*edit, September 30, 2019 – I made a few tweaks to the introduction. I wrote about those who perish in Armageddon and, re-reading that I realized that it didn’t make sense. I must have said “in” but meant “before.” That’s been changed. And I used the phrase “spiritually ruined” in a wrong way. By ruined, I mean completely lost. But, Just because you don’t know the truth that will save you, that doesn’t mean that you’re evil. You may be making progress but have some way to go. I’d call such a person spiritually immature, or if the progress has stopped, spiritually damaged. Either way, those who have made some spiritual progress but not enough, who aren’t cursed (damned), are spiritually weak and in need of strong medicine, which it will be up to them to take.
Is Malala mentally and spiritually ruined? How has she handled the friendship of the malevolent powerful and influential actors, below, that insinuated themselves into her life? (And, as I was researching online into this I found that those malevolent actors are innumerable.) What is the state of her education today? What are the chances that Malala has been able to escape the faulty education that results from immersion in the captured (by powerful, capitalist special interests) educational systems? What are the chances that Malala has learned to go beyond the corporate media that churns out fake news? (And will she even be able to find non establishment views and reports when the censorship happening right now all but deletes those?) Does Malala engage in active learning rather than passively accepting information pushed at us by the powerful and their assets? (I just finished reading Yves Engler’s book, “A Propaganda System – How Canada’s government, corporations, media and academia sell war and exploitation.” It’s horrifying. Corporate Canada, Canada’s military, Google! and special interests based in the US have taken over our education system!)
When I started to type up this essay, it wasn’t because Malala was in the news everywhere, all the time, like she was when she was attacked by the Taliban on October 9, 2012. (Malala’s book shows that she was attacked October 10. I guess the discrepancy has to do with time zones.) I just happened to have finally got around to reading her book. And because I had read Seymour Hersh’s book, “The Killing of Osama bin Laden,” already, I was able to spot right away Malala’s completely erroneous account of that event. As I started researching (open source, online) for this essay, I quickly discovered that a lot of good articles had already been written that say much of what I have to say about Malala. So, I won’t claim that my examination breaks new ground in any major way. I’m the one learning here. But I will share with you what writing this essay has taught me.
By the way, You ‘can’ be spiritually weak but not completely lost. God ‘cannot’ bless you or protect you in any way when you work against him, wittingly or unwittingly. But he’s our judge. Only God can know absolutely who is redeemable and who isn’t. For example, Those who perish before Armageddon (which must surely be close), who have not sold their souls (even if it looks like they have), will be resurrected by God’s power ‘and’ educated. Choices made (at any time) by those who have been educated sufficiently, about God, will be final. We all, in fact, get only one proper chance to show God whether we want to be a part of his family, with all of the blessings – including everlasting life on a paradise earth – that go with that, or else die (completely; there is no hell).
I saw Malala’s book in a used bookstore and bought it, knowing nothing more about Malala than most of the world. We all remember the awful report of her having been shot in the face by the Taliban for nothing more than being a normal human being and a decent one at that. Malala courageously sought to educate herself, and advocate for women’s education, in backward Pakistan. (Malala, a Pashtun, has a love/hate relationship with Pakistan, criticizing some of it’s negative features while expressing so much love for the country, which is not unusual.)
From pages 92-94 of “I Am Malala”:
“I am very proud to be a Pashtun, but sometimes I think our code of conduct has a lot to answer for, particularly where the treatment of women is concerned. A woman named Shahida who worked for us and had three small daughters told me that when she was only ten years old her father had sold her to an old man who already had a wife but wanted a younger one. When girls disappeared it was not always because they had been married off. There was a beautiful fifteen-year old girl called Seema. Everyone knew she was in love with a boy, and sometimes he would pass by and she would look at him from under her long dark lashes, which all the girls envied. In our society for a girl to flirt with any man brings shame on the family, though it’s all right for the man. We were told she had committed suicide, but we later discovered her own family had poisoned her.
“We have a custom called swara by which by which a girl can be given to another tribe to resolve a feud. It is officially banned but still continues. In our village there was a widow called Soraya who married a widower from another clan which had a feud with her family. Nobody can marry a widow without the permission of her family. When Soraya’s family found out about the union they were furious. They threatened the widower’s family until a jirga of village elders was called to resolve the dispute. The jirga decided that the widower’s family should be punished by handing over their most beautiful girl to be married to the least eligible man of the rival clan. The boy was a good-for-nothing, so poor that the girl’s father had to pay all their expenses. Why should a girl’s life be ruined to settle a dispute she had nothing to do with?”
When other girls who Malala went to school with would cover their heads and faces upon venturing out in to the street, Malala would just cover her head (pg 334). The treatment of women in Muslim countries, in my view, is awful (and, yes, it’s worse in some places than others). Good people are wrong if they think that forcing women to cover their heads, let alone their entire bodies, is right. And it is ‘force’ if it the covering of women’s heads is not something that they freely and voluntarily do. (And the fact that head covering, and traditional garb with which head covering is worn, can comprise an entire fashion industry that includes celebrities, is irrelevant.) ‘If’ women cover their heads because they fear that for them to not do so will bring disapproval or worse from the males in their families and communities, then they are being forced to cover their heads and I call that oppression. And if some of those women have internalized that oppression, and rationalized and justified it, that is beside the point.
I agree with my (un-politicized) brother who believes that Muslims hate Western culture, not only for this or that (and there’s lots of serious ‘this or that’ which would cause normal people to respond negatively), but because women in the West are not forced to wear head covering. That tracks. Our being different in that regard will be perceived by those who force their women to wear head covering as judgmental. (Judging something that you do is, however, not the same as judging you personally. But everyone makes judgments about everything all the time, and they must be free to. I have the right to judge whether something – including things that others do – is good for me or bad for me, just as others must have that right. I am not mindless.) Muslims are still human. The same psychological rules apply to them that apply to all humans. When you do and say things that you know are wrong, and can’t show enough humility to acknowledge your error, then you ‘will’ rationalize and justify your behavior. That is because we all have to live with ourselves. And rationalized behavior becomes ‘normal’. All those who behave and think differently than rationalizers (in regard to rationalized behavior) can now only be regarded by those rationalizers as behaving and thinking abnormally – which can be a big or small problem. (The Muslim who becomes a mass murdering jihadi, paid by the US or not, is one thing. The Muslim brother of the owner of a house my mother was renting an apartment in in Oshawa, who wouldn’t shake hands with my sister when she was helping my mother with business related to her apartment, is another, far less serious matter.)
My personal view of the matter is that while all of that may be true, and important, it’s still relatively unimportant. If forcing women to wear head covering was ‘all’ that men did to women, the world would be pretty good for females. The world would be better, period. I’ve discussed this with a Muslim friend and we agree on one thing; If the forced head covering is wrong, which we both agree that it is, then to victimize Muslim women a second time for being a part of a culture that requires that would also be wrong. I will never feel or show hostility toward women who wear head covering because they have to. Malala is a victim of her culture, as we all are in different ways. In my view, there’s very, very little of God’s culture on earth. (But, like democracy – which hardly exists anywhere – that doesn’t mean that some religious and non religious individuals don’t possess godly qualities and good intentions. Democracy on earth exists, mainly, only in the hearts and minds of some individuals. Societies are ruined. And while democracy isn’t theocracy, I don’t believe that theocracy excludes all elements of democracy. Regarding the little bit of God’s culture that can be found on earth at this time, I won’t agree with others about what that is.)
Incidentally, To my knowledge, the covering of women’s heads (and entire body) isn’t something that the Koran demands from Muslims, but I’m not an expert on the Koran.
Malala – like Bana Alabed and Greta Thunberg – has also been victimized by adults with bad intentions, and, in Malala’s case, by unsophisticated parents who did not possess the information and capacity to see ‘all’ of the dangers facing their courageous daughter. I can’t say anything about the Malala of 2019, or the parents of Malala in 2019 – which suggests to me a great investigative project but for someone with better research skills than I possess – but I fear for the worst. (A good sign would be something like Malala’s blunt words to Obama, largely hidden from the public, about the problem that his drones were causing, killing innocents and fuelling rage. I wonder what Malala might have told other world leaders, like Justin Trudeau, in private, that we don’t know about. But if Malala spilled the beans on her Obama meeting, I suppose we can assume that she would have also spilled the beans, if there were any to spill, on similar meetings with world leaders.) How would any young lady feel to know that she’s regarded as being the Mother Teresa of her country? Malala might not have known who Mother Teresa was, but she was clearly aware that much of the world knew who she was and was in her corner (problematically).
Malala describes the reaction (immediately and later when she was being operated on) to her shooting (pages 353, 358, 359 & 369):
“My father was bewildered by all the people gathered outside – politicians, government dignitaries, provincial ministers – who had come to show their sympathy. Even the governor was there; he gave my father 100,000 rupees for my treatment…
“That first morning, just a few hours after my operation, there was suddenly a flurry of activity, people neatening their uniforms and clearing up. Then General Kayani, the army chief, swept in. “The nation’s prayers are with you and your daughter,” he told my father. I had met General Kayani when he came to Swat for a big meeting at the end of 2009 after the campaign against the Taliban.
“I am happy you did a splendid job,” I had said at that meeting. “Now you just need to catch Fazlullah.” The hall filled with applause and General Kayani came over and put his hand on my head like a father…
“…Any time my parents wanted to take the short walk from the hostel to the hospital they first had to be cleared via walkie talkie, which took at least half an hour. They were even guarded as they crossed the hostel lawn to the dining hall. No visitors could get in – even when the prime minister came to see me he was not allowed inside. The security seemed astonishing, but over the last three years the Taliban had manage to infiltrate and attack even the most highly guarded military installations – the naval base at Mehran, the air force base in Kamra and the army headquarters just down the road.
The reference to Mother Teresa comes from one of Malala’s doctors, Doctor Fiona Reynolds. (See page 367 of “I Am Malala.” Mother Teresa, to my knowledge, was awful, but set that aside here.) Do you suppose that the adoration of Malala by so many might go to the young lady’s head? And, while I’m not prepared to call it a bad sign, I note that Malala has a thing about being number one (pg 332). There’s competition that’s harmless and competition that isn’t. There’s a liberal, individualist outlook and a socialist (normal, Godly) outlook. Which outlook would Malala’s powerful and influential friends encourage her to have?
