Archive for the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Category

“Exposed: US ‘Press FREEDOM’” by Pepe Escobar [4th Media]

Posted in Bahrain, Capitalist media double standard, China, Corporate Media Critique, Egypt, George W. Bush, IMF - International Monetary Fund, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Malaysia, Media smear campaign, Pentagon, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Saudi Arabia, south Korea, State Department, Thailand, Torture, USA on December 6, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Nov. 22, 2011

Last week, independent journalist Sam Husseini went to a news conference by Prince Turki al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia at Washington’s National Press Club – where Husseini is a member.

Then he did something that is alien to United States corporate media culture. He behaved as an actual journalist and asked a tough, pertinent, no-holds-barred question. Here it is, as relayed by Husseini’s blog:

I want to know what legitimacy your regime has, sir. You come before us, representative of one of the most autocratic, misogynistic regimes on the face of the earth. Human Rights Watch and other reports of torture, detention of activists, you squelched the democratic uprising in Bahrain, you tried to overturn the democratic uprising in Egypt and indeed you continue to oppress your own people . What legitimacy does your regime have – other than billions of dollars and weapons?

Prince Turki, former Saudi intelligence supremo, former pal of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, former Saudi ambassador to the US, reacted by changing the subject.

Were this to happen in the Middle East, Husseini would have been duly kidnapped by Saudi intel, tortured and snuffed out. Ask the remains of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. For much less – saying out loud in an Arab League meeting that King Abdullah was a traitor, because he was encouraging the George W Bush administration to invade Iraq – the House of Saud did everything in its power, for years, to make sure Gaddafi was taken out.

Turki exhibits all the trademark democratic credentials of the House of Saud. He refers to the push for democracy in the Arab world as “Arab Troubles”.

* After the Turki shoot *

According to Husseini, on the same day of the news conference he received “a letter informing me that I was suspended from the National Press Club ‘due to your conduct at a news conference’. The letter, signed by the executive director of the club, William McCarren, accused me of violating rules prohibiting ‘boisterous and unseemly conduct or language’.”

Husseini, communications director of the Institute for Public Accuracy, which showcases critical journalism from all over the world, is a calm, thoughtful man with impeccable credentials. The accusation is not only bogus – it is downright pathetic.

Was this a one-off? Obviously not. Flashback to January 2009, at the same National Press Club, during a news conference by then-Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni. When Livni was asked a tough question – once again by Husseini – the mike was cut, and the conference abruptly terminated. My cameraman, Sebastian Pituscan, was there with me.

So this is how the much-lauded “freedom of the press” myth in the US actually works. If you perform the job of an actual journalist, telling truth to power, forget about attending press conferences at the White House, Pentagon or State Department. You won’t even be admitted in the building.

If you are an official from a “valuable ally” – such as the House of Saud or the regime in Israeli – you are assured a tough question-free pulpit anywhere you choose, especially if you’re fluent in English.

But if you are an official from a “rogue” regime, the maximum you can aspire is to be humiliated in public, as it happened to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University in New York. Especially if you don’t speak English, and most of what you say is lost in translation.

On the other hand, if you are a travelling US corporate media hack, you can get away with murder.

Example. During the Asian financial crisis, in 1997 and 1998, I went to countless press conferences where parachuted US hacks intimidated Asian leaders as if they were a bunch of hooligans (the hacks, not the leaders). Perky chicks emerging from some two-bit journalism school in the flyover states treated then-Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad as if he was a child rapist, because he had established capital controls.

Mahathir turned out to be right – as Malaysia overcame the crisis much earlier than those, such as Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea, that surrendered to the International Monetary Fund’s dreadful “adjustments”.

In 1989, Chinese students protesting in Tiananmen Square were hailed by US media as heroes standing up to tyranny. In 2011, American students protesting all across the country against financial tyranny are “lazy”, “bastards”, both, or downright criminalized.

United States corporate media could not possibly admit that repression in Tahrir Square by Egyptian riot police is exactly the same as repression in New York, Oakland, Portland or Boston by American riot police.

Still there’s no word from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization about setting up a “humanitarian” no-fly zone over selected Occupy sites in US cities. They are still consulting with the House of Saud.

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TurtleLeaks: Wikileaks proves UN Sec-Gen Ban Ki-moon is a blatant US stooge, plus the political origins of this model Korean tool of Uncle Sam [Foreign Policy / Turtle Bay / Sweet & Sour Socialism Essential Archives]]

Posted in Bill Clinton, China, DPR Korea, France, Gaza, Iran, Israel, Korean War, Kosovo, Myanmar, Obama, Palestine, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russia, Seoul, south Korea, Sweet and Sour Socialism Essential Archives, U.K., UNSC, US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Wikileaks, Yugoslavia - former FRY on September 25, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Colum Lynch

April 29, 2011

Original article title: “TurtleLeaks: How Obama learned to stop worrying and love the Ban”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s unbridled pro-Americanism has helped win over an Obama administration whose top officials once viewed him as weak and uninspiring…according to diplomats and previously unpublished U.S. diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks.

The U.S. communications show how Ban has secured the support of the full spectrum of Washington officialdom, from the most conservative Republican critics of the U.N., including John R. Bolton, who famously sneered that the U.N. could lose 10 top floors without missing a thing, to the Democrats’ most vocal champion of multilateral diplomacy [sic], Susan E. Rice, by delivering consistently on American priorities.

