Sunday, July 29, 2007

Ex-CIA officer Slams US Allegations against Iran as Sham

Ex-CIA officer Slams US Allegations against Iran as Sham
US Creating False pretexts for Another War
Global Research, July 29, 2007
CASMII - 2007-07-28

In an alarming exposure of the acceleration and urgency of the American war party's push towards catastrophic war with Iran, Philip Giraldi, former CIA counter terrorism officer, in an interview [1] on 24th July with Anti War Radio debunked the NeoCons' repeated myth of Iran's support for AlQaeda as a pretext for war. Whilst acknowledging Iran's helpfulness in trying to establish security in both Afghanistan and Iraq, Giraldi spoke of the United States' hypocritical and illegal support for terrorist separatists groups inside Iran, and various plans and scenarios which have been drawn up to destroy Iran's military and economic infrastructure by massive bombardment, with the use of nuclear bombs a real and stated possibility.
Giraldi refuted the assumption that sharing hostilities towards the US, placed Iran and AlQaeda in the same camp and sharing similar agenda, arguing that Iran followed a very different agenda in its dealings with the US. He emphasised both the fact of Iranians' helpfulness in Iraq, in terms of pushing for greater stability, and also their help and cooperation in Afghanistan, as well as the reality of the deep hostilities between Shiia Iran and Sunni extremism of AlQaeda. Giraldi recalled the major attack against the Iranian consulate general in Afghanistan by the Taliban, a close ally of AlQaeda, in which 11 Iranian diplomats were killed, and the regular AlQaeda violent attacks against Shiia population in Iraq, and concluded that a Shiia Iranian-AlQaeda alliance was not a plausible possibility.
He described the recent New York Sun's allegation [2] that AlQaeda prisoners in Iran led terrorist operations inside Iraq under the advice of the Iranian government, as one of many propaganda pieces making a case for war. He said how in 2003, the Iranian government, through the Swiss embassy, had offered to hand over the six AlQaeda prisoners kept in Iran, which includes Osama Bin Laden's son, in exchange for the US ceasing its support for the MEK, and how this offer was rejected by the US. He said of the MEK that it was sheltered and armed by Saddam against Iran, and now supported and armed by Pentagon against Iran.
Highlighting what he called American "ultimate hypocrisy", Giraldi explained how the US government is supporting terrorist groups and ethnic division in Iran and charging the Iranians in Iraq for what the US was doing in Iran itself and with a lot more evidence. Giraldi talked of US's support for Jundollah which he described as a Sunni Baluchi separatist group in eastern Iran that has launched deadly terrorist attacks inside Iran. He also spoke of US support for separatists amongst the Arab minority which is closer to the border with Iraq.
Giraldi repeated the alarm call he first made in his revelations in the American Conservative Magazine in 2005 that Dick Cheney, who has no authority under the constitution, had ordered the air force to draw up plans for air strike against Iran that even included the use of nuclear weapons. He said he thought there was a lot of evidence since then to suggest that nuclear weapons are still very much on the table and named Republican Senators such as McCain, Gilliani and Romney who had not "flinched at all" in the debate about the prospect of using nuclear weapons against Iran.
He spoke of various war scenarios cooked up by the war party. One scenario was of the automatic use of the nuclear weapons in order to reach and destroy the Iranian nuclear sites buried under ground. Another scenario was to use the nuclear threat if the "Iranians continue to fight back after we staged our attack", the idea being "that's what the nukes are for, our nukes that everybody knows that we in fact do have, is to tell them, listen, you are going to sit there and take it while we bomb you for a week or two and you are not going to fight back and if you do fight back then we will use nuclear weapons on you", and he cited the example scenario of Iranians resisting by staging attack in the Strait of Hormouz or destabilising Afghanistan.
Setting out the horrifying context of the possibility of the US using nuclear strikes against Iran, under the pretext of destroying Iranian nuclear bombs which do not exist and Iran's cooperation with AlQaeda, another propaganda fabrication, Giraldi drew attention to the recent warning to Iran and the threat of war issued by AlQaeda for Iran's support for the Shiia government in Iraq, as well as AlQaeda's constant horrific attacks inside Iraq targeting Shiia population and mosques.
Prof. Abbas Edalat of CASMII said today: "Giraldi's revelations is consistent with and confirms the emergence of a shift in the dynamics of the American foreign policy decision making away from dialogue and in favour of war. The reality of the shared strategic interests between Iran and the US in stabilising Iraq and the possibility and great benefits for both countries in reaching a rapprochement in their bilateral relationship, based on mutual respect and cooperation rather than threat and coercion, is persistently obscured and sabotaged by the fanatical warmongers of Cheney camp and the Israeli lobby, who are relentlessly pushing for war".
It is incumbent upon the media and journalists to give active voice to informed and conscientious individuals like Giraldi who have well-established connections within the intelligence community and are warning the international community about the impending catastrophic war against Iran.
For more information please contact CASMII or visit http://www.campaigniran.org
Notes
[1] http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2007/07/24/philip-giraldi-5/[2] http://www.nysun.com/article/58599

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Hidden Agenda behind the Bush Adminstration's Bio-Fuel Plan

