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Posts tagged ‘nationalism’

Ghana Commemorates Christiansborg Crossroad Shooting


Ghana Commemorates Christiansborg Crossroad Shooting

Ghana Commemorates Christiansborg Crossroad Shooting

Ghana commemorates the 63rd anniversary of the 28 February Christiansborg, Crossroad shooting.

[On 28th February 1948 veterans of world war two, who had fought with the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force, organised a peaceful demonstration marching to Christiansborg Castle, Accra, Gold Coast (Ghana), to hand in a petition to the colonial governor, demanding that they receive end of war benefits and pay which they had been promised.
Before reaching the castle the Veterans were ordered to disperse by the colonial police chief. When they refused he opened fire on them instantly killing three – Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey.

Angered by this unwarranted violence, against unarmed men, and continued injustices suffered by the population in general, people in Accra and other towns and cities took to the streets, attacking European and Asian businesses and property. Immediately after the outbreak of these violent disturbances the leadership of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), a political organisation advocating an end to colonialism, sent a cable to the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London expressing their belief that:
“…unless Colonial Government is changed and a new Government of the people and their Chiefs installed at the centre immediately, the conduct of masses now completely out of control with strikes threatened in Police quarters, and rank and file Police indifferent to orders of Officers, will continue and result in worse violent and irresponsible acts by uncontrolled people.”

The UGCC cable further stated that:
“Working Committee United Gold Coast Convention declare they are prepared and ready to take over interim Government. We ask in name of oppressed, inarticulate, misruled and misgoverned people and their Chiefs that Special Commissioner be sent out immediately to hand over Government to interim Government of Chief and People and to witness immediate calling of Constituent Assembly”

The people’s protests lasted five days. By 1st March the colonial governor had declared a state of emergency and put in place a new Riot Act. On 12th March the governor ordered the arrest of “The Big Six,” (Ebenezer Ako-Adjei; Edward Akufo-Addo; J. B. Danquah;    Kwame Nkrumah; Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey; William Ofori Atta) leading members of the UGCC, which included Kwame Nkrumah, as he believed they were responsible for orchestrating the disturbances. The Big Six were incarcerated in remote northern parts of the country.

It was around this time that Nkrumah and the other five began to have significant disagreements over the direction of the movement for independence. By 1949 Nkrumah had broken away from the UGCC to form the Convention People’s Party (CPP) taking the masses of the people with him. The CPP, through a campaign of “Positive Action,” achieved an end to the Gold Coast colony and brought the new dawn of independent Ghana on 6th March 1957]

By: Amma Fosuah Poku Source: Pan-Africanist Briefs

[A solemn flag raising and wreath laying ceremony will be held at the newly created Nationalism Park, close to the Freedom Monument at Osu in Accra tomorrow, February 28, to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the 28 February Christiansborg, Crossroad shooting.

The event which is celebrated every year to honour the three ex-servicemen who were killed in 1948 by the colonial police, while marching to the Osu Castle to present a petition to the then Governor, will see a lot of activities this year, with the police and the military bands in attendance.

A contingent made up of officers from the Ghana Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG) will also be on parade.

Also expected to grace the occasion will be Vice-President John Mahama, Ministers of state, Members of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, Service commanders of the various security agencies, traditional rulers, the clergy and other identifiable groups.

After the wreath laying, the Ga Asafo and Kolomashie groups will take over until 6pm. Later that evening at 7pm, there will be a re-enactment of the shooting incident at the Nationalism Park.

The Historical Society of Ghana will also hold a public lecture on the theme“Celebrating Our Heroes: The Importance Of 28 February To The Independence Of Ghana,” at the Civil Servants and Local Government Staff Association of Ghana (CLOGSAG) auditorium, Ministries, Accra, later in the afternoon of Tuesday, February28, 2012, between 3:00pm and 6:00pm.

It would be recalled that, on that sorrowful Saturday, 28th February 1948, before noon, a number of unarmed ex-servicemen were on a march from Accra to the Christiansborg Castle to present a petition to the Governor General and Commander-in-Chief, Sir Gerald Creasy, when they were intercepted at the Christiansborg Crossroad by a contingent of armed policemen, led by a British Superintendent, Colin Imray.

Superintendent Imray ordered the ex-servicemen to disperse, but they did not. He then gave orders to the police to open fire on the ex-service men, but that too did not deter them, so Superintendent Imray himself fired at the Ex-servicemen, killing Sergeant Adjetey, Cpl Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey, instantly in cold blood.

The news about the death of the gallant Ex-servicemen spread rapidly, leading to a situation where law and order broke down in Accra and other parts of the country, which was popularly referred to as the 1948 disturbances.

This encouraged the anti-colonial movements to press the British government to institute a committee to investigate the killings and the consequent general disorder.

The committee recommended self- government for the Gold Coast, and subsequently, led to the attainment of political independence for the country on March 6, 1957.]

The True Statesman, Source: Modern Ghana

Greece and Exiting European Hotel California


Greece Withdrawal from European Hotel California

Greece Withdrawal from European Hotel California

Hotel California the lovely top hit song from the Eagles’ album of the same name that they released as a single in February 1977. The last line sounds to be fitting to the European Union.

The lyrics describe an establishment as a luxury resort where “you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.” On the surface, it tells the tale of a weary traveler who becomes trapped in a nightmarish luxury hotel that at first appears inviting and tempting. The song is an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed of the late 1970s. The abstract nature of the lyrics has led listeners to their own interpretations over the years.

Enjoy the lyrics first; then proceed to the grim question of could a Member State Leave the European Union and/or Euro-zone ?

Hotel California

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway;
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself,
This could be heaven or this could be hell
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor,
I thought I heard them say…

Welcome to the hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the hotel California
Any time of year, you can find it here

Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the captain,
Please bring me my wine
He said, we haven’t had that spirit here since nineteen sixty-nine
And still those voices are calling from far away,
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say…

Welcome to the hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They living it up at the hotel California
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,
The pink champagne on ice
And she said we are all just prisoners here, of our own device
And in the master’s chambers,
They gathered for the feast
The stab it with their steely knives,
But they just can’t kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was
Running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
Relax, said the night man,
We are programmed to receive.
You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave!

Rights of withdrawal from the European Union; Does a right of withdrawal exist?

The treaties were concluded “for an unlimited period”
● Article 53, TEU
● Article 356, TFEU
Accordingly, there is no right to withdraw from the EU unless such a right can be inferred or implied from treaty itself (Article 56, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. However, Article 50 TEU (inserted by Lisbon) now allows a Member State to withdraw from the EU in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

Provisions dealing with negotiation of withdrawal do not specifically deal with a Member State also departing from Eurozone. So there is a mechanism for withdrawal which comprises both EU and Eurozone membership under Article 50. This is followed by immediate re-application solely for EU membership under Article 49.

Rights of Withdrawal from the Eurozone

The Treaties do not create an express right of withdrawal from Eurozone. No right of withdrawal can be implied since inconsistent with Article 140(3), TFEU (which refers to the irrevocable fixing of the euro substitution rate for the acceding currency)

There is therefore no procedure available under which Member State can leave Eurozone but remain within EU. In strictly legal terms, such an outcome could only be achieved by a revision of the Treaties.

Both Member State in difficulties and all other Member States may agree that Eurozone departure would be in best interests of all. What legal avenues are open to them? Amendment/ratification of Treaties would be very time- consuming and would not answer a pressing urgency.

Suspension of treaty is allowed for a period, but merely gives time and does not affect overall legal position among the parties (Articles 60 and 72, Vienna Convention). There is therefore no treaty or legally-based mechanism allowing for a Eurozone (as opposed to an EU) exit on an urgent basis.

There is no easy way out of the Eurozone – voluntarily or compulsorily. This is to be expected given the inter-connected nature of the currency and of the European financial markets.

A Eurozone departure is not necessarily a remedy for the fiscal ills of the departing Member State and (unless a “position of strength” departure) is likely to increase its debt servicing costs, given that many external creditors will remain entitled to claim payment in Euro. Local creditors in the departing Member State itself and holders of domestic law obligations are the most likely to be disadvantaged by the withdrawal.

