Tag Archives: Middle East

Oil Wars : The BP entry in Iraq [rare documentation]

First Release, 27 April 2011

These five documents are minutes of meetings about Iraq between the UK government and oil companies BP and Shell, ion the six months before the war. They were reported in the Independent on 19 April 2011.

The documents do not demonstrate that oil was the reason for the war. But they do show that during the preparations for war, oil was a central concern for the UK government, disproving its claims that it was not interested in Iraq’s oil.

The documents also provide a remarkable insight into the interaction between oil companies and government, at the highest levels. We see that the government needed no persuasion that it should help the companies – the civil servants clearly saw themselves as on the same side as the oilmen. The companies could barely contain their excitement about Iraq – “the big oil prospect”, as BP put it in one meeting (DOCUMENT 3) – and the tone is quite unlike that usually seen in minutes of government meetings. The companies and government officials alike had no doubt that a war would take place, months before the parliamentary vote and while the government struggling (unsuccessfully) to persuade the UN Security Council to pass resolution authorising the war.

From the company perspective, the main purpose of the meetings was to ensure that they got their share (as they saw it) of Iraqi oilfields after the war. They were especially worried that the US government would naturally favour US companies, and might offer other fields to French, Russian or Chinese companies in exchange for their governments’ support in the UN Security Council. Tony Blair had already pledged British participation in the war, and so the British companies feared that with no bargaining power they’d be left out.

Trade Minister Baroness Symons – a staunch Blairite and active member of the British American Project, which had aimed since the 1980s to align the Labour Party’s foreign policy with that of the USA – was present in two of the meetings. She said [DOCUMENT 2] that “It would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis”. In other words, if British forces fight in a war then British companies should get a share of the spoils. This view is clearly unethical, but is also arguably illegal, under the Fourth Hague Convention.

BP and Shell both claimed that no such meetings took place. These minutes show such claims to be untrue. When invited to explain the discrepancy, both companies declined to comment. For her part, Symons said to Parliament in April 2003 that Iraq’s oil was “the patrimony of the people of Iraq, which should be used for their benefit, and for their benefit alone” – this was not what she said in private to the oil companies.

For more commentary on these documents, including the companies’ objectives and their history of deals with the Saddam regime, please see Chapter Four of Fuel on the Fire. For more on the UK and US governments’ strategic oil objectives, please see Chapter Three.

  • DOCUMENT  1 – Meeting of Edward Chaplin (Middle East Director, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO)) with Tony Wildig (Senior Vice President for New Business in Middle East, Shell), 2 October 2002.


Chaplin: “Shell and BP could not afford not to have a stake in it for the sake of their long-term future… We were determined to get a fair slice of the action for UK companies in a post-Saddam Iraq.”

DOCUMENT 2 – Meeting of Baroness Liz Symons (Trade Minister) with representatives of BP (Richard Paniguian, Tony Renton), Shell (John Withrington, Gavin Graham) and BG (Bethell), 31 October 2002.

BP: Iraq “would provide an immense strategic advantage to any company which emerged in a commanding position”

Symons: “Anything of this nature would be highly sensitive and kept very close”.

DOCUMENT 3 – Meeting of Michael Arthur (Head of Economic Policy, FCO) with Richard Paniguian (Group Vice President for Russia, the Caspian, Middle East and Africa), 6 November 2002.

“Iraq is the big oil prospect. BP are desperate to get in there.”

BP: “Vitally important – more important than anything we’ve seen for a long time.”

DOCUMENT 4 – Meeting of Baroness Symons with Richard Paniguian and Tony Renton (Commercial Director Middle East, BP), 4 December 2002

Discussion of US planning efforts for Iraqi oil. “It was clear that Ahmad Chalabi, the leader of the INC [Iraq National Congress] had a key role in selecting who was involved in these groups”.
“BP believed that the US authorities need to start giving some serious consideration to a number of issues on the future of Iraq’s oil industry including Iraq’s role in OPEC, the role of both existing and future Oil Ministry and State Owned Oil Company.”
Note that BP wanted more involvement of Iraqi expertise – presumably for greater stability for any investment.

DOCUMENT 5 – Meeting of John Browne (Chief Executive, BP) with Michael Jay (Permanent Undersecretary, FCO), 18 March 2003

This meeting took place less than 48 hours before bombs started falling on Baghdad, at the highest level: the head of BP with the most senior civil servant in the FCO. Of Jay’s five predecessors in that role, four had become directors of oil and gas companies on retirement from government service (two at Shell and one each at BP and BG).
BP had a team ready. But in the longer-term development of Iraq’s oilfields “They would not wish to be involved unless they were clear that administrative and other structures were in place to ensure that their involvement would be acceptable to whatever government followed military action”. This political conservatism by the major oil companies would shape the evolution of Iraqi oil policy during the early years of the occupation. Note however that Browne did not apparently make the more common point that such deals would have to be legal.

Second Release – 27 April 2011

These three documents set out the British government’s objectives for Iraqi oil, and its strategies for how to achieve them. They were reported in the Independent on 20 April 2011.

