s Jewish community, Nisman’s campaign to discredit the government’s joint investigatory commission with Iran and demonize the Argentine government was financed, at least in part, by New York’s vulture fund head, Paul Singer, who stood to make hundreds of millions in profit. According to documents, cited by Elbaum, US embassy personnel and leading US Zionist organizations, including the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, led by Mark Dubowitz, as well as Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, fed Nisman fabricated ‘evidence’ and corrected numerous substantive and grammatical flaws in his report purporting to ‘demonstrate’ Argentine’s cover-up of the Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing. However, forensic and legal experts in Argentina have determined that Nisman’s claims lack any legal basis or credibility.

The entire ‘Operation Nisman’ appears to have been orchestrated by Israel with the goal of isolating Iran via fabricated evidence supposed to ‘prove’ its role in the 1994 bombing. The recruitment of Nisman, as a key Israeli operative, was central to Israel’s strategy of using the DAIA and other Argentine – Jewish organizations to attack the Argentine-Iran memo of understanding regarding the investigation of the bombing. Israel pushed US-Zionist organizations to intensify their intervention into Argentine politics via their networks with Argentine-Jewish organizations. The vulture-fund speculator, Paul Singer, who had bought defaulted Argentine debt for ‘pennies on the dollar’, was demanding full payment through sympathetic New York courts. He had funded a special speculators’ task force on Argentina joining forces with Israel, US Zionist organizations and Alberto Nisman in order to manipulate Argentina’s investigation and secure a bountiful return. Nisman thus became a ‘key tool’ to Israel’s regional military strategy toward Iran, to New York speculator Singer’s strategy to grab a billion dollar windfall and to the Argentine right wing’s campaign to destabilize the center-left government of Kirschner-Fernandez.

By acting mainly in the interest of Israel and US Zionists, Nisman sacrificed the Argentine-Jewish community’s desire for a serious, truthful investigation into the bombing leading to identification and conviction of the perpetrators. Moreover, Nisman compromisedhimself by being a tool for Israel’s foreign policy against the interest of the Argentine government, which he was sworn to serve, and endangered the status of the Argentine Jewish community among Argentines in general by raising questions about their loyalty to their home country.

Fortunately, Argentina has sophisticated , prominent Jewish leaders who see themselves as Argentine citizens first and foremost, including leaders like Foreign Secretary Hector Timmerman who proposed the joint investigation with Iran as well as the former DAIA Executive Director Jorge Elbaum who has played a major role in denouncing Israel’s intervention in Argentine politics. It is citizens, like Elbaum, who have exposed the Israeli government’s role in recruiting and manipulating local leading Argentine-Jews to serve Tel Aviv’s foreign policy interests.

This is in stark contrast to the United States where no major American-Jewish leader has dared to denounce the role of leading Zionist organizations as Israel’s conduit. Furthermore, unlike Argentina, where a sector of the liberal press (Pagina 12) has published critical accounts of Nisman’s fabrications and Israel’s destabilization campaign, newspapers in the US, like theNew York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, have continued to present Nisman’s discredited report as a serious investigation by a courageous, ‘martyred’ prosecutor. The US media continues to portray the entire Argentine judicial system as corrupt and argue that Nisman’s death must have been a state-orchestrated crime. The US public has never been presented with the fact that the leading critics of Nisman’s report and his own behavior were prominent Argentine Jews and that Argentina’s foreign minister, Hector Timmerman, organized the Argentine-Iran commission.

Conclusion

That Israel was willing to derail any serious the investigation into the 1994 bombing, which killed and maimed scores of Argentine Jews, in order to further its campaign against Iran, demonstrates the extent to which the self-styled ‘Jewish State’ is willing to sacrifice the interests and security of world Jewry to further its narrow military agenda.

Equally egregious is the way in which Tel Aviv recruits overseas Jews to serve Israel’s interests against that of their own countries, turning them into a ‘fifth column’, operating insideand outside of their governments. That Israeli intelligence has been exposed and denounced in the case of Nisman, has not forestalled nor prevented Israel from continuing this long-standing, practice of dangerous meddling. This is especially evident in the ‘Israel-first behavior’ of leading Jewish American organizations and political leaders who have pledged their total allegiance to Netanyahu’s war agenda against Iran an bought the US Congress to scuttle the peace accord.

It merits repetition: Israel’s widespread practice of recruiting Jewish citizens and officials of other countries to serve as vehicles of Israeli policies has the potential to foment a new and possibly violent backlash, once the greater population has been made aware of such treasonous activities. In this regard, Israel does not represent a bastion of security for world Jewry, but a cynical, manipulative and deadly threat. Perhaps that is Israel’s ultimate strategy – create a backlash of generalized anger against overseas Jews and precipitate massive flight to Israel from countries like Argentina, while the few who remain can be better manipulated to serve Tel Aviv.

Epilogue

A few days ago, on April 23, a crowd of several hundred Argentine Jews met to repudiate the arrogant claims of the established leaders of the DAIA and the AMIA that they represent ‘all Argentine Jews”. This overflow crowd in the auditorium of the telephone workers union proposed to create a ‘collective and democratic space, based on links of solidarity over and above commercial connections.’ The Jewish community in the US would be wise to pay close attention to Argentina’s example.

GREECE – THE EU – THE BRICS

18a-thumb-largeSpeech of Ambassador ad H. Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos at the Schiller Institute, Frankfurt, April 29., 2015

 

“Germany and the BRICS countries can create a new credit system for global construction and development!”

Deutsch

 

Three were the reasons that made Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis push for the accession of Greece to the EEC in 1975, as it was then called. The first was to consolidate democracy in a country that had just come out from a catastrophic seven year military dictatorship. It should be recalled that the then democratic EEC had countered the dictatorship with every means possible and particularly by freezing the Association Agreement it had with Greece and the Financial Protocol. NATO, on the other hand, had supported the Junta. The second reason was to protect Greece against Turkey that had invaded Cyprus in 1974 and the third was to advance the economic development of the country.

When Greece joined the EEC in 1981, it had a dynamic industry with a yearly rate of development of 7.4%, a dynamic agriculture and self-sufficiency in most products with 24,2% of the population working in this sector. Unemployment was then around 3 to 4%.Afterthe accession, Greece was obliged to limit its steel production since there was an overproduction of it in the EEC and do dismantle its nascent automobile industry. Greece reduced its olive oil production to help reduce the olive oil lakes existing in the EEC and thus restructured its agriculture, reducing the percentage of population actively employed in that sector to 10%. And for many years, by the purchase of military hardware, Greece kept the French and German workers employed in the arms industries of their countries. From 2005 to 2010, Greece was the first importer of arms from Germany, purchasing 15% of its total production and the third largest customer of France. In 2010, Greece spent 1 billion euro on arm purchases from France and Germany. The social budget was reduced by 1.8 billion within the austerity measures program. Of course, EU funds helped the development of Greece and many important infrastructure products were done with EU co-financing. As such we have the Venizelos Airport, the Athens Ringroad, the Egnatia Highway and the Athens Metro. Agriculture was also assisted, often through subsidies paid for reducing agricultural means and productions rather than increasing them, even though it remains unclear how much funding actually reached its objective.

On January 1, 2002 Greece joined the Eurozone -and after only a few years the problems started that resulted in today’s situation.

Let us examine now the EU economic crisis that started as a result of the global financial crisis of 2008. The Greek government was persuades to sign a Loan Agreement in May 2010. The idea was that it could – through austerity measures – reduce the public debt which in 2009 was 129% of the GNP or 299 billion euro in absolute numbers. The promised results forecasted by experts and the predicted recovery as result of these measures, first announced in 2009, did not take place. De facto, we are still waiting for it. After two memoranda and admittedly mistaken policies from the EU, the IMF and the Greek governments, Greece to is on the verge of disaster with an increased debt of 175% of the GNP or 321 billion euro in 2013. Today it is around 180% of the GNP. One of the reasons for the failure of these measures was that the human factor was not taken into consideration and as a result Greece is facing today a social disaster without precedence. Instead of enhanced investment, recovery and growth, the economy has significantly decreased GDP reduction of 12.7% in 2012), factories, industries, shops have closed down almost on a daily basis. Those countries and companies who have invested are ignoring all workers rights of the EU or making their profits outside of Greece due to tax-haven-arrangements through e.g. the Netherlands ike the gold mining company Eldorado. And, in spite of the fact that the “institutions” had acknowledged their mistakes, they continue to insist on the implementation of the same ineffective policies that are destroying a member-state of the EU. Fortunately, the new Greek Government that came out from the elections of January 25, is refusing to implement measures that are ineffective and disastrous for the country.

But it is not only that the measures are erroneous, they also have violated human rights in Greece as well as the Lisbon Treaty. On December 18,the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and the Hellenic League for Human Rights published a report entitled ”Downgrading rights: the cost of austerity in Greece”, in which the legal responsibility and accountability of the Greek governments, the EU, its member-states and the IMF for violating human rights in Greece, are explained. The responsibility of these four actors is shared on the grounds that they jointly designed, negotiated, funded and implemented the two “economic assistance programs” which are the source of the violations.