Assaults on Remaining Old Decency in Europe


Assaults on Remaining Old Decency in Europe

Assaults on Remaining Old Decency in Europe

The troubles of Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy are they really about debts and fiscal discipline? I guess not. Greece always remained the bastion of good national values and strong culture of decency. These values and principles are under assaults from the governments of big new Europa. Sovereign debts and bankruptcy are just few weapons in their arsenal for swallowing the remaining pockets of good old Europe.

Poland and few other countries, while not yet in direct firing, are very well aware of that and watching the grave developments anxiously and cautiously; and asking themselves who is next in the hit list.

The relationship between Germany and France despite being well-coordinated for now is very far from reliable and lasting. The third engine of new Europa, Britain, is discovering that its interests and relationship with France and Germany are at risk from power shifting and the EU assumption that the UK is in the periphery of Europa. The government of France is very content with role of assistant or deputy in the EU helm. Britain is definitely not.

Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy cannot sustain for long time the new pattern of interference, EU-appointed bureaucrat; and erosion of real democracy. The financiers’ and political conflicts in the EU are making bad economies even worse.

Will Greece, and other potential candidates, be allowed to pull out of the EU? The answer now is definitely NO; because even if Greece is not willing to accept the bailout with the attached conditions, the EU is still want to take Greece. New Europe cannot live with pain in the ***.

The West is Going Too Far Against Syria


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

I was never a supporter of Syria and any other Arab country; and definitely not any Arab inherited regime or sheikhdom. Actually the problems of the Middle East concern me as much as the difficulties of living on Mars. But with the ferocious combined assault of Islamists; Globalists; Gulf Arab puppet regimes; USA; UK; France; Israel and NATO’s mercenaries on Syria I find it immoral to keep quiet and not to defend a nationalist government and the national sovereignty of Syria or any other country in similar situation.

The coordinated campaigns of violence; lies; media and plots to topple the government in Syria to install another western dummy in that region have gone too far. It is furiously insulting for decency in the world to hear or read that that strange coalition is trying to bring human rights; freedom; democracy; blab…blab…blab to the people of Syria; Egypt; Iraq; Yemen or Libya. It is really ridiculous to see who are driving the funny Arab League in the campaign towards justice, democracy and freedom.

I wish to see a counter coalition to stand up against that gang of thugs and thieves. The African Union, South Africa, Russia, Brazil, China, India, Asia and South America must act together to stop such  aggression. It is very essential that the honest nationalist Syrian opposition shall make their independent voices and actions heard.

Gulf Arab Regimes Must Be Democratized Now


Heads of States of the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC

Heads of States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

The world know very well that fair, free and transparent governance is essential demand and right for all nations without exceptions. The USA, France and Britain are increasingly imposing non-peaceful and military changes to Arab states and to North and West Africa. Gulf Arab states, like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, are instrumental in the western new invasive policy of bringing freedom, justice and democracy to other Arab states like Syria, Egypt and Yemen.

(more…)

The Nameless War: Contineous International Thuggery


[The following article is a horrendous indictment of history and the political and education systems of the western world. It opens a pandora’s box of betrayal of “a nation’s people” – but which nation?

Archibald Ramsay Author of the Nameless War

Captain Archibald Henry Maule Ramsay

However, the material is presented in the public interest as an outline of the thuggery being perpetrated by those who would see themselves as world masters in the so-called New World Order being implemented by the puppet regime known as the United Nations. The material in itself shows that the NWO is far from being NEW, but in fact, is more a continuing domination of “greedy egomaniacs” who aspire to something they cannot be in any other way – than by subversion, corruption and perversion.

If you read on (the article because of it’s size has been serialized over a number of editions.) you will see that it is not just one country but many countries that have been ‘pulverized and brutalized’ by many who are far from what they appear to be.

Recently in England (1993) the Chancellor of the Ex-Chequer, Mr. Lamont, resigned from the position and said words to this affect in a TV interview; “it is impossible to continue in a parliament which in fact is controlled by unseen hands” …

Amazingly, some one hundred and fifty years earlier, in 1844, much the same words were used – by a former Prime Minister of England, Mr. Benjamin Disraeli, allegedly a “damped”, or baptized Jew, published his novel, Coningsby, in which occurs this ominous passage:-

“The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes”.]

These are the introduction of an article submitted by wmfinck on Sat, 2011-12-31 and was published at The Saxon Messenger. (A Side of History not seen in the History books)

It is bringing to light the extremely important book written by Captain A.H.M. Ramsay (Archibald Henry Maule Ramsay) in 1952. The book title is: The Nameless War.

This article is just an introduction to this very small but very packed with facts and analyses. It is a must read for those who want to understand the New World Order, major European wars and “revolutions” and the current world affairs.

Captain A.H.M. Ramsay (4 May 1894 – 11 March 1955) was a British Army officer who later went into politics as a Scottish Unionist Member of Parliament (MP). He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and served with the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards in the First World War until he was severely wounded in 1916 – thereafter at Regimental H.Q. and the War Office and the British War Mission in Paris until the end of the war.
From 1920 he became a Member of H.M. Scottish Bodyguard.

In 1931 he was elected a Member of Parliament for Midlothian and Peeblesshire. Arrested under Regulation 18b on the 23rd May, 1940, he was detained, without charge or trial, in a cell in Brixton Prison until the 26th September, 1944. On the following morning he resumed his seat in the House of Commons and remained there until the end of that Parliament in 1945.

Captain A.H.M. Ramsay began his book with these words:
[To the memory of those Patriots who in 1215 at Runnymede signed Magna Carta and those who in 1320 at Arbroath signed the Declaration of Independence this book is dedicated. 27th July 1952.

The Contents of the book:
Prologue
1.The British Revolution
2. The French Revolution
3. The Russian Revolution
4. Development of Revoutionary Technique
5. Germany Bells The Cat
6. 1933: Jewry Declares War
7. “Phoney War” Ended By Civilian Bombing
8. Dunkirk And After
9. The Shape Of Things To Come
10. President Roosevelt’s Role
11. Regulation 18B
12. Who Dares?
Epilogue
Appendixes

PROLOGUE

Edward I banished the Jews from England for many grave offences endangering the welfare of his realm and lieges, which were to a great extent indicated in the Statutes of Jewry, enacted by his Parliament in 1290, the Commons playing a prominent part.

The King of France very shortly followed suit, as did other Rulers in Christian Europe. So grave did the situation for the Jews in Europe
become, that an urgent appeal for help and advice was addressed by them to the Sanhedrin, then located at Constantinople.

This appeal was sent over the signature of Chemor, Rabbi of Arles in Provence, on the 13th January, 1489. The reply came in November, 1489, which was issued over the signature of V.S.S. V.F.F. Prince of the Jews. It advised the Jews of Europe to adopt the tactics of the Trojan Horse; to make their sons Christian priests, lawyers, doctors, etc., and work to destroy the Christian structure from within.

The first notable repercussion to this advice occurred in Spain in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. Many Jews were by then enrolled as Christians, but remaining secretly Jews were working to destroy the Christian church in Spain. So grave became the menace finally, that the Inquisition was instituted in an endeavour to cleanse the country from these conspirators.

Once again the Jews were compelled to commence an exodus from yet another country, whose hospitality they had abused. Trekking eastwards, these Jews joined other Jewish communities in western Europe; considerable numbers flowed on to Holland and Switzerland. From now on these two countries were to become active centres of  Jewish intrigue. Jewry, however, has always needed a powerful seafaring nation to which to attach itself.

Great Britain, newly united under James I, was a rising naval power, which was already beginning to sway the four corners of the discovered world. Here also there existed a wonderful field for disruptive criticism; for although it was a Christian kingdom, yet it was one most sharply divided as between Protestant and Catholic. A campaign for exploiting this division and fanning hatreds between the Christian communities was soon in process of organization.

How well the Jews succeeded in this campaign in Britain may be judged from the fact that one of the earliest acts of their creature and hireling Oliver Cromwell – after executing the King according to plan – was to allow the Jews free access to England once more.