“So I studied hard too. Usually I liked exams as a chance to show what I could do. But when they came around in October 2012 I felt under pressure. I did not want to come second to Malka-e-Noor again as I had in March. Then she had beaten me by not just one or two marks, the usual difference between us, but by five marks! I had been taking extra lessons with Sir Amjad, who ran the boy’s school. The night before the exams began I stayed up studying until 3 o’clock in the morning and reread an entire textbook.
“The first paper, on Monday, 8 October, was physics. I love physics because it is about truth, a world determined by principles and laws – no messing around or twisting things like in politics, particularly those in my country. As we waited for the signal to start the exam, I recited holy verses to myself.”
That reminds me of the (Christian) Bible illustration about the inefficient farmer who puts his hands to a plow and moves forward while looking back (Luke 9:62). I would recommend to Malala that she study one thing at a time here. In my view, she has embraced fanaticism. And didn’t she become a victim of fanaticism on October 10 of 2012? When you can’t refer to the prophet Mohammad without saying ‘peace be upon him’ or ‘PBUH’, that’s fanatacism and it’s irrational. On the other hand, as in the West, and among religious and non religious people of all religions (except mine), Muslims have no problem ‘using’, as in disrespecting, God in casual conversation. You’ll never catch me saying things like “My God!,” when I’m not actually talking about God. (Movies and tv shows are positively full of ruined characters – who the ruined storytellers portray as normal – who lack faith, are foul and use God in big and small ways.) Hop on public transit here in Toronto and listen to people in conversation. They may or may not be religious, but there’s non stop exclamations of “Oh my God!” Also, I don’t say things like “If people volunteered in the same way to construct schools or roads or even clear the river of plastic wrappers, by God, Pakistan would become a paradise within a year,” which Malala says her father said. (pg 162) Malala’s father is a very good man, but it’s relative. Jesus Christ said, “The person faithful in what is least is faithful also in much.” (Luke 16:10) What rational person would disagree with that? If you worship God, Why wouldn’t you also respect him? If you have a personal relationship with God, why wouldn’t you act like you do?
From “Ahed and Malala: Why we revere some girl activists and not others,” by Sarah Kastner:
“After Israeli forces shot her 15-year-old cousin in the head with a rubber bullet last December, Ahed Tamimi, a Palestinian girl from Nabi Saleh in the West Bank, stood up to the occupying Israeli forces and was arrested and charged for slapping a soldier. The story of the activist went viral.
“But what Ahed was fighting for was largely buried beneath sensationalized media representations of her.
“Her story is unlikely to circulate in the same elevated spaces granted to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who survived a brutal attack on her school by the Taliban, even though both Ahed and Malala are fighting for similar rights and freedoms. Both are young women facing down brutal military repression at the hands of fully-armed men, yet their stories could not have been received more differently…
“Both Malala and Ahed refuse to be victims. Malala has dedicated her life to advocating for girls’ education. Her story helps to send powerful and inspiring messages to girls around the world — girls like Ahed, who dream of being a lawyer. Ahed turned the Israeli female prison unit where she was held into a school, where she and other incarcerated Palestinian women read and studied legal texts.
“But Malala’s platform also has the contours of a story that can buttress imperialist worldviews and justify militarized interventions in Asia. The use of rhetoric about saving women and children in the Middle East by politicians is one of the ways that liberalism appeals to Western emotions to garner support for the U.S. led “War on Terror,” as the scholar Maya Mikdashi writes…
“Malala’s status as a worthy cause has a critical relationship to Ahed’s status as an exception to that cause. The differences between the reception of Malala and Ahed in the global cultural marketplace illustrate this point in fairly stark terms: Malala’s activism wins her the Nobel Prize, and takes her to Oxford, while Ahed’s activism landed her in an Israeli prison…
“Prof. Shanila Khoja-Mooji powerfully writes that Ahed’s struggle, and the way it has been sidelined in the West by feminist and human rights groups, “exposes the West’s selective humanitarianism.”
“Malala’s story emerged amid the politics of hope that characterized President Barack Obama’s campaign. She won the Nobel Prize in 2014. In 2016, the year Trump was elected, Ahed was denied a visa to the United States to be part of the speaking tour, “No Child Behind Bars/Living Resistance.”
“Whether the Obama administration would have had the political courage to grant Ahed a visa is impossible to know. Obama’s gestures of support for Palestinians were largely superficial, while his financial support for the Israeli military was unwavering…
“Malala’s advocacy circulates in a neoliberal economy in which much of the value of her story has become something that communicates the power of the individual to overcome extreme hardship and to effect social change against an enemy long reviled by the West. In this transaction, the politics that underwrite her suffering are managed by focusing on her personal story of survival.
“In her story is redemption for the West, whose role in the violence that harmed her (and thousands of girls like her) is mitigated by their efforts to uplift her.
“In Malala’s story of fighting for the right to education, as a girl, the Western media and political machinary [sic] finds a story that chimes powerfully with arguments used to bolster the U.S. led military invasion of Afghanistan.
“In this sense, Malala’s message has been co-opted by the neoliberal idea that everyone can gain access to the same opportunities, so long as they follow the proper procedures. In her case, by fighting an enemy recognizable to us, Malala gains access to recognition, including entry to the oldest university in the country that colonized what is now Pakistan.”
Interestingly, that article was posted to The Conversation, an awful, establishment organization with branches in assorted countries, including Canada. When you look at the funders on The Conversation’s Canadian branch website, some are omitted. But you’ll see, from examining the funders on the American branch’s website for example, that those funders include the worst of the worst. There’s the Ford Foundation, and George Soros’s Open Society Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation. Before I ever had a look at The Conversation’s funders, I found The Conversation to be awful and rightwing, even though you could find the odd good article. It’s a wonder I was able to leave any comments at all on The Conversation. They have a robust commenting system, but censor heavily (like RT News). The comments for the above article by Sarah Kastner, for example, were ALL disappeared. You can see that there were comments because there’s a line where they were saying “This comment has been automatically flagged for inspection by a moderator.”
“Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?” by Shenila Khoja-Moolji (Aljazeera)
From the above linked-to article the following:
There has been a curious lack of support for Ahed from Western feminist groups, human rights advocates and state officials who otherwise present themselves as the purveyors of human rights and champions of girls’ empowerment.
Their campaigns on empowering girls in the global South are innumerable: Girl Up, Girl Rising, G(irls)20 Summit, Because I am a Girl, Let Girls Learn, Girl Declaration.
When 15-year-old Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by a member of Tehrik-e-Taliban, the reaction was starkly different. Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, issued a petition entitled “I am Malala.” The UNESCO launched “Stand Up For Malala.”
Malala was invited to meet then President Barack Obama, as well as the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and addressed the UN General Assembly. She received numerous accolades from being named one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time magazine and Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine to being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013, and again in 2014 when she won.
State representatives such as Hillary Clinton and Julia Gillard as well as prominent journalists such as Nicholas Kristof spoke up in support of her. There is even a Malala Day!
On the one hand, Malala advocates for education for all in Pakistan and is thoughtful enough to criticize Pashtun ways where they deserve criticism. On the other hand, Malala says nothing about her religion. (Was that advice given to her by Christina Lamb?) That’s possibly a result of Malala’s not having had the chance to think critically about religion and about her religion specifically. Also, It’s reasonable to assume that to ensure Malala’s story would receive wide acceptance, criticism of Islam in Malala’s story would be set aside. But, Did Malala have any criticisms of her religion? (Does Malala now have any criticisms of her religion?) If she did – remember that she was capable of criticizing Pashtun ways – Was her unwillingness to express them possibly a result of fear? But isn’t she fearless?
Malala is rational, but not always. (Perhaps Malala is courageous but not always.) And there’s a (self-serving) theme here, namely the theme that Sarah Kastner and Shenila Khoja-Moolji, above, illuminates; The criticism of societies is less important than the criticism of ‘individuals’ who deserve it. Malala certainly criticizes the group that is the Taliban, which she is more than entitled and right to do. But what is needed is for the Taliban’s existence to be placed in the context of the US-imposed, brutal, global capitalist system. (However, If you are too young to have even learned much about that, then you’re not going to be able to engage in that kind of analysis in any deep way. Malala probably did all that she could to address the problem of the Taliban, and the context for it, when she told Obama what she thought of his bombing campaign.) Derrick O’Keefe (who I’ll quote below), who helped Malalai Joya in the writing of her revealing book, “A Woman Among Warlords,” says pretty much the same thing about Malala as Sarah and Shenila say.
With Justin Trudeau making Malala an honorary citizen, Ottawa University giving Malala and her father, Ziauddin, honorary doctorates and her friends in the UK accepting her into Oxford, Will Malala now criticize those countries’ foreign policy when she learns that it’s awful? Not concerning herself with the foreign policy of governments whose leaders are hugging her is no doubt the level that her powerful friends (who have made room for her within the prestigious Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford University) would want her to operate on, because they want her to feel comfortable with and not resentful toward her ‘benefactors’. And that’s how politicians roll. Identity politics (especially among rightwingers who feign a civilized, liberal attitude) is all the rage. It doesn’t matter what you are, it’s all good as long as you don’t question or challenge the neoliberal status quo. But what will Malala do when she gets a good look at the establishment figures hugging her? How would she react, I wonder, to information such as that which Derrick O’Keefe conveys in his Rabble article titled “The misuses of Malala”? For example:
“[Malalai] Joya, like Yousafzai, fought for the right of girls to go to school, teaching at secret underground schools during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan. Joya survived assassination attempts and was even elected to the Afghan Parliament back in 2005. She was then kicked out of her elected position and has been subjected to more threats and violence, forced now to live on the move, surrounded by bodyguards. No Bush or Obama administration officials ever condemned her suspension from Parliament. In fact, last year, the U.S. government refused to give her an entry visa for public speaking events, only relenting after a public pressure campaign demanded she be allowed to enter the United States.
“In 2010, TIME magazine included Malalai Joya in their ‘Top 100’ list of the most influential people in the world, but then the write-up completely erased her anti-war, anti-NATO positions.
“That’s really the only way they know how to tell the story. For all the talk of ‘liberating women,’ they actually prefer an essentialized, one-dimensional image — they want victims, not empowered agents of their own liberation.”
The empowerment of women of which Derrick speaks can only come via freedom, including the freedom to be educated. And education is the opposite of propaganda (as we now understand the word to mean).