The Hidden Agenda behind the Bush Adminstration's Bio-Fuel Plan
‘Buy Feed Corn: They’re about to stop making it…
by F. William Engdahl
Global Research, July 25, 2007
That bowl of Kellogg’s Cornflakes on the breakfast table, or the portion of pasta or corn tortillas, cheese or meat on the table is going to rise in price over the coming months as sure as the sun rises in the East. Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the new world food price shock, conveniently timed to accompany our current world oil price shock.
Curiously it’s ominously similar in many respects to the early 1970’s when prices for oil and food both exploded by several hundred percent in a matter of months. That mid-1970’s price explosion led President Nixon to ask his old pal, Arthur Burns, then Chairman of the Fed, to find a way to alter the CPI inflation data to take attention away from the rising prices. The result then was the now-commonplace publication of the absurd "core inflation" CPI numbers--sans oil and food. Stephen Roche was the young Fed economist who was assigned the statistical manipulation job by Burns.
The late American satirist, Mark Twain once quipped, "Buy land: They’ve stopped making it…" Today we can say almost the same about corn or all grains worldwide. The world is in the early months of the greatest sustained rise in grain prices, for all major grains including maize, wheat, rice that we have seen in three decades. Those three crops constitute almost 90% of all grains cultivated in the world.
Washington’s calculated, absurd plan
What’s driving this extraordinary change? Here things get pretty interesting. The Bush Administration is making a major public relations push to convince the world it has turned into a "better steward of the environment." The problem is that many have fallen for the hype.
The center of his program, announced in his January State of the Union Address is called ’20 in 10’, cutting US gasoline use 20% by 2010. The official reason is to "reduce dependency on imported oil," as well as cutting unwanted "greenhouse gas" emissions. That isn’t the case, but it makes good PR. Repeat it often enough and maybe most people will believe it. Maybe they won’t realize their taxpayer subsidies to grow ethanol corn instead of feed corn are also driving the price of their daily bread through the roof.
The heart of the plan is a huge, taxpayer subsidized expansion of use of bio-ethanol for transport fuel. The President’s plan requires production of 35 billion gallons (about 133 billion liters) of ethanol a year by 2017. Congress already mandated with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that corn ethanol for fuel must rise from 4 billion gallons in 2006 to 7.5 billion in 2012. To make certain it will happen, farmers and big agribusiness giants like ADM or David Rockefeller get generous taxpayer subsidies to grow corn for fuel instead of food. Currently ethanol producers get a subsidy in the US of 51 cents per gallon ethanol paid to the blender, usually an oil company that blends it with gasoline for sale.
As a result of the beautiful US Government subsidies to produce bio-ethanol fuels, and the new legislative mandate, the US refinery industry is investing big time in building new special ethanol distilleries, similar to oil refineries, except they produce ethanol fuel. The number currently under construction exceeds the total number of oil refineries built in the US over the past 25 years. When finished in the next 2-3 years the demand for corn and other grain to make ethanol for car fuel will double from present levels.
Not just USA bio-ethanol. In March Bush met with Brazil’s President to sign a bilateral "Ethanol Pact" to cooperate in R&D of "next generation" bio-fuel technologies like cellulosic ethanol from wood, and joint cooperation in "stimulating" expansion of bio-fuels use in developing countries, especially in Central America, and creating a "bio-fuels OPEC-like" cartel market with rules that allows formation of a Western Hemisphere ethanol market.
In short, the use of farmland worldwide for bio-ethanol and other bio-fuels—burning the food product rather than using it for human or animal food—is being treated in Washington, Brazil and other major centers, including the EU, as a major new growth industry.
Phony green arguments
Bio-fuel—gasoline or fuel produced from refining food products—is being hyped as a solution to the controversial Global Warming problem. Leaving aside the faked science and the political interests behind the sudden hype about dangers of global warming, bio-fuels offer no net positive benefits over oil even under best conditions. Its advocates claim that present first generation bio-fuels "save up to 60% of carbon emission." As well, amid rising oil prices at $75 per barrel for Brent marker grades, governments such as Brazil’s are frantic to substitute homegrown bio-fuels for imported gasoline. In Brazil today 70% of all cars have "flexi-fuel" engines able to switch from conventional gasoline to 100% bio-fuel or any mix. Bio-fuel production has become one of Brazil’s major export industries as well.
The green claims for bio-fuel as a friendly and better fuel than gasoline are at best dubious, if not outright fraudulent. Depending on who runs the tests, ethanol has little if any effect on exhaust-pipe emissions in current car models. It has significant emission, however, of some toxins including formaldehyde and acetaldehyde, a suspected neurotoxin which has been banned as carcinogenic in California.
Ethanol is not some benign substance as we are led to think from the industry propaganda. It is highly corrosive to pipelines as well as to seals and fuel systems of existing car or other gasoline engines. It requires special new gas pumps. All that conversion costs money.
But the killer-diller about ethanol is that it holds at least 30% less energy per gallon than normal gasoline, translating into a loss in fuel economy per gallon of at least 25% over gasoline for an Ethanol E-85% blend. No advocate of the ethanol boondoggle addresses the huge social cost which is beginning to hit the dining room tables across the US, Europe and the rest of the world. Food prices are exploding as corn, soybeans and all cereal grain prices are going through the roof because of the astronomical—Congress-driven—demand for corn to burn for bio-fuel.
This year the Massachusetts Institute of Technology issued a report concluding that using corn-based ethanol instead of gasoline will have no impact on greenhouse gas emissions, and would even expand fossil fuel use due to increased demand for fertilizer and irrigation to expand acreage of ethanol crops. And according to MIT "natural gas consumption is 66% of total corn ethanol production energy," meaning huge new strains on natural gas supply, pushing prices there higher.
The idea that the world can "grow" out of oil dependency with bio-fuels is the PR hype being used to sell what is shaping up to be the mist dangerous threat to the planet’s food supply since creation of patented genetically manipulated corn and crops.
US farms become bio-fuel factories The main reason US and world grain prices are soaring in the past two years and now pre-programmed to continue rising at a major pace, is the conversion of US farmland to become de facto bio-fuel factories. In 2006 US farmland devoted to bio-fuel crops increased by 48%. None of that land was replaced for food crop cultivation. The tax subsidies make it far too profitable to produce ethanol fuel.
Since 2001 the amount of maize used to produce bio-ethanol in the USA has risen 300%, trend increasing going forward. In fact, in 2006 US maize or corn crops for bio-fuel equaled the tonnage of corn used for export. In 2007 it is estimated it will exceed the corn for export by a hefty amount. The US is the world’s leading corn exporter, most going for animal feed to EU and other countries. The traditional USDA statistics on acreage planted to corn is no longer a useful metric of food prices as all marginal acreage is going for bio-fuel growing. The amount available for animal and human feed is actually declining.
Brazil and China are similarly switching from food to bio-fuels with large swatches of land.
A result of the bio-fuel revolution in agriculture is that world carryover or reserve stocks of grains have been plunging for six of the past seven years. Carryover reserve stocks of all grains fell at the end of 2006 to 57 days of consumption, the lowest level since 1972. Little wonder that world grain prices rose 100% over the past 12 months. This is just the start.
That decline in grain reserves, the measure of food security in event of drought or harvest failure—an increasingly common event in recent years—is pre-programmed to continue going as far ahead as the eye can see. Assuming modest world population increase annually of some 70 million people over the coming decade, especially in the Indian subcontinent and Africa, the stagnation or even decline in the tonnages of feed corn or other feed grains including rice that is harvested annually as growing amounts of bio-ethanol and other bio-fuels displaces food grain, in fact means we are just getting started on the greatest transformation of global agriculture since the introduction of the agribusiness revolution with fertilizers and mechanized farming after World War II. The difference is that this revolution is at the expense of food production. That preprograms exploding global grain prices, increased poverty and malnutrition. And the effect on gasoline import demand will be minimal.
Prof. M.A. Altieri of Berkeley University estimates that dedicating all USA corn and soybean production acreage to bio-fuels would only meet 12% of gasoline and 6% of diesel needs. He notes that though one-fifth of last year’s corn harvest went to bio-ethanol, it met a mere 3% of energy needs. But the farmland is converting at a record pace. In 2006 more than 50% of Iowa and South Dakota corn went to ethanol refineries. Farmers across the Midwest, desperate for more income after years of depressed corn prices, are abandoning traditional crop rotation to grow exclusively soybeans or corn with dramatic added impact on soil erosion and needs for added chemical pesticides. In the US some 41% of all herbicides used are already applied to corn. Monsanto and other makers of glyphosate herbicides like Roundup are clearly smiling on the way to the bank.
Going global with bio-fuels
The Bush-Lula pact is just the start of a growing global rush to plant crops for bio-fuel. Huge sugarcane, palm oil and soy plantations for bio-fuel refining are taking over forests and grasslands in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Paraguay. Soy cultivation has already caused the deforestation of 21 million hectares in Brazil and 14 million ha in Argentina, with no end in sight, as world grain prices continue to rise. Soya is used for bio-diesel fuel.
China, desperate for energy sources, is a major player in bio-fuel cultivation, reducing food crop acreage there as well. In the EU most bio-diesel fuel is produced using rapeseed plants, a popular animal feed. The result? Meat prices around the globe are rising and set to continue rising as far ahead as the eye can see. The EU has a target requiring minimum bio-fuel content of 10%, a foolish demand that will set aside 18% of EU farmland to cultivate crops to be burned as bio-fuel.
Big oil is also driving the bio-fuels bandwagon. Prof. David Pimentel of Cornell University and other scientists claim that net energy output from bio-ethanol fuel is less than the fossil fuel energy used to produce the ethanol. Measuring all energy inputs to produce ethanol from production of nitrogen fertilizer to energy needed to clean the considerable waste from bio-fuel refineries, Pimintel’s research showed a net energy loss of 22% for bio-fuel—they use more energy than they produce. That translates into little threat to oil demand and huge profit for clever oil giants that re-profile themselves as "green energy" producers.
So it’s little wonder that ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP are all into bio-fuels. This past May, BP announced the largest ever R&D grant to a university, $500 million to the University of California-Berkeley to fund BP-dictated R&D into alternative energy including bio-fuels. Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Program got $100 million from ExxonMobil; University of California-Davis got $25 million from Chevron for its Bio-energy Research Group. Princeton University’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative takes $15 million from BP.
Lord Browne, the disgraced former CEO of BP declared in 2006, "The world needs new technologies to maintain adequate supplies of energy for the future. We believe bioscience can bring immense benefits to the energy sector." The bio-fuel market is booming like few others today. This all is a paradise for global agribusiness industrial companies like Cargill, ADM and Monsanto, Syngenta.
All this, combined with severe weather problems in China, Australia, Ukraine and large parts of the EU growing areas this harvest season, guarantee that grain prices are set to explode further in coming months and years. Some are gleefully reporting the end of the era of "cheap food." With disappearing food security reserves and disappearing acreage going to plant corn and grains for food, the bio-fuel transformation will impact global food prices massively in coming years.
Another agenda behind Ethanol?
Uh Huh. The dramatic embrace of bio-fuels by the Bush Administration since 2005 has clearly been the global driver for soaring grain and food prices in the past 18 months. The evidence suggests this is no accident of sloppy legislative preparation. The US Government has been researching and developing bio-fuels since the 1970’s. The bio-ethanol architects did their homework we can be assured. It’s increasingly clear that the same people who brought us oil price inflation are now deliberately creating parallel food price inflation. We have had a rise in average oil prices of some 300% since the end of 2000 when George W. Bush and Dick Halliburton Cheney made oil the central preoccupation of US foreign policy.
Last year, as bio-ethanol production first became a major market factor, corn prices rose by some 130% on the Chicago in 14 months. It was more than known when Congress and the Bush Administration made their heavy push for bio-ethanol in 2005 that world grain reserves had been declining at alarming levels for several years at a time when global demand, driven especially by growing wealth And increasing meat consumption in China, was rising.
As a result of the diversion of record acreages of US and Brazilian corn and soybeans to bio-fuel production, food reserves are literally disappearing. Global food security, according to FAO data, is at its lowest since 1972. Curiously that was just the time that Henry Kissinger and the Nixon Administration engineered, in cahoots with Cargill and ADM—the major backers of the ethanol scam today—what was called The Great Grain Robbery, sale of huge volumes of US grain to the Soviet Union in exchange for sales of record volumes of Russian oil to the West. Both oil and corn prices rose by 1975 some 300-400% as a result. Just how that worked, I treated in detail in A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics.
Today a new element has replaced USSR grain demand and harvest shortfalls. Bio-fuel demand, fed by US government subsidies is literally linking food prices to oil prices. The scale of the subsidized bio-fuel consumption has exploded so dramatically since the beginning of 2006 when the US Energy Policy Act of 2005 first began to impact crop planting decisions, not only in the USA, that there is emerging a de facto competition between people and cars for the same grains. Lester Brown recently noted, "We’re looking at competition in the global market between 800 million automobiles and the world’s two billion poorest people for the same commodity, the same grains. We are now in a new economic era where oil and food are interchangeable commodities because we can convert grain, sugar cane, soybeans—anything—into fuel for cars. In effect the price of oil is beginning to set the price of food."
In the mid-1970’s Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, a protégé of the Rockefeller family and of its institutions stated, "Control the oil and you control entire nations; control the food and you control the people." The same cast of characters who brought the world the Iraq war, the global scramble to control oil, who brought us patented genetically manipulated seeds and now Terminator suicide seeds, and who cry about the "problem of world over-population," are now backing conversion of global grain production to burn as fuel at a time of declining global grain reserves. That alone should give pause for thought. As the popular saying goes, "Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you."