Greece, as the sovereign state of the territory on which austerity measures were implemented, holds primary responsibility for failing to uphold its obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of all under its jurisdiction.

EU Member-states that took part in the negotiation, conclusion and financing of the adjustment programs were obliged to help Greece fulfill its obligations concerning the respect of human rights. They should have abstained from any action limiting the ability of Greece to respect its international obligations on human rights.

The European Union, being an Organization that enjoys a legal personality distinct from that of its members, should also be held accountable, since its accountability and responsibility are derived from EU primary law, as reflected in the founding instruments of the Union, as well as from customary rules of international law, on the responsibility of international organizations and universal human rights standards, that the EU has pledged to uphold and respect. By allowing its institutions and bodies, (Commission and the ECB) to be placed at the disposal of a group of States, seeking to incite Greece to adopt policies that will forseeably violate its human rights obligations, the EU has violated its obligations under article 2,3(1), (5) and 6 of the Treaty on the European Union.

The IMF is a specialized agency of the UN and as such should respect article 55 of the UN Charter, which includes universal respect for, and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.

It should be mentioned here that German activists have filed a lawsuit at the International Criminal Court of the Hague (OTP CR 345/12) against unknown people for damage done to the health of the Greek people.

But what went wrong with the EU, why is it destroying its Member-States and peoples? Personally, I think it has to do with the “expertisms” that has infiltrated the governmental bodies. Lobbyism and “Big Companyism” have gained a power far exceeding what it was in the early days of the European Idea, when the EU was functioning in a satisfactory way with Ministers dealing themselves with the issues pertaining to the Budget, Agriculture as well as other technical issues without the presence of “experts”. They locked themselves in consultations until the wee hours of the morning, often even stopping the clock, and resolved the problems in direct dialogue. And of course, the basic priority was that any solution had to benefit the people, in contrast to what is happening today where new contracts and agreements are planned in which companies, big industrial players and global financial conglomerate get granted almost unlimited power (TTIP). The EU gradually fell under the control of lobbyists and bureaucrats. Negative effects were created by the constant celebratory statements of European Councils that created erroneous impressions by announcing after each Summit that all problems of the EU were even better resolved than before. However, what failed most was the 2000 Lisbon Strategy that had as aim to make the EU the most competitive and dynamic economy of the world by 2010 with better and more work positions and social cohesion. Look at the 27 nations today, those they call PIIGs, and the others whose letter are to be added shortly. There is not a single nation within the EU which is not suffering from increased unemployment, decreased social welfare, increased taxes and costs and decreased effective incomes – compared to the year 2000. In the meantime it has reached a point where nowhere in the EU a family can be maintained with one income, which was the standard in all European nations in the beginning days of the EEC.

The EU could have played an important role in maintaining global balance. Unfortunately it has left this role to the USA, Russia and China. And it seems, the USA is following a policy of confrontation vis-à-vis the other two countries that may endanger humanity. An answer to this may be the BRICs initiative. This is an initiative of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to pursue a policy of economic development for the benefit of humanity. To that end they have created a Development Bank to invest billions in necessary development projects. China recently initiated the Asian Infrastructure Bank (AIIB), joined by over 20 Asian nations as founding members and has set up a Silk Road Development Fund. China has also proposed within BRICS the creation of a Free Trade Area of Asia and the Pacific (FTAAP).The incorporation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to the BRICS initiative could create a formidable power, which if remaining out of the control of the bankers and big companies’ lobbyists, could lead to a point that humanity indeed has a chance to reach global peace and end poverty through common human economic development. So, what is desperately needed is the cooperation of the USA and of the sovereign nations of Europe with the BRICS countries and their initiatives. Some European countries, to the annoyance of the USA, have already signed up. Hopefully this was done with an open mind and without a second agenda. To quote the declaration launched by the Schiller Institute of which I am a signatory: ”Only such an approach would restore the United States and Europe to their original purpose as expressed in the European Renaissance and the American Revolution …”

Because of Greece’s special relationships with China and Russia, Athens can play an important role within the BRICS initiative and also to cool down US aggressiveness towards these two nations.

Greece and Russia have always shared a special relationship. Not only because both countries are of the orthodox faith. There have been many occasions where Greeks and Russians have cooperated, worked together and helped each other. The first prime minister of a free Greece back in 1830, Ioannis Capodistrias, was Foreign Minister of Russia, before he took the helmet of a just freed Greece. General Orlof, sent by Catherine the Great, came to help the Greeks of the Peloponese to rise against the Turkish yolk. It may not have been successful at its time, but it gave the Greeks the courage to start it again in 1821. That the most famous export good of Russia, the caviar, has become exportable is thanks to Varvakis who discovered how to preserve it so shipment could be possible. Greeks have settled at the coastal area of what is Russia today since Jason was travelling with the Argo and as Greeks we can proudly say that we certainly have contributed to the Russian culture. This is some common ground that cannot just simply be discussed away or disappear due to some current differences in political views. These connections have lasted over the time and will continue to last. The visit earlier this month of the Greek Prime Minister to Moscow and the results it achieved are also due to this special relationship.

With China Greece shares the fact that both are ancient developed civilizations. Greece as well as China have travelled in the ancient times and helped to shape the cultures of the globe as they are today. The Chinese show a great respect to civilizations that existed in parallel with them, like the Greek one.  Already this fact makes both of our nations respect each other thus facilitating cooperation on every level.

While criticizing the EU for the damage that it is doing to itself and to its members, the following solutions are proposed for Greece, the EU and for humanity:

– Greece : The new Government of Greece, has started negotiations with the lenders on a new basis meaning that it will no longer adopt measures hurting the people and that it will no longer receive orders from the lenders. If the EU continues to ask for measures that are unacceptable to Greece then a clash might happen that may have destructive consequences for Europe. We propose the following: The denounciation of the Loan Facility Agreement of May 2010,signed between Greece and the Member-States of the Eurozone, on the basis of articles 48-52 of the Vienna Convention concerning the Law of Treaties. These articles anticipate the invalidity of a Treaty if there was an error, fraud, coercion of a representative of a State etc. Greece will at the same time request compensation from the EU for the damage done to the country, which according to conservative estimates is about the amount of the so-called debt. The compensation claim will be based on article 41.3 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, that is incorporated in the Lisbon Treaty. The cessation of payments with the denounciation of the Loan Agreement and the compensation that will be given in time to the country, will allow Greece to repair the damages done and instigate development. It will also withdraw, within a one year period from the Eurozone, in order to implement beneficial economic policies that it cannot under Eurozone rules. The Unified Popular Front (EPAM) a political party not in parliament yet, supports this policy. And in case of an impasse in the ongoing negotiations with the lenders, there is a possibility that the present government might be forced to follow such an approach.

-The EU : The transformation of the EU into an efficient organization having as sole priority the safeguard of the interests of the people and not of the bankers is imperative. A new constitutional document must replace the violated Lisbon Treaty. The new document must be drafted by movements of citizens of Member-States who will submit their proposals to a European Assembly composed of representatives of these movements.

-Humanity : The deletion of the global debt which is about 600 trillion USD, will allow humanity to restart on a new and healthy basis. There exist many examples in history of debt deletion: From the ancient Greek Sisahtheia to the Jubilee of ancient Hebrew Communities where every 50 years the debts were cancelled. Even during the 70’s the developed countries of the West deleted the debt of the non-aligned movement, thus allowing the economic boom of Yugoslavia. The BRICS movement can promote this while the decision must be taken by the G-20.Humanity as a whole will benefit because it will be able to restart on sound and healthy principles.

In order to implement the previously mentioned proposals, it is necessary to have politicians with imagination, vision and courage, politicians who care about progress of humanity and put a stop to the greed and grabbing of Banks, Financial Institutions and Companies. Such politicians do not exist today. It is the task of us, the voters, the people, the political and unpolitical movements to create them.

Reparations for WWII Atrocities – the Background (including the German satiric show exposing viral facts behind Greek reparation claim)

A VIRAL VIDEO BY A GERMAN SATIRE SHOW (DIE ANSTALT) EDUCATES PEOPLE ABOUT THE REAL BACKGROUND AND THE TRUE SITUATION OF THE GREEK REPARATIONS CLAIM.

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April 12, 2015

 

Last week, many Germans came to an ugly realization. People had been so proud of how Germany dealt with the aftermath of WWII, the earnest self-questioning and rejection of nationalism, the many apologies. Now, many have been forced to realize that Germany has done too little in the way that matters most: compensating the surviving victims.

There have periodically been earnest newspaper articles and editorials on the subject of course, but most left it at “Germany paid in 1960″ and “Greece is now inventing debt to save their economy”. However, last week a German satire TV show took it upon themselves to educate people about all that the German governments did to avoid supporting the victims of the Nazis and blocking prosecution of the war criminals. The key passage of that satire show was posted online even before it aired on TV, it went viral and more than 2 million Germans and 1 million Greeks have seen it so far. [Athenianvoice’s comment: After the Greek comedian Lakis Lazopoulos aired parts of it in his popular show “Al Tsantiri News”, over 4 million Greeks inside and outside Greece have seen it.]

