Friday, 26 May 2017

The British Establishment is Putting Our Lives at Risk

May 25, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  The country is in shock after the worst terrorist attack in 12 years. The deranged extremist who detonated the bomb bears sole responsibility for the outrage and is not a soldier – for Islam or whoever – but a murderer. The Manchester suicide bombing is an act of barbarism inflicted on entirely innocent people.
This wave of terrorism driven by Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attack, derives from a complex infrastructure of forces, working over time. But it springs ultimately from the ideology promoted by the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, who were at least until recently funding and backing IS: they have done so to support their goal of overthrowing Assad in Syria and championing Sunni Islam in the face of rivalry with Iran. These are Britain’s allies. Whitehall has a deep, long-standing special relationship with the extremist Saudis: it is arming them, backing them, apologising for them, and supporting their regional policies. At the same time, the Saudis have been helping to create the monster that now threatens the British public. So, too, have the policies of the British government.
This is terrible, in the true sense of the term: the British establishment is putting our lives at risk in its obsessive obsequiousness in backing the Saudi state. We have to recognise that we are caught between two extremisms – that of IS and that of our own state’s priorities.
The British elite is perfectly aware of the insidious role that Saudi Arabia plays in fomenting terrorism. In October 2014, General Jonathan Shaw, a former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, told the Telegraph that Saudi Arabia and Qatar were primarily responsible for the rise of the extremist Islam that inspires IS terrorists. He said:
“This is a time bomb that, under the guise of education, Wahhabi Salafism is igniting under the world really. And it is funded by Saudi and Qatari money and that must stop.”
He noted that UK/US bombing of IS would not “stop the support of people in Qatar and Saudi Arabia for this kind of activity” because:
“It’s not addressing the fundamental problem of Wahhabi Salafism as a culture and a creed, which has got out of control and is still the ideological basis of Isil – and which will continue to exist even if we stop their advance in Iraq.”
Shaw added:
“My systemic worry is that we’re repeating the mistakes that we made in Afghanistan and Iraq: putting the military far too up front and centre in our response to the threat without addressing the fundamental political question and the causes. The danger is that yet again we’re taking a symptomatic treatment not a causal one.”[1]
Last December Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, in off-the-cuff remarks, accused Saudi Arabia of ‘puppeteering and playing proxy wars’ in the Middle East by ‘abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives’.[2]  Johnson was correct and it was a rare public admission of British awareness of the Saudi role, in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere, which, as he and other officials must know full well, has had terrible consequences.
Saudi support for extremism
The Saudi role in exporting Wahhabism is surely well-known by now. In the past few decades, the Saudi regime has spent billions spreading its extremist interpretation of Islam worldwide, funding mosques and free madrassas – religious schools – supplying them with imams and textbooks. In 2013, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a private speech (leaked in 2016) that “the Saudis have exported more extreme ideology than any other place on earth over the course of the last 30 years.”[3]
This Saudi funding has included support for terrorism. EU intelligence experts estimate that 15 to 20 per cent of Saudi funding for its Wahhabist causes has been diverted to al-Qaeda and other violent jihadists.[4]A June 2013 report by the European Parliament deemed Wahhabism the main source of global terrorism. A classified 2009 cable signed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (also released by WikiLeaks) acknowledged: “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”[5] A State Department cable of 2009 released under Clinton’s name in December 2009 states that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan].”[6]
The Saudis have been funding terrorism for decades while Whitehall (and Washington) has been supporting them. In May 1974, for example, the US State Department warned Britain not to go ahead with its reported offer to sell Blowpipe surface-to-air missiles to Saudi Arabia, for fear of “seepage of this type of weapon into the hands of terrorists”.[7] The US ambassador to Saudi Arabia told his British equivalent that the US had refused to sell similar equipment, the Redeye, for fear of their ending up in the hands of terrorists and being “used against civil aircraft or similar targets”.[8]
Islamic State
IS, which is believed to have been formed in 2006, has grown out of the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq and the terrorist infrastructure built up with Saudi money and Western covert action seeking to oust Assad of Syria. IS is certainly not a creation of the UK, US and its allies, but the latters’ policies have contributed to its growth.
