Good-Bye: Truth Has Fallen and Taken Liberty With It – by Paul Craig Roberts

Good-Bye: Truth Has Fallen and Taken Liberty With It
Paul Craig Roberts
Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Editor: When Paul Craig Roberts gave us permission to post this article, he indicated to Alex Jones that it would probably be his last. Regular readers of PCR’s outstanding columns will be disappointed to hear that he is bowing out for the time being. Alex will discuss the reasons behind this on tomorrow’s show. Roberts has also told us that he will probably appear as a guest on The Alex Jones Show later next week to expand on why he has decided to “sign off,” as he puts it in the following article.

There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest.

Today Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it.

Truth is an unwelcome entity. It is disturbing. It is off limits. Those who speak it run the risk of being branded “anti-American,” “anti-semite” or “conspiracy theorist.”

Truth is an inconvenience for government and for the interest groups whose campaign contributions control government.

Truth is an inconvenience for prosecutors who want convictions, not the discovery of innocence or guilt.

Truth is inconvenient for ideologues.

Today many whose goal once was the discovery of truth are now paid handsomely to hide it. “Free market economists” are paid to sell offshoring to the American people. High-productivity, high value-added American jobs are denigrated as dirty, old industrial jobs. Relicts from long ago, we are best shed of them. Their place has been taken by “the New Economy,” a mythical economy that allegedly consists of high-tech white collar jobs in which Americans innovate and finance activities that occur offshore. All Americans need in order to participate in this “new economy” are finance degrees from Ivy League universities, and then they will work on Wall Street at million dollar jobs.

Economists who were once respectable took money to contribute to this myth of “the New Economy.”

And not only economists sell their souls for filthy lucre. Recently we have had reports of medical doctors who, for money, have published in peer-reviewed journals concocted “studies” that hype this or that new medicine produced by pharmaceutical companies that paid for the “studies.”

The Council of Europe is investigating the drug companies’ role in hyping a false swine flu pandemic in order to gain billions of dollars in sales of the vaccine.

The media helped the US military hype its recent Marja offensive in Afghanistan, describing Marja as a city of 80,000 under Taliban control. It turns out that Marja is not urban but a collection of village farms.

And there is the global warming scandal, in which NGOs. the UN, and the nuclear industry colluded in concocting a doomsday scenario in order to create profit in pollution.

Wherever one looks, truth has fallen to money.

Wherever money is insufficient to bury the truth, ignorance, propaganda, and short memories finish the job.

I remember when, following CIA director William Colby’s testimony before the Church Committee in the mid-1970s, presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan issued executive orders preventing the CIA and U.S. black-op groups from assassinating foreign leaders. In 2010 the US Congress was told by Dennis Blair, head of national intelligence, that the US now assassinates its own citizens in addition to foreign leaders.

When Blair told the House Intelligence Committee that US citizens no longer needed to be arrested, charged, tried, and convicted of a capital crime, just murdered on suspicion alone of being a “threat,” he wasn’t impeached. No investigation pursued. Nothing happened. There was no Church Committee. In the mid-1970s the CIA got into trouble for plots to kill Castro. Today it is American citizens who are on the hit list. Whatever objections there might be don’t carry any weight. No one in government is in any trouble over the assassination of U.S. citizens by the U.S. government.

As an economist, I am astonished that the American economics profession has no awareness whatsoever that the U.S. economy has been destroyed by the offshoring of U.S. GDP to overseas countries. U.S. corporations, in pursuit of absolute advantage or lowest labor costs and maximum CEO “performance bonuses,” have moved the production of goods and services marketed to Americans to China, India, and elsewhere abroad. When I read economists describe offshoring as free trade based on comparative advantage, I realize that there is no intelligence or integrity in the American economics profession.

Intelligence and integrity have been purchased by money. The transnational or global U.S. corporations pay multi-million dollar compensation packages to top managers, who achieve these “performance awards” by replacing U.S. labor with foreign labor. While Washington worries about “the Muslim threat,” Wall Street, U.S. corporations and “free market” shills destroy the U.S. economy and the prospects of tens of millions of Americans.

Americans, or most of them, have proved to be putty in the hands of the police state.

Americans have bought into the government’s claim that security requires the suspension of civil liberties and accountable government. Astonishingly, Americans, or most of them, believe that civil liberties, such as habeas corpus and due process, protect “terrorists,” and not themselves. Many also believe that the Constitution is a tired old document that prevents government from exercising the kind of police state powers necessary to keep Americans safe and free.

Most Americans are unlikely to hear from anyone who would tell them any different.

I was associate editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal. I was Business Week’s first outside columnist, a position I held for 15 years. I was columnist for a decade for Scripps Howard News Service, carried in 300 newspapers. I was a columnist for the Washington Times and for newspapers in France and Italy and for a magazine in Germany. I was a contributor to the New York Times and a regular feature in the Los Angeles Times. Today I cannot publish in, or appear on, the American “mainstream media.”

For the last six years I have been banned from the “mainstream media.” My last column in the New York Times appeared in January, 2004, coauthored with Democratic U.S. Senator Charles Schumer representing New York. We addressed the offshoring of U.S. jobs. Our op-ed article produced a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. and live coverage by C-Span. A debate was launched. No such thing could happen today.

