Mary Drost's 90th birthday party took place on 13 October 2021, while Melbourne was still in Lockdown, but you could meet in the open air if you wore masks and were within 20km of your home. I was unable to attend because it was out of my 20km range.
On this episode of Going Underground, Afshin Rattansi speaks to Australian journalist and filmmaker John Pilger about the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban. Pilger demonstrates a really solid grip on history here, rendering almost irrelevant most other discussions of recent events in Afghanistan. He describes the US military as a killing machine and discusses why the Afghanistan war must be viewed through the lens of Western imperialism, the scale of civilian casualties, and destruction of Afghanistan by NATO countries, how the US created today’s situation by supporting Afghan jihadist forces against the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War, the social progress and progressive reform lost to history with the fall of the Soviet-backed PDPA government in Afghanistan, and much more! Pilger also discusses the anniversary of the Pinochet coup in Chile and the trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The discussion in this video opens up new topics on the confusing situation with US 'withdrawal' and Turkey incursion in Northern Syria. Particularly interesting is Marwa Osman's framing of why Turkey would want to move Syrian refugees into Northern Syria. She thinks that Erdogan (Turkey's President) has a problem with all the Syrian refugees living in his country because his people resent the presence of this large number of non-Turkish people. If Erdogan can move these refugees into an area he is trying to clear of Kurds in northern Syria, then he can put the Syrian refugees there. Many of those refugees now have Turkish papers. This would have the further benefit for Erdogan's purposes in that, once Erdogan will have moved so many people there, he will more or less control the area with their presence, since he will be organising their settlement and deployment. Video discussion with Ammar Qaqqaf, Marwa Osman, Mike Raddie and Peter Lavelle.
Most Kurds have Syrian citizenship, but some do not. Syrian citizenship is modeled on French law, generally requiring a demonstration of cultural affinity - such as speaking the language. Children born in Syria must demonstrate Syrian paternity; it is not enough to have a Syrian mother. After 1945 there was a diaspora of Kurds from Turkey to Syria. The Syrian government in power during the transitional period between the fall of the UAR and the coming into power of the Baath government, was worried by this inflow from Turkey, which has long had designs on Syrian territory. In 1962 this government held a Syrian census of Kurds in the North requiring proof of residence in Syria from 1945. According to my source on this, there were many illiterate Kurds in the area, without much engagement with the government, so they might not have understood the requirements, if they knew they were being made. 120 stateless Kurds resulted.
During the war in Syria that began in 2011, the United States and other NATO countries cultivated politically ambitious Kurds for their own purposes. Now they have dumped them and many Kurds are fleeing towards the parts of Syria held by the Syrian Government.
Many terrorists remain in the area, including ISIS. It is feared that Turkey will use such fighters to achieve its own ends. Erdogan, who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, is thought to want to establish a caliphate along the lines of the old Ottoman Empire. Part of such a caliphate would involve redrawing the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement borders to bring Northern Syria into Turkey.
Any incursion by Turkey into Syria risks being used by the United States and NATO to their own ends, which are destabilisation and power over oil reserves in the region.
"The Stateless Syrians," Tilburg University, Switzerland, May2013. https://www.refworld.org/pdfid/52a983124.pdf Note that this work was funded by Open Society Foundations, which is a multi-million dollar political engineering program that funds mass migration.
Medical professionals have recently published guides to reducing insulin and other diabetes medications for patients on low carbohydrate diets because many of these patients are suddenly getting better. Their improvement and sometimes remission carries a diminishing need for insulin or oral antihyperglycaemics. If doctors and nurses fail to realise this, their patients risk overdose, with potentially rapidly fatal results - and not just with where insulin is concerned. This means that a new approach to diet for both main types of diabetic - Types 1 and 2 - is making a big difference. In some cases it is effecting complete remission.
Diabetes is big business and so it should not surprise us to hear that there are commercial forums to attract and market to diabetes sufferers. There are also free forums, like https://healthunlocked.com/, which I prefer. However, the other day I found an article in diabetes.co.uk, entitled, "Healthcare professionals publish low carb diabetes medication guide." I was interested in this because it clearly shows the beneficial impact of low carb high fat diets on diabetes 2, a modern day epidemic. What has happened is that people are curing themselves of diabetes 2 or substantially improving it, by changing from starchy diets to high fat low carbohydrate diets. Further reading also indicated improvement in Diabetes 1.  These improvements are obviously so important that doctors are being forced to lower or stop anti-hyperglycaemic medications, including insulin and oral drugs, because these (especially insulin) can cause rapid coma and death in patients who no longer need them, or who suddenly require lesser doses. High blood pressure also frequently reduces, making anti-hypertensives potentially dangerous.
Medically induced and other diabetic comas
There are two types of life-threatening coma involved in diabetes. One comes with the disease and the other is iatrogenic - or doctor/medically caused. Few patients or professionals ever think this through. The first kind is from high glucose and the second is from low glucose. The first and original diabetes coma comes with the patient's inability to produce insulin to process food that breaks down to glucose, hence glucose builds up to abnormal levels in the blood and causes dysfunction and death eventually. This kind of coma usually builds slowly, over days. The second kind, or medically-caused, comes from treatment with insulin, which is prescribed for patients who cannot produce enough insulin to process glucose. Insulin comas can occur within minutes and hours, ending quickly in death when unattended and risking brain injury when attended. Before insulin treatment, insulin comas did not occur in diabetes. Insulin comas may also occur in Type 2 diabetics treated with oral antihyperglycaemics. (See, for instance, Gian PaoloFadini et al, Characteristics and mortality of type 2 diabetic patients hospitalized for severe iatrogenic hypoglycemia, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice Volume 84, Issue 3, June 2009, Pages 267-272.) To my mind, this places a very sombre perspective on Type 2 diabetes, treated with traditional low fat diets and oral antihyperglycaemics. Patients should therefore be made aware, as a matter of urgency, of the success of high fat low carbohydrate diets in removing or reducing the need for oral antihyperglycaemics or injectable insulins.
The rise of Agriculture and diabetes
There is an obvious association between agricultural civilisations and diabetes. Diabetes was probably extremely rare among hunter gatherers, and it is thought that Australian Aborigines did not suffer from the disease until they were exposed to flour, sugars and alcohol, with European take-over of Australia. In hunter-gatherer societies, healthy humans create glucose from animal protein, but they may also access it from modest amounts of vegetables and fruits in season. In contrast, agricultural societies have introduced to human diets unnaturally large quantities of carbohydrate, via sugary and starchy vegetables, grains and fruits. Wheat, corn, fruit, potato, and their products - flour, rice, corn, bread, cake, candy, pasta, fries, chips, tacos, corn-syrup/fructose, and abnormally abundant fruit in and out of season. Among the first reports of diabetes came from the agricultural society of Ancient Egypt, where doctors tasted patients' urine (which is normally fairly sterile due to our complex filtration systems) and diagnosed diabetes when it was sweet. In India doctors noticed that ants were attracted to high glucose urine.
Low Carbohydrate High Fat diets and the "Food Pyramid"
For a century or so, as diabetes has become more and more a feature of 'modern' life, doctors and dieticians have been performing dietary gymnastics in order to somehow keep diabetics eating the modern diet. A belief has come about that humans require starches and fruits, in order to survive and make glucose. Whilst non-starchy vegetables and fruits contain helpful nutrients and are not too difficult to break down for most people, starches and fruits are dangerous for diabetics and, as I pointed out above, appear to exacerbate diabetes 1 and to cause diabetes 2. Diabetics have to take oral anti-hyperglycaemics or inject themselves with insulin in order to prevent the accumulation of glucose in their blood when they eat these starches and fruits. So, why would dieticians continuously advocate these starches and fruits when drugs are required to generate insulin in order to avoid high glucose comas? Why would they advocate these when there is a high incidence of neurological complications and death from these drugs?
The reason appears to be received wisdom that humans not only need vegetables and fruit, but that they need wheat, bread, pasta, jam, tapioca, corn, rice, fries, chips and several pieces of fruit daily, in and out of season. This is what the 'Food Pyramid' you still see in doctors' surgeries is all about. This received wisdom fails to account for the success of hunter-gatherer diets and their very limited supplies of starches. A reason for this failure to reference these diets could be the belief that hunter-gatherers all died at around 30 years old - something that you will read in many places - even though it is patently untrue. You cannot rely on the average health professional to personally test the information they receive from 'respected authorities'. Influenced by 'modern' schooling and universities, they have been taught by people who actually believe that agricultural diets, because they accompanied modern civilisation - generally valued for its abundant technology and material wealth - must be better than pre-agricultural diets. Somehow the concomitant epidemic of diabetes causes too much cognitive dissonance to investigate, so it is just avoided.
Athough Allan Mazur writes that the "primacy of diet diminish[ed] once insulin became available [discovered 1922], leading to the primacy of medication. Weight loss apart, there is still today no evidence-based consensus on proper diabetic diets," he also notes the success of high fat low carbohydrate diets before insulin:
"Newburgh and Marsh report on 73 cases, apparently mostly adults, admitted to the University of Michigan Hospital, where the state's physicians referred their severest cases as a "court of last appeal." On entering the clinic, patients were not fasted but placed on a diet of 900-1,000 calories, high in fat, low in carbohydrate. After being sugar free for one or two weeks, the diet was increased from 1,400 to 2,500 calories, depending on the needs of the person, most calories coming from fat, least from carbohydrate. Excepting three patients who died within a day of admission, and another who "went into coma after eating a bag of oranges brought by a relative," the urine of all patients became sugar free, none developed severe acidosis, and the investigators were "greatly impressed by the excellent condition of our patients months after leaving the clinic".
I am not submitting the Michigan study as definitive, but it fortified the position of anti-starvation physicians who argued that carbohydrates were the main source of glucose in urine and blood, so it was unnecessary to starve patients as long as carbohydrate was limited, and for seriously ill children there was little that could be done in any case. Critics also claimed, as had Allen himself in 1913, that "fat feeding is not to be feared in diabetics." (Allan Mazur, Why were "starvation diets" promoted for diabetes in the pre-insulin period? Nutr J. 2011; 10: 23.) 
Online community may be finding its own solutions, despite grain-lobby
Probably the impetus to examine our modern diets and dietary needs logically has come from people who became afflicted with diabetes 2. With the rise of the internet, it has become much easier for these people to communicate with each other. Health professionals and scientists have been among their number, and the fact that doctors are now warning each other to reduce diabetic medication dosages because many people are recovering through low carb and high fat diets is significant.
 Diabetes insipidus is a different kettle of fish from diabetes 1 and 2.
 Diabetes 1 is probably not diet-caused, but it can be partly diet-treated and some people who have been diagnosed with diabetes 1 may experience remission with low-carb diets, arguably indicating that diet was involved in their diabetes, rather than pure lack of insulin production. Belinda S. Lennerz, et al, Management of Type 1 Diabetes With a Very Low–Carbohydrate Diet, Pediatrics June 2018, VOLUME 141 / ISSUE 6.
 In non-diabetics there are few major causes of hypoglycemia but it may occur in alcoholic crises, "critical illness, counter-regulatory hormone deficiencies, and non-islet cell tumors." People have also been known to receive or take insulin surrupticiously to induce coma or death. See, for instance, Philip Mathew; Deepu Thoppil: Hypoglycemia. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan-. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534841/
 M Nestle, Food lobbies, the food pyramid, and U.S. nutrition policy. Int J Health Serv. 1993;23(3):483-96.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8375951
 Allan Mazur, Why were "starvation diets" promoted for diabetes in the pre-insulin period? Nutr J. 2011; 10: 23.
Published online 2011 Mar 11. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-10-23 #B27">https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3062586/#B27
1973 saw many oil producing countries become independent and nationalise their oil. Some succeeded and others, like Australia, were brought to heal. Ever since 1973, the US and Europe have been trying to reverse these nationalisations. Venezuela is a case in point.
In a gesture befitting Lewis Carol's Queen of Hearts, the United States has suddenly abandoned all pretences of lawful procedure and common sense by officially declaring that opposition leader, Juan Guaidó is the real president of Venezuela, not Nicolás Maduro Moros, who was actually elected President by Venezuelans.
To put things in perspective: Getting rid of President Maduro because the 2015 parliamentary election placed his own party in the minority would be like making President Trump step down because the Democrats are now in the majority in Congress - to paraphrase Venezuela's diplomat to Russia.[Article by Sheila Newman with James Sinnamon]
It is also baffling to see French President Macron call for Maduro to step down when his own country is convulsing with Gilets jaunes (Yellow Vest) protests, who all call for Macron to step down. Don't politicians have any sense of irony?
Interesting also to see Turkish President Erdogan stick up for Maduro by saying nothing can be resolved democratically without an election.
Meanwhile South America: Columbia, Brazil, Chile, are also baying for Maduro to step down, as you would expect of US lackies.
Why should Maduro step down?
Why should Maduro step down? Why is no-one talking about how US trade sanctions have impoverished Venezuela? The reason for these sanctions is that the US wants control over Venezuelan oil, which means that it must destroy the socialist government that nationalised oil. Will they go so far as to invade and bomb Venezuela like the did other oil-producers whose leaders they condemned, like Iraq, Libya, and Syria?
With the help of much money poured into Venezuela by the US Government agencies the United States government have succeeded in doing to Venezuela what they did to Ukraine in 2014 when Victoria Nuland promised the Maidan protesters face-to-face $5 billion to assist in "building democracy".
A propos of the US interference on Russia’s doorstep in Ukraine (and Georgia and the Middle East), there is symmetrical justice in Russia's plans to build a military base in Venezuela, although these may also have caused a panic in the US leading to this overt coup-attempt.
In Latin America, only Cuba, Bolivia and Mexico have defended Maduro. Mexican president, Lopez Obrador, said that Mexico has returned to the non-intervention policy Mexico practiced from the 1960s — when it resisted U.S. pressure to condemn or isolate Cuba — until 2000, when the conservative National Action Party began to adopt a more activist, U.S.-allied stance in foreign affairs. Russia, China, India and South Africa buy oil from Venezuela and are generally sympathetic or have a policy of non-interventionism.
The EU has called for new elections, but without condemning the United States meddling in Venezuela. This further reinforces the narrative or the claim that the democratically elected President Maduro is illegitimate. If new elections were called, in the current geopolitical circumstances, this would result in the ousting of President Maduro in an election rigged with many millions of United States dollars and with thousands of clandestine US intelligence agency operatives. The elections would also be conducted under the guns of the US Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps in the Central American Carribean and neighboring countries on the South American continent.
This has all happened before ...
This has all happened before, but unofficially and more covertly: In 2002, a group marched on the Presidential palace demanding Hugo Chávez’s resignation, which the President refused. He was arrested and imprisoned. Pedro Carmona, President of the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce, which receives funding from the US National Endowment for Democracy (a right-wing regime-change NGO that calls economic liberalism 'democracy'), was installed as Venezuelan President on the 11th of April 2002. On the 12th of April, the US President’s spokesman, Ari Fleischer, endorsed the Carmona government. But, on the 13th of April the Presidential guard and the army arrested Carmona. Next the opposition collected signatures from 20 per cent of the electorate required under Chávez’s constitution to initiate a referendum to sack the president, but Chávez won the referendum.
... and with the same excuses
The oil countershock of 1979 culminated in currency devaluation by one third and a change to a the Social Christians (SC) government, which remained in power until 1983, when Democratic Action (DA) or Acción Democrática, (AD) in Spanish, was returned under Jaime Lusinchi. Despite promises to diversify the economy and deliver on housing, public health and education, the situation continued to deteriorate. That is, the kind of government that the US wants to install, one that will privatise Venezuelan oil, failed to develop and diversify the economy, leaving it almost exclusively oil-dependent, with most of its population in poverty.
Hugo Chavez and Maduro were later both accused of causing this same problem of lack of economic diversification.In 2019, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were using it again as an excuse to rattle sabres and unilaterally denounce President Maduro and, bizarrely, recognise Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela.
Back to our history: Under Jaime Lusinchi and Acción Democrática, (AD), the Venezuelan economy was simply being mined by foreign interests, with no consideration for the self-determination of its population. In 1988 another DA president, Carlos Andrés Pérez, introduced an austerity regime, removing subsidies on gasoline as well as on a number of important consumables, culminating in hunger riots in Caracas, with a death toll of thousands.
Two attempted military coups took place against a background of continued repression in 1992 and Hugo Chávez led one of them. President Pérez later went to prison for 28 months with the government limping along under another recycled leader, Caldera, whose foreign policy was very USA friendly. In 1995, 103 per cent inflation hit the Venezuelan middle class. In 1997 doctors, university professors, and national telephone company workers went on strike. In December 1998 Hugo Chávez won the Presidency.
Hugo Chávez, the 45th President of Venezuela, died on 5 March 2013 at the age of 58. His death triggered a presidential election which was constitutionally required to be called within 30 days. Nicolás Maduro served as interim president following Chávez's death until 14 April, because the Vice President did not want to take charge of the country as Chávez had nominated Nicolas Maduro as a successor.
Juan Guaidó's Popular Will Party (Voluntad Popular)
The Popular Will party came out of the Popular Will Movement, which was formed in 2009 by the usual suspects, including Democratic Action, the right-wing US business-backed party that had privatised oil.
The Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) is a coalition of parties, notably Democratic Action, which formed in 2010 in opposition to Hugo Chavez's United Socialist Party of Venezuela.
Popular Will is supporting Juan Guaidó's Presidential Coup attempt.
Venezuela is situated at the very north of the South American continent on the southern shore of the Caribbean Sea. Venezuela is less than 2,000 kilometres south of the southern most tip of the United States, from which, since 1945, many wars against humanity have been launched since 1945. The sum total of deaths from these wars is in the millions.
Throughout Central America, the Carribbean and the South American continent are scattered a large number of United States' military bases from which further wars against Venezuela and other sovereign Latin American countries can be launched. Clearly any national government which wishes to govern in the interests of its people and not according to the dictates of the Unite States' elites, risks attracting US intervention to transform it into a client state, with a liberal economic economy, entailing debt and privatisations.
Venezuela, Chavez, Maduro & Latin-American oil on the world stage
This part of the article is adapted from Sheila Newman, “Venezuela, Chavez & Latin-American oil on the world stage”, Chapter 10 in Sheila Newman (Ed.) The Final Energy Crisis, Second Edition, Pluto Press,2008.
“In 1998, or 168 years after independence, a tiny wealthy elite was separated by a vast chasm from the rest of the people, of whom one quarter were unemployed. This seems disgusting when you realize that Venezuela was then the second biggest [oil] exporter in the world and had received around 300 billion dollars in oil sales – or the equivalent of 20 Marshall Plans - over the preceding 25 years. It was in this context that Hugo Chávez and his social plan won the elections of 6 December 1998 with 56.24% of the votes.”  (Nicolas Lehoucq, Paris Institute for International Studies).
President Hugo Chávez, was a social revolutionary with a giant budget. In 2006 the EIA ranked Venezuela ninth in World Oil producers and sixth in World Oil Exporters.  For many of his countrymen, Chávez was seen as a towering figure of hope for rescue from a nightmare which began in 1498. But his Anglo critics portrayed him as an ogre treading clumsily over political alliances and destroying Venezuela’s oil-assets.
Clearly Venezuela was pursuing a different political paradigm from that of the North American-led Anglophone countries. The Chávez government endorsed a Christian socialist philosophy directly opposite to the Protestant capitalist one of a wealthy elite divinely elected on earth. In the Chávez philosophy, Christ was the first socialist, sharing wealth among the poor; a rich man might only enter heaven by giving away his possessions to the poor; a good leader should give everything to his country.
One political explanation for this difference is that Latin America ‘missed out’ on the progress model which dominates North America because, colonized by medieval Catholics, it was isolated from the development of Protestantism.
Sociologist, Max Weber, theorized in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1906) that Calvinism was the midwife of capitalism, delivering to the world the concepts of the ‘work ethic’ and of election to earthly prosperity as a reflection of God’s grace.
The work of Australian engineer and social analyst, Sharon Beder, supports a contrary view that the work ethic plus the progress model are driving the world over a cliff and this is pretty much Chávez’s expressed view. Chávez also apparently shares a similar perspective to Al Gore’s on global warming, but that is where the similarities end.
From the 15th C the indigenous long-term stable clan and tribal populations of Chávez’s people were ravaged by invasion, immigration, disease, dispossession and slavery. The original peoples nearly died out, then, completely disorganized, ballooned in circumstances where child labour was the only source of additional income for low-wage landless people. What is now called Venezuela contained a stable population estimated at around 400,000 Amerindians in 1498. (In 2018 the population was over 28 million.) In the early 16th C King Charles Martel V granted Welsers German banking firm rights to exploit the people and resources of Venezuela in payment of a debt. The colony returned to the Spanish Crown within 20 years and hereditary land grants were made to conquistadores for a time, but later declared illegal. Meanwhile the Amerindians fought back until smallpox overwhelmed most of them in 1580. Not until 1821 did Simón Bolívar win the long indigenous struggle for independence.
In 1921 the discovery of oil permitted agricultural and industrial development. At the start of the Second World War Venezuela’s oil production was only exceeded by that of the United States. Much of the oil concession development involved attracted US, British, and Dutch companies. There was a period of dictatorship from 1948-1958, when Venezuela again became a democracy. It founded OPEC in 1960.
The historic inequities of colonial land distribution guaranteed a large population of impoverished rural labourers. As oil prices waxed and waned, productive agricultural holdings were neglected and waves of poor people left the country regions to look for work in the city, creating the slum of Caracas. Between 1959 and 1964 the government redistributed rural land to 150,000 families but many resold the land to speculators, it is said, because they had little education about farming and no ready market for their product. Other wealth redistribution and educative policies were carried out but these programs failed to establish themselves against a background of depressed commodity prices and political schism. Although the Democratic Action Party (DA) had played an important role in Venezuela’s first democratic period (1945-1948), in the early 1960s it was aligned with the USA, although many Venezuelans were sympathetic to the Castro regime in Cuba, which was charged with supplying arms to guerrillas in 1963. The DA government became increasingly repressive in the context of continued political unrest. In 1968 the Social Christians (SC) won government and remained in power until 1973.
In the wave of nationalizations following the first oil-shock, despite its US sympathies, the DA Government created the State-run oil and natural gas company, Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA) in 1975-1976. PdVSA is Venezuela’s largest employer and provides 80 per cent of export earnings but, reflecting later trends to privatization, government revenue declined from 70.6 per cent in 1981 to 38 per cent in 2000.
The oil countershock of 1979 culminated in currency devaluation by one third and a change to an SC government, which remained in power until 1983, when AD was returned under Jaime Lusinchi. Despite promises to diversify the economy and deliver on housing, public health and education, the situation continued to deteriorate.
Hugo Chavez and Maduro were later both accused of causing this same problem of lack of economic diversification. In 2019, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were using it again as an excuse to rattle sabres and unilaterally denounce President Maduro and, bizarrely, recognise Juan Guaidó as the interim president of Venezuela.
In 1988 another AD president, Carlos Andrés Pérez, introduced an austerity regime, removing subsidies on gasoline as well as on a number of important consumables, culminating in hunger riots in Caracas, with a death toll of thousands.
Two attempted military coups took place against a background of continued repression in 1992 and Hugo Chávez led one of them. President Pérez later went to prison for 28 months with the government limping along under another recycled leader, Caldera, whose foreign policy was very USA friendly. In 1995, 103 per cent inflation hit the Venezuelan middle class. In 1997 doctors, university professors, and national telephone company workers went on strike. In December 1998 Hugo Chávez won the Presidency.
On 30 December 1999 Venezuela’s 26th constitution was approved by 71 per cent of votes. The Senate was replaced by a single chamber National Assembly, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela came into being, named after the National hero. Presidential terms increased from five to six years and limitations on presidents serving a second consecutive term were lifted, but it became possible for the public to sack a president through a publicly initiated referendum. Privatisation of the oil industry, social security, health care and other major state-owned sectors was outlawed.
According to the EIA, “Nearly one-half of PdVSA’s employees walked off the job on December 2, 2002 in protest against the rule of President Chávez.” But another report says that they were prevented from working in a ‘bosses lock-out’ where “a small group of managers, directors, supervisors and technicians organised the sabotage of production and brought the industry almost to a halt,” and Georgetown politics Professor commented that “The opposition (…) has also been extremely irresponsible in trying to demand [Chávez’s] resignation rather than trying to seek an electoral solution.” If we assume that PdVSA management was responsible for the declining returns to the State by PdVSA over the decades, then the view that this was a ‘lock-out’ to preserve an undemocratic status-quo by discrediting the Chávez Government, seems persuasive. Chávez had provoked US insecurity about oil supply by criticizing the Free Trade of the Americas Act (FTAA) and US foreign policy. The Chávez government had sacked some directors of PdVSA who were in political disagreement with the Venezuelan executive. These people then led calls for a general strike along with a variety of opposition parties and the Fedcamaras (Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce), who are supported by the US National Endowment for Democracy. A group marched on the Presidential palace demanding Chávez’s resignation, which the President refused. He was arrested and imprisoned. Pedro Carmona, President of the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce, which receives funding from the US National Endowment for Democracy, was installed as Venezuelan President on the 11th of April. On the 12th of April, the US President’s spokesman, Ari Fleischer, endorsed the Carmona government. But, on the 13th of April the Presidential guard and the army arrested Carmona. Next the opposition collected signatures from 20 per cent of the electorate required under Chávez’s constitution to initiate a referendum to sack the president, but Chávez won the referendum.
The distribution of PdVSA income had been increasingly diverted to private concerns, with returns to the State falling from 70.6 per cent in 1981 to 38.6 per cent in 2000. Despite permanent damage to production from sabotage in the industrial disputes of December 2002, Chávez’s intervention had raised PdVSA returns to the state from 38.6 per cent to 50 per cent by 2004.
Venezuela had for some time been a food importer, due to the country’s very poor system of land management, which Chávez tried to rectify in a major scheme. He seemed to be seeking regional self-sufficiency, with protection for local production. He was opposed to overconsumption, openly warning about oil depletion. He was highly critical of US human rights abuses, at home and abroad, and opposed free-marketism.
Obviously Chávez’s regime threatened many established interests in a seething international struggle for resource hegemony. The economy was still in recession and maintenance and consolidation of the section of the population which supported Chávez would require that he carry out his promises. Chávez’s friendship with Castro was a source of survival skills. So was his policy of strengthening regional Hispanic alliances.
There were a number of likely candidates, including Mexico, which had begun to import food from the US under the American ‘free trade’ agreement. Brazil, however, sensibly seeking independence from petroleum, was apparently counselled to drop its independence policies in exchange for leniency on international debt.
Chávez actively sought more diversification in petroleum trading, initiating a ‘South-South diplomacy’ with sidelined and emerging polities in controversial and political oil-trade accords with Cuba, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Spain, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, India, China and Russia. An agreement in October 2004 meant that Russian oil sales to the US were actually honoured by Venezuelan oil and Venezuelan sales to Europe were supplied by Russian oil. The Chávez government paid off $538m of Argentinian debt and agreed to provide contracts worth $500 m to Argentina.
In a fascinating avoidance of petrodollars, Chávez supplied 80,000 barrels of oil to Cuba a day, at a friendly price, with 20 per cent of payment in the form of the supply of 150,000 Cuban doctors to Venezuelan health.
Most importantly, Chávez hoped to create a Latin American petroleum company, “Petrosur”, which would unite the public companies of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Equator and Venezuela.
Mostly anglo-analysts intimated that anglo-oil companies would not touch Venezuela because of Chávez, and that the bitumus deposits of the Orinoco would not get developed, through lack of experts. But this began to look like sour grapes as plenty of the non-anglo oil companies – Russian LUKoil, China’s CNPC, Indian ONGC and Brazil’s Petrobas – did not seem to be put off.
Chávez did not neglect regional diplomacy among the underworld of arms trade and revolutionary militia. And, after an attempted putsch in 2002, Chávez relied on Cuban Intelligence for personal protection. Not surprisingly the US Government disapproved.
On December 4, 2006, Chávez won his third six year term as president. In 2007 a referendum to make Chávez president for life was democratically defeated by 51 per cent.
In the light of Venezuelan social and economic performance in the decades preceding Chávez it would have been hard for him to do worse than his predecessors and he seemed to be doing considerably better. Land redistribution is the basis of revolution and of social equity. Venezuela signed an accord to give effective rights to its indigenous peoples. Chávez allocated public and then private land to the landless in a program accompanied by massive agricultural education.  This was bound to upset the small elite of land-owners and speculators.
The Chávez government had better green credentials than any other petroleum producer. With an active commitment to mitigate the impacts of climate change and peak oil, it initiated new public transport, instituted organic farming as an important part of secondary school education, and facilitated a huge organic farm in the centre of Caracas. It also planned massive reforestation with the collection of 30 tonnes of seeds, and the planting of 100 million plants. 
The overwhelming positive signs of Chávez's example seemed to be what we needed for the 21st century.
In about 2010, the United States added to its traditional political harassment economic sanctions against Venezuela. The 2016 low oil-price agreement between Saudi Arabia and the United States then caused a huge reduction in Venezuela’s oil income. This massively depressed GDP and made it very hard for people to buy food and necessities.
In March 2013 Hugo Chavez died of cancer. He had nominated his successor as Maduro. Maduro ran for election and was elected President.
Unfortunately the United States stepped up its sanctions, making it even harder for Venezuela to operate. In the name of fighting communism and pretending it was motivated by humanitarian concerns, President Trump and Vice-President Pence spoke of regime-change overtly for the first time. Bizarrely, they ‘recognised’ the opposition leader as the true president, despite massive protests from Venezuelans.
 Various documents named beneath, many of which have also referred to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s speech at the 60th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, on 15 September 2005.
 Lehoucq. (Translated here by S.M. Newman.)
 (All hydrocarbon liquids) http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/topworldtables1_2.htm
 For instance, the Economist unreasonably ignores the poverty of Venezuelan people under the old management of oil in a one-sided interpretation of events in “Oil's Dark Secret,” Aug 11 2006, Economist Intelligence Unit - Executive Briefing, http://www.economist.com/business/PrinterFriendly.cfm?story_id=7270301
 In The Pan-American Dream, US conservative writer, Lawrence Harrison, attempts to explain the differences in economy, government, human rights and standard of living in American Hispanic societies according to Weberian theory.
 Articles by Sharon Beder on the Work Ethic. http://homepage.mac.com/herinst/sbeder/home.html#work.
 UNICEF estimated that 9.9 percent of children ages 5 to 14 years in Venezuela were working in the year 2000. Government of Venezuela, Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS): Standard Tables for Venezuela and Annex I: Indicators for Monitoring Progress at End-Decade, UNICEF, 2000, www.childinfo.org/MICS2/newreports/venezuela/venezuela.htm and http://www.childinfo.org/MICS2/EDind/exdanx1.pdf.
Doepke hypothesised that fertility falls where policies, such as education subsidies and restrictions on child labour affect the opportunity cost of education. The populations of South Korea and Brazil had begun to grow rapidly around the same time, but South Korea had an effective public education system, and strongly enforced child-labour restrictions, whereas Brazil had a weak public education system and poorly enforced anti-child-labour laws. Doepke, M., Growth and Fertility in the Long Run, Mimeo, University of Chicago, 2000. available in reduced form in Doepke, M. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth", Journal of Economic Growth, 9(3), 347-383, September 2004.
 Seth DeLong, “Venezuela's Agrarian Land Reform: More like Lincoln than Lenin”, COHA, February 25th 2005, http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/963
 Ibid and Lehoucq, Nicolas, “La redéfinition du rôle géopolitique Vénézuelien,” Institut d'étude des Relations Internationales Paris, www.memoireonline.com/11/06/287/m_redefinition-role-geopolitique-venezuelien0.html (accessed 21/9/2007) and Doizy, Arnaud, “La politique étrangère des Etats-Unis au Venezuela, la période Chavez (1999- 2007)” Université Panthéon-Assas paris II, http://www.memoireonline.com/06/07/491/m_politique-etrangere-etats-unis-venezuela-periode-chavez2.html (Accessed 22/9/07)
 “Nearly one-half of PdVSA’s employees walked off the job on December 2, 2002 in protest against the rule of President Chavez.” EIA Reports : www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/Venezuela/Oil.html Some other anti-Chávez sources: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/09/13/venezuelan_oil_expats_resurfacing/ Some comments on US stance:
Professor of Politics, Georgetown University, Arturo Valenzuela commented on the PBS Jim Lehrer Newshour, “Troubled Nation”, December 17, 2002, “…Unfortunately, the radicals on both sides are maintaining this conflict. The opposition, for example, in my view, has also been extremely irresponsible in trying to demand his resignation rather than trying to seek an electoral solution. In fact, the constitution as I said earlier does make it possible for to Chávez be submitted to a referendum in August of next year. It seems unreasonable not to focus on that. Chávez has said he would accept that as a possible outcome. The problem is that the opposition wants him out now. Chávez says I don't want to leave and the situation is getting worse day by day.” http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/latin_america/july-dec02/venezuela_12-17.htm
 Martin, Jorge, “Venezuela: Opposition "strike" or bosses lock out? An eyewitness account,” www.marxist.com/Latinam/venezuela_eyewitness0103.html. Some other sources: www.thirdworldtraveler.com/South_America/Venez_Coup_Countercoup.html
 Doizy, Arnaud, « La politique étrangère des Etats-Unis au Venezuela, la période Chavez (1999- 2007)» Université Panthéon-Assas paris II, www.memoireonline.com/06/07/491/m_politique-etrangere-etats-unis-venezuela-periode-chavez2.html
 Lehoucq, op.cit.
 It relies on uncompressed gas but also, unfortunately, on bio-fuels which will lead to tragic soil and forest destruction. Nicolas Lehoucq writes that Brasil had achieved a ‘quasi-independence from petroleum’ in the 1990s and has even developed cars which the driver can select to function by a simple switch from gasoline to non-liquefied gas to ethanol. “But this innovatory system was threatened by the World Bank. President Lula was attempting to obtain a partial cancellation of Brazil’s debt and the World Bank attempted to negotiate a deal whereby Brazil would cease its petroleum indendence program.” Lehoucq remarks that the World Bank is US dominated and wonders if the US uses petroleum as a means of control of third world countries. Lehoucq, op.cit.
 Lehoucq, op.cit.
 Lehoucq, op.cit.
 Cohen, D., “Venezuela -- Aló Presidente!”, ASPO USA publication, 29 August 2007 http://www.aspo-usa.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=202&Itemid=91]
 Lehoucq, op.cit.
 “Hugo Chavez's annus horribilis,” M&C, Americas news, Dec 14, 2007.
 A fact strangely overlooked in many studies of the French Revolution, where analysis of methods undertaken for the redistribution of land, affords a remarkable perspective.
 As with Australia’s terra nullius, no treaty had ever been undertaken with the indigenous people. Source: The Forest Peoples’ Program, “Protecting and encouraging customary use of biological resources: The Upper Caura, Venezuela,” www.forestpeoples.org/documents/conservation/Ven10c_jan04_ch6_eng.pdf
 Seth DeLong, “Venezuela's Agrarian Land Reform: More like Lincoln than Lenin,”
February 25th 2005, COHA, https://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/963
 Derek Wall, “Viva Venezuela verde!” http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/derek_wall/2007/04/viva_verde_venezuela.html and Eva Golinger, “Venezuela’s Green Agenda: Chavez Should Be Named The ‘Environmental President’”, February 27th 2007, Venezuelanalysis.com venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/2244 (Accessed 22 Sept 2007)
There is in fact a Middle Eastern nation that is in fact in control of a vast, undeclared stockpile of nuclear weapons. This nation does have the capability of deploying those weapons anywhere in the region. It is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its arsenal has never been inspected by any international agency. But this nation is not Iran. It's Israel. (James Corbett)
The Transcript below has been republished from https://www.corbettreport.com/israelinukes/
DONALD TRUMP: I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. In a few moments I will sign a presidential memorandum to begin reinstating US nuclear sanctions on the Iranian regime. We will be instituting the highest level of economic sanction.
When President Trump announced that the US was going to de-certify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and reinstitute sanctions on that country, one of the reasons he cited for that move was the presentation of “new” evidence from Israeli intelligence showing that the Iranians had lied about its nuclear program during the negotiation of that deal.
TRUMP: Last week Israel published intelligence documents long concealed by Iran conclusively showing the Iranians regime and its history of pursuing nuclear weapons.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: A few weeks ago, in a great intelligence achievement, Israel obtained half a ton of the material inside these vaults. And here’s what we got; 55,000 pages. Another 55,000 files on 183 CDs. Everything you’re about to see is an exact copy of the original Iranian material
Theatrical props and dramatic rhetoric aside, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent presentation on the “Iranian nuclear deal” in fact contained no new information.
That Iran had explored a nuclear weapons program prior to 2003 has been known and admitted for years. That they have an archive of this information is not a violation of the Iranian nuclear deal completed in 2015. In fact, if anything, Netanyahu’s presentation actually proved the exact opposite of what was intended: Namely, that Iran is abiding by the terms of that treaty and is not covertly pursuing any nuclear weapons activity. That’s why they had to go back to 15 year old information and present it as if it was something new and revelatory.
But here’s the real head-scratcher in this new round of propaganda over the Iranian nuclear non-threat: There is in fact a Middle Eastern nation that is in fact in control of a vast, undeclared stockpile of nuclear weapons. This nation does have the capability of deploying those weapons anywhere in the region. It is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and its arsenal has never been inspected by any international agency. But this nation is not Iran. It’s Israel.
This is the story of the real Middle East Nuclear Threat. You’re watching The Corbett Report.
Hand-wringing over Iran’s nuclear program is nothing new. It became a mainstay of western political discourse after an Iranian dissident revealed the Iranian government’s plans for a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz in August 2002. But the surprising fact for Americans and others around the world who get their information from the corporate mainstream media, is that Iran’s pre-2003 nuclear weapons program has long been known and admitted. Since 2003, when the program was scrapped, not a single piece of evidence has been presented (not even by Netanyahu or the Israeli government) that the Iranian government ever pursued anything other than what it said it was pursuing: a nuclear energy program.
Not that that fact has ever stopped Netanyahu from using any opportunity to use cartoon-level propaganda tactics to convince the world otherwise:
NETANYAHU: In the case of Iran’s nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. And Iran has to go through three stages.
The first stage: they have to enrich enough of low enriched uranium. The second stage: they have to enrich enough medium enriched uranium. And the third stage and final stage: they have to enrich enough high enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Where’s Iran? Iran’s completed the first stage. It took them many years, but they completed it and they’re 70% of the way there.
Now they are well into the second stage. By next spring, at most by next summer at current enrichment rates, they will have finished the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. From there, it’s only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb.
Ladies and gentlemen, what I told you now is not based on secret information. It’s not based on military intelligence. It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Anybody can read them. They’re online.
So if these are the facts, and they are, where should the red line be drawn?
The red line should be drawn right here. Before Iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. Before Iran gets to a point where it’s a few months away or a few weeks away from amassing enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon.
Each day, that point is getting closer. That’s why I speak today with such a sense of urgency. And that’s why everyone should have a sense of urgency.
Of course, Iran was not pursuing nuclear weapons and Netanyahu’s Wile E. Coyote bomb and red line warnings bore no greater semblance to reality than the cartoon propaganda surrounding Saddam’s “weapons of mass destruction.” Not only did the IAEA repeatedly confirm that Iran never diverted any nuclear material into any military program, but even the US intelligence community itself conceded that Iran was not trying to build a nuclear bomb. Most remarkable of all was Mossad’s own assessment that Iran was “not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons.”
As I detailed earlier this year in “We Need to Talk About the Iran Protests,” fearmongering over Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program was the basis for an extraordinary series of measures against the country in recent decades. These measures included “NITRO ZEUS,” a full-scale military cyberattack against Iran the best-known element of which was Stuxnet, the military-grade cyberweapon co-developed by the United States and Israel that specifically targeted Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility at Natanz.
Iran’s non-existent nuclear program also provided the pretext for sanctions aimed at crippling the country’s economy, including the de-listing of Iranian banks from the Swift Network connecting the world’s financial institutions.
The fearmongers even went so far as to plant evidence of nuclear weapons involvement on Iran to further justify these attacks.
But the great irony is that there really is a nuclear armed nation in the Middle East. It is not a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. It does not allow inspections of its arsenal. It does not even officially acknowledge its stockpile of nuclear weapons. It has even resisted the push for an international treaty recognizing a nuclear-free zone in the middle east. And that country is Israel.
Sometimes ranked as the world’s sixth largest nuclear superpower, Israel actively pursued a nuclear program from the time of its inception as a state in 1948. By the late 1950s, they had begun building a reactor and reprocessing plant at Dimona with British and French aid. And by 1967, a classified CIA report estimated that Israel would be capable of producing a nuclear warhead in “six to eight weeks.” Shortly thereafter, it is believed, Israel began producing and stockpiling a nuclear arsenal.
OLENKA FRENKIEL: It was the young Shimon Peres, back in the fifties who negotiated a secret deal with the French to buy a nuclear weapons reactor like theirs. But while Dimona was going up, intelligence reports reached Washington that Israel was building an atom bomb.
Despite claims that Dimona was for peaceful purposes only, Israel’s leader Ben Gurion was summoned to Washington. President Kennedy feared an arms race in the Middle East and demanded inspections. But when inspectors finally entered the plant in May 1961 they were tricked. They were shown a fake control room on the ground floor. They were unaware of the six floors below where the plutonium was made.
PETER HOUNAM, Freelance journalist: Well this was something of great pride and almost a legendary story in Dimona, according to Vanunu. When the Americans came they were completely hoodwinked. All the entrances including the lift shafts were bricked up and plastered over so it was impossible for anyone to find their way down to the lower floors.
FRENKIEL: After Kennedy’s assassination the pressure on Israel was off. His successor Lyndon Johnson turned a blind eye. Then In 1969 Israel’s Golda Meir and President Richard Nixon struck a deal, renewed by every President to this day. Israel’s nuclear programme could continue as long as it was never made public. It’s called “nuclear ambiguity.”
The term “nuclear ambiguity,” in some ways it sounds very grand. But isn’t just a euphemism for deception?
SHIMON PERES, Former Prime Minister of Israel: If somebody wants to kill you, and you use a deception to save your life it is not immoral. If we wouldn’t have enemies we wouldn’t need deceptions. We wouldn’t need deterrent.
FRENKIEL: Was this the justification for concealing the floors of the plutonium reprocessing areas from the Americans, the inspectors, when they came?
PERES: You are having a dialogue with yourself, not with me.
FRENKIEL: But that’s been documented in a number of books.
PERES: Ask the question to yourself, not to me.
FRENKIEL: I mean, is it not true?
PERES: I don’t have to answer your questions, even. I don’t see any reason why.
FRENKIEL: Ambiguity is a luxury unique to Israel. Today the country’s an inspection-free zone, protected from scrutiny by America and her allies.
SOURCE: Israel’s Secret Weapon
Although estimates vary, it is now believed that Israel has somewhere between 75 and 400 nuclear warheads, and that it possesses the capability to deliver these warheads to Iran.
The existence of this stockpile, while known to governments around the world for decades, was only revealed to the public in 1986, when The Sunday Times published photographic proof and a detailed account of Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program. That story was provided by Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at the Dimona facility, who spent decades behind bars for his part in revealing this truth to the world.
NARRATOR: On October 5th, 1986, The Sunday Times announced they had evidence to prove that Israel had become the world’s sixth biggest nuclear power, having developed their arsenal beneath the Negev desert at Dimona. Photographs like this were given to the Sunday Times by a former technician at Dimona, Mordechai Vanunu.
Mordechai Vanunu’s family, Moroccan Jews, settled in the Negev in the early 60s, inspired by the idea of being a part of Israel. Vanunu did national service in the army. Then, while he worked at Dimona he began studying philosophy. He became active in student politics. He opposed Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Vanunu came to believe that Israel’s nuclear development program was immoral. He left Damona and, eventually, Israel itself.
Vanunu arrived in Sydney armed with photographs he’d taken inside Dimona. Here, he turned his back on Judaism and became a Christian. He met Oscar Guerrero, a Colombian journalist who urged him to sell his secrets to The Sunday Times. His evidence was processed at a local photo shop. Vanunu talked openly about what he’d done.
It’s said that by the time Vanunu arrived in London on September the 12th, 1986, Australian intelligence had already alerted MI6 and the CIA, and Mossad—Israeli intelligence—had already begun questioning his family in Israel. The Sunday Times disguised their informant and moved him from place to place for protection. But in Leicester Square one day, Vanunu met a blonde who called herself “Cindy,” a beautician from Florida. Meanwhile, Oscar Guerrero, eager to profit from what he knew, turned to The Sunday Mirror. Vanunu’s photograph appeared on page one. Vanunu began to despair. At this point, Cindy was able to lure him to Rome to sp end the weekend with her at her sister’s apartment. Not once did Vanunu suspect that Cindy was a Mossad agent and that this was the beginning of a plot to kidnap him.
In Rome, the tactics of the Mossad agents changed dramatically.
MEIR VANUNU: In the apartment, two Israeli agents attacked him and bit him and strangled him really hard. And then chained him, injected drugs [in]to his body. And later on he woke up in a small cell on a boat. The boat went to Israel for a few days and he arrived to Israel on the 7th of October, 1986.
Vanunu was assumed dead until he turned up weeks later in Tel Aviv. Vanunu himself, on his way to court, gave the first clue of what had happened to him. Scrawled on his hand was the message “Vanunu was hijacked from Rome, Italy. 30.9.86. BA 504.”
But a key element of the story is missing from the handful of documentaries that acknowledge Israel’s nuclear stockpile. Namely, that these weapons were not merely developed by Israeli scientists working in isolation, but with the aid of a nuclear smuggling ring that helped develop and advance Israel’s arsenal by stealing important nuclear technologies from their “ally,” the United States. These rings and their activities have been known about and even investigated by the FBI for decades, but largely kept secret from the public.
It has fallen to researchers like Grant F. Smith of IRMEP.org, author of Divert!: NUMEC, Zalman Shapiro and the diversion of US weapons grade uranium into the Israeli nuclear weapons program, to piece together the story from the documents that have been released. On The Corbett Report in 2012, Smith revealed the name of one of the high-powered Israeli officials who was at the heart of a plot in the 1970s to smuggle 800 nuclear triggers from the United States.
GRANT F. SMITH: In terms of the FBI uncovering a multi-node network, this one happened to be centered in California. MILCO was a company that was incorporated in 1972 by a man named Richard Kelly Smyth. He was discovered sending 800 krytrons, which are dual-use items that could be used to trigger nuclear weapons. When he was discovered doing that, he skipped bail in the mid-1980s and disappeared until he was picked up by Interpol in the early part of 2000.
And so the story is interesting and explosive, because after multiple attempts and denials we had a document release in which the key contact, or one of the key contacts that Smyth was meeting with to set up sales in Israel was none other than Benjamin Netanyahu. And so the document—which I’m kind of holding up right here for the people who are on video—actually names Benjamin Netanyahu as being an employee of Heli Trading Company, which was the node in Israel that would receive Ministry of Defense requisitions that they would pass on to MILCO.
And so the interesting thing about this, of course, is the high-profile nature of Benjamin Netanyahu, [and] the fact that the smuggling ring ring leader has been identified as Arnon Milchan, a person any American knows for his movie productions such as Pretty Woman and other favorites, who is running this and who a recent book has named as being a top economic espionage fly a spy for LAKAM, who worked under Benjamin Bloomberg and Rafi Eitan. But the FBI documents that we published on July 4th related to an antiwar.com story which was really short and direct. And its core focus was on the fact that in a period when Netanyahu was building himself up as a leader in the terrorism industry—hosting major conferences, having just returned from his studies in the United States, hosting major conferences in the Jonathan Netanyahu Terrorism Institute, named after his brother who was killed on the Raid on Entebbe.
Here’s a person who was supposed to be working as a furniture company executive, and yet these documents which are very credible because of what they were—which is testimony from Richard Kelly Smith after he was returned his exile overseas and finally forced serve a prison sentence. These were the statements he made to an FBI agent in a district attorney office when they debriefed and wanted to know what the extent of the nuclear technology smuggling network was and—boom!—there’s Benjamin Netanyahu.
Benjamin Netanyahu. And now this unindicted nuclear smuggler is lecturing Iran about a 15 year old, long-acknowledged nuclear weapons program that never produced a single nuclear weapon.
Even more worryingly, Israel’s nuclear knowledge has not only helped to arm its own nation, but actually helped to proliferate nuclear weapons to Pakistan through the so-called Khan network. One of the men who helped to transfer the nuclear triggers used in the construction of the Pakistani bomb was Asher Karni, an orthodox Jew living in South Africa who had been a major in the Israeli army prior to emigrating to Cape Town. Upon his arrival there in 1985, he began teaching Torah at the local synagogue and educating Jewish youth, encouraging them to relocate to Israel.
In 2004, U.S. authorities arrested Karni for his role in supplying the nuclear triggers and in 2005 he was sentenced to three years in prison. It has never been officially explained why this Israeli citizen and former Israeli military officer was interested in helping proliferate nuclear technologies to Pakistan.
But perhaps the greatest irony of all is that it is Iran who has been arguing for decades that the Middle East should be a nuclear-free zone. The idea was first floated by the Shah in 1969, and was first formally proposed by Iran in a joint UN General Assembly resolution, but the idea failed to garner any support. The idea was again raised by then-Iranian President Ahmedinejad in 2006 and yet again by then-Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki in 2008, but these calls to banish nuclear weapons from the Middle East have not even been acknowledged by the west, let alone seriously considered.
Now more than ever, the prospect of a nuclear-free Middle East seems the only way to prevent a nuclear conflagration that threatens to draw in the world’s superpowers, and yet the idea is being ignored by Israel and its staunchest ally, the United States.
Why does Israel refuse to declare its nuclear weapons stockpile? Why do they refuse to sign on to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty?
Why do they refuse IAEA inspections of their nuclear facility?
Why did they kidnap and imprison Mordechai Vanunu for 18 years for providing the proof of this nuclear program?
And perhaps most importantly, why does the United States, the only country who could single-handedly force NPT compliance from Israel, still refuse to even admit the openly-acknowledged status of Israel as a nuclear power?
Don’t hold your breath waiting for these questions to be answered by the teleprompter readers on the nightly news.
Still, as even many in the mainstream are now admitting, Netanyahu’s presentation on Iran’s nuclear non-secrets are a cheap display of political theatrics. The only thing he ended up doing is underlining the point that Iran, unlike Israel, fully cooperated with the IAEA, lived up to its obligations as a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and pointedly has not violated the 2015 nuclear deal.
And now that the United States has allowed the Israeli tail to wag the American dog once again by de-certifying that Iranian deal without valid cause, negotiators in North Korea and elsewhere will be watching, reminded yet again that a promise from the American empire isn’t worth the signed agreement it’s written on.
In this podcast interview inside, Christine Hong speaks about the Korean history not told in corporate media, present day moves towards peace on the peninsula, and more. The interview is by journalist Eva Bartlett.
Christine Hong is an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute. She has spent time in North Korea, including as part of a North American peace delegation.
She specializes in transnational Asian American, Korean diaspora, critical Pacific Rim, and comparative ethnic studies.
She is a board member of the Critical Ethnic Studies Association, an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute, a coordinating committee member of the National Campaign to End the Korean War, and a member of the Working Group on Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific.
Korea Policy Institute
National Campaign to End the Korean War
Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific
Legacies of the Korean War
The games have begun. The younger sister of North Korea’s ruler Kim Jong-un has captured the attention of the media, while US Vice President Mike Pence was mocked as a dud, even undiplomatic. The two Koreas are engaging each other. This makes the Washington foreign policy swamp fume. CrossTalking video with Brian Becker, Gregory Elich, and Myung-Koo Kang. This Crosstalk video pretty much covers the major bases in 30 minutes, with a stunningly well-informed cast.
Lee Ann McAdoo and Owen Shroyer do a fantastic in depth analysis of the history and current stories on chemical weapon use in Syria. The best I have seen. And they take Trump to task. And finger McCain. Alex Jones, who produces Infowars, has been an ardent Trump supporter and some people feared he might get his journalists to pull their punches on Trump if Trump stepped out of line, but this is disproven here.
President Marcos institutionalized a national family planning program by creating a Population Commission (POPCOM) to study the issue and advise on a national policy. The focus of the commission was to decelerate the nation’s high fertility rates, yet consensus on how this was to be accomplished was considered problematic and, at best, unclear. Catholic sociologists brought an increased awareness of population problems and RCC officials started to become involved in the government birth control plan, making no objections and even sat on the POPCOM board. Obviously this concensus did not last. What happened?
Government in the Philippines
The Philippines has had many colourful presidents. Three have died in office, two overthrown in popular uprisings, Rodreigo Duterte is just the latest and has gained notoriety by encouraging people to commit murder. In his inauguration speech he told the nation:
"If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself"
Unfortunately many have done just that after the president offered substantial rewards to anyone who turns in a drug dealer ‘dead or alive’ resulting in 3600 killings in his first 100 days of office. President Marcos hung onto office for 20 years until overthrown by Cory Aquino. This extraordinary lady managed to not only oust the brutal and corrupt President Marcos, becoming the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office and the first female president in Asia. She also managed to withstand seven attempted military coups against her, a devastating earthquake and a volcanic eruption that led to the closure of the US military bases and almost swallowed an Australian ship that happened to be in dry dock at the time.
Another battle fought out of the public eye: population policy
But while these events created world headlines, there was another and far more important battle being fought out of the public eye, one that, if the result had gone the other way would have changed the entire world for the better. In the mid-1950's, researchers in the Philippines believed that the country’s population, then under 20 million, could easily support a population of 2.5 times its size. During this time the country leaders and Church officials saw no need for population control, since overpopulation did not exist in the Philippines. Yet, later in that decade, Jesuit demographers recognized that although the Philippines may not have an immediate population problem, the rate of growth was such that severe problems would arise in the near future. Coming from the Catholic church, this may seem surprising, but their position on population has always been inconsistent. In the Church's early history, Thomas of Aquino (1225 – 1274), an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, Doctor of the Church and now a saint, believed that it was not possible for a country to allow unlimited growth and he approved of laws limiting population size. He probably wasn't the first to reach this conclusion but it puts him about 800 years ahead of many politicians today. However the decline in the number of Catholic faithful in Europe prompted Pope John Paul to encourage Brazilian couples to have more children to help solve the shortage of priests in the world.
President Marcos and Father Lynch
Early in his presidency Marcos solicited the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist his government in initiating population control measures, a process that had to be achieved discreetly by masking some of its family planning assistance through larger programs on maternal and child health. However Church support for population control through family planning increased, as many in the church began to seriously react to the country's population growth rate. By identifying population growth as a crisis and calling on the Church in Manila to take action, Frank Lynch, a Jesuit priest, called on other priests to take responsibility to further discuss population concerns with the body of the Church. Specifically, he wrote that:
It is my hope, shared (I dare say) by the majority of well-educated Catholics in the Philippines that the Church may soon speak more directly to their members, telling them in clear and certain terms...that the folk or folk-Catholic belief that one should place no control on family size or child spacing is opposed to the Church's official position on the responsibility parents have toward children.... Catholic bishops and priests...have to speak openly and often against the false morality of those who extol large families and abandonment to Divine Providence as a prima facie evidence of supreme virtue.
As a result, the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) and the government began to work together to address the issue of population growth in the Philippines. President Marcos institutionalized a national family planning program by creating a Population Commission (POPCOM) to study the issue and advise on a national policy. The focus of the commission was to decelerate the nation’s high fertility rates, yet consensus on how this was to be accomplished was considered problematic and, at best, unclear. At the time Lynch delivered his message, other Catholic sociologists brought an increased awareness of population problems and RCC officials started to become involved in the government birth control plan, making no objections and even sat on the POPCOM board. When POPCOM was first established, the RCC insisted that the rhythm method be included in the methods offered, but did not insist on the exclusion of other forms of contraception. Rather than either acceptance or condemnation of contraception, there was a tacit agreement by the Catholic hierarchy not to raise the issue. This cooperation was sustained for many years, but would later have a bitter parting.
Reactionary 1980s: World Bank, other agencies
As the 1980s approached, POPCOM began to lose support and was repeatedly challenged by researchers who felt that an increase in population was needed for economic development. Withdrawing from POPCOM, the RCC began to challenge the government program with the sense that "it is not the number of people but the unequal distribution of income which causes poverty." Critics of the RCC argued that the big debate in the Philippines regarding population and development was not over the redistribution of resources, but about the morality of managing population growth through the use of artificial means of contraception.
Further harming the potential growth of a strong population control policy at that time, the RCC began to publicly damage the advances previously made in support of a government family planning program. The government began to be attacked for having a population control orientation and, likewise, services suffered in their efforts to provide family planning assistance in the hopes of reducing the rapid population growth rate. In response to POPCOM's weakened efforts, Catholic bishops declared the government program unjust because it used money that could have gone to alleviating poverty, was based on the false assumption that population growth hinders economic growth and was supported by the World Bank and “other agencies”. Such language set government and church leaders on opposite ends of the spectrum and divided program supporters.
All of this damaged POPCOM, but may not have proved fatal were it not for Marcos's unpopularity and his involvement in the assassination of political rivals. The leader of the Catholic Church in Manila, a Cardinal with the unlikely name of Sin, (he referred to his home as the house of Sin) was an outspoken critic of the Marcos Government and waged a campaign to prevent the imposition of population-control policies. His speeches included the claim that the Philippine Government should follow the church because the Philippine population is predominantly Catholic. It is therefore bound under pain of sin to obey the teachings of the Catholic Church. The concept of separation of church and state has always been a difficult concept for the religious. Priests throughout Manila preached sermons about the sanctity of life and the blessing of motherhood after an announcement on July 6th 1982, by Prime Minister Caesar Virita, that steps must be taken immediately to prevent the Philippine population, at that point 50 million, from eventually exceeding 115 million, the upper limit of the country's resources.
Marcos was eventually ousted and Cory Aquino rose to power by the true vote of the people, but her support for a population control program became a victim of her need for Church support. As a result the government program took more of a pro-natalist and child welfare stance as a requirement for the full participation of the RCC.
Alliance for Family Life International (AFLI)
As the only Christian Southeast Asian country, the Philippines still has one of the regions highest rates of population growth with its population now at over 100 million, up from 20 million in 1950. Twenty six percent of the population are living below the poverty line. There is an estimated 4 million slum dwellers in Manila alone, many with large families with up to10 children because the only the comparatively well off have access to contraceptives. Abortion is illegal with no exceptions for endangering a woman's life, rape, or fetal impairment. This is a position taken by a group called the Alliance for Family Life International (AFLI) which attempts to advance a non-medical definition of pregnancy in the hopes of not only making contraceptive implants unavailable to Filipino women, but who would also prefer to see the whole Philippine POP Law tossed into the dustbin of history.
The illegality of abortion has only made it more dangerous. Estimates in 2012 show that 610,000 women resorted to abortion, over 100,000 women were hospitalized and 3 women die every day due to unsafe abortion complications. Forty percent of Filipinos considered “having enough to eat” every day among their biggest problems and while unemployment is officially 6.1% wages are minuscule for the unskilled.
Cheap labour at home and cheap migrant labour source
In order to survive, many seek employment outside the Philippines, especially in the middle east and Japan, where they work as domestic servants or “hostesses,” which usually means prostitution. Poor families are forced to allow their children to be taken away from their families with the promise of good wages and a new life and even education, but wind up trapped by broken dreams, debt and the threat of violence. There are an estimated 4 million enslaved or exploited in child labour in the Philippines by a number of industries ranging from domestic service, mining, fishing, sugar plantations, to commercial sex and the selling of drugs. To add insult to this list of injuries, economists claim they were right about population growth fuelling economic growth because the Philippines, with a GDP growth rate of 6.8%, has the highest economic growth in the region. It also has over 26 million people who aren't impressed with economists.
Responsiblity of Roman Catholic church
It is difficult to imagine what might have been had Cardinal Jamie Sin possessed the same grasp of exponential growth mathematics as Frank Lynch. Whatever the outcome might have been, it surely would have been better for the Philippines. And perhaps elsewhere: Latin America, also largely Catholic, has a lower rate of poverty at 20% but its higher total population means there are 130 million in chronic poverty. Africa is in much the same position. The Vatican was able to keep their flock wary of modern birth control in part by linking it to colonialism: The West, the argument went, wanted to control poor people and reduce their numbers, instead of addressing the causes of their poverty. Largely as a result of the Vatican’s opposition to condom use, Sub-Saharan Africa experienced the most serious HIV and AIDS epidemic in the world. In 2013, an estimated 24.7 million people were living with HIV, accounting for 71% of the global total, all because of what can be shown as a manipulation of the bibles teachings.
President Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine president-elect Rodrigo Duterte says he will defy the Roman Catholic Church and seek to impose a three-child policy, putting him on a new collision course with bishops a day after he called them "sons of whores".
"I'm a Christian, but I'm a realist so we have to do something with our overpopulation. I will defy the opinion or the belief of the Church."
One of Mr Duterte's aides said the president-elect will aggressively implement the country's family planning law to push his economic growth agenda.
Congress passed a law in December 2012, despite opposition from church leaders, allowing public health centres to hand out contraceptives such as condoms and pills and teach sex education in schools.
Mr Duterte is pushing for "rapid and sustained implementation" of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, said Ernesto Pernia, an economic adviser to the tough-talking 71-year-old.
"If you enable families to limit and phase their children to what they can afford and what they can provide for, then that's going to have an effect on poverty and inequality," Mr Pernia said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
[...] Mr Duterte criticised the Church as the "most hypocritical institution", meddling in government policies and said some bishops were enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.
"You sons of whores, aren't you ashamed? You ask so many favours, even from me," Mr Duterte said in an interview broadcast by TV station GMA.
The Iron Pacific, a BHP owned ship.
 #10;">Family Planning and the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines