Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris -- Who made the terror?

By Denis G. Rancourt

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 12: French troops patrol around the Eifel Tower on January 12, 2015 in Paris, France. France is set to deploy 10,000 troops to boost security following last week's deadly attacks while also mobilizing thousands of police to patrol Jewish schools and synagogues. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX *** 

The US and its allies murdered one million civilians in Iraq, using indefinite sanctions and war, destroyed all public infrastructure, and gutted all institutions. Do you think that would cause some people to be pissed off and desperate?

These “leaders of the free world” went on to inflict the same such “humanitarian” medicine on Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria (by proxy) and Yemen. And these “leaders” condone the regular genocidal slaughters perpetrated by Israel as part of its brutal occupation and program of land seizures.

Do you think some people are starting to grasp the meaning of US “freedom and democracy”?
These wars target the land-based resources and territories of the Middle East, and target the Muslim populations in order to incapacitate them sufficiently not to develop self-governance. As such, these are racist wars, and their impact on populations is necessarily the imposition of extreme racist suppression.

Many Muslims both identify with those directly targeted by the wars and genocides and are themselves subjected to local racist suppression in the same Western countries that are the architects of the Middle East campaigns. The local racist suppression has many forms including: economic apartheid, police targeting, media Islamophobia, second-class citizenry, discriminatory administrative burdens, and daily racism.

An effective state response to diffuse or mask these domestic threats is “multiculturalism”. On the spectrum of state social engineering, this approach is more common in Canada and the UK, and less common in France and the US, which prefer hard-core forced integration and police-state sequestration.

In my view, the relatively high per-capita degree of “Muslim” revolt and now terror in France is a predictable consequence of the combination of French militarism abroad and French structural and societal racism. This creates a fertile ground in which young desperate men (who perceive the Western geopolitical onslaught against “Islam” – against their identity – and against any influence they might have in the world) will want to lash out and act against the perceived oppressor, as violently as possible.

This “fertile ground” can spontaneously create acts of terror that do not have a clear geo-strategic purpose, that are locally nurtured by the physiological “rewards” of action, amplified by the media attention and by the feedback of “solidarity in desperation”. These are features of gang-culture psychology.

The same “fertile ground” can also be exploited and manipulated by state actors, of both the home state and other states. There are two aspects of such exploitation: A state can exploit the outcome of the terror, or a state can more directly covertly influence the execution of the terror, such as by facilitating access to weapons, by infiltration, by entrapment, etc.

The analyst must keep in mind that there is no doubt that a Western home state can perpetrate horrendous acts of violence against its own citizens. In the words of Paul Craig Roberts:
“Some people are so naive and stupid as to think that no government would kill its own citizens. But governments do so all the time. There are an endless number of false flag attacks, such as Operation Gladio. Operation Gladio was a CIA/Italian intelligence operation that relentlessly bombed innocent Italians, such as those waiting in a train station, murdering hundreds, and then blaming the violence on the European communist parties in the post-WW II era in order to block the communists from electoral gains.
A president of Italy revealed the truth about Operation Gladio, and you can read the sordid detail in a number of books and online. The bombings were not done, as was widely reported in the corrupt Western media, by communists. The bombings were done by Italian intelligence aided by the CIA. In one of the Italian investigatory hearings, a member of Italian intelligence said that the sites to be bombed were chosen in order to maximize the deaths of women and children, because these victims were most useful in discrediting the communists.”

With Paris, the home state is already exploiting the outcome of the terror to prop up its image and to justify whatever “responses” it will want to have. France is completely in league with Saudi Arabia in supporting ISIS mercenary thugs to remove Assad, and now it will use this domestic terror as a pretext for more muscular (illegal) military interventions to weaken the state that will be headed by Assad, as the current Russia-backed victories against ISIS continue. This is a disgustingly cynical manipulation of the victims of terrorism by French rulers.