When Pakistan’s mother Teresa was shot by the Taliban, the reaction was shock and horror Pakistan-wide. There was a reaction from some of Pakistan’s more influential people, including General Kayani, who Malala reveals she has faulty information on. See “Malala Yousafzai’s Establishment View Of The Killing Of Osama bin Laden” below.
According to Peter Hart (FAIR, October 15, 2013), When Malala visited Barack Obama in the Oval office, reporter Lesley Clark said that she raised the problem of drone strikes with him:
“In a statement released after the meeting, Malala said she was honored to meet with Obama, but that she told him she’s worried about the effect of US drone strikes. (The White House statement didn’t mention that part.)
“I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees,” she said in the statement. “I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education, it will make a big impact.”
Hart notes that “This exchange, for some reason, didn’t register in a corporate media that followed Malala’s visit, and her story, very closely.” Why would it?
But in what direction did Malala go after this exchange, in which an un-ruined Malala confronted a powerful figure who, without hestitation, would ruin her? When the corporate media excised her anti-war comments from her meeting with Obama, Did Malala fiercely condemn that and go on to examine all of her supposed friends among the elite crowd attaching themselves to her cause? Would their gifts to her cause Malala to not look too closely at her new friends? I don’t know.
Below are some excerpts from articles (with links to them) that reveal a bit about the various powerful and influential actors who have attached themselves to Malala. The information isn’t strictly related to Malala. It is intended mainly to show you, dear reader, who these people and organizations are. I’ve ordered a book about McKinsey & Company, the huge, evil consulting firm whose agent, Shiza Shahid, helped Malala set up her fund. When it arrives, and after I’ve had a look at it, I’ll no doubt be adding in some excerpts from that. I learned about the book, called “The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Influence on American Business” (by Duff McDonald), from perusing Ralph Nader’s website. On a subsequent visit, to get the exact title of the book for this essay, I noticed an article by Ralph about Greta Thunberg. He’s either given The New Green Deal zero thought (as in careful examination) or else sold his soul. Ralph has helped save countless lives, including I’m sure those of young girls, through his consumer advocacy, so it’s particularly disturbing to see him jump on the ‘exploit Greta Thunberg’ bandwagon. This is highly ironic and horrifying.
I suspect that Ralph suffers from the same arrogance as Noam Chomsky. They are oldtimers now. They coast on their (well-earned) glory and don’t feel any need to get with the times and probably aren’t too comfortable getting close to those strangers who are independent of the major media they know so well. (And young people, and people in general, don’t read – aggressively, as in actively or with engagement, marking passages and taking notes and following up with research on what is presented to them – and that has resulted in a high degree of illiteracy and stupidity that uncaring elites find too easy to exploit. See Chris Hedges’s book, “Empire Of Illusion,” to get an idea about the illiteracy that has taken hold in Canada and the US and the deadly bread & circuses that we are given by the authorities.)
That must be partly natural and partly a desire to not endorse journos – like Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett – who might outshine them. Noam has a love/hate relationship with major media. The alternative media he quotes is pseudo. He praises (although not in a fulsome manner) The Intercept, owned by Pierre Omidyar, who helped fund the nazis in Ukraine (as Paul Carr and Mark Ames point out in a series of articles for Pando Daily). And he regularly appears on Democracy Now, which pushes White Helmets propaganda and a completely establishment line on Syria, and Russia in Syria. (See Kim Petersen’s article titled “Is Noam Chomsky Manufacturing Consent for Regime Change in Syria?”. The Intercept also pushes White Helmets propaganda. See “Syria’s White Helmets Risk Everything To Save The Victims Of Airstrikes,” by Murtaza Hussain, who also, incredibly, promotes USAID in that article. For the truth about the White Helmets, see, for example, 21st Century’s section on White Helmets.) Chomsky has built a career, partly, on speaking truth to power, including the elites’ media allies. But he’s also married to the major media that he critiques and exposes. He has no time for genuinely alternative/progressive media. Indeed, He’s hostile to it, which you can see from an interview that Alan McLeod did with him. (If I didn’t have the link to that article, it appears, I wouldn’t have found it again on FAIR’s website. They’ve deleted 99% of the search returns for Alan McLeod.) I’m guessing that Ralph has a similar problem, which leads to awful failures like the above. Cory Morningstar isn’t the only one who looks at The New Green Deal critically, but Nader must be as uncomfortable with the alternative/ progressive community as Chomsky is or he would probably know about Cory’s very, very deep research into the NGOs and assorted exploiters attaching themselves to Greta Thunberg. How else do we explain his boosting of the elite-inspired and -led New Green Deal? (edit, Oct 6, 2019 – I see Chomsky has gone all in in support of the Green New Deal. Well, For a [not good] change, the establishment agrees with him.) In Chomsky’s case he’s failed miserably to properly assess the resistance of Syria to Washington’s efforts to destroy that democratic, secular country (where all faiths lived in harmony). He even bought the baloney barrel bombs bullcrap!
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
Ban Ki-Moon and McKinsey & Company
General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani
Regarding Generals Kayani and Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Seymour Hersh notes (on page 49) of “The Killing Of Osama bin Laden” that: “Generals Pasha and Kayani have retired and both are reported to be under investigation for corruption during their time in office.”
Pakistan’s army has taken the almost unheard of step of publicly shaming two retired generals for misusing funds, in a move many army-watchers applauded as a significant attempt by the country’s top general to clean up corruption in the all-powerful institution.
The two officers were punished for making disastrous investments totalling £25m through the National Logistics Cell (NLC), an army-run transport company which is part of a vast military commercial empire including property developments, cement plants and manufacturing interests.
In a statement late on Wednesday night the army said the former director general of the NLC, a retired major general called Khalid Zahir Akhter, had been dismissed from service and stripped of his rank, medals and pension.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Afzal Muzaffar, a retired lieutenant general, was given a lighter disciplinary measure of “severe displeasure”…
Raheel Sharif was appointed as chief of army staff in 2013…
Under Sharif’s predecessor, Ashfaq Kayani, an army investigation into the NLC case had been allowed to gather dust years after it was first exposed in 2009 by a parliamentary accounts committee.
A former official at the National Accountability Bureau, an anti-corruption watchdog, said Kayani had “intervened on several occasions”in the case.
By contrast Sharif had “instructed to dispose of the case on fast track for want of justice and transparency”, according to an army statement…
harif has also been credited with allowing investigations to proceed against an alleged £3m fraud committed by Elysium Holdings, a company owned by one of General Kayani’s brothers, which is accused of illegally selling certificates for allotments to build houses on land near Islamabad that it did not in fact own.
“No one would touch Kayani’s brothers unless the army chief OKs it,” said Hasan Askari Rizvi, a Lahore based political analyst. “[Sharif] wants to deal with issues that have become so public that they are damaging the image of the army.”
I just don’t trust news reported by The Guardian, but, reportedly (I was never a regular Guardian reader and can’t say) The Guardian was not always the awful propaganda organ that it is now.
From “Brother of Pakistan’s ex-army chief Kayani under probe for land fraud” by Imtiaz Ahmed (hindustan times):
Pakistan’s top anti-corruption body, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), has launched an investigation against the brother of former army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani over his alleged role in a `17 billion scam associated with a defence housing scheme in Lahore.
Raids are now being conducted to arrest Kamran Kayani, who is accused of duping the army’s housing authority, and taking advantage of his brother’s position as the army chief to escape arrest for several years.
There are a number of scams associated with Kamran, who also cheated thousands of investors into giving him millions of rupees as investment in what later turned out to be fictitious schemes. This is the first time the scandal has officially been highlighted, but some observers believe that it is being done to embarrass the former army chief and to shame the army as a national institution. Fahad Hussain, a senior journalist who wrote on this scandal, said it is rare for the army’s dirty linen to be washed in public. “But this is being done at the behest of the Sharif government which wants to put pressure on the army as an institution,” he added.
From “How did General Kayani’s brother manage to scam DHA?” by Vaqas Asghar (The Express Tribune):
In late 2012, a man familiar with the domestic property market had asked me if anyone would do an expose on “the DHA scam”. Curious about what he was referring to, I asked for more details. He said General (retd) Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s brother Kamran Kayani – also a retired officer – was scamming DHA Lahore out of money through an unfulfilled contract. Instead of putting a stop to it, DHA had given him a fresh deal in Islamabad…
The man suggested that Kamran Kayani should not have been allowed to negotiate the second deal if the first had gone sour, but the fact that he had a powerful brother may have played a factor in the decision.
“So, why wasn’t this being looked into?” I asked.
“Who would step on the army chief’s toes?” he replied.
Fast-forward over three years and the investigation into the allegedly dirty dealings of the less known younger brother have finally gotten somewhere. In the time that has passed, he is said to have relocated himself to Australia — outside of the law’s reach…
Basically, Kamran Kayani’s company, Elysium Holdings, was given a contract for DHA City project in Lahore, which involved allotting small plots to the families of martyrs in recognition of their services to the country.
Kamran Kayani failed to deliver the plots for six years, which prompted DHA to take the case to NAB.
According to these sources, Kayani had been embezzling money.
Meanwhile Kamran Kayani is directly involved in another DHA scam. The DHA Islamabad farmhouse project scam amounts to Rs500 million. Arrests have been made in relation to this, but he is still at large.
The question essentially is why did the entire process of investigation and indictment take so long?…
Although the general recognised that his brother was not fulfilling his commitments and urged [Shahbaz] Sharif to consider other options, why does it seem like so many people in the chain of command feared his wrath?
Even now, it is being reported that the investigation wouldn’t have gotten the green light without a nod from current Army Chief Raheel Sharif. The current chief’s tenure has also seen the military prosecute and convict retired generals for financial crimes.
But the bigger question is, if the current army chief’s permission was needed, had the previous one denied it?
DHA stands for Defence Housing Authority
Also see “Malala Yousafzai’s Establishment View Of The Killing Of Osama bin Laden” below.
Ban Ki-Moon and McKinsey
From “Outsourcing Haiti” by Jake Johnston:
The plan for the Caracol Industrial Park project actually predates the 2010 earthquake. In 2009, Oxford University economist Paul Collier released a U.N.–sponsored report outlining a vision for Haiti’s economic future; it encouraged garment manufacturing as the way forward, noting U.S. legislation that gave Haitian textiles duty-free access to the U.S. market as well as “labour costs that are fully competitive with China . . . [due to] its poverty and relatively unregulated labour market.”