For years I was a mainstay at the Washington Times, producing credibility for the Moony newspaper as a Business Week columnist, former Wall Street Journal editor, and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. But when I began criticizing Bush’s wars of aggression, the order came down to Mary Lou Forbes to cancel my column.

The American corporate media does not serve the truth. It serves the government and the interest groups that empower the government.

America’s fate was sealed when the public and the anti-war movement bought the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory. The government’s account of 9/11 is contradicted by much evidence. Nevertheless, this defining event of our time, which has launched the US on interminable wars of aggression and a domestic police state, is a taboo topic for investigation in the media. It is pointless to complain of war and a police state when one accepts the premise upon which they are based.

These trillion dollar wars have created financing problems for Washington’s deficits and threaten the U.S. dollar’s role as world reserve currency. The wars and the pressure that the budget deficits put on the dollar’s value have put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block. Former Goldman Sachs chairman and U.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson is after these protections for the elderly. Fed chairman Bernanke is also after them. The Republicans are after them as well. These protections are called “entitlements” as if they are some sort of welfare that people have not paid for in payroll taxes all their working lives.

With over 21 per cent unemployment as measured by the methodology of 1980, with American jobs, GDP, and technology having been given to China and India, with war being Washington’s greatest commitment, with the dollar over-burdened with debt, with civil liberty sacrificed to the “war on terror,” the liberty and prosperity of the American people have been thrown into the trash bin of history.

The militarism of the U.S. and Israeli states, and Wall Street and corporate greed, will now run their course. As the pen is censored and its might extinguished, I am signing off.

Binyamin Netanyahu humiliated after Barack Obama ‘dumped him for dinner’

March 25, 2010
Binyamin Netanyahu humiliated after Barack Obama ‘dumped him for dinner’

For a head of state to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of.

Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip seen in Jerusalem tonight as a disastrous humiliation.

After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on Jewish settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisors and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman who spoke to the Prime Minister said today.

“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House phone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.

Left to talk among themselves, Mr Netanyahu and his aides retreated to the Roosevelt Room. He later spent a further half-hour with Mr Obama and extended his stay for a day of emergency talks aimed at restarting peace negotiations, but left last night with no official statement from either side. He returns to Israel dangerously isolated after what Israeli media have called a White House ambush for which he is largely to blame.

Sources said that Mr Netanyahu failed to impress Mr Obama with a flow chart purporting to show that he was not be responsible for the timing of announcements of new settlement projects in east Jerusalem. Mr Obama was said to be livid when such an announcement derailed Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel this month, and his anger towards Israel does not appear to have cooled.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, cast doubt on minor details in Israeli accounts of the meeting but did not deny claims that it amounted to a dressing down for the Prime Minister, whose refusal to freeze settlements is seen in Washington as the main barrier to resuming peace talks.

The Likud leader now has to try to square the demands of the Obama Administration with his nationalist, ultra-Orthodox coalition partners, who want him to stand up to Washington, even though Israel desperately needs US backing in confronting the looming threat of a nuclear Iran.

“The Prime Minister leaves America disgraced, isolated and altogether weaker than when he came,” the Israeli daily Ha’aretz said.

In their meeting Mr Obama set out a number of expectations that Israel was to satisfy if it wanted to end the crisis, Israeli sources said. These included an extension of the freeze on Jewish settlement growth beyond the 10-month deadline next September, an end to Israeli building projects in east Jerusalem, and even a withdrawal of Israeli forces to positions that they held before the Second Intifada in September 2000, after which they re-occupied most of the West Bank.

Newspaper reports recounted how Mr Netanyahu looked “excessively concerned and upset” as he pulled out a flow chart to show Mr Obama how Jerusalem planning permission worked and how he could not have known of the announcement that hundreds more homes were to be built just as Mr Biden arrived in Jerusalem.

Mr Obama then suggested that Mr Netanyahu and his staff stay on at the White House to consider his proposals, so that if he changed his mind he could inform the President right away. “I’m still around,” the Yediot Ahronot daily quoted Mr Obama saying. “Let me know if there is anything new.”

With the atmosphere so soured by the end of the evening, the Israelis decided that they could not trust the phone line they had been lent. Mr Netanyahu retired with his defence minister, Ehud Barak, to the Israeli Embassy to ensure the Americans were not listening in.

The meeting came barely a day after Mr Obama’s landmark health reform victory. Israel had calculated that he would be too tied up with domestic issues ahead of the mid-term elections to focus seriously on the Middle East.

Judea declares War on Obama

Judea declares War on Obama by Gilad Atzmon
Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 1:31PM Gilad Atzmon

Last week we read about AIPAC’s assault against President Obama. It was reported that the Jewish Lobby in America  took its gloves off. In the open, AIPAC decided to mount pressure on the American leadership and President Obama in particular.