If France wanted to respect the victims of these terror attacks it would stop its callous messaging exploitation, stop creating terror in other nations, concentrate on and allow independent investigative police work that is not politically hampered, be transparent about the results of such independent investigations, and concentrate on repairing domestic social injustices.

Finally, if we wish to theorize about which outside nations would most benefit from covertly facilitating the Paris terror, we need only ask which outside nation or gang would have realistic motives. The terror is of benefit to ISIS for recruiting, no doubt. The frantic police-state reactions are a gift to those who seek the empowerment and adrenaline of direct action. The state reaction conveys fear loud and clear. Just in that regard, the French government is irresponsible, and must next appear to have captured or killed to perpetrators. ISIS also benefits by a multiplication of battle fronts, and the potential to discourage or frenzy the enemy, although that is an unrealistic long shot. Furthermore, ISIS does not have physical access to the “fertile ground”. Thus, in my view, it is unlikely that the terror was directed or facilitated by ISIS.

Another state actor that could obviously benefit is Israel. Israel has been a constant promoter of the doctrine of a “war on terror” and of a constant and global terror threat that can only be solved by removing all the regional nations seeking independence from US domination, which compete against Israeli control of the region (Iran, Syria, Iraq, …) [1]. In the case of Paris, the Western media have already attributed the terror to ISIS, without any actual investigation, and the desired and foreseen or planned response could be a NATO intervention into Syria and Iraq? That would be ideal for Israel, because it would incapacitate any future Syria and Iraq, and would weaken Syrian allies Iran and Hezbollah.

Probably, Germany and other EU nations will see that a such NATO war would be a high-risk venture that can only create more terror and refugees for Europe, all for the benefit of Israel and US geopolitical domination.  Hopefully, Paris will not be a 9/11 event that launches new colonial wars of aggression. Hopefully, Europe will think for itself and not step into another US project of death.

Endnote: My personal and limited knowledge of French society comes from having traveled, lived, and worked in France. I have witnessed the egregious class segregation and extreme racism of that country first hand, and have personally suffered some of its consequences. Within the young professional classes in Paris there is little racism, but between the dominant social classes towards the lower classes there is viscous and palpable racism. The disdain of the elite classes for the working and un-working classes is highly racialized, as is their view of former French colonies. The French ruling and elite classes are extremely chauvinistic and racist. I have not felt anything so palpable in other European countries where I have worked or traveled for work: The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, UK, … In my view, this determinative class-racism is part of the mechanism that creates this domestic terror, as I have outlined above.


Monday, November 9, 2015

AEI Award for Netanyahu Is Meant to Repair the US-Israel Split: Prof. Denis Rancourt -- Truth NGO

AEI Award for Netanyahu Is Meant to Repair the US-Israel Split: Prof. Denis Rancourt

AEI Award for Netanyahu Is Meant to Repair the US-Israel Split: Prof. Denis Rancourt

The conservative Washington D.C.-based think tank American Enterprise Institute has announced that it would grant the Irving Kristol Award 2015 to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in recognition of his contributions to democratic leadership and the role he played in enhancing the US-Israel relations.

The AEI President Arthur C. Brooks said the Israeli PM has demonstrated the courage to defend his nation’s values and a commitment to free enterprise, democracy and human dignity.

The award is named after Irving Kristol, the late American journalist and columnist who is popularly known as the “godfather of neo-conservatism”, with close ties to the Israeli government and political institutions. Irving Kristol’s son William is also a conservative political analyst and the founder of The Weekly Standard magazine. He died of lung cancer on September 18, 2009.

Benjamin Netanyahu has called Irving Kristol a “stalwart friend of Israel and a great champion of the US-Israel alliance”, voicing his contentment with the decision by the American Enterprise Institute in naming him the recipient of the 2015 award.

