March 31st, 2014 - by admin
Brandon Turbeville / Activist Post – 2014-03-31 02:18:39
Venezuela: Another Western-Backed Destabilization
(February 27, 2014) — As Ukraine falls to the control of fascist forces funded by the Anglo-American powers and the world watches with bated breath for the Russian response, a similar sequence of events is currently taking place inside the South American country of Venezuela.
For the record, the people of Venezuela, much like the people of Ukraine, have very real complaints against the leadership in Caracas. A lagging economy and a level of personal freedom that is below par to say the least present clear reasons for Venezuelans to be disgruntled.
This latest Venezuelan “revolution,” however, does not appear to be the result of a popular uprising against an oppressive government but yet another Western-backed destabilization campaign aimed at wrecking the existing government and replacing it with another regime more favorable to the goals of the Anglo-Western interests and international banking cartels.
This recent spate of “demonstrations” began in earnest earlier this month with a rash of student protests in San Cristobal. Very soon, protests had spread from San Cristobal to Caracas and other Venezuelan cities with the demonstrators acting in a coordinated fashion, at least in their respective locations. On Monday, protesters began piling tree limbs, washing machines, furniture, and sewer grates while setting up chain link fencing in order to block roads.
Other protesters were not even content to use ordinary street materials to make their case. Instead, cases of activists with firebombs were reported in mainstream news organizations like the New York Times.
At the time of the writing of this article, the death toll surrounding the protests stands at least a dozen.
Yet, as mentioned above, although the Venezuelan people have numerous legitimate complaints against their own government and national ruling class, the demonstrations taking place all across the country do not appear to be the result of a genuine desire for a freer society and better government. Instead, this movement bears the hallmark of yet another destabilization campaign fresh on the heels of a successful Ukrainian color revolution.
It is important to remember that, under the leadership of former President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela was a stalwart source of resistance to the plans of the Anglo-Americans for years, particularly since the George W. Bush administration and continues through the Obama administration.
Likewise, for just as long, both Chavez’ government and the current Venezuelan administration has been the target of US/NATO-backed destabilization efforts, covert operations, and political pressure.
Although Venezuela and the United States are held together by joint business interests involving petroleum exports and imports, this fact has done nothing to soften the tension between the two governments. Venezuela is, after all, the biggest supplier of petroleum to the United States. In turn, the United States is Venezuela’s biggest customer.
Nevertheless, both countries have been at constant diplomatic war since 2010 due to Chavez’ rejection of the nomination of Larry Palmer by the Obama administration and Washington’s subsequent dismissal of the Venezuelan ambassador in response. Recently, in February, 2014, President Maduro expelled three American diplomats. Maduro had expelled U.S. diplomats back in October, 2013 over what he described as a “US plot.”
The plot was clear enough, as the US consular staff that was subsequently expelled had previously met with opposition forces and labor leaders in the southern state of Bolivar as well as the opposition Governor of Amazonas. Only days ago, on February 25, the United States announced that it was expelling Venezuelan diplomats in response.
Furthermore, the imperialist US sanctions regarding countries, banks, businesses, and individuals that do business with Iran were applied to the Venezuelan state oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), in May 2011 after the US State Department claimed that PDVSA delivered two cargo shipments of refined petroleum products worth approximately $50 million to Iran between the months of December and March 2010-2011.
In addition, as NewsMax reports, “The U.S. also imposed penalties on Venezuela’s Military Industries Co. for violating the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act by selling or buying sensitive equipment and technology related to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile systems.”
Even more so, Chavez’ government, in 2002, was briefly overthrown as a result of a coup largely supported by the United States. This foreign-backed coup attempt involved the mobilization of large numbers of “swarming adolescents” as well as snipers who fired on the marches, which was subsequently blamed on Chavez, thus fanning the flames of chaos and outrage. This is the same method seen in the attempted destabilizations in Syria and Ukraine. (see here also)
Although Chavez was able to regain control of the presidency and the government within a mere 48 hours, such an affront to Venezuelan sovereignty and personal power is not likely to be forgotten by the Venezuelan government. In turn, the fact that the United States is ready and willing to back opposition leaders capable of storming the capitol and taking power is not likely to be forgotten by individuals seeking to do so.
This was precisely the attempt made by the United States and Anglo-American networks during the last Presidential election when Chavez was still alive and campaigning for another term against Western agent Henrique Capriles Radonski who openly stated his favoritism toward dismantling many of the social programs developed by Chavez.
Whatever one may have thought about Chavez or the Venezuelan government, it was clear enough that the Radonski campaign was a tentacle of Western intelligence and NGO networks.
As Lee Brown of Venezuela Analysis wrote at the time,
However there are obvious concerns that this fits neatly with the objectives of those within the right-wing opposition in Venezuela who are planning for the non-recognition of the coming elections if, as expected, Hugo Chavez wins.
With the polls showing strong leads for Hugo Chavez, a campaign is already underway by sections of the right-wing opposition coalition to present any electoral defeat as being down to Chavez-led fraud. This has seen baseless attacks on the independent National Electoral Council (CNE,) which has overseen all of Venezuelans’ elections described as free and fair by a range of international observers.
The opposition has announced plans to place tens of thousands of ‘witnesses’ at polling stations on election day and then, illegally to release its own results ahead of the official results in a clear bid to discredit them. These plans have sharpened fears that opposition-led disruptions and destabilisation will follow their defeat. This could easily meet Duddy’s condition of ‘an outbreak of violence and/or interruption of democracy’.
The “Duddy” that Brown makes mention of in his quote is a reference to Patrick Duddy, the former Ambassador to Venezuela, writing for the Council on Foreign Relations in a paper entitled “Political Unrest in Venezuela.”
In this paper, Duddy provided a clear list of possible military, financial, and political contingency measures to be taken after the October 7 elections were held, essentially giving voice to a variety of opportunities which could be seized upon in order to foment the appearance of a popular uprising in the event of a Radonski defeat. The paper, in short, was a manual of suggestions for the implementation of a coup against the wishes of the Venezuelan people.
In the end, Radonski was defeated and the immediate public rioting that Duddy and the Anglo-American networks hoped for did not take shape. However, the destabilization effort that Duddy and the CFR called for in Duddy’s paper is beginning to take shape in Chavez’ absence.
After Chavez’s death and the subsequent campaign between NicolÃ¡s Maduro and Radonski, the vote count returned a much smaller margin of victory for Maduro than Chavez had enjoyed. Radonski, predictably, refused to concede defeat and claimed that the elections had been rigged.
Thus, while the internal debate surrounding the election results intensifies inside Venezuela, Radonski traveled to Colombia to meet President Juan Manuel Santos, a staunch ally of the United States. The visit was largely seen as an attempt to shore up international support for the planned coup.
Still, Radonski was, and likely still is, quite confident that the Maduro government will fall and that he will be placed as leader. “I think this government, in the current conditions of illegitimacy added to a deep economic crisis it’s showing no intention of addressing, is going to cave in,” Capriles said.
As a result, Maduro has responded to Radonski with accusations that he was nothing more than a destabilization agent for “right wing” actors wishing to overthrow the leftist government.
Tensions both inside and outside the country began to rise with diplomatic ties being “re-examined” between Venezuela and Colombia as a result of the Radonski PR move as well as growing pro-Radonski supporters demonstrating in the streets. Violent clashes between protesters and the government during this time resulted in at least three deaths.
Now, in early 2014, protests and demonstrations are once again taking place all across Venezuela with Radonski positioning himself to seize power.
With this in mind, it is important to note that Radonski is seen as being much more “market-friendly” by Western banking circles. In fact, analysts from Credit Suisse,
Casey Reckman and Igor Arsenin, stated to Bloomberg News in 2012 that, “A Capriles victory would be a good outcome from the market’s perspective, in our view, as he seems to be a more viable presidential candidate than the opposition has presented previously. He espouses a gradualist, inclusive, left-of-center but market friendly approach.”
Translating the above statement to layman’s terms, both Chavez and now Maduro represent a threat to the Anglo-American imperialist strategy because of their refusal to engage in unrestrained privatization. Radonski represents a much better option due to his support for, at the very least, privatization and “free market” tendencies.
The Patrick Duddy Paper
As mentioned above, member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Patrick Duddy, published a paper in the official CFR magazine, entitled “Political Unrest In Venezuela,” in which he provided a clear list of possible military, financial, and political contingency measures to be taken after the elections of October 7, 2012.
Duddy cited the repeated warnings made by Radonski during the campaign regarding the possibility of chaos, destabilization, violence and even civil war if he fails to win the election in order to suggest that these conditions may arise out of Chavez’ sabotage of Venezuelan elections.
However, the reality is that the violence and chaos that would have ensued over election results was much more likely to be a legitimate and organic reaction to the election of Radonski who is seen as much more favorable toward dismantling many of the social programs that Chavez heavily invested in. Even Duddy admits in his paper that a Chavez loss might result in riots by government workers “before Capriles can be inaugurated.”
In his paper, Duddy provided several instances that he believed were “Warning Indicators” of violence and political unrest as a result of the Venezuelan presidential elections.
Among these indicators are those such as the following:
â€¢ Chavez dies or an announcement is made that his death is imminent.
â€¢ Violent crime is allowed to surge in the major cities before the election.
â€¢ Weapons are distributed to the militia.
â€¢ Basic food items disappear.
â€¢ Remaining independent media are closed and/or prominent journalists are detained.
â€¢ Sharp divisions within Chavismo surface publicly, suggesting insiders know Chavez is failing.
â€¢ A senior political figure close to either Chavez or Capriles is assassinated.
â€¢ Local supplies of gasoline are interrupted.
Although many of these conditions have been predicted or are quite possible inside the United States in coming years, Duddy viewed their presence in Venezuela as the signal of apocalyptic social upheaval.
More importantly, Duddy represented this upheaval as vital to the interests of the United States – particularly those involving the need of the U.S. “to promote democracy, increase regional cooperation, combat narcotics, and protect its economic interests in the region.”
For clarification purposes, one may translate these interests to mean “to install puppet regimes via destabilization programs, create US regional hegemony, further the drug trade for intelligence purposes (while imprisoning members of the general public), and protecting private banking and corporate interests operating or wishing to operate in the region.”
A Radonski presidency would not be the first time a prominent Venezuelan politician has cooperated with the Anglo-Americans. During the aforementioned coup against Chavez in 2002, Radonski, who was Mayor of Caracas’ Baruta district, was implicated in the detention of Ramon Rodriquez Chacin, Venezuela’s Interior Minister.
Although the charges of fomenting violence on the Cuban embassy during the coup attempt were ultimately dropped, the suspicion surrounding Radonski’s allegiances remain. After all, the US State Department was quick to go to bat for Radonski when his trial was set to take place, claiming that his case was indicative of Venezuelan Human Rights abuses.
If the claims regarding Radonski’s association with pro-Zionist groups are true, along with his questionable actions (at best) during the Venezuelan coup, then there is little surprise as to why former ambassador Duddy and the Anglo-American establishment would support him.
With this in mind, Duddy went on to write that the possibility of violence in the event of a Chavez victory was very real. The question facing the United States, according to Duddy, then becomes “What can we do about it?” Inside the pages of “Political Unrest in Venezuela,” he attempted to answer this question or, more accurately put, how the United States could best take advantage of such a situation.
In the section of the paper entitled, “Mitigating Options,” Duddy lamented the fact that “The likelihood of success for unilateral U.S. efforts is low;” which itself suggests that, if support existed, unilateral US action would be given serious consideration. However, it is important to point out that Duddy did not rule out unilateral action as much as he merely observed that support for it would be low.