It cuts deep; many foreign commenters expressed astonishment that this was shown on a major German public TV channel. (That Germans produced this show, applauded/’liked’ and made it go viral is the only thought comforting me.)I have added English subtitles for you:

(If you don’t see subtitles, experiment with the buttons on the bottom right. If subtitles are visible but not readable, use the B, W, + and – keys on your keyboard)

Watch the video now. Below, I’ll recap how Germans were led to believe that they had done the honourable thing.

The History of Reparations

The Allies agreed in 1945, at the Yalta Conference and also in the Potsdam Agreement, that Germany would have to pay reparations to the victors for the damages caused in WWII.

Initially, this was very chaotic: the Soviet Union granted Poland a large chunk of German territory and the Red Army dismantled everything they could in their occupied zone, entire factories, almost every railway track. The Western Allies did similarly – especially the Brits and French plundered the industries while Americans were more interested in patents and foreign moneys of German companies. Additionally, German POWs were not released at the end of the war but used as slave labour for several years.

This way of taking reparations put those countries at a disadvantage who had been victims of the Nazis but did not have an occupied zone in Germany from which to take their compensation. So in 1946, the Paris reparations agreement created the Inter-Allied Reparations Agency (IARA) in order to calculate the sum of reparations and their fair distribution. However, this proved very difficult, for example Guatemala demanded 85 million dollars even though it hadn’t seen any war action. All in all, the IARA received demands for 1260 billion deutschmarks, that is 16 times the German GDP of the time. Only a big peace conference could possibly sort out all demands – but East and West were already entering the Cold War, so this conference never happened.

Germany’s European Allies, including Italy, Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Finland, signed peace treaties in 1947 and paid reparations. The reparations were significantly reduced from what was initially demanded – for example only 360 million dollars instead of 32 billion dollars from Italy. Greece received 105 million dollars from Italy and 45 million dollars from Bulgaria, only Germany didn’t pay anything because there was no peace treaty yet.

Memorial for the Distomo Massacre, photo by Jean Housen, licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0

1950 to 1990

Because of the Cold War, neither the USA nor the Soviet Union were interested in their economically-ruined German puppet states having to pay huge amounts of reparations to other countries. They probably also remembered the consequences of the crushing Versailles Treaty. Because of this, the 1953 London Debt Agreement postponed all reparations until “united Germany” would sign a peace treaty – knowing that such a day was more than unlikely. Additionally, the Western powers, including Greece, accepted a haircut of 50% on German pre-war and post-war debt, not including war debt. At the same time, the Soviet Union abated Germany’s entire reparation debt and forced their puppet government in Poland to do the same – which the Poles now say is not valid because it wasn’t the act of a sovereign government.

With West Germany becoming an economic strong-house in the 1960s, Western European states no longer wanted to wait for an unlikely-looking reunification in order to get their compensation. West Germany signed individual agreements with 12 nations, including France, Britain, Austria and Greece. These agreements were not agreements about reparations though, they only concerned voluntary compensations for individual groups of victims. The agreement with Greece brought 115 million Deutschmark for Greek victims of the Nazi racist ideology, that is Holocaust victims but not the thousands of victims of massacres or 300,000 victims of deliberately-induced famine.

Reunification

By 1989, nobody was expecting the reunification and subsequent peace treaty anymore. In order to have a legal defense against having to pay reparations (Poland alone was demanding 200-537 billion deutschmarks), the German government insisted on not calling the Two Plus Four Treaty a peace treaty, even though that’s what it was. They didn’t even deny that that’s the reason they didn’t want it to be called a peace treaty.

France, Britain, the USA and the Soviet Union were fine with that – they had taken a lot of reparations from the occupied zones already, didn’t particularly want a lot of money to flow into the unstable Eastern European countries and the Soviet Union additionally received large concessions in exchange for not calling it a peace treaty and not allowing Poland a seat at the table. So there are doubts whether the Two Plus Four Treaty will stand up to judicial scrutiny, given that it was a treaty at the expense of third parties in their absence. (The German government argues that since countries like Greece later ‘acknowledged’ the treaty and didn’t sue against it, they thereby consented to drop their claims for reparations. Reparations were conspicuously not mentioned in the treaty.)

Greek Demands

Greece originally claimed 7.2 billion dollars at the value of 1938 dollars from the IARA and then agreed to postpone them in the London Debt Agreement. Since then, there have been regular requests for Germany to pay its debts, so contrary to how it is presented in the media, this is not something the new Greek government made up on the spot.

This doesn’t mean that their current demand of 279 billion euros is necessarily justified – for example, part of that is to compensate for the ruined economy after the occupation, a difficult claim as the Hague Conventions only require compensations for violations of international humanitarian law, not for all damages of war.

It’s debatable whether Germany should pay the IARA reparations now, but at the very least Germany should stop self-righteously pointing its finger at Greeceand shouting “Rules are rules. Debts must be paid. No tricks!” … The German governments were quite happy to ignore debts and use all tricks in the book.

(The only thing easy to determine is the forced loan that Greek authorities had to give to the Nazis to finance the Wehrmacht’s African campaign. It is quite likely that an international court of justice would insist on it being paid. A loan is a loan, paying it back is not even part of the reparations question. According to the Greek government, that would be 10.3 billion euros in today’s currency.)

Compensation for the Surviving Victims

It is unlikely that an international court of justice could force Germany to pay compensation to massacre survivors like Mr Sfountouris from the video, because a) individuals cannot sue states and b) the 1960 payment of 115 million deutschmarks for victims of Nazi racism does not specify what should be done for victims of non-racist crimes against humanity such as the “revenge” massacres.

There is also the problem that demands have been postponed for so long, some might say they’re beyond the statute of limitations – but this didn’t preventNorway from agreeing to pay reparations to Roma for racist policies and suffering under Nazis just a few days ago.

No matter what the legal standing is, and no matter what kind of snowball effect can be expected from finally starting to paying compensations, it is clear thatGermany has a moral obligation to the victims and it has abominably ignored this obligation for far too long. As a country priding itself on its morality, it is shameful for Germany to use legal loopholes to avoid compensating survivors of the atrocities, even if these loopholes exist.

Read also:

 

Chief source:   Reparationsforderungen gegen Deutschland
Fact-check about the above satire show

Στα ίχνη της Τρόικας (ελληνικοί υπότιτλοι) – On the trails of the Troika (english subs)

Το ντοκυμαντέρ των Harald Schumann και Árpád Bondy που εξέπεμψε στις 9/3/15 το 1ο κανάλι της γερμανικής κρατικής τηλεόρασης ARD και ξεσήκωσε θύελλα αντιδράσεων. Μια πιο εκτεταμένη βερσιόν του είχε προβληθεί από το γαλλογερμανικό κανάλι ARTE στις 24/2/15 ( http://tinyurl.com/lq5bapk στα γερμανικά και http://tinyurl.com/om9nn3e στα γαλλικά). Με την ευκαιρία δείτε και το παρακάτω βίντεο για τον ESM : http://tinyurl.com/po8lgbd (δείτε το όλο! Φοβερές ομολογίες!)

The documentary of Harald Schumann and Árpád Bondy started broadcasting on 03.09.15 the first channel of German State Television ARD and roused a storm of reactions. A more extensive version had been viewed by the Franco-German channel ARTE on 24/2/15 http://tinyurl.com/lq5bapk in German and in French http://tinyurl.com/om9nn3e). By the way you see the video below for the ESM: http://tinyurl.com/po8lgbd (see all! Terrible confessions!)

The Myth of ‘Value-Free’ Social Science Or The Value of Political Commitments to Social Science

petras

Introduction: For many decades, mainstream social scientists, mostly conservative, have argued that political commitments and scientific research are incompatible. Against this current of opinion, others, mostly politically engaged social scientists, have argued that scientific research and political commitment are not contradictory.

In this essay I will argue in favor of the latter position by demonstrating that scientific work isembedded in a socio-political universe, which its practioners can deny but cannot avoid. I will further suggest that the social scientist who is not aware of the social determinants of their work, are likely to fall prey to the least rigorous procedures in their work – the unquestioning of their assumptions, which direct the objectives and consequences of their research.

We will proceed by addressing the relationship between social scientific work and political commitment and examining the political-institutional universe in which social scientific research occurs. We will recall the historical experience of social science research centers and, in particular, the relationship between social science and its financial sponsors as well as the beneficiaries of its work.

We will further pursue the positive advantages, which political commitments provide, especially in questioning previously ignored subject matter and established assumptions.

We will start by raising several basic questions about scientific work in a class society: in particular, how the rules of logical analysis and historical and empirical method are applied to the research objectives established by the ruling elites.

Social Scientific Research and Socio-political Context

Scientific work has its rules of investigation regarding the collection of data, its analytic procedures, the formulation of hypotheses and logic for reaching conclusions. However, theresearch objective, the subject matter studied, the questions of ‘knowledge for what?’ and ‘for whom?’ are not inherent in the scientific method. Scientists do not automatically shed their class identity once they begin scientific endeavor. Their class or social identity and ambitions, their professional aspirations and their economic interests all deeply influence what they study and who benefits from their knowledge.

Social scientific methods are the tools used to produce knowledge for particular social and political actors, whether they are incumbent political and economic elites or opposition classes and other non-elite groups.