In an interview with Truth NGO, the Canadian scholar and former university professor Denis Rancourt said awarding the AEI prize to Benjamin Netanyahu is mostly an effort to mend the muddled relations between the Israeli PM and his close friend, the US President Barack Obama.
“The prize and its timing are part of the on-going mediation and communication of interests between the ruling elites of the two nations [the United States and Israel], in such a way as to best advantage and protect the mega-interests that fund the influential think-tank that is AEI,” he said.

Prof. Rancourt believes this award is part of a “mechanism of repair and mediation” to haul the relations between Washington and Tel Aviv, which suffered significantly due to the US government’s insistence on sealing the nuclear deal with Iran and its opposition to the Israeli settlement constructions in the Palestinian lands.

Calling Israel the United States’ “main strongman in the Middle East,” Denis Rancourt underlined the White House’s determination to defend Israel’s modus operandi in the Middle East and Palestinian territories, which he said entails mutual benefits for both states.

Denis Racourt is a former professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He was removed from all teaching duties in 2008 on the accusations that he granted A+ grades to 23 students in one course of a winter semester, and that he incorporated social activism into his scientific undertakings and teaching methodology. Rancourt is the author of more than 100 academic papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has been a member of “Ottawa-Carleton Institute for Physics.” In 2013, he published the acclaimed book “Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism” in which discusses the limits of academic freedom in North America.

In the following interview with Prof. Rancourt, we discussed the American Enterprise Institute’s nomination of Benjamin Netanyahu as the recipient of Irving Kristol Award 2015, the nuances of US-Israel relations and the global image of Israel at a time when its settlement policies and failed peace talks with Palestine are being seriously debated in the public and by the media.

Q: The American Enterprise Institute has announced that it would present the Irving Kristol Award 2015 to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his contributions to democratic leadership, human rights and the strengthening of U.S.-Israeli relations. What’s your feeling about this award? Why is it being awarded to Mr. Netanyahu at a time when his settlement construction policies are being widely excoriated and the chances for a solution to the conflict with Palestine are growing dimmer? In reaction to the announcement, Benjamin Netanyahu talked of the special relationship between Israel and the United States and said this relationship needs to be bolstered so that the two countries can address the common challenges they face together. Why are the U.S.-Israeli relations so “special”?

A: Israel is the USA’s main strongman in the Middle East. It has “boots on the ground”, a highly developed intelligence network, military preparedness, an ideologically uniform and committed population, and coercive influence on nations in the region. Israel is the USA’s main ally asset in this region that has a controlling share of world oil production capacity, and oil is the most important strategic and economic commodity. In addition, if the US can force oil to be purchased in US dollars, then this secures the US dollar’s preeminence as a global currency.

But Israel is much more than an asset. The USA ruling elite has, over many decades, allowed a symbiotic relationship between the political classes of the two countries to develop, which is mediated by what has been broadly termed the “Israel lobby”, which, in turn, is financed as part of the ruling and economic structure of the whole.

These two elements [that is] Israel’s enforcement role for US dominance in the Middle East, backed by a nuclear arsenal, and the symbiotic system of financed political influences between the two countries, constitute the “special” and “warm” relations that we are told about ad nauseam to generate public acceptance of the non-democratic and criminal arrangement; criminal because it enables war, occupation, and genocide.

This is the context in which we can interpret the American Enterprise Institute 2015 award to Netanyahu. The prize and its timing are part of the on-going mediation and communication of interests between the ruling elites of the two nations, in such a way as to best advantage and protect the mega-interests that fund the influential think-tank that is AEI.

I don’t mean that each national “ruling elite” is homogeneous and without internal battles, but on the global scale, the main competing and interconnected blocks agree on the overarching plan that the USA, with the aligned satellite countries, should dominate the globe completely, that only the US dollar – which the US prints at will – should prevail, that only US corporations should control the most lucrative extraction schemes in the real economy, and that all governments must be subservient. In this system, the “internal battles” are of a lower order and relate to which corporate alliance, including finance corporations, will make the most  money, which strategy of dominance will most benefit a preferred corporate alliance, and which strategy of dominance and geopolitical tactics are ideologically preferred to ensure sustained and increasing dominance.