Nevertheless, Duddy stated that “multilateral efforts that include other important regional players are far more likely to influence Venezuelan behavior.”
Thus, it is important to note that, among Duddy’s “Mitigating Options,” there falls the subcategories of diplomatic, economic and financial, and military options.
In terms of diplomacy, Duddy suggested that the U.S., “together with like-minded nations . . . . . demand that the OAS declare Venezuela in breach of its obligations as a signatory of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and encourage a secretary-general-led mission to Caracas.” He also proposes that the United States involve the United Nations, the European Union, and “other international partners,” in order to “to explicitly endorse regional efforts to restore democracy.”
Unfortunately, Duddy did not define what a “regional effort to restore democracy” would look like. However, considering the recent history of Anglo-American interference, along with other international “coalitions of the willing,” we can only imagine that the results would bring little benefit to the Venezuelan people.
In terms of “Economic and Financial Options,” Duddy wrote that, in the event of violence or “interruption of democracy,”
the United States could freeze individual bank accounts of key figures involved or responsible and seize assets in the United States.
It could also arrange for the proceeds of Venezuelan government-owned corporate entities like CITGO to be held in escrow accounts until democracy is restored and encourage other important trading partners (i.e. Canada, Spain, France, Brazil) to do the same.
He also suggests that the “United States could block access to CITGO’s refining facilities in the United States and consider prohibiting PDVSA oil sales to the United States while the government’ status is uncertain.”
In other words, Duddy is proposing that the United States seize, freeze, and otherwise sanction Venezuelan assets until the election results are established to the satisfaction of the Anglo-American oligarchy. Clearly, a Chavez government does not fit the accepted mold formed by the shadow government currently guiding world society.
With this in mind, the next section of Duddy’s paper, entitled “Military Options,” is much more concerning.
For instance, in this section, Duddy wrote that,
The United States could encourage other Latin American militaries, as well perhaps as the Spanish, to communicate to the Venezuelan military the importance of complying with constitutional mandates, respecting human rights, and preserving democracy.
While Chavez loyalists dominate the Venezuelan high command, it is not clear to what extent they control the middle ranks. Nor is it clear to what extent the military’s loyalty to Chavez’s Bolivarian movement would trump other considerations.
In the abortive coup of 2002 the military temporarily removed Chavez but also restored him to power.
In this short section, Duddy did more than simply hint that the United States, along with other Latin American client states should “encourage” the Venezuelan military to depose Hugo Chavez and install a different government.
Notice that nowhere does Duddy suggest the possibility that Radonski might be the culprit in contested elections and post-election violence. The reason for this is that Radonski was not the target of the Anglo-American destabilization efforts – Chavez was. It is also ironic because Radonski has himself been involved in the instigation of political violence in the past.
Indeed, Duddy’s interpretation of “encouragement,” taken in the context of recent NATO-related adventures, sounds dangerously close to “direction” and outright “involvement.”
Of course, the entire purpose of Duddy’s paper seems to be a preparation at the academic level for a another coup attempt in Venezuela using “contested” elections as a justification. Much like the destabilizations taking place all over the world, particularly in Syria and Ukraine, the Anglo-Americans appear to be posturing for political, financial, proxy, or even direct involvement in the domestic affairs of yet another sovereign nation using civil unrest as a justification.
More interesting still, is the fact that the civil and political unrest used to justify this involvement has been fomented by the Anglo-American intelligence networks to begin with.
The Current Protests
Eva Golinger, a well-respected Venezuelan-American researcher and staunch supporter of former President Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution, has recognized the foreign-backed nature of the protests currently taking place across Venezuela.
In her article, “Venezuela Beyond the Protests: The Revolution is Here to Stay,” Golinger writes:
Those protesting do not represent Venezuela’s vast working-class majority that struggled to overcome the oppressive exclusion they were subjected to during administrations before Chavez.
The youth taking to the streets today in Caracas and other cities throughout the country, hiding their faces behind masks and balaclavas, destroying public buildings, vehicles, burning garbage, violently blocking transit and throwing rocks and molotov cocktails at security forces are being driven by extremist right-wing interests from Venezuela’s wealthiest sector.
Led by hardline neo-conservatives, Leopoldo Lopez, Henrique Capriles and Maria Corina Machado — who come from three of the wealthiest families in Venezuela, the 1% of the 1% — the protesters seek not to revindicate their basic fundamental rights, or gain access to free health care or education, all of which are guaranteed by the state, thanks to Chavez, but rather are attempting to spiral the country into a state of ungovernability that would justify an international intervention leading to regime change.
Ironically, international media has been portraying these protesters as peaceful victims of state repression. Even celebrities, such as Cher and Paris Hilton have been drawn into a false hysteria, calling for freedom for Venezuelans from a “brutal dictatorship”.
The reality is quite different. While there is no doubt that a significant number of protesters in the larger marches that have taken place have demonstrated peacefully their legitimate concerns, the driving force behind those protests is a violent plan to overthrow a democratic government.
Golinger also points out that the three main leaders of the current protests are the same individuals who were instrumental in leading the 2002 coup attempt against Chavez. She states,
Leading efforts to overthrow Chavez were the very same three who today call for their supporters to take to the streets to force President Nicolas Maduro from power.
Leopoldo Lopez and Henrique Capriles were both mayors of two of Caracas’ wealthiest municipalities during the 2002 coup — Chacao and Baruta, while Maria Corina Machado was a close ally of Pedro Carmona, the wealthy businessman who proclaimed himself dictator during Chavez’s brief ouster. Lopez and Machado signed the infamous “Carmona Decree” dissolving Venezuela’s democratic institutions, trashing the constitution.
Both Capriles and Lopez were also responsible for persecuting and violently detaining members of Chavez’s government during the coup, including allowing some of them to be publicly beaten, such as Ramon Rodriguez Chacin, former Minister of Interior in 2002.
All three have been major recipients of US funding and political support for their endeavors to overthrow Chavez, and now Maduro.
The US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its offshoots, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) provided start-up funds for Machado’s NGO Sumate, and Capriles’ and Lopez’s right-wing party Primero Justicia. When Lopez split from Primero Justicia in 2010 to form his own party, Voluntad Popular, it was bankrolled by US dollars.
Over the 10-year period, from 2000-2010, US agencies, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and its Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI), set up in Caracas in 2002, channeled more than $100 million dollars to opposition groups in Venezuela. The overall objective was regime change.
Indeed, USAID is quite active in Venezuela, much of its activity taking place through front groups like the Solidarity Center, a recipient of a number of USAID grants.
The Solidarity Center, of course, is only one of the four main offices of the National Endowment for Democracy, a notorious agent of international destabilization. The Solidarity Center is also connected to the AFL-CIO, the largest American union currently in operation.
Golinger provides more details regarding the recent historical underpinnings used as justification for the demonstrations as well as those individuals seen as “leaders.” Summarizing the recent events that led up to the 2014 protests, she writes,
In January 2014, as Venezuelans arrived back from their Christmas vacations, economic difficulties continued. Maduro began cracking down on businesses violating newly enacted laws on price controls and speculation.
Towards the end of January, new measures were announced regarding access to foreign exchange that many perceived as a devaluing of the national currency, the bolivar.
Sentiment built among opposition groups rejecting the new measures and calls for Maduro’s resignation increased. By February, small pockets of protests popped up around the country, mainly confined to middle and upper-class neighborhoods.
During the celebration of National Youth Day on February 12, while thousands marched peacefully to commemorate the historic achievements of youth in the nation’s independence, another group sought a different agenda.
Opposition youth and “students” led an aggressive march calling for Maduro’s resignation that ended in a violent confrontation with authorities after the protesters destroyed building faÃ§ades, including the Attorney General’s office, threw objects at police and national guard and used molotov cocktails to burn property and block transit. The clashes caused three deaths and multiple injuries.
The leader of the violent protest, Leopoldo Lopez, went into hiding following the confrontation and a warrant was issued for his arrest due to his role in the deadly events and his public calls to oust the president.
Days later, after a lengthy show including videos from a “clandestine” location, Lopez convened another march and used the event to publicly turn himself over to authorities. He was taken into custody and held for questioning, all his rights guaranteed by the state.
Lopez became the rallying point for the violent protests, which have continued to date, causing several additional deaths, dozens of injuries and the destruction of public property. Relatively small, violent groups of protesters have blocked transit in wealthier zones of Caracas, causing traffic delays and terrorising residents. Several deaths have resulted because protesters refused to let ambulences through to take patients to the emergency room.
In the end, there is little doubt that streets full of angry demonstrators, regardless of the reason for their discontent and regardless of their violent acts and connections to the world banking oligarchy, will be broadcast back to the United States and the rest of the Western world as democracy-loving, peaceful protesters.
As what little liberty the Venezuelan people had begins to flow down the drain, the corporate media will laud the crowning of the new free market king if the coup is finally achieved. Like the unfortunate people of Libya, Syria, and Ukraine, Venezuelans will wake up to a much darker world upon completion of the Anglo-American destabilization plan.
Americans, if their current behavior and level of knowledge is anything to go by, will just wake up none the wiser.
Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria.
Turbeville has published over 275 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
March 31st, 2014 - by admin
Dahr Jamail / TomDispatch & TruthOut – 2014-03-31 02:00:38
(December 17, 2013) — I grew up planning for my future, wondering which college I would attend, what to study, and later on, where to work, which articles to write, what my next book might be, how to pay a mortgage, and which mountaineering trip I might like to take next.
Now, I wonder about the future of our planet.
During a recent visit with my eight-year-old niece and 10- and 12-year-old nephews, I stopped myself from asking them what they wanted to do when they grew up, or any of the future-oriented questions I used to ask myself.
I did so because the reality of their generation may be that questions like where they will work could be replaced by: Where will they get their fresh water? What food will be available? And what parts of their country and the rest of the world will still be habitable?
The reason, of course, is climate change — and just how bad it might be came home to me in the summer of 2010. I was climbing Mount Rainier in Washington State, taking the same route I had used in a 1994 ascent.
Instead of experiencing the metal tips of the crampons attached to my boots crunching into the ice of a glacier, I was aware that, at high altitudes, they were still scraping against exposed volcanic rock. In the pre-dawn night, sparks shot from my steps.
The route had changed dramatically enough to stun me. I paused at one point to glance down the steep cliffs at a glacier bathed in soft moonlight 100 meters below. It took my breath away when I realized that I was looking at what was left of the enormous glacier I’d climbed in 1994, the one that — right at this spot — had left those crampons crunching on ice.
I stopped in my tracks, breathing the rarefied air of such altitudes, my mind working hard to grasp the climate-change-induced drama that had unfolded since I was last at that spot.
I haven’t returned to Mount Rainier to see just how much further that glacier has receded in the last few years, but recently I went on a search to find out just how bad it might turn out to be. I discovered a set of perfectly serious scientists — not the majority of all climate scientists by any means, but thoughtful outliers — who suggest that it isn’t just really, really bad; it’s catastrophic.
Some of them even think that, if the record ongoing releases of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, thanks to the burning of fossil fuels, are aided and abetted by massive releases of methane, an even more powerful greenhouse gas, life as we humans have known it might be at an end on this planet. They fear that we may be at — and over — a climate change precipice hair-raisingly quickly.
Mind you, the more conservative climate science types, represented by the prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), paint scenarios that are only modestly less hair-raising, but let’s spend a little time, as I’ve done, with what might be called scientists at the edge and hear just what they have to say.