Afghanistan: Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time

Afghanistan: Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time
by Craig Murray
Global Research, July 24, 2007
Daily Mail

This week the 64th British soldier to die in Afghanistan, Corporal Mike Gilyeat, was buried. All the right things were said about this brave soldier, just as, on current trends, they will be said about one or more of his colleagues who follow him next week.
The alarming escalation of the casualty rate among British soldiers in Afghanistan – up to ten per cent – led to discussion this week on whether it could be fairly compared to casualty rates in the Second World War.

But the key question is this: what are our servicemen dying for? There are glib answers to that: bringing democracy and development to Afghanistan, supporting the government of President Hamid Karzai in its attempt to establish order in the country, fighting the Taliban and preventing the further spread of radical Islam into Pakistan.
But do these answers stand up to close analysis?
There has been too easy an acceptance of the lazy notion that the war in Afghanistan is the 'good' war, while the war in Iraq is the 'bad' war, the blunder. The origins of this view are not irrational. There was a logic to attacking Afghanistan after 9/11.
Afghanistan was indeed the headquarters of Osama Bin Laden and his organisation, who had been installed and financed there by the CIA to fight the Soviets from 1979 until 1989. By comparison, the attack on Iraq – which was an enemy of Al Qaeda and no threat to us – was plainly irrational in terms of the official justification.
So the attack on Afghanistan has enjoyed a much greater sense of public legitimacy. But the operation to remove Bin Laden was one thing. Six years of occupation are clearly another.

Few seem to turn a hair at the officially expressed view that our occupation of Iraq may last for decades.
Lib Dem leader Menzies Campbell has declared, fatuously, that the Afghan war is 'winnable'.
Afghanistan was not militarily winnable by the British Empire at the height of its supremacy. It was not winnable by Darius or Alexander, by Shah, Tsar or Great Moghul. It could not be subdued by 240,000 Soviet troops. But what, precisely, are we trying to win?
In six years, the occupation has wrought one massive transformation in Afghanistan, a development so huge that it has increased Afghan GDP by 66 per cent and constitutes 40 per cent of the entire economy. That is a startling achievement, by any standards. Yet we are not trumpeting it. Why not?
The answer is this. The achievement is the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.
The Taliban had reduced the opium crop to precisely nil. I would not advocate their methods for doing this, which involved lopping bits, often vital bits, off people. The Taliban were a bunch of mad and deeply unpleasant religious fanatics. But one of the things they were vehemently against was opium.
That is an inconvenient truth that our spin has managed to obscure. Nobody has denied the sincerity of the Taliban's crazy religious zeal, and they were as unlikely to sell you heroin as a bottle of Johnnie Walker.
They stamped out the opium trade, and impoverished and drove out the drug warlords whose warring and rapacity had ruined what was left of the country after the Soviet war.
That is about the only good thing you can say about the Taliban; there are plenty of very bad things to say about them. But their suppression of the opium trade and the drug barons is undeniable fact.
Now we are occupying the country, that has changed. According to the United Nations, 2006 was the biggest opium harvest in history, smashing the previous record by 60 per cent. This year will be even bigger.
Our economic achievement in Afghanistan goes well beyond the simple production of raw opium. In fact Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It has succeeded in what our international aid efforts urge every developing country to do. Afghanistan has gone into manufacturing and 'value-added' operations.
It now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with Nato troops.
How can this have happened, and on this scale? The answer is simple. The four largest players in the heroin business are all senior members of the Afghan government – the government that our soldiers are fighting and dying to protect.
When we attacked Afghanistan, America bombed from the air while the CIA paid, armed and equipped the dispirited warlord drug barons – especially those grouped in the Northern Alliance – to do the ground occupation. We bombed the Taliban and their allies into submission, while the warlords moved in to claim the spoils. Then we made them ministers.
President Karzai is a good man. He has never had an opponent killed, which may not sound like much but is highly unusual in this region and possibly unique in an Afghan leader. But nobody really believes he is running the country. He asked America to stop its recent bombing campaign in the south because it was leading to an increase in support for the Taliban. The United States simply ignored him. Above all, he has no control at all over the warlords among his ministers and governors, each of whom runs his own kingdom and whose primary concern is self-enrichment through heroin.
My knowledge of all this comes from my time as British Ambassador in neighbouring Uzbekistan from 2002 until 2004. I stood at the Friendship Bridge at Termez in 2003 and watched the Jeeps with blacked-out windows bringing the heroin through from Afghanistan, en route to Europe.
I watched the tankers of chemicals roaring into Afghanistan.
Yet I could not persuade my country to do anything about it. Alexander Litvinenko – the former agent of the KGB, now the FSB, who died in London last November after being poisoned with polonium 210 – had suffered the same frustration over the same topic.
There are a number of theories as to why Litvinenko had to flee Russia. The most popular blames his support for the theory that FSB agents planted bombs in Russian apartment blocks to stir up anti-Chechen feeling.
But the truth is that his discoveries about the heroin trade were what put his life in danger. Litvinenko was working for the KGB in St Petersburg in 2001 and 2002. He became concerned at the vast amounts of heroin coming from Afghanistan, in particular from the fiefdom of the (now) Head of the Afghan armed forces, General Abdul Rashid Dostum, in north and east Afghanistan.
Dostum is an Uzbek, and the heroin passes over the Friendship Bridge from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan, where it is taken over by President Islam Karimov's people. It is then shipped up the railway line, in bales of cotton, to St Petersburg and Riga.
The heroin Jeeps run from General Dostum to President Karimov. The UK, United States and Germany have all invested large sums in donating the most sophisticated detection and screening equipment to the Uzbek customs centre at Termez to stop the heroin coming through.
But the convoys of Jeeps running between Dostum and Karimov are simply waved around the side of the facility.
Litvinenko uncovered the St Petersburg end and was stunned by the involvement of the city authorities, local police and security services at the most senior levels. He reported in detail to President Vladimir Putin. Putin is, of course, from St Petersburg, and the people Litvinenko named were among Putin's closest political allies. That is why Litvinenko, having miscalculated badly, had to flee Russia.
I had as little luck as Litvinenko in trying to get official action against this heroin trade. At the St Petersburg end he found those involved had the top protection. In Afghanistan, General Dostum is vital to Karzai's coalition, and to the West's pretence of a stable, democratic government.
Opium is produced all over Afghanistan, but especially in the north and north-east – Dostum's territory. Again, our Government's spin doctors have tried hard to obscure this fact and make out that the bulk of the heroin is produced in the tiny areas of the south under Taliban control. But these are the most desolate, infertile rocky areas. It is a physical impossibility to produce the bulk of the vast opium harvest there.
That General Dostum is head of the Afghan armed forces and Deputy Minister of Defence is in itself a symbol of the bankruptcy of our policy. Dostum is known for tying opponents to tank tracks and running them over. He crammed prisoners into metal containers in the searing sun, causing scores to die of heat and thirst.
Since we brought 'democracy' to Afghanistan, Dostum ordered an MP who annoyed him to be pinned down while he attacked him. The sad thing is that Dostum is probably not the worst of those comprising the Karzai government, or the biggest drug smuggler among them.
Our Afghan policy is still victim to Tony Blair's simplistic world view and his childish division of all conflicts into 'good guys' and 'bad guys'. The truth is that there are seldom any good guys among those vying for power in a country such as Afghanistan. To characterise the Karzai government as good guys is sheer nonsense.
Why then do we continue to send our soldiers to die in Afghanistan? Our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq is the greatest recruiting sergeant for Islamic militants. As the great diplomat, soldier and adventurer Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Alexander Burnes pointed out before his death in the First Afghan War in 1841, there is no point in a military campaign in Afghanistan as every time you beat them, you just swell their numbers. Our only real achievement to date is falling street prices for heroin in London.
Remember this article next time you hear a politician calling for more troops to go into Afghanistan. And when you hear of another brave British life wasted there, remember you can add to the casualty figures all the young lives ruined, made miserable or ended by heroin in the UK.
They, too, are casualties of our Afghan policy.

(A policy that is exactly as planned by the powers-that-be!)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

British map in Iran crisis 'inaccurate'

British map in Iran crisis 'inaccurate'
Global Research, July 22, 2007
Herald Sun

July 22, 2007 03:49am A BRITISH map of the northern Gulf where Iran seized 15 naval personnel in March was not as accurate as it should have been and Britain was fortunate Iran did not contest it, a review into the crisis said.
The parliamentary report also said Britain's Foreign Office should name the person who let two sailors sell their stories to the media, a decision widely criticised for handing a propaganda coup to Britain's enemies and embarrassing serving troops.
The report by the Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) said the Foreign Office's overall approach could not be faulted, but it said efforts should have been made to contact key Iranian negotiator Ali Larijani sooner.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized 15 British personnel in the northern Gulf in March sparking a 13-day standoff that ended when Iran's President freed them, a day after Larijani spoke to a senior adviser to then Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Mr Larijani, Iran's chief nuclear negotiator, is regarded as a pragmatist more amenable to exploring a bargain with the West than hardliner President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Britain first applied to speak to Mr Larijani seven days into the crisis.
Britain insists the personnel were in Iraqi territorial waters on a UN-backed mission when they were seized.
Iran says the British sailors had strayed into its territory.
A British Ministry of Defence map published during the crisis showed a territorial water boundary extending from the Shatt al-Arab waterway that separates Iran and Iraq out to sea.
However experts say no maritime boundary between the two countries has been agreed and the line was based on a 1975 land boundary that could have shifted over time if the centre of the waterway had moved due to natural causes.
“We conclude that there is evidence to suggest that the map of the Shatt al-Arab waterway provided by the Government was less clear than it ought to have been,” the report said.
“The Government was fortunate that it was not in Iran's interests to contest the accuracy of the map.”

'Uncertainties'
Britain and Iran provided different coordinates for the location of the capture.
The report did not make a definitive conclusion on the accuracy of the map or whether the sailors were in Iraqi or Iranian waters.
It quoted Martin Pratt, director of research at the International Boundaries Research Unit at Durham University, as saying that if the British coordinates were correct, it was difficult to see how Iran's claim could be legitimate.
“Nevertheless, there are sufficient uncertainties over boundary definition in the area to make it inadvisable to state categorically that the vessel was in Iraqi waters,” he was quoted as saying.
He said the map was “certainly an oversimplification” and could be regarded as “deliberately misleading”.
The Foreign Office said it was pleased the report praised its overall approach.
It was considering some recommendations and leaving others for the Ministry of Defence to address.
The Ministry of Defence also said it would study the report.
Compiled by members of parliament, the report said it was “wholly unsatisfactory” that a previous report into the affair had been unable to say who was responsible for authorising payment for the stories of the personnel after they were freed.
“We recommend ... the (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) set out who specifically took the decision to authorise the naval personnel to sell their stories to the media,” it said.

Monday, July 16, 2007

US Lies

White House tells some whoppers in bid to depict wars as battles against al-Qaida
By ERIC MARGOLIS
The latest whoppers from the White House’s fib factory came this week as President George W. Bush (A) claimed U.S. forces in Iraq are fighting “the same people” who staged 9/11, and, (B) withdrawing U.S. forces means “surrendering Iraq to al-Qaida.”
These absurd assertions mark the latest steps in the administration’s evolving efforts to depict the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as battles against al-Qaida.
When marketers want to change the name of an existing product, they first place a new name in small type below the existing one. They gradually shrink the old name, and enlarge the new one until the original name vanishes.
That’s what’s been happening in Iraq. When the U.S. invaded, Iraqis who resisted were branded “Saddam loyalists, die-hard Ba’athists, or dead-enders.” Next, the Pentagon and U.S. media called them “terrorists.” Then, a tiny, previously unknown Iraqi group appropriated the name, “al-Qaida in Mesopotamia.”
This was such a convenient gift to the Bush administration, cynics suspected a false-flag operation created by CIA and Britain’s wily MI6. Soon after, the White House and Pentagon began calling all Iraq’s 22-plus resistance groups, “al-Qaida.”
The U.S. media eagerly joined this deception, even though 95% of Iraq’s resistance groups had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden’s movement. Watch any U.S. network TV news report on Iraq and you will inevitably hear reporters parroting Pentagon handouts about U.S. forces “launching a new offensive against al-Qaida.”
Al-Qaida in Iraq didn’t even exist before 9/11, but that didn’t stop the president from trying to gull credulous voters. Polls show that in spite of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, White House disinformation strategy has worked. Today, an amazing 60% of Americans still believe Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11.
FAUX WAR
This faux war is now costing a mind-boggling $12 billion US monthly, reports the non-partisan Congressional Research Service. The Bush administration has spent $610 billion since 2001 on its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, making them the second most expensive conflict in U.S. history after the Second World War.
This week, U.S. Homeland Security czar Michael Chertoff allowed he had a “gut feel” that an al-Qaida attack was imminent this summer. The 16 U.S. intelligence agencies spend $40 billion annually, with another $15-20 billion in their hidden “black budgets.” Homeland Security spends $44.6 billion.
After these gargantuan expenditures, the best intelligence czar Chertoff can come up with is “gut feel?”
One suspects Chertoff’s worried innards and leaks that al-Qaida has returned to full strength have far more to do with the growing Republican Party revolt against the president’s Iraq war than nebulous threats from Osama bin Laden’s loud but tiny group.
Polls show the only area where Republicans still command popular support is the “war on terror.”
SCARE TACTIC
So Bush/Cheney & Co are trying to use al-Qaida to scare Americans to vote Republican, just as they did prior to 2004 elections. It worked well last time and got Bush re-elected.
But Americans are increasingly leery of the White House’s crying wolf.
Many are also asking how Bush could claim “steady progress” was being made in his wars while U.S. intelligence was reporting al-Qaida movement is back to pre-2001 strength and Iraq is a bloody mess.
After six years of conflict, 3,600 dead and 25,000 wounded American soldiers, expenditure of $610 billion, tens of thousands of dead Iraqis and Afghans, collapse of Mideast peace efforts, and a Muslim World enraged against the U.S., nothing positive seems to have been accomplished.
As the White House ponders an attack on Iran, recall the famed words of King Pyrrhus of Epirus, “one more such victory and we are ruined.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Top Global Warming Advocate: Jupiter & Saturn Closer To Sun Than Earth

Top Global Warming Advocate: Jupiter & Saturn Closer To Sun Than Earth
Live Earth kingpin dismantles his own credibility on national radio as propaganda bandwagon is massive flop
by Paul Joseph Watson
Global Research, July 9, 2007
Live Earth's half empty stadiums and lackluster TV viewing figures were preceded by another embarrassment after one of the propaganda bandwagon's kingpins and a top global warming advocate responded to a question about solar-system wide climate change by claiming that Jupiter, Mars and Saturn were closer to the sun than Earth.
David Mayer de Rothschild is the youngest child (born 1978) of Sir Evelyn de Rothschild, of the British wing of the Rothschild banking family.
Rothschild's recent book, 77 Essential Skills to Stop Climate Changes, calls for ordinary people to limit outward behavior and even work at home and was used as part of the PR blitz to accompany the Live Earth project.

Appearing on The Alex Jones Show this past Friday, Rothschild reacted to a point about massive climate change at every point of the solar system and its relation to natural sun cycles by claiming Mars, Saturn and Jupiter were closer to the sun than Earth!
Here's a brief transcript of the exchange.
ALEX JONES: "The polar icecaps of Mars are receding at several miles a year, much faster than ours and that the moons of Saturn and Jupiter are melting, in fact several of their moons were ice and are now liquid seas - how are SUV's causing that David Rothschild?
ROTHSCHILD: "Because those planets are closer to the sun, my friend."
ALEX JONES: "No, Jupiter and Saturn are not closer to the sun and neither is Mars."
Rothschild then quickly changes the subject and when the point is raised again later in the show, he makes no effort to correct himself.
Click here for the clip. Listen to the full MP3 of the interview by clicking here.
Last time we checked, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were all orbiting the sun at a greater distance than Earth.

Rothschild's hilarious screw-up is yet another example as to why the general public remain unconvinced by the error-strewn apocalyptic admonitions of the climate cult.
A Mori poll released last week found that a majority of the UK population were still skeptical about man-made global warming and believed the threats were being exaggerated for political purposes and to make money.
Throughout the radio appearance, Rothschild parrots empty sound bite platitudes about there only being "one earth," while failing to address recent scientific analysis which reveals that the oldest plant DNA ever discovered showed that "the planet was far warmer hundreds of thousands of years ago than is generally believed," again underscoring the fact that climate change is a routine and natural phenomenon that has occurred throughout earth's history.
Although Rothschild stresses the existence of just one earth on numerous occasions, it appears as though he thinks there is another one earth orbiting the sun - at a greater distance than Saturn or Jupiter!
He also glibly repeats the charge that the radio station he was appearing on, the Genesis Communications Network, was bankrolled by the oil industry and that was the reason for challenging the monopoly on truth that the man-made global warming crowd attribute themselves.
Deliciously ironic therefore it is that big oil men like the chairman of British Petroleum Peter Sutherland are fanning the flames of global warming hysteria in order to create artificial scarcity and drive up prices, while also getting fat off the peak oil scam, another charade manufactured by the oil companies and gleefully embraced by phony environmentalists.


General Lord Guthrie, director of N.M. Rothschild & Sons, also recently called for the elite to, "Address the global climate crisis with a single voice, and impose rules that apply worldwide," (global government).
In addition, it was the Rothschild family itself that helped fund the Rockefellers to create the first giant trusts and oil monopolies in the late 19th century.
Every time a public figure or scientist dares to question the global warming orthodoxy, they are savaged as being in bed with oil companies and yet it is the oil company
chieftains that are pushing climate change harder than anyone.



Madonna, owner of 6 evil gas-guzzling cars and producer of 440 tonnes of CO2 during her Confessions tour, performs at Live Earth in London.
Rothschild's red-faced gaffe was allied with an embarrassingly lukewarm response to this weekend's Live Earth propaganda extravaganza, at which we saw hypocritical pop stars perform to half-empty stadiums around the world.
The television audience also fell way below expectations and the event was branded a "foul-mouthed flop" by newspapers. Just hundreds turned up to one of the events held in Washington at which Al Gore appeared.
"Organisers of the global music concert - punctuated by swearing from presenters and performers - had predicted massive viewing figures," reports the Daily Mail.
"But BBC's live afternoon television coverage attracted an average British audience of just 900,000. And the peak audience, which came when Madonna sang at Wembley, was a dismal 4.5million. Three times as many viewers saw the Princess Diana tribute on the same channel six days before."
"Two years ago, Live 8 drew a peak television audience of 9.6million while Live Aid notched 10million in 1985."
As more jet-flying celebrity hypocrites lecture us on changing our lifestyle and as more "experts" fail to get even the most basic facts correct, expect more acolytes to desert the cause and for global warming to be consigned to the dustbin of scientific theory, just as the "global cooling" scare of the 70's quickly evaporated under widespread ridicule.
Global Research Articles by Paul Joseph Watson

84% of sunscreen products are harmful to health, says alarming EWG study

84% of sunscreen products are harmful to health, says alarming EWG study
Monday, July 09, 2007 by: Mike Adams
For 29 years, the FDA has refused to publish safety standards for sunscreen products. That's nearly three decades of keeping the public in the dark about the extremely harmful, cancer-causing chemicals found in sunscreen products. Any idea why the Food and Drug Administration has taken so long to set safety standards for a product used by over 100 million Americans? If you guessed, "Because the greedy corporations selling the toxic sunscreen products don't want the FDA to study the safety of their products," give yourself golden star sticker. You got it! The FDA has no interest in protecting the public from cancer-causing personal care products, and that simple fact is made abundantly clear by the FDA's 29-year delay to establish basic safety guidelines.As is increasingly the case, non-profit groups are now doing the job the FDA should be doing but refuses to do. In this case, the Environmental Working Group (www.EWG.org), one of my top recommended non-profit organizations, has compiled a list of 700 name-brand sunscreens along with the toxic chemicals they contain. You'll find the list at http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/As the EWG reports, many sunscreen products contain cancer-causing chemicals that get absorbed right through the skin:Some sunscreens absorb into the blood and raise safety concerns. Our review of the technical literature shows that some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood, and some are linked to toxic effects. Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some act like estrogen and could disrupt hormone systems, several are strongly linked to allergic reactions, and still others may build up in the body or the environment. FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients.After 29 years of debate, the government has failed to set mandatory sunscreen safety standards. Companies are free to make their own decisions on everything from advertising claims to product quality. In lieu of setting final standards, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises people to stay out of the sun from 10 am to 4 pm. FDA now stands in direct violation a Congressional mandate requiring the agency to finalize sunscreen safety standards by May 2006, flouting not only Congress but also consumers, who are reliant on sunscreen to protect their health.
84% of sunscreen products harm consumersAs the EWG's research reveals, an incredible 84% of sunscreen products are harmful to consumers. You read that right: More than four out of five sunscreen products actually harm the people who use them.That's no surprise to NewsTarget readers, of course. We've been sounding the alarm on the toxicity of sunscreen products for years. We've also hammered at the sick conspiracy between the cancer industry and the sunscreen industry to keep people diseased so that both industries make more money. Read my article The Sunscreen Myth to learn more.As NewsTarget readers have known for a long time, sunscreen products are a hoax, and they actually cause cancer instead of preventing it. The more consumers use sunscreen products, the greater their chance of someday being diagnosed with cancer. Part of this is due to sunscreen's effect of blocking ultraviolet radiation (UV light), which generates the powerful anti-cancer nutrient Vitamin D in human skin. Vitamin D is quite simply the world's best anti-cancer medicine, and recent studies have shown that it can prevent nearly four out of five cancers in women (ALL cancers, including breast cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, brain tumors, multiple myeloma and even skin cancer). Click here to read NewsTarget articles on Vitamin D.The Environmental Working Group, sadly, still does not recognize the healing power of Vitamin D and continues to recommend that people avoid sunlight. This is merely an oversight by the group, not any sort of malicious disinformation conspiracy. The EWG means well, but they remain ignorant of the nutritional impact of vitamin D. They're experts on toxicology, not nutrition, and they still suffer under the illusion that the less sunlight consumers receive on their skin, the healthier they will be (hence the EWG's insistence that sunscreen products with ineffective UV blocking are also "unsafe"). The EWG also seems to be completely unaware that the best sunscreen is internal sunscreen built from antioxidants. Eat lots of berries, spirulina, chlorella and superfoods, and you'll build up a natural, internal sunscreen that blocks excess UV rays naturally.Despite these gaps in EWG's knowledge on nutrition, I completely agree with the EWG's stance on exposure to toxic chemicals, and that's the strength of their outstanding work. As they conclude about sunscreen products:...we also sorely need policies that would require companies to document the safety of chemicals before they go on the market. And, most importantly, we need policies that would require that chemicals be safe for the fetus, infant, and other vulnerable populations -- a simple, commonsense idea completely absent from current federal law. Such advances would dramatically improve our understanding of health impacts from chemical exposures, and would go a long way toward sealing the gaps that leave consumers at risk from a lifetime of exposure to chemicals...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Therapeutic Uses for Colloidal Silver

Therapeutic Uses for Colloidal Silver
NEW YORK, July 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Alternative medical treatments arehardly new in the world of healing and prevention. Long before modernantibiotics were introduced to market, a variety of plant, vitamin, andmineral products were used for effective and natural therapies. Today, withmost of us taking for granted the pharmaceuticals we can get with oneprescription, we often fail to remember those natural products that did thebrunt of the work for generations. Silver, one of the most often usedelements, played a therapeutic role in society for centuries and is stillbeing used today in the form of colloidal silver. The therapeutic uses for silver were discovered by ancient culturesthat realized that it had the ability to act as a natural germ barrier.Long before refrigeration, silver containers were used to hold food anddrink because of their ability to prevent spoilage and bacterial growth.Before long, liquid silver was being applied topically to treat burns andskin infections; and by the 1800s silver was a therapeutic staple, givenorally to treat and prevent illness. The advent of modern antibiotics lessened the use of silver but itstherapeutic benefits remained. Today, colloidal silver continues to be usedas a preventative method for illness and disease. Microscopic particles ofsilver, once introduced to an electrical charge, become suspended in water.This liquid colloidal silver -- when applied topically and taken orally --has an enormous impact on the body; boosting the immune system and riddingthe body of unhealthy cells that can cause illness and disease. To this end, colloidal silver has been used therapeutically to treatover 650 bacteria responsible for a variety of conditions; everything fromacne and the common cold to hepatitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. Becausecolloidal silver has been reduced to its smallest form it is able to workon behalf of the body's cells, supporting the work of the immune system andstopping damaging and sometimes deadly bacteria in their tracks. While colloidal silver has come up against harsh criticism throughoutthe years, its benefits have held up under scrutiny. The cases where itsusage has caused harm have been nearly entirely attributed to incorrectdosages and overuse. As antibiotics face growing immunities and variant strains of bacteriaand virus, they continue to be examined for their long-term effectiveness.Because colloidal silver in most cases has continued to be effectual inprotecting against and treating all manner of microorganisms -- and thehuman body shows no signs of developing immunity against it -- such naturaltherapies will surely continue to be observed.

Tony Blair: Reinventing A War Criminal

Tony Blair: Reinventing A War Criminal
by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, July 5, 2007
Britain's most despised and discredited man ended his 10 year reign June 27 when he stepped down from office transferring his ruling Labor Party's leadership to successor Gordon Brown. He had no choice because of seething public displeasure over his allying with George Bush's illegal wars on Iraq and Afghanistan. Most Brits oppose them, yet the vast majority of Labor and Conservative MPs, including new prime minister Gordon Brown, supported them early on, now may have second thoughts, but are constrained by close relations with Washington making them reluctant to back down from what they once disingenuously trumpeted as a noble cause.
That's an open question, however, the London Guardian's Jonathan Steele posed and answered June 29 if Mr. Brown was listening. Steele's message to "The new man in No 10" is "seize the day....break with Bush now....signal a fresh start by taking Britain out of Iraq." Don't bet on it. Steele says Brown is a committed "Atlanticist." He's likely weighing the proper way to begin engaging his US ally. Steele tells him how, pointing to other loyal NATO members as examples. France and Germany sent no forces to Iraq, and Italy, Spain and the Netherlands withdrew theirs. It caused no rupture in relations with Washington for any of them after some name calling at first. Why not Britain now? Steele stresses how refreshing a policy change at "No 10" would be "after the subservient Blair years."
Tony Blair began his tenure May 2, 1997 with a formidable approval rating as high at times as 90% but ended it in the mid-20% range or lower. The same is likely for George Bush already at 26% in the latest Newsweek poll suggesting it's even lower than that. Immediately post-9/11, he was compared to Lincoln, FDR and Churchill combined. It was laughable then and seems ludicrous now for a hated man barely hanging on and trying to avoid what growing numbers in the country demand - his removal from office by impeachment along with Vice-President Cheney.
The feeling of many in Britain is that by allying with George Bush, Mr. Blair left a legacy of "dashed hopes and big disappointments, of so much promised and so little delivered." That's in spite of helping advance the Northern Ireland peace process, begun before he took office, and that leaders in Ireland had lots more to do with than him.
Just hours after standing down, the announcement everyone knew in advance came, surprising no one but angering most. Referring to the so-called Quartet, the BBC reported June 27: "Tony Blair is to become a Middle East envoy working on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU." The London Guardian called him "the Quartet's fifth horseman," an appointment that "beggars belief." In his new capacity, he'll replace former World Bank president James Wolfensohn who resigned last year for lack of progress he never had a chance to achieve in the first place.
Neither will Mr. Blair, nor will he try to, as Alvaro de Soto, former UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and envoy to the Quartet, explained in his leaked End of Mission Report. It noted Wolfensohn was originally to cover the entire peace process, but what emerged for him was a narrowly constricted role. De Soto said he was "highjacked....by US envoys and (Secretary Condoleezza) Rice." As a result, Wolfensohn stepped down from his job in April, 2006 with "a more jaundiced view of Israel (and US) policies than he had upon entering."
Based on his sordid war criminal record post-9/11, Tony Blair won't likely have the qualms that got James Wolfensohn to resign his job. He's taking it to reinvent himself, but that's no more likely than convincing carnivores to become vegetarians. He'll first visit Ramallah in the West Bank, showing up as a Trojan horse fooling no one about what's behind his slick-tongued hypocrisy.
In its effort to obscure more than enlighten, BBC omitted this explanation and could barely go beyond saying Mr. Blair "faces an uphill task to address Palestinian misgivings over his ties to Israel and the US." Left out as well were the reasons why. How can a war criminal reinvent himself as a peace envoy to the region he waged war against and have any credibility or hope of achieving anything. Further, how could he do it when his brief is quite opposite public pronouncements about it.
Under the false mantle of peacemaker, he's Washington's man and the West's envoy to Israel. His job is to continue six decades of ethnic cleansing war and repression against defenseless Palestinians, support open conflict doing it if necessary, ally with an illegitimate quisling Fatah government, and outrageously claim he's there seeking peace.
Tony Blair is a war maker, not a peacemaker. He's a criminal and, like George Bush and Dick Cheney, should be held accountable for his crimes. He willfully partnered with the Bush administration in its wars of aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq and against the occupied people of Palestine. He joined in cutting off essential aid to the Palestinian people and renounced its democratically elected Hamas government without ever giving it a chance to prove itself. He also supported Israel's aggressive wars against Lebanon, Gaza and the West Bank, and, in short, partnered in backing war and avoiding peace. He now has a new title in his new job. His mission is the same. He'll bring no peace to the Middle East nor does he intend to.
Blair's appointment sends a clear message to the region. Peace is not on the agenda nor will he help Palestinians get what they want most - an end to 60 years of Israeli repression, discrimination, occupation and colonization; freedom, justice, real peace and security; a sovereign integral independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital; and the guaranteed right affirmed everyone in Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that: "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and return to his country." UN Resolution 194 mandated Palestinians that right in 1948 and reaffirmed it in the General Assembly 130 times with near-universal consensus except for Israel, the US and a Pacific Island state or two pathetically going along at times.
From "No 10" to the Middle East - A Record of Shame
Tony Blair is despised and discredited at home, hated across the world, and the Arab street condemns him. Appointing him peace envoy to the region he warred against is a galling insult to its people, all others of conscience and all humanity. Nonetheless, he has the job and started off on his last day in office June 27 telling his Parliament: "The absolute priority is to try to give effect to what is now the consensus across the international community - that the only way of bringing stability and peace to the Middle East is a two-state solution."
The London Independent's veteran Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk, summed up the feelings of many in his article dated June 23 titled: "How can Blair possibly be given this job?" He began it saying "I suppose that astonishment is not the word for it. Stupefaction comes to mind. I simply could not believe my ears in Beirut (where Fisk is based) when a phone call told me that Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara (where British forces were defeated by the Ottomans in WW I) was going to create 'Palestine.' " Fisk continued calling Blair "vain, deceitful, a proven liar, a trumped up lawyer (with) the blood of thousands of Arab (people) on his hands."
He'll not be welcomed or aided with a brief constricting him within vaguely stated areas of Palestinian governance, economics and security rather than letting him take on the entire range of issues causing the Israeli - Palestinian conflict. Unstated is what his real mission is that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert set straight by calling Mr. Blair "A true friend of the State of Israel." Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni added: "Tony Blair is a very well-appreciated figure in Israel," and an official Israeli government statement said Blair "will (be) provide(d) with all necessary assistance in order for him to carry out his duties."
Indeed he will, and it's to support Israeli interests by denying Palestinians theirs. Governance means by the illegitimate Fatah; economics is funding it with weapons and materials against Hamas as well as propping it up financially; and security is by hard line street enforcement and continued conflict aimed at routing the elected government and installing a quisling one over the entire Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
Tony Blair is the right man for the wrong job and the wrong man for the kind of job he should be sent to do. He has no interest in peace and a long sordid record of contempt for Palestinian rights and justice from his committed one-sided support for Israel. His job is to further the concocted "clash of civilizations" against "heathen Arab terrorists" blaming the victims for crimes he helped commit against them. He feigns helping Palestinians by allying with Fatah's traitorous Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank while continuing to condemn and marginalize the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza.
Abbas conspired with Israel and the US going back to Olso or earlier. He partnered with his western-supported paramilitary warlord muscleman, Mohammed Dahlan, for war on Hamas hoping to unseat it violently but failed. He then brazenly dismissed the legitimate Hamas government June 17, appointing an illegitmate "emergency" quisling one in its place. He's its president and western darling and former World Bank and IMF official Salam Fayyad was made prime minister. Writer and editor Rami Khoury calls it a "government of the imagination." He also said "Appointing....Blair....is something like appointing Emperor Nero to be the chief fireman of Rome," and add to that the notion of having the fox look after the henhouse.
He's mandated to back Fatah in its role as Israel's enforcer and deny Palestinians any chance for freedom, equity and justice. Tony Blair will go to the region in a limited subservient role for Israel and the US. He's to play frontman shoring up support for Abbas, Fayyad, and Dahlan, work against the interests of the legitimate Palestinian government and its people, and leave the heavy lifting undermining efforts to Washington and Jerusalem. He's going in spite of being totally discredited in the region by people who despise him. He did nothing for them nor will he ever, yet this arrogant man claims he's going to bring real peace to the region.
Fisk refers to "His unique blend of ruthlessness and dishonesty." The Arab street understands and despises him for it, but his agenda "go(es) down quite well with our local Arab dictators." Fisk refers to his "slippery use of language....with appeals for restraint on all sides....and moderation" while backing what US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack characterizes as a "well-governed state." That's one with hard line street enforcement and what Fisk calls "lots of (tough) 'terror laws.' "
It's a perfect setup for repressive rule, denying Palestinians all civil and human rights doing it. Blair's the right frontman - from war criminal to street enforcer in the name of peace he has contempt for. The irony is galling. Applied to him, it's "Beyond (the kind of) Chutzpah" Middle East expert Norman Finkelstein wrote about in his book by that title. Watch for him later to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his "efforts." If it gets it, he'll join the ugly ranks of past war criminal honorees like Henry Kissinger, Menachem Begin, Shimon Perez, Yitzhak Rabin, and Kofi Annan in a pathetic weak-kneed supporting role. Mr. Blair will fit right in...