“The Obama administration’s recent statements regarding the U.S. relationship with Israel is a matter of serious concern,” AIPAC said in its statement. AIPAC’s reaction came after a weekend of U.S. recriminations and demands, following Israel’s provocative announcement that it had given preliminary approval for the construction of 1,600 more apartments for Jewish settlers in a Palestinian neighborhood of eastern occupied Jerusalem. Unlike President Obama, who seems to be prioritizing issues like the health care reform bill and United States economic recovery, AIPAC claims to know what America’s ‘real’ interests are and how to achieve them. “The administration should make a conscious effort to move away from public demands and unilateral deadlines directed at Israel, with whom the United States shares basic, fundamental, and strategic interests”. AIPAC also suggested that the American leadership should concentrate on a confrontation with Iran. “The escalated rhetoric of recent days only serves as a distraction from the substantive work that needs to be done with regard to the urgent issue of Iran’s rapid pursuit of nuclear weapons”.

Jewish lobbies certainly do not hold back when it comes to pressuring states, world leaders and even super powers. AIPAC’s behavior last week reminded me of the Jewish declaration of war against Nazi Germany in 1933.

Not many people are aware that in March 1933, long before Hitler became the undisputed leader of Germany and began restricting the rights of German Jews, the American Jewish Congress announced a massive protest at Madison Square Gardens and called for an American boycott of German goods.

I obviously do not think that Obama has anything in common with Hitler. There is not much the two leaders share in terms of their philosophy, their attitude to humanism or their view of world peace.(1) However, it is hard to turn a blind eye to the similarity between AIPAC’s behaviour last week and the Jewish American Congress’ conduct in 1933.

On March 24, 1933, The Daily Express (London) published an article announcing that the Jews had already launched their boycott against Germany and threatened a forthcoming “holy war”. The Express urged Jews everywhere to boycott German goods and demonstrate actively against German economic interests.

The Express said that Germany was “now confronted with an international boycott of its trade, its finances, and its industry….in London, New York, Paris and Warsaw, Jewish businessmen are united to go on an economic crusade.”

Jewish texts tend to glaze over the fact that Hitler’s March 28 1933, ordering a boycott against Jewish stores and goods, was an escalation in direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership. In fact the only Jewish enclave that is willing to admit the historical order of events that led to the destruction of European Jewry, is the anti Zionist Jewish Orthodox sect known as the Torah Jews. I assume that, similarly, once things turn sour between America and its Jewish lobbies, Jewish tribal ideologists will be the first to forget that it was the Jewish American establishment that worked so hard to nourish the inevitable animosity.

If you wonder why Jewish politicians repeat exactly the same mistakes time after time, the answer is easy. Jews do not know their Jewish history for there is no Jewish history.

As it happens, Jewish history is a set of fables tied clumsily together to portray a false image of a victorious narrative. Jewish history is a set of blind spots bundled together by myth, fantasies and lies, in order to present the illusion of a coherent past narrative and a vague semblance of chronology. Israeli professor Shlomo Sand  taught us that the Zionists, and to a certain extent their Bundist rivals, were far from being shy of “inventing” the history of their Jewish nationhood. But it goes further, even the holocaust, which could be a major illuminating corner in Jewish reflection, was transformed into a rigid chapter that perpetuated blindness. As a vision of the past, it is there to hide and to disguise, rather than to reveal and inform. In a Jewish history book, you won’t read about ‘Judea’s declaration of war against Nazi Germany’. In Jewish history texts chronology always launches when Jewish suffering begins. Jewish history transcends itself beyond the notion of causality. It persuades us that persecution of Jews occurs out of nowhere. The Jewish historical text avoids the necessary questions as to why hostility evolves time after time, why do Jews buy so many enemies and so easily?

AIPAC leaders are clearly repeating the grave mistakes of their forebearers: the American Jewish Congress. They do not learn from their history, for there is not a single Jewish history text to learn from. Instead of a history text, Jews have the Holocaust, an event that matured into a religion.

The holocaust religion is obviously Judeo-centric to the bone. It defines the Jewish Raison d’être. For the Jews it signifies a total fatigue of the Diaspora, it regards the Goy as a potential ‘irrational’ murderer. The new Jewish religion preaches revenge. It even establishes a new Jewish God. Instead of old Yehova, the new Jewish God is ‘the Jew’ himself: the brave and witty being, the one who survived the ultimate and most sinister genocide, the one who came out of the ashes and stepped forward into a new beginning.

To a certain extent the Holocaust religion signals the Jewish departure from monotheism, for every Jew is a potential little God or Goddess. Gilad Shalit is the God ‘innocence’, Abe Foxman is the God anti Semitism, Maddof is the God of swindling, Greenspan is the God of ‘good economy’, Lord Goldsmith is the God of the ‘green light’, Lord Levy is the God of fundraising, Wolfowitz is the God of new American expansionism and AIPAC is the American Olympus where American elected human beings come to ask for mercy and forgiveness for being Goyim and for daring to occasionally tell the truth about Israel.

