Saturday, December 30, 2006

Robert Fisk: A dictator created then destroyed by America

Robert Fisk: A dictator created then destroyed by America
Published: 30 December 2006
...Our masters will tell us in a few hours that it is a "great day" for Iraqis and will hope that the Muslim world will forget that his death sentence was signed - by the Iraqi "government", but on behalf of the Americans - on the very eve of the Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, the moment of greatest forgiveness in the Arab world.
But history will record that the Arabs and other Muslims and, indeed, many millions in the West, will ask another question this weekend, a question that will not be posed in other Western newspapers because it is not the narrative laid down for us by our presidents and prime ministers - what about the other guilty men?
No, Tony Blair is not Saddam. We don't gas our enemies. George W Bush is not Saddam. He didn't invade Iran or Kuwait. He only invaded Iraq. But hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are dead - and thousands of Western troops are dead - because Messrs Bush and Blair and the Spanish Prime Minister and the Italian Prime Minister and the Australian Prime Minister went to war in 2003 on a potage of lies and mendacity and, given the weapons we used, with great brutality.
In the aftermath of the international crimes against humanity of 2001 we have tortured, we have murdered, we have brutalised and killed the innocent - we have even added our shame at Abu Ghraib to Saddam's shame at Abu Ghraib - and yet we are supposed to forget these terrible crimes
as we applaud the swinging corpse of the dictator we created.
Who encouraged Saddam to invade Iran in 1980, which was the greatest war crime he has committed for it led to the deaths of a million and a half souls? And who sold him the components for the chemical weapons with which he drenched Iran and the Kurds? We did. No wonder the Americans, who controlled Saddam's weird trial, forbad any mention of this, his most obscene atrocity, in the charges against him. Could he not have been handed over to the Iranians for sentencing for this massive war crime? Of course not. Because that would also expose our culpability.
And the mass killings we perpetrated in 2003 with our depleted uranium shells and our "bunker buster" bombs and our phosphorous, the murderous post-invasion sieges of Fallujah and Najaf, the hell-disaster of anarchy we unleashed on the Iraqi population in the aftermath of our "victory" - our "mission accomplished" - who will be found guilty of this? Such expiation as we might expect will come, no doubt, in the self-serving memoirs of Blair and Bush, written in comfortable and wealthy retirement.
Hours before Saddam's death sentence, his family - his first wife, Sajida, and Saddam's daughter and their other relatives - had given up hope.
"Whatever could be done has been done - we can only wait for time to take its course," one of them said last night. But Saddam knew, and had already announced his own "martyrdom": he was still the president of Iraq and he would die for Iraq. All condemned men face a decision: to die with a last, grovelling plea for mercy or to die with whatever dignity they can wrap around themselves in their last hours on earth. His last trial appearance - that wan smile that spread over the mass-murderer's face - showed us which path Saddam intended to walk to the noose.
I have catalogued his monstrous crimes over the years. I have talked to the Kurdish survivors of Halabja and the Shia who rose up against the dictator at our request in 1991 and who were betrayed by us - and whose comrades, in their tens of thousands, along with their wives, were hanged like thrushes by Saddam's executioners.
I have walked round the execution chamber of Abu Ghraib - only months, it later transpired, after we had been using the same prison for a few tortures and killings of our own - and I have watched Iraqis pull thousands of their dead relatives from the mass graves of Hilla. One of them has a newly-inserted artificial hip and a medical identification number on his arm. He had been taken directly from hospital to his place of execution. Like Donald Rumsfeld, I have even shaken the dictator's soft, damp hand. Yet the old war criminal finished his days in power writing romantic novels.
It was my colleague, Tom Friedman - now a messianic columnist for The New York Times - who perfectly caught Saddam's character just before the 2003 invasion: Saddam was, he wrote, "part Don Corleone, part Donald Duck". And, in this unique definition, Friedman caught the horror of all dictators; their sadistic attraction and the grotesque, unbelievable nature of their barbarity.
But that is not how the Arab world will see him. At first, those who suffered from Saddam's cruelty will welcome his execution. Hundreds wanted to pull the hangman's lever. So will many other Kurds and Shia outside Iraq welcome his end. But they - and millions of other Muslims - will remember how he was informed of his death sentence at the dawn of the Eid al-Adha feast, which recalls the would-be sacrifice by Abraham, of his son, a commemoration which even the ghastly Saddam cynically used to celebrate by releasing prisoners from his jails. "Handed over to the Iraqi authorities," he may have been before his death. But his execution will go down - correctly - as an American affair and time will add its false but lasting gloss to all this - that the West destroyed an Arab leader who no longer obeyed his orders from Washington, that, for all his wrongdoing (and this will be the terrible get-out for Arab historians, this shaving away of his crimes) Saddam died a "martyr" to the will of the new "Crusaders".
When he was captured in November of 2003, the insurgency against American troops increased in ferocity. After his death, it will redouble in intensity again. Freed from the remotest possibility of Saddam's return by his execution, the West's enemies in Iraq have no reason to fear the return of his Baathist regime. Osama bin Laden will certainly rejoice, along with Bush and Blair. And there's a thought. So many crimes avenged.
But we will have got away with it.

Saddam: The questions that will live on

Why were Bush and Blair not in the Dock?
Saddam: The questions that will live on
From Andrew Buncombe in Washington
Published: 30 December 2006

So why did George Bush decide to invade Iraq? Nearly four years and hundreds of thousands of casualties later, the reasons appear both as obvious and as elusive as they were in the spring of 2003.
The official reasoning was always straightforward. Key among the claims included in the so-called Iraq War Resolution passed by Congress in October 2002 was that Iraq "poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region". It added that Saddam's regime harboured chemical and biological weapons and was seeking to develop a nuclear arsenal.In an address to the nation just three days before the invasion, Mr Bush declared: "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."It quickly became clear that central claim was not true, and it became equally clear the administration had been manipulating uncertain and "caveated" intelligence to make the case for a war that had been decided on long before. The famous Downing Street memo suggests that as early as July 2002 " intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy". Indeed, within hours of the attacks of 9/11, senior elements within the administration were seeking for a strike against Iraq even though there was no evidence it was involved.But if the alleged threat of WMD was based on manipulated intelligence – some provided by Iraqi exiles such as Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress - what else motivated the US? Many remain convinced the overwhelming factor was a desire to control Iraq's oil supplies, the second largest proven reserves in the world. Such a view has been reinforced by recent recommendations of Iraq Study Group which said: " The United States should assist Iraqi leaders to reorganise the national oil industry as a commercial enterprise, in order to enhance efficiency, transparency, and accountability."Veteran dissident Noam Chomsky said: "It is glaringly obvious that Iraq is estimated to have the second largest energy reserves in the world and is right at the heart of the world's major energy producing region, and that establishing a client state in Iraq would considerably enhance policies that go back to the dawn of the oil age, and in particular to the post-war period when the US was taking over global domination, and established as a very high and natural policy principle the need to control this ‘stupendous source of strategic power'."He added: "It takes remarkable obedience to authority to believe that the US would have 'liberated' Iraq - or taken revenge - if its main exports were lettuce and pickles, and the major petroleum resources were in the South Pacific."Some point out that a desire among some in government to oust Saddam predated 9/11, and suggest in the aftermath of those attacks, a climate existed in which it was easier to pursue an invasion. Indeed, among the signatories to the 1998 letter from the neo-con Project for the New American Century calling on President Clinton to take on Saddam were former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz.Mr Wolfowitz later said Saddam's alleged possession of WMD was just one of many reasons for invading. "For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on," he said.David Swanson, a founder of, a coalition of peace and activist groups, said: "The one thing we know is that the reasons they told us were false. [I think] they wanted an Iraq that looked free but isn't and they wanted to control it¿They wanted the oil and the power that comes with controlling that oil and making profits for British and US oil companies."Did other factors influence Mr Bush? Was he seeking revenge against "the guy who tried to kill my dad" – a reference to an alleged plot to kill the president's father during a visit to Kuwait in 1993 or was there even a broader strategic rationale, one that would benefit Israel – something claimed by peace activist Cindy Sheehan.What does seem certain is that there was a confluence of factors and interests coming together in the aftermath of 9/11 that allowed Mr Bush to proceed to war with little opposition from the Congress, or indeed, the media

About 90 percent of Iraqis feel the situation in the country was better before the U.S.-led invasion!

Iraq poll: U.S. troops departure is asset
BAGHDAD, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- About 90 percent of Iraqis feel the situation in the country was better before the U.S.-led invasion than it is today, according to a new ICRSS poll.
The findings emerged after house-to-house interviews conducted by the ICRSS during the third week of November. About 2,000 people from Baghdad (82 percent), Anbar and Najaf (9 percent each) were randomly asked to express their opinion. Twenty-four percent of the respondents were women.
Only five percent of those questioned said Iraq is better today than in 2003. While 89 percent of the people said the political situation had deteriorated, 79 percent saw a decline in the economic situation; 12 percent felt things had improved and 9 percent said there was no change. Predictably, 95 percent felt the security situation was worse than before.
The results of the poll conducted by the Iraq Centre for Research and Strategic Studies and shared with the Gulf Research Center, has a margin error of +/- 3.1 percent.
The ICRSS is an independent institution "which attempts to spread the conscious necessity of realizing basic freedoms, consolidating democratic values and foundations of civil society."
Nearly 50 percent of the respondents identified themselves only as "Muslims"; 34 percent were Shiites and 14 percent, Sunnis.

