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The International Campaign to Destabilize Syria

Smart Power & The Human Rights Industrial Complex

UK Column

March 15, 2016

by Patrick Henningsen

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Human rights in the West: does the reality live up to the rhetoric? On the surface, the cultural narrative seems innocent enough: billionaire philanthropists, political luminaries and transnational corporations, along with legions of staff and volunteers – all working together in the name of social justice, forging a better, fairer and more accountable world.

The story reads well on paper, and well it should. After all, the 20th century saw a string of failures by various governments to curb and halt some of the most horrific exhibitions of genocide and crimes against humanity. The door has been opened for many charities and human rights organizations to play a bigger role in moderating international affairs. Upon more rigorous inspection, however, what emerges is one of the most unfortunate realities of 21st century geopolitics. Though many human rights charities still market themselves as ‘neutral’ and ‘nonpartisan’, the reality is something very different. With public skepticism at an all-time high, the danger is clear: if conflicts of interest are not addressed in a serious way, they threaten to undermine the credibility of the entire non-governmental organization (NGO) sector internationally.

One difficult aspect in analyzing this struggle for ‘perception management’ is that most human rights and aid organizations are staffed and run by good, hard-working and extremely well-educated individuals, many of whom carry out their roles with an altruistic heart and with the best of intentions. For the most part, many remain unaware or uninterested in who actually funds their organisations and what those financial strings mean in terms of the what a given organisation’s stance will be on any range of geopolitical issues or military conflicts. It’s certainly true that over the years, sincere and dedicated campaigning by organisations has helped to free individuals who where unjustly imprisoned and achieved due process and justice for the dispossessed. It’s also true that many of these same organizations have helped to raise awareness on many important social and environmental issues.

Due to increased funding from corporate interests and direct links to government and policy think tanks in recent years, these organisations have become even more politicised, and more closely connected with western ‘agents of influence.’ As a result, an argument can be made that, on many levels, these ‘human rights’ organisations may be contributing to the very problem they profess to be working to abate: causing more suffering, death and instability worldwide through their co-marketing of the foreign policy objectives of Washington, London, Paris and Brussels.

The problem is both systemic and institutional in nature. As a result, many of the western world’s leading human rights organizations based in North America and Europe have become mirror reflections of a western foreign policy agenda and have become virtual clearing houses for interventionist propaganda.

Writer Stephanie McMillan describes the new role of the non governmental organizations in the 21st century:

Along with military invasions and missionaries, NGOs help crack countries open like ripe nuts, paving the way for intensifying waves of exploitation and extraction.

Outsourcing Consensus Building

Shaping western public perception and opinion on major international issues is essential if major world powers are to realise their foreign policy goals. Not surprisingly, we can see that many of the public positions taken by NGOs are exactly aligned with western foreign policy. In the Balkans War of the 1990’s, human rights groups supported partitioning. In the Ukraine in 2014 and with both Syria and Yemen in 2016 they supported regime change. In each instance NGOs function as public relations extension to a United Nations western member Security Council bloc, namely the US, UK and France. This collusion is manifest throughout the upper echelons of these organizations whose streamlined agenda conforms through a lucrative revolving door which exists between a cartel of western NGOs, government and media.

As western governments find themselves more heavily involved in long-term conflicts around the globe, the need to outsource their ethics and morals to NGOs becomes more apparent. Continuity between these symbiotic entities is essential if governments are to successfully frame the geopolitical narratives on which international human rights organizations so often derive their own public relations and fundraising campaigns. Together, all of these things converge to form a highly efficient, functioning alliance which could be described as a type of ‘government-media-human rights’ industrial complex.

Nowhere is this complex more evident than with the United States-led foreign policy towards Syria. By framing the Syrian Conflict (2011 to present) as a “civil war”, both western media and human rights organizations did their part in propping-up an important western foreign policy narrative. Inaccurate and distorted, this narrative has helped shield the US-led clandestine proxy war which has been allowed to carry on almost unimpeded below the surface narrative of western public perception. For mainstream US audiences, if truly known, the reality of Syria might be too much to bear – a US-backed guerrilla war where Washington and Ankara, along with NATO and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) allies, flooding Turkey and Syria with weapons, cash, equipment, social media teams, military trainers and foreign fighters from as a far away as Pakistan. When analyzed from this wider perspective, very little is ‘civil’ about the Syrian Conflict.

The Human Rights Industry

What was once a 20th century adjunct to an emerging international progressive movement has since mushroomed into a 21st century multi-billion dollar, internationalised ‘third sector’ concern – underwritten by some of the world’s leading transnational corporations. This impressive labyrinth is led by organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), and the Worldwide Human Rights Movement (FIDH). Each of these organisations has well-developed links leading directly into central governments, and perhaps more surprisingly, links leading straight into the heart of the military industrial complex. Safely cloaked under the official guise of ‘charity organisation’, many of these entities push a political agenda and effectively serve as public relations outlets for US and NATO forward military planning.

Working behind the public-facing human rights industrial complex is another key component which helps set the geopolitical agenda. Leading western governmental efforts are the White House and the US State Department. Behind the political facade, however, is where the real work takes place; a myriad of think tanks which serve as an unofficial academic-like support structure for managing policy planning, rolling out grand strategies and other big ideas. Some recognisable names in this industry are the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Brookings Institute, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and Foreign Policy Initiative (the heir apparent to PNAC). These think tanks and foundations are also referred to as ‘policy mills’ because of their ability to churn-out volumes of policy ‘white papers’, surveys and strategic studies which are then disseminated through various industry journals and at functions, conferences and events in Washington DC and New York City. Certain think tanks, like the Committee for Peace and Security in the Gulf, were set-up in the 1990’s to push through specific foreign policy objectives – like kick-starting the war in Iraq. Where you find a war, you most certainly will find a think tank advocating behind it.

Follow the Money

To find the common thread between think tanks, foundations and human rights charities, one needs only to follow the money.

Many of these entities receive large portions of their funding from the same sources – transnational corporations. One large contributor of annual funding for human rights organisations, including HRW, is the controversial Wall Street billionaire George Soros, through his NGO the Open Society Institute. Other human rights organisations like FIDH which draw together some 178 organizations from 120 countries, receives funding from the US State Department by way of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Here we have a direct financial link which forms a ring connecting western governments, NGOs and charities.

One can argue, and successfully, that this nexus ensures that the output, ideas and marketing messages of each leg of a human rights campaign conforms to western foreign policy language and objectives.

Smart Power: Formerly of the US State Dept., now an NGO luminary, Suzanne Nossel

Washington’s HR Revolving Door

It’s no secret that a revolving door exists between the US State Department and many of the western world’s leading human rights organisations. That relationship can be gleaned from this CFR policy paper which states:

To advance from a nuanced dissent to a compelling vision, progressive policymakers should turn to the great mainstay of twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy: liberal internationalism, which posits that a global system of stable liberal democracies would be less prone to war … Washington, the theory goes, should thus offer assertive leadership – diplomatic, economic, and not least, military – to advance a broad array of goals: self-determination, human rights, free trade, the rule of law, economic development, and the quarantine and elimination of dictators and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

That passage, taken in the context of the Syrian conflict, reveals a stark picture of how Washington really works. It was written by Suzanne Nossel, one of Washington’s most high-profile humanitarian advocates who managed to transition seamlessly from her position as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organisations at the US State Department – directly into an executive director position at Amnesty International USA in 2012. Prior to the State Dept., Nossel was also served as chief operating officer for Human Rights Watch, vice president of strategy and operations at the Wall Street Journal and a media and communications consultant to CFR founding corporate member, law firm McKinsey & Company.

Here we see a powerful public relations resumé, combined with established links to Washington’s foreign policy core, and at a time where multiple Middle Eastern nations states, like Libya and Syria, were being forced into submission under the yoke of US-led international pressure. Projecting Washington’s preferred narrative is paramount in this multilateral effort and Nossel would be a key bridge in helping to project US foreign policy messaging internationally through top tier NGO Amnesty.

2012 Amnesty International USA PR campaign.

Around this time, Amnesty USA launched a new PR campaign aimed at millennials and selling the following geopolitical narrative: “NO MORE EXCUSES: Russia has vetoed two UN Security Council resolutions while continually supplying arms, causing the violence to worsen.”

This digital and print campaign was also backed by rallies and other live events used to promote their anti-Russia and Anti-Syria PR effort. At one event in 2012, young school children in Nepal could be seen holding up signs that read, “Russia: Stop Arms Transfer to Syria!”.

When you consider its mirror reflection of foreign policy lines emanating from the US State Dept., it’s easy to see how this catchy slogan had little if anything to do with human rights, but but could easily be viewed as trying to isolate both the Russian and Syrian governments geopolitically.

In truth, Amnesty’s narrative was a complete inversion: while attempting to lay the blame on Russia as being responsible for the escalation and sustained violence in Syria, the country was being over-run by tens of thousands of foreign terrorist militants, illegally trafficked weapons, along with CIA and other foreign assets, as part of the wider US-led Coalition presently waging a proxy war in Syria.

Soft Power vs Smart Power

Despite its foreign policy aspirations, the West still needs public opinion backing for any military action. While the public are none the wiser, blinded by the fog of mass media coverage and bombarded with faux moral imperatives and ‘ticking bomb’ style scenarios demanding that, “we must act now to save innocent lives” – soft power agents have provided the crucial communication bridge for most interventions.

Both media and NGOs fall under the classification of ‘soft power’, and it is this soft power complex which provides the soft cushion upon which soft-sounding foreign policies like “humanitarian intervention” and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) can comfortably rest on in western discourse. In reality, these foreign policies are anything but soft, and in the absence of declaring war between nation states – these policies now serve as the tip of an imperialist spear. If you surveyed any of the millions of Middle Eastern residents on the receiving end of the west’s recent humanitarian interventions they will tell you it was anything but soft – especially for the people living in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Yugoslavia and Iraq.

Inside Washington’s inner sanctum, ‘soft power’ has given way to Smart Power. Indeed, it was Susan Nossel who coined the term “Smart Power” while working alongside US humanitarian hawks like Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power and Susan Rice, and also with Washington’s lesser known Atrocity Prevention Board, all of whom worked to successfully implement this new range of intervention marketing concepts including humanitarian intervention and R2P.

In this age of professionally staged colour revolutions and ‘Arab Springs’, and wars fought by proxies and front organizations – vaunted human rights organisations should really acknowledge that there are nation-states and central governments who are not long for this world, and who are literally fighting for their survival. Governments who find themselves under the western hammer cannot always afford the luxury of settling internal disputes nicely, or putting down armed rebel factions and terrorists with all affordable due process. If these rebels or terrorists are western-backed, or GCC-backed, then this condition becomes more acute. Certainly, the United States and its NATO allies, or Israel for that matter, do not afford such civility for any of its victims of collateral damage’ or during a protracted ‘humanitarian intervention’.

‘Agents of Change’ & Emotive Appeals

By now, it’s also a well-documented fact that America’s CIA and Pentagon intelligence departments have used an array of charities, aid organisations, and even religious missionary organisations as fronts for conducting espionage overseas, and with the prime directive of to further foreign policy objectives.

In recent years, however, under the banner of ‘human rights’, the US has developed some new and innovative methods of intelligence gathering and achieving an increased military footprint in new countries.

To reach these objectives, western governments enlist ‘change agents’.

No story serves as a better example of how a human rights organisation can be applied as a sharp tool of foreign policy than Kony 2012, described by the Atlantic Magazine as a viral video campaign which “reinforces a dangerous, centuries-old idea that Africans are helpless and that idealistic Westerners must save them.”

As viral social media campaigns go, Kony 2012 set a new standard for speed and efficiency in penetrating the western youth market. This effort was not with out help from mainstream corporate media in the US, and also from the US government in Washington DC.

Here, soft power was applied in order to manufacture public consent through an emotive public appeal which was eventually exposed as a gross distortion of reality. In this case, the antagonist was the illusive warlord Joseph Kony, leader of the Lords Resistance Army. According to their campaign, if the president could send a military force to “find Kony”, then many children would be saved in the process. The only problem was that no one had actually seen Kony in over 6 years, with rumors abound that Kony may even have died years earlier. This did not deter the campaign though, as organisers pressed ahead, raising millions along the way. The human rights charity which fronted the project, Invisible Children, actually targeted their viral campaign and fundraising drive at under aged American school children, and even drafted primary school students to raise money on the charity’s behalf. In the end, the project collapsed, but the ultimate objective was achieved: culminating with a successful public relations event and photo opportunity at the White House, and under cover of the Kony 2012 media campaign – President Barack Obama publicly deployed US military assets to Uganda under an expansion of US AFRICOM operations in Africa.

Trapped inside their own ideological controlled environment where every decision is a virtual fait accompli, western media and government officials will routinely refer to the human rights industry in order to provide a necessary moral back-stop for any foreign policy objective. This same practice is also repeated by the United Nations too, which often cites the very same statistics and reports used by Washington to back-up its foreign policy moves.

Independent human rights activist Rick Sterling explains this all too familiar cycle in today’s international affairs:

There is a pattern of sensational but untrue reports that lead to public acceptance of US and Western military intervention in countries around the world: In Gulf War 1, there were reports of Iraqi troops stealing incubators from Kuwait, leaving babies to die on the cold floor. Relying on the testimony of a Red Crescent doctor, Amnesty International ‘verified’ the false claims. Ten years later, there were reports of ‘yellow cake uranium’ going to Iraq for development of weapons of mass destruction. One decade later, there were reports of Libyan soldiers ‘drugged on Viagra and raping women as they advanced.’ In 2012, NBC broadcaster Richard Engel was supposedly kidnapped by ‘pro-Assad Syrian militia’ but luckily freed by Syrian opposition fighters, the “Free Syrian Army”. All these reports were later confirmed to be fabrications and lies. They all had the goal of manipulating public opinion and they all succeeded in one way or another. Despite the consequences, which were often disastrous, none of the perpetrators were punished or paid any price.

Strange Bedfellows: NATO, Amnesty and HRW

It’s no coincidence that nearly every foreign policy front the US State Department has prioritised is mirrored by Amnesty International USA. The US State Department together with the Pentagon, will also utilise social justice issues in order to advance a foreign policy objective. The most potent of these has to be gender identity politics, seen through the western lens as “woman’s rights”. By projecting this issue on to a non-favoured’ nation, western war planners can quickly construct an important leg in foreign policy messaging.

In 2012, Amnesty International USA ran a national billboard campaign with images depicting Afghan women and girls, accompanied by the slogan: “NATO: Keep the Progress Going.” Not surprisingly, at this same moment, western media were referring to NATO’s military operation in Afghanistan as “the first feminist war.” In its totality, this is one example of near perfect streamlined marketing campaign which tied together all branches of the interventionist network – the US State Department, the Pentagon, the mainstream media and Amnesty International. This cynical attempt to manipulate public opinion by Amnesty International, on behalf of the Pentagon and Brussels, could be traced back to one Amnesty patron, former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who in the 1990’s, famously remarked, “We think the price is worth it,” referring to the death of a half million Iraqi children as a result of crippling US economic sanctions.

In early 2015, Ken Roth, Director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted out an aerial image purporting to be from Kobane, Syria, showing a neighborhood reduced to rubble which he described as, “a drone’s eye tour of what Assad’s barrel bombs have done to Aleppo.” It turned out that Roth’s tweet was a forgery. The image he used was actually taken from Gaza the previous summer, showing the destruction of Palestinian neighborhoods at the hands of Israel’s IDF. This was another example of slipshod propaganda disseminated by high profile human right organization – expressly designed to demonise a foreign government that Washington nation builders are seeking to overthrow. It’s no surprise then that HRW would also appoint CIA operative Miguel Diaz to serve on its advisory board, or that Javier Solana, former Secretary General of NATO and architect of the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia (a war which HRW itself condemned in 2000) also serves on HRW’s board of directors.

