Saturday, February 25, 2012

John Bolton vs. Veteran Army Ranger. Ranger wins.

Let me first start by saying: Mr. West, you are a true patriot. In the video we once again see the walrus-mustachioed malcontent that is John Bolton, wither under the weight of the issue at hand; resorting to dodging and spewing complete bullshit. Add to that some creative editing to make it look like anyone appreciated his answer. People who enjoy warmongering and actively support terrorism have absolutely no business being in positions of influence/power.  Speaking truth to power makes you not only a hero, but a target. Thank you and take care David West.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Timeless Entropy



my soul burns with a fire unknown to mankind
I tremble with the fury of tectonic mass
held in check only by my own devices
a crescendo of molten agony courses through me
searing every facet with indelible rage
I beg my soul to set itself free,
to unleash the frustration of a thousand djinn,
seducing the very foundations of existance
woven through the fiber of my being,
As entropy consumes all that is, all that ever was
my voice echoes through time with thundering cries of a trillion lost souls

decayed minds buried in forgotten sands
the thoughts of it fade...
there was never an escape from this eternity
collecting what can be found of memories
scattered like broken seashells
in an ocean of shattered dreams
What once was, has been long simmering
in the crucible of forever and everything.
Answers which once consumed millions in the seeking
float cast aside like so many broken toys.
Time only has meaning as a pressure gauge
counting the eons on the rise
adding the mass of a billion stars in the blink of an eye

tug the string,
loosen the bonds I have imposed upon myself
and hidden from the eye
feed upon the nectar of my delight
as the fear of untold nightmares
throb incessantly in your mind
remove the binds that keep me
embrace the oblivion which you will find.

As Predicted: Drones over Syria


 

As I predicted, the Globalists have been forced to get air power operating over Syria or face defeat without it. Globalresearch's Alex Lantier explains the details in his recent article covering the recent admission that drones are operating over Syria:

U.S. Violates Syrian Air Space: Drones Over Syria as Fighting Spreads
by Alex Lantier

Global Research, February 20, 2012

US military officials confirmed Saturday that US drones are flying over Syria, as fighting spreads inside the country and US officials discuss military or “humanitarian” intervention to topple Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

The drone flights, which flagrantly violate Syrian air space, include a “good number” of both military and US intelligence drones, according to US defense officials. These officials said the drones’ mission is to obtain “intercepts of Syrian government and military communications in an effort to ‘make the case for a widespread international response.’”

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz also reported Saturday that Syrian forces had captured 40 Turkish intelligence operatives working with the “opposition” inside Syria. It said the Turkish operatives confessed to working with the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad to train the US-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), and claimed that Mossad operatives were working with Al Qaeda operatives in Jordan planning operations in Syria.

This echoes testimony Thursday before the US Senate Armed Services Committee by US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He said that recent bombings in Damascus and Aleppo “had all the earmarks of an al Qaeda-like attack. So we believe that al Qaeda in Iraq is extending its reach into Syria.”

As in last year’s war in Libya, Washington is seizing on violence between the Assad regime and US-backed opposition forces—which are organizing protests and killings inside Syria—to justify military intervention.

Significantly, the US relied extensively on former Al Qaeda fighters of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) to topple Libyan Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and it appears a similar relationship is being established in Syria.

Yesterday gunmen in the city of Idlib killed a senior state prosecutor, Idlib Attorney General Nidal Ghazal, as well as Judge Mohammed Ziyadeh and their driver in an ambush. On Saturday gunmen also killed Jamal al-Bish, a member of the city council of Aleppo—Syria’s largest city, which has seen no significant protests against Assad.

The killings follow a series of assassinations of Syrian officials, including the February 11 killing of Brigadier General Issa al-Khouli and last month’s shooting of the head of the Idlib branch of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, Abdulrazak Jbero.

According to Syrian state news agency SANA, fighting near the city of Hama yesterday left two Syrian policemen, three “opposition” fighters, and four civilians dead. Military engineering units in the city also dismantled four bombs planted on railways and the Hama-Khattab road.

Even reports by the US-backed Syrian “opposition” and in the US media suggest that the Free Syrian Army and similar forces have little support outside of a few cities such as Deraa, Homs, and Hama. Aided and supplied by Turkey, European powers, and the United States, they are instead using terrorist actions to undermine the Assad regime and facilitate foreign military intervention.

US media report quite openly that Washington’s FSA proxies are preparing bombs for use against Syrian forces. According to a February 15 article, Timereporter Rania Abouzeid visited an FSA safe house in Syria, where she saw defectors from the Syrian army assembling Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) manufactured from yellow granular explosives. She noted that this “crop of IEDs isn’t the first to be aimed against loyalist forces in the area,” interviewing a Syrian army conscript who defected to the FSA out of fear after being hit by an FSA car bomb.

Saturday’s protest march in Mezze—a middle-class neighborhood of the capital, Damascus, which has remained largely loyal to Assad—gathered only “hundreds and hundreds” of people, according to the New York Times. The protest was called against the deaths of three protesters allegedly killed by security forces. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a British-based group that reportedly enjoys Saudi and Qatari funding, said Syrian security forces opened fire on the protest, killing one.

The SOHR added, “If the rallies have reached Damascus and are big enough, we will no longer need an armed revolution.” Such comments only underscore that the Syrian opposition is resorting to terrorist acts, which it cynically calls “revolution,” because it lacks popular support.

This only underscores that the task of fighting the Assad regime falls to the Syrian working class, which alone can overthrow it on a progressive basis, while fighting against the imperialist forces that are now trying to conquer Syria.

The cynical pose of concern struck by the Western governments and media was exemplified by British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who said he was “worried that Syria is going to slide into civil war.” At the same time as officials from NATO countries express concerns about civil war in Syria, they are actively fanning the flames of the conflict.

Two Republican US Senators, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, called for arming Syrian “rebels” yesterday in Kabul, where they had stopped for talks with the Afghan puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai on their way to discussions with the Egyptian military junta in Cairo.

McCain said, “I believe there are ways to get weapons to the opposition without direct United States involvement… So I am not only not opposed, but I am in favor of weapons being obtained by the opposition.” He suggested that Washington would not need to send weapons directly to the opposition, but could work through “Third World countries.”

Graham made clear that US moves against Syria are part of a broad regional confrontation by the United States against Iran: “Breaking Syria apart from Iran could be as important to containing a nuclear Iran as sanctions. If the Syrian regime is replaced with another form of government that doesn’t tie its future to the Iranians, the world is a better place.”

