miércoles, 28 de febrero de 2018
Rescatamos cuatro perlitas de una de nuestras fuentes habituales de información sobre Medio Oriente, el sitio web libanés Al Manar. Recuerde el lector que cuando la prensa corporativa de Occidente no habla de Medio Oriente, no es que no pase nada, sino que las cosas no marchan como deberían. Acá van:
Título: Ejército sirio toma zonas estratégicas en el este de la Guta Oriental
Texto: El Ejército ruso [N. de A.: sic por sirio, suponemos] lanzó un poderoso ataque el martes por la noche contra los terroristas en la Guta Oriental, registrando importantes avances.
La operación fue precedida de un intenso bombardeo de la Fuerza Aérea rusa contra los militantes. Ella se centró en las posiciones fortificadas del grupo terrorista Yaish al Islam cerca de las ciudades de Al Shifuniyah y Haush Dawahira.
Las tropas sirias, lideradas por las unidades de élite de la Inteligencia de la Fuerza Aérea, rompieron las líneas defensivas del Yaish al Islam y tomaron grandes áreas en la región.
Durante el avance, Haush al Dawahira fue capturada junto con sus granjas y también lo fue la estratégica Rotonda de Shifuniya, situada justo al sur de Duma, que es la capital de los terroristas en la Guta Oriental y el principal bastión y base de operaciones del Yaish al Islam.
El grupo Yaish al Islam se encuentra ahora en serios problemas debido a la intensidad de los ataques que sufre en varios frentes. El pasado domingo, el grupo perdió las localidades de Salhiya, Tal Firzat, Hazrama y Nashabiyah y sus posiciones en el suroeste de la Guta Oriental han sido totalmente destruidas.
Ahora, los avances en el norte de Shifuniya y Haush al Dawahira amenazan con provocar un total colapso de las defensas del grupo en el este de la Guta Oriental y cortar sus comunicaciones y líneas logísticas con el centro de la región.
Toma de la localidad de Shifuniyah
Las fuerzas sirias penetraron también el miércoles en la localidad de Shifuniya y atacado las posiciones de los militantes dentro de la misma. La ciudad podría quedar limpia de terroristas en las próximas horas, pese a la encarnizada resistencia de estos últimos.
Si el Yaish al Islam no logra retener el control de Shifuniyah, todas las localidades y granjas al sur de dicha población caerán en poder de las Fuerzas del Tigre y ello podría llevar al cerco de Duma.
Título: El rey saudí destituye a la cúpula de su Ejército
Texto: El rey de Arabia Saudí, Salman, ha destituido a los jefes militares del reino en medio del conflicto de Yemen, que se ha convertido en una sangría en hombres y recursos económicas.
Citando varios decretos reales, la agencia oficial de prensa saudí SPA anunció el lunes la “terminación de los servicios del general Abdul Rahman bin Saleh al Bunyan, jefe del Estado Mayor”.
La agencia añadió que Fayyad al Ruwaili será nombrado nuevo jefe de Estado Mayor.
El director de las fuerzas terrestres y el de la defensa antiaérea han sido igualmente reemplazados.
Ninguna razón ha sido dada para esta decisión, pero ella se produce en un momento en el que la guerra contra Yemen se acerca a su tercer año. En este sentido, los analistas vinculan las destituciones a las derrotas sufridas por los saudíes en dicho conflicto. Las decenas de ataques contra el Ejército saudí llevados a cabo en la línea del frente por las fuerzas del Ejército yemení y Ansarulá habrían llevado al rey saudí a emitir tal decreto.
Desde marzo de 2015, el régimen saudí ha estado bombardeando Yemen como parte de una campaña brutal para dominar el vecino del sur e reinstalar como presidente a Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi, un firme aliado de Riad.
La campaña saudí ha matado a al menos 13.600 personas desde el inicio. Asimismo, numerosas infraestructuras del país, incluyendo hospitales, escuelas y fábricas han sido igualmente bombardeadas.
Algunos observadores, han señalado que esta purga del alto mando militar sigue las mismas pautas que la llevada a cabo contra príncipes de la familia real y empresarios en los pasados meses y su objetivo real es fortalecer al príncipe heredero, Mohammed bin Salman.
Según tales observadores, Bin Salman teme un golpe de estado en el país, que sufre una grave crisis política y económica. El famoso tuitero saudí Mujtahid reveló hace unos días que el estado mental de Mohammed bin Salman se deteriora y él vive en un constante temor a ser asesinado, en especial por envenenamiento.
Título: Pentágono: Los S-300 y S-400 rusos han puesto fin a la hegemonía de EEUU en Oriente Medio
Texto: Según el Pentágono, el creciente número de misiles antiaéreos rusos en Oriente Medio -donde países como Siria, Iraq, Irán o Turquía están adquiriendo S-300 o S-400- está eliminando el dominio de las Fuerzas Aéreas de EEUU y neutralizando la hegemonía de ese país en la región.
En una reunión de la Comisión de las Fuerzas Armadas de la Cámara de Representantes de los EEUU, Joseph Votel, comandante en jefe del Comando Central, dijo que Rusia estaba desafiando el control del tráfico aéreo de los EEUU en Oriente Medio.
En su informe de 45 páginas al Comité de Fuerzas Armadas de la Cámara de Representantes, el general Votel afirmó que Irán, Rusia y China estaban entre las amenazas mundiales más importantes para la hegemonía de EEUU.
“Rusia está en condiciones de debilitar la posición del liderazgo de Washington en la escena internacional. El aumento en el número de misiles antiaéreos rusos (S-300, S-400) en Oriente Medio ha desafiado la capacidad de EEUU para dominar el espacio aéreo de la región”, dijo el general estadounidense en su informe.
Él describió como “destructivo” el papel de Rusia en Siria, ignorando el hecho de que Rusia está presente en Siria a pedido del gobierno sirio, mientras que EEUU lidera una coalición que se interfiere en Siria ilegalmente sin la aprobación de gobierno de Damasco. El secretario de Estado de EEUU, Rex Tillerson, dijo que era “crucial para nuestro interés nacional” mantener una presencia militar y diplomática “indefinida” en Siria en violación de la soberanía de ese país y del Derecho Internacional.
Título: Iraq quiere trabajar con las compañías energéticas rusas
Texto: Las autoridades de Bagdad están interesadas en incrementar la presencia de las compañías energéticas rusas en su mercado, declaró el ministro de Exteriores del país, Ibrahim Yaafari, al intervenir en una sesión de la comisión intergubernamental ruso-iraquí.
“Comprendemos que podremos superar los obstáculos para que las empresas energéticas de Rusia tengan una mayor presencia en nuestro mercado”, dijo el ministro.
Precisó que tras la victoria sobre los terroristas Irak debe restaurar todo lo que fue destruido.
“En este ámbito contamos con el apoyo de nuestros amigos, sobre todo, de Rusia, en la restauración del país después de que ayudara a vencer el terrorismo”, agrego Yaafari.
martes, 27 de febrero de 2018
Lo que sigue es un comentario bibliográfico a cargo de Peter Gordon sobre el volumen “Latin America and the Asian Giants: Evolving Ties with China and India”, aparecido a comienzos del año pasado en el Asian Review of Books. Acá va:
Título: “Latin America and the Asian Giants: Evolving Ties with China and India”, edited by Riordan Roett and Guadalupe Paz
Texto: The changing balance between Asia and the West is a function not just of the relative rise of the Asian economies but also of the apparent withdrawal of the United States from a multi-decade commitment to global leadership, a development which if anything seems to be accelerating under the only recently-installed Trump administration. One place where these two factors coincide dramatically is Latin America, a region that the United States has long considered—somewhat patronizingly, perhaps—as its backyard.
Although China’s increasing interest and presence in Latin America has been discussed before, Latin America and the Asian Giants, a new book from the Brookings Institution Press, uniquely compares China and India. This volume is a collection of academic papers—somewhat dry as such papers are wont to be—but one which gives every indication of firm oversight and direction from editors Riordan Roett and Guadalupe Paz, both with the Latin American Studies Program at the John Hopkins Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The result is a complete, coherent introduction and overview which includes considerable well-documented detail.
The main takeaways are pretty much what one might have expected. From an almost negligible presence a generation ago, China is now a major player in Latin America, to the extent that
… we can refer to the first decade of the twenty-first century as “Latin America’s China decade”.
China’s appetite for raw materials and natural resources, everything from oil to soybeans, powered unparalleled growth in both GDP and trade. This has tapered off in recent years as China’s economy has itself cooled, but China remains the largest or second-largest trading partner for several countries. Chinese lending to Latin America can exceed that of the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the US Export-Import bank combined.
Latin America has however in general had trouble moving up the value chain, while Chinese exports undercut local manufacturing much as they have elsewhere.
India is still a much smaller player, but there is hope that it will be the “next big thing” and help the region diversity away from China and provide some balance. A non-academic observer might detect a certain wistfulness in this hope; there is a long way to go yet.
The book also emphasizes that the region is not monolithic and that the relationship with China and India varies greatly country-to-country. Mexico’s economy is, due to NAFTA, tightly integrated with those of North America while China has more US$50 billion of loan exposure to Venezuela alone. India and Indians, on the other hand, have a particularly strong connection in the Caribbean extension to the region.
A particularly interesting chapter is the one by Jacqueline Mazza on migration. There have been Asian populations, some quite substantial, in Latin America since the 17th century. There was a wave of Chinese labour migration starting in the latter half of the 19th century; Indians tended to go to the Caribbean. Immigration continues today, notably in the form of Chinese workers for Chinese projects, but the numbers are unreliable.
The book includes three case studies: the one on Chile by Alicia Frohmann and Manfred Wilhemy on Chile is, intentionally or otherwise, rather wry. Chile fancies itself as a “bridge country”:
The proposal to convert Chile into a bridge between Asia Pacific countries and South America is based on the premise that Chile has significant advantages over its neighbors… as well as more robust political and economic relations with Asian countries. This view is not shared by those in neighboring countries …
So much for that, then.
Carefully documented, Latin America and the Asian Giants leaves little to quibble about. Only very occasionally is an evidentially dubious statement like “Millennia-old cultural barriers are sometimes an issue for Western exporters [to China]” allowed to creep in.
Latin America and the Asian Giants has, since its publication some six weeks before the US election, been somewhat overtaken by events. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is given considerable play, whereas by the time of the last APEC meeting in Lima, TPP was dead on arrival, and alternatives were being seriously discussed. As the US, under the new administration, seems intent on withdrawing behind a wall, China has given every indication of taking advantage of any resulting vacuum.
This is the first time in at least a century and a half that a country other than the United States has played anything but a highly subordinate role in Latin America. The book’s content and analysis seem even more significant and relevant today than they must have when the papers were being compiled. In this light, paragraphs such as that which starts
While the PLA has yet to establish exclusive military alliances or basing agreements with countries in the hemisphere…
begin to sound a bit less hypothetical.
domingo, 25 de febrero de 2018
Mientras seguimos comentando enfáticamente sobre el tamaño de las tetas de la última bataclana de Hollywood, o sobre los goles de Ronaldo para el Real, algunos comentaristas (siempre de medios alternativos, nunca de un diario o agencia de noticias) llaman la atención sobre lo cerca que estamos de una guerra de alcance global. Posteamos hoy dos notas que comentan al respecto. La primera es de Eric Zuesse y apareció hace dos días en el sitio web The Vineyard of the Saker:
Título: Globally Top-Respected Experts on Middle East Warn Syrian War May Produce WW III
Texto: Abdel Bari Atwan, the retired editor-in-chief (1989-2013) of the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi and author of widely respected books on the Middle East, headlined on February 18th, “A superpower confrontation could be triggered by accident in Syria” and he opened:
Qatar’s plans to build a gas pipeline to the Mediterranean were a major cause of the outbreak of the Syrian civil war. Seven years on, Syria’s oil and gas reserves east of the Euphrates, and especially around Deir az-Zour, have the potential to trigger World War III.
Four military aircraft were downed over Syria in the course of one week: an Israel F-16 shot down by a Russian-made Syrian missile; a Russian jet hit by an American-made shoulder-fired MANPADS; an Iranian pilotless drone intercepted by Israeli missiles; and a Turkish helicopter brought down in the countryside of Afrin by US-backed Kurdish fighters.
Warplanes from at least six countries crowd Syria’s airspace, including those of the American and Russian superpowers, while numerous proxy wars rage on the ground below involving Arab, regional and international parties.
Atwan goes on to note the reason why the war has ratcheted up after Donald Trump became America’s President:
The US has made clear that it has no intention of withdrawing its 2,000 military personnel from Syria even after the expiry of the original pretext for deploying them, namely to fight the Islamic State (IS) group. Administration officials have repeatedly affirmed that these forces will remain indefinitely in order to counter Iranian influence in the country.
Trump has abandoned former U.S. President Barack Obama’s excuse for invading Syria, and replaced it by what is now clearly an American hot war against Iran, which indisputably has become the U.S. President’s target — no longer (even if only as an excuse) ISIS or “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Iran never attacked the U.S. However, Iran did overthrow the U.S.-installed Shah in 1979 and capture the U.S. Embassy, which had ruled Iran (and allowed or disallowed what the Shah did) ever since America’s 1953 coup there overthrew Iran’s democratically elected progressive secular Government and installed instead the Shah’s brutal dictatorship. But the aggression was by the U.S. Government, not by Iran’s Government.
And, after 1979, Iran never committed aggression against the United States; so, the U.S. is entirely in the wrong, now, to be planning (or instructing Israel) how to destroy Iran.
This U.S. President clearly wants an invasion of Iran, which Israel is now preparing to launch.
Iran is an ally of Russia. On February 19th, Russia’s Tass news agency headlined “Moscow calls on US not to play with fire in Syria” and reported the Russian Foreign Minister’s statement: “I once again call on our American colleagues not to play with fire and measure their steps proceeding not from immediate needs of today’s political environment, but rather from long-term interests of the Syrian people and of all peoples of this region.”
Here is a description of what will likely be entailed if Israel launches a military attack against Iran; it was published on February 22nd, by Russian geostrategic expert Peter Korzun, under the headline “Israel and Iran: Inching Toward Conflict”:
If Iran itself is attacked, its sites related to its nuclear program will top the list of the prime targets for Israel’s F-35, F-15, F-16, and Kfir fighters, drones, and intermediate-range Jericho missiles. There are different routes they could take, but all of them would require flying through the airspaces of Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, or Turkey. None of these Muslim countries will openly allow Israel to use their airspace, but anti-Iran sentiments are strong in the Sunni-dominated Arab states. Some of them might be willing to look the other way. A clandestine agreement to tacitly allow Israeli aircraft to cross their air space is entirely possible. Anger could be vented publicly once the mission has been completed.
Iraq is not focused on monitoring its airspace – it has many other problems to deal with and Israel could take advantage of that. The route through Iraq looks like it might be the best option.
The distance that would need to be covered would be between 1,500 km (930 miles) and 1,800 km (1,120 miles). The aircraft will also have to make a return trip, so in-flight refueling will be a necessity. Israel is only believed to own between eight and ten large tanker aircraft (such as Boeing 707s). That will hardly be enough. The Israeli military is not particularly adept at aerial refuelling. If the aircraft have to fly undetected, the F-35s will have to forgo their externally mounted weapons in order to preserve their stealth capabilities. Then their payload will be reduced to only two JDAM-guided bombs in the internal bay. Pretty underwhelming.
Then Iran’s radars will have to be spoofed, and its air defenses, especially the Russian-made S-300, will have to be knocked out. It won’t be easy.
Israel has a few dozen laser-guided bunker buster bombs (the GBU-28). The Jericho III is an Israeli three-stage solid propellant missile with a payload of more than a ton and capable of carrying multiple low-yield independently targeted reentry warheads. All the targets in Iran fall within its range of up to 6,500 km (4,038 miles). These missile strikes are capable of destroying every command and control site, as well as all major nuclear facilities.
The Heron-2 and Eitan drones can hover in the air for more than 20 consecutive hours to provide guidance and intelligence and to jam Iranian communications and confuse its radar.
Israel would wage electronic warfare against Iran’s military and civilian infrastructure, such as its electric grids and Internet, creating interference with Iran’s emergency frequencies.
After the war has begun, Israel will come under rocket and missile attack from Iran’s proxies: Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Hezbollah has up to 150,000 rockets that can reach anywhere in Israel. It is true however, that Israel possesses a sophisticated, multilayer, air-defense shield. A first-class intelligence and early-warning system will mitigate the fallout, but substantial damage will be unavoidable.
Israeli troops will have to deploy in the Strip and move across the Lebanese border. But the Shia group will have to fight on two fronts: in Syria to prop up the Assad government, and in Lebanon against Israel. Syria is likely to find itself involved in combat operations. Israel will go to any length to keep Iran and Hezbollah away from its border.
Iran may try to block the Strait of Hormuz. But even if it does not, global oil prices would go up. Iran or its proxies might attack US forces in the Middle East, primarily in Syria and Iraq. Should that happen, Iraq would likely become a battleground between US forces and Iranian proxies, with American reinforcements rushing in. Iran could punish the Americans for their support of Israel in Afghanistan.
An attack against Russia’s ally would be an attack that will significantly weaken Russia. Will Russia come to the defense of its ally, the victim of this uncalled-for invasion by America’s proxy, Israel? Will Russia retaliate by destroying Israel — and maybe destroying also its sponsor?
Most scenarios for a world-ending nuclear war entail “errors,” or else a traditional non-nuclear conflict (perhaps in Syria, or in Ukraine — or it could be in Iran, or in North Korea) producing victory for one side (it could be either the U.S. versus Russia, in Syria, Ukraine, or Iran; or else the U.S. versus China, in North Korea), unless the other side (it could be either Russia versus the U.S., or else China versus the U.S.) blitz-launches almost its entire nuclear arsenal against the other side and against the other side’s strategically key allies. (For example, if Israel invades Iran, then perhaps Russia will launch a blitz-nuclear invasion of both Israel and the United States.) The first-to-strike in an all-out war between the nuclear superpowers will have the best chance of winning (i.e., in military parlance “winning” means simply inflicting more damage on the other side than it inflicts upon the “winner” — regardless of how damaged both sides — and the rest of the world — are). If the U.S. or its allies invade more than they’ve already done (practically all allies of Russia), then a blitz from Russia and/or China would be reasonable, because then obviously the U.S. aims to become conqueror of the entire world — the only super-power. Once one side has lost the traditional conflict in Syria and/or Ukraine, or elsewhere, the other side will either unleash its nuclear stockpile against the other (except for whatever anti-missiles it holds in reserve against any of the enemy’s missiles that haven’t yet been destroyed in that blitz-attack), or else it will surrender to the other. There will be a ‘winner’, but the entire world will be the loser. This is what America’s ‘democracy’ has brought us to.
Billionaires (including owners of controlling interests in weapons-manufacturers whose main or only customers are the U.S. Government and its allied governments — the ‘democratic’ decision-makers who had won political power because of donations from those billionaires) are planning to survive nuclear war. There seem to be two main ways:
- Google this line: billionaires moving to “new zealand”
- Others are buying bunkers deep underground in countries where they already reside to protect themselves from the nuclear blasts, though nothing can protect anyone (not even, ultimately in New Zealand) from the resulting nuclear winter, and global famine and die-off.
More about what’s behind this can be seen in an excellent article by Edward Curtin, which has been published at a number of terrific news-sites — especially Greanville Post, Counter Currents, Global Research, and Off-Guardian (all four of which sites are prime ones to visit regularly, if a person wants to understand today’s world) — and it is aptly titled “The Coming Wars to End All Wars”.
Precisamente, la segunda nota es la mencionada arriba; es de Edward Curtin y apareció anteayer en Counterpunch:
Título: The Coming Wars to End All Wars
Epígrafe: “The compulsive hatred of Putin by many who have almost zero idea about Putin or Russian history is disproportionate to any rational analysis, but not surprising. Trump and Putin are like weird doppelgangers in the liberal imagination.” —John Steppling, “Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk into a Bar”
Texto: The Trump and Netanyahu governments have a problem: How to start a greatly expanded Middle-Eastern war without having a justifiable reason for one. No doubt they are working hard to solve this urgent problem. If they can’t find a “justification” (which they can’t), they will have to create one (which they will). Or perhaps they will find what they have already created. Whatever the solution, we should feel confident that they are not sitting on their hands. History teaches those who care to learn that when aggressors place a gun on the wall in the first act of their play, it must go off in the final act.
These sinister players have signaled us quite clearly what they have in store. All signs point toward an upcoming large-scale Israeli/U.S. attack on Lebanon and Syria, and all the sycophantic mainstream media are in the kitchen prepping for the feast. Russia and Iran are the main course, with Lebanon and Syria, who will be devoured first, as the hors d’oeuvres. As always, the media play along as if they don’t yet know what’s coming. Everyone in the know knows what is, just not exactly when. And the media wait with baited breath as they count down to the dramatic moment when they can report the incident that will compel the “innocent” to attack the “guilty.”
These sinister players have signaled us quite clearly what they have in store. All signs point toward an upcoming large-scale Israeli/U.S. attack on Lebanon and Syria, and all the sycophantic mainstream media are in the kitchen prepping for the feast. Russia and Iran are the main course, with Lebanon and Syria, who will be devoured first, as the hors d’oeuvres.
War criminal Netanyahu “mugshot”. He truly belongs in a dungeon as a threat to life and limb to anyone on this planet. The servile Western media of course will never touch him.
Anyone with half a brain can see the greatly increased anti-Russian propaganda of the past few weeks. This has happened as the Russia-gate claims have fallen to pieces, as former CIA analyst Raymond McGovern, the late Robert Parry, Paul Craig Roberts, and others have documented so assiduously. All across the media spectrum, from the big name corporate stenographers like The New York Times, CNN, National Public Radio, The Washington Post to The Atlantic and Nation magazines and other “leftist” publications such as Mother Jones and Who What Why, the Russia and Putin bashing has become hysterical in tone, joined as it is with an anti-Trump obsession, as if Trump were a dear friend of Putin and Russia and wasn’t closely allied with the Netanyahu government in its plans for the Middle-East. As if Trump were in charge. “Russia Sees Midterm Elections as a Chance to Sow Fresh Discord (NY Times, 2/13), “Russia Strongman” (Putin) has “pulled off one of the greatest acts of political sabotage in modern history (The Atlantic, Jan. /Feb. 2018), “”Mueller’s Latest Indictment Shows Trump Has Helped Putin Cover Up a Crime” (Mother Jones, 2/16/18), “A Russian Sightseeing Tour For Realists” (whowhatwhy.com, 2/7/18), etc.
I am reminded of the turn to the right that so many “muckrakers” made during and after WW I. Afraid of a revolt from below, bewitched by their own vision to articulate the world’s future, heady over their own war propaganda, and wanting to be on the safe side of the government crackdown on dissent (The Espionage Act, the Palmer Raids, etc.), many progressives of the era embraced a jingoism similar to the anti-Russia mania of today.
Only someone totally lacking a sense of humor and blind to propaganda would not laugh uproariously at today’s media nonsense about Russia, but such laughter would be infused with a foreboding awareness that as the Middle East explodes and U.S./NATO backed Kiev forces prepare to attack the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine, the world is entering a very dangerous period. And of course Trump has said, “The U.S. has great strength and patience but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” Totally destroy 26 million human beings. While his bully buddy in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, recently said at the Munich Security Conference that Iran is “the greatest threat to the world,” compared it to Nazi Germany, and claimed it was developing ballistic missiles to strike deep into the United States. “Iran seeks to dominate our region, the Middle East, and seeks to dominate the world through aggression and terror,” he said. And he vowed to act against Iran and anyone who supported it – i.e. Lebanon and Syria (Russia).
Putin also, like all the mythic bogeymen, is portrayed as the new Hitler intent on conquering the world. If the American public wasn’t so “sophisticated” and adept at seeing through lies – pause and laugh – we could expect some World War I posters with Russian soldiers (like The Huns), sharp teeth glistening, gorilla strong and beastly, holding American women in preparation for the kill or rape. Last year, when Oliver Stone did the world the great service of releasing his four-part interview with Putin, he was bashed, of course. Just as he was with his film JFK, the only movie in history to be reviewed and panned one year before its release by a Washington Post reviewer who didn’t see the movie but had a purloined preliminary script as his source. The Washington Post: the object of the latest film drivel, The Post, portraying it falsely as the savior of the nation through the publication of the Pentagon Papers (which is another story). The Washington Post – the CIA’s dear friend.
In his Putin interviews, Oliver Stone, a man of truth and honor, lets viewers catch a glimpse of the real Vladimir Putin. Of course Putin is a politician and the leader of a great and powerful nation, and one should receive his words skeptically. But watching Stone interview Putin for four hours, one comes away – but I doubt few have watched the four hours – with a reasonably good sense of the man. And putting aside one’s impressions of him, he makes factual points that should ring loud and clear to anyone conversant with facts. One: that the U.S. needs an external enemy (“I know that, I feel that.”). Two: the U.S.A. engineered the coup d’état in the Ukraine on Russia’s border. Three: the U.S. has surrounded Russia with US/NATO troops and bases armed with anti-ballistic missiles that can, as Putin rightly says to Stone, be converted in hours to regular offensive nuclear missiles aimed at Russia. This is a factual and true statement that should make any fair-minded person stand up in horror. If Russia had such missiles encircling the United States from Cuba, Mexico, and Canada, what American would find it tolerable? What would CNN and The New York Times have to say? Yet these same people readily find it impossible to see the legitimacy in Russia’s position, resorting to name calling and illogical rhetoric. Russia is surrounded with U.S/NATO troops and missiles and yet Russia is the aggressor. So too Iran that is also surrounded. These media are propagandists, that’s why. They promote war, as they always have. They are pushing for war with Russia via Syria/Lebanon/Iran and Ukraine, and they are nihilistically demonizing North Korea (as part of Obama’s pivot toward Asia and the encircling of China, as John Pilger has brilliantly documented in his film The Coming War on China) in what can only be called a conspiracy to commit genocide, as Dr. Graeme MacQueen and Christopher Black make clear in their Open Letter to the International Criminal Court:
We are moving toward a global war that will become nuclear if an international anti-war movement doesn’t quickly arise to stop it. Most people bemoan the thought of such a war to end all wars, but refuse to analyze the factors leading to it. It happens step-by-step, and many steps have already been taken with more coming soon. It’s so obvious that most can’t see it, or don’t want to. The corporate mainstream media are enemies of the truth; are clearly part of the continuation of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, and those who still rely on them for the truth are beyond reach. Douglas Valentine, in The CIA as Organized Crime, says the CIA has long aimed to use and co-opt the “Compatible Left, which in America translates into liberals and pseudo-intellectual status seekers who are easily influenced.” And he adds that the propaganda is not just produced by the CIA but by the military, State Department, and red, white, and blue advertisements that are everywhere. Nothing has changed since the Church Committee hearings in the 1970s. Valentine adds:
All of that is ongoing, despite being exposed in the late 1960s. Various technological advances, including the internet, have spread the network around the world, and many people don’t even realize they are part of it, that they’re promoting the CIA line. “Assad’s a butcher,” they say, or “Putin kills journalists,” or “China is repressive". They have no idea what they’re talking about but spout all this propaganda.
William Blake said it truly:
In every cry of every Man,
In every Infants cry of fear,
In every voice: in every ban,
The mind-forg’d manacles I hear
How to break the chains – that is our task.
sábado, 24 de febrero de 2018
Posteamos una reciente nota de James Petras sobre el estado del Imperio a lo largo del globo. En resumen: ganancias en América Latina, pérdidas en Asia y Medio Oriente, rocanrol en todas partes. La nota apareció hace tres días en el sitio web canadiense Global Research:
Título: Mapping Trump’s Empire: Assets and Liabilities
Texto: The US empire spans the globe; it expands and contracts, according to its ability to secure strategic assets, willing and able to further military and economic power to counter emerging adversaries.
The map of empire is a shorthand measure of the vectors, reach and durability of global power and wealth. The map of empire is changing — adding and subtracting assets and liabilities, according to the successes and retreats of domestic and overseas power centers. While the US empire has been engaged in intense conflicts in the Middle East , the imperial map has been enlarged elsewhere at lower cost and greater success.
Enlarging the Empire
The US empire has substantially increased its scope and presence in several regions, especially in Latin America . The additions and enlargements include Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Central America, Peru and the Caribbean. The most important asset redrawing the empire in Latin America is Argentina. The US has gained military, economic and political advantages. In the case of Argentina , political and economic advances preceded military expansion.
The US provided ideological and political support to secure the election of its client Mauricio Macri. The new Argentine President immediately transferred over $5 billion dollars to the notorious Wall Street Vulture speculator, Paul Singer, and proceeded to open the floodgates for a lucrative multi-billion dollar flow of financial capital. President Macri then followed up by inviting the Pentagon and US intelligence services to establish military bases, spy stations and training operations along its borders. Equally important, Argentina embraced the US directives designed to overthrow the government of Venezuela, undermine Bolivia ’s nationalist government under Evo Morales and pursue a policy of US-centered regional integration.
Argentina: A Client without an Economic Patron
While Argentina is a useful political and military addition to the US empire, it lacks access to the US market — it still depends on China – and has failed to secure a strategic trade agreement with the European Union. Washington has enlarged its military presence with a one-legged client.
Colombia and Mexico, long time US client states, have provided springboards for enlarging US influence in Central America, the Andean region and the Caribbean. In the case of Colombia, the US has financed its war of extermination against anti-imperialist insurgents and their peasant and working class supporters and secured seven military bases as launch pad for Washington’s destabilization campaign against Venezuela.
Mexico has served a multitude of military and economic functions – from billion dollar manufacturing platforms to multi-billion dollar laundering of narco-profits to US banks.
Brazil is the new addition to the empire with the ousting and arrest of the leaders of the Workers Party. The shift in political and economic power has enhanced US influence through its leverage over the wealthiest country in the continent. In sum,the US has enlarged imperial influence and control via its acquisition of Latin America. There is one caveat: At least in the cases of Brazil and Argentina, the US advance is tentative and subject to reversal, as it lacks firm economic and political foundations.
If Latin America reflects an enlargement and upsurge of US imperial influence, the rest of the global map is mostly negative or at best contradictory.
The empire-building mission has failed to gain ground in Northeast Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. In Europe, the US retains influence but it appears to face obstacles to enlarging its presence.
The key to the enlargement or decline of empire revolves around the performance of the US domestic economy.
Imperial Decline: China
The determination of the US in remapping the global empire is most evident in Asia. The most notable shift in US political and economic relations in the region has taken place with China’s displacement of the US as the dominant investment, trading infrastructure building and lending country in the region. Moreover, China has increased its role as the leading exporter to the US , accumulating trade surpluses of hundreds of billions of dollars each year. In 2017, China ’s trade surplus reached $375 billion dollars.
Against the relative economic decline of the US, Washington has compensated by widening the scope of its maritime-military presence in the South China Sea, and increased its air and ground forces in South Korea, Japan, Australia, the Philippines and Guam. As to how the bolstering of the US military presence affects the US ‘re-mapping’ of its imperial presence, it depends on the dynamics of the US domestic economy and its ability to retains its existing principal military clients – South Korea, Japan, Australia and the Philippines. Recent evidence suggest that South Korea shows signs of slipping outside of the US economic and military orbit. Seoul has trade issues with the US ‘protectionist agenda’ and opportunities to expand its trading links with China. Equally important, South Korea has moved toward reconciliation with North Korea, and downgraded the US military escalation. As goes South Korea, so goes the US military power base in northern Asia.
The US military strategy is premised on sustaining and expanding its client network. However, its protectionist policies led to the rejection of a multi-lateral trade agreement, which erodes its economic ties with existing or potential military partners. In contrast to Latin America, the US remaking of the imperial map has led to economic shrinkage and military isolation in Asia . US military escalation has poured even more deadly strategic US arms into the region, but failed to intimidate or isolate China or North Korea .
Re-mapping the Middle East
The US has spent several trillion dollars over the past two decades in the Middle East , North Africa and West Asia . US Intervention from Libya and Southern Sudan, Somalia , across to Syria , Palestine , Iraq , Iran and Afghanistan has resulted in enormous costs and dubious advances. The results are meagre except in terms of suffering. The US has spread chaos and destruction throughout Libya and Syria , but failed to incorporate either into an enlarged empire. The Middle East wars, initiated at the behest of Israel , have rewarded Tel Aviv with a sense of invulnerability and a thirst for more, while multiplying and unifying US adversaries.
Empires are not effectively enlarged through alliances with with armed tribal, sectarian and separatist organizations. Empires, allied with disparate, fractured and self-aggrandizing entities do not expand or strengthen their global powers.
The US has waged war against Libya and lost the political leverage and economic resources it enjoyed during the Gaddafi regime. It intervened in Somalia , South Sudan and Syria , and has gained enclaves of warring self-serving ‘separatists’ and subsidized mercenaries. Afghanistan , the US ’ longest war in history, is an unmitigated military disaster. After seventeen years of warfare and occupation, the US is holed up in the walled enclaves of the capital, Kabul . Meanwhile, the puppet regime feeds on multi-billion dollar monthly subsidies.
Iraq is a ‘shared’ imperial outpost — the result of fifteen years of military intervention. Kurdish clients, Sunni-Saudi warlords, Shia militia, Baghdad kleptocrats and US contractor-mercenaries all compete for control and a larger piece of the pillage. Every square meter of contested ‘terrain has cost the US five hundred million dollars and scores of casualties.
Iran remains forever under threat, but retains its independence outside of the US-Saudi-Israeli orbit. The US geo-political map has been reduced to dubious alliance with Saudi Arabia and its micro-clients among the Emirate statelets – which are constantly fighting among themselves – as well as Israel, the ‘client’ that openly revels in leading its patron by the nose!
Compared to the period before the turn of the millennium, the US imperial map has shrunk and faces further retrenchment.
The US-NATO-EU Map
Russia has reduced and challenged the US pursuit of a uni-polar global empire following the recovery of its sovereignty and economic growth after the disaster of the 1990’s. With the ascent of President Putin, the US-EU empire lost their biggest and most lucrative client and source of naked pillage.
Nevertheless, the US retains its political clients in the Baltic , the Balkans and Eastern and Central European regimes. However, these clients are unruly and often eager to confront a nuclear-armed Russia , confident that the US-NATO will intervene, in spite of the probability of being vaporized in a nuclear Armageddon.
Washington ’s efforts to recapture and return Russia to vassalage have failed. Out of frustration Washington has resorted to a growing series of failed provocations and conflicts between the US and the EU, within the US between Trump and the Democrats; and among the warlords controlling the Trump cabinet.
Germany has continued lucrative trade ties with Russia , despite US sanctions, underscoring the decline of US power to dictate policy to the European Union. The Democratic Party and the ultra-militaristic Clinton faction remains pathologically nostalgic for a return to the 1990’s Golden Age of Pillage (before Putin). Clinton ’s faction is fixated on the politics of revanchism . As a result, they vigorously fought against candidate Donald Trump’s campaign promises to pursue a new realistic understanding with Russia . The Russia-Gate Investigation is not merely a domestic electoral squabble led by hysterical ‘liberals.’ What is a stake is nothing less than a profound conflict over the remaking of the US global map. Trump recognized and accepted the re-emergence of Russia as a global power to be ‘contained’, while the Democrats campaigned to roll-back reality, overthrow Putin and return to the robber baron orgies of the Clinton years. As a result of this ongoing strategic conflict, Washington is unable to develop a coherent global strategy, which in turn has further weakened US influence in the EU in Europe and elsewhere.
Nevertheless, the intense Democratic onslaught against Trump’s initial foreign policy pronouncements regarding Russia succeeded in destroying his ‘pivot to realism’ and facilitated the rise of a fanatical militaristic faction within his cabinet, which have intensified the anti-Russia policies of the Clintonite Democrats. In less than a year, all of Trump’s realist advisers and cabinet members have been purged and replaced by militarists. Their hard core confrontational anti-Russia policy has become the platform for launching a global military strategy based on vast increases in military spending, demands that the EU nations increase their military budgets, and open opposition to an EU-centered military alliance, such as the one recently proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Despite President Trump’s campaign promises to ‘pull-back’, the US has re-entered Afghanistan , Iraq and Syria in a big way. The Trump shift from global containment and realism to ‘rollback and aggression’ against Russia and China has failed to secure a positive response from past and present allies.
China has increased economic ties with the EU. Russia and the EU share strategic gas and oil trade ties. Domestically, the US military budget deepens the fiscal deficit and drastically threatens social spending. This creates a scenario of increasing US isolation with its futile aggression against a dynamic and changing world.
The Trump remaking of the global empire has had uneven results, which are mostly negative from a strategic viewpoint.
The circumstances leading to new clients in Latin America is significant but has been more than countered by retreats in Asia, divisions in Europe, turmoil domestically and strategic incoherence.
Remaking global empires requires realism – the recognition of new power alignments, accommodation with allies and, above all, domestic political stability balancing economic interests and military commitments.
The key shift from realism toward a recovered Russia to militarization and confrontation has precipitated the breakdown of the US as a unified coherent leader of a global empire.
The US embraces prolonged losing wars in peripheral regions while embracing destructive trade wars in strategic regions. It budgeted vast sums on non-productive activities while impoverishing state and local governments via sweeping tax ‘reform’ favoring the oligarchs.
Global remapping now involves a volatile and impulsive US-driven empire incapable of succeeding, while emerging powers are immersed in regional power grabs.
There is no longer a coherent imperial empire controlling the fate of the globe. We live in a world of political maps centered on regional powers and unruly clients, while the most incompetent, gossip-mongering politicians in Washington compete with an arrogant, benighted President Trump and his fractured regime.
viernes, 23 de febrero de 2018
Primero revientan países, y luego te mandan a las ONGs para "salvar a los niños". Hay un problemita, sin embargo: las ONGs en cuestión no van a salvar a los niños; van a cogérselos. Como señala la periodista sueca Kajsa Ekman, existe una alianza impía entre la derecha neoliberal (la que revienta países) y la izquierda postmoderna (la que te manda las ONGs) que legitimiza este estado de cosas. Acá van dos numeritos sacados del artículo de hoy: (1) en la última década, las misiones humanitarias de las Naciones Unidas (la mayor ONG del planeta) fue responsable de 60.000 (sesenta mil) violaciones a cargo de unos 3.300 (tres mil trescientos) pedófilos trabajando para la ONU y sus agencias; (2) un "oficial anónimo" de una organización humanitaria sostiene que el 70% de toda la ayuda humanitaria se pierde (uno supone que buena parte de ese dinero va para pagar los salarios de seis cifras en dólares o euros de los directivos de las ONGs dedicadas a salvar a los niños). Simpático, ¿no? La nota que sigue es de Raúl Ilargi Meijer para su blog The Automatic Earth:
Título: Aid for Sex
Texto: Oxfam. I’m wondering if I should warn this is not for the faint of heart, or say don’t read on an empty stomach. If so, hereby. I know I found it hard.
The first and foremost thing the BBC last week felt its audience should know about the sleaziest scandal to come out of Britain in quite some time -and that’s saying something- is that an actress had turned her back on the aid organization. Your news in bite-size pre-chewed headlines.
While a guy who ‘served’ Oxfam in Bosnia claims it’s nobody’s business if he visited the local hookers in his spare time. The head office even specifically refuses to ban staff from doing that. Not violating a staff member’s civil liberties trumps a question like what drives desperate women -girls- into prostitution that same staff member pays for with money donated to aid desperate people.
Someone at the Dutch Oxfam/Novib office complained that his British colleagues should have provided more information, sooner, because now his branch suffers from the scandal (fewer donations). A branch that knew about it at least as far back as 2012, and passed on the info to the Dutch Foreign Ministry and Accounting Office. Who looked at potential -financial- damage in their country, found none, and located a carpet to sweep it under.
The only right choice for us, and our governments, would seem to be to cancel all donations to Oxfam, because apparently nobody connected to the organization is able to figure out who the actual victims are here. They instead portray themselves as the victims.
Of all people, its own chief executive feels a need, when responding to accusations of child sex abuse concerning his organization, to paint himself -and Oxfam- as victims. ‘Anything we say is being manipulated. We’ve been savaged’ . How does that guy hold on to that job?
Charities like Oxfam receive donations to help those people who have fallen victim to the conditions that exist where they live, be they manmade or due to natural disaster. Obviously, if Oxfam cannot (will not) even correctly identify these victims, it has no reason to exist.
Of course Oxfam announces more internal investigations when these accusations come out, but it’s too late. They’ve hush-hushed all previous such investigations, and there’s no reason to believe that won’t happen again. Oxfam has covered up the issues for a long time, likely decades, and if they can no longer cover things up -like now-, they try and make things look like incidents, stand-alone occurrences. This is a pattern.
Of course there are many people involved in international aid who are pure -enough- souls with the best intentions, but that’s simply not enough: sexual predation has infiltrated its ranks to such a degree, and management has refused to take the only appropriate steps against its perpetrators for so long, that sex abuse has become Oxfam’s middle name. And that very much includes child sex abuse.
I’ve been reading a lot about the story over the past 10 days, and one of the things that stand out is that the typical first reaction is to cover up whatever nastiness it is that surfaces, out of fear that donations would suffer. Instead of thinking about the people Oxfam is supposed to help, for which it receives those donations, and put their interests first. That is a death sentence for any aid organization. And rightly so.
It’s quite simple when you think about it: if we allow Oxfam to continue to exist, we accept that the aid we pay for through donations is sold to victims for sex. If you say, as many people do, that shutting down Oxfam will ‘only’ be bad for those in need who rely on it for aid, then that’s what you promote: aid for sex.
Through the many articles I’ve read I’ve seen people finger Oxfam for sex abuse in Haiti, Chad, South Sudan, Ivory Coast, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Nepal. Ten to one that is but a partial list. Other aid organizations cover even more territory. There are specific accusations, just through these articles, from 1999, 2004, 2012, 2015 and 2017. That too is but a partial list.
Let’s see if I can make a coherent story of all this without turning it into an entire book (would not be a problem). Here’s from The Independent, with a headline that takes us right where we need to be:
Oxfam Told Of Aid Workers Raping Children In Haiti A Decade Ago
Aid agencies including Oxfam were warned that aid workers were sexually abusing children in Haiti a decade ago, The Independent can reveal. Children as young as six were being coerced into sex in exchange for food and necessities, according to a damning report by Save the Children, which called for urgent action including the creation of a global watchdog. Its research exposed abuse linked to 23 humanitarian, peacekeeping and security organisations operating in Haiti, Ivory Coast and what was then Southern Sudan. “Our own fieldwork suggests that the scale of abuse is significant,” the report concluded.
“Every agency is at risk from this problem … existing efforts to keep children safe from sexual exploitation and abuse are inadequate.” It identified “every kind of child sexual abuse and exploitation imaginable”, including rape, prostitution, pornography, sexual slavery, assaults and trafficking. One 15-year-old girl in Haiti told how “humanitarian men” exposed themselves and offered her the equivalent of £2 to perform a sex act. “The men call to me in the streets and they ask me to go with them,” said another Haitian girl. “They do this will all of us young girls.”
A six-year-old girl described being sexually assaulted and a homeless girl was given a single US dollar by a “man who works for an NGO” before being raped and severely injured, while boys were also reportedly raped. When asked why the abuse was not reported, children said they feared losing aid, did not trust local authorities, did not know who to go to, felt powerless or feared stigma and retaliation. “The people who are raping us and the people in the office are the same people,” said one girl in Haiti.
Ironically, that report is from Save the Children. Ironic because just today the Telegraph had this:
The former chief executive of Save the Children resigned after he admitted making “unsuitable and thoughtless” comments to three young female members of staff, it emerged on Tuesday. Justin Forsyth, who is now deputy executive director at Unicef, “apologised unreservedly” to the women after sending them text messages commenting on how they looked and what they were wearing. Mr Forsyth’s resignation from Save the Children came just four months after Brendan Cox, a friend of Mr Forsyth and former chief strategist at the charity, quit following separate allegations of sexual misconduct.
Mr Forsyth and Mr Cox worked together at Oxfam and later again as advisors to Gordon Brown in Downing Street. Mr Cox, the widower of the late Jo Cox who was murdered in 2016, admitted at the weekend that he had caused the women “hurt and offence”. Neither Mr Forsyth nor Mr Cox were subject to a formal disciplinary hearing. Save the Children said on Tuesday night that trustees had carried out two internal investigations into the complaints against Mr Forsyth in 2011 and 2015.
Save the Children admitted on Tuesday that it dealt with 193 child protection and 35 sexual harassment cases last year, which led to 30 dismissals.
It’s by no means just Oxfam. But they’re a major player. In more ways than one, unfortunately. Oxfam has some 2,500 staff and 31,000 volunteers through the world. Its annual budget is about half a billion dollars.
Another ‘interesting’ pattern to emerge is that the perpetrators, even if they are penalized, seemingly seamlessly float between aid organizations: get kicked out in one place, start afresh a few months later at the next. This article from IRIN is about the Belgian guy with whom the latest scandal surfaced.
He lived in a splendid $2000 a month Oxfam-sponsored villa in Haiti right after the 2010 earthquake, when most locals didn’t even have a roof over their heads, and threw sex-parties there. None of that hurt him much; he lost his Oxfam job, though only after many years of complaints, but just kept going (and denies just about all):
The man at the centre of a sexual exploitation scandal at aid agency Oxfam was dismissed by another British NGO seven years earlier for similar misconduct, IRIN has found. A former colleague reveals that Roland van Hauwermeiren was sent home from his job in Liberia in 2004 after her complaints prompted an investigation into sex parties there with young local women. Despite this, van Hauwermeiren was recruited by Oxfam in Chad less than two years later and went on to work for them in Haiti, and then in Bangladesh for Action contre la Faim.
The Swedish government’s aid department, alerted in 2008, also missed an opportunity to bring his behaviour to light and even went ahead that year to fund Oxfam’s Chad project, under his management, to the tune of almost $750,000. [..] Seeing the Times article about van Hauwermeiren, Swedish civil servant and former aid worker Amira Malik Miller was shaken to read about the Haiti case, which pertained to alleged parties and orgies in 2011, seven years after her own experiences of him in Liberia. She couldn’t believe he was still active in the aid world, especially after she had blown the whistle on him and his colleagues, not once but twice.
“Oh my God, he’s been doing this for 14 years,” she remembers thinking. “He just goes around the system… from Liberia to Chad, to Haiti, to Bangladesh. Someone should have checked properly,” she told IRIN. On two previous occasions, she thought she had done enough to stop his predatory behaviour. Malik Miller told IRIN how her initial complaints way back in 2004 led to van Hauwermeiren being pushed out of his job as Liberia country director of UK charity Merlin, a medical group now merged with Save the Children. An internal investigation into sexual exploitation and misconduct led to his departure, several Merlin staff members confirmed.
And that was just for warming up. An interesting voice in the whole narrative is that of Australian professor Andrew MacLeod, who worked with the Red Cross in Bosnia and the UN Emergency Co-ordination Centre in Pakistan. From the Times:
UN Staff Responsible For 60,000 Rapes In A Decade
Andrew MacLeod, who was chief of operations at the UN’s Emergency Co-ordination Centre, said that “predatory” abusers used development jobs to get to vulnerable women and children. He estimated that 60,000 rapes had been carried out by UN staff in the past decade, with 3,300 paedophiles working in the organisation and its agencies. “There are tens of thousands of aid workers around the world with paedophile tendencies, but if you wear a Unicef T-shirt nobody will ask what you’re up to,” he told The Sun. “You have the impunity to do whatever you want. It is endemic across the aid industry across the world.”
More Andrew McLeod, via the Daily Mail:
I was first alerted to it in 1996 while working in former Yugoslavia with the International Committee of the Red Cross. People would talk about a nightclub called Florida 2000, in the Bosnian city of Zenica, where girls of 14 and 15 were working as prostitutes. These children were being trafficked into Bosnia from neighbouring Moldova by individuals working for the UN and Bosnian police. They were used exclusively for the sexual gratification of UN staff. Such lurid rumours seemed difficult to credit at first, but when a UN peacekeeper called Kathryn Bolkovac tried to investigate, she was swiftly demoted and then fired. Her story was turned into a film, Whistleblower, in 2010, starring Rachel Weisz.
There is so much opportunity for abuse and so little to stop it that jobs in international aid actively attract sexual predators who benefit from the artificial power the aid industry confers upon them. [..] Senior figures in the UN and some of our best known charities have known for decades that this problem was rampant. They should have put in place systems for training, prevention, protection and prosecution. By failing to do so they were committing an offence. They were party to child sex crime. They did nothing, and they should face charges. If they’re not worried – they should be.
From the same article:
A middle-aged man who persistently hangs around the gates of a British primary school as children are leaving will attract the wary attention of teachers, parents and, pretty soon, the police. But the same man lurking outside a school in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, will be quite safe. Especially if he is wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of Unicef, Save the Children, Oxfam or any other internationally-renowed aid organisations. Almost 20 years ago, the UK’s National Criminal Intelligence Service, warned that due to better policing and safe-guarding strategies and an international crackdown on child sex tourism, predatory paedophiles were turning their attention to the developing world.
And the best way of gaining access to children? Work for a children’s charity in some place where paedophilia is ignored or difficult to police. Everyone working in the international aid industry needs to be aware of the scale of sexual abuse – happening on their watch and often involving their personnel – of vulnerable people, especially children. Those who deny it are either lying through their teeth, or have their heads buried so far in the sand that their ignorance is deliberate.
And if you think government investigations would solve anything, here’s how Britain’s Charity Commission deals with things:
The Charity Commission has been forced to defend its own investigations after Oxfam’s former head of safeguarding claimed she told the watchdog women were being coerced into sex for aid. Helen Evans said she was “extremely concerned” by the response to concerns she raised while heading the charity’s global efforts to protect staff and beneficiaries from 2012 to 2015.
While appealing for more resources from management to deal with a rising number of allegations, Ms Evans told how in a single day she was told of a woman being coerced into sex in exchange for aid, another aid worker having sex with a beneficiary and a member of staff being struck off for abuse. “There has been a lot of coverage about Oxfam and how shocking and surprising this is – it isn’t,” she told Channel 4 News.
“I went in 2015 to the Charity Commission, I went back again in 2017. Everything I’m saying today, the Charity Commission knew, so why is the Government saying this is a surprise?” Ms Evans had emailed Oxfam’s chief executive, Mark Goldring, warning that data being gathered from staff “increasingly points to a culture of sexual abuse within some Oxfam officers” but a face-to-face meeting was cancelled in 2014.
So far we’ve encountered Oxfam, Save the Children, Doctors without Borders (MSF) and the UN (including its children’s fund Unicef). But that’s by no means the whole story. Try this on for size from Agence France Presse:
Oxfam is not the first non-governmental organisation to be accused of abuse. Previous revelations spurred the United Nations in 2002 to issue special measures for all its staff and others, including aid workers under UN contract, based on a policy of zero tolerance. The issue came to public attention in 2002 after allegations of widespread abuse of refugee and internally displaced women and children by humanitarian workers and peacekeepers in West Africa.
In refugee camps in Guinea, Liberia, and to a lesser extent Sierra Leone, dozens of male aid workers, often locals, were suspected of having exchanged money or gifts for sex with young refugee girls aged between 13 and 18. “It’s difficult to escape the trap of those (NGO) people, they use the food as bait to get you to have sex with them,” an adolescent in Liberia was quoted as saying in a report from the UN refugee agency. More than 40 agencies and organisations and nearly 70 individuals were mentioned in the testimonies taken from 1,500 children and adults for the UN report [..]
It’s everywhere, the pedophile rot. And the cover-ups, the industry approach, the aid as big business. And that can only lead to ever more misery. Because aid should never become an industry.
I touched on that about a year ago in one of many articles on our efforts for refugees and homeless in Greece. When it comes to scrutiny of aid organizations, you shouldn’t expect much if anything from governments. They’re part of the same industry.
Politicians find it much easier to fork over their constituents’ cash to ‘recognized’ aid organizations than to investigate them. They have a vested interest in letting the system roll on without disturbing it.
The Automatic Earth Still Helps Greeks and Refugees
[..] NGOs, as I’ve written before, have become an industry in their own right, institutionalized even. As someone phrased it: we now have a humanitarian-industrial complex. Which in Greece has received hundreds of millions of euros and somehow can’t manage to take proper care of 60,000 desolate souls with that.
I’ve even been warned that if I speak out too clearly about this, they may come after Konstantinos and his people and make their work hard and/or impossible. This is after all an industry that is worth a lot of money. Aid is big business. And big business protects itself.
Still, if we’re genuinely interested in finding out how and why it is possible that hundreds of millions of taxpayer euros change hands, and people still die in the cold and live in subhuman conditions, we’re going to have to break through some of the barriers that the EU, Greece and the iNGOs have built around themselves.
If only because European -and also American- taxpayers have a right to know what has made this ongoing epic failure possible. And of course the first concern should be that the refugees have the right, encapsulated in international law, to decent and humane treatment, and are not getting anything even remotely resembling it. Refugees Deeply quotes ‘a senior aid official’ (they don’t say from what) anonymously saying that €70 out of every €100 in aid is wasted.
But the Oxfam scandal, spreading as it is across the entire aid’ industry’, is many times worse than letting refugees freeze on islands. Or is it? Isn’t it perhaps the exact same thing, that changes appearance between places but remains always the same in essence?
Oxfam must go. It’s been found painfully wanting for too long and on too many occasions. It’ll be a useful deterrent for all other groups. The managers of which, who often make hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more, must also go. They’ve all either known or should have known for many years. The buck stops with them.
The aid itself may stop too in some places, at some times, but when you can only hand out aid when you’re ready to accept that it will be traded for sex with often underaged children, you’re losing big time, and you’re never going to turn that around. Institutionalization can only be halted when walls are broken down, up to and including their foundations.
The aid organizations that cause all these problems have one thing in common: they’re large, large enough to become like, look like, industries. The ones that have expensive offices in A locations because that’s where their major donors are, and executives who make salaries like the executives at those donors.
That’s simply the wrong scale. In all the countries where these organizations operate, and where they bring their depraved sex-crazed staff, there are other, smaller, local organizations too. Who most often don’t have anything like those issues, who often exhibit the exact opposite behavior: people helping people without looking for anything in return. I know this from my experiences in Greece since 2015.
It’s when you scale up the humanity that exists in many, if not most, people, that things go awry and the vermin creeps in. When things become so large that managers are hired, you can be sure that most of the money donated for aid will be burned in a bonfire of politicians, businessmen and, as we now know, pedophiles.
Oxfam gets $500 million a year or so. The EU has pumped over €1 billion into Greece, and probably as much into Italy as well, to ‘solve’ the refugee situation. That Brussels doesn’t want to solve, and neither do Athens or Rome, for fear that it will encourage more refugees to come.
So they make the people they purport to help, miserable, and they put a huge price sticker on that misery posing as help, for the taxpayer to pay. Like this, for instance -from my same article above:
[..] every refugee who, before the EU-Turkey deal, passed through Greece on his/her way to Europe, cost the EU €800. For a family of 5 that adds up to €4,000, which would have been more than enough to pay for transport, stay at decent hotels and eat in normal restaurants for the duration of their trip (7-10 days). Suffice it to say, that was not what they got.
After the EU-Turkey deal made it impossible for refugees to leave Greece, €15,000 has been spent per capita. That is €75,000 per family of 5, more than enough to rent a villa on the beach, hire a butler and eat gourmet food for 8 months. Instead, the refugees are stuck in old abandoned factories with no facilities, in old tents in the freezing cold and in the rain, and forced to eat a dirt poor version of rice with chickpeas and lentil soup.
It won’t be easy to stop this insanity, but it can be done. Refuse to dole out money to organizations that have been accused of abuse. Refuse to give any organization more than $1 million. Support many small organizations insteads. Humanitarian aid does not scale up well. To say the least.
It’ll be cost-effective as well. It’ll take more effort to locate the right people, but given that $70 out of every $100 in donations is wasted by large aid organizations today, there’s a huge win lurking right there. You just need to find people who are better at all this than the ones who made that disaster possible.
Then, fire any manager who has not acted in the past on complaints. Establish a system that promises to put anyone in jail against whom credible complaints have been filed.
There are thousands of those walking around right now working for organizations funded by you and me directly, and by our taxes too, free to abuse another girl or little boy, and then another one tomorrow, or a mother who needs to feed her child(ren) because her home has been swept away by floods or bombs.
And make this the number one issue for the UN (yeah, I know, that same UN), to discuss and control as per tomorrow morning. Get multiple countries’ military to deliver what Oxfam did before, and make sure all soldiers understand what’ll happen to them at the first sign of abuse, of money, of people, anything at all.
There are many things out there that we can’t control, but this one we can. Because, as I said, in all locations where aid is needed, there are local people available to deliver it without trying to abuse, centralize, institutionalize it, profit from it, or turn it into a business. Just keep aid donations so small it’s not interesting to do any of those things.
At the UN level, I’m thinking Jimmy Carter. He’s the only man I can conjure up who has the integrity to clean up this mess. I know, one is a very small number. But Carter will know others. Big job, but doable. After all, we can’t very well have the worst of our own societies run rampant in places where people are defenseless against them.
Oh wait, that right there is another reason why our governments like the way things are going, just fine, isn’t it? Oxfam allows them (us) to export their perverts.
Well, screw that. We’re better than our governments.
To summarize: right now, your donation to Oxfam literally pays for pedophiles to go rape children across the world. Not every penny or dollar (they need their shiny offices too), but that’s not the point: your dollars keep the aid industry, the system, and therefore the opportunity for the abuse going. Is that what you want?