The holocaust religion is the conclusive stage in the Jewish dialectic; it is the end of Jewish history for it is the deepest and most sincere form of ‘self love’. Rather than inventing an abstract God who prefers the Jews to be the chosen people, in the holocaust religion the Jews cut out the divine middle substance. The Jew just chooses oneself. This is why Jewish identity politics transcends itself beyond the notion of history. God is the master of ceremony. And the new Jewish God cannot be subject to humanly contingent occurrences. The new Jewish God, i.e. ‘the Jew’, just re-writes fables that serve the tribe at any given time. This may explain why the Holocaust religion is protected by laws, while every other historical chapter and narrative is debated openly by historians, intellectuals and ordinary people

As one may guess, with such a self-centered intensive world-view, not much room is left for humanity, grace or universalism. It is far from being clear whether Jews can collectively recover from their new religion. However, it is crucial that every humanist stands up against the holocaust religion that can only spread misery, death and carnage.

 

(1)      Unlike President Obama who postponed his Far East trip just to meet Israeli PM and sent his Secretary of State to appease his Jewish opponents promising more confrontation with Iran, Hitler actually reacted furiously to Jewish pressure.

NATO won’t destroy Afghan poppy fields

NATO won’t destroy Afghan poppy fields
NATO has rejected an appeal made by Russia for eradication of opium fields in Afghanistan, arguing that the sole source of income in the region cannot be removed.

Addressing a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday, head of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Agency (FSKN) Victor Ivanov said “Afghan opiates led to the death of 1 million people by overdose in the last 10 years, and that is United Nations data. Is that not a threat to world peace and security?”

The Russian official tasked NATO forces with “normalizing the situation in Afghanistan” which includes “the elimination of drug production.”

Meanwhile, NATO spokesman James Appathurai voiced understanding for Russian concerns, given the country’s estimated 200,000 heroin and morphine addicts and the tens of thousands dying each year as a result of their addiction.

However, he went on to say that the Afghan drug problem had to be handled carefully in an effort to avoid alienating local residents.

“We share the view that it has to be tackled,” the spokesman said. “But there is a slight difference of views,” Appathurai added.

“We cannot be in a situation where we remove the only source of income for people who live in the second poorest country in the world without being able to provide them an alternative. That is simply not possible,” the NATO official explained.

According to statistics provided by Ivanov, Russia was the single largest consumer of heroin in 2008. Moscow blames NATO for the surge in heroin trafficking from Afghanistan to Russia.

The production of opium in Afghanistan has skyrocketing since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

A spy unsettles US-India ties

A spy unsettles US-India ties
By M K Bhadrakumar – Asia Times March 23, 2010

News that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had reached a plea bargain with David Coleman Headley, who played a key role in the planning of the terrorist strike in Mumbai in November 2008 in which 166 people were killed, has caused an uproar in India.

The deal enables the US government to hold back from formally producing any evidence against Headley in a court of law that might have included details of his links with US intelligence or oblige any cross-examination of Headley by the prosecution.

Nor can the families of the 166 victims be represented by a lawyer to question Headley during his trial commencing in Chicago. Headley’s links with the US intelligence will now remain classified information and the Pakistani nationals involved in the Mumbai attacks will get away scot-free. Furthermore, the FBI will not allow Headley’s extradition to India and will restrict access so that Indian agencies cannot interrogate him regarding his links with US and Pakistani intelligence.

In return for pleading guilty to the charges against him Headley will get lighter punishment than the death sentence that was probably most likely.

Headley’s arrest in Chicago last October initially seemed a breakthrough in throwing light on the operations and activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), the Pakistan-based terrorist organization, in India. But instead the Obama administration’s frantic efforts to cover up the details of the case have been taken to their logical conclusion.

The plea bargain raises explosive questions. The LeT began planning the attack on Mumbai sometime around September 2006. According to the plea bargain, Headley paid five visits to India on reconnaissance missions between 2006 and the November 2008 strike, each time returning to the US via Pakistan where he met “with various co-conspirators, including but not limited to members of LeT”.

The plea bargain simply refers to the Pakistani handlers of Headley as A, B, C and D. But who are they? We will never know.

The LeT’s close links with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) are legion and it is inconceivable that such a massive operation – with huge international ramifications and the potential to trigger war with India – could have been undertaken without the knowledge of the ISI, headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kiani, the present army chief, from October 2004 until October 2007.

The plea bargain says chillingly that after Headley’s fifth visit to India, “Lashkar [LeT] Member A advised defendant [Headley] of a number of details concerning the planned attacks, including that a team of attackers was being trained in a variety of combat skills, the team would be traveling to Mumbai by sea and using the landing site recommended by the defendant, the team would be fighting to the death and would not attempt to escape following the attacks.”

Yet, the operative part of the plea bargain not only rules out Headley’s extradition to India but does not show that Headley gave any kind of formal commitment to the FBI to subject himself to interrogation by the Indians. He has merely agreed to give testimony in any foreign judicial proceeding that is held in US territory.

In essence, the Americans are saying that they will tell the Indians what Headley is saying and there is no need to interrogate him face-to-face. This is diametrically opposite to the US’s approach to the Lockerbie trial after a bombed Pan Am flight crashed into the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. Altogether 270 died. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, a Libyan, was convicted of involvement in the bombing.