Graham said that the Cairo-based Arab League could be a “conduit” for US influence in Syria. It appears that Washington may again use its close relations with the Egyptian military junta in the services of counterrevolution in the Middle East.

The New York Times wrote that the Senators’ detailed remarks on arming pro-US Syrian forces “signal that these were themes that they would address when they arrived in Cairo, their next stop.” The United States gives $1.3 billion per year in subsidies to the Egyptian army junta. Over the past year, the junta used these resources both to support NATO-backed rebels in Libya and to suppress the revolutionary struggles of the Egyptian working class.

The Egyptian government withdrew its ambassador to Syria yesterday, prompting Damascus to withdraw its ambassador to Egypt.

In a further sign of an escalating risk of wider war over the ongoing US-led intervention in Syria, an Iranian destroyer and an escorting supply ship docked yesterday at the Syrian port of Tartus after steaming through the Suez Canal.

Alex Lantier is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Alex Lantier

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rothschilds Want Iran’s Banks






By Pete Papaherakles

American Free Press





Could gaining control of the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran (CBI) be one of the main reasons that Iran is being targeted by Western and Israeli powers? As tensions are building up for an unthinkable war with Iran, it is worth exploring Iran’s banking system compared to its U.S., British and Israeli counterparts.




Some researchers are pointing out that Iran is one of only three countries left in the world whose central bank is not under Rothschild control. Before 9-11 there were reportedly seven: Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Iran. By 2003, however, Afghanistan and Iraq were swallowed up by the Rothschild octopus, and by 2011 Sudan and Libya were also gone. In Libya, a Rothschild bank was established in Benghazi while the country was still at war.




Islam forbids the charging of usury, the practice of charging excessive, unreasonably high, and often illegal interestrates on loans,and that is a major problem for the Rothschild banking system. Until a few hundred years ago usury was also forbidden in the Christian world and was even punishable by death. It was considered exploitation and enslavement.




Since the Rothschilds took over the Bank of England around 1815, they have been expanding their banking control over all the countries of the world. Their method has been to get a country’s corrupt politicians to accept massive loans, which they can never repay, and thus go into debt to the Rothschild banking powers. If a leader refuses to accept the loan, he is oftentimes either ousted or assassinated. And if that fails, invasions can follow, and a Rothschild usury-based bank is established.




The Rothschilds exert powerful influence over the world’s major news agencies. By repetition, the masses are duped into believing horror stories about evil villains. The Rothschilds control the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, the IMF, the World Bank and the Bank of International Settlements. Also they own most of the gold in the world as well as the London Gold Exchange, which sets the price of gold every day. It is said the family owns over half the wealth of the planet—estimated by Credit Suisse to be $231 trillion—and is controlled by Evelyn Rothschild, the current head of the family.




Objective researchers contend that Iran is not being demonized because they are a nuclear threat, just as the Taliban, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Qadaffi were not a threat.




What then is the real reason? Is it the trillions to be made in oil profits, or the trillions in war profits? Is it to bankrupt the U.S. economy, or is it to start World War III? Is it to destroy Israel’s enemies, or to destroy the Iranian central bank so that no one is left to defy Rothschild’s money racket?




It might be any one of those reasons or, worse—it might be all of them.


Friday, February 10, 2012

The Way of Empires with Activist Lew Rockwell 1/3

Former Ron Paul Chief of Staff Lew Rockwell gets some quality airtime. Well worth the watch.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Profit Driven Prison Industrial Complex: The Economics of Incarceration in the USA



Profit Driven Prison Industrial Complex: The Economics of Incarceration in the USA


For every 100,000 Americans, 743 citizens sit behind bars



For anyone paying attention, there is no shortage of issues that fundamentally challenge the underpinning moral infrastructure of American society and the values it claims to uphold. Under the conceptual illusion of liberty, few things are more sobering than the amount of Americans who will spend the rest of their lives in an isolated correctional facility – ostensibly, being corrected. The United States of America has long held the highest incarceration rate in the world, far surpassing any other nation. For every 100,000 Americans, 743 citizens sit behind bars. Presently, the prison population in America consists of more than six million people, a number exceeding the amount of prisoners held in the gulags of the former Soviet Union at any point in its history.

While miserable statistics illustrate some measure of the ongoing ethical calamity occurring in the detainment centers inside the land of the free, only a partial picture of the broader situation is painted. While the country faces an unprecedented economic and financial crisis, business is booming in other fields – namely, the private prison industry. Like any other business, these institutions are run for the purpose of turning a profit. State and federal prisons are contracted out to private companies who are paid a fixed amount to house each prisoner per day. Their profits result from spending the minimum amount of state or federal funds on each inmate, only to pocket the remaining capital. For the corrections conglomerates of America, prosperity depends on housing the maximum numbers of inmates for the longest potential time - as inexpensively as possible.

By allowing a profit-driven capitalist-enterprise model to operate over institutions that should rightfully be focused on rehabilitation, America has enthusiastically embraced a prison industrial complex. Under the promise of maintaining correctional facilities at a lower cost due to market competition, state and federal governments contract privately run companies to manage and staff prisons, even allowing the groups to design and construct facilities. The private prison industry is primarily led by two morally deficient entities, the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and the GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut Corrections Corporation).  These companies amassed a combined revenue of over $2.9 billion in 2010, not without situating themselves in the center of political influence.


The number of people imprisoned under state and federal custody increased 772% percent between 1970 and 2009, largely due to the incredible influence private corporations wield against the American legal system. Because judicial leniency and sentencing reductions threaten the very business models of these private corporations, millions have been spent lobbying state officials and political candidates in an effort to influence harsher “zero tolerance” legislation and mandatory sentencing for many non-violent offenses. Political action committees assembled by private correctional corporations have lobbied over 3.3 million dollars to the political establishment since 2001. An annual report released by the CCA in 2010 reiterates the importance of influencing legislation:

“The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws. For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. Legislation has been proposed in numerous jurisdictions that could lower minimum sentences for some non-violent crimes and make more inmates eligible for early release based on good behavior. Also, sentencing alternatives under consideration could put some offenders on probation with electronic monitoring who would otherwise be incarcerated. Similarly, reductions in crime rates or resources dedicated to prevent and enforce crime could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences requiring incarceration at correctional facilities.”

Considering today’s private prison population is over 17 times larger than the figure two decades earlier, the malleability of the judicial system under corporate influence is clear. The Corrections Corporation of America is the first and largest private prison company in the US, cofounded in 1983 by Tom Beasley, former Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. The CCA entered the market and overtly exploited Beasley’s political connections in an attempt to exert control over the entire prison system of Tennessee. Today, the company operates over sixty-five facilities and owns contracts with the US Marshal Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Bureau of Prisons. The GEO Group operates 118 detention centers throughout the United States, South Africa, UK, Australia and elsewhere. Under its original name, the Wackenhut Corrections Corporation was synonymous for the sadistic abuse of prisoners in its facilities, resulting in the termination of several contracts in 1999.