Thus, when Netanyahu has a “falling out” with Obama, this is representative of a cleavage between their strategy preferences for managing dominance of the Middle East, and this cleavage will also generally exist between the Republican and Democrat blocks, or else Netanyahu would not pursue it. Such a cleavage cannot be allowed to harm the overarching project of regional and world dominance, which is the prerequisite for staggering US multi-national corporate profits. Therefore, efforts must be made to repair the “falling out” and to mediate a solution.

The AEI award is part of this mechanism of repair and mediation. The award is also a way for the AEI to increase and maintain its own status, to remain relevant and influential.

The next question is: What are the matters of disagreement regarding management of the Middle East? Palestine is certainly one matter, as you suggest.

Basically, Israel has a determined policy to annex all of the occupied territories and to deprive Palestinians of nationhood. It achieves this in reality on the ground by combining land theft, settlements, home demolitions, forced exodus, etc. and confinement, constant police and administrative harassment, mass imprisonment, apartheid, and genocidal sanctions and slaughters in Gaza.

The USA allows Israel to have its genocide, as a compromise in exchange for the role Israel plays in US world domination, especially against independent-minded nations in the Middle East.

The entire Israeli geo-psyche is anchored in the paradigm of a constant and unavoidable “terrorist threat”. Netanyahu himself is a significant promoter of this paradigm, as one can see from the titles of books he has edited or authored, [including] International Terrorism: Challenge and Response, edited in 1981, Terrorism: How the West Can Win, edited in 1987, and Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism authored in 1995. Netanyahu has succeeded in convincing the USA to adopt this view, at least as a media cover for a devastating string of wars of aggression intended to re-model the Middle East – Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, now Syria and Yemen, with strong intentions regarding Iran and southern Lebanon.

Within this national paradigm of constant existential threat, Israel is in-all-appearance committed to effectively exterminating the Palestinians, with the main goals of stealing the land and ensuring that no viable Palestinian state or influential political formation can ever see the day, using the “terrorism” of children with rocks, desperate youth with kitchen knives, and domestic rockets, as justifications for mass slaughters and murderous military repression.

But Palestine is a problem for the nuclear regional superpower that is Israel, and Palestine has become a source of cleavage between the USA and Israel. The problem is that no empire can sustainably rule and exploit by the threat of force alone. In the age of distributed instant journalism, and thanks to the remarkable Palestinian resistance organized throughout Palestinian society, the peoples of the world have become thoroughly disgusted and outraged at Israeli massacres in Gaza, which are condoned by the USA. This popular outrage has organized itself and has achieved significant political leverage in the UK, France, Germany, etc., and to some degree even in the USA and Canada.

The world is disgusted at the military ethos of Israel, and, increasingly viewing Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya at the now too apparent military ethos of the USA. As such, the USA, under Obama, has come to understand that another Israeli massacre in Gaza could strike a serious blow to the Empire’s image, and that a war with Iran could be intolerable for Europe. These are the considerations that bring Obama to want to de-escalate, but Israel experiences de-escalation as an existential threat, thus, there are presently unavoidable tensions.

Q: Prime Minister Netanyahu is being lauded by the conservative think-tank AEI for his role in cementing the ties between Israel and the United States. However, he has had bitter confrontations with President Obama over the settlements constructions and the Iran deal, which President Obama considers his most significant foreign policy legacy, and now even the Israeli media are talking of the need for an Obama-Netanyahu rapprochement. Do you think that Netanyahu has really been successful in bringing the United States and Israel closer together?

A: Well, Netanyahu has “cemented the ties between Israel and the USA” in all the usual ways, such as co-supporting Daesh (ISIS) against Syria, as a US target for destruction, providing intelligence, providing propaganda support to attack Iran, and killing Palestine in the hope of permanent eradication. These are blood ties nourished by vast expenditures.