Again, the plea bargain confirms that Headley had a criminal record in the US from 1989 as a conspirator to import heroin and spent a total of six years in prison as a result of four convictions. He was later recruited as an agent by US drug-enforcement authorities, who after the 9/11 attacks in the US coordinated closely with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

How much did the CIA know?

The plea bargain details that while working as an American agent Headley attended at least five “training courses” conducted by the LeT in Pakistan, including sessions in the use of weapons and grenades, close-combat tactics and counter-surveillance techniques, from February 2002 until December 2003.

Training courses in April and in December 2003 were each of three months’ duration and in such close proximity to the 9/11 attacks that it stretches credulity to believe the CIA didn’t care to know what their agent was doing in the LeT training camps.

Today, the heart of the matter is how much did the CIA know in advance about the Mumbai terrorist strike and whether the Obama administration shared all “actionable intelligence” with Delhi?

A senior Indian editor wrote on Sunday, “Headley … was convicted on drug charges and sent to jail in the US. We know also that he was subsequently released from jail and handed over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which said that it wanted to send him to Pakistan as an undercover agent. All this is a matter of public record. What happened between the time the US sent Headley into Pakistan and his arrest at Chicago airport a few months ago? How did an American agent turn into a terrorist? The US will not say.”

Yet, cooperation in the fight against terrorism lies within the first circle of US-India strategic cooperation. The Mumbai attacks led to unprecedented counter-terrorism cooperation between India and the US – “breaking down walls and bureaucratic obstacles between the two countries’ intelligence and investigating agencies”, as a prominent American security expert, Lisa Curtis, underscored in US congressional testimony on March 11 regarding the Mumbai attacks and Headley.

To quote Curtis, “Most troubling about the Headley case is what it has revealed about the proximity of the Pakistani military to the LeT.”

Curtis put her finger spot on the US government’s deliberate policy to view the LeT through the prism of India-Pakistan adversarial ties. This is despite all evidence of the LeT’s significant role since 2006 as a facilitator of the Taliban’s operations in Afghanistan by providing a constant stream of fighters – recruiting, training and infiltrating insurgents across the border from the Pakistani tribal areas.

The US policy is impeccably logical. It prioritizes the securing of Islamabad’s cooperation on what directly affects American interests rather than squandering away Pakistani goodwill by Washington covering for the Indians.

This political chicanery lies at the core of the unfolding Headley drama. What emerges, even if one were to give the benefit of the doubt to the CIA, is that Headley was its agent but he possibly got involved with Pakistan-based terrorist organizations and became a double agent.

No doubt, the US administration is behaving very strangely. It has something extremely explosive to hide from the Indians and what better way to do that than by placing Headley in safe custody and not risk exposing him to Indian intelligence?

The speculation gaining respectability in Delhi is that Washington knew in advance about the Mumbai attack and deliberately chose not to pass on details to Delhi.

Indeed, Washington knew of Headley’s repeated missions to India from 2006 but did not share the information with the Indians. Headley, in fact, visited Mumbai once even after the city was attacked.

Clearly, the Obama administration was apprehensive that Headley might spill the beans if the Indians got hold of him and the trail could then lead to his links with the CIA, the LeT and the Pakistani military. And where would that leave the US?

Obama is obviously in no position to “pressure” the Pakistani military leadership. The US’s obsession is to somehow end the fighting in Afghanistan before the US presidential election campaign commences in 2012. The extent to which the US is beholden to the Pakistani military today is apparent from the about-turn lately by even a self-styled “agnostic” like the AfPak special representative, Richard Holbrooke, about the Pakistani military leadership’s commitment to the fight against terrorism.

A foreign policy in shambles

All said, however, the Americans seem to count on their skill to manipulate the Indian elite. Robert Blake, the US assistant secretary of state for South Asia who used to be the deputy head of the US Embassy, visited Delhi last week on a damage-control exercise. He huddled with the Indian corporate sector, which is hugely influential with the political class.

However, will the strategy of leveraging the pro-US lobby in Delhi work this time to ease the strain in the US-India “partnership”? The Mumbai terror attack left deep scars in the Indian public psyche. For the first time in recent years, the Indian public has closed ranks with prevalent opinion in Pakistan that sees the US as a diabolic, self-centered power, which double-crosses its partners, friends and allies in single-minded pursuit of its interests.

This perception has consequences for the democratically elected government in Delhi. The big question is whether the ruling party in India can any longer afford to be seen sharing Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s robust enthusiasm for a US-centric foreign policy.

It has been a devastating blow to Manmohan’s personal prestige that the FBI’s plea bargain deal unfolded in the week he had earmarked for the tabling of legislation in parliament that would facilitate the entry of American companies into the Indian market for nuclear commerce.

Manmohan’s visit to Washington to attend a nuclear summit hosted by Obama on April 12 was expected to give a fillip to US-India ties, but Headley haunts the ambience surrounding that visit.

The Headley case exposes the fallacies underlying India’s foreign policy ever since Manmohan assumed office as prime minister in 2004 – that “strategic partnership” with the US could be central insofar as contacts with Pakistan were best conducted under the US watch and Delhi’s interests as an emerging power lay in harmonizing with US regional policies.