Donors in the Gulf, including Saudis, have funnelled hundreds of millions of dollars to rebel groups in Syria in recent years, including to IS.[9] A secret memo written by Hillary Clinton in August 2014 (which appeared on the WikiLeaks website in 2016) noted that the Saudi and Qatari governments “are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL [IS] and other radical Sunni groups in the region”.[10]Following IS’s capture of Mosul in northern Iraq in June 2014, former Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told US secretary of state John Kerry that “Daesh is our [Sunni] response to your support for the Da’wa,” the Shia Islamist party the US installed in power in Iraq.[11]
Saudi Arabia’s neighbour Qatar, the world’s only other predominantly Wahhabi state with whom Theresa May’s government has recently signed large commercial deals, may have been the biggest funder of the Syrian rebels, with some estimates suggesting the amount may be as much as $3bn.[12] In 2012, the New York Times reported, based on military sources, that “most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups… are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster”.[13]
This was of course all well-known to officials in London and Washington as they pretended to their publics to be supporting only ‘moderate’ rebel groups. In October 2014, Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden harshly criticised Saudi Arabia and Turkey in a talk at Harvard University. He noted that “they were so determined to take down” Assad that they:
“poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad – except that the people who were being supplied were al-Nusra, and al-Qaida, and the extremist elements of jihadis who were coming from other parts of the world.”
He added, “We could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them.”[14]
As Nafeez Ahmed has argued, Western governments have deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Assad. A 2012 Defence Intelligence Agency document notes that “the Salafist [sic], the Muslim Brotherhood, and AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria,” and that “the West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition”. The document stated that al-Qaeda in Iraq, the precursor to IS, “supported the Syrian opposition from the beginning, both ideologically and through the media.” But the document also forecast the probable declaration of “an Islamic State through its union with other terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria.” Nevertheless, “Western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey are supporting these efforts” by Syrian “opposition forces”. Further the document noted that:
“there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).”
As Ahmed comments, the document provides extraordinary confirmation that the US-led coalition currently fighting IS had previously welcomed the emergence of an extremist “Salafist Principality” in the region as a way to undermine Assad, and block off the strategic expansion of Iran.[15]
US journalist Rania Khalek has written[16] that it was not until 2014, when IS started beheading westerners on video, that the group became a major concern for the West. Prior to that, Western covert operations in Syria were so focused on weakening Assad, they acquiesced as Saudi Arabia and Qatar funded and armed IS, following which IS brutally swept across swathes of Syria and Iraq.[17] The US then put heavy pressure on Saudi Arabia and Qatar to stop their support to IS and other radical groups in Syria, which is believed to have happened. However, Saudi Arabia still supports anti-Assad groups in Syria, which has been reported as including the Islamist Jaysh al-Islam.[18] Now, the Saudi regime is pledging support, including military operations, for the fight against IS in Syria. But the point is: the genie has long been out of the bottle.[19]
Britain’s covert role in Syria has served to prolong the war and, in alliance with the US and Saudi Arabia, de facto helped strengthen the hard-line groups who are now our enemies. There is some evidence that Britain had planned covert action in Syria to oust Assad as early as 2009, even before the uprising began in 2011.[20] But Britain is reported to have begun training Syrian rebel forces from bases in Jordan in 2012.[21] Although focussed on ‘moderate’ rebels, the ever-changing nature of the opposition forces and inter-operability between them has blurred any useful distinctions between ‘moderate’ and ‘hardline’. In 2015, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon told parliament that “the vast majority of [Syrian] opposition groups are Islamist”.[22] Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay said in 2017 that the situation among the opposition groups in Syria “can indeed be fluid” and that “there can be splintering of those groups and some which appeared in the past to be moderate then change their view and join up with those with whom this country will have no truck”.[23] There is some evidence that some Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels receiving elite training from British and French forces went straight into IS, with one IS commander quoted as saying: “Many of the FSA people who the west has trained are actually joining us.”[24]