WASHINGTON DIARY: Iran-the new front

WASHINGTON DIARY: Iran-the new front —Dr Manzur Ejaz
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Contrary to prevailing expectations, the Bush Administration is going ahead with its old plans to invade Iran. Since Israeli interests define the US agenda in the Middle East, the only chance that the US will abandon its decision of invading Iran is if the Zionist state changes course. So argues Scott Ritter in his new book, Target Iran: The Truth about White House’s Plan for Regime Change. But for now, it does not seem likely. In the aftermath of debacle in Iraq and the electoral backlash of the November 2006 Congressional election, one would expect the Bush Administration not to take on another disastrous adventure in the Middle East. However, the newly initiated mammoth naval build-up in the Persian Gulf confirms fears that the Bush Administration has not learned its lesson and is going ahead with its old plans to invade Iran. Stretched to the limit, the US army may be resisting such a venture, but if the invasion is limited to using Air Force and the Navy, the Bush Administration may get its way. The hawks in Bush Administration argue that the US public is against losing the war in Iraq and not against the invasion itself. Therefore, if the US humbles Iran through aerial bombardment, the Bush Administration can declare a victory and keep her hegemonic and interventionist doctrine alive. The US public will greatly approve of such an outcome and President Bush can lift up his sinking approval rating and improve the chances for Republican victory in the presidential and other elections of 2008. The Democrat-controlled Congress may try to create hurdles for an Iran invasion but, eventually, it will give in. Constitutional experts argue that President Bush does not need fresh Congressional approval for his Iran invasion: He will use the umbrella approval that he obtained for the Iraq invasion, which allows him to attack any country which is accused of abetting terrorism. Furthermore, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)—the main lobby for the Zionist state — is equally influential with Democrats. AIPAC has successfully established the notion among the US public and legislators that Israel’s interests are identical to the US’s. They have created such an environment that even ex-President Jimmy Carter cannot get away with criticising Israel. Nowadays, the bulk of the media is attacking him for his scathing criticism of Israel in his new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Scott Ritter, an ex-UN weapon inspector, provides substantial proofs in his above-mentioned book that the Israeli lobby has successfully confused the Israeli with US interests. In his view, the US has no real conflict with Iraq, Iran, Syria, Hammas or Hezbollah. It is Israel that considers these countries and outfits detrimental to its own interests and the AIPAC deftly turns them into US interests.“One of the big problems is — and here goes the grenade — Israel. The second you mention the word ‘Israel,’ the nation Israel, the concept Israel, many in the American press become very defensive. And the other thing we’re not allowed to do is discuss the notion that Israel and the notion of Israeli interests may in fact be dictating what America is doing, that what we’re doing in the Middle East may not be to the benefit of America’s national security, but to Israel’s national security,” writes Mr. Ritter. Mr. Ritter goes further in saying that the Israeli intelligence has become very ideologically oriented and has lost its flair for fact-finding. He claims that he has a long experience of working with Israeli intelligence, which used to be excellent in uncovering facts. However, with the rise of the extreme right in Israel, the intelligence agencies have become ideological. They don’t go for facts but for what they believe is or should be true. It has marred their ability to foresee and act. Consequently, the US is also led by those make-belief intelligence reports compiled by Israel and filtered to the US by various means.Given the present Israeli mindset, not only Iran’s nuclear weapon program is unacceptable, but even its civilian use of nuclear technology. Israel does not want Iran to have any nuclear technology at all, Mr. Ritter asserts. According to his account, Israel and the US have conducted investigations many times over to find traces of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, without any success. Other investigators also concur that Iran is too far away from enriching weapon grade Uranium: Iran may be enriching the Uranium at the level of less than 5%, while it needs to get to above 90% to be able to make nuclear weapons. However, the US and Israel are campaigning as if Iran is making nuclear weapons. They are using Iran’s dissident group Mujahdeen-e-Khalaq (MEK) for disinformation. MEK is playing the same role that Ahmad Chalabi played in spreading disinformation about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. US declared MEK as a terrorist organisation, but such categorisation has not stopped the Israeli-US intelligence agencies from using their services. Saudi Arabia has also told Vice President Dick Cheney that US should not resume diplomatic dialogue with Iran. This indicates that the Saudis are also encouraging the US to confront Iran. Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the US’s closest allies in the Middle East, are afraid of Iran’s increasing influence in the area. The Saudis, like the Israelis, do not want Iran to have any nuclear technology at all. Somehow, their interests coincide with Israelis in this regard. Therefore, almost all major US allies are keen to see the US destroying not only Iran’s nuclear facilities but also its economic infrastructure, to push it many decades behind. Israelis ran the trailers of such destruction in Lebanon.Only a changed Israeli strategy can derail the US invasion plans, argues Mr. Ritter. He hopes that Israel may have learned its lesson in Lebanon that war does not pay and change its outlook about Iran and its other perceived enemies. A Democratic Congress’s resolve not to fund the new war might also tie the Bush Administration’s hands. However, the chances for such an Israeli about-face and Congressional resolve are quite dim. The US naval build-up in the Persian Gulf is for real. It is hard to say when and how the Iran invasion may be triggered but preparations are underway.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Hydrogen Peroxide and Skunks

Home remedies for solving wildlife conflicts
By The Humane Society of the United States
Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - Updated: 12:03 AM EST

PROBLEM: Dog sprayed by a skunk.
SOLUTION: A simple recipe. Mix together in a bowl 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide; 1/4 cup of baking soda; and 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, like Dawn. Apply to dog with a towel. Bathe and rinse dog and the odor will instantly disappear. Side effect: this solution may give dark fur a "highlight'' effect.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Yet Again US Starts a War!

Ethiopian Warplanes Attack Somalia
Published: December 24, 2006

ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA, Dec. 24 — Ethiopian warplanes attacked Somalia today, destroying a recruiting center for Islamist fighters and solidifying fears that a dreaded regional war has now begun.
According to witnesses, the warplanes bombarded several towns while Ethiopian tanks pushed aggressively into territory that had been controlled by Somalia’s Islamist forces. That ignited fighting up and down the Somali coast, with Ethiopian troops locked in an escalating battle against Somalia’s powerful Islamist movement...

Ethiopia has the most powerful military in the region, trained by American advisors and funded by American aid. American officials have acknowledged that they tacitly supported Ethiopia’s decision to send troops to Somalia because they felt it was the best way to check the growing power of the Islamists, whom American officials have accused of sheltering Al Qaeda terrorists. (The usual US lies!)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Alleged Liquid Bomb Plot Credibility Crumbles

Alleged Liquid Bomb Plot Credibility Crumbles
by Paul Joseph Watson
Global Research, December 23, 2006 - 2006-12-13
The alleged ringleader of a much vaunted plot to blow up multiple transatlantic airliners using liquid explosives has been cleared of terrorism charges and of being a member of any terrorist group, rendering August's terror scare another hyped creation of government scare mongering.
In every single major terror bust or terror alert we have proven the evidence to be flawed and the charges to be cooked up nonsense aimed at prolonging the illusion that terror cells are lurking around every corner waiting to cause mayhem. The geopolitical agenda of the U.S., Britain and Israel depends on the proliferation phony terror threats in order to continue the farcical war on terror and take more of our innate freedoms at home to stifle dissent against the plot for worldwide hegemony.
The supposed transatlantic bomb plot has dissipated into another staged terror alert.
The BBC reports,
"A Pakistani judge has ruled there is not enough evidence to try a key suspect in an alleged airline bomb plot on terrorism charges. He has moved the case of Rashid Rauf, a Briton, from an anti-terrorism court to a regular court, where he faces lesser charges such as forgery."
"The Pakistani authorities described him as a key figure."
"But an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi found no evidence that he had been involved in terrorist activities or that he belonged to a terrorist organisation."
Since the panic surrounding the ridiculous hoax that led to an outright ban on all liquids in U.S. and British airports, the credibility of the alleged plot itself has crumbled.
In a series of reports following the August 10th scare, we traced the source of the alleged attack plot to Pakistani and British intelligence and were rapidly able to confirm that the story was nothing more than a manufactured ploy to frighten travelers at the height of the holiday season.
It comes as no surprise that the Pakistanis have acquitted Rashid Rauf. His involvement with the Lashkar-e-Toiba group provides a direct lineage back to the Pakistani ISI , which is in turn controlled by the CIA and British intelligence. Rauf likely acted as the willing patsy for the plot to be pinned on while the Blair government waved it in front of Britons as another reason for them to accept the Blairstrip One fascist surveillance state without dissent.
It was revealed that the alleged terrorist cell that planned to blow up ten planes had been completely infiltrated for weeks before the announcement of the foiled plot by British intelligence. From the evidence at hand allied with past history of how MI5 work, which was presented in our article, it can be reasonably claimed that an MI5 mole within the group orchestrated the entire operation.
According to news reports the British government and MI5 wanted to wait at least a week before busting the liquid terror cell that their agents had fully infiltrated, including planting a mole within the bomb squad. From the acknowledged timeline and admission that the real attack was scheduled for August 16th - little else can be deduced but the shocking fact that MI5 wanted the bombings to go forward - arresting the perpetrators only after the attack.
Echoing the activities of the 7/7 bombers, some of the main suspects in the case aside from Rashid Rauf exhibited behavior that in no way suggested they were preparing to launch mid-air suicide attacks on jumbo jets. Far from preparing his last will and testament, psyching himself up for his imminent death or acquiring the necessary materials to conduct the operation, Tayib Rauf was caught on CCTV hours before the launch of the plot doing something far more mundane - he was buying cakes for his father's confectionary business.
Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray slammed the so-called foiled plot story as "propaganda" on behalf of Bush and Blair who yearn for a "new 9/11" to reinvigorate their flagging support base.
"None of the alleged terrorists had made a bomb. None had bought a plane ticket. Many did not even have passports, which given the efficiency of the UK Passport Agency would mean they couldn't be a plane bomber for quite some time," said Murray.
Unconfirmed sources suggest that insider speculators with informants inside the British intelligence apparatus took advantage of their foreknowledge of the announcement of the foiled terror plot to place put options on airline stocks, reaping the benefits of their subsequent fall. Airline stocks dropped as much as 28 per cent during morning trading following the announcement of the alleged liquid bomb plot.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Secret Burials in the Desert