Beyond the slick marketing and celebrity endorsements, in all actuality HRW is nothing more than a Cold War era propaganda relic which has been retrofitted to serve a 21st century Atlanticist geopolitical agenda. According to Washington DC-based transparency advocate Keane Bhatt, “HRW was originally called Helsinki Watch. It was created in 1978 during the Cold War to scrutinize and criticize the crimes that were being committed by the USSR and its allies. That Cold War ideology has long played a role in the kinds of priorities and advocacy that HRW engages in”.

Syria’s NGO Kaleidoscope

One of the most egregious examples of a NGO being used to reinforce a US-led geopolitical narrative is the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), created in 2006. Beyond the grandiose name, this ‘organisation’ is basically a one-man show which until recently, was run out of a one bedroom apartment in Coventry, England. SOHR is run by a Syrian dissident named Osama Ali Suleiman, commonly known in the media as “Rahmi Abdul Rahman”. The SOHR has played the key role in developing the all-important “facts on the ground” story for the Washington-London-Paris Axis seeking to topple the government in Damascus through its stoic policy of ‘regime change’ in Syria. When it comes to ‘official’ death toll numbers out of Syria, almost every mainstream report in the US and Europe has cited the SOHR as its data source with hardly a passing thought as to either the accuracy or the credibility of its numbers, and under which category death tolls are counted.

Despite the fact that the SOHR is closely affiliated with the US and UK-backed Syrian opposition, its data sets will often include casualty figures of ‘rebel forces’ (which will often include known foreign terrorist fighters) within its civilian casualty figures. These dubious figures are also used by a number of UN agencies, as well as leading human right organisations. Similarly, US, UK and European officials will frequently attribute a figure of 250,000 ‘Syrian deaths’ to civilians killed by “the regime” embodied by President Bashar al Assad. One week, a western official will quote a number of 150,000, and the next week it will be 350,000. As a result, most mainstream reports of Syria’s casualty figures are rife with bias and methodological inconsistencies, and as a result no one really seems to know the real figure. The larger the number, the more passionate the plea for western military intervention. Even the Council of the Foreign Relations is on record stating that the numbers being cited by the likes of John McCain simply don’t add up. Micah Zenko and Amelia M. Wolf of the CFR admitted in 2014 that, “most of the reported deaths in Syria have not been committed by forces under Bashar al-Assad’s command.” Meanwhile, western media, politicians and human rights organisations routinely ignore the fact that over 100,000 deaths since 2011 have been Syrian Army and Security personnel killed by foreign-backed militants and terrorists. Zenko later added that, “the types of interventions that proponents have endorsed for Syria … have almost nothing to do with how Syrian non-combatants are actually being killed.”

While the Syrian Conflict is a messy and tragic affair, with brutality and violence affecting every side of the fighting, readers should note exactly how this subtle, yet relentless western campaign of disinformation feeds neatly into the western policy of regime change embodied in the rhetorical demand that “Assad must go.” John Glaser from Antiwar.com adds here:

A common policy proposal to mitigate the mass suffering in Syria is for the U.S. to help the rebels and undermine the Assad regime, a scheme that just becomes ludicrous after looking at the data.

It should also be noted that the SOHR receives its funding directly from the EU, and also enjoys substantial support from the British Foreign Office – both of whom are actively seeking to overthrow the government in Syria through guerrilla proxies. At the very least this could be described as a conflict of interest. The SOHR is hardly ‘non partisan’ and more likely to be used as a tool to manufacture consensus for humanitarian intervention in Syria.

Intervention Digital Marketing

They say that ‘the road to tyranny is paved with good intentions’. That old adage couldn’t be more true today, despite all of our seemingly wonderful internet tools and ‘activist’ platforms online.

A key set piece in any nation building or humanitarian intervention is the ‘No Fly Zone’. Made famous during NATO’s Balkans War in Yugoslavia, the US-led Gulf Wars for Iraq, and later with NATO Libya, securing a No Fly Zone is essential for dictating the terms and conditions of any interventionalist program. The term has since developed an elastic quality and has been subtly altered into what many now refer to a “Safe Zone”, the idea being that by securing the skies above with western air power, the people below will be ‘safe.’

However, it’s still become a hard-sell because of negative connotations associated with past unpopular operation that have been viewed western wars of aggression. New technology is needed in order to repackage and market this damaged brand.

WANTED FULL 2

The internet and social networking have provided just that, where a myriad of social networking online petition web portals have been launched in recent years, the most prominent of which is the online organization Avaaz.org was co-founded in 2007 by Res Publica and Moveon.org, and whose funding sources include the George Soros’ Open Society umbrella foundation network. Key founders and players include Tom Perriello, Ricken Patel, Tom Pravda, Jeremy Heimans, David Madden, Eli Pariser and Andrea Woodhouse, each of whom have working relationships with the UN and World Bank, and coordinate with US-controlled institutions like the UN Security Council and UN Human Rights Council.

According to the Avaaz website, their mission is to “organise citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.”

Non-profit Avaaz works closely with its for-profit arm, New York City-based PR firm Purpose, which refers to itself as a “proud public benefit corporation.”

It is important to understand that by their own admission, these organizations are not meant to be purely altruistic, but rather are enterprise businesses. In her article entitled “The Rise of the Movement Entrepreneur and its Impact on Business”, writer Allison Goldberg explains the ‘big idea’ which is used a wrapping for their self-styled social license:

The rise of new technology has drastically lowered the barrier to movement creation while providing an alternative to established institutions, formerly seen as the route to reform. Instead of relying on government bodies or other established organizations often weighed down by bureaucracy, entrepreneurs are utilizing the power of social media to mobilize the masses in favor of large-scale change. As a result, organizations have arisen such as Avaaz.org, which defines itself as “the campaigning community bringing people-powered politics to decision-making worldwide.” Avaaz now boasts seven million members worldwide.

Together, Avaaz and Purpose create the language and the online consensus-building tools. While maintaining the illusion of grassroots activists advocating for human rights, the core function of their public relations campaigns are outcome-based, or to help herd public opinion in order to provide a pretext for multilateral institutions like the the IMF and NATO to implement programs like economic sanctions, or  military intervention.

One of the Avaaz ‘Safe Zone’ campaigns for Syria in 2012-2013

In 2012 and 2013, Avaaz campaigns featured a number of large online petitions which demanded that international bodies (like the UN) send “3,000 international monitors” into the country, and that Western military powers (like NATO) impose a ‘No-Fly Zone’ over the entire country in order to “save innocent lives.” One petion read as follows:

To the Arab League, European Union, United States, and Friends of Syria: As global citizens, we call on you to take immediate action to stop the deadly terror in Syria. Enough is enough. We ask you to immediately demand a ceasefire to stop the bloodshed so that parties can come to the negotiating table to agree on a way forward. Until a ceasefire is reached, we call on you to work together and with the international community to enforce a no fly zone to stop the bombardment of Syria’s civilians and ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those most in need.

Again, another NGO public relations messaging campaign mirroring foreign policy planks from the US State Department and Washington’s defense community.

On Avaaz’s website you can often find a number of sensational claims. During their No-Fly-Zone campaign cycle this statement appeared:

The Syrian air force just dropped chlorine gas bombs on children. Their little bodies gasped for air on hospital stretchers as medics held back tears, and watched as they suffocated to death.

Unfortunately, the incident in question never actually happened.

Rick Sterling explains:

Many well-intentioned but naive members of the U.S. and international public are again being duped into signing an Avaaz petition based on fraud and misinformation. If the campaign succeeds in leading to a No Fly Zone in Syria, it will result in vastly increased war, mayhem and bloodshed.

The following illustration outlines to sequence of events that eventually lead to Avaaz calling for a ‘No Fly Zone’ in Syria.

One organization championed in Avaaz marketing campaigns is a ‘neutral’ organization called the Syrian Civil Defense also known as the ‘White Helmets‘.

Writer Vanessa Beeley explains the all-too familiar funding sources for the White Helmets in her article entitled, Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception – Part I:

The White Helmets were established in March 2013, in Istanbul, Turkey, and is headed by James Le Mesurier, a British “security” specialist and ‘ex’-British military intelligence officer with an impressive track record in some of the most dubious NATO intervention theatres including Bosnia and Kosovo, as well as Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. Le Mesurier is a product of Britain’s elite Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and has also been placed in a series of high-profile pasts at the United Nations, European Union, and U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The origins of The White Helmet’s initial $300k seed funding is a little hazy, reports are contradictory but subsequent information leads us to conclude that the UK, US and the ‘Syrian opposition’ (or Syrian National Council, parallel government backed an funded by the US, UK and allies) are connected. Logistical support has been provided and given by Turkish elite natural disaster response team, AKUT. A further $13 million was poured into the White Helmet coffers during 2013 and this is where it gets interesting. Early reports suggest that these “donations” came from the US, UK and SNC with the previously explored connections to George Soros in the US. However, subsequent investigations reveal that USAID has been a major shareholder in the White Helmet organisation. The website for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) claims that, “our work supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives by supporting: economic growth, agriculture and trade; global health; and, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance.” In a USAID report update in July 2015 it is clearly stated that they have supplied over $ 16m in assistance to the White Helmets.

Regarding USAID, Beeley adds that:

The USAID track record as a primary US Government/CIA regime change facilitator is extensively documented. From South America to the Ukraine and in the Middle East, USAID serve a malevolent and ultimately destructive role in the dismantling of sovereign nations and their reduction to western hegemony vassal states, as always, all in the name of freedom and democracy.

Even more crucial in this case, is evidence that links the White Helmets to militant fighting groups in Syria, including al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria). While this does not prove anything beyond association between members of both organizations, it’s significant when one considers that both organizations are receiving material and financial support from the same member nations of the US-led Coalition.

Geopolitically Correct

For all practical purposes, as a moral and ethical tenet, ‘human rights’ is an anomaly in any western military action.

How one frames a story determines its thesis. In the 21st century, the concept of human rights has been weaponised, pointed at nonaligned and independent nation-states who are seen as obstacles to American and European market-makers and nation builders. A number of target states not geopolitically aligned with the US, NATO or the GCC, are yet to be absorbed, seduced, conquered, or as in the case of Libya, completely collapsed, or in the case of Syria – completely dismembered. These include states listed by former US General and NATO Supreme Commander, Wesley Clark, in his Commonwealth Club speech in San Francisco in 2007. During the event, Clark intimated a conversation he had after a classified defense briefing where a Pentagon source had told him weeks after 9/11 of the Pentagon’s plan to attack Iraq, as well as a “coup” being plotted by Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz along with “a half dozen other collaborators from the Project for the New American Century”. According to Clark, his told him about seven countries which were slated for overthrow: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.

It should also be noted that both Wesley Clark and George Soros serve on the board of trustees of The International Crisis Group.

For any of these unlucky states, a sustained US or ‘Coalition’ military campaign means that a nation can be under attack 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and yet, that nation and its residents are given no quarter by western human rights organizations, governments or media. A perfect example of this is Saudi Arabia’s highly illegal undeclared war of aggression against its neighbor Yemen which began in the spring of 2015.

It’s worth noting here, that despite its own hotly contested human rights record, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was somehow managed to get elected to the UN’s prestigious Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Evidence suggests that this appointment was facilitated in part by British officials as part of a larger quid pro quo arrangement. According to classified Saudi foreign ministry files that were passed to Wikileaks in June 2015, and translated by Geneva-based UN Watch and revealed how UK initiated the secret negotiations by asking Saudi Arabia for its support. Eventually, both countries were elected to the 47 member state UNHRC. The following passage from the leaked cables reveals how a clear deal was struck:

The ministry might find it an opportunity to exchange support with the United Kingdom, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would support the candidacy of the United Kingdom to the membership of the council for the period 2014-2015 in exchange for the support of the United Kingdom to the candidacy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

According to The Guardian another cable revealed a Saudi Arabia transfer of $100,000 for “expenditures resulting from the campaign to nominate the Kingdom for membership of the human rights council for the period 2014-2016”. At the time of their report, no one knows how this money was spent.

In addition, it was later shown that Saudi Arabia pledged $1 million to UNHRC prior to winning the its seat. Then rather amazingly (or not), in the fall of 2015, the UN appointed Saudi as Chair of the UNHRC.

When pressed on the matter, a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said, “as is standard practice with all members, we never reveal our voting intentions or the way we vote.”

This was followed by a standard, throwaway PR platitude:

The British government strongly promotes human rights around the world and we raise our human rights concerns with the Saudi Arabian authorities.

While its commendable that Saudi officials would want to take a leading role in advocating for international human rights, one cannot ignore the political hypocrisy at play considering Riyadh’s own soiled laundry regarding this issue which includes, among other items, the sanctioning of more than a 150 beheadings in 2015 – a number believed to be even higher than Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS).

To make matters worse, the controversial Saudi appointment also took place amid the a new diplomatic row over a lucrative UK prison building contract in the Kingdom and the proposed execution of 17 year old Shia student activist, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who was sentenced to ‘death by crucifixion’ for joining an anti-government demonstration.

Consider the amount of political and media campaigning against the government of Syria over numerous and largely unfounded allegations, where an international network comprised of the US State Department, UK Foreign Office, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) lobby, HRW and humanitarian interventionist luminaries are all backing a policy of regime change in Syria – and then contrast this with Saudi Arabia’s proven record on human rights and abuse of power. It’s impossible not to see the double standard.

As far as the Western political establishment are concerned, if there are any human rights violations or any local casualties mounting in one of its many dirty wars, geopolitical correctness dictates that these are either ignored or neatly filed away as an inconvenient consequence of America’s ‘national security’ or an unfortunate byproduct “collateral damage” along the road to international progress, peace and prosperity (democracy). Because it crosses swords with the US State Department, or NATO HQ, pubic pressure by humanitarian organizations like HRW and Amnesty USA is relatively nonexistent.

Outside of the theater of combat, the international community is also faced with the inconvenient dilemma of illegal detentions of supposed ‘enemy combatants’, ‘enhanced interrogation’ (torture) and ‘extrajudicial killings’ (assassinations). These are the politically correct terms for the age of western militarisation.

Again, because of “bad optics” in Washington DC very little attention or pressure is applied by marquee international human rights charities.

The human rights industry also has its own politically correct lexicon and identifiers like ‘defectors’, ‘detainees’, ‘activists’ and a new emerging category of ‘activist-journalists’. Sometimes these terms can be accurate, but in a war theater like Syria, they are often euphemisms for actors in full spectrum information warfare. In the case of Syria, this information warfare is designed to embolden a foreign-backed opposition, but more importantly, to apply sustained public relations pressure towards an end goal of regime change.

The WMD Ritual

Conjuring a ‘WMD’ subplot in order to trigger a humanitarian intervention has become commonplace in western foreign policy. After being exposed as a momentous lie in Iraq in 2003, this set-back did not stop Washington from aggressively  pursuing the same narrative in Syria in 2013. Fortunately, the Syrian WMD narrative collapsed in the aftermath of a failed false flag Sarin gas attack that turned out to be orchestrated by US Coalition-backed ‘moderate’ rebels52. It was hardly a coincidence then to discover that HRW was the NGO tasked with providing the ‘smoking gun’ Washington and London needed to make their R2P case in August 2013.

Elizabeth Palmer reported for CBS News at the time, “on Tuesday, the group Human Rights Watch issued a report that said evidence strongly implies that Syrian government troops’ firing of rockets containing a nerve agent into a Damascus suburb on August 21 that the U.S. said killed over 1,400 people.” In the end, this turned out to be another epic lie.