“We’ve Never Been Here as a Species”
“We as a species have never experienced 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” Guy McPherson, professor emeritus of evolutionary biology, natural resources, and ecology at the University of Arizona and a climate change expert of 25 years, told me. “We’ve never been on a planet with no Arctic ice, and we will hit the average of 400 ppm… within the next couple of years. At that time, we’ll also see the loss of Arctic ice in the summersÅ This planet has not experienced an ice-free Arctic for at least the last three million years.”
For the uninitiated, in the simplest terms, here’s what an ice-free Arctic would mean when it comes to heating the planet: minus the reflective ice cover on Arctic waters, solar radiation would be absorbed, not reflected, by the Arctic Ocean. That would heat those waters, and hence the planet, further.
This effect has the potential to change global weather patterns, vary the flow of winds, and even someday possibly alter the position of the jet stream. Polar jet streams are fast flowing rivers of wind positioned high in the Earth’s atmosphere that push cold and warm air masses around, playing a critical role in determining the weather of our planet.
McPherson, who maintains the blog Nature Bats Last, added, “We’ve never been here as a species and the implications are truly dire and profound for our species and the rest of the living planet.”
While his perspective is more extreme than that of the mainstream scientific community, which sees true disaster many decades into our future, he’s far from the only scientist expressing such concerns. Professor Peter Wadhams, a leading Arctic expert at Cambridge University, has been measuring Arctic ice for 40 years, and his findings underscore McPherson’s fears.
“The fall-off in ice volume is so fast it is going to bring us to zero very quickly,” Wadhams told a reporter. According to current data, he estimates “with 95% confidence” that the Arctic will have completely ice-free summers by 2018. (U.S. Navy researchers have predicted an ice-free Arctic even earlier — by 2016.)
British scientist John Nissen, chairman of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (of which Wadhams is a member), suggests that if the summer sea ice loss passes “the point of no return,” and “catastrophic Arctic methane feedbacks” kick in, we’ll be in an “instant planetary emergency.”
McPherson, Wadham, and Nissen represent just the tip of a melting iceberg of scientists who are now warning us about looming disaster, especially involving Arctic methane releases. In the atmosphere, methane is a greenhouse gas that, on a relatively short-term time scale, is far more destructive than carbon dioxide (CO2). It is 23 times as powerful as CO2 per molecule on a 100-year timescale, 105 times more potent when it comes to heating the planet on a 20-year timescale — and the Arctic permafrost, onshore and off, is packed with the stuff.
“The seabed,” says Wadham, “is offshore permafrost, but is now warming and melting. We are now seeing great plumes of methane bubbling up in the Siberian SeaÅ millions of square miles where methane cover is being released.”
According to a study just published in Nature Geoscience, twice as much methane as previously thought is being released from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, a two million square kilometer area off the coast of Northern Siberia. Its researchers found that at least 17 teragrams (one million tons) of methane are being released into the atmosphere each year, whereas a 2010 study had found only seven teragrams heading into the atmosphere.
The day after Nature Geoscience released its study, a group of scientists from Harvard and other leading academic institutions published a report in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing that the amount of methane being emitted in the U.S. both from oil and agricultural operations could be 50% greater than previous estimates and 1.5 times higher than estimates of the Environmental Protection Agency.
How serious is the potential global methane build-up? Not all scientists think it’s an immediate threat or even the major threat we face, but Ira Leifer, an atmospheric and marine scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and one of the authors of the recent Arctic Methane study pointed out to me that “the Permian mass extinction that occurred 250 million years ago is related to methane and thought to be the key to what caused the extinction of most species on the planet.” In that extinction episode, it is estimated that 95% of all species were wiped out.
Also known as “The Great Dying,” it was triggered by a massive lava flow in an area of Siberia that led to an increase in global temperatures of six degrees Celsius. That, in turn, caused the melting of frozen methane deposits under the seas. Released into the atmosphere, it caused temperatures to skyrocket further. All of this occurred over a period of approximately 80,000 years.
We are currently in the midst of what scientists consider the sixth mass extinction in planetary history, with between 150 and 200 species going extinct daily, a pace 1,000 times greater than the “natural” or “background” extinction rate.
This event may already be comparable to, or even exceed, both the speed and intensity of the Permian mass extinction. The difference being that ours is human caused, isn’t going to take 80,000 years, has so far lasted just a few centuries, and is now gaining speed in a non-linear fashion.
It is possible that, on top of the vast quantities of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels that continue to enter the atmosphere in record amounts yearly, an increased release of methane could signal the beginning of the sort of process that led to the Great Dying.
Some scientists fear that the situation is already so serious and so many self-reinforcing feedback loops are already in play that we are in the process of causing our own extinction. Worse yet, some are convinced that it could happen far more quickly than generally believed possible — even in the course of just the next few decades.
The Sleeping Giant Stirs
According to a NASA research report, “Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?”: “Over hundreds of millennia, Arctic permafrost soils have accumulated vast stores of organic carbon — an estimated 1,400 to 1,850 petagrams of it (a petagram is 2.2 trillion pounds, or 1 billion metric tons). That’s about half of all the estimated organic carbon stored in Earth’s soils.
In comparison, about 350 petagrams of carbon have been emitted from all fossil-fuel combustion and human activities since 1850. Most of this carbon is located in thaw-vulnerable top soils within 10 feet (3 meters) of the surface.”
NASA scientists, along with others, are learning that the Arctic permafrost — and its stored carbon — may not be as permanently frosted as its name implies.
Research scientist Charles Miller of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the principal investigator of the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment (CARVE), a five-year NASA-led field campaign to study how climate change is affecting the Arctic’s carbon cycle. He told NASA, “Permafrost soils are warming even faster than Arctic air temperatures — as much as 2.7 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius) in just the past 30 years.
As heat from Earth’s surface penetrates into permafrost, it threatens to mobilize these organic carbon reservoirs and release them into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide and methane, upsetting the Arctic’s carbon balance and greatly exacerbating global warming.”
He fears the potential results should a full-scale permafrost melt take place. As he points out, “Changes in climate may trigger transformations that are simply not reversible within our lifetimes, potentially causing rapid changes in the Earth system that will require adaptations by people and ecosystems.”
The recent NASA study highlights the discovery of active and growing methane vents up to 150 kilometers across. A scientist on a research ship in the area described this as a bubbling as far as the eye can see in which the seawater looks like a vast pool of seltzer.
Between the summers of 2010 and 2011, in fact, scientists found that in the course of a year methane vents only 30 centimeters across had grown a kilometer wide, a 3,333% increase and an example of the non-linear rapidity with which parts of the planet are responding to climate disruption.
Miller revealed another alarming finding: “Some of the methane and carbon dioxide concentrations we’ve measured have been large, and we’re seeing very different patterns from what models suggest,” he said of some of CARVE’s earlier findings. “We saw large, regional-scale episodic bursts of higher than normal carbon dioxide and methane in interior Alaska and across the North Slope during the spring thaw, and they lasted until after the fall refreeze.
To cite another example, in July 2012 we saw methane levels over swamps in the Innoko Wilderness that were 650 parts per billion higher than normal background levels. That’s similar to what you might find in a large city.”
Moving beneath the Arctic Ocean where methane hydrates — often described as methane gas surrounded by ice — exist, a March 2010 report in Science indicated that these cumulatively contain the equivalent of 1,000-10,000 gigatons of carbon. Compare this total to the 240 gigatons of carbon humanity has emitted into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution began.
A study published in the prestigious journal Nature this July suggested that a 50-gigaton “burp” of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian sea is “highly possible at anytime.” That would be the equivalent of at least 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide.
Even the relatively staid IPCC has warned of such a scenario: “The possibility of abrupt climate change and/or abrupt changes in the earth system triggered by climate change, with potentially catastrophic consequences, cannot be ruled out. Positive feedback from warming may cause the release of carbon or methane from the terrestrial biosphere and oceans.”
In the last two centuries, the amount of methane in the atmosphere has increased from 0.7 parts per million to 1.7 parts per million. The introduction of methane in such quantities into the atmosphere may, some climate scientists fear, make increases in the global temperature of four to six degrees Celsius inevitable.
The ability of the human psyche to take in and grasp such information is being tested. And while that is happening, yet more data continues to pour in — and the news is not good.
Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire
Consider this timeline:
* Late 2007: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) announcesthat the planet will see a one degree Celsius temperature increase due to climate change by 2100.
* Late 2008: The Hadley Centre for Meteorological Research predicts a 2C increase by 2100.
* Mid-2009: The U.N. Environment Programme predicts a 3.5C increase by 2100. Such an increase would remove habitat for human beings on this planet, as nearly all the plankton in the oceans would be destroyed, and associated temperature swings would kill off many land plants. Humans have never lived on a planet at 3.5C above baseline.
* October 2009: The Hadley Centre for Meteorological Research releases an updated prediction, suggesting a 4C temperature increase by 2060.
* November 2009: The Global Carbon Project, which monitors the global carbon cycle, and the Copenhagen Diagnosis, a climate science report, predict 6C and 7C temperature increases, respectively, by 2100.
* December 2010: The U.N. Environment Programme predicts up to a 5C increase by 2050.
* 2012: The conservative International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook report for that year states that we are on track to reach a 2C increase by 2017.
* November 2013: The International Energy Agency predicts a 3.5C increase by 2035.
A briefing provided to the failed U.N. Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen in 2009 provided this summary: “The long-term sea level that corresponds to current CO2 concentration is about 23 meters above today’s levels, and the temperatures will be 6 degrees C or more higher. These estimates are based on real long-term climate records, not on models.”
On December 3rd, a study by 18 eminent scientists, including the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James Hansen, showed that the long-held, internationally agreed upon target to limit rises in global average temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius was in error and far above the 1C threshold that would need to be maintained in order to avoid the effects of catastrophic climate change.
And keep in mind that the various major assessments of future global temperatures seldom assume the worst about possible self-reinforcing climate feedback loops like the methane one.
“Things Are Looking Really Dire”
Climate-change-related deaths are already estimated at five million annually, and the process seems to be accelerating more rapidly than most climate models have suggested. Even without taking into account the release of frozen methane in the Arctic, some scientists are already painting a truly bleak picture of the human future.
Take Canadian Wildlife Service biologist Neil Dawe, who in August told a reporterthat he wouldn’t be surprised if the generation after him witnessed the extinction of humanity. All around the estuary near his office on Vancouver Island, he has been witnessing the unraveling of “the web of life,” and “it’s happening very quickly.”
“Economic growth is the biggest destroyer of the ecology,” Dawe says. “Those people who think you can have a growing economy and a healthy environment are wrong. If we don’t reduce our numbers, nature will do it for us.” And he isn’t hopeful humans will be able to save themselves. “Everything is worse and we’re still doing the same things. Because ecosystems are so resilient, they don’t exact immediate punishment on the stupid.”
The University of Arizona’s Guy McPherson has similar fears. “We will have very few humans on the planet because of lack of habitat,” he says. Of recent studies showing the toll temperature increases will take on that habitat, he adds, “They are only looking at CO2 in the atmosphere.”
Here’s the question: Could some version of extinction or near-extinction overcome humanity, thanks to climate change — and possibly incredibly fast? Similar things have happened in the past. Fifty-five million years ago, a five degree Celsius rise in average global temperatures seems to have occurred in just 13 years, according to astudy published in the October 2013 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A report in the August 2013 issue of Science revealed that in the near-term Earth’s climate will change 10 times faster than at any other moment in the last 65 million years.
“The Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else on the planet,” climate scientist James Hansen has said. “There are potential irreversible effects of melting the Arctic sea ice. If it begins to allow the Arctic Ocean to warm up, and warm the ocean floor, then we’ll begin to release methane hydrates.