The political action committees assembled by private prison enterprises have also wielded incredible influence with respect to administering harsher immigration legislation. The number of illegal immigrants being incarcerated inside the United States is rising exponentially under Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency responsible for annually overseeing the imprisonment of 400,000 foreign nationals at the cost of over $1.9 billion on custody-related operations. The agency has come under heavy criticism for seeking to contract a 1,250-bed immigration detention facility in Essex County, New Jersey to a private company that shares intimate ties to New Jersey's Governor, Chris Christie. Given the private prison industry’s dependence on immigration-detention contracts, the huge contributions of the prison lobby towards drafting Arizona’s recrementitious immigration law SB 1070 are all but unexpected. While the administration of Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer is lined with former private prison lobbyists, its Department of Corrections budget has been raised by $10 million, while all other Arizona state agencies are subject to budget cuts in 2012’s fiscal year

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this obstinate moral predicament presents itself in the private contracting of prisoners and their role in assembling vast quantities of military and commercial equipment. While the United States plunges itself into each new manufactured conflict under a wide range of fraudulent pretenses, it is interesting to note that all military helmets, ammunition belts, bulletproof vests, ID tags, uniforms, tents, bags and other equipment used by military occupation forces are produced by inmates in federal prisons across the US. Giant multinational conglomerates and weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Corporation employ federal prison labor to cheaply assemble weapons components, only to sell them to the Pentagon at premium prices. At the lowest, Prisoners earn 17 cents an hour to assemble high-tech electronic components for guided missile systems needed to produce Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles and anti-tank projectiles.

In the past, political mouthpieces of the United States have criticized countries such as China and North Korea for their role in exploiting prisoner labor to create commodity products such as women’s bras and artificial flowers for export. Evidently, outsourcing the construction of the military equipment responsible for innumerable civilian causalities to the prisons of America warrants no such criticism from the military industrial establishment. In utter derision toward the integrity of the common worker, prison inmates are exposed to toxic spent ammunition, depleted uranium dust and other chemicals when contracted to clean and reassemble tanks and military vehicles returned from combat. Prison laborers receive no union protection, benefits or health and safety protection when made to work in electronic recycling factories where inmates are regularly exposed to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic.

In addition to performing tasks that can result in detrimental illnesses, prison labor produces other military utilities such as night-vision goggles, body armor, radio and communication devices, components for battleship anti-aircraft guns, land mine sweepers and electro-optical equipment. While this abundant source of low-cost manpower fosters greater incentives for corporate stockholders to impose draconian legislation on the majority of Americans who commit nonviolent offenses, it’s hard to imagine such an innately colossal contradiction to the nation’s official rhetoric, i.e. American values. Furthermore, prison labor is employed not only in the assembly of complex components used in F-15 fighter jets and Cobra helicopters, it also supplies 98% of the entire market for equipment assembly services, with similar statistics in regard to products such as paints, stoves, office furniture, headphones, and speakers.

It is some twisted irony that large sections of the workforce in America’s alleged free-market are shackled in chains. Weapons manufactured in the isolation of America’s prisons are the source of an exploitative cycle, which leaves allied NATO member countries indebted to a multibillion-dollar weapons industry at the behest of the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon. Complete with its own trade exhibitions, mail-order catalogs and investment houses on Wall Street, the eminence of the private prison industry solidifies the ongoing corrosion of American principles – principles that seem more abstract now, than the day they were written.

Predictably, the potential profit of the prison labor boom has encouraged the foundations of US corporate society to move their production forces into American prisons. Conglomerates such as IBM, Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, 3Com, Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom's, Revlon, Macy's, Pierre Cardin, Victoria’s Secret, and Target have all begun mounting production operations in US prisons. Many of these Fortune 500 conglomerates are corporate members of civil society groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). These think tanks are critical toward influencing American foreign policy. Under the guise of democracy promotion, these civil societies fund opposition movements and train dissent groups in countries around the world in the interest of pro-US regime change. With naked insincerity, the same companies that outsource the production of their products to American prisons simultaneously sponsor civil societies that demanded the release of Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest –an overly political effort in the on-going attempts to install a compliant regime in that country.

The concept of privatizing prisons to reduce expenses comes at great cost to the inmates detained, who are subjected to living in increasingly squalid conditions in jail cells across America. In 2007, the Texas Youth Commission (TYC) was sent to a West Texas juvenile prison run by GEO Group for the purpose of monitoring its quality standards. The monitors sent by the TYC were subsequently fired for failing to report the sordid conditions they witnessed in the facility while they awarded the GEO Group with an overall compliance score of nearly 100%. Independent auditors later visited the facility and discovered that inmates were forced to urinate or defecate in small containers due to a lack of toilets in some of the cells. The independent commission also noted in their list of reported findings that the facility racially segregated prisoners and disciplined Hispanics for speaking Spanish by denying their access to layers and medical treatment. It was later discovered that the TYC monitors were employed by the GEO Group. Troublingly, the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility (WGYCF) operated by the GEO Group in Mississippi has been subject to a class-action lawsuit after reports that staff members were complicit in the beating and stabbing of a prisoner who consequently incurred permanent brain damage. The official compliant authored by the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center also highlights cases where the administration turned a blind eye to brutal cases of rape and torture within the facility.

The first private prison models were introduced following the abolishment of slavery after the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865, which saw expansive prison farms replace slave plantations. Prisons of the day contracted groups of predominately African-American inmates to pick cotton and construct railroads principally in southern states such as Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. In 2012, there are more African-Americans engrossed in the criminal-justice system than any point during slavery. Throughout its history, the American prison system has shared little with the concept of rehabilitation. Like the post-Civil War prison farms, today’s system functions to purport required labor, largely on a racially specific basis. African-Americans consist of 40% of the prison population and are incarcerated seven times more often than whites, despite the fact that African-Americans make up only 12% of the national population. Once released, former inmates are barred from voting in elections, denied educational opportunities and are legally discriminated against in their efforts to find employment and housingFew can deny the targeting of underprivileged urban communities of color in America’s failed War on Drugs. This phenomenon can largely be contributed to the stipulations of its anti-drug legislation, which commanded maximum sentencing for possession of minute amounts of rock cocaine, a substance that floods poor inner-city black communities.