While the US-led ‘Coalition’ is quick to seize upon spurious WMD narratives against its geopolitical targets, it will routinely ignore common Geneva Convention violations like Israel’s use of deadly white phosphorous in Gaza, the use of depleted uranium munitions by American military units in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabian cluster bombs being dropped on Yemeni civilians.

Western Institutionalised Bias

Wars, whether conventional or covert, are a dirty business.

One argument that the western human rights industry judicially avoids is that an armed opposition cannot rightly be classified as a ‘political opposition’, so long as it is armed. This could certainly be the case in Syria. Syrian president Assad explained this dilemma during his 2015 interview with CBS News anchor Charlie Rose, stating that “whenever you hold a gun, and kill people, and destroy public buildings, destroy private properties, that’s terrorism.”

Although most foreign policy officials in Washington DC would beg to differ, especially if the opposition in question is receiving weapons, cash or logistical support from the US or its allies. Assad futher clarifies the position and also exposes the fallacy in western rhetoric, explaining:

The word opposition, everywhere in the world, including your country, is a political opposition. Do you have military opposition in the United States? Would you accept it? You wouldn’t, and we wouldn’t. No-one accepts military opposition.

During his speech at Columbia University in 2006, Australian journalist and filmmaker John Pilger explained:

The oldest cliché is that truth is the first casualty of war. I disagree. Journalism is the first casualty. Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship that goes unrecognized in the United States, Britain, and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries.

Pilger’s reference can especially be applied to the institutional media bias that has underpinned the long running international war which the Middle East and Central Asia finds itself currently embroiled in. Some might argue that even if western human rights organisations could somehow be cured of their systemic bias towards Washington and CFR foreign policy narratives –  their needs to be an overhaul in defining the concept and the context of what ‘human rights’ are in real terms. A fresh look needs to take into account a level of western subterfuge which maybe western politicians and media are not yet ready  to acknowledge.

In Conclusion

Indeed, it was ‘human rights’ campaigning which led directly to the illegal bombing of Libya (NATO’s aggressive bombing campaign in Libya was not authorized in the UNSC Resolution 1973 which only called for a ‘No-Fly Zone’, and should therefore be considered illegal under international law), where the West’s sole intent was to topple the government of Muammar Gaddafi. Regrettably, thousands of innocent civilians died in the process and the nation state of Libya quickly collapsed, separating into sub-regional, tribal and lawless militant enclaves.

The lesson of Libya was stark. The world should have taken note, but unfortunately it did not. Instead, onlookers saw then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who, when asked during a CBS News interview about the removal of the Libyan president, could only cackle and laughingly joke, “we came, we saw, he died.”

Is this the new tone of humanitarianism?

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch regularly solicit support from Hollywood celebrities and international recording artists, and spend millions of dollars per year producing films which depict situations around the world through their own political lens. To date, they have yet to produce a film showing the other unsavory side of the ‘rebel insurgency’ in Syria. Is this because that might undermine the entire US and NATO member foreign policy?

The public and private sponsors of NGO’s like HRW and Amnesty have invested, not donated, hundreds of millions collectively into these organisations so that they can portray world events in such a way that will enable their own corporate aspirations to be met. No matter how idealistic the rhetoric might sound coming from leading human rights organisations, the money could stop flowing if they discontinued manufacturing consent for wars.

This also raises the question of whether or not a non-governmental organisation that champions the issue of human rights can remain apolitical – as many such organizations claim to be. What would happen should such an organisation dare to adopt a truly righteous geopolitical (not political) stance advocating opposition to destructive western imperialist policies? Would western governments move to withdraw their 501c3 or tax exempt status which allows these charities to maintain their viability as a nonprofit organisation?

Once again, if conflicts of interest and revolving doors between government and charities are not properly addressed, it could eventually undermine the integrity of the entire NGO sector internationally. Corruption at the top of the pyramid also threatens to damage countless other small to medium sized organisations who do not have access to the US State Department or Hollywood, but who are still performing important services and engaged in real civic aid projects.

For human right organisations to be in lock-step with the US State Department, or hiring military operatives as board members and chief executives, is simply inexcusable by any social standard.

If the international community is to advance beyond defunct neocolonialist paradigms, it will need to place compassion ahead of policy, and humanity ahead of profits. Only then can the reality live up to the rhetoric.

 

[Author Patrick Henningsen is founder and editor of the news and analysis website 21st Century Wire, and is an independent foreign and political affairs analyst for RT International. He is also the host of the SUNDAY WIRE radio program which airs live every Sunday on the Alternate Current Radio Network. Find out more at: www.patrickhenningsen.com]

Oscar Spoiler: The Return of ‘Syria Danny’, as Actor Danny Dayem turns up in latest Rami Jarah fictional short ?

The Wind will Fall

February 4, 2016

by Vanessa Beeley

 

Danny now2

Has Danny Abdul Dayem been resurrected? 

In Rami Jarrah’s recent Ana Press academy award winner, “ISIS wherefore art thou ISIS” [Edited title] we saw a surprise guest appearance, either from Danny Abdul Dayem’s doppelganger or Danny himself has been brought out of retirement by Soros backed ANA Press.

In this artful and seductive portrayal of Aleppo, threatened exclusively by ISIS, the demonic Russians and uber demonic SAA, we see Danny II speaking in his inimitable lisping, mumbling style “No we are against DAESH” [my edit] but we love the good villains like Al Nusra, even when they shoot a few civilians in the head, its not a problem the White Helmets will pick up the body parts.

Part II – Syria’s White Helmets: War By Way of Deception ~ ‘Moderate Executioners’

Rami Jarrah, the ultimate smooth operator has honed his propaganda skills since the early days when he and Danny romped their way through their pre-prepared scripts with far less aplomb.  Avaaz or associated government agencies must have invested extensively in Jarrah’s stage skills, or perhaps packed him off to the Purpose Institute of Dramatic Arts for some advanced “integrity” coaching.

In this particular fiction short, he thrusts the microphone under the noses of the alleged “residents” of Aleppo, one could be excused for thinking its the usual array of Al Nusra occupiers spruced up for camera and reciting the lines given to them, as they all verbatim assure us that they do not support ISIS.  One does notice, however that they do not state who it is they support, clever omission from Director, Rami Jarrah.

There are many dastardly sleights of hand in this film.

Danny now2

 

One minor one is that Danny II ears are well hidden by his new “look”, a primary biometric identifying process prevented.

 

Rami camera

Hollywood at work.  Rami Jarrah “intrepid reporter”

 

Director, Rami Jarrah displays a mastery of the dark art of propaganda.  He carefully insinuates that Russia is bombing Aleppo, but then qualifies by stating “Russia sending war planes, overhead to this AREA“, which is not tantamount to bombing. He gives no specifics, shows no planes, offers no proof which is normal practice for these Manhattan trained and produced manipulators of opinion. He asks loaded questions that demand a simple and one- way- street reply.  He fails, yet again, to even mention the maiming and mutilation of civilians by the Al Nusra “moderate rebel” Hell Cannon.

This is not journalism, this is not objective research, this is not investigative analysis, this is propaganda at its most insidious.

This is pure cinema to sell tickets to the brainwashed and increase box office ratings for the US, NATO, Gulf States and of course Hollywood moguls, Israel.

Jarrah and Danny go way back.  They were both part of the 2011 agitprop shop established by Avaaz with public money to the tune of over $ 1.2 million, its purpose to produce waves of anti Syrian Government propaganda and facilitate “regime change”.  Jarrah, Dayem and Wisam Tarif were the rainbow boys of the Syrian colour revolution.

While Danny was being caught out fabricating the bombing and shelling stories for CNN, Jarrah was a little more cunning.  However, his 2011/12 reports are still full of holes and inaccuracies.  Under his then pseudonym of Alexander Page, Jarrah announces on the BBC that the Syrian Navy is shelling Latakia, a story later deconstructed and utterly discredited by inhabitants and analysts inside Latakia.  See Sharmine Narwani’s report, suitably entitled “Hollywood in Homs & Idlib

“It reminds me of August 2011 news reports of warships shelling the coastal city of Latakia. Three separate sources – two opposition figures from the city and an independent western journalist – later insisted there were no signs of shelling. It was also the first time I learned from Syrians that you can burn rubber tires on rooftops to simulate the after-effects of exploded shells.” ~ Sharmine Narwani

When we look at Danny and Jarrah’s  timelines from 2011, the inception of the long incubated war on Syria, we see that they run parallel.  Both grew up and were educated in the UK.  Once in Syria, Danny was based in Homs and his rambling, excitable reports were the mainstay of the Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN anti Assad incitement. Rami Jarrah was based in and around Damascus, where he also churned out breathlessly emotive & well scripted renditions of the “burgeoning revolution” theme tune.

They both fled Syria to Cairo around September 2011.  Danny states in a few interviews that he worked in “an activists operations room” in Cairo.  Jarrah gave birth to another Soros test tube baby,  ANA Press, in Cairo.  Coincidence or synergy?

So, as Danny’s media star-is-born rise to fame, meteorically crashed, Jarrah’s notoriety rose to prominence in the propaganda celebrity A list.

In January 2016, Jarrah even attained the dizzying heights of selfie taking with Erdogan at a conference in Istanbul to discuss the issues faced by Journalists aka Empire agents, actors and movie directors in Syria & how Erdogan should resolve them. Very convenient for Erdogan who has been deflecting bad press for months now, resorting to prosecution and imprisonment for those in Turkish media,  who are highlighting his instrumental involvement in the war on Syria.

 

Erdogan, oligarch, chief facilitator of terrorism in Syria, oil baron, arms & chemical weapons supplier, Aleppo factory bandit [1441 dismantled and stolen from Aleppo by Turkey],  is working with Rami Jarrah on overcoming obstacles to the propaganda stream.  Ana Press is now based in Southern Turkey and operates with the approval and protection of the Turkish government, a monumental indictment of Rami Jarrah’s claims of neutrality and impartiality, or even Journalism.

Please also note, that in the “selfie”, Erdogan is seeing sporting the 3 star “revolution” badge.  One wonders when NATO members and country leaders became such cartoon statesmen, displaying unbelievable moral deficit and blatant partisanship.  Perhaps Sergey Lavrov should be seen in Geneva, with Assad hats and lapel pins?

Perhaps not, because Lavrov takes his position as world representative of his nation and his nations interests very seriously.  Lavrov would not stoop to such infantile displays of Russia’s allegiances if his life depended upon it because Russia and the world depends upon his diplomatic integrity and moral fortitude, not to mention gravitas. An element of statesmanship that seems to be missing from Erdogan’s repertoire.

Dag Hammarskjold,  a statesman of honour who challenged the US and UK imperialist agenda at every turn and who was very probably assassinated for his principles, once said:

“You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy does not reserve a plot for weeds”

Never has there been a time when this proclamation can be so universally applied.  Syria, it appears has drawn every dreg of humanity out into the open. Erdogan has done more than reserve a plot for “weeds”, he has sown them, watered them, nurtured them and harvested them multiple times.

Jarrah, it appears, has been cultivated in the Empire agents of “change” greenhouse and like all genetically modified “plants” is bearing copious, shiny, juicy fruit with very little substance or nutritional value, beautifully packaged, utterly tasteless and rotten to the core.

If this is Danny in Jarrah’s Al Nusra promo video, a once discontinued strain of weed has returned to our screens courtesy of Soros and Ana Press. A failed state actor, a discredited fifth columnist perhaps being given a swansong walk- on- part,  in recognition of services once rendered to Empire studios?

The Empire film industry is a fickle one, today’s stars are tomorrow’s has-beens.  The red-carpet divas like, Jarrah, now in ascendancy, will outlive their purpose and be discarded like hundreds if not thousands before them.  Its a lonely life as a down and out ex state- actor, there is no refuge from the consequences of your cynical deception and no protection will be forthcoming from the movie moguls and their henchman once the stage door has been locked and bolted behind you.

“Somebody placed the shuttle in your hand: somebody who had already arranged the threads.” ~ Dag Hammarskjold

Syria is unravelling the threads…

END.

As a little comic relief, we have created our own Truth Academy movie of the “Return of Syrian Danny?”

 

Malcolm X

WATCH: Edward S. Herman on “Humanitarian Imperialism”

The Real News

Video published July 1, 2012

Excerpt:

TRN: Which it’s all geopolitics: when it’s in your interest, you bring up that card, and when it’s not, you don’t.

HERMAN: No, absolutely. And the lack of principle involved, the lack of as you say, there is a principle, a UN principle, that’s been overridden by this allegedly higher principle of the responsibility to protect civilians who are victimized by their government, so that we have to go in. And we did this in Libya. And a good chunk of the left fell for this, too, that we have the responsibility. We raised the question, I have raised the question, in the case of Libya, well, do you want to leave this in the hands of the United States, who’s engaging in drone warfare all over the world, has declared the whole world a free-fire zone, engaged in the most monstrous aggression in Iraq, and it’s got away with it. You want this imperial power to do the job in Libya on this incredibly selective basis? Isn’t that a bad principle in itself, to do it and to then let them do it, and to have faith that they’re going to do it, not engage in regime change, which they’ve been obviously pursuing? I mean, the naivete behind supporting that is again, it’s breathtaking.

 

 

[Edward S. Herman is an American economist and media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media. He’s a Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s also the author of several books, namely “Manufacturing Consent” which he wrote with Noam Chomsky and “The Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context and Politics”.]

Meet the Two Brothers Making Millions Off the Refugee Crisis in Scandinavia

Hero Norway’s for-profit model offers lodging for asylum seekers

Bloomberg Businessweek

January 6, 2016

By Bill Donahue

“Brad Henderson of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees notes that in recent months NGO care providers have frequently collaborated with for-profits to meet the needs of asylum seekers, stepping in to provide phone and Internet service, as well as to charter flights from Syria and elsewhere.”

It’s a scene that could possibly warm even the two-sizes-too-small heart of the Grinch. Here in a little village in Norway, as dusky midday light filters in through the forest outside a classroom, a half-dozen Afghan teenagers hunch over a long wooden table, assiduously scissoring colored sheets of construction paper. These are 15- to 18-year-old boys who’ve endured miseries no child deserves—gunfire, explosions, the killing of a parent by Islamic State—and they’ve traveled here from their homeland on foot and in suffocatingly crowded vans. They sneaked through the woods on the Turkey-Bulgaria border, and they’ve been chased and bitten by police dogs and beaten by their smugglers. Now they’re celebrating Christmas and inscribing cards with some of the very first Norwegian words they’ve learned: God Jul. Merry Christmas.

Are they happy to be here?

“It is calm and peaceful,” says Bilal, 15, in Pashto.

“It is nice,” says Ahmad, also 15, “but why isn’t there a cricket pitch?”

In Rade, refugees registered this December to receive clothing, food, and health care, before getting transferred to Arendal
In Rade, refugees registered this December to receive clothing, food, and health care, before getting transferred to Arendal, three-and-a-half hours away by bus.
Photographer: Espen Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Their middle-aged teachers—a Syrian and an Eritrean, both onetime refugees themselves—hover over them, benevolent, smiling, as a commuter train rattles in the distance. This, arguably, is the Scandinavia that the self-proclaimed socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was referring to in October when he suggested that Americans “should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished”—particularly when it comes to government programs that assist those in need.

Except there’s this other guy in the room, standing off to the side, almost invisible as he handles incoming e-mail on his smartphone. Kristian Adolfsen, 55, wears a V-neck sweater, a striped button-down, and glasses. This is his first visit to this refugee center in Hvalstad, but he owns the operation with his brother, Roger, 51, and they run 90 such centers in Norway and 10 more in Sweden. Refugees represent a huge opportunity for them; the Adolfsens’ Oslo-based company, Hero Norway, is the leader of a burgeoning Scandinavian industry that charges the Norwegian and Swedish governments a fixed fee—$31 to $75 per person per night in Norway—to house and feed refugees.

Bloomberg Businessweek cover, Jan. 11, 2016
Featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Jan. 11, 2016. Subscribe now.
Photographer: Espen Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

In Norway, Hero operates several different kinds of refugee lodging, among them short-stay dormitories where asylum seekers sleep a few nights, waiting to be screened by police after crossing the border; a second phalanx of facilities where refugees wait a couple of weeks to be interviewed by immigration officials, taking their meals in a cafeteria; and longer-term camps where they live more independently, in detached houses, cooking their own meals, as they wait, often for years, to be settled in Norway with protected refugee status.

For 2015, Hero Norway expects revenue of $63 million, with profits of 3.5 percent. In the rest of Europe, where asylum seekers typically are cared for by nongovernmental organizations such as the Red Cross, only one for-profit is larger than the Adolfsens’ operation, ORS Services, a Swiss company that in 2014 generated $99 million in profit caring for refugees in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. (ORS won’t disclose its 2015 profits.)

The Adolfsens have succeeded in part because they have a background in hospitality. In the three decades since they founded Adolfsen Group, Kristian and Roger have built an $800 million-a-year network of businesses that includes preschools and nursing homes, as well as hotels, apartment buildings, cruise lines, and ski resorts. The two entered the refugee sector in May 2014, when they paid a Danish company, ISS Facility Services, $22 million for Hero Norway, a 27-year-old company that ran 32 refugee centers.

A country of 5 million, Norway received more than 31,500 asylum seekers in 2015.

At first the Adolfsens set their sights on Sweden. Almost immediately, though, refugee arrivals in Norway exploded, and they’ve kept arriving since. A country of 5 million people—a relatively sleepy, snow-clad, 1,600-mile-long, lutefish-eating kingdom that had never seen more than 17,000 refugees in a single year—received more than 31,500 asylum seekers in 2015 as Syria continued to fall apart and wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Eritrea drove refugees to Europe. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t cope with the influx, so it’s turning to entrepreneurs, desperately, lest more refugees sleep in the streets. “UDI calls for capitalists,” blared a recent headline in Oslo’s Aftenposten newspaper.

For-profits now care for about 90 percent of Norway’s refugees. A gold rush has commenced, and it’s also a bit of a circus. Just outside Oslo, a savvy entrepreneur named Ola Moe recently rented a vacant hospital for $10,000 a month, did minimal upgrades, and began charging the government $460,000 a month to house and feed 200 refugees. At a refugee center in Southern Norway, 50 resident asylum seekers went on a two-hour march in November to protest the poor food, prompting one politician, an Iranian Norwegian named Mazyar Keshvari, to proclaim, “These ungrateful people should immediately leave the country.”

Amid such controversy, the Adolfsens appear like poised professionals. In press photographs, they flash can-do smiles as they sit before gleaming conference tables in airy office towers. One Oslo paper, Dagens Naeringsliv, has called them “Norway’s least known billionaires.” Yet concerns remain. In their monetization of the refugee crisis, will the Adolfsens provide superior, more efficient havens, or will they cut corners and skimp on services to improve profits? And does their bottom-line approach threaten a depth of caring that transcends hard cash?

The Hero facility in Valdres was a hotel until 1999, when it was converted to refugee housing.
The Hero facility in Valdres was a hotel until 1999, when it was converted to refugee housing. Here the company offers displaced families shelter for months, even years.
Photographer: Espen Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Kristian and Roger grew up in Northern Norway, a sparsely peopled region imbued with a provincial, gloomy, Southern Rock vibe. Moonshine is popular there, along with fishing and hunting, and the Adolfsen brothers pride themselves on speaking a northern dialect, which Kristian says “is filled with swear words—not bad ones, but you know, stuff like ‘devil hell.’?” Their hometown of Andenes, population 3,500, situated on Andoya Island, is so windy there are almost no trees. Their father, Kolbjorn, an engineer, worked days at the Andoya Space Center, launching rockets to study the northern lights. In the evening, he ran a TV sales and repair shop. Eventually he built a hotel. “A lot of people in Norway have cabins,” says Kristian. “Our second home was the TV shop. That’s where we saw our father.”

When Kristian was 5, he began selling the local newspaper, the Andoya Avis. At 7, he got involved with the production of a Northern Norway ocean delicacy, cod tongue. It was his job each winter afternoon to jab hundreds of cod down onto a metal spike, one by one, before lopping off the fish’s tongues with a knife. “As soon as the last bell rang at school,” he says, “I began sprinting. You had to be the first on the pier. There were only so many fish.” He cut quickly, running behind his wheelbarrow in the 10F to 15F air to fetch loads of fish. After three hours, he’d spend three more selling cod tongues door to door. “But that wasn’t so bad,” he says, “because then you could wear gloves.”

Kristian and Roger Adolfsen at their office in Oslo.
Kristian (left) and Roger Adolfsen at their office in Oslo. The brothers own Hero Norway.
Photographer: Espen Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Roger stayed out of the cod tongue industry (by the time he came of age, his mother was weary of living in a household smelling of fish), but he soon followed his brother into competitive running and cross-country skiing. The brothers served as delivery boys, Kristian carrying groceries on his sled and Roger baked goods. Both worked as salesmen in the TV shop, and during the late 1970s—as Norwegian conservative Kare Willoch rose to power, eventually becoming prime minister in 1981—the brothers grew infectiously excited over his staunch opposition to the social democratic state that took root in Norway after World War II.

Kristian and Roger ran for the Andenes City Council as teenagers. Both won seats and fought for the privatization of road services and garbage pickup in Andenes. “My first speech was about privatizing the road grading,” Kristian says. “I spent hours writing and correcting many times what I would say. I tried to memorize every word.”

When the Adolfsens made their first major business move in 1991, purchasing the 44-room Andrikken Hotel in Andenes, the gesture had an almost holy resonance: They were buying the very hotel their father had built. In 1981, Kolbjorn had lost the business to bankruptcy. But he kept its giant sign in his basement. It depicted a long-necked duck flying into the midnight sun. The brothers rehung it—then staffed the hotel with old friends from Andenes, establishing a tone. “We have a coast culture in our companies,” Kristian says. “We are professional but informal, and we base everything on trust. When you grow up in a small place, you can’t do anything wrong. You get a bad reputation.”

Over the next decade, the Adolfsens built Norlandia Hotel Group, which now manages about 30 establishments, many of them Best Westerns, throughout Norway and Sweden. As the Norwegian government started allowing private companies to make money on social welfare work, they ventured into nursing homes, then preschools. “We are like sportsmen,” Kristian says calmly and clinically, explaining his and Roger’s drive. “We set goals, and then we reach our goals, and then we have to set new goals. It is not about the money. It is about the excitement.”

Europe’s refugee crisis has been bubbling since the Arab Spring of 2011. When it boiled over last summer, many Norwegians traveled to Lesbos, Greece, on the edge of the Aegean Sea to help refugees land their boats in Europe. They set up tents, served food, and offered trauma counseling. Back in Norway, groups such as Refugees Welcome to Norway supplied the newcomers with clothes and toys as other volunteers taught them to knit. The Adolfsens, meanwhile, enlisted an aide to cast about Norway’s hinterlands for abandoned or little-used properties: defunct boarding schools, onetime rehab centers, hospitals, mountain hotels that go dead in autumn—any and all structures where refugees could be housed temporarily or permanently at a profit. As Roger tended to other aspects of the Adolfsens’ business, Kristian expanded the refugee services. “We see it as a niche in the health and care industry,” he says.

On Norway’s political left, the Adolfsens are regarded as distasteful and greedy, especially by Linn Herning, deputy director of Norway’s Campaign for the Welfare State and the author of a 2015 book, Velferdsprofitorene (The Welfare Profiteers), which traces the gradual expansion since the late 1990s of entrepreneurs in Norway’s preschools and nursing homes. The cover features detailed, anatomically correct drawings of creepy insects—parasites—and Herning devotes several pages to the Adolfsens, who, she says, are “the biggest players, the only welfare profiteers in every sector.” In early December, she helped Norway’s Socialist Party and Social Democratic Party call in Parliament for a study looking into the feasibility of banning profiteering in refugee care.

Asylum seekers play billiards at the Hero reception center in Valdres.
Asylum seekers play billiards at the Hero reception center in Valdres.
Photographer: Espen Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Still, Herning could point to only one specific example of the Adolfsens’ supposed treachery. In the small Norwegian city of Moss, an hour south of Oslo, Orkerod, a respected, publicly owned, 88-bed nursing home for dementia patients, went into tumult after the Adolfsens’ Norlandia Care Group began managing it in 2014. “The focus on specialized dementia care disappeared,” says Lorentz Nitter, the clinic’s lead doctor until he quit in June. “Such care is very expensive,” about $125,000 annually per person, he says, “and Norlandia didn’t want to pay for it.” When highly paid nurses trained in dementia work quit, Norlandia replaced them with cheaper nonspecialists. “They began treating all patients the same way,” Nitter says, and this was dangerous. About 30 percent of all dementia patients are “aggressive,” he says, “and they walk around causing many problems.”

In Orkerod’s first 12 months under Norlandia’s guidance, 19 nurses quit. In a recent op-ed in Moss Avis, Nitter joined two other Orkerod doctors in complaining that the clinic’s excellence, built over its first 13 years of operation, had been “torn down in a single year.”

Kristian denies that the quality of the service at Orkerod declined and argues that departed staffers were disgruntled simply because Norlandia shook them from long-standing work habits. “These were people who’d been there for many years,” he says. “They were used to doing things their way, and then we made changes. It’s a lot more demanding to work for a private company because we focus on providing better quality at lower prices.”

Clothes are handed out to new arrivals at Rade. The clothes the refugees are wearing have to be put into a freezer for 48 hours.
Clothes are handed out to new arrivals at Rade. The clothes the refugees are wearing have to be put into a freezer for 48 hours.
Photographer: Espen Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Could Norwegian refugee centers suffer similar changes? It’s apparently already happened. From 2006 to 2014, as reported in the Oslo paper Ny Tid, one of Norway’s largest for-profit refugee care providers, Link, habitually broke binding budget promises to the Norwegian government. In 2014, Link, which operates 14 refugee centers, signed on to a budget that would cap its profits at $230,000. By skimping on promised services—child care, for instance, homework help, and the supervision of people with disabilities—it ended up $1.15 million in the black.

Ny Tid’s figures came from an anonymous source within UDI, a 20-year veteran at the agency. When I met with this man, he said of Link, “Every year they overestimate what services will cost them. That is how the game is played, and if new operators don’t understand that, they’re going down.” Hallstein Saunes, the leader for Link’s refugee centers, disputes the figures presented by Ny Tid, calling the paper’s interpretation of them “misleading” and saying that Link didn’t skimp on social services. Rather, he says, it saved elsewhere—on utilities, for instance. “Our aim,” he says, “is to operate good reception centers within the financial framework of our agreements as we develop the company and contribute towards solving an important task in our society.”

UDI’s monitoring of corruption is minimal, according to the UDI source. “We can only concentrate on opening new refugee centers,” he said. He had no special knowledge on Hero Norway, but in discussing the company, he was uncharacteristically sunny. “They’ve been a good partner for UDI,” he said. “They’re very flexible. When we need them to expand, they do. It’s easy.”

“We need Hero, and it’s totally illogical to say they can’t make profits.”

Brad Henderson of the United Nations High Commission on Refugees notes that in recent months NGO care providers have frequently collaborated with for-profits to meet the needs of asylum seekers, stepping in to provide phone and Internet service, as well as to charter flights from Syria and elsewhere. He’s carefully optimistic about the profiteers. They can “create a long-lasting, mutually beneficial partnership with UNHCR if they can be aligned to shared goals and values,” says Henderson, who is UNHCR’s European lead on fostering relations with for-profits. “They can bring new ideas and vital energy to the refugee cause.”

It’s not clear whether others will embrace or reject the Adolfsens’ refugee riches, but several insiders predict that Norway’s Parliament will allow refugee entrepreneurs to continue but will cap their earnings. “I wish we could operate with only NGOs and municipalities running refugee centers,” says Marte Gerhardsen, the director of Oslo-based Tankesmien Agenda, a think tank closely aligned with Norway’s Labor Party, “but right now, right here, we need Hero, and it’s totally illogical to say they can’t make profits. That would be like Prohibition in America—it won’t work.” She adds, “we do need to regulate them, though.” Gerhardsen argues that private operators be limited to a 3 percent profit margin. The Adolfsens claim that theirs is 3.5 percent, but Herning calls that figure “highly unlikely. All the other refugee companies that I’ve looked at have a much higher profit margin.” She says that in handling revenue from nursery schools and nursing homes, the Adolfsens have played a shell game, shifting profits from one business within their conglomerate to another. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they were doing that for Hero as well,” she says.

Mikal Tedros, 19, and her siblings Bethelhim, 12, Evenezer, 8, and Salina, 17, from Eritrea, in their room at the Refstad reception center in Oslo. Mikal takes care of her sisters and brother, and they have been staying at the center for a month.
Mikal Tedros, 19, and her siblings Bethelhim, 12, Evenezer, 8, and Salina, 17, from Eritrea, in their room at the Refstad reception center in Oslo. Mikal takes care of her sisters and brother, and they have been staying at the center for a month.
Photographer: Espen Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

It’s 2 p.m. on another Norwegian afternoon, and Kristian and I are driving south out of Oslo in his Porsche SUV. The car is new, with only 2,800 miles on it, but Kristian is fast to point out that he got a huge tax credit; the car is a hybrid.

“We live like normal people,” he says. “I have a regular house and a mountain apartment and cabin, but for all these I paid less than 10 million kroner,” about $1.1 million. “I have never hired a nanny. My brother and me, we just take small salaries”—about $230,000 a year. “We work too hard to spend the money.”

Rich people always say things like this, of course, but coming from Kristian, the humble talk is somewhat believable. For a man who could reasonably cast himself as the Donald of Norway, he’s a remarkably bland and polite presence, even by taciturn Norwegian standards. When we confer with the heads of three refugee centers, he scarcely speaks. He doesn’t harry anyone, and he asks very few questions. His focus seems far away, ensconced in a netherworld of ledgers and spreadsheets.

He and Roger are almost monklike in their devotion to business. Both work about 70 hours a week, following achingly methodical routines. “Monday to Thursday,” Kristian says, “I work in my office at home until 1 a.m. I leave for work between 7:20 and 7:25. When I am on vacation, I work for an hour in the morning and an hour at night.”

Adnan Mousa, responsible for the stock of clothing at Rade, and Kari-Anne Andersen, community worker at Hero, organize clothing that is handed out to newly arrived refugees.
Adnan Mousa, responsible for the stock of clothing at Rade, and Kari-Anne Andersen, community worker at Hero, organize clothing that is handed out to newly arrived refugees.
Photographer: Espen Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Neither brother has smoked a cigarette or tasted alcohol, and in 2011, when Kristian crumpled to the ground while running a half-marathon, stricken by a heart attack that stilled his pulse for 10 minutes, he didn’t resolve to slow down. Rather, as he lay recovering in a public hospital, he stewed over its inefficiencies. “The building was very old, and the highly paid nurses spent hours walking the corridors, serving food,” he says. “I thought, You could sell the building for apartments and use the money to build a new hospital with better logistics.”

Right now, we’re driving to Hero Norway’s biggest refugee center, in Rade near the Swedish border. In recent weeks up to 1,200 new arrivals have crowded into a vacated supermarket, living in indoor tents as they wait for interviews with the Norwegian border police. I feel like I’m descending into the maw of history. I’m aware now of all the wars, the bloodshed, the human struggle that have brought so many to remote Rade, which is little more than a scattering of ugly chain stores by the highway. Kristian’s remarks drift toward the international only once, however: when he thrills over a new app, SayHi, which translates spoken words into more than 100 languages. “It will save so much money,” he says.

Next year, Hero Norway hopes to open 5 to 10 refugee centers in Sweden. The campaign could be spotted with difficulties. In Sweden, arsonists have torched more than 40 centers since July, in part because in 2015 Sweden accepted about 160,000 asylum seekers, more per capita than any other European nation. Still, the prospects for Hero Norway’s continued success are high. Neither Sweden nor Norway has plans to stanch the flow of newcomers, and the Swedish government has said it will spend up to 30 percent of its 2016 foreign aid budget on resettling refugees.

Mikiyas, 12, and his brother, Nahom, 7, are from Ethiopia and have shared a flat at Vang for five years with their mother.
Mikiyas, 12, and his brother, Nahom, 7, are from Ethiopia and have shared a flat at Vang for five years with their mother. The two attend local schools and love to ski.
Photographer: Espen Rasmussen for Bloomberg Businessweek

Kristian stands back, aloof, chatting only with administrators, conferring about their plans to build a health clinic here to screen refugees for tuberculosis and other diseases.

In time, we’re given a tour by the camp’s director. Helge Ekelund is a large, hulking fellow with a tight ponytail, and he’s a no-nonsense guy who’s well aware that the great migration to Norway can continue only if there are functioning toilets. “Here are the tents we got free from the army,” he says. “Here is where we take away everyone’s clothes. We put the clothes in these freezers here, to kill off the bedbugs.” The freezer is set at -30F, he says. The clothes stay in there for 48 hours, while the asylum seekers wear borrowed garments.

When Kristian and I step back into the rain, I ask him what about the refugee center intrigued him the most. “The freezers,” he says. “I thought those were interesting.”

We begin driving north. It’s 3 p.m. There are still 10 hours to go before his workday is over.

George Soros: Anti -Syria Campaign Impresario

The Wall Will Fall

January 21, 2016

by Vanessa Beeley

 

“They [the media] are news-as-entertainment professionals – packaging glossy corporate content for maximum distribution and big bucks. The goal is not objective reportage. Their targets are quantifiable and highlighted in a business plan somewhere. Success is based on a simple formula: stay within parameters “understandable” to a wide audience that devours sound bites and familiar storylines on the hour, every hour. Like trained seals whose every desire, instinct and buying pattern has been measured by corporate media’s marketing department for the consumption of its advertisers, the audience demands satisfaction – and western media delivers it.” ~ Sharmine Narwani

THE BBC BAMBOOZLE

The Madaya media circus lumbers on regardless of the multitude of proven anomalies and outright deceit of the mainstream narrative.  Deaf to either public opinion or investigation, institutions like the BBC consider they are above accountability to those who pay for their existence, the British public.  They consider it perfectly acceptable to release footage from Yarmouk 2014 and represent it as Madaya 2016..and when questioned, to remove the offending footage without explanation or responsibility for their obscurantism and misinformation tactics.

Thankfully, Robert Stuart, ardent campaigner against the BBC’s long running, hostile, anti Syria propaganda offensive did raise an official complaint and demanded answers that the BBC has, for too long, been allowed to avoid answering.

Al Mayadeen, Al Manar, Al Masirah TV channels and many others, representing the voices of the oppressed in the Middle East are being systematically excluded from Saudi funded Satellite channels and Israeli biased social media.  Press TV, headquarters in Tehran,  had its licence revoked by Ofcom in 2012

RT has come under relentless attack by the BBC since the “Kremlin launched its international media operation”.  The BBC lexicon never fails to maintain and celebrate the “cold war” terminology or to keep fear of the Russian “indoctrination”  stewing in peoples minds.

“But it [RT] is also coming under increased scrutiny over its lack of editorial balance and accusations that it is deliberately using disinformation to counter and divide the West.” ~ Russia’s Global Media Operation Under the Spotlight

This astounding display of projectionism can only be matched by the Zionist ability to turn their own crimes against Humanity into a neatly packaged accusation that those they are oppressing, the Palestinians, on whose broken bones Israel has built its settlements, are the guilty and that Israel is exempt from judgement for its crimes which are committed in “self defence”.

Is the BBC embellishing the truth in “self-defence” or is it being creative with the truth in defence of our Government’s appalling neo-colonialist foreign policy which is ensuring the fomenting of sectarian divide in the Middle East to facilitate desired “regime change” in Syria & the wholesale slaughter of civilians in Yemen,  obliterated by  made-in-UK missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

These are just two examples of the BBC collusion in global de-stabilization and reduction of sovereign nations to perpetual conflict  or “failed state” status, ripe for economic and pseudo “humanitarian” NGO complex, stealth invasion and occupation and of course the bolstering of the Military Industrial Complex profitability index.

WILL THE BBC BE SOROS-IZED

The following extraordinary statement is taken from a paper produced by the Wilson Center.org. in the section titled “The Role of NGOs in Building Civil Society

“In some countries, local NGOs also have been funded to mount “people power” campaigns. As in the recent “color revolutions,” these campaigns are aimed at opening up political regimes to opposition parties and ousting leaders who were holding onto power through irregular methods. Viewed more broadly, all these programs supporting NGO activities and capacity-building are seen as ways to foster the progressive emergence of a broad civil society, one that both supplements the state in providing for public needs and makes governments more responsive to their populations.” 

The gloves appear to be off.  Here, the Wilson Centre is blithely exposing the NGO’s trojan horse policy with regards to its role as outreach agents for Imperialism in any resource rich or strategically important, prey nation.

It explains perfectly the funding of the people power, time for change campaigns that run in synch with any regional or national schisms that are then piggybacked by imported or locally fostered opposition movements to propel the Imperialist friendly movements towards regime change.

Of course there is never any intention from the behind- the- scenes- string- pullers of allowing the much acclaimed people power.  The goal is the now familiar power vacuum to be filled by an Imperialist compatible ruling entity that will ensure the completion of Empire’s hostile corporate take over bid.

You may be asking why is this relevant to the BBC truth distortion.  As explanation, please consider the inclusion of the BEEB in the Open Democracy website.  Then have a look at the Open Democracy impressive list of funders and donors.  No surprise for many of you that  George Soros, Open Society Foundation is on that list.  In fact, the only “philanthropic” mogul missing is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Then, let us consider who holds the purse strings of the majority of the primary propaganda rings and regime change facilitating NGO elements in Syria.

The yellow brick road of Neocon ambitions and imperialist missions- impossible in Syria leads unerringly to the global chaos strategist,   George Soros, pedalling furiously behind his NGO Humanitarian shield.

First a reminder from The Wrong Kind of Green’s NGO myth shattering article, Syria, Avaaz, Purpose, the art of selling hate for Empire. 

“It should not be considered a coincidence that at the same time, a polished, sophisticated and highly financed “Save Syria” campaign is being created in the board rooms of the Empire’s favourite Harvard boys.

 

Where, under the organization Avaaz, the public hasn’t acquiesced to an air strike on Syria, the New York public relations firm Purpose Inc. has stepped in.”

 

[Purpose’s partnership with Soros, Open Society Foundation is highlighted in same article]

SYRIA CAMPAIGN ~ Latest Campaign: Break the Sieges

This campaign has been launched in conjunction with the #OperationMadaya propaganda storm, itself,  perfectly timed to coincide with the lawless & characteristically brutal execution of Saudi Arabia’s primary campaigner for Democracy, unity and freedom from the despotic House of Saud rule and subjugation, Sheikh Nimr al Nimr.

In true Manhattan corporate branding style, the Break the Siege high profile publicity campaign hit the streets running, just as public outrage was peaking and the Western media, inspired by Qatari governed Al Jazeera,  was rolling out repeat fake photographs. The familiar “Assad is the root of all evil” headlines served very nicely as backdrop for the dramatic, slick,  advertising campaign.  One might also be forgiven for thinking it had been prepared in advance.

Syria Campaign break the sieges

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New York public relations firm Purpose has created at least four anti-Assad NGOs/campaigns: The White Helmets, Free Syrian Voices [3], The Syria Campaign [4] and March Campaign #withSyria. [The Wrong Kind of Green]

Dr Al Jaafari, permanent Syrian representative at the UN reduced such exploitative drama to the succinct truth with little histrionics & a great deal of dignity despite the ongoing media hostility against the Syrian Government.  This distinguished calm is now a familiar component of the Syrian, Iranian or Russian rebuff of Western hysteria.

Dr Al Jaafari

Included under the Syria Campaign heading are Free Syrian Voices, March Campaign#WithSyria & Medics Under Fire all of whom are creations of Purpose.inc.

AVAAZ

Avaaz petition madaya

 

Yet another polished and unashamedly biased petition from Avaaz with very little relation to the reality on the ground in Madaya.  Click here for What the Media is not telling you About Madaya produced by SyriaGirl.

“Avaaz who, hand in hand with the Rockefellers, George Soros, Bill Gates and other powerful elites, are meticulously shaping global society by utilizing and building upon strategic psychological marketing, soft power, technology and social media – shaping public consensus…” ~ Cory Morningstar.

ANA press logo2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAMI JARRAH ~ ANA PRESS

Ah now here we have a really fascinating can of worms, one that will be investigated in far greater depth in the follow up article with a few shock supporting actors..watch this space.

However, for now, a very brief overview of Mr Rami Jarrah.  Previously known as Alexander Page in his heady BBC, CNN days as Avaaz sponsored “citizen journalist”, foreign correspondent smuggler and all round fixer on the regime change battle front in Syria. He and Danny Abdul Dayem, that well known CNN bombs and rockets studio actor were co-conspirators on the Avaaz Democracy band wagon.

Of course ANA Press makes all the usual laudable claims.

“We are an independent organization that will not stand for any political affiliation, as this would affect our neutralism and honesty. We have not and will not accept funding from any political groups.” ~ Rami Jarrah

Interestingly when we take a peep behind that integrity curtain we find all these claims of neutrality are compromised by the Government agency and Corporatocratic investment into these multiple crowd funding and influencing neocon proxies.

With very little effort we can trace ANA Press to HIVOS and SIDA and of course to SOROS.

SIDA: Development Aid agency affiliated to the Swedish Government, the EU, the UN & the World Bank.  George Soros figures most prominently in yet another vehicle for change programme in their portfolio “Making all Voices Count“.

Making All Voices Count’s unique Research, Evidence and Learning component is working to better understand what works – and what doesn’t – in projects using technology to promote transparent, accountable governance.

The fund is financed jointly by Sida, USAID, DFID, the Open Society Foundation and Omidyar Network.

Hivos has worked with the Open Society Foundations (OSF), an initiative of philanthropist George Soros, since 2005. The OSF work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. That mission is a perfect fit with Hivos’s policies.”

jarrah hivos

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Jarrah’s mission – to ensure that the voices of Syrians are heard around the world – embodies not only the spirit of CJFE’s International Press Freedom Award, but also that of the Alternative & Independent Media area of Hivos’ Expression & Engagement programme”

Vibrant and tolerant democracies….

Moving on..or should that be Move On?

“Avaaz was created in part by MoveOn, a Democratic Party associated Political Action Committee (or PAC), formed in response to the impeachment of President Clinton. Avaaz and MoveOn are funded in part by convicted inside-trader and billionaire hedge fund mogul, George Soros.” ~ SYRIA: Avaaz, Purpose & the art of selling hate for Empire. 

WISSAM TARIF ~ AVAAZ CAMPAIGN MANAGER

Wissam Tarif was another one of the original poster boys for the regime change marketing campaign in Syria, launched almost exclusively by public opinion changers,  Avaaz in 2011 with a little help from their friends in CNN, BBC and Al Jazeera.  Again this will be explored in greater detail in a subsequent article.

This is one of Tarif’s early democratization of Syria pitches to the Oxford Research Group in 2011.

Wissam Tarif has since been promoted to senior campaign manager for Avaaz & remains a persistent advocate of global Open Democracy and the NATO US GCC, Israeli,  democratization of Syria.

“WT ~ “Unless the people of Madaya and other besieged towns in Syria get freedom as well as food, children will continue to starve to death. The United Nations has already brokered agreements for these sieges to be lifted, and now Ban Ki Moon must urgently ensure they are implemented to save thousands of lives and build confidence ahead of Syria peace talks later this month.”  ~ Operation Madaya, Avaaz calling.

Wissam Tarif, in the early days of the war on Syria, was a member of the Avaaz fifth column,  with Rami Jarrah/Alexander Page and Danny Abdul Dayem among thousands more, financed by over $ 1.2 million public money raised by the Avaaz petitions.

In 2011 Tarif was described euphemistically as an Avaaz campaign manager but he was also associated with a Spanish based NGO called INSAN, meaning human, in Arabic.

Insan search

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curiously,  when I delved into his connections I had difficulty locating INSAN which was rumoured to be based in Spain yet no such NGO came up with a Spanish address.  Eventually scanning Wassim’s contact page, I noticed his email address was directed to Insan International. wissamtarif@insanintl.com.  The website was listed as Insanassociation.org. 

INSAN

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the time of my initial investigation, INSAN had listed its partners on its website. Luckily I took a screenshot because when I went back to the website tonight to get the link, the partner link had been altered to patner and threw up an error 404 message.

Also, coincidentally, INSAN now has a brand new web page InsanIntl.com that even more coincidentally no longer displays information on its funding partners.

However, George Soros and the Open Society Foundation are obviously in the frame once more.

THE WHITE HELMETS

White helmet selfie with FAB russian bomb

The White Helmets have perhaps the most diverse array of backers and donors.  The Majority of which have been covered in previous in- depth investigations, but naturally still following the yellow brick road back to Soros.

For a full analysis of the White Helmet’s funding ~ Syria’s White Helmets: War by Way of Deception Part 1 & 2

Madaya White Helmets

 

 

 

 

 

Impartial and neutral saviours of ALL Syrian people regardless of their allegiances..displaying banners calling for the burning and destruction of Kafarya and Foua, two Idlib Shia villages under partial siege from Ahrar al Sham and Jabhat Al Nusra since 2011, full siege since March 2015. An “unbiased” display of naked Wahhabi sectarianism by the Humanitarian heroes, idolised by Western governments, Media and audiences worldwide.

For further insight into the terrifying Ahrar al Sham and Al Nusra siege of Kafarya and Foua, please read Eva Bartlett’s series in Counterpunch:  Untold Suffering in Kafarya & Foua.

white helmet infographic (2)

SNHR

Soros the Puppet Master SNHR

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The SN4HR website has no information on who funds the group, and its website ownership information is hidden from public view but shows that it is hosted in the US. The organisation identifies itself as an outgrowth of “the revolution in Syria” (clearly a partisan organization, see at the very bottom of their home page) claims to be ‘a trusted source’ that supplies information about the Syria Conflict to all leading human rights organisations, charities and government departments including the UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and even the US State Department. “The network’s database and archives are considered as a reliable source and reference for international and local media outlets, and international organizations and agencies working in the field of human rights.”

Taken from:  Madaya: West Engineer another Humanitarian Media Hoax in Syria. by 21st Century Wire.

..and in the same article we follow the route markers once more back to Soros..”there is no place like home”

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH

Ken-Roth-George-Soros

“Soros-financed Human Rights Watch has played a major role in falsely portraying ISIS and Al Qaeda civilian bombings and other atrocities as the work of the Assad regime, building support for military action from the US and EU.”  ~ William Engdahl  Syria Plays Both Ends in the Syrian Refugee Crisis

HRW tim

PHYSICIANS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Well hello Mr Soros.

Soros and Mukwege

“Dr. Denis Mukwege and George Soros devote their lives to working on behalf of others and readily tackling the most difficult issues – advocating for the women of the Congo and improving the lives and advancing the human rights of oppressed people around the world,” said Donna McKay, PHR’s executive director. “Their tireless efforts and leadership inspire human rights defenders worldwide and build vital resistance to human rights violators.”

 

Soros, whose philanthropic leadership and dedication to the cause of human rights was honored with the 2015 Physicians for Human Rights Lifetime Achievement Award, has been a PHR supporter since its inception in 1985. “George Soros grasped, early on, that doctors play a vital role in preserving human dignity, a core human rights principle,” said McKay. “His faith in our cause paved the way for other supporters and helped to ensure that health professionals have the opportunity to use their skills as a means towards justice.” ~  PHR Press Release

Soros PHR

MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES & MEDECINS DU MONDE [DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS & DOCTORS OF THE WORLD]

Kouchner-es-Soros-Foto-Tury-Gyorgy-hvghu

MSF have made concerted efforts to distance themselves from their Interventionist advocate,  Co-Founder, Bernard Kouchner, to little avail, as Kouchner was still invited to comment on the US bombing of the MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan in 2015.

Once more the sole purpose of this article is to show how the NGOs having greatest impact on the ground in Syria, & in our media,  are connected to George Soros [among a myriad of undeniably biased and very partial-to-a-slice-of -Syria western governmental agencies.]

The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) with a membership of over 2,500 organizations worldwide advocating for a fair, effective and independent International Criminal Court

 

The CICC is a project of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) and has secretariats in New York City, near the United Nations (UN), and in The Hague, The Netherlands. 

Taken from Wikipedia

The CICC steering committee includes Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

The World Federalist Movement is funded in part by George Soros.

Medecins sans Frontieres and Medecins du Monde are both listed as members of the CICC, certainly in France.

NGO Partners

 

Another form of partnership is also of enormous importance to the Soros foundations: the relationships with grantees that over the years have developed into alliances in pursuing crucial parts of the open society agenda. These partners include, but are not limited to the following:

 

Médecins Sans Frontières, AIDS Foundation East-West, Doctors of the World, and Partners in Health for their efforts in addressing crucial public health emergencies that are often connected to abuses of human rights

 

Taken from an Open Society Foundation list of Partners.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

soros-amnesty

“Another Soros-financed NGO active demonizing the Assad government as cause of all atrocities in Syria and helping build public support for a war in Syria from the US and EU is Amnesty International. Suzanne Nossel, until 2013 the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, came to the job from the US State Department where she was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, not exactly an unbiased agency in regard to Syria”

William Engdahl for New Eastern Outlook

SYRIA: THE BILLIONAIRES REVOLUTION

Infographic created by Professor Tim Anderson whose book The Dirty War on Syria is now on sale in E Book format at Global Research.

billionaires revolution

IS THE BBC ON THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD?

Open Democracy

OurBeeb. Has the BBC gone into partnership with Soros’ Open Democracy.net?

Certainly when we view the webpage, its hard not to assume there is at least some degree of mutual back scratching going on.

“Funded by 95% of British homes via the licence fee, the BBC belongs to the people, not the government. OurBeeb is independent, non-partisan, and aims to ensure that the discussion about the future of British Broadcasting Corporation is in the hands of the British people.” ~ OurBeeb

Did the British people have a say in the choice of Mr Soros as mentor and campaign manager for their publicly owned media broadcasting flagship whose power to alter public perception is legendary.

How to ensure that the BBC itself is felt to be ‘ours’ by the public who fund it and whose many voices it claims to represent? At a time of cuts in public revenues and rapid technological change, the role of the BBC as overwhelmingly the main source of news towers over traditional party politics. It is time to reshape the debate on the future of the UK’s most important cultural institution.

Then let us consider one of the fall outs from Operation Madaya.  The Open Democracy headline reads..

How is Citizen Journalism transforming the BBC’s Newsroom practices?

“User-generated content offers new ways of covering ‘black hole’ stories such as the Syrian conflict. But how do journalists make sense of what is happening on the ground?” 

How indeed?  There then follows a series of apologies for why the BBC journalists such as Lyse Doucet are not always able to be on the ground in Syria. Various spurious arguments are brought into play. The death of Marie Colvin Sunday Times correspondent in Homs 2012.  No mention that Colvin was smuggled in without permission from the Syrian Government by, among others, Rami Jarrah. The beheading of suspected fifth columnist James Foley.  Not to mention, the danger of “foreign airstrikes” & Islamic State.

And why, might you ask, can the BBC not find the voices in Syria that decry foreign intervention or support their elected Government? Strangely, they are “unwilling to speak”.  Nothing to do with the fact that the BBC are known as anti Syrian propagandists by those people who would not trust them to report the truth as told from the Syrian people’s perspective.

Sharmine Narwani fiercely challenged the Western Media neutral observer status in her article:  Western Journalist: Visa Denied

Because, right now, I honestly cannot think of a group of people less capable of verifying things in Syria than western journalists. And it is not because they aren’t physically there or can’t string together more than two words in Arabic. It is largely because they feast at the trough of their own governments’ narratives on All Things. Western journalists are heady with a sense of righteousness leached from the oxymoronic “western values” shoved down our collective throats. Those same western values that demand “accountability” and “transparency” from all nations – while offering cover for western governments to hack their way through Muslim and Arab bodies in endless “national security” wars.

In hindsight, would we be deemed conspiracy theorists to consider that perhaps all these events have adroitly navigated us to this point of  utter news blackout but for that which serves our government’s globalist objectives?

Are we seeing the placing of the cherry on the regime change cake? Soros has apparently officialised the co-opting of the BBC into the Soros owned and orchestrated Syria propaganda ring and is funnelling their news source outreach operation into his perfectly constructed network of lies and multi headed anti Assad narrative generators.

The yellow brick road leads to Soros and the BBC is off to see the Wizard.  If only they were on a quest for heart, courage and brains.

Soros Sees Spain Seeking Aid

END.

 

[Author Vanessa Beeley is a contributor to 21WIRE, and since 2011, she has spent most of her time in the Middle East reporting on events there – as a independent researcher, writer, photographer and peace activist. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and a volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. See more of her work at her blog The Wall Will Fall.]

The Nonprofit Industrial Complex: an Accessory to the Crime of Imperialism

Syrian Support Group: CIA Outreach Agents & Terrorist Arms Suppliers

The Wall Will Fall | PINKINDUSTRY

January 7, 2016

Excerpts from original article

ISIS ssg

“This is an open-ended exploration [carried out by PinkIndustry] of some of the outside figures offering assistance to the Syrian Support Group (SSG).

These figures have assisted in the granting of a license that enabled the Group to effectively send arms and money to the ‘Free Syrian Army’. The license was provided by the US State Dept’s oddly named ‘Office of Terrorism Finance and Economic Sanctions Policy’.

Part of the Office of Terrorism Finance’s stated remit is to coordinate: “efforts to create, modify, or terminate unilateral sanctions regimes as appropriate to the changing international situation, such as Iran, Syria, and Libya.” The license was granted in July 2012, based on a May application letter—a remarkably short time considering the nature of the SSG’s objectives and the complexities of the situation.

With the license the SSG can now bypass laws restricting trade with Syria and it is free to pay the wages of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and enable them to buy weapons. The arrangements also seems to include chemical weapons training. From its onset Louay Sakka, the SSG spokesman stated: “Right now we’re only asking them to provide more sophisticated weapons which nobody is willing to do” (Agence France Presse, June 8, 2012).

 

outside figures

 

The Outside Figures

A range of outside figures have been said to appear because they are connected “to the Anglo-American opposition creation business.” Examples are given such as those around western-elite connected figures such as Bassma Kodmani, formerly of the Syrian National Council (now with the Oxford Research Group).

Together with other groups the SSG ostensibly lobby the US government to provide support to the resistance against Assad.  But part of the State Dept’s deal with the SSG is that it reciprocally provides them with reports on who the money is going to. The idea is that this will help them to turn the FSA into a more organized group that could then receive intelligence and so forth from Western security agencies. Essentially this is the formation of a proxy force at arm’s length from the State Dept., so that it can retain the fiction that it is still opposed to providing direct lethal aid.

According to the New York Times, the SSG set up a base in Washington (it also has offices in London, Paris, and eastern Turkey) in April 2012 but had come together earlier in 2011; and even then the group was:

The Syrian Support Group, incorporated here in April as a non-profit, has few resources and, so far, few donations, and whether it succeeds in its larger goal remains to be seen. But it is already serving as a conduit between the United States and the armed forces seeking to topple Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, and having an effect on American policy.

To further their cause and advise the Syrian Opposition Coalition in April 2013 (the dates are imprecise) the SSG hired Carne Ross and his New York-based firm, Independent Diplomat. This describes itself  as the “world’s first non-profit diplomatic advisory group.”  The idea was that the firm would:

…meet with key officials and desk officers in the State Department and other U.S. agencies to gather their views [on the Syrian civil war] and advise the Syrian Coalition how best to tailor their own approach to the U.S. Government.

In May 2012 (possibly months earlier) the SSG (or its advisers) also hired Brian Sayers, supposedly after finding him through an online employment agency. At this point the license was applied for and then approved.  Technically it was applied for by Mazen Asbahi, a lawyer who, when President Obama first ran for office, was appointed as his national coordinator to raise millions from Muslim Americans.

By granting such a license, according to a law expert, the US government has breached the UN Charter’s article 2(4), the prohibition on the threat and use of force in international relations: “the basic principle of customary international law prohibiting the interference into the domestic affairs of another state.” But no one seems interested, even although exactly who the FSA are remains a mystery: for the Russians “America’s Syrian friends and Afghan foes are same people.”

The SSG’s lucky find, Brian Sayers is said to have been an ex-NATO Advisor in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Libya—what he advises on we can only guess at.  Some say he was a ‘Political Officer for the International Secretariat at NATO’, others say he worked for the ‘Defense Operations Division at the US State Department,’ or he was the ‘Civilian Representative of the Secretary of Defense’.

He was also said to have run a company called ‘Private Digital Limited Corporation’.  Information on all this is scant, but the State Dept’s records have a Brian Neil Sayers, the husband of Mrs Adeline Hinderer Sayers, the second secretary for Trade at the US’ K Street Delegation of the European Union.  Sayers previously studied at the University of St. Andrews and then Georgetown University—who else found him useful one wonders?

What is peculiar here is that Sayers’ output has been given a remarkably sympathetic airing in the Israeli press.  Elsewhere we find him quoted as setting out the FSA as the lesser evil:

“We believe that if the United States does not act urgently, there is a real risk of a political vacuum in Syria, including the possibility of a dispersion of chemical weapons to rogue groups such as Hezbollah.”

This type of framing and commentary has a familiar ring about it: a private group being given tax-deductible status to raise money for an armed rebel group trying to overthrow a government in a country with which the US is not at war: the outsourcing to the private sector of the sort of thing the CIA used to do.

carnage

The Spook

Carne Ross’ International Diplomat (ID) reports to Najib Ghadbian, who co-ordinates the SSG. According to Ross’ firm, with SSG he will:

meet with key officials and desk officers in the State Department and other U.S. agencies to gather their views [on the Syrian civil war] … and advise the Syrian Coalition how best to tailor their own approach to the U.S. Government.

The acknowledged (thanks to Wikileaks) State Dept. funding of a Syrian opposition dates back to at least 2006. Ross started to advise the ‘National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces’ at the point were concerns were publicly raised that the rebellion was “being hijacked by Islamists linked to Al Qaeda” according to the New York Times.

But the rebellion has never really been in the ascendency, nor has its rebels been homogenous: in 2012, when the US blacklisted the Al-Qaeda-linked group Al-Nusra Front in Syria, the measure was initially criticized by the opposition. Of his firm’s role Ross was quoted as saying:

We’re not lobbyists, we’re an advisory group.

But he openly advocates intervention, arguing that similar fears of a perceived Islamist threat were used to justify non-intervention in Bosnia two decades ago.  This was parroted by Johnathan Freedland in the Guardian (seemingly before Ross was hired).  Ross’ other pronouncements in favour of escalating the conflict, include the inflamatory ‘Let’s call Russia’s bluff on Syria,’ also in the Guardian.  Independent Diplomat, as a private firm, clearly perceived an opportunity to shakedown the émigré groups that would emerge and be supported by the West.

After he resigned over Syria, Kofi Annan wrote in the Financial Times that peace was never given a chance by the UN: multipleplayers were responsible for the failure of diplomacy in Syria, and he said that Assad was not solely responsible for peace in the region.

For Al Jazeera the UN’s Security Council is engaged in a hegemonic power struggle over the Syrian conflict.  The legend which has been put around Carne Ross is that he is some saintly liberal interventionist helping the underdog, somehow at a remove from these machinations and the sanctions on, and then invasion of Iraq.  But he was not. Now that he has ‘resigned’ Ross has availed himself of the situation whereby governments outsource aspects of ‘diplomacy’.

This privatisation of diplomacy is a return to the pre-League of Nations’ secret diplomacy: it will not tackle the problem whereby wars are run by sinister vested interests.

Ross was head of the  according to the Jerusalem Post (September 5, 1995) and it is mentioned far and wide that he was the chief drafter of a key December 1999 UN Security Council resolution easing sanctions against Iraq in return for restarting weapons inspections (The Cairns Sun (Australia) January 5, 2001).

Less put-about stories include when John Pilger met Ross, and described him, more accurately, as the British official responsible for the imposition of sanctions.  To confront him Pilger read to him a statement Ross had made to a parliamentary select committee in 2007:

“The weight of evidence clearly indicates that sanctions caused massive human suffering among ordinary Iraqis, particularly children. We, the US and UK governments, were the primary engineers and offenders of sanctions and were well aware of this evidence at the time but we largely ignored it or blamed it on the Saddam government. [We] effectively denied the entire population a means to live.”

Ross’ reply was:

“I feel very ashamed about it… Before I went to New York, I went to the Foreign Office expecting a briefing on the vast piles of weapons that we still thought Iraq possessed, and the desk officer sort of looked at me slightly sheepishly and said, ‘Well actually, we don’t think there is anything in Iraq.’ “

Pilger’s story is really about another individual, Dr. Rafil Dhafir, who for 13 years with his ‘Help the Needy’ organisation had raised money for food and medicines for sick and starving Iraqis who were the victims of Ross’ sanctions. US officials told Dhafir his humanitarian aid was legal and then arrested him. Today, Dhafir is serving 22 years in prison for aiding terrorism.  Remember the State Dept. gave the SSG a licence to fund who knows who after looking at them for just over four or so weeks.

As chance would have it Ross has explained exactly how a false case for war is constructed using émigré and/or defector groups.  He has also outlined further how he and his colleagues pretended to delude themselves, when he was Blair’s Iraq expert at the UN security council, and was responsible for liaison with the weapons inspectors and intelligence on WMD. This was accomplished:

…not by the deliberate creation of a falsehood, but by willfully and secretly manipulating the evidence to exaggerate the importance of reports […] and to ignore contradictory evidence. This was a subtle process, elaborated from report to report, in such a way that allowed officials themselves to believe that they were not deliberately lying —more editing, perhaps, or simplifying for public presentation.

One of many witnesses at the Chilcot enquiry bent on self-exoneration, Ross was involved in all that he condemns, i.e. he was involved in the initial preparation of Blair’s dossier on WMD, and kept quiet about it until it was too late.  He even claims to have discussed the Number 10 WMD dossier at length with David Kelly in late 2002, who told him it was overstated.  There are reasons to doubt that his resignation was particularly motivated by his experience engineering the war—as he claims. Before, when on sabbatical leave in the US, he was happily extolling the virtues of his employers in the Guardian in March 21, 2002, claiming that:

I’ve never had a problem with motivation. I always thought that this job was worthwhile and work that needed to be done. One of the great things about the Foreign Office is that nearly everbody feels like that […] I didn’t feel unvalued a year ago.

Ross was also the UK’s Afghanistan “expert” at the UN Security Council after September 11th, 2001, and also briefly served in the British Embassy, Kabul, after the 2002 invasion.

Independent Diplomat’s name comes from one of his books: ‘Independent Diplomat, Dispatches From an Unaccountable Elite’. But we are not far away from this elite in his firm’s make-up.

It has a prestigious board of directors including Kieran Prendergast, who is also a member of the advisory board of another ‘British business intelligence’ firm, Hakluyt (Intelligence Online, January 8, 2009). Its advisory board, includes Sir David Manning, who was Tony Blair’s principal foreign affairs adviser in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq.

The company has been found to have engaged in activities such as employing an operative to infiltrate environmental groups on behalf of BP and Shell; it was the firm that hired the subsequently murdered British businessman Neil Heywood as a consultant in China—he was said to be

part of a global network of consultants who use local connections to provide intelligence for Hakluyt clients.

Haykluyt’s parent company is the Holdingham Group who’s Advisory board are beyond a shadow of a doubt an unaccountable elite. Its other organisations are H+ described as:

“An insight-driven consultancy providing independent and objective advice to senior executives at leading international corporations who face major strategic challenges and decisions”

and Pelorus Research which says:

Government intrusion into the commercial space is on the rise, and this is an increasingly important investment consideration. This weighs heaviest on industries most exposed to regulatory action, including telecoms, financial services, tobacco and natural resources”. 

Yes governments are way down the pecking order here—just another palm to cross with silver in the process of money making.

lob

The Lobbyist

In April 2013, along with Carne Ross, the SSG also hired professional lobbyist Andrew Gifford as co-director with Sayer, together with UK Ambassador Donald MacLaren as a political Consultant and Ian Griffiths (in charge of operations). 

According to a 1991 study of the firm: in the 1980s GJW’s three founding partners worked in the offices of David Steel, James Callaghan and Edward Heath (an original partner was to be Peter Mandelson). Its Finance director, Nigel Clarke, is the nephew of former defence secretary Tom King. Gifford is known for manipulating the press, e.g. for the arms industry (such as GEC’s bid to retain an MoD contract for heavyweight torpedoes).

Gifford’s firm, GJW Government Relations, also hired the young Nick Clegg and was known for its work aiding Colonel Gaddafi with Lockerbie. Other clients included Enron, Lady Shirley Porter and the Kuwaiti ruling family.

[Edit:  term “aiding” is perhaps, misleading.  Here is actual quote from the Independent article:]

The Libyan account, which even Ian Greer, a lobbyist whose name has become synonymous with political sleaze said he rejected, required GJW International to present Colonel Gadaffi’s position on the Lockerbie bombing. The Tripoli regime maintains that it is being made a scapegoat by the West for the destruction of the Pan-Am airliner in December 1988. It also wanted the trial of two Libyan nationals, alleged to be the bombers, to be held at a neutral venue rather than in Britain and or the United States as London and Washington demand.”

But according to PR Week(April 29, 1993) the biggest account GJW handled was with ‘Citizens for a Free Kuwait’ (similar to the SSG).

But let me back track a little bit here. Gifford is an associate of ex-SAS officer, Tony Buckingham who was “linked to a series of mercenary military operations launched on behalf of governments in power or exile and multinationals, in return for cash.” The New Statesman noted that:

Executive Outcomes was registered in the UK in September 1993 by Simon Mann, a former troop commander in 22 SAS specializing in intelligence and South African director of Ibis Air, and Tony Buckingham, an SAS veteran and chief executive of Heritage Oil and Gas.

The Heritage Oil and Gas board of directors includes former Liberal Party leader David Steel, and Andrew Gifford of GJW Government Relations, an influential parliamentary lobbyist. The company, originally British, now registered in the Bahamas, is associated with a Canadian oil corporation, Ranger Oil.

Both Heritage Oil and GJW are subsidiaries of Sandline International, another international security company.  Their own testimony states that together they brokered the arms into Sierra leone that met with the approval of the British Government and MI6In the mid 1990s EO blended into Sandline International.

The military companies operated from Buckingham’s offices in King’s Road, Chelsea, with the premises operated by Heritage Oil and Gas, and Branch Energy.  GJW, City PR firm Financial Dynamics and pollster Gallup joined forces to bankroll a new public affairs agency called Matrix Public Affairs Consultants.  Gifford and Tony Buckingham also share ownership with Guardian Newspapers of a publishing company called Fourth Estate.

If I turn back to GJW’S big account, Citizens for a Free Kuwait (CFK) this was a front group, established with the assistance of another large public-relations company, Hill & Knowlton. Other groups: e.g. the Council of American Muslims for Understanding were funded by the US State Dept. The Iraqi National Congress, was also a front organisation funded by the US government—all echoed the call for intervention and war.

After his 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, Saddam Hussein was accused of removing Kuwaiti premature babies from incubators and leaving them on the floor to die. The charges were made during testimony given before a meeting with a front group the ‘Congressional Human Rights Caucus’ designed to resemble the US Congress in October 1990. As John McArthur put it:

The Human Rights Caucus is not a committee of congress, and therefore it is unencumbered by the legal accoutrements that would make a witness hesitate before he or she lied [ …] Lying under oath in front of a congressional committee is a crime; lying from under the cover of anonymity to a caucus is merely public relations.

Nevertheless the story was widely circulated in the media and cited by political leaders (including George Bush and Amnesty International) as a justification to launch the invasion three months later.

After the Gulf War was over, the false testimony was revealed to have been by the teenage daughter of Saud bin Nasir Al-Sabah, the Kuwaiti ambassador in Washington as part of an elaborate propaganda campaign devised by Hill & Knowlton and financed by the Kuwaiti government via CFK.  GJW was hired by the Association for a Free Kuwait to lobby Westminster and Brussels.

The Kuwaitis paid GJW more than £400,000 in fees and expenses while the Association’s US equivalent paid $5.6 million to Hill and Knowlton for the work in Washington (PR Week, January 17, 1991).

73-MACLAREN-1

The Ambassador

The SSG also hired Ambassador, Donald MacLaren, who can be seen at rallies in Whitehall that call for intervention in front of 10 Downing St. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1978 and served until 2008, after posts in Berlin and Moscow he became Ambassador to Georgia from 2004 to 2007, but he was seconded to Oxford Analytica from 1998-99.  Their assessment of the situation in Syria as of May 16 (2013) was:

“Syrian regime forces have managed to turn the tide in central and southern Syria by adopting a new counter-insurgency strategy. Despite slow but steady rebel advances in the north and east, President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is now in a position to exploit international developments, such as the US-Russian diplomatic initiative, Saudi-Qatari divisions over the opposition, and Jordanian reluctance at hastening regime change in Syria.”

Oxford Analytica is a private intelligence company advised by Sir Colin McColl the ex-Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service amongst others that includes John Negroponte who was involved in supervising the Nicaraguan Contras, and according to Michel Chossudovsky:

“Negroponte’s mandate as US ambassador to Iraq [together with, now US Syrian Ambassador, Robert S. Ford] was to coordinate out of the US embassy, the covert support to death squads and paramilitary groups in Iraq with a view to fomenting sectarian violence and weakening the resistance movement. Robert S. Ford as “Number Two” [Minister Counsellor for Political Affairs] at the US Embassy played a central role in this endeavour.”

OA also have Peter Woicke, former CEO of the International Finance Corporation and Managing Director of the World Bank Group and other high flyers (and David Milliband). It was started by David Young after he fled from the Nixon administration after working with the White House Special Investigations Unit, the ‘Plumbers,’ and was miraculously granted immunity from prosecution.  OA believe that the Syrian conflict is a proxy war involving the regional actors and the US and Russia.

+++

 

Also SSG connection to Israel lobby and CIA mentioned in this Acronym TV report on the NPIC [Not for Profit Industrial Complex]

 

Soros Plays Both Ends in Syria Refugee Chaos

New Eastern Outlook

December 18, 2015

F. William Engdahl

obama-soros

Since John D. Rockefeller was advised to protect his wealth from government taxation by creating a tax-exempt philanthropic foundation in 1913, foundations have been used by American oligarchs to disguise a world of dirty deeds under the cover “doing good for mankind,” known by the moniker “philanthropy” for mankind-loving. No less the case is that of George Soros who likely has more tax-exempt foundations under his belt than anyone around. His Open Society foundations are in every country where Washington wants to put ‘their man’ in, or at least get someone out who doesn’t know how to read their music. They played a key role in regime change in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe after 1989. Now his foundations are up to their eyeballs in promoting propaganda serving the US-UK war agenda for destroying stability in Syria as they did in Libya three years ago, creating the current EU refugee crisis.

We should take a closer look at the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis wreaking such havoc and unrest across the EU, especially in Germany, the favored goal of most asylum seekers today. George Soros, today a naturalized American citizen, has just authored a six-point proposal telling the European Union on what they must do to manage the situation. It’s worth looking at in detail.

He begins by stating, “The EU needs a comprehensive plan to respond to the crisis, one that reasserts effective governance over the flows of asylum-seekers so that they take place in a safe, orderly way…” He then says that, “First, the EU has to accept at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future.”

Soros does not elaborate where he pulled that figure from, nor does he discuss the role of other of his Soros-financed NGOs in Syria and elsewhere which manufacture faked propaganda to build a public sympathy lobby for a US and UK “No Fly Zone” in Syria as was done to destroy Libya.

The American hedge fund speculator then adds, among his points to be implemented, a series of proposals that would consolidate a de facto supranational EU state apparatus under control of the faceless, unelected bureaucrats of the European Commission. The Soros proposals call for creating what amount to EU-issued refugee bonds. He states, “The EU should provide €15,000 ($16,800) per asylum-seeker for each of the first two years to help cover housing, health care, and education costs – and to make accepting refugees more appealing to member states. It can raise these funds by issuing long-term bonds using its largely untapped AAA borrowing capacity…”

That issuing comes to 30 billion euros at a time when most EU member states are struggling to deal with domestic economic crises. Soros is generous with other peoples’ money. The mention of the AAA bond rating is the rating of the legal entity named the European Union. Soros has maneuvered for years to try to get a centralized Brussels independent financial power that would take the last vestiges of national financial sovereignty away from Berlin, Paris, Rome and other EU states, part of a scheme to destroy the remains of the national borders and of the nation-state principles established at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 ending the Thirty Years’ War.

George Soros has more ideas how to spend European citizens’ tax euros. He calls on the EU to cough up an added annual commitment to “frontline countries” (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan) of at least €8-10 billion annually. Then, insidiously, Soros declares, “Safe channels must be established for asylum-seekers, starting with getting them from Greece and Italy to their destination countries. This is very urgent in order to calm the panic.”

‘Destination Countries’

His use of the term “destination countries” is very interesting. Today, by a huge margin that means the Federal Republic of Germany. Soros strategy is obviously to target Germany, especially, with a refugee flood.

It has gradually come out into the open that many of the refugees or asylum-seekers flooding into the EU since summer of 2015 have come in response to reading Twitter or Facebook social media portraying especially Germany as an arms-open, refugee-loving paradise where all their needs will be met.

How did word get out that Germany was the “in place” for those in flight from Syria and other conflict areas? Vladimir Shalak at the Russian Academy of Sciences developed the Internet Content-Analysis System for Twitter (Scai4Twi). He made a study of over 19,000 refugees-related original tweets (retweets discounted). His study showed that the vast majority of the tweets name Germany as the most refugee-welcoming country in Europe.

Shalak’s study discovered that 93% of all tweets about Germany contained positive references to German hospitality and its refugee policy. Some samples of the Tweets:

• Germany Yes! Leftists spray a graffiti on a train sayin “Welcome, refugees” in Arabic

• Lovely people – video of Germans welcoming Syrian refugees to their community

• Respect! Football fans saying “Welcome Refugees” across stadiums in Germany. _ • This Arabic Graffiti train is running in Dresden welcoming refugees: (ahlan wa sahlan – a warm welcome).

• ‘We love Germany!,’ cry relieved refugees at Munich railway station

• Thousands welcome refugees to Germany – Sky News Australia

• Wherever this German town is that welcomed a coach of Syrian refugees with welcome signs and flowers –thank you.

Now comes the real hammer. The vast majority of these “Germany welcomes refugee” Tweets come not from Germany, but from the United States and from the UK, the two countries up to their necks in the bloody deeds of ISIS and Al Qaeda and countless other terror gangs rampaging across Syria the past four years.

Shalak analyzed 5,704 original tweets containing a “#RefugeesWelcome” hashtag and a country name which welcomes them. It showed almost 80% of all Tweets claimed that Germany was the most-welcoming country in Europe. The second most welcoming country found was Austria with 12%. However, the study also found that those “Germany welcomes you” Tweets did not originate from inside Germany. Over 40% of all the Tweets originated from the USA, UK or Australia. Only 6.4% originated inside Germany.

George Soros is also the Daddy Warbucks financing a new EU think-tank with the name European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). On the website of the ECFR is an editorial titled, “If Europe wants people to stop drowning it needs to let them fly.” The Soros Think-Tank argues that the main reason migrants choose boats is EU Directive 51/2001/EC: “The EU directive was passed in 2001. Put simply, it states that carrier companies—whether airlines or ship lines—are responsible for ensuring that foreign nationals wishing to travel to the European Union have valid travel documents for their destination. If such travelers arrive in the EU and are turned away, the airlines are obligated to foot the bill for flying them home.” In other words, “open the gates of heaven wider, dear Lord.”

Soros’ Syria NGOs Beat War Drums

The cynicism of the Soros call for the EU taxpayers to step up to the plate and accept millions of new refugees, to fly them in without papers, and more, is clear when we look at the same Soros-financed network of NGOs active in Syria trying to create the propaganda background to get acceptance of yet another US “No Fly Zone” over Syria as was done against Iraq after 1991 and against Libya in 2012 to bomb those countries back to the stone age.

conformity-is-unity-3

Illustration by Mark Gould

One of the key online advocates for a US-UK “No Fly Zone” over Syria, something the Russian intervention since September 30 has de facto blocked, is an organization known as Avaaz. Avaaz was given initial financial support by Soros’ foundation in 2007 to promote key policies suitable to the US State Department. They cite Soros’ Open Society foundation as their foundation partner. Avaaz played a key role promoting the 2011 No Fly Zone in Libya that introduced a regime of terror and chaos in that once prosperous and stable African nation. Avaaz is now very actively promoting the same treatment for Syria.

Ken Roth & George Soros

Executive Director of Human Rights Watch Ken Roth (L) with George Soros

Another Soros-financed NGO active demonizing the Assad government as cause of all atrocities in Syria and helping build public support for a war in Syria from the US and EU is Amnesty International. Suzanne Nossel, until 2013 the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, came to the job from the US State Department where she was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, not exactly an unbiased agency in regard to Syria. As well, the Soros-financed Human Rights Watch has played a major role in falsely portraying ISIS and Al Qaeda civilian bombings and other atrocities as the work of the Assad regime, building support for military action from the US and EU.

The Middle East and other wars today including Ukraine are the product of the foreign policy doctrine set out in 1992 by then Defense Assistant Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, the infamous Wolfowitz Doctrine that justifies “pre-emptive” war, free from any oversight from the UN Security Council, against any nation or group of nations which threaten US “Sole Superpower” domination. George Soros, the hedge fund speculator turned self-proclaimed philanthropist, and his tax-exempt foundations, are an integral part of that pre-emptive war machine. Now Soros lectures the EU countries, above all Germany, on how they should receive the human fallout from the wars he and his cronies in the US State Department have created. That’s real Chutzpah, or perhaps it is really hubris.

 

 

[F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.]

 

MADAYA: TIMES OF LONDON LIGHTS MATCH TO PROPAGANDA FIRE?

The Wall Will Fall

January 12, 2016

by Vanessa Beeley

 

man humans are a piece of cake

 

It seems we are seeing the reappearance of the kitten campaigns in Madaya over the last 10 days.

When is a terrorist not a terrorist ~ The Kitten Campaign.

The heart wringing laments describing feline throat cutting and accompanying photos  have been circulating in both main stream media and social media with comparable intensity.

People have responded, quite naturally, with horror but lets examine the possible origin of this concept and why it might just be another in the long line of publicity ploys used to maintain public support for an illegal proxy military intervention in Syria.

The creator of #Madaya_is_starving, one of the first and most potent of the twitter hashtags to flood twitter feeds was none other than Raed Bourhan, who describes himself as a fixer & “researcher” for the London Times, allegedly based in Zabadani.

On the 5th January he offered his services to journalists wanting to cover the Madaya story.

Raed Bourhan help tweet

He later disseminated the now iconic image of the cat with a knife being held to its throat about to be sacrificed to feed the starving of Madaya.  This, despite the universally accepted reports of UN deliveries of food in October 2015  that should have sufficed for a minimum of two months & the entry of the UN on the 28th of December to evacuate 126 injured “moderate rebel militants”.

Raed Bourhan Times tweet

 

The London Times appeared to be sufficiently persuaded of Raed Bourhan’s credibility to produce the following headline:

Snowbound and starving Syrians forced to eat cats ~ Times Article

The question that not one main stream media journalist has asked, is why the UN would have left starving children behind on December 28th or not made more of a fuss when confronted with starvation and mass kitten culling. 

In fact, at least one main stream media outlet showed its nervousness over yet another suspect image relating to Madaya after a collective, valiant effort by genuine analysts, researchers and independent journalists successfully exposed the majority as fake, within hours of the propaganda storm breaking.

The Daily Mail accompanied the photo with:

“This picture posted by an activist on Twitter purportedly shows a cat about to be slaughtered for food by a starving Syrian in Madaya. However, MailOnline has not yet been able to verify the image which may simply have been used for illustration purposes”

What also became clear, relatively quickly, was the actual dearth of Western journalists on the ground in Madaya.  This was highlighted by Murad Gazdiev, RT reporter on the ground in Madaya.

“About two dozen journalists here. Can’t see any Western press. Strange, given how worried they were about ” ~ Link to tweet here. 

One cannot help but ask, how on earth the media managed to produce quite so much information about the situation in Madaya without having anyone on the ground in the area and seemingly without being able to verify their extraordinary claims that logic alone should have rendered spurious.

One of the VICE editors, when questioned on why they had run with fake photos, explained:

“Yes, sorry about that but residents in Madaya had sent the photos saying they had seen them on Al Jazeera and had assumed them to be of Madaya”

 

Madaya Vice screenshot

Am I the only one to find it a little peculiar that Madaya residents were recycling photos that they had seen on Al Jazeera and could not verify if they were of Madaya or not..or would it not have been simpler to have taken actual photos of the starving people in Madaya? This has puzzled me immensely.  Perhaps I am being a little too logical?

Or perhaps this entire situation has been nothing more than a clumsy attempt to destabilise the area and give Ahrar al Sham and associates time to further attack Israel’s arch enemy in Syria, the Hezbollah brigades situated in the mountains around Zabadani?

Should VICE have published photos from an unverified source?

Madaya is raising many questions that have been raised since the inception of the illegal war on Syria but still remain unanswered. Many excellent articles [I will include them at the end of this short piece]  have been written highlighting aspects of the propaganda fog, smoke and mirrors and astounding outright lies that have driven this narrative at warp speed into the annals of Western deception tactics used to justify illegal and destructive direct or proxy intervention onto Sovereign nation soil.

Should we be surprised, for instance, that an “activist” researching for The London Times was one of the first to create the hash tag #Madaya_is_starving  and to run with the extreme images and information?

Throwback to the Marie Colvin affair 2012, which I will be writing more about shortly in an article highlighting the Avaaz role in creating an agitprop shop of “citizen journalists” in 2011, funded by public donation totalling over $ 1 million to provide mobile phones, cameras and networking equipment to ensure a flow of propaganda that would sweep the world into yet another “regime change” operation, this time in Syria.

This is taken from an article by Tony Cartalucci written shortly after the death of Marie Colvin of the Sunday Times, in Homs February 2012.

“Reading any report out of the corporate-media, we find Syria’s campaign against admittedly armed rebels paradoxically referred to as a “massacre,” and an almost palpable fervor to justify circumventing the latest UNSC resolution veto. As news comes out of the death of two foreign journalists in Homs, Remi Ochlik and Marie Colvin who sneaked into Syria and were operating there illegally to begin with, Western leaders are unanimously calling this the “breaking point.” France’s Nicolas Sarkozy even stated, “that’s enough now, this regime must go and there is no reason that Syrians don’t have the right to live their lives and choose their destiny freely.”

Or another example of the Sunday Times [London Times] duplicity can be found here:

The US Is Openly Sending Heavy Weapons From Libya To Syrian Rebels

“The Lies of London’s  Sunday Times regarding Obama’s counter-terrorism campaign against the ISIS is refuted by an earlier Sunday Times report. The Sunday Times report quoted below confirms that Obama has been arming the terrorists for the last three years, since 2012.”

When we look back at the propaganda casualties during its war on Syria, we see a graveyard littered with the corpses of BBC, Al Jazeera, Telegraph, Times, CNN fake narratives [among many others]. The death of Marie Colvin was another such casus belli, thwarted once more by Syria’s steadfast and dignified public reaction, the nobility of the Syrian Arab Army on the battlefield and the concerted efforts of anti NeoColonialist researchers and analysts.

It is exhausting for us, on the sidelines of the war on Syria to contend with the relentless stream of hostile journalism but we cannot even begin to imagine the toll it is taking on the Syrian people battling it on the ground while also grappling with the terror hordes introduced into their homeland by our “change” hungry governments. Change at any cost, no matter the bloodshed, the rape, the massacres, the imprisonment, the true starvation, the daily horror that Syrian people must live through.

Siege: any prolonged or persistent effort to overcome resistance

The ignominy of our Governments role in this siege of Syria and their guilt of multiple crimes against Humanity & against the Syrian people must be mercilessly exposed & the monster unmasked.  The lies and hypocrisy that are its oxygen must be snuffed out.

We owe, at least that, to the beleaguered people of Syria.

Malcolm X

END

 

Thanks to Cory Morningstar for your research.

The Wrong Kind of Green

 

[Author Vanessa Beeley is a contributor to 21WIRE, and since 2011, she has spent most of her time in the Middle East reporting on events there – as a independent researcher, writer, photographer and peace activist. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Syria Solidarity Movement, and a volunteer with the Global Campaign to Return to Palestine. See more of her work at her blog The Wall Will Fall.]

 

LINKS TO MADAYA ARTICLES 

http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/01/12/avaaz-the-wests-online-pro-war-propaganda-and-color-revolution-ngo/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/hayesbrown/a-twitter-account-that-denies-people-are-starving-in-syria-i#.otKk0BE3N

Propaganda alert: Madaya media fabrications; recycled photos

https://www.rt.com/news/328503-syria-madaya-fake-photos/

http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/01/12/avaaz-the-wests-online-pro-war-propaganda-and-color-revolution-ngo/

Madaya: My interview with UK Column

 

Aleppo: Resident Speaks out Against Rami Jarrah Reports

The Wall Will Fall

by Vanessa Beeley

January 11, 2016

Danny Rami

“Syria is one of the biggest propaganda schemes of our time. When the dust settles, if it does, it will be revealed” ~ Professor AbuKhalil

Following Rami Jarrah’s [of Soros funded ANA Press] recent hour long interview with Soros backed and funded Syria Campaign, I asked an Aleppo resident who has been sending regular reports to comment on the narrative being conveyed by Rami Jarrah, previously Alexander Page.

I will be writing a more in depth investigative report on Rami Jarrah and his involvement with Danny Abdul Dayem, Avaaz and their role in fomenting the “revolution” narrative in 2011 but just wanted to share this comment today in advance of that report.

Comment from a communications expert on surprising ability of Rami to be able to maintain Skype connection without interruptions or quality fluctuation for over an hour.

“The turn-around delay is too short to be a satellite connection. So
either he’s got a fibre internet connection to the outside world (very
unlikely in Aleppo), or he’s located outside Syria with excellent
connectivity. I go for the second. Perhaps in Turkey? Gaziantep?”

Bear in mind that ANA Press is based in Southern Turkey.  This comment is related ONLY to this video report.

Now we come to the response from an Aleppo resident [names are withheld to protect their identity and ensure their safety as they are surrounded by terrorist factions, the majority being Jabhat Al Nusra aka Al Qaeda.]

Internet today is pretty good, and I was able to watch the first 27 min roughly of the link.
His English is pretty good. His info is the opposite.

 

Same old games, propaganda, lies, living the pinky rosy dreams of their filthy revolution, seeking sympathy by referring to the people behind him, barrel bombs symphony, and the elephant rocket!

 

Yes, there is a local made rocket called “Fil”, and it has a terrifying noise when it is launched, some said it’s Iranian made missile. The point I would like to make is that he’s not mentioning any word about how his terrorists are shelling civilians over here on a daily or weekly basis.

 

I slept after midnight yesterday through the sounds of shelling and random bombings, this is THEIR greetings to us on the New Year Eve celebration.

 

We deserve it because we are infidels celebrating the new year eve like infidels, they say.

 

Yet that Rami Jarrah dares to speak about how they are peaceful people doing nothing but asking for bloody freedom and democracy.

 

He said that all Syrian cities joined their revolution from the beginning, however Aleppo city was safe till mid 2012 precisely because they didn’t join them.

 

The illiterate backward people of the suburbs and countryside of Aleppo province invaded Aleppo city and claimed in front of the media screens that they were the real people of the city.

 

I still remember the daily psychopathic,  irritating messages they used to send Aleppians on all social media blogs and websites, saying, literally,  that the men of Aleppo city dont have the balls to join the other cities.

 

“They are gays. They are castrated! They don’t care about other Syrians. They care only about eating kebabs and listening to Sabah Fakhri (the tenor singer of Aleppo)…..” ~ the “moderate rebels” 

 

People forget all of these cheap tricks that had been used against Aleppo to provoke an uprising via lies and provocation. 
I couldn’t – and am not interested in watching more than 27 min of the YouTube clip.

 

P.s.: They have the best internet connection by the way!

 

No wonder they can do all their videos and interviews on Skype etc. 

 

Da’esh is the best producer of terror on line, and no one remove their slaughtering videos from the net under the phony claim of “freedom of speech”, however they remove any link that praise Assad or Nasrallah, any pro Assad march on the streets that shows the reality on the ground of how immense is the support for our Government and Army [and their allies] compared to their PhotoShop,  tiny mini mobs that back their “revolution”.

 

Africa’s Problem from Hell: Samantha Power

SF BayView

August 10, 2015

By Ann Garrison

power kagame 2

Rwandan President Paul Kagame (R) meeting with Samantha Power, US Ambassador to the UN- Washington DC, 4 August 2014

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power is on a mission to save Africans from African savagery. She wants you to call 1-800-GENOCIDE so she can send in the Marines or other U.S. Special Forces.

Her entire career is based on a historically inaccurate, decontextualized and grossly oversimplified account of the 1994 Rwandan massacres, during which the U.S. “stood by.” From now on, she moralizes, U.S. citizens must be “upstanders,” not bystanders. “Never again” can we fail in our moral duty to stop the world’s dark-skinned, backward peoples from massacring one another over ethnic difference.

She wrote a Pulitzer Prize-winning book calling this “The Problem From Hell: America in the Age of Genocide,” which expands on her Atlantic article, “Bystanders to Genocide.”

Power fails to note that the U.S. stood by intentionally, not indifferently, in Rwanda, until U.S. ally Gen. Paul Kagame won a war of aggression begun four years earlier. The Rwandan death toll was many hundreds of thousands higher than the Pentagon had projected, but otherwise, everything went according to plan. Two years later, the Congo Wars began, and the U.S. and U.K. unseated France as the dominant power in the African Great Lakes Region.

Now, having successfully advocated for U.S.-led NATO wars in Libya and Syria “to stop the next Rwanda,” Power has her sights set on the tiny, impoverished East African nation of Burundi. Burundi shares the Hutu-Tutsi-Twa ethnic divisions with neighboring Rwanda and a highly geostrategic border with the resource rich Democratic Republic of the Congo.

U.S. troops typically appear only as “advisors” south of the Sahara, although “Mass Atrocity Response Operations; A Military Planning Handbook” describes the swift, surgical deployment of U.S. Special Forces as a blueprint at the ready. For now there are plenty of African troops serving under U.S. military command and grateful to receive the salaries that boost their class status in Africa, though they’d be considered poverty wages here.

This is the plane crash that triggered the Rwandan genocide. On April 6, 1994, at 8:25 p.m., the Falcon 50 jet of the president of the Republic of Rwanda, on its return from a summit meeting in Tanzania, was shot down as it approached a landing in Kigali, Rwanda. All on board, including President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda, President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, their entire entourage and flight crew, died. Current Rwandan president, Paul Kagame, has confessed to responsibility for the assassinations, according to his former ambassador to the U.S., Theogene Rudasingwa.

All but a few African nations now have soldiers serving within AFRICOM, the U.S. Africa Command, and Burundi’s belligerent neighbor Rwanda is one of the greatest troop contributors. One complication of the Burundian situation is that Burundian troops serve in AMISON, the Pentagon-led African Union Mission to Somalia.

Fighting and casualties have already taken place on Burundi’s tense border with Rwanda, and this week five of Burundi’s ruling party leaders, including the Burundian security and intelligence chief, were assassinated. This makes it clear that President Nkurunziza, who is hugely popular with the country’s rural Hutu peasant majority, could be the next target.

And, it alarms all those who remember that the assassination of three Hutu presidents within two years, 1993-1994, precipitated the Rwandan and Burundian bloodbaths of the 1990s.

Samantha Power has decried assassinations on both sides and threatened sanctions, but she lays all the blame for Burundian crisis on President Nkurunziza. Why? Because he claimed the constitutional right to be elected twice by universal suffrage, then won by 69 percent.

However, she spoke not a word of protest in 2010, when Rwandan President Paul Kagame claimed the same right and won by a thoroughly implausible 93 percent majority. Or in 2011, when President Kabila claimed the same right, then claimed a victory that “delegitimized all Congolese institutions,” according to the Carter Center’s election observer mission.

The regional and ethnic tensions now fiercely focused on Burundi are no doubt real, the danger of mass violence great, but the African Great Lakes Region is so resource rich that the resource interests of the world’s industrial and military power elites are always in play behind the news and Samantha Power’s latest African anxieties.

 

 

[Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report, Black Star News, Counterpunch and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News, KPFA Flashpoints and for her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at anniegarrison@gmail.com. In March 2014 she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for promoting peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa through her reporting]