Support for Saudi Arabia
All the while the Saudis have been exporting Wahhabism and backing Islamist groups and terrorists, they have enjoyed a special relationship with London and Washington. The history is so long and deep it is hard to summarise: basically the relationship is characterised by extreme sycophancy, total military support, constant apologias and carefully-controlled media lines that serve to keep the public in the dark about the true extent of relations and the nature of the Saudi regime. It is hard to pinpoint whether Saudi Arabia is a client of the UK or the other way round: probably both, since both set of elites have been happily joined at the hip.
The terrible bombing of Yemen by Saudi aircraft supplied by Britain, armed by Britain and conducted by British-trained pilots is but the latest episode in extreme UK support for Saudi foreign policy. The blood covers the hands of the entire British establishment. As Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has pointed out, the Royal Family, successive governments, parliamentarians, a good number of institutions and people with clout collectively suck up to the Saudi ruling clan.[25]
The result of all this is catastrophic. The ‘war on terror’ is a joke when your leading ally is the world’s biggest sponsor of terrorism. Independent journalist Patrick Cockburn has written that in the 20 years between 1996 and 2016, the CIA and British security and foreign policy agencies have consistently given priority to maintaining their partnership with powerful Sunni states such as Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, Turkey and Pakistan over the elimination of terrorist organisations such as al-Qaeda, al-Nusra, Isis and the Taliban.[26]
That is completely correct, and this is not just turning a blind eye. As I try to show in my book, Secret Affairs[27], the backing of Saudi Arabia is part of a broader story: that British governments, both Labour and Conservative, have, in pursuing the so-called ‘national interest’ abroad, colluded for decades not only with the arch-sponsor of radical Islamism in Riyadh but sometimes with radical groups themselves, including terrorist organisations. They have connived with them, and often trained and financed them, in order to promote specific foreign policy objectives. Governments have done so in often desperate attempts to maintain Britain’s global power in the face of increasing weakness in key regions of the world, being unable to unilaterally impose their will and lacking other local allies. Thus the story is intimately related to that of Britain’s imperial decline and the attempt to maintain influence in the world.
Theresa May’s government, as previous governments, have endangered the British public by the relationship they choose to have with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. In recent months, May has signed up Britain to a new generation of special relationships with these states, based on selling more arms and providing more training of their militaries and security forces to keep the ruling families in power. All this has been done on the quiet, with scant government or media reporting. We are set for another generation of domestic tyranny in Gulf and foreign Islamist adventures, all now helped by raising the enemy of ‘Iran’ – a foreign policy agenda being set by Riyadh and recently helped by President Trump’s preposterous invocation of Iran as the major sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East.
We are in serious trouble unless this all changes. Our leaders’ policies are endangering us, and are among our major threats. The terrorism that we, ordinary people, face, derives from an ideology and infrastructure to which our leaders, claiming to protect us, have contributed. We desperately need another foreign policy entirely, one based on support for those promoting democracy and human rights – rather on than those with contempt for them.
 Mark Curtis is an author and consultant. He is a former Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Strathclyde and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institut Francais des Relations Internationales, Paris and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Auswartige Politik, Bonn. http://markcurtis.info
REFERENCES
[7] US State Department to US embassy, Jedda, 4 May 1974, National Archives, FCO8/2344
[8] A.Rothnie to Ministry of Defence, undated [March 1974], National Archives, FCO8/2343
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.
See also –
Theresa May Knew of Manchester Bomber’s Terrorist Family: Col. Gadaffi had expelled the Manchester bomber’s father from Libya!
‘Sorted’ by MI5: How UK government sent British-Libyans to fight Gaddafi; Fighters say government operated ‘open door’ policy allowing them to join rebels, as authorities investigate background of Manchester bomber
‘Forgive me’: Manchester bomber final words to his nuclear scientist mother: Tabbal told interrogators her son left Libya for England only four days before the bombing and called her on the same day of the attack.

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Alliance of Convenience: Why Israel Supports ISIS?

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A Very British False Flag


MATTHEW JAMISON | 25.05.2017 | OPINION

A Very British False Flag

The contemporary term false flag describes covert operations that are designed to deceive in such a way that activities appear as though they are being carried out by entities, groups, or nations other than those who actually planned and executed them. Historically, the term «false flag» has its origins in naval warfare and operations carried out during peace-time by civilian organizations, as well as covert government agencies, can (by extension) also be called false flag operations if they seek to hide the real organization behind an operation.
Within the last 24 hours in the UK there was a terrorist attack in Manchester on a pop concert venue. This incident comes just a little over two weeks before voters in Britain decide on the next Government.
Just before the Manchester attack the Conservative Party had been experiencing a sharp decline in the opinion polls. Their lead has been cut in half in the space of a few weeks and with the roll out of their «Dementia Tax» it looked as if they were really headed on to the rocks. Then events took a dreadful turn in Manchester with many innocent people losing their lives. It would appear, on the surface, to have been the work of a British born individual of Libyan descent. With a stroke the news agenda has been completely changed from stories of declining Tory opinion poll leads; Tory melt downs over the monstrous «Dementia Tax» and replaced by non-stop coverage of the appalling attack in Manchester as well as the Prime Minister Theresa May playing up to her self-styled image of the second coming of the Iron Lady. Campaigning in the General Election has been suspended. Curiously just before the attack took place the anti-Jeremy Corbyn media had been attempting to regurgitate issues surrounding Mr. Corbyn and the IRA, seeking to portray him as «soft» on terrorism and some how supportive of terrorists. Then came the Manchester terrorist attack.
It is hard to overstate the hatred and loathing there is for Jeremy Corbyn at the highest levels of the British Establishment and State because he represents a fundamental rejection of and break with many of their outdated, backwards and reactionary practices, mind-sets and policies of the English elites. From the military to the domestic security service MI5 to the hedge funds, «wealth management» funds, off shore tax havens (with 1/3 of the planet’s controlled by the UK) and investment banks to the Monarchy, the public school educated upper-middle classes and aristocracy to virtually nearly all of the London media both print and television they loath and fear what a Jeremy Corbyn Government would for mean for them, their vested interests and how he would fundamentally remake Britain. The anti-Corbyn campaign to portray him as even worse than Joseph Stalin has been unprecedented and disgusting. Mr. Corbyn is actually a very decent, thoughtful, calm, intelligent and compassionate man. He may not be the greatest of Leaders or the most exciting and charismatic but he is a deep thinker and has been right on a lot of issues including one of the biggest foreign policy disasters the UK has been involved with in decades that of the Iraq War.
Over the last few weeks as Labour have rolled out policy after policy designed to enhance the standard of living and quality of life for the vast majority of working middle class people and not just a minority of the ultra-rich and powerful who sit at the very top, something has been shifting within British politics. Suddenly, by cutting through the traditional London media and with a Parliamentary Party finally focused on taking the fight to the Tory Party rather than at war with itself, voters began to think perhaps this man Corbyn is not so bad and perhaps a Labour Government under him would make life easier. The standard of living and quality of life in the so-called United Kingdom ranks as one of the worst in the developed Western world and has one of the lowest rates of social mobility. Just as Churchill won the war for the British but then was rejected at the July 1945 General Election in favour of the socialist Labour Party and its unflappable Leader Clement Attlee because British people wanted a better life after the misery of the Great Depression of the 1930s and then the World War of the early 1940s, and did not want a return to the cruel and callous policies of the Tories. So while Churchill won the war, so to speak, it was the Labour Party of Clement Attlee who the British people turned to secure the peace. Perhaps something similar was at work in the decline in the Tory opinion poll lead with people perhaps sensing that they have got their Brexit and now it is time for some Jam and Honey in the form of a social democratic, progressive Labour Government taking the country through Brexit.
It still remains to be seen what impact the attack in Manchester will have on the final result. But the current regime of Theresa May has wasted no time in trotting out all the old Blairite/Bushite «war on terror» psychological control techniques. The terror threat level has been raised to its highest. The truly ghastly Home Secretary Amber Rudd has been telling the public that more attacks are imminent. The military are to be deployed around the country and a heavy police presence. Does one not remember Mr. Blair shortly before the Iraq War in February 2003 deploying armoured tanks at Heathrow and talking about the rising threat level? I feel as though I have seen this film before. These kind of «shock and awe» or «shock and unnerve» tactics reek of the psychological operations carried out by British intelligence services. By creating a climate of fear and panic, by replacing the emphasis in the media on issues of national security and terrorism rather than domestic quality of life matters this will no doubt help stabilise and reinvigorate the Conservative Party lead. Or perhaps not. There have been a number of terrorist related incidents under the tenure of Theresa May both as Home Secretary and now as Prime Minister. The last three major terrorist attacks to occur in Britain the individuals involved had been already known to MI5 and had been under surveillance. Some of them such as the murderers of Lee Rigby had been previously working for MI5 and had been under surveillance only three days before the killing. And there was such strange reporting by the BBC in the immediate aftermath of the attack in Manchester. For instance, the BBC carried a newsline in one of its first reports which stated: ««Unconfirmed reports from two unnamed US officials suggested the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.» What where these «unconfirmed reports»? Who were these two «unnamed US officials» and how did they know before the Greater Manchester Police had confirmed the facts?
The Prime Minister is well known to be deeply involved with Britain’s domestic security service, colloquially known as MI5, which she as Home Secretary was ultimately responsible for. During her time at the Home Office she developed very close connections, perhaps too close for a democratic politician, with the Whitehall leadership of MI5. She employs many of their number within her Downing Street team. Theresa May is nothing if not MI5’s woman in Downing Street. She has backed them all the way giving them as much «investigatory» powers as they ask for and giving them free reign to do whatever they want. They in turn have and will back her all the way and will do all they can to protect her political position, not something a so-called security agency should really be doing, but there you have it. MI5 is more than just a security service and has a deep anti-Labour bias as evidenced by the conspiracy theory propagated by MI5 that British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was really a KGB sleeper agent, which was complete nonsense.
Meanwhile the latest puppet and mouthpiece for MI5, the harsh and severe looking Amber Rudd, has said an «uplift» in PREVENT, the government’s anti-radicalisation programme, will occur after June. This had already been planned before Monday’s attack, she added. The PREVENT Strategy has come in for considerable criticism from many political figures from across the divide that it is wholly counter-productive and seeks to spy on every single Muslim in Britain treating each one and their communities as hotbeds of terrorists. The Conservative Peer Baroness Warsi has called it «toxic». As with most policies carried out by the British State – they are not very well and rigorously thought through, planned and implemented – which is a hallmark of the English way of doing things – rather than decreasing the problem at hand PREVENT has actually increased it, who knows, perhaps deliberately for a certain warped political agenda.
A favoured tactic of the British State throughout the ages has been «divide and rule». They did it between India and Pakistan; between Northern and Southern Ireland; in Africa; in Palestine; in Asia – where ever they have inserted themselves through their disgusting practice known as Imperialism where they actually had no business ever being. The British State is just not that good at a lot of matters but it likes to project an image that it is. Yet people should ask themselves a very hard question: if British intelligence in collusion with the politicians were willing to tell such lies and fabricate such nonsense to get the UK into the Iraq War with the untold destruction and death that has wrought, what else are they capable of doing? To the cold, psychotic men in grey suits of the MI5 Whitehall Establishment – people – particularly working class people are merely useful idiots to be manipulated like pieces on a chess board. They do not value human life the way people who have empathy do. Indeed, Mrs. May recently said she herself: «does not do empathy.» To some of their number certain people are expendable if it will help them achieve their sordid, perverted objectives.