“And if we let that happen, that is a potential tipping point that we don’t want to happen. If we burn all the fossil fuels then we certainly will cause the methane hydrates, eventually, to come out and cause several degrees more warming, and it’s not clear that civilization could survive that extreme climate change.”
Yet, long before humanity has burned all fossil fuel reserves on the planet, massive amounts of methane will be released. While the human body is potentially capable of handling a six to nine degree Celsius rise in the planetary temperature, the crops and habitat we use for food production are not. As McPherson put it, “If we see a 3.5 to 4C baseline increase, I see no way to have habitat. We are at .85C above baseline and we’ve already triggered all these self-reinforcing feedback loops.”
He adds: “All the evidence points to a locked-in 3.5 to 5 degree C global temperature rise above the 1850 ‘norm’ by mid-century, possibly much sooner. This guarantees a positive feedback, already underway, leading to 4.5 to 6 or more degrees above ‘norm’ and that is a level lethal to life. This is partly due to the fact that humans have to eat and plants can’t adapt fast enough to make that possible for the seven to nine billion of us — so we’ll die.”
If you think McPherson’s comment about lack of adaptability goes over the edge, consider that the rate of evolution trails the rate of climate change by a factor of10,000, according to a paper in the August 2013 issue of Ecology Letters. Furthermore, David Wasdel, director of the Apollo-Gaia Project and an expert on multiple feedback dynamics, says, “We are experiencing change 200 to 300 times faster than any of the previous major extinction events.”
Wasdel cites with particular alarm scientific reports showing that the oceans have already lost 40% of their phytoplankton, the base of the global oceanic food chain, because of climate-change-induced acidification and atmospheric temperature variations.
(According to the Center for Ocean Solutions: “The oceans have absorbed almost one-half of human-released CO2 emissions since the Industrial Revolution. Although this has moderated the effect of greenhouse gas emissions, it is chemically altering marine ecosystems 100 times more rapidly than it has changed in at least the last 650,000 years.”)
“This is already a mass extinction event,” Wasdel adds. “The question is, how far is it going to go? How serious does it become? If we are not able to stop the rate of increase of temperature itself, and get that back under control, then a high temperature event, perhaps another 5-6 degrees [C], would obliterate at least 60% to 80% of the populations and species of life on Earth.”
What Comes Next?
In November 2012, even Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group (an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries),warned that “a 4C warmer world can, and must be, avoided. Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today.”
A World Bank-commissioned report warned that we are indeed on track to a “4C world” marked by extreme heat waves and life-threatening sea-level rise.
The three living diplomats who have led U.N. climate change talks claim there is little chance the next climate treaty, if it is ever approved, will prevent the world from overheating.
“There is nothing that can be agreed in 2015 that would be consistent with the 2 degrees,” says Yvo de Boer, who was executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2009, when attempts to reach a deal at a summit in Copenhagen crumbled. “The only way that a 2015 agreement can achieve a 2-degree goal is to shut down the whole global economy.”
Atmospheric and marine scientist Ira Leifer is particularly concerned about the changing rainfall patterns a recently leaked IPCC draft report suggested for our future: “When I look at what the models predicted for a 4C world, I see very little rain over vast swaths of populations.
If Spain becomes like Algeria, where do all the Spaniards get the water to survive? We have parts of the world which have high populations which have high rainfall and crops that exist there, and when that rainfall and those crops go away and the country starts looking more like some of North Africa, what keeps the people alive?”
The IPCC report suggests that we can expect a generalized shifting of global rain patterns further north, robbing areas that now get plentiful rain of future water supplies. History shows us that when food supplies collapse, wars begin, while famine and disease spread. All of these things, scientists now fear, could happen on an unprecedented scale, especially given the interconnected nature of the global economy.
“Some scientists are indicating we should make plans to adapt to a 4C world,” Leifer comments. “While prudent, one wonders what portion of the living population now could adapt to such a world, and my view is that it’s just a few thousand people [seeking refuge] in the Arctic or Antarctica.”
Not surprisingly, scientists with such views are often not the most popular guys in the global room. McPherson, for instance, has often been labeled “Guy McStinction” — to which he responds, “I’m just reporting the results from other scientists. Nearly all of these results are published in established, esteemed literature. I don’t think anybody is taking issue with NASA, or Nature, or Science, or the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [Those] and the others I report are reasonably well known and come from legitimate sources, like NOAA [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], for example. I’m not making this information up, I’m just connecting a couple of dots, and it’s something many people have difficulty with.”
McPherson does not hold out much hope for the future, nor for a governmental willingness to make anything close to the radical changes that would be necessary to quickly ease the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; nor does he expect the mainstream media to put much effort into reporting on all of this because, as he says, “There’s not much money in the end of civilization, and even less to be made in human extinction.” The destruction of the planet, on the other hand, is a good bet, he believes, “because there is money in this, and as long as that’s the case, it is going to continue.”
Leifer, however, is convinced that there is a moral obligation never to give up and that the path to global destruction could be altered. “In the short term, if you can make it in the economic interests of people to do the right thing, it’ll happen very fast.”
He offers an analogy when it comes to whether humanity will be willing to act to mitigate the effects of climate change: “People do all sorts of things to lower their risk of cancer, not because you are guaranteed not to get it, but because you do what you can and take out the health protections and insurance you need in order to try to lower your risk of getting it.”
The signs of a worsening climate crisis are all around us, whether we allow ourselves to see them or not. Certainly, the scientific community gets it. As do countless communities across the globe where the effects of climate change are already being experienced in striking ways and local preparations for climatic disasters, including increasingly powerful floods, droughts, wildfires, heat waves, and storms areunderway.
Evacuations from low-lying South Pacific islands have already begun. People in such areas, out of necessity, are starting to try to teach their children how to adapt to, and live in, what we are causing our world to become.
My niece and nephews are doing something similar. They are growing vegetables in a backyard garden and their eight chickens provide more than enough eggs for the family. Their parents are intent on teaching them how to be ever more self-sustaining. But none of these heartfelt actions can mitigate what is already underway when it comes to the global climate.
I am 45 years old, and I often wonder how my generation will survive the impending climate crisis. What will happen to our world if the summer Arctic waters are indeed ice-free only a few years from now? What will my life look like if I live to experience a 3.5 Celsius global temperature increase?
Above all, I wonder how coming generations will survive.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
March 31st, 2014 - by admin
Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Information Clearinghouse – 2014-03-31 01:49:59
Documents Reveal Blinding Pace of Ops
In 2013, More of the Same for 2014
(March 27, 2014) — The numbers tell the story: 10 exercises, 55 operations, 481 security cooperation activities.
For years, the US military has publicly insisted that its efforts in Africa are small scale. Its public affairs personnel and commanders have repeatedly claimed no more than a “light footprint” on that continent, including a remarkably modest presence when it comes to military personnel.
They have, however, balked at specifying just what that light footprint actually consists of. During an interview, for instance, a US Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokesman once expressed worry that tabulating the command’s deployments would offer a “skewed image” of US efforts there.
It turns out that the numbers do just the opposite.
Last year, according AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez, the US military carried out a total of 546 “activities” on the continent — a catch-all term for everything the military does in Africa. In other words, it averages about one and a half missions a day. This represents a 217% increase in operations, programs, and exercises since the command was established in 2008.
In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month, Rodriguez noted that the 10 exercises, 55 operations, and 481 security cooperation activities made AFRICOM “an extremely active geographic command.” But exactly what the command is “active” in doing is often far from clear.
AFRICOM releases information about only a fraction of its activities. It offers no breakdown on the nature of its operations. And it allows only a handful of cherry-picked reporters the chance to observe a few select missions. The command refuses even to offer a count of the countries in which it is “active,” preferring to keep most information about what it’s doing — and when and where — secret.
While Rodriguez’s testimony offers but a glimpse of the scale of AFRICOM’s activities, a cache of previously undisclosed military briefing documents obtained by TomDispatch sheds additional light on the types of missions being carried out and their locations all across the continent.
These briefings prepared for top commanders and civilian officials in 2013 demonstrate a substantial increase in deployments in recent years and reveal US military operations to be more extensive than previously reported. They also indicate that the pace of operations in Africa will remain robust in 2014, with US forces expected again to average far more than a mission each day on the continent.
The Constant Gardener
US troops carry out a wide range of operations in Africa, including airstrikes targeting suspected militants, night raids aimed at kidnapping terror suspects, airlifts of French and African troops onto the battlefields of proxy wars, and evacuation operations in destabilized countries. Above all, however, the US military conducts training missions, mentors allies, and funds, equips, and advises its local surrogates.
US Africa Command describes its activities as advancing “US national security interests through focused, sustained engagement with partners” and insists that its “operations, exercises, and security cooperation assistance programs support US Government foreign policy and do so primarily through military-to-military activities and assistance programs.”
Saharan Express is a typical exercise that biennially pairs US forces with members of the navies and coast guards of around a dozen mostly African countries. Operations include Juniper Micron and Echo Casemate, missions focused on aiding French and African interventions in Mali and the Central African Republic.
Other “security cooperation” activities include the State Partnership Program, which teams African military forces with US National Guard units and the State Department-funded Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program through which US military mentors and advisors provide equipment and instruction to African units.
Many military-to-military activities and advisory missions are carried out by soldiers from the Army’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, as part of a “regionally aligned forces” effort that farms out specially trained US troops to geographic combatant commands, like AFRICOM.
Other training engagements are carried out by units from across the service branches, including Africa Partnership Station 13 whose US naval personnel and Marines teach skills such as patrolling procedures and hand-to-hand combat techniques. Meanwhile, members of the Air Force recently provided assistance to Nigerian troops in areas ranging from logistics to airlift support to public affairs.
Previously undisclosed US Army Africa records reveal a 94% increase in all activities by Army personnel from 2011 to 2013, including a 174% surge in State Partnership missions (from 34 to 93) and a 436% jump in Advise-and-Assist activities including ACOTA missions (from 11 to 59).
Last year, according to a December 2013 document, these efforts involved everything from teaching Kenyan troops how to use Raven surveillance drones and helping Algerian forces field new mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles, or MRAPS, to training Chadian and Guinean infantrymen and aiding France’s ongoing interventions in West and Central Africa.
AFRICOM spokesman Benjamin Benson refused to offer further details about these activities. “We do training with a lot of different countries in Africa,” he told me. When I asked if he had a number on those “different countries,” he replied, “No, I don’t.” He ignored repeated written requests for further information. But a cache of records detailing deployments by members of just the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, from June through December 2013, highlights the sheer size, scope, and sweep of US training missions.
June saw members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team deployed to Niger, Uganda, Ghana, and on two separate missions to Malawi; in July, troops from the team traveled to Burundi, Mauritania, Niger, Uganda, and South Africa; August deployments included the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa, Niger, two missions in Malawi, and three to Uganda; September saw activities in Chad, Togo, Cameroon, Ghana, SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Uganda, and Malawi; in October, members of the unit headed for Guinea and South Africa; November’s deployments consisted of Lesotho, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, and Guinea; while December’s schedule consisted of activities in South Sudan, Cameroon, and Uganda, according to the documents.
All told, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division carried out 128 separate “activities” in 28 African countries during all of 2013.
The records obtained by TomDispatch also indicate that US Army Africa took part in almost 80% of all AFRICOM activities on the continent in 2013, averaging more than one mission per day. Preliminary projections for 2014 suggest a similar pace this year — 418 activities were already planned out by mid-December 2013 — including anticipated increases in the number of operations and train-and-equip missions.
Full-scale exercises, each involving US Army troops and members of the militaries of multiple African countries, are also slated to rise from 14 to 20 in 2014, according to the documents.
