Thursday, September 09, 2010

SPECIAL REPORT. The USAID-CIA consortium in which Obama was raised.

The world of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and U.S. government-run foreign assistance priograms in which President Obama was raised has long been dominated by the CIA. It is against this backdrop that Obama's continuation of Bush-era covert and overt intelligence operations abroad must be seen. Obama's mother, father, and step-father directly benefited from U.S. government assistance programs in countries where the CIA backed despotic regimes, lavishing them with hundreds of millions of dollars of assistance.

USAID and the Soetoros' years of living dangerously in Indonesia

Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, worked on micro-financing projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Ford Foundation, both linked to the CIA, that helped prop up dictatorships in Indonesia and Pakistan. After Suharto seized power in 1965, USAID returned to Indonesia, with Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro as one of its chief employees, to help Suharto create the New Order (Orde Baru) that would usher in decades of fascist and kleptocratic rule. Suharto established the Bureau of Logistics (BULOG) that steered USAID-provided rice and other food staples to Suharto's business cronies. Suharto also relied on a group of U.S. economists, including Obama's mother, to re-engineer Indonesia's socialist economy. The group was called the "Berkeley mafia" and it ensured that Indonesia was compliant with dictates of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and large Western commercial banks. It is a family history that Obama refuses to comment on and one that is certainly nothing to be proud of.

While USAID was moving into Indonesia in 1965, USAID contractors flying for the CIA airline, Air America, were dropping off weapons and picking up drugs in Laos and dropping off the contraband in Thailand and South Vietnam.

One of the covert CIA operations that Obama continues is the use of USAID as a front for destabilizing foreign governments.

Obama continues USAID operations with the CIA

One USAID contractor, Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) of Bethesda, Maryland, has been caught red-handed providing assistance to opposition forces in Cuba and Venezuela. DAI contractor Alan Gross was arrested in Cuba last December. Gross claimed to be installing Internet and other communications networks for the Jewish community in Cuba, however, leading members of that community reported they had never heard of Gross. The Cuban leadership has kept Gross in prison, believing him to be a spy. Recently, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson went to Cuba seeking Gross's release.

USAID has long been involved in trying to oust the Castro government in Cuba, funneling money through the Cuban-American National Foundation, the Center for a Free Cuba, and even a German foundation, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, an adjunct of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Party.

DAI is heavily involved with USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives, which transfers U.S. funds to opposition parties, labor and student movements, and other groups that are pro-American. DAI, under USAID contract, was caught providing U.S. funds to Venezuelan labor unions and media outlets that supported the CIA-led coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2002.

In Haiti, USAID, acting at the behest of the CIA, funded political opposition to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, ousted in CIA-backed coups in 1991 and 2004. After Aristide's return to power in 1994, USAID money used to oppose Aristide was funneled through a "Project Democracy." Today, USAID is providing dubious small and micro-financing loans to small businesses in Haiti. The legacy of the micro-loan scheme created, in part, by Obama's mother continues in the earthquake-ravaged nation.

Bolivian President Evo Morales tossed USAID out of his country, charging it with acting with the CIA to destabilize Bolivia and bring about a coup. To this day, USAID is providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in aid to groups trying to undermine Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

During his ten-year rule, Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori and his intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, thought to be a CIA asset, reportedly received USAID funds to put down the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru guerrilla movements.

Continuing USAID and CIA covert ops in Pakistan and Indonesia

Currently, private military contractors working for the ex-Blackwater, now Xe Services, have been reported to be posing as USAID employees in Pakistan. Last year, the Pakistani press reported that USAID was bypassing the Pakistan ministries of Education and Information and providing direct educational assistance to Pakistani students. One USAID program in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan resulted in some $45 million disappearing down a virtual black hole.

In the 1980s, when Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Obama, Jr. spent time in Pakistan, USAID opened up a major office in Islamabad that distributed "non-lethal aid" to Afghan mujaheddin refugees in Pakistan, particularly in Peshawar. Some of the USAID assistance was also reportedly used to buy weapons for the Afghan mujaheddin but some of the weapons ended up in the hands of Pakistani Muslim radicals intent on ousting Pakistani dictator Muhammad Zia-ul Haq. Other USAID money ended up paying for expensive automobiles for leading Afghan mujaheddin commanders in Pakistan. Zia-uk Haq, his top generals, U.S. ambassador Arnold Raphel, and the head of the U.S. military aid mission in Islamabad General Herbert Wassom were killed in the suspicious crash of their C-130 aircraft in August 1988. A board of inquiry concluded that poisonous gas was released inside the aircraft causing it to crash after take-off in Bahawalpur.

The June 18, 1998, Jakarta Postreported that USAID programs in Indonesia continued to be fronts for CIA activity. Specifically, the paper said two Indonesian NGOs, the Indonesian Environmental Forum and the Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation, were charged with accepting money from USAID but should have known that the aid did not come "free of charge" and was linked to the CIA.

USAID: no aid is free of charge

In 2002, USAID in Palestine, where DAI is also active, demanded detailed personal information on all the members of NGOs that received American funding. The Palestinian press reported that the information, including personal political opinions of NGO members, was to be turned over to the CIA and eventually, Mossad, to apply pressure on the NGOs to comply with U.S. and Israeli policies.

For years, USAID operated in Manila from the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency building at the Ramon Magsaysay Center on Roxas Boulevard in the Malate district of the city. In 2000, the offices moved to the Makati district of the city but the building that hosued USAID was always known to locals as the "CIA building." The building, owned by the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation, in honor of the Philippines President who died in a 1955 plane crash, was built in 1959 with a loan from the Rockefeller family. The Rockefellers also provided grants to the Magsaysay Foundation.

In 2004, USAID was charged by Philippines opposition parties of using CIA agents to "monitor" elections in the country. The deal to permit USAID observers was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The head of the Anakpawis Party, Crispin Beltran, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "So much for independence when foreign intelligence agents can broker an official agreement with the Comelec (election commission) allowing them to interfere in the polls."

The CIA-linked Asia Foundation, which worked closely with the CIA-funded East-West Center at the University of Hawaii in Manoa, where Obama's mother met her second husband, General Suharto's colonel, Lolo Soetoro, was linked closely to USAID covert programs in Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Vietnam, Thailand, Palau, Malaysia, and other Asian-Pacific nations. In Laos and Thailand, USAID officials provided counter-insurgency military training to Laotian and Thai special forces. In 1970, Dan Mitrione, a USAID official who was working for the CIA training Uruguyan special police on torture tactics, was kidnapped and killed by Tupamaro guerrillas.

In 1988, USAID opened a huge compound in a suburb of San Jose, Costa Rica that many Costa Ricans charged was the CIA headquarters for the "parallel state" established by the CIA in Costa Rica to support the contra-led civil war in neighboring Nicaragua. USAID also pumped millions of dollars in loans, some at zero percent, to private banks in Costa Rica to undermine the state banking system.

In 1995, Representative Mel Reynolds (D-IL), who was convicted of having sex with an underage female campaign worker, was also revealed as working for U.S. intelligence in the 1980s, via employment with the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and USAID in Africa, particularly in Sudan. Reynolds, an African-American, also spent time in Israel under USIA cover.

Obama has continued USAID's involvement in CIA-directed programs in former Soviet states, including Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan. In so doing, USAID complements the destabilization efforts of George Soros and his network of NGOs. Soros was a major financial backer of Obama's presidential campaign. In 1999, Croatian media reported that USAID was working through various NGOs, some connected to Soros, to oust the ailing Croatian President Franjo Tudjman. The paper Vjesnikcharged that USAID, as well as the U.S. Information Service (USIS), were used as ''tampons between the American non-governmental agencies and American state bodies." The paper said the USAID program to aid Tudjman's opposition was run by the CIA and coordinated by the U.S. ambassador in Zagreb, William Montgomery.

In a 2008 Russian documentary film, "Technology of Modern Coup," Bermet Akayeva, the daughter of ousted Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, ousted in the 2005 Tulip Revolution, stated, "USAID is very actively financed by the Soros Foundation, by the National Democratic Institute and some kind of training is carried out constantly. However, it is difficult to describe USAID as an NGO given that it is under the U.S. Department of State. They work very actively." Akayeva said there were rumors in Kyrgyzstan that the U.S.-backed coup plotters distributed narcotics to rioters who participated in the coup.

In the north Caucasus, NGOs supported by USAID, have been accused by Russian authorities of having links to Chechen terrorists.

In 2002, Eritrea expelled USAID from the country, accusing it of working with the CIA to overthrow the government and assisting Ethiopia, which had engaged in a border war with Eritrea.

USAID in Africa: involvement in political assassinations and corruption

In 2009, Susan Tsvangirai, the wife of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, was killed in an automobile accident in which the Prime Minister was injured. The truck that struck their automobile was bought with USAID funds and bore a U.S. embassy license plate. USAID denied it had anything to do with the truck. Public Works Minister Theresa Mokone, a friend of Mrs. Tsvangirai, likened the crash to the mysterious auto accident that killed popular and incorruptible Tanzanian Prime Minister Edward Sokoine in 1984. Sokoine was the designated successor to President Julius Nyerere, who antagonized the CIA by his close ties with the Soviet Union and China. Sokoine created a number of enemies among the elite class when he ordered the assets of embezzlers and smugglers seized. USAID, at the time of Sokoine's possible assassination, was heavily-involved in Tanzania.

In Zaire, millions of dollars in USAID money was diverted by CIA-backed dictator Mobutu Sese Seko to amass his personal fortune making him one of the world's wealthiest leaders. Other USAID funds for Zaire were diverted to help the Angolan rebel forces of UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi, in violation of U.S. law prohibiting aid to Angolan rebel groups. The covert aid program to UNITA was started in 1976 by Gerald Ford's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Similarly, during the Reagan administration, USAID money was funneled through the National Endowment for Democracy to the Nicaraguan contras, again in violation of a specific law prohibiting such assistance.

During the late 1970s and 80s, USAID-funded "researchers" established links with African liberation movements, particularly the African National Congress of South Africa and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) of Zimbabwe. Actually, these programs were CIA activities using "leftist" academics to spy on the nationalist movements. The operations were concentrated in Harare, Zimbabwe and Cape Town, South Africa, and cities that had a large expatriate African student community, including London and Melbourne and Perth, Australia.

USAID and the oil industry

In 1998, USAID participated in a closed-door meeting between major oil companies and the CIA, National Security Council, and three State Department officials, Stuart Eisenstat, Thomas Pickering, and Susan Rice (now Obama's ambassador to the UN) . The topic was exploitation of Africa's oil resources and the senior executives of Exxon, Mobil, Chevron (where Condoleezza Rice was a board member), and Texaco were present along with Department of Energy and Petroleum Finance Corporation officials.

In 2000, the CIA and USAID worked jointly through a private military company, Military Professional Resources, Inc. (MPRI) to train the Nigerian army in tactics to combat secessionists in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta region. The CIA also commissioned the services of a private business intelligence and risk firm, Evidence-Based Research (EBR) of Vienna, Virginia, which appears to be a very similar operation to the CIA front, Business International Corporation, for which Obama worked in 1984, to conduct an assessment of the tribal revolt in the Niger Delta region, referred to by the CIA as a "semi-riot zone." EBR was formed in 1987, a year after Business International was sold to the Economist Intelligence Unit in London.

A formerly Secret CIA Intelligence Assessment, dated June 1983, and titled "Indonesia: Deteriorating Prospects for Energy Diversification," warns of a drop in Indonesia's oil export capacity. The CIA, along with USAID and the World Bank/IMF, had invested heavily in Indonesia, most importantly, to secure the nation's oil supply for the United States and its allies.

After helping Suharto seize power, Soetoro became an official of the Indonesian state-owned oil company, Pertamina, and Mobil Oil. The CIA assessment states: "Huffco and Mobil, two U.S. firms, rapidly developed natural gas exports for the Japanese market in the past decade in partnership with Pertamina." The memo states that this development, as well as coal, hydro, and geothermal, was carried out with strong financial and technical assistance from the World Bank and foreign aid donors like USAID. Huffco is Huffington Oil, founded in 1956 by Texas oil man Roy M. Huffington, the father of former Representative Michael Huffington (R-CA), a former vice chairman of Huffco and the ex-husband of Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post. The Huffingtons divorced in 1997 and a year later Michael Huffington announced that he was gay. More noteworthy is the fact that Roy Huffington, who died in 2008, was a seven-year chairman of the Asia Society, linked to the East-West Center in Hawaii, where Obama's father and step-father resided and the CIA.

Case Study on how USAID was used by the CIA for political purposes

A case of how the CIA used USAID to prevent a left-wing political party to winning at the polls is Mauritius. In a formerly Secret CIA Intelligence Memorandum, dated June 1982, and titled "Mauritius: Moderate Government Threatened at Polls," the CIA discusses the use of USAID money to prop up the pro-Western Labor government Prime Minister Seewoosagur Ramgoolam at the expense of the leftist Militant Mauritian Movement (MMM) of Paul Berenger.

Ramgoolam was forced to adopt economically destructive austerity measures dictated by the IMF that resulted in high unemployment, wage reductions, and currency devaluation. The beneficiary of the economic downturn would have been Berenger and his socialist MMM. But the CIA and USAID intervened to send aid money to Ramgoolam. The CIA memo states: "Labor is attempting to limit the political fallout from the restrictive measures and regain the political initiative by the announcement in mid-May of . . . a large public works program that would employ 8,000 people. The funds for the program are derived from the USAID "Food for Work" agreement."

The importance of Ramgoolam to the CIA was his quiet support for the U.S. military base on Diego Garcia, a British island in the Indian Ocean over which Mauritius officially claimed sovereignty. The Pentagon also intervened in the Mauritian economic situation by agreeing to employ Mauritian workers on Diego Garcia. Ramgoolam also succeeded in getting an agreement for the United Kingdom to compensate 1200 Diego Garcians who were removed from the island to Mauritius in 1971 to make way for the military base.

USAID funds were used by the CIA to prevent the nightmare scenario for the agency. The memo states: "An MMM victory would be a political victory for the Soviets, shifting Mauritius from a pro-Western to an non-aligned or even pro-Soviet position. [sentence redacted]. Based on MMM rhetoric, however, Moscow has reason to believe that an MMM regime would deny the Western powers the limited, though useful, military access they now enjoy on Mauritius. An MMM regime would be a valuable ally in Moscow's campaign for an Indian Ocean zone of peace and against the US military presence on Diego Garcia."

The CIA also believed the MMM to be influenced by Libya, which it accused of stirring up Mauritian Muslim youth. However, MMM leader Berenger was, at the time, the prominent Christian political leader in Mauritius. The CIA memo states "The Libyans have been rumored to be storing weapons in the Seychelles for the MMM, according to the US Embassy in Seychelles."

The CIA memo states that an MMM victory would reduce the Hindu community's influence. Mauritian politics was dominated by Hindus of Indian origin. The CIA also believed that the MMM would invite Cuban medical doctors and teachers to the island nation.

The CIA memo also reveals that South Africa's apartheid regime was assisting Ramgoolam's re-election campaign costs to avert an MMM victory.


President Obama's entire career and family history strongly suggests that the person who now resides in the White House has a crass view of the world's downtrodden peoples. Years of exposure to CIA operatives operating under corporate, USAID, World Bank, micro-financing schemes, NGO, and diplomatic cover has extended the U.S. Intelligence Community's massive control over America's foreign and domestic policies. Frankly, it would be best for the United States if Obama does not run for another term as president. Let the secret control over the United States by groups answerable to no one finally end with the Obama administration.

THE ROVING EYE - AfPak and the new great game By Pepe Escobar

Nine years ago - one day before Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, Lion of the Panjshir, was killed by two al-Qaeda jihadis disguised as journalists; and three days before 9/11 - who would have thought that Afghanistan would still be mired in a war of 150,000 United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops against 50 or 60 al-Qaeda jihadis plus a horde of Pashtun nationalists vaguely bundled up as "Taliban"? Not even the Bearded One upstairs who, by the way, according to Stephen Hawking, had nothing to do with creating this valley of tears we all inhabit.

Another year. Another 9/11 anniversary. The same Afghanistan war. It may not be the "war on terror" anymore - rebranded "overrseas contingency operations" by the Barack Obama administration. It may have become Obama's "good war" - rebranded as AfPak and costing US taxpayers US$100 billion a year (and counting). But Obama still wallows in the mire of being a hostage to George W Bush's wars.
As much as Washington may entertain the illusion that it's in command, it's actually Hamid Karzai, the wily Afghan president, who is playing an attacking game in this latest installment of the New Great Game in Eurasia. And, as usual, there's never a mention anywhere of the key Pipelineistan game.

Round up the usual suspects
As it must be clear by now, Pakistan is essentially an army/intelligence establishment disguised as a country. The army/Inter-Services Intelligence tandem has been and will always be pro-Taliban. Anyone who believes the tandem will "reform" - with or without billions of dollars of US aid - believes in the Easter bunny.

For Islamabad it's still - and will always be - about "strategic depth", the doctrine that rules Afghanistan as a privileged Pakistani-controlled backyard (that's exactly what it was between 1992, at the start of the intra-mujahideen wars, till the end of the Taliban "government" in 2001).

Pakistani army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kiani - a darling of the Pentagon - has been granted a three-year extension to his mandate. Karzai took no time to duly note the obvious: Kiani will continue to pull all stops to be the top dog in Kabul. So he must be accommodated.

All of this, considering that the utmost objective for the Pakistan army remains to collect more nuclear weapons in view of that particular South Asian version of Armageddon - a do-or-die confrontation with visceral enemy India.

For all his infinite shenanigans, Karzai has - correctly - concluded that US and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) firepower and General David Petraeus' COIN-drenched operations will never defeat the resistance-to-foreigners fighting umbrella commonly described as "Taliban".

Karzai has also sensed that Obama's Afghan strategy is in tatters. Inside the US, Republicans - with their eyes on capturing congress in November's elections - will go on overdrive to portray the president as a non-military wimp, while the Pentagon will force him to back off his imposed July 2011 deadline for the beginning of a transition to a measure of Afghan sovereignty. And all this while Petraeus sells the current Afghan surge as a "victory", as he did with the Iraqi version, thus burnishing his CV with a view to a run for the White House in 2012.

As more than anything he is committed to perpetuating himself in power, Karzai saw which way the wind was blowing and has decided to cultivate his own garden, and improve relations with his two key neighbors east and west - Pakistan and Iran. He has seen the future as a power-sharing deal in Kabul with no Americans involved.

Thus Karzai's formal announcement this past weekend of a High Peace Council tasked with engaging in peace talks with the Taliban. The idea had been approved three months ago by a jirga in Kabul including 1,600 tribal, religious and political leaders from a few Afghan provinces. Karzai basically wants to seduce Taliban foot soldiers with cash and job offers in the administration machine, and Taliban leaders with asylum in selected Muslim countries.

One is bound to expect all the usual suspects engage in the travesty of being peace council members. They include former mujahideen leader Burhanuddin Rabbani (to whom Massoud was subordinated); former Saudi-connected mujahid Abdul Rasul Sayyaf (suspected until today of having a role in Massoud's assassination); and certainly a higher-up from the Hizb-i-Islami, led by former mujahid Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the only prime minister in history (in the mid-1990s) to have bombed his own capital.

Hizb-i-Islami and the Taliban - although extremely suspicious of each other - are more or less fighting for the same objective, ie the expulsion of the "foreign invaders". The Taliban are more predominant exactly where US and NATO troops are concentrating - in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, while Hizb is strongest in the north and eastern provinces.

What's left of this Karzai-engineered gambit is the Taliban agenda. Taliban leader Mullah Omar - invisible somewhere near Quetta, capital of Pakistan's Balochistan province - wants the invaders out immediately, and his unlimited power back. There's no chance in heaven - or hell - he'll fraternize with Karzai over a goat's head/Kabuli rice banquet.

Moreover, Karzai certainly won't seduce what remains of al-Qaeda. There are no more than 60 Arab al-Qaeda jihadis in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area, along with a few Uzbeks, Chechens and Turks. And there are around 50 Arab al-Qaeda jihadis who have crossed the border to Afghanistan - more or less the same estimate expressed by US Central Intelligence Agency supremo Leon Panetta over two months ago.

So essentially Washington is spending tsunamis of cash to fight a bunch of Arab jihadi instructors. Worse; what the US/NATO are actually fighting is a remixed version of the anti-Soviet 1980s jihad - a liberation war against foreign invasion.

Then there's the complicating factor of the Pakistani Taliban. There's hardly a day when their top spokesman, Qari Hussain Mehsud, does not issue threats. He has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed at least 50 Shi'ites in Quetta last Friday. He has insisted "targets" now comprise not only the "foreign invaders" but Shi'ites as well, and has promised attacks inside Europe and the US.

What is certain is that attacks in Peshawar, Quetta and Lahore (which, for the Pakistani Taliban, is like New York for al-Qaeda) are bound to intensify. For Islamabad, the riddle is how to dismantle the collaborative network involving al-Qaeda, the Pakistani Taliban, the anti-Shi'ite Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the anti-Iran, Balochistan-based Jundallah. But Karzai is not worried about any of this; he believes he now has a masterplan to "secure" Afghanistan.

All about Pipelineistan
What the Islamabad establishment wants for Afghanistan is diametrically opposed to India's interests. So no wonder India is counter-attacking - by improving its relations with both Russia and Iran.

For Russia, the key national security challenge in Afghanistan is not so much the spread of Talibanization to Central Asia; rather it's the massive heroin trafficking that is corrupting and devastating Russian youth. Moreover, instead of just gleefully watching the US flounder in its own quagmire - Afghanistan as a new Vietnam - Russia has also decided to unleash its own version of nation-building in Afghanistan, investing in infrastructure and natural resources while making some money on the side.

As for the India-Iran rapprochement, it is inevitable even with the avalanche of cumulative United Nations/US/European Union sanctions against Tehran - as New Delhi is actively encouraging Indian companies to invest in the Iranian energy sector, and the Foreign Ministry has made it a priority to engage Iran diplomatically. Russian, Indian and Turkish companies - they have all spectacularly ignored Western sanctions and will continue to trade with Iran.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Team B-style outfits such as the Afghanistan study group - which releases its report on Wednesday [1] - multiply their efforts in trying to find a way out of the Afghan quagmire. But for all their intellectual firepower, there is not a word about one of the absolutely key reasons for the US to be in Afghanistan: Pipelineistan (the other key reason is of course the Pentagon's crush on maintaining bases to monitor/survey both "strategic competitors" China and Russia).

We're back once again to the TAPI vs IPI Pipelineistan "war"; TAPI as the natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan crossing Afghanistan to Islamabad and then India, and IPI as the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline.

In a few days, as Turkmenistan officials are spinning, there may be a potentially crucial meeting in Ashgabat, when TAPI officials from all four countries may lay down the basics for a pipeline deal (if built only as TAP, the pipeline would be 2,000 kilometers long and cost $7 billion).

But while TAP or TAPI is an eternal pipe dream, the $7.5 billion, 1,100-kilometer-long IP is already rolling. That's what Iran and Pakistan announced over two months ago, with operations starting in 2014. This proves, once again, that Western sanctions against Iran also don't mean a thing to Pakistan - as its energy needs are a vital matter of national security trumping Washington's designs.

And the same applies to India. New Delhi's pragmatic leaders cannot possibly believe that TAPI will ever see the light of day. It's also crucial to remember that IP was originally IPI - the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, widely dubbed in Southwest Asia as "the peace pipeline". India pulled out because of - what else - relentless Washington pressure. But now India is back on the table - discussing not only IPI but a second, although remote, possibility - an underwater II (Iran-India) pipeline.

New Delhi very well knows that China is salivating with the prospect of a northern extension of IP, alongside the Karakoram highway, towards Xinjiang in western China. Already Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has suggested that if India keeps on wobbling, this will be the Iran-Pakistan-China pipeline.

The next contours of the New Great Game in Eurasia widely reside on who will win in these Pipelineistan wars involving Central Asia, South Asia and Southwest Asia. Considering the accumulated Western package of sanctions/blockades/embargoes, the ball would be on Iran's court to fight tremendous odds and upgrade its technology, build IP or IPI, and guarantee natural gas flowing non-stop.

Any moves against Iran will be seen all across Asia as an attack against the Asia Energy Security Grid; a classic, Pipelineistan-configured, war of Washington against Asian integration. As for the competing option, it's pure surrealism; who can possibly believe Karzai will convince the Taliban not to profit from the same pipeline the Americans wanted to build before they decided to bomb the Taliban out of power?

1. Click here.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

James Petras, War Crimes in Gaza and the Zionist Fifth Column in America

James Petras, teacher and humanist of a rare , encyclopedic, analytical intelligence, author of this compact masterwork, has long been recognized as the foremost social scientist of the United States

Frederick Clairmonte - 05.09.10

Clear Day Books, pp.132, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010.

Frederic Clairmonte was for many years a permanent senior economic affairs officer in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). He is one of the world’s leading international marketing and financial analysts.

1. James Petras, teacher and humanist of a rare , encyclopedic, analytical intelligence, author of this compact masterwork, has long been recognized as the foremost social scientist of the United States. I would go one step further without indulging in hyperbole , as I believe that most readers of this publication would concur with me, that his voluminously enduring creations forged over decades have clambered to the highest summits of world journalism and scholarship . Is it not obvious that he, and the noble causes worldwide that he has championed, should be the object of obloquy, loathing and persecution by the adversaries of all liberation struggles?

2. The memory of the ongoing crimes of what I have called the Zio-fascist state depicted with such matchless brio in this work never be ephemeral. This is so because these acts of colonial bestiality rank among the most atrocious in the annals of mankind’s tortured history. Long after the tribunals of history have met and proclaimed their irrevocable verdict of guilty, the sheer scale and horrors of these crimes will neither be forgiven nor forgotten. This creation is destined to become a classic not only in the history of colonialism but because it reveals the indomitable spirit of resistance of the Palestinians that have stood up and fought back at times with little more than sticks, stones and their bare fists against a murderous oppressor. Thus the Intifada will rank as one of the greatest epic struggles of resistance of all times.

3. The parturition of Israel was born in blood and torture, imprisonment and mass murder. The start of this genocidal thrust is Al Naqba (1947) that marked the advent of this mass pillage and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their native lands in a struggle that is still unfinished and which has endured for almost seven decades. A grisly process that can only be eradicated by the end of this ignominious occupation ; and not the fake quest and wicked charade of what has been brandished ‘ a negotiated settlement’. The masters of the Zion- fascist state are not alone in their crimes against humanity for the enemies of the Palestinian peoples are also rooted in the United States, the European Union, certain Arab states notably Saudi Arabia, Egypt , Jordan and the Arab League that have been the unquestioned accomplices to their crimes.

4. The creation of Greater Israel which is one of the quintessential pivots of Zionist ideology owes its provenance to the Nazi-inspired racialist doctrine of the Herrenvolk, or the master race, among whose paramount practitioners were Heydrich and Himmler and their killer caste. In this perspective, the Zio-fascist state that labels itself Israel and considers all Arabs as the Untermensch, whose lands and people are legitimate plunder to be used and junked, stands forth as the legatus apostolicus of Nazidom. It is therefore not an aberration that Rabbi Obadiah Josef, leader of the Shays party and one of the country’s most revered clerics ((some of whose members are in Netanyahu’s cabinet including the minister of the interior and the deputy prime minister) in his sermon for Rosh Hashanah ( the New Year) could clamor for the death of the Palestinian political leadership and the physical annihilation by missiles and bombs of all Arabs and Palestinians “ who are evil enemies of Israel.”

No doubt the same pseudo religious rantings apply to the peoples of Iran that are also fated for the nuclear chopping bloc. To make sure that his audience fully grasped his message of exterminism he stressed at the end of his benediction that in the execution of this act of annihilation “there can be no place for mercy and pity”.

5. The findings of B Tselem, an Israeli human rights group, remind us of the scale of these huge land grabs, euphemistically peddled under the innocuous nostrum of ‘settlements’. The aggregate land grabs (300,000) have gobbled up 42% of the West Bank plus another 200,000 in East Jerusalem. The agony has not run its course. . This is what the masters of the Zio-fascist state have labeled “facts on the grounds”. Most of these ‘settlements’ are being funded by the big money bags of Zionist finance capital which, with the blessing of the US Treasury, are tax deductible.

6. Excluding the huge German reparations, since 1950 Israel has received yearly $5bn (that is the private sector payouts from international Jewry plus the US government) which works out to around $300bn over six decades and that in a land of about 6 million. Any move to halt this financial hemorrhage from a stricken US economy to Israel would be knifed by the Zionist cabals. Such massive unrelenting accumulation combined with the exploitation of an undifferentiated mass of Palestinian labour toiling for subsistence wages have rocketed the fortunes of Israeli capitalism now firmly meshed into the moorings of global imperialism.

Not surprisingly, its per capita GDP is now 65% of its US counterpart. And growing faster. Thanks to its US financial moguls the Zio-fascist state has now been rocketed into the ranks of the OECD of rich countries... It is a de facto member of the European Union as well as NATO as Bush jubilantly proclaimed. I have underscored from of these salient facts that will enrich our understanding of the nature of what the author perceptively calls the Zionist Fifth Colunm in America.

7. His creation revolves around what he designates as the Zionist Power Configuration. The categorization is accurate but I would have preferred another designation that I have called the Zio-fascist complex so as to accentuate and throw into sharper relief the horrors of its being . The operative word is ‘fascist’ for, as Fidel Castro scathingly noted at the time of the genocidal assault against the defenseless people of Gaza, Israel is a brazen, despicable, Fascist monster. The mobilization and propagation of its power in the United States, on behalf of Israel, is exercised by elected and appointed Zionist officialdom. One of the keys to its awesome firepower is that it is a mass grassroots organization buttressed by the financial support of scores of millionaires, dozens of billionaires and an irreversibly corrupt mass media that is its handmaiden.

8. It hegemonizes, and in many instances has paralyzed the workings of the US Congress and the Executive. The United States and its military-political caste oligarchy is the epicenter of Zio fascist firepower and the unique propellant of Israeli war aims in the Middle East, strikingly so towards Iran now threatened with the nuclear bludgeon. This Zio- fascist phalanx not only acts as a foreign agent of Israel now, but has overtly done so over the last five decades. Influence is focused with laser-like accuracy on the epicenters of power: the Congress, the Treasury, the State Department, National Security and the Pentagon and all leading Congressional committees that relate to Israeli expansionism.

The career profiles of the all intrusive power of its professionals that are the quintessence of the Fifth Column are to be found in every nook and cranny of Wall Street, the globe-girdling corporate law firms, the insurance industry, the big three stock market rating agencies and the big three accounting oligopoly. A point that the author makes clear when he emphasizes that “in effect pro-Israel career patterns and projections of power have established a kind of Judeo-Zionist hegemony of US public life.” In this perspective the regime scaffolded since 1947 must be seen as a totalitarian regime that continues to obliterate the most rudimentary forms of human rights and democratic aspirations; a feat that it has engineered with the concurrence of the US caste oligarchy.

9. This is one of the salient traits of the operational Fifth Column that operates within the United States. The retention of its grip is vastly magnified by the stranglehold on the major media outlets notably on the Middle East that is a primordial concern of Israel’s foreign policy. This is seen, as the author argues, by the power exercised by Israel First academics that straddle the editorial pages of the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and almost exclusively the entire print media. Its power extends to the major TV media: Fox News, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN as well as secondary outlets.

It would be difficult to do justice to the prodigious research which sheds light on the interlocking directorates in every domain over which the Fifth Column has exercised its paramount influence. In understanding the parameters of the system it must not be ignored that the ramifications of the Zionist behemoth are by no means solely confined to the kingdom of the US political caste oligarchy. Indeed its tentacles are globalized. It is exhibited in strength in all the major EU countries. Among its ventriloquist dummies will be found the likes of Kouchner and Miliband, Berlusconi and Aznar.

10. There is an overarching unity in Petras’ entire work sanctified by an alluring stylistic grace and elegance where le mot juste is never remote. A work that conjures up the dictum of the great Bossuet (1627-1704) spring to mind: ‘le style c’est l’homme.” It is this stunning assemblage of words and ideas , the relentless pursuit of truth , and not the fakery of one hundred footnotes per page, that has rocketed him into the ranks the world’s leading social scientists, publicists, broadcasters and public figures.

The sheer expanse of his reach is not confined to a single continent illumining the planetary scope of his creations. In short, his all-encompassing and militant internationalism exposes ruthlessly the logic and genocidal madness of imperialism and its works. When the war criminals in Israel and their henchmen are flung to the tribunal of justice, as ineluctably they must and will be, this poignant work which is an indictment of their crimes, will be a salutary reminder of the scale of these crimes.

11. Like many of his life-long readers, I have been the benefactor of what I regard as his enduring teachings. Some have called him a sociologist but such professional categories fail to grasp the essence of his work as do other attributes as political scientist and economist. This is an attribute he shares with Marx whose Promethean creations transcends such wholly trivial professional pigeon holes. Like Marx and Keynes he has combined seamlessly meshed the creative flows of journalism and scholarship.

12. As his adversaries have long recognized he is a social scientist of a special breed. One whose exalted moral commitments, militancy and impassioned combat merge with his revolutionary strivings. It is this that demarcates him from the pedestrian academic herd of bourgeois scholarship whose pseudo academic dribblings are wedded to the perpetuation of the prevailing propertied order. And hence the bulk of those who market themselves under the name of social scientists have pursued trajectories that have transformed them, directly and indirectly, into the apparatchiks of imperialism.

13. A social scientist I might add of a special breed in that he has swept aside contemptuously the trappings of a decadent and irrevocably corrupt academic order that has prostituted itself in the market place . The ranks of the upper crust of this caste have swelled over time and with the lush pickings and prospects of corporate droppings and other insidious forms of political office holding.

14. This inspired humanist with unbending single-mindedness has clung through thick and thin of the social, political and ideological struggles. He stands in the forefront of all social and political struggles for the making of a better world -- a world in which the terrors of class rule, exploitation and social injustices spawned by capitalism and imperialism will be consigned to the rubbish can of history... What matters in this context is not the savagery and duration of the battle but the belief that ultimately the forces of evil can brought to book. In this respect he could be likened to what the Red Army would have called a Frontovnik: a combatant on the front line who battles on relentlessly, knowing well that bulldozing the system into its fetid grave can only be achieved by those that grasp the logic ( and illogic) of the system’s rapacity..

15. It is the bold uncompromising marshaling and analysis of these interlocking facts that helps to explain how the US caste oligarchy subjected to the assaults of an omnipresent Zionist Fifth Column has become the major accomplice of Israeli war crimes amid unanimous worldwide condemnation. It is the surfacing of these facts which help also to elucidate the utterly depraved conduct of the Obama White House and the fact that nine-tenths of the US Congress excoriated the Goldstone Report. Since this book went to press the preparations for the obliteration of Iran have gathered speed. Almost unanimously the Congress has demanded even ‘more crippling sanctions’ – the term is that of Clinton - as though the already existing body of criminal sanctions and embargoes were inadequate.. The vote in Congress was galvanized by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and boisterously acclaimed by all the major 51 American Jewish organizations.

16. The upsurge of Zionism as he notes is a virulent form of tribal-religious identity linked to a foreign power. Its overwhelmingly successful hegemonic inroads have been abetted by the abject capitulation of the US ruling class oligarchy and its failure to recognize a US national identity. The US political complex and successive administrations with no exception have become part of the interlaced web of Zionist power that is ramified in every nook and cranny of all sectors of American capitalism. It was revelatory that there was not a whimper from the zionized White House when Israel’s foreign minister was brazen enough to pontificate that if had not been for the Gulf oil calamity, the Obama war machine ( no doubt with the support of Israel) would have nuked Iran. No less revelatory was that there was not a solitary member of Congress that that bellowed his indignation against this outrageous remark.

17.In conclusion , it is to be hoped that Petras’ grand body of scholarship embodying years of painstaking research will be translated into all languages and be read by many people of our planet with their diverse cultures, creeds and political persuasions. What ought never be obscured is that the creation of this combatant and humanist is not merely a pitiless dissection of the Zio-fascist complex , but no less important, I am confident, is that it will long find its niche as an irrepressible documentation that raises its rebel voice against these sordid crimes against humanity. It is thus a cri de coeur for human dignity and decency that imperialism and its acolytes have always consigned to the gutter.

18. In a recent encounter with President Shimon Peres, an entrenched Zionist and implacable hater of Palestinians , which is not incompatible with his confessed boundless love for occupied Palestinian land , an obsequious Obama raised the question. “What can we do for Israel?” Given the fact that Obama is a political money-raising hustler of long standing the question was obviously touted for publicity reasons: to solicit funds from the Zionist money-bags in the United States that have always lavishly bankrolled the Democratic party. We are not privy to the retort of Peres whose open contempt for the US presidential stooges of Israel requires no publicity. But I presume his riposte runs something like this:

“Just keep on groveling as you and other Presidents have done. If we spit in your face as we did to Biden and bombard your warships, just give us your other cheek. . And forget it. Make sure, however, that you keep on shoveling your debased dollars into our money boxes. . And, above all, keep going through the motions of the crapulous babble of negotiated settlements for as you well know there is nothing to negotiate... The facts on the ground already speak for themselves.”

Monday, September 06, 2010

CIA did business with Blackwater through over 30 brass plate firms -- WMR names them

CIA did business with Blackwater through over 30 brass plate firms -- WMR names them

In yet another example of how Barack Obama is subservient to the wishes of the CIA, his one-time employer through a well-documented front company, it has been revealed by the Senate Armed Services Committee that the former Blackwater established a network of 31 brass plate, shell, and off-shore tax dodging subsidiaries, many of which had contracts with the CIA. Some of these contracts continue with the CIA, as well as the State Department. The CIA's contract work with the successor companies to Blackwater and its subsidiaries has been authorized by CIA director Leon Panetta, who one former CIA official described to WMR as an "asshole who is merely a figurehead."

The New York Times recently reported that the Senate Armed Services Committee released a chart showing that Blackwater and its various entities, described as over 30 shell companies, to garner U.S. government contracts even after it was cited for human rights violations in Iraq and Afghanistan. More recently, the successor to Blackwater, Xe Services LLC, was awarded a $100 million contract by the CIA to provide security for its base of operations in Afghanistan. Erik Prince, Blackwater's founder, recently moved to Abu Dhbi with his family to seek new business for Xe Security in the region.

The New York Times misses the point in its revelation. Blackwater/Xe and all of its contrivances, many of them off-shore firms far removed from U.S. government oversight, fit the pattern usually found with CIA front companies. The fact that President Obama, himself, worked for such a firm, Business International Corporation in Manhattan, appears to have been lost on Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and his committee investigators. With Panetta at Langley and Robert Gates, a former CIA director at the helm of the Pentagon, Obama has signalled to the U.S. intelligence community that the use of CIA proprietaries by his administration is every much "business as usual" as was the CIA's use of Southern Air Transport, another CIA proprietary, during the Iran-contra scandal of the 1980s. There also is no indication that Obama has abandoned the use of CIA airline proprietary firms, with post office box and mail drop addresses scattered across the United States that were first used by the Bush-Cheney administration in the CIA's "extraordinary rendition" kidnapping and secret detention program.

The Times article mentions two Blackwater/Xe shadow firms, XPG and Greystone Ltd. WMR previously reported on the use of Barbados's company confidentiality laws by Blackwater to establish Greystone as an international marketing arm of Blackwater/Xe. From Barbados, Blackwater/Xe is free to conduct mercenary recruiting operations from nations around the world with dismally poor human rights records and ex-security force personnel more than willing to engage in their murderous activities under contract to the CIA, Pentagon, or any other repressive tin-horn dictatorship willing to pay.

On October 13, 2007, WMR reported on Greystone stirring up a political hornet's nest on Barbados: "Blackwater USA's international marketing branch, Greystone, Ltd., registered as an International Business Company in Barbados, is beginning to create a political stir in the Caribbean island nation. Recently, Erik Prince, Blackwater's Chairman and CEO, testified under oath to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that Blackwater did not market foreign governments to provide security services. He testified that the only foreign contracts performed by Blackwater were under license from the U.S. government. However, Greystone's website statesthe following about the subsidiary's foreign marketing:

"Greystone is an international security services company that offers your country or organization a complete solution to your most pressing security needs. We have the personnel, logistical support, equipment, and expertise to solve your most critical security problems."

Prince seems to have omitted Greystone as a Blackwater firm during his congressional testimony. Or he perjured himself under oath. Blackwater's presence in Barbados, under the corporate confidentiality regimes of the Caribbean island nation's off-shore corporation hosting legal contrivances, has stirred up opposition in the country. Bajans are pointing to Prime Minister Owen Arthur's Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Senator Lynette Eastmond, who has oversight authority for foreign corporations in Barbados. However, the selection of Barbados as Blackwater's headquarters for its international marketing arm is likely due to the island nation's past cooperation with other U.S. covert activities."

In the book, "Jaded Tasks: Brass Plates, Black Ops, and Big Oil," this editor delved into the use of various corporate contrivances by U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies in the so-called "global war on terror." Although Obama said the global war terror is a thing of the past, it is another case of not listening to what Obama says but watching what he does. There is no indication that Obama is any different from his predecessor in using secretive corporate identities to mask U.S. covert operations, many of them of questionable legality, abroad.

The New York Times curiously did not produce Levin's committee's chart showing the some 30 Blackwater/Xe shell firms, partnerships, and subsidiaries. We are providing that information in the table of Blackwater/Xe's various corporate contrivances and linkages at the end of this article.

With private military contractors like Blackwater/Xe having hired tens of thousands of soldiers of fortune to supplement the military and para-military activities of the United States, Britain, and other countries, there may be another reason to keep these privateers fully employed. One such ex-private military contractor, who now finds himself out of work because of blowing the whistle on contract fraud and ties between private contractors and known terrorists, was more than willing to tell WMR what he discovered in his work in Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Afghanistan and that is that "Al Qaeda is made-up bullshit."

On April 16, 2010, General Stanley McChrystal, the then-commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, stated in a speech in Paris that the use of private security contractors in combat zones had "gone too far." Perhaps that was one of the major reasons that the CIA's sock puppet, Obama, and its one-time director, Gates, fired McChrystal. To have the top U.S. military commander questioning the CIA's covert wars and use of brigands to support them was likely the final nail in McChrystal's professional coffin.

With General David Petraeus, the neocons' favorite general, now in command in Afghanistan and Prince safely ensconced in Abu Dhabi, the CIA and its former employee Obama are free to continue to act in the shadows away from public scrutiny.

The Web of Blackwater

The Prince Group (holding company)

Blackwater USA à Xe Services LLC

Blackwater Worldwide à Xe Services

Prince Manufacturing

Total Intelligence Solutions (TIS), LLC

The Black Group (merged to form TIS)

The Terrorism Research Center, Inc. (merged to form TIS)

Technical Defense (merged to form TIS)

Blackwater Lodge & Training Center à US Training Center

Blackwater Airships, LLC à Guardian Flight Systems

Blackwater Maritime Solutions

Raven Development Group

Blackwater Target Systems à GSD Manufacturing

Blackwater Security Consulting

Blackwater Peace and Stability Operations Institute

Blackwater K-9

Aviation Worldwide Services (AWS) à AAR Corporation

STI Aviation, Inc. (subsidiary of AWS)

Air Quest, Inc.

Presidential Airways, Inc.

Blackwater SELECT (Karachi)

Kestral Holdings (Pakistani partner)

Kestral Logistics

Kestral Trading

Blackwater PTC

Paravant, LLC.


E&J Holdings LLC

Greystone, Ltd. (Barbados)

Satelles Solutions, Inc. (Philippines)

Constellation Consulting

Grupo Tactico (Chile) (partner) --> Red Tactica Consulting Group, Washington, DC

Neskowin (Uruguay) (recruiter)

Global Guards (Panama) (recruiter) --> Gun Supply (Lima) --> Triple Canopy --> Your Solutions, Inc. (Honduran recruiter) --> Clayton Consultants --> AIG

TigerSwan (spin-off)

Babylon Eagles/TigerSwan (Iraqi joint venture)

Sovereign Military Order of Malta (diplomatic cover)*

* Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta(SMOM) is a Roman Catholic order based in Rome and enjoying sovereignty under international law. It has observer status at the United Nations and issues diplomatic passports. It has diplomatic relations with a number of nations where Blackwater/Xe is reportedly active, including Chile, Philippines, Bulgaria, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Peru, Panama, Uruguay, and Somalia. The entity also operates its own military aircraft. Prince and other top Blackwater/Xe executives are members of the SMOM, leading to charges that they are trying to renew the Christian Crusades against the Muslims.