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Noam Chomsky: Why Israel’s Netanyahu Is So Desperate to Prevent Peace with Iran

The distinguished professor lays bare Israel’s motives.

Photo Credit: Yakub88/Shutterstock.com

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived in the United States as part of his bid to stop a nuclear deal with Iran during a controversial speech before the U.S. Congress on Tuesday. Dozens of Democrats are threatening to boycott the address, which was arranged by House Speaker John Boehner without consulting the White House. Netanyahu’s visit comes just as Iran and six world powers, including the United States, are set to resume talks in a bid to meet a March 31 deadline. “For both Prime Minister Netanyahu and the hawks in Congress, mostly Republican, the primary goal is to undermine any potential negotiation that might settle whatever issue there is with Iran,” says Noam Chomsky, institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “They have a common interest in ensuring there is no regional force that can serve as any kind of deterrent to Israeli and U.S. violence, the major violence in the region.” Chomsky also responds to recent revelations that in 2012 the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, contradicted Netanyahu’s own dire warnings about Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb, concluding that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”

TRANSCRIPTThis is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AARON MATÉ: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived in Washington as part of his bid to stop a nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu will address the lobby group AIPAC today, followed by a controversial speech before Congress on Tuesday. The visit comes just as Iran and six world powers, including the U.S., are set to resume talks in a bid to meet a March 31st deadline. At the White House, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Netanyahu’s trip won’t threaten the outcome.

PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST: I think the short answer to that is: I don’t think so. And the reason is simply that there is a real opportunity for us here. And the president is hopeful that we are going to have an opportunity to do what is clearly in the best interests of the United States and Israel, which is to resolve the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program at the negotiating table.

AARON MATÉ: The trip has sparked the worst public rift between the U.S. and Israel in over two decades. Dozens of Democrats could boycott Netanyahu’s address to Congress, which was arranged by House Speaker John Boehner without consulting the White House. The Obama administration will send two officials, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, to address the AIPAC summit today. This comes just days after Rice called Netanyahu’s visit, quote, “destructive.”

AMY GOODMAN: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also facing domestic criticism for his unconventional Washington visit, which comes just two weeks before an election in which he seeks a third term in Israel. On Sunday, a group representing nearly 200 of Israel’s top retired military and intelligence officials accused Netanyahu of assaulting the U.S.-Israel alliance.

But despite talk of a U.S. and Israeli dispute, the Obama administration has taken pains to display its staunch support for the Israeli government. Speaking just today in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry blasted the U.N. Human Rights Council for what he called an “obsession” and “bias” against Israel. The council is expected to release a report in the coming weeks on potential war crimes in Israel’s U.S.-backed Gaza assault last summer.

For more, we spend the hour today with world-renowned political dissident, linguist, author, Noam Chomsky. He has written over a hundred books, most recently On Western Terrorism: From Hiroshima to Drone Warfare. His forthcoming book, co-authored with Ilan Pappé, is titled On Palestine and will be out next month. Noam Chomsky is institute professor emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he’s taught for more than 50 years.

Noam Chomsky, it’s great to have you back here at Democracy Now!, and particularly in our very snowy outside, but warm inside, New York studio.

NOAM CHOMSKY: Delighted to be here again.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Noam, let’s start with Netanyahu’s visit. He is set to make this unprecedented joint address to Congress, unprecedented because of the kind of rift it has demonstrated between the Republicans and the Democratic president, President Obama. Can you talk about its significance?

NOAM CHOMSKY: For both president—Prime Minister Netanyahu and the hawks in Congress, mostly Republican, the primary goal is to undermine any potential negotiation that might settle whatever issue there is with Iran. They have a common interest in ensuring that there is no regional force that can serve as any kind of deterrent to Israeli and U.S. violence, the major violence in the region. And it is—if we believe U.S. intelligence—don’t see any reason not to—their analysis is that if Iran is developing nuclear weapons, which they don’t know, it would be part of their deterrent strategy. Now, their general strategic posture is one of deterrence. They have low military expenditures. According to U.S. intelligence, their strategic doctrine is to try to prevent an attack, up to the point where diplomacy can set in. I don’t think anyone with a grey cell functioning thinks that they would ever conceivably use a nuclear weapon, or even try to. The country would be obliterated in 15 seconds. But they might provide a deterrent of sorts. And the U.S. and Israel certainly don’t want to tolerate that. They are the forces that carry out regular violence and aggression in the region and don’t want any impediment to that.

And for the Republicans in Congress, there’s another interest—namely, to undermine anything that Obama, you know, the entity Christ, might try to do. So that’s a separate issue there. The Republicans stopped being an ordinary parliamentary party some years ago. They were described, I think accurately, by Norman Ornstein, the very respected conservative political analyst, American Enterprise Institute; he said the party has become a radical insurgency which has abandoned any commitment to parliamentary democracy. And their goal for the last years has simply been to undermine anything that Obama might do, in an effort to regain power and serve their primary constituency, which is the very wealthy and the corporate sector. They try to conceal this with all sorts of other means. In doing so, they’ve had to—you can’t get votes that way, so they’ve had to mobilize sectors of the population which have always been there but were never mobilized into an organized political force: evangelical Christians, extreme nationalists, terrified people who have to carry guns into Starbucks because somebody might be after them, and so on and so forth. That’s a big force. And inspiring fear is not very difficult in the United States. It’s a long history, back to colonial times, of—as an extremely frightened society, which is an interesting story in itself. And mobilizing people in fear of them, whoever “them” happens to be, is an effective technique used over and over again. And right now, the Republicans have—their nonpolicy has succeeded in putting them back in a position of at least congressional power. So, the attack on—this is a personal attack on Obama, and intended that way, is simply part of that general effort. But there is a common strategic concern underlying it, I think, and that is pretty much what U.S. intelligence analyzes: preventing any deterrent in the region to U.S. and Israeli actions.