So far, AFRICOM has released information on 11 named exercises scheduled for this year. These include African Lion in Morocco, Eastern Accord in Uganda, Western Accord in Senegal, Central Accord in Cameroon, and Southern Accord in Malawi, all of which include a field training component and serve as a capstone event for the prior year’s military-to-military programs.
AFRICOM will also conduct at least three maritime security exercises, including Cutlass Express off the coast of East Africa, Obangame Express in the Gulf of Guinea, and Saharan Express in the waters off Senegal and the Cape Verde islands, as well as its annual Africa Endeavor exercise, which is designed to promote “information sharing” and facilitate standardized communications procedures within African militaries.
Additionally, US and African Special Operations forces will carry out an exercise codenamed Silent Warrior 2014 in Germany and have already completed Flintlock 2014 (since 2005, an annual event).
As part of Flintlock 2014, more than 1,000 troops from 18 nations, including Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Mauritania, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Senegal, the United Kingdom, the US, and the host nation of Niger, carried out counterterror training on the outskirts of Niamey, the capital, as well as at small bases in Tahoua, Agadez, and Diffa.
“Although Flintlock is considered an exercise, it is really an extension of ongoing training, engagement, and operations that help prepare our close Africa partners in the fight against extremism and the enemies that threaten peace, stability, and regional security,” said Colonel Kenneth Sipperly, the commander of the US Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahel, during the Flintlock opening ceremony.
Locations, Locations, Locations
A 2013 investigation by TomDispatch analyzing official documents and open source information revealed that the US military was involved with at least 49 of the 54 nations on the African continent during 2012 and 2013 in activities that ranged from special ops raids to the training of proxy forces.
A map produced late last year by US Army Africa bolsters the findings, indicating its troops had conducted or planned to conduct “activities” in all African “countries” during the 2013 fiscal year except for Western Sahara (a disputed territory in the Maghreb region of North Africa), Guinea Bissau, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe.
Egypt is considered outside of AFRICOM’s area of operations, but did see US military activity in 2013, as did Somalia, which now also hosts a small team of US advisors. Other documents indicate Army troops actually deployed to SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe, a country that regularly conducts activities with the US Navy.
AFRICOM is adamant that the US military has only one base on the continent: Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. Official documents examined by TomDispatch, however, make reference to bases by other names: forward operating sites, or FOSes (long-term locations); cooperative security locations, or CSLs (through which small numbers of US troops periodically rotate); and contingency locations, or CLs (which are used only during ongoing missions).
AFRICOM has repeatedly denied requests by TomDispatch for further information on the numbers or locations of FOSes, CSLs, and CLs, but official documents produced in 2012 make reference to seven cooperative security locations, including one in Entebbe, Uganda, a location from which US contractors have flown secret surveillance missions, according to an investigation by the Washington Post. Information released earlier this year by the military also makes references to at least nine “forward operating locations,” or FOLs in Africa.
We Know Not What They Do
“What We Are Doing,” the title of a December 2013 military document obtained by TomDispatch, offers answers to questions that AFRICOM has long sought to avoid and provides information the command has worked to keep under wraps. So much else, however, remains in the shadows.
From 2008 to 2013, the number of missions, exercises, operations, and other activities under AFRICOM’s purview has skyrocketed from 172 to 546, but little substantive information has been made public about what exactly most of these missions involved and just who US forces have trained.
Since 2011, US Army Africa alone has taken part in close to 1,000 “activities” across the continent, but independent reporters have only been on hand for a tiny fraction of them, so there are limits to what we can know about them beyond military talking points and official news releases for a relative few of these missions.
Only later did it become clear that the United States extensively mentored the military officer who overthrew Mali’s elected government in 2012, and that the US trained a Congolese commando battalion implicated by the United Nations in mass rapes and other atrocities during that same year, to cite two examples.
Since its inception, US Africa Command has consistently downplayed its role on the continent. Meanwhile, far from the press or the public, the officers running its secret operations have privately been calling Africa “the battlefield of tomorrow, today.”
After years in the dark, we now know just how “extremely active” — to use General David Rodriguez’s phrase — AFRICOM has been and how rapidly the tempo of its missions has increased. It remains to be seen just what else we don’t know about US Africa Command’s exponentially expanding operations.
Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch.com and a fellow at the Nation Institute. A 2014 Izzy Award winner, his pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, at the BBC and regularly at TomDispatch. He is the author most recently of the New York Times bestseller Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam (just out in paperback).
Copyright 2014 Nick Turse
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
March 31st, 2014 - by admin
Al Jazeera America – 2014-03-31 01:36:09
Nobel Prize-winning scientists warn of floods, droughts, wars, and famine, with biggest risks hitting world’s poorest
(March 30, 2014) — Global warming is driving humanity toward unprecedented risks, a United Nations scientific panel reports, warning that the changes have only just begun, with the worst effects hitting the earthâ€™s poorest people the hardest.
Twenty-first century disasters such as killer heat waves in Europe, wildfires in the United States, droughts in Australia and deadly flooding in Mozambique, Thailand and Pakistan highlight how vulnerable humanity is to extreme weather, according to a sweeping new report from a Nobel Prize-winning group of scientists released early Monday, Japan local time.
The dangers are going to worsen as the climate changes even more, the report’s authors say, adding that no one on Earth is immune.
“We’re all sitting ducks,” Princeton University professor Michael Oppenheimer, one of the main authors of the 32-volume report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said in an interview.
After several days of late-night wrangling, more than 100 governments unanimously approved the scientist-written 49-page summary — which is aimed at world political leaders. The summary mentions the word “risk” an average of more than five times per page.
“Changes are occurring rapidly and they are sort of building up that risk,” said the overall lead author of the report, Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution for Science in California.
Worse than predicted
These risks are both big and small, according to the report, and are occurring now and in the future. They will hit rural farms and big cities. Some places will have too much water, some not enough, including drinking water. Other risks mentioned in the report involve the price and availability of food, and, to a lesser and more qualified extent, some diseases, financial costs and even world peace.
“Things are worse than we had predicted” in 2007, when the group of scientists last issued this type of report, said report co-author Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development at the Independent University in Bangladesh.
“We are going to see more and more impacts, faster and sooner than we had anticipated.”
The problems have gotten so bad that the panel had to add a new and dangerous level of risks. In 2007, the biggest risk level in one key summary graphic was “high” and colored blazing red. The latest report adds a new level, “very high,” and colors it deep purple.
You might as well call it a “horrible” risk level, said report co-author Maarten van Aalst, a top official at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
“The horrible is something quite likely, and we won’t be able to do anything about it,” he said.
The report predicts that the highest level of risk would first hit plants and animals, both on land and the acidifying oceans.
Climate change will worsen problems that society already has, such as poverty, sickness, violence and refugees, according to the report. And on the other end, it will act as a brake slowing down the benefits of a modernizing society, such as regular economic growth and more efficient crop production, it says.
“In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans,” the report says.
And if society doesn’t change, the future looks even worse, it says: “Increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts.”
While the problems from global warming will hit everyone in some way, the magnitude of the harm won’t be equal, coming down harder on people who can least afford it, the report says. It will increase the gaps between the rich and poor, healthy and sick, young and old, and men and women, van Aalst said.
But the report’s authors say this is not a modern day version of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Much of the caution comes from more nuanced troubles that grow by degrees and worsen other societal ills. The report also concedes that there are uncertainties in understanding and predicting future climate risks.
The report, the fifth on warming’s implications, includes risks to the ecosystems of the Earth, including a thawing Arctic, but it is far more oriented to what it means to people than past versions.
The report also notes that one major area of risk is that with increased warming, incredibly dramatic but ultra-rare single major climate events, sometimes called tipping points, become more possible with huge consequences for the globe.
These are events like the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which would take more than 1,000 years.
“I can’t think of a better word for what it means to society than the word â€˜risk,â€™â€ said Virginia Burkett of the U.S. Geological Survey, one of the study’s main authors. She calls global warming “maybe one of the greatest known risks we face.”
‘Poorer People Lose Out’
Global warming is triggered by heat-trapping gases, such as carbon dioxide, that stay in the atmosphere for a century. Much of these gases still in the air and trapping heat came from the United States and other industrial nations. China is now by far the top carbon dioxide polluter, followed by the United States and India.
Unlike in past reports, where the scientists tried to limit examples of extremes to disasters that computer simulations can attribute partly to man-made warming, this version broadens what it looks at because it includes the larger issues of risk and vulnerability, van Aalst said.
Extremely large storms, like 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan, 2012’s Superstorm Sandy and 2008’s ultra-deadly Cyclone Nargis, may not have been caused by warming, but their fatal storm surges were augmented by climate change’s ever rising seas, he said.
And in the cases of the big storms like Haiyan, Sandy and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the poor were the most vulnerable, Oppenheimer and van Aalst said. The report talks about climate change helping create new pockets of poverty and “hotspots of hunger” even in richer countries, increasing inequality between rich and poor.
“Rich people benefit from using all these fossil fuels,” University of Sussex economist Richard Tol said. “Poorer people lose out.”
Tol, who is in the minority of experts here, had his name removed from the summary because he found it “too alarmist,” focusing too much on risk.
Huq said he had hope because richer nations and people are being hit more, and “when it hits the rich, then it’s a problem” and people start acting on it.
Part of the report talks about what can be done: reducing carbon pollution and adapting to and preparing for changing climates with smarter development.
The report echoes an earlier UN climate science panel that said if greenhouse gases continue to rise, the world is looking at another about 6 or 7 degrees Fahrenheit (3.5 or 4 degrees Celsius) of warming by 2100 instead of the international goal of not allowing temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.2 degrees Celsius).
The difference between those two outcomes, Princeton’s Oppenheimer said, “is the difference between driving on an icy road at 30 mph versus 90 mph. It’s risky at 30, but deadly at 90.”
There is still time to adapt to some of the coming changes and reduce heat-trapping emissions, so it’s not all bad, said study co-author Patricia Romero-Lankao of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado.
“We have a closing window of opportunity,” she said. “We do have choices. We need to act now.”
Al Jazeera and The Associated Press
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
March 30th, 2014 - by admin
Sarah Lazare / Common Dreams – 2014-03-30 01:14:49
#RightToHeal: 11 Years On, Bearing Witness to Iraq War’s Lasting Harm
Iraqi civil society organizers and US military veterans launch People’s Hearing on occupation’s ongoing toxic legacy
Sarah Lazare / Common Dreams
(March 27, 2014) — Eleven years after the US invasion of Iraq, the war has largely disappeared from the corporate media, and President Obama recently took the widely-criticized step of defending the invasion and claiming the Iraqi people now have “sovereignty.” Yet, on Wednesday night, Iraqi civil society organizers and US military veterans gathered at a “People’s Hearing” in Washington, DC to tell a different story: of a war that is not over, that is still taking life, spreading trauma, and poisoning Iraq.
In two hours of emotionally-charged testimony — curated by the Right to Heal campaign, a joint effort of Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq, Federation of Workers Councils and Unions of Iraq, and Iraq Veterans Against the War — the hearing traced the ongoing impacts of the US-led war and occupation. This legacy includes environmental poisoning, Iraqi government repression, sectarian conflict, poverty, trauma, displacement, and death.
During the hearing, which was moderated by journalist Phil Donahue and followed an earlier hearing in the House featuring the testimony of witnesses, an overwhelming call emerged. The US must give reparations to the Iraqi people, clean up its toxic legacy, and stop waging wars and occupations around the world.
“Relations based on militarism need to be changed. The change can come from places like this,” said Yanar Mohammed, president and co-founder of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq. “We will not surrender to sadness. We will not surrender to subjugation. We will have our say.”