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Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0
After two days lecturing a collection of head-choppers, dictators, torturers and land thieves, Donald Trump at last met a good guy on Wednesday. Pope Francis didn’t ask for a $100bn (£77.2bn) arms deal for the Vatican. He wouldn’t go to war with Iran. He didn’t take the Sunni Muslim side against the Shia Muslim side in the next Middle East conflict. He didn’t talk about Palestinian “terror”. And he looked, most of the time, grim, unsmiling, even suspicious.
So he should have been. Trump’s broad, inane smile on confronting the Holy Father might have been more appropriate for the first of the Borgias, Alexander VI, whose 15th century womanising, corruption and enthusiasm for war would match Trump’s curriculum vitae rather well. But the poor man’s pope, who last year suggested that Trump wasn’t much of a Christian because he wanted to build walls, didn’t seem to be very happy to see the man who called him “disgraceful” for questioning his faith. “One offers peace through dialogue, the other security of arms,” one of Francis’ advisers said of the visit. Which pretty much sums it up.
It was indeed an odd sight to see the head of the Catholic church – whose anti-war, anti-corruption, anti-violence and pro-environment beliefs must surely now represent the secular world – greeting the present if very temporary leader of the secular world, whose policies are most surely not those of the Western people he would claim to represent. For more and more, the Good Old Pope is coming to represent what the Trumps and Mays will not say: that the West has a moral duty to end its wars in the Middle East, to stop selling weapons to the killers of the Middle East and to treat the people of the Middle East with justice and dignity.
No wonder the 29 minutes which the insane president and the sane pope spent together – Francis himself suggesting that they both keep away from the microphones – remain secret. Until, I suppose, Trump starts twittering again. They supposedly chatted about climate change, immigration, even arms sales. O fly upon the wall, speak up. And they talked, we are told, about “interreligious dialogue” and the need to protect Christians in the Middle East. They shared, we were finally informed, “a commitment to life, and freedom of speech and conscience” – which is more than most of Trump’s other hosts would have approved of these past two days.
Trump duly handed over a bunch of books by Martin Luther King which he hoped Pope Francis would enjoy – whether he had read them himself remains a mystery – and the Pope gave Trump some of his own writings on the environment. “Well, I’ll be reading them,” said the US President. A likely story.
When the Pope emerged from his private meeting with Trump, he was smiling in a relieved, almost charming way – like a man who had just left the dentist’s chair – and his joke with the veiled Melania about Croatian cookies, if not quite understood, showed that even a distressed pontiff can retain a sense of humor amid spiritual darkness. Trump thought it all “a great honor”. Not for the Pope, one imagines.
And there was the inevitable send-off from Trump, the kind he probably gave to all the greedy kings and criminals of the Middle East. “I won’t forget what you said,” he told Pope Francis as he left. O but he will, reader, he will.
Robert Fisk writes for the Independent, where this column originally appeared. 
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US Policymakers Openly Plot Against Venezuela

May 24, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – The US media has been paying increasing attention to the unfolding crisis in the South American nation of Venezuela. As the US media has done elsewhere, it is attempting to portray the unfolding crisis as a result of a corrupt dictatorship fighting against a “pro-democracy” opposition.


In reality, it is simply a repeat of US-driven regime change aimed at toppling Venezuela’s independent state institutions and replacing them with institutions created by and for US special interests.
The “opposition” is comprised of US-backed political parties and US-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) many of which are listed on the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website.
The UK Independent in a 2016 article titled, “Venezuela accuses US of plotting coup as Washington warns of ‘imminent collapse’,” would even admit:
…observers of the region point out that the US has a long history of seeking to interfere in the politics of Venezuela, as well as elsewhere in Latin America.
In addition to supporting those who ousted Mr Chavez in 2002, the US poured hundreds of thousands of dollars to his opponents via the so-called National Endowment for Democracy.
To understand America’s actual role amid Venezuela’s unfolding crisis, one must read policy papers produced by organizations called “think tanks” which devise and promote US policy.
The Brookings Institution is a Fortune 500-funded policy think tank. It is populated by policymakers who represent the collective ambitions of some of the world’s most powerful corporate-financier interests including big-oil, defense, agricultural monopolies, pharmaceutical corporations, media interests, and more.

Image: Just some of the Brookings Institution’s corporate-financier sponsors.

Brookings and think tanks similar to it, have regularly produced policy and media guidelines later disseminated across the Western media and Western legislatures through public relations firms and lobbyists. Think tanks are where the real agenda of the West is agreed upon and promoted from.
A recent piece featured upon the Brookings Institution’s website titled, “Venezuela: A path out of crisis,” lays out a 5-point plan toward escalating Venezuela’s already precarious situation (emphasis added):
1. The United States could expand its assistance to countries that until now have been dependent on Venezuelan oil, as a means to decrease regional support for and dependence on the Maduro government.

2. The United States could increase monetary assistance to credible civil society organizations and nongovernmental organizations able to deliver food and medicines to Venezuelans. By doing so, the United States should make clear that international pressure aims to support democracy, not punish the Venezuelan people.

3. The United States could support efforts by the opposition in Venezuela to build an “off-ramp” that would split moderate elements of the government away from hardliners, encouraging the former to acquiesce to a transition to democracy by lowering their costs of exiting government.

4. The United States could coordinate with international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to offer financial incentives for holding free and fair elections in 2018, and for the opposition to unify and compete in those elections. Such coordination would also involve developing and publicizing a credible plan to restart Venezuela’s economy.

5. As a last resort, the United States could consider raising economic costs to the government through an expanded sanctions regime that aims to limit Venezuelan earnings from oil exports and block further financing.This policy is risky, given that the Maduro government would be able to more credibly shift blame for the economic crisis onto the United States, and should be accompanied by well-publicized efforts to deliver humanitarian aid through credible civil society and nongovernmental organizations.
It is a prescription for further economic isolation, US-funded political subversion, and with its reference to “a transition to democracy,” an oblique call for regime change.
The US media – particularly organizations operating from under right cover – have portrayed Venezuela’s economic crisis as primarily related to “socialism” and corruption. In reality, factors that would have only impeded the full realization of Venezuela’s economic progress have been intentionally compounded through US sanctions, economic sabotage, and political subversion to precipitate the currently unfolding socioeconomic and humanitarian crisis.
Venezuela would not be the first nation the US targeted for economic implosion in South America.
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its own online archives available to the public under a section titled, “CIA Activities in Chile,” would admit (emphasis added):
According to the Church Committee report, in their meeting with CIA Director Richard Helms and Attorney General John Mitchell on 15 September 1970 President Nixon and his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, directed the CIA to prevent Allende from taking power. They were “not concerned [about the] risks involved,” according to Helms’ notes. In addition to political action, Nixon and Kissinger, according to Helms’s notes, ordered steps to “make the economy scream.”
These Cold War attitudes persisted into the Pinochet era. After Pinochet came to power, senior policymakers appeared reluctant to criticize human rights violations, taking to task US diplomats urging greater attention to the problem. US military assistance and sales grew significantly during the years of greatest human rights abuses. According to a previously released Memorandum of Conversation, Kissinger in June 1976 indicated to Pinochet that the US Government was sympathetic to his regime, although Kissinger advised some progress on human rights in order to improve Chile’s image in the US Congress.
With violence increasing in the streets of Venezuela and many of the rhetorical tactics used to set the stage for violent  regime change and humanitarian catastrophe in Libya and Syria now being used to topple the government in Caracas – the world must get ahead of the propaganda and begin exposing this open conspiracy against yet another sovereign nation.
Venezuela’s political system is for the Venezuelan people themselves to decide – without US interference. A government dominated by US-backed opposition members will leave Venezuela as an extension of US corporate-financier special interests, not an alternative or check against them This only serves in inviting further abuse by these interests not only in South America, but all around the world – Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Ukraine for example – where America’s unwarranted wealth and influence is sowing instability, conflict, and catastrophe.

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Sayyed Nasrallah: Saudi Summit, Trump Visit Offer Nothing New to Region



Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered a televised speech during a ceremony commemorating the resistance and liberation day that took place in Hermal, Biqaa.
Sayyed Nasrallah clarified that Hezbollah has chosen Hermel as the location for the ceremony this year in honor of the sacrifices its people made to achieve liberation and victory.
He also referred to the threat that is still present in Biqaa barrens which were taken as haven by the militants who escaped after their defeat in Syria, explaining that these still carry the threat of suicide bombings and booby-trapped cars with them.
His eminences saluted all the resistance movements in Lebanon, from the Islamic Resistance to Amal Movement and other Lebanese and resistance factions for their sacrifices that led to victory in May 2000.
He further saluted the Syrian Army which also offered sacrifices, and addressed the new generation which didn’t witness the occupation and liberation, assuring to them that if it weren’t for the efforts of the resistance movements there wouldn’t have been any liberation because relying on the West, UN, or Arab league would’ve only been for the benefit of Israel.
Internally, Sayyed Nasrallah noted that a new electoral law is being discussed in a positive manner; giving hope to the Lebanese that elections will take place. He further commented on the internal Lebanese issues proposed in the Riyadh summit, saying that: “I would like to relieve the Lebanese people regarding the stances issued in Riyadh Summits and tell them it that it will have no influence on the internal situation due to the efforts, rationality, and harmony of the Lebanese people.”
“Since the presidential elections, we assured that we agree on all the internal files but disagree on the regional files,” he added.
Regarding the developments in Bahrain, his eminence reassured the wisdom and peaceful approach that Ayatollah Sheikh Issa Qassem used while leading the Bahrain movement. On the other hand, he was confronted with violence and oppression by the Bahrain regime.
Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that Bahrain king chose to escalate after the Riyadh summit and after taking the green light from US President Donald Trump. He also noted that Bahrain king is considering taking serious action against Ayatollah Issa Qassem as he is making regional telephone calls asking countries’ presidents if they would receive Sheikh Qassem in their country.
His eminence asked the Lebanese president to reject this proposal by Sheikh Hamad Al-Khalifah.
As for the Riyadh Summit, his eminence stressed that the sentence issued after the summit was only a US-Riyadh sentences as none of the countries that participated in the summit had an idea about its content, knowing that the sentence falsely claimed that all its points were discussed and agreed on by the participants.
Sayyed Nasrallah proposed several questions about US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia.
“Why all this honoring to Trump by the Saudis knowing that he is the US President who mostly offended Arabs, Muslims, Gulf countries, and Saudis in his electoral campaign? Isn’t he the first president to forbid Muslims from eight countries to enter USA? Didn’t he say that Saudi Arabia is a dairy cow that we should milk and throw away? Isn’t he the president who loves Israel the most?”
“The Saudis honored Trump this much only to protect themselves especially amid the wide criticism and files opened against them specifically for standing behind the Takfiri groups,” his eminence explained.
Another reason behind all this honoring is trying to convince Washington to engage in a direct clash with Iran and the resistance axis.
Sayyed Nasrallah considered that Saudi Arabia needed to bribe Trump to preserve its role in the region especially after its failures in Yemen, Iraq, and Syria.
He further indicated that while Saudi Arabia offered all these money and presents to Trump so that he wages a war on Iran, all the US president cares about is money and Israel.
In conclusion, his eminence noted that with all the Saudi political and military failure, the Iraqi and Syrian forces are both advancing in their countries and defeating the militants there.
Additionally, hSayyed Nasrallah stressed that neither Trump’s nor Saudi Arabia’s speech offered anything new as Hezbollah has always been on their list of terrorism and this had never affected it, it rather made it stronger.
Source: Al-Manar Website
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