Bulletin N°413



11 July 2009
Grenoble, France

Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,

It was in 1969 when I first read Marc Bloch's (1886-1944) book, Strange Defeat: A Statement of Evidence Written in 1940 (1968).  I was studying social history at The University of Wisconsin-Madison and living in the midst of a social movement, both on and off campus; a cultural revolution was underway. It was a period of international solidarity, and young intellectuals were looking at experiences from the past to guide their actions for a new future. This was the period of America's military defeat in Vietnam and the beginning of the Information Revolution. There was great optimism in the air, and on the ground a revolution was brewing. Hope had not been extinguished, and the logic that guided the feelings of millions of Americans ran something like this:

No equality = No justice

No justice = No peace

.   . 

No equality = No peace

The 1960s counterculture in the United States was convivial, but coast-to-coast it was committed to dialogue about questions dealing with justice, equality and peace, and it was capitalist unfriendly. You could go nowhere without hearing people critiquing the American political economy, from a variety of perspectives and with a wide range of emotional commitment and philosophical depth. By the time Jimmy Carter was elected president, American society was moving toward democratic socialism. Carter would play a major role in subverting this movement and opening the way to counter-revolution, which began with the Reagan years, when our syllogism was reversed for the benefit of a very few.

No peace = No justice

No justice = No equality

.   .

No peace = No equality

It seemed to us at the time that it was important to understand the impact failed revolutions had on society, and there seemed to be no better place to search this history than in the annals of French society. Marc Bloch, a professor of history at the Sorbonne and at Cambridge University in the 1920s, was a world-renown expert on the role of religion in medieval political history. He came from a French military family: his great-grand father had fought in the revolutionary army of 1793, and his grand-father had served in Alsace in 1870. He himself was a veteran of the First World War and fought in the French army at the outbreak of the Second World War, before joining the resistance in 1942, at the age of 56.

Strange Defeat was his last testimony, written at the time he joined the French resistance movement, less than two years before he was captured, tortured and murdered by the Gestapo near Lyons, in 1944. The book is full of insights into the making of a fascist society. "On one occasion," writes Bloch toward the end of this book,

Hitler said to Rauschning: 'It is very much better to bank on the vices of men than on their virtues. The French Revolution appealed to virtue. We shall be better advised to do the contrary.'(p.175)
Bloch slyly comments on this Nazi cynicism, suggesting that a Frenchman might be forgiven,
. . . if he substitutes for this teaching that of the Revolution and of Montesquieu: 'A State founded on the People needs a mainspring: and that mainspring is virtue.' What matter if the task is thereby made more difficult --as it will be? A free people in pursuit of noble ends runs a double risk. But are soldiers on the field of battle to be warned against the spirit of adventure?(p.176)
This optimistic conclusion was not based on self-deception. Far from being naive, Bloch was able to look directly into French society as only a person engaged in resistance might be able, and here is what he saw: the love of freedom and the hatred of tyrants remained a significant part of French culture, but these feelings were in danger of extinction by 1940, and for specifically identifiable reasons.

The trouble was that among the wage-earners these instincts, which were still strong, and which a less pusillanimous government would have known how to encourage, were at variance with certain other, more recent, tendencies which were at work within the collective mind. I, with most of the men of my generation, had built enormous hopes, when we were young, on the trade-union movement. But we made no allowance for the narrowness of outlook which, little by little, choked the enthusiasm of the early, epic struggles. What was the cause of this failure? Partly, no doubt, an inevitable preoccupation with wage-claims, and a consequent scaling-down of interest and policy; partly, too, the fact that Labor's leaders allowed themselves to get tangled up in the old political game of electoral propaganda and lobbying. However that may be, it is true to say that the trade-union movement has shown a growing tendency everywhere to diverge from the road on which its feet were originally set, as though dogged by some ineluctable Fate.

Everyone knows that word kleinbürgerlich with which Marx stigmatized all politico-social movements which confined themselves to the narrow field of partial interests. Could anything have been more kleinbürgerlich, more petit bourgeois, than the attitude adopted in the last few years, and even during the war, by most of the big unions, and especially by those which included civil servants in their ranks? I have attended not a few meetings of my own professional organization. Its members were drawn from the intellectual class, but it is true to say that scarcely ever did they show real concern for anything except --not money on a large scale, but what I may call the small change of remuneration. They seemed to be blissfully unaware of such problems as the rôle which our corporation might play in the life of the country; nor were they ever prepared to discuss the bigger questions of France's material future. Their vision was limited to immediate issues of petty profit, and I am afraid that this blindness marked the conduct of most of the big unions.(pp.138-139)
Bloch continues his analysis of French society by commenting on the social forces which led many Frenchmen to collaborate with European fascism.

The highwayman does not say to his victim, 'It's your blood I'm after'; he offers him a choice --'Your money or your life'. Similarly, when an aggressor nation sets out to oppress its neighbours it says: 'Either abdicate your liberty or take the consequence of massacre.' They maintained that war is the concern of the rich and powerful, that the poor should have nothing to do with it. . . . These enthusiasts, many of whom were not, as individuals, lacking in courage, worked unconsciously to produce a race of cowards. For it is an undoubted truth that unless virtue is accompanied with severe self-criticism, it always runs the risk of turning against its own most dearly held convictions. Dear fellow teachers --when it came to the point, you did, for the most part, put up a magnificent fight. It was our goodwill which managed to create in many a sleepy secondary school, in many a tradition-ridden university, the only form of education of which, perhaps, we can feel genuinely proud. I only hope that a day will come, and come soon, a day of glory and of happiness for France, when, liberated from the enemy, and freer than ever in our intellectual life, we may meet again for the mutual discussion of ideas. And when that happens, do you not think that, having learned from an experience so dearly purchased, you will find much to alter in the things you were teaching only a few years back?

But what is really remarkable is that these extremist-lovers of the human race showed no surprise at all when, on the road that led to capitulation, they found themselves walking arm in arm with the born enemies of their class, the sworn foes of their ideals. As a matter of fact, odd though such an alliance may seem, its intellectual basis is to be found in conditions long antecedent to a supervening political hostility.(p.142)

Sociologist Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991), writing in post-war French society, discusses in his three-volume work, Critique de la vie quotidienne, the evolution of social being in daily life. He traces the venality of the French elite back to the Second Empire,and he argues that the failed revolutions of the past weigh like the Alps on the shoulders of those living in modern times. The compromises between social classes after the Paris Commune (1871), including Le Front Populaire of 1936-37, affected daily life in the 1940s, and often unconsciously; but this evolution began much earlier as can be seen in the development of linguistics.

Remarkable changes have taken place in the semantic field considered as a whole (that is, the whole of society as the theatre where meaning is enacted in various specific contexts). Symbols had been prominent in this field for many centuries, symbols derived from nature but containing definite social implications. However, in the early stages of our civilization there was a perceptible shift from symbols to signs as the authority of the written word increased, an especially after the invention of the printing press. Today a further shift, from signs to signals, is taking place, if it has not already happened. Though the signal figures in the semantic field together with the symbol and the sign, it differs from these in that its only significance is conventional, assigned to it by mutual agreement; in this respect it can be compared to certain signs such as letters that compose articulated units (words and monomials) but that are otherwi9se meaningless. The signal commands, controls behaviour and consists of contrasts chosen precisely for their contradiction (such as, for instance, red and green); furthermore, signals can be grouped in codes (the highway code is a simple and familiar example), thus forming systems of compulsion.

