from the grassroots to the planetary

Monthly Archives: September 2013

Former US NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko and San Diego Forum Representative Torgen Johnson in a Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan news conference Sept. 23, 2013


A Planetary Problem Acknowledged – Will the World Awaken from The Nuclear Trance?

In this edition, video excerpts from the Sept. 23, 2013 live stream Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan news conference featuring Gregory Jaczko, Torgen Johnson and Tetsuro Tsutsui.

The Japan Times reported it like this:

Ex-top U.S. nuclear regulator counsels end to atomic power
by Kazuaki Nagata – Staff Writer
The ongoing crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 plant is a sign that the world needs to seriously rethink nuclear safety and consider possibly ending its dependence on atomic power, the former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Tuesday in Tokyo.

“When you look at what happened around the Fukushima Daiichi (No. 1) area, it’s simply unacceptable,” as tens of thousands of people have been unable to return to their homes due to radioactive contamination, said Gregory Jaczko, who served as the top U.S. nuclear regulatory official for nearly three years until July 2012.

Given that Japan is extremely prone to earthquakes and tsunami, among other disasters, using nuclear power poses serious risks unless some kind of new technology is created to completely eliminate the possibility of severe accidents, Jaczko told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

However, Jaczko also said that creating such zero-risk technology is next to impossible.

Instead, Jaczko said, he hopes Japan pours its resources and energy into coming up with ways to function without atomic power.

“I think the Japanese people have the ability to do that,” he said. Read more…


From the FCCJ website:

The Ongoing Fukushima Daiichi Crisis; Ongoing Radioactive Discharges and Other Current Issues

The radioactive discharge problem at Tepco’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is bringing worldwide attention to Japan’s ability to deal with the continuing crisis at Fukushima.

Tetsuro Tsutsui, member of the Citizens’ Commission on Nuclear Energy (CCNE) ‘s sub-committee on Nuclear Regulation will be addressing CCNE’s urgent proposal to the Japanese government concerning immediate countermeasures to be undertaken regarding Fukushima’s radioactive discharges, and his perspectives on the latest crisis.

Gregory Jaczko is visiting Japan at the invitation of citizens from September 19 through the 24. Jaczko will be commenting on his trip, what he sees as the immediate issues facing Fukushima Daiichi accident, and what the United States can learn from Fukushima. His Japan tour includes Shikoku, location of Shikoku Electric’s Ikata plant, one of eight plants currently being inspected for restart, and Hiroshima. Jaczko will also meet with CCNE technical experts to discuss current issues at Fukushima Daiichi including countermeasures to deal with the ongoing crisis.

Torgen Johnson, San Diego Forum citizen representative and urban planner, played a key role in shutting down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in San Diego County, California. He will be offering commentary regarding the Fukushima situation. More here…


The Ongoing Fukushima Daiichi Crisis – Pt. 1 – Gregory Jaczko

The Ongoing Fukushima Daiichi Crisis – Pt. 2 – Torgen Johnson

The Ongoing Fukushima Daiichi Crisis – Pt. 3 – Tetsuro Tsutsui

The Ongoing Fukushima Daiichi Crisis – Pt. 4 Q&A

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A slide from David Theodoropoulos’ powerpoint.


What Part of the Word ‘Monsanto’ Don’t You Understand?
What’s the connection between the “native plants restoration movement” and the pesticide industry?

Who is behind the deforestation and pesticiding of the East Bay Hills, killing over 486,000 trees from Richmond to Hayward, and doing the same to San Francisco’s beautifully forested Mt. Sutro?

Who benefits from a war on ‘non-native’ species?

In this edition San Francisco Bay Area residents explore these questions with evolutionary biologist David Theodoropoulos in a public forum co-sponsored by DontSprayCalifornia.org and the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists – bfuu.org

David Theodoropoulos debunks the pseudoscience – and reveals the corporate agenda – driving the “native plants restoration movement”. He is the author of Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience Published by Avvar Books, Blythe, California. ISBN 0-9708504-1-7 http://dtheo.org/InvasionBiology.htm

For facts, photos, and analysis of wildfire, tree decimation, pesticide issues, and who pulls the strings of the “native plant restoration movement,” visit the following websites:

EastBayPesticideAlert.org
DontSprayCalifornia.org
MillionTrees.me
SutroForest.com
HillsConservationNetwork.org
Facebook.com/SaveOurDimondParkTrees
DTheo.org

Pt. 1 – INVASION BIOLOGY OR INTEGRATION BIOLOGY?
Introduction with
Maxina Ventura, East Bay Pesticide Alert, DontSprayCalifornia.org
Madeline Hovland, HillsConservationNetwork.org
Rupa Bose, SaveSutro.com

Pt. 2-A – INVASION BIOLOGY OR INTEGRATION BIOLOGY?
This is the First Half of David Theodoropoulos’ Presentation

Pt. 2-B – INVASION BIOLOGY OR INTEGRATION BIOLOGY?
The second half of David Theodoropoulos’ presentation.

Pt. 3 – INVASION BIOLOGY OR INTEGRATION BIOLOGY?
Closing remarks with
Maxina Ventura, East Bay Pesticide Alert, DontSprayCalifornia.org
Connie Barker, Environmental Health Network, ehnca.org
Steve Jacobson, EarthFirst.org
Marg Hall, Communities United in Defense of Olmstead, cuido.org
Discussion with David Theodoropoulos, dtheo.org

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To help keep EON’s work going, please check out all the support options on our Donation Page or you can also send a check made out to EON to EON, POB 1047, Bolinas, CA
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The Project for the New Middle East – ‘A relatively unknown map of the Middle East, NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan, and Pakistan has been circulating around strategic, governmental, NATO, policy and military circles since mid-2006. It has been casually allowed to surface in public, maybe in an attempt to build consensus and to slowly prepare the general public for possible, maybe even cataclysmic, changes in the Middle East. This is a map of a redrawn and restructured Middle East identified as the “New Middle East.”’ Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Decoding Warmongering: Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Whom?
THAT is the question. The global 1% (not ‘the American People,’ not Syrian kids) is the answer.

In this edition [UPDATED], we share several articles that, taken together, make clear what’s really going on behind the current push to bomb Syria and oust Assad.

What’s Really What
It’s not about enforcing an international chemical weapons ban, or ‘the Responsibility to Protect’ civilians. It’s about the Responsibility to Protect American hegemony in the Middle East, the U.S. oil and weapons industry and, most of all, the fat, flaccid behinds of international banksters who are pillaging the planet.

It’s a plan that has been in operation for twenty years regardless of which party is in power in the U.S., or who is currently president. At stake is not only the future of globalized corporate capitalism and its perpetrators, but very possibly, the fate of the planet itself and all its lifeforms. And that’s not hyperbole. That is what is actually going on here.

Great Games – The Planet as Playing Field
As any wikipedist knows, it used to be that the term ‘Great Game’ referred to the 19th century competition in Central Asia between the British and Russian empires. Now, it is said to refer to ‘…a conceptualization of modern geopolitics in Central Eurasia as a competition between the United States, the United Kingdom and other NATO countries against Russia, the People’s Republic of China and other Shanghai Cooperation Organisation countries for “influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Transcaucasus.”‘

But, from the planetarian perspective, ‘the New Great Game’, as Michael Klare terms it in his eponymous book, is ‘The Race for What’s Left‘ of the whole planet’s dwindling and polluted resources – including oil, minerals, land, water, wealth and the global food supply.

So, with this as the meta-frame, what’s with the current obsession with Syria?

It’s about oil and pipeline routes. It’s about global banking, monetary policy and finance. It’s about the petro-dollar as the world’s reserve currency. It’s about dominance of the global cyber ‘battlespace.’ It’s about the Zionist agenda for a ‘Greater Israel.’ It’s about the survival of the Saudi Arabian monarchy and its allied satrapies. It’s about private banking v. public banking. It’s about shifting multilateral power bloc relationships around the world. It’s about energy policy, nuclear power and its equally-evil conjoined twin – nuclear weaponry. Its about equality v. inequality, justice v. injustice, democracy v. tyranny and, ultimately, about sanity v. insanity.

We invite you to check out the following list of articles and videos and draw your own conclusions. We’re hoping they will help you resist succumbing to the barrage of mis-, dis-, and mal-information fallout that’s raining on our heads in this post-Fukushima, pre-World War III environment.

Photo: Rachael Gertrude Johnson – EON



Plans for Redrawing the #MiddleEast: The Project for a “New Middle East”

By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
Global Research, January 27, 2013
Global Research 18 November 2006

“…This project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.

The “New Middle East” project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of “constructive chaos.” This “constructive chaos” –which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region– would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives.”

US and Allied Warships off the Syrian Coastline: Naval Deployment Was Decided “Before” the August 21 Chemical Weapons Attack
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky – Global Research, September 02, 2013

A strike against Syria in the immediate short-term is unlikely. Obama announced on August 31st that he would seek formal approval of the US Congress, which reconvenes on September 9.

With independent news reports providing firm evidence that the US sponsored Al Qaeda rebels (recruited and trained by Allied Special Forces) have chemical weapons in their possession, this delay does not favor the president’s political credibility.

Moreover, there is evidence that the US sponsored rebels used chemical weapons against civilians. (see image right)

In providing those chemical weapons to al Qaeda “rebels”, the US-NATO-Israel alliance is in violation of international law, not to mention their own anti-terrorist legislation.

Overtly supporting Al Qaeda has become the “New Normal”. Read more…

Senator John McCain, Foreign Relations “Adviser” to Al Qaeda Death Squads in Syria
By Julie Lévesque – Global Research, September 06, 2013

Those who refuse to fight “Obama’s War in support of al Qaeda” are America’s heroes.

In contrast, John McCain’s “heroes” are known to be or have links to terrorist organisations designated by the US State Department as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and Al-Nusra now fighting against the government of Bashar Al Assad in Syria.

These actions are far more scandalous than slacking on the job playing poker on a cell phone. Yet, this is what makes the news: focus on what is irrelevant and trivial while excluding the “forbidden truth” on the criminal nature of US foreign policy.

Senator John McCain is a criminal who provided support to terrorist groups. He belongs in jail, not in the US Senate. And certainly not in the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations which has granted Obama the “Green Light” to bomb Syria.
Read more…

Saudi Arabia’s “Chemical Bandar” behind the Chemical Attacks in Syria?
By Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

An Israeli-Saudi-US conspiracy?
The US-supported anti-government forces fighting inside Syria are the ones that have a track record of using chemical weapons. Yet, Obama and company have said nothing…
Despite the anti-government forces accusations that the Syrian military launched a chemical weapon attack on Homs at Christmas in December 2012, CNN reported that the US military was training anti-government fighters with the securing and handling of chemical weapons. Under the name of the Destructive Wind Chemical Battalion, the insurgents themselves even threatened to use nerve gas and released a video where they killed rabbits as a demonstration of what they planned on doing in Syria.

According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, two brigades of anti-government fighters that were trained by the CIA, Israelis, Saudis, and Jordanians crossed from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan into Syria to launch an assault, respectively on August 17 and 19, 2013. The US must have invested quite a lot in training both anti-government brigades. If true, some may argue that their defeat prompted the chemical weapons attack in Damascus as a contingency plan to fall back on.

However, how they came by chemical weapons is another issue, but many trails lead to Saudi Arabia. According to the British Independent, it was Saudi Prince Bandar “that first alerted Western allies to the alleged use of sarin gas by the Syrian regime in February 2013.” Turkey would apprehend Syrian militants in its territory with sarin gas, which these terrorists planned on using inside Syria. On July 22 the insurgents would also overrun Al-Assal and kill all the witnesses as part of a cover-up.

A report by Yahya Ababneh, which was contributed to by Dale Gavlak, has collected the testimonies of witnesses who say that “certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the gas attack.”

The Mint Press News report adds an important dimension to the story, totally contradicting the claims of the US government. It quotes a female insurgent fighter who says things that make a link to Saudi Arabia clear. She says that those who provided them with weapons “didn’t tell them what these arms were or how to use them” and that they “didn’t know they were chemical weapons.” “When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she is quoted.

Read more…

Obama Warned on Syrian Intel by Veteran Intelligence Professionals
Consortium News – September 6, 2013

Exclusive: Despite the Obama administration’s supposedly “high confidence” regarding Syrian government guilt over the Aug. 21 chemical attack near Damascus, a dozen former U.S. military and intelligence officials are telling President Obama that they are picking up information that undercuts the Official Story.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: Is Syria a Trap?

Precedence: IMMEDIATE

We regret to inform you that some of our former co-workers are telling us, categorically, that contrary to the claims of your administration, the most reliable intelligence shows that Bashar al-Assad was NOT responsible for the chemical incident that killed and injured Syrian civilians on August 21, and that British intelligence officials also know this. In writing this brief report, we choose to assume that you have not been fully informed because your advisers decided to afford you the opportunity for what is commonly known as “plausible denial.”
The Intelligence

There is a growing body of evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its supporters — providing a strong circumstantial case that the August 21 chemical incident was a pre-planned provocation by the Syrian opposition and its Saudi and Turkish supporters. The aim is reported to have been to create the kind of incident that would bring the United States into the war.

According to some reports, canisters containing chemical agent were brought into a suburb of Damascus, where they were then opened. Some people in the immediate vicinity died; others were injured.

We are unaware of any reliable evidence that a Syrian military rocket capable of carrying a chemical agent was fired into the area. In fact, we are aware of no reliable physical evidence to support the claim that this was a result of a strike by a Syrian military unit with expertise in chemical weapons.
Read more…

Making the World Safe for Banksters: Syria in the Cross-hairs

Making the World Safe for Banksters: Syria in the Cross-hairs

Posted on September 4, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog
Guest post by Ellen Brown, http://www.WebofDebt.com.

“The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole.” —Prof. Caroll Quigley, Georgetown University, Tragedy and Hope (1966)

Iraq and Libya have been taken out, and Iran has been heavily boycotted. Syria is now in the cross-hairs. Why? Here is one overlooked scenario….

In an August 2013 article titled “Larry Summers and the Secret ‘End-game’ Memo,” Greg Palast posted evidence of a secret late-1990s plan devised by Wall Street and U.S. Treasury officials to open banking to the lucrative derivatives business. To pull this off required the relaxation of banking regulations not just in the US but globally. The vehicle to be used was the Financial Services Agreement of the World Trade Organization.

The “end-game” would require not just coercing support among WTO members but taking down those countries refusing to join. Some key countries remained holdouts from the WTO, including Iraq, Libya, Iran and Syria. In these Islamic countries, banks are largely state-owned; and “usury” – charging rent for the “use” of money – is viewed as a sin, if not a crime. That puts them at odds with the Western model of rent extraction by private middlemen. Publicly-owned banks are also a threat to the mushrooming derivatives business, since governments with their own banks don’t need interest rate swaps, credit default swaps, or investment-grade ratings by private rating agencies in order to finance their operations.

….To make the world safe for usury, these rogue states had to be silenced by other means. Having failed to succumb to economic coercion, they wound up in the crosshairs of the powerful US military.

Read more

To some, US case for Syrian gas attack, strike has too many holes
By Hannah Allam and Mark Seibel | McClatchy Washington Bureau

Among chemical weapons experts and other analysts who’ve closely studied the Syrian battlefield, the main reservation about the U.S. claims is that there’s no understanding of the methodology behind the intelligence-gathering. They say that the evidence presented points to the use of some type of chemical agent, but say that there are still questions as to how the evidence was collected, the integrity of the chain of custody of such samples, and which laboratories were involved.

Eliot Higgins, a British chronicler of the Syrian civil war who writes the Brown Moses blog, a widely cited repository of information on the weapons observed on the Syrian battlefield, wrote a detailed post Monday listing photographs and videos that would seem to support U.S. claims that the Assad regime has possession of munitions that could be used to deliver chemical weapons. But he wouldn’t make the leap.

On the blog, Higgins asked: “How do we know these are chemical weapons? That’s the thing, we don’t. As I’ve said all along, these are munitions linked to alleged chemical attacks, not chemical munitions used in chemical attacks. It’s ultimately up to the U.N. to confirm if chemical weapons were used.”

Holes in the case already have allowed Russia to dismiss the U.S. evidence as “inconclusive,” with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying in a speech Monday that Moscow was shown “some sketches, but there was nothing concrete, no geographical coordinates, or details…and no proof the test was done by professionals,” according to the state-backed RT news agency.

“When we ask for further clarification, we receive the following response: ‘you are aware that this is classified information, therefore we cannot show it to you,’” Lavrov said. “So there are still no facts.”

Read more here


10 Chemical Weapons Attacks Washington Doesn’t Want You to Talk About

by Wesley Messamore in World

Washington doesn’t merely lack the legal authority for a military intervention in Syria. It lacks the moral authority. We’re talking about a government with a history of using chemical weapons against innocent people far more prolific and deadly than the mere accusations Assad faces from a trigger-happy Western military-industrial complex, bent on stifling further investigation before striking.

Here is a list of 10 chemical weapons attacks carried out by the U.S. government or its allies against civilians.
Read more…


Ben Swann Reality Check: What The Media Isn’t Telling You About Syria

US Foreign Policy “Script” on Syria, Who Wrote It?
by Michaela Hertkorn –
Global Research News
September 01, 2013

The script followed by most of US foreign and security policy establishment can be grasped through books,

such as Zbigniew Brzezisnski’s ‘The Grand Chessboard. American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives (1997) – published just a few years prior to the Balkan wars.

The script aims at ‘redrawing’ the wider Middle East, which solidly places US plans to now militarily intervene in Syria – following protracted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and military interventions in Lebanon (2006), Libya (not to forget Mali), which no-where brought long-term stability, nor peace – into the context of geo-politics, rather than ‘RTP’ – the so-called ‘responsibility to protect’. Had it been US policy to protect civilians in Syria, the most promising strategy in US foreign policy had had to be to abstain from logistically and militarily supporting an opposition that has had ties to Al-Qaeda. Read more.

Dangerous Crossroads. A War on #Syria, Prelude to a World War III Scenario?
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, August 31, 2013

Syria occupies a strategic location in the Middle East. The war on Syria is part of a roadmap of military undertakings. It is an integral part of a broader US-NATO-Israel military agenda directed not only against Iran, but also against Russia and China. Moreover, it is part of an extended military agenda which consists in establishing control over Middle East-Central Asian oil reserves as well as strategic oil and gas pipelines.

It is a component part of a broader process of war and of country level political destabilization in the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia.

The failures of the US sponsored Al Qaeda insurgency in Syria (launched in March 2011) integrated by mercenary forces and supported by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel have set now the stage for a conventional theater war involving the deployment of air force as well as boots on the ground. Read more…


Target Iran: What Bombing Syria Is Really About

by Ray McGovern – FreePress.org – August 30, 2013

“A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm [3],” a policy document prepared in 1996 for Benjamin Netanyahu by a study group led by American neocons, including Richard Perle and Douglas Feith, laid out a new approach to solving Israel’s principal security challenges. Essentially, the point was to shatter the frustrating cycle of negotiations with the Palestinians and instead force regime change on hostile states in the region, thus isolating Israel’s close-in adversaries.

Among the plan’s features was “the containment of Syria by engaging in proxy warfare and highlighting their possession of ‘weapons of mass destruction.’” The following “Clean-Break” paragraph is, no doubt, part of the discussion in Iran’s leadership councils:

“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mysterious Why of the Iraq War [4].”]

Against this background, what is Iran likely to think of the two-year old mantra of Hillary Clinton, repeated by Obama that “Assad Must Go?” Or what to think of Obama’s gratuitous pledge a half year later, on Super Bowl Sunday 2012, that the U.S. will “work in lockstep” with Israel regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Assuming they checked Webster’s, Iran’s leaders have taken note that one primary definition offered for “in lockstep” is: “in perfect, rigid, often mindless conformity or unison.”
Read more…

Kerry’s Claims on Syrian Opposition Don’t Hold Up: Experts

Though he spent much of the week trying to convince lawmakers about the solidity of the Obama administration’s case for war against Syria, Secretary of State John Kerry and his testimony before Congress have become the target of pushback Thursday as experts on the situation took issue with his overly “optimistic” characterization of the opposition forces inside the war-torn country.

Specifically, as Reuters reports, “Kerry’s public assertions that moderate Syrian opposition groups are growing in influence appear to be at odds with estimates by U.S. and European intelligence sources and nongovernmental experts, who say Islamic extremists remain by far the fiercest and best-organized rebel elements.”

Pressed by many members of the House Foreign Relations Committe on Wednesday about the dominance of Al-Qaeda-affiliated militias within the ranks of the anti-government forces and amid repeated questions about “who exactly” the U.S. would be supporting if it deepened its military involvement in Syria’s civil war with military strikes, Kerry made assurances in his testimony that the Syrian opposition had “increasingly become more defined by its moderation.”

However, as an explosive story on the frontpage of the New York Times on Thursday illustrates, key factions within those forces have been shown to use brutal tactics—including summary executions—in their attempts to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Though well-documented elsewhere, the Times offered a newly surfaced video to exemplify some of the atrocities carried out by opposition during the more than two-year long civil war.

That video, smuggled out of Syria by a former member of the unit and obtained by the Times, which can be viewed below, shows captured Syrian soldiers being shot in the back of the head, following orders from a unit commander.

Read more…

Exclusive: Top Chemical Weapons Expert Highly Skeptical of U.S. Case Against Syrian Government
Posted on September 5, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog

Q: What other indications weaken the American, British and French argument that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack?

Zanders: The extreme focus on sarin – as if only government forces would be able to have sarin – doesn’t make sense. If the UN team were to come up with evidence that toxic chemicals other than sarin were used, does that prove that it was not the Syrian government which is responsible?

I personally don’t think that we have all the facts in right now to be absolutely certain. And I think this is reflected in the U.S. document with the terminology “high confidence” and David Cameron saying it’s his “judgment” or the government’s “judgment”, which reflects an interpretation of the facts.

In the U.S. document, there is not a single reference to physiological samples.

Postscript: Zanders says we must wait for the results from the U.N. weapons inspection before reaching any conclusions about who is responsible for the August 21st tragedy. [Background]
Read more…


Bombshell: Syria’s “chemical weapons” turn out to be fluoride

The Health Ranger – Published on Sep 2, 2013
Bombshell: Syria’s “chemical weapons” turn out to be sodium fluoride, the same chemical dumped into municipal water supplies across the USA under “water fluoridation” schemes. www.NaturalNews.com

Crisis in Syria (PDF)
WESTERN STATES LEGAL FOUNDATION Briefing Paper – September 2013
The Rush to Bomb Syria: Undermining International Law and Risking Wider War
by Andrew Lichterman, Western States Legal Foundation Senior Research Analyst, with contributions from Jacqueline Cabasso, Executive Director, and Dr. John Burroughs, Board member. Western States Legal Foundation is affiliated with the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.
Key Findings and Recommendations
● Chemical weapons are viewed almost universally as abhorrent, and their use as a crime. All states should cooperate in identifying the perpetrators of the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria and in pursuing their apprehension and prosecution.
● Under the current circumstances there is no basis in the United Nations Charter, the Chemical Weapons Convention, or other international law for the United States to launch strikes against Syria absent authorization by the UN Security Council or, if the Council is deadlocked, the UN General Assembly under its Uniting for Peace procedure.
● International law provides no exception for the ad hoc use of force by states in cases involving the actual or possible use of prohibited weapons, such as chemical weapons, by states with which they are not at war. Standing alone, the allegations of chemical weapons use by the Syrian government do not provide a legal basis for military action by any non-party to the conflict.
● Unilateral punitive strikes justified as a defense of the global norm against chemical weapons are unlikely to actually protect Syrians or others against use of chemical weapons and other attacks, may do little to reinforce the norm or even undermine it, and could lead to a significant increase in the level of violence throughout the region.
● There are viable international ways and means to respond to the apparent use of chemical weapons in Syria that should be vigorously pursued before the use of force is considered.
● The U.S. should present its evidence regarding use of chemical weapons in Syria to the Security Council. The Security Council should condemn any use of chemical weapons, forbid further use of chemical weapons, expand the scope of the UN investigation to include the issue of responsibility for attacks, refer the Syrian situation to the International Criminal Court for further investigation and adjudication, and call for convening of a peace conference.
● If the Security Council remains unable to act, the General Assembly should assume responsibility under the Uniting for Peace procedure.
● The U.S.-Russian effort to hold a conference to bring the Syrian conflict to an end should be reinvigorated. The U.S., Russia, and other powers that provide direct or indirect military and logistical support to the warring parties in Syria should use all available means, including cessation of support, to bring about an immediate cease-fire and a negotiated peace.
● The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the most comprehensive instrument concerning chemical weapons, provides for investigation of alleged violations by specialist bodies constituted by the Convention, collective measures by states parties in response to activities prohibited by the Convention, recourse to the UN General Assembly and Security Council in cases of particular gravity, and referral of disputes to the International Court of Justice. Almost all states, 189, are party to the CWC. Syria is among the handful that are not. The agreement governing the relationship between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, however, makes provision for instances where chemical weapons are used by actors other that CWC parties. Pursuant to CWC procedures, the Executive Council or the Conference of States Parties of the CWC should convene a special meeting to consider the situation in Syria and recommend appropriate responses by states parties and the United Nations.
● For U.S. elected officials, saying no to the easy, violent options offered by a national security and military industrial complex too long ascendant would be the hard choice, the courageous choice, and the right choice.
Full PDF here.

Why America Cannot Live without Wars
by Chidanand Rajghatta – The Times of India/Common Dreams

By one count, the United States has fought some 70 wars since its birth 234 years ago; at least 10 of them major conflicts. “We like war… we are good at it!” the great, insightful comedian George Carlin said some two decades ago, during the first Gulf War. “We are not good at anything else anymore… can’t build a decent car or a television, can’t give good education to the kids or health care to the old, but we can bomb the shit of out any country…”

Similar sentiments have been echoed more recently. “America’s economy is a war economy. Not a manufacturing economy. Not an agricultural economy. Nor a service economy. Not even a consumer economy,” business pundit Paul Farrell wrote during this Iraq War. “Deep inside we love war. We want war. Need it. Relish it. Thrive on war. War is in our genes, deep in our DNA. War excites our economic brain. War drives our entrepreneurial spirit. War thrills the American soul. Oh just admit it, we have a love affair with war.”

And so, America will be off to another (limited) war shortly. Read more…

Since 9/11, US 1% killed over 100 million children from poverty: they don’t care about ‘innocent lives’ in Syria
Posted on September 4, 2013 by Carl Herman on Washingtons Blog

US 1% spin to save “innocent lives” in Syria is refuted by that same 1% reneging on every promise to save innocent children’s lives from preventable poverty. Since 9/11, US reneged promises to end poverty have killed over 100 million children, twice the number of children enrolled in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade in the US….

My assignment for high school students on ending poverty with all of the documentation: The Economics of Ending Poverty
Read more…

‘Nobody Wants This Except the Military-Industrial Complex’
by John Nichols – The Nation

What is especially notable about the polling data is the intensity of opposition to any sort of intervention—including missile strikes targeted at suspected chemical weapons sites—among groups that lean Democratic at election time.

* Sixty-five percent of women surveyed for The Post/ABC poll oppose missile strikes, while just 30 percent favor them. (The Pew survey found an even lower level of support among women: just 19 percent)

* Among Americans under age 40 who were surveyed for the Post/ABC poll, 65 percent are opposed.

* Among Hispanics, 63 percent are opposed.

* Among African-Americans, 56 percent are opposed.

Read more…

Jon Stewart: The ‘red line’ Syria crossed is actually a ‘d*ck-measuring ribbon’

Should We Fall Again for ‘Trust Me’?
September 3, 2013 – Consortium News

Exclusive: Forgetting lessons from the Tonkin Gulf to the Iraq War, the U.S. news media has mostly elbowed past doubts about whether the Syrian government launched the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack and now is focused on the political drama of congressional approval for war, a big mistake says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
By Ray McGovern

In a dazzling display of chutzpah, the White House is demanding that Congress demonstrate blind trust in a U.S. intelligence establishment headed by James Clapper, a self-confessed perjurer.

That’s a lot to ask in seeking approval for a military attack on Syria, a country posing no credible threat to the United States. But with the help of the same corporate media that cheer-led us into war with Iraq, the administration has already largely succeeded in turning public discussion into one that assumes the accuracy of both the intelligence on the apparent Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack in Syria and President Barack Obama’s far-fetched claim that Syria is somehow a threat to the United States.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence.

Here we go again with the old political gamesmanship over ”facts” as a prelude to war, a replay of intelligence trickery from Vietnam’s Gulf of Tonkin to Iraq’s nonexistent WMD. Once more, White House officials are mounting a full-court press in Congress, hoping there will be enough ball turnovers to enable the administration to pull out a victory, with the corporate media acting as hometown referees. Read more…

Syria: The White House Keeps Us in Fear to Preserve Military Dominance Over Oil
MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Ironically, although the US has been reducing its chemical weapons stockpile over the years due to treaties, it is still the superpower of WMDs when you include nuclear and biological weapons.

In fact, the most recent celebrated biological weapons attack in the US (which potentially are really not much different in widerange impact than chemical weapons, if not more deadly) came from anthrax developed at Fort Dietrick Maryland under the auspices of the US military — and it was that anthrax that was used post 9-11 to attack Congress and kill Americans, and according the FBI (although still disputed by others), by an American researcher who committed suicide.

When it comes to WMDs and toxic agents that can kill US citizens, Obama should start attending to what is inside his borders first — and located at arsenals around the world.

Obama may get his Congressional vote, but all that it will authorize — should it pass — is that the president gets to show the US projects military power on behalf of control of the largest regional oil supply under the guise of fear.
Read more…

How the US Could Cyber Attack Syria, Too
By Fruzsina Eördögh – Vice.com

So how exactly could the US military hack Syria?

As the Free Beacon suggests, attacking Syria’s infrastructure—be it the electricity grid, military radar, telecommunications, Internet, water pipes, petroleum and oil refineries, or even heavy industry—is within the realm of possibility, considering official sources say the United States has the technological prowess to do so.

Three years ago, the Stuxnet virus—confirmed to be co-written by Israel and the United States​ by the The New York Times—physically assaulted Iran’s nuclear program. The worm shut down automatic systems (and hid that it was doing this so workers wouldn’t notice) on centrifuges suspected of enriching uranium, effectively destroying the centrifuges in the process.

Stuxnet was able to do this because it was specifically designed to target the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system used by the Iranian nuclear facility. SCADAs are notoriously vulnerable, but they are still used for everything from energy distribution and communication to airport operations and the air conditioning in private buildings.

Now that Syria disconnected its power grid from Egypt, Turkey and Jordan, it relies on Iran to import power—and is therefore feasibly vulnerable to a cyber attack. Syria’s oil refineries and pipelines, one of the most important pieces of Syria’s economy, could similarly be potential targets. Again, the experts contacted by Foreign Policy state that such an attack is unlikely, given the low level of involvement the US hopes to maintain in the conflict.
Read more...

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Democracy Conference in Democracy-Deficient Wisconsin
The EON team recently traveled to Madison, Wisconsin to participate in and document the Election Integrity/Representative Democracy conference of the nine-stream ‘Democracy II’ Convention organized by the Liberty Tree Foundation in coalition with a long list of progressive groups (see below).

There were nine different conferences within the convention: Media, Economic, Local, Defense, Constitutional Reform, Education for Democracy, Earth, Race and Representative Democracy.

There we were, citizens from across the country converging to passionately discuss threats to various aspects of democracy and how to respond, while just around the corner in the Wisconsin Capitol Building Gov. Scott Walker’s police were brutally arresting elderly Veterans for Peace and their supporters for daring to sing in the Peoples’ House despite Walker’s orders to the contrary. [see here and here and here.] This brutality continues the Wisconsin oppression that ensued with Walker’s election and questionable recall vote. [see this]

Walker is largely carrying out the ALEC agenda. Wisconsin, together with 26 other states such as North Carolina, is being controlled by legislatures dominated by extreme right wingers. Though the extreme right wing is a minority and would never win in honest elections, they are taking over many states through a variety of complex manipulations and distortions of our electoral systems. That’s exactly why many of us have focused on Election Integrity issues and came together at this convention to assess what is needed and possible now.

EON co-director Jim Heddle was on the Univ. of Wisconsin faculty in Madison for seven years back in the late’60s/early’70s when it was known as ‘the Berkeley of the Mid-West.’ [Remember the ‘Dow Demonstrations‘ and the bombing of Stirling Hall? and here.] It was a sleepy college/state capitol town then, with a radically progressive aura in politics and the arts. [Remember Paul Soglin and Ben Sidran?] Quite a change to the over-built bastion of chic consumerism and corporate fascism it appears to now be becoming.

Legendary Wisconsin progressive Sen. Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette must be turning in his grave at current developments in Wisconsin. But ‘Fighting Bob’ would be proud that the grassroots pushback is strong and persistent.

Some of that is shown below in a series of our video reports (more to come if we receive funding).
For more on this topic visit our Election Protection playlist.

Some Participants in the Election Integrity Conference. Back row L to R: Marta Steele, Judy Alter, Carl Carter, Mary Beth Brangan, Bob Fitrakis, Jonathan Simon; Middle row: Ben Ptashnik, Mimi Kennedy, Tom Corbatt; Front: Greg Palast, John Washburn, Victoria Collier, Harvie Brainscomb. EON photo: James Heddle

Fighting Democracy’s Hidden Threats – Election Integrity Panel – Pt. 1
From ‘Democracy Convention II,’ held in Madison Wisconsin Aug. 7-11, 2013, this is Part 1 of a panel in Election Protection section of the Convention, organized by Victoria Collier and Ben Ptashnik.
Speakers: Ben Ptashnik, Victoria Collier, Jonathan Simon, Mimi Kennedy.

From the program: The Election Integrity (EI) movement is working non-stop behind the scenes against loss of citizen control over U.S. election and therefore self-government. The right to vote and to oversee the ballot chain of custody, the ability to watch the vote-count, has disappeared inside the electronic processes of a privatized electronic election system whose accountability to election officials, law enforcement, or citizens is negligible. What is the state of EI today? How threatened are American election by insider/outsider fraud and hacking? Why did Karl Rove insist there’d be a GOP victory in the 11th hour of vote counting in Ohio in 2010? What does the plan for nationwide Internet Voting mean for America? Leading EI activists discuss their recent work, immanent threats to democracy, and building the movement to demand transparency and citizen oversight of elections.
For more information:
ElectionIntegrityCoalition.org
LibertyTreeFoundation.org
FreePress.org
ElectionDefenseAlliance.org
pdamerica.org

Fighting Democracy’s Hidden Threats – Election Protection Panel – Pt. 2
From ‘Democracy Convention II,’ held in Madison Wisconsin Aug. 7-11, 2013, this is Part 2 of a panel in the Election Protection section of the Convention, organized by Victoria Collier and Ben Ptashnik.
Speaker: Bob Fitrakis

The FIGHT of OUR LIVES – Representative Democracy Plenary
From ‘Democracy Convention II,’ held in Madison Wisconsin Aug. 7-11, 2013, this is the closing plenary of the Election Protection section of the Convention, organized by Victoria Collier and Ben Ptashnik of the National Election Protection Coalition.
Speakers: Ben Ptashnik, Mike McCabe, Cindy Sheehan, Jonathan Simon, Bob Fitrakis, Jill Stein, Richard Monje and Greg Palast.

From the program: We face an unprecedented crisis in American democracy; attacks against community self-government, undermining of government accountability, the reign of Big Money over representative politics, total lack of transparency in how we process our own votes, and a choke-hold on the electoral system by two major parties increasingly under the control of nefarious corporate interests. How did we get here, and how do we get out? Leading democracy activists discuss the need for a citizen-driven Democracy Movement to bring our society back from the brink.
For more info:
ElectionIntegrityCoalition.org
LibertyTreeFoundation.org
FreePress.org
GreenShadowCabinet.us
WISDC.org
CindySheehansSoapbox.blogspot.com
ElectionDefenseAlliance.org
SEIU.org/division/workers-united
GregPalast.com

No Secret Trade Deals for the 1%! – No TPP!
Excerpts from the ‘Rally to Derail Fast Track and Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),’ held on the steps of the Capitol in Madison, WI, Saturday, August 10, 2013 as part of the ‘Democracy Convention II’ organized by the Liberty Tree Foundation and a coalition of progressive organizations.

Speakers expose the anti-democratic details of a trans-national trade agreement being secretly negotiated behind doors so closed that even U.S. Congress Members are blocked from oversight – in effect, an international ‘corporate bill of rights’ about to be railroaded through Congress on a ‘fast track’ allowing no changes to the secret draft legislation.
For more information:
FlushTheTPP.org
CitizensTrade.org
WISDC.org
SEIU.org/division/workers-united

Post-Constitutional America – Bob Fitrakis
From ‘Democracy Convention II,’ held in Madison Wisconsin Aug. 7-11, 2013, this is Bob Fitrakis’ address at the closing plenary of the Election Protection section of the Convention, organized by Victoria Collier and Ben Ptashnik.

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