Iran

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Cole Morton Names the MPs and Lords Describing Desperate Channel Migrants as ‘Invaders’

The Tory campaign to divert us all from the horrific mess they’ve made of Britain and their mass killing of its people continues. Once again, it’s all about illegal immigrants. Mike and Zelo have put up several excellent articles this hate campaign, with Zelo Street pointing out that the number of these asylum seekers coming to this country is trivial: 4,000 compared to 40,000 applications for asylum last year, and 677,000 people immigrating to the UK in 2019. Nevertheless, the Tories are describing it as an invasion. Zelo Street today has posted an excellent Tweet from the author Cole Moreton, who has named these disgraceful bigots. Moreton writes

Here are the names of 23 MPs and Lords who claim the desperate men, women and children risking their lives to cross the Channel in tiny rubber boats in search of peace are “invading”. Anyone here on the coast who has met them knows how obscenely ludicrous that is.

They are

Sir John Hayes CBE MP, South Holland and the Deepings

Sir David Amess MP, Southend West

Lee Anderson MP, Ashfield

Gareth Bacon MP, Orpington

Scott Benton MP, Blackpool South,

Rob Blackman MP, Harrow East

Philip Davies MP, Shipley

Nikc Fletcher MP, Don Valley,

Sally-Ann Hart MP, Hastings and Rye,

Tom Hunt MP, Ipswich,

David Jones MP, Clwyd West,

Daniel Kawczynski MP, Shrewsbury and Atcham

Pauline Latham, OBE MP, Mid-Derbyshire

Jonathan Lord MP, Woking,

Sir Edward Leigh MP, Gainsborough

Karl McCartney JP MP, Lincoln,

Stephen Metcalfe MP, South Basildon and East Thurrock,

Craig McKinley MP, South Thanet,

Lia Nici MP, Great Grimsby,

Andrew Rosindell MP, Romford

Alexander Stafford MP, Rother Valley,

Henry Smith MP, Crawley,

Martin Vickers MP, Cleethorpes

Lord Horam

Lord Lilley,

See: https://zelo-street.blogspot.com/2020/08/migrant-row-wheres-mark-francois.html

And Mike’s also named a few names in a piece in his blog.

Mike notes that Priti ‘Vacant’ Patel was told back in November that her policy was forcing migrants to use more dangerous routes into the UK. She ignored the report because it recommended establishing more legal routes into the UK, as well as doing something about the reasons they were leaving their home countries in the first place. Patel’s innate ruthless caused her to reject all this. She just wants to stop them, and so is determined to make this route unviable. Mike notes that she uses the word ‘shameful’ in her Tweet about this, to divert attention from the fact that the real disgrace here is her.

Mike then goes to cite a Beeb report on one of the boats, where they were forced to use a plastic container to bail it out. When asked where they came from, the migrants replied ‘Syria’. In 2018 the UK voted to bomb Syria following reports that its government had bombed its own people. But the materials used to manufacture the bomb were supplied by Britain. Mike writes

Now, I don’t know the personal situations of the people on that boat, but it seems entirely likely that the UK is the reason they have been fleeing their own country.

If you approve of this behaviour by your country’s leaders then you are a jingoistic, sabre-rattling racist.

Fortunately, the evidence I’ve seen suggests that few people do. Most of us appear to have reacted with disgust – both at the government and at the BBC. 

He then provides a few tweets by people disgusted with this contemptible hate-mongering.

One of them is by Richard Murphy, who points out

We can apparently put the RAF over the Channel today to needlessly spot dinghies but have only allocated £5 million for emergency relief for Beirut. In terms of humitarian crisis management haven’t we got almost everything wrong?

Kerry-Ann Mendoza:

I’d like to say “I can’t believe England is calling for the extra-judicial murder of displaced people in dinghies” but I can believe it. There are great & compassionate communities in England. But others seem bent on regressing it into a spiteful, cold, grim little island.

Zarah Sultana MP:

People fleeing war, famine and persecution shouldn’t be confronted by gunships and hostility, but instead offered safe, legal routes to asylum. Our common humanity demands nothing less.

Carole Hawkins contrasted the attitude with Lebanon, which has accepted 1.5 million refugees

Lebanon with all its problems has accepted 1.5 MILLION REFUGEES & Spaffer/Patel going loopy over a few hundred so much so that Spaffer wants to change or make new laws. This is Trump politics – executive directives which Spaffer is also doing. Totally non democratic.

Mike points out that this demonisation may not stop if you vote for Labour, because of the right-wingers who voted to bomb Syria. According to Ben, they were

Stella Creasy

Liz Kendel

Yvette Cooper

Neil Coyle

Hilary Benn

Margaret Hodge

Margaret Beckett

Maria Eagle

Angela Eagle

Lucy Powell

Harriet Harmen

Bridget Phillipson

Alison McGovern

He concludes ‘This lot chose to destroy these migrants homes’. Yes, yes, they did. Not because they were outraged at a government killing its own people, but because they’re bog-standard Blairite neocons. The Likud-Republican alliance has a list of seven countries, whose governments they want overthrown because they’re a threat to Israel and an obstacle to American imperial interests. One of these is Syria, because the ruling class and government are a Shi’a sect and allied with Iran.

And he starts his piece with this brilliant meme:

Wise words from Tony Benn. And its exactly right. Food banks originally appeared under New Labour, when Blair and Brown passed legislation forbidding illegal immigrants from claiming benefits. Then the Tories decided that it would be a wizard system to inflict on the native, British population – by which I mean all Brits, who have been here for generations, Black and Asian as well as Brown – as they cut away the welfare state. The result is mass starvation.

Counterpunch and the late critic of the American empire, William Blum, have published several articles pointing out that what the west does to the rest of the world supporting Fascist dictators ultimately comes back home. Those same governments then set about militarising the police force and stripping back people’s civil rights, all in the name of protecting us from terrorism, of course.

After Patel has finished rounding up desperate men, women and children fleeing real war and violence in their countries of origin, she will try to turn to the guns on us. And scumbags like Hillary ‘Bomber’ Benn, Margaret ‘F***ing Anti-Semite’ Hodge, Angela ‘Gentler, Caring Politics’ Eagle and the rest will help her.