The report, embraced by the U.N. and the U.S., left a mark on many of the post-earthquake planning documents. Among the biggest champions of the plan were the Clintons, who played a crucial role in attracting a global player to Haiti. While on an official trip to South Korea as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton brought company officials from one of the largest South Korean manufacturers to the U.S. embassy to sell them on the idea. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, having just appointed Bill Clinton U.N. special envoy to Haiti, tapped connections in his home country, South Korea.
Then suddenly, the earthquake presented an opportunity for the Clintons and the U.N. to fast track their plans. The U.S. government and its premiere aid agency, USAID, formed an ambitious plan to build thousands of new homes, create new industries, and provide new beginnings for those who lost everything in the earthquake. Originally the plan was to build the industrial park near Port-au-Prince. But land was readily available in the North, and the hundreds of small farmers who had to be moved from the park’s site were far less resistant than the wealthy land-owners in the capital. So the whole project moved to the Northern Department, to Caracol. Under the banner of decentralization and economic growth, the Caracol Industrial Park, with the Korean textile manufacturer Sae-A as its anchor tenant, became the face of Haiti’s reconstruction…
For those who watched pledges from international donors roll in after the earthquake, reaching a total of $10 billion, rebuilding Haiti seemed realistic. But nearly four years later, there is very little to show for all of the aid money that has been spent. Representative Edward Royce (R-CA), the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, bluntly commented in October that “while much has been promised, little has been effectively delivered.”
The story of how this came to pass involves more than the problems of reconstruction in a poor country. While bad governance, corruption, incompetent bureaucracy, power struggles, and waste contributed to the ineffective use of aid, what happened in Haiti has more to do with the damage caused by putting political priorities before the needs of those on the ground…
The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission was created by the international community to coordinate post-quake aid and align it with Haitian government priorities. Bill Clinton, as the U.N. special envoy and the head of the Commission, was optimistic. “If we do this housing properly,” he affirmed, “it will lead to whole new industries being started in Haiti, creating thousands and thousands of new jobs and permanent housing.”
Like the Caracol Industrial park, the Commission was presented as a response to the devastation of the earthquake. But its basic tenets—and its slogan, “Build Back Better”—were actually agreed upon by the U.S. and U.N. in the year prior. The commission’s formation was handled not by the Haitian government, but by the staff of the Clintons, mainly Cheryl Mills and Laura Graham, as well as a team of U.S.-based private consultants. The commission’s bylaws were drafted by a team from Hogan Lovells, a global law firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. A team from McKinsey and Company, a New York based consultancy firm, handled the “mission, mandate, structure and operations” of the commission. Eric Braverman, part of the McKinsey team, later went on to become the CEO of the Clinton Foundation.
According to Jean-Marie Bourjolly, a Haitian member of the commission, the body’s “original sin” lay in concentrating the decision-making power in the Executive Committee of the Board, made up of Bill Clinton and then–Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. In October 2010, just six months after its creation, Bourjolly wrote a memorandum to the co-chairs and the rest of the commission’s board. The note cautioned that by “vesting all powers and authority of the Board in the Executive Committee, it is clear that what is expected of us [the rest of the Board] is to act as a rubber-stamping body.” According to Bourjolly, the memorandum was not included in the official minutes of the October meeting at Clinton’s behest, and the document has remained out of the public sphere. But one former commission employee confirmed the commission’s role: he told me that many projects were approved because “they were submitted by USAID and State” and “that as long as USAID is submitting it and USAID is paying for it,” it should be approved.
The bolding in the above quote is mine.
Note the involvement of McKinsey & Company in the rape of Haiti that Ban Ki-Moon and the monstrous Clintons played a large role in facilitating. McKinsey & Company helped Malala set up her Fund. And then there’s the involvement of the CIA in civilian clothing, namely USAID. Jake Johnston doesn’t go after USAID in the above article, for whatever reason. A reformable USAID? What does that even mean when USAID is essentially the CIA in disguise?
“I am extremely grateful to General Kayani, who took a keen interest in my treatment…
“Thanks to Shiza Shahid and her family for all their incredible kindness and for helping set up the Malala Fund, and to her company, McKinsey, for supporting her in doing this…
“Thanks as well to Gordon Brown… And to Ban Ki-Moon for being so supportive since the beginning…
“I would also like to thank Angeline Jolie for her generous contribution to the Malala Fund…”
From “Ban Ki-moon: Requiem for a UN ‘Yes Man’” by Joe Lauria (Global Research):
…Ban, a South Korean, was seen by the Americans as their man from the start. We “got exactly what we asked for,” an administrator and not an activist, said John Bolton, America’s irascible U.N. ambassador when Ban was elected in 2005. The U.N. charter doesn’t call the secretary-general “president of the world” or “chief poet and visionary,” Bolton said sarcastically in an interview with me and a colleague for The Wall Street Journal…
Once Ban was installed at the U.N. in 2007, he broke with tradition by naming Americans — two former State Department diplomats — to be his chief political officers during his ten-year tenure. They brought with them a State Department perspective to the most politically influential job in the organization.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressed his case for the military offensive against Gaza in a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2014.
Ban carefully toed the U.S. line in his public pronouncements. Though he privately fumed over the Saudi military bombardment in Yemen and Riyadh’s haughty dealings with the U.N., he dared not blame America’s ally.
Likewise, on occasions when Ban sharply criticized Israel for its bombardment of U.N. schools in Gaza, killing scores of innocent people, he spoke only after the State Department had made the same criticism, almost word for word.
When the whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed U.S. mass surveillance of people all over the world, Ban condemned Snowden…
Regarding the geo-strategic battle of our times — America’s unilateral push for global hegemony versus an emerging multi-polar world, led by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — the U.N. as the world’s premier multilateral organization would have seemed like a natural ally of the BRICS, which held its first formal summit in 2006 just months before Ban took office. But Ban backed the U.S. in every geo-strategic question against Russia and China during his time in office.
On Syria, Ukraine and the South China Sea, Ban parroted Washington’s rhetoric and made no effort to mediate the disputes…
Joe mischaracterizes the UN’s second secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld, presenting him as a non establishment good guy, most likely out of ignorance. (See my excerpt of Yves Engler’s “Canada in Africa – 300 years of aid and exploitation.”) Joe also seems to be ill-informed about the Rwandan massacre. He spouts the establishment figure of 800,000 deaths (which the establishment says were of mostly Tutsis) when it was more like 500,000 (mostly Hutu victims) in the April ’94 to July ’94 period. I pointed this out on the Consortium News website where I saw the error. If Joe noticed, he showed no interest in publicly acknowledging his error.
“‘Wrong, Tasteless And Unperceptive’: Ban Ki-Moon Places Politics Over Justice For Palestinian Youth” by Joe Catron (Mint Press News)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
Palestinian and solidarity groups criticized United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for not including Israel on an annual list of major violators of children’s rights released last week.
“By removing Israel’s armed forces from the children’s ‘list of shame,’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has provided tacit approval for Israeli forces to continue carrying out grave violations against children with impunity,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director of Defense for Children International Palestine.
Quzmar continued: “It is deplorable that a proven and strong evidence-based accountability tool to protect children during armed conflict has been significantly undermined in an effort to shield Israel from accountability.”
I had a lot more respect for Vijay Prashad before he penned his establishment, harmful article titled “This Is The End Of Syria” (Is it my imagination or was the title of that article changed from “The Fall Of Aleppo”? Of course, Aleppo didn’t fall. It was liberated – by the good guys here.)
Where do I start with this human garbage?
Justin Trudeau makes an appearance in many of my series’ posts. I could just link to the articles by various authors in those posts but those would be too many links. I will list, below, some of my posts dealing with Mr Sunny Ways (and include here and there an excerpt) and I will add in a few links, with excerpts, to other authors’ articles.
An excerpt from the above linked-to post (that presents Kim Petersen’s comments) follows:
For any appeal to ethics and morality to have any legitimacy, the principles so enounced must be applied rigorously, without favor or prejudice, to all human beings whatever grouping they may be slotted into. In other words, favoritism and morality are an antithetical mixture.
The principle that holds morals apply equally to all humans seemingly eludes Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau.
On 7 November, Trudeau stood in the House of Commons and railed against anti-Semitism and rightly so. Anti-Semitism, as with any form of racism or hatred expressed against any grouping, is anathema.
Yet Trudeau’s taking up the cause of anti-Semitism by attacking the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is transparently, logically, and morally flawed.
An excerpt from the above linked-to post (presenting comments by Vanessa Beeley) follows:
The fact that Canada is admitting as refugees at least 250 White Helmets and their family members exposes the involvement of the Trudeau government, like the Harper government before it, in the illegal, US-led, regime-change operation in Syria.
These two federal governments are collectively responsible for setting up and continuing the international coalition that produced the proxy war against Syria, using terrorist mercenaries as its footsoldiers; leading the international regime of brutal economic sanctions against Syria which turned about four million Syrians into refugees – (the international sanctions regime was drawn up in a meeting in Ottawa in June 2013); demonizing the legitimate government of Syria, breaking off diplomatic relations with it, and trying to delegitimize it in international forums; supporting armed rebels against Syria, a member state of the United Nations, by bringing their leaders to Ottawa and giving them funds; overflying Syria on military missions without the express consent of its government; and supporting the propaganda arm of the regime change operation through the White Helmets.
An excerpt from the above linked-to post follows:
Some say that Lucifer was a beautiful angel. Beauty, then, isn’t automatically righteousness. Or anything good.