Unbeknown to the vast majority of Americans, the US government has been actively taking steps to modify the legal infrastructure of the country to allow for a dramatic expansion of the domestic prison system at the expense of civil rights. On December 31st, 2011, Barack Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) H.R. 1540. Emulating the rouge military dictatorships the US Government has long condemned in its rhetoric, the NDAA introduces a vaguely worded legislation that allows for US citizens to be arbitrarily detained in military detention without due process - might they be predictably be deemed radical, conspiratorial or suspected of terrorism. In a climate of rising public discontent, the establishment media has steadfastly worked to blur the line between public activism and domestic extremism.  In addition to the world’s largest network of prison facilities, over 800 located detainment camps exist in all regions of the United States with varying maximum capacities.

Facing economic stagnation, many Americans have been detained in responder camps as a consequence of publically demonstrating in accordance with the Occupy Wall Street movement launched in New York City. Under the guise of protecting Americans from a largely contrived and abstract threat of fundamentalist violence, citizens have been denied the right of peaceful assembly and placed in detainment apparatuses, managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Documents have been released by the American Civil Liberties Union detailing the Pentagon’s widespread monitoring of public demonstrations and the targeting of individual activists under threat of national security. Co-authored bySenator Joe Lieberman, the Enemy Expatriation Act (HR 3166) gives the US government the power to detain nationals and revoke their American citizenship under suspicion of behavior perceived as terrorism.

This legislation becomes increasingly more dangerous as citizens can be labeled domestic extremists based on their constitutionally protected activism or personal political leanings. In January 2006, a contract to construct detention facilities for the Department of Homeland Security worth a maximum of $385 million was awarded to KBR, a subsidiary of Haliburton. Following the signing of NDAA earlier in 2012, leaked documents reveal that KBR is now seeking to staff its detention centers and award contracts for services such as catering, temporary fencing and barricades, laundry and medical services, power generation, and refuse collection. It would be reasonable to assume that these facilities could be managed in partnership with private corporations such as the GEO Group or the CCA, as many federal and state penitentiaries privatize sections of their facilities to privately owned companies. Declassified US Army documents originally drafted in 1997divulge the existence of inmate labor camps inside US military installations. It is all but unexpected that the relationship between the upper echelons of government and the private prison enterprise will grow increasingly more intimate in the current climate of prison industrial legislation.

The partnership between the United States government and its corporate associates spans various industries however, they all seek the common pursuit of profit irrespective of the moral and ethical consequence – the human consequence. The increasing influence of the Prison Industrial Complex towards official legislation and economic undertakings signifies a reprehensible threat to basic human rights. Perhaps the issuance of government legislation that leads offenders into detainment for the benefit of private shareholders is the purest embodiment of fascism, as cited in Mussolini’s vision of a Corporate State. Perhaps we all (this author included) fail to grasp the seriousness of these legislations and their implications on our lives.


Mumia Abu-Jamal has spent over three decades on death row in the throngs of the American prison system. Prior to his conviction in 1981 for the murder of a white police officer, Jamal was a political activist and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. Critical evidence vindicating Jamal was withheld from the trial prior to the issuance of the death penalty. Forensic experts believe he was denied a fair trial. On December 7, 2011, the Philadelphia District Attorney announced that prosecutors would no longer seek the death penalty for Jamal. He remains imprisoned for life without parole and continues his work as a journalist from his jail cell in Pennsylvania. 

Albert Speer used prison labor to sustain the German war machine.


The Syrian War Part Deux



Pepe Escobar gets the full text of the GCC/Arab League Monitors report, which confirms what we already knew:

"When the over 160 monitors, after one month of enquiries, issued their report ... surprise! The report did not follow the official GCC line - which is that the "evil" Bashar al-Assad government is indiscriminately, and unilaterally, killing its own people, and so regime change is in order.

The Arab League's Ministerial Committee had approved the report, with four votes in favor (Algeria, Egypt, Sudan and GCC member Oman) and only one against; guess who, Qatar - which is now presiding the Arab League because the emirate bought their (rotating) turn from the Palestinian Authority.

So the report was either ignored (by Western corporate media) or mercilessly destroyed - by Arab media, virtually all of it financed by either the House of Saud or Qatar. It was not even discussed - because it was prevented by the GCC from being translated from Arabic into English and published in the Arab League's website.

Until it was leaked. Here it is, in full.

The report is adamant. There was no organized, lethal repression by the Syrian government against peaceful protesters. Instead, the report points to shady armed gangs as responsible for hundreds of deaths among Syrian civilians, and over one thousand among the Syrian army, using lethal tactics such as bombing of civilian buses, bombing of trains carrying diesel oil, bombing of police buses and bombing of bridges and pipelines."

Stephen Lendman of GlobalResearch buttresses those findings and adds that Russia has put the Spetznatz on high alert in preparation for assisting Syria:

"On February 5, Israel's Mossad-connected DEBKA/file said Russia put "Rapid Reaction Force (aka Spetsnaz) units in Black Sea bases on (alert) to set out for Syria to defend Damascus."

Russia's determined to avoid another Libyan-style intervention. In response, Obama said Washington, key NATO partners, and Gulf allies will (in DEBKA/file's words) "redouble their efforts to unseat Bashar Assad."

Next comes the venerable Phil Giraldi, former CIA/DIA and Station Chief in Turkey, stating this:

"Americans should be concerned about what is happening in Syria, if only because it threatens to become another undeclared war like Libya but much, much worse. Calls for regime change have come from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who several weeks ago predicted a civil war.

That is indeed likely if the largely secular and nationalist regime of Bashar al-Assad falls, pitting Sunni against Shia against Alawite. Indigenous Christians will be caught in the meat grinder. Ironically, many of the Christians in Damascus are Iraqis who experienced the last round of liberation in their own country and had to flee for their lives.

NATO is already clandestinely engaged in the Syrian conflict, with Turkey taking the lead as U.S. proxy. Ankara’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davitoglu, has openly admitted that his country is prepared to invade as soon as there is agreement among the Western allies to do so. The intervention would be based on humanitarian principles, to defend the civilian population based on the “responsibility to protect” doctrine that was invoked to justify Libya. Turkish sources suggest that intervention would start with creation of a buffer zone along the Turkish-Syrian border and then be expanded. Aleppo, Syria’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, would be the crown jewel targeted by liberation forces.

Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to Iskenderum on the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers, a skill they acquired confronting Gaddafi’s army. Iskenderum is also the seat of the Free Syrian Army, the armed wing of the Syrian National Council. French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence to assist the rebel cause, enabling the fighters to avoid concentrations of Syrian soldiers.