AARON MATÉ: You say that nobody with a grey cell thinks that Iran would launch a strike, were it to have nuclear weapons, but yet Netanyahu repeatedly accuses Iran of planning a new genocide against the Jewish people. He said this most recently on Holocaust Remembrance Day in January, saying that the ayatollahs are planning a new holocaust against us. And that’s an argument that’s taken seriously here.

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s taken seriously by people who don’t stop to think for a minute. But again, Iran is under extremely close surveillance. U.S. satellite surveillance knows everything that’s going on in Iran. If Iran even began to load a missile—that is, to bring a missile near a weapon—the country would probably be wiped out. And whatever you think about the clerics, the Guardian Council and so on, there’s no indication that they’re suicidal.

AARON MATÉ: The premise of these talks—Iran gets to enrich uranium in return for lifting of U.S. sanctions—do you see that as a fair parameter? Does the U.S. have the right, to begin with, to be imposing sanctions on Iran?

NOAM CHOMSKY: No, it doesn’t. What are the right to impose sanctions? Iran should be imposing sanctions on us. I mean, it’s worth remembering—when you hear the White House spokesman talk about the international community, it wants Iran to do this and that, it’s important to remember that the phrase “international community” in U.S. discourse refers to the United States and anybody who may be happening to go along with it. That’s the international community. If the international community is the world, it’s quite a different story. So, two years ago, the Non-Aligned—former Non-Aligned Movement—it’s a large majority of the population of the world—had their regular conference in Iran in Tehran. And they, once again, vigorously supported Iran’s right to develop nuclear power as a signer of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. That’s the international community. The United States and its allies are outliers, as is usually the case.

And as far as sanctions are concerned, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s now 60 years since—during the past 60 years, not a day has passed without the U.S. torturing the people of Iran. It began with overthrowing the parliamentary regime and installing a tyrant, the shah, supporting the shah through very serious human rights abuses and terror and violence. As soon as he was overthrown, almost instantly the United States turned to supporting Iraq’s attack against Iran, which was a brutal and violent attack. U.S. provided critical support for it, pretty much won the war for Iraq by entering directly at the end. After the war was over, the U.S. instantly supported the sanctions against Iran. And though this is kind of suppressed, it’s important. This is George H.W. Bush now. He was in love with Saddam Hussein. He authorized further aid to Saddam in opposition to the Treasury and others. He sent a presidential delegation—a congressional delegation to Iran. It was April 1990—1989, headed by Bob Dole, the congressional—

AMY GOODMAN: To Iraq? Sent to Iraq?

NOAM CHOMSKY: To Iraq. To Iraq, sorry, yeah—to offer his greetings to Saddam, his friend, to assure him that he should disregard critical comment that he hears in the American media: We have this free press thing here, and we can’t shut them up. But they said they would take off from Voice of America, take off critics of their friend Saddam. That was—he invited Iraqi nuclear engineers to the United States for advanced training in weapons production. This is right after the Iraq-Iran War, along with sanctions against Iran. And then it continues without a break up to the present.

There have been repeated opportunities for a settlement of whatever the issues are. And so, for example, in, I guess it was, 2010, an agreement was reached between Brazil, Turkey and Iran for Iran to ship out its low-enriched uranium for storage elsewhere—Turkey—and in return, the West would provide the isotopes that Iran needs for its medical reactors. When that agreement was reached, it was bitterly condemned in the United States by the president, by Congress, by the media. Brazil was attacked for breaking ranks and so on. The Brazilian foreign minister was sufficiently annoyed so that he released a letter from Obama to Brazil proposing exactly that agreement, presumably on the assumption that Iran wouldn’t accept it. When they did accept it, they had to be attacked for daring to accept it.

And 2012, 2012, you know, there was to be a meeting in Finland, December, to take steps towards establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the region. This is an old request, pushed initially by Egypt and the other Arab states back in the early ’90s. There’s so much support for it that the U.S. formally agrees, but not in fact, and has repeatedly tried to undermine it. This is under the U.N. auspices, and the meeting was supposed to take place in December. Israel announced that they would not attend. The question on everyone’s mind is: How will Iran react? They said that they would attend unconditionally. A couple of days later, Obama canceled the meeting, claiming the situation is not right for it and so on. But that would be—even steps in that direction would be an important move towards eliminating whatever issue there might be. Of course, the stumbling block is that there is one major nuclear state: Israel. And if there’s a Middle East nuclear weapons-free zone, there would be inspections, and neither Israel nor the United States will tolerate that.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to ask you about major revelations that have been described as the biggest leak since Edward Snowden. Last week, Al Jazeera started publishing a series of spy cables from the world’s top intelligence agencies. In one cable, the Israeli spy agency Mossad contradicts Prime Minister Netanyahu’s own dire warnings about Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb within a year. In a report to South African counterparts in October 2012, the Israeli Mossad concluded Iran is “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.” The assessment was sent just weeks after Netanyahu went before the U.N. General Assembly with a far different message. Netanyahu held up a cartoonish diagram of a bomb with a fuse to illustrate what he called Iran’s alleged progress on a nuclear weapon.

 

AMY GOODMAN: That was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in September 2012. The Mossad assessment contradicting Netanyahu was sent just weeks after, but it was likely written earlier. It said Iran, quote, “does not appear to be ready,” unquote, to enrich uranium to the highest levels needed for a nuclear weapon. A bomb would require 90 percent enrichment, but Mossad found Iran had only enriched to 20 percent. That number was later reduced under an interim nuclear deal the following year. The significance of this, Noam Chomsky, as Prime Minister Netanyahu prepares for this joint address before Congress to undermine a U.S.-Iranian nuclear deal?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Well, the striking aspect of this is the chutzpah involved. I mean, Israel has had nuclear weapons for probably 50 years or 40 years. They have, estimates are, maybe 100, 200 nuclear weapons. And they are an aggressive state. Israel has invaded Lebanon five times. It’s carrying out an illegal occupation that carries out brutal attacks like Gaza last summer. And they have nuclear weapons. But the main story is that if—incidentally, the Mossad analysis corresponds to U.S. intelligence analysis. They don’t know if Iran is developing nuclear weapons. But I think the crucial fact is that even if they were, what would it mean? It would be just as U.S. intelligence analyzes it: It would be part of a deterrent strategy. They couldn’t use a nuclear weapon. They couldn’t even threaten to use it. Israel, on the other hand, can; has, in fact, threatened the use of nuclear weapons a number of times.

AMY GOODMAN: So why is Netanyahu doing this?

NOAM CHOMSKY: Because he doesn’t want to have a deterrent in the region. That’s simple enough. If you’re an aggressive, violent state, you want to be able to use force freely. You don’t want anything that might impede it.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think this in any way has undercut the U.S. relationship with Israel, the Netanyahu-Obama conflict that, what, Susan Rice has called destructive?

NOAM CHOMSKY: There is undoubtedly a personal relationship which is hostile, but that’s happened before. Back in around 1990 under first President Bush, James Baker went as far as—the secretary of state—telling Israel, “We’re not going to talk to you anymore. If you want to contact me, here’s my phone number.” And, in fact, the U.S. imposed mild sanctions on Israel, enough to compel the prime minister to resign and be replaced by someone else. But that didn’t change the relationship, which is based on deeper issues than personal antagonisms.

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Netanyahu offers ‘no alternative but military action’

on February 27, 2015

Update: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is offering no alternative but the “military option” against Iran, the White House press secretary said this afternoon. Josh Earnest said that Netanyahu has “not presented an alternative” to the negotiations that the U.S. is undertaking, and that military action won’t work. It will only “steel” Iran’s resolve to develop nuclear weapons and end an inspections regime that the Iranians have accepted as well as break up the international coalition that the U.S. has put together to talk to Iran.

Original post:

As the excitement mounts towards the Netanyahu speech to Congress in four days, more dissident Congresspeople are announcing that they won’t be going. Marcia Fudge of Cleveland, Ohio, just saidshe’s not going, citing the foreign interference issue:  “Inviting a foreign head of state to address the Congress is a clear breach of protocol and practice, and undermines the U.S. Presidency.”

Betty McCollum of Minnesota also refuses to advance a “clear effort to undermine the president.” Jan Schakowsky of Illinois doesn’t want a war with Iran. Reps. Jim McGovern and Katherine Clark of Massachusetts announced they’re skipping yesterday. This Florida political blog lists 30 Democrats who won’t show.

There’s pressure on Dianne Feinstein and Dick Durbin to skip. But Senator Elizabeth Warren is said to be on the fence:

An aide to Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Warren thinks the speech should be postponed. The aide would not say whether Warren planned to attend or not. The aide said Warren is a strong supporter of Israel and met with Netanyahu in Israel in November. But she is disappointed that Boehner is trying to politicize American support for Israel.

Warren must be feeling financial pressure not to alienate the Israel lobby. That’s surely the angle of these neoconservative Republicans who are pressing Hillary Clinton to attend the speech; she can’t build a campaign warchest without the Israel lobby.

But the Chicago Sun-Times urges all members of Congress to skip the speech, emphasizing the most important angle: “military action has a way of going horribly wrong in the Middle East.” In the Miami Herald Ahmad Abuznaid hits the warmongering angle, too:

the government of this so-called best friend is determined to push us into a war with Iran that many, perhaps most, Americans don’t want.

At the Weekly Standard, Elliott Abrams says that Obama’s obdurate line against seeing Netanyahu next week is a sign that he has cut his ties with Israel:

Israeli officials have complained to me for several years about the lack of contacts and communications with the White House…. the problem is not just bad chemistry at the top; it is an administration that has decided to create a tense and negative relationship from the top down.

It’s a smart piece. Abrams says that Obama is playing the confrontation for all its worth for three reasons: to seal a deal with Iran, to harm Likud in the Israeli elections, and to change US policy vis-a-vis Israel– “to use the current tension to harm Israel’s support in the United States permanently.”

All opinion polls in the last several years show a partisan edge in support: overall support for Israel is steady and high, but its composition is changing. More and more Republicans support Israel, and the gap between Democratic and Republican support levels is growing. President Obama acts as if he sees this as a terrific development, one that should be enlarged as much as possible before he leaves office…. Support for Israel would become less of a bipartisan matter and more a divisive issue between the two parties. It is not hard to envision Obama in retirement joining Jimmy Carter as a frequent critic of Israel, pushing the Democratic party to move away from its decades of very strong support for the Jewish state.

Palestine of course became a cause for Carter; and he got ostracized from his own party. But as Abrams seems to acknowledge, that’s not going to happen again. Do you hear that, Liz Warren andRep. Sean Patrick Maloney?

But centrist Israel supporters are alarmed by the speech. Jeffrey Goldberg blames Netanyahu for setting the special relationship with the U.S. “on fire”– in order to keep his premiereship in the upcoming elections.

For decades, it has been a cardinal principle of Israeli security and foreign-policy doctrine that its leaders must cultivate bipartisan support in the United States, and therefore avoid even the appearance of favoritism. This is the official position of the leading pro-Israel lobbying group in Washington, AIPAC, as well, which is why its leaders are privately fuming about Netanyahu’s end-run around the White House. Even though AIPAC’s leadership leans right, the organization knows that support for Israel in America must be bipartisan in order for it to be stable. “Dermer and Netanyahu don’t believe that Democrats are capable of being pro-Israel, which is crazy for a lot of reasons, but one of the main reasons is that most Jews are Democrats,” one veteran AIPAC leader told me.

In Israel, cynicism about Netanyahu’s intentions is spreading.

This is why AIPAC pressured Netanyahu to change/cancel the speech, according to al-Monitor:

The news [of the speech] struck AIPAC heads like a thunderbolt. They had not been briefed about it before or after. They didn’t know about it, and they didn’t believe such a thing could happen to them. “This is AIPAC’s Day of Atonement,” one of the heads of the organization told me in a private conversation after the invitation was publicized. “This is the lowest point we have ever reached.”..

AIPAC prepared a detailed presentation that was given to Netanyahu with all the negative repercussions they believe would result from the controversial invitation to Congress and the cumulative damage. On Feb. 25 behind closed doors, one of the heads of AIPAC said, to paraphrase: All the things we warned him of, are materializing. We foresaw the domino effect that took place, the boycott by more and more Democratic Congress members, the significant deterioration in relations with Democratic legislators, the talks about boycotting the AIPAC convention (that is also being held at the beginning of March) by the administration. We protested, we warned. And who wasn’t impressed? Netanyahu. He’s coming.

Liberal Zionist J Street is angry at AIPAC for not doing more to cancel/postpone the speech.

And of course the left is working this split. “What does Netanyahu really think of the U.S.?” asks the US Campaign to End the Occupation in this great video. Answer: He thumbs his nose at us.

But Netanyahu’s wife Sara says in this reported phone call that her husband is a leader for the world:

“He [Binyamin Netanyahu] is one of the most veteran leaders in the world. In the United States they say that if he had been born in the US, he’d have been elected president there.”

Doing its part, Israel’s embassy to the U.S. retweeted this photo of Iranian forces blowing up a mockup of a US Navy ship in a military exercise, so as to demonstrate what US interests are. Not a smart move: Do Americans remember that Israel blew up a real Navy ship, in 1967 — the USS Liberty?

Yesterday Robert Siegel of National Public Radio interviewed two congressmen about Netanyahu’s speech. One is going– Steve Israel of Long Island — and one isn’t — John Yarmuth of Kentucky.Both are Jewish; Siegel informed us of this fact again and again.

Well, we’re going to hear from two Democratic members of Congress, both Jewish, both strong supporters of Israel.

Siegel explained that the Jewishness of the members was an important factor in the politics of the moment:

SIEGEL: You think that attendance of most, I gather, of the 19 Jewish members of the House of Representatives, all but one of whom are Democrats – that their attendance will be used as a signal in Israel to show – look, they all support Bibi Netanyahu?

Yarmuth dismissed that, making the important political point that this isn’t about Jews, it’s about Americans. “Well, I think the entire speech is going to be used to create that impression.”

Right, the pressure is on all Congresspeople from the Israel lobby. So why isn’t NPR talking to non-Jewish members? They count just as much in Congress as the Jews.

I think NPR’s approach is indicative of an attitude everyone in the Establishment quietly shares: Jews count more on this issue than non-Jews. When the New York Times ran Tony Judt’s article in support of Walt and Mearsheimer in 2006, they made Judt identify himself as a Jew. When Jan Schakowsky of Illinois announced that she was skipping the speech, she said, “As a Jew, support for Israel is in my DNA.” (I happen to disagree with that idea, but clearly there are more Jan Schakowsky’s in the Jewish community than people like me.) But if it’s so important to point out that Jewish public figures have a special relationship with Israel, then aren’t we allowed to ask Jewish members of the media how they feel about Israel? I always thought so. That’s one thing I admire about Roger Cohen and Peter Beinart. They dropped the pretense and said, I’m a Zionist, Israel matters more than anything to me. So did Bill Kristol, for that matter. Paul Krugman is the opposite. He knows about the question, but ducks it.

Fukushima: Fishermen Slam TEPCO for Silence on Cesium-Water Dumped in Pacific

TEPCO sat silent and did nothing…
aniamls_fishes_radiation_735_350

Tokyo Electric Power Co has already been seriously negligent, if not criminal, in reporting on the true severity of the Daiichi disaster. Now, fishermen from the Fukushima prefecture in Japan are shocked to find out that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific, while TEPCO sat silent and did nothing.

TEPCO apparently knew about the leak since last May. Fisheries are absolutely shocked. Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, said at a meeting with Tepco officials:

 “I don’t understand why (Tepco) kept silent even though they knew about it.”

TEPCO had previously sought the approval of local fishermen to dump groundwater into the ocean before it became tainted as a means of reducing the volume of water stored in the tanks at the reactor site. But due to this latest development, TEPCO fears a second round of approvals will be hampered, and they will not be able to dump more water.

TEPCO admitted this past week that they did not disclose rainwater leaks containing radioactive substances that were found in a drainage ditch, thought to be contaminated after last Spring’s rains. They knew that the water likely contained high radiation levels (with radioactive particles like cesium), even before it was dumped. The ditch is in direct alignment with runoff from the roof of the reactor 2 building.

TEPCO admits it recorded 29,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter in water pooled on the rooftop.

The same water also contained 52,000 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances such as strontium-90. 1,050 becquerels of radioactive cesium. What’s more, 1,500 becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive materials per liter were detected, but purposefully drained through an outlet leading to the sea.

Despite this, TEPCO says that seawater it has tested near the outlet still has ‘low concentrations’ of radioactive substances – to 1km from the site.

Meanwhile, just last Sunday, TEPCO reported more radioactive water flowing into the ocean from yet another drainage ditch.

Yuji Moriyama, a Tepco spokesman said:

“We were aware that the levels of radioactive materials around the drainage ditch were higher than other places,”

Moriyama added that they didn’t disclose the information because it was not considered ‘harmful to the environment.’

The EU and US media have also covered up information about continuing Fukushima leaks, along with TEPCO.

8 Signs That Fukushima Radiation Is Blasting The Oceans And U.S.

radiation map of U.S.
CLICK TO ENLARGE.

If you listen to Tepco and Japanese officials, you are bound to be confused about how bad Fukushima’s lasting effects really are. One moment they say everything is under control at the Fukushima nuclear plant, and the next they’re admitting radiation levels are 95% higher than originally stated. One would have to be awfully trusting or awfully ignorant to think the radioactive water spilling into the ground and eventually the sea wouldn’t spread throughout the world. The West Coast of Canada and the US is already seeing some effects.

Each day, 300 tons of radioactive water is spilling into the Pacific Ocean. The amount in the ocean and the global water supply is growing every single day, and ultimately impacting wildlife and our food supply. Whether you live on the West Coast or in the middle of the country, this should concern you as it will eventually affect us all.

Here are just a few signs that Fukushima radiation is here:

1. Tuna caught off the coast of California are contaminated with radiationOne test that studied 15 tuna found that all 15 had radiation contamination above and beyond what is normal for that area. Cesium-134 and cesium-137, which the fish were contaminated with, does not sink to the ocean floor, but rather contaminates the sea at all levels where fish swim through it, ingest it, or eat organisms that have already ingested it. Interestingly, the scientists who tested the fish didn’t expect to find contamination, and were sadly proven wrong.

2. Something is causing herring to bleed from their gills, bellies, and eyeballs, according to Canada.com. It’s believed these symptoms could be a sign of viral hemorrhagic septicemia that could be spread into salmon and other fish varieties. While not proven to be linked to Fukushima radiation, there is little doubt the radiation could be impacting immune function of the fish, leading to higher rates of disease.

3. Sockeye salmon populations at historic lows. Recreational and non-aboriginal fisheries in an area of British Columbia have been shut down due to record low numbers of sockeye salmon. Fukushima radiation may be to blame.

4. Radiation off West coast is expected to double in coming years. Projections fromGerman oceanographers estimate radiation levels from Fukushima will cause continued increases in West coast contamination over the next 5 to 6 years.

5. Fish imported from Japan is already contaminated. The Vancouver Sun tested fish imports from Japan and found cesium-137 at alarming rates, contaminating 73% of mackerel, 91% of halibut, 92% of sardines, 93% of tuna, 94% of cod and anchovies, and 100% of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish.

6. Radioactive plume expected to reach U.S. coastal waters soon. A large plume of radiation is expected to begin flowing into the coastal waters in the beginning of 2014 and continue throughout 2016. If we’re only thus far seeing the tip of the iceberg, what’s to come could be truly frightening.

7. There is an epidemic of sea lion deaths along the California coastline.

At island rookeries off the Southern California coast, 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than one-third of the pups would die.   It’s gotten so bad in the past two weeks that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event.”

8. We could see very high levels of cancer along the West coast due to contaminated fish consumption.

“Look at what’s going on now: They’re dumping huge amounts of radioactivity into the ocean — no one expected that in 2011,” Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer at the University of California-Santa Cruz, told Global Security Newswire. “We could have large numbers of cancer from ingestion of fish.”

Here is a real-time map of radiation levels within the U.S.

Big Pharma’s Mass Vaccination Agenda:

By James F. Tracy 

Propaganda Assault on Informed Consent

Major US news media have presented a grossly distorted and misleading interpretation of vaccines and their relationship to public health since early January. These  journalistic organs have suggested the recent measles outbreak in the Western US has been a crisis of monumental proportions.

This flagrant and cynical sensationalism has become a foundation for intense advocacy on behalf of the pharmaceutical corporate and regulatory cartel targeting patient informed consent—a founding principal of modern medical practice and personal freedom. Keeping in mind the close to 300 vaccine products now in the pharmaceutical industry’s pipeline,[1] closer analysis of “measles outbreak” press coverage suggests a conscious effort by corporate news media to virtually banish such notions and practices from the public mind. A news media dependent on over $1 billion in advertising dollars from big pharma must almost by necessity indulge their clients’ broader agenda.

An impartial journalistic approach to the question of vaccination and personal choice would provide equal and unprejudiced airing of “both sides,” in addition to the varied grey areas in the debate, from the corporate and statist entities flying the banner of mandatory vaccination to cautious segments of the citizenry voicing reservations toward such technology alongside the foremost prerogative of personal choice.

A LexisNexis search of US newspaper and wire service articles from December 28, 2015—the official start date of the California measles outbreak—to February 8, 2015 [2] using the search terms “measles” and “vaccination” yields 799 press releases or wire stories and 746 newspaper articles and opinion pieces. Much of this coverage predictably emphasizes the array of vaccine-friendly assumptions and pronouncements from entities abetting the pharmaceutical industry’s long-term profit-specific objectives.

For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is, alongside the Food and Drug Administration, the most powerful bureaucratic arm utilized by the global pharmaceutical cartel to elicit compliance with the federal vaccine schedule for children from the medical profession and broader population. Of the article sample referenced above, close to one-third (517) reference the “Centers for Disease Control” or “CDC” in their text, suggesting citation of the agency and its policies to persuasively instruct readers on vaccine efficacy and safety.

In contrast, the same body of over 1,500 press releases, news stories and editorials reference “informed consent” only three times—and when the term is used it is done so either in passing or to disparage the practice itself. For example, Arthur Caplan, a professor of medicine at New York University, warns against doctors even considering the practice of informed consent in regard to vaccines. “The science is unimpeachable,” Caplan proclaims. ” Vaccines do not cause autism; measles is dangerous and contagious; inoculating against the disease is neither pointless nor riskier than abstention.” The physician then amazingly suggests that genuine informed consent–explaining how a vaccine such as Measles, Mumps, Rubella, which can severely injure, incapacitate, or kill the child patient–must be categorically replaced by the dissemination of pharmaceutical industry propaganda and half-truths. “Those doctors who counsel otherwise – who distort what patients need to know to preserve their health or that of their children – have crossed a bright red line. They have violated a patient’s right to informed consent, which depends on accurate information.”[3]

The foremost US organization advocating the fundamental doctrine of informed consent, the National Vaccine Information Center, is referenced a paltry 22 times in the sizable article sample. And while the NVIC routinely emphasizes that it is not “anti-vaccine” and merely advocates that patients or their parents fully understand the risks associated with the industrialized, “one size fits all” immunization process, it is nevertheless framed as the official voice of “anti-vaccination.” A recent New York Times article from the data set is exemplary of this practice. “Members of the anti-vaccine movement said the public backlash had terrified many parents. ’People are now afraid they’re going to be jailed,’ said Barbara Loe Fisher, the president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a clearinghouse for resisters.”[4]

Of the 746 articles published in newspapers, 143 are editorial and opinion pieces. Almost without exception each vigorously supports wide-scale vaccination, even proposing punitive measures for those clinging to informed consent and personal choice. Such uniform opinion among newsroom management provides a clear indication of exactly how warped the overall news coverage of the “measles outbreak” has been.

“If we’re not willing to permanently exile anti-vaxxers from the public square,” one opinion in the Philadelphia Daily News remarks, “we should at least make emergency provisions to do so. Anti-vaxxers should be made to understand that when there is a public-health emergency – such as a measles outbreak – they’ll be quarantined for the duration.”[5] “Those who refuse to vaccinate are wrong,” theSalt Lake Tribune argues. “They endanger themselves and those around them.”[6] “The growing anti-vaccination movement is one of the most frustrating developments of this decade,” the San Jose Mercury Newssimilarly contends. “Some of the parents who mistrust vaccine are uneducated and have no access to pediatric counsel, but there’s no excuse for the irresponsible parents who have access to the latest science yet irrationally fear that vaccines are not safe for their children.”[7]

In an effort to console parents concerned about the very real possibility of vaccines causing autism, US government press releases and US news outlets alike reference a 1998 study authored by British physician and medical scientist Andrew Wakefield linking vaccination to Crohn’s disease and autism. “Public health officials blame a decline in parents having their kids vaccinated that began after a now-thoroughly discredited 1998 British report alleged that common early childhood vaccinations triggered autism,” the San Diego Union Tribune grouses. “Unfortunately, that discredited report continues to be cited by know-nothing celebrities and vapid New Age authors who broadly reject modern medicine. They do so even as life expectancy hits all-time highs and medical researchers make steady progress on many fronts.”[8]

The US government’s own public relations service—US Official News—likewise chimes in on Wakefield’s alleged deceit. “A 1998 article in the medical journal The Lancet caused a firestorm of controversy when it was published   and helped create the anti-vaccine movement that continues today,” one US government press release reads. “There’s only one problem–the article was later retracted by the publisher for being ‘utterly false,’ and the author, Andrew Wakefield, was found to have been paid big bucks by plaintiffs’ lawyers.”[9]

The fact that Wakefield’s 1998 findings have been upheld in 19 peer-reviewed papers he has contributed to the literature between 1998 and 2010, in addition to 28 studies from other scientists around the world [10] has been consciously overlooked by US newspaper editors and other drug industry propagandists. That this key piece of disinformation–soundly rebutted in the published research–continues to be repeated by journalists and government publicists alike suggests the hardcore disinformation tactics deployed to perpetuate the misunderstanding and unwarranted faith the majority of US families continue to place in big pharma’s immensely profitable vaccine agenda.

As direct result of this well-coordinated publicity campaign and resulting hysteria the legal right by which families may exercise informed consent is now under intense legal assault across the US. “Hearings to remove philosophical/conscientious exemptions to vaccine mandates have already taken place in Washington and Oregon,” NVIC reports.

California, Maine, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont all have bills already filed or press announcements of bills about to be filed to remove philosophical/conscientious exemptions. Maine, Minnesota and Texas have bills to substantially restrict philosophical/conscientious exemptions. Religious exemptions are also under attack. Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Vermont have bills filed or announced to eliminate religious exemptions, and Illinois, New Mexico and Texas have bills filed or announced to unconstitutionally restrict religious exemptions.

In addition, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia all have legislation underway to expand vaccine mandates.[11]

In light of the above one should be unsurprised at the mob-like antipathy toward “anti-vaxxers,” and how the notions of personal liberty and informed consent have been made to appear increasingly bizarre by being effectively stricken from public discourse. The population has been expertly propagandized on the issue by medical practitioners, their professional associations, and regulatory agencies tethered to the pharmaceutical industry’s agenda vis-a-vis a news media reliant on drug advertising revenue. With these observations in mind one must seriously ask themselves, In what meaningful way would a wholly scientific authoritarianism differ from what is witnessed in America today?

Notes

[1] Medicines in Development: A Report on the Prevention and Treatment of Disease Through Vaccines, Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America, 2013.[

2] Jennifer Zipprich, Kathleen Winter, et al, “Measles Outbreak – California, December 2014-February 2015,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 20, 2015.

[3] Arthur Caplan, “Quacks Against Vaccines? Revoke Their Licenses,”Washington Post, February 8, 2015.

[4] Jack Healy and Michael Paulson, “Vaccine Critics Turn Defensive Over Measles,” New York Times, January 31, 2015

.[5] Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuck, “The Vaccination Debate Continues,”philly.com, February 9, 2015

.[6] “Washington Post: Measles in America,” Salt Lake Tribune, February 3, 2015

.[7] “Disneyland’s Measles is a Hard Lesson in How Vaccines Work,”San Jose Mercury News, January 29, 2015.

[8] “Anti-Vaccination Charlatans Take Toll on Public Health,” San Diego Times Union, January 19, 2015.

[9] “Flashback: The Anti-Vaccine Movement and a Trial Lawyer-Funded Climate of Fear,” Plus Media Solutions/US Official News, February 17, 2015.[

10] Joseph Mercola, “Why Medical Authorities Went to Such Extremes to Silence Dr. Andrew Wakefield,” April 10, 2010,Mercola.com,http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/10/wakefield-interview.aspx

[11] “You Need to Act Now: Vaccine Exemptions and Mandates Threatened in Even More States,” February 23, 2015, National Vaccine Information Center.

Meet the Big Wallets Pushing Obama Towards a New Cold War

As for those in the K Street elite pushing Uncle Sam to confront the bear, it isn’t hard to see what they have to gain.

There’s a familiar ring to the U.S. calls to arm Ukraine’s post-coup government. That’s because the same big-money players who stand to benefit from belligerent relations with Russia haven’t forgotten a favorite Cold War tune.

President Obama has said that he won’t rule out arming Ukraine if a recent truce, which has all but evaporated, fails like its predecessor. His comments echoed the advice of a report issued a week prior by three prominent U.S. think tanks: the Brookings Institute, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the Atlantic Council. The report advocated sending $1 billion worth of “defensive” military assistance to Kiev’s pro-Western government.

If followed, those recommendations would bring the U.S. and Russia the closest to conflict since the heyday of the Cold War. Russia has said that it would “respond asymmetrically against Washington or its allies on other fronts” if the U.S. supplies weapons to Kiev.

The powers with the most skin in the game—France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine—struck a deal on Feb. 12, which outlines the terms for a ceasefire between Kiev and the pro-Russian, breakaway provinces in eastern Ukraine. It envisages a withdrawal of heavy weaponry followed by local elections and constitutional reform by the end of 2015, granting more autonomy to the eastern regions.

But not all is quiet on the eastern front. The truce appears to be headed the route of a nearly identical compromise in September, which broke down immediately afterward.

Moscow’s national security interests are clear. Washington’s are less so, unless you look at the bottom lines of defense contractors.

As for those in the K Street elite pushing Uncle Sam to confront the bear, it isn’t hard to see what they have to gain. Just take a look below at the blow-by-blow history of their Beltway-bandit benefactors:

No Reds Means Seeing Red

Following the end of the Cold War, defense cuts had presented bottom-line problems for America’s military producers. The weapons dealers were told that they had to massively restructure or go bust.

Luckily, carrots were offered. Norm Augustine, a former undersecretary of the Army, advised Defense Secretary William Perry to cover the costs of the industry mergers. Augustine was then the CEO of Martin Marietta — soon to become the head of Lockheed Martin, thanks to the subsidies.

Augustine was also chairman of a Pentagon advisory council on arms-export policy. In that capacity, he was able to secure yet more subsidy guarantees for NATO-compatible weapons sales to former Warsaw Pact countries.

But in order to buy the types of expensive weapons that would stabilize the industry’s books, those countries had to enter into an alliance with the U.S. And some members of Congress were still wary of shelling out money to expand a military alliance that had, on its face, no rationale to exist.

Enter the NATO Expansion Squad

Enter the U.S. Committee to Expand NATO. Formed in 1996, the Committee wined and dined elected officials to secure their support for NATO enlargement. Meanwhile, Lockheedbuttressed its efforts by spending $1.58 million in federal contributions for the 1996 campaign cycle.

The Committee’s founder and neocon chairman, Bruce Jackson, was so principled in his desire to see freedom around the globe that he didn’t even take a salary. He didn’t have to; he was a vice president at Lockheed Martin.

By Clinton’s second term, everyone was on board. Ron Asmus, a former RAND Corporation analyst and the “intellectual progenitor” of NATO expansion (who would later co-chair the Committee to Expand NATO), ended what was left of the policy debate in the State Department. He worked with Clinton’s diplomatic point man on Eastern Europe, Strobe Talbott.

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic were all in NATO come 1999. The Baltic States would soon follow. By 2003, those initial inductees had arranged deals to buy just short of $5 billion in fighter jets from Lockheed.

Bruce Jackson began running a new outfit in 2002. It was called the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

(36 F-16s are currently slated for delivery to Iraq at an estimated $3 billion.)

Rivers of Cash

Brookings is Washington’s oldest think tank. For most of its existence, its research was funded by a large endowment and no-strings-attached grants. But all of that changed when Strobe Talbott took the reins.

Strobe Talbott, President

• Talbott sought to bolster Brookings’ coffers with aggressive corporate fundraising. He took it from annual revenues of $32 million in 2003 to $100 million by 2013. Though always corporate-friendly, Brookings has become little more than a pay-to-play research hub under Talbott’s reign.

• Among the many corporate donors to Brookings are Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin and cyber-defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

David M. Rubenstein, Co-Chairman of Board of Trustees

• Rubenstein is co-founder and co-CEO at the Carlyle Group, a massive private equity firm. Among the companies in which Carlyle has a controlling stake in is Booz Allen Hamilton — a military and intelligence IT firm that is currently active in Ukraine.

• Booz, which both sells to and operates within the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus, counts four former Carlyle executives among its directors. Ronald Sanders, a vice president at Booz, serves on the faculty of Brookings.

Atlanticists

The Atlantic Council was formed in 1961 as a “consolidation of the U.S. citizen groups supporting” NATO, according to its website.

Stephen Hadley, Director

• A former national security advisor for George W. Bush, Hadley doubles as a director for Raytheon. He was also the driving force behind the creation of the U.S. Committee on NATO, on whose board he sat, and the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq.

• Prior to joining the Bush White House, Hadley was a lawyer for Shea & Gardner, whose clients included Lockheed Martin.

James Cartwright, Director

• A retired general and former vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, James Cartwright has an active work life. He’s “an advisor to defense and intelligence contractor TASC, defense consulting firm Accenture, and Enlightenment Capital, a private equity firm with defense investments,” according to the Public Accountability Initiative. He’s also on the board of Raytheon, which earned him $124,000 in 2012.

Other notables include:

• Nicholas Burns – former diplomat and current senior counselor at The Cohen Group, which advises Lockheed Martin, among other defense companies

• James A. Baker III – Bush 41 Secretary of State and partner at law firm Baker Botts. Clients include a slew of defense companies

• Thomas R. Pickering – former senior vice president for Boeing

Chi-town Chickenhawks

Founded in 1922, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs has since served as the premier voice of Midwest business leaders in American foreign policy. Jeb Bush recently made his “I am my own man” speech, outlining his foreign policy priorities, to the council:

Lester Crown, Chairman

• The chair of Henry Crown & Co., the investment firm that handles the fortune started by his father, Henry Crown. Henry put the “dynamic” in General Dynamics, helping to turn it into the world’s largest weapons manufacturer by the time Lester became its chairman in 1986. The defense behemoth remains the single largest source of the family’s treasure; they’re currently the 35th richest clan in America. General Dynamics produces all of the equipment types proposed for transfer to Ukraine in the think-tank report.

Ivo Daalder, President

• A co-author of the report, Daalder is a former diplomat and staffer on Clinton’s National Security Council. He later served on the Hart-Rudman Commissionfrom 1998-2001. It was chartered by Defense Secretary William Cohen—later to become a Lockheed consultant—and tasked with outlining the major shifts in national security strategy for the 21st century. Among its commissioners was none other than Norm Augustine.

The commission concluded that the Department of Defense and intelligence community should drastically reduce their infrastructure costs by outsourcing and privatizing key functions, especially in the field of information technology.

The main beneficiaries have been America’s major defense contractors: Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Boeing, Booz Allen Hamilton and Lester Crown’s outfit, General Dynamics.

General Dynamics’ revenue tripled between 2000 and 2010 as it acquired at least 11 smaller firms that specialized in exactly the sort of services recommended for outsourcing. Roughly one-third of GD’s overall revenue in 2013, the same year that Daalder was appointed president of the Council by Crown, came from its Information Systems and Technology division.

So even without a Cold War Bear to fuel spending, the re-imagining of that old foe is oiling the revolving door between the government and defense contractors.

US Gov’t: Radioactive material from reactors is 2 billion times more toxic than industrial poisons

By

Dr. Bill McBride, UCLA School of Medicine Vice Chair for Research in Radiation, Principle Investigator of UCLA’s Center for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiation — National Institutes of Health, Jan 27, 2014 (emphasis added):

  • 19:45 – There are some unique things about ionizing radiation when it comes to the interaction with biological systems… Energy is deposited ubiquitously in cells and in tissues… in little packets of energy… These [are] like many explosions going off in the cell… If you can think of these little explosions going off all over a cell, if it happens to take place in DNA, there’s really quite a high chance this will blow a hole in the DNA. Ionizing radiation is a very powerful cytotoxic agent… You get these lesions which are formed within DNA which are really quite complex lesions… We’re talking 0.0000000000000001 seconds for the ionization to take place… Cell cycle arrest, cell death by apoptosis or mitotic catastrophe… take place very rapidly after exposure.
  • 37:30 – What’s happening following ionizing radiation? You get these little explosions going off very rapidly… But mitochondria get hit as well… With time, you actually get these mitochondria leaking more free radicals than [the] ionizing radiation, by orders of magnitude… This concept is one which is growing very strongly in radiation biology now. The effects are not all over in 24 hours… you initiate a cascade of biological responses which can go on for a long period of time, even years.
  • 46:00 – You get long-term immune dysfunction… If you inject flu virus into mice [it] will eventually kill the [irradiated] animals… in normal animals this isn’t the case. So the immune system is compromised for long periods of time after radiation exposure.
  • 51:00 – The concept is that we’re generating damage which is cascading forward to mitochondria and other cellular structures, in addition to DNA… Radiation is not just a powerful cytotoxin, it initiates signaling cascades that are taking place against a radiation damage background… Radiation damage is often remembered within the cells. We’ve shown, at least in brain and lung and other tissues, you get these kind of pro-inflammatory responses… This is underlying a lot of effects in radiation exposure.
  • 52:00 (appears to be on verge of crying) – At UCLA we have over 100 people who are in our center… They’re interested in radiation now — they never were before. I think that we’re kind of moving animal models slowly forward to things which are really kind of very precise and very accurate and I think do reflect a lot of things that we will see in humans… who’ve been exposed to radiation.

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (pdf), 1968: The total amount of debris released during routine atomic processes and conceived as possible from accidents is minuscule when compared with the amount of pollutants produced throughout the world by combustion. The extraordinarily poisonous nature of the radioactive materialsinvolved, however, dictates that even small quantities be treated with respect. For instance, it has been estimated that some of the radioactive materials found in a reactor are 3 million to 2 billion times as toxic as chlorine, the most common poison used by industry... if it were possible for all the many controls and safety features in a large power reactorto fail so as to produce a disastrous release of radioactivity, this release could conceivably kill thousands… Although, in actual practice, such an accident is made to have avanishingly small probability of occurring, the theoretical potential for such an accident is probably greater than for any work of man other than the explosion of a fission or fusion weapon.

Watch McBride’s presentation here

  1. Mushroom-shaped “pink cloud” seen at Fukushima after Reactor 3 exploded — Film: Nuclear bomb explosions caused “pink clouds of radiation”; “Clouds were pink from fallout… They told everyone there’s nothing to worry about” (VIDEO & PHOTOS)December 17, 2014
  2. Nuclear materials expert: Los Alamos lab is potentially vulnerable to this wildfire — “Just hope to hell that the wind blows in the right direction” June 29, 2011
  3. Explosion and blaze inside protected area at U.S. nuclear plant in Arkansas — Transformer blows in Unit Two, causes fire that was not contained for 1.5 hours — “Loud, ground shaking explosion” reported — Reactor remains shut down, extent of damage unknown (PHOTOS & VIDEO) December 10, 2013
  4. Japan Expert: Second explosion was “more like a bomb” at Fukushima — Spent nuclear fuel flew 30 kilometers away, pellets collected by military — Very strange materials like europium were found — Should have evacuated out to 300 kilometers (VIDEO) October 7, 2013
  5. NBC Nightly News: ‘Has Radiation Entered Our Food Supply Chain?’ — USA Today: News getting worse at Fukushima, widespread suspicion leaks into ocean ‘underreported’ — Expert: “I’m not trying to be alarmist… but how will we know it’s safe” for West Coast? (VIDEO) March 9, 2014
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