“Meet Andriy Parubiy, the Former Neo-Nazi Leader Turned Speaker of Ukraine’s Parliament” by Jon Hellevig (http://bit.ly/1prleqV)
“Liberal cabinet ministers’ notorious selfies with war criminals” by Tony Seed (http://bit.ly/1YMa7oD)
“Apologize to Victims of Kissinger’s Torture, War and Genocide” by Matthew Behrens (http://chn.ge/1SWbn3X)
“Do not love either the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, then the love of the Father is not in him.” – 1John 2:15
An excerpt from the above linked-to post follows:
Justin Trudeau who rarely says anything about the poor, but never stops yammering about the middle class (like Mulcair), revealed his nasty side when he responded to Mulcair’s reasonable plan to tax corporations a little more with an accusation that he was “pandering to the people who like to hate corporations.” Talk about pandering! (Yves Engler notes that even the IMF – a powerful organization that has played a big role in entrenching neoliberalism globally – has recently put forth better proposals for progressive taxation than Canada’s NDP. – http://bit.ly/1Lqltfv) Maybe Trudeau thinks that corporations are not only persons, but his personal friends. (Perhaps a lot of Senators are too, considering how fast he ran away from talk about getting rid of that rotten institution. He’s all for getting down to business, until it’s time to.) I guess corporations, which sit on about half a trillion dollars of dead money that could do a lot of good if spent properly, are his friends. Tax evading corporations force ‘honest’ taxpayers to pick up the slack. Tax evading, unaccountable, unelected corporations – something like 600 ‘advisors’ representing corporations helped fashioned the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal which the people, and many politicians, aren’t allowed to look at – want so-called free trade deals (and therefore get them) that only transfer political power from the people, through their ‘elected’ representatives (who betray the people), to themselves, making the people into their enemy. After they attack us, ‘we’ are the wrongdoers because we don’t admire them?!!!
“Poroshenko and Trudeau” by Jim Miles (Axis of Logic)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
The Canadian government operates under as many double standards as that of the U.S. and its other NATO allies. Russia did not invade Donbass, but more than likely supplied the rebel defenders with equipment, (much as the U.S. does globally). And what were they rebelling against, you dare not ask?
Well, they rebelled against the U.S. covert actions against the democratically elected government of Yanukovich, not wanting the newly installed neonazi Maidan strongmen (e.g. Arsniy Yatsenyuk) to control their region of the country…
So where else is Canada concerned about territorial integrity? Hmmm, perhaps Syria, with its support for U.S. actions against Assad – nominally against terrorism, but the intelligent broad reader would know that the real target is Assad astride a critical oil route (as well as having ongoing troubles with Israel, the country that illegally annexed the Golan Heights, an action that the Canadian government never criticizes.)
Or perhaps Libya? Canada was one of the lead brave bombers that destroyed that country, aggravating the ISIS terror nexus, aggravating the immigrant problem to the EU, once again supporting U.S. international criminal actions under the false accusation of genocide (there wasn’t any, Gaddafi was fighting against ISIS affiliates in his eastern provinces).
Or maybe Yugoslavia/Serbia, where once again the brave Canadian bombers destroyed civilian infrastructure and more in order to carve apart another country that did not fit the U.S. definition of what a country should be – that is, subservient to the U.S., as Canada is…
Trudeau and cohorts would of course cry out that Crimea is an obvious illegal international intervention. But consider….Crimea had always wanted independence from Ukraine ever since the fall of the Soviet Union. Twice they voted for it, twice they were denied it by Ukraine, and Russia at that time was to weak to do anything to assist them (remember originally Crimea had been ‘gifted’ to Ukraine by Khrushchev).
When the U.S./Yatsenyuk team overthrew the duly elected (if corrupt) government, the Russian forces already in Crimea blocked any attempts of Ukraine towards violent actions such as happened at the Maidan, in Odessa, and in Donbass. Really they should be thanked for the prevention of another area with a large loss of life due to U.S. imperial desires (sort of like they should be thanked for destroying most of ISIS in Syria, you know, the Saudi backed group the U.S. covertly supports)…
Trudeau can lament that all he wants, there is no way Crimea will voluntarily return to Ukraine. But as long as the U.S. wants it, so long as the domestic Ukrainian lobby wants it, so the lament will continue.
“Why has Justin Trudeau betrayed a Canadian survivor of torture?” by Andrew Mitrovica (Ricochet)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
The prime minister of Canada is complicit in the persecution of an innocent Canadian.
Justin Trudeau now shares this ignoble indictment with several other prime ministers, including Stephen Harper. Together, they have been content to watch, like disinterested bystanders, while Abdullah Almalki and his family — a wife, six children and his ailing parents — have endured for years what no Canadian family or citizen should ever have to endure…
First, the family was abandoned by their government when Almalki, an Ottawa engineer, was falsely branded a terrorist and illegally detained and tortured by a foreign government.
Second, the family later discovered that powerful elements within the Canadian government, most notably the RCMP, were instrumental in tarring Almalki as a terrorist by trafficking in worthless “intelligence” about who and what he was.
“It is a continuation of the oppression, of the injustice that the government and its agents have been inflicting on myself and my family for the last 16 years.”
Third, the Canadian government was indirectly responsible for Almalki’s illegal detention and subsequent torture — beginning in May 2002 and lasting for 22 months, much of it in a coffin-like cell in Syria — despite knowing, beyond any doubt, that he was not a terrorist.
While in custody, Almalki was beaten repeatedly with a cable and kicked with wooden shoes. Stripped, he was forced to sit inside a tire for hours, while he was struck about his feet, head and genitals. Bloodied, exhausted, despondent and temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, Almalki’s torture continued for weeks.
Fourth, Canadian diplomats and the RCMP reportedly conspired to prolong Almalki’s detention and torture even after Syrian thugs masquerading as intelligence officials were prepared to release him.
Almalki returned to Canada in August 2004, only after family members travelled to Syria and pressed for his release. The Syrian State Supreme Security Court acquitted him of all terrorism-related charges and released him on $125 bail…
Since then, Almalki and his family have tried to hold senior government officials to account…
But here’s the breathtakingly offensive aspect of Trudeau’s astounding decision to treat the Almalki family like expendable, make-believe-story-telling charlatans. On two occasions while in opposition, the Liberal Party of Canada voted in favour of the government finally issuing an apology and compensation to Almalki and the other men.
“Trump and Trudeau are gunning to massively privatize infrastructure – and it’s going to cost you” by Alex Hemingway (Policynote)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
As with most of Donald Trump’s policy ideas, details are still sparse on his plan for rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure. But two main pillars of the plan, outlined during the election campaign, stand out. First, he’s talking a big game – a proposed $1 trillion in infrastructure investment to be “spurred” over 10 years. Second—and here’s the rub—the Trump plan would move to privatize infrastructure on an unprecedented scale, lining the pockets of investors with huge tax breaks in the process…
But as I described recently in the Canadian context, these “partnerships” have proven enormously costly:
“P3s are simply less efficient – on average costing dramatically more than the public sector alternative. And it’s not hard to understand why…
Traditional publicly-funded and operated projects… don’t require paying out profits to private investors and, importantly, have lower financing costs, since government can secure much better interest rates than a private corporation.
This has all been well understood since the 1990s and documented over the years in a whole range of research on P3s.”
In fact, the Ontario Auditor General recently reported that the province had lost a jaw-dropping $8 billion over a decade by building projects as P3s rather than as traditional public infrastructure projects…
Now, ignoring this body of evidence, our own federal government is working from the same playbook as Donald Trump, planning a major privatization of Canadian infrastructure.
Alex quotes CFR member Paul Krugman, a faker. Other than that, the article is solid.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg and actress Angelina Jolie have joined forces to project the US-led war alliance as a progressive role model for gender politics and a “leading protector” of women’s rights.
Their op-ed in the Guardian last weekend, “Why NATO must defend women’s rights”, is presented as a joint mission to secure the “fundamental promise in the UN Charter of equal rights and dignity for women.”
One rubs one’s eyes in disbelief. Written in defence of an organisation that is the primary source of warmongering, by its leader and chief propagandist and an Ayn Rand devotee and self-styled “humanitarian”, the op-ed could be mistaken for satire.
Claiming that NATO was founded to safeguard “the freedom of its peoples”, the authors assert that, for 70 years, the US-led bloc has stood for the “defence of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law and the UN Charter.”
In fact, from its foundation in April 1949 until the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in July 1991, NATO’s role was dictated by confrontation with the Soviet Union. To this end, it not only fomented a nuclear arms race but was involved in numerous conflicts and interventions from the Korean War to Cuba.
With the juridical liquidation of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO’s aggressive stance became more overt as it mounted direct military operations in the Balkans, Afghanistan and, more recently, Libya and Syria aimed ultimately at encircling, and dismembering Russia and China.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives as a result and millions more have been injured and displaced.
NATO: liberating women and young children (and others) from their homes, from safety and often from life. Well done NATO! Well done Angelina! Then again, What should we expect from CFR members? The CFR is utterly evil. See “Wikileaks Exposes How Council on Foreign Relations Controls Most All Mainstream Media” by Matt Agorist (The Free Thought Project)
“Al Jazeera, CNN & BBC Cover Up Genocidal Crimes of US – Backed Syrian Rebels” by Whitney Webb (Mint Press News)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
This week, Syria saw one of its most deadly attacks against civilians fleeing al-Qaeda-held areas in Al-Fu’ah and Kafrayah through a government-rebel civilian swap. Rebels targeted and killed 126 people, including dozens of women and children, after a blast hit a convoy of evacuee buses Saturday.
The evacuees, all of whom were Muslim Shiites, were scheduled to be bussed from the al-Nusra-Front-dominated Idlib Province as part of an evacuation deal between the rebels and the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Strangely, the fact that the victims targeted in the blast were all Muslim Shiites was either outright ignored by the media or construed as proof that they were “pro-Assad,” a term that much of the mainstream media uses as a pejorative…
This genocidal ideology, which has manifested itself repeatedly through the actions of terrorist groups and rebels active in the Syrian opposition, owes to the extreme Wahhabi leanings of these groups, which seek to unite Syria under their particular brand of extreme political ideology. Said differently, many of these extremist rebels seek to create a politically-motivated theocracy that parallels that of the Saudi Arabian government. This would only include Wahhabis and extremist Sunnis who share their ideology – supplanting Syria’s secular government, which has allowed a multiplicity of faiths to flourish without fear of state persecution.
Despite their supposed commitment to “democracy” and self-determination in Syria, the media outlets that support the regime-change narrative promoted by foreign governments have conveniently omitted these facts from their coverage. For instance, Al Jazeera, funded by the Daesh (ISIS) and rebel-supporting Qatari government, refused to even mention the fact that the victims were Muslim Shiites, as well as omitting the fact that the attack occurred in al-Qaeda territory – even going so far as to imply that the attack was perpetrated by the Syrian government.