The Iran deal is a needed effort to de-escalate the US aggressions of sanctions and of constant and irrational threat of war. The deal was needed in order to create a barrier to prevent Israel from performing rogue airstrikes against infrastructure in Iran. The Iran deal is a huge setback for Israeli militarism. Israel sees the deal as a massive strategic error that threatens its identity as the regional bully, when it comes to nations that cannot be bought or coerced.

Thus, Iran is a major source of tension, at this time, between Israel and the USA. But the question is not so much whether Netanyahu has created the tension. The tension was the result of a dramatic shift in US foreign policy in the region, a shift that is pragmatic, in view of dominance of the entire world, whereas Israel’s ambitions are regional. The shift was away from military confrontation with Iran, and away from Israeli rogue military actions, in order to preserve an appearance of legitimacy as “leader of the free world”.

This shift was due to several factors related to real forces on the ground, in the context of the world’s reaction to Israel’s slaughters in Gaza. The first factor is the resolve and integrity of Iran itself, which is a model of national self-determination and strength of character, and which also has hardened military experience and vast resources and regional influence. Another factor is the valiant war of self-defense waged by Syria, aided by Iran, in which the Syrian people, government and army defended the territory for many years, forcing the USA and its blood-thirsty allies to create a growing monster that repelled the world.

As always, the military battles on the ground, just like the present Russian involvement in Syria, are the main determinants of adjustments in the US foreign policy of dominance, rather than personality differences with leaders such as Netanyahu.

Q: During his upcoming visit to Washington D.C., Benjamin Netanyahu will also meet the experts and fellows at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning advocacy and research organization that falls on the extreme end of the political spectrum as opposed to the American Enterprise Institute, a neo-conservative group which backs Israel’s policies unreservedly. Is he trying to appeal to the Democratic Party and the American liberals and improve his status in their eyes?

A: The shift in US foreign policy of world dominance that has led to the Iran deal is significant, which suggests that the shift is not a mere Democrat policy preference but rather an actual US-regime decision. The decision appears to be to move away from Israel as the sole nexus of Middle East policy, towards a multi-polar approach. For that reason, Netanyahu’s efforts cannot be limited to the Republican block.

Netanyahu will use the occasion of this award to continue selling his vision of military might as the only agent of sustainable advancement for a USA-Israel partnership of dominance in the Middle East, to extract military “aid” increases to compensate for his perceived loss of security, and to continue testing the strength of his Israel lobby in America. He is understandably concerned and must make it a priority to salvage the relationship and secure the most profitable role for Israel.

In a sense, this catastrophe for the Israeli regime is partly of Netanyahu’s making because he is responsible for his mass slaughter campaigns in Gaza, which significantly mobilized anti-Israel sentiment across the world, including among strongly allied nations of the USA, which could decide to have more foreign policy independence on select issues, such as not supporting USA war campaigns, US sanction campaigns, and US-led economic exchange deals that are meant to exclude global rivals.

The US needs its allies to align with its campaigns because it wants to vigorously oppose the economic emergence of the BRICS association [made of] Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. BRICS is poised to leave the US Empire’s economy behind and to eventually abandon the US dollar as its trading currency. BRICS will attempt to play following market forces, whereas the US is habituated both to global control and to an irrelevant debt, since it prints the money.

At this stage, it is difficult to see how the US-Israel partnership will be impacted by Russia’s now-demonstrated willingness to militarily assist its allies and to defend against the threats that US carnage has created. No doubt Netanyahu is promoting Israel’s battle readiness as a needed shield or intervention capacity in what he will project as a grim future.

Q: In 1973, the godfather of neo-conservatism, Irving Kristol, the award which Benjamin Netanyahu will receive is named after him, said the people of Israel wouldn’t be happy with a cut in the U.S. military budget proposed by Senator George McGovern, who was running for the 1972 presidential election. Why should the people of Israel oppose the reduction of U.S. military budget? What Israeli interests could be at stake when the U.S. moves toward demilitarizing its expenditures and investing more capital on the social security of its people?

A: I don’t think the USA will “demilitarize”, in the sense of shifting its foreign policy away from military intimidation as its main instrument and towards economic competition and distributed development, until it is forced to do so by global reality. The USA will certainly never voluntarily “demilitarize” in order to improve the living conditions of its working and non-working class citizens. It is not a simple trade-off. The US prints the global currency at will, and uses loans of this fabricated currency to extort real labor and material resources from its areas of exploitation. It enforces this racket with its military and covert operations and ensures that its corporations make disproportionate profits. The US has over 1,000 major military bases around the globe. Therefore, unlike in other countries, the US does not need to balance a budget. It only needs to dominate. The treatment of US citizens by the US regime is an ideological choice. The regime prefers to fund a massive prison system and paramilitary police rather than create equitable opportunities.

Israel is not about to dismantle its apartheid system. Likewise, the USA is not about to dismantle its economic apartheid within its national borders. The US maintains its apartheid by, among other mechanisms, approximately 1,000 murders of unarmed US citizens – virtually all black citizens – by police officers per year. Israel, by comparison, has a policy beyond solely maintaining apartheid, beyond containment, towards intimidation to abandon territory, and towards complete suppression of Palestinian freedoms. Consequently, the yearly rate of murder of unarmed Palestinians, including children, by Israeli military and police, on a population basis, is typically fifty to one hundred times greater than the rate per capita of US murders of unarmed civilians by police. These numbers do not count the injuries and early deaths from the horrendous conditions of occupation, in both countries. Thus, there is indeed a “special relationship”, an “unbreakable bond”, and a “mutual admiration” between the US and Israel. And Netanyahu is certainly one of the eminent creators of that bond.

Q: There are intellectuals and academicians as Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer who have elaborately documented the influence of a powerful Israeli lobby in the United States, which significantly sways the U.S. politics, including the decision-making of the Congress and the foreign agenda of the administration, as well as the media and entertainment industry. There are pundits like Walter Russell Mead, however, who reject such a notion basically and call the Israeli lobby a “myth”. What’s your viewpoint on these two different convictions?

A: It is beyond doubt that Walt and Mearsheimer have described a real political structure. The Israel lobby is as real as any major institution in the USA. It is well organized into an intricate hierarchy, and it is exceedingly well funded, more than the traditional think-tanks. The lobby has been allowed to flourish because it provides large political campaign funds, while helping to create public acceptance of the US Empire’s actions via Israel in the Middle East.

At this stage, from the perspective of those actually running the Empire, the lobby’s influence probably needs to be reined in because Israel’s hunger for genocide and desire for regional control is somewhat counter to the broader interests of the US regime.

Another feature of the Israel lobby is that it achieves public “acceptance” of the Israel-US dominance projects by outright intimidation of academics and intellectuals in all the professions, which is contrary to the purported values of “the freest country in the world”. The firings of university professors and media professionals have become routine, as has the blacklisting of entertainment industry workers.

Likewise, there is a disturbing trend, organized and spurred by Netanyahu, to criminalize criticism of Israel in all the allied states, such as France, Canada, etc. The US-led Israel lobby is multi-national. Here, in Canada, technically the government could criminally prosecute me for “hate speech” against the state of Israel for writing this very article, using a newly amended provision of the Criminal Code of Canada. For this alone, and many other such achievements, Netanyahu amply deserves the AEI 2015 Award.

But there is backlash and a societal price to pay, and the days of being suppressed by the Israel lobby may come to an end if the US regime decides to give Israel a lesser role. Disallowing the intelligentsia and political activists of a nation from being critical of the nation’s foreign policy investments is a recipe for disaster, a disaster that for now mostly Palestine, Libya, Syria and other nations have suffered.

By Kourosh Ziabari