CHAPTER 1 – THE BRITISH REVOLUTION (1688)

“It was fated that England should be the first of a series of Revolutions, which is not yet finished.”]

Readers are advised to read the 12 small chapters at The Saxon Messenger , or download a full free copy from The Internet Archive.

(There are two versions at the Archive. The first published by Britons Publishing Company (106 pages) which warns readers from severely  truncated  and  heavily censored copies.
The second version at the Archive is of 36-pages and less popular)

Ron Paul: America’s Last Chance


Ron Paul Against New World Order Empire

Senator Dr. Ron Paul

One Against the Empire by Paul Craig Roberts; as published on January 16, 2012 at Counterpunch

America has one last chance, and it is a very slim one. Americans can elect Ron Paul President, or they can descend into tyranny.

Why is Ron Paul America’s last chance?

Because he is the only candidate who is not owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military-security complex, Wall Street, and the Israel Lobby.

All of the others, including President Obama, are owned by exactly the same interest groups.  There are no differences between them.  Every candidate except Ron Paul stands for war and a police state, and all have demonstrated their complete and total subservience to Israel. The fact that there is no difference between them is made perfectly clear by the absence of substantive issues in the campaigns of the Republican candidates.

Only Ron Paul deals with real issues, so he is excluded from “debates” in which the other Republican candidates throw mud at one another: “Gingrich voted $60 million to a UN program supporting abortion in China.”  “Romney loves to fire people.”

The mindlessness repels.

More importantly, only Ron Paul respects the US Constitution and its protection of civil liberty. Only Ron Paul understands that if the Constitution cannot be resurrected from its public murder by Congress and the executive branch, then Americans are lost to tyranny.

There isn’t much time in which to revive the Constitution. One more presidential term with no habeas corpus and no due process for US citizens and with torture and assassination of US citizens by their own government, and it will be too late. Tyranny will have been firmly institutionalized, and too many Americans from the lowly to the high and mighty will have been implicated in the crimes of the state. Extensive guilt and complicity will make it impossible to restore the accountability of government to law.

If Ron Paul is not elected president in this year’s election, by 2016 American liberty will be in a forgotten grave in a forgotten graveyard.

Having said this, there is no way Ron Paul can be elected, for these reasons:

Not enough Americans understand that the “war on terror” has been used to create a police state. The brainwashed citizenry believe that the police state is making them safe from terrorists.

Liberals, progressives, and almost the whole of the left oppose Ron Paul, claiming that “he would abolish the social safety net, privatize Social Security and Medicare, throw the widows and orphans into the street, abolish the Federal Reserve,” etc.

Apparently, liberals, progressives, and the left-wing do not understand that privatizing Social Security and Medicare and destroying the social safety net are policies that many conservative Republicans favor and are policies that Wall Street is forcing on both political parties. In contrast, a President Ron Paul would be isolated in the White House and would never be able to muster the support of Congress and the powerful interest groups to achieve such radical changes. Moreover, Ron Paul has made it clear that a welfare-free state cannot be achieved by decree but only by creating an economy in which opportunity exists for people to stand on their own feet. Ron Paul has said that he does not support ending welfare before an economy is created that makes a welfare state unnecessary.

Candidate Paul cannot take any steps to reassure Americans that he would not throw them to the mercy of the free market, because his libertarian base would turn on him as another unprincipled politician willing to sacrifice his principles for political expediency.

If libertarians were not inflexible, candidate Paul could endorse Ron Unz’s proposal to solve the illegal immigration problem by raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour, so that Americans could afford to work the jobs that are taken by illegals.

Economist James K. Galbraith is probably correct that Unz’s proposal would boost the economy by injecting purchasing power and that the unemployment would be largely confined to illegals who would return to their home country. However, if Ron Paul were to treat Unz’s proposal as one worthy of study and consideration, libertarian ideologues would write him off. Whatever liberal/progressive support he gained would be offset by the loss of his libertarian base.

Why can’t libertarians be as intelligent as Ron Unz and see that if the Constitution is lost all that remains is tyranny?

In short, Americans cannot see beyond their ideologies to the real issue, which is the choice between the Constitution and tyranny.

So we hear absurd accusations that Ron Paul, a libertarian “is a racist.” “Ron Paul is an anti-Semite.” “Ron Paul would favor the rich and hurt the poor.”

We don’t hear “Ron Paul would restore and protect the US Constitution.”

What do Americans think life will be like in the absence of the Constitution?  I will tell you what it will be like, but first let’s consider the obstacles Ron Paul would face if he were to win the Republican nomination and if he were to be elected president.

In my opinion, if Ron Paul were to win the Republican nomination, the Republican Party would conspire to refuse it to him. The party would simply nominate a different candidate.

If despite everything, Ron Paul were to end up in the White House, he would not be able to form a government that would support his policies. Appointments to cabinet secretaries and assistant secretaries that would support his policies could not be confirmed by the US Senate. President Paul would have to appoint whomever the Senate would confirm in order to form a government. The Senate’s appointees would undermine his policies.

What a President Ron Paul could do, assuming Congress, controlled by powerful private interest groups, did not impeach him on trumped up charges, would be to use whatever forums that might be permitted him to explain to the public, judges, and law schools that the danger from terrorists is miniscule compared to the danger from a government unaccountable to law and the Constitution.

The reason we should vote for Ron Paul is to signal to the powers that be that we understand what they are doing to us. If Paul were to receive a large vote, it could have two good effects. One could be to introduce some caution into the establishment that would slow the march into more war and tyranny. The other is it would signal to Washington’s European and Japanese puppets that not all Americans are stupid sheep. Such an indication could make Washington’s puppet states more cautious and less cooperative with Washington’s drive for world hegemony.

What America Without the Constitution Will Be Like 

In the January 4 Huff Post, attorney and author John Whitehead reported on the militarization of local police. Some police forces are now equipped with spy drones. Whitehead reports that a drone manufacturer, AeroVironment Inc., plans to sell 18,000 drones to police departments throughout the country. The company is also advertising a small drone, the “Switchblade,” which can track a person, land on the person and explode.

How long before Americans will be spied upon or murdered as extremists at the discretion of local police?

Recognizing the privacy danger, if not the murder danger, the American Civil Liberties Union has issued a report,  “Protecting Privacy From Aerial Surveillance.”  The ACLU believes, correctly, that liberty is threatened by “a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by authorities.”

The ACLU calls on Congress to legislate privacy protections against the police use of drones. I support the ACLU because it is the most important defender of civil liberty despite other misguided activities, but I wonder what the ACLU is thinking. Congress and the federal courts have already acquiesced in the federal government’s warrantless spying on Americans by the National Security Agency.  The Bush regime violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act many times, and all involved, including President Bush, should have been sent to prison for many lifetimes, as each violation carries a 5-year prison term. But the executive branch emerged scot free.  No one was held accountable for clear violations of US statutory law.

The ACLU might think that although the federal executive branch has successfully elevated itself above the law, state and local police forces are still accountable. We must hope that they are, but I doubt it.

The militarization of local police has received some attention.  What has not received attention is that state and local police are also being federalized. It is not only military armaments and spy technology that local police are receiving from Washington, but also an attitude toward the public along with federal oversight and the collaboration that goes with it. When Homeland Security, a federal police force, comes into states, as I know has occurred in Georgia and Tennessee, and doubtless other states, and together with the state police stop cars and trucks on Interstate highways and subject them to warrantless searches, what is happening is the de facto deputizing of the state police by Homeland Security. This is the way that Goering and Himmler federalized into the Gestapo the independent police forces of German provinces such as Prussia and Bavaria.

Homeland Security has expanded its warrantless searches far beyond “airline security.”

The budding gestapo agency now conducts warrantless searches on the nation’s highways, on bus and train passengers, and at Social Security offices. On Tuesday January 3, 2012, the Social Security office in Leesburg, Florida, apparently a terrorist hotspot, became a Homeland Security checkpoint. The DHS Gestapo armed with automatic weapons and sniffer dogs demanded IDs from local residents visiting their local Social Security office.

Thomas Milligan, district manager for the Social Security Administration office, said staff were not informed their offices were about to be stormed by armed federal police officers. DHS officials refused to answer questions asked by local media and left with no explanation at noon, reports infowars.com.

The DHS gestapo justified its takeover of a Leesburg Florida Social Security office as being an integral part of “Operational Shield,” conducted by the Federal Protective Service to detect “the presence of unauthorized persons and potentially disruptive or dangerous activities.”

One wonders if even brainwashed flag-waving “superpatriots” can miss the message. The Social Security office of Leesburg, Florida, population 19,086 in central Florida is not a place where terrorists devoid of proper ID might be visiting. To protect America from the scant possibility that terrorists might be congregating at the Leesburg Social Security office, the tyrants in Washington sent the Federal Protective Service at who knows what cost to demand ID from locals visiting their Social Security office.

What is this all about except to establish the precedent that federal police, a new entity in American life, the Federal Protective Service, has authority over state and local police offices and can appear out of the blue to interrogate local citizens.

Why the ACLU thinks it is going to get any action out of a Congress that has accommodated the executive branch’s destruction of habeas corpus, due process, and the constitutional and legal prohibitions against torture is beyond me. But at least the issue is raised. But don’t expect to hear about it from the “mainstream media.”

Americans in 2012, although only a few are aware, live in a concentration camp that is far better controlled than the one portrayed by George Orwell in 1984.  Orwell, writing in the late 1940s could not imagine the technology that makes control of populations so thorough as it is today. Orwell’s protagonist could at least have hope. In 2012 with the erasure of privacy by the US government, protagonists can be eliminated by hummingbird-sized drones before they can initiate a protest, much less a rebellion.

Never in human history has a people been so easily and willingly controlled by a hostile government as Americans, who are the least free people on earth.  And a large percentage of Americans still wave the flag and chant USA! USA! USA!

The Bush regime operated as if the Constitution did not exist. Any semblance of constitutional government that remained after the Bush years was terminated when Congress passed and President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act. One wonders how the National Rifle Association, the defender of the Second Amendment, will now fare.  If there is no Constitution, how can there be a Second Amendment?  If the President, at his discretion, can set aside habeas corpus and due process and murder citizens based on unproven suspicions, why can’t he set aside the Second Amendment?

Indeed, it is folly to expect a police state to tolerate an armed population.

The NRA is very supportive of the police and military. Now that these armed organizations are being turned against the public, how will the NRA adjust its posture?

Many NRA members, pointing to the “Oath Keepers,” former members of the military who pledge to defend the Constitution, and to police chiefs who support the Second Amendment, believe that the police and military will disobey orders to attack citizens.

But we already witness constantly the gratuitous brutality of “our” police against peaceful protesters. We witness military troops all over the world murder citizens who protest government abuses.  Why can’t it happen here?

If you don’t want it to happen here, you had better figure out some way to get Ron Paul into the Presidency and to get him a cabinet and subcabinet that will support him.

Meanwhile, the police state grows. On January 4, 2012, the Obama regime announced by decree, not by legislation, the creation of the Bureau of Counterterrorism which will among other tasks “seek to strengthen homeland security, countering violent extremism.”

Take a moment to think.  Do you know of any “violent extremism” happening in the US? The regime is telling you that it needs a new police bureau with unaccountable powers to “strengthen homeland security” against a nonexistent bogyman.

So who will be the violent extremists who require countering by the Bureau of Counter-terrorism?  It will be peace activists, the Occupy Wall Street protesters, the unemployed and foreclosed homeless.  It will be whoever the police state says. And there is no due process or recourse to law.

Given the facts before you, you are out of your mind if you think Ron Paul’s rhetoric against the welfare state is more important than his defense of liberty.

Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached through his website Institute for Political Economy

He has written or co-written eight books, contributed chapters to numerous books and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. He has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy. His writings frequently appear on OpEdNews, Prisonplanet.com, Antiwar.com, the web site VDARE.com. LewRockwell.com, CounterPunch, and the American Free Press. Roberts has been featured as a guest on the Political Cesspool radio show.

The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times


The Age of Deception by Mohamed ElBaradei

The author of this book is the Nobel Prize laureate, Egyptian law scholar and diplomat, and the former Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for three successive terms from 1997 to 2009, Mohamed ElBaradei. He declined to avail his services  for a further fourth term in the IAEA; and the IAEA Board of Governors was split in its decision regarding the next director general. After several rounds of voting, on July 3, 2009, Mr. Yukiya Amano, Japanese ambassador to the IAEA, was elected as the next IAEA director general.

The following book review was written by George Perkovich, Director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and co-editor of “Abolishing Nuclear Weapons: A Debate.” The book review was posted on The Washington Post on 21 April 2011.

This book was published by Metropolitan Books (in 352 pages),
(April 26, 2011).

George Perkovich said in his review:
[Mohamed ElBaradei fought the Bush administration over the war in Iraq, blocked it from attacking Iran, and for his efforts received harassment from American hardliners and, eventually, the Nobel Peace Prize. Now, having retired from the International Atomic Energy Agency, he plans to run for president of Egypt. He has interesting stories to tell, and he tells them with verve.

Like other presidential aspirants, ElBaradei places himself in a flattering light and takes the popular side of issues voters care about. But “The Age of Deception” is more than a campaign biography: Written before the recent Egyptian upheaval, it reaches far beyond the politics of Cairo. The struggles ElBaradei waged in Iraq, North Korea, Iran and Libya to shape the international management of nuclear technology represent a central dynamic of the 21st century.

Will rule of law trump unilateralism? Can a progressive international order be built when states differ over which rules should be strengthened and how they should be enforced, and when rulers in North Korea, Burma, Syria and Iran reject norms that others respect? ElBaradei’s vivid narrative brings these and other big questions to life.

“I am totally against wars,” a 12-year-old Spanish girl named Alicia wrote to ElBaradei after he received the Nobel Prize in 2005. “I thank you very much for your efforts to try to avoid the war in Iraq. Despite the fact that your strategy, based on dialogue, was absolutely not to the liking of the USA, you knew how to stay firm and you showed that there were not nuclear weapons in Iraq, even while gaining the hate of the most powerful country.”

Alicia sums up“The Age of Deception” in many ways. ElBaradei repeatedly describes the nuclear infractions of North Korea, Iran, Libya and other nations and then insinuates that the United States should be blamed for scaring them into misbehaving or impeding him from working out fair-minded solutions with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il and Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. For example: The Iranians “were busily undermining the very solution they had worked so hard to achieve,” he writes after learning in 2006 that officials of former president Mohammad Khatami’s administration planned to attack the new president Ahmadinejad politically if he agreed to a deal with Washington. “I sighed. Tehran had been spending way too much time watching D.C. politics, I thought.” And: North Korea is “isolated, impoverished, feeling deeply threatened by the United States but nonetheless defiant.”

Libya had in the 1990s secretly bought uranium enrichment equipment and a blueprint for a nuclear weapon from the infamous network of Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan. This had not been detected by the International Atomic Energy Agency, but by British and American intelligence. ElBaradei was briefed before the story broke in December 2003. “I was told,” he writes, “that the genesis of the Libyan nuclear weapon program — and Gaddafi’s other WMD programs — was in retaliation for the April 1986 U.S. bombing raids during which Gaddafi’s adopted daughter, Hannah, was killed.” One is left to wonder whether he thought the Libyan terrorist attacks weeks earlier that killed Americans on TWA flight 840 and in the La Belle disco in Berlin were irrelevant, for he does not mention them. He does describe meeting Gaddafi who “spoke earnestly of his desire to develop Libya.”

Young Alicia tapped into ElBaradei’s wishful credo in another portion of her letter. “I hope that in the conflict with Iran you are luckier and that things get solved by using dialogue and not through arms,” she wrote. “And that the politicians of the USA accept the opinion of the UN.” But the world is not as nice as 12-year-old girls wish. Some states are ruled through violent repression, and even if their leaders are willing to compromise on some things, they may not accept peaceably the enforcement of international rules they violate, including resolutions of the U.N. Security Council.

Iran’s leadership is portrayed as fearful of the United States and very difficult to deal with. Still, ElBaradei insisted that Tehran would significantly constrain nuclear activities that could be used for military purposes if only Washington would take “yes” for an answer. ElBaradei makes no mention of the Iranian strategy revealed by the Khatami government’s chief negotiator, Hassan Rowhani, in a July 2005 interview. Rowhani, an urbane cleric since displaced by President Ahmadinejad, declared, “wherever we accepted suspension” of a nuclear activity, “we thought about another activity.” When Tehran suspended work on uranium enrichment at Natanz, it “put all of [its] efforts” into uranium conversion at Esfahan. This stall-and-advance, bait-and-switch approach continues today.

ElBaradei offers no insight into what can and should be done when unaccountable leaders refuse to accede to the requirements of the IAEA or the U.N. Nor does he address the possibility that despotic regimes cling to nuclear-weapons capability to protect their rule against domestic and foreign pressures for change.

The high-minded dialogue ElBaradei repeatedly calls for is not always sufficient, leaving the reader to wonder what then? Certainly, the United States should be more committed and supple in its diplomacy. Washington needs to realize that the states it fears are even more fearful of its power and judgment. But that is far from sufficient to solve the tough nuclear cases. President Obama, despite his Nobel credentials, has been unable to resolve the nuclear impasse in North Korea and Iran, or to persuade France, Russia, China, Pakistan and others to join him in moving towards a world without nuclear weapons.

ElBaradei displays an enmity toward Western nuclear-armed states that is sometimes overt and sometimes subtle, sometimes deserved and sometimes unfair. A fascinating mix of emotions and calculations seems to animate his analysis. Anyone wishing to glimpse some of the central tensions in 21st-century international diplomacy should read “The Age of Deception.”]

US Corrupt Diplomacy Assisting Islamists and Activists in Syria


According to Wikileaks Cables as posted at Al-Akhbar English it is clear that bringing democracy and human rights are the convenient way for the USA for selective regime change. This is done in the Arab region where the major rich partners of the USA are neither democratic in any way, nor even recognizing many basic human rights.

Deceptive US Diplomacy

The World must define exactly what the US administrations mean by “Diplomacy”, “Democracy”, “Human Rights” and “Foreign Policy”. These values are great but the USA must adhere to decent laws and acceptable code of conduct. The USA must not make immoral shortcuts to achieve their real goals; or pretend to serve these principles while actually peoples are being used and their ambitions are exploited, including the Americans.

Show us the Money!

Date: 9/23/2009 13:36
refid: 09DAMASCUS692
Origin: Embassy Damascus
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Destination: 09DAMASCUS477|09DAMASCUS534|09DAMASCUS620

Over the past six months, SARG security agents have increasingly questioned civil society and human rights activists about U.S. programming in Syria and the region, including U.S. Speaker and MEPI initiatives.
Over the past six months, civil society and human rights activists questioned by SARG security have told us interrogators asked specifically about their connections to the U.S. Embassy and the State Department. XXXXXXXXXXXX questioned about MEPI-funded Democracy Council activities as well as visiting State Department officials.

It is unclear to what extent SARG intelligence services understand how USG money enters Syria and through which proxy organizations. What is clear, however, is that security agents are increasingly focused on this issue when they interrogate human rights and civil society activists. The information agents are able to frame their questions with more and more specific information and names. XXXXXXXXXXXX suggest the SARG has keyed in on MEPI operations in particular.

Except for the Netherlands’ public stalling of the EU Association Agreement over human rights, Syrian activists have heard little in the way of support from the international community.

Murky Alliances

Date: 7/8/2009 13:03
refid: 09DAMASCUS477
Origin: Embassy Damascus
Classification: SECRET//NOFORN
Destination: 07DAMASCUS1156|09DAMASCUS185

The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Syria Website published a “letter” on June 11 accusing external Damascus Declaration committees of violating the Damascus Declaration National Council’s bylaws on electing members to the General Secretariat. XXXXXXXXXXXX and explained the Muslim Brotherhood’s protest stemmed from the external Damascus Declaration committees’ failure to coordinate with the MB in setting up the external political structures meant to compliment the Damascus Declaration’s internal structures.

The rancor expressed in the MB’s letter suggested a growing fissure between expatriate Damascus Declaration representatives, especially between the MB and the small, but politically connected and increasingly active Movement for Justice and Development (MJD). More worrisome, however, is recent information suggesting the SARG may already have penetrated the MJD and learned about sensitive USG programs in Syria.

Background
Since 2005, internal squabbles among political parties signatory to the Damascus Declaration have stalled, but never obstructed, the organization’s forward progress. Disputes ranged from how vocal the organization should be in condemning U.S. policies in the region (ref A) to whether the Damascus Declaration should distance itself from the MB.

Nasserists and nationalists of varying stripes, especially those in the Arab Socialist Democratic Party, whose participation in the Damascus Declaration was permitted by the SARG as a wedge to create division among reformist ranks, proved especially adamant in their rejection of the MB. The Nasserists, XXXXXXXXXXXX told us, insisted the MB’s involvement provoked the SARG; for the Damascus Declaration to continue safely, MB participation would have to be jettisoned.

MJD vs. Muslim Brotherhood
Since 2008, expatriates have formed Damascus Declaration committees throughout Europe and the United States. Initially, XXXXXXXXXXXX remarked, little coordination existed among the nascent “external committees” in the U.S., Britain, Belgium, France, and Germany. The MB, despite having a developed network in Europe and being signatory to the original Declaration, was left on the margin.

The MB did not comment on the formation of the committees, nor was the MB’s input sought by those putting the committees together, XXXXXXXXXXXX said. XXXXXXXXXXXX added that the purpose of these committees was to put in place a temporary, seven person panel that could elect a small number of external representatives to the General Secretariat, an idea consistent with the founders intentions for the General Secretariat’s structure.

XXXXXXXXXXXX asked the representative of the London-based Damascus Declaration committee, Anas al-Abdah — who was also the leader of the Movement for Justice and Development, a self-professed moderate Islamic organization (ref B) — to contact the MB and invite them to participate in the formation and elections of the ad hoc political panel.

“After a year,” XXXXXXXXXXXX lamented, “nothing has been achieved. Abdah claimed he tried to contact them, but this is hard to prove.” XXXXXXXXXXXX added that other external Damascus Declaration committee members had reported back that they too had attempted to contact the MB without success. XXXXXXXXXXXX told us XXXXXXXXXXXX doubted attempts at contact commenced until it was effectively beside the point — that is, after the MB broke with the NSF and disavowed opposition activities in response to the Israeli attacks on Gaza. By then, he said, it was too late; the MB felt slighted by the external committees. When the MB broke from the NSF, XXXXXXXXXXXX said, “I tried to push XXXXXXXXXXXX to contact them directly,” to ask them to participate in the formation of the external political structure. “I said directly, not through (Anas) Abdah because I know competition among groups outside causes problems,” XXXXXXXXXXXX recounted. XXXXXXXXXXXX

According to XXXXXXXXXXXX, it was the external committees’ disregard for MB participation that prompted the Brotherhood to draft and publish its incendiary letter. XXXXXXXXXXXX said “some people are now saying the MB isn’t serious about joining in the Damascus Declaration’s work” and that the letter is just an excuse — they have already renounced opposition activities and do not plan to resume them against Syria. XXXXXXXXXXXX cautioned, “I think this comes from outside, not in Syria,” and that it is not true. XXXXXXXXXXXX argued MB participation in the Damascus Declaration was essential, observing, “The MB is the largest Islamic group in the country; the MJD is just a few people.”

MJD: A Leaky Boat?
XXXXXXXXXXXX had told us in the past (ref B) that the MJD (1) had many members who were formerly with the MB; (2) was at odds with the MB and sought to marginalize it abroad; (3) was seeking to expand its base in Syria, though it had not been successful; and (4) had been initially lax in its security, often speaking about highly sensitive material on open lines. The first three points speak directly to the ongoing feud and the MB’s recent letter of protest. XXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXXX told us security services had asked whether XXXXXXXXXXXX had met with anyone from our “Foreign Ministry” and with anyone from the Democracy Council (Comment: State Department Foreign Affairs Officer Joseph Barghout had recently been in Syria XXXXXXXXXXXX; we assume the SARG was fishing for information, knowing Barghout had entered the country. Jim Prince was in Damascus on February 25, XXXXXXXXXXXX

Born not as a political party, but as an umbrella organization composed of many different groups, the Damascus Declaration has been handicapped by internal divisions among unlikely allies: the Kurds, the MB, liberals, national socialists, communists and others. XXXXXXXXXXXX MJD’s organizational successes so far might best be explained as the by-products of its relationship with XXXXXXXXXXXX and the USG. Evidence the organization has a sizable, influential constituency inside and outside Syria is difficult to discern. Post has seen no reporting on the size MJD’s base in Europe and the U.S. XXXXXXXXXXXX; therefore it would not surprise us if an external committee member like Anas Abdah, who heads both the Damascus Declaration’s external London committee and the MJD, would drag his feet when asked to contact the MB.

XXXXXXXXXXXX report begs the question of how much and for how long the SARG has known about Democracy Council operations in Syria and, by extension, the MJD’s participation. Reporting in other channels suggest the Syrian Muhabarat may already have penetrated the MJD and is using MJD contacts to track U.S. democracy programming. If the SARG does know, but has chosen not to intervene openly, it raises the possibility that the SARG may be mounting a campaign to entrap democracy activists receiving illegal (under Syrian law) foreign assistance.

Behavior Reform

Date: 4/28/2009 13:24
refid: 09DAMASCUS306
Origin: Embassy Damascus
Classification: SECRET
Destination: 09DAMASCUS129|09DAMASCUS185|09DAMASCUS272

This cable represents a follow-up to “Re-engaging Syria: Human Rights” (ref A) and outlines ongoing civil society programming in the country, primarily under the auspices of the Bureau of Human Rights and Labor (DRL) and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).

Both MEPI and DRL fund projects on which Post has varying degrees of visibility. Some programs may be perceived, were they made public, as an attempt to undermine the Asad regime, as opposed to encouraging behavior reform. In an effort to assist any Department level discussions on the SARG’s attitude toward human rights, this cable describes a possible strategy for framing the human rights discussion as an area of “mutual concern” for Syria and the U.S.

The New Policy Front
As the Syria policy review moves apace, and with the apparent collapse of the primary Syrian external opposition organization, one thing appears increasingly clear: U.S. policy may aim less at fostering “regime change” and more toward encouraging “behavior reform.” If this assumption holds, then a reassessment of current U.S.-sponsored programming that supports anti-SARG factions, both inside and outside Syria, may prove productive as well.

The U.S. attempt to politically isolate the SARG raised stumbling blocks to direct Embassy involvement in civil society programming. As a result, the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Bureau of Human Rights and Labor (DRL) took the lead in identifying and funding civil society and human rights projects. Though the Embassy has had direct input on a few of these efforts, especially with DRL, most of the programming has proceeded without direct Embassy involvement.

DRL
DRL funded four major Syria-specific programs in the previous fiscal year. The grant recipients were (1) Freedom House, which conducted multiple workshops for a select group of Syrian activists on “strategic non-violence and civic mobilization;” (2) the American Bar Association, which held a conference in Damascus in July and then continued outreach with the goal of implementing legal education programs in Syria through local partners; (3) American University, which has conducted research on Syrian tribal and civil society by inviting shaykhs from six tribes to Beirut for interviews and training; and (4) Internews, which has coordinated with the Arab Women Media Center to support media youth camps for university-aged Syrians in both Amman and Damascus. In addition to these programs, the Embassy provided input on DRL grants awarded to Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), International War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), and The International Research and Exchange Board (IREX). Though Post does not directly monitor any of these programs, we have appreciated the opportunity to meet with representatives of CIPE and IWPR.

MEPI
In addition to smaller local grants, MEPI sponsors eight major Syria-specific initiatives, some dating back to 2005 that will have received approximately USD 12 million by September 2010. A summary of MEPI produced material on these programs follows:
-Aspen Strategic Initiative Institute, “Supporting Democratic Reform” (USD 2,085,044, December 1, 2005 – December 31, 2009). The institute, situated in Berlin, works with indigenous and expatriate reform-oriented activists and has sponsored conferences in international locations that brought together NGO representatives, media, and human rights activists from the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S., paying particular attention to Syrian Kurds. MEPI noted that “while this program has offered little intrinsic value and will not likely be continued beyond the terms of the grant, XXXXXXXXXXXX
-Democracy Council of California, “Civil Society Strengthening Initiative (CSSI)” (USD 6,300,562, September 1, 2006 – September 30, 2010). “CSSI is a discrete collaborative effort between the Democracy Council and local partners” that has produced XXXXXXXXXXXX “various broadcast concepts” set to air in April.
-Regents of the University of New Mexico, “The Cooperative Monitoring Center-Amman: Web Access for Civil Society Initiatives” (USD 949,920, September 30, 2006 – September 30, 2009). This project established “a web portal” and training in how to use it for NGOs. MEPI noted, “this program has been of minimal utility and is unlikely to be continued beyond the term of the grant.”
-XXXXXXXXXXXX
-XXXXXXXXXXXX
-International Republican Institute (IRI), “Supporting Democratic Reform” (USD 1,250,000, September 30, 2006 – August 31, 2009). “The project supports grassroots public awareness campaigns and the conduct and dissemination of public opinion polling research. XXXXXXXXXXXX
-XXXXXXXXXXXX
-XXXXXXXXXXXX
-MEPI has also proposed continued programming for IRI and the CIPE, as well as supporting independent journalists through joint efforts with NEA/PI.

Challenge Ahead: Programming In Syria
Regarding the most sensitive MEPI-sponsored programs in Syria, Post has had limited visibility on specific projects, due in no small measure to SARG-imposed constraints. XXXXXXXXXXXX. Through the intermediary operations of the Movement for Justice and Development (MJD) (ref B), a London-based moderate Islamist group, MEPI routes money XXXXXXXXXXXX. Our understanding is that the aforementioned Democracy Council grant is used for this purpose and passes the MEPI grant money on to the MJD.

The SARG would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change. This would inevitably include the various expatriate reform organizations operating in Europe and the U.S., most of which have little to no effect on civil society or human rights in Syria.

Strategic Thinking: Next Steps
The current review of policy toward Syria offers the USG an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to human rights through the strategic and incremental opening of dialogue between the two countries. The core issues facing a human rights strategy for Syria are (1) how best to advise the SARG that its tolerating dissent will be a key issue as our bilateral relationship moves forward; and (2) how to bring our U.S.-sponsored civil society and human rights programming into line a less confrontational bilateral relationship.

Conversations between U.S. and SARG officials have examined the parameters of what might constitute a “common interest” between the two countries, “shared concerns” upon which to center future bilateral discourse and achieve concrete results. This strategy might prove equally effective in raising human rights with the SARG by clearly articulating how recognizable and sustained behavior change in relation to human rights would enhance SARG’s image, which currently represents a stumbling block to advancing bilateral relations. In the past, both the Department and the White House have made public statements condemning the SARG for its human rights record; these statements have not, unfortunately, produced positive results. Visiting Congressional delegations have also made public statements that have not been met with the desired action by the SARG.

The SARG reacts defensively to public announcements, so more private channels of communication might reinforce a “common interest” theme, allowing the SARG to act without being perceived as bending under U.S. pressure.

Should the current administration wish to send such a message, action on any one of the following five concerns might shift the SARG’s image into a more positive light. (1) The release of specific imprisoned high-profile civil society and human rights activists; (2) credible movement to resolve the citizenship status of stateless Kurds; (3) loosening media restrictions, including Internet censorship; (4) lifting travel bans on Syrian citizens; and (5) following up on promises to establish a “Senate” that would create a legislative space for opposition politicians to work in.

The perennial challenge is how to build programming in Syria without drawing SARG scrutiny to Syrian contacts and Embassy personnel. XXXXXXXXXXXX. If our dialogue with Syria on human rights is to succeed, we need to express the desire to work in Syria to strengthen civil society in a non-threatening manner. We also need to ensure that programming here is fully coordinated, that the Embassy has the resources it needs to administer the programs, and that the programs are compliant with U.S. economic sanctions against Syria.

While DRL- and MEPI-funded programs have explored new areas where we can achieve results, some of our time-honored programs may also prove to be extremely effective. The attractiveness of U.S. culture is still a powerful engine for change in Syria. It is revealing that when the SARG sought to punish the U.S. for its alleged role in the October 26, 2008 attack in Abu Kamal, they avoided political targets and instead shut down the three main sources of American culture in Damascus: the American Culture Center (ACC), the ALC, and the Damascus Community School. Countering with more cultural programming, more speaker programs, and the IV exchange program remain our best tools for having a direct effect on civil society. To this end, VIPs coming to Syria might be uniquely positioned to request and receive opportunities for addressing public audiences.

“President Goodluck Jonathan Is A Waste Of Time” Says Isaac Osuoka


“People in the Niger Delta now recognize that Jonathan is a waste of time”– Isaac Osuoka

“Jonathan is a stooge of backward Nigerian political elite who are generally stooges of Western powers. Though as a stooge of stooges, Jonathan has shown that he is particularly spineless and is most amenable to even the slightest of pressure from those he considers powerful.”– Isaac Osuoka

Isaac Osuoka, the Executive Director of Social Action

As Nigerians from all walks of life gear up for the beginning of the “mother of all protests” on Monday, January 9, 2012, over increase in fuel price, journalist and author of Time to Reclaim Nigeria, Chido Onumah, interviewed Isaac Osuoka, director of Social Action and one of the leaders of civil society in Nigeria. Osuoka has been active in the country’s pro-democracy and Niger Delta peoples movements. He was one of the founders of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and acted as its first spokesperson in the late 1990s. Osuoka who is currently a Vanier Scholar at York University, Toronto, Canada, speaks on the situation in Nigeria and why Nigerians must look beyond President Jonathan. Excerpts:

CO: Whether we like it or not, you can’t deny the fact Goodluck  Jonathan enjoyed a measure of support before the 2011 presidential election. What was responsible for this?

IO: Many Nigerians believed that Goodluck Jonathan was a different breed from the backward cabal that have held Nigeria hostage for the better part of the last 51 years. They thought that because he is a native of the Niger Delta with very minimal historical ties to what was referred to as the Hausa-Fulani oligarchy, that he represents a refreshing change from the past. They saw a meek looking and educated man and felt that maybe he is the change that Nigeria needs. Well, Goodluck Jonathan has proven to Nigeria that he is not the change the country needs. In fact, Jonathan is the worst President that the ruling class has ever foisted on Nigeria.

CO: Was it a case of misplaced optimism?

IO: Exactly! The man has shown that he is clueless. He has shown that he lacks the capacity to address the very serious challenges confronting the country. And what is even worse is that he does not care. He does not care for the people of Nigeria. He does not care for the progress of Nigeria. He has the mentality of a Local Government caretaker committee chairman. He has surrounded himself with similarly clueless characters who are only interested in how much they can loot while the booty lasts. This is a president that hates Nigerians whom he thinks forced him to be president and he seems determined to punish them.

CO: Let’s talk about the recent increase in fuel price which has precipitated massive demonstrations across Nigeria.

IO: The removal of fuel subsidy demonstrates again that the Jonathan presidency does not care a bit about the welfare of Nigerians. Can you imagine the puerile argument that fuel subsidy does not benefit the majority of the Nigerian people? Only those that see benefit in terms of how much you loot can make such a stupid argument. You see, since they know that the figures of how much the government is expending on subsidies is over bloated because of the corruption in the system, and they know the few individuals that have benefited from all the fraud, they have come to associate benefit with whose hands are in the lucre. That is all they see. The loot. That is all they are interested in. From their exalted position, they don’t see the mass of the Nigerian people who are mostly unemployed or have the lowest incomes anywhere in the world. That is why World Bank sponsored economists like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will ask during one of her meetings with the NLC why people were so worried over subsidy removal when about 70 per cent of Nigerians don’t own cars! That is why the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who behaves more like a politician will talk down to us and insist we must accept the fuel increase while he is comfortable spending almost N20 billion ($133million) of tax payers’ money on a piece of land to build a “world-class international conference centre”. This has always been their modus operandi. Was it not David Mark, then a soldier-minister under General Ibrahim Babaginda (now senate president and a champion of democracy) who berated Nigerian students for protesting increase in fuel because not many students owned cars, as if many of us who went to universities outside our state of origin had to trek to school. Can a ruling elite be more insensitive!

CO: Many Nigerians are saying that rather than remove subsidy of petrol, the president should consider removing subsidy on government inefficacy.

IO: What can I say? We are all aware of the billions earmarked for feeding the president and the vice president in 2012. The vice president will spend N1.7 billion ($11.3 million) on trips in 2012 and N1.3 billion ($8.6 million) on office stationeries. This amount includes N12 million ($80,000) on books, N45 million ($300,000) on newspapers, and N9 million ($60,000) on magazines and periodicals. Does this show a government that is serious? Go back at the end of the year and see how many books were bought. We are in an emergency, but our rulers are busy frolicking. Our rulers don’t see that there is no effective mass transit system anywhere in the country and the people depend on petrol fuelled vans, motocycles, tricycles, and kabukabus to move from home to work. They don’t see that the public electricity system has all but collapsed and businesses and homes depend mostly on petrol generators to do business. They don’t see that the people of Nigeria are important. But why should they? They are used to rigging elections and subverting the will of the people. For someone like Goodluck Jonathan who has been the biggest beneficiary of the PDP rigging machine right from when he was summoned to go and become deputy governor in Bayelsa, the people don’t matter. Have you not seen how irritated he looks anytime he is on national television and he is asked about lack of positive result with his policies? The man does not understand why Nigerians should continue to complain. Over and over again he has given the story that Obama or some foreign head of state has praised him for what he is doing and he feels that is what Nigerians should also do. But Obama does not live in Benin City and has not experienced power failure in his life. So how should Obama be the one to decide whether Jonathan is performing or not.

CO: Are you saying Jonathan is a stooge of Western powers?

IO: It is worse than that. Jonathan is a stooge of backward Nigerian political elite who are generally stooges of Western powers. Though as a stooge of stooges, Jonathan has shown that he is particularly spineless and is most amenable to even the slightest of pressure from those he considers powerful. The man is so scared of those he considers powerful. Like the governors. Now let us look at how this backward ruling elite always attempts to selects its weakest elements to act as pawns in the name of president. As far back as the eve of Nigeria’s independence, the Sarduana, who was a powerful leader of the North, selected a weak Tafawa Balewa to be Prime Minister. So we then had a situation where the head of government of Nigeria, the largest state in black Africa, was a mere stooge of powerful northern politicians and contractors who expected the head of government to just represent their interests. We later had Gowon who was maybe the weakest among northern soldiers that took power at that time. Again, Gowon was a stooge for the main powers who remained behind the scenes to share their loot while Gowon was speaking English in public. The same thing with General Obasanjo who as military head of state was not the main power. The same with Shagari, Nigeria’s first really clueless head of government. Like Balewa the northern political establishment selected a weak Shagari who will not stop them from looting. Babangida, Abacha. Those had their different styles, but were really all continuations of a reprobate regime of waste.

CO: You agree then with Chinua Achebe that “the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership”.

IO: I agree completely. Anytime someone strong and a bit independent minded emerges, they kill him. But sometimes the scheme of the dominant power blocs in the country backfires. For example, when they sponsored Obasanjo to return as civilian head of government in 1999 against the wish of even people in Obasanjo’s village. Obasanjo came and decided to play the game on his own terms. He had learnt how to play the game from the soldier-politicians. He made sure he handed over power to a weak politician. He carefully selected Yar’adua, a man he knew to be terminally ill. Someone who will be too sick to rule. Obasanjo also forced Jonathan – against Jonathan’s will, to become Vice President. Today Jonathan is Nigeria’s most unwilling president. Political jobbers around him, including those of them from the Niger Delta, asked him not to throw away the chance of the Niger Delta.

CO: If that is the case, is he representing the interest of the Niger Delta?

IO: President Jonathan is the worst thing to happen to the Niger Delta. Go and see the East-West road. The road from Warri to Port Harcourt and beyond. The condition of that federal road is worse than ever. This is an outrage! Every year there is a budget allocation for everything. At the end of the year nothing to show for all the billions. Why? This is because Jonathan is superintending over the biggest looting spree in this history of Nigeria. Governors see state funds as their private estate. Ministers see their office as reward for loyalty to governors and opportunity to chop. Local government chairmen. Those are the biggest rogues! The National Assembly is more or less a college of self-serving opportunists – most of whom cannot even get close to winning in free and fair elections. They say most of the big houses in Abuja have been built or bought by civil servants. Where did they get the money? These people, all these people that have continued to loot, are part of the political elite. They are happy that a clueless and spineless person like Jonathan is President. They are the people insisting that Jonathan remove fuel subsidy so that they will have more loot to share. Simple. But Jonathan can’t see it. He doesn’t have that kind of vision. He and those eating with him can’t see the groundswell of opposition to fuel increase. They can’t see that opposition to fuel increase will ultimately result in resistance to everything the ruling class represents in Nigeria. This is just the beginning. In that case, the increase in fuel price is good. For the first time in a long time Nigerians from different ethnic, religious and even class backgrounds are massing together to build a new movement for change. That is what excites me. Supporting the new movement should be the duty of every person who is keen to see Nigeria progress. Neither Jonathan nor his PDP can do anything good for Nigeria. What we need is not just a change of government, we need a system overhaul. This needs struggle and perseverance on the part of the people.

CO: What do you make of the economic policy direction of the Jonathan administration?

IO: He has none? We don’t see any direction. We have heard them talk about a transformation agenda, but what is that agenda? There is none! Corruption is on the increase. Have you asked yourself why the president has not made public his asset declaration? What is he hiding? The biggest challenge facing the Nigerian economy is electricity. The government has done nothing to show that it even appreciates the urgency. Statements, statements everyday, but nothing to show. What they want is to continue to drill and sell crude oil and share proceeds to the three tiers of government for onward looting. It is sad that the same thugs that have benefited from the looting of Nigeria are the same people who Jonathan has assembled to be part of his so-called economic management team. These are people who Jonathan feels indebted to because they provided cash for his campaign. But is there no other way to reward political donors? Must you hand over the management of the national economy to them? The governors are well represented in that economic team. But what have they done in their states to demonstrate that they can manage any economy? The heads of private banks are also prominent. These people know how to make profit for themselves – mostly by conniving with politicians and civil servants to launder stolen money. Does that qualify them to manage Nigerian economy? Then you have Okonjo-Iweala – an agent of international finance capital.

CO: Talking about Okonjo-Iweala, civil society groups are asking President Jonathan to sack her. Do you share that view? She is serving at the instance of the president, shouldn’t the focus be on the president?

IO: I agree that the focus should be on President Jonathan, but Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala is dangerous. Her case is special. This is a person sent by the World Bank to continue economic policies that have failed everywhere in the world. Okonjo-Iweala wants to deregulate because deregulation is an essential ingredient of the neoliberal economic doctrine of the World Bank and IMF. She is too far away from the realities of Nigeria to understand that deregulating fuel price in Nigeria will have negative impacts on all aspects of productive life. But does she care? No. All her bosses in Washington DC expect is for Nigerian government to have as much cash as possible to service the debt profile that is sure to increase under Jonathan. Okonjo-Iweala’s greatest achievement in government has been the biggest single transfer of wealth from Nigeria to other parts of the world. The so called debt forgiveness meant that Nigeria gave money to Europe and North America –  representing the biggest wealth transfer in human history. They said the savings from debt deal will be used to improve infrastructure. Where is the infrastructure? Okonjo-Iweala is now saying that the gain from oil subsidy will be used to improve infrastructure. Does this woman think that Nigerians are fools all the time? It is just sad the way these people protect their private interests and claim that they are trying to improve Nigerian economy. Recently, I read that the Federal Executive Council awarded contract in the billions for the importation of plastic trash cans from Europe. This is for use in Abuja. Can you imagine that? Is Jonathan and his cabinet saying that there are no plastic manufacturers in Nigeria who can do the job? There are plastic manufacturers all over the country. All the government needed to do was give specification to local producers and monitor and enforce compliance. Keeping the job at home would have meant creating or protecting jobs at home and all the benefits that come from local production. But this government does not care for any local production apart from the production of crude oil. That is why they can even think of increasing fuel price, the same action that could completely destroy the local artisanal sectors where the bulk of production in Nigeria takes place.

CO: The people in the Niger Delta must really be disappointed with President Jonathan.

IO: I can tell you that there was real excitement with the idea of a son of the Niger Delta becoming president of Nigeria. Our people had been treated like second-class citizens since Nigeria was created. So people were happy to see Jonathan as president and went out to vote – even though we know that state governors schemed to inflate the votes for their own purposes. But what has been the benefit of a Jonathan presidency? Symbolic. Only symbolic. Today, the traditional dress of the Niger Delta male, in particular, the Ijaw male, has become something of a national attire. People from the Delta now dress as such and can move in Abuja with a swagger. You did not have this before. Apart from the symbolism and cosmetic impact, there is nothing substantial for the people from the Jonathan presidency. Environmental pollution and destruction of livelihoods by the petroleum industry is worse now than ever before. Today, we have a major offshore oil spill by Shell and the Jonathan presidency is looking the other way. There is no serious attempt to call Shell to order. Compare that with the response of the Brazilian government to recent offshore spill by Chevron. But with Jonathan in Nigeria, there has not been any serious attempt to address the issue of lost livelihoods for the coastal communities as a result of the recent Shell spill. It is a shame because there are people in Jonathan’s system that had campaigned all their lives for environmental justice. Now that they have the rare opportunity to do something, they are looking the other way. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) produced a report on pollution in Ogoniland. The recommendations from UNEP should have provided the Jonathan presidency with an opening to address the historical environmental abuse of the Niger Delta. But all he did was set up a committee like he does on everything. Anytime Jonathan sets up a committee, you know the man is not serious. Or he just doesn’t care.

CO: It is a shame because President Jonathan is a major beneficiary of the struggle of the people in the Niger Delta.

IO: President Jonathan is a beneficiary of the struggles of the Niger Delta which he was never part of. Today, he is enjoying the goodwill of even ex-militants who have continued to support the amnesty programme because they feel their son is president. But Odi has not been rebuilt? Even Okerenkoko has not been rebuilt. I agree that the amnesty programme has been very successful in keeping militants off the creeks. The result has been restoration of oil production to optimal levels. The government people are the biggest beneficiaries. But the relative calm or peace as some people chose to call it has not been utilized by the government as an opportunity to improve social infrastructure in the Niger Delta or anywhere in Nigeria for that matter. Things are getting worse every day. A few months ago, people in a village next to Jonathan’s were protesting against Shell for abuses. People in the Niger Delta now recognize that Jonathan is a waste of time. Let me tell you that petrol is very expensive in the creeks of the Niger Delta. Combined with the fact that the engines of boats consume a lot of petrol, it means that removal of subsidy will affect the Niger Delta the most.

This article was published by Isaac Osuoka the Executive Director of Social Action on January 10, 2012 at saction.org

The source: Social Action Organization (Social Development Integrated Centre) is an organisation dedicated to education, mobilisation and solidarity for communities and activists working for environmental justice, democracy and social change in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. The organisation is promoting increased citizens’ participation in addressing policy and practices in energy and mining, trade and investments that affects human rights, democracy and livelihoods.

Social Action works primarily in Nigeria while collaborating with other citizens groups in the ECOWAS zone and the Gulf of Guinea. Through active participation with national and regional networks, the organisation is connected to the global movement for social justice.

This article was published at USA Africa Dialogue Series on January 7, 2012

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