CIA analysts are skeptical regarding the march to war. The frequently cited United Nations report that more than 3,500 civilians have been killed by Assad’s soldiers is based largely on rebel sources and is uncorroborated. The Agency has refused to sign off on the claims. Likewise, accounts of mass defections from the Syrian Army and pitched battles between deserters and loyal soldiers appear to be a fabrication, with few defections being confirmed independently. Syrian government claims that it is being assaulted by rebels who are armed, trained, and financed by foreign governments are more true than false.

In the United States, many friends of Israel are on the Assad regime-change bandwagon, believing that a weakened Syria, divided by civil war, will present no threat to Tel Aviv. But they should think again, as these developments have a way of turning on their head. The best organized and funded opposition political movement in Syria is the Muslim Brotherhood."

There's much more to go through, like this little history lesson on covert ops in Syria, but I think you get the picture. With Russia and China firmly vetoing the doomed UNSC regime change resolution, "the west" is left with little alternative but to try and provide air support clandestinely and risk getting shot down by Syria's much improved air defenses. This is heading into the home stretch and one way or another, we are heading to a titanic clash in the Middle East that will rapidly become World War III.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Anti-Empire Report



February 3rd, 2012
by William Blum
www.killinghope.org

The Lord High Almighty Pooh-Bah of threats. The Grand Ayatollah of nuclear menace.

As we all know only too well, the United States and Israel would hate to see Iran possessing nuclear weapons. Being "the only nuclear power in the Middle East" is a great card for Israel to have in its hand. But — in the real, non-propaganda world — is USrael actually fearful of an attack from a nuclear-armed Iran? In case you've forgotten ...

In 2007, in a closed discussion, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that in her opinion "Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel." She "also criticized the exaggerated use that [Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears." 1

2009: "A senior Israeli official in Washington" asserted that "Iran would be unlikely to use its missiles in an attack [against Israel] because of the certainty of retaliation." 2

In 2010 the Sunday Times of London (January 10) reported that Brigadier-General Uzi Eilam, war hero, pillar of the Israeli defense establishment, and former director-general of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission, "believes it will probably take Iran seven years to make nuclear weapons."

Early last month, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told a television audience: "Are they [Iran] trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No, but we know that they're trying to develop a nuclear capability." 3

A week later we could read in the New York Times (January 15) that "three leading Israeli security experts — the Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, a former Mossad chief, Efraim Halevy, and a former military chief of staff, Dan Halutz — all recently declared that a nuclear Iran would not pose an existential threat to Israel."

Then, a few days afterward, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israeli Army Radio (January 18), had this exchange:


Question: Is it Israel's judgment that Iran has not yet decided to turn its nuclear potential into weapons of mass destruction?

Barak: People ask whether Iran is determined to break out from the control [inspection] regime right now ... in an attempt to obtain nuclear weapons or an operable installation as quickly as possible. Apparently that is not the case.

Lastly, we have the US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, in a report to Congress: "We do not know, however, if Iran will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons. ... There are "certain things [the Iranians] have not done" that would be necessary to build a warhead. 4

Admissions like the above — and there are others — are never put into headlines by the American mass media; indeed, only very lightly reported at all; and sometimes distorted — On the Public Broadcasting System (PBS News Hour, January 9), the non-commercial network much beloved by American liberals, the Panetta quote above was reported as: "But we know that they're trying to develop a nuclear capability, and that's what concerns us." Flagrantly omitted were the preceding words: "Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No ..." 5

One of Israel's leading military historians, Martin van Creveld, was interviewed by Playboy magazine in June 2007:


Playboy: Can the World live with a nuclear Iran?

Van Creveld: The U.S. has lived with a nuclear Soviet Union and a nuclear China, so why not a nuclear Iran? I've researched how the U.S. opposed nuclear proliferation in the past, and each time a country was about to proliferate, the U.S. expressed its opposition in terms of why this other country was very dangerous and didn't deserve to have nuclear weapons. Americans believe they're the only people who deserve to have nuclear weapons, because they are good and democratic and they like Mother and apple pie and the flag. But Americans are the only ones who have used them. ... We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us. We cannot say so too openly, however, because we have a history of using any threat in order to get weapons ... thanks to the Iranian threat, we are getting weapons from the U.S. and Germany."

And throughout these years, regularly, Israeli and American officials have been assuring us that Iran is World Nuclear Threat Number One, that we can't relax our guard against them, that there should be no limit to the ultra-tough sanctions we impose upon the Iranian people and their government. Repeated murder and attempted murder of Iraqi nuclear scientists, sabotage of Iranian nuclear equipment with computer viruses, the sale of faulty parts and raw materials, unexplained plane crashes, explosions at Iranian facilities ... Who can be behind this but USrael? How do we know? It's called "plain common sense". Or do you think it was Costa Rica? Or perhaps South Africa? Or maybe Thailand?

Defense Secretary Panetta recently commented on one of the assassinations of an Iranian scientist. He put it succinctly: "That's not what the United States does." 6

Does anyone know Leon Panetta's email address? I'd like to send him my list of United States assassination plots. More than 50 foreign leaders were targeted over the years, many successfully. 7

Not long ago, Iraq and Iran were regarded by USrael as the most significant threats to Israeli Middle-East hegemony. Thus was born the myth of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the United States proceeded to turn Iraq into a basket case. That left Iran, and thus was born the myth of the Iranian Nuclear Threat. As it began to sink in that Iran was not really that much of a nuclear threat, or that this "threat" was becoming too difficult to sell to the rest of the world, USrael decided that, at a minimum, it wanted regime change. The next step may be to block Iran's lifeline — oil sales using the Strait of Hormuz. Ergo, the recent US and EU naval buildup near the Persian Gulf, an act of war trying to goad Iran into firing the first shot. If Iran tries to counter this blockade it could be the signal for another US Basket Case, the fourth in a decade, with the devastated people of Libya and Afghanistan, along with Iraq, currently enjoying America's unique gift of freedom and democracy.

On January 11, the Washington Post reported: "In addition to influencing Iranian leaders directly, [a US intelligence official] says another option here is that [sanctions] will create hate and discontent at the street level so that the Iranian leaders realize that they need to change their ways."

How utterly charming, these tactics and goals for the 21st century by the leader of "The Free World". (Is that expression still used?)

