Fukushima plant is dumping nuclear waste into ocean on a daily basis; “There’s no foreseeable end to it… and nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it”

By ENENewsAsahi Shimbun, Oct 26, 2015 (emphasis added): [TEPCO announced] the construction of seaside walls to block radiation-contaminated groundwater from seeping into the sea has been completed at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant… TEPCO officials said the underground walls will reduce the daily flow of contaminated groundwater into the sea from the previous estimated 400 tons to 10 tons. However, they said it will take a month or two to confirm the effectiveness of the barriers.

Japan Times, Oct 26, 2015: Tepco hopes the wall will significantly reduce the amount of contaminated water that has continued to flow into the Pacific more than four years after the 2011 meltdown crisis… 400 tons of groundwaterwas draining along the sides of the buildings and into the sea each day, after being contaminated with fallout from the 2011 meltdown crisis, according Tepco. The utility says an estimated 150 tons of underground water is still flowing into the basements of the damaged reactor buildings each day… Recent tests of water samples from the nearby sea have detected radioactive substances such as cesium-137 and strontium-90, but scientists have said the density is so low that it poses no immediatedanger to human health. Yet, the ongoing flow of tainted water from the plant has raised anxiety and concerns among local fishermen and many consumers across the country. Tepco plans to keep monitoring the density of radioactive materials in the nearby sea over the next month. To isolate the four reactor buildings from the underground water, Tepco hopes to freeze the soil around them… The Nuclear Regulation Authority has yet to give permission for the operation, saying creation of frozen soil could drastically change the underground water level around the plant. If the water level outside falls lower than that inside, the contaminated water could leak out. Meanwhile, Tepco has not explained exactly how it will control the water levels, an NRA official said.

Dr. Keith Baverstock, former World Health Organization regional adviser for radiation and public health, published Oct 23, 2015 (at 37:00 in): “I’m reallyappalled at the way the international system has failed… Quite frankly, we don’t get anything through the media… There is no general understanding of the situation here in Europe, because the media are not putting this view forward. In fact, I think many people would be very surprised that it was still  a matter for discussion. They would be even more surprised to learn that it’s still an ongoing accident, and that it hasn’t terminated yet. They’d be even more surprised that nobody has any good ideas on how to stop it. So this is a very big black point… for the nuclear industry — that they can cause a situation like this, where there’sno foreseeable end to it. It’s against international law to dump radioactivity into the sea, but that is precisely what is happening on a daily basis.”

Watch Baverstock’s presentation here

  1. Officials have “admitted failure” at Fukushima plant — Giving up on attempts “to prevent highly contaminated water from pouring into ocean” — Regulator asks “What was all the trouble over the past months for?” — Gov’t experts worried cement barrier is going to crack (VIDEO) November 23, 2014
  2. Engineer: Outright failures continue to plague Fukushima plant — “Public may think worst is over… Nothing could be further from the truth” — Japan TV: New method failing to stop flow of highly contaminated water — Experts: ‘Diluting’ radiation in ocean adds to danger; Spreading it out only makes health damages worse (VIDEO)January 12, 2015
  3. NHK: Attempts to stop Fukushima contamination flowing into ocean have failed — Japan Nuclear Expert: “Most likely flowing fairly quickly into sea” from nearby Reactor No. 2 September 11, 2013
  4. TV: Fukushima underground dam not working, radiation levels now exceeding gov’t limit near shore — Tepco Official: “The flow of contaminated water into ocean is causing problems… It’s quite difficult to stop” (VIDEO) February 9, 2014
  5. Japan Expert: Contamination from Fukushima is traveling “under the seabed” and spreading further out in Pacific Ocean — Measures needed to stop flow September 3, 2013
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Canada: The Cover-Up and Theft of Another Election.

Harper fraude

The Memory Hole of Continuous Proven Fraud  over Nine Years

Canadians are within a few days of stopping or allowing the Harper regime to continue to destroy the democracy and life fabric of Canada. But the dots are taboo to connect. The PR-led opposition has joined the corporate media in a public stage ritual of forgetting. The endless lies, election cheats, and bullying abuses through nine years of PMO civil destruction go scot free.

The Harper regime has cheated or stole every election. Yet not even the Conservative robo-call fraud to deprive up to 500,000 citizens of their votes in the 2011 election has been raised in the official campaign. No-one on stage remembers any of it back to the first Harper theft of power in 2006, featuring the Harper-RCMP deal to falsely accuse the Liberal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale in criminal investigation just prior to the election. Nor is Harper’s violation of his own Election Act in calling the 2008 election and its massive illegal spending on attacks ads filling the airwaves with public hate just before the vote. All has been proven off the campaign stage, but all has been silenced on it. The regime’s near-daily record of lies, scandals and violations has gone the memory hole of the electoral campaign, with $54 million on hand for attack ads.

Nothing sticks because public information is repressed in every form by the Harper PMO, the corporate media publish only transient details and flattering pictures, and the mainstream parties silently submit to the rule of amnesia. Yet every destruction tracks back to the Mafia-like despotism of the Harper PMO whose rule of fear, division, lies, character assassination and public sector dismantling runs free with no connection on stage. Even as I write, Harper tells more public lies that “there are no cuts at the CBC” and that “marijuana is far more dangerous than tobacco’.

The Wheat Board clause is the addition replacing the gagging clause (which comes in enough). We may recall how the proven big liars and war criminals of the US Republican party getting re-elected there despite their crimes against democracy and law. Harper is the branch-plant version with more years allowed to strip the country’s public accountability and wealth to serve the rich. Constituencies of bigotry and greed provide the energies of attack always in motion.

From Fraud, War against Science and Dispossession of the Poor to tthe Niqab Sting

Fraud, war against public knowledge, and dispossession of the poor are the hallmarks of the Harper regime exposed in many forms off stage from an aroused Canadian public. But they are amnesiac in the official campaign. They continue with impunity and the tacit support of official opposition silence. The clear majority of citizens loathe the man destroying Canada’s common life substance and identity. But the pathological meaning is taboo to name on the public stage.

In the turning point of the election campaign that Harper was losing on the ground, national  attention was suddenly diverted to the veil rights of two indoctrinated women claiming duty to Allah and the Prophet to keep their faces hidden in citizenship ceremony. How could such a red herring reverse the Harper defeat overnight when not even the Koran prescribes veils?

Yet a feudal harem duty became solemnly claimed as a public right by the politically correct even in swearing citizen allegiance to Canada. Incredibly the leader of the Quebec stronghold of the opposition NDP took  the bait. Playing against the role that had been long fit up for him by the corporate press – the angry man – he donned the image of liberal tolerance. He stood up for the symbol of an ancient, foreign right of possession of women, and predictably alienated his Quebec support. Along with the NDP’s me-too neo-liberalism of “no deficit”, the party blew the national election lead into third place within days.

Public relations and political correctness are dear to marketing men and pollsters running the NDP too. But they do not work with citizens who dislike turncoats to neo-liberal dogma and are used to seeing people’s faces as fellow citizens.

Thus dragged into a stand enabling no-one’s life in the country, the campaign for the working people of Quebec and Canada became weak and alien – a betrayal of its voter base. In truth, the stand does not even protect the veiled immigrants. Their fathers and husbands can now demand the right of their proprietorship over them as a sacred right in Canada itself against long evolved citizen norms of openness and trust. Thus the entire Harper record of perpetual lies and harms against the common life interest of Canada disappeared into the memory hole over a false right serving no-one’s better existence in the country.

