Ahad, 7 Februari 2016

Zika: Why Biotech is Imperative to National Security


(Ulson Gunnar - NEO) When we think of national security, we think of tanks, jets, missile defense systems and more recently, information space. But what about the realm of the microscopic, the biological or the genetic?
453453454Whether you think biotechnology, genetics and microbes constitute another plane upon the modern battlefield or not is irrelevant. Someone else already does, and they have a head start on the rest of the world.
Genotype Specific Bioweapons

The Project for a New American Century or PNAC for short, penned a particularly unhinged policy paper in 2000 titled, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century.”
In it, among many other things, it specifically writes:
Although it may take several decades for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and “combat” likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, “cyber-space,” and perhaps the world of microbes. 
…advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.
Advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes sound like the stuff of science fiction, and even if it were developed, it would be by the “bad guys,” right?

Wrong. As a matter of fact, the Western-backed apartheid government in South Africa in the 1980’s under Project Coast, attempted to create genotype specific bioweapons aimed at sterilizing the nation’s black women. PBS Frontline’s article, “What Happened in South Africa?” would recount:
In 1998 South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission held hearings investigating activities of the apartheid-era government. Toward the end of the hearings, the Commission looked into the apartheid regime’s Chemical and Biological Warfare (CBW) program and allegations that it developed a sterility vaccine to use on black South Africans, employed toxic and chemical poison weapons for political asssassination, and in the late 1970s provided anthrax and cholera to Rhodesian troops for use against guerrilla rebels in their war to overthrow Rhodesia’s white minority rule.
While South Africa’s entire CBW program was abhorrent, what is particularly frightening is the use of South Africa’s national vaccination program as a vector for infecting black women with viruses meant to sterilize them. Now that vaccination programs are being pushed globally, there lies the danger that such weapons could be used against entire regions of the planet.

PBS would elaborate further on the CBW program, stating that the South African government:
Developed lethal chemical and biological weapons that targeted ANC [African National Congress] political leaders and their supporters as well as populations living in the black townships. These weapons included an infertility toxin to secretly sterilize the black population; skin-absorbing poisons that could be applied to the clothing of targets; and poison concealed in products such as chocolates and cigarettes.   
PNAC’s dream of genotype specific bioweapons then, is not some far-off science fiction future, it is something that has been pursued in earnest for decades, and apparently by interests aligned to the West, not enemies of it.
Zika and GM Mosquitoes 

Though it is so far impossible to confirm a link between the two, it is troubling nonetheless to see the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus spreading in Brazil precisely from where GM (genetically modified) mosquitoes were released several years ago.
A 2012 entry in Nature titled, “Brazil tests GM mosquitoes to fight Dengue,” would report:
Scientists in Brazil say an experiment to reduce populations of the dengue-carrying Aedes aegyptimosquito, by releasing millions of genetically modified (GM) insects into the wild, is working. 
More than ten million modified male mosquitoes were released in the city of Juazeiro, a city of 288,000 people, over a period of time starting a year ago.
The US CDC (Center for Disease Control) would report that Zika virus cases in northeast Brazil were first officially recognized in early 2015, with international hysteria finally reached early this year. The cases seem most concentrated in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, upon the borders of which the city of Juazeiro lies.

What could have happened between 2011 and 2016 that might have led to this development? Could the GM mosquitoes designed to stamp out dengue have mutated in some unpredictable way? And could this experiment have caused the Zika virus itself to mutate in an unpredictable way? It already has mutated once, allowing it to spread among humans more prolifically.

Or what if GM mosquitoes supposedly meant to wipe out dengue were serving as a vector for something else entirely? We can only imagine the sort of stories, excuses and feigned ignorance the South African government would have conjured had its genotype specific bioweapons worked, and black women began turning up sterilized in huge numbers after receiving their “vaccines.”

Mosquitoes as a Vaccine Vector 

Using mosquitoes as a vector to deliver engineered genetic material to humans as a sort of involuntary, inescapable “vaccine” is already a reality. The London Telegraph in its article, “Genetically modified mosquitos could be used to spread vaccine for malaria,” reported in 2010 that:
Experts believe “flying vaccinators” could eventually be a radical new way of tackling malaria.
The new approach targets the salivary gland of the Anopheles mosquito.
Scientists in Japan have engineered an insect producing a natural vaccine protein in its saliva which is injected into the bloodstream when it bites. 
The “prototype” mosquito carries a vaccine against Leishmania, another potentially fatal parasite disease spread by sand flies.
And if mosquitoes can naturally deliver viruses, and scientists can alter what mosquitoes carry and infect hosts with, it is possible to engineer viruses to deliver virtually anything into targeted populations much in the same way viruses are re-engineered into vectors in labs today through a process called gene therapy. In the wrong hands, this technology and these techniques could become terrifying weapons.

For those in the middle of the Zika virus hysteria, perhaps it already has.

How Could They? Why Would They?

To answer “how could they possibly do something so diabolical?” we need only think back to 2003 and recall how the United States intentionally lied to the world, then between its initial invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, killed upward to a million people. This includes several thousand of its own soldiers and civilians, many of whom it appears were killed by militants armed and funneled into the country by the United States’ closest regional allies, with the US’ resolute backing.

To answer “why” American and European special interests seek to render any particular population sick, weak and they and/or their offspring incapable of  perpetuating a viable civilization, PNAC itself sums it up quite clearly:
The United States is the world’s only superpower, combining preeminent military power, global technological leadership, and the world’s largest economy. Moreover, America stands at the head of a system of alliances which includes the world’s other leading democratic powers. At present the United States faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible.
A population racked with birth defects, diminishing health and IQs and a lack of physical vitality constitutes the enemy every hegemon throughout history has dreamt of facing both on the battlefield and upon the grand chessboard of geopolitics.

Whether the Zika outbreak is linked to some insidious biowarefare program, an experiment gone wrong or simply the forces of nature, it showcases the danger biology can pose and reminds us of what greater dangers may yet await us if we do not properly prepare and protect ourselves.

Domestic Biotech is Imperative to National Defense 

It has been almost painful to watch the rest of the world attempt to catch up to the United States and Europe in the information war. For decades the West dominated information warfare without contest.

Only now have nations like Russia, China, Iran and others finally caught up and in some cases exceeded Western capabilities. Only now are nations finally investing seriously in information and cyber warfare capabilities. Only now does it seem that nations realize the folly of depending on others for both information, and information technology.

Russia recently decided to switch to local computer processor manufacturers to run on all computers used for official business. This is because foreign corporations making processors imported into the Russian Federation had been apparently compromised on the factory floor with the cooperation of these foreign corporations by US intelligence agencies.

We can easily imagine the danger of having US intelligence agencies getting into Russia’s IT infrastructure through these backdoor passes. It doesn’t take much imagination to think about the trouble US intelligence agencies could cause if they could get inside Russia’s human, natural and agricultural genomes.

Developing a viable domestic biotech industry is not only a matter of economic prosperity, but clearly also a matter of vital national security. Foreign corporations should no better be able to access a nation’s “genetic code and files” than it can its computer code and files. After all, genetic information is not entirely unlike digital information.
Brazil and other nations that have invited foreign biotech corporations to meddle with their human, natural and agricultural genomes are likened to those nations who hand their vital infrastructure over to foreign interests only to find out through Wikileaks years later the sort of invasive spying, abuses and other means of self-serving treachery this access has been exploited for.

Let’s not wait for Wikileaks to tell us 10 years from now just how bad the nations of the world had been infiltrated and exploited through biotechnology before we recognize this industry as absolutely vital to national security and begin investing in it domestically, rather than outsourcing it overseas.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

References
  1. http://journal-neo.org/2016/02/07/zika-why-biotech-is-imperative-to-national-security/
  2. http://landdestroyer.blogspot.my/2016/02/zika-why-biotech-is-imperative-to.html

Sabtu, 23 Januari 2016

Saudi Arabia is on the Brink of Regime Change

Rasulullah Sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam bersabda:

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ يَحْيَى وَأَحْمَدُ بْنُ يُوسُفَ قَالَا حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّزَّاقِ عَنْ سُفْيَانَ الثَّوْرِيِّ عَنْ خَالِدٍ الْحَذَّاءِ عَنْ أَبِي قِلَابَةَ عَنْ أَبِي أَسْمَاءَ الرَّحَبِيِّ عَنْ ثَوْبَانَ قَالَ
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقْتَتِلُ عِنْدَ كَنْزِكُمْ ثَلَاثَةٌ كُلُّهُمْ ابْنُ خَلِيفَةٍ ثُمَّ لَا يَصِيرُ إِلَى وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَطْلُعُ الرَّايَاتُ السُّودُ مِنْ قِبَلِ الْمَشْرِقِ فَيَقْتُلُونَكُمْ قَتْلًا لَمْ يُقْتَلْهُ قَوْمٌ ثُمَّ ذَكَرَ شَيْئًا لَا أَحْفَظُهُ فَقَالَ فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمُوهُ فَبَايِعُوهُ وَلَوْ حَبْوًا عَلَى الثَّلْجِ فَإِنَّهُ خَلِيفَةُ اللَّهِ الْمَهْدِيُّ

Telah menceritakan kepada kami Muhammad bin Yahya dan Ahmad bin Yusuf keduanya berkata; telah menceritakan kepada kami Abdurrazaq dari Sufyan At Tsauri dari Khalid bin Al Khadza dari Abu Qilabah dari Abu Asma Ar Rahabi dari Tsauban dia berkata,
"Rasulullah Sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam bersabda: "Kelak tiga orang akan berperang di perbendaharaan kalian ini (iaitu Ka'bah), dan kesemuanya adalah anak khalifah. Dan tidak ada yang menang melainkan satu orang, lalu muncullah bendera-bendera hitam dari wilayah timur,lantas mereka memerangi kamu (orang Arab) dengan suatu peperangan yang belum pernah dialami oleh kaum sebelummu. Jika kalian melihatnya, maka berbaiatlah kepadanya walaupun sambil merangkak di atas salji, karena sesungguhnya dia adalah khalifah Allah Al Mahdi."
Sunan Ibnu Majah, Kitabul Fitan Bab Khurujul Mahdi 5:4074: Mustadrak Al-Hakim 4:463-464.

Saudi Arabia is on the Brink of Regime Change  by Peter Lvov

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It seems that Saudi Arabia has started to undergo the transformation various experts predicted. Those became obvious when the sitting king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud replaced his deceased elder brother Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in January 2015, and made a number of quite unusual arrangements within the ruling elite, appointing the head of the Ministry of Interior Muhammad bin Nayef from Abdullah’s clan the Crown Prince, while his 33-year-old son Mohammad bin Salman Al Saudfrom the Sudairy clan received the appointment of Deputy Crown Prince. Even back then it was clear that within a short period of time the king would try to hand over all power in the country to his own son by sidestepping Muhammad bin Nayef, while he himself would retire due to Alzheimer’s disease, becoming sort of a “king-father” with no real power, but with the right to an advisory vote on important decisions. Needless to say, it’s a direct violation of the tradition of succession to the throne from brother to brother that has been in place in Saudi Arabia, that is going to be replaced by the father-to-son succession. To make such a transition one should be able to carry out a coup d’etat or win the approval of the succession board, which is formed according to different sources by 7 or 11 members of the Al Saud dynasty.

Now it seems that the wheels of the political machine are moving again. Last week reports from Riyadh indicated that his disease is taking a toll on the king and he wants to renounce his reign in favor of the Crown Prince. But then neighboring states, especially Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, started hinting that the members of the Saudi royal family along with the sheikhs of the strongest tribes, which are the foundation of Al Saud’s rule, are extremely dissatisfied with the sharp deterioration of the economic and social situation in the country, leading to a major drop in their personal incomes. It is no secret that Riyadh increased the volume of oil production to weaken the positions of its main competitors – Russia, Iran and Venezuela. But the kingdom had to take a punch as well, it was forced to unseal its reserve fund and cut the funding of numerous social programs.

And then came the execution of 47 Shia public figures, including the popular human rights activist Nimr Baqir al-Nimr. The executions were designed as a form of retaliation to Iran and Hezbollah for the help they have provided to the Syrian people in the fight against pro-Saudi militants. This step provoked massive unrest in the Shia areas of the kingdom, the areas that produce the better part of all Saudi oil. The country has found itself on the brink of a civil war and a military conflict with Iran at the same time, which has also provoked major discontent in the West. After all, the West needs a politically loyal Iran, a country in which huge investments can be made, especially in oil and gas sectors, in order to push Russian out of the European gas market and the international oil markets at the same time. In this context Tehran is forced to carry on relying on Moscow in the confrontation with Saudi Arabia to ensure its safety and continue providing military assistance to Syria, Iraq and Shia rebels in Yemen.

Now the highly respected Institute for Gulf Affairs is stating that the king of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is preparing to renounce the throne in favor of his son Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, and has since brought his country to the brink of a disaster.

It means that the 80-year-old Salman is trying desperately hard to persuade his brothers on the succession board to allow him to change the principle of succession of the Saudi throne, since he’s ready to leave, but not so ready for his nephew Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud to rule the country. What the king has been doing is allegedly done “only for the sake of the stability of the kingdom.” Although the reality of the situation is clear – should Salman retain his position, the disintegration of the kingdom is imminent, with certain Shia areas breaking away, while the regions on the border with Yemen which are mostly populated by Yemeni tribes, more than happy to return home. Moreover, the Minister of Interior used to be a habitual cocaine user, so he was only able to “produce” two daughters, and now he’s somewhat incapable of producing more children. Should the king manage to carry out the above described scheme, he will become the first Saudi monarch to leave the throne to his son.

And the fact that there’s a growing crisis in Saudi Arabia was evident from the cuts in subsidies and bonuses that king Salman started at the beginning of this year to reduce the country’s total dependence on oil. After decades of extensive use of oil revenues to subsidize companies’ payment of generous salaries and providing enormous social benefits, falling oil prices struck Saudi Arabia at its heart. It’s enough to say that revenues from oil exports in 2015 alone dropped by half. Ultimately it’s hard to say which country suffers the most from these oil wars – Russia or Saudi Arabia, since the latter has virtually no other sectors to support the economy. Saudi economist Turki Fadaak believes that Saudi Arabia is exiting the policy of “universal welfare”, so there’s an ongoing psychological shift in the minds of the ruling elite of the state. Fadaak is convinced that the ultimate aim of king Salman’s measures is to eliminate the Saudi dependency on oil. But is it really? According to leading international experts – the answer is a resounding “no”, with all the arguments to the contrary nothing more than fantasy.

Although initially it seemed that Salman, who came to power after the death of his brother, King Abdullah, will continue his course, after assuming the throne Salman generously spent over 30 billion dollars from the budget on bonuses for civil servants, military personnel, and students. Additionally, prices for basic goods and services, including fuel, electricity and water prices were kept at extremely low levels due to government subsidies from oil revenues. However, due to falling oil prices, under the pressure of such costs the budget started to rupture. The most important thing now for the kingdom is to execute the transition from the extremely lavish social security system to a productive economy, but then the subjects of the king will be forced to cut their costs, and it looks that they do not agree with this notion. And accusations in the imminent economic collapse will go Salman’s way, so it is better for him to leave now, before protests even start.

It is curious that Saudi Arabia has been rather realistic about its budget for the year 2016, since it was based on the average price of oil keeping at the level 29 dollars per barrel. Last year, the Saudi budget deficit amounted to almost 98 billion dollars and the costs were considerably higher than it was originally planed due to bonuses for civil servants, military personnel and retirees. In 2016 the authorities decided to put up to 49 billion dollars into a special fund to provide funding for the most important projects in case oil prices drop even further. But it was Saudi Arabia back in 2014 that proposed new tactics for OPEC, that implied that there would be no cuts in the level of production, the tactics that drove oil prices to today’s levels.

So we are to learn pretty soon should Riyadh choose the path of the utter and complete collapse of the kingdom, or the path of giving power to the young and pragmatic technocrats who are going to pursue a comprehensive oil policy. Either way, Saudi Arabia will be forced to put an end to the costly military adventures in Syria and Yemen as well as its confrontations with Russia and Iran.

Peter Lvov, Ph.D in political science, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

References:
  1. http://al-faedah.blogspot.my/2015/01/kematian-raja-abdullah-pemicu-hadits.html
  2. http://journal-neo.org/2016/01/23/saudi-arabia-is-on-the-brink-of-regime-change/

Jumaat, 15 Januari 2016

Jakarta Blasts: ISIS Inc Strikes Again

Was Jakarta Getting Too Cozy with China?

January 15, 2016 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - Here is what we are expected to believe regarding coordinated bombings and mass shootings that took place on Thursday in the capital of Southeast Asia's nation of Indonesia - an economically and geopolitically crucial state.

We are to believe that the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) - named so because it allegedly exists and primarily operates in Iraq and Syria - is fighting the Syrian government, nonexistent moderates the US claims it is arming and funding to the tune of several billions of dollars a year since 2011, the Iraqi government, the Kurds, Russia, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and Iran. And also, allegedly, ISIS is fighting the combined military power of the United States, France, England, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Qatar.

Yet we are expected to believe that ISIS has the time, energy, resources, and inclination to attack Indonesia in a spectacular, large-scale bombing and mass shooting?

And why? Where does Indonesia fit into the "Islamic State in Iraq and Syria?" According to the West's official narrative, Indonesia doesn't fit in at all except in the most abstract, ideological way imaginable.

But if you understand that:

  1. The US and its allies created ISIS on purpose to fight its proxy wars in the Middle East, North Africa, Central, East, and Southeast Asia for it; 
  2. The US is NOT fighting ISIS by any means, and is only using the organization's existence in Syria and beyond to justify extraterritorial military aggression and meddling across the globe;
  3. Indonesia has been defying US pressure to join Washington's proxy conflict with China in the South China Sea and; 
  4. Indonesia has been fostering closer economic and military ties instead with China itself ...
...then ISIS attacking Indonesia's capital of Jakarta makes perfect sense.

It was punitive. It was also a warning to Jakarta that it has a choice; subjugation by the West, or destabilization.

The same choice was given to Thailand in August of last year when US-Turkish-backed terrorists blew up 20 people in the heart of Bangkok. This was after it became clear that a definite and permanent shift was made by Bangkok toward Beijing, with new defense industry contracts being sought, existing ones being fulfilled, joint military exercises being organized with China to replace Vietnam-era exercises generally held with the US, and massive infrastructure projects being pursued jointly by Bangkok and Beijing.

The attack in Bangkok also took place as it became abundantly clear that US-backed political fronts in Thailand were being rooted out and denied any future opportunities to find themselves back in power.


Likewise, Indonesia - while paying lip service to Washington's war of words with China in the South China Sea - has been growing perhaps "too close" for Washington's liking to Beijing.

Jakarta had just signed a multi-billion dollar massive rail infrastructure deal with China. Not only does this bring Indonesia and China closer together, it will continue to do so over many years to come. The deal also came at the expense of America's allies and geopolitical proxies in Tokyo who also attempted to bid for expanding Indonesian rail infrastructure, but lost out to Beijing.

For now, despite the threats, attacks, and attempts to undermine and subvert Thailand for its geostrategic shift, Bangkok has decided not to capitulate to Washington. It has remained relatively un-confrontational with the US in words, but in actions, it has pivoted away from the US' own "pivot toward Asia."

Indonesia now has a choice. Allow the US to leverage this recent attack to reassert both its designs and ambitions upon Indonesia and give its proxy political fronts and proxies scattered across Indonesia's political landscape, police, military, and business community, or to join Thailand and others in a long-term vision that sees Asians maintain primacy over Asia, not Washington.

Taken from : http://landdestroyer.blogspot.my/2016/01/jakarta-blasts-isis-inc-strikes-again.html

Isnin, 11 Januari 2016

Russia Breaking Wall Street Oil Price Monopoly

Author: F. William Engdahl
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Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.

Later in November the Russian Energy Ministry has announced that it will begin test-trading of a new Russian oil benchmark. While this might sound like small beer to many, it’s huge. If successful, and there is no reason why it won’t be, the Russian crude oil benchmark futures contract traded on Russian exchanges, will price oil in rubles and no longer in US dollars. It is part of a de-dollarization move that Russia, China and a growing number of other countries have quietly begun.

The setting of an oil benchmark price is at the heart of the method used by major Wall Street banks to control world oil prices. Oil is the world’s largest commodity in dollar terms. Today, the price of Russian crude oil is referenced to what is called the Brent price. The problem is that the Brent field, along with other major North Sea oil fields is in major decline, meaning that Wall Street can use a vanishing benchmark to leverage control over vastly larger oil volumes. The other problem is that the Brent contract is controlled essentially by Wall Street and the derivatives manipulations of banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP MorganChase and Citibank.

The ‘Petrodollar’ demise

The sale of oil denominated in dollars is essential for the support of the US dollar. In turn, maintaining demand for dollars by world central banks for their currency reserves to back foreign trade of countries like China, Japan or Germany, is essential if the United States dollar is to remain the leading world reserve currency. That status as world’s leading reserve currency is one of two pillars of American hegemony since the end of World War II. The second pillar is world military supremacy.

US wars financed with others’ dollars

Because all other nations need to acquire dollars to buy imports of oil and most other commodities, a country such as Russia or China typically invests the trade surplus dollars its companies earn in the form of US government bonds or similar US government securities. The only other candidate large enough, the Euro, since the 2010 Greek crisis, is seen as more risky.

That leading reserve role of the US dollar, since August 1971 when the dollar broke from gold-backing, has essentially allowed the US Government to run seemingly endless budget deficits without having to worry about rising interest rates, like having a permanent overdraft credit at your bank.

That in effect has allowed Washington to create a record $18.6 trillion federal debt without major concern. Today the ratio of US government debt to GDP is 111%. In 2001 when George W. Bush took office and before trillions were spent on the Afghan and Iraq “War on Terror,” US debt to GDP was just half, or 55%. The glib expression in Washington is that “debt doesn’t matter,” as the assumption is that the world—Russia, China, Japan, India, Germany–will always buy US debt with their trade surplus dollars. The ability of Washington to hold the lead reserve currency role, a strategic priority for Washington and Wall Street, is vitally tied to how world oil prices are determined.

In the period up until the end of the 1980’s world oil prices were determined largely by real daily supply and demand. It was the province of oil buyers and oil sellers. Then Goldman Sachs decided to buy the small Wall Street commodity brokerage, J. Aron in the 1980’s. They had their eye set on transforming how oil is traded in world markets.

It was the advent of “paper oil,” oil traded in futures, contracts independent of delivery of physical crude, easier for the large banks to manipulate based on rumors and derivative market skullduggery, as a handful of Wall Street banks dominated oil futures trades and knew just who held what positions, a convenient insider role that is rarely mentioned inn polite company. It was the beginning of transforming oil trading into a casino where Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP MorganChase and a few other giant Wall Street banks ran the crap tables.

In the aftermath of the 1973 rise in the price of OPEC oil by some 400% in a matter of months following the October, 1973 Yom Kippur war, the US Treasury sent a high-level emissary to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In 1975 US Treasury Assistant Secretary, Jack F. Bennett, was sent to Saudi Arabia to secure an agreement with the monarchy that Saudi and all OPEC oil will only be traded in US dollars, not Japanese Yen or German Marks or any other. Bennett then went to take a high job at Exxon. The Saudis got major military guarantees and equipment in return and from that point, despite major efforts of oil importing countries, oil to this day is sold on world markets in dollars and the price is set by Wall Street via control of the derivatives or futures exchanges such as Intercontinental Exchange or ICE in London, the NYMEX commodity exchange in New York, or the Dubai Mercantile Exchange which sets the benchmark for Arab crude prices. All are owned by a tight-knit group of Wall Street banks–Goldman Sachs, JP MorganChase, Citigroup and others. At the time Secretary of State Henry Kissinger reportedly stated, “If you control the oil, you control entire nations.” Oil has been at the heart of the Dollar System since 1945.

Russian benchmark importance

Today, prices for Russian oil exports are set according to the Brent price in as traded London and New York. With the launch of Russia’s benchmark trading, that is due to change, likely very dramatically. The new contract for Russian crude in rubles, not dollars, will trade on the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX).

The Brent benchmark contract are used presently to price not only Russian crude oil. It’s used to set the price for over two-thirds of all internationally traded oil. The problem is that the North Sea production of the Brent blend is declining to the point today only 1 million barrels Brent blend production sets the price for 67% of all international oil traded. The Russian ruble contract could make a major dent in the demand for oil dollars once it is accepted.

Russia is the world’s largest oil producer, so creation of a Russian oil benchmark independent from the dollar is significant, to put it mildly. In 2013 Russia produced 10.5 million barrels per day, slightly more than Saudi Arabia. Because natural gas is mainly used in Russia, fully 75% of their oil can be exported. Europe is by far Russia’s main oil customer, buying 3.5 million barrels a day or 80% of total Russian oil exports. The Urals Blend, a mixture of Russian oil varieties, is Russia’s main exported oil grade. The main European customers are Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. To put Russia’s benchmark move into perspective, the other large suppliers of crude oil to Europe – Saudi Arabia (890,000 bpd), Nigeria (810,000 bpd), Kazakhstan (580,000 bpd) and Libya (560,000 bpd) – lag far behind Russia. As well, domestic production of crude oil in Europe is declining quickly. Oil output from Europe fell just below 3 Mb/d in 2013, following steady declines in the North Sea which is the basis of the Brent benchmark.

End to dollar hegemony good for US

The Russian move to price in rubles its large oil exports to world markets, especially Western Europe, and increasingly to China and Asia via the ESPO pipeline and other routes, on the new Russian oil benchmark in the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange is by no means the only move to lessen dependence of countries on the dollar for oil. Sometime early next year China, the world’s second-largest oil importer, plans to launch its own oil benchmark contract. Like the Russian, China’s benchmark will be denominated not in dollars but in Chinese Yuan. It will be traded on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange.

Step-by-step, Russia, China and other emerging economies are taking measures to lessen their dependency on the US dollar, to “de-dollarize.” Oil is the world’s largest traded commodity and it is almost entirely priced in dollars. Were that to end, the ability of the US military industrial complex to wage wars without end would be in deep trouble.

Perhaps that would open some doors to more peaceful ideas such as spending US taxpayer dollars on rebuilding the horrendous deterioration of basic USA economic infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2013 estimated $3.6 trillion of basic infrastructure investment is needed in the United States over the next five years. They report that one out of every 9 bridges in America, more than 70,000 across the country, are deficient. Almost one-third of the major roads in the US are in poor condition. Only 2 of 14 major ports on the eastern seaboard will be able to accommodate the super-sized cargo ships that will soon be coming through the newly expanded Panama Canal. There are more than 14,000 miles of high-speed rail operating around the world, but none in the United States.

That kind of basic infrastructure spending would be a far more economically beneficial source of real jobs and real tax revenue for the United States than more of John McCain’s endless wars. Investment in infrastructure, as I have noted in previous articles, has a multiplier effect in creating new markets. Infrastructure creates economic efficiencies and tax revenues of some 11 to 1 for every one dollar invested as the economy becomes more efficient.

A dramatic decline for the role of the dollar as world reserve currency, if coupled with a Russia-styled domestic refocus on rebuilding America’s domestic economy, rather than out-sourcing everything, could go a major way to rebalance a world gone mad with war. Paradoxically, the de-dollarization, by denying Washington the ability to finance future wars by the investment in US Treasury debt from Chinese, Russian and other foreign bond buyers, could be a valuable contribution to genuine world peace. Wouldn’t that be nice for a change?

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2016/01/09/russia-breaking-wall-st-oil-price-monopoly/

Jumaat, 8 Januari 2016

Washington Quietly Lifts Sanctions on Russian Rockets

January 7, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) -  Washington, who leveled widespread sanctions against Russia in an increasingly tenuous bid to isolate and undermine the stability of Moscow, has found itself humiliated and backtracking as it lifts bans on Russia's RD-180 rocket engines.



And even as Washington does so, the US media finds itself still painting Russia as a villain even as the US finds itself forced to buy rockets from a nation it claims invaded Crimea, is fostering a "hybrid war" in eastern Ukraine, and is bombing US-backed "rebels" in Syria. It is worth mentioning that Russia's RD-180 rocket engines, possessing unparalleled performance US firms have yet to match, will be used to launch payloads into Earth orbit for the US Department of Defense. 

Popular Science in its article "Congress Moves to Lift Ban on Using Russian Rocket Engines" claims:
After Russia invaded Crimea, Congress swore off Russian rocket engines. But its ban on using these rockets to launch military payloads into space was perhaps a bit too hasty. A new bill approved by Congress has found a way to nullify the ban. 
United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin that has long been the primary contractor for launching Defense Department payloads into space, relies on the Russian-made RD-180. ULA recently declined to bid on a launch contract due to its limited supply of rocket engines, and the Pentagon is not happy. Though ULA is developing a new engine, the BE-4 is years away from reaching the launch pad. This is, after all, rocket science that we're talking about.
While Russia did not in fact "invade Crimea," Popular Science is correct in pointing out that a ULA-made replacement for the Russian RD-180's is years from becoming a reality.

Popular Science also hints toward another reason that might be behind the lift of sanctions on Russian rockets:
ULA has long had a monopoly on military payload launches. SpaceX recently got permission to use its Falcon 9 rocket to launch military payloads as well, right around the time ULA dropped out because of the ban. If the ban is lifted, it means ULA and SpaceX will take part in the first competition for a military launch since 2006--and that could translate into savings for the U.S. government.
Ironically, a desire by ULA (a joint venture between defense industry giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin) to maintain their monopoly and all the unwarranted power and wealth associated with it, has forced them to do business with one of the nations it and a collection of other special interests on Wall Street, in Washington and in London have been attempting to undermine, divide and destroy for decades.

SpaceX seeks to disrupt and decentralize the aerospace industry, a direct threat to Boeing and Lockheed Martin both in short-term and long-term regards.

And it seems that both in short-term and long-term regards, the strategy of these special interests on Wall Street, in Washington and in London, is incoherent and self-defeating. As it attempts to isolate and undermine Moscow, it finds itself threatened by disruptive business models and innovators at home in America. To tamp down domestic competition, these interests have ended up rolling back sanctions against foreign competitors.

Impotent and incoherent, it appears that the US has managed to do more harm to itself than to Russia. While Russia is certainly suffering from sanctions, should it overcome them, it will come out stronger and more self-sufficient on the other side. For the US however, win or lose against Russia, it is clearly harming itself in the process.

For the global public looking on, flooded daily with news and op-eds about how much of a threat Russia is to global peace and stability, the fact that the US Department of Defense is still essentially buying rockets from Russia to put American satellites into orbit should serve as a reminder that nothing resembling actual principles, facts or honesty guides US foreign policy or how it is presented across US and European media. 

If the US finds itself unable to justify continued sanctions against Russian rockets, rockets used in vital roles for maintaining US defense capabilities, how is the US continuing to justify other sanctions against Russia that remain in place? Are these sanctions in place simply because the businesses being hurt by them across the West lack the lobbying power of Boeing and Lockheed Martin? And are we expected to continue believing Russia is such a "threat" but still America's primary partner in launching defense satellites into space, not to mention American and European astronauts and supply missions to the International Space Station?

In fact, flip-flopping on Russian sanctions seems like it should indicate to various stakeholders in Washington and London's international order that it is looking less like an organized global enterprise, and more like a blind tropism seeking profits wherever it finds them, even if they are over the edge of a cliff. For these stakeholders, it may be time to consider divesting and/or diversifying into something truly looking with its eyes open toward the future and toward real progress.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook

Ref: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.my/2016/01/washington-quietly-lifts-sanctions-on.html

Selasa, 29 Disember 2015

Syria: It's Not a Civil War and it Never Was

The weapons are foreign, the fighters are foreign, the agenda is foreign.

December 28, 2015 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - As Syrian forces fight to wrest control of their country back and restore order within their borders, the myth of the "Syrian civil war" continues on. Undoubtedly there are Syrians who oppose the Syrian government and even Syrians who have taken up arms against the government and in turn, against the Syrian people, but from the beginning (in fact before the beginning) this war has been driven from abroad. Calling it a "civil war" is a misnomer as much as calling those taking up arms "opposition." It is not a "civil war," and those fighting the Syrian government are not "opposition."


Image: The Syrian conflict was driven by foreign interests since the conflict began and in many ways, long before it even started.

Those calling this a civil war and the terrorists fighting the Syrian state "opposition" hope that their audience never wanders too far from their lies to understand the full context of this conflict, the moves made before it even started and where those moves were made from.

When did this all start? 

It is a valid question to ask just when it all really started. The Cold War saw a see-sawing struggle between East and West between the United States and Europe (NATO) and not only the Soviet Union but also a growing China. But the Cold War itself was simply a continuation of geopolitical struggle that has carried on for centuries between various centers of power upon the planet. The primary centers include Europe's Paris, London and Berlin, of course Moscow, and in the last two centuries, Washington.

In this context, however, we can see that what may be portrayed as a local conflict, may fit into a much larger geopolitical struggle between these prominent centers of special interests. Syria's conflict is no different.

Syria had maintained close ties to the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. That meant that even with the fall of the Soviet Union, Syria still had ties to Russia. It uses Russian weapons and tactics. It has economic, strategic and political ties to Russia and it shares mutual interests including the prevailing of a multipolar world order that emphasizes the primacy of national sovereignty. 

Because of this, Western centers of power have sought for decades to draw Syria out of this orbit (along with many other nations). With the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the fractured Middle East was first dominated by colonial Europe before being swept by nationalist uprising seeking independence. Those seeking to keep the colonial ties cut that they had severed sought Soviet backing, while those seeking simply to rise to power at any cost often sought Western backing. 

The 2011 conflict was not Syria's first. The Muslim Brotherhood, a creation and cultivar of the British Empire since the fall of the Ottomans was backed in the late 70s andearly 80s in an abortive attempt to overthrow then Syrian President Hafez al-Assad, father of current Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The armed militants that took part in that conflict would be scattered in security crackdowns following in its wake, with many members of the Muslim Brotherhood forming a new US-Saudi initiative called Al Qaeda. Both the Brotherhood and now Al Qaeda would stalk and attempt to stunt the destiny of an independent Middle East from then on, up to and including present day. 

There is nothing "civil" about Syria's war. 

In this context, we see clearly Syria's most recent conflict is part of this wider struggle and is in no way a "civil war" unfolding in a vacuum, with outside interests being drawn in only after it began.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its Al Qaeda spin-off were present and accounted for since the word go in 2011. By the end of 2011, Al Qaeda's Syrian franchise (Al Nusra) would be carrying out nationwide operations on a scale dwarfing other so-called rebel groups. And they weren't this successful because of the resources and support they found within Syria's borders, but instead because of the immense resources and support flowing to them from beyond them. 

Saudi Arabia openly arms, funds and provides political support for many of the militant groups operating in Syria since the beginning. In fact, recently, many of these groups, including allies of Al Qaeda itself, were present in Riyadh discussing with their Saudi sponsors the future of their joint endeavor.

Image: Until militants disrupted it, the US was running an operation sending Libyans and weapons from Benghazi, through Turkey and onward to Syria in what was clearly a foreign invasion, not a "civil war." 

Together with Al Nusra, there is the self-anointed Islamic State (IS). IS, like the Syrian conflict itself, was portrayed by the Western media for as long as possible as a creation within a vacuum. The source of its military and political strength was left a mystery by the otherwise omniscient Western intelligence community. Hints began to show as Russian increased its involvement in the conflict. When Russian warplanes began pounding convoys moving to and from Turkish territory, bound for IS, the mystery was finally solved. IS, like all other militant groups operating in Syria, were the recipients of generous, unending stockpiles of weapons, equipment, cash and fighters piped in from around the globe. 

The Syrian conflict was borne of organizations created by centers of foreign interests decades ago who have since fought on and off not for the future of the Syrian people, but for a Syria that meshed more conveniently into the foreign global order that created them. The conflict has been fueled by a torrent of weapons, cash, support and even fighters drawn not from among the Syrian people, but from the very centers of these foreign special interests; in Riyadh, Ankara, London, Paris, Brussels and Washington.

How to settle a civil war that doesn't exist? 

If the Syrian conflict was created by foreign interests fueling militant groups it has used for decades as an instrument of executing foreign policy (in and out of Syria), amounting to what is essentially a proxy invasion, not a civil war, how exactly can a "settlement" be reached?

Who should the Syrian government be talking to in order to reach this settlement? Should it be talking to the heads of Al Nusra and IS who clearly dominate the militants fighting Damascus? Or should it be talking to those who have been the paramount factor in perpetuating the conflict, Riyadh, Ankara, London, Paris, Brussels and Washington, all of whom appear involved in supporting even the most extreme among these militant groups? 

If Damascus finds itself talking with political leaders in these foreign capitals, is it settling a "civil war" or a war it is fighting with these foreign powers? Upon the world stage, it is clear that these foreign capitals speak entirely for the militants, and to no one's surprise, these militants seem to want exactly what these foreign capitals want.

Being honest about what sort of conflict Syria is really fighting is the first step in finding a real solution to end it. The West continues to insist this is a "civil war." This allows them to continue trying to influence the outcome of the conflict and the political state Syria will exist in upon its conclusion. By claiming that the Syrian government has lost all legitimacy, the West further strengthens its hand in this context.

Attempts to strip the government of legitimacy predicated on the fact that it stood and fought groups of armed militants arrayed against it by an axis of foreign interests would set a very dangerous and unacceptable precedent. It is no surprise that Syria finds itself with an increasing number of allies in this fight as other nations realize they will be next if the "Syria model" is a success. 

Acknowledging that Syria's ongoing conflict is the result of foreign aggression against Damascus would make the solution very simple. The solution would be to allow Damascus to restore order within its borders while taking action either at the UN or on the battlefield against those nations fueling violence aimed at Syria. Perhaps the clarity of this solution is why those behind this conflict have tried so hard to portray it as a civil war.

For those who have been trying to make sense of the Syrian "civil war" since 2011 with little luck, the explanation is simple, it isn't a civil war and it never was. Understanding it as a proxy conflict from the very beginning (or even before it began) will give one a clarity in perception that will aid one immeasurably in understanding what the obvious solutions are, but only when they come to this understanding.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Ref: http://landdestroyer.blogspot.my/2015/12/syria-its-not-civil-war-and-it-never-was.html

Isnin, 28 Disember 2015

Fall of the Arab Spring: From Revolution to Destruction

From 2011 to around early 2014, the so-called “Arab Spring” encompassing the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region came to the forefront of international political affairs. In the words of Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, it was “frequently referred to as the most remarkable episode in the international life of the new 21st century.” The authoritarian regimes of the Arab world have been fragile systems. This is especially true more recently in their relationship with burgeoning youthful populations. Arab historian Said K. Aburish argues that these various regimes all lack modern political legitimacy—from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states to Egypt, from military cliques to monarchies. [1]

This lack of modern political legitimacy—coupled with decades of political repression, world economic crises, and unresolved grievances such as the unmitigated oppression of the Palestinian people—creates potential for massive political awakening. This dynamic was particularly pronounced because of the region’s marked demographic ‘youth bulge.’ Historically, youth cohorts are receptive to new ideas, eager to challenge the status quo, and active in times of political crisis. Indeed, it was the age 25 and under demographic that spearheaded the MENA mass protests. Using what is referred to as ‘civilian-based power,’ Western powers exploited and guided this massive potential for political awakening to advance Western and Israeli geopolitical imperatives. These eruptions were followed closely by covert and overt military intervention.

Fall of the Arab Spring: From Revolution to Destruction examines modern imperialism vis-à-vis the so-called ‘Arab Spring.’ This widespread Arab upheaval takes place in the context of a period when the restructuring of the world order—from unipolarity (uncontested world hegemony) toward multipolarity (multiple centers of power)—converges with aggravated economic breakdown. This provides the lens from which this study is viewed. The focus of this analysis is the underlying themes, methods, and most prevalent aspects of the MENA uprisings. Particular focus is given to Egypt and Libya as highly instructive case studies. Egypt demonstrates an effective utilization of ‘civilian-based power,’ while Libya provides one of the most palpable displays of the empire’s ruthless stewardship of the “Arab Spring” to smash a recalcitrant Arab state.

In his study The Sorrows of Empire, author Chalmers Johnson, professor emeritus of the University of California, San Diego, categorizes modern imperialists into two groups: “those who advocate unconstrained, unilateral American domination of the world (couched sometimes in terms of following in the footsteps of the British Empire) and those who call for imperialism devoted to ‘humanitarian’ objectives…. The complex issue at the heart of liberal imperialism is ‘humanitarian intervention’ … ‘the responsibility to protect’”[2] as a pretext for military intervention.

‘Liberal imperialism’ has continued to evolve. A more novel method for modern imperialism includes the use of the ‘color revolution.’ Adherents of this method, such as Peter Ackerman of the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI) and Carl Gershman of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) (See Chapter II), argue unfriendly regimes can be toppled by mobilizing swarms of discontented adolescents, via mass communication media such as SMS, Facebook and Twitter. Illustrating its appeal to the Obama team, this later tactic of ‘civilian-based power’ was utilized as the initial driving force of the so-called ‘Arab Spring,’ and was later superseded by direct military intervention and America’s newest unconventional model of warfare.

Despite evidence to the contrary, the mainstream narrative is that the wave of uprisings against the status quo autocratic Arab regimes were entirely organic. Additionally, a narrative sometimes found in alternative media is that these uprisings were initially organic, but were subsequently hijacked or diverted by the West and Gulf state monarchies. The latter narrative is given credence through the West’s direct military intervention to topple Muammar Qaddafi’s government in Libya. Both of these notions are specious. The idea that romantic Arab youth activists alone initiated the attempt to topple their autocratic regimes is a myth. The objective of Fall of the Arab Spring is to shatter this prevailing mythology.

In truth, the so-called “Arab Spring”which swept through the MENA region was a wave of destabilizations sponsored by Washington and launched through ‘civilian-based power’ techniques. It was American imperialism of the most modern form. With the onset of multipolarity—with many of Washington’s vassals looking to resurgent power centers such as Moscow and Beijing—the US moved pre-emptively for ‘regime change’ against the independence of ‘enemy’ states and erstwhile clients. Additionally, the ‘Arab Spring’ offensive was given impetus by the imperative to accelerate the regional process of what Bernard Lewis, perhaps the most influential British Arabist, termed “Lebanonization” as a self- fulfilling prophecy. [3] This refers to the far-reaching balkanization, societal breakdown, and explosion of sectarian conflicts following the attenuation or collapse of the state—the model of Somalia.

For the casual outside observer, especially those imbibing the corporate controlled media’s narrative, the complex and covert nature of the destabilization meant its intrinsic imperialism was not immediately discernable. The initial lack of overt military offensives gave the empire’s use of ‘civilian-based power’ the verisimilitude of meritorious organic grassroots movements for change.

While it is important to acknowledge and support the aspirations of peoples toward accountable and democratic forms of governance, it is unacceptable to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states during this process. This principle is enshrined in the charter of the United Nations and that of natural law. In a non-Hobbesian world it would be recognized that is not for any state to dictate another’s government for their own selfish aggrandizement or hegemonic interests. It would be recognized that every nation has the right to determine its future independently, without outside interference. Alas, rather than this notion as a guiding principle, the Post-Cold War era unleashed a state of uncontested world hegemony by a single power: the United States. In this single world power framework its own interests and ideology are regarded as paramount.

Although it is commonly thought to have gradually faded following World War II, imperialism continues via neo-colonialism.The actions of the West, with its leading state the US at the forefront, have followed an imperialist tendency throughout the Arab uprisings. As we shall see, the West’s ongoing involvement in the “Arab Spring” is part of a larger offensive to maintain the status quo of Western and Israeli hegemony. This was done—not through the crude and direct means of the Bush II regime—but more indirectly and via a sustained synergy of hard and soft power: so-called ‘smart power.’ This was supplemented and spearheaded through the techniques of the ‘color revolution.’ Thus, although a new cadre emerged with the onset of the Obama regime, the status quo imperative to secure Israel remained, and Obama administration introduced new techniques of projecting power. Whereas the second Bush administration was blunt and bellicose, the Obama regime acted more indirectly and surreptitiously, often relying on local proxies and ambitious regional powers such as Qatar and Turkey. This approach can be aptly labeled ‘imperialism on the cheap.’ It has been the defining foreign policy strategy of the Obama presidency.

The excessive reliance on ‘hard power,’ overt military and economic means to project power, during the George W. Bush presidency, generated widespread discourse on its imperial nature.[4] In contrast, the presidency of Obama was rarely, if ever, characterized in similar terms in its early stage. On the contrary, it was often branded as a radical departure from the aggressive tendencies of the Bush II regime. ‘Soft power’ is defined as “the ability to obtain the outcomes one wants through attraction rather than using the carrots and sticks of payment or coercion.”[5] After President Bush put US standing in a compromised position—with allies antagonized and a military and populace demoralized—the American establishment opted to shift to a more emphatically ‘soft power’ approach, as advanced by theoreticians such as Joseph Nye, Jr. and Zbigniew Brzezinski of the elite Trilateral Commission. The new strategy rejected an outright bellicose use of ‘hard power,’ the proclivity of the Bush II regime. Instead, ‘hard power’ was used more selectively and from the standpoint of ‘leading from behind.’ This means encouraging allies (or vassals) to engage in geopolitical initiatives for the US, which provides necessary military aid covertly.

During the MENA uprisings, as the Trilateral Commission’s Joseph Nye had suggested even before Obama was elected, the US used “a smart strategy that combines hard- and soft-power resources—and that emphasizes alliances and networks that are responsive to the new context of a global information age.” Or, as articulated by Obama State Department apparatchik Susanne Nossel, a strategy of “enlisting others on behalf of U.S. goals, through alliances, international institutions, careful diplomacy, and the power of ideals.”This encapsulates US strategy to topple and destabilize non-compliant states during the ‘Arab Spring.’

Reacting to a waning American empire and a need to ensure the security of Israel, this synergy of ‘soft power,’ alliances, and ‘hard power’ came to characterize US strategy. In Libya—where direct military intervention took place—humanitarian imperialism was carried out with these as guiding principles. Fall of the Arab Spring outlines the synergy between this array of methods including the use of information and irregular warfare. In the final outcome, for the Arab world, the romantic illusions of ‘democracy’ and ‘dignity’—platitudes sold by the West—were shattered, and much of the region degenerated into the breakdown of the state and society.

Christopher L. Brennan is an independent political analyst and author of Fall of the Arab Spring: From Revolution to Destruction. He has previously written articles under his pseudonym “Chris Macavel.” 

Notes

[1] Said K. Aburish. A Brutal Friendship: The West and the Arab Elite, (New York: St. Martin’s Press), 13.

[2] Chalmers Johnson, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic, (New York: Metropolitan Books), 67.

[3] “Another possibility, which could even be precipitated by fundamentalism, is what has of late become fashionable to call ‘Lebanonization.’ Most of the states of the Middle East—Egypt is an obvious exception—are of recent and artificial construction and are vulnerable to such a process. If the central power is sufficiently weakened, there is no real civil society to hold the polity together, no real sense of common national identity or overriding allegiance to the [nation-state]. The state then disintegrates—as happened in Lebanon—into a chaos of squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions and parties.” Bernard Lewis, “Rethinking the Middle East,” Foreign Affairs, Fall 1992, http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/48213/bernard-lewis/rethinking- the-middle-east

[4] See, for example, Michael Cox. “Empire, Imperialism and the Bush Doctrine.” Review of International Studies 30, no. 4 (2004): 585-608. http://search. proquest.com/docview/204970875?accountid=12387; Lewis H. Lapham, Pretensions to Empire: Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration (New York: New York Press), 2007; Madeline Bunting “Beginning of the end: The US is ignoring an important lesson from history – that an empire cannot survive on brute force alone.” The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/feb/03/usa. comment ;Johnson, Empire, 322-323.

[5] Harvard’s Joseph Nye, Huffington Post, “Barack Obama and Soft Power,” June 2008, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joseph-nye/barack-obama-and-soft-pow_b_106717.html
The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Christopher L. Brennan, Global Research, 2015

Ref: http://www.globalresearch.ca/fall-of-the-arab-spring-from-revolution-to-destruction/5497764