The confidential cables, obtained by Turtle Bay in partnership with the Washington Post, detail Ban’s private exchanges with American diplomats from his 2006 election campaign through late 2009, when he began quietly building support for a second term. They show that if there has been any unifying thread of U.S. attitudes toward the secretary-general, it has been Washington’s appreciation for his pro-Americanism.

When Ban first approached the U.S. Embassy in Seoul in 2006 to gauge support for his bid to become secretary general, U.S. officials had clear reservations. While acknowledging Ban was a “consummate diplomat,” embassy officials expressed their concern that the South Korean foreign minister had neither held a job outside the Korean Foreign Ministry nor managed a substantial re-structuring of a large institution, according to a July 2006 cable.

But “on one credential we have no doubt,” according to that assessment by the U.S. embassy in Seoul, Korea: Ban was unswervingly pro-American and could be counted on to offer a sympathetic ear when the U.S. came looking for something. “When we need something from the South Koreans — ranging from sending Korean troops to Iraq to resolving bases issue for USFK [U.S. Forces Korea] — we turn to Ban,” according to the cable, classified by then U.S. ambassador to South Korea Alexander Vershbow. “He has always been sympathetic and helpful. We have no doubt Ban’s relations with the USG would be the same if he were the UNSYG…”

…he has shown a special affection for the United States, proving himself to be among the most pro-American secretary-generals in the U.N.’s history.

In his first official meeting with one of Bush’s U.N. envoys, Zalmay Khalilzad, Ban said that while U.S.-U.N. relations had gone through “a difficult period” in recent years, he believed that “without U.S. support for the U.N., nothing happens,” according to a May 2007 cable. Ban went on to offer Khalilzad his services in trying to persuade skeptical countries to back Kosovo’s independence drive, an initiative that was also backed by Britain and France. Ban assured that “he was ready ‘to assist the effort in any way possible.'”

Ban recognized that his effectiveness could be tempered if he was seen as too close to the Americans. In October 2007, he sought out Chinese support for a visit by his special envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, to [Myanmar], a trip the U.S. also favored. But he encouraged Khalilzad at a lunch to “keep a lower profile on pressing for the November 1 date while this plays out. Otherwise, he will seen as doing the U.S.’s bidding he said,” according to the cable.

Obama’s national security team was initial cool to Ban…

…Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is said to have initially found Ban uninspiring, but she has been careful not to criticize him publicly. Before her current posting, Rice served in the Clinton administration, which had engaged in a bruising, and politically costly, campaign to block former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali from serving out a second term. She did not want a repeat, and did not want to do anything to weaken the U.N. chief at a time the U.S. was seeking to reengage with the United Nations, according to U.N.-based diplomats.

On June 29, 2009, India’s U.N. ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, in a private meeting with Rice, voiced concern about articles in the United States and Britain that sharply criticized Ban’s tenure. “Rice said the criticism had not come from the U.S. government; it was not helpful for the function of the U.N. We don’t need a lame-duck secretary general, said ambassador Rice; there is too much to get done,” according to a July 2009 cable that was previously published by WikiLeaks.

Ban eventually secured Rice’s backing as he proved supportive on issues the Obama administration cared about. In May 2009, Ban agreed under prodding from Rice to reject a call (by a U.N. board of inquiry he had commissioned) to carry out a far-ranging investigation into alleged excesses by Israel and Hamas during the 2008-2009 Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. On Iran, Ban has been equally accommodating, publicly criticizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and privately sending tough messages to the Iranian regime.

According to one cable, he even urged the Americans to go it alone in addressing Iran’s nuclear threat if efforts by the permanent five members of the Security Council, plus Germany, continued to stall. “The SYG said it is good to continue with the P5-1 structure for now, but if its effectiveness wanes, the U.S. should be prepared to take the reins,” according to the confidential June 2009 cable.

Despite the Obama team’s initial misgivings about Ban, they have since come around, recognizing a diplomat generally deferential to American demands who sincerely believes in the virtues of U.S. leadership…

…Ban is as much a product of the American century as any American national figure. During the Korean War, Ban and his family were displaced…and forced into a life of hunger and destitution, surviving on U.S. food donations. Among his most cherished memories is a student visit to Washington, memorialized in a class photo with John F. Kennedy. As a diplomat, he served three tours in the United States; as foreign minister, Ban vigorously pressed his government to support the United States, including by participating in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 alongside its historic military ally [sic]. When U.S. forces killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, it was Ban who sent a personal note to the State Department applauding the act.

“Ban understands completely American people [sic], values and government. More important, he is naturally sympathetic to all things American,” according to one July 2006 cable. “This is quite typical [sic] of well educated Koreans [sic] of his age. Their formative experience was the Korean War, and they remain convinced that the U.S. is a benign power, with shared ideals and goals for the region and the world.”

Ban also recognized the importance of the United States in his own professional advancement. As he campaigned for U.N. chief in 2006, Ban informed U.S. diplomats that “all interlocutors assessed that the most important voices were from the United States and China.” But he feared that China would not make an explicit endorsement, instead taking the position that any one of four East Asian candidates “were qualified and acceptable,” according to the July 2006 cable. “Ultimately, Ban opined, the race would hinge on the position of the United States and China. In a July 18 conversation, he for the first time voiced concern that, if the U.S. stayed non-committal much longer, his candidacy could falter,” according to the cable.

This time around, Ban appears to have locked in support, not only from the United States, but from China, Russia, and other key Security Council members. A phrase the Americans used back in July 2006 to describe Ban’s rise rings true today. “A consummate diplomat, Ban finds himself at the top of his chosen career largely because of his ability to get along with others.”

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“Why Regime Change in Libya?” by Ismael Hossein-zadeh []

Posted in Africa, Algeria, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Cameron, Chile, China, Cuba, DPR Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Evo Morales, Fidel Castro, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hugo Chavez, IMF - International Monetary Fund, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kim Jong Il, Libya, Morocco, NATO, Nicaragua, Nigeria, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russia, Sarkozy, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syria, Tunisia, U.K., US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Venezuela, WTO, Zionism on September 19, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

June 20, 2011

In light of the brutal death and destruction wrought on Libya by the relentless US/NATO bombardment, the professed claims of “humanitarian concerns” as grounds for intervention can readily be dismissed as a blatantly specious imperialist ploy in pursuit of “regime change” in that country.

There is undeniable evidence that contrary to the spontaneous, unarmed and peaceful protest demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, the rebellion in Libya has been nurtured, armed and orchestrated largely from abroad, in collaboration with expat opposition groups and their local allies at home. Indeed, evidence shows that plans of “regime change” in Libya were drawn long before the insurgency actually started in Benghazi; it has all the hallmarks of a well-orchestrated civil war [1].

It is very tempting to seek the answer to the question “why regime change in Libya?” in oil/energy. While oil is undoubtedly a concern, it falls short of a satisfactory explanation because major Western oil companies were already extensively involved in the Libyan oil industry. Indeed, since Gaddafi relented to the US-UK pressure in 1993 and established “normal” economic and diplomatic relations with these and other Western countries, major US and European oil companies struck quite lucrative deals with the National Oil Corporation of Libya.

So, the answer to the question “why the imperialist powers want to do away with Gaddafi” has to go beyond oil, or the laughable “humanitarian concerns.” Perhaps the question can be answered best in the light of the following questions: why do these imperialist powers also want to overthrow Hugo Cavez of Venezuela, Fidel Castro (and/or his successors) of Cuba, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Rafael Correa Delgado of Ecuador,Kim Jong-il of North Korea, Bashar Al-assad of Syria and Evo Morales of Bolivia? Or, why did they overthrow Mohammad Mossadeq of Iran, Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, Kusno Sukarno of Indonesia, Salvador Allende of Chile, Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti and Manuel Zelaya in Honduras?

What does Gaddafi have in common with these nationalist/populist leaders? The question is of course rhetorical and the answer is obvious: like them Gaddafi is guilty of insubordination to the proverbial godfather of the world: US imperialism, and its allies. Like them, he has committed the cardinal sin of challenging the unbridled reign of global capital, of not following the economic “guidelines” of the captains of global finance, that is, of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and World Trade Organization; as well as of refusing to join US military alliances in the region. Also like other nationalist/populist leaders, he advocates social safety net (or welfare state) programs—not for giant corporations, as is the case in imperialist countries, but for the people in need.

This means that the criminal agenda of Messrs Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, and their complicit allies to overthrow or kill Mr. Gaddafi and other “insubordinate” proponents of welfare state programs abroad is essentially part of the same evil agenda of dismantling such programs at home. While the form, the context and the means of destruction maybe different, the thrust of the relentless attacks on the living standards of the Libyan, Iranian, Venezuelan or Cuban peoples are essentially the same as the equally brutal attacks on the living conditions of the poor and working people in the US, UK, France and other degenerate capitalist countries. In a subtle (but unmistakable) way they are all part of an ongoing unilateral class warfare on a global scale — whether they are carried out by military means and bombardments, or through the apparently “non-violent” processes of judicial or legislative means does not make a substantial difference as far as the nature or the thrust of the attack on people’s lives orlivelihoods are concerned.

In their efforts to consolidate the reign of big capital worldwide, captains of global finance use a variety of methods. The preferred method is usually non-military, that is, the neoliberal strategies of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), carried out by representatives of big business disguised as elected officials, or by the multilateral institutions such as the IMF and the WTO. This is what is currently happening in the debt- and deficit-ridden economies of the United States and Europe. But if a country like Libya (or Venezuela or Iran or Cuba) does not go along with the neoliberal agenda of “structural adjustments,” of outsourcing and privatization,and of allowing their financial system to be tied to the network of global banking cartel, then the military option is embarked upon to carry out the neoliberal agenda.

The powerful interests of global capitalism do not seem to feel comfortable to dismantle New Deal economics, Social Democratic reforms and welfare state programs in the core capitalist countries while people in smaller, less-developed countries such as Libya, Venezuela or Cuba enjoy strong, state-sponsored social safety net programs such as free or heavily-subsidized education and health care benefits. Indeed, guardians ofthe worldwide market mechanism have always been intolerant of any “undue” government intervention in the economic affairs of any country in the world. “Regimented economies,” declared President Harry Truman in a speech at Baylor University (1947), were the enemy of free enterprise, and “unless we act, and act decisively,” he claimed, those regimented economies would become “the pattern of the next century.” To fend off that danger, Truman urged that “the whole world should adopt the American system.” The system of free enterprise, he went on, “can survive in America only if it becomes a world system” [2].

Before it was devastated by the imperialist-orchestrated civil war and destruction, Libya had the highest living standard in Africa. Using the United Nations statistics, Jean-Paul Pougala of Dissident Voice reports,

“The country now ranks 53rd on the HDI [Human Development Index] index, better than all other African countries and also better than the richer and Western-backed Saudi Arabia. . . . Although the media often refers to youth unemployment of 15 to 30 percent, it does not mention that in Libya, in contrast to other countries, all have their subsistence guaranteed. . . . The government provides all citizens with free health care and [has] achieved high coverage in the most basic health areas. . . . The life expectancy rose to 74.5 years and is now the highest in Africa. . . . The infant mortality rate declined to 17 deaths per 1,000 births and is not nearly as high as in Algeria (41) and also lower than in Saudi Arabia (21).

“The UNDP [United Nations Development Program] certified that Libya has also made ‘a significant progress in gender equality,’ particularly in the fields of education and health, while there is still much to do regarding representation in politics and the economy. With a relative low ‘index of gender inequality’ the UNDP places the country in the Human Development Report 2010 concerning gender equality at rank 52 and thus also well ahead of Egypt (ranked 108), Algeria (70), Tunisia (56), Saudi Arabia (ranked 128) and Qatar (94)” [3].

It is true that after resisting the self-centered demands and onerous pressures from Western powers for more than thirty years, Gaddafi relented in 1993 and opened the Libyan economy to Western capital, carried out a number of neoliberal economic reforms, and granted lucrative business/investment deals to major oil companies of the West.

But, again, like the proverbial godfather, US/European imperialism requires total, unconditional subordination; half-hearted, grudging compliance with the global agenda of imperialism is not enough. To be considered a real “ally,” or a true “client state,” a country has to grant the US the right to “guide” its economic, geopolitical and foreign policies, that is, to essentiallyforgo its national sovereignty. Despite some economic concessions since the early 1990s, Gaddafi failed this critical test of “full compliance” with the imperialist designs in the region.

For example, he resisted joining a US/NATO-sponsored military alliance in the region. Libya (along with Syria) are the only two Mediterranean nations and the sole remaining Arab states that are not subordinated to U.S. and NATO designs for control of the Mediterranean Sea Basin and the Middle East. Nor has Libya (or Syria) participated in NATO’s almost ten-year-old Operation Active Endeavor naval patrols and exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and neither is a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue military partnership which includes most regional countries: Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania [4].

To the chagrin of US imperialism, Libya’s Gaddafi also refused to join the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), designed to control valuable resources in Africa, safeguard trade and investment markets in the region, and contain or evict China from North Africa. “When the US formed AFRICOM in 2007, some 49 countries signed on to the US military charter for Africa but one country refused: Libya. Such a treacherous act by Libya’s leader Moummar Qaddafi would only sow the seeds for a future conflict down the road in 2011” [5].

Furthermore, by promoting trade, development and industrialization projects on a local, national, regional or African level, Gaddafi was viewed as an obstacle to the Western powers’ strategies of unhinderedtrade and development projects on a global level. For example, Gaddafi’s Libya played a leading role in “connecting the entire [African] continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas” [3].

The idea of launching a pan-African system of technologically advanced network of telecommunication began in the early 1990s, “when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual$500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country. . . . An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of $400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a $500 million annual lease” [3].

In pursuit of financing this project, the African nations frequently pleaded with the IMF and the World Bank for assistance. As the empty promises of these financial giants dragged on for 14 years,

“Gaddafi put an end to [the] futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put $300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added$50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further $27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.

“China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally indigenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge.

“This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere $300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gaddafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of $500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent”[3].

Architects of global finance, represented by the imperialist governments of the West, also viewed Gaddafi as a spoiler in the area of international or global money and banking. The forces of global capital tend to prefer a uniform, contiguous, or borderless global market to multiple sovereign markets at the local, national, regional or continental levels.Not only Gaddafi’s Libya maintained public ownership of its own central bank, and the authority to create its own national money, but it also worked assiduously to establish an African Monetary Fund, an African Central Bank, and an African Investment Bank.

The $30 billion of the Libyan money frozen by the Obama administration belong to the Central Bank of Libya, which

“had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African Federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte(Libya), the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaoundé (Cameroon) . . ., and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria, which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc [the French currency] through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gaddafi.

“The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only $25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatization like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17 December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations” [3].

Western powers also viewed Gaddafi as an obstacle to their imperial strategies for yet another reason: standing in the way of their age-old policies of “divide and rule.” To counter Gaddafi’s relentless efforts to establish a United States of Africa, the European Union tried to create the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM) region. “North Africa somehow had to be cut off from the rest of Africa, using the old tired racist clichés of the 18th and 19th centuries, which claimed that Africans of Arab origin were more evolved and civilized than the rest of the continent. This failed because Gaddafi refused to buy into it. He soon understood what game was being played when only a handful of African countries were invited to join the Mediterranean grouping without informing the African Union but inviting all 27 members of the European Union.” Gaddafi also refused to buy into other imperialist-inspired/driven groupings in Africa such as ECOWAS, COMESA, UDEAC, SADC and the Great Maghreb, “which never saw the light of day thanks to Gaddafi who understood what was happening” [3].

Gaddafi further earned the wrath of Western powers for striking extensive trade and investment deals with BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), especially with China. According to Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce, China’s contracts in Libya (prior to imperialism’s controlled demolition of that country) numbered no less than 50 large projects, involving contracts in excess of $18 billion. Even a cursory reading of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) strategic briefings shows that a major thrust of its mission is containment of China. “In effect, what we are witnessing here,” points out Patrick Henningsten, “is the dawn of a New Cold War between the US-EURO powers and China. This new cold war will feature many of the same elements of the long and protracted US-USSR face-off we saw in the second half of the 20th century. It will take place off shore, in places like Africa, South America, Central Asia and through old flashpoints like Korea and the Middle East” [5].

It is obvious (from this brief discussion) that Gaddafi’s sin for being placed on imperialism’s death row consists largely of the challenges he posed to the free reign of Western capital in the region, of his refusal to relinquish Libya’s national sovereignty to become another unconditional “client state” of Western powers. His removal from power is therefore designed to eliminate all “barriers” to the unhindered mobility of the US/European capital in the region by installing a more pliant regime in Libya.

Gaddafi’s removal from power would serve yet another objective of US/European powers: to shorten or spoil the Arab Spring by derailing their peaceful protests, containing their non-violent revolutions and sabotaging their aspirations for self-determination.Soon after being caught by surprise by the glorious uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the imperialist powers (including the mini Zionist imperialism in Palestine) embarked on “damage control.” In pursuit of this objective, they adopted three simultaneous strategies. The first strategy was to half-heartedly “support” theuprisings in Egypt and Tunisia (of course, once they became unstoppable) in order to control them — hence, the military rule in those countries following the departure of Mubarak from Cairo and Ben Ali from Tunis. The second strategy of containment has been support and encouragement for the brutal crackdown of other spontaneous and peaceful uprisings in countries ruled by “client regimes,” for example, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. And the third policy of sabotaging the Arab Spring has been to promote civil war and orchestrate chaos in countries such as Libya, Syria and Iran.

In its early stages of development, capitalism promoted nation-state and/or national sovereignty in order to free itself from the constraints of the church and feudalism. Now that the imperatives of the highly advanced but degenerate global finance capital require unhindered mobility in a uniform or borderless world, national sovereignty is considered problematic — especially in places like Libya, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries that are not ruled by imperialism’s “client states.” Why? Because unhindered global mobility of capital requiresdoing away with social safety net or welfare state programs; it means doing away with public domain properties or public sector enterprises and bringing them under the private ownership of the footloose-and-fancy-free global capital.

This explains why the corporate media, political pundits and other mouthpieces of imperialism are increasing talking about Western powers’ “responsibility to protect,” by which they mean that these powers have a responsibility to protect the Libyan (or Iranian or Venezuelan or Syrian or Cuban or …) citizens from their “dictatorial” rulers by instigating regime change and promoting “democracy” there. It further means that, in pursuit of this objective,the imperialist powers should not be bound by “constraints” of national sovereignty because, they argue, “universal democratic rights take primacy over national sovereignty considerations.” In a notoriously selective fashion, this utilitarian use of the “responsibility to protect” does not apply to nations or peoples ruled by imperialism’s client states such as Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. [6].

This also means that the imperialist war against peoples and states such as Libya and Venezuela is essentially part of the same class war against peoples and states in the belly of the beast, that is, in the United States and Europe. In every instance or place, whether at home or abroad, whether in Libya or California or Wisconsin or Greece, the thrust of the relentless global class war is the same: to do away with subsistence-level guarantees, or social safety net programs, and redistribute the national or global resources in favor of the rich and powerful, especially the powerful interests vested in the finance capital and the military capital.

There is no question that global capitalism has thus woven together the fates and fortunes of the overwhelming majority of the world population in an increasingly intensifying struggle for subsistence and survival. No one can tell when this majority of world population (the middle, lower-middle, poor and working classes) would come to the realization that their seemingly separate struggles for economic survival are essentially part and parcel of the same struggle against the same class enemies, the guardians of world capitalism. One thing is clear, however: only when they come to such a liberating realization, join forces together in a cross-border, global uprising against the forces of world capitalism, and seek to manage their economies independent of profitability imperatives of capitalist production — only then can they break free from the shackles of capitalism and control their future in a coordinated, people-centered mode of production, distribution and consumption.

Ismael Hossein-zadeh, author of The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2007), teaches economics at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

[Footnotes can be accessed at article’s webpage]

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Iranian president defends 9/11 remarks [People’s Daily]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Corporate Media Critique, Iran, Iraq, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA on October 4, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手


September 25, 2010

Appearing amused his claim the 9/ 11 attacks on the United States may have been planned by Washington to further the cause of Israel and deflect attention from a failing society, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday defended them to reporters.

Less than 24-hours after he ignited in New York a firestorm of shock, incredulity and criticism at his suggestion before the General Assembly of the United Nations on Thursday he discussed his reasoning at a news conference in the Warwick Hotel, about 1.5 kilometers from UN Headquarters, in Midtown Manhattan.

The Iranian president reiterated his call for an inquiry into the attacks to see who was behind them.

The first question, after an opening statement in which he said belief in capitalism has come to an end and “it is in full deadlock,” was about his remark many New Yorkers felt was incendiary.

“An event occurred,” Ahmadinejad said referring to the attacks on the World Trade Center twin towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and a plane crash in Pennsylvania in which about 3,000 people died.

“In the pretext of that event two countries were invaded (Iraq and Afghanistan) and up until now hundreds of thousands of people have been killed as a result,” the president said.

“Don’t you think that that excuse needs to be revised?” he continued. “Don’t you feel that if a fact-finding mission was present from the start to explore the true reason behind Sept. 11 that we would not see the catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq today?  Why do you assume that all nations must accept what the U.S. government says?”

Ahmadinejad said he did not make any judgment about various theories about who sponsored the attacks, just voiced them.

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Ahmadinejad and the 9/11 attacks – evidence shows significant numbers of world citizens skeptical of official 9/11 narrative [Al-Jazeera]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Canada, Economic crisis & decline, Egypt, EU, European Union, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pentagon, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, USA, Zionism on September 30, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Surveys show large segments of the world population agree with the Iranian leader’s “US government involvement” claims.

24 September 2010

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has again managed to steal the global spotlight, after levelling a series of rhetorical attacks on the US and Israel – the “Zionist entity” in his words – during an address to the UN General Assembly.

Specifically, he told world leaders on Thursday that the “majority of the American people, as well as most nations and politicians around the world agree” that “some segments within the US government orchestrated” the September 11, 2001, attacks in order to “reverse the declining American economy” and to justify US military operations in the Middle East to “save the Zionist regime”.

Western diplomats, including the US, Canada and the 27-member EU bloc, walked out during the [speech].  PJ Crowley, the US assistant secretary of state, told Al Jazeera that the statement was “totally outrageous”.

But, for better or worse, significant segments of the world’s population are sympathetic to Ahmadinejad’s [reportedly] “conspiratorial” view of the 9/11 attacks which killed about 3,000 people.

Standard view

The US government has determined that 19 hijackers, mostly born in Saudi Arabia and belonging to al-Qaeda, crashed two passenger jets into the World Trade Centre in New York City and one into the Pentagon, located outside Washington, DC, on September, 11, 2001.

A fourth plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania after some of its passengers attempted to retake control of the aircraft.  There were no survivors from any of the flights.

Some of the group’s members, including Osama bin Laden, the head of al-Qaeda, had trained in Afghanistan prior to the attacks – training which precipitated the 2001 US-led invasion of the country.

Bin Laden initially denied, but later admitted in a taped statement aired on Al Jazeera in 2004, planning the attacks.

About 46 per cent of the world’s people believe that al-Qaeda launched the 9/11 attacks, while 15 per cent think the US government was behind the assault, and seven per cent blame Israel, according to a 2008 world public opinion study carried out by the Program on International Policy (PIPA) Attitudes at the University of Maryland, which interviewed 16,063 people worldwide.

But Ahmadinejad views himself as a leader in the Arab and Muslim worlds. And, in these regions, surveys show significant sectors of the population believe that the US and Israel launched the 9/11 attacks to meet their own geopolitical goals. [emphasis mine]

In Jordan, 31 per cent of those polled by PIPA believe Israel was behind the attacks, while only 11 per cent blame it on al-Qaeda.  Likewise, 43 per cent of Egyptians blame Israel, and 12 per cent think the US was responsible, while only 16 per cent think al-Qaeda brought down the towers.

A 2006 poll from Scrippsnews says 36 per cent of Americans consider it “very likely” or “somewhat likely” that US government officials either allowed the attacks to be carried or launched the attacks themselves.

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Media Disinformation and Demonization of Iran’s leader: The Facts About Ahmadinejad’s Sept. 23 2010 UN Speech []

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Corporate Media Critique, Economic crisis & decline, George W. Bush, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Media smear campaign, NATO invasion, New York Times lie, Obama, Pakistan, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russia, Syria, Turkey, US "War on Terror", US foreign occupation, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA, Yemen on September 30, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

The Iranian leader did not accuse the U.S. of conspiring to murder thousands of its own people [on 9/11] to create a pretext for launching wars, [contrary to some headline reports] conveyed by the US media.

“[Although he’s been obviously and maliciously misquoted on more than just this occasion]…From time to time President Ahmadinejad is his own worst enemy because of his incautious remarks. In judging him it’s more important to watch what he does than what he sometimes says.  He has taken no aggressive foreign action and there is no proof Iran is building nuclear weapons. His government’s military strategy is entirely defensive…

 …For different reasons, the U.S. even more so must be judged by its performance, not its words.  While Washington talks “peace” [and presumes to condemn Ahmadinejad based on false premises] , it is fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen, vastly increasing its drone attacks, and is now deploying Special Operations forces in 75 countries, 15 more than last year.  And while Obama [at times] speaks softly, he constantly wields — directly in Ahmadinejad’s face — the big stick of a potential crushing attack by the U.S. and Israel.”

by Jack A. Smith

September 26, 2010

A large portion of the American people, on  the basis of media reports, probably think that during his UN speech Sept. 23 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that the U.S. government secretly arranged for the 9/11 attacks.  He did not say that, however.

 In its Sept. 24 article about the speech The New York Times headline reads [misleadingly]:  “Iran Leader Says U.S. Planned 9/11 Attacks.”  The first paragraph declared:  “President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran made a series of incendiary remarks in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, notably the claim that the United States orchestrated the Sept. 11 attacks to rescue its declining economy, to reassert its weakening grip on the Middle East and to save Israel.”

 On the basis of his remarks the U.S. led 33 nations in theatrical walk out from the General Assembly while he was talking [said walkout now a ritually absurd gesture of insult by the US, UK and their allies when attending Ahmadinejad speeches].  And the next day, in an interview with the BBC’s Persian service, President Barack Obama said Ahmadinejad’s 9/11 remarks were “offensive. It was hateful…[blah, posture of righteous indignation, blah]…”

 On Sept. 25, the Times published a correction: “A headline on Friday with an article about an incendiary speech in the United Nations General Assembly by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran summarized his remarks about the Sept. 11 terror attacks incorrectly.  In his speech, Mr. Ahmadinejad asserted various theories about the origin of the attacks, including the possibility that they had been planned by the United States.  He did not say that the United States had planned the attacks.” [emphases mine]

 The Times was one of many U.S. newspapers, TV and radio news reports that suggested Ahmadinejad accused the U.S. government of secretly instigating the attack — a conspiracy theory believed by some Americans and others [as an alternative to the US government’s official conspiracy theory]. Following are the few paragraphs pertaining to this matter from the Iranian leader’s text:

 “It was said that some three thousands people were killed on the 11 September for which we are all very saddened. Yet, up until now, in Afghanistan and Iraq hundreds of thousands of people have been killed, millions wounded and displaced and the conflict is still going on and expanding.

 “In identifying those responsible for the attack, there were three viewpoints.

 “1- That a very powerful and complex terrorist group, able to successfully cross all layers of the American intelligence and security, carried out the attack.  This is the main viewpoint advocated by American statesmen.

 “2- That some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime.  The majority of the American people as well as other nations and politicians agree with this view.

 “3- It was carried out by a terrorist group but the American government supported and took advantage of the situation.  Apparently, this viewpoint has fewer proponents.  The main evidence linking the incident was a few passports found in the huge volume of rubble and a video of an individual whose place of domicile was unknown but it was announced that he had been involved in oil deals with some American officials.  It was also covered up and said that due to the explosion and fire no trace of the suicide attackers was found.”

 Ahmadinejad did not suggest these were his views.  He was incorrect to claim that a majority of Americans subscribe to a well known [non-mainstream] conspiracy theory that is strongly held by a minority [of varyingly-reported significance] in the United States.

 In a 2009 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 14% of the American people believe “President Bush intentionally allowed the 9/11 attacks to take place because he wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East.”  Many of the people who hold this view are war opponents, but it is not the perspective of the large majority of the U.S. peace movement.

 In 2006, a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll reported that “more than a third of the American public suspects that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could go to war in the Middle East.”

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Ahmadinejad on Israel: “Wiped off The Map”. The Misquote of the Century, Hyped by Western Media to Justify anti-Iran policies [Mossadegh Project /]

Posted in Anti-Arab / Antisemitism, Anti-Islam hysteria, Black propaganda, Capitalist media double standard, Corporate Media Critique, EU, European Union, False flag, George W. Bush, Iran, Iraq, Islamophobia, Israel, Israeli Nukes, Media smear campaign, NATO, Palestine, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, State Department, Tony Blair, U.K., US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, USSR on September 30, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Global Research Editor’s Note

The following text by Arash Norouzi first published by the Mossadegh Project and Global Research in January 2007 confirms that the alleged “Wiped Off the Map” statement by Iran’s president was never made.

The rumor was fabricated by the American media with a view to discrediting Iran’s head of state and providing a justification for waging an all out war on Iran.  The article provides [evidence] of media manipulation and “propaganda in action”.

Iran is blamed for refusing to abide by the “reasonable demands” of “the international community”.  

Realities are twisted and turned upside down.  Iran is being accused of wanting to start a war.  Inherent in US military doctrine, the victims of war are heralded as the aggressor.  

The threat to global security comes from the US-NATO-Israel military alliance, which is now threatening Iran with a pre-emptive attack with nuclear warheads. 

If Iran is attacked, we are potentially in a World War III scenario. 

It is essential to dispel the fabrications of the Western media. 

Iran does not constitute a threat to to Global Security.

Iran does not possess a nuclear weapons program.  Iran does not constitute a threat to Israel.

Michel Chossudovsky, 25 September 2010 

Wiped off  The Map: The Rumor of the Century 

by Arash Norouzi

Global Research, January 20, 2007
The Mossadegh Project

Across the world, a dangerous rumor has spread that could have catastrophic implications.  According to legend, Iran’s President has threatened to destroy Israel, or, to quote the misquote, “Israel must be wiped off the map”.  Contrary to popular belief, this statement was never made, as the following article will prove.   


 On Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at the Ministry of Interior conference hall in Tehran, newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at a program, reportedly attended by thousands, titled “The World Without Zionism”.  Large posters surrounding him displayed this title prominently in English, obviously for the benefit of the international press.  Below the poster’s title was a slick graphic depicting an hour glass containing planet Earth at its top.  Two small round orbs representing the United States and Israel are shown falling through the hour glass’ narrow neck and crashing to the bottom.  

 Before we get to the infamous remark, it’s important to note that the “quote” in question was itself a quote— they are the words of the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the father of the Islamic Revolution.  Although he quoted Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad.  Thus, Ahmadinejad has essentially been credited (or blamed) for a quote that is not only unoriginal, but represents a viewpoint already in place well before he ever took office.   [Emphasis mine – Zuo Shou / 左手]  


     So what did Ahmadinejad actually say?  To quote his exact words in farsi: 

   “Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad.” 

 That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e.  It is the word “Regime“, pronounced just like the English word with an extra “eh” sound at the end.  Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime.  This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map.  [Regimes aren’t indicated on maps… – ZS]  Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase “rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods” (regime occupying Jerusalem). 

 So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want “wiped from the map”?  The answer is: nothing.  That’s because the word “map” was never used.  The Persian word for map, “nagsheh“, is not contained anywhere in his original farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech.  Nor was the western phrase “wipe out” ever said.  Yet we are led to believe that Iran’s President threatened to “wipe Israel off the map”, despite never having uttered the words “map”, “wipe out” or even “Israel”. 

      THE PROOF: 

   The full quote translated directly to English: 

      “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time”. 

   Word by word translation: 

     Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from). 

     Here is the full transcript of the speech in farsi, archived on Ahmadinejad’s web site 


 While the false “wiped off the map” extract has been repeated infinitely without verification, Ahmadinejad’s actual speech itself has been almost entirely ignored.  Given the importance placed on the “map” comment, it would be sensible to present his words in their full context to get a fuller understanding of his position.  In fact, by looking at the entire speech, there is a clear, logical trajectory leading up to his call for a “world without Zionism”.  One may disagree with his reasoning, but critical appraisals are infeasible without first knowing what that reasoning is. 

 In his speech, Ahmadinejad declares that Zionism is the West’s apparatus of political oppression against Muslims.  He says the “Zionist regime” was imposed on the Islamic world as a strategic bridgehead to ensure domination of the region and its assets.  Palestine, he insists, is the frontline of the Islamic world’s struggle with American hegemony, and its fate will have repercussions for the entire Middle East.

Ahmadinejad acknowledges that the removal of America’s powerful grip on the region via the Zionists may seem unimaginable to some, but reminds the audience that, as Khomeini predicted, other seemingly invincible empires have disappeared and now only exist in history books.  He then proceeds to list three such regimes that have collapsed, crumbled or vanished, all within the last 30 years: 

 (1) The Shah of Iran- the U.S. installed monarch 

(2) The Soviet Union 

(3) Iran’s former arch-enemy, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein 

In the first and third examples, Ahmadinejad prefaces their mention with Khomeini’s own words foretelling that individual regime’s demise.  He concludes by referring to Khomeini’s unfulfilled wish: “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.  This statement is very wise”.  This is the passage that has been isolated, twisted and distorted so famously.  By measure of comparison, Ahmadinejad would seem to be calling for regime change, not war. 


 One may wonder: where did this false interpretation originate?  Who is responsible for the translation that has sparked such worldwide controversy?  The answer is surprising. 

 The inflammatory “wiped off the map” quote was first disseminated not by Iran’s enemies, but by Iran itself.  The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran’s official propaganda arm, used this phrasing in the English version of some of their news releases covering the World Without Zionism conference.  International media including the BBC, Al Jazeera, Time magazine and countless others picked up the IRNA quote and made headlines out of it without verifying its accuracy, and rarely referring to the source.  Iran’s Foreign Minister soon attempted to clarify the statement, but the quote had a life of its own.  Though the IRNA wording was inaccurate and misleading, the media assumed it was true, and besides, it made great copy.

Amid heated wrangling over Iran’s nuclear program, and months of continuous, unfounded accusations against Iran in an attempt to rally support for preemptive strikes against the country, the imperialists had just been handed the perfect raison d’être to invade.  To the war hawks, it was a gift from the skies. 

  It should be noted that in other references to the conference, the IRNA’s translation changed.  For instance, “map” was replaced with “earth”.  In some articles it was “The Qods occupier regime should be eliminated from the surface of earth”, or the similar “The Qods occupying regime must be eliminated from the surface of earth”.  The inconsistency of the IRNA’s translation should be evidence enough of the unreliability of the source, particularly when transcribing their news from Farsi into the English language.  


 The mistranslated “wiped off the map” quote attributed to Iran’s President has been spread worldwide, repeated thousands of times in international media, and prompted the denouncements of numerous world leaders.  Virtually every major and minor media outlet has published or broadcast this false statement to the masses.  Big news agencies such as The Associated Press and Reuters refer to the misquote, literally, on an almost daily basis.  

 Following news of Iran’s remark, condemnation was swift.  British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed “revulsion” and implied that it might be necessary to attack Iran. U.N. chief Kofi Annan cancelled his scheduled trip to Iran due to the controversy.  Ariel Sharon demanded that Iran be expelled from the United Nations for calling for Israel’s destruction. Shimon Peres, more than once, threatened to wipe Iran off the map.  More recently, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, who has warned that Iran is “preparing another holocaust for the Jewish state” is calling for Ahmadinejad to be tried for war crimes for inciting genocide.  

 The artificial quote has also been subject to additional alterations. U.S. officials and media often take the liberty of dropping the “map” reference altogether, replacing it with the more acutely threatening phrase “wipe Israel off the face of the earth”.  Newspaper and magazine articles dutifully report Ahmadinejad has “called for the destruction of Israel”, as do senior officials in the United States government. 

 President George W. Bush said the comments represented a “specific threat” to destroy Israel.  In a March 2006 speech in Cleveland, Bush vowed he would resort to war to protect Israel from Iran, because, “..the threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel.”  Former Presidential advisor Richard Clarke told Australian TV that Iran “talks openly about destroying Israel”, and insists, “The President of Iran has said repeatedly that he wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth”.  

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