Thank God for the Charlottesville Nazis! For a moment there, it was looking like we were actually going to have a few days to stop and reflect on the state of America without being subjected to some new form of manufactured mass hysteria. Seriously, just a few short weeks ago, as the corporatist ruling classes’ ridiculous attempt to convince the world that Donald Trump is some sort of Russian sleeper agent appeared to be finally fizzling out, a significant number of leftist types were beginning to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the fact that the United States government is controlled by a global corporate plutocracy that has no allegiance to any nation, or people, or to anything other than itself, and that is in the process of demonizing and potentially deposing an elected president … that maybe that might be something to focus on, not exclusively, by any means, but alongside other vital issues, like defending the rights of transgender drone pilots and purging syllabi of oppressive pronouns.
Fortunately, thanks to the Nazis of Charlottesville, this dangerous moment of doubt has now passed. If you were listening closely on August 11, you could hear the collective sigh of relief whooshing out of Resistance quarters like a hypnagogic idiot wind as roughly one hundred white supremacists marched into town with their tiki torches barking N.S.D.A.P. slogans and otherwise making asses of themselves. Corporate media apparatchiks, mandarins of the Internet Left, professional and amateur Naziologists, and assorted other Nazi experts immediately went to DEFCON 1, signaling imminent Nazi invasion. Photos of bug-eyed, torch-bearing Nazis, their mouths wide open in mid-Nazi shriek, veins bulging out of their Nazi necks, were released to the public and circulated widely. Millions of conflicted leftists (many of whom had been feeling uneasy about collaborating with the corporate plutocracy in their efforts to delegitimize Trump, and every last American who voted for him), upon seeing glossy, color close-ups of these Nazis waved in front of their faces, responded as every Good American has been conditioned to respond since early childhood. They instantly switched off their critical faculties and began reenacting the Second World War … or rather, the mythical version of it wherein the USA defeated the Nazis, which is one of Americans’ favorite pastimes. …
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is pushing the panic button over the collapse of the Saudi-Israeli jihadist proxies in Syria and now threatening to launch a major air war, as ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke describes.
A very senior Israeli intelligence delegation, a week ago, visited Washington. Then, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke into President Putin’s summer holiday to meet him in Sochi, where, according to a senior Israeli government official (as cited in the Jerusalem Post), Netanyahu threatened to bomb the Presidential Palace in Damascus, and to disrupt and nullify the Astana cease-fire process, should Iran continue to “extend its reach in Syria.”
Russia’s Pravda wrote, “according to eyewitnesses of the open part of the talks, the Israeli prime minister was too emotional and at times even close to panic. He described a picture of the apocalypse to the Russian president that the world may see, if no efforts are taken to contain Iran, which, as Netanyahu believes, is determined to destroy Israel.”
So, what is going on here? Whether or not Pravda’s quote is fully accurate (though the description was confirmed by senior Israeli commentators), what is absolutely clear (from Israeli sources) is that both in Washington and at Sochi, the Israeli officials were heard out, but got nothing. Israel stands alone. Indeed, it is reported that Netanyahu was seeking “guarantees” about the future Iranian role in Syria, rather than “asking for the moon” of an Iranian exit. But how could Washington or Moscow realistically give Israel such guarantees?
Belatedly, Israel has understood that it backed the wrong side in Syria – and it has lost. It is not really in a position to demand anything. It will not get an American enforced buffer zone beyond the Golan armistice line, nor will the Iraqi-Syrian border be closed, or somehow “supervised” on Israel’s behalf.
Of course, the Syrian aspect is important, but to focus only on that, would be to “miss the forest for the trees.” The 2006 war by Israel to destroy Hizbullah (egged on by the U.S., Saudi Arabia – and even a few Lebanese) was a failure. Symbolically, for the first time in the Middle East, a technologically sophisticated, and lavishly armed, Western nation-state simply failed. What made the failure all the more striking (and painful) was that a Western state was not just bested militarily, it had lost also the electronic and human intelligence war, too — both spheres in which the West thought their primacy unassailable.
The Fallout from Failure
Israel’s unexpected failure was deeply feared in the West, and in the Gulf too. A small, armed (revolutionary) movement had stood up to Israel – against overwhelming odds – and prevailed: it had stood its ground. This precedent was widely perceived to be a potential regional “game changer.” The feudal Gulf autocracies sensed in Hizbullah’s achievement the latent danger to their own rule from such armed resistance.
The reaction was immediate. Hizbullah was quarantined — as best the full sanctioning powers of America could manage. And the war in Syria started to be mooted as the “corrective strategy” to the 2006 failure (as early as 2007) — though it was only with the events following 2011 that the “corrective strategy” came to implemented, à outrance.
Against Hizbullah, Israel had thrown its full military force (though Israelis always say, now, that they could have done more). And against Syria, the U.S., Europe, the Gulf States (and Israel in the background) have thrown the kitchen sink: jihadists, al-Qaeda, ISIS (yes), weapons, bribes, sanctions and the most overwhelming information war yet witnessed. Yet Syria – with indisputable help from its allies – seems about to prevail: it has stood its ground, against almost unbelievable odds.
Just to be clear: if 2006 marked a key point of inflection, Syria’s “standing its ground” represents a historic turning of much greater magnitude. It should be understood that Saudi Arabia’s (and Britain’s and America’s) tool of fired-up, radical Sunnism has been routed. And with it, the Gulf States, but particularly Saudi Arabia are damaged. The latter has relied on the force of Wahabbism since the first foundation of the kingdom: but Wahabbism in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq has been roundly defeated and discredited (even for most Sunni Muslims). It may well be defeated in Yemen too. This defeat will change the face of Sunni Islam.
Already, we see the Gulf Cooperation Council, which originally was founded in 1981 by six Gulf tribal leaders for the sole purpose of preserving their hereditary tribal rule in the Peninsula, now warring with each other, in what is likely to be a protracted and bitter internal fight. The “Arab system,” the prolongation of the old Ottoman structures by the complaisant post-World War I victors, Britain and France, seems to be out of its 2013 “remission” (bolstered by the coup in Egypt), and to have resumed its long-term decline. …
Holy cow, what would the west do without its muslim pawns?
Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, got some satisfaction from a federal judge this week when he ruled that the party and its then-boss, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, indeed cheated in order to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party’s eventual nominee.
Then Judge William Zloch said despite that, there isn’t anything he can do about it.
As reported by the New York Observer, Sanders supporters filed suit against the Democratic National Committee and Wasserman Schultz in June 2016, claiming they were defrauded out of millions of dollars in campaign contributions after learning through news reports that the party and its chief rigged the nomination process, against the DNC’s published rules.
Even former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, now retired, admitted that the party gave Sanders a raw deal. “I knew — everybody knew — that this was not a fair deal,” he told The Hill in July 2016.
That very well may be, Zloch said in his ruling. But despite that, federal courts were in no position to pass judgment, he noted. So he has dismissed the suit following several months of litigation, in which lawyers for the DNC had been arguing the party has every right to rig its own primaries and select a candidate of its choosing. (Related: DNC admits in court that it rigged the nomination process to get Hillary on the ballot.) …
From: ri…@math.missouri.edu (Rich Winkel)
Subject: Archived: Nairn: Behind Haiti’s Paramilitaries
Date: 10 May 2004 23:55:54 -0500
Behind Haiti’s Paramilitaries
The Nation, October 24, 1994
Emannuel Constant, the leader of Haiti’s FRAPH hit squad, is a
protege of U.S. Intelligence. Interviews with Constant and with
U.S. officials who have worked directly with him confirm that
Constant recently worked for the C.I.A. and that U.S. intelligence
helped him launch the organization that became the FRAPH. Documentary
evidence obtained from other sources and confirmed in part by
Constant also indicate that a group of attaches – some of them
implicated in some of Haiti’s most notorious crimes – have been
paid for several years by a U.S. government funded project that
maintains sensitive files on the movements of the Haitian poor.
In my October 3 Nation article (“The Eagle is Landing”) I quoted a
U.S. intelligence official praising Constant as a “young pro-Western
Intellectual … no further right than a Young Republican” and
saying that U.S. intelligence had “encouraged” Constant to form
the group that emerged as the FRAPH. Reached at his home on the
night of September 26, Constant confirmed the U.S. official’s
account. He said that his first U.S. handler was Col. Patrick
Collins, the U.S Defense Intelligence Agency attache in Haiti, whom
he described as “a very good friend of mine.” (Constant spoke of
dealing later with another official he called “[the United States’]
best liaison,” but he refused to give a name.) Constant said that
Colonel Collins had first approached him while Constant was teaching
a training course at the headquarters of the C.I.A.-run National
Intelligence Service (SIN) and building a computer database for
Haiti’s notorious rural Section Chiefs at the Bureau of Information
and Coordination in the General Headquarters of the Haitian coup
Giving an account that dovetailed closely with that of the U.S.
official, Constant said that Collins began pushing him to organize
a front “that could balance the Aristide movement” and do “intelligence”
work against it. He said that their discussions had begun soon
after Aristide fell in September 1991. They resulted in Constant
forming what later evolved into the FRAPH, a group that was known
initially as the Haitian Resistance League.
Constant at first refused to go beyond his usual public statements
on the FRAPH, but opened up after I told him that I understood that
he knew Colonel Collins. Our initial interview took place on the
first day of the bold anti-FRAPH protests on the street of
Port-au-Prince. Constant said that he wanted to offer his men as
“guides” for the occupation force, saying that “I’ve participated
in the stabilization of this country for the past three years, and
the United States knows it very well, no matter what agency you
Two days after that, as a crowed marched past FRAPH headquarters,
FRAPH gunmen opened fire, killing one demonstrator. Five days
later, in the wake of the embarrassing media coverage of the continued
mayhem by the FRAPH and of a U.S. raid on a supposed pro-Aristide
terrorist camp that turned out to be a world famous dance school,
U.S. occupation forces raided the FRAPH’s downtown Port-au-Prince
headquarters, carting away two dozen street-level gunmen (and women)
as live cameras and cheering crowds looked on. Some U.S. reporters
proclaimed that this was the death of the terror system, and CNN’s
Richard Blystone, announcing that there was more crackdown to come,
said that Constant was not “at large” (a claim also made by the
next morning’s New York Times).
Five minutes after Blystone’s CNN broadcast, I reached Constant by
telephone at his Port-au_prince home. He said that the arrests had
been only of low-level FRAPH, and that he still intended to put his
men at U.S. disposal. He said that there were no U.S. troops outside
his house and worried that it might be set upon by mobs. Then he
said that he had to leave for a meeting “on the street” with a U.S.
Embassy staffer who was hitherto unknown to him but who he thought
might be from the CIA.
He said that he would call back after the meeting, but he didn’t
and I couldn’t reach him again. But the next day Constant appeared
in public guarded – for the first time – by U.S. Marines. He stated
his fealty to the occupation and his support for the return of
Much of the U.S., press played this as a stunning about-face, but
Constant had been saying those things in public and to me all week.
He had told me that the Carter/Powell/Nunn-Cedras accord was “the
last chance for Haiti,” and had expressed no worry about the return
of Aristide, saying that the new Parliament, to be chosen in December,
would be constituted in a way that would hem him in.
Colonel Collins is now back in Haiti (his last tour ended in 1992).
The Clinton Administration has brought him back for the occupation,
and he has refused to comment on the record. But a well-informed
intelligence official (speaking before the FRAPH furor broke)
confirmed that Collins had worked with Constant and had, as Constant
says, guided him and urged him on. Collins has, in recent weeks
spoken quite highly of Constant and has said that Constant’s mission
from the United States was to counter the “extreme” of Aristide.
Collins has also stated that, when he first approached him, Constant
“was not in position to do anything … [but] things evolved and
eventually, he did come up, [and] what had been sort of an idea and
technically open for business – all of a sudden, boom, it takes on
When the relationship started, Constant was working for the C.I.A.,
reaching a course at the the agency-run SIN on “The Theology of
Liberation” and “Animation and Mobilization.” At that time, the SIN
was engaged in terrorist attacks on Aristide supporters, as were
Constant’s pupils, army S-2 field intelligence officers. The targets
included, among others, popular church catechists. Constant says
that the message of the SIN course was that “though communism is
dead, “the extreme left,” through ti legliz, the grass-roots Haitian
“little church,” was attempting to “convince the people that in the
name of God everything is possible” and that, therefore, it was
right for the people to kill soldiers and the rich. Constant says
he taught that “Aristide is not the only one; there are tens of
Collins has recently acknowledged that the FRAPH has indeed carried
out many killings, but he has said that they have not been as
numerous as the press and human rights groups claim. He has said,
in reference to Haiti’s political problems, “The only way you’re
going to solve this is … [that] it’ll all end in some big bloodbath
and there’ll be somebody who emerges from it who will establish a
society of sorts and a judicial system and he’s going to say: ‘O.K.,
you own the land, you don’t – that’s it,’ whether it’s fair or not.”
Though most U.S. officials would never speak that way, it’s universally
acknowledged that the FRAPH is an arm of the brutal Haitian security
system, which the United States has built and supervised and whose
leaders it has trained, and often paid. When I asked Constant, for
example, about the anti-Aristide coup, he said that as it was
happening Colonel Collins and Donald Terry (the C.I.A. station chief
who also ran the SIN) “were inside the [General] Headquarters.” But
he insisted that this was “normal”: the C.I.A. and D.I.A. were
A foreign diplomat who knows that system well says that it is from
those very headquarters that Haiti’s army, with the police and the
FRAPH, has run a web of clandestine torture houses) (one of them
in a private home at No. 43 Fontamara), some of which are said to
still be working as this article is written on the occupation’s
seventeenth day. According to the diplomat – who quoted internal
documents as he spoke – the walkie-talkies of the house personnel
are routinely monitored by the U.S. Embassy, which he said, also
listened in on conversations of the U.N Civilian Mission. Some
interrogators wear shirts emblazoned “Camp d’Application” (an army
base). The diplomat also detailed a command structure of seven
chief attaches who have arranged killings and brought victims to
the torture houses.
Four of those senior attaches (as well as other, lower-raking ones),
according to documents and interviews, appear to have worked out
of the Centers for Development and Health (C.D.S.), a large
multiservice clinic funded mainly by the U.S. Agency for International
Development. One of them, Gros Sergo (who was killed in September
1993), listed C.D.S. on his resume, writing that he worked in its
archives and was a “Trainer of Associates” there. Another, Fritz
Joseph – who, Constant says, is the key FRAPH recruiter in Cite
Soleil and who, according to official records, has been a chief
attache since the coup – is acknowledged by the C.D.S. director to
have worked at C.D.S. for many years. The two others, Marc Arthur
and Gros Fanfan (implicated by the U.S. in the September 1993 murder
of prominent pro-Aristide business man Antoine Izmery), have been
named in sworn statements as having regularly received cash payments
from C.D.S. Constant confirms that FRAPH leaders and attaches are
working inside C.D.S. (and specifically that Marc Arthur has worked
there) and says he speaks often on the phone with the clinic’s
director, Dr. Reginald Boulos. Boulos denies that he speaks to
Constant. He says that Sergo’s resume is wrong, that he does not
knowingly employ attaches, and that he did not know until recently
that Fritz Joseph was a FRAPH leader and that he fired him when
critics pointed out that he was. Boulos said that C.D.S. files
track “every family in Cite Soleil” but insisted that, as far as
he knows, attaches don’t have access to the archives. Boulos said
he hadn’t seen Sergo in years, and when told of an entry from Sergo’s
calendar that appeared to contradict that, he said it was mistaken.
He alo downplayed that fact that Sergo had listed him as a personal
reference, along with coup leader Raul Cedras. (Another A.I.D.-funded
unit in Haiti, Planning Assistance, has also said that it employs
Sergo’s papers indicate that he reported to the now-exiled Police
Chief, Lieut. Col. Michel Francois (he had a pass, written on the
back of Francois’s card, authorizing him and Marc Arthur “to see
the Chief of Police at all hours of the day and night), and that
he and his hit squad organized anti-Aristide demonstrations, that,
just before his work for C.D.S., he was in the Interior Ministry’s
“intelligence police,” and that he has appointments to meet with
the C.I.A.’s SIN chief, Col. Silvain Diderot, and with the Mevs,
one of Haiti’s ruling families.
Though some Haitian officials claim that Francois was on the C.I.A.
payroll, this is denied by Lawrence Pezzullo, the former U.S. special
envoy to Haiti. But Pezzullo did reveal that the C.I.A. paid
Francois’s brother, Evans, now a diplomat in the Dominican Republic.
(Pezzullo joked, regarding the colonel himself, “You couldn’t pay
him enough to buy him.”)
The FRAPH emerged as a national force in the latter months of 1993,
when it staged a series of murders, public beatings and arson raids
on poor neighborhoods. In one such attack, Mrs. Alerte Belance had
her right hand severed by a machete.
Later when it was convenient for him, President Clinton used photos
of these macabre assaults to (accurately) brand Haiti’s rulers as
“armed thugs [who] have conducted a reign of terror.” but in the
moment when that terror was actually at its height, Clinton used
the FRAPH killings to pressure Aristide harshly to “broaden” his
already broad Cabinet in a “power-sharing” deal. Pezzullo, in part
echoing Collins’s original vision for Constant (though he denies
any knowledge of the arrangement), says that the FRAPH wa “a political
offset to Lavalas” and that as the “bodies were starting to appear”
“we said [to Aristide]”: “the only people seen operating politically
now are the FRAPHistas,” and that he and the United States had to
“Fill that gap with another force with the private sector – otherwise
these FRAPH people will be the only game in town.”
It is often pointed out that the FRAPH embarrassed the United States
by chasing off the transport ship Harlan County last year, but in
that case U.S. officials could not agree about whether the ship
should even be there. Constant says he go not U.S. guidance, but
he had openly announced his dockside rally the day before and
apparently did not get any U.S. warning to call it off.
On the fundamentals though, U.S. officials have been united in
pressing Aristide from the right. Constant said in our first
interview (well before his Marine press conference) that he might
now be “too high profile” for the united States. But even if he
is, U.S. intelligence is a system, not dependent on any single
individual. And – as Constant once taught about Aristide – there
are others in the wings.