This shift to signals in the semantic field involves the subjection of the senses to compulsions and a general conditioning of everyday life, reduced now to a single dimension (re-assembled fragments) by the elimination of all other dimensions of language and meaning such as symbols and significant contrasts. Signals and codes provide practical systems for the manipulation of people and things, though they do not exclude other moire subtle means. If we try to figure out how the 'new man' uses his memory, we shall see that he must register one and for all each action, gesture and word of 'another' as though these were signals. What a terrifying vision of the future humanity this image conjures up !(pp.62-63)

Counter-revolution is produced by perceptions and the studied reproduction of ways of thinking. Lefebvre has analyzed this process of the reification of ideas and of human thought in his book, Everyday Life in the Modern World (1968): the displacement of knowledge by ideology, symbols by signals, style by culture, art by aestheticism, community by individualism, the sacred and the accursed by the profane, creativity by the division of labor, etc., etc. . . .(pp.1-39)

According to Marx, objects reflect abstract forms that seem to belong to them, to be part of their nature as trade value is reflected in wares: social and moral forms appear as given in a society, and so do forms of art, aestheticism, and the ritualized forms of social relations. The rational is considered normal according to the norms of a society sufficiently self-conscious and organized for the misunderstanding (or metonyme) to take root; and the normal becomes customary and the customary is taken for natural, which in turn is identified with the rational, thus establishing a circuit or blocking. The consequence of such apparent (and contrived) logic --naturalism understudying as rationalism-- is that all contradictions are abolished, reality is rational, reality is ideality, knowledge is ideology. (pp.44-45)

Elsewhere in his book he describes the effects the Bureaucratic Society of Controlled Consumption has on ordinary people in everyday life and the "system of substitutes" that degrades social relations and serves to maintain the interests of the status quo.

It has substituted for the image of active man that of consumer as the possessor of happiness and of perfect rationality, as the ideal becoming reality ('me', the individual, living, active subject become 'objective'). Not the consumer nor even that which is consumed is important in this image, but the vision of consumer and consuming as art of consumption. In this process of ideological substitutions and displacements man's awareness of his own alienation is repressed, or even suppressed, by the addition of a new alienation to the old. Will this age witness the triumph of Heglianism and of the totalitarian state rather than achieve the philosophy of a human totality.(p.56)

Time-tables, when comparatively analyzed, reveal new phenomena: if the hours of days, weeks, months and years are classed in three categories, pledged time (professional work), free time (leisure) and compulsive time (the various demands other than work such as transport, official formalities,  etc.), it will become apparent that compulsive time increases at a greater rate than leisure time. Compulsive time is part of everyday life and tends to define it by the sum of its compulsions.(p.53)

Thus distracted by the modern magic of advertising, the ordinary citizen finds him/herself caught in a sub-system of daily terror and intimidation, as an object continually manipulated, threatened and cajoled rather than a subject free to participate in the formation of public policy and self-management.

Let us try to put ourselves in the place of a person living his everyday life without any historical, sociological or economic knowledge and without a particularly curious or critical mind; from this viewpoint we cannot help noticing a phenomenon that requires a further analysis; this inmate of everyday life, whether male or female, a member of one social class or another, has no (or hardly any) intimation of all that we have disclosed and discussed; he takes for granted all that he observes, he accepts as the here and now everything he sees and perceives, all his experiences; he may find them neither just, justified or justifiable, but that is how it is, things are what they are; unless he happens to be a pathological case or a case of anomie he will almost entirely ignore the depth of desire and the stars that rule over him, for he rarely raises or lowers his gaze, looking only around him at the surface that he takes for 'reality'. This everyday being lives a double illusion, that of limpidity and evidence ('that's how it is') and that of substantial reality ('it can't be any different'); thus the illusion of immediacy in everyday life is defined.(p.187)

In the final chapter of this book, entitled "Towards a Permanent Cultural Revolution," Lefebvre concludes with a call for radical social change toward new modes of adaptation (in contrast to the passive acceptance of repression) in the modern world; for "to be aware of being unhappy," he writes, "presupposes that something else is possible, a different condition from the unhappy one."(p.206)

The theoretical revolution which constitutes the first step towards a cultural revolution is based on philosophical experience.The revival of art and of meaning of art has a practical not a 'cultural' aim; indeed, our cultural revolution has no purely 'cultural' aims, but directs culture towards experience, towards the transfiguration of everyday life. The revolution will transform existence, not merely the state and the distribution of property, for we do not take means for ends. This can also be stated as follows: 'Let everyday life become a work of art! Let every technical means be employed for the transformation of everyday life!' From an intellectual point of view the word 'creation' will no longer be restricted to works of art but will signify a self-conscious activity, self-conceiving, reproducing its own terms, adapting these terms and its own reality (body, desire, time, space), being its own creation; socially the term will stand for the activity of a collectivity assuming the responsibility of its own social function and destiny --in other words for self-administration.(p.204)


The 10 items below might help CEIMSA readers identify the system of substitutes which both the historian Bloch and the sociologist Lefebvre --drawing from their experiences in the 1940s-- have argued serves to neutralize the lives of so many of us. The displaced energy due to a daily diet of terrorism and ideological falsifications leads us to bond with the tyranny of literal thinking . At best our consciousness in the modern world seems to be either derived from looking backwards and analyzing past events, or from intuiting the significance of the diverse activities around us, but never looking carefully at them; or perhaps it derives from mimicking the behavior of a "leader" whom we have decided to blindly follow. Few of us have learned to look inward, to examine within ourselves our own emotional states which reproduce the interactions and social relationships that confine us. Thus our lives of substitution --either looking at life through a rear view mirror (and gaining an analytical understanding, but always too late), or walking blindfolded (and only able to vaguely guess at what it is going on around us), or perhaps holding on to a leader (whom we must trust to know the way through modern life)-- leaves us inadequately equipped to recognize, much less to adapt to the material relationships around us. This is our alienated education, and until we meet our real selves and acknowledge our full human needs, we will be caught in a fragmented culture of malaise, weakened by a history that we do not even wish to know, nor even know that we do not know.

Item A. is a copy of the 2003 article by William Rivers Pitt on " The Project for the New American Century" with updates from Information Clearing House.

Item B. is an interview at The Real News with William Engdahl on his book Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order.

Item C. is an article by Noam Chomsky on the state of "freedom" and "democracy" in June 2009.

Item D. is a Democracy Now! report on the high jacking of former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and 20 other peace activists by the Israeli military in international waters last week as they tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Item E. is an analysis of media rhetoric against Iran by German reporters, Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann, translated into English by Erik Appleby : "Does Iran's President Want Israel Wiped Off The Map - Does He Deny The Holocaust?".

Item F. is an article by Anthony Mirhaydari, a research associate for the Strategic Advantage investment newsletter. He can be contacted at . Feel free to comment below. 

Item G. is an article by Howard Zinn on the First American Revolution, 1776.

Item H. is an article by Arundhati Roy on "the failing light of democracy".

Item I., sent to us my Z Magazine, is an article by Shiva, Vandana on "the politics of hunger".

Item J., sent to us by CEIMSA associate Professor Edward Herman, is an article by Rick Rozoff on the Grand Strategy of a permanent U.S. presence in Southwest Asia, as U.S. troops move into the Caspian Sea Basin.

By way of conclusion, we urge CEIMSA readers to read the July 3 issue of William Blum's Anti-Empire Report :
And finally, George Kenney's interview on Electric Politics with University of Copenhagen Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Niels Harrit, discussing an exotic U.S. military substance, a nano-thermite compound, found in very large quantities at the World Trade Center site is a must listen for skeptics of the official version of the 9/11 story, and for other curious souls.

Francis McCollum Feeley
Professor of American Studies
Director of Research
Université Stendhal Grenoble 3

from Information Clearing House :
Date: 25 February 2003
Subject: Old news, new developments.

The People versus the Powerful is the oldest story in human history. At no point in history have the Powerful wielded so much control. At no point in history has the active and informed involvement of the People, all of them, been more absolutely required.

The Project for the New American Century
by William Rivers Pitt


from The Real News :
Date: 7 July 2009
Subject: "Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order".

Was the recent uprising in Iran a "colored revolution", a genuine movement for democracy - or both?  July 7, 2009.

"Full Spectrum Dominance"
by William Engdahl


from Noam Chomsky :
Date: 10 July 2009
Subject: "Freedom" and "Democracy".

Season of Travesties: Freedom and Democracy in mid-2009

by Chomsky, Noam

June 2009 was marked by a number of significant events, including two elections in the Middle East: in Lebanon, then Iran. The events are significant, and the reactions to them, highly instructive.
The election in Lebanon was greeted with euphoria. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman gushed that he is "a sucker for free and fair elections," so "it warms my heart to watch" what happened in Lebanon in an election that "was indeed free and fair ­ not like the pretend election you are about to see in Iran, where only candidates approved by the Supreme Leader can run. No, in Lebanon it was the real deal, and the results were fascinating: President Barack Obama defeated President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran." Crucially, "a solid majority of all Lebanese -- Muslims, Christians and Druse -- voted for the March 14 coalition led by Saad Hariri," the US-backed candidate and son of the murdered ex-Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, so that "to the extent that anyone came out of this election with the moral authority to lead the next government, it was the coalition that wants Lebanon to be run by and for the Lebanese -- not for Iran, not for Syria and not for fighting Israel." We must give credit where it is due for this triumph of free elections (and of Washington): "Without George Bush standing up to the Syrians in 2005 -- and forcing them to get out of Lebanon after the Hariri killing -- this free election would not have happened. Mr. Bush helped create the space. Power matters. Mr. Obama helped stir the hope. Words also matter."
Two days later Friedman's views were echoed by Eliott Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign relations, formerly a high official of the Reagan and Bush I administrations. Under the heading "Lebanon's Triumph, Iran's Travesty," Abrams compared these "twin tests of [US] efforts to spread democracy to the Muslim world." The lesson is clear: "What the United States should be promoting is not elections, but free elections, and the voting in Lebanon passed any realistic test....the majority of Lebanese have rejected Hezbollah's claim that it is not a terrorist group but a `national resistance'...The Lebanese had a chance to vote against Hezbollah, and took the opportunity."
Reactions were similar throughout the mainstream. There are, however, a few flies in the ointment.
The most prominent of them, apparently unreported in the US, is the actual vote. The Hezbollah-based March 8 coalition won handily, by approximately the same figure as Obama vs. McCain in November 2008, about 54% of the popular vote, according to Ministry of Interior figures. Hence by the Friedman-Abrams argument, we should be lamenting Ahmadinejad's defeat of President Obama, and the "moral authority" won by Hezbollah, as "the majority of Lebanese...took the opportunity" to reject the charges Abrams repeats from Washington propaganda.
Like others, Friedman and Abrams are referring to representatives in Parliament. These numbers are skewed by the confessional voting system, which sharply reduces the seats granted to the largest of the sects, the Shi'ites, who overwhelmingly back Hezbollah and its Amal ally. But as serious analysts have pointed out, the confessional ground rules undermine "free and fair elections" in even more significant ways than this. Assaf Kfoury observes that they leave no space for non-sectarian parties and erect a barrier to introducing socioeconomic policies and other real issues into the electoral system. They also open the door to "massive external interference," low voter turnout, and "vote-rigging and vote-buying," all features of the June election, even more so than before. Thus in Beirut, home of more than half the population, less than a fourth of eligible voters could vote without returning to their usually remote districts of origin. The effect is that migrant workers and the poorer classes are effectively disenfranchised in "a form of extreme gerrymandering, Lebanese style," favoring the privileged and pro-Western classes.
In Iran, the electoral results issued by the Interior Ministry lacked credibility both by the manner in which they were released and by the figures themselves. An enormous popular protest followed, brutally suppressed by the armed forces of the ruling clerics. Perhaps Ahmadinejad might have won a majority if votes had been fairly counted, but it appears that the rulers were unwilling to take that chance. From the streets, correspondent Reese Erlich, who has had considerable experience with popular uprisings and bitter repression in US domains, writes that "It's a genuine Iranian mass movement made up of students, workers, women, and middle class folks" - and possibly much of the rural population.  Eric Hooglund, a respected scholar who has studied rural Iran intensively, dismisses standard speculations about rural support for Ahmadinejad, describing "overwhelming" support for Mousavi in regions he has studied, and outrage over what the large majority there regard as a stolen election.
It is highly unlikely that the protest will damage the clerical-military regime in the short term, but as Erlich observes, it "is sowing the seeds for future struggles."
As in Lebanon, the electoral system itself violates basic rights. Candidates have to be approved by the ruling clerics, who can and do bar policies of which they disapprove. And though repression overall may not be as harsh as in the US-backed dictatorships of the region, it is ugly enough, and in June 2009, very visibly so.
One can argue that Iranian "guided democracy" has structural analogues in the US, where elections are largely bought, and candidates and programs are effectively "vetted" by concentrations of capital. A striking illustration is being played out right now. It is hardly controversial that the disastrous US health system is a high priority for the public, which, for a long time, has favored national health care, an option that has been kept off the agenda by private power. In a limited shift towards the public will, Congress is now debating whether to allow a public option to compete with insurers, a proposal with overwhelming popular support. The opposition, who regard themselves as free market advocates, charge that the proposal would be unfair to the private sector, which will be unable to compete with a more efficient public system.  Though a bit odd, the argument is plausible.  As economist Dean Baker points out, "We know that private insurers can't compete because we already had this experiment with the Medicare program. When private insurers had to compete on a level playing field with the traditional government-run plan they were almost driven from the market." Savings from a government program would be even greater if, as in other countries, the government were permitted to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical corporations, an option supported by 85% of the population but also not on the agenda. "Unless Congress creates a serious public plan," Baker writes, Americans "can expect to be hit with the largest tax increase in the history of the world -- all of it going into the pockets of the health care industry." That is a likely outcome, once again, in the American form of "guided democracy." And it is hardly the only example.
While our thoughts are turned to elections, we should not forget one recent authentically "free and fair" election in the Middle East region, in Palestine in January 2006, to which the US and its allies at once responded with harsh punishment for the population that voted "the wrong way." The pretexts offered were laughable, and the response caused scarcely a ripple on the flood of commentary on Washington's noble "efforts to spread democracy to the Muslim world," a feat that reveals impressive subordination to authority.
No less impressive is the readiness to agree that Israel is justified in imposing a harsh and destructive siege on Gaza, and attacking it with merciless violence using US equipment and diplomatic support, as it did last winter. There of course is a pretext: "the right to self-defense." The pretext has been almost universally accepted in the West, though Israeli actions are sometimes condemned as "disproportionate." The reaction is remarkable, because the pretext collapses on the most cursory inspection. The issue is the right TO USE FORCE in self-defense, and a state has that right only if it has exhausted peaceful means. In this case, Israel has simply refused to use the peaceful means that have been readily available. All of this has been amply discussed elsewhere, and it should be unnecessary to review the simple facts once again.
Once again relying on the impunity it receives as a US client, Israel brought the month of June 2009 to a close by enforcing the siege with a brazen act of hijacking. On June 30, the Israeli navy hijacked the Free Gaza movement boat "Spirit of Humanity" -- in international waters, according to those aboard -- and forced it to the Israeli port of Ashdod. The boat had left from Cyprus, where the cargo was inspected: it consisted of medicines, reconstruction supplies, and toys. The human rights workers aboard included Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire and former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who was sent to Ramleh prison in Israel - apparently without a word from the Obama administration. The crime scarcely elicited a yawn - with some justice, one might argue, since Israel has been hijacking boats travelling between Cyprus and Lebanon for decades, kidnapping and sometimes killing passengers or sending them in Israeli prisons without charge where they join thousands of others, in some cases held for many years as hostages. So why even bother to report this latest outrage by a rogue state and its patron, for whom law is a theme for 4th of July speeches and a weapon against enemies?
Israel's hijacking is a far more extreme crime than anything carried out by Somalis driven to piracy by poverty and despair, and destruction of their fishing grounds by robbery and dumping of toxic wastes - not to speak of the destruction of their economy by a Bush counter-terror operation conceded to have been fraudulent, and a US-backed Ethiopian invasion. The Israeli hijacking is also in violation of a March 1988 international Convention on safety of maritime navigation to which the US is a party, hence required by the Convention to assist in enforcing it. Israel, however, is not a party - which, of course, in no way mitigates the crime or the obligation to enforce the Convention against violators. Israel's failure to join is particularly interesting, since the Convention was partially inspired by the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in 1985. That crime ranks high in Israel and the West among terrorist atrocities -- unlike Israel's US-backed bombing of Tunis a week earlier, killing 75 people, as usual with no credible pretext, but again tolerated under the grant of impunity for the US and its clients.
Possibly Israel chose not to join the Convention because of its regular practice of hijacking boats in international waters at that time. Also worth investigating in connection with the June 2009 hijacking is that since 2000, after the discovery of apparently substantial reserves of natural gas in Gaza's territorial waters by British Gas, Israel has been steadily forcing Gazan fishing boats towards shore, often violently, ruining an industry vital to Gaza's survival. At the same time, Israel has been entering into negotiations with BG to obtain gas from these sources, thus stealing the meager resources of the population it is mercilessly crushing.
The Western hemisphere also witnessed an election-related crime at the month's end. A military coup in Honduras ousted President Manuel Zelaya and expelled him to Costa Rica. As observed by economist Mark Weisbrot, an experienced analyst of Latin American affairs, the social structure of the coup is "a recurrent story in Latin America," pitting "a reform president who is supported by labor unions and social organizations against a mafia-like, drug-ridden, corrupt political elite who is accustomed to choosing not only the Supreme Court and the Congress, but also the president."
Mainstream commentary described the coup as an unfortunate return to the bad days of decades ago. But that is mistaken. This is the third military coup in the past decade, all conforming to the "recurrent story." The first, in Venezuela in 2002, was supported by the Bush administration, which, however, backed down after sharp Latin American condemnation and restoration of the elected government by a popular uprising. The second, in Haiti in 2004, was carried out by Haiti's traditional torturers, France and the US. The elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was spirited to Central Africa and kept at a safe distance from Haiti by the master of the hemisphere.
What is novel in the Honduras coup is that the US has not lent it support. Rather, the US joined with the Organization of American States in opposing the coup, though with a more reserved condemnation than others, and without any action, unlike the neighboring states and much of the rest of Latin America. Alone in the region, the US has not withdrawn its ambassador, as did France, Spain and Italy along with Latin American states.
It was reported that Washington had advance information about a possible coup, and tried to prevent it. It surpasses imagination that Washington did not have close knowledge of what was underway in Honduras, which is highly dependent on US aid, and whose military is armed, trained, and advised by Washington. Military relations have been particularly close since the 1980s, when Honduras was the base for Reagan's terrorist war against Nicaragua.
Whether this will play out as another chapter of the "recurrent story" remains to be seen, and will depend in no small measure on reactions within the United States.

from Democracy Now! :
Date: 8 July 2009
Subject: Israeli military high jacking of former U. S. Congresswoman in December 2008.

Former Congressmember Cynthia McKinney arrived back in the United States Tuesday following her deportation from Israel. McKinney was one of 21 activists seized by the Israeli military in international waters last week as they tried to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. We speak with McKiney and with filmmaker Adam Shapiro who was detained and deported as well.


Fmr. Congressmember Cynthia McKinney Back in U.S.
After Being Detained and Deported from Israel


from Information Clearing House :
Date: 19 April 2006
Subject: Media rhetoric against Iran.

An analysis of media rhetoric on its way to war against Iran - Commenting on the alleged statements of Iran's President Ahmadinejad.

Does Iran's President Want Israel Wiped Off The Map - Does He Deny The Holocaust?
by Anneliese Fikentscher and Andreas Neumann


from The Money Blog :
Date : 19 April 2006
Subject: The true U.S. unemployment rate today.

Not to scare you, but the situation is actually worse than it seems.

from Howard Zinn :
Date: 9 July 2009
Subject: The American Revolution.

Untold Truths About the American Revolution

by Howard Zinn

There are things that happen in the world that are bad, and you want to do something about them. You have a just cause. But our culture is so war prone that we immediately jump from, "This is a good cause" to "This deserves a war."

You need to be very, very comfortable in making that jump.

The American Revolution-independence from England-was a just cause. Why should the colonists here be occupied by and oppressed by England? But therefore, did we have to go to the Revolutionary War?

How many people died in the Revolutionary War?

Nobody ever knows exactly how many people die in wars, but it's likely that 25,000 to 50,000 people died in this one. So let's take the lower figure-25,000 people died out of a population of three million. That would be equivalent today to two and a half million people dying to get England off our backs.

You might consider that worth it, or you might not.

Canada is independent of England, isn't it? I think so. Not a bad society. Canadians have good health care. They have a lot of things we don't have. They didn't fight a bloody revolutionary war. Why do we assume that we had to fight a bloody revolutionary war to get rid of England?

In the year before those famous shots were fired, farmers in Western Massachusetts had driven the British government out without firing a single shot. They had assembled by the thousands and thousands around courthouses and colonial offices and they had just taken over and they said goodbye to the British officials. It was a nonviolent revolution that took place. But then came Lexington and Concord, and the revolution became violent, and it was run not by the farmers but by the Founding Fathers. The farmers were rather poor; the Founding Fathers were rather rich.

Who actually gained from that victory over England? It's very important to ask about any policy, and especially about war: Who gained what? And it's very important to notice differences among the various parts of the population. That's one thing were not accustomed to in this country because we don't think in class terms. We think, "Oh, we all have the same interests." For instance, we think that we all had the same interests in independence from England. We did not have all the same interests.

Do you think the Indians cared about independence from England? No, in fact, the Indians were unhappy that we won independence from England, because England had set a line-in the Proclamation of 1763-that said you couldn't go westward into Indian territory. They didn't do it because they loved the Indians. They didn't want trouble. When Britain was defeated in the Revolutionary War, that line was eliminated, and now the way was open for the colonists to move westward across the continent, which they did for the next 100 years, committing massacres and making sure that they destroyed Indian civilization.

So when you look at the American Revolution, there's a fact that you have to take into consideration. Indians-no, they didn't benefit.

Did blacks benefit from the American Revolution?

Slavery was there before. Slavery was there after. Not only that, we wrote slavery into the Constitution. We legitimized it.

What about class divisions?

Did ordinary white farmers have the same interest in the revolution as a John Hancock or Morris or Madison or Jefferson or the slaveholders or the bondholders? Not really.

It was not all the common people getting together to fight against England. They had a very hard time assembling an army. They took poor guys and promised them land. They browbeat people and, oh yes, they inspired people with the Declaration of Independence. It's always good, if you want people to go to war, to give them a good document and have good words: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Of course, when they wrote the Constitution, they were more concerned with property than life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. You should take notice of these little things.

There were class divisions. When you assess and evaluate a war, when you assess and evaluate any policy, you have to ask: Who gets what?

We were a class society from the beginning. America started off as a society of rich and poor, people with enormous grants of land and people with no land. And there were riots, there were bread riots in Boston, and riots and rebellions all over the colonies, of poor against rich, of tenants breaking into jails to release people who were in prison for nonpayment of debt. There was class conflict. We try to pretend in this country that we're all one happy family. We're not.

And so when you look at the American Revolution, you have to look at it in terms of class.

Do you know that there were mutinies in the American Revolutionary Army by the privates against the officers? The officers were getting fine clothes and good food and high pay and the privates had no shoes and bad clothes and they weren't getting paid. They mutinied. Thousands of them. So many in the Pennsylvania line that George Washington got worried, so he made compromises with them. But later when there was a smaller mutiny in the New Jersey line, not with thousands but with hundreds, Washington said execute the leaders, and they were executed by fellow mutineers on the order of their officers.

The American Revolution was not a simple affair of all of us against all of them. And not everyone thought they would benefit from the Revolution.

We've got to rethink this question of war and come to the conclusion that war cannot be accepted, no matter what the reasons given, or the excuse: liberty, democracy; this, that. War is by definition the indiscriminate killing of huge numbers of people for ends that are uncertain. Think about means and ends, and apply it to war. The means are horrible, certainly. The ends, uncertain. That alone should make you hesitate.

Once a historical event has taken place, it becomes very hard to imagine that you could have achieved a result some other way. When something is happening in history it takes on a certain air of inevitability: This is the only way it could have happened. No.

We are smart in so many ways. Surely, we should be able to understand that in between war and passivity, there are a thousand possibilities.

from Arundhati Roy :
Date: 9 March 2008
Subject: Democracy's failing light.

Democracy's Failing Light

by Arundhati Roy


From ZMag :
Date: 9 July 2009
Subject: The politics of hunger.

Proposed Food Security Act : Blindspots and Biases

by Vandana Shiva

The proposed introduction of a Food Security Act by the UPA Government is a welcome step. The Right to Food is the basis of the Right to life, and Art.21 of the Constitution guarantees the right to life of all Indian citizens.

Given that India has emerged as the capital of hunger, given that per capita consumption has 178 kg in 1991, the beginning of the period of economic reforms, to 155 kg in 200-2003, and daily calorie consumption of the bottom 25 percent of the population has decreased from 1683 k.cal in 1987-88 to 1624 k.cal in 2004-05, against a national norm of 2400 and 2011 k cal/day for rural and urban areas respectively, a response on the food in security front is a response to a national emergency.

However, the approach to food security has a number of blind spots and biases.

Blind Spots:

Where does one food come from? How is it produced?

The biggest blind spot is neglecting food production and food producers as a core element of food security, from the household to the national level. You cannot provide food to people if you do not first ensure that food is produced in adequate quantities. And to ensure food production, the livelihood of food producers must be ensured. The right of food producers to produce food is the foundation of food security. This right has internationally evolved through the concept of "food sovereignty". In Navdanya we refer to it as Anna Swaraj.

Food Sovereignty is derived from socio-economic human rights, which include the right to food and the right to produce food for rural communities. As Peter Rosset has recently written in Monthly Rview July - August, 2007 (Fixing Our Global Food System) "Food Sovereignty argues that feeding a nations people is an issue of national security - of sovereignty, if you will. If the population of a country must depend for their next meal on the vagaries and price swings of the global economy, on the good will of a superpower not to use food as a weapon, or on the unpredictability and high cost of long-distance shipping, then the country is not secure, neither in the sense of national security, nor in the sense of food security. Food sovereignty thus goes beyond the concept of food security, which says nothing about where food comes from, or how it is produced. To achieve genuine sovereignty, people in rural areas must have access to productive land and receive prices for their crops that allow them to make a decent living while feeding the nations people.

Two aspects of food security have disappeared in the current approach - firstly, the right to produce food, and secondly national food security. Both are aspects of food sovereignty, one at the level of food producers and the other at the level of the country as a whole.

Any country risks genuine food security if it ignores food is higher because two thirds of our population is involved in agriculture and food production, our small farmers produce food for the country and have provided a nation of 1.2 billion with food security, and today they themselves are in distress.

The most tragic face of the agrarian crisis the country is facing are the suicides of over 200,000 farmers over the past decade. If our food producers do not survive, where is the nation's food security?

The second reason why India cannot afford to ignore the crisis of our  food producers is because our rural communities face a deep crisis of hunger. Globally too, half of the hungry people of the world today are food producers. This is directly related to the capital intensive, chemical intensive, high external input systems of food production introduced as the Green Revolution, and the second Green Revolution. Farmers must get into debt to buy costly inputs, and indebted farmers must sell what they produce to pay back the debt. Hence the paradox and irony of food producers being the highest number of hungry people in India and in the world. Farmers suicides too are linked to the same process of indebtedness due to high costs of inputs.

The solution to the hunger of producer communities is to shift to low cost sustainable agriculture production based on principles of agro ecology. And contrary to the false perception that small farmers and sustainable systems do not produce enough, data from India and other parts of the world establishes that small farmers have higher output than large farms, that biodiverse organic farms have high food output than chemical monocultures. This is also confirmed by the IAASTD report.

This food sovereignty of rural producers addresses hunger of rural communities as well as the hunger of those they feed. And for the same reasons, corporate farming and contract farming are false solutions in the context of the hunger and malnutrition crisis facing the country. As is the corporate take over of food processing and attempted hijack of our food security programmes such as ICDS and Mid Day Meal Schemes.


The Governments policies are biased in favour of the corporate sector. The proposal to shift from the PDS system to the food stamp or food voucher systems arises from this corporate bias. The assumption is that corporations will control the food supply, and the government will enable the poor to buy from corporations on the basis of food stamps and vouchers. However, the poor will then be condemned to the least nutritious unhealthy food as has happened in countries like the U.S

As Tolstoy put it when he was involved in setting up soup kitchens during the Russian famine of 1891-1892, he despaired that they were "distributing the vomit, regurgitated by the rich"

A food security system that does not include food sovereignty and that does not build public food systems must condemn the poor to food unfit for humans. This is what happened when India imported pest weed, pesticide infested wheat two years ago. The Chennai Port Authority, and the Maharashtra Government both said that wheat was unfit for human consumption.

The present paradigm has the bias that the poor can eat bad food. Good food is only for the rich.

However food security includes the right to safe, healthy, culturally appropriate and economically affordable food. Food stamps cannot guarantee this.  Further, the PDS ystem is not a one sided system. It is both a food procurement and food distribution system. Its dismantling and substitution by food vouchers will erode the food sovereignty of producers, abandon them to the vagaries of the market and finally destroy their livelihoods.

Adding 650 million rural people to the displaced and hungry will create a hunger problem no government and no market can solve.

That is why we must strengthen food sovereignty and the PDS system to strengthen food security.

Anti Constitution

The proposals of the Government that the centre will identify the poor goes against the federal structure of India's Constitution. As Chief Minister of Punjab Prakash Singh Badal has recently said (Indian Express 5.7.06) "States have to go like beggars to the centre for everything. We have been reduced to glorified municipalities".

A national food security systems needs to be based on the Constitution. Decentralisation is key to ensuring good and abundant food is produced on every farm and reaches every kitchen. Centralisation and corporate hijack of food go hand in hand. Decentralisation and food sovereignty go hand in hand.

from Edward Herman :
Date: 10 July 2009
Subject: West's Afghan War And Drive Into Caspian Sea Basin.

Long, important, and painful.

West's Afghan War And Drive Into Caspian Sea Basin
Rick Rozoff
The Pentagon and its NATO allies have launched the largest combat offensive to date in their nearly eight-year war in South Asia - Operation Khanjar (Strike of the Sword) with 4,000 US Marines, attack helicopters and tanks and Operation Panchai Palang (Panther's Claw) with several hundred British engaged in airborne assaults - in the Afghan province of Helmand.

The American effort is the largest ground combat operation conducted by Washington in Asia since the Vietnam War.

Other NATO and allied nations have also boosted or intend to increase their troop strength in Afghanistan, with German forces to exceed 4,000 for the first time, Romanian troops to top 1,000 and contingents to be augmented from dozens of other NATO member and partner states, including formerly neutral Finland and Sweden.

The US, NATO, NATO's Partnership for Peace and Contact Countries and other allied nations - states as diverse as Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Macedonia - have some 90,000 troops in Afghanistan, all under the command of America's General Stanley A. McChrystal, former head of the Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and a counterinsurgency master hand. The Afghan-Pakistani war theater resembles the Vietnam War in more than one manner.

The US troop contingent has nearly doubled since last year, more than quintupled in five years, and will be in the neighborhood of 70,000 soldiers by year's end.

Concurrent with the ongoing offensive the US has fired missiles from aerial drones into Pakistan in the two deadliest strikes of the type ever in that country, killing 65 and 50 people in two recent attacks.

Large-scale government military operations on the Pakistani side of the border, coordinated with the Pentagon through its new Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell and with NATO through the Trilateral Afghanistan-Pakistan-NATO Military Commission, have uprooted and displaced well in excess of two million civilians, the largest population dislocation in Pakistan since the 1947 partition of British India.

Pentagon And NATO Fan Out From Afghanistan To Central Asia.

Complementing and extending the escalating war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Pentagon and NATO have also intensified initiatives to expand their military networks not only in South but also Central Asia and in the littoral states of the Caspian Sea.

On June 24-25 NATO held the first Security Forum of its Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) in Central Asia, the first outside of Europe in fact, in the capital of Kazakhstan, which borders both Russia and China and possesses the largest proven reserves of oil and natural gas in Central Asia and among Caspian Sea states aside from Russia and Iran.

The meeting gathered together the defense chiefs of 50 nations, 28 full NATO members and 22 partners; that is, from over a quarter of the world's 192 nations.

One report of the summit succinctly summarized its main focus  as "reviewing the security situation, with special emphasis on Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Caucasus region, and of energy stability." [1]

With the arrival of the Barack Obama administration in Washington this January 20th and its emphasis on shifting US focus and forces from Iraq to Afghanistan, top Pentagon officials have paid a number of visits to the South Caucasus and Central Asia to arrange logistics for the war in South Asia and to solicit not only transit and basing rights but also troop commitments from former Soviet republics like Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

The Pentagon has recently regained use of the Manas Airbase in Kyrgyzstan where an estimated 200,000 US and NATO troops have passed through since the beginning of the Afghan war. An unnamed Russian official recently said of that development: "The real character of the US military presence in Central Asia has not changed, which goes against Russian interests and our agreement with the Kyrgyz leadership." [2]

A Kazakh account of last month's NATO meeting in the capital of Astana noted that "NATO is seeking to deepen cooperation with its partner countries in Central Asia - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan." [3]

As a reminder of the significance of the meeting and its location the report added: "The EAPC Security Forum for the first time will be held on the post-Soviet territory and Asian continent in general...."

NATO's outgoing secretary general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, speaking in the dual capacity characteristic of his post, that of Alliance leader and that of a Pentagon mouthpiece, confirmed this: "As you know, the new American leadership and President Barack Obama are launching several initiatives in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Middle East region." [4]

He also didn't fail to highlight the role of the host country and the Caspian region in general regarding several unprecedented oil and natural gas projects beginning in Kazakhstan and running over and under the Caspian Sea to the South Caucasus, Asia Minor, the Balkans, Ukraine, Central Europe and the Baltic Sea, in some instances linking up with Iraq, Egypt and Israel.

During the EAPC summit Scheffer told reporters: "My presence here today means that cooperation between NATO and Kazakhstan is deepening." [5]

The official NATO website quoted Scheffer as saying "Today, Kazakhstan is NATO's most active Partner in the Central Asian region. We have also achieved solid progress in defence and military co-operation, particularly in enhancing the ability of our military forces to work together." [6]

With fifty defense chiefs attending the two day meeting, the scope of discussions dwelt primarily but not exclusively with Central and South Asia.

Eastern Caspian, South Caucasus And Arc Of Past Decade's Wars.

The network of military 'lily pad' bases, transit routes (land, air, sea), multinational and integrated war games and training that NATO has consolidated and conducted from the Balkans to nations bordering China like Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Kazakhstan over the past ten years has been documented in an earlier article, Mr. Simmons' Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border. [7]

The role of Azerbaijan on the eastern shore of the Caspian has been discussed in Azerbaijan And The Caspian: NATO's War For The World's Heartland [8], though much has occurred there recently.

The Western expeditionary military New Silk Road parallels trans-Eurasian energy transit projects also running from the Balkans to Central Asia, with troops and arms moving eastward and oil and natural gas going in the opposite direction.

The trajectory is more significantly and ominously the same as that of the major wars of the past decade in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Iraq and the South Caucasus. An 'arc of instability' indeed, though not so much cause as effect of Western military aggression.

At the NATO summit in Kazakhstan the individual most substantively tasked to effect this triple passageway, through Republican and Democratic administrations in Washington alike, the NATO Secretary General's Special Representative to Central Asia and the South Caucasus Robert Simmons, an American - addressing among others representatives from all fifteen former Soviet republics - said about the results of last August's five-day war between Georgia and Russia that "We believe that the presence of Russian troops is inappropriate....Russia's military contingent should be withdrawn from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as today it is greater than it was before the conflict erupted." [9]

Simmons has recruited an initial force of 500 Georgia troops, veterans of the Iraqi occupation and last year's war in South Ossetia, trained by US Green Berets and the Marine Corps, for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has dragooned additional Azerbaijani soldiers for the same purpose as well. Both the above South Caucasus nations will play an enhanced role in the transit of Western troops and materiel to the war zone, too.

Turkmenistan: Final Link In Caspian, Central Asian Energy And Military Plans.

Earlier this week the George Soros Open Society Institute news site Eurasianet featured an article on Turkmenistan, which lies on the southeast corner of the Caspian Sea and which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

It includes the observation that "Turkmenistan is quietly developing into a major transport hub for the northern supply network, which is being used to relay non-lethal supplies to US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The Pentagon has confirmed a small contingent of US military personnel now operates in Ashgabat [the capital city]...."

According to the Pentagon's Defense Energy Support Center, Turkmenistan is "invaluable to the success of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom."

A US Defense Department spokesman added that "the Government of Turkmenistan now allows the US overflights" and "the Turkmen government permits the presence of US troops on its territory."

The Eurasianet piece also says that the Turkmen government has offered the US the use of the "sprawling ex-Soviet air base at Mary," close to Afghanistan and even closer to Iran. [10]

Four days before the above article appeared the U.S Energy Department for Russia and Eurasia Deputy Director Meryl Burpoe was in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan, where she said, "The U.S. Energy Department completely supports the idea of diversifying gas export routes from Turkmenistan."

By diversification is meant cutting off Turkmen hydrocarbons to Russian pipelines and routing them to the Western-controlled Nabucco and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum {Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey) natural gas and the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipelines which deliberately bypass Russia, Armenia and Iran and are explicitly designed to drive Russia and Iran as producer nations out of the European energy market. A policy that, were it to be attempted against NATO member states, would be viewed not only as a hostile action but a veritable act of war.

On the same day as Burpoe made her statement the government of Turkmenistan announced an unprecedented move, that it had put up 32 Caspian oil and gas field units for international tenders. Bidders include Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Marathon, Midland Oil & Gas, the British British Petroleum, the German RWE, Austrian OMV, Norwegian Statoil Hydro and French Total. [11]

According to estimates of the American WesternGeco Geophysical Company "the Turkmen sector of the Caspian Sea [contains] up 11 billion tons of oil and 5.5 trillion cubic meters of gas, in addition to the already contracted units." [12]

A few days earlier the Special Envoy of the US Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy, Richard Morningstar, made a trip to Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

Regarding the Turkmen leg of the journey, Morningstar "said the progress reached at the meetings exceeded his expectations. He said the stopping of gas transportation via the Turkmenistan-Russia pipeline was one of the possible reasons for the results achieved in Ashgabat." [13]

How broad the US-led energy transit campaign against Russia is will be seen in three days:

"An inter-governmental agreement on the Nabucco project envisaging natural gas supplies from the basin of the Caspian Sea to Europe avoiding Russia will be signed in Ankara on July 13....Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Iraq are considered as among potential energy resources for Nabucco. The US stands against Iran's participation in Nabucco's realization but supports gas transportation to Europe from Iraq." [14]

Recent moves by the US and NATO directly across the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan replicate and complement those in Turkmenistan and the other four Central Asian nations.

This very day the US State Department's Under Secretary for Political Affairs William Burns and Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg are in the capital of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan: US, NATO Front Line Aimed At Karabakh, Armenia, Iran.

In late June the Commander of U.S. Marine Forces Europe and Africa (dual commands), Major General Tracy Garrett, was in the capital of Azerbaijan to solidify "mutual support on regional security issues" and stated: "I am responsible for the United States' security in Europe and African
countries, including in Azerbaijan. The U.S. wants to cooperate with Azerbaijan in the field of land forces." [15]

To indicate what US-Azerbaijani cooperation in developing the second's army entails, on the very day that the above quote was reported and presumably while the US Marine commander was still present in the country, the nation's president, Ilham Aliyev, said: "Today, our army is the mightiest army of this region. In case of necessity, we can use our military power to restore Azerbaijan's territorial integrity....The war has not ended yet. Only the first stage of the war ended." [16]

Aliyev referred to the lingering dispute with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh. Armenia is an ally of Russia; both are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and Russia has a small continent of troops in the country.

Armenia is also allied with Iran, which it borders. Otherwise it is encircled by the NATO Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan axis discussed shortly.

As the Deputy Head of the Working Group of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Federation Council of Russia Ramil Latypov mentioned four days ago, "Formed by three countries, a so-called strategic axis - Russia-Armenia-Iran - in fact has a major stabilizing influence in the Caucasus.

"Created to oppose the NATO axis of Turkey-Georgia-Azerbaijan, [which] on the contrary, in order to solve its own and the American-European geo-strategic tasks, NATO is trying to drive a wedge between Russia and Armenia, as well as between Iran and Armenia, using every method, including military ones." [17]

Softening The Ground: 'Color Revolutions,' NATO's Fifth Column And Trojan Horse.

Revealingly, Latypov also noted that "the Iranian nation has learned the correct lesson from the events in Ukraine and Georgia, as well as taking into account the lessons learnt by Armenia, in March 2008.

"Calling people to rallies the main Armenian 'fighter for freedom' [opposition leader] Levon Ter-Petrossian, and his Iranian counterpart, do not understand that they are only pawns in the struggle of Western countries for resources and the financial flows from the East and Asia....

"They rather showed that the three countries should develop a unified system of mutual support, triggered when external forces try to destabilize the internal political situation." [18]

He is not the first to remark the resemblance between the so-called Green Revolution in Iran and its predecessors in Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Belarus, Iraq, Myanmar, Venezuela, Armenia and Moldova: The Rose, Chestnut/Orange, Tulip, Cedar, Denim, Purple, Saffron/Maroon, White, Daffodil and Twitter uprisings, respectively.

The Iranian Mehr News agency claimed: "Half a year before the Iranian presidential elections, the CIA was preparing an orange revolution scenario. CIA agents met Iranian oppositionists and gave them instructions in Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kuwait and the UAE [United Arab Emirates].

"The Woodrow Wilson Center and Soros Foundation are accused of setting up an Iranian revolution plan and providing $32 million funding to fulfill the strategy." [19]

As the Russian senator mentioned above, attempts to destabilize Iran, Armenia and Russia are related and if one of the three is pulled into the Western orbit the others will suffer. Armenia and Iran are the only buffers Russia has to its south in the greater Caucasus region, otherwise being ringed in by NATO states and partners from the Baltic to the Caspian.

On June 25 Nikolae Ureku, the Romanian ambassador to Azerbaijan and NATO liaison to the country, said to the participants of a roundtable on NATO's role in the European security system that "Azerbaijan's future cooperation with NATO will be in the field of protection of energy resources and naval forces." [20]

Again, Western military forces move east as energy supplies move west.

New War Threat In Southern Caucasus As Pentagon Shores Up Azerbaijani Armed Forces.

From June 15-25 Azerbaijan conducted large-scale war games with a title that could not be misconstrued in either Nagorno Karabakh or Armenia, Restoration of the Territorial Integrity of the Republic of Azerbaijan, which consisted of "more than 4,000 military personnel, 99 tanks, 55 armoured fighting vehicles, 123 artillery systems, 12 fighters, 12 military helicopters and 4 battle helicopters...." [21]

Former president of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic President Arkadi Ghukasyan said on July 9 that "Aliyev keeps threatening war even if he speaks of peace." [22]

Immediately preceding this dress rehearsal for a new Caucasus war that would almost inevitably draw in Armenia, Russia, Iran, Turkey and through Turkey NATO and the United States, the US held a five-day workshop in the Azerbaijani capital on Strategic Defense Survey and Final Document Support conducted "in accordance with the bilateral cooperation plan." [23]

Azeri military personnel will also attend the "second half of the US Mobile Exercise Group's maritime operation course on July 26-31, Joint Combat Readiness training in Oklahoma on July 14-22 and US-Azerbaijan consultations in Washington DC, on July 29-30." [24]

On June 29 the NATO International School in Azerbaijan launched a conference on maritime security; that is, on the Caspian Sea.

Four days later US Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson conducted an interview with a new agency in Azerbaijan in which she stated: "Azerbaijan is one of the most important strategic allies in the Caucasus region for the United States....Azerbaijan is in a very serious and dangerous neighborhood with Russia and Iran." [25]

On July 8 the Azerbaijani ambassador to the United States, Yashar Aliyev, confirmed that his nation and the US are to hold defense consultations in Washington in late July and that "The current situation of military cooperation between the two countries and its prospects will be discussed during the consultations." [26]

The next day the Azerbaijani defense minister hosted Oklahoma National Guard Mayor General Myles Deering and their meeting "focused on U.S.-Azerbaijan relations, development of military cooperation and exchange of views on the military and political situation in the region." [27]

Earlier this week the nation's Defense Ministry announced that it was preparing a new Military Doctrine and that "NATO has given a positive review on the project of the Military Doctrine of Azerbaijan." [28]

NATO will hold a 28+1 (28 current Alliance members and Azerbaijan) meeting in Brussels on July 15.

Azerbaijan's defense minister said that "representatives of the Defense Ministry, State Border Service and other services will...participate at the event.

"Cooperation issues on different spheres between Azerbaijan and NATO will be in the focus of attention at the meeting." [29]

Israel Treads Road To Caspian Paved By NATO, Arms Azerbaijan And Georgia For War.

On June 28 Israeli President Shimon Peres and a delegation including Defense Ministry Director-General Pinhas Buchris began a journey to the Caspian region with a visit to Azerbaijan. They left that country for Kazakhstan, four days after the NATO summit there ended.

"The visit [was] the first official government visit of senior Israeli figures to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan since diplomatic relations were normalized in the 90s." [30]

In Azerbaijan Peres discussed energy cooperation and said of it that "It has both economic and political aspects." [31]

An Armenian news site in a report called "Israel rearms Azerbaijani army" divulged these details of the visit:

"The Israeli defense company Elta Systems Ltd will cooperate with Azerbaijan in the field of satellite systems. Recently, the company announced the creation of the TecSAR satellite.

"According to Azerbaijani military experts, this is an indispensable system for military operations in a mountainous terrain. Given the landscape of Nagorno Karabakh, the system is simply indispensable."

The source also mentioned that Israel would provide its military partner with Namer {Leopard) Armored Infantry Fighting Vehicles and that "Israel and Azerbaijan plan to cooperate in other areas of the defense industry, in particular an agreement has been reached over the construction of a factory for intelligence and combat drones." [32]

Israel supplied neighboring Georgia with drones for its war with Russia last August.

At the time Georgian Reintegration Minister Temur Yakobashvili (trained in Britain and the US) told Israel Army Radio "Israel should be proud of its military, which trained Georgian soldiers.

"We killed 60 Russian soldiers just yesterday. The Russians have lost more than 50 tanks, and we have shot down 11 of their planes. They have sustained enormous damage in terms of manpower." [33]

Yakobashvili's figures may have been hyperbolical but his assessment of Israel's role in arming Georgia's burgeoning military was not.

Not only Armenia and Russia are threatened by increased Azerbaijani-Israeli military cooperation. The Jerusalem Post reported on July 1 in a story titled "Israel gains ground in Central Asia":

"President Shimon Peres's landmark visit to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan this week represents a significant advance for Israeli ambitions in Central Asia. In the wake of the recent decision to permit Israel to open an embassy in the Turkmen capital of Ashghabad, the visit reflects the importance Jerusalem attaches to this strategically significant part of what is sometimes known as the 'greater Middle East.'" [34]

The piece went on to say that "With regard to containing Teheran, relations with Shi'ite Azerbaijan, which shares a border with Iran, are of particular significance. Azerbaijan has close ethnic links with Iran. Far more Azeris live in Iran than in Azerbaijan itself.

"Israeli defense industries have made very significant inroads. Israel played the central role in rebuilding and modernizing the Azeri military after its losses in Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Israel is reported to maintain listening and surveillance posts on the
Azerbaijan-Iran border...." [35]

Iran recalled its ambassador to Azerbaijan after Peres' trip and shortly thereafter invited the Armenian defense minister to Tehran.

Russian analyst Andrei Areshev was quoted by an Armenian news source earlier in the week as saying "Israeli experts have been carrying out purposeful work to strengthen relations with Azerbaijan. Israel is fortifying positions in the Caucasus, it's obvious. Let's not forget that Israeli specialists trained the Georgian military before the attack on South Ossetia."

"It's unclear whether Israel plays its own game or acts as an agent of
another power wishing the destabilization of Russia and Iran. At that, it would be naive to think that the intensification of Baku-Tel Aviv relations is still a secret for Iran and Arab states." [36]

In an Azerbaijani news report called "Israeli air force to join overseas exercises with eye on Iran," it was revealed that the Israeli Air Force "will take part later this year in a joint aerial exercise with a NATO-member state, which is yet to be identified" and Israeli defense officials were quoted as saying that "the overseas exercises would be used to drill long- range maneuvers." [37]

Last week Israel for the first time brought one of its German-made Dolphin submarines through the Suez Canal "as a show of strategic reach in the face of Iran...."

"Each German-made Dolphin has 10 torpedo tubes, four of them widened at Israel's request - to accommodate, some independent analysts believe, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles." [38]

Last Sunday US Vice President Joseph Biden was asked on a television interview "whether the U.S. would stand in the way if the Israelis...decided to launch a military attack against Iranian nuclear facilities," to which he responded:

"Look, we cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do." [39]

Thirty Year Afghan War, Twenty Year World Conflict With No End In Sight.

The US has been engaged in hostilities against and armed conflict in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan for over thirty years, starting with the training and arming of a surrogate armed force no later than 1978, prior to the arrival of the first Soviet troops in the nation in December of 1979.

Four days ago Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari recalled the incontestable fact that "The terrorists of today were the heroes of yesteryear until 9/11 occurred...." [40] Heroes not only to the Pakistani political, military and intelligence elite but to their American sponsors as well.

In a genuine sense the US is now engaged in year thirty two of its South Asian war.

The current, direct war being waged in Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan can also be seen as the twentieth year of a war that commenced as the Cold War ended. The amassing by the US, all its major NATO allies and assorted minor clients of as many as three-quarters of a million troops for Operation Desert Shield in 1990 was the opening salvo. After the following year's Operation Desert Storm and its devastating, overwhelming assault on Iraq military forces in Kuwait and on Iraq itself, then US President George G.W. Bush announced the creation of a New World Order and the war front moved, inexorably and unremittingly, to new theaters.

Almost immediately after the carnage on the Highway of Death and in the Amiriyah shelter ended the US and its NATO allies shifted their application of military force to the Balkans (Croatia, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Macedonia) and since then have waged, directed and assisted armed conflicts - individually, multilaterally, collectively and by proxy - in the Middle East (Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza), the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Djibouti-Eritrea), Africa west of the Horn (Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Congo, Chad, the Central African Republic, Sudan, Mali), the Caucasus (Georgia-South Ossetia/Russia), South Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan) and as far away as the Philippines in Southeast Asia and Colombia in South America.

The current main front in this global campaign is Afghanistan, NATO's first ground war and the US's longest war since Vietnam. A war that will be eight years old this October and that is escalating daily with no end in sight.

A war that has already pulled in troops from 45 nations in four continents and has extended itself through bases, troop transit and military operations to several other countries - Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - with the logistical theater of operations slated to expand to the Baltic Sea, the South Caucasus and even over the skies of Russia.

The routes used for the transportation of troops, military hardware and supplies are those envisioned and commenced by the United States fifteen years ago in relation to anticipated hydrocarbon transit projects which are only now reaching fruition. Projects utterly dependent on oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea Basin. The Caspian is where the US and NATO drive for military expansion into Asia meets up with an equally ambitious campaign to monopolize control of energy supplies for all of Europe and much of South and Far East Asia.

In anticipation of this past Monday's meeting of American and Russian presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev, a Russian commentator averred that "presidents come and go - while NATO's Drang nach Osten continues inexorably." [41]

1) Makfax, June 24, 2009
2) Press TV, June 24, 2009
3) New Europe/Kazinform, July 5, 2009
4) Ibid
5) Trend News Agency, June 25, 2009
6) NATO International,June 24, 2009
7) Stop NATO, March 4, 2009
   Correction: For Pora read Otpor
8) Stop NATO, June 10, 2009
9) Trend News Agency, June 25, 2009
10) EurasiaNet, July 8, 2009
11) Trend News Agency, July 4, 2009
12) Ibid
13) Azeri Press Agency, June 24, 2009
14) Trend News Agency, July 3, 2009
15) Trend News Agency, June 24, 2009
16) Azeri Press Agency, June 24, 2009
17) PanArmenian.net, July 6, 2009
18) Ibid
19) PanArmenian.net, June 29, 2009
20) Azeri Press Agency, June 25, 2009
21) Azeri Press Agency, June 27, 2009
22) PanArmenian.net, July 9, 2009
23) Azeri Press Agency, July 1, 2009
24) Ibid
25) Trend News Agency, July 3, 2009
26) Azeri Press Agency, July 8, 2009
27) Today.az, July 9, 2009
28) AzerTag, July 8, 2009
29) Azeri Press Agency, July 9, 2009
30) Ynetnews (Israel), June 28, 2009
31) Trend News Agency, June 29, 2009
32) PanArmenian.net, June 30, 2009
33) World Tribune, August 11, 2008
34) Jerusalem Post, July 1, 2009
35) Ibid
36) PanArmenian.net, July 6, 2009
37) Trend News Agency, July 6, 2009
38) Trend News Agency, July 3, 2009
39) Trend News Agency, July 5, 2009
40) The Hindu, July 9, 2009
41) Russian Information Agency Novosti, July 3, 2009