The Age of Despair: Reaping the Whirlwind of Western Support for Extremist Violence

www.counterpunch.org

We, the West, overthrew Saddam by violence. We overthrew Gaddafi by violence. We are trying to overthrow Assad by violence. Harsh regimes all — but far less draconian than our Saudi allies, and other tyrannies around the world. What has been the result of these interventions? A hell on earth, one that grows wider and more virulent year after year.

Without the American crime of aggressive war against Iraq — which, by the measurements used by Western governments themselves, left more than a million innocent people dead — there would be no ISIS, no “Al Qaeda in Iraq.” Without the Saudi and Western funding and arming of an amalgam of extremist Sunni groups across the Middle East, used as proxies to strike at Iran and its allies, there would be no ISIS. Let’s go back further. Without the direct, extensive and deliberate creation by the United States and its Saudi ally of a world-wide movement of armed Sunni extremists during the Carter and Reagan administrations, there would have been no “War on Terror” — and no terrorist attacks in Paris tonight.

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Our terrorism double standard: After Paris, let’s stop blaming Muslims and take a hard look at ourselves – Salon.com

We must mourn all victims. But until we look honestly at the violence we export, nothing will ever change

Source: Our terrorism double standard: After Paris, let’s stop blaming Muslims and take a hard look at ourselves – Salon.com

Any time there is an attack on civilians in the post-9/11 West, demagogues immediately blame it on Muslims. They frequently lack evidence, but depend on the blunt force of anti-Muslim bigotry to bolster their accusations.

Actual evidence, on the other hand, shows that less than 2 percent of terrorist attacks from 2009 to 2013 in the E.U. were religiously motivated. In 2013, just one percent of the 152 terrorist attacks were religious in nature; in 2012, less than 3 percent of the 219 terrorist attacks were inspired by religion.

The vast majority of terrorist attacks in these years were motivated by ethno-nationalism or separatism.

Greece wants Germany to repay €279bn it was forced to loan the Nazi authorities during WWII – Europe – World

The Greek government has demanded that Germany pays it back €279bn (£205bn) in loans Greece was forced to give the Nazi authorities who occupied the country during World War Two.

Greece has long demanded reparations from Germany but in a statement on Monday Greece’s deputy finance minister Dmitris Mardas put an exact figure on the amount the country says it is owed for the first time.

Mr Mardas was speaking at a committee set up by the country’s left-wing Syriza government to calculate how much money Germany owed Greece.

The Greek government has demanded that Germany pays it back €279bn (£205bn) in loans Greece was forced to give the Nazi authorities who occupied the country during World War Two.

More from source: Greece wants Germany to repay €279bn it was forced to loan the Nazi authorities during WWII – Europe – World – The Independent

Have Millions of Deaths from America’s ‘War on Terror’ Been Concealed?

Evil Cover Up

The mass media in the US have covered up the most important fact in America’s ongoing wars: the number of people slaughtered. Even before the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the mainstream media served as cheerleaders for the bloodshed, spreading the major lies that led us to war.

As a combat vet still shocked by what I saw almost 50 years ago in Vietnam, where we earlier slaughtered millions in another war based on lies, I decided to look into what is happening in the current wars. I discovered that as many as seven million innocents may have been slaughtered in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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The Refugee Crisis in Context

CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

A report issued by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) last week provided a jarring statistical glimpse at the unprecedented crisis facing 59.5 million people who are currently displaced.[1] With ongoing wars and sectarian conflicts raging in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan and Somalia, and record numbers moving in search of economic betterment, an additional 8.1 million people were uprooted in 2014. If all of the world’s refugees were to form one independent country, it would be the 24th largest, just behind Italy and ahead of South Africa. This country would contain .8% of the global population, which means that if it were instead composed of the world’s richest people, it would possess nearly half of the planet’s wealth.[2]

What’s more, these two hypothetical countries would represent opposite sides of the same coin. It is no accident that the concentration of global wealth is accelerating alongside the numbers of the dispossessed. It is the very predictable result of a US-led system of economic and military hegemony that values the mobility of labor and capital, but not of people, and that reflexively destabilizes any regime it views as being inadequately obsequious. Meanwhile, the market fundamentalism it espouses effectively turns farms into agribusinesses and cities into slums. It displaces as a matter of course. This is the part that the UNHCR report missed: the refugee is neoliberalism’s refuse.

 

More: www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/22/the-refugee-crisis-in-context/

Weapons Manufacturers Can’t Call Themselves Christian, Says Pope Francis

World | Reuters |

Turin, Italy:  People who manufacture weapons or invest in weapons industries are hypocrites if they call themselves Christian, Pope Francis said on Sunday.

Francis issued his toughest condemnation to date of the weapons industry at a rally of thousands of young people at the end of the first day of his trip to the Italian city of Turin.

"If you trust only men you have lost," he told the young people in a long, rambling talk about war, trust and politics after putting aside his prepared address.
"It makes me think of … people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit a distrust, doesn't it?" he said to applause.

He also criticised those who invest in weapons industries, saying "duplicity is the currency of today … they say one thing and do another."

Francis also built on comments he has made in the past about events during the first and second world wars.

He spoke of the "tragedy of the Shoah," using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust.

"The great powers had the pictures of the railway lines that brought the trains to the concentration camps like Auschwitz to kill Jews, Christians, homosexuals, everybody. Why didn't they bomb (the railway lines)?"

More: www.ndtv.com/world-news/weapons-manufacturers-cant-call-themselves-christian-says-pope-francis-774000

US-Backed War On Yemen Leaves 20 Million Without Food, Water, Medical Care

06 June, 2015
WSWS.org

The US-backed war against Yemen has left some 20 million people—nearly 80 percent of the country’s population—facing a humanitarian disaster, without access to adequate food, water and medical care, the United Nations top aid official informed member nations of the UN Security Council this week.

UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien described the situation confronting the population of the Arab world’s poorest country as “catastrophic,” placing much of the blame on the Saudi-led air strikes that have devastated Yemeni cities, and Saudi Arabia’s blockade of Yemen’s ports, which have prevented not only the arrival of emergency relief supplies but also the basic flow of goods that existed before the war.

“The blockade means it’s impossible to bring anything into the country,” Nuha Abdul Jaber, Oxfam’s humanitarian program director in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa told the Guardian newspaper. “There are lots of ships, with basic things like flour, that are not allowed to approach. The situation is deteriorating, hospitals are now shutting down, without diesel. People are dying of simple diseases. It is becoming almost impossible to survive.”

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The Making of Hillary Clinton, Part II: The Seeds of Corruption

April 14, 2015
by ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

Second in a three-part series.

In 1990, the National Law Journal ran profiles of “the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States”. Hillary Clinton was on the list, and for years she would publicly boast that the Journal had named her one of “the nation’s 100 top lawyers”. Finally, the editor of the National Law Journal, Patrick Oster, wrote to Arkansas’ first lady–as she still was in 1991–testily pointing out that the word “influential” is not synonymous with “top” or “best”–the latter two words used by Mrs. Clinton interchangeably.

By “influential” the Journal’s profile writer, Peggy Fisk, had meant a lawyer plentifully endowed with corporate and political connections, which Mrs. Clinton certainly enjoyed in Arkansas where she had become a partner of the Rose Law Firm in 1977, amid the dawn of her husband’s political career as he began his terms as governor of the state. By the late 1980s, Hillary Clinton was sitting on the board of Wal-Mart, with the rest of Arkansas’ business elite crowding her Rolodex. Hillary ignored Oster’s letter of correction, instructing her staff to continue to use the word “best” in invoking the Journal’s profile. She continued to do so for years. Oster was still writing her a decade later about her misuse–including an editorial column in the Journal in 2000, when she was running for the U.S. Senate.

In fact, Mrs. Clinton was not a particularly good lawyer and would have had trouble making any honest list of the 100 best lawyers in Little Rock.

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