Secret Burials in the Desert
Ultimate Disrespect for U.S. Army Personnel and US-Contracted Mercenaries in Iraq
Aug. 19, 2003By Kawther SalamThe Daily Life of Kawther Salam
Did the Pentagon order the assassination of a journalist in order to cover up secret mass burials of dead U.S. soldiers and U.S.- contracted mercenaries in the deserts around Baghdad?
What is really behind the killing of my colleague and friend, the Palestinian Reuters cameraman, Mazen Dana, in Bagdad? Is the Pentagon really scared of the media telling the U.S public what is really going on in Iraq? Do the criminals in the Pentagon want to cover their crimes against their own soldiers by killing journalists in Iraq? If so, then this is what can be called organized terror.
The U.S. troops obviously felt threatened and in big danger due to the Palestinian Reuters cameraman, Mazen Dana, who was investigating a story about secret burials of U.S. mercenaries and soldiers in mass graves in far-away places in deserts strips around Baghdad, burials which had obviously been authorized by the commanders of the U.S. army.
Mazen's scoop began when he realized that that the U.S. troops were burying human bodies wrapped in plastic in the desert. Initially, he thought that these were the bodies of Iraqi people. He kept watching and investigating the activities of the U.S. troops. He kept developing his scoop, working around different U.S. units and military jails, trying to figure out where the bodies had come from, and whether they were Iraqi or not.
Ultimately he found a source, a U.S. mercenary, who told him that those buried were not Iraqis, but mercenaries who had been promised green cards and U.S. citizenship in return for serving in the U.S. Army. Besides, according to this source, not few of those interred were Americans who had been killed in combat. Mazen had been able to film the activities of the U.S. army, and their secret mass graves. He was experienced in journalistic work in areas of conflict and under dangerous conditions. In our hometown Hebron, he had been covering the Israeli Duvdevan units, essentially death squads of the Israeli army which can not normally be filmed. Since he had become aware of what the Americans were doing in the desert, he kept the secret to himself. The intelligence units of the U.S. Army probably knew that Mazen was uncovering, and they must have feared that their secret desert burials would expose the Pentagon and the Army for involvement in a big scandal.
The U.S. Army prides itself of always bringing home their dead, and this ultimate disrespect for their own would certainly be frowned upon by the American society at large, even if not few of them were mercenaries. The story also had the potential of making foreigners think twice before joining the U.S. military forces as mercenaries, nobody wants to be disrespected in this most abject and impious way, not even those who would sign up as mercenaries.
During his last days, Mazen felt that the U.S. Army were observing him. Ten days before his death, he called home to Hebron and told his family that he feared for his life because of the story he was investigating, and he promised them to return as soon as he had finished his research. On Sunday, August 17, 2003, at noon and in bright sunshine, Mazen Dana was assassinated by the U.S. Army outside Abu Ghraib prison, where it had previously given him permission to film.
According to my colleague, Nael al-Shyoukhi, who was with Dana at the time of his death, the camera team was known to the U.S. military personnel at the prison. Al-Shyoukhi said that they had asked for permission to interview an officer, which had been denied. The soldiers had seen their IDs and knew about their mission and intentions.
Nael Al-Shyoukhi said "after we filmed we went into the car and prepared to go when a convoy led by a tank arrived and Mazen stepped out of the car to film. I followed him and Mazen walked three to four meters. We were noted and seen clearly. The soldier on the tank shot at us. I lay on the ground. I heard Mazen, I saw him scream and touch his chest with his blood-covered hand".
The Pentagon Response: The U.S officials said that the troops mistook Mazen's camera for a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launcher. This was obviously a lie which nobody, not even naive people, will be able to believe. How can it be that the U.S. troops have the most technologically advanced sensors on their weapons, but will not be able to distinguish a camera from an RPG launcher at 50 meters in broad daylight? Did the U.S. troops learn to lie from their friends at the Israeli Defense Force (IDF)? This killing was a prepared assassination by the U.S troops in order to cover up their criminal activities, which Mazen had discovered and was about to expose.
When I received the news of the killing of Mazen Dana, I thought for the first moment that the Israeli government was involved or in some way behind it. Mazen Dana had troubled the Israeli occupation more than enough for one man.
The Israeli occupation forces targeted Dana several time during this Intifada, and even before that during the 'peaceful' period. He was shot in Hebron in 1998 by the IDF, together with his colleague Nael Al-Shyioukhi. Mazen Dana had been exposing the daily crimes of killing and collective murder in Hebron and the occupied territories, and he was shot again by the IDF during 2001. The Israelis were obviously not interested in his return from Iraq to Hebron.
All Palestinians know that the U.S. Pentagon and the Israeli Defense Ministry do work together closely. Maybe we do not realize this, but we are killed by the IDF soldiers who use U.S. bullets, grenades, rockets and missiles, airplanes and attack helicopters. The U.S is constantly providing Israel with highly developed killing machinery, around $2 billions worth a year. That is more military aid than any other country receives from the U.S. It is also more aid (period) than any other country receives from the U.S. A quarter of the enormous military budget of the Jewish state is paid for directly by the U.S. American soldiers also did train Israeli soldiers to raid the Jenin refugee camp and other cities, they trained the Israelis in assassinating, killing and chasing "wanted" people, and in other so- called 'counter-insurgency techniques'. They also offered the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) Minister Muhammad Dahlan to train his forces to do the same. Soon the P.A. forces, instead of the IDF, will probably be chasing and murdering Palestinians.
When I called Hebron to offer my condolences to Mazen Dana's family and to inquire about his death, I was informed about his investigation in Iraq on secret mass burials by the U.S. soldiers in the desert. This made me worry about my other colleague, Nael Al- Shyioukhi, who was still in Iraq, so I delayed writing this story until after Nael's safe return to our home town, Hebron.
Mazen Dana held a B.A. in English Literature from Hebron University. He was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine during his time in the University. For this he was a targeted and harassed by the Israeli occupation forces, even after he stopped his political activities.
During the first Intifada I worked for a short while with Mazen as a correspondent for Voice of Palestine Radio in Jerusalem. After that I worked with Al Fajir Newspaper, and Dana continued his work with different media. He was investigated several times by the Israeli civil administration in Hebron. He became a peace supporter after the signing of the Oslo Agreement in 1993, and he then became a member of Fatah Peace Wing. He had been employed by Reuters since 10 years as a cameraman to cover the conflict in his hometown Hebron. Mazen Dana and Nael Al-Shyoukhi had been working together for eight years when Mazen was shot last Sunday.
The Israeli occupation intelligence units continued considering Mazen Dana as a member of Popular Front party even after he discontinued his activities with it, and they did not grant him the an Israeli Government Press "GPO" Card, or a travel permit to visit the Reuters office in Jerusalem.
Dana was attacked several times by Jewish settlers and IDF soldiers in Hebron. In May 2000, Dana was shot in the leg with a rubber-coated bullet while filming Palestinian youths throwing stones towards the Hebron area H2 under Israeli control. Dana was arrested hundreds of times. In 1997 Dana was arrested as a result of filming IDF soldiers who were arresting me during an incident at the Halhol bridge border, where the IDF soldiers had caused the death of a nine-year-old child by preventing him from reaching a hospital in Hebron during a curfew which was imposed on the city, during peace time.
Dana established the Journalist House of Hebron during the year 2002 despite the daily attacks and the constant threat of arrests made by the IDF soldiers against all Hebronite journalists.
The last time I met my colleague Mazen Dana was at the end of May 2002 at our colleague's house: Hossam Abu Allan, an Agence France- Presse (AFP) photographer who was arrested and imprisoned by the IDF for five months without being tried or even charged. At 10:30 on the same night Mazen drove with me in his jeep to "Al-Beweareh" mountain to film IDF tanks, 54 armed vehicles were arriving to Hebron on Road 60 as the military was preparing to re-occupy the city of Hebron, the area H1, normally under PA control.
Mazen Dana had a long experience as a television cameraman, and he had experienced the hardships and harsh working conditions of journalistic work under military occupation. He left behind a wife and four wonderful children in Hebron. He also left a courageous and historic journalistic experience and a legacy for other journalists behind him.
Mazen Dana left behind him a wife and four cute children in Hebron. He left a courageously historical journalistic experience and signs for other journalists behind him.
To most people, his death is but one more display of the abjectly criminal behavior of the gang in control at the Pentagon. To those of us who knew him and who worked with him, he will be a missed and respected colleague, friend, community and family member.