What did Orwell say the future was? ‘A jackboot stamping on a human face. Forever’. It’s in 1984. And Patel, the 23 Tory MPs and their New Labour collaborators are all ready to polish it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Another Friday Night News Dump

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 09/08/2020 - 12:40am in

America’s top news continues to touch on the upcoming election. The Friday night news dump was about the United States Postal Service. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Trump loyalist, has recently created new rules for the agency that have dramatically … Continue reading

The post Just Another Friday Night News Dump appeared first on BillMoyers.com.

Disbelief as Trump Appoints Disgraced Iran-Contra Criminal Elliott Abrams as Iran Envoy

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 08/08/2020 - 3:17am in

The Trump administration has appointed disgraced neoconservative hawk Elliott Abrams to the new position of chief advisor on Iran after former insider Brian Hook handed in his resignation earlier this week. “Special Representative Hook has been my point person on Iran for over two years and he has achieved historic results countering the Iranian regime,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday, “Following a transition period with Brian Hook, Elliott Abrams will assume the position of Special Representative for Iran, in addition to his responsibilities as Special Representative for Venezuela.”

Anger and disbelief appeared to be the chief emotions stirred by the decision. “Elliott Abrams appointment as Special Representative for Iran is as ludicrous as his failed career as Venezuela envoy,” reacted United Nations Special Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas. “Convicted war criminal Elliott Abrams gets to try and destroy Venezuela and Iran at the same time. He certainly does have a great track record in dealing with Iran and Latin America all at once,” wrote journalist Anya Parampil, referencing his participation in the Iran-Contra scandal. Activist group CODEPINK was equally condemnatory, claiming the appointment was “another low point for the Trump administration’s disastrous policy towards Iran.” “The dangerous conflict resulting from Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear agreement will be exacerbated by a man committed to Washington’s failed policies of regime change, including in his present-day position as Trump’s representative for Venezuela,” they added. Even mainstream, corporate-funded outlets could not hide their skepticism at the decision. “Elliott Abrams, convicted of lying about Iran-Contra, named special representative for Iran,” read CBS News’ headline.

 

Killy Elliott

Abrams’ first day on the job in the Reagan administration as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs could hardly have been more conspicuous. The previous day, a U.S.-backed and trained death squad in El Salvador had conducted a massacre in the village of El Mozote, killing at least 800 people and raping girls as young as 10. Survivors testify that the soldiers threw a three-year-old boy in the air and impaled him on their bayonets. Abrams immediately led a cover-up, telling the Senate that eyewitness reports were “not credible” and the massacre was being “significantly misused as propaganda against their side. In total, around 75,000 people were killed in what is misleadingly described as a “civil war,” but was, in reality, a campaign of extermination directed at anyone who dissented against the U.S.-backed dictatorship. Abrams lauded what happened in El Salvador as a “fabulous achievement” for democracy. Investigative journalist Jon Schwarz described Abrams as “supporting Latin American democracy pretty much like [serial killer] Jeffrey Dahmer supported all the people that he brought to his apartment.”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, right, poses with former Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 2, 2007. (AP/Charles Dharapak)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney, right, poses with Abrams in the Oval Office, May 2, 2007. Charles Dharapak | AP

Throughout the 1980s, Abrams was a chief architect of the genocides and dirty wars plaguing the region. In Guatemala, he pushed for arms sales to the dictatorship of General Efrain Rios Montt, claiming he had “brought considerable progress” to human rights in the region. “We think that kind of progress needs to be rewarded and encouraged,” he said. While General Rios Montt was later convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity, Abrams faced no consequences for his role in the killing over 200,000 people, nor did he suffer serious repercussions for his role in the Iran-Contra Affair, where government organizations sold weapons to Iran in order to fund far-right death squads in Nicaragua. Abrams pled guilty to lying to Congress about the affair but was quickly pardoned by George H.W. Bush.

 

New regime change opportunities

“The failure of Trump’s obscure government hawk character, Elliott Abrams, was evident in the U.S. Senate today. His criminal record and his arrogant vision of the Cold War has caused him to crush the dignity and courage of a free people time and again,” wrote Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, on hearing the news about Abrams’ new position. Since January 2019, Abrams has been tasked with overthrowing the Venezuelan government, constantly encouraging the country to rise up, and placing crippling sanctions on others who trade with the Caribbean nation. Yesterday, he confirmed that he has been attempting to bribe military generals to rebel and overthrow the country’s elected leader.

The appointment of perhaps the most hardline neoconservative hawk to the new position of Special Representative for Iran is the latest in a long line of escalatory measures the Trump administration has taken. In the last two years, the president has abandoned the nuclear deal, greatly increased sanctions on the country, supported anti-government protests in Tehran, assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, and prevented the importation of COVID-19 medicines and supplies. Given his record, it is doubtful whether many in Iran will be celebrating the return of Elliott Abrams.

Feature photo | Elliot Abrams, the U.S. special adviser for Venezuela and now Iran, listens to questions from reporters at the US embassy in Lisbon, April 9, 2019. Armando Franca | AP

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post Disbelief as Trump Appoints Disgraced Iran-Contra Criminal Elliott Abrams as Iran Envoy appeared first on MintPress News.

Shadow Wars: Leaks by Mossad Point to Israeli Involvement in Deadly Attacks on Iran

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/08/2020 - 2:27am in

Israel is believed to be behind several recent acts of sabotage against Iranian civilian and military infrastructure, including a hospital, that have taken the lives of at least 19 people and has further disrupted an economy already in the throes of a devastating downturn brought on by a global pandemic and crippling economic sanctions.

Click-Here-to-watch-on-YouTube

Read more about the attacks:

Feature photo | Rescue workers search for survivors at the scene of a mysterious explosion at the Sina At’har Health Center in the north of Iran’s capital Tehran on June 30, 2020. Amir Kholousi | ISNA

The post Shadow Wars: Leaks by Mossad Point to Israeli Involvement in Deadly Attacks on Iran appeared first on MintPress News.

Melbourne academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert remains a ‘political hostage’ inside Iran’s Qarchak prison

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/08/2020 - 7:18pm in

Quiet diplomacy fails to achieve the release of the academic

Kylie Moore-Gilbert interview with The Modern Middle East October 2017

Kylie Moore-Gilbert interview with The Modern Middle East October 2017- Video screenshot

The transfer of University of Melbourne academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert to Iran’s notorious Qarchak prison in Tehran has focused worldwide attention on her plight.

Qarchak has been infamous for its health and security conditions. Kylie has become physically sick and mentally depressed. She also faces the real possibility of contracting COVID-19.