The neo-conservative thinking (and Barack Obama can be regarded as often being a fellow traveler of such) is even more charming than that. Listen to Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at America's most prominent neo-con think tank, American Enterprise Institute:


The biggest problem for the United States is not Iran getting a nuclear weapon and testing it, it's Iran getting a nuclear weapon and not using it. Because the second that they have one and they don't do anything bad, all of the naysayers are going to come back and say, "See, we told you Iran is a responsible power. We told you Iran wasn't getting nuclear weapons in order to use them immediately." ... And they will eventually define Iran with nuclear weapons as not a problem. 8

What are we to make of that and all the other quotations above? I think it gets back to my opening statement: Being "the only nuclear power in the Middle East" is a great card for Israel to have in its hand. Is USrael willing to go to war to hold on to that card?
Please tell me again ... What is the war in Afghanistan about?

With the US war in Iraq supposedly having reached a good conclusion (or halfway decent ... or better than nothing ... or let's get the hell out of here while some of us are still in one piece and there are some Iraqis we haven't yet killed), the best and the brightest in our government and media turn their thoughts to what to do about Afghanistan. It appears that no one seems to remember, if they ever knew, that Afghanistan was not really about 9-11 or fighting terrorists (except the many the US has created by its invasion and occupation), but was about pipelines.

President Obama declared in August 2009: "But we must never forget this is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity. Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans." 9

Never mind that out of the tens of thousands of people the United States and its NATO front have killed in Afghanistan not one has been identified as having had anything to do with the events of September 11, 2001.

Never mind that the "plotting to attack America" in 2001 was devised in Germany and Spain and the United States more than in Afghanistan. Why hasn't the United States bombed those countries?

Indeed, what actually was needed to plot to buy airline tickets and take flying lessons in the United States? A room with some chairs? What does "an even larger safe haven" mean? A larger room with more chairs? Perhaps a blackboard? Terrorists intent upon attacking the United States can meet almost anywhere, with Afghanistan probably being one of the worst places for them, given the American occupation.

The only "necessity" that drew the United States to Afghanistan was the desire to establish a military presence in this land that is next door to the Caspian Sea region of Central Asia — which reportedly contains the second largest proven reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the world — and build oil and gas pipelines from that region running through Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is well situated for oil and gas pipelines to serve much of south Asia, pipelines that can bypass those not-yet Washington clients, Iran and Russia. If only the Taliban would not attack the lines. Here's Richard Boucher, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, in 2007: "One of our goals is to stabilize Afghanistan, so it can become a conduit and a hub between South and Central Asia so that energy can flow to the south." 10

Since the 1980s all kinds of pipelines have been planned for the area, only to be delayed or canceled by one military, financial or political problem or another. For example, the so-called TAPI pipeline (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) had strong support from Washington, which was eager to block a competing pipeline that would bring gas to Pakistan and India from Iran. TAPI goes back to the late 1990s, when the Taliban government held talks with the California-based oil company Unocal Corporation. These talks were conducted with the full knowledge of the Clinton administration, and were undeterred by the extreme repression of Taliban society. Taliban officials even made trips to the United States for discussions. 11 Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on February 12, 1998, Unocal representative John Maresca discussed the importance of the pipeline project and the increasing difficulties in dealing with the Taliban:


The region's total oil reserves may well reach more than 60 billion barrels of oil. Some estimates are as high as 200 billion barrels ... From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, leaders, and our company.

When those talks stalled in July, 2001 the Bush administration threatened the Taliban with military reprisals if the government did not go along with American demands. The talks finally broke down for good the following month, a month before 9-11.

The United States has been serious indeed about the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf oil and gas areas. Through one war or another beginning with the Gulf War of 1990-1, the US has managed to establish military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan.

The war against the Taliban can't be "won" short of killing everyone in Afghanistan. The United States may well try again to negotiate some form of pipeline security with the Taliban, then get out, and declare "victory". Barack Obama can surely deliver an eloquent victory speech from his teleprompter. It might even include the words "freedom" and "democracy", but certainly not "pipeline".
Love me, love me, love me, I'm a Liberal (Thank you, Phil Ochs. We miss you.)

Angela Davis, star of the 1960s, like most members of the Communist Party, was/is no more radical than the average American liberal. Here she is recently addressing Occupy Wall Street: "When I said that we need a third party, a radical party, I was projecting toward the future. We cannot allow a Republican to take office. ... Don't we remember what it was like when Bush was president?" 12

Yes, Angela, we remember that time well. How can we forget it since Bush, by all important standards, is still in the White House? Waging perpetual war, relentless surveillance of the citizenry, kissing the corporate ass, police brutality? ... What's changed? Except for the worse. Where's our single-payer national health insurance? Nothing even close. Where's our affordable university education? Still the most backward in the "developed" world. Where's our legalized marijuana — I mean really legalized? If you think that's changed, you must be stoned. Where's our abortion on demand? What does your guy Barack think about that? Are the indispensable labor unions being rescued from oblivion? Ha! The ultra-important minimum wage? Inflation adjusted, equal to the mid-1950s.

Has the American threat to the environment and the world environmental movement ceased? Tell that to a dedicated activist-internationalist. Has the 50-year-old embargo against Cuba finally ended? It has not, and I can still not go there legally. The police-state War on Terror at home? Scarcely a month goes by without the FBI entrapping some young "terrorists". Are more Banksters and Wall Street Society-Screwers (except for the harmless insider-traders) being imprisoned? Name one. The really tough regulations of the financial area so badly needed? Keep waiting. How about executives of the BP Oil Spill Company being arrested? Or war criminals, mass murderers, and torturers with names like ... Oh, I don't know, let's see ... maybe like Cheney or Bush or Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz or someone with a crazy name like Condoleezza? All walking completely free, all celebrated.


"A major decline of progressive America occurred during the Clinton years as many liberals and their organizations accepted the presence of a Democratic president as an adequate substitute for the things liberals once believed in. Liberalism and a social democratic spirit painfully grown over the previous 60 years withered during the Clinton administration." — Sam Smith13

"A change of Presidents is like a change of advertising campaigns for a soft drink; the product itself still tastes the same, but it now has a new 'image'." — Richard K. Moore


Notes

  1. Haaretz.com (Israel), October 25, 2007; print edition October 26 
  2. Washington Post, March 5, 2009
  3. "Face the Nation", CBS, January 8, 2012; see video 
  4. The Guardian (London), January 31, 2012" 
  5. "PBS's Dishonest Iran Edit", FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), January 10, 2012
  6. Reuters, January 12, 2012 
  7. http://killinghope.org/bblum6/assass.htm 
  8. Video of Pletka making these remarks 
  9. Talk given by the president at Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, August 17, 2009 
  10. Talk at the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC, September 20, 2007
  11. See, for example, the December 17, 1997 article in the British newspaper, The Telegraph, "Oil barons court Taliban in Texas". For further discussion of the TAPI pipeline and related issues, see this article by international petroleum engineer John Foster. 
  12. Washington Post, January 15, 2012 
  13. Sam Smith was a longtime publisher and journalist in Washington, DC, now living in Maine. Subscribe to his marvelous newsletter, the Progressive Review



William Blum is the author of:
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire

Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at www.killinghope.org


Iran successfully launches small Earth-watching satellite


Reposted from the CSM.

Iran launched a small Earth-observing satellite into orbit today (Feb. 3), marking the country's first successful mission since a failed attempt to put a monkey in space last year, according to state news reports.

The Iranian Space Agency launched the new "Promise of Science and Industry" satellite into orbit today using a Safir 1-B rocket, according to a translation of a statement posted to the agency's Farsi-language website. Safir means "Ambassador" in Farsi.

The new Iranian satellite weighs about 110 pounds (50 kilograms) and was built by students at the Sharif University of Technology, according to a report by Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency.


According to the Iranian Space Agency, the satellite is shaped like a cube that is nearly 20 inches (50 centimeters) wide. It is circling Earth in an elliptical orbit and passes over Iran six times a day. The satellite will fly a two-month mission and is controlled via five ground stations, one each in the cities of Karaj, Tabriz, Qeshm, Bushehr and Mashhad, Iranian space officials said.

Iranian defense minister General Ahmad Vahidi hailed the launch as a huge achievement for Iran's space technology effort, the news agency reported. "Promise of Science and Industry" will be used by researchers to study Earth's weather systems and manage responses to natural disasters, according to the IRNA.

The new satellite launch follows Iran's failed attempt to launch a live monkey into space in September 2011. That mission used Iran's Kavoshgar-5 rocket (Kavoshgar means "Explorer" in Farsi).

Prior to the failed monkey spaceflight, Iran had made progress in spaceflight technology. A June 2011 Safir rocket launch sent the Rasad-1 (Observation 1) satellite into orbit on an Earth-mapping mission. The country launched a Kavoshagar-3 rocket in 2010 that sent a rat, two turtles and a worm into space.

Iran launched its first domestically built satellite into space in February 2009.

The Iranian space program has drawn some concern from other space powers and nations because of the potential forIran's space launch vehicles to be used as weapons — potential carriers for ballistic nuclear missiles. Iran, however, has denied any military motives for its space program.

Iranian Space Agency officials have said in the past that they are aiming to launch a human into space by 2020 and land an astronaut on the moon by 2025.

US Warns Iran Not To Fight Back Against Israeli Attack

Click to Enlarge

US warship remains in Strait Of Hormuz amidst simmering tensions

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Friday, February 3, 2012

The USS Abraham Lincoln warship has remained stationed in the Strait of Hormuz despite an Iranian threat that no more aircraft carriers should transit the sensitive oil choke point as tensions in the Persian Gulf continue to simmer with Washington warning Tehran it will join an Israeli attack if Iran dares to fight back in any way.

Stratfor’s latest naval update map shows that the USS Lincoln has not moved from its position having transited the Strait almost two weeks ago. Similarly, the USS Carl Vinson has also remained in its position, suggesting US Naval officials are satisfied with the strategic position of the two warships as Israel prepares to launch an attack on Iran in which the US could quickly become embroiled.


US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta “believes there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June,” reports the Washington Post, adding that Panetta was likely told of the timing when Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak postponed a a planned U.S.-Israel military exercise that had been scheduled for May.

It now appears that the United States has almost finalized getting all its ducks in a row in preparation for Israel’s assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Washington Post article makes it clear that the Obama administration will stand by while Tel Aviv leads the attack. The US will only become overtly involved if “Iran hits U.S. assets” or if “Israel’s population centers were hit”.

In other words, if Iran attempts to fight back in any way, which is all but inevitable, the US will join the attack. The Obama administration will then think itself justified in telling the American people that the US acted in self-defense, when in reality such a series of coordinated events is absurdly obvious.

“I can’t say clearly enough that what the U.S. has signaled in Ignatius’ report is that if Iran is attacked, it may not strike back against its attacker,” writes Richard Silverstein. “If it does, the U.S. will rain down hellfire and damnation on it. This is frightening beyond measure. I’ve never known the U.S. to lay down such a principle which virtually assures our joining in a war against Iran. Israeli policymakers will be delighted to read these words.”

Both Washington and Tel Aviv are hoping for a repeat of Operation Orchard, Israel’s attack on a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 that prompted no significant retaliation from Assad’s regime. However, Iran’s Air Force is second only to Israel’s in the region and Tehran’s surface to air missile capability is far superior.

A third US aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, is set to add even more firepower in the 5th Fleet region after it completes a training exercise in the Atlantic Ocean. British and French warships are also in place to provide further back-up.

It has also been revealed that the nuclear submarine USS Annapolis and the destroyer USS Momsen are likely to heading towards the Persian Gulf in the build up to a possible attack on Iran.

The United States has sent both the Lincoln and the Vinson sailing through the Strait in recent weeks despite Iran’s warning that any more US warships transiting the narrow passageway would not be tolerated. Tehran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, an act that would cause chaos on global oil markets, has been described as a “red line” by the United States.

The US is currently conducting its biggest naval exercises in over a decade. The Bold Alligator joint Navy and Marine Corps exercise, taking place off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina, is clearly geared towards simulating a naval conflict with Iranian forces despite official claims to the contrary.

According to Israeli intelligence outfit Debka File, the United States has placed 50,000 troops to be ready for “any contingency” by March, with another 50,000 on the way, on two two strategic islands at the southern exit of the Strait of Hormuz. In addition, 15,000 troops are also on standby in Kuwait.

Tehran is set to conduct more naval exercises in the Strait later this month. Experts estimate that around 1,000 mines would be required to block the 55km wide passage and that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have already stockpiled 2,000 mines for that very purpose.

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Petrodollar pumping US policy on Iran, backfire looms


An oil field near Pol-e-Dokhtar, Iran

As tensions between the US and Iran heat up, author Michael T. Winter believes the main reason behind America’s harsh stance is Tehran’s move to seek an alternative to the dollar as an oil currency.

­Economic sanctions, spearheaded by the US and, less willingly, the EU could have a disastrous effect on both of their respective economies. If Iran cannot sell their oil to Europe, there are plenty of customers waiting in the wings, and if they come bearing not petrodollars, but gold and sovereign currencies, then all the better for Iran. These sanctions, if enforced, will in effect place a serious dent in the power of the petrodollar.

Any rhetoric regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the insistence on crippling it is nothing more than a US attempt to force regime change for one more receptive to maintaining the hegemony of the petrodollar.

The world now knows the truth about the US and how they conduct their affairs. US hostilities toward Iran have nothing to do with nuclear weapons development. If that were the case, then North Korea and Pakistan would be facing similar sanctions and threats, but they aren’t. The difference of course is in what lies beneath the ground – oil. Iran has it and the other guys don’t.

At the heart of the issue is not Iran’s dubious attempt to build nuclear weapons, or even oil, but how that oil is paid for. In 1973, Richard Nixon promised King Faisal of Saudi Arabia that the US would protect Saudi Arabian oilfields from any and all interested parties seeking to forcefully wrest them from the House of Saud. It’s important to remember that in 1973, Saudi Arabia didn’t have a fraction of the military and ground forces it possesses today (almost exclusively US manufactured weapons) and the USSR was very much a threat.

In return Saudi Arabia, and by extension OPEC, agreed to sell their oil in US dollars only. As if that weren’t sweet enough, as part of the deal, they were required to invest their profits in US treasuries, bonds and bills. The real zinger is that all countries purchasing oil from OPEC had to do so in US dollars, or ‘petrodollars’.

This strengthened the US dollar, resulting in a steady US economic growth cycle throughout the 80’s and 90’s. Countries purchasing OPEC oil started buying US treasury bills, bonds and securities to ensure they could continue purchasing OPEC oil. This worked fine for the US until 2001.

No plan, however well formulated, functions smoothly indefinitely.

2001, enter Saddam Hussein. He floated a plan to sell oil for European currencies in lieu of petrodollars. Shortly after Iraq was ‘suddenly’ found to be seeking and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction – allegations spearheaded by the US. The world knows what happened, suffice it to say that Saddam is dead and Iraq is ‘back on track’, selling its oil for petrodollars once again.

Muammar Gaddafi harbored the Lockerbie Bombers and allowed various terrorist organizations establish training camps in Libya. He tried to buy a nuke from China in 1972. In 1977, he approached Pakistan, then India. He sought nerve gas from Thailand. In spite of well over fifty failed assassination attempts on Gaddafi by Israel, the US and the UK, Libya was left to its own devices for the most part. Seeking nukes and harboring terrorists is one thing, but threatening the petrodollar is quite another. Gaddafi made a fatal error when he decided to move away from the petrodollar in favor of other currencies. This simply was not tolerated by the US. Having already played the WMD card in Iraq, something new was pulled from the US ‘regime change’ grab bag. Within a year, ‘internal’ elements rose up in rebellion against Gaddafi and now he is dead. Long live the petrodollar.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), suggested last year that the Euro would be a more suitable oil reserve currency than the US Dollar. Within three months of that statement, allegations of rape ruined his career, derailing his bid for the French Presidency in the process. Soon thereafter, all charges were dropped, but of course, le dommage ├ętait fait – the damage was done. Christine Lagarde, DSK’s replacement as head of the IMF sees no reason to change the current arrangement, naturellement.

The Iran situation is a little trickier. The US has sought to dismantle Iran’s regime ever since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, so this round of hostilities, while not new, reflects a new level of intensity. Why, after thirty years of hostility, has the US ratcheted up its rhetoric? As Obama stated in his recent State of the Union address, when it comes to Iran and the insistence they dismantle their nuclear program, “no options are off the table”. By stating ‘no options’ this would include nuclear deployment as a deterrent.

The answer of course is that Iran is now seeking to disengage itself from the petrodollar dynamic. In 2005, Iran sought to create an Iranian Oil Exchange, thus bypassing the US controlled petrodollar. Fear that western powers would freeze accounts in European and London banks put an end to that plan.

But that was not the end of their attempts, and Iran sought other ways to get around the petrodollar noose. There are rumors that India, which imports 12% of their oil from Iran, has agreed to purchase oil for gold. Energy trade with China, importing 15% of its oil and natural gas from Iran may be settled in gold, yuan, and rial. South Korea plans to buy 10% of their oil from Iran in 2012, and unless Seoul sides with American and European sanctions, it is likely to use gold or their sovereign currency to pay for it. Also, Iran is already dumping the dollar in its trade with Russia in favor of rials and rubles.

Iran is breaking the back of the petrodollar. Others have tried, but Iran is succeeding. To understand how disastrous this is for the US, one must have a basic understanding of how critical a role the petrodollar plays in the economic health of the US.

Through King Faisal, Nixon elevated the US to supreme economic ascendency, not unlike Damocles in his desire to rule. Sitting on the (economic) throne of the world is great, but Nixon was either unaware of the sword dangling over the US economic system, or chose to ignore it in favor of reaping the rewards of the moment.

By creating the petrodollar paradigm, the US economy soared, as all countries of the world were required to amass US currency to purchase oil from OPEC nations. Sales of T-bills, securities and US bonds soared. US coffers fattened. With the US dollar as the world’s oil currency reserve, economic fortune favored the US. But with great reward comes great risk. While other countries exchanged their currency for the dollar, (forfeiting value in the process) the US simply printed more money to match their needs and purchase their oil – essentially for free. The best example is that while gasoline in the US cost $3.00 per gallon, in Europe that same gallon costs $6.00 or more.

Herein lies the danger. If Iran is successful in its bid to set up their own bourse, or oil exchange, then what need does the world have for all those US dollars? The answer is none at all. As Iran creating gold and sovereign currency partnerships with India, China, South Korea and Russia, the hegemony of the petrodollar will be destroyed.

The resulting sell-off of US dollars, T-bills, securities, bonds and assets will flood the already swollen world economy with even more useless dollars, ultimately devaluing it into a position where hyper-inflation becomes a risk.

So, while the US government sabre-rattles and prattles on and on about nuclear weapons and the threat Iran poses to the Middle East, the thin veneer of lies spouted by the elite controlled media is being stripped away, revealing the truth of their warmongering rhetoric.

The US, by their foolish insistence on enforcing embargoes and sanctions against Iran, is hastening the end of the petrodollar and ushering in the age of US dollar hyper-inflation. A practical example: One loaf of bread in a healthy economy is $1.00. In an inflationary economy it’s $1.75. In a hyper-inflationary economy, $500.00.

Bullies may be large and dangerous, but rarely are they intelligent.

Damocles wisely vacated the throne of Dionysius before the sword fell upon his head, but the US is foolishly refusing to step down from their economic dais in spite of the catastrophic effect current policy direction will mean for US citizens and the world economy.

­Michael T. Winter