29 June, 2009


as you know.. your corporate whore media will not go in depth about
subjects that are unconforatble to the corporate masters.

as you also know... all the news that is not fit to print is
entirely predicatble.


elected leader
wanted to raise minimum wage

Honduran military ousts president in coup
By Joe Kishore
29 June 2009
The Honduran military ousted President Maunel Zelaya on Sunday morning, just before a planned national referendum. It was the first coup in Latin America since the end of the Cold War. As the World Socialist Web Site goes to press, the situation in Honduras remains fluid and the outcome uncertain.
After arresting Zelaya at his home, the military transferred him to Costa Rica. The Honduran Congress quickly installed its speaker, Roberto Micheletti, as “interim president.”
Zelaya had scheduled a national non-binding referendum on Sunday on whether a ballot should be held in November on the holding of a constitutional convention. Zelaya’s opponents claimed that the president was seeking to find a way to stay in power by changing a constitutional provision that limits the president to one four-year term. However, the referendum that had been slated for Sunday proposed that a ballot on a constitutional convention be held at the same time as the November election to choose Zelaya’s successor.
The Honduran Supreme Court declared that the referendum was unconstitutional, and the military refused to take measures to hold it, setting off a political crisis. Last week, Zelaya dismissed the army chief, General Romeo Vasquez, but the Supreme Court intervened to declare the move unconstitutional. The military stepped in and ousted Zelaya after the president sought to go ahead with the poll.
On Sunday, Zelaya called the intervention of the military a “coup d’etat.” He said he was awakened by soldiers who arrested him in his pajamas Sunday morning.
Manuel Zelaya came to office in January 2006, following a highly contested election in November 2005. He is a long-time member of the Liberal Party, one of the main establishment parties of Honduras. He ran on the basis of a law-and-order program, narrowly defeating the equally right-wing candidate of the National Party of Honduras, Porfirio Pepe Lobo.
After coming to power, however, Zelaya initiated populist measures and developed a close relationship with Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez. This policy alienated the country’s wealthy elite and political establishment, including leading figures in Zelaya’s own party. Since he was elected, Zelaya has come into periodic conflict with the corporate elite, which is the principal social force behind the military.
In January, Zelaya increased the country’s minimum wage from 157 to 280 dollars, excluding special export zones. Corporations responded angrily and initiated mass layoffs. Honduras is an impoverished country, with a poverty rate of about 70 percent.
The United States, the European Union, the Organization of American States and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared their opposition to the coup. President Barack Obama said the US government did not recognize Micheletti and called for Zelaya to be returned to Honduras.
The United States has a long history of involvement in Central and South America, including support for a series of military coups. The US has traditionally had close ties with Honduras, but these ties have become strained under Zelaya.
Venezuelan president Chavez has called for an investigation into possible US involvement in the coup. Chavez put the Venezuelan military on alert and warned that if the new military-dominated government of Honduras entered the Venezuelan embassy, the action would constitute “a de facto state of war.”
Chavez said that the Honduran military had arrested the Cuban ambassador to Honduras and had beaten up the Venezuelan ambassador, leaving him by a road in the capital of the country, Tegucigalpa. Chavez called a special summit Sunday of the “Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas”â€"an economic and political bloc that includes Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and Hondurasâ€"to discuss the crisis in Honduras.
There are reports of pro-Zelaya forces setting up barricades in the Honduran capital.

IRAN? how about in front of the US door.

another state where the US has supported murder and fascism..

Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Monday, June 29, 2009 1 comments

25 June, 2009

911 FEMA photographer INTERVIEW

Kurt Sonnenfeld : Exclusive interview
9/11 FEMA videographer at Ground Zero goes public

As official videographer for the U.S. government, Kurt Sonnenfeld was detailed to Ground Zero on September 11, 2001, where he spent one month filming 29 tapes: "What I saw at certain moments and in certain places ... is very disturbing!" He never handed them over to the authorities and has been persecuted ever since. Kurt Sonnenfeld lives in exile in Argentina, where he wrote "El Perseguido" (the persecuted). His recently-published book tells the story of his unending nightmare and drives another nail into the coffin of the government.s account of the 9/11 events. Below is an exclusive interview by The Voltaire Network.

22 June 2009

September 11th, 2001

Kurt Sonnenfeld and unidentified search and rescue specialist in subterranean void beneath Ground Zero.


Kurt Sonnenfeld graduated from the University of Colorado (USA) with studies in International Affairs and Economics, as well as in Literature and Philosophy. He worked for the United States government as official videographer and served as Director of Broadcast Operations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).s National Emergency Response Team. Additionally, Kurt Sonnenfeld was contracted by several other governmental agencies and programs for classified and .sensitive. operations at military and scientific installations throughout the United States.

On September 11, 2001, the area known as .Ground Zero. was sealed from the public eye. Sonnenfeld, however, was given unrestricted access enabling him to document for the investigation (that never took place) and provide some .sanitized. pool video to virtually every news network in the world. The tapes that reveal some of the anomalies which he discovered at Ground Zero are still in his possession.

Accused of a crime that did not occur in a manifest frame-up scenario, especially in light of ensuing events [1], Kurt Sonnenfeld has been persecuted across continents. After several years of fear, injustice and isolation, he has decided to take a public stand against the Government.s official story and is prepared to submit his material to the close scrutiny of reliable experts.


Voltaire Network: Your autobiographical book titled "El Perseguido" (the persecuted) was recently published in Argentina where you live in exile since 2003. Tell us who is persecuting you.

Kurt Sonnenfeld: Although it is autobiographical, it is not my life story. Rather it is a history of the extraordinary events that have happened to me and my family at the hands of U.S. authorities over the course of more than seven years, spanning two hemispheres, after my tour of duty at Ground Zero and becoming an inconvenient witness.

Voltaire Network: You explained that your request for refugee status within the terms of the Geneva 1951 Convention is still being considered by the Argentinean Senate, while in 2005 you were granted political asylum, albeit, on a provisional basis. That probably makes you the first U.S. citizen in that situation! And no doubt the first U.S. Government official with direct exposure to the events surrounding September 11, 2001 who has .blown the whistle.. Is this what drove you into exile?

JPEG - 27 kb
With wife Paula, testifying before Senate

Kurt Sonnenfeld: A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave (or stay away from) his or her country for reasons of persecution. It.s undeniable that many people have been persecuted unfairly as a result of the quasi-fascist laws and policies brought about by the shock of September 11, 2001, and they deserve refugee status. But the fact is, requesting refugee status is a risky and dangerous step to take. America is the world.s only remaining .superpower., and dissent has been effectively repressed. Any person who requests refugee status on political grounds is by nature making an extreme statement of dissent. And if your request is denied, what do you do? Once you make the request, there can be no going back.

Personally, I wasn.t forced to leave the United States, and I certainly did not .flee.. At the time I was still fairly oblivious to what was actually brewing against me. I hadn.t connected the dots yet; so that when I left in early 2003 I had every intention of returning. I came to Argentina for a short respite; to try to recuperate after all that had happened to me. I travelled here freely, with my own passport, using my own credit cards. But because of an incredible series of events, I have since been forced into exile, and I haven.t been back.

Voltaire Network: What type of events are you referring to?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: I.ve suffered false accusations for .crimes. that demonstrably did not happen, abusive imprisonment and torture as a result of those accusations, as well as outrageous calumnies against my reputation, death threats, kidnap attempts and several other violations of civil and human rights as denounced by numerous international accords. My return to the United States would not only be a continuation of those violations, but would be aggregated by the separation - perhaps permanent - from my wife and three-year old twin daughters, the only thing remaining that I have to live for. And then, after the impossibility of receiving a fair trial for a crime that did not happen, I could be subject to the death penalty.

Voltaire Network: In 2005, the U.S. Government lodged a request to have you extradited, which was turned down by a Federal Judge. Then, in 2007, the Argentinean Supreme Court . in a show of integrity and independence - turned down the U.S. appeal, but your Government persisted. Can you shed some light on the situation ?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: In 2008, the US government appealed again, this time with absolutely no legal foundation, to the Supreme Court, which will surely uphold the two already unassailable rulings made by the Federal Judge.

In one of those rulings, it was also noted that there were too many .sombras., or shadows, surrounding my case. There were many, many obvious fabrications in the extradition order sent here by US authorities, and, thankfully, we were able prove that. The fact that there were so many fabrications has actually served to support my request for asylum. We were also able to show that we had been subject to a prolonged campaign of harassment and intimidation from US intelligence services. As a result, since my family has been assigned round-the-clock police protection. As one senator has noted about my case: .It is their behavior that belies their true motivations..

JPEG - 33.1 kb
Sonnenfeld and his family are frequently harassed, followed, and photographed, as shown in this photo.

Voltaire Network: They want you pretty badly for a .crime that did not happen.! How do you account for such doggedness? As a FEMA official, you must have been trusted by your government. At what point did the situation capsize?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: In hindsight, I realize now that the situation had capsized some time before I actually became aware that it had capsized. Initially, the false accusation against me was completely irrational, and I was totally destroyed by it. It is incredibly difficult to have suffered the loss of someone you love to suicide, but to then be accused of it is too much to bear. The case was dismissed based on a mountain of evidence that overwhelmingly absolved me (Nancy, my wife, had left behind a suicide note and a journal of suicidal writings ; she had a family history of suicide ; etc.). The prosecution was 100% sure of my innocence before requesting the dismissal of charge.

But the sustained incarceration even AFTER it was indicated that I was to be freed was what proved to me that something was happening under the surface. I was held in jail for FOUR MONTHS after my lawyers were informed that the case was to be dismissed and was finally released in June 2002. During that time, an amazing series of strange events began to occur. While still being held, I had a telephone conversation with FEMA officials in an effort to resolve the issue, but I realized that I was considered .compromised.. I was told it had been agreed that .the agency had to be protected., especially in light of the upheaval that was threatening with the implementation of the .Patriot Act. and the expected usurpation that would come with the new Department of Homeland Security. After all the dangers I had risked, all hardship and difficulties I had endured for them for almost 10 years, I felt betrayed. It left a void in my soul.

Because of their abandonment, I told them I didn.t have the tapes, that I gave them to .some bureaucrat. in New York, and that they would have to wait until I was released to retrieve any other documents in my possession. Soon after that conversation, my house was .seized., the locks were changed, and men were observed by neighbors entering my house, though there is no record in the court of their entry, as would be required. When I was finally released, I discovered that my office had been ransacked, my computer was missing, and that my tape library in my basement had been dug through and several were missing. Men were constantly parked on the street near my house, my security system was .hacked. more than once, outdoor security lights were unscrewed, etc., to the point that I went to stay with some friends at their condo in the mountains, which was then ALSO broken into.

Anyone who looks for the truth recognizes that there has been an amazing series of irregularities in this case and that an appalling injustice is being carried out on me and my loved ones. This intense campaign to return me to American soil is a false pretext for other darker motives.

Voltaire Network: You have suggested that you observed things at Ground Zero that did not tally with the official account. Did you do or say anything to arouse suspicion in this respect?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: In that same telephone call I said that I would .go public., not only with my suspicions about the events surrounding September 11, 2001, but about several contracts I had worked on in the past.

JPEG - 30.4 kb
Sonnenfeld at Ground Zero, investigating a .void. beneath fallen steel beams.

Voltaire Network: What are your suspicions based on?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: There were many things, in hindsight, that were disturbing at Ground Zero. It was odd to me that I was dispatched to go to New York even before the second plane hit the South Tower, while the media was still reporting only that a .small plane. had collided with the North Tower . far too small of a catastrophe at that point to involve FEMA . FEMA was mobilized within minutes, whereas it took ten days for it to deploy to New Orleans to respond to Hurricane Katrina, even with abundant advance warning! It was odd to me that all cameras were so fiercely prohibited within the secured perimeter of Ground Zero, that the entire area was declared a crime scene and yet the .evidence. within that crime scene was so rapidly removed and destroyed. And then it was very odd to me when I learned that FEMA and several other federal agencies had already moved into position at their command center at Pier 92 on September 10th, one day before the attacks!

JPEG - 29 kb
Rubber landing-gear tyres visible in evidence container marked .FBI Plane Parts Only..

We are asked to believe that all four of the .indestructible. black boxes of the two jets that struck the twin towers were never found because they were completely vaporized, yet I have footage of the rubber wheels of the landing gear nearly undamaged, as well as the seats, parts of the fuselage and a jet turbine that were absolutely not vaporized. This being said, I do find it rather odd that such objects could have survived fairly intact the type of destruction that turned most of the Twin Towers into thin dust. And I definitely harbor some doubts about the authenticity of the .jet. turbine, far too small to have come from one of the Boeings!

JPEG - 36.7 kb
.Boeing. jet turbine at Fresh Kills island landfill.

What happened with Building 7 is incredibly suspicious. I have video that shows how curiously small the rubble pile was, and how the buildings to either side were untouched by Building Seven when it collapsed. It had not been hit by an airplane; it had suffered only minor injuries when the Twin Towers collapsed, and there were only small fires on a couple of floors. There.s no way that building could have imploded the way it did without controlled demolition. Yet the collapse of Building 7 was hardly mentioned by the mainstream media and suspiciously ignored by the 911 Commission.

Voltaire Network: Reportedly, the underground levels of WTC7 contained sensitive and undoubtedly compromising archival material. Did you come across any of it?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: The Secret Service, the Department of Defense, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of Emergency Management.s .Crisis Center. occupied huge amounts of space there, spanning several floors of the building. Other federal agencies had offices there as well. After September 11, it was discovered that concealed within Building Seven was the largest clandestine domestic station of the Central Intelligence Agency outside of Washington DC, a base of operations from which to spy on diplomats of the United Nations and to conduct counterterrorism and counterintelligence missions.

There was no underground parking level at Seven World Trade Center. And there was no underground vault. Instead, the federal agencies at Building Seven stored their vehicles, documents and evidence in the building of their associates across the street. Beneath the plaza level of US Customs House (Building 6) was a large underground garage, separated off from the rest of the complex.s underground area and guarded under tight security. This was where the various government services parked their bomb-proofed cars and armored limousines, counterfeit taxi cabs and telephone company trucks used for undercover surveillance and covert operations, specialized vans and other vehicles. Also within that secured parking area was access to the sub-level vault of Building 6.

JPEG - 15.9 kb
Approaching the entrance to the sub-level areas of Building 6

When the North Tower fell, the US Customs House (Building 6) was crushed and totally incinerated. Much of the underground levels beneath it were also destroyed. But there were voids. And it was into one of those voids, recently uncovered, that I descended with a special Task Force to investigate. It was there we found the security antechamber to the vault, badly damaged. At the far end of the security office was the wide steel door to the vault, a combination code keypad in the cinderblock wall beside it. But the wall was cracked and partially crumbled, and the door was sprung partially open. So we checked inside with our flashlights. Except for several rows of empty shelves, there was nothing in the vault but dust and debris. It had been emptied. Why was it empty? And when could it have been emptied?

Voltaire Network: Is this what set alarm bells ringing for you?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: Yes, but not immediately. With so much chaos, it was difficult to think. It was only after digesting everything that the .alarm bells. went off.

Building Six was evacuated within twelve minutes after the first airplane struck the North Tower. The streets were immediately clogged with fire trucks, police cars and blocked traffic, and the vault was large enough, 15 meters by 15 meters by my estimate, to necessitate at least a big truck to carry out its contents. And after the towers fell and destroyed most of the parking level, a mission to recover the contents of the vault would have been impossible. The vault had to have been emptied before the attack.

I.ve described all of this extensively in my book, and it.s apparent that things of importance were taken out of harm.s way before the attacks. For example, the CIA didn.t seem too concerned about their losses. After the existence of their clandestine office in Building Seven was discovered, an agency spokesman told the newspapers that a special team had been dispatched to scour the rubble in search of secret documents and intelligence reports, though there were millions, if not billions of pages floating in the streets. Nevertheless, the spokesman was confident. .There shouldn.t be too much paper around,. he said.

JPEG - 48 kb
The bizarre hollowed-out vestiges of The US Customs House (Building Six)

And Customs at first claimed that everything was destroyed. That the heat was so intense that everything in the evidence safe had been baked to ash. But some months later, they announced that they had broken up a huge Colombian narco-trafficking and money-laundering ring after miraculously recovering crucial evidence from the safe, including surveillance photos and heat-sensitive cassette tapes of monitored calls. And when they moved in to their new building at 1 Penn Plaza in Manhattan, they proudly hung on the lobby wall their Commissioner.s Citation Plaque and their big round US Customs Service ensign, also miraculously recovered, in pristine condition, from their crushed and cremated former office building at the World Trade Center.

Voltaire Network: You weren.t alone on the Ground Zero assignment. Did the others notice the same anomalies? Do you know whether they have they also been harassed?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: Actually there were a few people on two different excursions that I know about. Some of us even discussed it afterwards. They know who they are and I hope that they will come forward, but I.m sure they have strong apprehensions as to what will happen to them if they do. I will leave it to them to decide, but there is strength in numbers.

Voltaire Network: With the publication of your book, you have become a "whistleblower" . yet another step on which there is no going back! There must be many people with inside knowledge about what really happened or did not happen on that fateful day. Yet, hardly any have stepped up to the plate and certainly no one who was directly involved in an official capacity. This is what makes your case so compelling. Judging from your ordeal, it is not difficult to imagine what is holding such people back.

Kurt Sonnenfeld: Actually, there are several other very smart and credible people blowing whistles, too. And they are being discredited and ignored. Some are being harassed and persecuted, as I am.

People are gripped by fear. Everybody knows that if you question US authority you will have problems in some way or another. At minimum you will be discredited and dehumanized. Most likely you.ll find yourself indicted for something completely unrelated, like tax evasion . or something even worse, as in my case. Look at what happened to Secret Service whistle-blower Abraham Bolden, for example, or to chess master Bobby Fischer after he showed his disdain for the US. There are countless other examples. In the past I asked friends and associates to speak out for me to counter all the lies being planted in the media, and all of them were terrified as to the ramifications to themselves and their families.

Voltaire Network: To what degree would your discoveries at Ground Zero expose the government.s involvement in those events? Are you familiar with the investigations that have been carried out by numerous scientists and qualified professionals which not only corroborate your own findings but, in some instances, far exceed them? Do you regard such people as "conspiracy nuts"?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: At the highest levels in Washington, DC, someone knew what was going to happen. They wanted a war so badly that they at least let it happen and most likely even helped it happen.

Sometimes it seems to me that the .nuts. are those who hold to what they.ve been told with an almost religious fervor despite all of the evidence to the contrary . the ones who won.t even consider that there was a conspiracy. There are so many anomalies to the .official. investigation that you can.t blame it on oversight or incompetence. I am familiar with the scientists and qualified professionals to whom you refer, and their findings are convincing, credible, and presented according to scientific protocol . in stark contrast to the findings of the .official. investigation. In addition, numerous intelligence agents and government officials have now come forward with their very informed opinions that the 911 Commission was a farce at best or a cover-up at worst. My experience at Ground Zero is but one more piece of the puzzle.

Voltaire Network: Those events are nearly 8 years behind us. Do you consider that uncovering the truth about 9/11 continues to be an important objective? Why?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: It is of absolute importance. And it will be equally as important in 10 years, or even 50 years if the truth still has not been exposed. It is an important objective because, at this point in history, many people are too credulous to whatever .authority. tells them and too willing to follow. People in a state of shock seek guidance. People who are afraid are manipulable. And being able to manipulate the masses results in unimaginable benefits to a lot of very rich and very powerful people. War is incredibly expensive, but the money has to go somewhere. War is very profitable for the very few. And somehow their sons always end up in Washington DC, making the decisions and writing the budgets, while the sons of the poor and the poorly-connected always end up on the enemy lines, taking their orders and fighting their battles. The enormous black-budget of the US Department of Defense represents an unlimited money machine for the military-industrial complex, figuring in the multi-trillions of dollars, and it will continue to be so until the masses wake up, recuperate their skepticism and demand accountability. Wars (and false pretexts for war) will not cease until the people realize the true motive of war and stop believing .official. explanations.

Voltaire Network: What is referred to as the 9/11 Truth Movement, has been asking for a new, independent investigation into those events. Do you think that the Obama Administration holds out some hope in this respect?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: I really hope so, but I.m skeptical. Why would the leadership of any established government willingly undertake any action that would result in a serious compromise to their authority? They will prefer to maintain the status quo and leave the things the way they are. The conductor of the train has been changed, but has the train changed its course? I doubt it. The push has to come from the public, not only domestically, but internationally, like your group is doing.

Voltaire Network: A number of human rights and activist groups are supporting your plight, not least Peace Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel. How have the Argentinean people in general responded to your situation?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: With an incredible outpouring of support. The military dictatorship is still fresh in the collective memory of most of the people here, along with the knowledge that the dictatorship (along with the other South American dictatorships at the time) was backed by the CIA, directed at the time by George Bush Senior. They remember well the torture centers, the secret prisons, the thousands of people .disappeared. for their opinions, the living in daily fear. They know that the United States today will do the same thing if they consider it beneficial, that they will invade a country to achieve their political and economic interests and then manipulate the media with fabricated .causus belli. to justify their conquests.

JPEG - 22.3 kb
Kurt Sonnenfeld with Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize 1980

My family and I are honored to have Adolfo Pérez Esquiveland his advisors at Servicio de Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ) among our dearest friends. We have worked together on many causes, including the rights of refugees, the rights of women, for children without families and children with HIV/AIDS. We are also honored to have the support of the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo; Madres de Plaza de Mayo, Línea Fundadora; Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS); Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos (APDH); Familiares de Detenidos y Desaparecidos por Razones Políticas; Asociación de Mujeres, Migrantes y Refugiados Argentina (AMUMRA); Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Honorable Cámara de Diputados de la Provincia de Buenos Aires; Secretaría de Derechos Humanos de la Nación; and the Programa Nacional Anti-Impunidad. On an international level, Amicus Curiae have been presented in our favor by REPRIEVE of Great Britain, along with the collaboration of NIZKOR of Spain and Belgium. In addition, my wife, Paula, and I have been received in the Congress by La Comisión de Derechos Humanos y Garantías de la Honorable Cámara de Diputados de La Nación.

Voltaire Network: As we said, deciding to write this book and to go public was a huge step. What pushed you to do it?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: To save my family. And to let the world know that things are not what they seem.

Voltaire Network: Last but not least: what will you do with your tapes?

Kurt Sonnenfeld: I am convinced that my tapes reveal many more anomalies than I am capable of recognizing given my limited qualifications. I will therefore cooperate in any way that I can with serious and reliable experts in a common endeavour to expose the truth.

Voltaire Network: Thank you very much !

Interview conducted by The Voltaire Network:

Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Thursday, June 25, 2009 0 comments

22 June, 2009

Oil and Islam - USA massive state crimes

The New American Century


This film is astonishing, it goes in detail through the untold history of The Project for the New American Century with tons of archival footage and connects it right into the present.

This film exposes how every major war in US history was based on a complete fraud with video of insiders themselves admitting it.

This film shows how the first film theaters in the US were used over a hundred years ago to broadcast propaganda to rile the American people into the Spanish-American War.

This film shows the white papers of the oil company Unocal which called for the creation of a pipeline through Afghanistan and how their exact needs were fulfilled through the US invasion of Afghanistan.

This film shows how Halliburton under their "cost plus" exclusive contract with the US Government went on a mad dash spending spree akin to something out of the movie Brewster's Millions,
yet instead of blowing $30 million they blew through BILLIONS by literally burning millions of dollars worth of hundred thousand dollar cars and trucks if they had so much as a flat tire.
I have seen a ton of films, this film contains a massive amount of incredible footage I have never seen before anywhere, it is an historical documentary which exposes all the lies of the past
so that you can understand the present. This film is a must see.

"A stunning film. It should be seen as widely as possible, in cinemas, bars, clubs, at meetings and, of course, through the internet.
I'm sure the film will continue to be a source of debate and political education for many years. Maybe until the war criminals have been brought to trial." - Ken Loach

"In the White House, they weren't thinking of 9/11 as an attack, but as a gift!" - Robert Steele, former CIA agent

While Massimo Mazzucco.s first political documentary, GLOBAL DECEIT (2006), focused on the long list of inconsistencies in the official version of the 9/11 attacks,
THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY explores the historical, philosophical and economic background that suggests a matrix for such events that is much closer to home than the so-called "Islamic terrorism".

The film provides solid evidence for the true reasons behind the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, whose unfolding is described in chilling detail in a document called
"Project for the New American Century", published in the year 2,000, that seems to have served as the actual blueprint for such dramatic events.

FILE NAME...............> The New American Century.mpg
GENRE...................> Documentary
LANGUAGE................> English
SUBTITLES...............> None
RELEASE DATE............> 2009
SOURCE..................> Unknown



Oil and Islam. Will America Shift Away from Its Past Unilateralist Policies?

by Prof. Peter Dale Scott

In his remarkable speech at Cairo University on June 4, President Obama promised "a new beginning." In the words of the Israeli commentator Uri Avnery, the speech offered "the map of a new world, a different world, whose values and laws he spelled out in simple and clear language -- a mixture of idealism and practical politics, vision and pragmatism."1

Much of what Obama had to say was new, and warmed the hearts of observers like myself, who had become increasingly concerned about the new president.s fidelity to the financial and military policies of the previous Bush-Cheney administration. But while Obama broke new ground on Israel-Palestine issues, he glossed over troubling issues pertaining to the US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. He also glossed over one of the fundamental issues alienating the Muslim world: America.s relentless efforts to preserve its threatened financial status by moves to dominate the region.s oil resources. Here his careful ambiguity was ominously reminiscent of the Bush era.

The speech reaffirmed a complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq by 2012, as the U.S. committed itself to do in a signed agreement last December. In addition Obama asserted that "we do?not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan... We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and now Pakistan."

But Obama.s remarks did not address the statement on May 26, 2009, by Gen. George Casey, Army chief of staff, that, despite the agreement with Iraq, the United States would continue to have fighting forces in Iraq and Afghanistan beyond 2012. The reality, Casey said, is that ""we.re going to have 10 Army and Marine units deployed for a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan."2

Nor is it clear that Obama.s promise to withdraw "troops" from Iraq would also cover private military contractors (PMCs) . Jeremy Scahill, author of a book on the notorious firm Blackwater, said on the Bill Moyers show that what we're seeing in the Cairo speech "is sort of old wine in a new bottle. Obama is sending one message to the world," he told Moyers, "but the reality on the ground, particularly when it comes to private military contractors, is that the status quo remains from the Bush era."3

Even more ominous is the president.s oblique reference to America.s controversial oil policies. It was significant that he apologized for the CIA.s ouster in 1953 of Iran.s democratically elected government . the first of America.s many operations against Islam on behalf of the oil companies. With respect to Iraq, he said he had made it clear to the Iraqi people that America pursues "no claim on their territory or resources." His solitary reference to America.s hated oil policies was oblique and evasive: "While America in the past has focused on oil and gas when it comes to this part of the world, we now seek a broader engagement."

In stating that the American presence in Iraq has nothing to do with oil, Obama is following in the footsteps of the Republicans before him, such as Donald Rumsfeld, who on November 14, 2002 told CBS News that the U.S. plans for Iraq had "nothing to do with oil, literally nothing to do with oil." As it became increasingly clear in 2003 that America would invade Iraq, neither Bush's State of the Union Message nor Colin Powell's address to the United Nations Security Council mentioned, even once, the word "oil."

But we now know that in March 2001 Cheney's Energy Task Force developed a map of Iraq.s oil fields, with the southwest divided into nine "Exploration Blocks." One month earlier a Bush National Security Council document had noted that Cheney.s Task force would consider "actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields."4

What Obama means by "no claim" on Iraq.s resources is ambiguous. For eight years the Bush-Cheney administration, in a number of ways, pushed for the Iraq Ministry of Oil to eliminate state control of oil and negotiate contracts giving Chevron and other multinationals access to Iraqi oilfields.5 These negotiations have continued under Obama, and Bloomberg reported in April that the Iraqi government might give foreign companies 75 percent stakes in new oil developments.6 Observers are concerned that oil companies, when their contracts are secured, may continue to employ PMCs like Erinys, which has employed 14,000 guards in the Iraqi oil fields.7 Jeremy Scahill talked on Bill Moyers. Journal of "a scenario where you have corporations with their own private armies..a devastating development."8

"No claim on resources" is ambiguous in another respect. At no point has America been an important market for Iraqi oil. But since World War Two Washington has fought, in two cases literally, to main U.S control over the disposition of Middle Eastern oil. A little background is necessary to explain the importance of this distinction.

The Historical Importance to America of Dollar-Denominated Oil

For over three decades, as I have argued elsewhere, America has propped up the dollar by ensuring that all OPEC oil payments would be dollar-denominated, thus creating an artificial need for dollars in oil-deprived nations around the world.9 But this system may become less relevant, as more and more oil deals, such as China.s $10 billion oil deal with Brazil, are made outside of the American and OPEC orbits.10

Iran has been selling its oil for euros for quite some time. A lot of its international deals are denominated in euros. As are Russia's, China's and Brazil's. Adding Brazil to the mix strengthens the movement away from the dollar in our own hemisphere. Brazil has been moving in this direction since 2005, Venezuela has been pushing this since 2007.11

Most Americans are unaware that in 2003 Saddam Hussein had begun to sell Iraqi oil for euros as well as dollars, and that Bush, two months after invading Iraq, enacted an emergency order which, with the misleading title of " Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq," secretly ended Iraq.s euro sales of oil. The U.S. press, unlike the Irish Times and the UK Financial Times, took no notice of this.

As I wrote in The Road to 9/11,

The United States acted swiftly to ensure that oil would remain dominantly a dollar commodity, by an executive order empowering Iraqi oil sales to be returned from euros to dollars. Bush.s order of May 22, 2003, declaring a "national emergency," did not directly mention the dollar as such; but it directed all oil earnings into a central fund, controlled by the United States, for reconstruction projects in Iraq.[12] The Financial Times, on June 6, 2003, confirmed that Iraqi oil sales were now switched back from euros to dollars.13

Most Americans are also unaware that on May 20, 2009 Obama explicitly renewed, rather than canceled, Bush.s emergency order 13303 for the use of the dollar in Iraq.s oil dealings. Once again, the language of Obama.s emergency order concealed its implications.14

Obama.s reluctance to abandon America.s traditional Middle Eastern oil policies has to be understood in the light of the dollar.s increasing precariousness at this time. In recent weeks the U.S. Treasury has had to pay more to attract foreign purchasers of its securities. The basic US Treasury rate has risen to 5.29 percent, with indications that it will go higher.15 China, a major purchaser of U.S. Treasury instruments, has recently switched from long-term to short-dated U.S. Treasuries. Meanwhile it has become increasingly focused on currency swaps with its neighbors in Southeast Asia, a development only to be expected.16

An increase in interest rates will of course threaten the Obama program for relief to distressed homeowners, which, as he told Congress in his February speech, was a program to help Americans take advantage of the lower interest rates then prevailing. It will also threaten the timeline he projected for American economic recovery.

The Choice Between Unilateralism and Multilateralism in Central Asia

No doubt in Washington this weakness of the oil-dependent dollar is seen by hawks as reinforcing the case for persistence in both Iraq and in Afghanistan (where a decade ago the US firm Unocal hoped to build an oil pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan).17 But increasingly multilateralists in Washington are arguing that America, instead of proceeding unilaterally to sustain Bush-era policies for dominating the oil of Central Asia, could do better by reaching out to cooperation with Russia and China.

The obvious venue for such a multilateral approach would be the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which will meet in Yekaterinburg on June 15-16. As U.S. diplomat Lynn Roche has written,

The SCO grew out of the Shanghai Five founded in 1996 to coordinate border security between five nations of Central Asia . Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan . and added Uzbekistan in 2001. It has usually been viewed as an attempt to counterbalance NATO and therefore, suspect. That outlook is short-sighted. Focusing on mutual security issues such as counter-terrorism and drug trafficking in this thorny part of the world, the SCO provides a valuable function that the West hasn.t taken advantage of so far..It.s the right time to enlist the SCO.s input and assistance on Afghanistan. It.s an opportunity to work with Russia and China in a multilateral forum, hopefully leaving some of our bilateral baggage at the door.18

SCO.s initial opposition to NATO has shifted with the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This led a SCO meeting in May 2009 to express the view that "the NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan must pay more attention to the problems of Pakistan."19 And although SCO in 2005 opposed a U.S. military presence on the territory of its member states, Kyrgyzstan.s expulsion of the U.S. from its base at Bishkek, scheduled for August of this year, will be reconsidered by Kyrgyz President Bakiyev and Afghan President Karzai at the June SCO meeting. These developments are symptomatic of the interest the SCO countries share with America in reducing violence and narcotics in the region.

Even though the United States was denied SCO observer status in 2005, the United States was invited by SCO to participate in a Moscow meeting on Afghanistan on March 27 of this year. (It was on the sidelines of this meeting that Patrick Moon, U.S. envoy for South and Central Asia, held talks with Mehdi Akhundzadeh, Iran.s Deputy Foreign Minister.) Later on March 27, in Washington, Obama announced that his new Afghanistan policy "will include a new contact group for Afghanistan involving the United Nations, NATO allies and other partners from the Central Asian states, the Gulf nations, Iran, Russia, India and China."20

This outreach to SCO was more noticed abroad than in the U.S. press. But a Council on Foreign Relations podcast commented that SCO.s

first invitation to the United States to attend its March 27 meeting in Moscow has aroused interest about a potential partnership for stabilizing Afghanistan. President Barack Obama announced a shift in U.S. policy emphasis on the same day as the SCO summit, and greater consultation with Afghanistan's neighbors is a part of the new template.21

The new template could possibly lead to multilateral consultations on oil as well. In 2007 SCO member states agreed to establish a "unified energy market" for oil and gas exports, while also promoting regional development through preferential energy agreements.22 With India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan attending SCO.s next meeting as observers, SCO attendees will represent more than half of the human race.

The so-called BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, China, and India, will also meet separately in Yekaterinburg in June, and Brazil will attend the SCO meetings as well. A Goldman Sachs research paper has predicted that the four BRIC countries, by their synergy, may become among the four most dominant economies by the year 2050.23 And as has been pointed out, BRIC also represents "the world.s fastest and most consistently growing economies with the largest foreign currency and gold reserves."24

Clearly SCO has emerged as a venue for the resolution of issues in Central Asia . including oil . with or without the United States. Thus one can expect continuing debate in Washington as to whether America.s interests in the region will be better served by unilateral or multilateral approaches.

In the waning days of the British 19th Century, two memorable, archetypical novels appeared whose mythic plots could be used to express the moral dichotomy of the British Empire. I am referring to Stevenson.s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) and Wilde.s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1990). A century later they express the moral dichotomy of America as well . evil and ugly as the wager of a preemptive war in Iraq, but still attractive and beneficent as one of the most successful multicultural civil societies in the world.

As Amy Chua has written in her book Day of Empire,

If America can rediscover the path that has been the secret to its

success since its founding and avoid the temptations of empirebuilding, it could remain the world.s hyperpower in the decades to come . not a hyperpower of coercion and military force, but a hyperpower of opportunity, dynamism, and moral force.25

America.s real strength, and ultimately its best defense, is as a civil society to which other societies are drawn. One of the tragedies of the last decade has been the way the democratic core of that civil society has been grossly weakened. In the name of security, a noisome fog of secrecy has obscured the workings of government from public view, in a declared "state of emergency" which has been continuously renewed since 9/11 . and which Congress is required by law to review, yet refuses to.26 Democratic institutions are like garden plants: to prosper they need sunlight.

America.s moral dichotomy was summarized some years ago by Michael Klare as an ongoing struggle between its Prussians and its traders. That is too simple a dichotomy to epitomize America.s choices in Central Asia: there the oil companies, nominally traders, have helped drive the urge for unilateral U.S. military dominance in remote countries like Georgia and Uzbekistan.

But it catches the choice America faces in Central Asia. Either America can struggle militarily for "full-spectrum dominance" of the region . an absurd but official Pentagon doctrine calling for the ability "to control any situation across the range of military operations."27 Or it can cooperate with other major and local powers for multilateral negotiations of shared problems.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is a poet, writer, and researcher. His new book of poems (including political poems) is Mosaic Orpheus, from McGill-Queen's University Press. To order it, click
Scott.s website is http://www.peterdalescott.net.=


1. Uri Avnery, Media With Conscience News, June 7, 2009, http://mwcnews.net/content/view/31074/26/.

2. Tom Curley, AP, Army Times, May 28, 2009, http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/05/ap_army_casey_iraq_052609/.

3. Michael Winship, "The Privatization of "Obama's War, " Bill Moyers Journal, June 5, 2009, http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/06/michael_winship_the_privatizat.html.

4. Scott, Road to 9/11, 188-89; citing Linda McQuaig, Crude Dudes," Toronto Star, September 20, 2004; Jane Mayer, "Contract Sport," New Yorker, February 16-23, 2004.

5. David R. Baker, "Chevron reportedly in talks to tap Iraq's oil," San Francisco Chronicle, March 25, 2008, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/25/BU5PVPNP8.DTL.

6. Bloomberg, April 6, 2009, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aoiUCMua8AMM&refer=us.

7. David Isenberg, "A Fistful of Contractors," BASIC Research Report, http://www.basicint.org/pubs/Research/2004PMC.htm (Erinys).

8. Michael Winship, "The Privatization of "Obama's War, " Bill Moyers Journal, June 5, 2009, http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/06/michael_winship_the_privatizat.html.

9. Peter Dale Scott, The Road to 9/11: Wealth, Empire, and the Future of America (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2007), 190-91; David E. Spiro, The Hidden Hand of American Hegemony: Petrodollar Recycling and International Markets (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell, 1999), x, 103-12, 121.

10 Stephanie Ho, "China, Brazil Sign Oil Deal," Voice of America, May 20, 2009, http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-05-20-voa10.cfm.

11. Henry Porter, "A new vocabulary word: De-dollarization," Daily Kos, June 02, 2009, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/6/3/738258/-A-new-vocabulary-word:-De-dollarization.

12. Federal Register, Vol. 68, No. 102, May 28, 2003 , Presidential Documents, 31931, Order 13303 of May 22, 2003.

13. "Executive Order Protecting the Development Fund for Iraq and Certain Other Property in Which Iraq Has an Interest," Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, Federal Register, 31931, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/ 2003/05/20030522-15.html. The order was issued ten days after Paul Bremer arrived in Iraq to head the Coalition Provisional Authority that would enforce it. The Irish Times had correctly predicted the outcome on April 17, noting Washington was making dollars the short-term currency within Iraq and putting the Iraqi oil industry under U.S. direction: "This makes it certain that the future sale of Iraqi oil will be in dollars, the international currency for oil transactions, once the UN lifts anti-Saddam sanctions that provide that only the UN can approve Iraqi oil sales" (Conor O.Clery, "Dollar to Replace Dinar, for Now," Irish Times, April 17, 2003).

14. White House, May 20, 2009, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Message-from-the-President-and-Notice-of-Continuation-regarding-Iraq/: "THE WHITE HOUSE, Office of the Press Secretary, For Immediate Release, May 20, 2009: TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent the enclosed notice to the Federal Register for publication. This notice states that the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13438 of July 17, 2007, is to continue in effect beyond May 22, 2009." The VanderbiltOrbis website has called Order 13303 one of "Bush's nine worst executive orders:" http://media.www.vanderbiltorbis.com/media/storage/paper983/news/2009/01/21/Opinion/Bushs.Nine.Worst.Executive.Orders-3588937.shtml.

15. Julie Haviv, "U.S. mortgage rates surge to highest level since December," Reuters, June 4, 2009, http://www.reuters.com/article/newsone/idustre5535ao20090604: "U.S. mortgage rates surged to their highest in almost six months in the latest week, despite government efforts to keep rates at low levels that will help the hard-hit housing market begin to recover. Interest rates on U.S. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages soared to 5.29 percent for the week ending June 4, up from 4.91 percent in the previous week, according to a survey released on Thursday by home funding company Freddie Mac. The higher rates reflected an increase in yields on U.S. government bonds, which act as a benchmark for the mortgage market."

16. MarketWatch, June 1, 2009, http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dark-days-for-the-dollar: "According to U.S. Treasury data, from August 2008 to March 2009, China shifted more of its purchases to short-dated U.S. Treasuries from long-term agency debt. The general trend is for less buying of long-term U.S. Treasuries. It's as if China is giving Uncle Sam a vote of no confidence. So if China is moving away from the dollar, what does it want to use instead? China has signed $95 billion in swap agreements with Argentina, Indonesia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Belarus in recent months. The more that countries trade in their own currencies, the less they have to rely on the U.S. dollar. Other countries besides China are making similar agreements."

17 Scott, Road to 9/11, 166, 170.

18. Lynn Roche, "SCO Offers Neutral Venue for Engagement," Atlantic Council, March 19, 2009, http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/sco-offers-neutral-venue-engagement.

19. Vladimir Radyuhin, "Shanghai forum concerned over Pakistan.s nuclear arms," The Hindu, May 21, 2009,

20. "Obama Announces New Strategy for Afghanistan, Pakistan," America.gov, March 27, 2009,

21 Council on Foreign Relations Podcast, "The SCO Role in Afghanistan," March 26, 2009,

22. Andrew Scheineson, "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization ," Council on Foreign Relations, Backgrounder, March 24, 2009,

23. "Dreaming With BRICs: The Path to 2050," Goldman Sachs, Global Economics Paper No: 99, https://www.gs.com.

24. Rick Rozoff, "Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Prospects For A Multipolar World," dandelionsalad, May 22, 2009,
http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/shanghai-cooperation-organization-prospects-for-a-multipolar-world-by-rick-rozoff/ .

25. Amy Chua, Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance . and Why They Fall (New York: Doubleday, 2007), 342.

26.Peter Dale Scott and Dan Hamburg, " To All Readers: Help Force Congress To Observe the Law on National Emergencies!!!" 911Truth.org, March 24, 2009,

27. Joint Vision 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense blueprint for the future, endorsed on May 30, 2000, by General John M. Shalikashvi


Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Monday, June 22, 2009 0 comments

21 June, 2009


in 1912 SOCIALISTS (what catastrophe!) won ELECTIONS
(the great unwashed decide) in Germany and formed the largest
party in the Reichstag!!

planned and executed the First World War.

Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkan History

Lecture 15: The Balkan causes of World War I
Previous lecture / Complete list of lectures / Next lecture

Few issues in modern history have received as much attention as assigning responsibility for the outbreak of the World War in 1914. The debate began during the war itself as each side tried to lay blame on the other, became part of the "war guilt" question after 1918, went through a phase of revisionism in the 1920s, and was revived in the 1960s thanks to the work of Fritz Fischer.

This lecture also deals with the causes of World War I, but does so from a Balkan perspective. Certainly Great Power tensions were widespread in 1914, and those tensions caused the rapid spread of the war after it broke out, but many previous Great Power crises had been resolved without war. Why did this particular episode, a Balkan crisis that began with a political murder in Bosnia, prove so unmanageable and dangerous?

Some questions will help to frame our inquiry:

* What was the purpose of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914?
* Who was responsible for the killing, besides the assassins themselves?
* Was a war inevitable after the murder, or did policy-makers let the crisis escape their control?
* Finally, why did a Balkan crisis lead to a world war in 1914, when other crises had not?

Focusing on the Balkans

From a Balkan perspective, it is crucial to look at the actors and decision-makers who were at work during the conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, the two states involved in the original Sarajevo crisis. Doing so highlights factors that are somewhat different from those at work among the Great Powers at large, or those cited in general explanations for the war.

General treatments of the European crisis of 1914 often blame Great Power statesmen for their shortsightedness, incompetence, or failure to act in a timely or effective way to keep the peace. A common theme is the passive nature of Great Power policy: leaders reacted to events instead of proactively managing the crisis. With some justification, scholars conclude that French leaders had little choice: France was the object of a German invasion. England in turn entered the war because a successful German attack on France and Belgium would have made Germany too powerful. Both Germany and Russia mobilized their armies in haste, because each one feared defeat by powerful enemies if they delayed. Germany and Russia also rashly committed themselves to support Balkan clients -- Austria-Hungary and Serbia, respectively -- because Berlin and St. Petersburg feared that failure to do so would cost them the trust of important allies and leave them isolated. This interpretation treats Balkan matters largely through their influence on policies elsewhere.

An analysis rooted in a Balkan perspective, on the other hand, can evaluate the proactive steps taken in the region from the start of the crisis. Unfortunately, when Austrians, Hungarians and Serbs made important decisions early in the crisis, they consistently avoided compromise and risked war. Two months passed between the murder of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by a Bosnian Serb high school student on June 28, and the coming of general war at the end of August. In other words, there was plenty of time for calculation, caution and decision. Who chose to risk war, and why?
The purpose of the murder itself

The murder itself was hardly a mystery. There were scores of witnesses and the killers were immediately arrested: we even have a photograph of Gavrilo Princip being wrestled to the ground by police. The conspirators willingly confessed: transcripts of their trial statements have been published. Nor was the fact of murder per se crucial. It was an age of assassins: Franz Joseph's wife, the Empress Elizabeth, had been murdered in 1898 in Switzerland by an Italian, but Austria did not seek war with Italy or Switzerland. It was the significance of this particular crime for Austro-Serbian relations that mattered.
Serbian blame: the assassins

To assess the degree of Serbian guilt, we should look in three places: the young Bosnian assassins, their backers in Serbia, and the Serbian government.

In an open car, Franz Ferdinand, his wife Sophie Chotek and Governor Potiorek passed seven assassins as their procession drove through Sarajevo. A look at the actual participants tells us something about South Slav nationalist dissatisfaction in Habsburg-ruled Bosnia.

The first conspirator along the parade route was Mehmed Mehmedbasic, a 27-year old carpenter, son of an impoverished Bosnian Muslim notable: he had a bomb. After planning a plot of his own to kill Governor Potiorek, Mehmedbasic joined the larger plot. When the car passed him, he did nothing: a gendarme stood close by, and Mehmedbasic feared that a botched attempt might spoil the chance for the others. He was the only one of the assassins to escape.

Map: SARAJEVO IN 1905/1914
[Clicking here will display a tourist map of the city of Sarajevo in 1905 in another browser window, while leaving this lecture text in the original browser window.]

Next was Vaso Cubrilovic, a 17-year old student armed with a revolver. Cubrilovic was recruited for the plot during a political discussion: in Bosnia in 1914, virtual strangers could soon be plotting political murders together, if they shared radical interests. Cubrilovic had been expelled from the Tuzla high school for walking out during the Habsburg anthem. Cubrilovic too did nothing, afraid of shooting Duchess Sophie by accident. Under Austrian law, there was no death penalty for juvenile offenders, so Cubrilovic was sentenced to 16 years. In later life he became a history professor.

Nedelko Cabrinovic was the third man, a 20-year old idler who was on bad terms with his family over his politics: he took part in strikes and read anarchist books. His father ran a cafe, did errands for the local police, and beat his family. Nedeljko dropped out of school, and moved from job to job: locksmithing, operating a lathe and setting type. In 1914 Cabrinovic worked for the Serbian state printing house in Belgrade. He was a friend of Gavrilo Princip, who recruited him there for the killing, and they travelled together back to Sarajevo. Cabrinovic threw a bomb, but failed to see the car in time to aim well: he missed the heir's car and hit the next one, injuring several people. Cabrinovic swallowed poison and jumped into a canal, but he was saved from suicide and arrested. He died of tuberculosis in prison in 1916.

The fourth and fifth plotters were standing together. One was Cvetko Popovic, an 18-year old student who seems to have lost his nerve, although he claimed not to have seen the car, being nearsighted. Popovic received a 13-year sentence, and later became a school principal.

Nearby was 24-year old Danilo Ilic, the main organizer of the plot; he had no weapon. Ilic was raised in Sarajevo by his mother, a laundress. His father was dead, and Ilic worked as a newsboy, a theatre usher, a laborer, a railway porter, a stone-worker and a longshoreman while finishing school; later he was a teacher, a bank clerk, and a nurse during the Balkan Wars. His real vocation was political agitation: he had contacts in Bosnia, with the Black Hand in Serbia and in the exile community in Switzerland. He obtained the guns and bombs used in the plot. Ilic was executed for the crime.

The final two of the seven conspirators were farther down the road. Trifko Grabez was a 19-year old Bosnian going to school in Belgrade, where he became friends with Princip. He too did nothing: at his trial he said he was afraid of hurting some nearby women and children, and feared that an innocent friend standing with him would be arrested unjustly. He too died in prison: the Austrians spared few resources for the health of the assassins after conviction.

Gavrilo Princip was last. Also 19-years old, he was a student who had never held a job. His peasant family owned a tiny farm of four acres, the remnant of a communal zadruga broken up in the 1880s; for extra cash, his father drove a mail coach. Gavrilo was sickly but smart: at 13 he went off to the Merchants Boarding School in Sarajevo. He soon turned up his nose at commerce in favor of literature, poetry and student politics. For his role in a demonstration, he was expelled and lost his scholarship. In 1912 he went to Belgrade: he never enrolled in school, but dabbled in literature and politics, and somehow made contact with Apis and the Black Hand. During the Balkan Wars he volunteered for the Serbian army, but was rejected as too small and weak.

On the day of the attack, Princip heard Cabrinovic's bomb go off and assumed that the Archduke was dead. By the time he heard what had really happened, the cars had driven past him. By bad luck, a little later the returning procession missed a turn and stopped to back up at a corner just as Princip happened to walk by. Princip fired two shots: one killed the archduke, the other his wife. Princip was arrested before he could swallow his poison capsule or shoot himself. Princip too was a minor under Austrian law, so he could not be executed. Instead he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and died of tuberculosis in 1916.

We can make some generalizations about the plotters. All were Bosnian by birth. Most were Serbian, or one might say Orthodox, but one was a Bosnian Muslim: at their trial, the plotters did not speak of Serbian, Croatian or Muslim identity, only their unhappiness with the Habsburgs. None of the plotters was older than 27: so none of them were old enough to remember the Ottoman regime. Their anger over conditions in Bosnia seems directed simply at the visible authorities. The assassins were not advanced political thinkers: most were high school students. From statements at their trial, the killing seems to have been a symbolic act of protest. Certainly they did not expect it to cause a war between Austria and Serbia.

A closer look at the victims also supports this view: that symbolic, not real, power was at stake. Assassination attempts were not unusual in Bosnia. Some of the plotters originally planned to kill Governor Potiorek, and only switched to the royal couple at the last minute. Franz Ferdinand had limited political influence. He was Emperor Franz Joseph's nephew, and became the heir when Franz Joseph's son killed himself in 1889 (his sisters could not take the throne).

This position conferred less power than one might think. Franz Ferdinand's wife, Sophie Chotek, was a Bohemian noblewoman, but not noble enough to be royal. She was scorned by many at court, and their children were out of the line of succession (Franz Ferdinand's brother Otto was next). Franz Ferdinand had strong opinions, a sharp tongue and many political enemies. He favored "trialism," adding a third Slavic component to the Dual Monarchy, in part to reduce the influence of the Hungarians. His relations with Budapest were so bad that gossips blamed the killing on Magyar politicians. There have been efforts to say that Serbian politicians had him killed to block his pro-Slav reform plans, but the evidence for this is thin.
Serbian blame: the Black Hand

The assassins did not act alone. Who was involved within Serbia, and why? To understand Serbian actions accurately, we must distinguish between the Radical Party led by Prime Minister Pasic, and the circle of radicals in the army around Apis, the man who led the murders of the Serbian royal couple in 1903.

The role of Apis in 1914 is a matter of guesswork, despite many investigations. The planning was secret, and most of the participants died without making reliable statements . Student groups like Mlada Bosna were capable of hatching murder plots on their own. During 1913 several of the eventual participants talked about murdering General Oskar Potiorek, the provincial Governor or even Emperor Franz Joseph.

Once identified as would-be assassins, however, the Bosnian students seem to have been directed toward Franz Ferdinand by Dimitrijevic-Apis, by now a colonel in charge of Serbian intelligence. Princip returned from a trip to Belgrade early in 1914 with a plan to kill Franz Ferdinand, contacts in the Black Hand who later supplied the guns and bombs, and information about the planned June visit by the heir, which Princip would not have known without a leak or tip from within Serbian intelligence. In 1917, Apis took credit for planning the killing, but his motives can be questioned: at the time, he was being tried for treason against the Serbian king, and mistakenly believed that his role in the plot would lead to leniency. In fact, the Radical Party and the king were afraid of Apis and had him shot.

Those who believe Apis was at work point to "trialism" as his motive. Apis is supposed to have seen the heir as the only man capable of reviving Austria-Hungary. If Franz Ferdinand had reorganized the Habsburg Empire on a trialist basis, satisfying the Habsburg South Slavs, Serbian hopes to expand into Bosnia and Croatia would have been blocked. In early June 1914, Apis is said to have decided to give guns and bombs to Princip and his accomplices, and arranged to get the students back over the border into Bosnia without passing through the border checkpoints. Later in the month, other members of the Black Hand ruling council voted to cancel the plan, but by then it was too late to call back the assassins.
Serbian blame: Pasic and the state

While Apis may or may not have been guilty of planning the murder, the murder did not necessarily mean war. There was no irresistable outburst of popular anger after the assassination: Austria-Hungary did not take revenge in hot blood, but waited almost two months. When the Habsburg state did react against Serbia, it was in a calculated manner as we will see in a moment. For now, suffice it to say that the Austrians chose to blame the Pasic government for the crime. How culpable was the Serbian regime?

There is no evidence to suggest that Pasic planned the crime. It is unlikely that the Black Hand officers were acting on behalf of the government, because the military and the Radical Party in fact were engaged in a bitter competition to control the state. After the Balkan Wars, both military and civilian figures claimed the right to administer the newly liberated lands (the so-called Priority Question). After 1903, Pasic knew that Apis' clique would kill to get their way.

Pasic's responsibility revolves around reports that he was warned of the intended crime, and took inadequate steps to warn Austrian authorities. Despite Pasic's denials, there is substantial testimony that someone alerted him to the plot, and that Pasic ordered the Serbian ambassador in Vienna to tell the Austrians that an attempt would be made on the life of the heir during his visit to Bosnia.

However, when the Serbian ambassador passed on the warning, he appears to have been too discreet. Instead of saying that he knew of an actual plot, he spoke in terms of a hypothetical assassination attempt, and suggested that a state visit by Franz Ferdinand on the day of Kosovo (June 28) was too provocative. Austrian diplomats failed to read between the lines of this vague comment. By the time the warning reached the Habsburg joint finance minister (the man in charge of Bosnian affairs) any sense of urgency had been lost, and he did nothing to increase security or cancel the heir's planned visit. After the murders, the Serbian government was even more reluctant to compromise itself by admitting any prior knowledge, hence Pasic's later denials.

If we agree that the Pasic government did not plan the killings, what can we say about their response to the crisis that followed? War in 1914 was not inevitable: did the Serbs work hard enough to avoid it?
Blame in Austria-Hungary

Before we can answer that question, we must look at the official Austrian reaction to the killing. This took two forms. First, the police and the courts undertook a wide-ranging series of arrests and investigations. Hundreds of people were arrested or questioned, sometimes violently. Twenty-five people were finally tried and convicted, though only a few were executed, because so many of the defendants were minors.

Second, the Austrian foreign ministry and the emperor's closest advisors considered what to do about Serbia's role in the plot. Investigators quickly learned that the murder weapons came from Serbian sources, but Austrian intelligence failed to distinguish between the roles of the Pasic administration and the unofficial nationalist groups: for that matter, they blamed Narodna Odbrana for the crime, apparently unaware of the Black Hand.

Austria's blame for the war attaches to its calculated response to the murders. Early councils were divided. The chief of staff, General Franz Baron Conrad von Hoetzendorf, wanted a military response from the beginning. Conrad had previously argued that the Monarchy was surrounded by enemies who needed to be defeated individually, before they could combine. In other words, he wanted a war against the Serbs and Russians, followed later by a confrontation with Italy. Leopold Count von Berchtold, the Habsburg foreign minister, generally agreed with Conrad's analysis. Berchtold took no strong position in the crisis: he was apparently convinced by Conrad, and his only hesitation involved the need to prepare public opinion for war.

The only real opposition to a policy of confrontation and war came from the Hungarian Prime Minister, Count Stephan Tisza. Tisza was personally opposed to militarism and took the risks of war more seriously than Conrad. Also, as a Magyar, Tisza realized that a Habsburg victory would be a domestic defeat for Hungarians: if Austria annexed Serbia, the delicate ethnic balance in the Dual Monarchy would be lost. Either the Slavic population of Hungary would increase, leaving the Magyars as a minority in their own country, or trialism would replace the dualist system, again discounting Magyar influence.

The early Austrian deliberations included another, calculated element that shows their limited interest in peace: in weighing the merits of a military response, Vienna first sought the reaction of her German ally. The Austrian ambassador in Berlin found that the Germans, especially Kaiser Wilhelm, supported a war to punish Serbia and offered their full support. This was in clear contrast to events during the Balkan War of 1912, when Berlin refused to back Vienna in any intervention. Like the Austrians, the Germans feared a future war with Russia, and preferred to fight soon, before their enemies grew stronger.

When the Austrian Council of Ministers met again on July 7, the majority favored war. To satisfy Tisza, the council agreed to present demands to Serbia, rather than declare war at once. In the belief that a diplomatic victory alone would not be enough to destroy Serbia as a threat, the demands were deliberately to be written in such extreme terms that Serbia could not accept them. Serbia's refusal to comply would then become the excuse for war. Within a week, Tisza himself consented to this plan: his only reservation was insistence that no Serbian territory be annexed after the war.

The final 10-point ultimatum demanded the suppression of anti-Austrian newspapers and organizations (including Narodna Odbrana), a purge of anti-Austrian teachers and officers, and the arrest of certain named offenders. Two points seriously interfered in Serbian sovereignty:

* Austrian police would help suppress subversives on Serbian territory, and
* Austrian courts would help prosecute accused conspirators inside Serbia.

The document had a 48-hour deadline. The council finalized the demands on July 19th and sent them to Belgrade on the 23rd. The war party in Vienna hoped that the Serbs would fail to agree, and that this could be an excuse for war. The 48-hour time limit is further evidence that the document was not meant as a negotiating proposal, but as an ultimatum.

We can say three things about how the Austrian process of decision bears on Austria's responsibility:

* First, the majority in the Council of Ministers assumed from the first that war was the appropriate response. Only Count Tisza opposed it, and he did so largely for reasons of domestic politics. His objections were overcome by the promise to seek no annexation of Serbia. The negotiations with Serbia were really a sham, to create a good impression: even the 48-hour ultimatum shows that crisis, not compromise, was the intent.
* A second clue to Austria's intent is Vienna's approach to Berlin for Germany support in case of war. After the Berlin government responded with the so-called "blank check," the war party saw no further reason to seek peace.
* Third, the terms of the ultimatum show that the Austrians came to a decision even though they were acting on incomplete information. The ultimatum was issued well before the trial of the assassins could establish the facts of the crime. Vienna knew nothing about the Black Hand or its role, but it made no difference: the decision for war was based on expediency, not justice or facts.

The Serb reply

The Serbs in turn failed to do their utmost to defuse the crisis. When Serbia first received the ultimatum, Pasic indicated that he could accept its terms, with a few reservations and requests for clarification. As time passed, however, it became clear that Russia would support Serbia regardless of the situation. After that, Pasic gave up seeking peace. While a long reply was written and sent, Serbia rejected the key points about Austrian interference in domestic judicial and police work. Pasic knew that this meant war, and the Serbian army began to mobilize even before the reply was complete. While mobilization was prudent, it did not imply a strong commitment to peace. Because the Serbian reply did not accept every point, Austria broke off relations on July 25.

The tough positions taken by both Austria and Serbia brought the situation too close to the brink to step back, and in a few days matters were out of control. Again, the specific arguments raised by each side matter less than their mutual willingness to take risks. This policy of brinkmanship made war more likely than negotiation.
Why a Balkan war?

This leads us to the last question: why did the Balkan crisis of 1914 lead to World War I, when many other crises were resolved without a general war in Europe?

This is really two questions:

* First, why did the crisis led to a war between Austria and Serbia? and
* Second, why did that conflict soon involve the rest of the Great Powers?

From what we have seen about risktaking by the Austro-Hungarians and the Serbs, we can say something about why those two states went to war in 1914.

In the first place, both governments believed that their prestige and credibility were on the line, not only in the international community, but at home.

For the Austrians, a personal attack on the royal family required a strong response, especially if the assassins were Serbs, who had defied the Dual Monarchy during the Pig War, been labelled as traitors during the Friedjung Trial, and recently destroyed southeastern Europe's other dynastic empire (the Ottomans). Failure to act in the summer of 1914 invited greater turmoil later.

For the Serbian regime, the humiliating Austrian terms would have undone all the progress made since 1903 in achieving independence from Habsburg meddling. The economic Pig War, Austria's annexation of Bosnia in 1908, and now the demand to send police into Serbia, all implied renewed Austrian control. In addition, Pasic and his ministers faced a real risk that right-wing extremists would kill them if they backed down.

On the international stage, both sides were one defeat away from being marginalized: Austria-Hungary had no intention of replacing the Ottoman Empire as the "Sick Man of Europe" and Serbia refused to be treated as a protectorate.

Second, in 1914 both sides believed that they were in a strong position to win if war came. The Austrians had German backing; the Serbs had promises from Russia. Neither side considered the chance that the war would spread across Europe.

Third, neither side really believed that their differences could be settled by negotiation. Only one regime could rule the South Slavs in Bosnia.

Fourth, both sides focussed on the fruits of victory and ignored the costs of defeat. We have already discussed the Great Serb ideas that became Belgrade's war aims: annexation of Bosnia, Croatia, Vojvodina and so forth. Despite promises to Tisza that the war would bring no annexation of unwelcome Slavs, by 1916 the Vienna government drew up plans for the annexation of Serbia and Montenegro, as well as border districts in Russia and Italy, and an economic plan to make Albania and Romania into economic dependencies.

Fifth, there was too little fear of war. After the Greco-Turk war of 1897, the ethnic fighting in Macedonia, the two Balkan Wars, and the Italian war with Turkey in 1911, war in the Balkans was not unusual. A little warfare had become commonplace, a normal aspect of foreign relations. No one foresaw what the World War would mean.

In sum, too many leaders on both sides in 1914 deliberately decided to risk crisis and war, and the initial Austro-Serb combat was the result.

Finally, why was the local war between Austria and Serbia so significant that it grew into a World War? Here, we can draw inferences from what we know of the Eastern Question and past Balkan politics. An essential element of Greek, Serb and Bulgarian nationalism had always been the destruction of the Ottoman Empire: the achievement of national unity necessarily meant the achievement of Ottoman collapse.

The same choice pertained to Austria-Hungary. Concessions to Serbian nationalism could only make Vienna's problems worse, not solve them. After the South Slavs would come the Romanians, the Italians, the Czechs and the Slovaks, each with their demands. Once the Habsburg Monarchy started down that road, it would inevitably disappear as a Great Power.

The potential collapse of Austria-Hungary was important not only for the Vienna government, but for Austria's German ally, for the other Great Powers and for the balance of power system. Because the clash with Serbia in 1914 affected an issue of such magnitude, it is not surprising that all the Powers soon became involved: all of them had interests at stake. The specific steps to the World War, and the division into two sides, reflected local considerations from Poland to Belgium: but the risk of world war, and not just war, entered the equation because of the larger ethnic issues behind the Sarajevo crisis of 1914.

This lecture is a portion of a larger Web site, Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkan History (The Balkans in the Age of Nationalism); click here to return to the Table of Contents page. This page created on 4 February 1997; last modified 11 June 2009.

Copyright 1996 by Steven W. Sowards

Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Sunday, June 21, 2009 0 comments

19 June, 2009

Iranian Elections - CIA COLORS

isn't it amazing how the west shines the laser light on the Iran elections and the western media is frothing at the mouth over the mullahs, but when george bush stole the elections (admittedly a much smoother crime) - NOT ONE western media outlet even uttered a doubt.
The Al Gore lost, no recount allowed ...thing went down, and no foreign leader appealed for a recount.

It is CONCEIVABLE that Iran is under PSYOP attack:

On June 29, 2008, Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker: "Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country.s religious leadership."

The Iranian election protests, essentially by the westernized youth of Tehran who wish to be free of Islamic moral codes, have the hallmarks of orchestration. The protesters are color-coded with green wristbands. Their protest signs are in English and are obviously directed at the western media.

Until 1978 the US ruled Iran through the Shah. The US intends to again rule Iran through puppets. The only two remaining independent governments in the region are Iran and Syria. If the US doesn.t first bankrupt itself, both countries will fall to US black ops destabilization.

The limitless gullibility of the American people guarantees carte blanche to the US government.s schemes. Americans seemingly cannot put two and two together. They have already forgotten the lies about weapons of mass destruction that have resulted in the destruction of Iraq. They have forgotten Secretary of State Colin Powell.s publicly expressed remorse at the lies he told the UN. Americans blithely accept the conflation of Taliban with al Qaeda and terrorists and the new war that the Obama regime has started in Pakistan, a war that has already produced 2 million refugees.

A minority of the US population does not believe the government.s account and hundreds, perhaps thousands, of experts and informed and well-connected people have challenged the government.s tale, the US media has shown no interest despite the official account of 9/11 bearing every known hallmark of a coverup.

High-ranking fire marshals have complained that legally required forensic procedures were not followed by authorities entrusted with investigation.

The testimony of more than 100 policemen, firemen, and maintenance personnel who were in the towers at the time and report hearing and experiencing a series of explosions was ignored and withheld from the public until the government got its story in place.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology studiously avoided testing for evidence of explosives. The severed steel beams were quickly collected and sold abroad as scrap.

As a number of observers have complained, the crime scene was destroyed, not investigated.

The government.s story of the destruction of the towers is based on computer simulations that produce results in keeping with the assumptions.

The collapse of the third building is not even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.

No one abroad believes the US government.s story. Europeans have produced documentary films that laugh at the official explanation.

Recently, an international team of scientists reported on their two year examination of dust samples from the debris. They report that they found nano-thermite in the samples. To my knowledge no mainstream US media reported the finding.

One would think that such a finding would lead to a real investigation. Instead, within the US the finding is dismissed by debunkers of "conspiracy theories" (except of course the government.s own conspiracy theory) with the charge that the dust samples have not been in controlled environments since collected and could have been contaminated by those who volunteered the samples. In other words, the nano-thermite, if actually in the samples, was planted.

One wonders how residents of lower Manhattan obtained nano-thermite with which to contaminate the dust. Indeed, who has access to nano-thermite other than government?

Why doesn.t the National Academy of Science choose a team to examine the samples? If the finding of nano-thermite is verified, the issue of contamination can be investigated. If it turns out that the people who volunteered the samples have no possible access to nano-thermite, the case for a real investigation is established.

There is little prospect of such a development in the US. American science and the careers of scientists are heavily dependent on US government funding. It would be a career-ending event for American scientists to get involved with this matter other than as a contributor to a cover-up. Professor Steven Jones, a physicist at BYU who first raised the issue of explosives being used to bring down the three WTC buildings, was terminated, despite his tenure, by BYU. Many believe Jones was terminated because of political threats to the university.s funding.

In the US truth is an ineffective means by which to hold government accountable. Consider, for example, the fate of whistleblowers. Daniel Ellsberg who leaked the Pentagon Papers was perhaps the last successful whistleblower and that was three decades ago. Since then the government has put in place many defenses against whistleblowers.

The American public has looked to government for its salvation since Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. Government provides education, health care (Medicare, Medicaid), pensions (Social Security), food stamps, housing subsidies, child care and protects Americans from a long list of demonized villains ranging from spouse abusers and child molesters to terrorists. Americans see themselves and their government as the salt of the earth, an image supported by American generosity to other peoples who suffer natural calamities. Most Americans believe that their government does stupid things, but not evil things except perhaps by accident.

The right-wing believes that America was attacked on 9/11 because we are so good, hubris to which Bush successfully played with his statement that "they hate us for our freedom and democracy."

The left-wing finds emotional satisfaction in its belief that 9/11 was deserved blow-back from peoples oppressed by US foreign policy who rose up and struck back.

Truth is so impotent in America that the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty 42 years ago is still covered up by the US government despite the best efforts of Admiral Tom Moorer, who was Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and by decades of effort by the Liberty survivors.

This raises the question: Why do some people blow whistles? Why do those few write books and columns that challenge the lies and deceptions? There is probably more than one answer. For some, hope springs eternal. Others naively destroy their careers thinking that truth will be honored. Still others speak from a sense of responsibility to truth and not from a hope that anything will actually change.

In October 1987 John Stockwell, a former CIA cover operative who ran the CIA.s covert war in Angola, gave a lecture in which he said he abandoned his career when he realized that CIA covert operations resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people and were totally unconnected to any US national security interests. "I concluded that I just couldn.t see the point."

Nothing has changed. What was the point of the US invasion of Iraq? Even President Bush eventually conceded that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

What was the point of the US invasion of Afghanistan and what is the point of Obama.s escalation of the war there? The Taliban is not al Qaeda and was totally focused on unifying Afghanistan under an Islamic government. The US was not on the Taliban.s radar screen.

What is the point of the war that the US has started in Pakistan?

What is the point of the destabilization of the Iranian government? After the stolen elections of the Karl Rove/Bush era, why does the US think it must overthrow the Iranian government because of allegations that Ahmadinejad stole an election?

If the answer is that these wars and interventions serve the interest of US hegemony, the obvious reply is that US hegemony is more likely to be lost from the massive red ink in the government.s budget that is likely to be monetized, thus destroying the dollar as reserve currency, the main source of US hegemony.

If the US wants to have an empire in the Middle East or elsewhere, the government should come out and say so. At least then Americans could revel in the glories of empire. As it is, the pleasure must be gained surreptitiously under the table, pretending that we are protecting the world from evil-doers while we do evil ourselves.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan.s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow.s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Friday, June 19, 2009 0 comments

08 June, 2009

US military MURDER machine

Military spending sets new record
By Jorn Madslien
Business reporter, BBC News

Global military spending rose 4% in 2008 to a record $1,464bn (£914bn) - up 45% since 1999, according to the Stockholm-based peace institute Sipri.

In contrast with civilian aerospace and airlines, the defence industry remains healthy.

"The global financial crisis has yet to have an impact on major arms companies' revenues, profits and order backlogs," Sipri said.

Peace-keeping operations - which also benefit defence firms - rose 11%.

Missions were launched in trouble spots such as Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

"Another record was set, with the total of international peace operation personnel reaching 187,586," said Sipri, or Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Growth industry

As the world's aerospace and defence industry prepares for next week's Paris air show centenary, it seems much of the focus is set to shift away from troubled civilian aircraft makers, which are struggling with reduced orders from recession-hit airlines, towards the companies that make fighter jets and other military hardware.

In total, the 100 leading defence manufacturers sold arms worth $347bn during 2007, the most recent year for which reliable data are available.

Almost all the companies were American or European. Some 61% of the total was accounted for by 44 US companies, with 32 West European companies accounting for a further 31%. Other companies were Russian, Japanese, Israeli and Indian.

"Since 2002, the value of the top 100 arms sales has increased by 37% in real terms," Sipri said. "The US presidency of George W Bush... was a period of continuity in the arms industry. This followed a period of consolidation in the 1990s and early 2000s."

The US aerospace and defence giant Boeing remains the world's largest, with arms sales of $30.5bn during 2007. The UK's BAE Systems ranked a close second, with arms sales of $29.9bn, while Lockheed Martin was third with $29.4bn in sales.

Big spender

The US remains the biggest spender, accounting for 58% of the total global spending increase during the decade, though China and Russia have reduced the gap.

Both tripled military spending over the decade, and Russia "is maintaining plans for further increases despite severe economic problems".

Military spending in the Middle East fell slightly during 2008, but Sipri saw this as a temporary drop. "Many countries in the region [are] planning major arms purchases," Sipri said.

One exception was Iraq, whose military budget rose 133% during 2008 when compared with 2007. "Iraq remains highly dependent on the US for ams supplies, with numerous orders planned," Sipri says.

US military spending accounted for 58% of the total global spending increase during the decade, with extra funds set aside to fight the "war on terror".

In addition, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost the US $903bn.

"The idea of the 'war on terror' has encouraged many countries to see their problems through a highly militarised lens, using this to justify high military spending," said Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of the military expenditure project at Sipri, or Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Trouble ahead?

High levels of military spending can cause economic difficulties for even the wealthiest of nations, Sipri insisted.

"During the eight-year presidency of George W Bush, US military expenditure increased to the highest level in real terms since World War Two," Sipri said.

"This increase has contributed to soaring budget deficits," the yearbook states, pointing to how both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts were funded "primarily through emergency supplemental appropriations outside the regular budgetary process", funded by borrowing.

"Arms companies may face reduced demand in the future if governments cut military spending in response to rising budget deficits," Sipri observed.

The top 10 global arms producers

Boeing $30.5bn
BAE Systems $29.9bn
Lockheed Martin $29.4bn
Northrop Grumman$24.6bn
General Dynamics $21.5bn
Raytheon $19.5bn
EADS (West Europe) $13.1bn
L-3 Communications $11.2bn
Finmeccanica $9.9bn
Thales $9.4bn

The top 10 military spenders
George W Bush
USA $607bn
China $84.9bn
France $65.74bn
UK $65.35bn
Russia $58.6bn
Germany $46.87bn
Japan $46.38bn
Italy $40.69bn
Saudi Arabia $38.2bn
India $30.0bn
Source: Sipri. All figures from 2008.

SIPRI Arms transfers data release

New data released on April 27 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reveal a significant rise in arms transfers to the Middle East. There were also increases in arms deliveries to East Asia, the Caucasus and Pakistan. The USA remains the world.s largest exporter, followed by Russia and Germany. Access the completely updated data set and full background report, which is based on unbiased information gathered by the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.

Same air cargo companies deliver both humanitarian aid and weapons, says SIPRI

Air Transport and Destabizing Comodity Flows(Stockholm, 12 May 2009) Air cargo companies involved in illicit or destabilizing arms transfers to African conflict zones have also been repeatedly contracted to deliver humanitarian aid and support peacekeeping operations, according to a report released today

Bookmark and Share
posted by u2r2h at Monday, June 08, 2009 0 comments

Locations of visitors to this page Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites