The Untold History of Terrorism against Cuba

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In the decades following the July 1959 revolution, Cuba faced a murderous terrorist campaign waged from Miami and South Florida by its exiled elite. Granted a free hand by successive U.S. administrations, it was responsible for the death and injury of almost 5,600 innocent civilians1. In a familiar case of blowback, the groups responsible were largely drawn from veterans of the CIA-trained Bay of Pigs fiasco.

From the very beginning in 1959, most of the exile operations were being waged under CIA and White House auspices via southern Florida and other bases in the Caribbean1. CIA agent David Atlee Philips aka Maurice Bishop, who co-ran the 1953 Guatemala coup, arranged the founding of Alpha 66 and guided its activities, which included the shoot-up of fourteen wood-homes in Boca de Sama village in 1971 (killing 2 and injuring 8, while damaging the local kids’ school)2 and . By 1973 the organisation had become a liability and was dropped by the CIA2, but its attacks against Cuba continued as Washington let them operate freely from bases in Miami and Florida.

Similar groups such as Omega 7, perhaps the most lethal of all in terms of bombings and assassinations both in Cuba and the U.S., were also given a free hand. This included the introduction of various biological agents into Cuba during the early 80s, including a Dengue-2 epidemic between June and November 1981 that afflicted 300,000+ victims across the island and killed over a hundred children2.

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Orlando Bosch (left) and Luis Carriles Posada (right)

The most notorious Cuban terrorists, Luis Carriles Posada and Orlando Bosch, arranged the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner, murdering all 73 people onboard. Files declassified in 1978 showed how the CIA directed Posada’s activities between the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. According to far more sensitive records, the Agency directed Posada to “establish a training camp for guerrilla ops against Castro”4. “The CIA taught us everything”, Posada said. “…explosives, how to kill, bomb, trained us in acts of sabotage”4.

By 1976, Posada had become a liability and the CIA dropped him3. But despite being informed of his involvement in the 1997 hotel/restaurant bombings, U.S. law enforcement took no action against the notorious mass murderer5. He was done briefly for lying to immigration agents, while the Bush II Administration refused to extradite him to Cuba and Venezuela for fear that they would be tortured. He died peacefully on May 23 2018.

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Robert Kennedy: “No time, no money, effort or manpower is to be spared”

Kennedy’s botched invasion of Cuba (‘the Bay of Pigs’) was an international embarrassment for the US. As an internal source recounts, Kennedy had indicated to his brother Robert that “the final chapter had not been written – it’s got to be done and will be done”6. To quote Noam Chomsky:

At the first cabinet meeting after the failed invasion, the atmosphere was “almost savage,” Chester Bowles noted privately: “there was an almost frantic reaction for an action program.” At an NSC meeting two days later, Bowles found the atmosphere “almost as emotional” and was struck by “the great lack of moral integrity” that prevailed. The mood was reflected in Kennedy’s public pronouncements: “The complacent, the self-indulgent, the soft societies are about to be swept away with the debris of history. Only the strong . . . can possibly survive,” he told the country…Kennedy was aware that allies “think that we’re slightly demented” on the subject of Cuba, a perception that persists to the present.

To lubricate the island for a second invasion (ultimately aborted by the presence of Soviet nukes on the otherwise defenceless island), he approved Operation Mongoose, an RFK-run and U.S. Army-trained1 sabotage campaign against Cuban ships, fishing boats, sugar mills, power plants, petrochemical facilities, oil refineries, warehouses, urban transportation and department stores: in a nutshell, “sabotage and more sabotage, place bombs, create fear, and carry out terrorist plans, so that agitation will engulf the country and the government will have to carry out a violent repression with much bloodshed which they can then use in their propaganda throughout Latin America”6.

Theoretically the world’s biggest terror operation (at least until Reagan’s terror policy in Central America), this elaborate campaign proved deadly: on March 13 1961, a CIA gunboat attacked an oil refinery in Santiago de Cuba, killing 27-year-old Rene Rodriguez Hernandez and seriously injuring 19-year-old Roberto Ramon Castro. A further 50+ people died when the CIA bombed the Citorro chemical plant on April 27 1962. Four months later, US planes escorted a group of armed vessels in their deadly assault on the Chaplin Theatre and a selection of homes in the Miramar neighbourhood of Havana4.

The 1963 proposals included the “placing of incendiary devices and/or explosives with suitable time delay within the hull or cargo to disable or to sink Cuban vessels and/or damage their cargos while at sea” and “introducing abrasive or other damaging materials into the propulsion, communication and other systems of the ship to inactivate the ship”7.

In September of that year, the U.S. Army Department confirmed a successful demolition beneath La Isabela harbour. Mongoose agent Bradley Ayers recounts the operation:

The single-track line [of the railway bridge] carried large amounts of freight and produce between the inland city of Sagua la Grande and the port of Isabela. It was one of the key supply lines in the central part of the Communist island. The commando force was to blow up the bridge and destroy telephone and telegraph lines running adjacent to the tracks6.

[I trained commando units] to infiltrate Cuba, reach human targets, and assassinate them. Anyone in a senior position in government was fair game, and it reached down to the provincial heads, police chiefs and so on…[Robert] Kennedy was aware of what we were doing down there. It wasn’t a case of the Agency mounting these assassination operations without the knowledge of the Special Group…RFK had a hands-on kind of control of the operations7.

Two months after the La Isabela attack, the CIA confirmed the bombing of a power plant, sawmill and multiple oil storage facilities, while announcing further scheduled attacks “against a large oil refinery and storage facilities, a large electric plant, sugar refineries, railroad bridges, harbor facilities, and underwater demolition of docks and ships*”.

“Remember the Maine”

The sheer number of CIA plots to assassinate Castro are alone extraordinary: 638 by a former Cuban intelligence officer’s account3. They even plotted to bomb/poison him on American soil, namely his New York visit in 1961. To quote Fabian Escalante6:

The head of the so-called Cuban Revolutionary Council, Jose milo Cardona, met with President Kennedy in the White House [in April 1962]. After the meeting Miro Cardona declared that Castro’s days were numbered. At the same time William Harvey, head of the CIA’s “executive action” group, was reactivating the plans with the Mafia and Tony Varona to assassinate Fidel Castro.

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1961: Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro delivers historic speech at the United Nations

Inside jobs hardly stopped there: the latest files released in 2016 reveal a CIA scheme to stage a false-flag terror campaign in Miami in order to legitimate the full-scale invasion of Cuba, echoing the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s notorious Operation Northwoods plan to blow up an American ship in Guantanamo Bay so as to provide “a ‘Remember the Maine’ incident”, or to stage “a Communist Cuban terror campaign [in Florida] and even in Washington”.

The Threat of Castroism

While rejected by a flabbergasted White House, such plans reflected Washington’s obsession with Cuba for defying the Monroe Doctrine. To quote Noam Chomsky:

From the timing alone, it is clear that concern over a Russian threat could not have been a major factor. The plans for forceful regime change were drawn up and implemented before there was any significant Russian connection, and punishment was intensified after the Russians disappeared from the scene. True, a Russian threat did develop, but that was more a consequence than a cause of US terrorism and economic warfare.

In July 1961 the CIA warned that “the extensive influence of ‘Castroism’ is not a function of Cuban power. . . . Castro’s shadow looms large because social and economic conditions throughout Latin America invite opposition to ruling authority and encourage agitation for radical change,” for which Castro’s Cuba provided a model. Earlier, Arthur Schlesinger had transmitted to the incoming President Kennedy his Latin American Mission report, which warned of the susceptibility of Latin Americans to “the Castro idea of taking matters into one’s own hands.” The report did identify a Kremlin connection: the Soviet Union “hovers in the wings, flourishing large development loans and presenting itself as the model for achieving modernization in a single generation.” The dangers of the “Castro idea” are particularly grave, Schlesinger later elaborated, when “the distribution of land and other forms of national wealth greatly favors the propertied classes” and “the poor and underprivileged, stimulated by the example of the Cuban revolution, are now demanding opportunities for a decent living.” Kennedy feared that Russian aid might make Cuba a “showcase” for development, giving the Soviets the upper hand throughout Latin America.

In early 1964, the State Department Policy Planning Council expanded on these concerns: “The primary danger we face in Castro is . . . in the impact the very existence of his regime has upon the leftist movement in many Latin American countries. . . . The simple fact is that Castro represents a successful defiance of the US, a negation of our whole hemispheric policy of almost a century and a half.” To put it simply, Thomas Paterson writes, “Cuba, as symbol and reality, challenged U.S. hegemony in Latin America.”

*On December 23 1963, CIA commandos sank the Revolutionary Navy’s LT-385 torpedo boat in Siguanea dock on the Isle of Pines, killing four crewmen.

Notes

1. Bradley Earl Ayers, The War That Never Was (Major Books: Canoga Park, California), pages 30 and 39
2. Keith Bolender, Stories From Th
e Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism Against Cuba (Pluto Press 2010); this is the most comprehensive account to date of this unknown history; to hear a presentation by Bolender and Noam Chomsky, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_AaFN5FHc8.
3. See http://www.jfk-online.com/daphscavec.html
4. https://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/13/world/bomber-s-tale-decades-intrigue-life-shadows-trying-bring-down-castro.html; according to his Cuban criminal record published in Granma (the official Cuban Communist Party newspaper), he enlisted in Bay of Pigs and, in July 1963 at Fort Benning, received training in demolition, propaganda and intelligence.
5. Bardach and Rohter, “Authorities Knew of Bombing Campaign, Says Cuban Exile”, New York Times 12/07/98
6. https://archive.org/details/FabianEscalanteSecretWarCubaCIA/page/n1
; ibid. Bolender
7. ibid. Ayers as quoted in https://nacla.org/news/2016/12/16/cost-covert-operations-cuba

How the West and Saudi Arabia Cultivated Islamist Terror

Of the estimated $50b Riyadh has spent exporting its extremist Wahabi brand of Islam around the world, 15-20% has been diverted to Al Qaeda and other terror groups[Source]. A leaked 2009 cable signed by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton identified Saudi Arabia as their top financial source, criticising its “limited action” against wealthy private donors.

In an email leaked in 2016, her election campaign organiser went further, accusing the Saudi and Qatari governments directly of having funded and logistically supported ISIS, the Iraq War’s ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’. Indeed, following the terror group’s capture of Mosul (Iraq) in June 2014, ex Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told US Secretary of State John Kerry: “Daesh (ISIS) is our response to your support for the Da’wa (Shia government in Iraq)”.

Before its official ban on ISIS, Riyadh pummelled billions to Syrian rebels with the full knowledge of US and British officials[1]. General Jonathan Shaw, a former Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, has described the Saudi-Qatari “wahabbisation of Sunni Islam” (Patrick Cockburn) as a “time bomb…that must stop.

Britain armed and funded Saudi Arabia’s founder Ibn Saud during WWI and, under a signed treaty in 1915, recognised his rule of Nejd. In his work “Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam”, which documents the West’s utilisation of Islamist forces as a counterweight to secular/left nationalism in the Muslim world, British historian Mark Curtis writes:

Ibn Saud established ‘Saudi’ Arabia in an orgy of murder. In his exposé of the corruption of the Saudi ruling family, Said Aburish describes Ibn Saud as ‘a lecher and a bloodthirsty autocrat … whose savagery wreaked havoc across Arabia’, terrorising and mercilessly slaughtering his enemies. The conquest of Arabia cost the lives of around 400,000 people, since Saud’s forces did not take prisoners; over a million people fled to neighbouring countries. Numerous rebellions against the House of Saud subsequently took place, each put down in ‘mass killings of mostly innocent victims, including women and children’. By the mid-1920s most of Arabia had been subdued, 40,000 people had been publicly executed and some 350,000 had had limbs amputated; the territory was divided into districts under the control of Saud’s relatives, a situation which largely prevails today.

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In 1921, Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill described Ibn Saud’s Wahabi followers to the House of Commons[2]:

They hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahabi villages for simply appearing in the streets. It is a penal offence to wear a silk garment. Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette…the Wahabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account, and they have been, and still are, very dangerous to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and to the whole institution of the pilgrimage, in which our Indian fellow-subjects are so deeply concerned.

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Despite this, he went on to provide a cynical defence for Britain’s continued support for Ibn Saud[2]:

The Emir Bin Saud has shown himself capable of leading and, within considerable limits, of controlling these formidable sectaries. He has always shown himself well disposed towards Great Britain and has long been in intimate relations with Sir Percy Cox. Under the advice of Sir Percy Cox, and of my counsellors here at home, we have arranged to continue the subsidy which Bin Saud has hitherto received from the British Government of £60,000 a year, together with a lump sum of £20,000.

…deprived of these funds, he would soon lose control of the nomadic and predatory tribes which are brought under what is after all a restraining influence…we desire to live on friendly and amicable terms with this potentate and not to be disturbed by him, particularly at a time when we are seeking to withdraw so large a proportion of our garrison from the country.

“…my admiration for him was deep”, Churchill later wrote, “because of his unfailing loyalty to us”. With help from the RAF and troops despatched from Iraq, Ibn Saud put down an internal anti-British rebellion in 1929[3].

One of Britain’s own diplomats Jonathon Allen told the UN Security Council that “the conflict creates ungoverned spaces in which terrorists can operate, poses security threats to countries in the region and international shipping, and fuels regional tensions”.

None of this seems to deter ongoing UK policy: it, after all, knowingly risked the blowback that materialised in Manchester last year by backing Al Qaeda-linked forces in Libya and Syria this past decade for the sake of regime changes in those countries. In this, they were following Washington’s lead, just as they did in 1980s Soviet-occupied Afghanistan when the CIA and MI6’s Operation Cyclone – the longest covert op since WWII – armed, trained and funded today’s generation of terrorists, including Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden.

Along with Pakistan’s then Islamist dictator Zia ul-Haq, Saudi Arabia was the financial conduit for Cyclone and, according to a classified section of the 9/11 Commission report, the September 11 2001 attacks. This role has been revitalised in Libya and Syria, contributing to the destruction of both nations, a European refugee crisis and a spawn of terror attacks in Europe.

The reaction – intensifying the very “war on ISIS” that ostensibly motivated said attacks to begin with – fits Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same over and over (bombing the terrorists, in the process spawning more of them), expecting different results.

1. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/article31034067.html
2. https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1921/jun/14/middle-eastern-services
3. Mark Curtis, Secret Affairs

The Irrelevance of the World Cup

So your team lost. Never mind. It’s just a game, after all. Grab a happy meal.

They say that simple things please simple minds, but that formulation hardly explains the phenomena of national mourning attending England’s loss in the World Cup. With internet and the like, knowledge is at our fingertips today.

Western power has obliterated whole sections of other societies whilst its corporations are bringing the industrialised world to the brink of ecological collapse. Unfortunately, the real world has no place in the artificial universe of a self-indulgent consumerist society. Terrorism is only objectionable when it happens to us, but we sleep tight (or endlessly twitter on our made-in-sweatshop devices) knowing that we “don’t know” our governments are doing the same. And God forbid that the victims should expect to just turn up at our shores on dingies to escape war!

One is hard-pressed to think of anything more pathetic and childish (not to say criminally negligent, given the above) than a grown man or woman crying after losing a game. Other connotations come to mind, not least of which are self-absorbed and shallow.

It was said that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Today, the triumph of evil relies mostly on silent witnesses whose tacit consent puts them at odds with any designation of “good”.

“Even when it was happening, it wasn’t happening”

As a dozen boys were rescued from Thailand, hundreds of children lay dead in Yemen from UK bombs and missiles dropped by Saudi Arabia. They continue to die. Those children and their families are not worth the same attention and concern accompanying a football these past couple of months. The Thai kids did, though, because the media told us to care. If the media omits something, that means it’s not happening. “Even when it was happening”, to quote UK playwright and “lefty” Harold Pinter, “it wasn’t happening”.

Hundreds of children and women perished under the illegal drone attacks of that wonderful progressive Barack Obama. According to herd ethics, the doubling of drone attacks by Trump is far less grevious a crime than his bigotry and mysoginy. That’s because his bombast unmasks the predatory nature of US empire, whose European dependents have duly benefited.

And let’s remember: Russia is the source of all evil. They poisoned the Skripals, they’re trying to take over Europe, and they interfered in the US elections. We know this, because we heard it on the “news”. The lack of evidence substantiating any of these delusions is moot: they are political lies designed to suit a geopolitical agenda. Tony Blair may be retired from politics, but his spirit continues to haunt the corridors of Whitehall.

Luckily for the denialists, I’m not going to go into details of climate change evidence. Got google? Use it. Try reconnecting with what’s really going on in the world. You already know the mainstream corporate media is lying to you. Stop pretending otherwise. Take responsibility as a citizen of the planet. Knowledge is power.

Oh yeah, and screw the World Cup.

 

Militarism Faces Resistance in Asia

The political opposition in Seychelles has blocked the ratification of the 2015 Seychelles-India base deal amidst intense rivalry between China and India for dominance over the Indian Ocean, a key international trade route through which millions of barrels of oil pass each day.

A similar movement has been building for years in the Japanese island of Okinawa. Home to 32 US bases, systemic rape by American GIs has catalyzed popular anti-base sentiment that has been brewing for years. Washington’s attempts to relocate one of the bases near to a reserve for endangered dolphins have met huge local resistance. Last February’s election saw the defeat of the anti-base mayor first elected in 2016, a blow to the movement.

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Anti-base protesters on Okinawa, Japan

Like Japan, India is seeking to project its power by enlisting in America’s ‘Pivot to Asia’: a broad diplomatic, economic and military offensive against China. Like India,Japan’s imperialist resurgence is being lead by the country’s most right-wing government since the 1940s. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet hail from the most reactionary bourgeois layer which, with its allies in revisionist academia, has long sought to whitewash the horrific history of the Imperial Order for which they are so nostalgic.

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2015: Japanese demonstrators protest Japan’s imperialist resurgence

India’s Prime Minister Narendi Modi, meanwhile, has accelerated tensions with neighbouring Pakistan, a fellow nuclear-armed power whose long-time sponsorship of terrorism against India almost sparked war following the 2008 Mumbai attacks, while encouraging a racist frenzy endangering India’s Muslims. Complicit in the 2002 Babri Mosque massacre, Modi is an adherent of the Hindutvati ideology. One of its pamphlets praises Hitler and the Holocaust*.

Asians remember the horrors of WWII and the Korean War. During the former, millions were slaughtered by Japanese invaders. During the latter, the American air force wiped out “almost every city north and south” (Gen. Curtis LeMay), killing 2 million people.

As the spectre of conflict increases, anti-militarist fervour is bound to increase. This provides a glimmer of hope for humanity, whose very survival is endangered by the prospect of a US-China nuclear war. If these localised movements link together in a common struggle against militarism, they may have a voice with which to reach out to their fellow ordinary people in the West. A global fight to unseat the Pentagon’s war plans is essential.

*Arundhati Roy on Modi, YouTube

“Chemical attack” on Dhouma: Foam, Lies and Videotape

Last month, the Russian MoD warned of an imminent false flag chemical attack by Syrian rebels – complete with cameramen from the White Helmets, a propaganda agency (perhaps more so, judging by their AK-armed celebrations with al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra as seen on Youtube) founded by former MI5 agent James Le Mesurier and funded by the British Foreign Office, USAID and terrorist-funding Qatar – in order to induce Western intervention to rescue their cornered insurgency.

Without independent corroboration, these Russian claims were unverifiable. But then, on April 7 in Dhouma, an alleged chemical attack indeed occurred as forecast by Russia. The Russians then released a video interview with two doctors who work at the hospital where people were treated for the alleged attack, revealing how the White Helmets came in shouting about a gas attack and started dosing people with water.

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Lack of information about this anonymous pair and the lack of proof that that they worked at the hospital gave cause for scepticism. Could they not be Assad agents?

But on this score too the Russians proved reliable: a verified doctor at the hospital in question gave The Independent‘s Robert Fisk, Britain’s most esteemed Middle East correspondent and author of the highly recommended The Great War for Civilization: Conquest of the Middle East, described how a bunch of people came in shouting about a gas attack and brought in alleged victims that they hosed with water. The doctor did not witness the event but cited his colleagues, who said the victims in the video are suffering from hypoxia induced by a dust storm resulting from heavy wind and shelling.

Three more doctors independently confirmed this account, minus the hypoxia claim that is consistent with SOHR reports on April 8 of 21 civilian deaths resulting from a collapsed shelter, to OAN reporter Pearson Sharp, adding that they had cameramen filming it. 30-40 local residents randomly interviewed by Sharp all deny the chemical attack occurred, many of them saying it was staged by Jaish al-Islam, the terror group that was in control of Dhouma.

fisksharp2.png   The Independent’s Robert Fisk (left) and OAN’s Pearson Sharp (right) in Dhouma, Syria

As shown by analysis by blogger MoonofAlabama, in the later videos, some of the same bodies appearing in their earlier videos have been moved around and been added shaving cream for fake mouth foam. Seventeen witnesses have now confirmed the hoax at a Russian-sponsored conference predictably blacked out by the Western media. The UK is being distracted by the royal wedding.

Scott Ritter, who was UNSCOM’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, said in 1999 that “By 1998…the physical infrastructure (of Iraq’s WMDs) had been eliminated”, recently told Flashpoints radio’s Dennis Bernstein: “The totality of Syria’s chemical weapons program was eliminated (by the OPCW in 2016)”.

Ritter questioned why Syria, on the brink of victory, would launch a West-provoking attack on a site of “zero military value”. He doubted Syria’s role in prior alleged chemical attacks, branding the 2013 Ghouta attack a rebel false flag to provoke Western intervention. Dhouma too was “a staged event, an act of theater”. Had the missile-struck site really stored nerve agent, he added, its bombing would have caused “hundreds if not thousands of deaths”. Yet there were zero!

Washington meanwhile, ever keen to blame Moscow for everything under the sun, has insisted that any evidence may be tampered with by the pesky Russians. Contrary to Western propaganda, it was not Syria (who requested the OPCW investigation) and Russia but Trump’s airstrikes that has stalled the OPCW team’s investigation, having been launched as soon as they arrived.

The failed regime change operation in Syria since 2011, which has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and millions more displaced from their country, has been designed to replace Assad with a puppet wahabbi regime to isolate growing Iranian-Russian influence in the strategic oil-rich Middle East. To this end, any pretext will do, no matter how bogus.

The Skripal Narrative Continues to Implode

The full recovery of former MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, currently held by MI6 at an undisclosed location as it negotiates with the CIA to have them resettled to the US with brand new identities, has completely destroyed the British government’s claims that they were poisoned by a “military grade nerve agent” just last month, of which the alleged poison (Novichok) is said to be the most deadly ever developed.

The poison’s alleged application to Sergei Skripal’s front door handle was undiscovered for weeks and completely contradicts the lack of additives found in the substance analysed by the OPCW.

In a letter to the Sunday Times in the wake of the attack, Salisbury hospital medical consultant Dr Stephen Davies wrote that none of the three patients (i.e. the Skripals and PC Bailey) showed symptoms of nerve agent poisoning.

More Novichok poppycock

As reporter Gareth Porter reasons, London’s failure to explain its withholding of intelligence on Russia’s decade-long “novichok program”, e.g. on the grounds that such would endanger the presumed Russian insider source, suggests the confinement of said intelligence to Boris Johnson’s limited imagination. Ditto Britain’s failure to call a challenge inspection which, notes Porter, Russia would have had no choice but to comply with.

No wonder, then, that UK national security adviser Mark Sedwell’s letter to NATO concedes the lack of evidence for the secret program which, we are to believe, managed to dodge a comprehensive OPCW inspection regime that last year certified the 100% destruction of Russia’s entire chemical weapons stockpile: a fact repeated incessantly by that veritable fourth estate called the British media.

Meanwhile, Spiez’s failure to clarify their position in response to Russian claims that they identified it as BZ, merely tweeting their “confidence” in Porton Down’s conclusion that it was Novichok (“Novichok…or a closely related agent” (i.e. any nerve agent), to be precise), suggests conflicting results between the two labs.

Consortium News‘ James O’Neill argues that the “almost complete absence of impurities” (OPCW report) means th&e samples obtained and analysed by the OPCW team were planted hours beforehand by the UK government just hours before the team’s arrival three weeks after the attack, since even VX has a durability of only 2-3 days. Just picture May creeping about like Dr. Frankenstein with her bumbling assistant Boris, helping her plant the evidence in the dead of night.

Now May is screaming, “They’re alive!!!”. One wonders for how long while in MI6 custody…

Syrian Missile Crisis: Will the Donald kill us all?

If this is really the end, the responsibility will go to Donald Trump and his European poodles beginning with Theresa “novichok” May, as well their accomplices.

This Western missile barrage (which Syria and Russia claim to have 70% intercepted, preventing any casualties minus three injured) follows a tweet by Trump goading Russia into acting on its threat to shoot down any missiles fired at Syria, announcing that American missiles were already on their way following fake news of a chemical attack by Syria’s Assad regime.

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The White Helmets, a veritable Western proxy funded by Washington and London, has planted fake video and photographic evidence amounting to child snuff porn. On the verge of victory against the collapsing Western-backed jihadist insurgency, Damascus had no motive to conduct such an act.

What a US-Russia war would look like

Evil: The atomic bombing of Hiroshima (pictured) and Nagasaki marked the first military use of nuclear weapons

Trump’s predecessor Obama began this failed four-year regime change operation, responsible for hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced. Yet the worse may yet come as the horrors of Syria threaten to go global. Literally.

Let’s clarify what we are talking about here. It is the literal prospect of planetary annihilation. This is no joke.

Historically, the threat of nuclear apocalypse was most pronounced during the Cold War. During that period, it was an uncontroversial consensus that the combined mega-tonnage of US and Soviet nukes would potentially wipe out humanity multiple times over.

This prospect, and the possibility of it manifesting by accident rather than crude design (why, after all, would any power want to blow itself up?), was most pronounced during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

What we face right now is a Syrian Missile Crisis. And this time, it’s not the young, intelligent Kennedy in the White House Situation Room: it’s Donald fucking Trump.

The Geopolitics of Insanity

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If Trump backs down because of Russia’s threat to shoot down any missiles fired at Syria, it will be huge geopolitical gain for Moscow. It would demonstrate to the world that America is no longer the dominant superpower in strict political/economic terms.

If, on the other hand, Putin backs down under the same threat of world war three, he will lose the prestige so crucial to his alpha ego. It would also mean ceding all foreign influence in the Middle East to Western imperialism: without Assad, Russia and Iran are isolated from the strategic energy-rich region: hence Western attempts to salvage its dominance over Middle East oil by enactingl, under the false guise of “humanitarian intervention”, regime change in both countries.

We thus find ourselves at a crossroad of reckless brinksmanship unseen since the Cuban Missile Crisis, in which neither Trump and Putin appear likely to back down. As Noam Chomsky has said, we escaped war in 1962 only because of the wisdom of a Soviet captain – Visal Arkhipov – who chose not to fire his nuclear torpedo in response to US warning depth charges…but we cannot rely on common sense every time humanity comes to the brink of annihilation.

The American masses must rise up and overthrow the capitalist system of war and profit for the 1%: their continued existence and that of the rest of the world may very well depend upon it.