Al Jazeera was by no means alone in twisting the facts. The BBC, funded by the pro-Syrian opposition British government, also insinuated that Assad’s forces were to blame for the attack, even claiming that the attack “would not be in the rebels’ interest” despite the fact that extremist Syrian rebels have been calling for the massacre of all Muslim Shiites in Syria for years and that even the U.S. government has admitted that anti-Assad groups, particularly Daesh, are committing acts of genocide against those of different faiths.
The bolding in the above quote is mine.
“A Tory MP resigns then blows the lid on the myth of BBC impartiality” by Fréa Lockley (The Canary)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
On 1 April, MP Nick Boles quit the Conservative Party. He claimed this was “because my party refuses to compromise”. Following his resignation, Boles laid bare his reasons for leaving and also made a staggering announcement. He indicated that Teresa May’s refusal to compromise on Brexit may be influenced by Robbie Gibb, her head of communications. This is the same man who was in charge of the BBC‘s live political shows during the EU referendum…
But he went further than this, with a warning for the media to “be honest” about Number 10 briefings:
It didn’t take long for people to respond to Boles’s revelation. Because between 2008 and 2017, Gibb was head of BBC Westminster and the editor of all live BBC politics shows. This included the live debate at Wembley Arena on the last day of EU referendum campaigning. He was also:
Editor of BBC Daily and Sunday Politics.
Executive editor for the Andrew Marr Show.
The executive editor of This Week.
Editor of the BBC‘s Budget and Autumn Statement programmes.
According to the Evening Standard, Gibb is a “messianic Brexiteer”. He was widely known as a “hard Brexiteer long before it became fashionable”. Gibb reportedly left the BBC for the “one job he wanted: No 10’s director of communications”…
Meanwhile, others noted years of BBC bias on political shows. Some think Gibb’s role demands further investigation…
“Labour raises ‘serious concerns’ about a major BBC propaganda offensive about to be aired” by James Wright (The Canary)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
The Labour Party has raised “serious concerns” about a major propaganda offensive airing on 10 July on BBC One.
The opposition party is preparing to complain over the new Panorama episode entitled Is Labour antisemitic?. It told the Sunday Times:
We have serious concerns about how they have used taxpayers’ money to produce this programme. Rather than investigating antisemitism in the Labour Party in a balanced and impartial way, Panorama appears to have predetermined its outcome and created a programme to fit a one-sided narrative.
A spokesperson for Panorama told The Canary:
“The Labour Party is criticising a programme they have not seen. We are confident the programme will adhere to the BBC’s editorial guidelines. In line with those, the Labour Party has been given the opportunity to respond to the allegations.”
But the record of John Ware, the journalist behind the programme, is raising concerns. In a previous Panorama episode on Jeremy Corbyn in September 2015, Ware claimed that the Labour leader had attended an event in Cairo that called for violence against British and US troops. In other words, he suggested that Corbyn himself had advocated attacks against British forces. Yet Corbyn was actually in Islington, London; and there is no evidence behind this claim.
In response, the BBC claimed that Corbyn’s team “didn’t offer any response or proof that he did not attend the conference”.
At the time, a leading scholar on the BBC – Tom Mills – took down the programme’s “shoddy reporting and overt political bias” in openDemocracy. Mills said:
“Interspersed with condescending ‘vox pops’ with Corbyn supporters were interviews with luminaries of the Labour right, who were free to offer their apparently authoritative analysis unchallenged by the programme’s presenter, the veteran broadcaster and former Sun journalist, John Ware”.
The BBC, meanwhile, claimed that the episode “clearly reflected the growth of support for his campaign within the party, union members and activists”.
But, in the new Panorama episode, will Hare inform viewers that accusations of antisemitism in Labour reportedly relate to 0.1% of the party’s 540,000-strong membership? Will Hare let people know that academics at the Media Reform Coalition concluded that corporate media reporting on Labour and antisemitism has been a “disinformation paradigm”? Given that the BBC played a leading role in not only the so-called disinformation paradigm but also the 2016 coup against Corbyn and the general demonisation of progressive views, that seems unlikely.
They make no effort, at The Canary, to do proper punctuation. It’s challenging. What the hell is one lonely ( ‘ ) mark at the beginning of what I assume to be quote?
“UN Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer exposes propaganda and censorship in Assange reporting” by Chris Marsden (WSWS)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
When Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture, issued a May 31 statement demanding an immediate end to the “collective persecution” of Julian Assange it made headlines all over the world…
In the run-up to last Wednesday’s International Day in Support of Torture Victims, Melzer wrote an op-ed titled, “Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange.” He offered the hard-hitting piece to leading publications, including the Guardian, the Times, the Financial Times, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, the Canberra Times, the Telegraph, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Newsweek.
All of them declined to publish, leaving Melzer, one of the world’s foremost legal experts on torture, to publish his article on the online blogging platform Medium…
The “news worthiness” of Melzer’s piece—written in defence of the most famous political prisoner on the planet—is not in doubt…
To which the editorial staff of some of the world’s major newspapers, including those proclaiming their “liberalism,” responded with a collective shrug as they slammed the door in Melzer’s face.
Under such circumstances, an official ban on publishing cannot be excluded. In the UK, the World Socialist Web Site drew attention to the exposure by independent journalist Matt Kennard of the role played by Guardian Deputy Editor Paul Johnson, who served on the Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice (or D-Notice) Committee, run by the Ministry of Defence. D-Notices are used to veto the publication of news damaging to the national security interests of British imperialism.
The Guardian’s participation in this filthy censorship operation is far from unique. The present committee is chaired by Dominic Wilson, director general of security policy at the Ministry of Defence, and includes vice chairs John Battle, the Head of Compliance, Independent Television News, and Ian Murray, executive director, Society of Editors.
Figures on the committee encompass most major TV and newspaper groups. They include David Jordan, BBC director of editorial policy and standards; Sarah Whitehead, Sky News deputy head of news gathering; Michael Jermey, ITV director of news, current affairs and sport; Peter Clifton, editor of the Press Association; Craig Tregurtha, managing editor of the Times and Sunday Times; Robert Winnett, deputy editor of the Daily Telegraph; Jess Brammer, head of news for the Huffington Post; Charles Garside, assistant editor of the Daily Mail; and David Higgerson of Trinity Mirror.
The bolding in the above is mine.
“UK dominated by the privately educated and Oxbridge graduates” by Thomas Scripps (WSWS)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
“Power rests with a narrow section of the population—the 7% who attend private schools and the 1% who graduate from Oxford and Cambridge.” These are the findings of a report by the Sutton Trust and Social Mobility Commission.
Elitist Britain, based on a survey of 5,000 individuals, details the stranglehold on the commanding heights of British society maintained by a tiny ruling elite. According to the study, these “influential people” are overall five times more likely to be privately educated than the average population.
When those educated in selective state grammar schools—overwhelmingly dominated by the upper classes—are included, the disparity grows even wider. The elite are also eight times more likely to have attended a top Russell Group University and twenty-four times more likely to have gone to Oxbridge (Oxford or Cambridge) Universities…
And if anyone wishes to know why this system of grotesque, all-encompassing class privilege is so rarely criticized by the media, 68 percent of newspaper columnists went to a private or grammar school, 63 percent of the most influential news media figures and 49 percent of BBC executives. Forty-four percent of newspaper columnists have Oxbridge backgrounds, as do 36 percent of the most influential media figures and 31 percent of BBC executives. Over 70 percent of all these groups attended at least a Russell Group University…
The shock at the “scandalous” figures of Elitist Britain registered in the liberal media is feigned. The hopeful references to “equal opportunities” and “diversity” legislation are a cynical fraud. The fact that a privileged few dominate positions of influence is not a flaw in an otherwise fair system to be tinkered with and fixed. This is the natural development of a society based on capitalist relations of production and the resulting extreme levels of inequality. Far from an “engine of social mobility,” the education system is a tried and tested mechanism for excluding the majority of the population from the running of society…
Appeals for gender balances or greater representation of ethnic groups in top positions, as championed by the purveyors of identity politics, obscure this fundamental class reality and serve as vehicles for the advancement of competing layers within the upper middle class. Schemes to promote a token contingent of working-class individuals into top universities and professions do nothing to challenge the dominance of the upper classes—who look down on their poorer fellows as, in the words of Oxford graduate Toby Young, “small, vaguely deformed” interlopers.
(The bolding in the above quote is mine.)
Got that Malala?
related: Russell Group
It’s just too easy to find articles revealing the perfidy of both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Here’s a few, focussing on AI:
“SYRIA: Amnesty International bias provides cover for Al Qaeda crimes against the Syrian people in Idlib and Hama” by Vanessa Beeley (21st Century Wire)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
Tensions are being ratcheted up in the north-westerly provinces of Idlib and Northern Hama and Western media prepares itself for the revival of the notorious “last doctor” meme.
In September 2018 Russian and Turkish negotiators agreed to establish a demilitarized zone in Idlib which should have been completed by October 15, 2018. The reality is that the withdrawal of heavy weaponry has only been partially successful and the remaining armed groups dominated by Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS), effectively a rebrand of Al-Qaeda or Al-Nusra Front, have consistently violated the ceasefire and targeted cities, towns and villages on the borders of the so-called “safe zone.”
Think tanks and globalist organisations that serve to bolster NATO’s aggressive interventionist policy in Syria are advocating an increase of Turkey’s military footprint in Idlib, ostensibly to curtail the HTS expansionism, but, clearly, and perhaps foolishly relying upon Turkey’s NATO membership to offer them a compliant occupier in the northwest while the US coalition increases its own military presence in the vast band of Syrian territory east of the Euphrates – despite President Trump’s hollow withdrawal-of-US-troops rhetoric in December 2018.
In amongst all this geopolitical jockeying for position and supremacy, civilians in the region are suffering and few more so than those who live in the towns that border Idlib and areas of Northern Hama still under control of the armed groups and their HTS overlords. These are the Syrian people entirely ignored by NATO-aligned media and “human rights” groups that have sustained narratives that traditionally only criminalize one side in a complex and externally imposed eight-year war.
The most recent example of this extreme bias in favor of the US supremacist alliance is the Amnesty International reportdated 28th March 2019 entitled “Syria: Government forces have bombed medical facilities, school and bakery in Idlib.” The title has unequivocally laid out the report’s intent, to criminalize the Syrian government…
An excerpt from the above linked-to report’s Foreward, by Camilo Mejia, follows:
====== == == =
‘In war, truth is the first casualty.’ (Aeschylus)
The above quote, attributed to the ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus, is timely and relevant to the Nicaraguan crisis more than 2500 years after its writing, not only because what has been happening in Nicaragua since April of last year is nothing shy of a war – military, economic, psychological, cultural, political – but also because the truth about the crisis, with the full support of Amnesty International, was indeed the first casualty.