7/7 Witness: Bus Was Diverted To Tavistock Sq. By Two Unmarked Cars

7/7 Witness: Bus Was Diverted To Tavistock Sq. By Two Unmarked Cars
Soon to be published account will detail the plot and cover up of the number 30 bus bombing
Steve Watson
Infowars.netMonday, December 11, 2006
A soon to be published narrative of the number 30 bus bombing on 7/7 in London claims that the Hackney bus was diverted to Tavistock Square by two unmarked cars which then left the scene at high speed after the drivers had conversed with police in the area.
The witness, named "Daniel", has a blog here and a website here. He states:
I was aboard the lower deck of the bus that was blown up on July 7th. I rang the emergency hotline to report the 2 dark cars I saw holding the bus up and diverting it towards Tavistock Square. Instead of being asked to provide a statement what followed was 7 months of police surveillance and Harassment. My experiences are contained in a book called Statement: The 4th Bomb (as yet unpublished)
The number 30 bus was diverted away from its usual route along Euston road on the morning of 7/7, reportedly because of road closures in the Kings Cross area (due to the earlier tube bombings). We personally visited the site of the bus bombing at Tavistock Place and verified that no number 30 bus usually travels down that road. This footage can be seen in Alex Jones' latest film Terrorstorm.

"Daniel" goes on to comment:
Standing by the doors I see a blue BMW 5 series and black Mercedes squeal to a halt in front of the bus, halting its progress along Euston Road. 4 minutes passed then a police motorcyclist arrived at the blockage. The BMW driver said something to the cyclist who soon sped off. 90 seconds later the BMW suddenly drives off. The Mercedes waits till the bus diverts east into Upper Woburn Place towards Tavistock Square before it speeds away.
After very slow progress the driver suddenly opens the buses central exit doors while keeping the front doors shut, right on the corner of Upper Woburn Place some 80 meters away from the only bus stop in Tavistock Square (seen here). Many passengers got off at this point because of the delay and it was heading in the wrong direction.
Were these cars unmarked police vehicles? If so what were they doing diverting traffic? Surely that would have been the job of the traffic police.
Daniel then states:
A deep boom resounded. Shattered glass flew everywhere. It was followed by an eery silence. I scrambled up off the bus floor and leapt out going along the pavement at full pelt. But over the following days and weeks the relief I felt turned to exasperation at the increasingly menacing tactics the operatives' trailing and observing me employed, confirming my worst suspicions, for some reason I was embroiled in the largest criminal investigation in UK history.
He suggests that he can be seen in video footage of the aftermath, which he has posted on his website, and also claims that in the immediate seconds after the blast, a man dressed all in black was filming him with a hand held camera.
Daniel also still has the shirt that he was wearing on the day, which was splattered with the blood of victims. He says the police have never requested it for forensics investigation, despite having questioned him.

He also states that there was never any Asian looking male on the lower deck after he bus left Euston terminal. Reports attributed to 61 year-old Richard Jones claimed there was. Investigators conveniently relocated his sighting to the upper deck in their official May 2006 report.
Daniel says "It was just me, the driver plus four females on the lower deck as it edged down Tavistock Square."
After attempting to report what he saw, Daniel was asked to call an emergency hotline, which he did. instead of asking him to go to the police station to make a statement he claims he was subjected to a program of surveillance and harassment by the police:
By September 2005 I had began receiving a string of strange phone calls which became increasingly sinister. Friends advised me to record them where possible as evidence in case I needed to bring an IPCC complaint.
After the blast I was alert enough to be out of there in seconds. Yet investigators chose to rely on 4 female witnesses, one who was out cold for 15 minutes and was extracted from the wreck onto a trolley by medics (taking care not to move her neck) another one upstairs who woke up in a daze and two others who told a nurse treating them at UCH they thought I had been the bomber!"
6 months and 3 weeks after July 7th I'm asked to attend a police station in North London to provide a statement.
Police questioned Daniel for 4 hours, a clip of the interview is on his website. they asked him to him mark points where he thought people were on a diagram of the bus layout that was totally wrong, which he believed would render his statement inadmissible.
He claims he was then followed around by the same three operatives from Enfield Town Police Station, North London, for the following six months, saying that the surveillance was more overt than covert, they were letting him know that he was being watched 24-7.
He also received calls from police apparently attempting to tie him to vehicles and a business in the Leeds area, the same place the alleged bomber originated from. One of these phone calls is posted on his site and can be heard by clicking here.
He goes on to comment:
I realised the magnitude of what I'd seen almost instantly. The operative's menacing tactics only made it undeniable. Over the months of surveillance and harassment they seemed intent on messing up my life, keeping me looking behind my back. I awaited the release of the 'official version' with some interest especially with regards to the 4th bomb in Tavistock Square. The report was generally vague, devoid of any facts consisting of speculation based upon what I knew to be blatant falsehoods.
Of course the presence of unmarked cars and the claims that they stopped the bus cannot be verified because the vehicle's CCTV cameras were conveniently not working that day.
One week after the attack we put out a report, after receiving an email from an employee of Stagecoach, the company that owns the London Buses, stating that he believed the bus bombing to be very suspicious.
Our contact works a route roughly one mile from the site of the bus bombing, he stated:
CCTV gets maintained at least 2 or 3 times a week and can digitally store up to 2 whole weeks worth of footage. this is done by a private contractor....So when I heard that the CCTV wasn't working on a vehicle that's no more than 2 years old since last June.....I'm sorry that's rubbish, I work for the company I know different.
Last saturday a contractor came to inspect the CCTV on the buses at the depot, According to my supervisor the person spent more than 20 hours over that weekend, 20 hours to see if the CCTV is working? Also that person who came was not a regular contractor, for security reasons the same few people always come to the depot to carry out work, this time it was different.
Drivers in the depot already think the so called bombers had inside help because it was to organised. Some even think it had help from the company.
Exactly why the bus would be re-routed to Tavistock Square purposefully is up for debate. Some have suggested that the location is convenient given that the British Medical Association is located there, whilst others have attempted to connect the company Fortress GB, railway security management specialists who are often contracted for security projects for London Transport.

In the upcoming book, entitled The 4th Bomb, the witness Daniel also suggests that the follow up "failed bombings" may have been a cover operation to distract police and special investigators:
The logic for the ‘failed suicide attacks’ and the authorities seemingly haphazard yet iron-fisted response didn’t become apparent to me until late January 2006, some time after my interrogation with an Anti-Terrorist branch detective. It was something he alluded to in passing, that the attacks on 21:7 had thrown awry a carefully laid ‘operational response’ to 7:7.
He led me to realise that although the attacks were devoid of explosions, they achieved their primary objective, which was to upset the Anti-Terror investigation, mess-up MI5 and put more pressure on the unsustainable 'symbolic' levels of policing in the period of 'vigilance' following 7:7.
.....the intelligence services were totally UN-aware of those responsible for the ‘failed suicide attacks’.
A term that would more accurately describe them is ‘successful dummy attacks', but a dummy attack on whom exactly… London’s already terrified public?
No, this was an attack aimed squarely at Military Intelligence themselves.
Executed by an ad-hoc bunch of sympathisers.
Daniel then suggests that his research and experience have led him to believe that the execution of Jean Charles De Menezes the day after the dummy attacks was carried out by KRATOS trained operatives in order to send a strong signal to would be copy cats.


The David Icke Newsletter Goes Out On Saturday In The Wake Of The Official 'Inquiry' That Whitewashed The Murder Of Princess Diana
'In the late 1980s, with her marriage nothing more than a public show, Diana was having a relationship with her personal detective, Barry Mannakee, but he died in a motorcycle ‘accident’ in 1988. By 1990, Diana was having a relationship with Captain James Hewitt. One day, about this time, she went rushing into Christine Fitzgerald’s healing centre in London in a terrible state. Christine told me what happened next:
‘She was crying hysterically and I said “What’s a matter?” You know it was dog’s died stuff, bottom lip out, full sob. She came galloping through the door. I gave her Rescue Remedy, clutched her, hugged her, calmed her down, and said now tell me what’s going on. “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it, they killed him”, she sobbed. I said: “Who did they kill?” She told me about her affair with the detective [Barry Mannakee] and how he was decapitated on a motorbike and how she thought it was a terrible accident. But now she knows the royal family killed him because Prince Charles’ senior detective had just told her that if she didn’t cool it with Hewitt, the same would happen to him. He told her she should not think that she was indispensable, either.’