Speakers described a country poisoned for decades by the US military — from depleted uranium used in the 1991 Gulf War and recent Iraq War, the chemical weapon white phosphorous used in the 2004 US attack on Fallujah, and burn pits — which are run by the US military and private contractors and burn munitions, chemicals, rubbers, plastics, and a host of other substances often within close proximity of Iraqi civilians. This toxic legacy in Iraq was repeatedly compared to the US nuclear legacy in Japan and Agent Orange attacks in Vietnam.
Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist, testified that US burn pits in Iraq are exposing the Iraqi public to a litany of dangerous compounds, including lead and mercury. Research teams sent to Iraqi hospitals in Basra and Falluja found abnormally high rates of cancers, birth defects, and heart defects, she stated.
Kristi Casteel, mother of IVAW member Joshua Casteel, explained that her son passed away August 25, 2012 due to complications from cancer caused by being exposed to burn pits in Abu Ghraib during his Army service.
Due to these burn pits, the military was “allowing more harm to our soldiers than our supposed enemies were inflicting,” said Kristi. Joshua became a conscientious objector, writer, and anti-war activist, and according to his mother, had the dying wish that burn pits be eradicated and those exposed to these pits, especially Iraqis, receive care.
Mohammed, who fled Iraq during the first Gulf war but then returned after 2003 to “help people,” described epidemics of birth defects in cities and towns across Iraq. “There are some mothers who have three or four children who don’t have limbs that work, who are totally paralyzed, their fingers fused to each other. These children have mental disabilities,” she said. “There needs to be reparations for families facing birth defect and areas that have been contaminated. There needs to be cleanup.”
Speakers testified that the US has also left behind another poison — the Nouri al-Maliki regime that is stoking sectarian conflict and repressing protesters and organizers fighting for their rights — against the backdrop of health problems, trauma, and a climbing refugee crisis.
According to Falah Alwan, President of the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq, the Iraqi government has carried forward old laws from Saddam Hussein that repress and punish workers for organizing in their workplaces. “The new government is busy with how to re-divide the wealthy and seize the resources of society,” he said. “They are supported directly by the US government — they want to issue new labor laws to control the workers and restrain them from stating their demands.”
Mohammed slammed the “corrupt” US-backed Iraqi government and scoffed at Obama’s claims about Iraqi sovereignty. “The US occupation taught us how to hate each other based on sectarian divides. The US occupation has alienated the women of Iraq and the ethnicity of Iraq.”
The Traumas That Spread
“The truth is that war is a devastating thing,” said Mozhgan. “And if we unleash it on innocent populations, it will harm us all.”
One by one, Iraq veterans took to the podium to testify to the wounds they still carry. IVAW member Rebekah Lampman described the harrowing experience of being raped by a fellow soldier and being denied recourse for winning justice and accountability. In fact, she was blamed for her own assault, she stated. Reflecting on her own healing following her military discharge, she stated, “I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor.”
Former marine and IVAW member Ramon Mejia, who said he joined the military out of “economic necessity” to provide for his family, explained that he was taught to dehumanize Iraqi people. When he made the decision, while deployed, to start “really seeing” Iraqi people after an experience hearing the call to prayer, he says everything changed. My war had changed: I went from going through the motions to questioning,” he said.
After leaving the military, Ramon faced seizures and mental health problems, and at one point had suicidal ideations. He declared, “I wish i could express to you how sorry i am for what happened in Iraq, and I’m dedicating my life to making things right.”
Mozghan pointed out that “very little work has been done on the mental effects of this war” on the Iraqi population. “Imagine the kinds of mental, emotional, physical pressure on the population of Iraq,” she stated.
Said Mohammed, “You get devastated out of fear. You have no hope.”
Justice and Reparations
Speaker after speaker repeated the call for reparations and accountability — including research into the toxic legacy of the US war in Iraq, and a “clean-up” of these sites.
While the Iraqi government is corrupt, there is a civil society that can oversee reparations and move it to the right places, urged Mohammed. Veterans repeated the “Right to Heal call for true care” for returning veterans, and Mozghan also spoke about the need for combating racism in the US
Yet, speakers urged that the real solution is ending the US-led wars responsible for creating the trauma and devastation in the first place.
“The war brings us here today,” said Pam Spees, senior staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights, in an address delivered in Arabic for the Iraqi audience — including those listening remotely on a live-stream of the event. “There is nothing than can compensate for the damage that this war has caused, but we are committing ourselves to seek justice.”
“We are looking for solutions and answers for how not to let it happen again,” said Mohammed.
The full hearing is featured in the video below:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
March 30th, 2014 - by admin
The Nonviolent Peaceforce / Special to EAW – 2014-03-30 01:14:01
MINNEAPOLIS and BELGIUM (March 27, 2014) — Nonviolent Peaceforce has released a press statement about the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Nonviolent Peaceforce has played a small but significant role in the peace process that has led up to this signing. We are a member of the official ceasefire monitoring mechanism in the Philippines. Delegates from our organization represented Nonviolent Peaceforce at the signing.
Nonviolent Peaceforce was founded in 2002. We have four country programs in Myanmar, the Philippines, South Caucasus and South Sudan. Our offices are in Minneapolis, MN and Brussels, Belgium.
Our unarmed peacekeepers are trained local community members and international civilians, who work in areas affected by armed violence. We are able to provide security and safety for civilians by building trusting relationships in communities. We also work by following the values of nonpartisanship. Our press statement is as follows:
The Philippines Statement on Comprehensive
Agreement on the Bangsamoro Signing
(March 27, 2914) — A new era is dawning in the Philippines as the forty-year conflict in Mindanao, Philippines, between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), reaches a turning point; one that has the country directed toward sustainable peace.
Today, 27th March, 2014, the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) was officially signed by both the GPH and MILF. The final signing of the CAB comes 17 months after itâ€™s initiation in October 2012 and is the culmination of a peace process spanning 17 years.
This milestone solidifies the foundation for the Bangsamoro Sub-state, which will provide the region greater political and governing autonomy. It will also preserve the vibrant history, tradition and culture of the Moro people. Moreover, this epic achievement will bring an end to the decades of violence that have plagued Mindanao.
The MILF Peace Panel Chairman, Mohager Iqbal specifically relayed to Atif Hameed, Nonviolent Peaceforce Director of Programs, â€œThe Final Signing of the CAB is a greatest hope for real peace. Its collective achievement of a life time and Nonviolent Peaceforce is very much part of this historical success.â€
The peace process has been rife with challenges; three major wars and innumerable armed clashes contributed to the derailment of peace talks on multiple occasions. The multitude of challenges that have been overcome makes the achievement even grander. It also speaks to the unwavering dedication of both parties in seeking sustainable solutions which are in the best interest of the country and the people of Mindanao.
Both the GPH And MILF recognized the critical importance of establishing effective monitoring mechanisms on the ground to address the ceasefire and civilian safety. This will thereby create the necessary space for the Peace Panels to focus on resolution of the most salient and contentious issues in the peace talks. The signing of the CAB is the demonstration that resolution on these issues has been achieved.
Several steps remain before the Bangsamoro is a fully operational Sub-state, including drafting and ratification of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. However, the foundation has been set and the future is bright.
The veteran civil society leader of Mindanao, Guimal Alim, who serves as Chairman of the Nonviolent Peaceforce Philippines Advisory Council shared that, â€œThis is an initial victory in the long Bangsamoro struggle for self-determination. This political gain must be sustained to improve the socio-economic life of the Bangsamoro. The role of organizations like Nonviolent Peaceforce and others is very crucial to this end.â€
Nonviolent Peaceforce has been in Mindanao, actively working to support the peace process since 2007. Nonviolent Peaceforce was initially invited by local civil society to foster efforts in improving human security.
This was specifically related to civilian protection and human rights issues using proactive and nonviolent methods. In 2010, Nonviolent Peaceforce had the privilege of joining the Civilian Protection Component (CPC) of the International Monitoring Team (IMT) at the invitation of the MILF and GPH Peace Panels.
The IMT is the mechanism charged with monitoring the ceasefire and overseeing humanitarian as well as human rights initiatives. As a member of the CPC, NP has focused on protecting the safety and security of non-combatants throughout the peace process, as well as the establishment of the Bangsamoro sub-state.
Nonviolent Peaceforce conveys its deepest respect and heartfelt congratulations to the parties, as well as the people of Mindanao for their perseverance and strength of spirit. This is not only a resounding triumph for Mindanao and the nation of the Philippines, but it is also a great model that can help many other countries facing similar issues. This serves as a brilliant reminder that dialogue, negotiation and dedication have the power to bring about real and lasting change. This is a real victory for peace.
Please contact our Minneapolis if you have any questions, by calling me, Amy Hansen at 612-871-0005 x 232 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org www.nonviolentpeaceforce.org
Nonviolent Peaceforce 425 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis, MN 55403â€¨Phone: 612.871.0005 | Fax: 612.871.0006 | Email: email@example.com
Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and in Belgium as a AISBL. Donations to Nonviolent Peaceforce are tax-deductible as permitted by law.
Nonviolent Peaceforce is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
March 30th, 2014 - by admin
Dr. Motsoko Pheko / Pambazuka News & Tony Otoa / Think Africa Press – 2014-03-30 01:02:13
U.S. Africa Command, a Tool to Re-colonise Continent
US Africa Command, a Tool to Re-colonise the Continent
Dr. Motsoko Pheko / Pambazuka News
(November 27, 2011) — The USA Africa Command, which America calls ‘Africom’, is a military structure of the Defence Department of America. Africom was formed in 2007 during President George W Bush’s second term of office.
That was two months after America had bombed a small African country, Somalia, destabilising it to the ashes it is today and to the danger it now poses to Africa and international trade.
The coast of Somalia is infested with sea piracy and kidnappings. This is as a result of the earlier American invasion of Somalia, in pursuit of its illegitimate economic interests in Africa.The political instability of Somalia has now caused the problem of ‘terrorism’ for East African countries such as Kenya.
A ‘Non-Military Insider’s Perspective’
In October 2011, the Institute of Security Studies held a seminar in Pretoria, South Africa, on United States’ security policy in Africa and the role of the US Africa Command. The main speaker was the American Ambassador to South Africa.
He presented what was a ‘non-military insider’s perspective on the United States’ Africa Command.’ This way he was supposedly to ‘separate facts from fiction and rumours and deal directly with misconceptions and misapprehensions about Africom.’
The American apologists of Africom suggested that the creation of this American military structure under the American Defence Department ‘has turned out to be different from what the USA government had originally envisioned and what the United States of America had originally perceived, having quickly foresworn locating its headquarters in Africa.’
It seems that even in this 21st century the United States of America government does not respect the sovereignty of African states and the territorial integrity of the continent. If it did, it would know that Africans have national and continental interests and the right to protect them. Assistance should be solicited.
Those who need assistance know what kind of assistance they want. The United States of America has no right to prescribe Africom on Africa even at the expense of dividing Africa and weakening the African Union. America wants its own interests to prevail over those of Africa.
Africans have a painful history of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, racism and colonialism by nations that claim to be ‘civilised’ but have behaviour that is contrary to civilisation. They dehumanised Africa’s people and saw nothing wrong with that.
They have never shown any remorse for their inhuman deeds to Africans or offered any reparations for the colossal damage they inflicted on Africans. America’s persistence to impose Africom on Africa proves this beyond reasonable doubt.
Ugandan Oil and American Troops to ‘Help’
Uganda suffered unspeakable atrocities under Idi Amin’s government that was installed by Britain under Prime Minister Edward Heath. The British government did not like the socialist policies of President Milton Obote. Idid Amin killed many Ugandans. They included the Anglican Archbishop Janani Luwum.