Kylie is a dual citizen of Australia and the United Kingdom who was sentenced in 2018 to ten years imprisonment for alleged espionage. Her incarceration was kept a virtual secret for a year as part of the Australian government’s quiet diplomacy strategy. Some of her colleagues have lost patience with this approach and have launched a petition calling on the Australian government and her university to undertake an active public campaign.

Iranian American Jason Rezaian, who was released in January 2016 in an apparent diplomatic deal after fifteen months imprisonment on espionage charges, tweeted:

Moore-Gilbert maintains her innocence but claims that Iranian intelligence tried to recruit her in exchange for her freedom.

Radio Zamaneh, part of a Farsi language media organisation which ‘supports the efforts of human rights activists and civil society in Iran’, is closely following the case:

آزاده دواچی، پژوهشگر در دانشگاه دیکن ملبورن و از دوستان و همکاران کایلی مور-گیلبرت در گفت‌وگو با زمانه می‌گوید او انسان بسیار آرامی است و اتهام‌هایی که به او وارد شده، برای افرادی که از نزدیک او را می‌شناسند، قابل باور نیست.

«ایشان محقق و پژوهشگر در حوزه اسلام‌شناسی و مدرس اسلام‌شناسی در دانشگاه ملبورن بودند. حوزه تحقیقی ایشان در مورد شیعیان بحرین و جنبش‌هایی بود که در آن منطقه وجود دارد. به همین دلیل به زبان عربی هم مسلط بودند و به کشورهای حوزه خلیج فارس هم سفر کرده بودند. چند سال پیش هم به ایران سفر کردند برای تحقیق در مورد شیعه و اسلام. بدون هیچ مشکلی هم برگشتند.

Azadeh Dawachi, a researcher at Deakin University in Melbourne and a friend and colleague of Kylie Moore-Gilbert, told Zamaneh that she was a very calm person and that the accusations against her were unbelievable to those who knew her intimately.

… She was a researcher in the field of Islamology and a lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Melbourne. Her field of research was about the Bahraini Shiites and the movements that exist in the region. She speaks Arabic fluently and also traveled to Iran a few years ago to research Shiites and Islam. She returned without any problems.

Another friend and colleague, Jessie Moritz, called for more action and less secrecy in a post on The Conversation: 

I have been keeping silent in the hopes a quiet diplomatic approach would secure her freedom.
But it is hard to overstate how horrific this week’s development is. Australia needs to do more.

The recent exposure of her situation has brought some progress with the Australian ambassador promising access to Kylie. The Twitter account @FreeKylieMG has a thread:

Chinese American Xuyie Wang, another who was released in 2019 in a prisoner swap after three years imprisonment in Iran, spoke to ABC’s Radio National Breakfast program. He sees Kylie as a “political hostage” held in order to make a deal such as a swap. He argues that “as much public attention as possible” is necessary in these cases.

Reza Khandan, human rights activist and husband of Nasrin Sotoudeh who was imprisoned for defending human rights in Iran, shared in his Facebook that Kylie “was transferred as an act of punishment”. He writes that during a call from prison she described conditions as very bad. “I can not eat anything … I do not know … I am very disappointed … I am very … depressed …”.

Khandan adds that in the quarantine of Qarchak prison, prisoners are kept for all kinds of reasons, including murder, drugs, and financial crimes. There is also a significant number of COVID-19 patients in the prison’s quarantine section.

The Modern Middle East, a current affairs television series, interviewed Kylie in October 2017. With considerable understatement, her reflection on her pre-Arab Spring travels in the region has extra significance in hindsight: “The Middle East was a little bit more stable than it is today.”

Israel Leaking Evidence of Its Involvement in Covert Iran Bombing Campaign that Threatens to Spark a Wider War

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 23/07/2020 - 1:05am in

Israel is believed to be behind several recent acts of sabotage against Iranian civilian and military infrastructure, including a hospital, that have taken the lives of at least 19 people and has further disrupted an economy already in the throes of a devastating downturn brought on by a global pandemic and crippling economic sanctions.

Leaks emerging out of Israel have identified the apartheid state as the rouge actor wreaking havoc on Iran. Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen, was outed by a political rival as the source of anonymous leaks linking Israel to the conflagration at a Iranian nuclear facility. A different story had made the rounds earlier when an unknown “Iranian dissident group calling itself the Homeland Cheetahs” reportedly contacted the BBC to take credit for the blast and claimed that it was part of an “ongoing campaign of sabotage against Iranian strategic sites.” But, neither the story nor the group’s existence were ever confirmed.

The first in a string of recent fires and explosions took place on June 25 when a “huge” blast took down a power plant in Shiraz, east of Tehran, and caused an extensive blackout in several parts of the nation’s capital. Two more military sites believed to house nuclear and missile production facilities on the eastern edge of Tehran were also attacked over the course of these last few weeks and just two days ago, on July 19, a new explosion rocked a power station in Iran’s Isfahan Province in what is also believed to be the work of Israeli cyberattacks, bringing the total of military and civilian sites targeted to eight.

The most high profile incident occurred on July 2, when the Iranian nuclear site in Natanz was targeted in a cyberattack which caused an explosion at the underground facility, reportedly “set[ting] back the Iranian nuclear program by two months.” The attack was egregious enough to elicit an unusual statement from the Iranian state news agency, blaming Israel and the U.S. directly for the incident.

With these attacks, Israel intends to provoke a belligerent response by Rouhani’s government, while also seeding a narrative of cyber warfare as the next theater of global combat, which perfectly dovetails with Israel’s burgeoning partnership with the U.S. National Security state to build a juggernaut of mass surveillance.

 

Exhibit A, B and C

The precedent for Israeli cyberattacks on Iran is strong. Perhaps the most salient example is U.S.-Israeli Stuxnet project, a computer virus developed in tandem with the U.S. and an “elite” Unit 8200 team, led by Lior Div – an Israeli software engineer who went on to found a company called Cybereason, which has been running doomsday cyberattack scenarios for the upcoming 2020 U.S. elections.

The project was first authorized by the Bush administration and involved the recreation of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, according to “experts” at Israel’s Dimona complex. It was carried out a decade ago at the same facility targeted in early July. The comparable “complexity” of the covert operation has led many familiar with the matter to the conclusion that Israel was also behind the latest round of sabotage on Iran’s underground nuclear facility.