The Historical Origins of Elite Influenced Social Science

After World War II, wealthy business elites and capitalist governments in the United States and Western Europe established and funded numerous research foundations carefully selecting the functionaries to lead them. They chose intellectuals who shared their perspectives and could be counted on to promote studies and academics compatible with their imperial and class interests. As a result of the interlocking of business and state interests, these foundations and academic research centers published books , articles and journals and held conferences and seminars, which justified US overseas military and economic expansion while ignoring the destructive consequences of these policies on targeted countries and people. Thousands of publications, funded by millions of dollars in research grants, argued that ‘the West was a bastion of pluralistic democracy’, while failing to acknowledge, let alone document, the growth of a world-wide hierarchical imperialist order.

An army of scholars and researchers invented euphemistic language to disguise imperialism. For example, leading social scientists spoke and wrote of ‘world leadership’, a concept implying consensual acceptance based on persuasion, instead of describing the reality of ‘imperial dominance’, which more accurately defines the universal use of force, violence and exploitation of national wealth. The term, ‘free markets’, served to mask the historical tendency toward the concentration and monopolization of financial power. The ‘free world” obfuscated the aggressive and oppressive authoritarian regimes allied with Euro-US powers. Numerous other euphemistic concepts, designed to justify imperial expansion, were elevated to scientific status and considered ‘value free’.

The transformation of social science into an ideological weapon of the ruling class reflected the institutional basis and political commitments of the researchers. The ‘benign behavior’ of post-World War 2 US empire-building, became the operating assumption guiding scientific research. Moreover, leading academics became gatekeepers and watchdogs enforcing the new political orthodoxy by claiming that critical research, which spoke for non-elite constituencies, was non-scientific, ideological and politicized. However, academics, who consulted with the Pentagon or were involved in revolving-door relationships with multi-national corporations, were exempted from any similar scholarly opprobrium: they were simply viewed as ‘consultants’ whose ‘normal’ extracurricular activities were divorced from their scientific academic work.

In contrast, scholars whose research was directed at documenting the structure of power and to guiding political action by social movements were condemned as ‘biased’, ‘political’ andunsuitable for any academic career.

In other words, academic authorities replicated the social repression of the ruling class in society, within the walls of academia. Their principle ideological weapon was to counterpose ‘objectivity’ to ‘values’. More specifically, they would argue that ‘true social science’ is ‘value free’ even as their published research was largely directed at furthering the power, profits and privileges of the incumbent power holders.

‘Objective Academics’: the Manufacture of Euphemism and the Rise of Neo-Liberalism

During the last two decades, as the class and national liberation struggles intensified and popular consciousness rose in opposition to neoliberalism, one of the key functions of the academic servants of the dominant classes has been to elaborate concepts and language thatcloak the harsh class-anchored realities, which provoke popular resistance.

A number of euphemisms, which were originally elaborated by leading social scientists, have become common currency in the world beyond the ivory tower and have been embraced by the heads of international financial institutions, editorialists, political pundits and beyond.

Twenty-five years ago, the concept ‘reform’ referred to progressive changes: less inequality, greater social welfare, increased popular participation and more limitations on capitalist exploitation of labor. Since then, contemporary social scientists (especially economists) use the term, ‘reform’, to describe regressive changes, such as deregulation of capital, especially the privatization of public enterprises, health and educational institutions. In other words, mainstream academics transformed the concept of ‘reform’ into a private profitmaking business. ‘Reform’ has come to mean the reversal of all the working-class advances won over the previous century of popular struggle. ‘Reform’ is promoted by neo-liberal ideologues, preaching the virtues of unregulated capitalism. Their claim that ‘efficiency’ requires lowering ‘costs’, in fact means the elimination of any regulation over consumer quality, work safety and labor rights.

Their notion of ‘efficiency’ fails to recognize that economies, which minimize workplace safety, or lower the quality of consumer goods (especially food) and depress wages, are inefficientfrom the point of view of maximizing the general welfare of the country. ‘Efficiency’ is confined by orthodox economists to the narrow class needs and profit interests of a thin layer of the population. They ignore the historical fact that the original assumption of classical economics was to provide the greatest benefit to the greatest number.

The concept of ‘structural adjustment’ is another regressive euphemism, which has circulated widely among mainstream neoliberal social scientists.

For many decades prior to the neo-liberal ascendancy, the concept of ‘structural changes’ meant the transformation of property relations in which the strategic heights of the economy were nationalized, income was re-distributed and agrarian reforms were implemented. This ‘classical conception of structural change’ was converted by mainstream neoliberals into its polar opposite: the new target of ‘structural change’ was public property, the object was toprivatize by selling lucrative public enterprises to private conglomerates for the lowest price. Under the new rule of neo-liberal policymakers, ‘structural adjustment’ led to cuts in taxing profits of the rich and increases in regressive wage and consumer taxes on workers and the middle class. Under neoliberalism, ‘structural adjustments’ involve the re-concentration of wealth and property.

The scope and depth of changes, envisioned by neoliberal economists, far exceed a simple ‘adjustment’ of the existing welfare state; they involve the large scale, long-term transformation of living standards and working conditions. ‘Adjustment’ is another euphemism designed by academics to camouflage the further concentration of plutocratic wealth, property and power.

The concept ‘labor flexibility’ has gained acceptance by orthodox social scientists despite itsclass-anchored bias. The concept’s operational meaning is to maximize the power of the capitalist class to set work hours and freely fire workers for any reason, minimizing or eliminating notice and severance. The term ‘flexibility’ is another euphemism for unrestrained capitalist control over workers. The corollary is that labor has lost job security and protection from arbitrary dismissal. The negative connotations are obscured by the social scientist’smanipulation of language on behalf of the capitalist class: the operational meaning of ‘labor flexibility’ is ‘capitalist rigidity’.

Our fourth example of the class bias of mainstream neoliberal social science is the concept of ‘market economy’. The diffuse meaning of ‘market’ fails to specify several essential characteristics: These include the mode of production where market transactions take place; the size and scope of the principle actors (buyers and sellers); and the relationships between the producers and consumers, bankers (creditors) and manufacturers (debtors).

Markets’ have always existed under slave, feudal, mercantile and capitalist economies. Moreover, in contemporary states, small scale local farmers’ markets, co-operative producers and consumer markets ‘co-exist’ and are subsumed within national and international markets. The ‘actors’ vary from small-scale fruit and vegetable growers, fisher folk and artisan markets to markets dominated by multi-billion dollar conglomerates. The relations within markets vary between ‘relatively’ free, competitive local markets and massive international markets dominated by the ten largest ‘monopoly’ conglomerates. Today in the United States, international banks and other financial institutions exert vast influence over all large-scale market activity.

By amalgamating all the different and disparate ‘markets’ under the generic term ‘market economies’, social scientists perform a vital ideological function of obscuring the concentrationof power and wealth of oligarchical capitalist institutions and the role that financial institutions play in determining the role of the state in promoting and protecting power.

The Question of Political Commitment and Objectivity Reconsidered

By critically examining a few of the major concepts that guide orthodox social science researchers, we have exposed how their political commitments to the capitalist system and its leading classes inform their objectives and analysis, direct their research and guide their policy recommendations.

Once their political commitments define the research ‘problem’ to be studied and establish the conceptual framework, they apply ‘empirical’, historical and mathematical methods to collect and organize the data. They then apply logical procedures to ‘reach their conclusions’. On this flawed basis they present their work as ‘value-free’ social science. The only ‘accepted criticism’ is confined to those who operate within the conceptual parameters and assumptions of the mainstream academics.

Who Benefits from Social Science Research?

In the 150 years since its ‘establishment’ in the universities and research centers, the funders and gatekeepers of the profession, including the editors of professional and academic journals, have heavily influenced mainstream social scientists. This has been especially true during ‘normal’ periods of economic growth, political stability and successful imperialist wars. However, deep economic crisis, prolonged losing wars and social upheavals inevitably make their impact on the world of social science. Fissures and dissent among scientists grow in direct proportion to the ‘breakdown’ of the established order: The dominant academic paradigm is shown to be out of touch with the everyday life of the academics and as well as the public. Crisis and the accompanying national, class, racial and gender mass movements presentchallenges to the dominant academic paradigms. In the beginning, a minority, mostly students and younger scholars form a vanguard of iconoclasts via their critiques, exposing the hidden political biases embedded in the work of leading social scientists.

For example, the critics point out that the pursuit of ‘stability’, ‘prosperity’, ‘social cohesion’ and ‘managed change’ are ideological goals, dictated by and for the preservation of the dominant classes faced with societal breakdown, widespread immiseration and deepening social changes.

What would begin as a minority movement critiquing the ‘value free’ claims of the mainstream, becomes a majority movement, openly embracing a value informed social science orientedtoward furthering the struggle of popular movements. This happens through committed social scientists, whose work criticizes the structures of power, and propose alternative economic institutions and class, national, racial and gender relations.

Economic crisis, imperial defeats and rising social struggles are reflected in a polarizationwithin the academic world: between students and younger academics linked to the mass struggles and the established foundation/state-linked senior faculty.

Having lost ideological hegemony, the elite gatekeepers resort to repression: Denying tenure to critics and suspending or expelling students on the basis of spurious charges that political activism and research directed toward mass struggle are incompatible with scientific work. The emerging academic rebels counter by exposing the elites’ hypocrisy – their political activities, commitments and consultancies with corporate and state institutions.

Movements outside academia and critical academics and students within the institutions point to the enormous gap between the elites declared ‘defense of “universal values’ and the narrowelite class, imperial and race interests that they serve and depend upon.

For example, elite academic claims of defending democracy through US intervention, coups and wars are belied by the majoritarian resistance movements in opposition to, as well as the oligarchies and military juntas in support of, the intervention. The elite academics, faced with these empirical and historical facts, resort to several ideological subterfuges to remain ‘loyal’ to their principles: They can admit the facts but claim they are ‘exceptions to the rule’ – amounting to temporary and local aberrations. Some academic elites, faced with the contradiction between their embrace of the ‘democratic hypothesis’ and the authoritarian- imperialist reality, denounce the ‘tyranny of the majority’ and exalt the minority, as the true carriers of ‘democratic values’. In this case ‘values’ are superimposed over the quest for economic enrichment and military expansion; ‘values’ are converted into disembodied entities, which have no operative meaning, nor can they explain profoundly authoritarian practices.

Finally and most frequently, elite academics, faced with overwhelming facts contrary to their assumptions, refuse to acknowledge the critiques of their critics. They simply avoid public debate by claiming they are not ‘political people’ . . . but reserve their right to castigate and punish their adversaries, behind closed doors, via administrative measures. If they can’t defeat their critics intellectually or scientifically, they use their enormous administrative powers to fire or censure them, cut their salaries and research budgets and thus…. ‘end the debate’.

With these elite options in mind and given that their power resides in their administrative prerogatives, critical academics, oriented to popular movements, need to engage in coalition building inside and outside of academia. First they must build broad alliances with local and national academic solidarity movements defending freedom of expression and opposing repression; secondly they must engage in research supporting popular movements. Any successful coalition must be inclusive among critical academics, students, university workers and the parents of students capable of paralyzing the university and negotiating with the academic – administrative power elite. Finally, they have to strengthen and build politicalcoalitions with social movements outside of academia, especially with groups with which academic researchers have established working relations.These include neighborhood groups, tenant unions, trade unions, farmers’ and ecology movements and community organizations fighting urban evictions, which will ally with academic struggles on the basis of prior working relations and mutual solidarity. When academics only show up to ask for popular support intheir time of distress effective social mobilization is unlikely to evolve.

The ‘inside and outside’ strategy will succeed if it strikes quickly with large-scale support. These alliances can go forward through immediate victories even if they are small scale: small victories build big movements.

Conclusion

Academic freedom to conduct scientific research for and with popular, national, democratic and socialist movements is not merely an academic issue. To deny this research and to expelthese academics creates larger political consequences. Rigorous studies can play a major role in aiding movements in arguing, fighting and negotiating in favor of their rights and interests. Likewise, critical academics, whose studies are disconnected from popular practice, end -up publishing inconsequential treatises and narratives. Such social scientists adopt an exotic and obtuse vocabulary, which is accessible only those initiated into an academic cult. The elite tolerates this exotic type of critical academic because they do not pose any threat to the dominant elite’s paradigm or administrative power.

For the serious critical academic, in answering the question of ‘knowledge for whom?’: they would do well to follow Karl Marx’s wise adage, ‘The object of philosophy is not only to study the world but to change it.’

Fifty Years of Imperial Wars: Results and Perspectives

petras

Introduction

Over the past 50 years the US and European powers have engaged in countless imperial wars throughout the world. The drive for world supremacy has been clothed in the rhetoric of “world leadership”, the consequences have been devastating for the peoples targeted.  The biggest, longest and most numerous wars have been carried out by the United States.  Presidents from both parties direct and preside over this quest for world power.  The ideology which informs imperialism varies from “anti-communism”in the past to “antiterrorism”today.

Washington’s drive for world domination has used and combined many forms of warfare, including military invasions and occupations; proxy mercenary armies and military coups; financing political parties, NGO’s and street mobs to overthrow  duly constituted governments. The driving forces in the imperial state , behind the  quest for world power, vary with the geographic location and social economic composition of the targeted countries.

What is clear from an analysis of US empire building over the last half century is the relative decline of economic interests, and the rise of politico-military considerations.  In part this is because of the demise of the collectivist regimes (the USSR and Eastern Europe) and the conversion of China and the leftist  Asian, African and Latin American regimes to capitalism.  The decline of economic forces as the driving force of imperialism is a result of the advent of global neoliberalism.  Most US and EU multi-nationals are not threatened by nationalizations or expropriations, which might trigger imperial state  political intervention.

In fact, MNC are invited to invest,trade and exploit natural resources even by post-neoliberal regimes .  Economic interests come into play in formulating imperial state policies, if and when nationalist regimes emerge and challenge US MNC as is the case in Venezuela under President Chavez.

The key to US empire building over the past half-century is found in the political, military and ideological power configurations which have come to control the levers of the imperial state.  The recent history of US imperial wars has demonstrated that strategic military priorities – military bases, budgets and bureaucracy – have expanded far beyond any localized economic interests of MNC.  Moreover, the vast expenditures and long term and expensive military interventions of the US imperial state in the Middle East has been at the  behest of Israel.  The take-over of strategic political positions in the Executive branch and Congress by the powerful Zionist power configuration within the US has reinforced the centrality of military over economic interests

The ‘privatization’ of imperial wars – the vast growth and use of mercenaries contracted by the Pentagon- has led to the vast pillage of tens of billions of dollars from the US Treasury.  Large scale corporations which supply mercenary military combatants have become a very ‘influential’ force shaping the nature and consequences of US empire building.

Military strategists, defenders of Israeli colonial interests in the Middle East, mercenary military and intelligence corporations are central actors in the imperial state and it is their decision-making influence which explains why US imperial wars do not result in a politically stable, economic prosperous empire.  Instead their policies have resulted in unstable, ravaged economies, in perpetual rebellion..

We will proceed by identifying the changing areas and regions of US empire building from the mid 1970’s to the present.  We then examine the methods, driving forces and outcomes of imperial expansion.  We will then turn to describe the current ‘geo-political map of empire building and the varied nature of the anti-imperialist resistance.  We will conclude by examining the why and how of empire building and more particularly, the consequences, and results of a half century of US imperial expansion.

Imperialism in the post Vietnam Period:  Proxy Wars in Central America, Afghanistan and Southern Africa

The US imperialist defeat in Indo-China marks the end of one phase of empire building and the beginning of another:  a shift from territorial invasions to proxy wars.  Hostile domestic opinion precluded large scale ground wars.  Beginning during the presidencies of Gerald Ford and James Carter, the US imperialist state increasingly relied on proxy clients.  It recruited, financed and armed proxy military forces to destroy a variety of nationalist and social revolutionary regimes and movements in three continents.  Washington financed and armed extremist Islamic forces world-wide to invade and destroy the secular, modernizing, Soviet backed regime in Afghanistan, with logistical support from the Pakistan military and intelligence agencies, and financial backing from Saudi Arabia.

The second proxy intervention was in Southern Africa, where the US imperial state financed and armed proxy forces against anti-imperialist regimes in Angola and Mozambique, in alliance with South Africa.

The third proxy intervention took place in Central America, where the US financed, armed and trained murderous death squad regimes in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to decimate popular movements and armed insurgencies resulting in over 300,000 civilian deaths.

The US imperial state’s ‘proxy strategy’ extended to South America:  CIA and Pentagon backed military coups took place in Uruguay (General Alvarez), Chile (General

Pinochet) Argentina (General Videla), Bolivia (General Banzer) and Peru (General Morales). Empire building by proxy, was largely at the behest of US MNC which were the principal actors in setting priorities in the imperial state throughout this period.

Accompanying proxy wars, were direct military invasions:  the tiny island of Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989) under Presidents’ Reagan and Bush, Sr.  Easy targets, with few casualties and low cost military expenditures:  dress rehearsals for re-launching major military operations in the near future.

What is striking about the ‘proxy wars’ are the mixed results.The outcomes in Central America, Afghanistan and Africa did not lead to prosperous neo-colonies or prove lucrative to US multi-national corporations. In contrast the proxy coups in South America led to large scale privatization and profits for US MNC.

The Afghan proxy war led to the rise and consolidation of the Taliban “Islamic regime” which opposed both Soviet influence and US imperial expansion.  The rise and consolidation of Islamic nationalism in turn challenged US allies in South Asia and the Gulf region and subsequently led to a US military invasion in 2001 and a prolonged (15 year) war (which has yet to conclude), and most probably to a military retreat and defeat.  The main economic beneficiaries were Afghan political clients, US mercenary military “contractors”, military procurement officers and civilian colonial administrators who pillaged hundreds of billions from the US Treasury in illegal and fraudulent transactions.

Pillage of the US Treasury in no way benefited the non-military MNC’s.  In fact the war and resistance movement undermined  any large scale, long-term entry of US private capital in Afghanistan and adjoining border regions of Pakistan.

The proxy war in Southern Africa devastated the local economies, especially the domestic agricultural economy, uprooted millions of laborers and farmers and curtailed US corporate oil  penetration for over two decades.  The ‘positive’ outcome was the deradicalization of the former revolutionary nationalist elite.  However, the political conversion of the Southern African “revolutionaries” to neo-liberalism did not benefit the US MNC as much as the rulers turned kleptocratic oligarchs who organized patrimonial regimes in association  with a diversified collection of MNC, especially from Asia and Europe.

The proxy wars in Central America had mixed results.  In Nicaragua the Sandinista revolution defeated the US-Israeli backed Somoza regime but immediately confronted a US financed, armed and trained counter-revolutionary mercenary army (the “Contras”) based in Honduras.  The US war destroyed, many of the progressive economic projects,undemined the economy and eventually led to an electoral victory by the US backed political client  Violeta Chamorro. Two decades later the US proxies were defeated by a de-radicalized Sandinista led political coalition.

In El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the US proxy wars led to the consolidation of client regimes presiding over the destruction of the productive economy,and the flight of millions of war refugees to the United States.  US imperial dominance eroded the bases for a productive labor market which spawned the growth of murderous drug gangs.

In summary, the US proxy wars succeeded, in most, cases in preventing the rise of nationalist-leftist regimes, but also led to the destructive of the economic and political bases of a stable and prosperous empire of neo-colonies.

US Imperialism in Latin America:  Changing Structure, External and Internal Contingencies, Shifting Priorities and Global Constraints.

To understand the operations,  structure and performance of US imperialism in Latin America, it is necessary to recognize the specific constellation of competing forces which shaped imperial state policies.  Unlike the Middle East where the militarist-Zionist faction has established hegemony, in Latin America the MNC have played a leading role in directing imperial state policy.  In Latin America, the militarists played a lesser role, constrained by (1)the power of the MNC, (2) the shifts in political power in Latin America from right to center-left (3) the impact of economic crises and the commodity boom.

In contrast to the Middle East, the Zionist power configuration has little influence over imperial state policy, as Israel’s interests are focused on the Middle East and, with the possible exception of Argentina, Latin America is not a priority.

For over a century and a half, the US MNC and banks dominated and dictated US imperial policy toward Latin America.  The US armed forces and CIA were instruments of economic imperialism via direct intervention (invasions), proxy ‘military coups’, or a combination of both.

US imperial economic power in Latin America ‘peaked’ between 1975-1999.  Vassal states and client rulers were imposed via proxy military coups, direct military invasions (Dominican Republic ,Panama and Grenada) and military-civilian controlled elections.

The results were the dismantling of the welfare state and the imposition of neo-liberal policies.  The MNC led imperial state and its international financial appendages (IMF, WB, IDB) privatized lucrative strategic economic sectors, dominated trade and projected a regional integration scheme which would codify US imperial dominance.

Imperial economic expansion in Latin America was not simply a result of the internal dynamics and structures of the MNC but depended on (1) the receptivity of the ‘host’ country or more precisely the internal correlation of class forces in Latin America which in turn revolved around (2) the performance of the economy – its growth or susceptibility to crises.

Latin America demonstrates that contingencies such as the demise of client regimes and collaborator classes can have a profound negative impact on the dynamics of imperialism, undermining the power of the imperial state and reversing the economic advance of the MNC.

The advance of US economic imperialism during the 1975-2000 period was manifest in the adoption of neo-liberal policies, the pillage of national resources, the increase of illicit debts and the overseas transfer of billions of dollars However, the concentration of wealth and property, precipitated a deep socio-economic crises throughout the region which eventually led to the overthrow or ouster of the imperial collaborators in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Nicaragua.  Powerful anti-imperialist social movements especially in the countryside emerged in Brazil and the Andean countries.

Urban unemployed workers  movements and public employees unions in Argentina and Uruguay spearheaded electoral changes, bringing to power center-left regimes which‘renegotiaed’ relations with the US imperial state.

US  MNC influence in Latin America waned.  They could not count on the full battery of military resources of the imperial state to intervene and re-impose neo-liberal clients because of its military priorities elsewhere:  the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.

Unlike the past, the US MNC in Latin America lacked two essential props of power:

the full backing of the US armed forces and powerful civilian-military clients in Latin America.

The US MNC’s plan for US centered integration was  rejected by the center-left regimes.  The imperial state turned to bilateral free trade agreements with Mexico, Chile,

Colombia, Panama and Peru.  As a result of the economic crises and collapse of most Latin American economies, “neo-liberalism” ,the ideology of imperial economic penetration, was discredited. Neo-liberal  advocates marginalized.

Changes in the world economy had a profound impact on US – Latin America trade and investment relations.  The dynamic growth of China and the subsequent boom in demand and the rising prices of commodities, led to a sharp decline of US dominance of Latin American markets.

Latin American states diversified trade, sought and gained new overseas markets, especially in China.  The increase in export revenues created greater capacity for selffinancing.  The IMF, WB and IDB, economic instruments for leveraging US financial impositions (“conditionality”), were sidelined

The US imperial state faced Latin American regimes who embraced diverse  economic options, markets and sources of financing.  With powerful domestic popular support and unified civilian-military command, Latin America moved tentatively out of the US sphere of imperialist domination.

The imperial state and its MNC , deeply influenced by their “success” in the 1990’s, responded to the decline of influence by proceeding by ‘trial and error’, in the face of the negative constraints of the 21st century.  The MNC backed policymakers in the imperial state continued to back the collapsing neo-liberal regimes, losing all credibility in Latin America.  The imperial-state failed to accommodate changes – deepening popular and center-left regime opposition to “free markets” and the deregulation of banks.  No large scale economic aid programs, like Presideny Kennedy’s effort to counter the revolutionary appeal of the Cuban revolution by promoting social reforms via the  ‘Alliance for Progress”, were fashioned to win over the center-left,probably because of budget constraints resulting from costly wars elsewhere.

The demise of neo-liberal regimes, the glue that held the different factions of the imperial state together, led to competing proposals of how to regain dominance.   The ‘militarist faction’ resorted to and revived the military coup formula for restoration:  coups were organized in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras and Paraguay . . .  all were defeated, except the latter two.  The defeat of US proxies led  to the consolidation of the independent, anti-imperialist center-left regimes.Even the “success”of the US coup in Honduras resulted in a major diplomatic defeat,as every Latin American government condemned it and the US role,further isolating Washington in the region.

The defeat of the militarist strategy strengthened the political-diplomatic faction of the imperial state.  With positive overtures toward ostensibly ‘center-left regimes’, this faction gained diplomatic leverage, retained military ties and deepened the expansion of MNC in Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Peru.  With the latter two countries the economic imperialist faction of the imperial state secured bilateral free trade agreements.

A third MNC – military faction, overlapping with the previous two, combined diplomatic-political accommodations toward Cuba, with an aggressive political destabilization strategy aimed at “regime change” (coup) in Venezuela.

The heterogeneity of imperial state factions and their competing orientations, reflects the complexity of interests engaged in empire building in Latin America and results in seemingly contradictory policies, a phenomenon less evident in the Middle East where the militarist -zionist power configuration dominates imperial policymaking.

For example the promotion of military bases and counter-insurgency operations in Colombia (a priority of the militarist faction) is accompanied by bilateral free market agreements and peace negotiations between the Santos regime and the FARC armed insurgency (a priority of the MNC faction).

Regaining imperial dominance in Argentina involves, (1) promoting the electoral fortunes of the neo-liberal governor of Buenos Aires Macri, (2) backing the pro- imperial media conglomerate , Clarin, facing legislation breaking up its monopoly (3) exploiting the death of prosecutor and CIA-Mossad collaborator, Alberto Nisman to discredit the KirchnerFernandez regime(4)backing   NewYork speculaters’ (vulture)investment fund attempting to extract  exorbitant interest payments and, with the aid of a dubious judicial ruling, blocking

Argentina’s access to financial markets

Both the militarist and MNC factions of the imperial state converge in backing a multi-pronged electoral – and coup approach, which seeks to restore a US controlled neoliberal regimes to power.

The contingencies which forestalled the recovery of imperial power over the past decade are now acting in reverse.  The drop in commodity prices has weakened post neoliberal regimes in Venezuela, Argentina and Ecuador.  The ebbing of anti-imperialist movements resulting from center-left co-optation tactics has strengthened imperial state backed right-wing movements and street demonstrators.  The decline in Chinese growth has weakened the Latin American market diversification strategies.  The internal balance of class forces has shifted to the Right, toward US backed political clients in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Paraguay.

Theoretical Reflections on Empire Building in Latin America

US empire building in Latin America is a cyclical process, reflecting the structural shifts in political power, and the restructuring of the world economy – forces and factors which ‘override’ the  imperial state and capital’s drive to accumulate.Capital accumulation and expansion does not depend merely on the impersonal forces of “the market”because the social relations under which the “market” functions, operate under the constraints of the class struggle.

The centerpiece of imperial state activities-namely the prolonged territorial wars in the Middle East – are absent in Latin America.  The driving force of US imperial state policy is the pursuit of resources (agro-mining), labor power ( low paid autoworkers), markets (size and purchasing power of 600 million consumers).  The economic interests of the MNC are the motives for imperial expansion.

Even as, from a geo-strategic vantage point, the Caribbean, Central America as well as South America are located most proximate to the US, economic not military objectives predominate.

However, the militarist-Zionist faction in the imperial state, ignore these traditional economic motives and deliberately choose to act on other priorities – control over oil producing regions, destruction of Islamic nations or movements or simply to destroy antiimperialist adversaries.  The militarists-Zionist faction counted the “benefits” to Israel, its Middle East military supremacy, more important than the  US securing economic supremacy in Latin America.  This is clearly the case if we measure imperial priorities by state resources expended in pursuit of political goals.

Even if we take the goal of “national security”, interpreted in the broadest sense, of securing the safety of the territorial homeland of the empire, the US military assault of Islamic countries driven by accompanying Islamophobic ideology and the resulting mass killings and uprooting a millions of Islamic people, has led to “blowback”: reciprocal terrorism.  US “total wars” against civilians has provoked Islamic assaults against the citizens of the West.

Latin America countries targeted by economic imperialism are less belligerent than Middle Eastern countries targeted by US militarists.  A cost/benefits analysis would demonstrate the totally “irrational” nature of militarist strategy.  However,if we take account of the specific composition and interests that motivate particularly imperial state policymakers, there is a kind of perverse “rationality”.  The militarists defend the

“rationality” of costly and unending wars by citing the advantages of seizing the ‘gateways to oil’ and the Zionists cite their success in enhancing Israel’s regional power.

Whereas Latin America, for over a century was a priority region of imperial economic conquest, by the 21st century it lost  primacy  to the Middle East.

The Demise of the USSR and China’s conversion to Capitalism

The greatest impetus to successful US imperial expansion did not take place via proxy wars or military invasions.  Rather, the US empire achieved its greatest growth and conquest, with the aid of client political leaders, organizations and vassal states throughout the USSR, Eastern Europe, the Baltic States the Balkans and the Caucuses.  Long term, large scale US and EU political penetration and funding succeeded in overthrowing the hegemonic collectivist regimes in Russia and the USSR, and installing  vassal states. They would soon serve NATO and be incorporated in the European Union.  Bonn annexed East Germany and dominated the markets of Poland,the Czech Republic and other Central European states.  US and London bankers collaborated with Russian-Israeli gangster-oligarchs in joint ventures plundering resources, industries, real estate and pension funds.  The European Union exploited tens of millions of highly trained scientists, technicians and workers – by importing them or stripping them of their welfare benefits and labor rights and exploiting them as cheap labor reserves in their own country.

“Imperialism by invitation” hosted by the  vassal Yeltsin regime, easily appropriated Russian wealth.  The ex-Warsaw Pact military forces were incorporated into a foreign legion for US imperial wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.  Their military installations were converted into military bases and missile sites encircling Russia.

US imperial conquest of the East, created a “unipolar world” in which Washington decision-makers and strategists believed that, as the world’s supreme power, they could intervene in every region with impunity.

The scope and depth of the US world empire was enhanced by China’s embrace of capitalism and its ruler’s  invitation to US and EU MNC to enter and exploit cheap Chinese labor.  The global expansion of the US empire, led to a sense of unlimited power, encouraging its rulers’  to exercise power against any adversary or competitor.

Between 1990 and 2000,the US expanded its military bases to the borders of Russia.

US MNC expanded into China and Indo-China.  US backed client regimes throughout Latin America dismantled the national economies, privatizing and denationalizing over five thousand lucrative strategic firms.  Every sector was affected- natural resources, transport, telecommunications and finance.

The US proceeded throughout the 1990’s to expand via political penetration and military force.  President George H. W. Bush launched a war against Iraq.  Clinton bombed

Yugoslavia and Germany and the EU joined the US in dividing Yugoslavia into ‘mini states’

The Pivotel Year 2000:  the Pinnacle and Decline of Empire

The very rapid and extensive imperial expansion, between 1989-1999, the easy conquests and the accompanying plunder, created the conditions for the decline of the US empire.

The pillage and impoverishment of Russia led to the rise of a new leadership under

President Putin intent on reconstructing the state and economy and ending vassalage.

The Chinese leadership harnessed its dependence on the West for capital investments and technology, into instruments for creating a powerful export economy and the growth of a dynamic national public-private manufacturing complex.  The imperial centers of finance which flourished under lax regulation crashed.  The domestic foundations of empire were severely strained.  The imperial war machine competed with the financial sector for federal budgetary expenditures and subsidies.

The easy growth of empire, led to its over-extension.  Multiple areas of conflict, reflected world-wide resentment and hostility at the destruction wrought by bombings and invasions.  Collaborative imperial client rulers were weakened.  The world-wide empire exceeded the capacity of the US to successfully police its new vassal states.  The colonial outposts demanded new infusions of troops, arms and funds at a time when countervailing domestic pressures were demanding retrenchment and retreat.

All the recent conquests – outside of Europe – were costly.  The sense of invincibility and impunity led imperial planners to overestimate their capacity to expand, retain, control and contain the inevitable anti-imperialist resistance.

The crises and collapse of the neo-liberal vassal states in Latin America accelerated.

Anti-imperialist uprisings spread from Venezuela (1999), to Argentina (2001), Ecuador (2000-2005) and Bolivia (2003-2005).  Center-left regimes emerged in Brazil, Uruguay and Honduras.  Mass movements, in rural regions,among Indian and mining communities gained momentum. Imperial plans formulated to secure US centered integration were rejected.

Instead multiple regional pacts excluding the US proliferated-ALBA,UNASUR,CELAC.  Latin America’s domestic rebellion coincided with the economic rise of China.  A prolonged commodity boom severely weakened US imperial supremacy.  The US had few local allies in Latin America and over ambitious commitments to control the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.

Washington lost its automatic majority in Latin America:  its backing of coups in Honduras and Paraguay and its intervention in Venezuela (2002) and blockade of Cuba was repudiated by every regime, even by conservative allies.

Having easily established a global empire, Washington found it was not so easy to defend it.  Imperial strategists in Washington viewed the Middle East wars through the prism of the Israeli military priorities ,ignoring the global economic interests of the MNC.

Imperial military strategists overestimated the military capacity of vassals and clients, ill-prepared by Washington to rule in countries with growing armed national resistance movements.  Wars, invasions and military occupations were launched in multiple sites. Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Pakistan were added to Afghanistan and Iraq.  US imperial state expenditures far exceeded any transfer of wealth from the occupied countries.

A vast civilian – military – mercenary bureaucracy pillaged hundreds of billions of dollars from the US Treasury.

The centrality of wars of conquest, destroyed the economic foundations

and institutional infrastructure necessary for MNC entry and profit.

Once entrenched in strategic military conceptions of empire, the military-political leadership of the imperial state  fashioned a global ideology to justify and motivate a policy of permanent and multiple warfare. The doctrine of the ‘war on terror’ justified war everywhere and nowhere.  The doctrine was ‘elastic’ – adapted to every region of conflict and inviting new military engagements:  Afghanistan, Libya, Iran and Lebanon were all designated as war zones.  The ‘terror doctrine’, global in scope, provided a justification for multiple wars and the massive destruction (not exploitation) of societies and economic resources.  Above all the “war on terrorism” justified torture (Aba Gharib) and concentration camps (Guantanamo), and civilian targets (via drones)anywhere. Troops were withdrawn and returned to Afghanistan and Iraq as the nationalist resistence advanced..  Thousands of Special Forces in scores of countries were active, purveying death and mayhem.

Moreover, the violent uprooting, degradation and stigmatization of entire islamic people led to the spread of violence  in the imperial centers of Paris, New York, London,

Madrid and Copenhagen. The globalization of imperial state terror  led to individual terror.

Imperial terror evoked domestic terror:  the former on a massive, sustained scale encompassing entire civilizations and conducted and justified by elected  political officials and military authorities.  The latter by a cross section  of ‘internationalists’ who directly identified with the victims of imperial state terror.

Contemporary Imperialism:  Present and Future Perspectives

To understand the future of US imperialism it is important to sum up and evaluate the experience and policies of the past quarter of a century.

If we compare, US empire building between 1990 and 2015, it is clearly in decline economically, politically and even militarily in most regions of the world, though the process of decline is not linear and probably not irreversible.

Despite talk in Washington of reconfiguring imperial priorities to take account of MNC economic interests, little has been accomplished… Obama’s so-called “pivot to Asia” has resulted in new military base agreements with Japan, Australia and the Philippines surrounding China and reflects an inability to fashion free trade agreements that exclude China.  Meantime, the US has militarily re-started the war and reentered Iraq and

Afghanistan in addition to launching  new wars in Syria and the Ukraine.  It is clear that the primacy of the militarist faction is still the determinant factor in shaping imperial state policies.

The imperial military drive is most evident in the US intervention in support of the coup in the Ukraine and subsequent financing and arming of the Kiev junta.  The imperial takeover of the Ukraine and plans to incorporate it into the EU and NATO, represents military aggression in its most blatant form: The expansion of US military bases and installations and military maneuvers  on Russia’s borders and the US initiated economic sanctions, have severely damaged EU trade and investment with Russia.. US empire building continues to prioritize military expansion even at the cost of Western imperial economic interests in Europe.

The US-EU bombing of Libya destroyed the burgeoning trade and investment agreements between imperial oil and gas MNC and the Gadhafi government… NATO air assaults destroyed the economy, society and political order, converting Libya into a territory overrun by warring clans, gangs, terrorists and armed thuggery.

Over the past half century, the political leadership and strategies of the imperial state have changed dramatically.  During the period between 1975 – 1990, MNC played a central role in defining the direction of imperial state policy:  leveraging markets in Asia; negotiating market openings with China; promoting and backing neo-liberal military and civilian regimes in Latin America; installing and financing pro-capitalist regimes in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltic and Balkan states.  Even in the cases where the imperial state resorted to military intervention, Yugoslavia and Iraq, , the bombings led to favorable economic opportunities for

US MNC .The Bush Sr regime promoted US oil interests via an oil   for food agreement with

Saddam Hussein Iin Iraq

Clinton promoted free market regimes in the mini-states resulting from the break-up of socialist Yugoslavia .

However, the imperial state’s leadership and policies shifted dramatically during the late 1990’s onward.  President Clinton’s imperial state was composed of  long-standing MNC represntatives , Wall Street bankers and newly ascending militarist Zionist officials.

The result was a hybrid policy in which the imperial state actively promoted MNC opportunities under neo-liberal regimes in the ex-Communist countries of Europe and Latin America,and expanded MNC ties with China and Viet Nam while launching destructive military interventions in Somalia, Yugoslavia and Iraq.

The ‘balance of forces’ within the imperialist state shifted dramatically in favor the militarist-Zionist faction with 9/11:the terrorist attack of dubious origens  and  false flag demolitions in New York and Washington served to entrench the militarists in control of a vastly expanded  imperial state apparatus.  As a consequence of 9/11 the militarist-Zionist faction of the imperial state  subordinated the interests of the MNC to its strategy of total wars.  This in turn led to the invasion, occupation and destruction of civilian infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan (instead of harnessing it to MNC expansion).  The US colonial regime dismantled the Iraqui state (instead of re-ordering it to serve the MNC).  The assassination and forced out -migration of millions of skilled professionals, administrators, police and military officials crippled any economic recovery (instead of their incorporation as servants of the colonial state and MNC).

The militarist-Zionist ascendancy in the imperial state introduced major changes in policy, orientation , priorities and the modus operandi of US imperialism.  The ideology of the “global war on terror” replaced the MNC doctrine of promoting “economic globalization”.

Perpetual wars (“terrorists” were not confined to place and time) replaced limited wars or interventions directed at opening markets or changing regimes which would implement neo-liberal policies benefiting US MNC.

The locus of imperial state activity shifted from exploiting economic opportunities, in

Asia, Latin America and the ex-Communist countries of Eastern Europe to wars in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa – targeting Moslem countries which opposed Israel’s colonial expansion in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere.

The new militarist – power configuration’s conception of empire building required vast – trillion dollar – expenditures, without care or thought of returns to private capital.  In contrast, under the hegemony of the MNC, the imperial state, intervened to secure concessions of oil, gas and minerals in Latin America and the Middle East.The costs of military conquest were more than compensated by the returns to the MNC.  The militarist imperial state configuration pillaged the US Treasury to finance its occupations, financing a vast army of corrupt colonial collaborators, private mercenary ‘military contractors’and,soon to be millionaire, US military procurement (sic) officials.

Previously, MNC directed overseas exploitation led to healthy returns to the US Treasury both in terms of direct tax payments and via the revenues generated from trade and the processing of raw materials.

Over the past decade and a half, the biggest and most stable returns to the MNC take place in regions and countries where the militarized imperial state is least involved – China, Latin America and Europe.  The MNC’s have profited least and have lost most in areas of greatest imperial state involvement.

The ‘war zones’ that extend from Libya, Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan are the regions where imperial MNC have suffered the biggest decline and exodus.

The main “beneficiaries” of the current imperial state policies are the war contractors and the security-military-industrial complex in the US.Oversees the state beneficiaries include Israel and Saudi Arabia…In addition Jordanian, Egyptian, Iraqui , Afghani and Pakistani client rulers have squirreled away tens of billions in off-shore private bank accounts.

The “non-state” beneficiaries include mercenary, proxy armies .In Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and the Ukraine , tens of thousands of collaborators in self-styled “nongovernmental” organizations  have also profited.

The Lost-Benefit Calculus or Empire-Building under the Aegeus of the Militarist-

Zionist Imperial State

Sufficient time has passed over the past decade and a half of militarist-Zionist dominance of the imperial state to evaluate their performance.

The US and its Western European allies, especially Germany successfully expanded their empire in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Baltic regions without firing a shot.  These countries were converted into EU vassal states.  Their markets dominated and industries denationalized.  Their armed forces were recruited as NATO mercenaries. West Germany annexed the East.  Cheap educated labor, as immigrants and as a labor reserve, increased profits for EU and US MNC. Russia was temporarily reduced to a vassal state between 1991 – 2001.  Living standards plunged and welfare programs were reduced.  Mortality rates increased.  Class inequalities widened.  Millionaires and billionaires seized public resources and joined with the imperial MNC in plundering the economy.  Socialist and Communist leaders and parties were repressed or co-opted.In contrast imperial military expansion of the 21st century, was a costly failure.  The ‘war in Afghanistan’ was costly in lives and expenditures and led to an ignominious retreat.  What remained was a fragile puppet regime and an unreliable mercenary military.  The US-Afghanistan war was the longest war in US history and one of the biggest failures.  In the end the nationalist-Islamist resistance movements – the so-called “Taliban” and allied ethno-religious and nationalist anti-imperialist resistance groups- dominate the countryside, repeatedly penetrate and attack urban centers and prepare to take power.

The Iraq war and the imperial state’s invasion and decade long occupation decimated the economy .  The occupation fomented ethno religious warfare.  The secular Ba’thist officers and military professionals joined with Islamist-nationalists and subsequently formed a powerful resistance movement (ISIS) which defeated the imperial backed Shia mercenary army  during the second decade of the war.  The imperial state was condemned to re-enter and engage directly in a prolonged war.  The cost of war spiraled to over a trillion dollars.  Oil exploitation was hampered and the US Treasury poured tens of billions to sustain a “war without end’.

The US imperial state and the EU, along with  Saudi Arabia and Turkey financed armed Islamic mercenary militias to invade Syria and overthrow the secular, nationalist, anti-

Zionist Bashar Assad regime.  The imperial war opened the door for the expansion of the Islamic –Ba’thist forces—ISIS– into Syria .  The Kurds and other armed groups seized territory, fragmenting the country.  After nearly 5 years of warfare and rising military costs the US and EU MNC have been cut off from the Syrian market.

US support for Israeli aggression against Lebanon has led to the growth in power of the anti-imperialist Hezbollah armed resistance.  Lebanon, Syria and Iran now represent a serious alternative to the US,EU, Saudi Arabia, Israeli axis.

The US sanctions policy toward Iran has failed to undermine the nationalist regime and has totally undercut the economic opportunities of all the major US and EU oil and gas

MNC as well as US manufacturing exporters.China has replaced them

The US-EU invasion of Libya led to the destruction of the economy and the flight of billions in MNC investments and the disruption of exports.

The US imperial states’ seizure of power via a proxy coup in Kiev, provoked a  powerful anti-imperialist rebellion led by armed militia in the East (Donetsk and Luhansk) and the decimation of the Ukraine economy.

In summary, the military-Zionist takeover of the imperial state has led to prolonged, unwinnable costly wars which have undermined markets and investment sites for US MNC.  Imperial militarism has undermined the imperial economic presence and provoked long-term, growing anti-imperialist resistance movements, as well as chaotic, unstable and unviable countries out of imperial control.

Economic imperialism has continued to profit in parts of Europe, Asia , Latin America and Africa despite the imperial wars and economic sanctions pursued by the highly militarized imperial state elsewhere.

However, the US militarists’ seizure of power in the Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia have eroded EU’S profitable trade and investments in Russia.  The Ukraine under IMF-EU-US tutelage has become a heavily indebted , broken  economy run by kleptocrats who are  totally dependent on foreign loans and military intervention.

Because the militarized imperial state prioritizes conflict and sanctions with Russia, Iran and Syria, it has failed to deepen and expand  its economic ties with Asia, Latin America and Africa.  The political and economic conquest of East Europe and parts of the USSR has lost significance.  The perpetual, lost wars in the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucuses have weakened the imperial state’s capacity for empire building in Asia and Latin America.

The outflow of wealth, the domestic cost of perpetual wars has eroded the electoral foundations of empire building.  Only a fundamental change in the composition of the imperial state and a reorientation of priorities toward centering on economic expansion can alter the current decline of empire.  The danger is that as the militarist Zionist imperialist state pursues losing wars, it may escalate and  raise the ante ,and move toward a major nuclear confrontation:  an empire amidst nuclear ashes!

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