After the overthrow of Idid Amin, there emerged Joseph Kony, leader of what he calls the Lord’s Resistance Army. Kony has murdered thousands of Ugandans. This included kidnapping hundreds of Ugandan children who he forced to join his army to fight the Ugandan government. Many of those children were killed in the senseless war. This has gone on for over 20 years.
The US government never approached Uganda or the African Union or its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, to ask how the United States could help. Now there is discovery of oil in Uganda. Almost immediately, there are reports that US government has sent an army to Uganda to find Joseph Kony and rescue Uganda’s children.
Why did America not make this offer long before Uganda discovered this oil wealth? Acquisition of Africa’s resources is the chief purpose of Africom, not the development of Africa.
Will US Allow Russian Or Chinese Army Inside America?
Some African countries have been threatened with sanctions and ‘regime change.’ One of them is Libya, where Colonel Maummar Gaddafi was killed under the dark cloud of NATO and United States of America.
When Africans raise concerns about ‘Africom’ they are said to suffer ‘misconceptions, misapprehensions, rumours, and fiction.’
Now, is the United States of America government prepared to allow Russia or China to establish their own ‘American Command’ and call it ‘Americom’ in pursuit of their national interests in America? How would Americans react to this? Would they go to the streets and say, ‘Welcome messiah!’
Anyway, the architect of ‘Africom’ President George W Bush has said that the United States’ Africa Command ‘will co-ordinate all United States security interests throughout Africa.’ If this is not imperialist arrogance and contempt for the sovereignties of African States, then the proponents of ‘Africom’ must be sent to a mental hospital for treatment.
Vice Admiral Moelller Has Spilled Beans About Africom
Vice Admiral Moeller was the man President George W Bush entrusted with the mission of Africom. Moeller knew that mission in and out. At the United States’ Africa Command Conference held at Fort McNair on 18 February 2008, this American head of ‘Africom’ declared that, ‘Protecting the free flow of natural resources from Africa to the global market is one of Africom’s guiding principles.’
Admiral Moeller specifically cited ‘oil disruption’, ‘terrorism’ and the growing influence of China as a major challenge to United States’ interests in Africa. Africom is organised by the office of the Under-Secretary of Defence for Forces Transformation Resources and National Security Policy at the National Defence University Fort McNair, Washington D.C.
Africom serves the interests of the United States of America. Africa does not need ‘Africom. Africom is a jackal in sheep’s clothing. A jackal cannot be entrusted with the security and lives of sheep.
What Africa Needs To Protect Her Interests
What Africa needs is a mechanism to respond to peace missions in Africa to stabilise this continent politically, for rapid economic development, control of her resources and speedy technological advancement of her people.
The solution to Africa’s problems lies in strengthening the African Union and accelerating the economic development of Africa.
Africa’s underdevelopment was brought about by the Trans Atlantic Slaver Trade and colonialism, which subsequently enriched and developed European countries and underdeveloped Africa.
Sir Winston Churchill admitted this fact when he said: ‘Our possession of the West Indies gave us the strength, the support, but especially the capital wealth, at a time when no other European nation possessed such reserve, which enabled us to come through the great struggles of the Napoleonic Wars . . . but also to lay the foundations of the commercial and financial leadership which when the world was young . . . enabled us to make our great position in the world.’
America and NATO have the worst records in their dealings with the African people.
Patrice Lumumba was assassinated with the connivance of the US and Belgian governments. Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown with the assistance of America’s CIA. In recent years the American government and its British ally have plotted ‘regime change’ in Zimbabwe.
In Libya it is America and NATO that bombed the country and got Colonel Muammar Gaddafi killed. This has happened inside Africa.
The Ill-intentions of the USA and its NATO Allies
How much easily and frequently will this happen, now with the Africom operating inside this continent? America has sophisticated weapons and intelligence gathering that Africa cannot match at presently.
The ill-intentions of the USA and its NATO allies towards Africa were exposed recently when these allies made it impossible for a delegation of the African Union to enter Libya to mediate and bring peace to Libya between the rebels and Gaddafi’s government.
America and NATO treated the African Union with contempt and disdain. They literally sabotaged the AU efforts to bring peace to Libya as well as to Ivory Coast.
Destroying Africa, Undermining United Nations
Africom will destroy Africa. Africom will undermine the United Nations and the African Union. It will deeply divide Africa into moderates and militants.
Africom is a handy imperialist tool for ‘regime change.’ It will be used to install puppet governments on the African people to serve the interests of imperialism.
What Africans need is the collective defence of Africa against imperialism. This means increasing Africa’s military capability to defend Africa’s interests against external aggression.
All African states have a national and continental obligation to refuse the presence of Africom on the African soil. African leaders who play the American Africom game are digging a mass grave for African people and their children. Such leaders are a security risk for the people of Africa and of African descent.
‘African Youth Must Rise’
They cannot advance Africa economically and technologically, control Africa’s riches, use them for Africans and defend Africa’s people from those who still see Africa as a place of their enrichment and think the raw materials of this continent belong to them. Imperialism is becoming more dangerous and desperate.
This is its last kicks before it crumbles. Its economies are in a shambles. Imperialist countries are heavily in debt. ‘Africom’ is a tool to save an anachronistic, decaying, vile system of ruthless economic oppression.
The youth of Africa must rise and protect the riches of Africa for the benefit of Africa’s people. Africa’s youth wherever they may be must defend what is theirs by all means necessary.
Dr. Motsoko Pheko is author of several books and a former Member of Parliament in South Africa.
Source: TRANSCEND. pambazuka.org . Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uganda — Foreign Corporations Plan Massive Oil Production
Tony Otoa / Think Africa Press & Human Wrongs Watch
(February 23, 2012) — Tullow Oil PLC announced that it has completed the farm-down of two thirds of its Ugandan licences to China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) Limited and French oil major Total for $2.9 billion earlier today. The news that British firm Tullow has finally brought in partners to develop its oil fields in Uganda paves the way for commercial oil production to begin in the country.
Tullow’s sale of much of its stake in Ugandan oil fields follows the recent signing of Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) and the Kingfisher production licence with the government of Uganda.
Drill, Baby, Drill
Tullow’s news comes as Uganda’s parliament is about to begin debating on two crucial bills that will guide the sector in years to come.
The two bills are the Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Bill 2012 and the Petroleum (Refining , Gas Processing and Conversion, Transportation and Storage) Bill 2012. A third bill on Revenue Management is expected to be tabled in parliament soon.
The completion of Tullow’s farm-down marks the start of massive oil production plans by the three companies. Tullow has said that small-scale oil and gas production for the local power market will commence in 2013 from the Kaiso-Tonya area.
Major production from the Lake Albert Basin is anticipated to commence approximately 36 months after a basin-wide plan of development is approved by Uganda’s government. Based on this timetable, the ramp-up to major production would commence in 2016.
However, some skeptics believe that major production could only commence in 2017 or even later, making Uganda seem a less attractive investment opportunity than its neighbours Kenya and Tanzania which are both making significant progress in their oil discoveries.
Sharing the Spoils
Tullow also announced that, in accordance with agreements with the Ugandan government, operatorship responsibilities within the basin will be divided between the partners. Total will operate Exploration Area-1 (EA-1) and Tullow will operate Exploration Area-2 (EA-2). In the former Exploration Area-3A, CNOOC Limited will operate the new Kanywataba licence and the Kingfisher production licence.
The three partners are to commence drilling activities in the area to undertake a wide-ranging exploration and appraisal programme this year. Immediate exploration priorities include drilling of the Kanywataba prospect, a series of prospects west of the Nile starting with the Omuka well in EA-1 and further appraisal work in both EA-1 and EA-2.
While many are optimistic about the plans which are in the pipeline, however, there are also concerns about the speed at which the sector is advancing without sufficient regulations to guide it.
Despite the resolution by parliament in October to halt any deals between the government and the oil companies, new developments, including the signing of new PSAs three weeks ago have not come as a surprise. Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni is seen to be the person who is single-handedly making the decisions, a role that leaves oversight, especially by parliament, non-existent.
Over the next weeks, parliament will deliberate on the oil sector bills. The results of their debates and discussions will determine the future of Uganda’s rich natural resource, especially regarding how it is managed.
The bills have already received plenty of criticism as they could, among other things, hand over a lot of power to the oil minister who would in turn be influenced by the president. The bills, according to some, also do not clearly promise transparency and many clauses could call for secrecy by officials and the proposed Petroleum Authority.
How parliament deals with this discourse will be of critical interest. The need to deliberate in a non-partisan manner is paramount. In the past, MPs have allegedly been given financial inducements that have made them rather biased.
It is the Ugandans wish that this does not happen again, especially in light of the reports that some of the MPs have started receiving 103 million Uganda shillings ($43,900) for private cars.
*Tony Otoa Tony Otoa is a Researcher at Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment. He holds a BSc in International Relations, Media and Communications Studies; and Masters Degree in International Law.He is the coordinator of the Civil Society Coalition on Oil in Uganda (CSCO) and The Access Initiative (TAI) for the African region.He was formerly a journalist with Uganda’s Daily Monitor and Monitor FM covering Parliament of the Republic of Uganda, the conflict in Congo, and Northern Uganda. He is currently focusing on the Uganda Oil sector and Governance related issues. This article was first published by Think Africa Press..
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
March 30th, 2014 - by admin
Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams – 2014-03-30 00:43:19
UN Human Rights Body Slams US Over Targeted Assassinations
US must provide justification, accountability for drone policies, says UN Human Rights Committee
(March 27, 2014) — The United States “should revisit its position regarding legal justifications for the use of deadly force through drone attacks,” a UN human rights body stated Thursday.
In its concluding observations on the United States’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a US-ratified treaty that outlines basic human rights, the UN Human Rights Committee issued a slew of criticisms to the US on its failures.
Among those criticisms is the US drone policy. Echoing what rights and justice groups have long charged, the UN body expressed concern over the justification and lack of accountability for the targeted killings, as well as civilian casualties.
In its recommendations, the body writes that the US should:
(a) ensure that any use of armed drones complies fully with its obligations under article 6 of the Covenant, including in particular with respect to the principles of precaution, distinction and proportionality in the context of an armed conflict;
(b) subject to operational security, disclose the criteria for drone strikes, including the legal basis for specific attacks, the process of target identification and the circumstances in which drones are used;
(c) provide for independent supervision and oversight over the specific implementation of regulations governing the use of drone strikes;
(d) in armed conflict situations, take all feasible measures to ensure the protection of civilians in specific drone attacks and to track and assess civilian casualties, as well as all necessary precautionary measures in order to avoid such casualties;
(e) conduct independent, impartial, prompt and effective investigations of allegations of violations of the right to life and bring to justice those responsible;
(f) provide victims or their families with an effective remedy where there has been a violation, including adequate compensation, and establish accountability mechanisms for victims of allegedly unlawful drone attacks who are not compensated by their home governments.
Among those also demanding such accountability are Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and film director Robert Greenwald, whose eighth full-length documentary film explores the impact of US drone strikes. They write in an op-ed published Thursday:
When civilian deaths have been alleged, as they have been in Datta Khel [,a notorious drone strike in North Waziristan}, the public has a right to understand the merit of these allegations, and the government has a responsibility to tell us the truth.
If the US government doesn’t have the answers, then it has a responsibility to find out. It should launch an investigation, and disclose the full findings to the public. We want answers — for better, or for worse.
But this week, the US government did the opposite of that. In fact, it said that it won’t participate in UN Human Rights Council negotiations regarding a resolution that seeks greater transparency and accountability in drone strikes.