A rethink on foreign policy has now become almost inevitable. Delhi recently rolled out the red carpet to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Delhi may now seriously engage Tehran, despite Manmohan’s manifest indifference toward India-Iran ties. The prime minister will find it even harder now to “operationalize” the India-US nuclear deal of 2008, due to an inability to legislate a liability bill that the US nuclear industry seeks as a pre-requisite for doing business in India.

To what extent US expectations to corner a big share of India’s arms bazaar are going to be realized us unclear, no matter the clout of US arms manufacturers with the Indian military community. All eyes in Delhi are trained on the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue in Washington on Wednesday in which Kiani is expected to pitch for a long-term strategic partnership between the two countries that duly recognizes Pakistan’s pivotal role in US policies.

Most certainly Delhi can be expected now to work full throttle to resist the US-Pakistani game plan to engage the Taliban and to reintegrate them in Afghan power structures. The Headley saga underscores that the US-Pakistan axis in Afghanistan carries lethal potency for India’s national security interests.

The Petraeus Briefing

The Petraeus Briefing

By Mark Perry – Foreign Policy Blog March
13, 2010


On Jan. 16, two days after a killer earthquake hit Haiti, a team of
senior military officers from the U.S. Central Command (responsible for
overseeing American security interests in the Middle East), arrived at
the Pentagon to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen
on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The team had been dispatched by
CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus to underline his growing worries
at the lack of progress in resolving the issue. The 33-slide, 45-minute
PowerPoint briefing stunned Mullen. The briefers reported that there was
a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of
standing up to Israel, that CENTCOM’s mostly Arab constituency was
losing faith in American promises, that Israeli intransigence on the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the
region, and that Mitchell himself was (as a senior Pentagon officer
later bluntly described it) “too old, too slow … and too late.”

The January Mullen briefing was unprecedented. No previous CENTCOM
commander had ever expressed himself on what is essentially a political
issue; which is why the briefers were careful to tell Mullen that their
conclusions followed from a December 2009 tour of the region where, on
Petraeus’s instructions, they spoke to senior Arab leaders. “Everywhere
they went, the message was pretty humbling,” a Pentagon officer familiar
with the briefing says. “America was not only viewed as weak, but its
military posture in the region was eroding.” But Petraeus wasn’t
finished: two days after the Mullen briefing, Petraeus sent a paper to
the White House requesting that the West Bank and Gaza (which, with
Israel, is a part of the European Command – or EUCOM), be made a part of
his area of operations. Petraeus’s reason was straightforward: with
U.S. troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military had to
be perceived by Arab leaders as engaged in the region’s most
troublesome conflict.

[UPDATE: A senior military officer denied Sunday that Petraeus sent a
paper to the White House.

“CENTCOM did have a team brief the CJCS on concerns revolving around the
Palestinian issue, and CENTCOM did propose a UCP change, but to CJCS,
not to the WH,” the officer said via email. “GEN Petraeus was not
certain what might have been conveyed to the WH (if anything) from that
brief to CJCS.”

(UCP means “unified combatant command,” like CENTCOM; CJCS refers to
Mullen; and WH is the White House.)]

The Mullen briefing and Petraeus’s request hit the White House like a
bombshell. While Petraeus’s request that CENTCOM be expanded to include
the Palestinians was denied (“it was dead on arrival,” a Pentagon
officer confirms), the Obama administration decided it would redouble
its efforts – pressing Israel once again on the settlements issue,
sending Mitchell on a visit to a number of Arab capitals and dispatching
Mullen for a carefully arranged meeting with the chief of the Israeli
General Staff, Lt. General Gabi Ashkenazi. While the American press
speculated that Mullen’s trip focused on Iran, the JCS Chairman actually
carried a blunt, and tough, message on the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict: that Israel had to see its conflict with the Palestinians “in
a larger, regional, context” – as having a direct impact on America’s
status in the region. Certainly, it was thought, Israel would get the
message.

Israel didn’t. When Vice President Joe Biden was embarrassed by an
Israeli announcement that the Netanyahu government was building 1,600
new homes in East Jerusalem, the administration reacted. But no one was
more outraged than Biden who, according to the Israeli daily Yedioth
Ahronoth, engaged in a private, and angry, exchange with the Israeli
Prime Minister. Not surprisingly, what Biden told Netanyahu reflected
the importance the administration attached to Petraeus’s Mullen
briefing: “This is starting to get dangerous for us,” Biden reportedly
told Netanyahu. “What you’re doing here undermines the security of our
troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That
endangers us and it endangers regional peace.” Yedioth Ahronoth went on
to report: “The vice president told his Israeli hosts that since many
people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israel’s
actions and US policy, any decision about construction that undermines
Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the
personal safety of American troops fighting against Islamic terrorism.”
The message couldn’t be plainer: Israel’s intransigence could cost
American lives.

There are important and powerful lobbies in America: the NRA, the
American Medical Association, the lawyers — and the Israeli lobby. But
no lobby is as important, or as powerful, as the U.S. military. While
commentators and pundits might reflect that Joe Biden’s trip to Israel
has forever shifted America’s relationship with its erstwhile ally in
the region, the real break came in January, when David Petraeus sent a
briefing team to the Pentagon with a stark warning: America’s
relationship with Israel is important, but not as important as the lives
of America’s soldiers. Maybe Israel gets the message now.

The Road to Armageddon


The Road to Armageddon

paul craig robertsThe Washington Times
is a newspaper that looks with favor upon the Bush/Cheney/Obama/neocon
wars of aggression in the Middle East and favors making terrorists pay
for 9/11. Therefore, I was surprised to learn on February 24 that the
most popular story on the paper’s website for the past three days was
the “Inside the Beltway” report, “Explosive News,”
[By Jennifer Harper, February 22, 2010]about the 31 press conferences
in cities in the US and abroad on February 19 held by Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, an organization of professionals which now has 1,000 members.

I was even more surprised that the news report treated the press conference seriously.

How did three World Trade Center skyscrapers suddenly disintegrate
into fine dust? How did massive steel beams in three skyscrapers
suddenly fail as a result of short-lived, isolated, and low temperature
fires? “A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and
are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the
destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7,”
reports the Washington Times.

The paper reports that the architects and engineers have concluded
that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute
of Standards and Technology provided “insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction” and are “calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials.”

The newspaper reports that Richard Gage, the spokesperson for the architects and engineers said: “Government
officials will be notified that ‘Misprision of Treason,’ U.S. Code 18
(Sec. 2382) is a serious federal offense, which requires those with
evidence of treason to act. The implications are enormous and may have
profound impact on the forthcoming Khalid Sheik Mohammed trial.”

There is now an organization, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth. At the main press conference in San Francisco, Erik Lawyer,
the head of that organization, announced the firefighters’ support for
the architects and engineers’ demands. He reported that no forensic
investigation was made of the fires that are alleged to have destroyed
the three buildings and that this failure constitutes a crime.

Mandated procedures were not followed, and instead of being
preserved and investigated, the crime scene was destroyed. He also
reported that there are more than one hundred first responders who
heard and experienced explosions and that there is radio, audio and
video evidence of explosions.

Also at the press conference, physicist Steven Jones presented the
evidence of nano-thermite in the residue of the WTC buildings found by
an international panel of scientists led by University of Copenhagen
nano-chemist Professor Niels Harrit. Nano-thermite is a high-tech
explosive/pyrotechnic capable of instantly melting steel girders.

Before we yell “conspiracy theory,” we
should be aware that the architects, engineers, firefighters, and
scientists offer no theory. They provide evidence that challenges the
official theory. This evidence is not going to go away.

If expressing doubts or reservations about the official story in the
9/11 Commission Report makes a person a conspiracy theory kook, then we
have to include both co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission and the
Commission’s legal counsel, all of whom have written books in which
they clearly state that they were lied to by government officials when
they conducted their investigation, or, rather, when they presided over
the investigation conducted by executive director Philip Zelikow,
a member of President George W. Bush’s transition team and Foreign
Intelligence Advisory Board and a co-author of Bush Secretary of State
Condi “Mushroom Cloud” Rice.

There will always be Americans who will believe whatever the
government tells them no matter how many times they know the government
has lied to them. Despite expensive wars that threaten Social Security
and Medicare, wars based on non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass
destruction, non-existent Saddam Hussein connections to al Qaida,
non-existent Afghan participation in the 9/11 attacks, and the
non-existent Iranian nukes that are being hyped as the reason for the
next American war of aggression in the Middle East, more than half of
the U.S. population still believes the fantastic story that the
government has told them about 9/11, a Muslim conspiracy that outwitted
the entire Western world.

Moreover, it doesn’t matter to these Americans how often the
government changes its story. For example, Americans first heard of
Osama bin Laden because the Bush regime pinned the 9/11 attacks on him.
Over the years video after video was served up to the gullible American
public of bin Laden’s pronouncements. Experts dismissed the videos as
fakes, but Americans remained their gullible selves. Then suddenly last
year a new 9/11 “mastermind” emerged to take bin
Laden’s place, the captive Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the detainee
waterboarded 183 times until he confessed to masterminding the 9/11
attack.

In the Middle Ages confessions extracted by torture constituted
evidence, but self-incrimination has been a no-no in the U.S. legal
system since our founding. But with the Bush regime and the Republican
federal judges, whom we were assured would defend the U.S.
Constitution, the self-incrimination of Sheik Mohammed stands today as
the only evidence the U.S. government has that Muslim terrorists pulled
off 9/11.

If a person considers the feats attributed to Khalid Sheik Mohammed,
they are simply unbelievable. Sheik Mohammed is a more brilliant,
capable superhero than V in the fantasy movie, “V for Vendetta.”
Sheik Mohammed outwitted all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies along with
those of all U.S. allies or puppets, including Israel’s Mossad. No
intelligence service on earth or all of them combined was a match for
Sheik Mohammed.

Sheik Mohammed outwitted the U.S. National Security Council, Dick
Cheney, the Pentagon, the State Department, NORAD, the U.S. Air Force,
and Air Traffic Control.

He caused Airport Security to fail four times in one morning. He
caused the state-of-the-art air defenses of the Pentagon to fail,
allowing a hijacked airliner, which was off course all morning while
the U.S. Air Force, for the first time in history, was unable to get
aloft interceptor aircraft, to crash into the Pentagon.

Sheik Mohammed was able to perform these feats with unqualified pilots.

Sheik Mohammed, even as a waterboarded detainee, has managed to
prevent the FBI from releasing the many confiscated videos that would
show, according to the official story, the hijacked airliner hitting
the Pentagon.

How naive do you have to be to believe that any human, or for that
matter Hollywood fantasy character, is this powerful and capable?

If Sheik Mohammed has these superhuman capabilities, how did the
incompetent Americans catch him? This guy is a patsy tortured into
confession in order to keep the American naifs believing the
government’s conspiracy theory.

What is going on here is that the U.S. government has to bring the
9/11 mystery to an end. The government must put on trial and convict a
culprit so that it can close the case before it explodes. Anyone
waterboarded 183 times would confess to anything.

The U.S. government has responded to the evidence being arrayed
against its outlandish 9/11 conspiracy theory by redefining the war on
terror from external to internal enemies. Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano said on February 21  that American extremists are now
as big a concern as international terrorists. Extremists, of course,
are people who get in the way of the government’s agenda, such as the
1,000 Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. The group used to be
100, now it is 1,000. What if it becomes 10,000?

Cass Sunstein, an Obama regime official, has a solution
for the 9/11 skeptics: Infiltrate them and provoke them into statements
and actions that can be used to discredit or to arrest them. But get
rid of them at all cost.

Why employ such extreme measures against alleged kooks if they only
provide entertainment and laughs? Is the government worried that they
are on to something?

Instead, why doesn’t the U.S. government simply confront the evidence that is presented and answer it?

If the architects, engineers, firefighters, and scientists are
merely kooks, it would be a simple matter to acknowledge their evidence
and refute it.  Why is it necessary to infiltrate them with police
agents and to set them up?

Many Americans would reply that “their”
government would never even dream of killing Americans by hijacking
airliners and destroying buildings in order to advance a government
agenda. But on February 3, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair
told the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. government can
assassinate its own citizens when they are overseas. No arrest, trial,
or conviction of a capital crime is necessary.  Just straight out
murder.

Obviously, if the U.S. government can murder its citizens abroad it
can murder them at home, and has done so. For example, 100 Branch
Davidians were murdered in Waco, Texas, by the Clinton administration
for no legitimate reason. The government just decided to use its power
knowing that it could get away with it, which it did.

Americans who think “their” government is some kind of morally pure operation would do well to familiarize themselves with Operation Northwoods.
Operation Northwoods was a plot drawn up by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of
Staff for the CIA to commit acts of terrorism in American cities and
fabricate evidence blaming Castro so that the U.S. could gain domestic
and international support for regime change in Cuba.
The secret plan was nixed by President John F. Kennedy and was
declassified by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board.
It is available online in the National Security Archive. There are
numerous online accounts available, including Wikipedia. James
Bamford’s book, Body of Secrets, also summarizes the plot:

“Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of the
Chairman [Gen. Lemnitzer] and every member of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for
boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a
wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami,
and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit;
planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be
blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as
well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch
their war.”

Prior to 9/11 the American neoconservatives were explicit that the
wars of aggression that they intended to launch in the Middle East
required “a new Pearl Harbor.”

For their own good and that of the wider world, Americans need to
pay attention to the growing body of experts who are telling them that
the government’s account of 9/11 fails their investigation. 9/11
launched the neoconservative plan for U.S. world hegemony. As I write
the U.S. government is purchasing the agreement of foreign governments
that border Russia to accept U.S. missile interceptor bases. The U.S.
intends to ring Russia with U.S. missile bases from Poland through
central Europe and Kosovo to Georgia, Azerbaijan and central Asia. [See
Impending Explosion: U.S. Intensifies Threats To Russia And Iran,
by Rick Rozoff, Global Research, February 19, 2010]  U.S. envoy Richard
Holbrooke declared on February 20 that al Qaida is moving into former
central Asian constituent parts of the Soviet Union, such as
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan.
Holbrooke is soliciting U.S. bases in these former Soviet republics
under the guise of the ever-expanding “war on terror.”

The U.S. has already encircled Iran with military bases. The U.S.
government intends to neutralize China by seizing control over the
Middle East and cutting China off from oil.

This plan assumes that Russia and China, nuclear armed states, will
be intimidated by U.S. anti-missile defenses and acquiesce to U.S.
hegemony and that China will lack oil for its industries and military.

The U.S. government is delusional. Russian military and political
leaders have responded to the obvious threat by declaring NATO a direct
threat to the security of Russia and by announcing a change in Russian
war doctrine to the pre-emptive launch of nuclear weapons. The Chinese
are too confident to be bullied by a washed up American “superpower.”

The morons in Washington are pushing the envelope of nuclear war.
The insane drive for American hegemony threatens life on earth. The
American people, by accepting the lies and deceptions of “their” government, are facilitating this outcome.