Archive for the Austria Category

US torture report exposes European powers’ involvement in CIA crimes [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Albania, Austria, Belgium, CIA, Croatia, Czech Republic / Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, George W. Bush, Germany, Greece, Guantanamo Bay concentration camp, Iceland, Italy, Libya, National Security Agency / NSA, NATO, NSA, Poland, Police State, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Torture, Turkey, U.K., U.K. War Crimes, Ukraine, US "War on Terror", US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on December 14, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Alex Lantier
12 December 2014

The publication of the US Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture has exposed the European powers’ complicity in ghastly crimes of US intelligence. Even though European states’ complicity in CIA torture and rendition operations has been documented for nearly a decade, no European officials have been held accountable.

In 2005, the Council of Europe tasked former Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty with preparing a report on secret CIA prisons in Europe. He released two reports, in 2006 and 2007, documenting the complicity of dozens of European states in setting up facilities for illegal CIA rendition and torture. The states involved included Britain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Austria, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Albania.

The existence of approximately 1,000 CIA flights and of secret prisons in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Bucharest (Romania), Antavilas (Lithuania), and Stare Kiejkuty (Poland) has since been confirmed.

Nonetheless, after the US Senate recognized CIA use of the grisliest forms of torture — including murder, sexual assault, sleep deprivation and forcing inmates to stand on broken limbs —officials across Europe reacted by insisting that they should enjoy immunity.

Top officials of the Polish government, which is appealing a July ruling against it over its role in CIA torture by the European Court on Human Rights, denounced the report. “Certain secrets should stay that way,” said Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak.

Polish prosecutors have been investigating the case for six years, including a two-year investigation of former Polish intelligence chief Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, without bringing any charges. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks, was waterboarded as soon as he arrived at Stare Kiejkuty. One medical officer there noted: “We are basically doing a series of near-drownings.”

Other detainees at Stare Kiejkuty, which housed Saudi, Algerian and Yemeni detainees, were subjected to mock executions with a power drill while standing hooded and naked.
Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski lamely claimed that CIA officials did not explain how they planned to use their secret prisons in Poland. “It was a question as we saw it only of creating secret sites,” he said, adding that he closed down the facility in 2003 because “the Americans’ secret activities began to worry” Polish authorities.
Lithuanian officials confirmed that the black site named “detention center Violet” by the US Senate report appears to be the Lithuanian detention center near the capital, Vilnius, identified in a 2009-2010 parliamentary investigation. Lawmaker Arvydas Anusauskas told Reuters, “The US Senate report, to me, makes a convincing case that prisoners were indeed held at the Lithuanian site.”

Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi detainee now kept at Guantanamo Bay, has stated that he was kept and tortured at the site. Washington paid the Lithuanian government $1 million to “show appreciation” for operating the prison, according to the US Senate report, though the funds were reportedly paid out through “complex mechanisms.”

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius has asked Washington to confirm whether or not the CIA tortured prisoners at its secret prisons in Lithuania.

British Prime Minister David Cameron dismissed the issue of torture and Britain’s role in rendition flights to countries including Libya, saying that it had been “dealt with from a British perspective.” He told the public to trust British intelligence to police itself, as official investigations had “produced a series of questions that the intelligence and security community will look at … I’m satisfied that our system is dealing with all of these issues.”

In fact, the CIA torture report has revealed the advanced state of collapse of democratic forms of rule not only in the United States, but also in Europe. What has emerged across Europe since the September 11 attacks is the framework of a police state far more technically powerful than even the most ruthless dictatorships of twentieth-century Europe. The methods deployed as part of the “war on terror” will also be used against opposition in the working class to unpopular policies of austerity and war.

European governments participate in the digital spying on telecommunications and Internet activities of the European population, carried out by the US National Security Agency and its local counterparts, as revealed by Edward Snowden. They also are planning joint repression of social protests, based on talks between German federal police, France’s Gendarmerie, and other security forces with the European Commission.

“During my investigation, people called me a traitor and said I was making things up,” Marty told the Tribune de Genève. “The Europeans disappointed me. Germany, the United Kingdom, and many others blocked the establishment of the truth. In fact, most European countries actively participated in a system that legitimated large-scale state crimes.”

“I think we must recall, and it is very important, that this operation, this anti-terrorist policy, was decided and carried out under the aegis of NATO,” Marty told Swiss television channel RTS.

“The United States invoked Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which says that if one member of the alliance is attacked militarily [e.g., as Washington claimed, on September 11], all NATO members are required to come to its aid,” Marty said. Once this was accepted, he added, “there were a whole series of secret accords between the United States and European powers. And all the European countries pledged to grant total immunity to CIA agents, which is manifestly illegal.”

The European powers’ participation in the CIA torture program underscores the utter hypocrisy of the humanitarian pretensions used to justify operations ranging from NATO wars in Syria and Libya to this February’s NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in Ukraine.

The ferocious opposition of the European ruling elites to attempts to bring this criminality to light is the clearest indication that the democratic rights of the population cannot be secured by appeals to any section of the state. The defense of the population’s democratic and social rights is a question of the revolutionary mobilization of the working class in an international struggle against European capitalism.

Article link: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/12/euto-d12.html

Leaked documents tell what NSA spy programs do [Workers World]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, Austria, Belgium, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, China, China-bashing, Germany, Iran, Israel, Mexico, National Security Agency / NSA, Netherlands, NSA, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on February 16, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Chris Fry on February 14, 2014

Revelations about the U.S. National Security Agency spy programs have appeared in German and Dutch magazines. The articles’ source appears to be former NSA contractor and now whistleblower Edward Snowden.

On Dec. 29, the German magazine Der Spiegel published a lengthy article titled “Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit.” The article describes a secret NSA computer hacking unit called the Office of Tailored Access Operations. A former head of TAO wrote a document urging her bosses at the NSA to “support Computer Network Attacks as an integrated part of military operations.”

To do this, she wrote, TAO needs to acquire “pervasive, persistent access on the global network.” The Der Spiegel article states that “the NSA hackers have been given a government mandate for their work.”

Some of the NSA’s TAO operations have included:

Operation WHITETAMALE — the Mexican Government Secretariat of Public Security was penetrated. Its email accounts were downloaded, and then the entire network, including employee addresses and video surveillance records.

Operation STUXNET — jointly developed by U.S. and Israeli agents, a computer “worm” was created to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program.

XKEYSCORE spying tool — a program designed to “fish” computer “crash” reports to Microsoft to gain access to those computers and intercept all of its Internet traffic.

QUANTUMTHEORY — a “toolbox” of computer “malware” programs, which are designed to not only monitor but also misdirect target computer systems. One of these programs — QUANTUMINSERT — was used, according to the article, “to attack the computers of employees at partly government-held Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom.” The same programs were used to attack the OPEC computer network in Vienna, which meant that the U.S. “gained unhindered access to valuable economic data using these tools.”

The article also describes how the NSA’s TAO has its own covert servers, known by the codename FOXACID. Targeted users are directed to fake websites on these servers, from which malware is transferred onto their computers.

SEA-ME-WE-4 — an operation designed to penetrate the largely underwater computer cable system. As the article states, with the help of a “website masquerade operation,” the agency was able to “gain access to the consortium’s management website and collected Layer 2 network information that shows the circuit mapping for significant portions of the network.”

– Sharpening the tools of oppression –

Not satisfied with installing malware to remotely monitor and attack computers and networks, the NSA actually intercepts ordered computers before they are delivered, opens them up, installs both hardware and software, closes them up and resumes delivery. They call this “interdiction.” The NSA considers this among “the most productive operations” that allow TAO to obtain access to networks “around the world.”

A Dutch magazine published an article in November exposing another NSA program used to download information from cell phones — the Apple iPhones are said to be particularly vulnerable to this. Contact lists and other private information are being fed into the NSA databases.

Clearly the NSA spy program is not simply a case of an expanding government bureaucracy. It is designed to serve the ruthless competitive goals of the largest U.S. banks and corporations. That is, of course, consistent with all the activities of the capitalist government. And it can and almost certainly is used against peoples’ movements around the world.

Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who wrote the first stories based on materials from Snowden, pointed out in an interview with democracynow.org that while the U.S. government has attacked the Chinese government for conducting electronic spying and placing spyware hardware and software on the computers that it sells, it has not proven these charges. However, the U.S. NSA expanding spyware programs are doing this very thing on a massive scale.

Revelations of the NSA spy programs have generated public outrage. With growing resistance to the capitalist crisis both here and abroad, it is clear that the U.S. is sharpening its tools of repression. This NSA campaign of electronic warfare must be stopped now!

Article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/02/14/leaked-documents-tell-nsa-spy-programs/

Articles copyright 1995-2014 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Forcing down the Bolivian president’s plane was an act of piracy [JohnPilger.com]

Posted in Austria, Bolivia, Fascism, France, Genocide, Germany, Historical myths of the US, Obama, US drone strikes, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, War crimes, Wikileaks on July 6, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

As Glenn Greenwald has pointed out in a Guardian commentary, France/Spain/Portugal were all willing to repeatedly host CIA rendition torture flights. But despite Snowden’s revelations that the US spies on its ‘allies’ with the most inconceivable total(itarian) breadth, these political toadies all fell in line with their imperial ringleader. – Zuo 4 July 2013

Imagine the aircraft of the President of France being forced down in Latin America on “suspicion” that it was carrying a political refugee to safety – and not just any refugee but someone who has provided the people of the world with proof of criminal activity on an epic scale.

Imagine the response from Paris, let alone the “international community”, as the governments of the West call themselves. To a chorus of baying indignation from Whitehall to Washington, Brussels to Madrid, heroic special forces would be dispatched to rescue their leader and, as sport, smash up the source of such flagrant international gangsterism. Editorials would cheer them on, perhaps reminding readers that this kind of piracy was exhibited by the German Reich in the 1930s.

The forcing down of Bolivian President Evo Morales’s plane – denied air space by France, Spain and Portugal, followed by his 14-hour confinement while Austrian officials demanded to “inspect” his aircraft for the “fugitive” Edward Snowden – was an act of air piracy and state terrorism. It was a metaphor for the gangsterism that now rules the world and the cowardice and hypocrisy of bystanders who dare not speak its name.

In Moscow for a summit of gas-producing nations, Morales had been asked about Snowden who remains trapped in Moscow airport. “If there were a request [for political asylum],” he said, “of course, we would be willing to debate and consider the idea.” That was clearly enough provocation for the Godfather. “We have been in touch with a range of countries that had a chance of having Snowden land or travel through their country,” said a US state department official.

The French – having squealed about Washington spying on their every move, as revealed by Snowden – were first off the mark, followed by the Portuguese. The Spanish then did their bit by enforcing a flight ban of their airspace, giving the Godfather’s Viennese hirelings enough time to find out if Snowden was indeed invoking article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”

Those paid to keep the record straight have played their part with a cat-and-mouse media game that reinforces the Godfather’s lie that this heroic young man is running from a system of justice, rather than preordained, vindictive incarceration that amounts to torture: ask Bradley Manning and the living ghosts in Guantanamo.

Historians seem to agree that the rise of fascism in Europe might have been averted had the liberal or left political class understood the true nature of its enemy. The parallels today are very different; but the Damocles sword over Snowden, like the casual abduction of the Bolivian president, ought to stir us into recognising the true nature of the enemy.

Snowden’s revelations are not merely about privacy, nor civil liberty, nor even mass spying. They are about the unmentionable: that the democratic facades of the United States now barely conceal a systematic gangsterism historically identified with if not necessarily the same as fascism. On Tuesday, a US drone killed 16 people in North Waziristan, “where many of the world’s most dangerous militants live”, said the few paragraphs I read. That by far the world’s most dangerous militants had hurled the drones was not a consideration. President Obama personally sends them every Tuesday.

In his acceptance of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature, Harold Pinter referred to “a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed”…The most enduring silence of the modern era covered the extinction and dispossession of countless human beings by a rampant America and its agents. “But you wouldn’t know it,” said Pinter. “It never happened. Even while it was happening it never happened. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”

This hidden history – not really hidden, of course, but excluded from the consciousness of societies drilled in American myths and priorities – has never been more vulnerable to exposure. Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing, like that of Bradley Manning and Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, threatens to break the silence Pinter described. In revealing a vast Orwellian police state apparatus servicing history’s greatest war-making machine, they illuminate the true extremism of the 21st century. Unprecedented, Germany’s Der Spiegel has described the Obama administration as “soft totalitarianism”. If the penny is finally falling, we might all look closer to home.

This article first appeared in the Guardian

© John Pilger 2010 – 2013

Full article link: http://johnpilger.com/articles/forcing-down-the-bolivian-president-s-plane-was-an-act-of-piracy

Result of U.S.-NATO war on Libya: Corruption, torture, chaos [Workers World]

Posted in Africa, Austria, Canada, Libya, NATO, Sanctions as weapon of war, UNSC, US imperialism, USA on May 29, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Published May 21, 2012 9:36 PM

The regime that NATO and the Pentagon brought to Libya denies human rights, breeds corruption and is leading the country toward increasing chaos day by day.

Some 200 disgruntled soldiers who were part of the army that the Pentagon and NATO backed in the military mission against the Libyan government during 2011 tried to assassinate interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib on May 8.

These rebel soldiers were reportedly angry over the cancellation of monthly payments to ground troops who were militia members in the campaign that overthrew and assassinated Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

The compensation program for the rebels, which distributed $1.4 billion, has been riddled with fraud. Payments were suspended in April. There were reports that people already dead were on lists of militia members and that some who never joined the anti-Gadhafi efforts also received funds. Others who had never been injured were nevertheless sent abroad “for medical treatment.”

NATO’s war against Libya included an arms embargo against the Gadhafi government, a naval blockade, sanctions, seizure of Libya’s foreign assets, and bombing and reconnaissance missions involving 26,000 sorties and 10,000 air strikes.

Corruption has been endemic to the so-called National Transitional Council since the inception of last year’s war and after being placed in power in Tripoli in late August. Since the brutal murder of Gadhafi on Oct. 20, billions of dollars have gone missing from the national treasury.

With the exposure of widespread corruption in Libya, the interim finance minister Hassan Ziglam announced on May 11 that he would soon resign. The reason for his departure is the “wastage of public funds.” (Reuters, May 11)

Interim Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib, the assassin’s target, called those responsible for the shooting, which left at least one person dead, “outlaws.” The various militia groups scattered throughout the capital of Tripoli and other parts of the country have never been brought together into a national army.

Other allegations of corruption over the last several months have included irregularities with the Libyan Investment Authority and an unaccounted-for $2.5 billion in oil revenues . The foreign assets the imperialist states froze early in the war on Libya remain a source of dispute.

* Human rights ignored *

The pretext for the imperialist war on Libya during 2011 was that the pro-Gadhafi government was violating the human rights of its citizens. U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 backed the war, although no concrete evidence of such rights’ violations was ever uncovered. Meanwhile, the pro-Gadhafi government faced an armed rebellion the imperialists financed and coordinated.

Reports indicate that the current NTC Libyan regime is detaining at least 7,000 people inside the country. Many have suffered torture and/or extrajudicial killings. According to Ian Martin, who heads the U.N. mission to Libya, “Cases of mistreatment and torture of detainees continue.” (Agence France Presse, May 11)

The detainees are accused of fighting in the Libyan military against the 2011 uprising or against air or sea attacks. The NTC regime passed a law that ordered militias to round up for prosecution anyone who supported the former political system that ruled the country for 42 years and that also eliminated all these people from upcoming elections.

Threats against supporters of the former Gadhafi government also extend outside Libya. The previous oil minister and Prime Minister Dr. Shokri Ghanem was found dead, floating in the Danube River in Vienna in late April.

The son of Moammar Gadhafi, Seif al-Islam, is still being held in a secret prison in Zintan and is not being allowed to have legal representation of his choice. An International Criminal Court representative visited him recently for an interview and witnessed that two of his fingers had been severed and a tooth was missing.

ICC prosecutors are allowing the detention of Seif al-Islam inside Libya, although the NTC government claims that it is not in control of the facility where he is being held. Any trial held under such conditions will be a farce.

* Sham elections due *

There is no way that the elections scheduled for June 19 can be considered free and fair. The former officials of the Gadhafi government and their supporters have been criminalized and many of them remain outside the country.

Meanwhile, the secessionist elements in the eastern part of the country where the anti-Gadhafi rebellion began in February 2011, the so-called Barqa Council, have rejected the election process and are calling for a boycott. The leadership within the region, which calls itself the Council of Cyrenaica, is pushing for autonomous status outside the authority of the NTC in Tripoli.

At the same time, in the southern region of Libya, reports of ongoing conflict continue. Fighting over the last several months between what is described as the Toubou people and Arab tribesmen has killed many.

On May 14, the Agence France Presse reported, “A candidate in the upcoming poll for a constituent assembly was murdered in Libya’s southern desert on Sunday shortly after submitting his registration.”

* Fruits of imperialist war in Africa *

All wars in the past 15 years that the U.S. and other imperialist countries have initiated under the pretext of humanitarian concerns have resulted in worsening conditions for the masses in the respective countries.

In the U.S. itself, the economic crisis is causing the destruction of the cities and the rise in racist violence . Runaway military spending has not created any job growth for tens of millions of unemployed workers.

In Canada, which ostensibly led the NATO operations in Libya, a scandal is emerging over the cover-up of the cost of the war. Press reports say that the actual total cost of the Libya bombing campaign for Canada, which was quoted as $50 million last October, was actually $347 million, seven times higher than what has been previously stated. (CBC News, May 11)

Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2012/world/libya_0524/

U.S. whips up war fever against Iran [Workers World]

Posted in 9/11, Assassination, Austria, Black propaganda, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, DEA, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, False flag, FBI, Hillary Clinton, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Media smear campaign, Nukes, Obama, Pakistan, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, Saudi Arabia, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA, Wall Street on October 24, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Gene Clancy
Published Oct 20, 2011

In a desperate attempt to cover up its absolute inability to solve the economic and political crisis that has engulfed the world, the U.S. ruling class and the U.S. government have resorted to a tried-and-true method of diverting mass sentiment: war frenzy.

On Oct. 12, Washington recklessly accused the Iranian government of sponsoring a terrorist plot in the United States . It was the same day that Iran announced the opening of its first nuclear power plant. The plant is designed for peaceful purposes and had official public U.S. and international support.

The following day, however, the U.S. military announced that militants “armed and trained by Iran” had fired on U.S. forces in Iraq. (New York Times, Oct. 13) The Pentagon gave no evidence of Iran’s connection to the act, but made clear its intention to create a climate of hostility towards Iran.

As part of the campaign, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent warnings to U.S. travelers all around the world to be on “high alert” against possible “terror attacks.”

Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was advising Congress that even the proposed very small cuts in war spending suggested by the so-called “super committee” looking for ways to reduce the deficit were unacceptable.

The Obama administration also began pressuring a forthcoming International Atomic Energy Agency assessment to come up with “evidence” that Iran is pursuing a clandestine effort to produce a nuclear-tipped missile. This is according to Washington’s representative with this organization, which is based in Vienna, Austria. (Global Security Newswire, Oct. 14)

There can be only one conclusion from these carefully coordinated developments: The U.S. is preparing for an all-out campaign against Iran that can end in a war of U.S. aggression.

The U.S. corporate media responded predictably, duplicating the government’s claims. An Oct. 11 Wall Street Journal editorial called the plot “a sobering wake-up call” in America’s “war on terror” and pushed for a more aggressive policy toward Iran.

President Barack Obama “underscored that the United States believes this plot to be a flagrant violent of U.S. and international law, and reiterated [his] commitment to meet our responsibilities to ensure the security of diplomats serving in our country.” (New York Times, Oct. 13)

Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a spokesperson for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, had this to say about the so-called plot:

“I think the U.S. government is busy fabricating a new scenario, and history has shown both the U.S. government and the CIA have a lot of experience in fabricating these scenarios and this is just the latest one,” he said. “I think their goal is to reach the American public. They want to take the public’s mind off the serious domestic problems they’re facing these days and scare them with fabricated problems outside the country.” (CNN, Oct. 11)

The U.S. and its allies have been targeting Iran since the 1979 revolution there. Iran is a large country — a population of 78 million — with important oil resources. It occupies an important geopolitical position in the Middle East. Since 1979, it has opposed both U.S. imperialism and Israeli expansion in the region.

* U.S. practices entrapment *

Reporter Gareth Porter subjected the legal document released by the government to a point-by-point analysis. His conclusion was that the entire affair “was mainly the result of a Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operation.” (Asia Times Online, Oct. 14)

“Although the document, called an amended criminal complaint, implicates Iranian-American Mansour Arabsiar and his cousin Ali Gholam Shakuri, an officer in the Iranian Quds force, in a plan to assassinate Saudi Arabian ambassador Adel al-Jubeir, it also suggests that the idea ‘originated with and was strongly pushed by a single undercover DEA [Department of Drug Enforcement] informant, at the direction of the FBI.’”

The entrapment and conviction of suspects entirely on the testimony of FBI informants who served as agents provocateur has been a favorite tactic of the U.S. government in its “war on terror.”

A May 2011 study by New York University’s School of Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice headlined, “Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the ‘Homegrown Threat’ in the United States,” explained how, post-9/11, entrapment by FBI plants led to prosecutions of more than 200 individuals on bogus terrorism-related charges. Washington highlights them as proof of foiling plots — plots that, in fact, never existed.

The phony plots included blowing up Chicago’s Sears Tower; destroying New York landmarks; targeting U.S. soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J. and U.S. Marines at Quantico, Va.; downing National Guard aircraft with Stinger missiles; and destroying a Pakistan ambassador’s aircraft with a surface-to-air missile.

Not a shred of hard evidence was presented, just the word of FBI informants well paid to entrap and lie, and then getting the corporate media to repeat those lies without ever questioning the validity of any charges . Scores of people, mainly Muslims, have been arrested, mistreated, convicted and sentenced to long prison terms.

Statements by antiwar groups in the U.S. are pointing out how now that people are “rising up in righteous anger against the Wall Street banks and the U.S. government,” they must not be diverted into thinking “that their enemy is somewhere else, rather than right here at home.” (iacenter.org)

Articles copyright 1995-2011 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

Article link: http://www.workers.org/2011/world/iran_1027/

“From Munich to Tripoli: Appeasement Aids Aggression” by Yoichi Shimatsu [4th Media]

Posted in Austria, China, Czech Republic / Czechoslovakia, Diplomat, Fascism, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Korean War, Morocco, NATO, Nazism, Nigeria, Qatar, Sarkozy, Spain, Turkey, U.K., UNSC, US imperialism, USA, USSR, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia - former FRY on October 2, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Coco Chanel famously said: “My friends, there are no friends.” The French fashion designer, a Nazi collaborator during the wartime occupation, would have found a comfortable fit in with the “Friends of Libya” in New York. The meeting, a sequel to an earlier summit in Sarkozy’s Paris, is aimed at expanding international support for the NATO-installed National Transitional authority in Tripoli. The well-attired diplomats and cologne-drenched corporate executives at the New York conference, now as in Coco Chanel’s lifetime, are doing what they do best: appeasement of aggression.

The present generation of appeasers is following the textbook of surrender written by Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier, the “statesmen” who sanctioned Adolf Hitler’s takeover of Czechoslovakia in late September 1938. The prime ministers of Britain and France were latecomers in recognizing the Nazi re-division of the world and therefore had no claim to the war booty. Instead of sharing the fascist loot, they had to satisfy their constituents with scraps from the Fuhrer’s table – mainly face-saving photo opportunities to show that their diplomatic mission was a “success.” History surely repeats itself with the Libyan debacle.

* Peace on the Cheap *

“Peace in our time” was, of course, a fraud, which certainly did not fool Hitler, who came away from Munich convinced that the Western democracies were ready to yield all of the capitals of Eastern Europe along with Vienna and Prague. The appeasement epidemic soon infected Stalin’s Moscow with the signing of the Ribbentrop-Molotov agreement in 1939, a compromise that lulled the Soviet Union into a surprise attack.

Since the Munich dictat, the roles have changed. Today, it is Russia and China going hat in hand to the British-French-American victory celebration. Contemporary appeasement arises from the same source as the sell-out at Munich: amorality, the failure to adhere to higher principles. Individuals or countries lacking a coherent social ethos and personal code of conduct, tempered in real-world struggle, easily fall prey to the notion that “might makes right”. Instead of standing up to threats, they kneel to the powerful as if before a demigod.

* World Body in Shame *

Governments are prone to appeasement because their diplomats and bureaucrats are amoral, being mere functionaries who operate under rules and not principles. The United Nations, as a hierarchy of governments and a diplomat’s club, has a longer record of betraying the principle of self-determination than even its discredited predecessor, the League of Nations. Instead of defending sovereignty, the UN more often than not has been a violator, as it was in the Korean conflict, Vietnam War, partition of Yugoslavia and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

The two Security Council resolutions to “protect civilians” in Libya provided pseudo-legitimate cover for a foreign invasion by the special forces units from the French, British, Qatari and Jordanian armies bolstered by jihadist recruits from across the Middle East, Turkey and Afghanistan. The logic behind “protection of civilians” is similar to Hitler’s pretext for seizing Czechoslovakia, which was to “save” its German-speaking minority. The one big difference between then and now is that Chamberlain and Daladier did not have the power of veto.

The Libyan rebels, it should be recalled, rejected the UN offer to send a peacekeeping mission to Benghazi. Their objective from the start was to establish an Islamist Emirate in the Magreb under sharia law, arguably more repressive than Taliban rule. The jihadists have already slaughtered many more civilians, especially blacks, than the UN could have ever rescued.

The current suggestion to impose a U.N. operation inside Libya is, on a practical level, nonsense. The Libyan state holds more than $160 billion in foreign assets has no foreign debt and can raise adequate funds for reconstruction from forward contracts on oil delivery. In contrast, the UN is a pauper agency with a $5 billion annual budget and a chronic debt. It is Libya that can afford to finance the United Nations, not vice versa. In addition, the risk potential for a UN presence in Tripoli is massive, considering the ominous parallels with its mission in Iraq and, more recently, Nigeria, were its personnel were mass-murdered by truck bombs. How many more human lives do the appeasers intend to throw away?

* Guernica, Again *

It is no wonder, then, that the ruling council treats reluctant recognition from Moscow and Beijing with unconcealed contempt. Pretoria and Caracas, in contrast, are shown the uneasy degree of respect accorded to adamant enemies. Global power relations are based on fear not friendship. Coco Chanel and Machiavelli were right about that.

Real men and women fight not for compromises but for their political beliefs and personal convictions. The spineless diplomacy demonstrated at Munich, and more recently in Paris and New York, achieves nothing. The only realistic choice is to fight aggression, even if it means certain defeat. The shining example for moral courage handed down to us from the 1930s came with the Spanish Civil War, when a brave population without the support of a prostrate League of Nations stood up to the combined military might of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, Franco’s legions and his Moroccan auxiliaries. The fascist horde invaded Spain in defiance of a League arms embargo, which was enforced only against the republican side, as was the case in the one-sided U.N. sanctions against Libya.

Today, the NATO jets that pound Sirte are the equivalent of the Hilter’s Condor bombers, which leveled the beleaguered Spanish Basque town of Guernica. Then the League failed to challenge the fascist assault on Spain, while now the UN takes a step further into the moral quagmire by backing the NATO proxy regime. The fall of Madrid to the fascists had horrifying consequences for the republicans and the International Brigades. Yet the blood of innocents and fighters spilled on Spanish soil provided the moral rationale and inspiration for the crucial victories at Stalingrad and Midway.

* Struggle On *

The moral grounds for resisting the fascist offensive were not given by the Comintern commissars or church prelates; leadership of the spirit came the writers and commentators who conveyed the words of the Spanish people to the world. Millions were moved to action by the slogan “They shall not pass”, voiced over the radio by the female communist leader Dolores Ibarruri, better known as La Pasionaria. Her comrade-in-arms Louis Aragon, a French poet and intellectual, emerged from Surrealism, a cultural movement that advocated total resistance [sic] to bourgeois hypocrisy[.] Ernest Hemingway, the journalist and novelist whose his democratic instincts were based on the ideals tested by America’s own Civil War, helped to raise the Lincoln Brigade of valiant American volunteers.

Whenever the amoral embrace the immoral, it is then up to the intellectuals and artists to summon ordinary people to find in themselves the courage to fight on. What the diplomats and corporate chieftains in their bestial stupor can never understand is this paradox of history: [w]ith triumph, the aggressors seal their defeat; but for the people, from the ashes of defeat arises victory. The battle of Libya, by no means over yet, is just the beginning of the third world war. As far as morality goes, it is the acid test for each of us.

Yoichi Shimatsu is Editor at Large for April Media.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://en.m4.cn/2011/09/20/from-munich-to-tripoli-appeasement-aids-aggression/

“Team Obama/Cult Obama” by William Blum – Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech compared with Hitler’s 1935 speech; two vicious warmongers pose as doves [Killinghope.org / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]

Posted in Austria, DPR Korea, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Obama, Poland, USA, World War II on April 9, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

June 11, 2009

The praise heaped on President Obama for his speech to the Muslim world by writers on the left, both here and abroad, is disturbing. I’m referring to people who I think should know better, who’ve taken Politics 101 and can easily see the many hypocrisies in Obama’s talk, as well as the distortions, omissions, and contradictions, the true but irrelevant observations, the lies, the optimistic words without any matching action, the insensitivities to victims. Yet, these commentators are impressed, in many cases very impressed.  In the world at large, this frame of mind borders on a cult.

In such cases one must look beyond the intellect and examine the emotional appeal.  We all know the world is in big trouble — Three Great Problems: universal, incessant violence; financial crisis provoking economic suffering; environmental degradation.  In all three areas the United States bears more culpability than any other single country.  Who better to satisfy humankind’s craving for relief than a new American president who, it appears, understands the problems; admits, to one degree or another, his country’s responsibility for them; and “eloquently” expresses his desire and determination to change US policies and embolden the rest of the world to follow his inspiring example.  Is it any wonder that it’s 1964, the Beatles have just arrived in New York, and everyone is a teenage girl?

I could go through the talk Obama gave in Cairo and point out line by line the hypocrisies, the mere platitudes, the plain nonsense, and the rest. (“I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States.” No mention of it being outsourced, probably to the very country he was speaking in, amongst others. “No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons.” But this is precisely what the United States is trying to do concerning Iran and North Korea.) But since others have been pointing out these lies very well I’d like to try something else in dealing with the problem — the problem of well-educated people, as well as the not so well-educated, being so moved by a career politician saying “all the right things” to give food for hope to billions starving for it, and swallowing it all as if they had been born yesterday.  I’d like to take them back to another charismatic figure, Adolf Hitler, speaking to the German people two years and four months after becoming Chancellor, addressing a Germany still reeling with humiliation from its being The Defeated Nation in the World War, with huge losses of its young men, still being punished by the world for its militarism, suffering mass unemployment and other effects of the great depression. Here are excerpts from the speech of May 21, 1935. Imagine how it fed the hungry German people.

I conceive it my duty to be perfectly frank and open in addressing the nation.  I frequently hear from Anglo-Saxon tribes expressions of regret that Germany has departed from those principles of democracy, which in those countries are held particularly sacred.  This opinion is entirely erroneous.  Germany, too, has a democratic Constitution.

Our love of peace perhaps is greater than in the case of others, for we have suffered most from war.  None of us wants to threaten anybody, but we all are determined to obtain the security and equality of our people.

The World War should be a cry of warning here.  Not for a second time can Europe survive such a catastrophe.

Germany has solemnly guaranteed France her present frontiers, resigning herself to the permanent loss of Alsace-Lorraine.  She has made a treaty with Poland and we hope it will be renewed and renewed again at every expiry of the set period.

The German Reich, especially the present German Government, has no other wish except to live on terms of peace and friendship with all the neighboring States.

Germany has nothing to gain from a European war.  What we want is liberty and independence.  Because of these intentions of ours we are ready to negotiate non-aggression pacts with our neighbor States.

Germany has neither the wish nor the intention to mix in internal Austrian affairs, or to annex or to unite with Austria.

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