Throughout this critique of Amnesty International’s coverage and reporting of the crisis in Nicaragua, readers will find how public opinion has been manipulated in order to present a highly biased, antigovernment account of the violent events that befell the Central American nation between April and September of 2018. For starters, the first three people who died were a Sandinista, a police officer, and an innocent bystander returning home from work, and their deaths were not only violent, they marked the beginning of a pattern of death and destruction carried out by the opposition that was
completely ignored by AI’s two reports: Shoot to Kill and Instilling Terror.
Equally damaging to AI’s omission of the killing of Sandinistas, and anyone standing up to the opposition, is its insistence in portraying the anti-government protesters as peaceful, despite overwhelming photographic and video evidence to the contrary. Along with the misleading portrayal of protesters as unarmed and peaceful, Amnesty also insists on painting the different actions by the opposition as legitimate civic acts of protest, when in reality they were marred by violence and death, as is obvious from the evidence throughout the report which follows.
Some of the notable cases overlooked by AI include the kidnapping and attempted murder of student union leader Leonel Morales, who supported the initial marchers on behalf of his union but was nearly killed by the opposition after the government called for a national dialogue, prompting Morales to call off the protests. Another case was that of Sander Bonilla, a member of the Sandinista Youth whose kidnapping and torture, overseen by both Catholic and Evangelical priests, were captured on video. There are many other cases, presented here, of victims of the opposition that were either omitted or manipulated by Amnesty International in its two official reports.
Perhaps the most important benefit that this response provides its readers is the encouragement to verify much of the information countering AI’s claims. This response does not address the entirety of AI’s reports (and focuses on the second one), but it provides sufficient information for readers to gain access to enough facts to discover a much wider picture of the crisis, and that in itself is a huge achievement.
While it is of vital importance that people become aware of the reality that we can no longer trust prestigious human rights organizations to tell us what is happening in the world, the real triumph of this critique would be for readers to go beyond both the crisis in Nicaragua and the destabilizing role Amnesty has played in it, because the truth is not a casualty only in Nicaragua, but everywhere else as well. And the real tragedy is not that we may no longer trust AI or others to tell us the truth, but that we have ceded our own agency, our own ability to question dominant narratives, and have chosen instead to blindly trust what powerful entities tell us.
As I write this foreword the United States’ war drums beat on Venezuela, where Amnesty International has also played a very destabilizing role. And that is how the story goes: the United States chooses a government for regime change, calls upon its grantees – media outlets of global reach, human rights organizations, diplomatic entities, other powerful nations – to vilify the chosen government; before we know, and without ever taking the time to vet the information, we fall prey to the media spell and begin to provide our consent for intervention.
= == == ======
“Amnesty International Winks at Trump’s Economic Attack on Venezuelans” by Joe Emersberger (CounterPunch)
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
Amnesty International told me that it “does not take a position on the current application” of U.S. economic sanctions that Trump’s administration imposed on Venezuela in August “but rather emphasizes the urgent need to address the serious crisis of the right to health and food which Venezuela is facing. In terms of human rights, it is the Venezuelan state’s responsibility to resolve this.” Amnesty’s full reply to three questions I asked them by email can be read here.
The expression that “silence gives consent” applies perfectly to Amnesty’s stance which tacitly endorses Trump’s aggression against the Venezuelan people. To make this even more obvious, Amnesty also refused to condemn remarks by Rex Tillerson and Marco Rubio that encourage a military coup in Venezuela. Asked to comment on those remarks Amnesty replied that it ”believes that a responsible discussion on the current state of human rights in Venezuela should not be focused on statements made by parties outside the country and context”.
In the middle of an already grave economic crisis, the sanctions will cost Venezuela’s government billions of dollars this year. Its $64 billion USD in outstanding foreign currency bonds are all governed by New York Law, but the sanctions have outlawed Venezuela from borrowing or selling assets in the U.S. financial system. Debt restructuring is therefore made impossible and it blocks the government from rolling over its bonds (offsetting principal costs by issuing new debt). The sanctions also block CITGO, a U.S. based company owned the by the Venezuelan government, from sending its profits or dividends (which have totaled about $2.5 billion USD since 2015) back to Venezuela.
U.S. sanctions, which are illegal under of chapter 4 article 19 of the OAS Charter, are a direct assault on the Venezuelan peoples’ “right to health and food”. There is no avoiding this conclusion even if you believe the worst that has been said about Venezuela’s government…
Incidentally, the impact of the U.S. sanctions dwarfs any offers of humanitarian aid that have been made. That hasn’t stopped headlines like “Why won’t the country accept aid?”, and articles that invariably fail to explore what has been offered and how it compares to billions of dollars lost due to illegally imposed U.S. sanctions…
In 2010, Amnesty put out a statement claiming that there was only one TV broadcaster in Venezuela that had not been shut down by the government – an absolutely preposterous claim. Could the world renowned organization not afford to pay somebody to watch some Venezuelan TV or do any basic research?
Amnesty refused to recognize Chelsea Manning as a Prisoner of Conscience on ridiculous grounds, but has given that designation to Leopoldo Lopez – a man involved with four different attempts to violently overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected government. One of them, in April of 2002, was briefly successful.
When the US government (helped by its trusty allies Canada and France) overthrew Haiti’s democratically elected president in 2004 and installed a dictatorship that ruled with tremendous brutality for two years, Amnesty’s response was seriously marred by political cowardice and double standards. About the kindest thing you could say about Amnesty’s work in Haiti, and in general, is that Human Rights Watch (HRW) has been even worse.
Malala Yousafzai’s establishment view of the killing of Osama bin Laden
Below, I will compare the account of how Osama bin Laden was killed, found in “I Am Malala – The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban,” with the account of how bin Laden was killed that can be found in Seymour Hersh’s book, “The Killing Of Osama bin Laden.” My question is: Who educated Malala about this event? And why? Is Malala’s completely wrong account ignorance or something else? Looking at all of the actors who have rushed to commend, help and advertize Malala, I can only conclude that she is (was, now) another child victim – like Bana Alabed and Greta Thunberg – of powerful special interests. Some of those actors are found in the back of Malala’s book. I know about some of them. And their involvement in Malala’s ‘education’ and promotion is alarming.
Note that Malala’s book was written with the assistance of Christina Lamb, said on the last page of Malala’s book to be a foreign correspondent and recipient of many prizes for her work. How did the book come about? The BBC reached out to Malala. That’s positive. Not. (But, We want the maintream media to report honestly and with good intentions, Right? Okay. But is that a reasonable expectation? Still, The proof of the pudding is in the eating. With that in mind, Malala’s completely erroneous account of the killing of Osama bin Laden, guided by or not corrected by Christina Lamb, tells us something.) The blurb in Malala’s book notes that Christina Lamb currently (Malala’s book was published in 2013) works for the Sunday Times and lives in London and Portugal. I’m willing to believe that Malala’s errors here are the result of ignorance, not only by Malala (who I do not have any reason to believe is – was – deliberately bullcrapping us) but also on the part of her assistant, Christina Lamb, which doesn’t mean that Lamb and the BBC had good intentions. However, Hersh (whose book was published in 2016) quotes Imtiaz Gul, author of “Pakistan: Before and after Osama,” whose book was published in 2012. At least some of the information that Malala’s book gets wrong could have been fact-checked against Gul’s book, since it was published in 2012, the year before Malala’s book was published. (I do not know of other books dealing with this subject and have not checked to see what’s available.) Did Christina know about that book? Isn’t Christina an award-winning foreign correspondent, namely someone with the research skills and interest (in the subject which she helped Malala write about) sufficient to lead her to discover sources like Imtiaz Gul? Then again, If the intentions of the Western professionals who here ‘helped’ Malala to get her story out are bad (which I have no doubt about), then the few things that Christina may have been genuinely ignorant about are a moot subject.
From pages 294-298 of “I Am Malala – The Girl Who Stood Up For Education And Was Shot By The Taliban”:
The SEALS had shot bin Laden in the head and his body had been flown out by helicopter. It didn’t sound as though he had put up a fight. The two brothers and one of bin Laden’s grown-up sons had been killed, but bin Laden’s wives and other children had been tied up and left behind and were taken into Pakistani custody. The Americans dumped bin Laden’s body at sea. President Obama was very happy, and on TV we watched big celebrations take place outside the White House.
At first we assumed our government had known and been involved in the American operation. But we soon found out that the Americans had gone it alone. This didn’t sit well with our people. We were supposed to be allies and we had lost more soldiers in their War on Terror than they had. They had entered the country at night, flying low and using special quiet helicopters, and had blocked our radar with electronic interference. They had only announced their mission to the army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Kayani, and President Zardari after the event. Most of the army leadership learned about it on TV.
The Americans said they had no choice but to do it like that because no one really knew which side the ISI was on and someone might have tipped off bin Laden before they reached him. The director of the CIA said Pakistan was “either involved or incompetent. Neither place is a good place to be.”
My father said it was shameful day. “How could a notorious terrorist be hiding in Pakistan and remain undetected for so many years?” he asked. Others were asking the same thing.
You could see why anyone would think our intelligence service must have known bin Laden’s location. ISI is a huge organization with agents everywhere. How could he have lived so close to the capital – just sixty miles away? And for so long! Maybe the best place to hide is in plain sight, but he had been living in that house since the 2005 earthquake. Two of his children were even born in the Abbottabad hospital. And he’d been in Pakistan for more than nine years. Before Abbottabad he’d been in Haripur and before that hidden away in our own Swat Valley, where he met Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind of 9/11.
The way bin Laden was found was like something out of the spy movies my brother Khushal likes. To avoid detection he used human couriers rather than phone calls or emails. But the Americans had discovered one of his couriers, tracked the number plate of his car, and followed it from Peshawar to Abottabad. After that they monitored the house with a kind of giant drone that has X-ray vision, which spotted a very tall bearded man pacing around the compound. They called him the Pacer.
People were intrigued by the new details that came every day, but they seemed angrier at the American incursion than at the fact that the world’s biggest terrorist had been living on our soil. Some newspapers ran stories saying that the Americans had actually killed bin Laden years before this and kept his body in a freezer. The story was that they had then planted the body in Abottabad and faked the raid to embarrass Pakistan.
We started to receive text messages asking us to rally in the streets and show our support of the army. “We were there for you in 1948, 1965 and 1971,” said one message, referring to our three wars with India. “Be with us now when we have been stabbed in the back.” But there were also text messages which ridiculed the army. People asked how we could be spending $6 billion a year on the military (seven times more than we were spending on education) if four American helicopters could just sneak in under our radar? And if they could do it, what was to stop the Indians next door? “Please don’t honk, the army is sleeping,” said one text and “Second-hand Pakistani radar for sale… can’t detect US helicopters but gets cable TV just fine,” said another.
General Kayani and General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the head of ISI, were called to testify in Parliament, something that had never happened. Our country had been humiliated and we wanted to know why.
We also learned that American politicians were furious that bin Laden had been living under our noses when all along they had imagined he was hiding in a cave. They complained that they had given us $20 billion over an eight-year period to cooperate and it was questionable which side we were on. Sometimes it felt as though it was all about the money. Most of it had gone to the army; ordinary people received nothing.
“At first we assumed our government had known and been involved in the American operation. But we soon found out that the Americans had gone it alone.”
“The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account.”
“The way bin Laden was found was like something out of the spy movies my brother Khushal likes. To avoid detection he used human couriers rather than phone calls or emails. But the Americans had discovered one of his couriers, tracked the number plate of his car, and followed it from Peshawar to Abottabad…
“We started to receive text messages asking us to rally in the streets and show our support of the army. “We were there for you in 1948, 1965 and 1971,” said one message, referring to our three wars with India. “Be with us now when we have been stabbed in the back.” But there were also text messages which ridiculed the army…
“General Kayani and General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the head of ISI, were called to testify in Parliament, something that had never happened. Our country had been humiliated and we wanted to know why.”
“The most blatant lie was that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders – General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI – were never informed of the US mission. This remains the White House position despite an array of reports that have raised questions, including one by Carlotta Gall in the New York Times Magazine of March 19, 2014. Gall, who spent 12 years as the Times correspondent in Afghanistan, wrote that she’d been told by a “Pakistani official” that Pasha had known before the raid that bin Laden was in Abottabad. The story was denied by US and Pakistani officials, and went no further. In his book Pakistan: Before and after Osama (2012), Imtiaz Gul, executive director of the Centre for Research and Security Studies, a think tank in Islamabad, wrote that he’d spoken to four undercover intelligence officers who – reflecting a widely held local view – asserted that the Pakistani military must have had knowledge of the operation. The issue was raised again in February, when a retired general, Asad Durrani, who was head of the ISI in the early 1990s, told an Al Jazeera interviewer that it as “quite possible” that the senior officers of the ISI did not know here bin Laden had been hiding, “but it was more probable that they did [know]. And the idea was that, at the right time, his location would be revealed. And the right time would have been when you can get the necessary quid pro quo – if you have someone like Osama bin Laden, you are not going to simply hand him over to the United States.”
“This spring I contacted Durrani and told him in detail what I had learned about the bin Laden assault from American sources: that bin Laden had been a prisoner of the ISI at the Abottabad compound since 2006; that Kayani and Pasha knew of the raid in advance and had made sure that the two helicopters delivering the SEALS to Abottabad could cross Pakistani airspace without triggering an alarms: that the CIA did not learn of bin Laden’s whereabouts by tracking his couriers, as the White House has claimed since May 2011, but from a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer who betrayed the secret in return for much of the $25 million reward offered by the US, and that, while Obama did order the raid and the SEAL team did carry it out, many other aspects of the administrations account were false.”
“The way bin Laden was found was like something out of the spy movies my brother Khushal likes. To avoid detection he used human couriers rather than phone calls or emails. But the Americans had discovered one of his couriers, tracked the number plate of his car, and followed it from Peshawar to Abottabad. After that they monitored the house with a kind of giant drone that has X-ray vision, which spotted a very tall bearded man pacing around the compound. They called him the Pacer.”
“[Jonathan] Bank was also told by the walk-in that bin Laden was very ill, and that early on in his confinement at Abottabad, the ISI had ordered Amir Aziz, a doctor and a major in the Pakistani army, to move nearby to provide treatment. “The truth is that bin Laden was an invalid, but we cannot say that,” the retired official said. “‘You mean you guys shot a cripple? Who was about to grab his AK-47?'”
“Obama was anxious for reassurance that the US was going to get the right man. The proof was to come in the form of bin Laden’s DNA. The planners turned for help to Kayani and Pasha, who asked [Amir] Aziz to obtain the specimens. Soon after the raid the press found out that Aziz had been living in a house near the bin Laden compound: local reporters discovered his name in Urdu on a plate on the door. Pakistani officials denied that Aziz had any connection to bin Laden, but the retired official told me that Aziz had been rewarded with a share of the $25 million reward the US had put up because the DNA sample had shown conclusively that it was bin Laden in Abottabad.”
“The SEALS had shot bin Laden in the head and his body had been flown out by helicopter… The Americans dumped bin Laden’s body at sea.”
“…The later White House claim that only one or two bullets were fired into his head was “bullshit,” the retired official said. “The squad came through the door and obliterated him…”
“…Two more details now had to be supplied for the cover story: a description of the firefight that never happened, and a story about what happened to the corpse… But according to the retired official, it wasn’t clear from the SEALs’ early reports whether all of bin Laden’s body, or any of it, made it back to Afghanistan…
“In his address announcing the raid, Obama said that after killing bin Laden the SEALs “took custody of his body.” The statement created a problem. In the initial plan it was to be announced a week or so after the fact that bin Laden was killed in a drone strike somewhere in the mountains on the Pakistan/ Afghan border and that his remains had been identified by DNA testing. But with Obama’s announcement of his killing by the SEALs everyone now expected a body to be produced. Instead, reporters were told that bin Laden’s body had been flown by the SEALs to an American military airfield in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, and then straight to the USS Carl Vinson, a supercarrier on routine patrol in the North Arabian Sea. Bin Laden had then been buried at sea, just hours after his death. The press corp’s only skeptical moments at John Brennan’s briefing on May 2 were to do with the burial. The questions were short, to the point, and rarely answered…
“There wasn’t any gossip about a burial among the Carl Vinson’s sailors. The carrier concluded its six-month deployment in June 2011. When the ship docked at its home base in Coronado, California, Rear Admiral Samuel Perez, commander of the Carl Vinson carrier strike group, told reporters that the crew had been ordered not to talk about the burial. Captain Bruce Lindsey, skipper of the Carl Vinson, told reporters he was unable to discuss it. Cameron Short, one of the crew of the Carl Vinson, told the Commercial-News of Danville, Illinois, that the crew had not been told anything about the burial. “All he knows is what he’s seen on the news,” the newspaper reported…
“Within weeks of the raid, I had been told by two longtime consultants to Special Operations Command, who have access to current intelligence, that the funeral aboard the Carl Vinson didn’t take place. One consultant told me that bin Laden’s remains were photographed and identified after being flown back to Afghanistan. The consultant added: “At that point, the CIA took control of the body. The cover story was that it had been flown to the Carl Vinson.” The second consultant agreed that there had been “no burial at sea.” He added that “the killing of bin Laden was political theatre designed to burnish Obama’s military credentials … The SEALs should have expected the political grandstanding. It’s irresistable to a politician. Bin Laden became a working asset.”
“The retired official said there had been another complication: some members of the SEAL team had bragged to colleagues and others that they had torn bin Laden’s body to pieces with rifle fire. The remains, including his head, which had only a few bullet holes in it, were thrown into a body bag and, during the helicopter flight back to Jalalabad, some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains – or so the SEALs claimed. At the time, the retired official said, the SEALs did not think their mission would be made public by Obama within a few hours: “If the president had gone ahead with the cover story, there would have been no need to have a funeral within hours of the killing. Once the cover story was blown, and the death was made public, the White House had a serious ‘Where’s the body?’ problem. The world knew US forces had killed bin Laden in Abbottabad. Panic city. What to do? We need a ‘functional body’ because we have to be able to say we identified bin Laden via a DNA analysis. It would be navy officers who came up with the ‘burial at sea’ idea. Perfect. No body. Honorable burial following sharia law. Burial is made public in great detail, but Freedom of Information documents confirming the burial are denied for reasons of ‘national security.’ It’s the classic unraveling of a poorly constructed cover story – it solves an immediate problem but, given the slightest inspection, there is no back-up support. There never was a plan, initially, to take the body to sea, and no burial of bin Laden at sea took place.” The reitred official said that if the SEALs’ first accounts are to be believed, there wouldn’t have been much left of bin Laden to put into the sea in any case.”
“They had entered the country at night, flying low and using special quiet helicopters, and had blocked our radar with electronic interference.”
“Pasha and Kayani were responsible for ensuring that Pakistan’s army and air defence command would not track or engage with the US helicopters used on the mission. The American cell at Tarbela Ghazi was charged with coordinating communications between the ISI, the senior US officers at their command post in Afghanistan, and the two Black Hawk helicopters; the goal was to ensure that no stray Pakistani fighter plane on border patrol spotted the intruders and took action to stop them…
“On a normal assault mission, the retired official said, there would be no waiting around if a chopper went down [which happened here]. “The SEALS would have finished the mission, thrown off their guns and gear, and jammed into the remaining Black Hawk and di-di-maued” – Vietnamese slang for leaving in a rush – “out of there, with guys hanging out of the doors. They would not have blown the chopper [which they did here] – no commo [communications, I assume] is worth a dozen lives – unless they knew they were safe. Instead they stood around outside the compound, waiting for the bus to arrive.” Pasha and Kayani had delivered on all their promises.”
Hersh’s constant quoting of a retired official is strange in some respects. He identified him early on as Jonathan Bank, or seemed to. He first mentions Jonathan Bank, on page 16, and then, before the next paragraph, he refers to “the retired senior official.” There is no other individual American official mentioned in that particular paragraph. Normally, the device would be to here and there mention Banks’s name again, when referring to him, often only referring to the man by his last name, namely “Banks.” It almost looks as if Hersh is trying to create a situation where he can’t be accused of connecting Banks to much of the inside info that “the retired official” conveyed to Hersh, while pointing his readers to him because he does want us to know that the retired official is real person. I really can’t say though.