Only six years later, a cyberwarfare program code named “Nitro Zeus” was developed in the early days of the Obama administration as a backup “in case the diplomatic effort to limit its nuclear program failed and led to a military conflict.” The operation was intended to take down Iran’s air defenses, power grid, and communications systems, but was “shelved” after the JCPOA (Iran Nuclear Deal) was signed. In tandem with Nitro Zeus, “American intelligence agencies” were busy making separate plans to disable the Fordo nuclear enrichment site through a cyberattack. The project was intended as a follow-up to the program code named “Olympic Games,” which included the Stuxnet virus, as well as the Flame malware, that attacked computers running Windows operating systems.

Given this robust history of cyber warfare against Iran by the U.S. and Israel, consensus has been quick to build around the idea that these same actors have, in fact, been behind all of the recent attacks in Iran. Furthermore, according to NSC member, Eric Brewer, it’s enough that the Iranian leadership believes that it is the case. “Given that these [attacks] are hitting all across Iran at military and civilian locations”, he stated, “that is going to cause Iran’s threat perceptions to spike.”

 

Israel’s trump card

Barely two days into 2020, the Trump administration assassinated Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and set the stage for a relentless campaign of provocation against the Middle Eastern nation that has persisted until today. The patently illegal hit job on one of Iran’s top military leaders was a textbook application of Israel’s so-called Octopus Doctrine; brainchild of Israeli Defense Minister, formerly Education Minister, Naftali Bennet, who once stated that the world could be living with conflict in the Middle East for 100 years.

The doctrine entails murdering “Iranian advisers and officials who direct and support proxy forces in other countries.” Trump’s willingness to do the bidding of Israel’s policy of aggression should come as no surprise and is the reason Netanyahu and company are trying to take advantage of the most Israel-friendly administration in American political history, putting as much pressure as possible on Iran, which is presently reeling with unemployment rates hovering around 35 percent and a large informal service sector that is languishing under coronavirus-imposed lockdowns. The conditions for catastrophic civil unrest in Iran haven’t been this ripe since the CIA-sponsored overthrow of Mohammad Mosaddegh seventy years ago.

The seeding of a cyber warfare narrative has been coming from virtually every corner of the Israeli state. Tamir Pardo, former head of Mossad, recently claimed that the COVID-19 outbreak would unleash a “global scale crisis on three fronts: medical, social, and financial” and that “cyberwars” would be the method of choice for cash-strapped nations looking for “cheaper solutions” at “state level, between companies, and between criminal organizations.”

As is the case with many former Mossad and IDF personnel, Pardo is currently part of a cybersecurity company called XM Cyber, which offers the very services the cyber warriors he envisions will need to plan out their offensive or defensive operations. “Whoever finds a remedy or vaccine for Covid-19 will become a major target for attackers”, Pardo asserts, predicting the emergence of “cyber conflicts between political and commercial adversaries” in a kind of cybernetic dog-eat-dog future.

 

A matter of cyber convenience

In May, a purported Iranian cyberattack on six Israeli water treatment plants that was ostensibly foiled by Israeli “cyber” authorities took place. Stories were circulated in the aftermath about how the attack “could have sickened hundreds,” despite the fact that no evidence of an attack of any kind was ever produced. Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennet pushed for a “strong” response, which eventually manifested as a cyberattack targeting Iran’s Shahid Rajaee Port terminal in Bandar Abbas on the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

Another supposed cyberattack on Israel’s water system took place on July 17. Israeli officials claim that “two attacks were aimed at agricultural water pumps in the Upper Galilee and infrastructure in the centre of the country,” and while no culprit was named, it is implied that Iran carried out these attacks, as well. Israeli media has been propagating this narrative since the first ostensible cyberattack on the water processing plants, which – like the last one – resulted in no damage deeming it a “significant escalation by Iran and a crossing of a red line.”

The head of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate warned on that occasion that we were just seeing “the beginning” and that a “cyber winter is coming.” Other, more “moderate” Israeli voices, like Amos Yadlin, the head of the Institute for National Security Studies, and a former head of IDF military intelligence, have looked approvingly upon this shift in focus for Israeli policy. “According to foreign sources, it appears that the prime minister focused this week on Iran rather than [his plan for West Bank] annexation,” he tweeted last Friday, adding that this was the very policy the veteran of the Yom Kippur war has been recommending.

“If Israel is accused by official sources”, he continued, “then we need to be operationally prepared for the possibility of an Iranian reaction (through cyber, firing missiles from Syria or a terror attack overseas).”

The drumbeat for war with Iran seems to be intensifying as 2020 reaches its halfway point and the narrative that cyberattacks are to play an inciting role in the coming conflict is being drilled into the collective mind. The U.S. and Israel are committed to exploiting invisible and unverifiable “attacks” on systems, which they themselves have built and sold to the world with backdoors to the very technology they claim are the target of “malicious actors”, who also happen to be in the way of their global interests.

Iran, for its part, is comfortable stating that “the Iranian government does not engage in cyberwarfare”, as Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran’s mission to the UN, told the Washington Post. We can take his word for it, or trust the claims of Israeli cybersecurity firm ClearSky, which “closely tracks Iranian hacking activity” and has put forward unsubstantiated accounts of Iranian hacking of U.S. pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences Inc. The choice may be one between war and peace.

Feature photo | The scene of a mysterious explosion at the Sina At’har health centre in the north of Iran’s capital Tehran. Photo | Amir Kholousi ISNA

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

The post Israel Leaking Evidence of Its Involvement in Covert Iran Bombing Campaign that Threatens to Spark a Wider War appeared first on MintPress News.

Mike Pompeo Delineates Atlanticist Playbook To Target China, Russia and Iran  

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/07/2020 - 1:14am in

Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sat down for a teleconference Q&A with Hudson Institute senior fellow, Marie-Josee Kravis at the Economic Club of New York; a think tank founded at the start of the 20th century, which broaches issues surrounding “social, economic and political questions.” The organization is currently chaired by the President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and counts several corporate leaders from some of the country’s most important institutions on its board of trustees, such as Mastercard, Goldman Sachs, PayPal, and many others.

On the occasion of the 548th meeting, the top American diplomat was lobbed a number of canned questions regarding the “state of U.S.-China relations” by Kravis. He immediately brought up Henry Kissinger’s secret trip to Beijing in the 1970s when Nixon’s secretary of state set up the eventual ‘opening’ of China, asserting that the last four decades of “dialogue-at-all-costs diplomacy” has failed to achieve “the outcome that I think Dr. Kissinger hoped [for].”

Pompeo, the “official face of Trump administration thuggery” claimed that China has shown a pattern of persistent “unilateral aggression” over the years and “thievery” of intellectual property that has subverted the “good work done by American businesses” and directly blamed the Chinese for the evisceration of the American middle class; an accusation that rings especially hollow coming from a Koch-sponsored politician, but is nothing more than the State Department’s chief mouthpiece executing the narrative dictates of the U.S. National Security Council, which long-ago established a strategic policy to thwart the PRC’s drive to become a self-reliant economic powerhouse and its inexorable encroachment on the West’s designs over Eurasia.

After a few remarks about the recent policy change regarding the South China Sea, Pompeo went on talk about the “fairness and reciprocity and security” that president Trump is ostensibly trying to obtain for “the American people” via the ongoing trade war with China, but instead of tackling the issue directly, framed it as a matter of China’s disrespect for the “rule of law” and international institutions in regards to the “virus [that] broke out in Wuhan” and “what they did with respect to the World Health Organization”, regurgitating long-held narratives of China’s supposed interference in the WHO’s response.

 

NATO’s shifting role

Once the anti-Xi Jinping stage was set, Kravis turned the conversation to broader Atlanticist perspectives from the point of view of the U.S. State Department’s attempts to bring the EU into stricter alignment with U.S. goals in the region. She asked about the call Pompeo held with recently-installed EU chief diplomat, Borrell, and 27 EU foreign ministers two weeks ago, in which a “distinct bilateral dialogue focused on China” was suggested.

Pompeo argued that the “tide has turned” on the EU’s resistance to take a hardline approach to China, claiming that Europe was now open to it as a result of the “work that we have done to demonstrate to the world the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses to them.” He provided two examples that were meant to buttress his point, but neither were from the EU itself. One centered around the UK’s decision to exclude China from its implementation of 5G technology, and the other was India’s move to excise 50 Chinese information applications that were operating in that country.

The call with the EU ministers also comes on the heels of big changes at NATO, as Germany assumes the presidency of the EU and the Chairmanship of NATO’s National Reserve Forces Committee, even as Trump plans to slash its troop numbers in the pivotal nation – a plan that has garnered some resistance from both the Pentagon and Congress.

 

Bipartisan sanctions, unilateral edicts, and COVID

The subject of China’s relationship with Iran and Venezuela was touched on towards the latter part of the interview, in which Pompeo warned about the end of the JCPOA, known colloquially as the Iran Nuclear deal; stating that it “would be tragic” and represent the imminent transformation of Iran into “the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.” He said that he hoped the arms embargo could be extended diplomatically and that the UN Security Council – presently headed by China – could be persuaded to go along with it, but cited Democrats Kerry, Sherman and former president Obama to express the bipartisan will to “unilaterally reimpose (sic) all of those sanctions” in case they didn’t.

The topic of Venezuela’s gasoline sales to Iran was touched on briefly, as was the static situation with North Korea before returning to China and WHO, specifically. Kravis posed the question of which “institution or organization or format, process” would be best to “replace the WHO in terms of sharing of information, sharing of data, sharing of research.” Pompeo touted PEPFAR, President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief, as precedent for a U.S. action in response to the “last time the WHO failed with respect to a pandemic,” and praised Deborah Birx – head of Trump’s COVID-19 task force – whose medical license has been expired for a decade.

The top American diplomat expressed hope that the U.S. would be able to “build a coalition” around this issue, as they had done when a “Chinese candidate” was about to lead the “World Intellectual Property Organization” and had successfully built a “coalition” to insert the State Department’s preferred candidate in the position. The softball Q&A ended on an ironic note when Kravis asked Pompeo about diversity in the State Department. “We don’t have enough Mandarin speakers here.” he conceded.

Feature photo | Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Constitution Center about the Commission on Unalienable Rights, July 16, 2020, in Philadelphia. Brendan Smialowski | AP

Raul Diego is a MintPress News Staff Writer, independent photojournalist, researcher, writer and documentary filmmaker.

The post Mike Pompeo Delineates Atlanticist Playbook To Target China, Russia and Iran   appeared first on MintPress News.

Five Years On, the Nefarious Goals of the Iran Nuclear Deal Reveal Themselves

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 15/07/2020 - 2:07am in

Iran, due to its geopolitical position, has always been considered a jewel in the crown of the colonial powers. Attempts to conquer it through proxy started with Operation Ajax in August of 1953 at the behest of the British and were ultimately carried out by the CIA and not abandoned even with the ousting of America’s man, the Shah.  Although the Islamic Revolution reclaimed Iran’s sovereignty in 1979, America was not ready to abandon its plans of domination over Iran, and by extension, the Persian Gulf.

The Persian Gulf has been the lynchpin of U.S. foreign policy. “To all intents and purposes,” a former senior Defense Department official observed, “‘Gulf waters’ now extend from the Straits of Malacca to the South Atlantic.” Nevertheless, bases nearer the [Persian] Gulf had a special importance, and Pentagon planners urged “as substantial a land presence in them as can be managed.” (Anthony H. Cordesman, “The Gulf and the Search for Strategic Stability”, Boulder: Westview, 1984).

Having failed in numerous attempts, including the Nojeh coup during the nascent stages of Iran’s newly formed revolutionary government, war, sanctions, terrorism, and a failed color revolution, the United States needed other alternatives to reach its goal. Unlike the illegal war against Iraq, war with Iran was not a feasible option. The United States was aware of its inability to wage a successful war against Iran without serious damage to itself and its allies.

When George W. Bush took office, he commissioned a war exercise to gauge the feasibility of an attack against Iran. The  2002 Millennium Challenge was a major war game exercise conducted by the United States Armed Forces in mid-2002. The exercise, which ran from July 24 to August 15 and cost $250 million, proved that the U.S. could not defeat Iran. The U.S. even restarted the war games, changing rules to ensure an American victory, in reality, cheating itself. This led to accusations that the war game had turned from an honest, open, playtest of U.S. war-fighting capabilities into a controlled and scripted exercise intended to end in a U.S. victory to promote a false narrative of U.S. invincibility.

For this reason, the United States continued its attempts at undermining Iran’s sovereignty by means of sanctions, terror, and creating divisions among Iranians. The JCPOA would be its master plan.

A simple observation of Iran clearly suggests simple ideological divisions among the Iranian people (pro-West, anti-West, minorities, religious, secular) which have all been amply exploited by the United States and its allies. None of the exploits delivered the prize the U.S. was seeking and so it was that it was decided to exploit the one factor which united Iranians of all persuasions. Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

In a November 25, 2004 interview with National Public Radio, Ray Takyeh (of the Council on Foreign Relations and husband to Iran expert Suzanne Maloney of the Brookings Institute) stated that, according to polls, 75-80 percent of Iranians rallied behind the Islamic Republic of Iran in support of its nuclear program, including the full fuel cycle. In other words, the overwhelming uniting factor among Iranians was the nuclear program. A U.S.IA poll conducted in 2007 found that 64 percent of those questioned said that U.S. legislation repealing regime change in Iran would not be incentive enough to give up the nuclear program and full fuel-cycle. The next phase in America’s plan was to cause disunity on an issue that united Iranians of all stripes by negotiating away the nuclear program.

The first round of nuclear negotiations in 2003-2005, dubbed the Paris Agreement, between Iran and the EU, proved to be futile and as one European diplomat put it: “We gave them a beautiful box of chocolate that was, however, empty.” As the West’s fortune would have it, the same Iranian officials who participated in the 2003-2005 negotiations, would later negotiate the JCPOA.

Around the time of the end of the first round of negotiations, another Brookings Fellow, Flynt Leverett, senior advisor to the National Security Center, published a book “Inheriting Syria, Bashar’s Trial by Fire.” In it, Leverett argued that instead of conflict, George W. Bush should seek to cooperate with Syria as Assad was popular, but instead seek to weaken Assad’s position among his people by targeting the Golan Heights by inducing him to give them up so that he would lose popularity among Syrians. The JCPOA was designed, in part, along the same line of thinking. What more, Leverett’s wife Hillary had a prominent role in ‘selling’ the Iran Deal.

Secret negotiations between the Americans and ‘reform-minded’ Iranians never ceased, bypassing both Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, and the President at the time – Mahmood Ahmadinejad. In a 2012 meeting at the University of Southern California, present members of the Iran Project team had no reservations about suggesting that it was more beneficial to engage Iran than to attack it. They went as far as stating in the Q&A session to this writer that “they had been engaged with the “Green” (the opposition movement in the failed 2009 color revolution) for years, but Ahmadinejad won,” referring to Iran’s 2009 presidential elections. But Ahmadinejad would soon leave office and be replaced by Rouhani – a more amenable player.

 

Why negotiate with America’s archnemesis?

Fully appreciating the challenge of attacking Iran, in 2004, the pro-Israel Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), presented its policy paper “The Challenges of U.S. Preventive Military Action” authored by Michael Eisenstadt. It was opined that the ideal situation was, and continues to be, to have a compliant ‘regime’ in Tehran.   Eisenstadt was of the opinion that unlike the Osiraq nuclear power plant which was bombed and destroyed, Israel and the U.S. would not be able to bomb Iran’s Bushehr reactor with the same ease. In particular, Eisenstadt claimed that Israel may have benefited from French aid in destroying Osiraq. French intelligence reportedly placed a homing beacon at Osiraq to help Israeli pilots locate the facility or target a critical underground structure there.

In this light, it was recommended that the principal goal of U.S. action should be to delay Iran’s nuclear program long enough to allow for the possible emergence of new leadership in Tehran.  Failing that, war would have been facilitated.

It was thought the Paris Agreement talks would fail, (much as the JCPOA was designed to fail) and as such, the following were among the suggestions made:

• harassment or murder of key Iranian scientists or technicians;

• introduction of fatal design flaws into critical reactor, centrifuge, or weapons components during their production, to ensure catastrophic failure during use;

• disruption or interdiction of key technology or material transfers through sabotage or covert military actions on land, in the air, or at sea;

• sabotage of critical facilities by U.S. intelligence assets, including third country nationals or Iranian agents with access to key facilities;

• introduction of destructive viruses into Iranian computer systems controlling the production of components or the operation of facilities;

• damage or destruction of critical facilities through sabotage or direct action by U.S. special forces.

As with the murder and terror of Iranian nuclear scientists as well as the infection of nuclear reactors with the Stuxnet virus, the JCPOA enabled personnel on the ground in Iran to carry out extensive sabotage as has been observed in recent days and weeks.  Rouhani’s visa-free travel opened the flood gates to spies and saboteurs – dual citizens who easily traveled with passports other than American, British, and Australian. Iran even managed to cancel the accreditation of an IAEA inspector who triggered an alarm at one of its nuclear facilities. But it would seem, Iran has not been able to stop other intruders and terrorists – not yet.

 

Why else negotiate with Iran?

According to studies, as of 2008, Iran’s Bushehr nuclear reactor had 82 tons of enriched uranium (U235) loaded into it, according to Israeli and Chinese reports. This amount was significantly higher both before and during negotiations. History has not witnessed the bombing of a nuclear power plant with an operational nuclear enrichment facility.  Deliberate bombing of such facilities would breach containment and allow radioactive elements to be released. The death toll would be horrifying. The Union of Concerned Scientists has estimated 3 million deaths would result within three weeks of the bombing of nuclear enrichment facilities near Esfahan, and the contamination would cover Afghanistan, Pakistan, all the way to India.

The JCPOA significantly reduced the amount of enriched uranium, reducing potential casualties in the event that a strike is carried out.

The Deal buys time. Iran’s strength has long been its ability to retaliate to any attack by closing down the Strait of Hormuz. Given that 17 million barrels of oil a day, or 35 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports, go through the Strait of Hormuz, incidents in the Strait would be fatal for the world economy. Enter Nigeria (West Africa) and Yemen.

In 1998, Clinton’s national security agenda made it clear that unhampered access to Nigerian oil and other vital resources was a key U.S. policy. In the early 2000s, Chatham House determined that African oil would be a good alternate to Persian Gulf oil in case of oil disruption. This followed the release of a strategy paper prodding the U.S. to move toward African oil. The push for Africa’s oil was on Dick Cheney’s desk on May 31, 2000. In 2002, the Israeli based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies suggested an American push towards African oil. In the same year, Boko Haram was ‘founded.’

In 2007, AFRICOM helped consolidate this push into the region. In 2011, a publication titled: “Globalizing West African Oil: U.S. ‘energy security’ and the global economy” outlined ‘U.S. positioning itself to use military force to ensure African oil continued to flow to the United States.’ This was but one strategy to supply oil in addition to, or as an alternate, to the passage of oil through the Strait of Hormuz.

 

The JCPOA as a starting point

It is now abundantly clear that the Iran Deal was simply JCPOA 1.0.  Other deals were to follow and disarm Iran even further, to stop Iran’s defensive missile program, and to stop Iran from helping its allies in the region.  This would have been relatively easy to achieve had Hillary Clinton been elected – as had been the hope.

The plan was to allow trade and neoliberal policies which the Rouhani administration readily embraced, a sharp increase in imports (harming domestic production and self-reliance) while building hope – or as Maloney called it ‘crisis of expectation’.

It was thought that with a semblance of ‘normalcy’ in international relations and free of sanctions, Iranians would want to continue abandoning their sovereignty, their defenses, and rally around pro-western politicians at the expense of the core ideology of the Islamic Revolution, the conservatives and the IRGC. In other words, regime change.  Several meetings took place that spoke to this policy.

 

The players

The most prominent, one could argue, was President Obama. Obama was not about peace.  The biggest threat to an empire is peace. Obama had chosen feigned diplomacy as his weapon, but before picking up the mantle of diplomacy, he had proposed terrorism – sanctioned terrorism.

Obama, while a junior senator, introduced S. 1430 in 2007  and had “crippling sanctions” in mind for the Iranian people.  As president, his executive orders assured this.

Addressing AIPAC as a candidate, he said,

Our willingness to pursue diplomacy will make it easier to mobilize others to join our cause. If Iran fails to change course when presented with this choice by the United States it will be clear to the people of Iran and to the world that the Iranian regime is the author of its own isolation and that will strengthen our hand with Russia and China as we insist on stronger sanctions in the Security Council. And we should work with Europe, Japan, and the Gulf States to find every avenue outside the United Nations to isolate the Iranian regime from cutting off loan guarantees and expanding financial sanctions to banning the export of refined petroleum to Iran to boycotting firms associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard whose Kuds forces have rightly been labeled a terrorist organization.”

It is no wonder then that he would later be dubbed America’s “first Jewish president.”

Not to be left unmentioned was the darling of the theatrics of this deal – Federica Mogherini. So enamored were some of the Iranian parliamentarians with her that to the embarrassment of Iran, the internet was abuzz with these MPs taking pictures with her.   Perhaps they looked at her and not her years as a German Marshall Fund Fellow.

The German Marshall Fund (GMF) sounds harmless enough, but perhaps Russia may not view it that way. And Iran shouldn’t either. The GMF pushed for bringing Ukraine into NATO’s fold. Furthermore, it gives funding to American Abroad Media (AMA). AMA boasts of some of the most dangerous anti-Iran neoconservatives who have shaped America’s policies, including Dennis Ross, James Woolsey, Martin Indyk (responsible for the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act later to become ISA and still in place after the JCPOA), and Tom Pickering, one of the main proponents of the Iran Deal and member of the Iran Project. Supporters of the AMA are not limited to the GMF, others include the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations and the NED.

One of the most active proponents of the JCPOA was none other than NED recipient, Trita Parsi. Parsi was personally thanked for his role in pushing the JCPOA through. Job well done for a three-time recipient of NED funds. No wonder the Soros–Koch foundation’s Quincy Institute selected him as their Executive Vice President.

And last but not least, Hillary Mann Leverett (wife of aforementioned Flynn Leverett) who persuaded her audiences that the JCPOA was akin to “Nixon going to China.” While some in Iran naively believed this to be the case and even defended her, they failed to realize that when Nixon went to China, it was to bring China on board against Russia.   And Israel was not a player. It was not an opening to befriend Iran any more than Nixon’s trip had altruist motivations.

 

The role of Russia and China

The Russians and the Chinese were so eager to embrace a long-awaited peace after all the calamity caused by the United States that they fully embraced this deal, even though doing so was detrimental to their interests.

America’s animosity and never-ending schemes encouraged cooperation between Russia, China, and Iran. Although the lifting of sanctions post-JCPOA would have facilitated trade and enhanced diplomacy between Iran and the West at a cost to China and Russia, they stood steadfast by the deal. Peace was more valuable, but far more importantly, the two powerful nations allowed the United States to be the arbitrator of an international treaty – the NPT.

During the Shah’s reign, President Ford had signed onto a National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM 292, 1975) allowing and encouraging Iran to not only enrich uranium but sell it to neighboring countries to profit America. The United States then decided that since the Islamic Republic of Iran did not serve the interests of the United States, the United States would determine how the NPT should apply to Iran.

But their efforts at peace and the West’s efforts at regime change all came to naught.  What is important to bear in mind is that America’s efforts at war, sabotage, and terrorism have not ended. Imposing unilateral sanctions – terrorism against the Iranian people, has not ceased. Although the Iranian people and their elected representative in the new Iranian parliament are far more aware of and have an aversion to America’s ploys and the Iran Deal, China and Russia must do their part not only as guarantors of peace, but also to maintain their integrity in a world where both aspire to live in multilateralism. The world already has a superpower without morals and integrity; it does not need other great powers that act similarly.

Iran has fended off another assault on its sovereignty. However, saboteurs and terrorists are soliciting war with their recent string of terrorism in Iran. As the fifth anniversary of this trap approaches, the world needs to understand and step up in order to defend peace, international law, and social justice. The future of all depends on it.

And to American compatriots:  Make sure Trump understands that war will not get him reelected.

Feature photo | Rescue workers search for survivors at the scene of a mysterious explosion at the Sina At’har Health Center in the north of Iran’s capital Tehran on June 30, 2020. Amir Kholousi | ISNA

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an independent researcher and writer with a focus on U.S. foreign policy and the role of lobby groups in influencing U.S. foreign policy. 

The post Five Years On, the Nefarious Goals of the Iran Nuclear Deal Reveal Themselves appeared first on MintPress News.

We Should Not Sell Arms to Saudia Arabia, Let Alone Apologise to Them

On Friday, Mike published a very enlightening article showing just how concerned the Tories are about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia: they aren’t. They actually apologized to them about it. It seems that after BoJob announced sanctions against particular Saudi individuals for their crimes against humanity, the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace phoned up the Saudi prince serving as their defence minister and apologized. This wasn’t publicized over here, but it was loudly trumpeted in the Saudi state press, and only reported in Blighty by the Independent.

See: https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2020/07/10/defence-secretary-phoned-saudi-arabia-to-apologise-for-human-rights-sanctions-claim/

What! Outrageous!

We’ve got absolutely no business selling arms to Saudi Arabia in the first place. A few years ago a Nigerian academic appeared on Radio 4 recommending a change of allies in the Middle East. Instead of supporting Israel and Saudi Arabia, we should support and ally ourselves instead with Turkey and Iran. It’s a radical plan that has absolutely no hope of success, but it would be better than those two highly draconian and intolerant regimes. Turkey, until the accession of President Ergoyan, aspired to be a modern, western-looking, secular state. That was the programme of the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Attaturk. Turkey has also has its problems with human rights abuses, such as its ethnic cleansing of the Kurds and official denial of the Armenian massacres. Iran is also a theocracy, but despite the Shah’s regime, which turned it into an absolute monarchy, and then the Islamic Revolution of the Ayatollah Khomeini, it does have a democratic component. They have a parliament – the majlis – whose members are elected, as is its president, although progress to a genuine, western-style democracy is blocked through an elected Supreme Leader, another ayatollah, and the Pasdaran, the Revolutionary Guards. But even with these anti-democratic institutions, both countries are more tolerant and democratic than Saudi Arabia.

Iran officially recognizes in its constitution the country’s religious minorities – the Zoroastrians, descendants of the original monotheist faith of the Persian Empire, Armenian Christians and Jews. Four seats are reserved for them in the majlis. And despite American and Israeli propaganda to the contrary, Iranian Jews are tolerated and treated quite well. Possibly this is because some of the country’s great patriots of the 20th century, who were determined to resist its annexation by the imperial powers, were Jews.

This is in stark contrast to Saudi Arabia, which is an absolute, theocratic monarchy. The only tolerated religion is Wahhabi Islam. All other faiths, even they are varieties of Islam, are strictly proscribed. The Shi’a minority live in villages without electricity or running water. Their religious books may be seized and destroyed. And as the west has made grief-stricken overtures of sorrow and contrition for its racial intolerance and slavery, the Saudis have made no such gestures on their part. A few years ago one of the country’s leading clerics – I think it was the Grand Mufti, rather than the Sherif of Mecca, declared that the Shi’a were ‘heretics’ and ‘worthy of death’. It’s a declaration of genocide, an exact counterpart of the slogan ‘Baptism or extermination’ of the German crusading orders in their campaigns against the pagan Slavs in eastern Europe. Saudi Arabia only outlawed slavery in 1964, but it still occurs today in the appalling exploitation of migrant labourers under the countries’ sponsorship system. Domestic servants are also kept in conditions no different from real slavery, including those taken to Britain and Europe by their masters.

And it explains precisely why the Saudis are indiscriminately bombing and killing civilians, women and children, and mosques, hospitals and schools in Yemen.

We went to war in 1939 against a regime that was determined to the same to the Jews, as well as the Gypsies, Poles and the other Slavonic peoples of eastern Europe. If you want to hear some real horror stories, talk to Poles, Ukrainian and Russians about what happened when the Nazis and the SS moved in and occupied their countries, as well as the horrors Jews, Gypsies and the disabled went through.

Why should we be arming a similar regime?

And the Saudis are spreading this intolerance. Many Muslim countries were traditionally much more tolerant and pluralistic. One of Mike’s photos he brought back from his time in Bosnia showed a church and a mosque that were right next to each other. It’s a very clear demonstration that in that part of the country, Christians and Muslims had been friends and definitely not at each others throats. But I’ve read comments again and over again in books and articles from more moderate Muslims from different nations lamenting the increasing fanaticism in their countries. And they state that those responsible for it went to study in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Bosnian Islam, thanks to these influences, has become more rigid and austere. In the Balkans Islam was spread by the Sufi mystical orders that served that Turkish troops as chaplains. These forms of Islamic piety also absorbed elements from Christianity. But these are being purged as Wahhabism is exported to Bosnia. A few years ago the government was sending in bulldozers to destroy the traditional Muslim gravestones in its cemeteries.

And we shouldn’t sell the arms for simply self-preservation.

The Saudis have also exported their religious intolerance by funding and arming terrorist groups. Forget the stuff about Iran being responsible for most of the world’s terrorist groups. Muslim terrorism only ever counted for a fraction of global terrorism. Most of the terrorist groups around the world are either nationalists or Marxists. But it seems to me very strongly that the Saudis surpassed Iran long ago as the suppliers of Muslim terror. They matched the Americans in funding and supplying the Islamist guerrillas against the Russians in Afghanistan. The suppressed passages in the official report about 9/11 made it clear that atrocity was funded and led by the Saudis. It was impossible to follow the trail all the way, but the evidence pointed all the way to the top. And the reports on al-Qaeda’s campaigns in Iraq and Syria published in the volume Unmasking Terror: A Global Review of Terrorist Activities, edited by Christopher Heffelfinger and published by the Jamestown Foundation in 2005 state very clearly that al-Qaeda in those nations was being funded and supplied by the current head of Saudi intelligence. The Saudis were favourably disposed to Daesh, and only turned against them when ISIS declared the jihad against them.

If we sell them armaments, there is a very real chance that they will make their way to terrorists who will use them against our brave boys and girls and our allies.

The argument for selling what David Cameron called ‘this wonderful kit’ to Saudi Arabia and other nations is that this supposedly opens these countries up to other British products. It doesn’t. They don’t purchase more ordinary, peaceful British goods. They just concentrate on weapons. Weapons that they don’t actually need. We sold them, or one of the other Arab states, a whole batch of jet fighters a few years ago, despite the fact that the Saudis had no need for them, nowhere to put them, and no maintenance infrastructure.

But it all makes the arms companies richer. And they, no doubt, are also donating very handsomely to Tory party coffers.

The Racket Of National Security

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 3:01pm in

US national security has turned into a racket. Enemies and bogeymen are invented with monotonous regularity to justify massive budgets and kickbacks to insiders. But with so much domestic US turmoil how long can this swindle go on?

Host Ross Ashcroft is joined by investigative historian and journalist Gareth Porter to discuss the state of national security and how the US’ track record on foreign policy has got us into this mess.

The post The Racket Of National Security appeared first on Renegade Inc.

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