The draft resolution urges States to maintain transparent records on drone strikes, and reportedly encourages independent investigations in incidents where human rights violations have occurred — such as civilian casualties of drone strikes. The resolution will come up for a vote this week, and the US is not expected to support it. That is a mistake.
It’s time for our government to shed some light on its drone practices. Transparency, as uncomfortable as it may sometimes be, is an essential part of our democracy. Americans need the facts — the who, what, when, where, and [most importantly] why — in order to decide if the benefits of these strikes outweigh the negatives. And for the people in other countries, whose lives are so profoundly impacted by America’s drone activities […], they deserve some closure too.
Among the Committee’s other recommendations for the US are that it:
* reconsider its position that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights treatydoes not apply to its military operations abroad;
* declassify and make public the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture;
* and prosecute those responsible for unlawful killings, torture or other ill-treatment, unlawful detention, or enforced disappearances under the “enhanced interrogation techniques” program.
The Committee’s rebuke of US policies also included the criminalization of homelessness, racial bias in the judicial system and the death penalty, solitary confinement, continued detention at the Guantanamo Bay prison, discriminatory voting practices, and NSA surveillance.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
March 29th, 2014 - by admin
Washington’s Blog & Global Research – 2014-03-29 01:22:17
Governments From Around the World ADMIT That They Carry Out False Flag Terror
Nothing New . . . Governments from Around the World Admit They Carry Out False Flag Terror
(March 25, 2014) — Sadly, this is common, since governments from around the world admit they carry out false flag terror:
â€¢ A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that — under orders from the chief of the Gestapo — he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
â€¢ Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev admitted in writing that the Soviet Union’s Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939, and declared that the fire originated from Finland as a basis launching the Winter War four days later
â€¢ Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including US diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
â€¢ The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950â€²s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
â€¢ The former Italian Prime Minister, an Italian judge, and the NATO, with the help of the Pentagon and CIA, carried out terror bombings in Italy and other European countries in the 1950s and blamed the communists, in order to rally people’s support for their governments in Europe in their fight against communism.
As one participant in this formerly-secret program stated: “You had to attack civilians, people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public, to turn to the state to ask for greater security” (and see this) (Italy and other European countries subject to the terror campaign had joined NATO before the bombings occurred). And watch this BBC special.]
â€¢ As admitted by the US government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960â€²s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
â€¢ 2 years before, American Senator George Smathers had suggested that the US make “a false attack made on Guantanamo Bay which would give us the excuse of actually fomenting a fight which would then give us the excuse to go in and [overthrow Castro]”.
â€¢ And Official State Department documents show that — only nine months before the Joint Chiefs of Staff plan was proposed — the head of the Joint Chiefs and other high-level officials discussed [Note: “Cannot download requested information”] blowing up a consulate in the Dominican Republic in order to justify an invasion of that country. The 3 plans were not carried out, but they were all discussed as serious proposals
â€¢ A US Congressional committee admittedthat — as part of its “Cointelpro” campaign — the FBI had used many provocateurs in the 1950s through 1970s to carry out violent acts and falsely blame them on political activists
â€¢ The South African Truth and Reconciliation Council found that, in 1989, the Civil Cooperation Bureau (a covert branch of the South African Defense Force) approached an explosives expert and asked him “to participate in an operation aimed at discrediting the ANC [the African National Congress] by bombing the police vehicle of the investigating officer into the murder incident”, thus framing the ANC for the bombing
â€¢ An Algerian diplomat and several officers in the Algerian army admit [Note: “Unable to open file”] that, in the 1990s, the Algerian army frequently massacred Algerian civilians and then blamed Islamic militants for the killings (and see this video [Note: This video is not available]; and Agence France-Presse, 9/27/2002, “French Court Dismisses Algerian Defamation Suit Against Author.”)
â€¢ Senior Russian Senior military and intelligence officers admit that the KGB blew up Russian apartment buildings and falsely blamed it on Chechens, in order to justify an invasion of Chechnya (and see this report and this discussion)
â€¢ According to the Washington Post, Indonesian police admit that the Indonesian military killed American teachers in Papua in 2002 and blamed the murders on a Papuan separatist group in order to get that group listed as a terrorist organization.
â€¢ The well-respected former Indonesian president also admits that the government probably had a role in the Bali bombings
â€¢ As reported by BBC, the New York Times, and Associated Press, Macedonian officials admit that the government murdered 7 innocent immigrants in cold blood and pretended that they were Al Qaeda soldiers attempting to assassinate Macedonian police, in order to join the “war on terror.”
â€¢ Although the FBI now admits that the 2001 anthrax attacks were carried out by one or more US government scientists, a senior FBI official says that the FBI was actually told to blame the Anthrax attacks on Al Qaeda by White House officials (remember what the anthrax letters looked like). Government officials also confirm that the white House tried to link the anthrax to Iraq as a justification for regime change in that country
â€¢ Former Department of Justice lawyer John Yoo suggested in 2005 that the US should go on the offensive against al-Qaeda, having “our intelligence agencies create a false terrorist organization. It could have its own websites, recruitment centers, training camps, and fundraising operations. It could launch fake terrorist operations and claim credit for real terrorist strikes, helping to sow confusion within al-Qaeda’s ranks, causing operatives to doubt others’ identities and to question the validity of communications.”
â€¢ United Press International reported in June 2005:â€¨US intelligence officers are reporting that some of the insurgents in Iraq are using recent-model Beretta 92 pistols, but the pistols seem to have had their serial numbers erased. The numbers do not appear to have been physically removed; the pistols seem to have come off a production line without any serial numbers.
Analysts suggest the lack of serial numbers indicates that the weapons were intended for intelligence operations or terrorist cells with substantial government backing. Analysts speculate that these guns are probably from either Mossad or the CIA. Analysts speculate that agent provocateurs may be using the untraceable weapons even as US authorities use insurgent attacks against civilians as evidence of the illegitimacy of the resistance.â€¨â€¨
â€¢ Undercover Israeli soldiers admitted in 2005 to throwing stones at other Israeli soldiers so they could blame it on Palestinians, as an excuse to crack down on peaceful protests by the Palestinians
â€¢ Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers (and see this).
â€¢ At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plainclothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence
â€¢ A Colombian army colonel has admitted that his unit murdered 57 civilians, then dressed them in uniforms and claimed they were rebels killed in combat
â€¢ US soldiers have admitted that if they kill innocent Iraqis and Afghanis, they then “drop” automatic weapons near their body so they can pretend they were militants.
â€¢ The highly-respected writer for the Telegraph Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says that the head of Saudi intelligence — Prince Bandar — recently admitted that the Saudi government controls “Chechen” terrorists
So Common . . . There’s a Name for It
This tactic is so common that it was given a name for hundreds of years ago.
“False flag terrorism” is defined as a government attacking its own people, then blaming others in order to justify going to war against the people it blames. Or as Wikipedia defines it:
False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities.
The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.
The term comes from the old days of wooden ships, when one ship would hang the flag of its enemy before attacking another ship in its own navy. Because the enemy’s flag, instead of the flag of the real country of the attacking ship, was hung, it was called a “false flag” attack.
Indeed, this concept is so well-accepted that rules of engagement for naval, air and land warfare all prohibit false flag attacks.
Leaders Throughout History Have Acknowledged False Flags
Leaders throughout history have acknowledged the danger of false flags:
“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”â€¨
“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” â€¨
— US President James Madison
“A history of false flag attacks used to manipulate the minds of the people! “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.” â€¨
— Friedrich Nietzsche
“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.”â€¨
— Adolph Hitler
“Why of course the people don’t want war . . . But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship . . . Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”â€¨
— Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.
“The easiest way to gain control of a population is to carry out acts of terror. [The public] will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.”
— Josef Stalin
People Are Waking Up to False Flags
People are slowly waking up to this whole con job by governments who want to justify war.
More people are talking about the phrase “false flag”than ever before.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
March 29th, 2014 - by admin
Zero Hedge & Washington’s Blog & Global Research – 2014-03-29 01:08:53
Here Is The YouTube
“Start A False Flag War With Syria”
Leaked Recording That Erdogan Wanted Banned
(March 26, 2014) — BaÅŸÃ§alani, seÃ§imden galip cÄ±kmak iÃ§in Suriye ile savaÃ§a bile girmeyi gÃ¶ze alacak kadar hÄ±rs bÃ¼rÃ¼mÃ¼ÅŸ.
(March 28, 2014) — As we noted here, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan had blocked Twitter access to his nation ahead of what was rumored to be a “spectacular” leak before this weekend’s elections. Then this morning, amid a mad scramble, he reportedly (despite the nation’s court ruling the bans illegal) blocked YouTube access.
However, by the magic of the interwebs, we have the â€˜leaked’ clip and it is clear why he wanted it blocked/banned. As the rough translation explains, it purports to be a conversation between key Turkish military and political leaders discussing what appears to be a false flag attack to launch war with Syria.
Among the most damning sections:
Ahmet Davutolu: “Prime Minister said that in current conjuncture, this attack (on Suleiman Shah Tomb) must be seen as an opportunity for us.”
Hakan Fidan: “I’ll send 4 men from Syria, if that’s what it takes. I’ll make up a cause of war by ordering a missile attack on Turkey; we can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah Tomb if necessary.”
Feridun Sinirliolu: “Our national security has become a common, cheap domestic policy outfit.”
Yaar GÃ¼ler: “It’s a direct cause of war. I mean, what’re going to do is a direct cause of war.”
. . .
Feridun Sinirolu: There are some serious shifts in global and regional geopolitics. It now can spread to other places. You said it yourself today, and others agreed. . . We’re headed to a different game now. We should be able to see those. That ISIL and all that jazz, all those organizations are extremely open to manipulation. Having a region made up of organizations of similar nature will constitute a vital security risk for us. And when we first went into Northern Iraq, there was always the risk of PKK blowing up the place. If we thoroughly consider the risks and substantiate. . . As the general just said. . .
Yaar GÃ¼ler: Sir, when you were inside a moment ago, we were discussing just that. Openly. I mean, armed forces are a “tool” necessary for you in every turn.
Ahmet Davutolu: Of course. I always tell the Prime Minister, in your absence, the same thing in academic jargon, you can’t stay in those lands without hard power. Without hard power, there can be no soft power.
A full translation can be found here.
And just in case you had faith that this was all made up and Erdogan is right to ban it. . . he just admitted it was true!
To summarize: a recording confirming a NATO-member country planned a false-flag war with Syria (where have we seen that before?) and all the Prime Minister has to say is the leak was “immoral.”
Erdogan is not amused:
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan described the leaking on YouTube on Thursday of a recording of top security officials discussing possible military operations in Syria as “villainous” and the government blocked access to the video-sharing site.
. . .
“They even leaked a national security meeting. This is villainous, this is dishonesty. . .Who are you serving by doing audio surveillance of such an important meeting?” Erdogan declared before supporters at a rally ahead of March 30 local polls that will be a key test of his support amid a corruption scandal.
Turkish Political and Military Leaders Admit to Planning False-Flag Terror to Justify a War with Syria
Washington’s Blog & Global Research
In other words, the Turkish Prime Minister has admitted that the tape is authentic â€¦ and is between top Turkish military and political leaders.
Good Morning Turkey names names as to who was involved in the discussion:
Turkey’s foreign minister, intelligence chief and a top army general . . .. Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoÄŸlu, National Intelligence Organization (MÄ°T) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun SinirlioÄŸlu and Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. YaÅŸar GÃ¼ler . . ..
Indeed, Turkey has been sheltering and training Syrian rebels for man years, and there have been allegations for years that Turkey was instigating false flag attacks and blaming Syria.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.
Archives by Month: