Terrorism

The Politics of Fear

The same message is clear everywhere you look: be afraid, be very, very afraid. Whether it is about terrorism, jobs, or who to vote for, fear is a powerful weapon, economically and politically, in the hands of the ruling class. Fear is divisive, it is incapacitating, and ultimately immobilizes the working class and everyone struggling for social change.

The power of fear is that it shuts down. It shuts down debate, it shuts down dialogue, it shuts down meaningful action. Whether or not the fear is rational is largely irrelevant. Many people fear many things with very little, if any, rational explanation for the fear. According to a public survey, Iran was ranked as the biggest threat to world peace in the U.S. and Canada. Why? Iran hasn’t attacked another country since 1798. On the flip side, Iran has been attacked on many occasions by the U.S.-NATO alliance. The U.S. and Britain overthrew Iran’s democratically elected government in 1953 on behalf of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, BP’s predecessor, ushering in a reign of terror by a brutal monarch. The U.S. supplied Saddam Hussein with chemical weapons to attack the Iranians during the Iran-Iraq War, the very same weapons the U.S. illegally occupied and destroyed Iraq for allegedly possessing. In 1988, the U.S. Navy shot down a civilian airliner, Iran Air flight 655, killing all 290 people on board, while the plane was over Iranian territory, in Iranian airspace, traveling the plane’s standard flight path. There is no basis to any claim that Iran is a threat to world peace, but there is overwhelming evidence the U.S. and its allies are. (more…)

Clinton Terrorist

Hillary Clinton Added To Terror Sponsor Watchlist

Today, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that it has just added democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to its terror sponsor watchlist. This happened after this week’s discovery that one of the top monetary contributors to her current campaign is a suspected agent of Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) who has funneled millions of dollars to Islamic Sunni-backed terror groups throughout the Middle East.

The Federation began their confidential list of people and organizations they found to be involved in money laundering and funding terrorism, back in 2011. With Hillary being on this list, she became the highest ranking US official to have ever been placed upon it. This is not necessarily a “firm/complete” indication of her guilt, but it rather means her “actions/associations” involving “known/suspected” terrorists and terrorism supporters have raised “serious concerns” within the FSB.

As to what raised these concerns about Hillary, this report explained that it was her private meeting this past week in Beaumont, Texas, with Pakistani businessman Muhammad Tahir Javed at his home, and attended by 250 other Muslims, that collected about $500,000 making it one of the top five private fundraisers she has had in America to date.

Muhammad Tahir Javed, now being Hillary’s main supporter, has long been identified by the FSB as a “suspected” terror supporter and ISI “agent” since he arrived in the States in 1989 during Bill Clinton’s regime and over the past quarter century has amassed a fortune through his “convenience store empire” located in Texas and the American south which he has vastly expanded into other business areas making him one of the most powerful Islamic businessmen in both the US and Pakistan.

FSB intelligence on the “true” business practices of Muhammad Tahir Javed though, this report notes, appear to show that his fortune was made through his involvement with the ISI and Mexican drug cartels utilizing the “complicity/support” of American government officials.

To the exact working of the ISI’s and Muhammad Tahir Javed’s “scheme” to support global Islamic terrorists, this report says, was recently detailed in news reports from the US State of Alabama where 11 of Javed’s affiliated convenience stores were confiscated this past summer, and as we can, partly, read about:

A couple of steaks shoplifted at a Gardendale Walmart three months ago led to the biggest food stamp fraud investigation in Alabama history, and launched 11 simultaneous raids this morning at convenience stores countywide.

Led by the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, teams of law enforcement officers met at 5 a.m. for a briefing and then fanned out across the county beginning at 6:50 a.m. The officers and agents were armed with 242 arrest warrants and plans to arrest 17 suspects.

All 17 suspects were in custody by mid-morning, and investigators already today have filed for forfeiture and condemnation of those 11 stores, which totals more than $1 million in assets.

“This is huge for us,” said Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls.

The massive probe, dubbed Operation T-bone, targeted those they say have been cheating the food stamp system to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars and sending  the profits via wire transfer to Yemen, some of which is suspected to have funded Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist activity.

At the heart of the operation are Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards, a government-issued debit card that replaced food stamps. There are more than 900,000 people who get government assistance through the EBT card in Alabama each year, and they are allowed to use the cards for food, non-alcoholic beverages, and other basic needs, mostly through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

The investigation began in February when Gardendale police arrested a man for shoplifting steaks and some other items at Walmart in that city. When they interviewed the suspect, he said he was boosting the items to give to two convenience stores, and he named the stores, authorities said

As to why the State of Alabama became the only US law enforcement entity to crack down on Muhammad Tahir Javed, this report explains, is due to that State’s top judge becoming embroiled with the Obama regime over the rights of homosexual peoples to marry—and which this action was clearly meant to send a message to President Obama himself that they knew some of his darkest secrets.

In supporting Muhammad Tahir Javed too, this report continues, Hillary Clinton, while she was Secretary of State, joined with the Obama regime in flooding Texas with Islamic refuges who all have received EBT cards which they are now using at Javed’s thousands of convenience/thrift stores—and where one of whom was recently arrested for being a member of the Islamic State terror group.

As to how the American people will react to Hillary Clinton’s receiving $500,000 from a suspected Islamic terror supporter just a fortnight before US Presidential primary elections are held, this report concludes, is never to be known as barely any of them will know about it due to the New York Times itself shockingly admitting in 2012 that all American news, especially news relating to political campaigns, are censored by Obama regime government officials.

Source: http://www.worldnewspolitics.com/2016/01/23/russia-shockingly-adds-hillary-clinton-to-terror-sponsor-watchlist/

Image Source:

The West Creates Terrorism

How the West Creates Terrorism

Terrorism has many forms and many faces, but the most terrible of them is cold cruelty.

We are asked to believe that terrorists consist of dirty lunatics, running around with bombs, machine guns and explosive belts. That’s how we are told to imagine them.

Many of them are bearded; almost all are “foreign looking”, non-white, non-Western. In summary they are wife beaters, child rapists and Greek and Roman statue destroyers.

Actually, during the Cold War, there were some white looking “terrorists” – the left-wingers belonging to several revolutionary cells, in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. But only now we are learning that the terrorist acts attributed to them were actually committed by the Empire, by several European right-wing governments and intelligence services. You remember, the NATO countries were blowing up those trains inside the tunnels, or bombing entire train stations…

It “had to be done”, in order to discredit the Left, just to make sure that people would not become so irresponsible as to vote for the Communists or true Socialists.

There were also several Latin American ‘terror’ groups – the revolutionary movements fighting for freedom and against oppression, mainly against Western colonialism. They had to be contained, liquidated, and if they held power, overthrown.

But terrorists became really popular in the West only after the Soviet Union and the Communist Block were destroyed through thousands of economic, military and propaganda means, and the West suddenly felt too exposed, so alone without anyone to fight. Somehow it felt that it needed to justify its monstrous oppressive acts in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.

It needed a new “mighty”, really mighty, enemy to rationalize its astronomical military and intelligence budgets. It was not good enough to face a few hundred ‘freaks’ somewhere inside the Colombian jungle or in Northern Ireland or Corsica. There had to be something really huge, something matching that ‘evil’ Soviet “threat”.

Oh how missed that threat was, suddenly! Just a threat of course; not the danger of egalitarian and internationalist ideals…

And so the West linked terrorism with Islam, which is one of the greatest cultures on earth, with 1.6 billion followers. Islam is big and mighty enough, to scare the shit out of the middle class housewives in some Western suburb! And on top of that, it had to be contained anyway, as it was essentially too socialist and too peaceful.

At that time in history, all great secular and socialist leaders of Muslim countries, (like in Iran, Indonesia and Egypt), were overthrown by the West, their legacy spat on, or they were simply banned.

But that was not enough for the West!

In order to make Islam a worthy enemy, the Empire had to first radicalize and pervert countless Muslim movements and organizations, then create the new ones, consequently training, arming and financing them, so they could really look frightening enough.

There is of course one more important reason why “terrorism”, particularly Muslim “terrorism”, is so essential for the survival of Western doctrines, exceptionalism and global dictatorship: it justifies the West’s notion of absolute cultural and moral superiority.

This is how it works:

For centuries, the West has been behaving like a mad bloodthirsty monster. Despite the self-glorifying propaganda being spread by Western media outlets all over the world, it was becoming common knowledge that the Empire was raping, murdering and plundering in virtually all corners of the Globe. A few more decades and the world would see the West exclusively as a sinister and toxic disease. Such a scenario had to be prevented by all means!

And so the ideologues and propagandists of the Empire came up with a new and brilliant formula: Let’s create something that looks and behaves even worse than we do, and then we could trumpet that we are still actually the most reasonable and tolerant culture on earth!

And let’s make a real pirouette: let’s fight our own creation – let’s fight it in the name of freedom and democracy!”

This is how the new generation; the new breed of “terrorist” was born. And it lives! It is alive and well! It is multiplying like Capek’s Salamanders.

***

Western terrorism is not really discussed, although its most extreme and violent forms are battering the world relentlessly and have for a long time, with hundreds of millions of victims piling up everywhere.

Even the legionnaires and gladiators of the Empire, like the Mujaheddin, Al-Qaida, or ISIS, can never come close to the savagery that has been demonstrated time and again by their British, French, Belgian, German or US masters. Of course they are trying very hard to match their gurus and bread-givers, but they are just not capable of their violence and brutality.

It takes “Western culture” to butcher some 10 million people in just one single geographic area, in almost one go!

***

So what is real terrorism, and how could ISIS and others follow its lead? They say that ISIS is decapitating their victims. Bad enough. But who is their teacher?

For centuries, the empires of Europe were murdering, torturing, raping and mutilating people on all continents of the world. Those who were not doing so directly, were “investing” into colonialist expeditions, or sending its people to join genocidal battalions.

King Leopold II and his cohorts managed to exterminate around 10 million people of Western and Central Africa, in what is now known as the Congo. He was hunting people down like animals, forcing them to work on his rubber plantations. If he thought that they were not filling up his coffers fast enough, he did not hesitate to chop off their hands, or burn entire village populations inside their huts, alive.

10 million victims vanished. 10 million! And it did not take place in some distant past, in the “dark ages”, but in the 20th century, under the rule of so-called constitutional monarchy, and self-proclaimed democracy. How does it compare with the terrorism that is ruling over the territories occupied by ISIS? Let’s compare numbers and brutality level!

And the Democratic Republic of Congo has, since 1995, lost again close to 10 million people in a horrid orgy of terror, unleashed by the West’s proxies, Rwanda and Uganda (see the trailer to my film “Rwanda Gambit”).

Germans performed holocausts in South-Western Africa, in what is now Namibia. The Herero tribe was exterminated, or at least close to 90% of it was. People were first kicked out from their land and from their homes, and driven into the desert. If they survived, the German pre-Nazi expeditions followed, using bullets and other forms of mass killing. Medical experiments on humans were performed, to prove the superiority of the Germanic nation and the white race.

These were just innocent civilians; people whose only crime was that they were not white, and were sitting on land occupied and violated by the Europeans.

The Taliban never came close to this, or even ISIS!

To this day, the Namibian government is demanding the return of countless heads severed from its people: heads that were cut off and then sent to the University of Freiburg and several hospitals in Berlin, for medical experiments.

Just imagine, ISIS chopping thousands of European heads, in order to perform medical experiments aiming to demonstrate the superiority of the Arab race. It would be absolutely unthinkable!

Local people were terrorized in virtually all colonies grabbed by Europe, something that I have described in detail in my latest 840-page book “Exposing Lies of the Empire”.

What about the Brits and their famines, which they were using as population control and intimidation tactics in India! In Bengal at least 5 million died in 1943 alone, 5.5 million in 1876-78, 5 million in 1896-97, to name just a few terrorist acts committed by the British Empire against a defenseless population forced to live under its horrid and oppressive terrorist regime!

What I have mentioned above are just 3 short chapters from the long history of Western terrorism. An entire encyclopedia could be compiled on the topic.

But all this sits far from Western consciousness. European and North American masses prefer not to know anything about the past and the present. As far as they are concerned, they rule the world because they are free, bright and hard working. Not because for centuries their countries have plundered and murdered, and above all terrorized the world forcing it into submission.

The elites know everything, of course. And the more they know, the more they put that knowledge to work.

Terrorist trade and experience are passed on from Western masters to their new Muslim recruits.

The Mujahideen, Al-Qaida, ISIS – on closer examination, their tactics of intimidation and terrorization are not original at all. They are built on imperialist and colonialist practices of the West.

News about this, or even about the terror that has been inflicted on the Planet by the West, is meticulously censored. You would never see them on the programs broadcast by the BBC, or read about them in mainstream newspapers and magazines.

On the other hand, the violence and ruthlessness of the client terrorist organizations are constantly highlighted. They are covered in their tiniest detail, repeated, and “analyzed”.

Everybody is furious, horrified! The UN is “deeply concerned”, Western governments are “outraged”, and the Western public “has had enough – it does not want immigrants from those terrible countries that are breeding terrorism and violence”.

The West “simply has to get involved”. And here comes the War on Terror.

It is a war against the West’s own Frankenstein. It is a war that is never meant to be won. Because if it is won, god forbid, there would have to be peace, and peace means cutting defense budgets and also dealing with the real problems of our Planet.

Peace would mean the West looking at its own past. It would mean thinking about justice and rearranging the entire power structures of the Planet. And that can never be allowed.

And so the West is “playing” war games; it is “fighting” its own recruits (or pretending to fight them), while innocent people are dying.

No part of the world, except the West, would be able to invent and unleash something so vile and barbaric as ISIS or Al-Nusra!

Look closer at the strategy of these group-implants: it has no roots in Muslim culture whatsoever. But it is fully inspired by the Western philosophy of colonialist terrorism: “If you don’t fully embrace our dogmas and religion, then we will cut off your head, slash your throat, rape your entire family or burn your village or city to the ground. We will destroy your grand cultural heritage as we did in South America 500 years ago, and in so many other places.”

And so on and so on! It would really require great discipline not to see the connections!

***

In 2006 I was visiting my friend, a former President of Indonesia, and a great progressive Muslim leader, Abdurrahman Wahid, (known in Indonesia as “Gus Dur”). Our meeting was held at the headquarters of his massive Muslim body Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). At that time the NU was the biggest Muslim organization in the world.

We were discussing capitalism and how it was destroying and corrupting Indonesia. Gus Dur was a “closet socialist”, and that was one of the main reasons why the servile pro-Western Indonesian “elites” and the military deposed him out of the Presidency in 2001.

When we touched on the topic of “terrorism”, he suddenly declared in his typically soft, hardly audible voice: “I know who blew up the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta. It was done by our own intelligence services, in order to justify the increase in their budget, as well as aid that they have been receiving from abroad.”

Of course, the Indonesian army, intelligence services and police consist of a special breed of humans. For several decades, since 1965, they have been brutally terrorizing their own population, when the pro-Western coup toppled the progressive President Sukarno and brought to power a fascist military clique, backed by the predominantly Christian business gang. This terror took between 2-3 million lives in Indonesia itself, as well as in East Timor and (until now) in occupied and thoroughly plundered Papua.

3 genocides in only 5 decades!

The Indonesian coup was one of the greatest terrorist acts in the history of mankind. The rivers were clogged with corpses and changed their color to red.

Why? So that capitalism would survive and Western mining companies could have their booty, at the expense of a completely ruined Indonesian nation. So the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) would not be able to win elections, democratically.

But in the West, those 1965 intensive massacres planned by the Empire were never described as “terrorism”. Blowing up a hotel or a pub always is however, especially if they are frequented by Western clientele.

Now Indonesia has its own groups of “terrorists”. They returned from Afghanistan where they fought on behalf of the West against the Soviet Union. They are returning from the Middle East now. The recent attacks in Jakarta could be just a foreplay, a well-planned beginning of something much bigger, maybe an opening of the new “front” of toy soldiers of the Empire in Southeast Asia.

For the West and its planners – the more chaos the better.

Had Abdurrahman Wahid been allowed to stay as the President of Indonesia, there would, most likely, have been no terrorism. His country would have undergone socialist reforms, instituted social justice, rehabilitated Communists and embraced secularism.

In socially balanced societies, terrorism does not thrive.

That would be unacceptable to the Empire. That would mean – back to Sukarno’s day! The most populous Muslim nation on earth cannot be allowed to go its own way, to aim for socialism, and to annihilate terrorist cells.

It has to be at the edge. It has to be ready to be used as a pawn. It has to be scared and scary! And so it is.

***

The games the West is playing are complex and elaborate. They are murky and nihilist. They are so destructive and brutal that even the sharpest analysts are often questioning their own eyes and judgments: “Could all this be really happening?”

The brief answer is: “Yes it can. Yes it is, for many long decades and centuries.”

Historically, terrorism is a native Western weapon. It was utilized freely by people like Lloyd George, a British PM, who refused to sign the agreement banning aerial bombardment of civilians, using unshakeable British logic: “We reserve the right to bomb those niggers.” Or Winston Churchill who was in favor of gassing the ‘lower grade’ of races, like Kurds and Arabs.

That is why, when some outsider, a country like Russia, gets involved, launching its genuine war against terrorist groups, the entire West is consumed by panic. Russia is spoiling their entire game! It is ruining a beautifully crafted neo-colonialist equilibrium.

Just look how lovely everything is: after killing hundreds of millions all over the Globe, the West is now standing as the self-proclaimed champion of human rights and freedom. It is still terrorizing the world, plundering it, fully controlling it – but it is being accepted as the supreme leader, a benevolent advisor, and the only trustworthy part of the world.

And almost nobody is laughing.

Because everyone is scared!

Its brutal legions in the Middle East and Africa are destabilizing entire countries, their origins are easily traceable, but almost no one is daring to do such tracing. Some of those who have tried – died.

The more frightening these invented, manufactured and implanted terrorist monsters, the more beautiful the West looks. It is all gimmicks. It has roots in advertisement, and in hundreds of years of propaganda apparatus.

The West then pretends to fight those deep forces of darkness. It uses powerful, “righteous” language, which has clear bases in Christian fundamentalist dogma.

An entire mythology is unleashed; it feels like Wagner’s “Ring”.

The terrorists represent evil, not the enormous expenditure from the coffers of the US State Department, the European Union and NATO. They are more evil than the Devil himself!

And the West, riding on the white horse, slightly pissed on wine but always in good humor, is portrayed as both a victim and the main adversary of those satanic terrorist groups.

It is one incredible show. It is one terrible farce. Look underneath the horseman’s mask: look at those exposed teeth; that deadly grin! Look at his red eyes, full of greed, lust and cruelty.

And let us never forget: colonialism and imperialism are two most deadly forms of terrorism. And these are still the two main weapons of that horseman who is choking the world!

Source: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article44013.htm

Image Source: http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/22/how-the-west-creates-terrorism/

Saudi Arabia and the “War on Terror”

Speaking to the media during a visit to the giant Incirlik Air Base in Turkey Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter praised the Saudi monarchy for proclaiming a new “Islamic alliance” against terrorism.

“We are happy with the alliance formed by Saudi Arabia and looking forward for the steps being taken by them against terrorism,” Carter declared.

No sooner was the Saudi announcement made, however, than a number of countries raised questions about their inclusion, without their knowledge, in the so-called alliance. Three predominantly Muslim countries—Iraq, Syria and Iran—were excluded, leading to charges that the Saudi monarchy is really only patching together a Sunni Muslim alliance to prosecute its sectarian crusade against the region’s Shia population.

A more fundamental question is what does the Saudi regime mean by “terrorism”? Clearly, it is not referring to the various Al Qaeda-linked groups fighting in Syria, all of which get substantial funding as well as large numbers of fighters and their religious-ideological inspiration from the Wahhabist Saudi kingdom.

This fact was confirmed by then-US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a classified 2009 cable declaring that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

This was further acknowledged by Vice President Joe Biden in a speech delivered at Harvard last year. He admitted that the Saudi regime, along with other US client despots in the Middle East, had

“poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra and Al Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world.”

Of course what both Clinton and Biden sought to conceal was that this operation was fully coordinated by the CIA out of a station in southern Turkey. Washington had armed and funded similar groups in the US-NATO war for regime change in Libya, and well before that had worked closely with the Saudis in fomenting the Islamist war against the Soviet-backed regime in Afghanistan, which gave rise to Al Qaeda.

So what does the Saudi monarchy view as terrorism? The answer can be found in its prison cells, where three young men, all arrested when they were minors, are awaiting death by beheading for the “crime” of participating in peaceful protests against the relentless repression of the US-backed regime in Riyadh.

They are among 52 similar “terrorists” whose mass execution is expected at any time. Two of them—Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was 17 at the time of his arrest, and Abdullah al-Zaher, who was 15—in addition to being sentenced to die by decapitation with a sword, are to be crucified, their headless bodies mounted on crosses in a public space as an example to anyone thinking of defying the House of Saud.

What the Saudi monarchy considers “terrorism,” moreover, was codified into a new law last year. It establishes that terrorism includes “any act” intended to, among other things, “insult the reputation of the state,” “harm public order,” or “shake the security of society.”

Other acts defined as “terrorism” include: “Calling for atheist thought in any form, or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion on which this country is based,” as well as “Contact or correspondence with any groups, currents [of thought], or individuals hostile to the kingdom.”

The parents of Abdullah al-Zaher, now 19, have come forward to plead for his life. They describe how he was tortured and beaten with iron rods after his arrest until he signed a false confession that he was not even allowed to read.

The Saudi regime has already executed at least 151 people this year, the highest per capita rate of capital punishment of any country in the world.

Within the Obama administration and the corporate media, appeals for the lives of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, Abdullah al-Zaher and the dozens of others who face imminent beheading have fallen on deaf ears.

Washington continues to count Saudi Arabia as its closest ally in the Arab world, selling it more US weaponry than any other country on the planet. Last year alone, the oil kingdom purchased $1.2 billion in US armaments. A new $1 billion deal was recently announced, as the Pentagon continues to resupply the Saudi military in its vicious war in Yemen that has already claimed more than 7,000 lives, while reducing tens of millions to the brink of starvation.

The media in the US has largely ignored the plight of the youth sentenced to beheading and crucifixion. Instead, it has lavished praise on recent elections to municipal councils on the grounds that women were for the first time allowed to vote and run for office, though they remain deprived of virtually every other right.

Most of the coverage dutifully ignored the fact that less than 10 percent of the population—and barely 1 percent of Saudi women—bothered to vote for the municipal bodies, which are utterly powerless advisory panels in a country where the royal family appoints all those who wield any real power.

Nor in the media’s celebration of a handful of rich Saudi women running for meaningless posts was any attention paid to a Sri Lankan woman, one of the many thousands of foreign domestic workers treated like slaves, who is awaiting death by stoning after being charged with adultery. Two Indonesian maids were executed by beheading earlier this year.

That US imperialism counts the Saudi regime as its closest ally in the Arab world debunks all the pretexts it has used to justify its continuous wars in the region. The alliance with a state that finances, arms and provides religious-ideological inspiration to Al Qaeda-linked groups gives the lie to the supposed “war on terror,” just as US support for an absolute monarchy that beheads and crucifies youth exposes the fraud of Washington’s promotion of “democracy” and “human rights.”

Washington’s real objectives are purely predatory, directed at utilizing military might to offset the economic decline of American capitalism by asserting hegemony over the world’s markets and resources.

That it relies on the ultra-reactionary and bankrupt Saudi regime as a key pillar of this policy only demonstrates that US imperialism is headed for a catastrophe. It is destined to reap all that it has sown in the massive crimes carried out against the peoples of the region, even as the immense contradictions building up within US society create the conditions for a revolutionary explosion.

Source: Global Research 

Who Watches the Watchers: Bill C-51 Goes Too Far

From NUPGE

Ottawa (25 Feb. 2015) — As the federal government tries to push through Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act, by limiting debate from expert witnesses and in the House of Commons, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is releasing its response to the legislation.

Many Canadians are unaware of what Bill C-51 says

“There is a great deal of scaremongering going on with this legislation,” said James Clancy, NUPGE National President. “We want to help Canadians distill the major issues in this legislation so they understand its impact on their lives.”

“The government is trying to convince people that this legislation is not harmful to people who are not doing anything wrong,” Clancy continued. “The problem is that there are questionable and vague aspects of this law that infringe on the rights of everyday Canadians.”

c51

The publication Who Watches the Watchers: Bill C-51 goes too far says, “We all want to feel safe. We all want to live in communities where we’re free to enjoy doing things with our friends and our family without fear. But if the Conservative government’s Bill C-51 (a.k.a. the “anti-terrorism bill”) is passed into law, we’ll end up less safe and have more to fear.” The leaflet provides three (and a half) main points about why Bill C-51 is dangerous:

  • It will compromise our safety, ruin Canada’s reputation as a rights-respecting nation and be a waste of money.
  • It will make us all guilty until proven innocent.
  • It will allow government and its agencies to violate our privacy at will.

The leaflet also encourages people to voice their concerns about the legislation to the government. Sign a petition (link is external), join LeadNow’s campaign (link is external) against C-51, write to the Prime Minister (link sends e-mail) and the leader of the Liberal Party (link sends e-mail) who support this legislation, and contact your Member of Parliament to ask them to oppose this bill.

Prominent Canadians speak out against legislation

This legislation is raising red flags for experts across the country. A detailed letter of warning was published in The Globe and Mail exposing the flaws in the legislation. It was written by four former Prime Ministers — Joe Clark, Jean Chrétien, Paul Martin and John Turner — five former Supreme Court justices, seven former Liberal solicitors general and former ministers of justice, three past members of the intelligence review committee, two former privacy commissioners, and a retired RCMP watchdog — all voicing serious concern that the legislation is too broad, and lacks appropriate accountability, review and oversight.

The letter raises the problem that recommendations for a new oversight regime, proposed in 2006 following the inquiry into the Maher Arar torture affair, were never implemented.

These prominent Canadians, the Official Opposition New Democratic Party, and many others are urging the government to accept amendments to the legislation, but so far the Conservatives appear uninterested.

Government trying to deflect concerns about jobs and the economy with legislation before a federal election
More and more Canadians are realizing that the government is using this anti-terrorism legislation to drum up Conservative support prior to a federal election.

“While Canadians are disturbed by recent violence, many are more concerned with the lack of well paying jobs, cuts to public services, crumbling infrastructure and access to timely health care,” says Clancy. “This government is determined to change that channel at any cost. And the cost may be that we end up less safe than we are today.”

On the Expanding War on Terror – Statement by the Communist Party of Canada

From People’s Voice

A statement on recent developments by the Central Executive Committee of the Communist Party of Canada that I assisted in writing.

Since the terrible events of January 7 and beyond in Paris, politicians and the corporate media in the NATO countries, including Canada, are thundering that “we must all unite” in response to a so‑called “declaration of war” by religious extremist groups. But under the cover of “safeguarding our freedom from terrorism”, the Harper and other Western governments are moving to escalate militarism and aggression abroad, and further erode democratic liberties – especially the right to dissent – at home.

To be clear, the Communist Party of Canada categorically condemns all terrorist acts, whether committed by individuals, movements or imperialist states. As we stated immediately after the 9/11 events, “acts of terrorism undermine the struggle for progressive change; they sideline and neutralize the mass movement, create fear and disorientation in the broad people’s fightback, and provide imperialism and reaction with a powerful pretext to intensify repression.”

That said, the most serious threats to peace and security, and to democratic rights and freedoms, are posed by the policies and actions of Western governments themselves, not by a small number of violent criminals who seek to provoke repression in hopes of winning support for their own narrow fundamentalist agenda.

(more…)

Endless Wars Have Cost Americans $1.6 Trillion, Report Finds

From Common Dreams

The United States has spent $1.6 trillion on post-9/11 military operations, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, weapons procurement and maintenance, and base support, according to a report (pdf) issued earlier this month by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

As some analysts point out, that’s more money than the U.S. spent on the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991 all rolled into one.

According to International Business Times, “the $1.6 trillion estimate, which comes to $14 million per hour since 9/11…is up roughly half a trillion dollars from its 2010 estimate, which found that the post-9/11 military operations are second only to World War II in terms of financial cost.”

Of the $1.6 trillion total, CRS specialist Amy Belasco estimates that the funding breaks down as such:

  • $686 billion (43%) for Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan);
  • $815 billion (51%) for Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (Iraq);
  • $27 billion (2%) for Operation Noble Eagle (providing enhanced security at military bases and military operations related to homeland security);
  • $81 billion (5%) for war-designated funding not considered directly related to the Afghanistan or Iraq wars.

The report, dated December 8, states that about 92 percent of the funds went to the Department of Defense, with the remainder split between the State Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and other agencies. The key factor determining the cost of war during a given period over the last 13 years has been the number of U.S. troops deployed, according to the report.

To that end, the document says that predicting “future costs of the new U.S. role in countering the Islamic State is difficult because of the nature of the air campaign and uncertainties about whether the U.S. mission may expand.”

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To curtail costs moving forward, the CRS analysis recommends: “Congress may wish to consider ways to restrict war-funding to exclude activities marginally related to war operations and support, and to limit the use of ground troops in Operation Inherent Resolve,” referring to the U.S. military intervention against the Islamic State, or ISIS.

Writing at the Federation of American Scientists blog—where the report was first posted—“Ideally, the record compiled in the 100-page CRS report would serve as the basis for a comprehensive assessment of U.S. military spending since 9/11: To what extent was the expenditure of $1.6 trillion in this way justified? How much of it actually achieved its intended purpose? How much could have been better spent in other ways?”

Mother Jones notes that “[o]ther reports have estimated the cost of U.S. wars since 9/11 to be far higher than $1.6 trillion. A report by Neta Crawford, a political science professor at Boston University, estimated the total cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as well as post-2001 assistance to Pakistan—to be roughly $4.4 trillion. The CRS estimate is lower because it does not include additional costs including the lifetime price of health care for disabled veterans and interest on the national debt.”

Speaking to The Fiscal Times, American University professor of international relations and military history Gordon Adams argues that the costs of war are much higher than any report could show.

“All of these figures do not take into account the long-term consequences, in terms of post-traumatic stress disorder or long-term veterans’ bills,” he said. “The costs go on. Iraq and Afghanistan will end up being the gift that keeps on giving because—as we did with Vietnam—we will be living with the consequences for many, many years.”