Sunday, April 21, 2013

17 Questions About The Boston Bombings The Media is Afraid To Ask

AUTHOR Mr. Conservative
Will we ever learn the full truth about the Boston Marathon bombing?  Personally, I have been looking into this attack for days, and I just keep coming up with more questions than answers.  At this point, I honestly have no idea what really happened.  Why was a bomb drill being held on the day of the attack?  Why have authorities denied that a bomb drill was taking place?  Were Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev acting alone?  What was the nature of their previous contacts with the FBI and other federal agencies?  Why did the FBI at first deny that they had been in contact with the Tsarnaev brothers previously?  Why was the investigation of a mysterious Saudi national with familial links to al-Qaeda suddenly dropped shortly after the Saudi ambassador held an unscheduled meeting with Barack Obama?  Why did Michelle Obama subsequently visit that mysterious Saudi national in the hospital?  If you are looking for answers to these questions, I am afraid that I don’t have them at this point.  But what alarms me is that the mainstream media seems to be afraid to ask any of the hard questions that they should be asking.  They just seem to swallow whatever the authorities tell them hook, line and sinker without following up on any of the things in this case that simply do not seem to make sense.
So what kinds of questions should they be asking?  The following are 17 unanswered questions about the Boston Marathon bombing that the media appears to be afraid to ask…
#1 Why were runners being told that a bomb squad drill was taking place during the Boston Marathon?  The following is from an article by Natural News…
Alastair Stevenson is a veteran marathon runner who has competed in dozens of marathons around the world, including the London Marathon. He’s very familiar with the security typically found at marathons, and he immediately noticed something odd about the Boston marathon security.
“They kept making announcements on the loud speaker that it was just a drill and there was nothing to worry about. It seemed like there was some sort of threat, but they kept telling us it was just a drill,” he was quoted as saying
In the interview, you’ll hear Stevenson say:
“At the start at the event, at the Athlete’s Village, there were people on the roof looking down onto the Village at the start. There were dogs with their handlers going around sniffing for explosives, and we were told on a loud announcement that we shouldn’t be concerned and that it was just a drill. And maybe it was just a drill, but I’ve never seen anything like that — not at any marathon that I’ve ever been to. You know, that just concerned me that that’s the only race that I’ve seen in my life where they had dogs sniffing for explosions, and that’s the only place where there had been explosions.”
#2 Why did authorities deny that a bomb squad drill was being held?
#3 According to The Mirror, the FBI is reportedly “hunting” a 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev were allegedly a part of…
A source close to the investigation said: “We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.
“They were too advanced. Someone gave the brothers the skills and it is now our job to find out just who they were. Agents think the sleeper cell has up to a dozen members and has been waiting several years for their day to come.”
If that is the case, why are authorities in Boston adamantly insisting that the two brothers were acting alone?
#4 CBS News is reporting that the FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev back in 2011.  The mother of the two Tsarnaev brothers insists that the FBI had been in contact with them for up to five years.  At first, the FBI denied any previous contact with the two suspects.  Will we ever learn the true scope of the previous relationship between the FBI and the Tsarnaev brothers?
#5 Debka is reporting that the Tsarnaev brothers were “double agents” which had been “hired by US and Saudi intelligence to penetrate the Wahhabi jihadist networks which, helped by Saudi financial institutions, had spread across the restive Russian Caucasian.”  Could this possibly be true?  If so, will the American people be told the truth about these links?
#6 According to their uncle, there were “mentors” that “radicalized” the Tsarnaev brothers.  So precisely who were those “mentors”?
#7 What happened during Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s trip to Dagestan and Chechnya last year?
#8 Were the Tsarnaev brothers in contact with a rebel leader named Doku Umarov who is known as “Russia’s Bin Laden”?
#9 Did Tamerlan Tsarnaev post a video on YouTube last summer that expresses a belief that the 12th Imam, Mahdi, will soon come and that an Islamic army with black flags with arise out of a province in Iran known as Khorasan?
#10 Why aren’t we being told that the “pressure cooker bombs” used in the Boston Marathon attacks are very similar to the kind of pressure cooker bombs that are commonly used in the Middle East?…
The Daily Beast has confirmed with U.S. counter-terrorism officials that the bombs placed Monday at the marathon were made from pressure cookers, a crude kind of explosive favored by insurgents in Pakistan and Afghanistan. A recipe for a bomb that uses the pressure cooker was part of the debut issue of Inspire, the English-language online magazine of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
#11 Initially we were told that Saudi national Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi was a “person of interest” in the case.  But now he is scheduled to leave the countrywith the full blessing of the U.S. government.  Why is there such a rush to get him out of the United States?
#12 Why aren’t we being told that Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi was photographedwith two other Saudis in the vicinity of the Boston marathon bombings?
#13 Why aren’t we being told of the shocking familial links that Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi has to known members of al-Qaeda?  The following is from research complied by Walid Shoebat…
Many from Al-Harbi’s clan are steeped in terrorism and are members of Al-Qaeda. Out of a list of 85 terrorists listed by the Saudi government shows several of Al-Harbi clan to have been active fighters in Al-Qaeda:
#15 Badr Saud Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
#73 Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awufi Al-Harbi
#26 Khalid Salim Uwaid Al-Lahibi Al-Harbi
#29 Raed Abdullah Salem Al-Thahiri Al-Harbi
#43 Abdullah Abdul Rahman Muhammad Al-Harbi (leader)
#60 Fayez Ghuneim Humeid Al-Hijri Al-Harbi

Then you have Al-Harbi clan members in Gitmo:
Salim Salman Awadallah Al-Sai’di Al-Harbi
Majid Abdullah Hussein Al-Harbi
Muhammad Abdullah Saqr Al-Alawi Al-Harbi
Ghanem Abdul Rahman Ghanem Al-Harbi
Muhammad Atiq Uwaid Al-Awfi Al-Harbi

There are specific Saudi clans that are rife with members of Al-Qaeda, which makes it quite alarming as to why nearly a hundred thousand student visas are issued to these. Americans are clueless as to clan ties when it comes to terrorism.
#14 Why did U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have a private meeting with a Saudi foreign minister shortly after Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi was identified as a potential suspect?
#15 Why did Barack Obama hold an unscheduled meeting with the ambassador from Saudi Arabia shortly after Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi was identified as a potential suspect?
#16 Why did Michelle Obama visit Abdulrahman Ali Alharbi in the hospital?
#17 Why did numerous mainstream media outlets openly suggest that “right-wing extremists” were behind the bombings in the immediate aftermath of the attack?

BOSTON TRUTH: The “Chechen Connection”, Al Qaeda and the Boston Marathon Bombings

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Global Research Editor’s Note
Global Research  will be publishing a series of articles and reports with a view to promoting “Boston Truth”.  The underlying objective is  to confront and challenge the official version of events as well as the twisted and convoluted interpretations of the mainstream media. 

Nine thousand heavily armed police including SWAT teams were deployed in a manhunt to capture a 19 year old student at U-Mass, after his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston Marathon terror mastermind was shot dead by police allegedly  after a car chase and shoot out with police.
Prior to the conduct of a police investigation, the 19 year old student has already been designated as “guilty”.  The fundamental legal principle of  “innocence until proven guilty” has been scrapped. In the words of President Obama (a graduate of Harvard Law School),  the Boston 19 year old student is “guilty” of  heinous crimes (without evidence and prior to being charged in a court of law):
“Whatever hateful agenda drove these men [suspects] to such heinous acts will not, cannot, prevail. Whatever they thought they could achieve, they’ve already failed…. Why did young men who grew up and studied here as part of our communities and our country resort to such violence?” (emphasis added)
Coupled with the alleged anthrax and ricin letters in Washington D.C. which mysteriously surfaced in the immediate wake of the Boston tragedy, both Washington and the media have underscored the Tsarnaev brothers tenuous ties to Chechnya’s militant jihadist insurgency.
According to the Wall Street Journal, quoting expert scholarly opinion:
 ”...the Chechen [family] background is maybe a part of what leads them [the two suspects] to do what they do,” said Lorenzo Vidino, an expert on Chechen militants at the Center for Security Studies in Zurich.” … A profile on the Russian social-networking site Vkontakte that appears to belong to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev includes a propaganda clip rallying jihadists to go to Syria to fight alongside rebels there, citing sayings from the Prophet Muhammad. [Amply documented, it just so happens that the jihadist foreign fighters in Syria are recruited by the US and its allies] (Wall Street Journal, op cit.)
What is implied is that even if the suspects are not tied to a Muslim extremist network, their embedded cultural heritage and  Muslim “background” incites them –quite naturally– to commit acts of violence.  How does this concept –which routinely associates Muslims with terrorism–  repeated ad nauseam in the Western news chain,  affect the human mindset?
While the identity and motives of the suspects are currently being examined by police investigators, the Tsarnaev brothers have already been categorized –without supporting evidence– as “Radical Muslims”.
Across the land, Muslims are being smeared and demonized.  A new wave of Islamophobia has been set in motion.
The Creation of A New Legend: “The Chechen Connection”
A new legend is unfolding: “The Chechen Connection” is threatening America. Islamism homegrown in the Russian Federation is now being “exported to America”.
Plastered on news tabloids across the United States, the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings on Patriots’ Day are relentlessly compared to September 11, 2001.
According to the Council of Foreign Relations:

Law enforcement agencies at all levels have made advances in surveillance and policing since the September 11, 2001 attacks, but security risks persist. Many counterterrorism experts call for a renewed focus on the ability of the United States to weather and recover from such incidents… (emphasis added)
Is the Boston tragedy being used by Washington to usher in a new wave of police state measures directed against different categories of “domestic terrorists?
Is this catastrophic event being applied to foster public reaction against Muslims?
Is it being used to build acceptance for America’s holy crusade –initiated during the Bush administration– directed against a number of Muslim countries, which allegedly “harbor Islamic terrorists”?
According to the powerful Council of Foreign Relations (which exerts a pervasive influence on both the White House and the State Department), the Boston bombings once again “raise the specter of terrorism on U.S. soil, highlighting the vulnerabilities of a free and open society”. (Ibid)
Counter terrorism and Martial Law –implying the suspension of civil liberties– rather than civilian law enforcement are the proposed solutions. In the words of Secretary of State John Kerry, ‘‘I think it’s fair to say this entire week we’ve been in pretty direct confrontation with evil.’’
The unfolding mass media consensus (including that of Hollywood) is that America is once again under attack. This time, however, the alleged perpetrators are “Muslim terrorists” not from Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia  but from the Russian Federation:
If a connection between the marathon bombing suspects and Chechen separatists was established, it would mark the first time militants from the former Soviet republic have launched a deadly attack outside Russia. Chechen insurgents deny any link to marathon bombing – U.S. News
“The Chechen Connection” has become embedded in a new media consensus. The American Homeland is potentially threatened by Muslim terrorists from the Russian Federation, who have links to Al Qaeda.
There is also a foreign policy agenda behind the bombings. The White house has hinted that in the course of the police investigation that if the “Chechen brothers” had links to radical Islam, the administration “could expand intelligence-gathering efforts overseas, as well as widen surveillance and screening measures in the United States.” Moreover, will the Chechen Connection be used by the administration as a renewed pretext for pressuring Moscow?
Al Qaeda and the CIA
The American public is misled. The media reports carefully overlook the historical origins of the Chechnya jihadist movement and its pervasive links to US intelligence.
The fact of the matter is that the jihadist movement is a creation of US intelligence, which has also led to the development of “political Islam”. While the role of the CIA in support of the Islamic jihad (including most Al Qaeda affiliated organizations) is amply documented, there is also evidence that the FBI has covertly equipped and incited would be terrorists within the US. (See James Corbett, The Boston Bombings in Context: How the FBI Fosters, Funds and Equips American Terrorists, Global Research April 17, 2013)
The CIA’s agenda starting in the late 1970s was to recruit and train jihadist “freedom fighters” (Mujahideen) to wage “a war of liberation” directed against the pro-Soviet secular government of Afghanistan.

Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Jihadist Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)
The “Islamic Jihad” (or holy war against the Soviets) became an integral part of the CIA’s intelligence ploy. It was supported by the United States and Saudi Arabia, with a significant part of the funding generated from the Golden Crescent drug trade:
“In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166 … [which] authorize[d] stepped-up covert military aid to the Mujahideen, and it made clear that the secret Afghan war had a new goal: to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal. The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies — a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987 … as well as a “ceaseless stream” of CIA and Pentagon specialists who travelled to the secret headquarters of Pakistan’s ISI on the main road near Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There, the CIA specialists met with Pakistani intelligence officers to help plan operations for the Afghan rebels.”(Steve Coll, The Washington Post, July 19, 1992.)
Mujahideen from a large number of Muslim countries were recruited by the CIA. Jihadists from the Muslim republics (and autonomous regions) of the Soviet Union were also recruited.(For further analysis see Michael Chossudovsky, Al Qaeda and the “War on Terrorism”, Global Research, January 20, 2008)
Al Qaeda and the Chechnya Jihad
Chechnya is an autonomous region of the Russian Federation.
Among the recruits for specialized training in the early 1990s was the leader of the Chechnya rebellion Shamil Basayev who –in the immediate wake of the Cold War– led Chechnya’s first secessionist war against Russia.
During his training in Afghanistan, Shamil Basayev linked up with Saudi born veteran Mujahideen Commander “Al Khattab” who had fought as a volunteer in Afghanistan. Barely a few months after Basayev’s return to Grozny, Khattab was invited (early 1995) to set up an army base in Chechnya for the training of Mujahideen fighters. According to the BBC, Khattab’s posting to Chechnya had been “arranged through the Saudi-Arabian based [International] Islamic Relief Organisation, a militant religious organisation, funded by mosques and rich individuals which channeled funds into Chechnya”.(BBC, 29 September 1999).

The evidence suggests that Shamil Basayev had links to US intelligence as of the late 1980s. He was involved in the 1991 coup d’Etat which led to the break-up of the Soviet Union. He was subsequently involved in Chechnya’s unilateral declaration of independence from the Russian Federation in November 1991. In 1992, he led an insurgency against Armenian fighters in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. He was also involved in Abkhazia, the largely Muslim breakaway region of Georgia.
The first Chechnya war (1994-1996) was waged in the immediate wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was part of a US covert operation to destabilize the Russian Federation. The Second Chechnya war was waged in 1999-2000.
Broadly speaking the same guerrilla terrorist tactics applied in Afghanistan were implemented in Chechnya. 
According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress’ Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the insurgency in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. (Levon Sevunts, “Who’s Calling The Shots? Chechen conflict finds Islamic roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan”, The Gazette, Montreal, 26 October 1999.)
It’s obvious that the involvement of Pakistan’s ISI in Chechnya “goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: The ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war.”(Ibid)
The ISI is in permanent liaison with the CIA. What this statement signifies is that US intelligence using Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) as a go-between was calling the shots in the Chechnya war.
Russia’s main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington’s condemnation of “Islamic terrorism”, the beneficiaries of the wars in Chechnya were the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which were vying for complete control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin.
The two main Chechen rebel armies (which at the time were led by the (late) Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab), estimated at 35,000 strong, were supported by CIA and its Pakistani counterpart the ISI, which played a key role in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army:
“[In 1994] the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence [in liaison with the CIA] arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir Muawia, Basayev was transferred to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defence General Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed Ashraf (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very useful to Basayev.” (Ibid, emphasis added)
Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the KLA. (Vitaly Romanov and Viktor Yadukha, “Chechen Front Moves To Kosovo”, Segodnia, Moscow, 23 Feb 2000)
The Chechen insurgency modeled on the CIA sponsored jihad in Afghanistan has also served as a model for several US-NATO sponsored military interventions, including Bosnia (1992-1995), Kosovo (1999), Libya (2011), Syria (2011-  ).
Chechen Rebels: US Covert Operation to Destabilize the Russian Federation

The 1994-1996 Chechen war, instigated by the main rebel movements against Moscow, served to undermine secular state institutions. The adoption of Islamic law in the largely secular Muslim societies of the former Soviet Union served US strategic interests in the region.
A parallel system of local government, controlled by the Islamic militia, had been implanted in many localities in Chechnya. In some of the small towns and villages, Islamic Sharia courts were established under a reign of political terror.
Financial aid from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to the rebel armies was conditional upon the installation of the Sharia courts, despite strong opposition of the civilian population. The Principal Judge and Ameer of the Sharia courts in Chechnya was Sheikh Abu Umar, who “came to Chechnya in 1995 and joined the ranks of the Mujahideen there under the leadership of Ibn-ul-Khattab. … He set about teaching Islam with the correct Aqeedah to the Chechen Mujahideen, many of whom held incorrect and distorted beliefs about Islam.” (Global Muslim News, December 1997).
The Wahabi movement from Saudi Arabia was not only attempting to overrun civilian State institutions in Dagestan and Chechnya, it was also seeking to displace the traditional Sufi Muslim leaders. In fact, the resistance to the Islamic rebels and foreign fighters in Dagestan was based on the alliance of the (secular) local governments with the Sufi sheiks:
“These [Wahabi] groups consist of a very tiny but well-financed and well-armed minority. They propose with these attacks the creation of terror in the hearts of the masses. … By creating anarchy and lawlessness, these groups can enforce their own harsh, intolerant brand of Islam. … Such groups do not represent the common view of Islam, held by the vast majority of Muslims and Islamic scholars, for whom Islam exemplifies the paragon of civilization and perfected morality. They represent what is nothing less than a movement to anarchy under an Islamic label. … Their intention is not so much to create an Islamic state, but to create a state of confusion in which they are able to thrive.( Mateen Siddiqui, “Differentiating Islam from Militant ‘Islamists’” San Francisco Chronicle, 21 September 1999)
The second Chechnya war was launched by Vladimir Putin in 1999, with a view to consolidating the role of the central government and defeating the US sponsored Chechen terrorists against the Russian Federation.
“False Flags”
The 19 year old suspect is being used as a patsy. He left Chechnya shortly after his birth. While he and his brother had no connection to the jihadist movement, the US media is carefully crafting a “Chechen Connection” pointing to an inherent behavioral pattern associated with Muslims:
The brothers spent 10 years in the U.S. during a formative period of their lives, exhibiting normal behavior for first-generation immigrants, said Mitchell Silber, a former intelligence official in the New York Police Department. “The question is, what catalyzed the change? Was it Chechen nationalism? Did it start with Chechen nationalism and somehow migrate to a pan-Islamist jihad cause?” (Renewed Fears About Homegrown Terror Threat,” WSJ April 20, 2013)
There is evidence, however, from the testimony of family members that the Tsarnaev brothers were on the radar of the FBI for several years prior to the Boston bombings and were the object of recurrent threats and harassment. Confirmed by the Wall Street Journal, the FBI had “interviewed” Tamerlan Tsarnaev in 2011. (Ibid)
What is abundantly clear is that the US government is not committed to fighting terrorists.
Quite the opposite. US intelligence has been recruiting and grooming terrorists for more than thirty years, while at same time upholding the absurd notion that these terrorists, who are bona fide CIA “intelligence assets”, constitute a threat to the American Homeland.  These alleged threats by “An Outside Enemy” are part of a propaganda ploy behind the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT).
What is the Truth?
The development of an Islamist terrorist militia in different countries around the World is part of an intricate US intelligence project.
While the Tsarnaev brothers are casually accused without evidence of having links to Chechen terrorists, the important question is who is behind the Chechen terrorists?
In an utterly twisted logic, the protagonists of the ‘Global War on Terrorism” directed against Muslims are the de facto architects of “Islamic terrorism.”
The “Global War on Terrorism” Mindset
The “war on terrorism” mindset builds a consensus: millions of Americans are led to believe that a militarized police apparatus is required to protect democracy. Little do they realize that the US government is the main source of terrorism both nationally and internationally.
The corporate media is Washington’s propaganda arm, which consists in portraying Muslims as a threat to national security.
At this juncture in our history, at the crossroads of global economic and social crisis, the Boston bombings play a central role. They justify the Homeland Security State.
The evolving US Police State is thereby upheld as a means to protecting civil liberties. Under the guise of counter-terrorism, extrajudicial killings, the suspension of habeas corpus and torture are rightfully considered as a means to upholding the US Constitution.
At the same time, the terrorists –created and supported by the CIA– are used to participate in “False Flag” terrorist acts with a view to justifying the conduct of a global military crusade against Muslim countries, which so happen to be major oil producing economies.
“Massive Casualty Producing Events”

Former CENTCOM Commander, General Tommy Franks, who led the invasion of Iraq in 2003, had outlined a scenario of what he described as “a massive casualty producing event” on American soil, (a Second 9/11) . Implied in General Franks statement was the notion and belief that civilian deaths were  necessary to raise awareness and muster public support for the “global war on terrorism”.
“[A] terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world – it may be in the United States of America – that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event.” (General Tommy Franks Interview, Cigar Aficionado, December 2003, emphasis added)
While the Boston bombings are of an entirely different nature to the “catastrophic event” alluded to by General Tommy Franks, the administration appears, nonetheless, to be committed to the logic of “militarizing our country” as a means to “protecting democracy.”
The Boston events are already being used to galvanize public support for an extended domestic based counter-terrorism apparatus. The latter would be implemented alongside extrajudicial assassinations against so-called “homegrown self radicalized terrorists”:
“U.S. counterterrorism policy has since 2001 focused largely on killing terrorists overseas or preventing them from getting into the U.S. But the Boston bombings show how the diffusion of terrorist tactics easily transcends borders. Countering small groups of individuals inside the U.S. can be a bedeviling assignment.
Bruce Riedel, director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan Washington think tank, said the Boston attack was likely a harbinger. “We are likely to see this as the future face of terrorist threats to the United States,” he said, adding that the case of a small number of radicalized participants who have lived in the U.S. and execute a plot is “the counterterrorist community’s worst nightmare, homegrown, self-radicalizing terrorism that learns its skill set off the Internet.” (WSJ, April 20, op cit)
The “terrorist massive casualty-producing event” was upheld by General Franks as a crucial political turning point.
Do the Boston Bombings constitute a point of transition, a watershed which ultimately contributes to the gradual suspension of constitutional  government?


 America’s “War on Terrorism”

by Michel Chossudovsky

In this new and expanded edition of Michel Chossudovsky’s 2002 best seller, the author blows away the smokescreen put up by the mainstream media, that 9/11 was an attack on America by “Islamic terrorists”.  Through meticulous research, the author uncovers a military-intelligence ploy behind the September 11 attacks, and the cover-up and complicity of key members of the Bush Administration.
The expanded edition, which includes twelve new chapters focuses on the use of 9/11 as a pretext for the invasion and illegal occupation of Iraq, the militarization of justice and law enforcement and the repeal of democracy.
According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.
September 11, 2001 provides a justification for waging a war without borders. Washington’s agenda consists in extending the frontiers of the American Empire to facilitate complete U.S. corporate control, while installing within America the institutions of the Homeland Security State. 

The FBI’s History of Supplying Live Explosives to “Terror Suspects”

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In late September 2011, AFP reported that a man was charged with “planning to fly explosive-packed, remote controlled airplanes into the Pentagon and the Capitol in Washington.” In its report, “US man charged with Pentagon bomb plot,” AFP stated (emphasis added):
During the alleged plot, undercover FBI agents posed as accomplices who supplied Ferdaus with one remote-controlled plane, C4 explosives, and small arms that he allegedly envisioned using in a simultaneous ground assault in Washington.
However, ”the public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by undercover FBI employees,” the FBI said.
Ferdaus was arrested in Framingham, near Boston, immediately after putting the newly delivered weapons into a storage container, the FBI said.
Authorities described Ferdaus as a physics graduate from Northeastern University who followed al-Qaeda and was committed to ”violent jihad” since early last year.
In November 2010, a similar “plot” was engineered, then “disrupted,” also by the FBI – this time in Portland, Oregon. The so-called “Christmas Tree Bomber” attempted to remote detonate a van he believed was filled with explosives, provided by the FBI, before being arrested during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Pioneer Courthhouse Square. The FBI’s official statement regarding the incident revealed that FBI agents had handled, even detonated live explosives with the entrapped suspect at Lincoln County Park in the lead up to the final failed bombing.

The FBI’s official statement titled, “Oregon Resident Arrested in Plot to Bomb Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in Portland,” released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office on November 26, 2010 stated (emphasis added):
According to the affidavit, on November 4, 2010, Mohamud and the undercover FBI operatives traveled to a remote location in Lincoln County, Ore., where they detonated a bomb concealed in a backpack as a trial run for the upcoming attack. Afterwards, on the drive back to Corvallis, undercover FBI operatives questioned Mohamud as to whether he was capable of looking at the bodies of those who would be killed in the upcoming attack in Portland. According to the affidavit, Mohamud responded, “I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured.”
Upon returning to Corvallis that same day, the affidavit alleges that Mohamud recorded a video of himself with the undercover FBI operatives in which he read a written statement that offered a rationale for his bomb attack. On Nov. 18, 2010, undercover FBI operatives picked up Mohamud to travel to Portland in order to finalize the details of the attack.
Earlier this evening, Mohamud was arrested after he attempted to remotely detonate what he believed to be explosives in a van that was parked near the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland, the affidavit alleges.
Yet another similar operation was carried out by the FBI in February 2012, where yet another otherwise incapable patsy was  provided with live explosives in the lead up to what was ultimately a failed suicide bombing at the US Capitol. USA Today reported in their article, “FBI foils alleged suicide bomb attack on U.S. Capitol,” that (emphasis added):
According to a counterterrorism official, El Khalifi “expressed interest in killing at least 30 people and considered targeting a building in Alexandria and a restaurant, synagogue and a place where military personnel gather in Washington before he settled on the Capitol after canvassing that area a couple of times,” the Associated Press writes. During the year-long investigation, El Khalifi detonated explosives at a quarry in the capital region with undercover operatives. He is not believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda, officials said.
The frightening trend of the FBI cultivating otherwise incapable “terror” suspects, providing them with and detonating real explosives, before giving them inert or controlled devices to carry out attacks on public targets where mass casualties are averted only at the last possible moment, sets the stage for at the very least, incredible potential for catastrophic blunders, and at worst, false flag attacks.
Has the FBI ever presided over “sting operations” that were actually carried out? The answer is yes. The FBI in fact was presiding over the terrorists who carried out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The role of the FBI leading up to the deadly attack would most likely have gone unreported had an FBI informant not taped his conversations with FBI agents after growing suspicious during the uncover operation. The New York Times in their article, “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast,” reported:
Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.
The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said.
The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers. The explosion left six people dead, more than 1,000 injured and damages in excess of half a billion dollars.
What takes shape is an FBI at the center of perpetuating America’s terror menace, not at the forefront of fighting it. With every attack foiled or carried out involving FBI uncover operatives revealed only after successful “stings” or in the case of the World Trade Center bombings, an inconvenient witness stepping forward and revealing the FBI’s role, the first and foremost suspect considered after any bombing on US soil should be the FBI itself.
Recent explosions at the Boston Marathon have left two dead and many more injured. While the public waits to find out who will be blamed, and the role, if any the FBI played in the lead up to the explosions, it would be best to keep in mind the insidious and/or incompetent role the FBI has played during similar events, some of which have occurred recently and in close proximity to the latest explosions.
Already some across the Western media are attempting to draw parallels to the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington – despite the fact that the US is now deliberately funding and arming Al Qaeda in Syria, as well as openly supporting previously listed terrorist organization, Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), in Iran. Vigilance must be kept against Western governments eager to both exploit and perpetuate  terrorism and tragedy as well as manufacture it when necessary.

Boston Black Ops: Manufacturing Terror?

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boston marathon soldier
What’s ongoing resembles post-9/11 events.
Fear-mongering, lies and misinformation replace truth and full disclosure. Muslims became public enemy number one. Who’ll suffer most with them this time?
Vital information is suppressed. Fingers point the wrong way. Innocent victims are blamed for state-sponsored terror. More on that below.
National emotions are aroused. At issue is enlisting public support.
Post-9/11, Bush addressed an Episcopal National Cathedral prayer and remembrance ceremony.
“(O)ur country was attacked with deliberate and massive cruelty,” he said. “We have seen the images of fire and ashes and bent steel.”
He omitted what’s most important. Washington bore full responsibility. The worst of all possible worlds followed.
On April 18, Obama addressed a Holy Cross Cathedral interfaith prayer service. “(I)n an instant, the day’s beauty was shattered,” he said. “A celebration became a tragedy. And so we come together to pray and mourn and measure our loss.”
“We will find you,” he added. “And yes, you will face justice. We will hold you accountable.” Truth and full disclosure always loses out.
Early Friday, newly released FBI photos showed alleged bombing suspects. They brothers. They were called “armed and extremely dangerous.” Allegedly they had “explosives and guns.” Official reports lack credibility.
One suspect was arrested. The other fled. He’s now hospitalized in serious condition. Police discovered his whereabouts and shot him. Officials later said the one taken into custody died. Allegedly he was killed in a “violent standoff.” Cold-blooded murder is more likely.
A “massive manhunt” continues. Officials said suspects came from Chechnya or nearby. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews alleged they’re Arabs. Perhaps from Yemen, he said.
Mossad-connected DEBKAfile called them “Chechen Wahhabi cell” members. Saudi Arabia funds it, it said. Older brother Tamerlan was 26. Police likely killed him in cold blood. He was a boxer and Bunker Hill Community College engineering student.
Younger brother Dzhokhar fled. He’s 19 years old. He’s a Cambridge Rindge and Latin School graduate. His father calls him a “true angel.”He’s a Greater Boston League all-star wrestler.
He won a city of Cambridge $2,500 scholarship. He’s a second year medical student. His father said both brothers were “set up.” They “killed my older son Tamerlan,” he added.
Over 10 years ago, both brothers came to America with their family. They’re not terrorists.
Officials said greater Boston public transportation shut down. The FAA ordered a no-fly zone over a 3.5 mile radius of the bombing site. Watertown, Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Waltham, Belmont, and other suburban area residents were advised to stay home.
Colleges and universities closed for the day. Local businesses were told not to open. Thousands of officers made house-to-house searches. Swat teams are involved. Some areas were evacuated. Helicopters patrol overhead. Police cars are everywhere.
Greater Boston’s never seen anything like this before. It’s surreal. It resembles a bad film plot. It gets round-the-clock coverage. Managed news misinformation substitutes for cold hard facts.
Infowars headlined “Did Boston Bombing Suspect Try to Surrender?” An image showed him lying prone with his arms outstretched. He held no weapon. None appeared near him.
One suspect killed. Perhaps another to follow. What better way to bury truth. Dead men tell no tales. Exculpating evidence perhaps won’t surface. Media scoundrels won’t report what does.
Lots more went on. On marathon day, eyewitnesses reported bomb drills, training exercises and rooftop snipers. Authorities denied them.
University of Mobile cross country coach Alastair Stevenson contradicted them, saying:
“At the starting line this morning, they had bomb sniffing dogs and the bomb squad out there. They kept announcing to runners not to be alarmed, that they were running a training exercise.”
On April 17, Anthony Gucciardi headlined “Craft International Private Military Forces at Boston Marathon?”
Images showed two men “with earpieces and military-esque gear….(T)hey may likely be employees of the Blackwater-style private military/security firm Craft International.”
Their attire was later “revealed to be standard issue Craft International clothing.” The skull logo on one man’s cap identifies Craft.
Why were both men and others with them in Boston? Images show around 10 wearing similar attire. Nearly all had on black backpacks. They resembled those alleged to contain pressure cooker bombs.
Investigators said they contained explosives, nails and ball bearings. They detonated moments apart.
Four or more Craft operatives wore tan combat boots, tan BDUs (battle dress uniforms), black jackets, and had tactical communications gear. At least one had an “inspector radiation alert.” It’s used to detect dirty bomb or nuclear attack emissions.
Why were they near the marathon’s finish line? Perhaps their mission was a black ops. They’re experts in these type operations.
Why did FBI operatives join them? Images show them talking. An FBI truck was visible. Why were FBI agents searching for one bombing suspect before the incident took place?
These and related questions demand answers. Coverup and denial reflect official policy. Vital facts are suppressed. What’s most important isn’t reported.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Saving Detroit: Globalization, the Destruction of Cities and the Rights of African Americans

Challenges for the Emerging Black Studies Scholars Today

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Détroit, frappée par la crise, est peu à peu abandonnée.
The following lecture was delivered at the Michigan State University (MSU) Detroit Center on April 19, 2013. This event was sponsored by the African American and African Studies Program’s Emerging Black Studies Scholars project. The audience was composed of MSU graduate students as well as their counterparts from Wayne State University, professors and community leaders. Earlier in the day Azikiwe had taken the students on a “corporate devastation tour” of sections of Detroit. Students were later debriefed on the tour during dinner prior to the lecture. 
Detroit is a city that has been in the national and world news once again. Since March, when Gov. Rick Snyder declared a so-called “financial emergency” in Detroit, therefore setting the stage for the appointment of an “Emergency Manager”, many press reports drew a direct connection between the recent corruption trial of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and businessman Bobby Ferguson. In fact just prior to Snyder’s declaration, Kilpatrick and Ferguson were found guilty of numerous corruption charges in the months-long federal trial.
Of course the corporate and government-controlled media has never focused on who are the real culprits in the underdevelopment and consequent destruction of Detroit and other majority African American municipalities in Michigan. These media entities fall back on the same notions that have prevailed inside the United States since the period of Reconstruction, i.e. that African American political leadership is inherently corrupt and inefficient rendering them incapable of managing the affairs of governments locally, statewide and nationally.
Beginning in the late 1990s the city was the focus of one of the largest swindles in the history of the U.S. Predatory lending schemes targeted African American and Latino communities in a massive profit-making project that involved the highest echelons of finance capital in collusion with the federal, state and local governments.
African Americans were deliberately lured into first home buyer and refinancing programs which the banks knew well in advance would result in massive home losses and the wholesale leveling and cleansing of neighborhood and cities. These predatory lending programs in many cases were racist in character by only providing subprime loans to African Americans and Latinos even if they qualified for what was considered as conventional mortgages.
The largest and most profitable banks and insurance companies were involved in these efforts. Even though many of the mortgage loans appeared to originate from small real estate and finance companies, over a period of time the servicing of these loans wound up with some of the oldest and well-established banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, the Royal Bank of Scotland (Charter One), Wells Fargo, The Bank of New York Mellon Trust and others.
The forces behind these fraudulent mortgage packages were so-called securitized trusts and hedge funds many of which are based on Wall Street in New York City. The mortgages were bundled up in exotic financial instruments and backed up by multi-billion dollar firms such as American International Group (AIG). Utilizing credit default swaps these trusts and funds bet on the fact that there would be monumental and unprecedented foreclosures and reaped trillions of dollars in profits based upon the failure and destruction of municipalities throughout the country.
In late 2006 and early 2007 these schemes began to unravel. Two Detroit-based attorneys associated with the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) began to receive request to defend hundreds of people from eminent foreclosure.
What they discovered shortly was that people had been placed in adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) where they would start off paying a relatively manageable amount in a monthly payment only to see these installments rise precipitously over a brief period of time. Eventually the homeowner would not be able to make payments, they would fall behind and then a series of late fees and penalties would take hold leading to default, foreclosure and seizure by the banks.
Many of these foreclosures and evictions were illegal even according to the rules set out by the banks themselves. Options that should have been available to lower payments and work out agreements with the banks were disregarded in the mad rush for repossession of the homes.
It later became clear that there were greater incentives for the banks to foreclose on these borrowers than work with them to resolve the payment issues. Most of these fraudulent mortgages were insured at the inflated rates of the mortgage as opposed to the actual market rate of the properties which were rapidly declining in value. When foreclosure occurred the banks would be paid the full value plus penalties and fees by the insurers therefore making profits on both ends.
What helped fuel the predatory lending frenzy was also the false notion that property values would continue to rise in perpetuity. Lenders would tell borrowers that they could always refinance and get lower interest rates and more cash.
This of course turned out to be a big lie because as soon as the system began to unravel in 2007 and property values plunged, no lender would be willing to refinance. People were stuck with homes that were declining in value with high unreasonable mortgage payments surrounded by communities that were being destroyed through the crisis.
The Decline in Wages for African American Workers
Let us now look at some underlying factors that are clearly related to the crisis of housing in the urban areas like Detroit. Since the 1970s wages have been on the decline inside the United States.
With large scale de-industrialization in Detroit and other cities throughout Michigan, the problem of structural unemployment has become pronounced. This problem in fact goes back to the 1950s when the general myth exist of an expanding economy with a burgeoning middle class is still promoted in the mass media and popular culture.
In Detroit industrial jobs were being lost in the 1950s and 1960s as census reports document. This was taking place at the same time as the large-scale migration of African Americans into the city of Detroit was increasing when many working class and middle class whites were fleeing the city for the suburbs.
By the time of the 1967 Rebellion the decline in the city was well underway. Unemployment and underemployment was a major problem among youth in the African American community in Detroit in 1967 when approximately 40 percent of the city was black.
There was a minor recession in 1969 and in 1971, the Nixon administration embarked upon its anti-inflation program that took the U.S. off the gold standard. By 1973-74 major changes in the economic structures of the country resulted in plant closing and lay-offs.
The October 1973 Egypt-Israeli war prompted the Arab oil embargo that brought about additional shocks in the petroleum industry which resulted in price hikes and shortages in fuel. The problems of large-scale unemployment began during this period in the city of Detroit and in other industrial centers around the country.
In 1975 there was a major restructuring of the world economic system. An even greater degree of de-industrialization began to occur where millions of people were thrust into economic uncertainty and social displacement.
These developments occurred within a broader international context that had a tremendous impact on the U.S. 1975 was same year that the Vietnam War and the influence of Washington collapsed in Southeast Asia.
Also that same year the independence of Angola and Mozambique crippled a major ally of the U.S. within NATO, Portugal, whose government was plunged into crisis in Europe. These factors were compounded with the fall of the Nixon administration the year before and the revelations surrounding the role of domestic intelligence services hampered the ability of the state to exercise the degree of repression that had been common since the Cold War between 1947 and 1974.
When jobs are lost and people move from cities this impacts the tax base and the very existence of small and medium size businesses. The rate of profitability even among the large multi-national corporations declined during the mid to late 1970s therefore perpetuating the cycle of joblessness and increasing impoverishment.
In the city of Detroit the subprime mortgage phenomenon and the consequent foreclosure and eviction crisis had a compounding effect on the city’s tax base. The 2000-2010 Census figures indicate that some 237,000 people were forced out of the city of Detroit.
Many of these people were by-products of the economic devolution of the city and the country. There were 150,000 foreclosures in Detroit during this period and the simultaneous loss of jobs and the decline in real wages proved to be even more devastating to the city.
Another dimension of this crisis related to the fiscal health of the city of Detroit is the municipal finance problems that have been developing over the last decade. With the decline in tax revenue and revenue sharing from both state and federal governments, the city was forced to rely on borrowing through disadvantageous loans and bond issues.
Recently- released documents under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the Moratorium NOW! Coalition to Stop Foreclosures, Evictions and Utility Shut-offs has brought about the exposure of the fraudulent activity carried out by the same banks that drove nearly a quarter-of-a-million people out of the city through mortgage lending and home seizures. The use of credit default swaps in municipal finance has resulted in the complete financial ruin of the city.
The existence of $16.9 billion in long-term debt for the city of Detroit stems directly from these same bond issues and loans held by Bank of America, U.S. Bank, USB and others. The emergency manager laws, both Public Act 4, that was overturned through a statewide referendum last November, and the new law, Public Act 436, allows for EMs to tear up labor contracts and vendor agreements but does not allow the debt supposedly owed to the banks to not be paid.
In other words, the EM laws provide a pseudo-legal rationale for the dictatorship of the banks over the city. Even though the people throughout the state of Michigan voted down Public Act 4, Snyder and his cohorts in Lansing re-instituted an even worse law giving it immunity from repeal by the electorate.
Nonetheless, the existence of emergency management will not result in the improvement of city services, the advent of new jobs which pay a living wage or the empowerment of the working class and the nationally oppressed. In fact it is doing just the opposite.
Just on April 16, the Detroit City Council in a majority vote of 5-2 agreed to allow Jones Day law firm, which Kevyn Orr the EM worked for until recently, to implement a contract worth at $3.2 million to ostensibly work toward the restructuring of the debt. It is quite obvious that any restructuring will not be in the interests of the people of Detroit but to further disempower and enslave the workers and oppressed in perpetual debt and dictatorship under the financial institutions.
It was revealed in the limited debates surrounding the Jones Day contract that this law firm is involved representing the same banks that hold the municipal debt for Detroit. How can they represent the people of Detroit when they are in league with their mortal enemies?
Jones Day was involved in the Chrysler bailout and bankruptcy of 2009. Although the General Motors and Chrysler restructuring are championed by the corporate media as a success, the fact of the matter is that tens of thousands of people lost their jobs during the process including production workers and car dealerships which were closed in mass.
These small and medium-sized dealerships were not only shut down but their employees such as salespersons, clerks and mechanics were also thrown out of work. Workers who remained in production were subjected to a wage freeze even in the skill trades and the establishment of a two-tier pay structure serves only to impoverish younger workers coming in who are making half of what older workers are and in addition is designed to break down class solidarity within the unions by harboring differing wage scales between new recruits and veterans.
In Detroit since the advent of David Bing and the majority 5-to-6 right wing bloc in 2009, the city has abolished over 4,000 municipal positions. Municipal workers have been subjected to 10 to 20 percent pay cuts, benefit slashing and now are facing the possibility of having their pensions seized by the EM and his backers in the financial sector.
Mind you all of this was done absent of emergency management. When we listen to the pronouncements of the majority bloc within City Council in Detroit that they are acting with the interests of the people in mind, it only exposes the self-serving actions of this clique which is far removed from the needs of the people.
City pension funds are a source of revenue that can be taken over by the EM. Approximately $5-6 billion in these funds may be the next pot of money to be robbed from the municipal employees in order for these resources to be handed over to Wall Street.
Within the context of the discussions and reports printed by the corporate media and broadcast over the radio and television there is never any questions raised about the failure of finance capital and the federal government to create jobs and small business but to do just the opposite. Today the banks are sitting on $2 trillion in cash but will not invest in job creation because it is more profitable for these entities to invest in production and services overseas where wages are lower and benefit scales are often nonexistent.
The Plight of Detroit Within a Broader National Context
What is often projected in the corporate media as well is the notion that Detroit is the only city facing such a crisis. This could never be further from the truth because cities and suburbs throughout Michigan and the U.S. are in a similar situation.
Since Detroit is a majority African American city and has a heroic history of labor and national struggles, the tendency is to make it appear as if the people themselves through their trade unions and community organizations are the cause of the suffering, blight and debt. However, one only has to drive through suburban communities and witness some of the same problems related to home foreclosures, the closing of small businesses and the evisceration of municipal and educational services.
In various cities throughout the U.S. including Stockton and San Bernardino, California, Providence, Rhode Island, Jefferson County, Alabama, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Suffolk County, New York and others, municipalities are facing similar problems. In Stockton, which has filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, the creditors represented by the banks and bond insurers recently attempted to declare that there was no financial crisis and that the city should pay them first and disregard the pension funds and municipal employees.
The same arguments are being made throughout the U.S. The banks are setting policy for the cities by demanding and acquiring first lien on all tax dollars that should be going toward maintaining municipal services, pensions and schools.
Some fifteen years ago Detroiters were being told that the building of casinos would generate the necessary revenue that could bring the city back from the decades of decline resulting from capital flight, population decline and the erosion of the urban infrastructure. However, the situation today is represented by the fact that the banks are claiming billions in debt from the City of Detroit and consequently the financial institutions take tax revenue from the casinos which are placed with a trustee in order to pay off obligations to these same elements of capital.
The Complicity of the Federal Government in the Destruction of the Cities
The tendency of blaming local communities for their own problems often overlooks the role of the federal government in the present crisis. In regard to housing it is clear that for the last two decades the Congress and the administration has systematically worked to eradicate low-income public housing.
Most of the public housing projects which were built for people during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s have been razed. In Chicago the Robert Taylor Homes, the Ida B. Wells Homes and the Cabrini Green complexes have all been shut down and demolished.
In Detroit the Brewster Projects and the Jeffries have been torn down and replaced with housing that most poor and low-income people cannot afford. The promised new housing for the most marginalized sections of the working class has never materialized in the U.S.
Of course these projects were designed from the beginning for racist purposes. With the migration of African Americans from the rural areas of the South to the urban North and West, there was resistance to housing integration that was fostered heavily by the ruling class.
This policy served at least two purposes: they contained the African American and Latinos communities in confined geographic areas and at the same time it provided the political capacity to convince the white working class and middle class that they were somehow superior to the nationally oppressed groups due to the better conditions of residence and services they were allocated. This concerted division of the working class inside the U.S. created the conditions for the ultimate crushing of the trade unions and the evolution of a genuine people’s movement that could cut across racial lines.
Nonetheless, the dumping of millions of people with the major shift in housing policy in the 1990s exacerbated the homeless problem as well as fostered the decline of the cities through the forced remigration of African Americans back to the South and to working class suburbs surrounding the large urban areas. With removal of low-income housing, many people could not afford to live in the cities and as a result of this phenomenon it prompted the gentrification of the cities where the upper middle class and wealthy sectors were able to come in to re-occupy sections of the central cities.
The problem with these policies is that the capitalist system is in deep crisis. Consequently, the financial interests are not in a position to invest the necessary money to actually rebuild the cities in their own images.
We have seen the beginning of such programs in cities like Washington, D.C. and New York. Yet with the economic crash of 2007-2008, it has been stalled if not completely abandoned.
Any keen observer of the cities can see clearly that the crisis has manifested itself all over the country. The advent of the Sequester earlier this year will make matters worse since it is impacting the federal civil service and even homeland security.
It was announced just recently that some 300 people at the now-privatized Detroit Medical Center will be laid-off as a direct result of the Sequester. Other government programs such as Head Start which assist poor children are subjected to cuts as results of the massive budget cuts in Washington.
In regard to the problem of foreclosure and evictions the federal government is heavily responsible due to its failure to regulate the banks and to prosecute them for their fraudulent activities. Attorney General Eric Holder announced earlier this year that the banks were too big to prosecute. Five years ago the Congress and the ruling class were saying that the banks were too big to fail.
However, the people inside the U.S., particularly the oppressed African and Latino nations are being driven deeper into poverty. Neither political party is working as an advocate for these social elements within the population or the working and so-called middle classes as a whole.
There has been the establishment of various programs that are ostensibly designed to assist people facing foreclosure and eviction. Yet there is no real enforcement provision within these programs and consequently the banks have no obligation to participate.
During the height of the foreclosure crisis the federal government essentially “nationalized” the mortgage industry through the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The tax dollars of working people made good on all the so-called “toxic loans” held by the banks.
In the fall of 2008, the Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson came before the Congress with a three-page double-spaced proposal requesting over $700 billion in a bailout for the banks. The popular sentiment throughout the U.S. was to reject this proposal because: why should these banks be bailed out of the crisis when it was created by them?
The proposal was eventually adopted with the indispensable support of the Democratic Party and the-then Senator Barack Obama who was on the verge of being elected to the presidency. In addition to the bailout of the banks, the Federal Reserve Bank provided trillions in liquidity to the financial institutions buying the same type of bad assets which shielded the system from collapse.
However, nothing was ever offered to the people of the U.S. The foreclosure programs were a sham and the problems of unemployment, underemployment and increasing poverty have remained over the last five years.
Today with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in control of most mortgages in the U.S., people are now being evicted by the federal government. These entities in many cases are far worse than the banks in regard to the efforts to prevent home seizures.
Another important point in regard to the role of the federal government in the current crisis is the failure of the administration and Congress to stimulate the economy and create jobs. There are two federal laws on the books which mandate that the government steps in to generate jobs in an economic crisis: the Full Employment Act of 1946 and the Humphrey-Hawkins Bill of 1979. Nonetheless, these laws have never been enforced by Congress or any subsequent administration including Barack Obama’s.
When Obama got in office in 2009 he immediately rushed through Congress a so-called stimulus bill. According to the prevailing wisdom at the time it was designed to create at least two million jobs and jump start the national economy.
Most of the money went right back into the same hands that were responsible for the crisis. State governments utilized the funds to address the budget deficits and very few jobs were actually created.
Detroit represents an excellent example of the failure of such policies. There was confusion from the beginning as to where the stimulus money was. The administration of Dave Bing said it was being held by the state and the state said virtually nothing.
In reality the people of Detroit remained heavily unemployed, underemployed and poor. The few repairs done on the streets and roads had no sustainability since we still have the worse roads of any city in the country.
The schools continued to close and the municipal government and education system fell deeper into debt. With the advent of emergency management, despite appeals from local Democratic Party politicians and operatives, the White House and the Justice Department have remained silent on the question of the imposition of dictatorship in Detroit, the most predominately African American municipality in the U.S.
Since Obama has been in office there has not been any program designed to improve the conditions of African Americans, Latinos and other nationally oppressed groups. These groups are suffering the worse from the economic crisis with unemployment and poverty rates that are continuing to increase.
Perhaps the most egregious aspect of the failure of the federal government to address the crisis of the cities involves the role of the Pentagon and Homeland Security budgets as a mechanism for draining resources from the working people. Inside the U.S. the Defense budget has grown by leaps and bounds over the last two decades totaling in excess of $700 billion annually.
If the Defense budget is coupled with the Homeland Security budget, these two expenditures are well over $1 trillion per year. These are resources that could be utilized to rebuild the cities and reemploy people inside the country through national development projects that would benefit the most oppressed and marginalized segments of society.
Nevertheless, any discussion of lowering the defense and homeland security budgets is attacked as being unpatriotic and threatening the well-being of people in the country. The fact of the matter is that the overall decline in living standards in America is the direct result of the policies of Wall Street, the carrying out of unnecessary and imperialist wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Palestine, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Colombia has not only wasted trillions but have killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of youth in the U.S. as well as millions in these contested geo-political regions.
After the so-called end of the Cold War during the early 1990s there was discussion about a purported peace dividend. What actually happened was that new enemies were cited as a justification for further militarization and interference in the internal affairs of peoples largely within the Global South.
Moreover, after September 11, 2001, the repressive apparatus of the state broadened its domestic focus from repressing, prosecuting and imprisoning African Americans and Latinos to carrying out the same policies towards people of Middle Eastern, South Asian descent as well as Muslims in general.
This level of repression is partly designed also to justify the wars of aggression abroad. If the state can convince people inside the U.S. that there is both a domestic as well as foreign threat then draconian laws such as the USA Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) can be passed and the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and its counterparts can remain open in perpetuity.
These wars of occupation and genocide must be ended for any genuine reconstruction of the cities to take place. The acceleration today of other forms of warfare involving drones and special strike forces must be seen for what they are: the continuation of a failed attempt to exert U.S. hegemony over the majority of peoples throughout the globe.
The Detroit and Municipal Crisis Within a Global Context
These problems that exist in Detroit and throughout the U.S. are not confined to this country. All over Europe the economic crisis is worsening and it is the banks that are at the root of the decline.
The situations in Greece, Spain, Portugal and other European states perhaps mirror what will be taking place here in a very short period of time. In these Southern European states, official unemployment figures are well above 25 percent and the increase in poverty is staggering.
Even in supposedly more developed nations in Europe such as France, Britain, Germany and Belgium, conditions are worsening for working people, youth and the senior citizens. The recent bank panic in Cyprus is a reflection of the failure of the so-called bailout in Europe as well.
The European Central Bank is working like the Federal Reserve and the national government in the U.S. to make sure that the banks get paid whatever these institutions claims is owed to them by the people. In Spain the constitution of the country was changed to guarantee payment to the banks.
Africa continues to be a source of mineral wealth and cheap labor for the imperialists. The formation of the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) in 2008 has accelerated military intervention on the continent.
Part of what is driving the intervention into Africa even under the Obama administration is the efforts to block the People’s Republic of China from developing greater partnerships with the African states. The Forum on China and Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has been existence since 2000 holding five summits in both China and Africa. China is now the largest trading partner for the African continent.
The Obama administration announced in December that it was deploying some 3,500 troops to nearly three dozen states in Africa. The U.S. has set up drone and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) stations in several African countries.
In Libya during 2011, the U.S. led a war of regime change that resulted in the deaths of 50,000-100,000 people, the displacement of two million, and the theft of over $160 billion in national wealth. Today Libya is in chaos and this confusion and destabilization has spread to Mali where France is currently involved in another war under the guise of fighting terrorism.
These U.S. and NATO wars will continue unless there is a mass movement in the U.S. and Europe that works with the peoples of Africa to put a stop to these senseless interventions. There should be genuine partnerships developed with Africa which benefits both the peoples of the U.S. and those of the continent.
There is a world economic crisis that is worsening and it up to the current generation to not only analyze it but to organize and mobilize for its reversal. A world system based upon the needs of the people is the only real solution to the current decline.
Challenges for the Emerging Black Studies Scholars
The economic and social crises in the U.S. and the world today must be the principal focus of the Emerging Black Studies Scholars. It is up to the current generation to not only analyze these problems but to come up with solutions through engagement with the masses.
In the current period the very existence of human society is at stake. Wars and threats of war remain too real to contemplate with the proliferation of nuclear armaments and repressive governmental systems that are designed to maintain the global status-quo.
Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, the great legendary scholar and activist who lived nearly century of a life of intellectual inquiry and political struggle wrote in 1952 that “Our present economic problem stems from the fact that while production is increasingly a social process, the distribution of its results still remains largely a matter of the individual judgment of persons who happen to have the power or who seize the power to decide, and on the basis of concepts of property and income which no longer correspond to fact.” (In Battle for Peace, p. 169)
Du Bois went on to note that “The paradox which consequently upsets the labor world is that despite the indispensable co-operation of laborers, managers and capitalists, inventors and thinkers in current industry, when the results and increasingly valuable results are distributed, most of the laborers get less than is necessary for decent life, while many of the capitalists get more than is necessary for decent life, while many of the capitalists get the power to direct the use of the residue for any purpose which they choose.”
This fact of the world economic system is even more of a truth today than it was 60 years ago. The futures of the world peoples including those of the U.S. are definitely at stake with the burgeoning conflict between the ruling classes and the overwhelming majority of people on the planet.
The questions remains: will we survive and prosper or be further driven down by the one percent? The ruling class interests have nothing to offer the working people and nationally oppressed other increased exploitation, degradation and poverty.
Consequently we have no other choice than to join the forces for progress and a peaceful future without hesitation. As intellectuals we have an added commitment to work towards the genuine liberation of our people and humanity in general.
We must utilize our skills for the benefit of society. We must join existing movements for change and create new ones that address the pressing and burning issues of our times.
In actuality there is no real alternative. What we are seeing today is the decline of an economic system that has outlived its usefulness for the world and even its own social class.
This is why the ruling class today offers no solutions to national and world problems. There are no plans to end poverty, to create full-employment, to educate all babies being born and their adult counterparts, to end war, racism and national oppression.
All we need to do is to read the editorials of the leading corporate newspapers, journals and websites. All of their rhetoric and propaganda is self-serving and limited to the securing of the world’s resources and labor for the benefit of the ever-shrinking elite which lacks foresight and courage.
It is up to us to articulate a future for human society. It is our task to show the way for the eradication of social evils and the building of a world where our children and grandchildren will be proud to live in and have a positive outlook for the future.
Abayomi Azikiwe Editor, Pan-African News Wire