Thus a total diversion to a sectarian demand in citizenship oath itself succeeded. It completely switched the life-and-death of the 2015 election to an unconscious visceral plane where emotional knee-jerk was guaranteed – the master psych-op of the Harper regime. The fact that the issue is still before the courts known to rule against Harper over-stepping laws of every kind was ignored. But Harper rule won again by appeal to the knee-jerk unconscious of the masses.

This is in fact the crypto-fascist key of all Harper public appeal. Play the primeval fear card and step up PMO command to stop the fabricated danger to the country. Transnational attack dog Lynton Crosby, “master of the dark arts of dirty politics”, was on hand to orchestrate the diversion in the midst of a losing election. Simultaneously Harper’s-re-jigged Election Commission overrode the Election Act that says no non-Canadian may “induce anyone to vote” one way rather than another. Anything goes in this regime of corruption all the way down.

The Underlying Grammar of Amnesia and Illusion

The underlying deep structure of amnesia and illusion can be formulated in one sentence. National elections are increasingly reduced to a corporate market game of propagandas to sell one product rather others to targeted private-interest groups who will behave predictably as an aggregate as buyers of commodities for sale. The first premise here is that public intelligence does not exist, and the second is that any lie and fraud you can get away with is smart. .

No-one seems to see the entailment that the common life interest of citizens is ruled out a priori.Slogan rhetoric and partisan hype is all there is for the P-R managers of the game. “Middle class” can be asserted as vehemently by one party as the other with no meaning. The health, home and literacy of all citizens, not just the middle class having more money, is repelled by the marketing mind. Here the common interest is the latest opinion poll of selves with no facts involved.

The deciding force is private money, but this too is taboo to speak on the public stage. So is is the predictable  result. Those who control more money more fund the party that wins even it cumulatively destroys the collective life capital of society and world.

The party meant to oppose this refuses to say it nd the mass media never allow it into their ad vehicles. So the ‘left’ party buys in and presses everyone on its lists to give more money to pay corporate media for more ads. One X on a card at the end decides it all in the end. Yet ever more people cannot access even that.  This is the design of Harper’s Orwellian ‘Fair Elections Act’, excluding all those without an official identification resident address – in short, the poor and native citizens. Buttressing this fix of the election, Harper rule redefines electoral boundaries at the same time so that his party picks up an extra 22 seats, compared to the NDP and the Liberals adding six and two seats respectively. The riggings and frauds never stop.

In the dominant value system, the underlying formula is that more money in private pockets is the final good. Worship of riches that contribute no life function and increasingly pollute and deplete the world are kept out of public view. That the global gold baron patron of the Munk Institute debate been featured in this election is a metaphor of this regime’s total corruption. The instant institute becomes the private corporate ground for where Harper is willing to debate. No media or even opposition party reports that the Munk institute is a special recipient of many millions from Harper’s government, lavishes Tory front-men with rich company positions when they step down, helps to reset University of Toronto to a transnational corporate propaganda site, and causes continual human rights abuses in poor countries by its world-leading gold extractions from their lands. The right-wing audience repeatedly applauded Harper alone, and no mass media reported the fix.

This is one way in which the Harper regime reduces the country to a looting basin for borderless corporate market vehicles. His “economic record” never deviates from this outcome, but this again is taboo to say in the campaign. Mass ignorance rules along with absolute power to command. But no-one names the game. What distinguishes the Harper regime, from prior administrations is its war on public knowledge and democracy at every plane  – its market-fascist logic. But who thinks through the meaning of every step?  None is seen or connected on stage. Aan Orwellian propaganda field is the ocean to the voters and citizens surrounded by it.

As always in this totalizing corporate game, images are the only reality. Corporate media carry the only common messages the majority see. The truth becomes whatever sells.

Yet which contending party does not buy in?  For the Harper regime, taxes like death are bad by definition, and the more money in private pockets is the ruling public value. One meta law governs the war of movement – to feed without limit on the public purse and expropriate all life-serving programs outside private profit and control.

The Harper Corruption of Canada Spreads by the Taboo Against Naming It.

Even the official opposition with the most progressive tradition of the three major parties has played the corporate-ad game instead of naming the proven despot, liar, and fraud in the PMO.  As in BC in 2013, the NDP snatches defeat from the jaws of victory by empty advertising logic with no life substance. And as with Jack Layton who first let the fanatic Harper in the door by attacking only Liberals in the 2006 debates, the NDP is too busy going after Liberals to expose the usurper destroying the country.

A narcissism of small differences prevails, with the Liberals now outflanking the NDP to the left. The NDP’s leader, Thomas Mulcair, has the capacities of an ace prosecuting attorney to expose the Harper regime as tyrannically corrupt. Yet there has been no mention of the Harper record of continual public lies, cheating, criminal behaviors, war-mongering, and – most lethal to democracy – stripping of public science, communications and accountability at every level.

Consequences follow. The Harper regime has not only torn up the Kyoto Protocol. It has closed down scientific monitorings of everything from freshwater fish and contaminants to unique carbon load detectors, fired 2000 federal scientists, shut down and destroyed public archives of fisheries and oceans, prohibited any public communication of scientific information by those remaining, and abolished habitat-protecting laws 99% of Canada’s waterways.

Not only Canada’s environment and environmental knowledge, laws and resources have been attacked non-stop by the Harper regime. It wages war against all life-protective intelligence and knowledgethat can recognize the disastrous consequences. Its master goal is to serve the runaway global corporate juggernaut that devours the world to maximize private money demand as the only value there is.

Try to think of an exception. The long train of lies, abuses, interferences, public information destructions, criminal appointments, violations of laws, and vengeful uses of the state beggars belief in its perversion of the democratic process. Even more deeply, the collective life capital bases on which every one of us depends from the atmosphere to the ocean bottoms to the rule of life-protective law and common knowledge are exactly what are targeted and defunded to turn all of government into more private market riches at the top.

Yet the near-daily Harper outrages have already come and gone with no connected tracking of them in the official campaign. So silenced have the public positions of the opposition parties been that a complicity under partisan appearances seems hard to deny. Yet we need to know the depth of the corruption that has spread into Canada’s very metabolism and marrow. Unconscious submission to the ruling game of corporate mass sales has become the way we decide how to live even if it increasingly destroys Canada and life on earth.

Tracking the Beast Not Named

We need to recall out of the memory hole of all that has been forgotten in the 2015 election what destruction Harper has wrought on Canada’s abilities to function as a democratic society and intelligent civilisation. In fact, his meta program is to destroy everything that cannot be bought and sold for private profit – the underlying fanatic goal that is not seen.

It includes what is not publicly tracked or connected – destroying the public post delivery and financially gutting the nation’s only public broadcaster CBC; attacking the prairie family farm by dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board; continuous gaggings of elected representatives; continual appointment of criminals to office; stripping Statistics Canada and the mandatory Canada Census that are the recording memory of the nation; destroying the country’s gun registry against provincial and law-enforcement requests; continual anti-union interference in collective bargaining; smearing of veteran advocates resisting abuse and dismissal of their federal ombudsman; tax agency attacks on venerable social charities not towing the Harper line; gag orders on any federal civil servant not controlled by partisan public relations officers; lying attack ads without remission on any opposition leader who may compete against Harper; putting protestors under blanket state surveillance with black lists of their leaders; covering up torture and lawless police and armed-force killings across continents; risking the lives of Canada’s foreign troops for Harper photo-ops (he forbids any photographers but his own at press conferences); continuously false cost estimates of public money for new institutional violence, dispossession and caging policies; falsification or disappearance of documents across jurisdictions; use of Government of Canada identifiers and publication channels for party propaganda including even government cheques, altogether costing over $700 million of taxpayer funds;  implicitly accepting bribes in return for public offices on the public purse for significant donors in every possible form of partisan pay-off; public contempt of parliament twice as prime minister with endless parliamentary abuses; fixed blocking of parliamentary and individual access to public information; silencing of the public service in every domain; forced loyalty oaths to political incumbents; omnibus bills that sneak through fascist-style overwhelming of any debate; secret trade deals that ruin the productive lives of countless thousands of citizens; dismembering Statistics Canada and lying about it;  arbitrary shut-downs of Parliament when convenient for continued rule; incessant interferences in independent bodies like the National Energy Board, the CRTC, the Integrity Office  and  – for reporting vast sums of illegal spending – the Parliamentary Budget Office itself.

As for foreign affairs, Harper’s attack-dog regime has been by far the most war-mongering administration in Canada’s history. It has declared without any evidence Iran as the “greatest threat in the world” while applaudingd the continuously war-criminal actions of the Israel state. It has led the NATO  bombing of once thriving Libya to irreversible ruin. It has jumped to recognise the violent and neo-Nazi-led coup in Ukraine and blame Russia for the resulting civil war and failed state. It has constructed endless false claims of Islamic terror threats and rushed to bomb in the Middle East to “stop ISIS” in ignorance of its Saudi-CIA funding, arming and creation. It has completely reversed Canada’s tradition as a peacemaker nation, voted off even the UN Human Rights Commission.

All follows the fascist pattern not named. Harper long ago gave notice of his readiness to commit the supreme crime under law in demand that Canada join the war-criminal bombing and genocide of Iraq on completely false pretexts in 2003. Here again, however, he has been given a free pass by the opposition parties in Parliament and on the 78-day campaign.

The Cover-Up Not Seen

Marketing elections run by private money for private money can override or silence all that a society needs for its better life. Once the corporate media control all perceptions to serve self-maximizing marketers from the top down with no common life interest binding across differences, no shared life value or ground can be seen.

If corporate-market PR machinations capture opposition parties themselves, there is no centre of gravity of the common good. There are only sales pitches to targeted consumers. Nothing else gets in. Since private money alone can buy the media time to pitch political products, the competition becomes over who has more money to buy ads.  That the election is won by those with most private money backing is an underling meaning that disappears into the frenetic contest to get more of it to win.  Nothing else is defined but more-money-needed in the 2015 campaign of the NDP even after all the evidence is in.

The shared life infrastructures of air to breathe, green space to enjoy and vocations to serve disappear from the conversation. Even the continuous frauds, lies, civil society destructions, and giveaways to the corporate rich are forgotten in this cover-up process not seen. Incredibly, no-one charges Harper for his proven record to destroy the very fabric of Canada’s democracy and capacity to govern for the public. It does not exist in this field of meaning. Only the memory hole remains on the campaign stage.

Do You Trust this Man? 

The electoral opposition to the Harper regime’s decade of society destruction and transfer of public wealth to the rich has one more big lie to consider. Just 12 days before the election, it was announced that the TPP (‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’) had been rammed through before the election and before Canadians or Parliament have had a chance even to read it. No matter. Harper proclaims he “is 100% certain that it is good for Canada and all Canadians”. All the terms and details remained secret and inaccessible. Not one of the factually certain costs to Canadians is admitted as an issue. No citizen or party and knows any more than allowed to be told to them. The Trade Minister refused to be interviewed.  All the certain life sacrifices of local economies, people’s secure livelihoods, food security, and vast new transportation pollution and carbon loads  are simply erased from the ledger. They do not exist to this mind-set.

The TPP was announced the day I complete this analysis. But already one can recognize that every step follows in the tracks of Harper’s absolutely unaccountable and fraudulent rule – unlimited central control, complete secrecy, exclusion of public information in every detail, silencing of everyone else around including his own party’s elected MP’s, worship of the transnational corporate system of ever more profit as infallible, omnipotent boast of knowing the future for all citizens, and a very big-lie core of all he proclaims.

One might say Harper is a fanatic beyond all precedent in Canada’s prime ministry, and a pathological liar by demand of the corporate market doctrine of which he is a creature. This is why the life-blind inner logic of what drives him is not available to his mind. What sustains him are the corporate media barons and the extreme right-wing business roundtables from which he graduates. This is why he must always have them around in debates, as at the Munk centre. They pump him on in the CEO-despotism and greed they all bow to that destroys the world.  The same happens across oceans in different variations. The TPP organizes corporate rule across the most distant continents into global dictatorship over all sovereign governments involved, over new and old unions of organized workers who can withdraw labour, over public policy shifts to serve people instead of endless foreign profits out of their countries, and over evolved recourses of democracy and  government by collective life need.

This is the covered up meaning of Harper’s certitude of better lives for all. What life-blind doctrine has ever been so mindlessly ignorant of the facts of human life and the common life support systems of our planet?  They simply do not exist to this corruption of mind. A borderless corporate market ever larger and more unaccountable to the public, human life and the biosphere itself is the God of the world destruction.

Masked in the absurd slogan of “free trade” which is free for none but transnational corporations – and why they always love it – no media challenges this deranged mind-set any more than its big advertisers. And the two mainstream parties are always funded by its agents.  This is why the evil consequences are always ignored even though they follow necessarily from these one-sided treaties of transnational corporate rights. These are the real certainties that even the money masters and  their servants cannot deny – that big transnational foreign corporations will always displace and ruin small and local businesses in every sphere they enter; that jobs and wages will always be lost, lower and less secure in the aggregate; that organized workers in unions will always be smashed or reduced further; that environmental restraints and regulations will always be eliminated if they do not conform to corporate rights to the profits they expect;  that no-one except corporate lawyers will be able to judge by secret tribunal operations accountable to no one or no international law whether a public policy is valid if a private corporation sues it at public expense; and that every penalty for not conforming to this corporate treaty mechanism, with no non-profit public body allowed to dispute it, is without upper limit of money punishment to be paid by the taxpayers of the country that has disobeyed the new global corporate rights as judged by the private and unelected corporate-lawyer tribunal made up of the same people who wrote the treaty in secret and without public debate.  

This is the already established format of the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ which no-one can truthfully deny, and this what Stephen Harper is “certain is good for Canada and Canadians” as he gives away Canada’s sovereignty and imposes still secret foreign terms on the country in the middle of an election. Official Opposition leader Thomas Mulcair has for the first time in this election stood against the job-destroying, hollowing-out system that Harper leads with big lies – just as Brian Mulroney did before him with NAFTA promising “jobs, jobs, jobs” when 500,00 secure manufacturing  jobs with living salaries and benefits were soon destroyed in fact.

The Harper regime has already lost 400,000 jobs under its watch. But the TPP will disemploy more than that when race-to-the-bottom Asian wages, safety, financial and environmental regulations are available to transnational corporations and banks to feed on at the expense of Canadian society, sovereignty, family security, youth opportunities and natural life and resources. This is the competition to the lowest denominators of life and life ruin that Harper adores as his ideal, ‘the free market’ of private corporate money sequence that override all else. .

Yet the real Canada beneath corporate-money functions sees through the endless lies and betrayals that are masked as “Conservative”. This worse-than-Mulroney despot and quisling of money power might come unstuck in his latest destruction of the common life bases of the country. Recall that this party of sell-out to private and transnational money powers ended up with two seats once the people caught on to the fraud.

Your organic cotton tee-shirt probably poisoned a river in Asia

by

Dyed yarn hanging on a fence at the Jubilee Farm in Snoqualmie, part of a class on using natural plant dyes. (Photo by Carolyn Higgins)
Dyed yarn hanging on a fence at the Jubilee Farm in Snoqualmie, part of a class on using natural plant dyes. (Photo by Carolyn Higgins)

Your soft cotton tee shirt is the ultimate warm fuzzy. Snuggling gratefully into its soft fibers, you feel virtuous about buying a product that was made of natural organic materials. Think of all those barrels of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers that weren’t sprayed on foreign cotton fields thanks to you. Think of the smiling cotton farmers in Turkey and India growing those pure white organic tufts for you to snuggle into.

Sigh.

Bet you a tidy sum that the label boasting of organic fiber on that shirt says nothing about the luscious color. And for good reason.

We tend to be blissfully unaware of the myriad health problems attributed to the textile dyeing process, as most of our clothing is not from around here.

Yet somewhere in India, a river runs fluorescent pink. Or electric blue, or tangerine orange.

Perhaps the most infamous of these is India’s Noyyal River, which carries toxin-dense waste water from factories in Tirupur — a metropolis also known as “Knit City.” The effluent resulting from dyeing that imported cotton shirt you love pours from the dyeing plant into the Noyyal and other Indian and Chinese streams and rivers, carrying with it toxic chemicals – cancer-causing cadmium, lead, chromium, mercury, and more.

A Japanese-owned textile dyeing facility in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area in Northeastern China. (Photo from Flickr by Matthew Stinson)
A Japanese-owned textile dyeing facility in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area in Northeastern China. (Photo from Flickr by Matthew Stinson)

But one Seattle woman believes that we don’t have to pay such a heavy price for our penchant for color, and she is sharing her passion for plant-based, low-water dyes, adding to a “slow clothing” movement.

On a sunny recent August afternoon, Kathy Hattori leads a small band of acolytes to the cutting flower garden on Jubilee Farm, an organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) grower in Washington state’s fertile Snoqualmie valley.

She stops in front of a backdrop of enormous sunflowers and faces her students from behind a row of blanket-flowers, a daisy-like bloom glowing with streaks of orange, gold, pink, and coral. “Gaillardia,” she pronounces. “Let’s cut these – we should get some good color.”

The gloved throng bends to gather the bright flower heads, filling baskets.

Despite the jeans and encyclopedic knowledge of plant-based dyes, Hattori’s past career was rooted not in textiles or art but in the corporate world.

“The specter of Death drove me from the high-tech world,” she joked in an earlier interview.

A degree in environmental studies originally led to a job with the EPA. Her administrative flair led to a highly-paid but draining stint in the Silicon Valley. But discontent with the unfulfilling work led her to establish a new life in Seattle.

Leveraging her business background and following a long-time love of textiles, Hattori went to work for a natural dye company. There she became aware of the toxicity bedeviling conventional clothing. It was the 2005 GreenPeace report, “Toxic Threads” that galvanized her explorations with natural dyes.

Kathy Hattori at the Jubilee Farm. (Photo by Carolyn Higgins)
Kathy Hattori at the Jubilee Farm. (Photo by Carolyn Higgins)

She learned about places like “Knit City,” where about a third of nearby villagers find themselves suffering from a range of ailments attributed to dye-related pollution, including gastritis, joint pain, and more.

Azo dyes, which are used for about 70% of textiles made, carry significant health and cancer risk, as do other chemicals used in the process like benzidine, pthalates, and formaldehyde.

Large amounts of precious potable water in clothing producing countries like China, India, and Bangladesh, is diverted from human and animal use, to be used in the dyeing process and then released back into streams. Neighboring farmland can be rendered unusable, exacting a heavy toll on health, livelihoods, and the environment.

The clothing produced arrives in the shopping bags of first world consumers with toxic residue, continuing the threat of toxic run-off to our own local water supplies. This is particularly concerning with regard to children’s clothing.

“I’d known that there were some pretty aggressive chemicals in the textile dyeing industry,” Hattori said. “But I didn’t realize just how toxic the substances are, and I hadn’t known about the amount of effluent produced and the enormous amount of water used in these processes. It had a huge effect on me.”

In 2010, she formed her own company, Botanical Colors, producing natural dyes for hobbyists and eventually for the fashion industry.

“I now work with small designers,” Hattori told me. “Younger designers are frustrated by not being able to make sustainable designs.”

Yarns dyed with natural indigo hang on a tree at the Jubilee Farm. (Photo by Carolyn Higgins)
Yarns dyed with natural indigo hang on a tree at the Jubilee Farm. (Photo by Carolyn Higgins)

To that end, Hattori collaborates with New York design house Eileen Fisher, overdyeing gently-used clothing for Eileen Fisher’s clothing recycling initiative, Green Eileen.

Re-sellers like Green Eileen address a related concern of Hattori’s: the impact of the enormous amount of clothing we purchase in the developed world — as much as 70 pieces of clothing per person per year, by some estimates.

Producing dyes in bulk is a part of Hattori’s commitment to sustainability.

“National brands find it difficult to adapt to using natural dyes, but many of them have committed to fix their supply chains by 2020. I want to figure out how to bring the process to the point where it is practical for them to use; to be an evangelist,” she said as we sat in her Ballard facility. “If I can get their attention and then their buy-in, we can start to make a change. But natural dyes are challenging to mass-produce. You never eat the same piece of spinach twice, and it’s that way with natural dyes.”

But by accumulating large quantities over a season, maintaining disciplined procedures, and exercising her artistry – assessing and modifying the color as her eye tells her – Hattori is succeeding. Well-known Dharma Trading Company, a California-based fiber art supply company, now uses Hattori as one of their suppliers.

Even so, Hattori keeps what she calls “a visceral attraction to the work of the hand” at top of mind, accepting teaching requests in an ever-wider geographical range. That is how we find ourselves in that idyllic field, dipping organic and locally-raised wool into pots of water infused with color from blanket flowers, marigolds, and cochineal insects. Blouses, wool skeins, and even canvas shoes find their way into vats of indigo. As we lift out skeins of wool, now glowing with intense yellows, oranges, reds, and delicate green, depending on the ingredient, I ask Michael Fromberger, a Google programmer, what has drawn him to this decidedly low-tech pastime.

“I think that through human history, we’ve been surrounded by plants and used them in all kinds of ways. Now we seem aware of only a small number, and we think of them only as food,” he muses. “What I enjoy about this is that it reminds me that we’re not so alien from the natural world, and I love having this skill.”

Melissa Bob, a student in Hattori's class, cuts flowers for textile dyeing. (Photo by Carolyn Higgins)
Melissa Bob, a student in Hattori’s class, cuts flowers for textile dyeing. (Photo by Carolyn Higgins)

Melissa Bob, an artist of Coast Salish heritage who has also joined the class, wanted to learn the methods her ancestors used to create their distinctive textiles and adapt them to her own work. Beth Murphy, herself a knitwear designer, and Jade Getz, an artist and photographer, are interested in sustainable clothing and art. Enthusiasts of the Fiber Shedmovement, which is dedicated to locally and sustainably-produced clothing, they were keen to expand their skills to produce and enhance fibers for their art and their clothing. Several participants likened the growing movement to the organic food crusade of a generation ago.

Anna Dianich, owner of Tolt Yarn and Wool, which offered the class, underscored that commitment.

“People like to know the farmer when it comes to yarn and natural dyeing goes along with that,” she said. She sees evidence of that in registrations for the classes offered by Tolt; summer classes generally fill slowly but Kathy Hattori’s natural dyeing and indigo classes filled almost immediately.

As we spoke, the gathering of artists, and hobbyists lay freshly dyed clothing on the grass under a late summer sun. On the other side of the earth, workers in China and India – and increasingly, in other less industrialized Asian countries – were laboring among vats of synthetic dyes laced with toxins. That’s what Kathy Hattori wants to change.

“Someone dying for my clothing is wrong,” she says.

‘Who is She?’ campaign calls for inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women

Image: Chiefs of Ontario facebook page

 

As the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous girls and women becomes harder to ignore in the face of mounting evidence and terrifying statistics, communities, families and activists have repeatedly called on the government to lead a national inquiry.

The current federal government has so far refused to do so with Conservative leader Stephen Harperstating it is “not high on our radar.”

On September 9, the Chiefs of Ontario decided to take matters into their own hands, and launched Who is She? — a fundraising campaign for a First Nations-led national inquiry.

Chief Isadore Day is the Regional Chief of Ontario, and is a spokesperson for the campaign. Roshini Nair spoke with him by phone. This interview has been edited and condensed.

What are you hoping to achieve with the Who is She? campaign?

Who is She? is a campaign organized by the Chiefs of Ontario to fundraise and raise awareness for an Ontario First Nations-led inquiry process into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. We want to raise the public conscience about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

Is this just an Ontario-based campaign or are you involving people from around Canada?

Ontario is going to do what we could do as a region within the Assembly of First Nations to raise the level of awareness, to establish a national dialogue. From that perspective, we are taking the initiative as a region, but we are certainly extending our request to all other regions, and the country to become engaged in this issue.

And the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and other regions have been supportive?

They are supportive of it. Other regions are supportive. Simply, we weren’t waiting for anybody, even the AFN. We just felt like it was time, and we did it. Our staff was ready, I worked closely with them, and we just did what we needed to do.

And I’d like to state for the record that Ontario First Nations are wanting to utilize the Who is She? campaign to invoke a national dialogue on this very critical issue because it’s not just a First Nations issue, it’s a Canadian issue.

There’s a sense of urgency. What are you looking for specifically in terms of funding?

We know that, we need at least $500,000 to begin the inquiry process. That’s a basic assumption, knowing that we’re going to have to hire lawyers, we’re going to have to have facilitators, and we’re going to have to have an information management system. There are a number of prerequisite issues we’re going to need to establish in the inquiry process.

And there will be costs associated with to ensuring that the families can become engaged. That there’s going to need to be possibly some professional counseling that’s going to be involved along the way, maybe some legal fees for folks that may come forward through the inquiry process that may say, hey listen, I’ve got more information about a case.

Without the statutory power and framework of a government-led inquiry, what does the process look like for an Indigenous-led inquiry?

An inquiry that’s coming from this perspective that doesn’t have the current statutory trigger for a national call for an inquiry means we definitely need to ensure that there’s safeguards in place such as confidentiality agreements. We’re going to have to do this thing right, so we will hire consultants that will help us navigate through the, some of the formal judicial elements of an inquiry and again, that takes money, that takes a little bit of time.

We’re actually taking responsibility for laying that process out. We would be working with those that we know in the legal community, we’ve got First Nation judges on the bench that will be able to provide us information.

This is going to be different because we are going to own the process, we are going to design the process, we are going to be able to walk our people through that process in a way that it’s us doing it.

Going forward there will probably be a much greater willingness on the part of our people to say “yes, you know what, I trust this process because it’s us doing it.” There’s a real “on the ground” sense that we’re taking control, and we’re also taking responsibility for the pain and anguish that’s been created as a result of this issue and that’s something I believe our citizens are going to feel quite comfortable with.

So the Conservative party has voted against an inquiry, whereas the Liberals, Greensand NDP have promised to launch inquiries. How does the election factor in the campaign?

It’s really important that we recognize opportunity during a federal election campaign. There will be a lot of Canadians paying attention to the issues that are important to various sectors in Canadian society.

A lot of people are wondering what’s happening with First Nations issues in this country and they will be looking at how federal parties respond to the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women. As we start to elevate and increase more awareness, it will certainly be an option for Canadians to say “how is this party responding to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and family violence?” and they’ll say “well this one doesn’t really care too much” and “this one does” so that’s who I’m going to vote for.

And then after the election — what if the next government is willing to mount an inquiry? What would happen to your inquiry?

There certainly will be a governance structure that ensures that there’s a decision-making process in place to allow us to make that change based on what the families want, what the communities want. We definitely are not going to replace a national inquiry. That’s not what this is about. We’re going to do what we can to prepare for an Ontario First Nations-led inquiry process and if we can dovetail some of our efforts, you know establish a much better way to engage, then certainly I think that’s something that a formal inquiry will probably invite.

And we’ll have them put ourselves in a much better position a lot sooner, because we didn’t wait for the federal government

How is the campaign going so far?

Well, we are getting money coming in. It happened right away. People were saying it’s about time, and there seems to have been a flood of enthusiasm and people congratulating us for this step forward. They were saying, more than anything, it’s time to get this work done

And what’s next?

We’re getting ready for other meetings with the premiers and territories and meeting with the federal government post 2015 federal election. I also want to recognize and commend the superb leadership and courage of Premier Kathleen Wynne who standing shoulder-to-shoulder on this issue on a number of different levels. They’re just waiting to find out exactly what it is that we want from Ontario. The fact that they’re standing beside us is symbolically a huge issue.

We want Canadians to make this known to the federal government that we really need to call an inquiry process. It’s a national issue, and we definitely want to take this opportunity to advocate on behalf of our families and above all, we want to prevent this thing from happening in the future.
Donate to the Who is She? campaign here.

Roshini Nair is a multimedia journalist based in Vancouver. Follow her on twitter @roshini_c_nai

One Secret Text Gives Any Police State Agency Total Control Of Your Phone – Even When It’s Off

snowden nsaBy Jay Syrmopoulos

Whistleblower Edward Snowden, in an interview with the BBC’s ‘Panorama,’ spoke in detail about a stunning array of cyber spying tools used by the U.K.’s GCHQ to hack smartphones with a single text message. The spyware package is named after the little blue cartoon characters; the Smurfs.

“It’s called an ‘exploit’,” Snowden said. “That’s a specially crafted message that’s texted to your number like any other text message but when it arrives at your phone it’s hidden from you. It doesn’t display. You paid for [the phone] but whoever controls the software owns the phone,” he added.

Smartphone users can do “very little” to stop security services getting “total control” over their devices, according to Snowden.

The “Smurf Suite” package arrives by text messages, without users ever being aware of the message or its payload, as the phone is not altered in any way, according to Snowden.

Dreamy Smurf: A power management tool, which allows the phone to be powered on and off without the user knowing.

Nosey Smurf: A ‘hotmic’ tool that allows the microphone on a phone to be turned on, even if the phone is powered off.

Tracker Smurf: A geo-location tool that tracks a person with much greater precision than the typical triangulation of cellphone towers.

Paranoid Smurf: Covers the tracks of the breach of phone security, as to not allow even a phone security expert to recognize that the device has been tampered with upon inspection.

Snowden said the spy agency could see “who you call, what you’ve texted, the things you’ve browsed, the list of your contacts, the places you’ve been, the wireless networks that your phone is associated with.”

“And they can do much more. They can photograph you,” he said.

According to a report in the Daily Dot:

The NSA, which Snowden said provided “tasking and direction” for GCHQ’s use of these tools, reportedly has comparable mobile surveillance capabilities, but it is unknown if the U.S. agency deploys it through a hidden text message like its British counterpart.

The NSA and its partners in the Five Eyes intelligence alliance exploited flaws in a popular mobile app to gain access to phones running that software and searched for ways to hack into popular app markets. GCHQ and the NSA also tried for years to break into Blackberry devices, with an analyst celebrating their eventual success in March 2010 by writing “Champagne!”

Snowden, who has been living in exile in Russia since June 2013, has been charged by the U.S. with espionage and theft of government property after leaking documents to the media about widespread digital surveillance.

During the interview Snowden said that he would like to eventually return to the U.S., and would be willing to serve prison time for his massive data breach, but that he would not be willing to do so if he was being charged under the Espionage Act.

The heroic acts of Edward Snowden stand as a testament as to what it means to be truly willing to sacrifice for an ideal.

This little device delivers turnkey Internet privacy and security (Ad)

Image Credit

Jay Syrmopoulos is an investigative journalist, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism.

ISIS, Israel, Iraq, And Syria: It’s All Part Of The Plan

Smoke rises over Saif Al Dawla district in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 .(AP Photo/ Manu Brabo)

Israel lacks a national motto. If its leaders are looking for a Latin one, “carpe chaos” would be an apt and honest choice.

“Seize the chaos” is half of Israeli foreign policy in a nutshell (the other half being the instigation of that chaos in the first place). Indeed, even its friends in the media cannot help but put it in such terms. For example, The New York Times recently reported about the “…many Israeli leaders and thinkers seizing on the chaos in Syria to solidify Israel’s hold on Golan.”

This refers to the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and has occupied ever since. Even the Israel-enabling United Nations considers that occupation and subsequent annexation to be unjust and illegal. Returning Golan to Syria has long been advanced as part of a potential peace deal.

But now, Israel is using the civil war in Syria as an excuse to expand settlements in the Golan Heights; a senior minister wants 100,000 new residents in the next five years. Its potential uses are manifold: “The 400-plus square miles of the Israeli-controlled Golan on the northeast border with Syria is both strategic plateau and lush agricultural terrain yielding prize apples, cherries and beef. It is also a vast playground that drew 3 million tourist visits last year.”

This is Israel’s usual M.O. in the Palestinian West Bank as well: forging ahead with illicit settlements to establish “realities on the ground” that will be hard to reverse, thereby fixing the occupation permanently in place.

Advocates of the new Golan settlements defend them by citing the chaos in Syria: “With Syria ‘disintegrating’ after years of civil war, they argue, it is hard to imagine a stable state to which the territory could be returned.”

The Times quotes Israeli MP Michael Oren who adds a blatant lebensraumargument to the case for good measure: “We need places to build, and the world doesn’t want us to build in the West Bank. I don’t think anyone in the world can come at us and say we’re building on land that’s going to be part of a peace deal if we build on the Golan Heights.”


“Seize the chaos” is not a new doctrine: neither is it limited to Israeli halls of power. A veritable “carpe chaos” manifesto was written in 1996 for a Washington think tank by David Wurmser, an Israel-first neocon (but I repeat myself) who would later play a key role in the Bush administration’s drive to the Iraq War: advising Dick Cheney in the Vice President’s Office, assisting John Bolton at the State Department, and fabricating fanciful “connections” between Iraq and Al Qaeda at the Department of Defense.

In “Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant,” Wurmser made a case for “limiting and expediting the chaotic collapse” of the Baathist governments in Iraq and Syria.

Wurmser predicted that “Baathism’s days are numbered,” due to its own inherent failings as a stable basis for statehood. Indeed, he argued, Arab nationalism in general was unsuitable for the Arab people, given their particularist and tribal tendencies. Therefore, its adoption can only condemn Arab countries to forever “fluctuate between repression and anarchy.”

In particular, the Gulf War had “accelerated Iraq’s descent into internal chaos.” To Wurmser, this made the Middle East of 1996 resemble Europe of 1914. Just before World War I, the Ottoman Empire had long been dubbed “the sick man of Europe.” Its imminent demise was beyond doubt; what was in question was who would get to despoil its corpse.

In 1996 Iraq was “the sick man of the Middle East.” Wurmser predicted that, after the inevitable downfall of its ruler Saddam Hussein, Iraq would be dominated either by the Baathist regime in Syria or the “Hashemite” royal house in Jordan.

He characterized Iraq not as any serious threat to Israel or the West but as “the prize” in a Middle Eastern game of thrones:

“The prize itself is more powerful than any of the neighbors that covet it. Iraq, a nation of 18 million, occupies some of the most strategically important and well-endowed territories of the Middle East.”

Wurmser called for the West and Israel to help the Hashemite monarch of Jordan win this game of thrones by enthroning one of his kin as king of Iraq. He advanced what he termed Jordan’s “Hashemite option for Iraq” as a far superior alternative to a Syrian-dominated continuation of Baathist Arab nationalism. The former, he averred, is “more solid and traditional,” and:

“The Hashemites alone are adept enough in forging strong tribal, familial and clan alliances to create viable nations in the Levant.”

Of course Wurmser’s amateur sociological analysis is poppycock, and the real advantage the neocons saw in the “Hashemite option” was that the royal house of Jordan is obedient to Israel because it is a wholly-owned western client completely dependent on the hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid the US feeds it every year.

Indeed, Wurmser hinted at this real reason when he argued that, if Iraq were to go Hashemite:

“…then Syria would be isolated and surrounded by a new pro-western Jordanian-Israeli-Iraqi-Turkish bloc…”

Thus isolated, Baathist Syria’s own inevitable “chaotic collapse” could then be “expedited.” And the expanded pro-western bloc could:

“…contain and manage… the scope of the coming chaos in Iraq and most probably in Syria.”

This was the “balance of power strategy” Wurmser proposed for the West and Israel, to replace the despised:

“…quest for ‘comprehensive peace — including its ‘land for peace’ provision, with Syria.”

Nineteen years later, Wurmser must now be elated that the Golan Heights are, as discussed above, being taken off the table for any future “land for peace” deals thanks to his hoped-for chaotic collapse in Syria.

In fact, mere months before he wrote “Coping with Crumbling States,” Wurmser made the case for implacable antagonism toward Syria as a preferred alternative to returning Golan in particular:

“Given the nature of the regime in Damascus, it is both natural and moral that Israel abandon the slogan ‘comprehensive peace’ and move to contain Syria, drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program, and rejecting ‘land for peace’ deals on the Golan Heights.”

Wurmser wrote this in the infamous policy paper “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which was addressed, not to Washington, but to Tel Aviv (indicating his true loyalties).

In “A Clean Break,” Wurmser even more expressly made the case for outright regime change in Iraq as a “means” of “weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria.” (This in turn was imperative because, “Syria challenges Israel on Lebanese soil.”)

“A Clean Break” was written under the auspices of a “study group” headed by Wurmser’s mentor Richard Perle and including fellow Perle-protege Douglas Feith. This is extremely significant because Perle and Feith, like Wurmser, also played key roles in the Bush administration’s war drive.

For more details on both the “Lebanese connection” mentioned above and the role of the “Clean Breakers” in starting the Iraq War, see my essay, “Clean Break to Dirty Wars.”


Indeed, it is Washington’s Israeli-occupied foreign policy that has enabled Israel’s “seize the chaos” doctrine by using America’s vast imperial might to create so much seizable chaos in the first place.

As it turned out, Iraq was not nearly as mired in mayhem or blundering toward the brink as Wurmser judged in 1996. At the dawn of the 21st century, Saddam was as firmly ensconced in power as ever. So much for Wurmser as a geopolitical analyst.

This posed a problem. There was no chance of “expediting” a “chaotic collapse” that wasn’t there; a process has to exist first before it can be accelerated. So Wurmser and the other neocons in the Bush administration had to cook up a collapse from scratch themselves.

And it took a full-scale invasion and occupation by a global superpower to make this particular Leninist “omelet,” at the cost of a prodigious amount of “broken eggs”: 4,425 American lives and $1.7 trillion.

But the neocons and Israel finally did get their longed for chaotic collapse in Iraq, along with the deaths of over a million Iraqis and the displacement of millions more. This blood-soaked business is what they call “statecraft.”

Yet, even then, the best laid plans of the neocons and Likudniks still completely failed to pan out.

In both of his seminal strategy documents of 1996, Wurmser imagined that if the Hashemites were installed in Iraq, they could use their influence with a certain prominent cleric there to turn the Shiites of Syria and Lebanon against Assad, Iran, and Hezbollah.

And the “Coping” report envisioned a supporting role in that project for Ahmed Chalabi, identified by Wurmser as “one of the most prominent of the Iraqi opposition figures to Saddam” and “himself a Shiite and a close, long-time Hashemite confidant.” Wurmser further anticipated that:

“…pro-Jordan Iraq Shiites as Ahmed Chalabi… would define the Iraqi Shiite community after Saddam’s removal.”

By the Iraq War, the neocons had given up on outright enthroning a Hashemite in Baghdad. It’s one thing to coordinate something like that from behind the scenes, but installing a royal despot through a high-profile American war would have made for unacceptably bad press for Washington.

So Perle and Company settled for a “democratic” “Hashemite option.” In this Plan B, “Hashemite confidant” Ahmed Chalabi graduated from a supporting to a leading role in Israel’s plan for the new Iraq.

Chalabi had long delighted the neocons by feeding Washington bogus “intelligence” on Iraqi weapons that eventually helped to justify the US invasion. On the basis of this rapport, Chalabi assured the neocons that, as a leading light in “democratic” Iraq, he would steer state policy in Israel’s favor. The neocons even swallowed his pledge to build a pipeline for them from Iraq’s oilfields to an Israeli refinery and port.

None of Chalabi’s promises ever manifested. As it turned out, Chalabi was just as much an agent of Iran (enemy to both Saddam and Israel) as he was a “Hashemite confidant.” For more details on this, see the amazing article, “How Ahmed Chalabi Conned the Neocons.”

The neocons and Israel got their war and collapse in Iraq, but it blew up in their faces. The new US-armed Iraqi government, as well as the Shiite militias that do most of its fighting, became dominated, not by loyal Jordan, but by hated Iran. Oops.

And after the war, the neocons were faced, not with Wurmser’s anticipated “Jordanian-Israeli-Iraqi-Turkish bloc,” but what they perceive as an anti-Israel “Shia crescent” including Iran, Iraq, Syria, and (most importantly) Hezbollah in Lebanon. Far from being isolated, Syria seemed to have more friends than ever. Oops.

But Israel sure as hell wasn’t going to leave bad enough alone. Where the subtleties of neocon “strategists” miserably failed, Israel’s influence over the sheer wealth and brute power of the US empire (what Wurmser has called its “raw capability”) would have to make up the difference once again.

So for the sake of Israel, and since at least 2007, Washington, along with its regional allies, has been waging a broad covert proxy war to undermine the “Shia crescent.” This policy pivot, which legendary journalist Seymour Hersh dubbed “The Redirection,” has involved supporting Sunni Islamist mujahideen in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran.

Then, after the 2011 “Arab Spring” of popular uprisings reached Syria, “The Redirection” went into overdrive. The US-led regional coalition (Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc) has been strenuously trying to overthrow the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad since at least 2012 by heavily sponsoring an insurgency led by jihadists including Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Israel has also been contributing to the cause of chaos more directly. Like a prizefighter’s “cutman,” the Israeli military has stood in Al Qaeda’s corner, taking in its wounded terrorist “rebels,” patching them up, and thensending them back into Syria to resume fighting.

In Syria too, the neocons and Israel have finally seen their longed for chaotic collapse, to the tune of a quarter of a million Syrian deaths and millions more displaced (many fleeing to Europe or drowning en route).

As discussed above, Israel has seized on the chaos it has unleashed on its northern neighbor as an excuse for expanding settlements in the Golan Heights.

Moreover, whenever that chaos even slightly spills over into Golan, Israel has been seizing that as a pretext for still more war.

Syrian soldiers are desperately battling Al Qaeda just north of Golan. Whenever a shell strays into the Heights (almost always exploding harmlessly in some unoccupied field), Israel responds by bombing Syrian military positions, thus effectively serving as Al Qaeda’s air force as well as its combat medic.

It does this regardless of (and generally clueless as to) who actually fired the offending projectile: whether it was the Syrian army, Al Qaeda, or any other faction. As CBS News related in a report of recent such strikes:

“Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, said in a statement that Israel holds the Syrian military ‘responsible and accountable for any aggression emanating from Syria.’”

Israel’s self-righteously sociopathic behavior toward Syria and the Golan Heights beggars belief. It’s like some wealthy homeowner taking over his poor neighbor’s backyard and then sending a gang of crazed ruffians to invade his home. Then in the ensuing brawl, when something crashes through the neighbor’s window onto the seized yard, the land thief yells from a balcony, “Why can’t you get your house in order!” and fires at him with a shotgun. Then the thief walks back to his room muttering to himself, “What a hopeless basket case! How I’mdefinitely not giving him back his yard.”


What makes it especially incredible is that the ruffians in the real-life scenario are Al Qaeda and ISIS. But from the twisted perspective of Israel and the neocons, it makes perfect sense.

Even way back in 1996, Wurmser was already stressing in his “Coping” report that Arab nationalism must be considered enemy number one, and that Islamic fundamentalism was only a distant second.

Wurmser flat-out rejected any pragmatic detente with the Baathists, even for the sake of having a “bulwark” against the spread of radical Islam. He despised any such “peace process” as “prop[ping] up secular-Arab nationalism in its crumbling weakness.” He contended that such a policy is:

“…anchored to the belief that [secular-Arab nationalism] can be “reformed” enough to be resurrected as abulwark against Islamic fundamentalism. Yet, one of the main strategic objectives of the peace process is to perpetuate Levantine secular-Arab nationalist regimes. Indeed, the previous Israeli government believed that, “[Israel’s] role is to protect the existing regimes, to prevent or halt the process of radicalization, and to block the expansion of fundamental religious zealotry.”

But the present study… shows that the pursuit of comprehensive peace and the effort to harness secular-Arab nationalist regimes such as Syria’s in the battle to stem the fundamentalist tide is not only futile. It is also a dangerous strategic misstep.

Wurmser argued that US support for secular Arab-nationalist Iraq in its brutal invasion of fundamentalist Iran in the 1980s was “an explosive mistake,” as Iraq’s subsequent “rogue” invasion of Kuwait demonstrated. And so:

“The same lesson should now be applied to Syria. It is in both Israel’s and the West’s interest to expedite the demise of secular-Arab nationalism. (…) The pursuit of the peace process is preventing this.”

Secular-Arab nationalism, Wurmser insisted, is nothing but an “obstacle” to introducing better defenses against and alternatives to fundamentalism, and to “more healthy future” for the Arab world.

“The West and its local friends must engage fundamentalism with better associates than Baathists.”

Such thinking would seem to explain the otherwise baffling tendency of today’s policy makers in Washington and Tel Aviv to stubbornly insist on the overthrow of one secular-Arab nationalist regime after another — Saddam in Iraq, Gaddafi in Libya, and now Assad in Syria — even though it invariably leads to explosive growth for extreme Islamist groups in membership, might, and conquests.

Yet, one would expect the 9/11 attacks to have pulled the rug out from under this rationale. Aren’t the 9/11 attacks why the US is raining bombs throughout the Muslim world in the first place? And secular-Arab nationalists didn’t knock down the Twin Towers; Islamic fundamentalists did.

Even ignoring the crucial issues of empire and blowback, and taking militaristic “offense as the best defense” premises for granted, shouldn’t Islamist terror organizations — which have actually attacked American cities — be menace number one, and secular-Arab nationalist states — which have never dared — be at most a distant second?

And so, especially after 9/11, wouldn’t creating “jihadist wonderlands” throughout the Middle East by decapitating the secular-Arab nationalist regimes that are the jihadists’ chief mortal enemies be the last thing our government should do? Especially when one of the groups thriving the most amid the chaos is Al Qaeda, the very perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks?

Not from Israel’s perspective. Michael Oren (the lebensraum-loving Israeli official mentioned above) has made it crystal clear that Wurmser’s priorities are still official state policy. In 2013, at the end of his tenure as Israeli ambassador to the US, Oren delivered this parting message through The Jerusalem Post:

“‘The initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran,’ he said.

This was the case, he said, even if the other ‘bad guys’ were affiliated to al-Qaida.

‘We understand that they are pretty bad guys,’ he said, adding that this designation did not apply to everyone in the Syrian opposition. “Still, the greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc. That is a position we had well before the outbreak of hostilities in Syria. With the outbreak of hostilities we continued to want Assad to go.’”

Then in 2014, just after ISIS advanced through Iraq to Mosul and declared itself a Caliphate, Oren said this regarding the conflict between the Shiite-led government of Syria and the Sunni extremists overrunning eastern Syria and western Iraq:

“From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail.”

Lest he be misunderstood, by “Sunni evil” Oren is here specifically referring to ISIS. This is clear, because seconds before, he conveyed his recognition of the fact that they are indeed “bad guys” by referring to a specific mass-execution that ISIS had just committed.

That is Israel’s position. “Assad must go. We prefer Al Qaeda. Let ISIS prevail.”

In other words: “To hell with your towers, America. And your big city residents can go to hell too, where they can burn along with the Syrian victims of Al Qaeda and ISIS for all I care. Israel has its own regional strategic goals to think of. Now get back to work to pay your taxes so your government can keep decimating Muslim countries for me and my power clique and keep sending us billions of dollars in foreign aid.”

This from “America’s greatest friend in the Middle East.”

Israel would have preferred to have the Levant ruled by stable sock puppets of the West. But failing that, it would much rather be surrounded by an extremist-stricken Muslim maelstrom of mutual massacres than to have in its neighborhood even a single secular-Arab nationalist state with an independent rational leadership, a steady tax base, and a disciplined military.

And for 14 years, Washington has been adopting Israel’s perspective on this question with incredible fidelity. And as a recently-released government intelligence document revealed, it has done so knowing full well that it would likely result in the Levant being overrun by America-hating Islamic terrorists.

And thus it is demonstrated that the only enemy of the American people greater than Israel’s government is our own.


David Wurmser warned that if the West did not adopt his warlike strategic vision, it:

“…will still not get peace. Instead it will look beyond Israel’s borders at secular-Arab nationalism’s final legacy: a chaotic sea… (which will painfully intrude on the West)…”

The West has indeed adopted the neocon/Israeli strategy, precipitating the “chaotic collapse” of secular-Arab nationalism in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. But the chaos has not been “contained and managed” as Wurmser anticipated. Neither has it cleared the way for “a more healthy future” as he promised.

Instead it has created exactly what Wurmser said it would prevent: a “chaotic sea” immersing the entire Middle East and “painfully intrud[ing] on the West.” That chaotic sea is even lapping up onto the shores of Europe in the form of the refugee crisis.

And now that Russia has been drawn into the Syrian war, where its bombers and troops operate at cross purposes with American bombers and proxy fighters, the chaotic sea threatens to become a thermonuclear lake of fire engulfing the whole world.

Israel may eventually see every secular-Arab nationalist regime that defies it fall. It may yet see Assad die in some humiliating way, just as it saw Saddam hanged before a jeering crowd and Gaddafi sodomized in the street. It may also finally see American bombs raining down on Tehran.

Israeli troops may once again march upon Beirut, and this time see every important member of Hezbollah executed or buried under a prison. (It’s extremely unlikely, but it’s conceivable.) It may then have total sway over Lebanon and untrammeled access to all its natural resources (including the coveted Litani River).

Israel may never have to give the Palestinians freedom, restitution, or peace. And it may never have to give up any of its territorial spoils of war: the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, or the Golan Heights. Golan’s “places to build,” its “strategic plateau,” its “prize apples,” and its “vast playground” spaces may be Israel’s until the end of mankind.

But if that end is a decade from now — or a day — will it really be worth it?


This article (ISIS, Israel, Iraq, and Syria: It’s All Part of the Plan) was also published at Antiwar.com,The Ron Paul Institute, and DanSanchez.me. Discussed by the author on The Scott Horton ShowFollow Dan Sanchez via Twitter, Facebook, or TinyLetter. 

The CIA in Guatemala: A chilling account of death and misery by a brave woman…

This is a video by Jennifer Harbury, an American whose late Guatemalan husband, a Mayan indigenous activist, was “disappeared” by the military. After hunger strikes and investigations, she learned that Efraín Bámaca Velásquez had been tortured and then killed — and that the CIA knew all about it. Her story is a powerful one..