The Global Rush to Claim and Exploit Our Oceans

Oceans Monopoly

Al Jazeera (2016)

Film Review

This documentary explains the legal process by which coastal countries claim access to valuable seabed resources outside the three-mile statutory limit set by international law.

In 1945 President Truman issued the Proclamation on the Continental Shelf, claiming all seabed resources on the US continental shelf* for the purpose deep sea oil drilling.

In 1982, the United Nations formalized the granting of seabed claims by creating the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). By definition, the EEZ extends 200 miles beyond a nations coastline. This UN mandate was subsequently modified to allow coastal countries with continental shelves extending more than 200 miles to claim the entire area as national territory.

In 1997, the UN General Assembly created the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. The latter is a body of 21 geologists who assess geologic data countries submit to document their continental shelf boundaries.

Often the continental shelf of neighboring countries overlaps. For example Canada, Norway and Russia all claim the Arctic Ocean – believed to hold 10% of the world’s remaining oil reserves.

In the South China Sea, eight countries are fighting over $100 billion worth of resources.


*The continental shelf is an underwater landmass which extends from a continent, resulting in an area of relatively shallow water known as a shelf sea.

 

*

Hidden History: Exposing the Roots of the Korean Conflict

Imposed Divide: Exposing the Roots of the Korean Conflict

RT (2018)

Film Review

This documentary dispels many myths promoted by Western media about the real purpose of US sanctions against North Korea. Predictably the real purpose of North Korean sanctions isn’t to end the North’s nuclear program but, as in Russia, Venezuela, Iraq, Syria etc., to cause sufficient civilian misery to bring about regime change – either through popular uprising or a military coup.

The film begins by describing Korea’s historical division along the 38th parallel. During World War II, the entire Korean peninsula was occupied by Japan. When the latter surrendered on August 14, 1945, Soviet troops accepted their surrender north of the parallel and US troops in the South.

While Soviet troops withdrew, US troops continued its occupation of South Korea,  installing a series of puppet dictators to brutally suppress any dissent through surveillance, arrest, torture and assassination. Under US pressure, in 1948 the UN issued a declaration of two separate states – the socialist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south.

In 1950, North Korea attempted to reunify Korea by invading and “liberating.” the south. They were welcomed and supported by resistance fighters opposed to US occupation. With the help of UN forces, by 1953 the Americans drove North Korean troops north of the 38th parallel. They abandoned their plan to invade the North when Communist Chinese troops entered the Korean War on the side of the North Vietnamese. Instead the US unleashed a massive carpet bombing campaign that destroyed all major North Korean towns and killed 20% of their population.

After a July 1953 truce restored the original North/South boundary, the US maintained a permanent military presence (ie occupation)* in South Korea. A growing number of South Korean civilians have joined the movement protesting continued US occupation. South Korea’s National Security Act, which criminalizes praise of North Korea, criticism of the US and all human rights campaigns and protests, is equally unpopular.

This documentary also explodes Western myths about the origin of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The latter was the North’s response to a 1958 US decision to install tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea. They were removed in 1991 as part of President Bush Senior’s decision to eliminate America’s total arsenal of short range nuclear weapons.

In 1994 President Clinton signed an agreement to build North Korea a light water nuclear reactor in return for their commitment to end their nuclear weapons program. His Republican congress refused to ratify the treaty.

 

 

The Civil War in Libya

The Lust for Libya: How a Nation Was Torn Apart Part 2

Al Jazeera (2018)

Film Review

Part 2 of Lust for Libya links the 2011 “uprisings” in Libya to the Arab Spring uprisings elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.

It makes no mention of the CIA role in fomenting and arming the rebellion in Libya, along with the more peaceful 2001 Arab Spring “color revolutions.” See The Arab Spring: Made in the USA

I was surprised to learn the 2011 NATO bombing campaign was spearheaded by French president Nicolas Sarkozy (whose 2007 election campaign was financed by Gaddafi) and former UK prime minister David Cameron. It was they who approached the Obama administration as a third partner.

In total NATO bombers embarked on 20,000 sorties and 67,000 total bombings to virtually destroy Libya’s civilian infrastructure. With US intelligence support, rebel fighters captured, tortured and executed Gaddafi as he was fleeing Tripoli. With his demise, Libya became a failed state as it descended into a civil war between rival armed militias.

Libya’s National Oil Company and its central bank continued to operate, and for some bizarre reason the new de facto government (National Transition Council) granted a salary to all past and present militia fighters – a move that clearly fuels the ongoing war.

Libya has held a number of parliamentary elections since 2011, but none has been able to control the militias or effectively rebuild state institutions.

In 2015, the UN created the government of National Accord, which meets in Tripoli, although any government institutions that continue to operate are run by militias. A CIA-linked exile General Khalifa Hafter has created a rival government run by the Libyan National Army and which has seized the oil ports and all oil production.

France, the UAE, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are all supplying Hafter with weapons, in open violation of a UN arms embargo. Italy backs the Government of National Accord because they control natural gas resources Italy depends on – and, to some extent, the flow of African refugees departing from Libya for Italy.

Part 2 begins at 47 minutes.

Hidden History: The UN Mediator Assassinated by Jewish Terrorists in 1948

Killing the Count – Part 2 Mediation and Assassination

Al Jazeera (2014)

Film Review

Part 2 begins by tracing the development of Palestine’s Jewish terrorist organizations opposed to British occupation. The first, the Haganah, was created in the late 1930s when Britain severely restricted immigration of European Jews to Palestine. The Irgun and Stern Gang (aka Lehi) were more militant splinter groups of Haganah. Although all three committed bombings, assassinations and other terrorist atrocities against British troops and Arab civilians, the Stern Gang was by far the most violent. Itzak Shamir, a prominent member, would become prime minister of Israel in 1977.

In November 1947, ongoing Jewish terrorism led the newly formed UN General Assembly to recommend the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish regions. Jewish extremists rejected this proposal – their goal was to capture all of Palestine (aka “Greater Israel” as defined in Biblical terms). Haganah responded to partition by commencing military operations against the UN-assigned Arab areas.

Continued Jewish terrorism ultimate forced British troops to withdraw from Palestine on May 14, 1948. Although technically Palestine was now ruled by UN mandate, Jewish militants proclaimed territories under their control as the State of Israel. Within hours, the Egyptian air force bombed the Jewish-controlled regions, and troops from Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Iraq crossed into Palestine.

Based on his skillful negotiation with the Nazis to free concentration camp prisoners (see Jewish Terrorism and the Creation of the State of Israel/), the UN Security Council appointed Swedish diplomat Folke Bernodote to negotiate a truce and eventual peace in Palestine. It was Bernodotte who invented the “shuttle diplomacy” that would make Nixon security advisor Henry Kissinger so famous.

Bernodotte visited Israel and all the Arab capitols multiple time to draw up peace terms. The initial conditions he set called for Palestine’s Jewish and Arab territories to be contiguous (unlike the General Assembly partition, which created isolated Jewish and Arab regions across Palestine), the right of Arab refugees to return to land Jews had confiscated and for Jerusalem to be in the Arab-controlled state.

The latter was a fatal error* that Bernadotte subsequently rectified by calling for Jerusalem to be a UN-administered zone.

It was too late. The Stern Gang brutally assassinated him within hours after his final arrival in Israel.

Although members of Ben-Gurion’s government could personally identify the killers, they were never brought to justice.


*Obviously Bernodotte never attended a Seder (Passover celebration), in which the pronouncement “next year in Jerusalem” concludes the ritual.

 

David Rockefeller: Billionaire Architect of Corporate Globalization, CIA Coups and US Resource Wars

The Unauthorized Biography of David Rockefeller

by James Corbett (2017)

Film Review

This is a documentary about the late David Rockefeller, billionaire architect of corporate globalization, international free trade treaties (eg TPPA) and most CIA coups and US resource wars of the late 20th century (eg the US war on Iraq). Activists have known for decades that the US is run by billionaire oligarchs – and not Congress and the President. However it’s only with the advent of the Internet and Information Age that we could start to identify who these oligarchs are and how they control our democratic institutions. As in other documentaries, James Corbett does an excellent job exposing these secret levers of power.

According to Corbett, David, the last grandson of oil tycoon J.D. Rockefeller to die (in 2017), principally exerted his influence through foreign leaders he befriended in his role as CEO of Chase Manhattan Bank and World War II military intelligence officer; through his membership in secret round table groups (eg the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the Bilderberg Group) that craft foreign policy for all so-called western democracies; the insertion of his high level errand boys (eg Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski) into every presidential administration from Lyndon Johnson on; and the the vigorous role played by Rockefeller-funded foundations, universities, think tanks and media outlets in shaping public opinion.

In 1973, Kissinger (under David’s interest) was instrumental in launching the 1973 CIA coup in Chile to protect Rockefeller mining interests. Via David’s leadership role in the Bilderberg Group, he played a principle role in instigating the 1973 oil embargo (which jacked up oil prices and Rockefeller oil profits, the formation of the Eurozone and the euro and the 2003 invasion Iraq.

The Trilateral Commission, which David and Brzezinski co-founded in 1973, has been largely credited for Carter’s selection as the 1976 Democratic candidate – and (thanks to fawning coverage in the corporate media) his ultimate election as president.

With his five billionaire brothers, David also played a key role in founding the United Nations in 1945 (on donated Rockefeller land). The latter was openly designated the “world capitol” in historical newsreels.

Israel Independence and the Forced Eviction of 700,000 Palestinians

Al-Naqba: The Palestinian Catastrophe Part 4

Al Jazeera (2013)

Film Review

Zionist leaders proclaimed the independent state of Israel on May 14, 1948, the day British occupation of Palestine ended (see Brits Look On as Jewish Terrorists Ransack Palestinian Villages). By July, more than 400,000 Palestinians had been forcibly evicted from their homes. This final episode of the Al-Nakba documentary includes poignant testimony from Palestinian refugees whose families lived in the open for months without access to food or water. One man describes his mother feeding the family a mixture of hay, oil and onions.

The Swedish mediator the UN appointed to negotiate a peace settlement called the plight of Palestinian refugees a humanitarian disaster. He also put forward a peace proposal granting Palestinian refugees the right of return and was promptly assassinated by the Stern Gang.*

By the end of 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinians had been driven from their homes. Despite a UN Security Council resolution calling for Israel to guarantee their right to return to their villages, Ralph Bunche, the new UN mediator omitted this requirement from the separate peace agreements he negotiated between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria in early 1949.

Based on these peace accords, the West Bank of the Jordan River was annexed to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt. In this way, Israel succeeded in their goal of totally erasing Palestine from history. The European and US media fully colluded in this endeavor.

In the end, only 15% of Palestine’s 1.3 million Arabs were allowed to remain within Israel’s borders. Owing to its strong link with the Vatican, the Arab population of Nazareth was allowed to remain.

Israel offered Christian and Druze Arabs the right to remain in Galilee. Instead, standing in  solidarity with Muslim neighbors who had been evicted, they opted to emigrate.

At present six million Palestinian refugees (and their descendants) live outside Israel. Two million if them still reside in desperate conditions in refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. Approximately 8.3 million live in Israel proper (1.8 million) or the Israeli occupied West Bank (4.5 million ) and Gaza (2 million).


*The Stern Gang was a prominent Jewish terrorist/paramilitary organization formed during the British occupation of Palestine. See1947: British Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine

How to Profit from Environmental Destruction

Pricing the Planet Part 2

Al Jaceera (2018)

Film Review

Part 2 of Pricing the Planet is even more disgusting than Part 1. It concerns the “green conferences” organized by oil, chemical and mining companies to promote ways they can invest in “credits” to mitigate their activities that degrade the environment.

All the industries that attended a recent “green conference” continue to lobby heavily against government regulation to curb the environmental damage they cause. However now that they see an opportunity to profit from carbon and species trading they’re suddenly spouting off about the future of our planet.

The documentary shows footage of Dow Chemical and Nestle executives at a recent green conference. Dow has one of the worst reputations for environmental degradation. Dow produced Agent Orange, responsible for cancer and birth defects in thousands of Vietnam veterans and Vietnamese civilians and their offspring. They also own the subsidiary responsible for the chemical factory that exploded in Bhopal India, poisoning thousands. Nestle is notorious for depleting fresh water all over the planet, which they sell back to us as bottled water.

Unsurprisingly the World Bank supports corporations who buy and sell the right to destroy the environment by selling Green Bonds (which corporations use to mitigate their environmentally harmful activities). Carbon and endangered species trading are also strongly supported by the United Nations.

The high point of the film is a vignette featuring Indian environmentalist Vendana Shiva explaining how financialization always leads to degradation. She further states, “Wherever a price is placed on nature, nature has been destroyed.”

She maintains the continual destruction of the environment in the name of economic growth is a sickness in the human mind.

The documentary can be viewed free at Pricing the Planet Part 2

War Crimes by UN Forces in Haiti

Haiti: We Must Kill the Bandits

Kevin Pina (2007)

Film Review

We Must Kill the Bandits carefully documents the systematic war crimes committed by US, Canadian, French and UN forces between 1990 and 2005, as part of the US-led effort to destroy Hait’s pro-democracy Lavalas movement.

In 1990, former Catholic priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who headed the Lavalas movement, was elected president of Haiti by a virtual landslide. In 1991, the CIA-backed Haitian military high command undertook a coup against Aristide and forced him into exile in Africa. Shortly before leaving office, President Bill Clinton intervened and allowed Aristide to return to Haiti. After Aristide was re-elected president in 2001, US marines illegally invaded Haiti on February 29, 2004, kidnapped Aristide and forced him onto a plane bound for South Africa.

The poor of Haitai immediately responded with weekly protests demanding Aristide’s return. When the Haitian police and army proved incapable of propping up the US-installed puppet government, US, Canadian and French troops occupied Haiti, routinely rampaging through poor neighborhoods slaughter civilians and arresting suspected Lavalas supporters. Owing to their existing military commitments in Iraq, these forces were eventually replaced by UN peacekeeping forces (Blue Helmets).

The most shocking scenesein the documentary are those of Blue Helmets firing on peaceful demonstrators and killing unarmed civilians during massacres they carried out in poor neighborhoods in 2004 and 2005.

Postscript: The documentary ends in 2005, five years before the devastating earthquake and cholera epidemic that hit Haiti in 2010. In 2011, President Obama allowed Aristide to return to Haiti provided he agreed not to run in the 2011 presidential elections. He refrained from participating in political life until 2015, when he joined the presidential campaign of Lavalas candidate Maryse Narcisse.

 

Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty Resolution Submitted to UN

iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand

 

The anticipated UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution calling for negotiations to begin next year on a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons has now been submitted by the lead sponsors: Mexico, Austria, Ireland, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa. It is anticipated that other states will co-sponsor the draft resolution (including New Zealand, we hope) in the weeks ahead, and – unfortunately – that the nuclear-armed states and their supporters will fiercely oppose it.

States will vote on the resolution in the UNGA First Committee some time between 24 October and 2 November 2016. The draft resolution, ‘Taking forward multilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations’, is available on the iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand website

It has nineteen preambular paragraphs which – among other things – outline the urgent need for a world without nuclear weapons, reference the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and various nuclear disarmament initiatives, and welcome the outcome of this year’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) Taking Forward Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament Negotiations.

The draft resolution then has fifteen operative paragraphs which include:

“8. Decides to convene a United Nations conference in 2017, to negotiate a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination;

9. Encourages all Member States to participate in the conference;

10. Decides that the conference shall convene in New York, under General Assembly rules of procedure unless otherwise agreed, for 20 working days in 2017, two sessions, with the participation and contribution of international organizations and civil society representatives.

11. Decides also that the conference will hold a one-day organizational session in New York as soon as possible;

12. Calls upon States participating in the conference to make their best endeavours to conclude as soon as possible a legally-binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination” …

Israel’s New Ethnic Purity Laws

 

sudan refugees

 

60,000 African Refugees and 70,000 Bedouin Affected

Israel‘s obsession with Jewish ethnic purity has led to the enactment of open ethnic cleansing by the current Netanyahu government.

Aside from Israel’s genocidal policies towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, new legislation affects 60,000 African refugees and 70,000 Bedouin living within Israel proper. The latter are, by law, Israeli citizens and many have served in the Israeli Defense Force.

Officials in the Netanyahu government justify their racial purity laws as essential to prevent “demographic” problems.

Ensuring that Israel remains both a Jewish state and a democracy requires that non-Jewish populations must be strictly controlled. Allowing non-Jewish Israelites, either singly or jointly, to acquire a sizable voting block would pose a major threat to maintaining Judaism as the official state religion.

In 1948, this resulted in nearly a million Palestinians being driven from their homes and farms by force, to take up residence in refugee camps in Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Following the 1967 war, Israel seized the areas of Gaza (in Egypt) and the West Bank (in Jordan) that housed the Palestinian refugee camps.

Since then, they have made no secret of their intention to drive the Palestinians from these areas, as well, and repopulate them with Jewish settlers.

Africans Called Cancer on Jewish State

Receiving less attention are Netanyahu’s brutal policies towards 60,000 African refugees, who fled ethnic cleansing in Eritrea and Sudan to resettle in Israel. As journalist David Sheen describes in Journalists Blistering Indictment, leaders in Netanyahu’s government describe them as a “cancer” on the Jewish state.

It has become official government policy to deny them work permits and health care, and a state sponsored rabbi group has called on landlords not to rent to Africans. In 2012, the Netanyahu government amended the 1954 Prevention of Infiltration Law. The original law was intended to bar Palestinians from returning to family property Israel confiscated in 1948. The new amendment allowed the Israeli government to criminalize and detain African refugees for up to three years prior to deporting them.

Knesset Circumvents Israeli Supreme Court

Last year, Israel’s supreme court unanimously struck down the amendment. Under international law, it’s illegal for any country’ to deport asylum seekers back to countries where they will experience persecution. The Knesset responded by passing a new law ordering the indefinite imprisonment and the detainment of any foreign person caught trying to cross into Israel.

Under the new legislation, hundreds of African refugees are required to live in the “open” Holot detention center in the Negev Desert. Refugees are permitted to leave the detention center briefly during daytime hours. However they must return three times a day for roll call and must sleep there at night. Human rights groups have also appealed the new law to the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, as shown in the video below, the government is organizing state sponsored protests in which Israel’s Jewish citizens are encouraged to trash African refugees’ homes and assault them. If Israel can’t legally deport them, they hope they will leave voluntarily if the government makes their lives as miserable as possible.

Ethnically Cleansing 70,000 Bedouin

Israel’s ethnic purity policies aren’t limited to Palestinians and Africans. Israel is also determined to displace 70,000 Bedouins through the Begin-Prawer law enacted in 2013.

If fully implemented, the Prawer-Begin Plan will result in the destruction of 35 “unrecognized” Arab Bedouin villages, the forced displacement of up to 70,000 Arab Bedouin citizens of Israel, and the dispossession of their historical lands in the Naqab.

Palestine Applies to join International Criminal Court

Genocide and ethnic cleansing are crimes against humanity under international law. Serbian and African leaders suspected of ethnic cleansing have faced prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.

At the beginning of April, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN announced that the Palestinian Authority had sought membership in the ICC and 12 other UN conventions, due to continuing Israeli obstruction in current peace talks. When the UN General Assembly recognized a state of Palestine in October 2012, Palestinians gained the right to seek membership in UN institutions and treaty bodies and possibly take their complaints over Israeli settlement-building on occupied land (also illegal under international law) to the ICC.

On April 12, the UN announced that the state of Palestine had been admitted to the 13 conventions as of July 2, including membership in the ICC and the convention against genocide.

Photo credit: EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection via photopin cc

Originally published in Veterans Today