'The royal family are figureheads for the established order that includes those controlling the government, ‘law enforcement’ and the intelligence networks. This is the cabal which, with others in France, killed Diana.'

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Bush "Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons" for Offensive Use

Bush "Developing Illegal Bioterror Weapons" for Offensive Use
By Sherwood Ross t r u t h o u t Guest Contributor
Wednesday 20 December 2006

In violation of the US Code and international law, the Bush administration is spending more money (in inflation-adjusted dollars) to develop illegal, offensive germ warfare than the $2 billion spent in World War II on the Manhattan Project to make the atomic bomb.
So says Francis Boyle, the professor of international law who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 enacted by Congress. He states the Pentagon "is now gearing up to fight and 'win' biological warfare" pursuant to two Bush national strategy directives adopted "without public knowledge and review" in 2002.
The Pentagon's Chemical and Biological Defense Program was revised in 2003 to implement those directives, endorsing "first-use" strike of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) in war, says Boyle, who teaches at the University of Illinois, Champaign.
Terming the action "the proverbial smoking gun," Boyle said the mission of the controversial CBW program "has been altered to permit development of offensive capability in chemical and biological weapons!" [Original italics.]
The same directives, Boyle charges in his book Biowarfare and Terrorism (Clarity Press), "unconstitutionally usurp and nullify the right and the power of the United States Congress to declare war, in gross and blatant violation of Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution."
For fiscal years 2001-2004, the federal government funded $14.5 billion "for ostensibly 'civilian' biowarfare-related work alone," a "truly staggering" sum, Boyle wrote.
Another $5.6 billion was voted for "the deceptively-named 'Project BioShield,'" under which Homeland Security is stockpiling vaccines and drugs to fight anthrax, smallpox and other bioterror agents, wrote Boyle. Protection of the civilian population is, he said, "one of the fundamental requirements for effectively waging biowarfare."
The Washington Post reported December 12 that both houses of Congress this month passed legislation "considered by many to be an effort to salvage the two-year-old Project BioShield, which has been marked by delays and operational problems." When President Bush signs it into law, it will allocate $1 billion more over three years for additional research "to pump more money into the private sector sooner."
"The enormous amounts of money" purportedly dedicated to "civilian defense" that are now "dramatically and increasingly" being spent," Boyle writes, "betray this administration's effort to be able to embark on offensive campaigns using biowarfare."
By pouring huge sums into university and private-sector laboratories, Boyle charged, federal spending has diverted the US biotech industry to biowarfare.
According to Rutgers University molecular biologist Richard Ebright, over 300 scientific institutions and 12,000 individuals have access to pathogens suitable for biowarfare and terrorism. Ebright found that the number of National Institute of Health grants to research infectious diseases with biowarfare potential has shot up from 33 in 1995-2000 to 497.
Academic biowarfare participation involving the abuse of DNA genetic engineering since the late 1980s has become "patently obvious," Boyle said. "American universities have a long history of willingly permitting their research agendas, researchers, institutes, and laboratories to be co-opted, corrupted, and perverted by the Pentagon and the CIA."
"These despicable death-scientists were arming the Pentagon with the component units necessary to produce a massive array of ... genetically-engineered biological weapons," Boyle said.
In a forward to Boyle's book, Jonathan King, a professor of molecular biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote that "the growing bioterror programs represent a significant emerging danger to our own population" and "threaten international relations among nations."
While such programs "are always called defensive," King said, "with biological weapons, defensive and offensive programs overlap almost completely."
Boyle contends the US is "in breach" of both the Biological Weapons and Chemical Weapons conventions and US domestic criminal law. In February 2003, for example, the US granted itself a patent on an illegal long-range biological-weapons grenade.
Boyle said other countries grasp the military implications of US germ-warfare actions and will respond in kind. "The world will soon witness a de facto biological arms race among the major biotech states under the guise of 'defense,' and despite the requirements of the Biological Warfare Convention."
"The massive proliferation of biowarfare technology and facilities, as well as trained scientists and technicians all over the United States, courtesy of the Neo-Con Bush Jr. administration will render a catastrophic biowarfare or bioterrorist incident or accident a statistical certainty," Boyle warned.
As far back as September 2001, according to a report in the New York Times titled "US Pushes Germ Warfare Limits," critics were concerned that "the research comes close to violating a global 1972 treaty that bans such weapons." But US officials responded at the time that they were more worried about understanding the threat of germ warfare and devising possible defenses.
The 1972 treaty, which the US signed, forbids developing weapons that spread disease, such as anthrax, regarded as "ideal" for germ warfare.
According to an article in the Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel of last September 28, Milton Leitenberg, a veteran arms-control advocate at the University of Maryland, said the government was spending billions on germ warfare with almost no analysis of threat. He said claims terrorists will use the weapons have been "deliberately exaggerated."
In March of the previous year, 750 US biologists signed a letter protesting what they saw as the excessive study of bioterror threats.
The Pentagon has not responded to the charges made by Boyle in this article.
Sherwood Ross is a Virginia-based free-lance writer on political and military issues.

"Deep Integration": Timeline of the Progress Toward a North American Union

"Deep Integration": Timeline of the Progress Toward a North American Union
by Vive le Canada
Global Research, December 20, 2006
Vive le Canada
Canadian, U.S., and Mexican elites, including CEOs and politicians, have a plan to create common North American policies and further integrate our economies. This plan goes by various names and euphemisms, such as "deep integration", "NAFTA-plus", "harmonization", the "Big Idea", the "Grand Bargain", and the "North American Security and Prosperity Initiative". Regardless of which name your prefer, the end goal of all of these plans is to create a new political and economic entity that would supercede the existing countries. Advocates refer to it as a "North American Community", but it is also known as the North American Union (NAU). Theoretically, it would be similar to and competetive with the European Union (EU). The individual currencies of each country would be replaced by a common currency called the "Amero" and everything from environmental regulations to security would be brought in line with a common standard.
Vive le offers the following timeline as a resource to educate the general public about the progress of the three countries toward a new North American Union (NAU).
Vive le opposes the creation of the North American Union (NAU) because we believe it will mean the loss of Canadian sovereignty and democracy and hand over more power to giant, unelected corporations. We also believe that unlike the EU, the countries joining the NAU are not roughly equal in size and power and that this means the U.S. will most certainly be setting policy for all three countries. Considering the unpopularity of the Bush administration and its policies in the U.S., Canada, and around the world we believe that erasing the borders between our countries and adopting U.S. policies at this time is a bad idea and will create economic, political and military insecurity in this country. We hope that raising awareness about the plan to create a North American Union (NAU) will create opposition and encourage debate in all three countries, but especially in Canada.
Note: This timeline is a work in progress and will be updated as events progress. If you notice a correction that needs to be made or an event that should be included, please email
1921: The Council on Foreign Relations is founded by Edward Mandell House, who had been the chief advisor of President Woodrow Wilson.
1973: David Rockefeller asks Zbigniew Brzezinski and a few others, including from the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations and the Ford Foundation, to put together an organization of the top political, and business leaders from around the world. He calls this group the Trilateral Commission (TC). The first meeting of the group is held in Tokyo in October. See: Trilateral Commission FAQ
1974: Richard Gardner, one of the members of the Trilateral Commission, publishes an article titled "The Hard Road to World Order" which appeared in Foreign Affairs magazine, published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). In the article he wrote: "In short, the 'house of world order' would have to be built from the bottom up rather than from the top down. It will look like a great 'booming, buzzing confusion,' to use William James' famous description of reality, but an end run around national sovereignty, eroding it piece by piece, will accomplish much more than the old-fashioned frontal assault." Gardner advocated treaties and trade agreements as a means of creating a new economic world order. See: The Hard Road to World Order
November 13, 1979: While officially declaring his candidacy for U.S. President, Ronald Reagan proposes a “North American Agreement” which will produce “a North American continent in which the goods and people of the three countries will cross boundaries more freely.”
January 1981: U.S. President Ronald Reagan proposes a North American common market.
September 4, 1984: Conservative Brian Mulroney is elected Prime Minister of Canada after opposing free trade during the campaign.
September 25, 1984: Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney meets President Reagan in Washington and promises closer relations with the US.
October 9, 1984: The US Congress adopts the Trade and Tariff Act, an omnibus trade act that notably extends the powers of the president to concede trade benefits and enter into bilateral free trade agreements. The Act would be passed on October 30, 1984.
1985: A Canadian Royal Commission on the economy chaired by former Liberal Minister of Finance Donald S. Macdonald issues a report to the Government of Canada recommending free trade with the United States.
St. Patrick's Day, 1985: Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and President Ronald Reagan sing "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling" together to cap off the "Shamrock Summit", a 24-hour meeting in Quebec City that opened the door to future free trade talks between the countries. Commentator Eric Kierans observed that "The general impression you get, is that our prime minister invited his boss home for dinner." Canadian historian Jack Granatstein said that this "public display of sucking up to Reagan may have been the single most demeaning moment in the entire political history of Canada's relations with the United States."
September 26, 1985: Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announces that Canada will try to reach a free trade agreement with the US.
December 10, 1985: U.S. President Reagan officially informs Congress about his intention to negotiate a free trade agreement with Canada under the authority of trade promotion. Referred to as fast track, trade promotion authority is an accelerated legislative procedure which obliges the House of Representatives and the Senate to decide within 90 days whether or not to establish a trade trade unit. No amendments are permitted.
May 1986: Canadian and American negotiators begin to work out a free trade deal. The Canadian team is led by former deputy Minister of Finance Simon Reisman and the American side by Peter O. Murphy, the former deputy United States trade representative in Geneva.
October 3, 1987: The 20-chapter Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA or FTA) is finalized. U.S. trade representative Clayton Yeutter offers this observation: "We've signed a stunning new trade pact with Canada. The Canadians don't understand what they've signed. In twenty years, they will be sucked into the U.S. economy."
November 6, 1987: Signing of a framework agreement between the US and Mexico.
January 2, 1988: Prime Minister Mulroney and President Reagan officially sign the FTA.
January 1, 1989: The Canada US Free Trade Agreement (CUSFTA or FTA) goes into effect.
June 10, 1990: Presidents Bush (U.S.) and Salinas (Mexico) announce that they will begin discussions aimed at liberalizing trade between their countries.
August 21, 1990: Mexican President Salinas officially proposes to the US president the negotiation of a free trade agreement between Mexico and the US.
February 5, 1991: Negotiations between the US and Mexico aimed at liberalizing trade between the two countries officially become trilateral at the request of the Canadian government under Brian Mulroney.
April 7 to 10, 1991: Cooperation agreements are signed between Mexico and Canada covering taxation, cultural production and exports.
May 24, 1991: The American Senate endorses the extension of fast track authority in order to facilitate the negotiation of free trade with Mexico.
June 12, 1991: Start of trade negotiations between Canada, the US and Mexico.
April 4, 1992 Signing in Mexico by Canada and Mexico of a protocol agreement on cooperation projects regarding labour.
August 12, 1992: Signing of an agreement in principle on NAFTA.
September 17, 1992: Creation of a trilateral commission responsible for examining cooperation in the area of the environment.
October 7, 1992: Official signing of NAFTA by Michael Wilson of Canada (minister), American ambassador Carla Hills and Mexican secretary Jaime Serra Puche, in San Antonio (Texas).
December 17, 1992: Official signing of NAFTA by Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, US president George Bush, and Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, subject to its final approval by the federal Parliaments of the three countries.
March 17 and 18, 1993: Start of tripartite discussions in Washington aimed at reaching subsidiary agreements covering labor and the environment.
September 14, 1993: Official signing of parallel agreements covering labor and the environment in the capitals of the three countries.
1993: The Liberal Party under Jean Chretien promises to renegotiate NAFTA in its campaign platform, titled "Creating Opportunity: the Liberal Plan for Canada" and also known as The Red Book.
December 1993: Newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien signs NAFTA without changes, breaking his promise to renegotiate NAFTA. U.S. President Bill Clinton signs NAFTA for the U.S.
November 1993: The North American Development Bank (NADB) and its sister institution, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), are created under the auspices of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to address environmental issues in the U.S.-Mexico border region. The two institutions initiate operations under the November 1993 Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Mexican States Concerning the Establishment of a Border Environment Cooperation Commission and a North American Development Bank (the “Charter”). See: About Us (The North American Development Bank)
January 1, 1994: NAFTA and the two agreements on labour and the environment go into effect, replacing CUSFTA.
November 16, 1994: Canada and Mexico sign a cooperation agreement regarding the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
December 1994: The Summit of the Americas is held in Miami. The three signatories of NAFTA officially invite Chile to become a contractual party of the agreement. The Free Trade Area of the Americas or FTAA is initiated. According to the offical FTAA website, "the Heads of State and Government of the 34 democracies in the region agreed to construct a Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA, in which barriers to trade and investment will be progressively eliminated. They agreed to complete negotiations towards this agreement by the year 2005 and to achieve substantial progress toward building the FTAA by 2000." See: FTAA
December 22, 1994: Mexican monetary authorities decide to let the Peso float. The US and Canada open a US$6 billion line of credit for Mexico.
January 3, 1995: Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo presents an emergency plan.
January 1995: President Clinton announces an aid plan for Mexico.
February 9, 1995: Mickey Kantor, the US Foreign Trade representative, announces Washington’s intention to include the provisions of NAFTA regarding labor and the environment in negotiations with Chile.
February 21, 1995: Signing in Washington of an agreement regarding the financial assistance given to Mexico. Mexico in turn promises to pay Mexican oil export revenue as a guarantee into an account at the Federal Reserve in New York.
February 28, 1995: Mexico announces the increase of its customs duties on a number of imports from countries with which it does not have a free trade agreement.
March 9, 1995: President Zedillo presents austerity measures. The plan envisages a 50% increase in value added taxes, a 10% reduction of government expenditure, a 35% increase in gas prices, a 20% increase in electricity prices and a 100% increase in transportation prices. The minimum wage is increased by 10%. The private sector can benefit from government assistance. The inter-bank rate that is reduced to 74% will be increased to 109% on March 15.
March 29, 1995: Statistical data on US foreign trade confirms the sharp increase in Mexican exports to the US.
April 10, 1995: The US dollar reaches its lowest level in history on the international market. It depreciated by 50% relative to the Japanese yen in only four years.
June 7, 1995: First meeting of the ministers of Foreign Trade of Canada (Roy MacLaren), the US (Mickey Kantor), Mexico (Herminio Blanco) and Chile (Eduardo Aninat) to start negotiations.
December 29, 1995: Chile and Canada commit to negotiate a bilateral free trade agreement.
June 3, 1996: Chile and Canada start negotiating the reciprocal opening of markets in Santiago.
November 18, 1996: Signing in Ottawa of the Canada-Chile free trade agreement by Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada and Eduardo Frei, President of Chile. The agreement frees 80% of trade between the two countries. It is the first free trade agreement signed between Chile and a member of the G 7.
July 4, 1997: The Canada-Chile free trade agreement comes into effect.
1997: The US presidency proposes applying NAFTA parity to Caribbean countries.
April 17, 1998: Signing in Santiago, Chile of the free trade agreement between Chile and Mexico by President Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León of Mexico, and President Eduardo Frei of Chile.
August 1, 1999: The Chile-Mexico free trade agreement comes into effect.
September, 1999: The Canadian right-wing think tank the Fraser Institute publishes a paper by Herbert G. Grubel titled "The Case for the Amero: The Economics and Politics of a North American Monetary Union." In the paper Grubel argues that a common currency is not inevitable but it is desirable. See: The Case for the Amero
July 2, 2000: Vicente Fox Quesada of the National Action Party (PAN), is elected president of Mexico, thus ending the reign of the Revolutionary Institutional Party (RIP) that had held power for 71 years. Mr. Fox is sworn in on 1 December 2000.
July 4, 2000: Mexican president Vicente Fox proposes a 20 to 30 year timeline for the creation of a common North American market. President Fox’s “20/20 vision” as it is commonly called, includes the following: a customs union, a common external tariff, greater coordination of policies, common monetary policies, free flow of labor, and fiscal transfers for the development of poor Mexican regions. With the model of the European Fund in mind, President Fox suggests that US$10 to 30 billion be invested in NAFTA to support underdeveloped regions. The fund could be administered by an international financial institution such as the Inter-American Development Bank.
November 27, 2000: Trade negotiations resume between the US and Chile for Chile’s possible entry into NAFTA.
2001: Robert Pastor's 2001 book "Toward a North American Community" is published. The book calls for the creation of a North American Union (NAU).
April 2001: Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and US President George W. Bush sign the Declaration of Quebec City at the third Summit of the Americas: “This is a ‘commitment to hemispheric integration." See: Declaration of Quebec City
August 30, 2001: The Institute for International Economics issues a press release advocating that the United States and Mexico should use the occasion of the visit of President Vicente Fox of Mexico on September 4-7 to develop a North American Community as advocated by Robert Pastor in his book "Toward a North American Community." See: A Blueprint for a North American Community
September 11, 2001: A series of coordinated suicide terrorist attacks upon the United States, predominantly targeting civilians, are carried out on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Two planes (United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11) crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane into each tower (One and Two). Both towers collapsed within two hours. The pilot of the third team crashed a plane into the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia. Passengers and members of the flight crew on the fourth aircraft attempted to retake control of their plane from the hijackers; that plane crashed into a field near the town of Shanksville in rural Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Excluding the 19 hijackers, a confirmed 2,973 people died and another 24 remain listed as missing as a result of these attacks. In response, the Bush administration launches the "war on terror" and becomes very concerned with security.
December 2001: New U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci publicly advocates "NAFTA-plus". See: The Emergence of a North American Community?
December 2001: U.S. Governor Tom Ridge and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister John Manley sign the Smart Border Declaration and Associated 30-Point Action Plan to Enhance the Security of Our Shared Border While Facilitating the Legitimate Flow of People and Goods. The Action Plan has four pillars: the secure flow of people, the secure flow of goods, secure infrastructure, and information. It includes shared customs data, a safe third-country agreement, harmonized commercial processing, etc.
February 7, 2002: Robert Pastor gives invited testimony before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, House of Commons, Government of Canada, Ottawa. See: INVITED TESTIMONY OF DR. ROBERT A. PASTOR
April 2002: The Canadian right-wing think tank the C.D. Howe Institute publishes the first paper in the "Border Papers" series, which they have described as "a project on Canada's choices regarding North American integration." The Border Papers were published with the financial backing of the Donner Canadian Foundation. Generally the border papers advocate deep integration between Canada and the U.S., and the first border paper "Shaping the Future of the North American Economic Space: A Framework for Action" by Wendy Dobson popularized the term "the Big Idea" as one euphemism for deep integration. To read the border papers, you can visit the C.D. Howe Institute website at Use the publication search form (1996 to current, PDF) and choose "border papers" from the "Serie contains" drop down menu.
September 9, 2002: President Bush and Prime Minister Chrétien meet to discuss progress on the Smart Border Action Plan and ask that they be updated regularly on the work being done to harmonize our common border.
December 5, 2002: The text of the Safe Third Country Agreement is signed by officials of Canada and the United States as part of the Smart Border Action Plan. See the final text here: Final Text of the Safe Third Country Agreement Refugee support groups on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border criticize the new agreement dealing with refugees for stipulating that refugees must seek asylum in whichever of the two countries they reach first. Critics say that preventing individuals who first set foot in the U.S. from making a claim in Canada will increase cases of human smuggling, and that other refugees will be forced to live without any kind of legal status in the U.S. See for example: 10 Reasons Why Safe Third Country is a Bad Deal
September 11, 2002: The National Post publishes an article by Alan Gotlieb, the chairman of the Donner Canadian Foundation and Canada's ambassador to the United States from 1981 to 1989, titled "Why not a grand bargain with the U.S.?" In the article, Gotlieb asks "Rather than eschewing further integration with the United States, shouldn't we be building on NAFTA to create new rules, new tribunals, new institutions to secure our trade? Wouldn't this 'legal integration' be superior to ad hoc responses and largely ineffective lobbying to prevent harm from Congressional protectionist sorties? Wouldn't our economic security be enhanced by establishing a single North American competitive market without anti-dumping and countervail rules? Are there not elements of a grand bargain to be struck, combining North American economic, defence and security arrangements within a common perimeter?" See: Why not a grand bargain with the U.S.?
November 1-2, 2002: Robert Pastor presents "A North American Community. A Modest Proposal To the Trilateral Commission," to the North American Regional Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Pastor called for implementation of "a series of political proposals which would have authority over the sovereignty of the United States, Canada and Mexico. ... the creation of North American passports and a North American Customs and Immigrations, which would have authority over U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security. A North American Parliamentary Group would oversee the U.S. Congress. A Permanent Court on Trade and Investment would resolve disputes within NAFTA, exerting final authority over the judgments of the U.S. Supreme Court. A North American Commission would 'develop an integrated continental plan for transportation and infrastructure.'" See: A North American Community. A Modest Proposal To the Trilateral Commission
December 6, 2002: The White House issues an update on the progress of the Smart Border Action Plan. See: U.S. Canada Smart Border 30 Point Action Plan Update
December, 2002: US Secretary Colin Powell signs an agreement between the United States and Canada to establish a new bi-national planning group at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters in Colorado Springs. The new bi-national planning group is expected to release a report recommending how the militaries of U.S. and Canada can "work together more effectively to counter land-based and maritime threats." See: U.S. and Canada Sign Bi-National Agreement on Military Planning
January 2003: The Canadian Council of Chief Executives headed by Tom D'Aquino (also a member of the trinational Task Force on the Future of North America) launches the North American Security and Prosperity Initiative (NASPI) in January 2003 in response to an alleged "need for a comprehensive North American strategy integrating economic and security issues". NASPI has five main elements, which include: Reinventing borders, Maximizing regulatory efficiencies, Negotiation of a comprehensive resource security pact, Reinvigorating the North American defence alliance, and Creating a new institutional framework. See: North American Security and Prosperity Initiative (PDF).
October 21, 2003: Dr. Robert Pastor gives testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives, International Relations Committee, Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs on "U.S. Policy toward the Western Hemisphere:Challenges and Opportunities" in which he recommends the formation of a "North American Community."
January 2004: NAFTA celebrates its tenth anniversary with controversy, as it is both praised and criticized.
January/February 2004: The Council on Foreign Relations publishes Robert Pastor's paper "North America's Second Decade," which advocates further North American integration. Read it at: North America's Second Decade
April 2004: The Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) publishes a major discussion paper titled "New Frontiers: Building a 21st Century Canada-United States Partnership in North America." Some of the paper’s 15 recommendations expand on the NASPI framework in areas such as tariff harmonization, rules of origin, trade remedies, energy strategy, core defence priorities and the need to strengthen Canada-United States institutions, including the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD). Other recommendations focus on the process for developing and executing a comprehensive strategy, including the need for greater coordination across government departments, between federal and provincial governments and between the public and private sectors. See: Building a 21st Century Canada-United States Partnership in North America
October 2004: The Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP) is launched during the visit of President Vicente Fox to Ottawa. See: Canada-Mexico Partnership (CMP)
November 1, 2004: The Independent Task Force on the Future of North America is formed. The task force is a trilateral task force charged with developing a "roadmap" to promote North American security and advance the well-being of citizens of all three countries. The task force is chaired by former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister John Manley. It is sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in association with the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) and the Consejo Mexicano de Asuntos Internacionales.
December 29, 2004: The Safe Third Country Agreement comes into force. See: Safe Third Country Agreement Comes Into Force Today
March 2005: The Independent Task Force on the Future of North America releases "Creating a North American Community - Chairmen’s Statement." Three former high-ranking government officials from Canada, Mexico, and the United States call for a North American economic and security community by 2010 to address shared security threats, challenges to competitiveness, and interest in broad-based development across the three countries. See: Creating a North American Community Chairmen’s Statement
March 14, 2005: Robert Pastor, author of "Toward a North American Community" and member of the task force on the future of North America, publishes an article titled "The Paramount Challenge for North America: Closing the Development Gap," sponsored by the North American Development Bank, which recommends forming a North American Community as a way to address economic inequalities due to NAFTA between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. See: THE PARAMOUNT CHALLENGE FOR NORTH AMERICA: CLOSING THE DEVELOPMENT GAP (PDF)
March 23, 2005: The leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico sign the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America at the trilateral summit in Waco, Texas. Canada is signed on by Prime Minister Paul Martin. See:
March 24, 2005: The 40 Point Smart Regulation Plan is launched as part of the SPP agreement. It is a far-reaching plan to introduce huge changes to Canada's regulatory system in order to eliminate some regulations and harmonize other regulations with the U.S. Reg Alcock, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, launches the Government of Canada's implementation plan for Smart Regulation at a Newsmaker Breakfast at the National Press Club. For the original plan and updates see: Smart Regulation: Report on Actions and Plans
March 2005: Agreement to build the Texas NAFTA Superhighway: “A ‘Comprehensive Development Agreement’ [is] signed by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to build the ‘TTC-35 High Priority Corridor’ parallel to Interstate 35. The contracting party involved a limited partnership formed between Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., a publically listed company headquartered in Spain, owned by the Madrid-based Groupo Ferrovial, and a San Antonio-based construction company, Zachry Construction Corp.” Texas Segment of NAFTA Super Highway Nears Construction, Jerome R. Corsi, June 2006, The proposed NAFTA superhighway will be a 10 lane super highway four football fields wide that will travel through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth. Minn. The "Trans-Texas Corridor" or TTC will be the first leg of the NAFTA superhighway.
April 2005: U.S. Senate Bill 853 is introduced by Senator Richard G. Lugar (IN) and six cosponsors. “The North American Security Cooperative Act (NASCA) is touted as a bill to protect the American public from terrorists by creating the North American Union. The North American Union consists of three countries, U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with open borders, something that is proposed to be in effect by 2010. Thus, it would ensure the fulfillment of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.” NASCA Rips America, April 2005,
May 2005: The Council on Foreign Relations Press publishes the report of the Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, titled "Building a North American Community" (task force report 53). See: Building a North American Community
June 2005: A follow-up SPP meeting is held in Ottawa, Canada.
June 2005: A U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee policy paper is released: “The CFR did not mention the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), but it is obvious that it is part of the scheme. This was made clear by the Senate Republican Policy Committee policy paper released in June 2005. It argued that Congress should pass CAFTA … The Senate Republican policy paper argued that CAFTA ‘will promote democratic governance.’But there is nothing democratic about CAFTA’s many pages of grants of vague authority to foreign tribunals on which foreign judges can force us to change our domestic laws to be ‘no more burdensome than necessary’on foreign trade.” CFR's Plan to Integrate the U.S., Mexico and Canada, July 2005,
June 9, 2005: CNN's Lou Dobbs, reporting on Dr. Robert Pastor's congressional testimony as one of the six co-chairmen of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Independent Task Force on North America, began his evening broadcast with this announcement: "Good evening, everybody. Tonight, an astonishing proposal to expand our borders to incorporate Mexico and Canada and simultaneously further diminish U.S. sovereignty. Have our political elites gone mad?"
July 2005: The Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) passes in the U.S. House of Representatives by a 217-215 vote.
November 2005: Canadian Action Party leader Connie Fogal publishes an article called "Summary and Part 1:The Metamorphosis and Sabotage of Canada by Our Own Government- The North American Union." See Summary and Part 1:The Metamorphosis and Sabotage of Canada by Our Own Government The North American Union
January 2006: Conservative Stephen Harper is elected Prime Minister of Canada with a minority government.
March 31, 2006: At the Summit of the Americas in Cancun, Canada (under new Prime Minister Stephen Harper) along with the U.S. and Mexico release the Leaders' Joint Statement. The statement presents six action points to move toward a North American Union, aka a North American Community. These action points include: 1) Establishment of a Trilateral Regulatory Cooperative Framework 2) Establishment of the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC) 3) Provision for North American Emergency Management 4) Provision for Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza Management 5) Development of North American Energy Security 6) Assure Smart, Secure North American Borders. Read the full statement at: Leaders' Joint Statement
April 2006: A draft environmental impact statement on the proposed first leg of the "NAFTA superhighway", the "Trans-Texas Corridor" or TTC, is completed.
June 2006: Tom Tancredo, R-Colorado. demands superstate accounting from the Bush administration: “Responding to a report, Tom Tancredo is demanding the Bush administration fully disclose the activities of an office implementing a trilateral agreement with Mexico and Canada that apparently could lead to a North American union, despite having no authorization from Congress.” Tancredo Confronts 'Super-State' Effort, June 2006,
June 15, 2006: U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez convenes the first meeting of the North American Competitiveness Council (NACC), the advisory group organized by the Department of Commerce (DOC) under the auspices of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) and announced by the leaders of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico on March 31, 2006.
July 2006: Public hearings on the proposed "NAFTA superhighway" begin in the U.S.
July 25, 2006: The article "Meet Robert Pastor, Father of the North American Union" is published. See: Meet Robert Pastor: Father of the North American Union
August 21, 2006: An article titled North American Union Threatens U.S. Sovereignty" is posted to
August 27, 2006: Patrick Wood (U.S.) publishes an article titled "Toward a North American Union" for The August Review. See: Toward a North American Union
August 28, 2006: A North American United Nations? by Republican Congressman Ron Paul (Texas) is published. See: A North American United Nations?
August 29, 2006: Patrick Buchanan (U.S.) criticizes a North American union in his article "The NAFTA super highway." See: The NAFTA super highway
September 12-14, 2006: A secret "North American Forum" on integration is held at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Elite participants from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are present. It is ignored by the mainstream media. See the Vive le article for the secret agenda and participant list: Deep Integration Planned at Secret Conference Ignored by the Media
September 13, 2006: A Maclean's article on integration notes that according to Ron Covais, the president of the Americas for defence giant Lockheed Martin, a former Pentagon adviser to Dick Cheney, and one of the architects of North American integration, the political will to make deep integration of the continent happen will last only for "less than two years". According to the article, to make sure that the establishment of a North American Union will take place in that time, "The executives have boiled their priorities down to three: the Canadian CEOs are focusing on 'border crossing facilitation,' the Americans have taken on 'regulatory convergence,' and the Mexicans are looking at 'energy integration' in everything from electrical grids to the locating of liquid natural gas terminals. They plan to present recommendations to the ministers in October. This is how the future of North America now promises to be written: not in a sweeping trade agreement on which elections will turn, but by the accretion of hundreds of incremental changes implemented by executive agencies, bureaucracies and regulators. 'We've decided not to recommend any things that would require legislative changes,' says Covais. 'Because we won't get anywhere.' " See: Meet NAFTA 2.0
COMING IN 2007: Construction is set to begin on the "NAFTA superhighway".
COMING IN 2007: Another trilateral meeting, to be held in Canada. The six actions towards creating a North American Union (NAU)aka a North American Community as set out in the Cancun Leaders' Statement will have been taken in part or in full. Regarding regulations, according to the statement: "We affirm our commitment to strengthen regulatory cooperation in [food safety] and other key sectors and to have our central regulatory agencies complete a trilateral regulatory cooperation framework by 2007."
Sources aside from articles provided within the timeline:Vive le, FAQ, Sovereignty vs Deep IntegrationNorth American Forum on Integration, NAFTA TimelineNorth American Union/Testimony, Publications and Reports, Sourcewatch, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy, North American Union/Testimony, Publications and ReportsFree Market News Network Corp, N. AM. UNION TIMELINEWikipedia, various entries,

Monday, December 18, 2006

Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”

Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”
by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, November 18, 2006
The term “New Middle East” was introduced to the world in June 2006 in Tel Aviv by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was credited by the Western media for coining the term) in replacement of the older and more imposing term, the “Greater Middle East.”
This shift in foreign policy phraseology coincided with the inauguration of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Oil Terminal in the Eastern Mediterranean. The term and conceptualization of the “New Middle East,” was subsequently heralded by the U.S. Secretary of State and the Israeli Prime Minister at the height of the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon. Prime Minister Olmert and Secretary Rice had informed the international media that a project for a “New Middle East” was being launched from Lebanon.
This announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American-Israeli “military roadmap” in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.
The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.” This “constructive chaos” --which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region-- would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives.
New Middle East Map
Secretary Condoleezza Rice stated during a press conference that “[w]hat we’re seeing here [in regards to the destruction of Lebanon and the Israeli attacks on Lebanon], in a sense, is the growing—the ‘birth pangs’—of a ‘New Middle East’ and whatever we do we [meaning the United States] have to be certain that we’re pushing forward to the New Middle East [and] not going back to the old one.”1 Secretary Rice was immediately criticized for her statements both within Lebanon and internationally for expressing indifference to the suffering of an entire nation, which was being bombed indiscriminately by the Israeli Air Force.
The Anglo-American Military Roadmap in the Middle East and Central Asia
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s speech on the "New Middle East" had set the stage. The Israeli attacks on Lebanon --which had been fully endorsed by Washington and London-- have further compromised and validated the existence of the geo-strategic objectives of the United States, Britain, and Israel. According to Professor Mark Levine the “neo-liberal globalizers and neo-conservatives, and ultimately the Bush Administration, would latch on to creative destruction as a way of describing the process by which they hoped to create their new world orders,” and that “creative destruction [in] the United States was, in the words of neo-conservative philosopher and Bush adviser Michael Ledeen, ‘an awesome revolutionary force’ for (…) creative destruction…”2
Anglo-American occupied Iraq, particularly Iraqi Kurdistan, seems to be the preparatory ground for the balkanization (division) and finlandization (pacification) of the Middle East. Already the legislative framework, under the Iraqi Parliament and the name of Iraqi federalization, for the partition of Iraq into three portions is being drawn out. (See map below)
Moreover, the Anglo-American military roadmap appears to be vying an entry into Central Asia via the Middle East. The Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are stepping stones for extending U.S. influence into the former Soviet Union and the ex-Soviet Republics of Central Asia. The Middle East is to some extent the southern tier of Central Asia. Central Asia in turn is also termed as “Russia’s Southern Tier” or the Russian “Near Abroad.”
Many Russian and Central Asian scholars, military planners, strategists, security advisors, economists, and politicians consider Central Asia (“Russia’s Southern Tier”) to be the vulnerable and “soft under-belly” of the Russian Federation.3
It should be noted that in his book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geo-strategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, a former U.S. National Security Advisor, alluded to the modern Middle East as a control lever of an area he, Brzezinski, calls the Eurasian Balkans. The Eurasian Balkans consists of the Caucasus (Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Armenia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan) and to some extent both Iran and Turkey. Iran and Turkey both form the northernmost tiers of the Middle East (excluding the Caucasus4) that edge into Europe and the former Soviet Union.
The Map of the “New Middle East”
A relatively unknown map of the Middle East, NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, and Pakistan has been circulating around strategic, governmental, NATO, policy and military circles since mid-2006. It has been causally allowed to surface in public, maybe in an attempt to build consensus and to slowly prepare the general public for possible, maybe even cataclysmic, changes in the Middle East. This is a map of a redrawn and restructured Middle East identified as the “New Middle East...” (See Map at Link above)