The documents stand in stark contrast to public claims by the government that it had no interest in Iraq’s oil. For example, Tony Blair said in February 2003 that “The oil conspiracy theory is honestly one of the most absurd when you analyse it.” Three months later, a Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) strategy paper (DOCUMENT 6) would declare, “The future shape of the Iraqi oil industry will affect oil markets, and the functioning of OPEC, in both of which we have a vital interest.” That paper was written less than two weeks after President Bush declared “mission accomplished” on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln.
The nature of British and American interests in Iraqi and Middle Eastern oil is explored in Chapter 3 of Fuel on the Fire. It is not as simple as to ‘take the oil’ (as Donald Trump has been saying over the last few weeks as a launchpad for his presidential campaign). And nor is it just about getting contracts for their own companies, although that was a secondary aim, as discussed in the pre-war Whitehall meetings. The most important strategic interest lay in expanding global energy supplies, through foreign investment, in some of the world’s largest oil reserves – in particular Iraq. This meshed neatly with the secondary aim of securing contracts for their companies. Note that the strategy documents released here tend to refer to “British and global energy supplies”. British energy security is to be obtained by there being ample global supplies – it is not about the specific flow, as if physical Iraqi oil goes to China rather than Europe, another source (say, in Africa) can be re-rerouted from China to Europe in its place.
Chapters 9 and 11 of Fuel on the Fire look at how Britain and the USA sought to achieve their oil objectives during the early years of the occupation (before the formation of a permanent government in 2006). Those chapters contextualise and interpret these three British strategy documents; they also reflect on the favoured euphemism of “advice” (which implies that Iraqi leaders were independently able to take or leave the advice).
DOCUMENT 6 – Iraqi oil and British interests, FCO paper, 12 May 2003

As its title suggests, this document is quite blunt about British interests, not bothering to dress up its proposals as being in Iraqi interests. And it notes the interplay between British energy security and commercial interests.

DOCUMENT 7 – Management change in the Iraqi oil sector, 27 May 2003

Two weeks later, this document was prepared for an interdepartment meeting of the government’s Oil Sector Liaison Group, comprising officials from the FCO, the Treasury, the Department of Trade & Industry and the Department for International Development.
Unlike the previous document, this expresses its aims as being in the interests of Iraqis – yet of the seven items in the objectives list on page 4, five are quite plainly British rather than Iraqi concerns. Even the other two (the 4th and 5th) are only what outsiders imagine Iraqi concerns to be, rather inaccurately.
Note especially the aim for Iraq to be a role model for the other major oil countries in the region, and the call for it to remain within OPEC but as an advocate of lower oil prices.

DOCUMENT 8 – UK Energy Strategy for Iraq, September 2004

This too was an interdepartmental paper, and is quite clear about how Britain would influence the evolving Iraqi oil policy. Note especially the recognition that Iraqis won’t like the plans.

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ARGENTINE JOURNALIST:International Monetary Fund & Nazi’s [transcript]

This interview appears in the October 29, 2004 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. And was sourced from http://www.larouchepub.com/lar/2004/interviews/3142veintitres.html
LAROUCHE TO ARGENTINE JOURNALIST:
Fight the IMF for Americas To Survive

The following is the full text of Lyndon LaRouche’s telephone interview on Oct. 12, 2004 with Romina Manguel of Veintitres magazine, of Argentina. Clips from an earlier interview (see EIR, Oct. 22, 2004) she had done with LaRouche were used in a movie documentary, “Debt,” directed by the well-known Argentine television personality and journalist Jorge Lanata. “Debt” was released on Oct. 7, 2004, generating great interest in LaRouche in Argentina.

Q: Your statements in the documentary had a big impact, and many people have asked: “Who is this personality?” Can you tell us who you are?

LaRouche: I have been a Presidential candidate for the United States, and I’m now a political figure of the United States. I’m a prominent international economist, quite successful in long-term forecasting, pretty much over the last 40 years. And I’m something of a political figure internationally.

Q: Why are you interested in the international credit institutions? Since when? And why do those institutions have a particular interest in the Third World nations that suffer from them?

LaRouche: Essentially you are dealing with the same phenomenon that gave us Hitler and others between 1922 and 1945. It’s a group of international financier circles, largely family circles on the Venetian fondo model. And these circles control most of the banking interests of Europe, and related interests, and also have spread, of course, into the Americas. These people actually are imperialist in their mentality.

Go back to the period between, say, 1000 A.D. and the 15th Century Renaissance, you will find that these Venetian families set up what is called an ultramontane system of banking, such as the Lombard banking system, which collapsed first in the Dark Ages of the 14th Century, but came back and had been responsible for the religious wars of 1511-1648 in Europe, and were the basis for the establishment of the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system, to which the United States was opposed.

So even though the United States is corrupted by this, the United States at its foundation was the creation of a republic to establish independence of these kinds of systems, plus the old Hapsburg system. And in the Americas, in countries like Argentina, especially after the period of the Lincoln victory in the Civil War in the United States, these countries became more and more republics modeled consciously upon the American System of political economy.

This is true in Mexico, in what became the process of the PRI [the Revolutionary Institutional Party]. It’s true in Argentina. It came later, a tendency in this direction, in Brazil. It was also in Peru—a tendency in this direction. So, in the Americas, especially as consolidated under President Franklin Roosevelt, there was a sense of a system of republics based upon the model of the United States, and based on the idea of John Quincy Adams’ drafting of the Monroe Doctrine. That is, a system of independent republics, cooperating with each other, in a mutual pact, like the Rio Pact that Franklin Roosevelt negotiated.

So what you have here, with respect to a country like Argentina, you have what is considered historically a treasonous faction in the United States, these kinds of financier interests, who are out to destroy the system of the Americas—which is not the British capitalist system; it’s the American System. And you find in the constitution, and in the traditions of Argentina—although there are other traditions there too—you find that tradition. You find that in Mexico, in Franklin Roosevelt’s relationship to the government of Mexico, the Cárdenas government. And you find it in Peru. You find the aspiration in the Americas for this kind of a system of republics.

And so the issue here is: You now have the international banking interests, the liberal bankers, which include New York bankers, who are part of this Venetian tradition. And these are the guys that gave us fascism between the Versailles Treaty and the end of World War II. These guys were never rooted out; they still exist inside the United States in a very powerful faction. They are a more powerful faction in Europe than they are in the United States. And we’ve come to a financial crisis, which is, their system is in crisis. And now they are back to the same business of trying to eliminate the sovereign nation-state, to loot the world, and all kinds of nasty things.

Q: Why did this subject interest you? How did you become interested in it and have this position, and involve yourself in a subject which, for many U.S. politicians, is an alien one, or which is only on the agenda before elections?

LaRouche: Oh, I came back from World War II, from service overseas, and I had gone overseas as a man in the footsteps of Franklin Roosevelt. That is, he was my President, and he had saved the United States. He was leading in saving the world from what was spreading across Europe: fascism. When I came back to the United States, in 1946, from overseas service, I saw a real right-wing turn in the United States, back towards precisely what we fought against in fascism.

As I came to know later in my study of this question, that on the day that Franklin Roosevelt died, under his successor, Harry Truman, the people who had created Hitler and people like that in Europe, the people behind Hitler, the bankers behind Hitler, the financier oligarchy behind Hitler, were back in power. They had actually owned the Nazi system. Some Nazis had been hung, or were being hung or whatnot, but they were back in power, with their money. They’re still back in power.

What the problem is, is that the United States has been betrayed from within, by the influence of this kind of force. Eisenhower was a patriot, Truman was not. Jack Kennedy had question marks, but he did some good things. Johnson was essentially a patriot, but a frightened one after Kennedy’s assassination. Nixon was evil, pure evil. He belonged to them. Carter was controlled by these people, although he didn’t know it—the Trilateral Commission was a part of this. Reagan was a mixed bag. Reagan, on the one side, was like me—actually, ten years older than I am—like me, he was in the Roosevelt tradition, but he was brought over to this crazy liberal system. And then you had Bush. The first Bush was a part of the system. Clinton was a different case, and this Bush is a tool of the worst of this system.

So, I’ve simply been reacting as a patriot of my country to what I know to be my tradition, and against the resurgence of what we fought in World War II, which is now back again, and is trying to take over the world.

Q: Do you think that the average U.S. politician is aware of the costs to these countries of paying the debt? Do they know what the social cost is, of having to pay the debt, or are they not aware of it?

LaRouche: Most of the politicians in the United States and in Europe today are little men. They are not really qualified as leaders, patriotic leaders, of countries. They’re not all bad people, but they’re little men, and they tend to be opportunist in going along with what they believe they can succeed in doing for their benefit, to their own advantage, or for the advantage of their own circles. They have very little imagination, that is, political imagination. They are not great statesmen, like Solon of Athens. They’re not great statesmen like Franklin Roosevelt or de Gaulle, for example, as an example of someone in Europe of the same type.

We don’t have great men. Not great men in the sense of tyrants, but great men who have a vision, who are like Jeanne d’Arc in the case of France, who gave her life for a principle, and had a vision of the importance of this principle, as all great European and other leaders have had: the vision, a patriotic vision of what they must do for their nation, and also for the benefit of civilization in general. We do not have such leaders in the United States today. In that sense, I’m unique, at least at this time.

Q: The International Monetary Fund continuously terrorizes countries, talking about what the consequences would be of not paying the debt. Do you believe, in the realm of fiction, that it is possible for a country to not pay the debt to the Fund, and survive?

LaRouche: It’s not possible to pay the debt to the IMF, and survive as nation-states. That’s the situation today. The IMF has—since 1971 in particular, when Nixon took over and destroyed the fixed-exchange system, and that was at the Azores conference in 1972—set up this floating exchange-rate system. The IMF has become a tool of a predatory force of international financier circles. Now, we’ve got to the point that if we try to collect the debts, as they are now, civilization will vanish from the planet for some time to come. That is, it’s not possible to collect the debts, and for civilization to survive.

That’s what you see in Argentina. It’s not possible for Argentina to pay this debt and for Argentina to survive physically as a nation and people. This is true also for the entirety of South and Central America. Very soon, sooner or later, but in the near future, every country in South and Central America will be destroyed, if the IMF has its way. And there will be genocide caused by this kind of thing. The kind of genocide that will remind historians of what happened in Europe during the 14th century.

So therefore, the choice is, either you meet the obligations imposed by the IMF and thus give up civilization, accept global genocide; or you say, no: The highest law of society is the maintenance of the welfare of the people, and the posterity and the sovereignty of nations, which is the principle of our Constitution here in the United States.

So, if we defend our Constitution, we say, the international financier circles, with their predatory power, have committed a crime against humanity. We are not going to honor the criminals. We will do justice, but we will do justice by starting by defending the sovereignty, the general welfare, and the posterity of our people.

Q: In the film documentary, you compared the dynamics of those institutions with the Gestapo, and that had an enormous impact. Can you amplify your reasoning on this a bit?

LaRouche: My point is, if you want to conquer a people—for example, you had the German people in a fit of fright and foolishness, endorse the adoption of a dictator, Adolf Hitler. Now, to prevent the German people from coming back, voluntarily, out from under the kind of dictatorship and schemes that Adolf Hitler represented, you create an instrument of terror, a police-state instrument of the type that John Ashcroft, the present Attorney General of the United States, would like to impose—is attempting to impose on the people. What you have, therefore, is the same thing. To impose the kind of dictatorial rule, by a predatory force, the international financial cartel, upon people, it is necessary to destroy the democratic rights of people, and to crush all of those people—either by exemplary actions of cruelty, or simply by eliminating persons who will stand up and fight.

Q: In light of this panorama, do you think that the Argentine leaders, the Argentine Presidents, who do not rebel against the policies of the Fund, are accomplices?

LaRouche: Not necessarily. They are in effect accomplices, but they’re like the appointed leaders who are under the control of an overreaching power of compradores. They’re the outside compradores typified by the Bank of Santander, which is a predatory instrument of Europe in South and Central America. And now, in a sense, with the IMF backing, and with backing from European governments and from the U.S. government, they have imposed a cruel dictatorship upon Argentina.

The question is, how do we fight? If a nation is not capable in and of itself to resist, then those of us, among all nations who understand justice, must intervene and must act, and establish our solidarity with the people of republics, to jointly work to defend them.

For example, what I’m doing in the United States: I know that there’s no force on this planet today which could stop the worst depression the world has known, at least modern civilization, unless we save the Presidency of the United States. We have a candidate, John Kerry, who is not the best choice in the world, but is the only choice available to us, to defeat what George Bush and Cheney represent. My belief is that there’s no one on the planet who has the combination of power and knowledge to defeat this monster, except the United States. Therefore, my view is that the United States must provide a leadership, like Franklin Roosevelt did during the 1930s and the war, a leadership which can reach out to other countries, which do not have the strength to defend themselves independently, and we must have solidarity with these countries and work together with them, to enable them to secure their rights.

Q: How responsible are the men in those institutions regarding what happens? I’m speaking of [former IMF Managing Director Michel] Camdessus, at one point, of [IMF First Deputy Managing Director] Anne Krueger. Or are they victims of the system in which they are immersed? How much responsibility can be ascribed to each one?

LaRouche: They’re just as responsible as the Nazis, as the Nazi concentration camp administrator. They may not intend to kill people themselves, but they’re employed in a position where that’s the duty that’s mandated on them, and they will do it. Some will resist, some will not do it. But they will do it. They are, in a sense, they’re like pimps. They make their living that way. They make their career that way, and they may say they regret what they do, but they say: “I have to do it. I’m just doing my job.” Like a mafia boss.

Q: Over the course of your most active political career. what do you think most irritated the credit institutions of the U.S. political Establishment?

LaRouche: I think two things are most notable. Number one, my exposure, my successful forecast, of what happened in 1971-72. The system was coming down, and the system did come down. The monetary system collapsed under Nixon, as I had forecast was probable.

Secondly, in the latter part of the 1970s, running for President and especially during the first term of President Reagan’s term of office, I launched the initiation of what became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. At that time, there were leading political figures in Argentina, who were associated with me in defending that proposal, in the beginning of the 1980s; they didn’t get much of a reward from the United States for that, though.

But these two things were considered a great threat to the policies of the oligarchy.

For example, it was not only the U.S. oligarchy. One has to remember that in 1986, when a section of the U.S. government deployed over 400 people in an operation against me and my associates, and had a force deployed to assassinate me, officially, where they had a force ready to come in where I was, and shoot everybody on sight, in the place where I was living, to get me. The Soviet government of Gorbachov was one of those who screamed loudest for my elimination, at the same time that the faction behind George Bush, Sr. was also pushing for my elimination. It was George Bush, Sr., of course, and his crowd, which put me into prison.

So I think it was these two things, my persistent action on this as typified by my intervention in 1976 on behalf of the just new world economic order, as in the Non-Aligned nations project in Ceylon, in Sri Lanka, at that time. That was number one. That was almost a death sentence for me. Number two, the SDI. That became almost a death sentence for me. These two things I have never been forgiven for by the oligarchy.

Q: Finally, what is your answer to your critics who, in an effort to discredit you, brand you a fanatic, delirious, a man of impossible ideas?

LaRouche: I don’t pay much attention to these characters. Most of them are not honest, that is, they’re not sincere. It’s simply, they’re repeating what somebody tells them to say. Most of this comes through the corrupt press, which is controlled by what are in fact the fascists of today—though some of the leading press has come over, in a sense, on my side, against the worst abuses. For example, the New York Times sometimes acts on issues in a way which I find favorable, and other people like that. In general, I give no credit to any of this stuff, because I know what it is, I know where it comes from. And frankly, I despise people who do that. They’re beneath my dignity.

Q: I thank you greatly for this interview, which is going to be featured prominently in the magazine. The people of the LaRouche Youth also participated in this report.

LaRouche: It’s fun, isn’t it? Life is fun. It’s a dangerous fight, but it’s fun. [read more]


Europe's Five Undeclared Nuclear Weapon States

 

According to a recent report, former NATO Secretary-General George Robertson confirmed that Turkey possesses 40-90 “Made in America” nuclear weapons at the Incirlik military base.(en.trend.az/)

Does this mean that Turkey is a nuclear power?

“Far from making Europe safer, and far from producing a less nuclear dependent Europe, [the policy] may well end up bringing more nuclear weapons into the European continent, and frustrating some of the attempts that are being made to get multilateral nuclear disarmament,” (Former NATO Secretary-General George Robertson quoted in Global Security, February 10, 2010)

“‘Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike?…

Could the Belgians and the Dutch drop hydrogen bombs on enemy targets?…

Germany’s air force couldn’t possibly be training to deliver bombs 13 times more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, could it?…

Nuclear bombs are stored on air-force bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands — and planes from each of those countries are capable of delivering them.” (“What to Do About Europe’s Secret Nukes.” Time Magazine, December 2, 2009)

The “Official” Nuclear Weapons States

Five countries, the US, UK, France, China and Russia are considered to be “nuclear weapons states” (NWS),

“an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”.

Three other “Non NPT countries” (i.e. non-signatory states of the NPT) including India, Pakistan and North Korea, have recognized possessing nuclear weapons.

Israel – “Undeclared Nuclear State”
Israel is identified as an “undeclared nuclear state”. It produces and deploys nuclear warheads directed against military and civilian targets in the Middle East including Tehran.

Iran
There has been much hype, supported by scanty evidence, that Iran might at some future date become a nuclear weapons state. And, therefore, a pre-emptive defensive nuclear attack on Iran to annihilate its non-existent nuclear weapons program should be seriously contemplated “to make the World a safer place”. The mainstream media abounds with makeshift opinion on the Iran nuclear threat.

But what about the five European “undeclared nuclear states” including Belgium, Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands and Italy. Do they constitute a threat?

Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and Turkey – “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”
While Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities are unconfirmed, the nuclear weapons capabilities of these five countries including delivery procedures are formally acknowledged.

The US has supplied some 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs to five so-called “non-nuclear states”, including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Casually disregarded by the Vienna based UN Nuclear Watchdog (IAEA), the US has actively contributed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Western Europe.

As part of this European stockpiling, Turkey, which is a partner of the US-led coalition against Iran along with Israel, possesses some 90 thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs at the Incirlik nuclear air base. (National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, February 2005)

By the recognized definition, these five countries are “undeclared nuclear weapons states”.

The stockpiling and deployment of tactical B61 in these five “non-nuclear states” are intended for targets in the Middle East. Moreover, in accordance with “NATO strike plans”, these thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs (stockpiled by the “non-nuclear States”) could be launched “against targets in Russia or countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran” ( quoted in National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe, February 2005)

Does this mean that Iran or Russia, which are potential targets of a nuclear attack originating from one or other of these five so-called non-nuclear states should contemplate defensive preemptive nuclear attacks against Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey? The answer is no, by any stretch of the imagination.

While these “undeclared nuclear states” casually accuse Tehran of developing nuclear weapons, without documentary evidence, they themselves have capabilities of delivering nuclear warheads, which are targeted at Iran. To say that this is a clear case of “double standards” by the IAEA and the “international community” is a understatement.

The stockpiled weapons are B61 thermonuclear bombs. All the weapons are gravity bombs of the B61-3, -4, and -10 types 2.

Those estimates were based on private and public statements by a number of government sources and assumptions about the weapon storage capacity at each base

Germany – Nuclear Weapons Producer
Among the five “undeclared nuclear states”, “Germany remains the most heavily nuclearized country with three nuclear bases (two of which are fully operational) and may store as many as 150 [B61 bunker buster ] bombs” (Ibid). In accordance with “NATO strike plans” (mentioned above) these tactical nuclear weapons are also targeted at the Middle East.

While Germany is not categorized officially as a nuclear power, it produces nuclear warheads for the French Navy. It stockpiles nuclear warheads (made in America) and it has the capabilities of delivering nuclear weapons.

Moreover, The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company – EADS, a Franco-German-Spanish joint venture, controlled by Deutsche Aerospace and the powerful Daimler Group is Europe’s second largest military producer, supplying .France’s M51 nuclear missile.

Germany imports and deploys nuclear weapons from the US. It also produces nuclear warheads which are exported to France. Yet it is classified as a non-nuclear state.

 


US Army Psy-Ops

 

Wade Michael Page, the “man with a 9/11 tattoo” blamed for the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, turns out to be a US Army psy-ops specialist.

Does the US military, or corrupt forces within it, stage false-flag massacres of civilians inside the US and other “friendly” countries as a kind of “psychological operation”?

Of course it does.

Remember Operation Northwoods? Every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a document proposing that the US military massacre civilians in American cities in order to achieve a political objective: Demonize Cuba and grease the skids for war.

Remember Operation Gladio? The Pentagon, through NATO, organized bombings and shootings in the streets of Europe. When one of the terrorists got caught, he explained at his trial: “You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple. They were supposed to force these people, the Italian public to turn to the State to ask for greater security.” He later explained the “strategy of tension” to the BBC: “To create tension within the country to promote conservative, reactionary social and political tendencies.”

Is somebody trying to “promote conservative, reactionary social and political tendencies” in the US today by staging massacres like the recent shootings in Wisconsin and Colorado? Reports of multiple shooters, and other witness statements that don’t fit the official “lone nut” story, suggest that this may be the case.

We recently learned that the notorious “DC Sniper” – the US Army Special Forces whiz who changed his name to “Muhammad” just in time to go on a shooting spree – was a government-sponsored false-flag operation.

When someone starts killing “civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game,” it causes public opinion to swing towards acceptance of hard-line government authority. It makes people run to the state for protection. It stops the people from questioning their leaders, and makes them more willing to do insane things like march off to war.

The neocon agenda aims to turn the US into an authoritarian state at perpetual war with the enemies of Israel. Today, the Zionist plan to smash the Middle East into pieces is running up against the intransigence of Russia, China, and Iran. World War III looms.

Are we being reduced to mental slavery to prevent us from protesting as our leaders get ready to kill most of us in a big nuclear exchange?

That is a big question to ponder on Hiroshima Day.Source

 


"Merchant of Death" Sentenced to 25 Years; Trial Ignored His Ties to U.S., Dick Cheney

Notorious arms smuggler Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death,” has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiracy to commit terrorism. Our guest, former United Nations arms trafficking investigator Kathi Lynn Austin, says the case allowed American companies to avoid exposure of their collusion with with the U.S. government and private companies linked to Dick Cheney during the Iraq war, even after United Nations sanctions against him in 2004. Authorities say Viktor Bout was involved in trafficking arms to dictators and stoking conflicts in Africa, South America and the Middle East. He has also been accused of furnishing weapons to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and achieved particular notoriety for selling arms in Rwanda in 1998, just four years after the Rwandan genocide

Transcript

JUAN GONZALEZ: One of the world’s most notorious arms smugglers has been sentenced to 25 years in prison by a New York federal court judge—not for smuggling, but for conspiracy and terrorism charges. Viktor Bout is known as the “Merchant of Death” for running what United Nations and U.S. officials say was an international arms trafficking network. Yesterday, a jury unanimously found the 45-year-old former Soviet Air Force officer guilty of agreeing to sell weapons to U.S. informants posing as Colombian rebels plotting to kill Americans. U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin said she gave Bout the minimum sentence, because there was no evidence he would have been charged with seeking to harm Americans if he had not been approached by informants in a sting operation that led to his capture.

Bout’s lawyer, Albert Dayan, argued Bout was a legitimate businessman who had only mentioned that he could acquire arms in order to sell cargo planes to his clients. He addressed the press shortly after Bout’s sentence was announced.

ALBERT DAYAN: So this is not the end, that he still has a chance, and we have a chance to—again, we can appeal to this judge that the verdict was rendered against the weight of the evidence, and that we could also proceed to the United States Court of Appeals.

AMY GOODMAN: Authorities say Viktor Bout was involved in trafficking arms to dictators and stoking conflicts in Africa, South America and the Middle East. Bout has also been accused of furnishing weapons to al-Qaeda and Taliban. He achieved particular notoriety for selling arms in Rwanda in 1998, just four years after the Rwandan genocide.

Viktor Bout was first arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in March 2008 in Bangkok, Thailand, after getting ensnared in a foreign sting operation run by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Earlier this week, in a pre-sentencing telephone interview with Voice of Russia, Bout maintained his innocence, saying all arms suppliers in the U.S. would be in prison, too, if the same standards were applied across the board.

VIKTOR BOUT: I am innocent. I don’t commit any crime. There is no crime to sit and talk. If you’re going to apply the same standards to me, then you’re going to, you know, jail all those arms dealers in America who are selling the arms and ending up killing Americans. They are involved even more than me.

AMY GOODMAN: That was the voice of Viktor Bout, speaking to Voice of Russia from prison.

For more, we’re joined now by a former U.N. arms trafficking investigator who has tracked Bout for more than a decade, Kathi Lynn Austin, executive director of the Conflict Awareness Project, a group dedicated to tracking global weapons traffickers and exposing the illicit world of war profiteering.

Kathi Lynn Austin, welcome to Democracy Now! Please explain what Viktor Bout was convicted of, sentenced for, and what he wasn’t convicted of.

KATHI LYNN AUSTIN: Well, last November, a jury convicted Viktor Bout of four counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism. It was actually—the verdict was returned in what is the equivalent of less than a day. The prosecutors knew that bringing forward a terrorism case in a New York jurisdiction around the anniversary of 9/11 would probably be highly likely to result in a conviction. What happened yesterday was the judge who presided over the case, Judge Scheindlin, basically gave Viktor Bout the minimum sentence of 25 years. The U.S. prosecution was calling for a life sentence.

I think the U.S. prosecution made a very good case as to why Viktor Bout should be granted a life sentence. For one, the minimum sentence is if you were to prefer to sell a single surface-to-air missile, and Viktor Bout was offering to sell an arsenal that would be befitting any army: 700 to 800 surface-to-air missiles, C-4 explosives, tons of that, explosives, ammunitions, you name it. But the judge said, “Look, the prosecution did not convince me during the trial that Viktor Bout was any more than a businessman, maybe in the service of the types of business we may not all like, but you did not convince me that he had a violent past, that he had armed warlords, guerrillas, militias all over the world. You did not convince me, and therefore, I can’t say whether Viktor Bout would have really gone through with this particular deal.”

JUAN GONZALEZ: Now, you’ve been tracking the exploits of Viktor Bout for many years. How did you first come across him and his activities?

KATHI LYNN AUSTIN: Well, I went into the field into eastern Congo and Rwanda in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. There was a U.N. arms embargo in place at the time, and I was tracking and monitoring who was violating those—that U.N. sanctions regime. Viktor Bout’s name kept cropping up as one of the lead entrepreneurs willing to facilitate weapons into the area to both sides of the conflict. And basically what Viktor Bout did was he built an empire by gobbling up all the sort of small mom-and-pop shops of arms trafficking. And that’s how he really rose to the top to become the “merchant of war.”

AMY GOODMAN: What was Viktor Bout’s relationship with the U.S. government and with U.S. companies?

KATHI LYNN AUSTIN: Well, Viktor Bout has served many governments in the past in their national security operations. So even when I was bringing forward compelling evidence—I collected forensic evidence, I collected documentary evidence in the field. And even as I was bringing forward that information, I was testifying before the U.S. Congress, I was talking to U.S. State Department intelligence officials—this is from the mid-1990s—still there was no action taken against Viktor Bout. And that was because the U.S. government saw that his services were very valuable for national security operations.

The most recent case where American officials and American private security firms were colluding with Viktor Bout was during the Iraq war. And that is one of the startling reveals during the trial and the sentencing. Viktor Bout wrote to the judge, basically saying, “Look, I’ve also worked for the U.S. companies. I’ve flown 140 flights. They’ve paid me $6 million.” That’s probably, by the way, just the tip of the iceberg. “And so, why would you be convicting me, when, in fact, at the time that I was providing these services for the U.S. government, it was in violation of a U.S. law, an executive order signed by President Bush at the time, and it was in violation of U.N. sanctions?”

JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, interestingly, you know, the film—Viktor Bout is probably most famous for the film, the Nicolas Cage movie, Lord of War, that is loosely based on his life. But in that film, it’s an American agent who’s constantly trying to track him down and is unsuccessful in catching him. But you’re saying that—obviously, that the U.S. government had a much more complex role and relationship to all of his activities.

KATHI LYNN AUSTIN: Well, the hypocrisy is really what’s making this case—you know, I’m very happy that justice has been served, in the sense that he will be put away for 25 years, so he will be taken out of the equation. I think that we can expect a lot of the world to be far more peaceful as a result. But the hypocrisy in convincing the rest of the world that we should rein in these arms traffickers and these war profiteers, that didn’t surface during the trial, because of the way the U.S. government approached the case, because the U.S. government hasn’t come clean. One of the things that my organization, in conjunction with other human rights organizations, are calling for is a congressional inquiry, a public accounting for what was the U.S. role in its complicity with Viktor Bout for a lot of his illicit arms trafficking operations in the past.

AMY GOODMAN: Voice of Russia spoke to Viktor Bout in prison recently. One of the questions the reporter asked Bout was if the film Lord of War, starring Nicolas Cage, had prejudiced public perception about him.

VIKTOR BOUT: Even an agent on the first arrest, they started to say, “Oh, we saw the movie about you. We’re so excited. Let us take picture with you.” It’s like a trophy. I’m, for them, like, you know, hunted deer whom they killed, and now they want take a picture with, you know, some wild animal, and now they catch him. They’re going to put in their kitchen and show their kids and grandkids, and, “Oh, we hunted that animal.” But who, in the first place, created at me about this animal?

AMY GOODMAN: That was Viktor Bout being interviewed by Voice of Russia. You’re talking about calling for an investigation, further investigation, into U.S. relationship with Viktor Bout. Who would you be calling up for this investigation, if it ever took place?

KATHI LYNN AUSTIN: Well, we know President Bush in 2004 signed an executive order making it illegal for any U.S. entity to do business with Viktor Bout. We had a number of private security firms. We had Brown & Root, we had Halliburton, that were linked to former Vice President Cheney, who were involved at the time with Viktor Bout. Even as we investigators confronted the U.S. government about these illicit activities, these private security firms continued to use Viktor Bout in violation of U.S law, in violation of U.N. sanctions, even American agencies. On one hand, you had the Department of Justice issuing a list of all companies and entities that the U.S. government and U.S. private firms were prohibited from doing business with. Viktor Bout’s companies were on that list. So you had the Department of Justice, on one hand, and yet you had the Department of Defense that continued to see—to seek out Viktor Bout’s services.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what about this sting operation in which he was arrested, where supposedly the United States government paid significant sums of money to other traffickers who were involved in the sting operation? And could you talk about their records and the concerns about the kind of people they used to grab him?

KATHI LYNN AUSTIN: Juan, that’s one of the things that really startled me during the trial, was the two confidential sources that the U.S. government used. One was a former Guatemalan military officer. Another was a former Colombian military officer. They had both been—had poor human rights records for the way—the brutality in the way that they had gone after guerrillas in their own countries. But even after that, they had become cocaine traffickers. Both of them came forward to the U.S. government, said, “Look, we’ll start working for you, if you ensure us some form of amnesty and bring our families to the United States.” So, here we were using former cocaine traffickers in order to bring Viktor Bout to justice.

And during the trial, the DEA said, “Look, this was too dangerous for U.S. officers to go out and do this. This is why we relied on them.” And we were paying them in excess of $8 million. What I have to say to that is human rights investigators like myself have been going out into the field for over 15 years. We have been working on shoestring budgets. And we have been collecting evidence and bringing it forward to the U.S. government to act. So there was no need for us to rely on cocaine traffickers to go after this type of criminal.

JUAN GONZALEZ: And what about Bout’s claim that if you were to use the same standards on him as you would—you’d be arresting most of the—most of the arms merchants here in the United States? Because, obviously, the United States sells half or so of all the weapons in the world.

KATHI LYNN AUSTIN: Well, I think you’ve touched upon the problem. The problem is that there’s two sides of the equation. There is what is the illegal trade, and then there is the illicit black market trade. What is going to happen in July of this year at United Nations headquarters is that, for the first time, there is going to be negotiations for a conventional arms trade treaty. Now that treaty will address the very question of what can be considered legitimate government-to-government arms sales. But what I have been calling for, and a number of other organizations in a broader umbrella campaigning network, is that unless the arms trade treaty includes these types of intermediaries, the arms traffickers, the brokers, the transport agents, the financial agents, then—unless that treaty includes their activities, then we will continue to see the black market thrive.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you very much for being with us, Kathi Lynn Austin, former U.N. arms trafficking investigator, executive director of the Conflict Awareness Project, which tracks global weapons traffickers, exposing the illicit world of war profiteering. Source


Obama Promised GMO Labeling in 2007

According to a poll conducted by Reuters Thompson, more than 90% of Americans feel that products containing GMOs should be labeled.  Back in 2007, Obama pulled the support of GMO activists by promising to push for proper labeling of GMO food items, stating that he would push to “let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they’re buying.” Of course the promise was not fulfilled, as 4 years later in 2011 GMO foods are still not properly labeled. In fact, products containing the Non-GMO label have actually been found to contain GMOs.

Not only has Obama been completely silent on the GMO labeling issue despite his bold statements, but so has the FDA — the very organization in charge of ensuring the ‘health’ of United States consumers. An organization that has caused even more harm, however, is the USDA. The USDA has been approving the production of many new genetically modified crops, including the highly-controversial genetically modified alfalfa. Despite the warnings of scientists and health activists over the dangers of genetically modified crops on human health and the environment, the USDA has continually supported biotech corporation Monsanto over the American public.

GMOs rambunctiously approved by the FDA and USDA, despite known dangers

Despite acknowledging the fact that these crops lead to herbicide-resistant weeds, the USDA assures consumers that these DNA-altering crops are safe for consumption.

As the FDA and USDA continually approve genetically modified creations such as AquaAdvantage salmon without proper labeling, it becomes necessary for consumers to take action. Major ‘health’ food stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s still offer products that contain GMOs that are either not labeled at all, or deceptively so. Slogans like ‘All Natural’ mean virtually nothing when it comes to GMOs and other toxic ingredients, tricking shoppers into thinking they are avoiding these health sinks.

Tell Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to label their GMO products and stop deceiving customers. It seems that it will be health-conscious activists, not Obama, who will ”let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they’re buying.”


You are all suspects now. What are you going to do about it?

 

You are all potential terrorists. It matters not that you live in Britain, the United States, Australia or the Middle East. Citizenship is effectively abolished. Turn on your computer and the US Department of Homeland Security’s National Operations Center may monitor whether you are typing not merely “al-Qaeda”, but “exercise”, “drill”, “wave”, “initiative” and “organisation”: all proscribed words. The British government’s announcement that it intends to spy on every email and phone call is old hat. The satellite vacuum cleaner known as Echelon has been doing this for years. What has changed is that a state of permanent war has been launched by the United States and a police state is consuming western democracy.

What are you going to do about it?

In Britain, on instructions from the CIA, secret courts are to deal with “terror suspects”. Habeas Corpus is dying. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that five men, including three British citizens, can be extradited to the US even though none except one has been charged with a crime. All have been imprisoned for years under the 2003 US/UK Extradition Treaty which was signed one month after the criminal invasion of Iraq. The European Court had condemned the treaty as likely to lead to “cruel and unusual punishment”. One of the men, Babar Ahmad, was awarded 63,000 pounds compensation for 73 recorded injuries he sustained in the custody of the Metropolitan Police. Sexual abuse, the signature of fascism, was high on the list. Another man is a schizophrenic who has suffered a complete mental collapse and is in Broadmoor secure hospital; another is a suicide risk. To the Land of the Free, they go – along with young Richard O’Dwyer, who faces 10 years in shackles and an orange jump suit because he allegedly infringed US copyright on the internet.

As the law is politicised and Americanised, these travesties are not untypical. In upholding the conviction of a London university student, Mohammed Gul, for disseminating “terrorism” on the internet, Appeal Court judges in London ruled that “acts… against the armed forces of a state anywhere in the world which sought to influence a government and were made for political purposes” were now crimes. Call to the dock Thomas Paine, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela.

What are you going to do about it?

The prognosis is clear now: the malignancy that Norman Mailer called “pre fascist” has metastasized. The US attorney-general, Eric Holder, defends the “right” of his government to assassinate American citizens. Israel, the protege, is allowed to aim its nukes at nukeless Iran. In this looking glass world, the lying is panoramic. The massacre of 17 Afghan civilians on 11 March, including at least nine children and four women, is attributed to a “rogue” American soldier. The “authenticity” of this is vouched by President Obama himself, who had “seen a video” and regards it as “conclusive proof”. An independent Afghan parliamentary investigation produces eyewitnesses who give detailed evidence of as many as 20 soldiers, aided by a helicopter, ravaging their villages, killing and raping: a standard, if marginally more murderous US special forces “night raid”.

Take away the videogame technology of killing – America’s contribution to modernity – and the behaviour is traditional. Immersed in comic-book righteousness, poorly or brutally trained, frequently racist, obese and led by a corrupt officer class, American forces transfer the homicide of home to faraway places whose impoverished struggles they cannot comprehend. A nation founded on the genocide of the native population never quite kicks the habit. Vietnam was “Indian country” and its “slits” and “gooks” were to be “blown away”.

The blowing away of hundreds of mostly women and children in the Vietnamese village of My Lai in 1968 was also a “rogue” incident and, profanely, an “American tragedy” (the cover headline of Newsweek). Only one of 26 men prosecuted was convicted and he was let go by President Richard Nixon. My Lai is in Quang Ngai province where, as I learned as a reporter, an estimated 50,000 people were killed by American troops, mostly in what they called “free fire zones”. This was the model of modern warfare: industrial murder.

Like Iraq and Libya, Afghanistan is a theme park for the beneficiaries of America’s new permanent war: Nato, the armaments and hi-tech companies, the media and a “security” industry whose lucrative contamination is a contagion on everyday life. The conquest or “pacification” of territory is unimportant. What matters is the pacification of you, the cultivation of your indifference.

What are you going to do about it?

The descent into totalitarianism has landmarks. Any day now, the Supreme Court in London will decide whether the WikiLeaks editor, Julian Assange, is to be extradited to Sweden. Should this final appeal fail, the facilitator of truth-telling on an epic scale, who is charged with no crime, faces solitary confinement and interrogation on ludicrous sex allegations. Thanks to a secret deal between the US and Sweden, he can be “rendered” to the American gulag at any time. In his own country, Australia, prime minister Julia Gillard has conspired with those in Washington she calls her “true mates” to ensure her innocent fellow citizen is fitted for his orange jump suit just in case he should make it home. In February, her government wrote a “WikiLeaks Amendment” to the extradition treaty between Australia and the US that makes it easier for her “mates” to get their hands on him. She has even given them the power of approval over Freedom of Information searches – so that the world outside can be lied to, as is customary.

What are you going to do about it?

 


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