Saturday, 28 February 2015


NI secretary warns of ongoing ‘severe’ threat from dissidents
PSNI investigating booby-trap bomb incident in Armagh which left Sinn Féin supporter injured

Gerry Moriarty

The threat from dissident republicans remains severe in Northern Ireland but moderate in Britain, the Northern Secretary Theresa Villiers has informed Westminster.

Ms Villiers provided the British parliament with the latest MI5 assessment of the dissident threat on Thursday a day after the latest suspected dissident attack left a young south Armagh man seriously injured.

Francis McCabe junior suffered face and chest injuries when a booby-trap bomb exploded as he was taking down a poster on Wednesday morning from a pole close to his home in Crossmaglen.

The attack relates to continuing tensions in south Armagh between Sinn Féin and its supporters and members of dissident groups. Dissidents have been putting up posters accusing some Sinn Féin supporters of being “informers” because they are cooperating with the PSNI.


Local Sinn Féin MP Conor Murphy accused those responsible for the bomb of attempted murder. He said the poster was placed on the pole in the premeditated expectation that someone would take it down, thus triggering the booby-trap bomb. Mr Murphy called on the police to act against the dissidents before “someone is killed”.

The PSNI has now cordoned off the scene of the explosion with a number of roads around the area also closed. “Police are working to deal with the risk to the public whilst minimising disruption where possible and are grateful for the continued co-operation of the public,” said PSNI Inspector Lorraine Dobson.

Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said on Thursday that the bombing was carried out by “criminals masquerading as republicans” and was “an attack on the peace process and an attempt to intimidate the entire community of south Armagh and north Louth”.

“The attack has followed a campaign of intimidation in the south Armagh area against people in the community who have taken huge personal risks advocating accountable policing with the community,” said Mr McGuinness.

The attack happened as Ms Villiers was preparing to inform the British parliament on Thursday of the level of the dissident threat.

Attack ‘highly likely’

She said it was “severe” in Northern Ireland which means an attack is “highly likely” and “moderate” in Britain meaning “an attack is possible but not likely”.

Ms Villiers said there were 22 “national security” or serious dissident attacks in 2014 while there has been one so far this year. “PSNI and prison officers as well as members of the armed forces continue to be the principal targets for dissident republican terrorists and the threat to life persists,” she said.

“A number of these violent groupings continue to attack, or aspire to carry out attacks, including the so-called ‘new’ IRA, Óglaigh na hÉireann and factions of the Continuity IRA,” added the Northern Secretary.

She said that in addition to more serious incidents dissidents were also engaged in other activity including “brutal punishment shootings as a means to try to exert fear and control within local communities”.

Dissidents are also heavily involved in criminality and this latest evaluation of their threat came after British Revenue and Customs searched a vehicle in south Armagh on Tuesday and recovered raw leaf tobacco worth an estimated £236,000 in lost duty and taxes.

Earlier this month, 12 tonnes of unprocessed tobacco worth an estimated £2 million in lost revenue was seized in an unconnected operation in Armagh.

Ms Villiers said that although “risks endure” the PSNI, MI5 and the Garda continued to disrupt dissident activity and had had a number of notable successes against these groups. She referred to incidents such as the arrest of 15 men in Newry last November, the discovery of a weapons hide in Co Fermanagh last October, and the uncovering of an arms cache in Dublin.

She added: “The close working relationship between PSNI and AGS (An Garda Síochána), and their joint efforts both North and South of the Border, has led to considerable success in combating the threat from dissident republican terrorists over the last six months. I am confident that both police services will do all that they can to build on this through 2015 as they make progress with a number of ongoing investigations.”

Ms Villiers said that “with every attack that is mounted and the many more that are foiled, the PSNI and its security partners become more knowledgeable, resilient and able to tackle the threat and bring perpetrators to justice”.

Rise of Fascism is Again the Issue

By John Pilger

February 27, 2015 "ICH" - The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism, whose Nazi iconography is embedded in our consciousness. Fascism is preserved as history, as flickering footage of goose-stepping blackshirts, their criminality terrible and clear. Yet in the same liberal societies, whose war-making elites urge us never to forget, the accelerating danger of a modern kind of fascism is suppressed; for it is their fascism.

"To initiate a war of aggression...," said the Nuremberg Tribunal judges in 1946, "is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

Had the Nazis not invaded Europe, Auschwitz and the Holocaust would not have happened. Had the United States and its satellites not initiated their war of aggression in Iraq in 2003, almost a million people would be alive today; and Islamic State, or ISIS, would not have us in thrall to its savagery. They are the progeny of modern fascism, weaned by the bombs, bloodbaths and lies that are the surreal theatre known as news.

Like the fascism of the 1930s and 1940s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome: thanks to an omnipresent, repetitive media and its virulent censorship by omission. Take the catastrophe in Libya.

In 2011, Nato launched 9,700 "strike sorties" against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and Unicef reported that "most [of the children killed] were under the age of ten".

The public sodomising of the Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi with a "rebel" bayonet was greeted by the then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, with the words: "We came, we saw, he died." His murder, like the destruction of his country, was justified with a familiar big lie; he was planning "genocide" against his own people. "We knew... that if we waited one more day," said President Obama, "Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world."

This was the fabrication of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. They told Reuters there would be "a real bloodbath, a massacre like we saw in Rwanda". Reported on March 14, 2011, the lie provided the first spark for Nato's inferno, described by David Cameron as a "humanitarian intervention".

Secretly supplied and trained by Britain's SAS, many of the "rebels" would become ISIS, whose latest video offering shows the beheading of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in Sirte, the city destroyed on their behalf by Nato bombers.

For Obama, Cameron and Hollande, Gaddafi's true crime was Libya's economic independence and his declared intention to stop selling Africa's greatest oil reserves in US dollars. The petrodollar is a pillar of American imperial power. Gaddafi audaciously planned to underwrite a common African currency backed by gold, establish an all-Africa bank and promote economic union among poor countries with prized resources. Whether or not this would happen, the very notion was intolerable to the US as it prepared to "enter" Africa and bribe African governments with military "partnerships".

Following Nato's attack under cover of a Security Council resolution, Obama, wrote Garikai Chengu, "confiscated $30 billion from Libya's Central Bank, which Gaddafi had earmarked for the establishment of an African Central Bank and the African gold backed dinar currency".

The "humanitarian war" against Libya drew on a model close to western liberal hearts, especially in the media. In 1999, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair sent Nato to bomb Serbia, because, they lied, the Serbs were committing "genocide" against ethnic Albanians in the secessionist province of Kosovo. David Scheffer, US ambassador-at-large for war crimes [sic], claimed that as many as "225,000 ethnic Albanian men aged between 14 and 59" might have been murdered. Both Clinton and Blair evoked the Holocaust and "the spirit of the Second World War". The West's heroic allies were the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), whose criminal record was set aside. The British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told them to call him any time on his mobile phone.

With the Nato bombing over, and much of Serbia's infrastructure in ruins, along with schools, hospitals, monasteries and the national TV station, international forensic teams descended upon Kosovo to exhume evidence of the "holocaust". The FBI failed to find a single mass grave and went home. The Spanish forensic team did the same, its leader angrily denouncing "a semantic pirouette by the war propaganda machines". A year later, a United Nations tribunal on Yugoslavia announced the final count of the dead in Kosovo: 2,788. This included combatants on both sides and Serbs and Roma murdered by the KLA. There was no genocide. The "holocaust" was a lie. The Nato attack had been fraudulent.

Behind the lie, there was serious purpose. Yugoslavia was a uniquely independent, multi-ethnic federation that had stood as a political and economic bridge in the Cold War. Most of its utilities and major manufacturing was publicly owned. This was not acceptable to the expanding European Community, especially newly united Germany, which had begun a drive east to capture its "natural market" in the Yugoslav provinces of Croatia and Slovenia. By the time the Europeans met at Maastricht in 1991 to lay their plans for the disastrous eurozone, a secret deal had been struck; Germany would recognise Croatia. Yugoslavia was doomed.

In Washington, the US saw that the struggling Yugoslav economy was denied World Bank loans. Nato, then an almost defunct Cold War relic, was reinvented as imperial enforcer. At a 1999 Kosovo "peace" conference in Rambouillet, in France, the Serbs were subjected to the enforcer's duplicitous tactics. The Rambouillet accord included a secret Annex B, which the US delegation inserted on the last day. This demanded the military occupation of the whole of Yugoslavia - a country with bitter memories of the Nazi occupation - and the implementation of a "free-market economy" and the privatisation of all government assets. No sovereign state could sign this. Punishment followed swiftly; Nato bombs fell on a defenceless country. It was the precursor to the catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq, Syria and Libya, and Ukraine.

Since 1945, more than a third of the membership of the United Nations - 69 countries - have suffered some or all of the following at the hands of America's modern fascism. They have been invaded, their governments overthrown, their popular movements suppressed, their elections subverted, their people bombed and their economies stripped of all protection, their societies subjected to a crippling siege known as "sanctions". The British historian Mark Curtis estimates the death toll in the millions. In every case, a big lie was deployed.

"Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over." These were opening words of Obama's 2015 State of the Union address. In fact, some 10,000 troops and 20,000 military contractors (mercenaries) remain in Afghanistan on indefinite assignment. "The longest war in American history is coming to a responsible conclusion," said Obama. In fact, more civilians were killed in Afghanistan in 2014 than in any year since the UN took records. The majority have been killed - civilians and soldiers - during Obama's time as president.

The tragedy of Afghanistan rivals the epic crime in Indochina. In his lauded and much quoted book 'The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives', Zbigniew Brzezinski, the godfather of US policies from Afghanistan to the present day, writes that if America is to control Eurasia and dominate the world, it cannot sustain a popular democracy, because "the pursuit of power is not a goal that commands popular passion... Democracy is inimical to imperial mobilisation." He is right. As WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden have revealed, a surveillance and police state is usurping democracy. In 1976, Brzezinski, then President Carter's National Security Advisor, demonstrated his point by dealing a death blow to Afghanistan's first and only democracy. Who knows this vital history?

In the 1960s, a popular revolution swept Afghanistan, the poorest country on earth, eventually overthrowing the vestiges of the aristocratic regime in 1978. The People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) formed a government and declared a reform programme that included the abolition of feudalism, freedom for all religions, equal rights for women and social justice for the ethnic minorities. More than 13,000 political prisoners were freed and police files publicly burned.

The new government introduced free medical care for the poorest; peonage was abolished, a mass literacy programme was launched. For women, the gains were unheard of. By the late 1980s, half the university students were women, and women made up almost half of Afghanistan's doctors, a third of civil servants and the majority of teachers. "Every girl," recalled Saira Noorani, a female surgeon, "could go to high school and university. We could go where we wanted and wear what we liked. We used to go to cafes and the cinema to see the latest Indian film on a Friday and listen to the latest music. It all started to go wrong when the mujaheddin started winning. They used to kill teachers and burn schools. We were terrified. It was funny and sad to think these were the people the West supported."

The PDPA government was backed by the Soviet Union, even though, as former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance later admitted, "there was no evidence of any Soviet complicity [in the revolution]". Alarmed by the growing confidence of liberation movements throughout the world, Brzezinski decided that if Afghanistan was to succeed under the PDPA, its independence and progress would offer the "threat of a promising example".

On July 3, 1979, the White House secretly authorised support for tribal "fundamentalist" groups known as the mujaheddin, a program that grew to over $500 million a year in U.S. arms and other assistance. The aim was the overthrow of Afghanistan's first secular, reformist government. In August 1979, the US embassy in Kabul reported that "the United States' larger interests... would be served by the demise of [the PDPA government], despite whatever setbacks this might mean for future social and economic reforms in Afghanistan." The italics are mine.

The mujaheddin were the forebears of al-Qaeda and Islamic State. They included Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who received tens of millions of dollars in cash from the CIA. Hekmatyar's specialty was trafficking in opium and throwing acid in the faces of women who refused to wear the veil. Invited to London, he was lauded by Prime Minister Thatcher as a "freedom fighter".

Such fanatics might have remained in their tribal world had Brzezinski not launched an international movement to promote Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia and so undermine secular political liberation and "destabilise" the Soviet Union, creating, as he wrote in his autobiography, "a few stirred up Muslims". His grand plan coincided with the ambitions of the Pakistani dictator, General Zia ul-Haq, to dominate the region. In 1986, the CIA and Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, began to recruit people from around the world to join the Afghan jihad. The Saudi multi-millionaire Osama bin Laden was one of them. Operatives who would eventually join the Taliban and al-Qaeda, were recruited at an Islamic college in Brooklyn, New York, and given paramilitary training at a CIA camp in Virginia. This was called "Operation Cyclone". Its success was celebrated in 1996 when the last PDPA president of Afghanistan, Mohammed Najibullah - who had gone before the UN General Assembly to plead for help - was hanged from a streetlight by the Taliban.

The "blowback" of Operation Cyclone and its "few stirred up Muslims" was September 11, 2001. Operation Cyclone became the "war on terror", in which countless men, women and children would lose their lives across the Muslim world, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria. The enforcer's message was and remains: "You are with us or against us."

The common thread in fascism, past and present, is mass murder. The American invasion of Vietnam had its "free fire zones", "body counts" and "collatoral damage". In the province of Quang Ngai, where I reported from, many thousands of civilians ("gooks") were murdered by the US; yet only one massacre, at My Lai, is remembered. In Laos and Cambodia, the greatest aerial bombardment in history produced an epoch of terror marked today by the spectacle of joined-up bomb craters which, from the air, resemble monstrous necklaces. The bombing gave Cambodia its own ISIS, led by Pol Pot.

Today, the world's greatest single campaign of terror entails the execution of entire families, guests at weddings, mourners at funerals. These are Obama's victims. According to the New York Times, Obama makes his selection from a CIA "kill list" presented to him every Tuesday in the White House Situation Room. He then decides, without a shred of legal justification, who will live and who will die. His execution weapon is the Hellfire missile carried by a pilotless aircraft known as a drone; these roast their victims and festoon the area with their remains. Each "hit" is registered on a faraway console screen as a "bugsplat".

"For goose-steppers," wrote the historian Norman Pollock, "substitute the seemingly more innocuous militarisation of the total culture. And for the bombastic leader, we have the reformer manque, blithely at work, planning and executing assassination, smiling all the while."

Uniting fascism old and new is the cult of superiority. "I believe in American exceptionalism with every fibre of my being," said Obama, evoking declarations of national fetishism from the 1930s. As the historian Alfred W. McCoy has pointed out, it was the Hitler devotee, Carl Schmitt, who said, "The sovereign is he who decides the exception." This sums up Americanism, the world's dominant ideology. That it remains unrecognised as a predatory ideology is the achievement of an equally unrecognised brainwashing. Insidious, undeclared, presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, its conceit insinuates western culture. I grew up on a cinematic diet of American glory, almost all of it a distortion. I had no idea that it was the Red Army that had destroyed most of the Nazi war machine, at a cost of as many as 13 million soldiers. By contrast, US losses, including in the Pacific, were 400,000. Hollywood reversed this.

The difference now is that cinema audiences are invited to wring their hands at the "tragedy" of American psychopaths having to kill people in distant places - just as the President himself kills them. The embodiment of Hollywood's violence, the actor and director Clint Eastwood, was nominated for an Oscar this year for his movie, 'American Sniper', which is about a licensed murderer and nutcase. The New York Times described it as a "patriotic, pro-family picture which broke all attendance records in its opening days".

There are no heroic movies about America's embrace of fascism. During the Second World War, America (and Britain) went to war against Greeks who had fought heroically against Nazism and were resisting the rise of Greek fascism. In 1967, the CIA helped bring to power a fascist military junta in Athens - as it did in Brazil and most of Latin America. Germans and east Europeans who had colluded with Nazi aggression and crimes against humanity were given safe haven in the US; many were pampered and their talents rewarded. Wernher von Braun was the "father" of both the Nazi V-2 terror bomb and the US space programme.

In the 1990s, as former Soviet republics, eastern Europe and the Balkans became military outposts of Nato, the heirs to a Nazi movement in Ukraine were given their opportunity. Responsible for the deaths of thousands of Jews, Poles and Russians during the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, Ukrainian fascism was rehabilitated and its "new wave" hailed by the enforcer as "nationalists".

This reached its apogee in 2014 when the Obama administration splashed out $5 billion on a coup against the elected government. The shock troops were neo-Nazis known as the Right Sector and Svoboda. Their leaders include Oleh Tyahnybok, who has called for a purge of the "Moscow-Jewish mafia" and "other scum", including gays, feminists and those on the political left.

These fascists are now integrated into the Kiev coup government. The first deputy speaker of the Ukrainian parliament, Andriy Parubiy, a leader of the governing party, is co-founder of Svoboda. On February 14, Parubiy announced he was flying to Washington get "the USA to give us highly precise modern weaponry". If he succeeds, it will be seen as an act of war by Russia.

No western leader has spoken up about the revival of fascism in the heart of Europe - with the exception of Vladimir Putin, whose people lost 22 million to a Nazi invasion that came through the borderland of Ukraine. At the recent Munich Security Conference, Obama's Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, ranted abuse about European leaders for opposing the US arming of the Kiev regime. She referred to the German Defence Minister as "the minister for defeatism". It was Nuland who masterminded the coup in Kiev. The wife of Robert D. Kagan, a leading "neo-con" luminary and co-founder of the extreme right wing Project for a New American Century, she was foreign policy advisor to Dick Cheney.

Nuland's coup did not go to plan. Nato was prevented from seizing Russia's historic, legitimate, warm-water naval base in Crimea. The mostly Russian population of Crimea - illegally annexed to Ukraine by Nikita Krushchev in 1954 - voted overwhelmingly to return to Russia, as they had done in the 1990s. The referendum was voluntary, popular and internationally observed. There was no invasion.

At the same time, the Kiev regime turned on the ethnic Russian population in the east with the ferocity of ethnic cleaning. Deploying neo-Nazi militias in the manner of the Waffen-SS, they bombed and laid to siege cities and towns. They used mass starvation as a weapon, cutting off electricity, freezing bank accounts, stopping social security and pensions. More than a million refugees fled across the border into Russia. In the western media, they became unpeople escaping "the violence" caused by the "Russian invasion". The Nato commander, General Breedlove - whose name and actions might have been inspired by Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove - announced that 40,000 Russian troops were "massing". In the age of forensic satellite evidence, he offered none.

These Russian-speaking and bilingual people of Ukraine - a third of the population - have long sought a federation that reflects the country's ethnic diversity and is both autonomous and independent of Moscow. Most are not "separatists" but citizens who want to live securely in their homeland and oppose the power grab in Kiev. Their revolt and establishment of autonomous "states" are a reaction to Kiev's attacks on them. Little of this has been explained to western audiences.

On May 2, 2014, in Odessa, 41 ethnic Russians were burned alive in the trade union headquarters with police standing by. The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh hailed the massacre as "another bright day in our national history". In the American and British media, this was reported as a "murky tragedy" resulting from "clashes" between "nationalists" (neo-Nazis) and "separatists" (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine).

The New York Times buried the story, having dismissed as Russian propaganda warnings about the fascist and anti-Semitic policies of Washington's new clients. The Wall Street Journal damned the victims - "Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says". Obama congratulated the junta for its "restraint".

If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained "pariah" role in the West will justify the lie that Russia is invading Ukraine. On January 29, Ukraine's top military commander, General Viktor Muzhemko, almost inadvertently dismissed the very basis for US and EU sanctions on Russia when he told a news conference emphatically: "The Ukrainian army is not fighting with the regular units of the Russian Army". There were "individual citizens" who were members of "illegal armed groups", but there was no Russian invasion. This was not news. Vadym Prystaiko, Kiev's Deputy Foreign Minister, has called for "full scale war" with nuclear-armed Russia.

On February 21, US Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, introduced a bill that would authorise American arms for the Kiev regime. In his Senate presentation, Inhofe used photographs he claimed were of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine, which have long been exposed as fakes. It was reminiscent of Ronald Reagan's fake pictures of a Soviet installation in Nicaragua, and Colin Powell's fake evidence to the UN of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

The intensity of the smear campaign against Russia and the portrayal of its president as a pantomime villain is unlike anything I have known as a reporter. Robert Parry, one of America's most distinguished investigative journalists, who revealed the Iran-Contra scandal, wrote recently, "No European government, since Adolf Hitler's Germany, has seen fit to dispatch Nazi storm troopers to wage war on a domestic population, but the Kiev regime has and has done so knowingly. Yet across the West's media/political spectrum, there has been a studious effort to cover up this reality even to the point of ignoring facts that have been well established... If you wonder how the world could stumble into world war three - much as it did into world war one a century ago - all you need to do is look at the madness over Ukraine that has proved impervious to facts or reason."

In 1946, the Nuremberg Tribunal prosecutor said of the German media: "The use made by Nazi conspirators of psychological warfare is well known. Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically for the attack... In the propaganda system of the Hitler State it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons." In the Guardian on February 2, Timothy Garton-Ash called, in effect, for a world war. "Putin must be stopped," said the headline. "And sometimes only guns can stop guns." He conceded that the threat of war might "nourish a Russian paranoia of encirclement"; but that was fine. He name-checked the military equipment needed for the job and advised his readers that "America has the best kit".

In 2003, Garton-Ash, an Oxford professor, repeated the propaganda that led to the slaughter in Iraq. Saddam Hussein, he wrote, "has, as [Colin] Powell documented, stockpiled large quantities of horrifying chemical and biological weapons, and is hiding what remains of them. He is still trying to get nuclear ones." He lauded Blair as a "Gladstonian, Christian liberal interventionist". In 2006, he wrote, "Now we face the next big test of the West after Iraq: Iran."

The outbursts - or as Garton-Ash prefers, his "tortured liberal ambivalence" - are not untypical of those in the transatlantic liberal elite who have struck a Faustian deal. The war criminal Blair is their lost leader. The Guardian, in which Garton-Ash's piece appeared, published a full-page advertisement for an American Stealth bomber. On a menacing image of the Lockheed Martin monster were the words: "The F-35. GREAT For Britain". This American "kit" will cost British taxpayers £1.3 billion, its F-model predecessors having slaughtered across the world. In tune with its advertiser, a Guardian editorial has demanded an increase in military spending.

Once again, there is serious purpose. The rulers of the world want Ukraine not only as a missile base; they want its economy. Kiev's new Finance Minister, Nataliwe Jaresko, is a former senior US State Department official in charge of US overseas "investment". She was hurriedly given Ukrainian citizenship. They want Ukraine for its abundant gas; Vice President Joe Biden's son is on the board of Ukraine's biggest oil, gas and fracking company. The manufacturers of GM seeds, companies such as the infamous Monsanto, want Ukraine's rich farming soil.

Above all, they want Ukraine's mighty neighbour, Russia. They want to Balkanise or dismember Russia and exploit the greatest source of natural gas on earth. As the Arctic ice melts, they want control of the Arctic Ocean and its energy riches, and Russia's long Arctic land border. Their man in Moscow used to be Boris Yeltsin, a drunk, who handed his country's economy to the West. His successor, Putin, has re-established Russia as a sovereign nation; that is his crime.

The responsibility of the rest of us is clear. It is to identify and expose the reckless lies of warmongers and never to collude with them. It is to re-awaken the great popular movements that brought a fragile civilisation to modern imperial states. Most important, it is to prevent the conquest of ourselves: our minds, our humanity, our self respect. If we remain silent, victory over us is assured, and a holocaust beckons.

Follow John Pilger on twitter @johnpilger Visit his website

Friday, 27 February 2015


Willie Frazer has challenged Sinn Fein's Conor Murphy on many occasions to a public debate on law and order in south Armagh. Willie was attacked by a gang near Crossmaglen some time ago but Murphy's’s reaction was to call him “a well-known fantasist”, without condemning the violent incident around an attempted kidnap. Many people have said that Murphy’s remarks were extremely defensive and not those of someone, who supported justice. Mr Frazer challenged Murphy to meet him face-to-face, in a public forum, to debate Murphy's remarks and debate law and order in south Armagh.” Willie said at the time; “He says I am a fantasist. Tell that to the cameraman who was in the car with me, at the time, shouting for a documentary. Did he imagine what happened? Sinn Fein want to discredit me, tarnish my name and pass me off as a crank. It is a classic tactic because I do not suit their agenda. It’s like the Northern Bank robbery or Robert McCartney. We were told they were nothing to do with republicans, it is all fantasy. Well I can tell you it is not fantasy that law and order does not reign over south Armagh.” Murphy was afraid of an open debate with Willie, and has hidden from Willie ever since that statement.

Willie may have a point, in that Murphy seems to brand everyone who disagrees with him, as criminals, when he calls on all of the people is South Armagh, to become informers to the RUCpsni/MI5. He seems while doing so, to be at best cherry picking, with a a very selective memory. Does he want all of the people of South Armagh, to become informers and pass on all the details of the murder of Paul Quinn? Does he want them to tell the British police, about the details of the resources and sources, he was given to fight his elections, personally along with his party. If someone wants to challenge Murphy for his seats, will they be allowed to have similar resources from similar sources, or is it only people, who work with the British Occupation forces, who are allowed a pass on this? Does he want the people of South Armagh to inform the RUC/PSNI about all of these details. Does he want the people of South Armagh to supply MI5, with all the details about his family's history? Does he want people to talk about, what MI5 were saying about his family in Gough Barracks? People in glasshouses should not throw stones. He and his party members and supporters need to consider well, what they are about, because Willie appears to have their number and so have others, according to the details of the article below by Suzanne Breen.

An informer within Provisional IRA ranks has come forward with crucial new information about the murder of South Armagh man, Paul Quinn. The disillusioned Provo has told gardai the name of the senior republican from the border area whom he alleges led the gang who brutally beat the 21-year-old to death in a barn in Co Monaghan seven years ago. Sources close to the investigation said the IRA veteran has recently been quizzed by detectives leading the murder inquiry as a result of this information. 

Paul Quinn died in hospital shortly after he was savagely assaulted on October 20, 2007. His family and friends will gather in Cullyhanna next weekend for a Mass and commemoration to mark the seventh anniversary of his murder. In an interview with Sunday Life, Paul's father, Stephen Quinn, accused Sinn Fein of continuing to shield his son's killers, but he warned that the garda investigation remained very active. “We believe we'll secure justice. This isn't a case gardai have put on the back burner. It's open and progressing all the time. “Those who murdered my son may think they've got away with it, but they shouldn't sleep easily in their beds. Their past will catch up with them,” he said. 

A source close to the investigation said the senior local Provisional went voluntarily to Carrickmacross garda station to be interviewed in the presence of his solicitor after hearing detectives had been searching for him. “Information that this man led the IRA gang who beat Paul Quinn with cudgels and iron bars has been conveyed to gardai. “They have been told he stood in the barn, giving the instructions to Paul's assailants,” the source said. The senior Provisional, who is in his 50s, has previously served a prison sentence and is well known in the south Armagh and north Louth area. He has held position within Sinn Fein. 

Police on both sides of the border believe he was one of three IRA men involved in the November 1994 murder of Newry post office worker, Frank Kerr, but he has never faced charges in connection with that incident. Kerr, the first person the IRA killed after its ceasefire, was shot in the head as he struggled with the gang robbing the mail office. They escaped with £130,000. The republican questioned about Paul Quinn's murder is known as a ‘heavy' for the Provos. He was one of those who knocked on the doors of Real IRA members to issue death threats against them in 1998. Although more than 20 people have been arrested during the Quinn murder investigation — including Padraig ‘Paudie’ Treanor, a former driver of Sinn Fein Newry and Armagh MP Conor Murphy. None has been charged. The gardai investigation reveals a high degree of planning on the day of the murder. Phone records examined by detectives showed the mobiles of around eight key suspects were turned off at the same time that afternoon. They were then almost simultaneously turned on after 6pm following the beating. 

The Provisional IRA targeted Paul Quinn for clashing with several local Provos over minor matters in the months before his killing. After the murder, Conor Murphy MP said he had spoken to the IRA and was satisfied they weren't involved. He branded Paul “a criminal” and linked his murder to a feud among criminals. Former Irish Foreign Minister, Dermot Ahern, and the SDLP both asserted that Paul wasn't a criminal. Stephen Quinn said: “Seven year's after Paul's murder, we appeal to Conor Murphy, as a politician and a father, to withdraw his disgraceful slur against our son.” Living in a small rural community, the Quinns regularly come face-to-face with the men who killed Paul. Stephen said: “There's not a day I don't meet those who were involved in some way. “Whether they ordered or directed it or beat him, they all have blood on their hands.” He accused Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams of failing to help their campaign for justice: “These two could come to south Armagh and secure justice for us within an hour because it’s prominent members of the provisional movement who murdered our son.”

Thursday, 26 February 2015


I wrote an article a couple of days ago, demonstrating how Sinn Fein deceit, betrayed the democratic vote of their first party conference for Assembly elections back in 1982, to include unemployment, as one of their principal issues in their first assembly elections. While this may seem a small matter to many people, the seriousness of this, is that if they were prepared to betray their own volunteers, what chance, have the voters, who vote for their promises pre-election.

I had another experience of their betrayal, in the days before they drove me to drink, when the convention for Newry South Armagh was called, to select the candidate for election. It was chaired by Conor Murphy's mother Alice. I proposed Tom Lonergan as candidate, a person of absolute integrity, with a long history of service and commitment, a man of the common people. He was voted unanimously by the convention to be the candidate. However, a week later, Tom asked me to accompany him to Murphy's house, where he was to meet Pat and Alice Murphy. When Tom came out of the house, he was no longer the candidate. Alice Murphy, later explained to me, the "House of Lords" overruled such matters. I will tell you Francie Molloy and Tom Hartley, were pulling the strings from without, undemocratically.

On several occasions later, I was taken to Gough barracks and interrogated by MI5 consistently, about several members of the Murphy family, including Conor for days on end. They got no information from me on this family. Now Conor Murphy and Sinn Fein are calling on all of the Irish people, to inform the British paramilitary police about their neighbors. 
Now again some people may regard this as a small matter. However anyone reporting to the PSNI on  a neighbor, should realize, this has very serious consequence, for that family. That data winds up on MI5 secret police files in London and will affect, all members of that family, well into the future, regardless of whether they are innocent or guilty.The two young innocent men at the top of this blog are just one example of many, of it's consequence. 

Further, with the withdrawal of Britain from the European Court of Human Rights, those who have been informed on, are liable for torture, because MI5, now have Carte Blanche, to treat suspects any way they please. The suspects are also liable for many years of political internment by remand, along with the considerable possibility, of the rest of their lives, incarcerated, as their fate lies in the hands of just a single judge and prosecutor either of which are likely to be bigoted, in the sectarian state of Occupied Ireland. All as consequence of informers, mentored by Sinn Fein. Many of whom, already endure considerable hardship, protecting people like the Murphys. It is not surprising then, is it not, that many people are quite angry about all of this.

People like Tom Lonergan, Red Sarah and the fallen comrades of British violence in Newry & South Armagh, devoted their whole lives, to building people power, that elected Murphy. Some of the people he now castigates, while encouraging constituents to inform on, devoted their resources to the Cause. Their sacrifices were made on the basis of Eire Nua being achieved. 

Once Sinn Fein got their platform as a result of the 10 martyred hunger strikers and  grabbed power, they bargained on a resurrected Stormont, with a Unionist Veto, they set about dismantling Eire Nua and any hope of Sinn Fein's deceitful promises becoming reality. I have no doubt they will do the same in the south, just like the Blueshirts. Conor Murphy is ensuring the Queen's writ extends across Newry & South Armagh, even if it means torture and decades of prison, for the very people, who enabled him, to betray them. Again, this is exactly what the Blueshirts have been doing for almost a hundred years in the south. Conor Murphy and Sinn Fein allies with Irish Left? you must be joking, they prefer the long tails and top hats of Buckingham Palace. 

Some will say, but what about all the smuggling. As my English friend often states, the British Empire was built on piracy of which smuggling is a key element. Essentially Connor Murphy has taken the Queen's shilling, to enable this in South Armagh, at the expense of his own. If there is one fault, that I found with Tom Lonergan and Irish Republicans, I have known like him, from Newry & South Armagh, it is the considerable humility, with which the served the Cause of Ireland, to the point they allowed the power craven, to exploit them, along with the rest of the Irish people. This systematic betrayal of the Irish people today, allows the international Corporations or modern sanitized pirates to exploit the Irish people to the point of intolerable poverty. We better learn the lessons and learn how to stand  up for ourselves in solidarity with each other, put principles before personalities, empower ourselves and not give it away, to self-serving power brokers and politicians. 

Man injured in explosion near Crossmaglen, South Armagh

Conor Murphy said the man was injured when a device exploded close to his family home

25 FEBRUARY 2015
A man has been injured in an explosion near Crossmaglen, South Armagh.

The PSNI said they received a report of an explosion in the Crossmaglen area on Wednesday.

Sinn Fein MP Conor Murphy said the man was injured when a device exploded close to his family home as he went to remove a poster.

The Newry and Armagh MP said the incident was an attack on the peace process.

He said: "Over recent months criminal gangs masquerading as republicans have threatened the family of the young man injured.

"Police recently visited the family and told them there was a threat from this group.

"Now these people have attempted to kill a member of the family with a device placed close to their home. In recent months death threats have also been made against a number of Sinn Fein activists, including myself.

"Let me be absolutely clear; this was the work of a gang of criminals and I unreservedly condemn this latest cowardly action. These thugs are opposed to the peace process and opposed to policing because of their involvement in organised crime.

"My party colleagues Megan Fearon, Gerry Kelly and I recently met with the Assistant Chief Constable to discuss the ongoing threats to the local community and I have demanded the PSNI take action against them.

"The threats have now escalated to what is clearly an attempt to murder people in the community opposed to their criminal activities.

"It’s well past time for the PSNI to act before someone is killed."

Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin expressed concern about the explosion.

Mr Irwin said: "It would seem that this incident was caused by dissident republicans and it is concerning that they are capable of producing such devices to threaten life.

"It is clear there are tensions within republicanism in this area and it is vital that the community cooperate with the police to bring those behind such threats and attacks to justice."

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police in Newry and Mourne received a report of an explosion occurring in the Crossmaglen area on Wednesday morning, 25 February.

"The report was received at 2.26pm on Wednesday, 25 February. It was also reported that a man had sustained injuries and was taken to hospital.

"Inquiries are ongoing and there are no further details at this stage."
aa a a a

Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Anyone who understands the far-reaching political and cultural implications of Britains's Dirty War of governmental "Kisonian counter terrorism," waged in secrecy, lacking accountability in Ireland, understands, it raises serious issues for the international community. The systematic cover up all the way up to the British cabinet, has created a diseased culture of silence, betrayal, not just in the collective memory, within the victim's communities in Ireland but also a selective one, within the ever expanding British Secret State. 

The legacy of official and unofficial British violence in Ireland, still continues, albeit with current lower intensity, but is ready to explode at any time.In an international context, it is clear the Dirty War techniques, experimented on in Ireland, from the torture of the hooded men of Irish internment, to Abu Graib version in Iraq, to the death squads and psychological terror of counter gang experiments of terror, torture, death squads, generating fear conducted by the Shankill butchers, to the false flags of the Dublin/Monaghan bombings, combined with Ireland's historical experience of eight centuries of British terror in Ireland, knows that a nuclear Dirty Bomb, is well within their arsenal, to be unleashed in the future, in it's proxy wars of Empire building.

Ireland, for geopolitical reasons, is caught in the vice-grip of its eternal machiavellian strategy and it's Imperial aggression. Britain has just declared its intent to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights next year, while refusing to become a member of the International Criminal Court, giving itself Carte Blanche to International, torture, war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing or holocaust, which cost somewhere in the region of seven million Irish lives, already. The downing of two British planes laden with weapons for ISIL is further confirmation if any were needed, of the extremes of treachery, used by Perfidious Albion, and that the insanity of nuclear warfare in the near future, is well within their capacity.

Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:29
Iraqi Army Downs 2 UK Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iraq's army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province, a senior lawmaker disclosed on Monday.

"The Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL," Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Earlier today, a senior Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that US and Israeli-made weapons have been discovered from the areas purged of ISIL terrorists.

"We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL's control in Al-Baqdadi region," the Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz as saying.

He noted that the weapons made by the European countries and Israel were discovered from the terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city of Ramadi.

Al-Zameli had also disclosed in January that the anti-ISIL coalition's planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

Al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL's survival in Iraq.

"There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition's military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes)," he told FNA in January.

He noted that the members of his committee have already proved that the US planes have dropped advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, for the ISIL, and that it has set up an investigation committee to probe into the matter.

"The US drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations.

He noted that the committee had collected the data and the evidence provided by eyewitnesses, including Iraqi army officers and the popular forces, and said, "These documents are given to the investigation committee ... and the necessary measures will be taken to protect the Iraqi airspace."

Also in January, another senior Iraqi legislator reiterated that the US-led coalition is the main cause of ISIL's survival in Iraq.

"The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons," Jome Divan, who is member of the al-Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said.

He said the coalition's support for the ISIL is now evident to everyone, and continued, "The coalition has not targeted ISIL's main positions in Iraq."

In late December, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission MP disclosed that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.

MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that US planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.

He added that the US and the international coalition are "not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month".

Gharawi added that "the US is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces."

Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that "unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city".

Also in Late December, a senior Iraqi lawmaker raised doubts about the seriousness of the anti-ISIL coalition led by the US, and said that the terrorist group still received aids dropped by unidentified aircraft.

"The international coalition is not serious about air strikes on ISIL terrorists and is even seeking to take out the popular (voluntary) forces from the battlefield against the Takfiris so that the problem with ISIL remains unsolved in the near future," Nahlah al-Hababi told FNA.

"The ISIL terrorists are still receiving aids from unidentified fighter jets in Iraq and Syria," she added.

Hababi said that the coalition's precise airstrikes are launched only in those areas where the Kurdish Pishmarga forces are present, while military strikes in other regions are not so much precise.

In late December, the US-led coalition dropped aids to the Takfiri militants in an area North of Baghdad.

Field sources in Iraq told al-Manar that the international coalition airplanes dropped aids to the terrorist militants in Balad, an area which lies in Salahuddin province North of Baghdad.

In October, a high-ranking Iranian commander also slammed the US for providing aid supplies to ISIL, adding that the US claims that the weapons were mistakenly airdropped to ISIL were untrue.

“The US and the so-called anti-ISIL coalition claim that they have launched a campaign against this terrorist and criminal group - while supplying them with weapons, food and medicine in Jalawla region (a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq). This explicitly displays the falsity of the coalition's and the US' claims,” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said.

The US claimed that it had airdropped weapons and medical aid to Kurdish fighters confronting the ISIL in Kobani, near the Turkish border in Northern Syria.

The US Defense Department said that it had airdropped 28 bundles of weapons and supplies, but one of them did not make it into the hands of the Kurdish fighters.

Video footage later showed that some of the weapons that the US airdropped were taken by ISIL militants.

The Iranian commander insisted that the US had the necessary intelligence about ISIL's deployment in the region and that their claims to have mistakenly airdropped weapons to them are as unlikely as they are untrue.

Washington Has Resurrected The Threat Of Nuclear War

By Paul Craig Roberts

February 24, 2015 "ICH" - Foreign Affairs is the publication of the elitist Council on Foreign Relations, a collection of former and current government officials, academics, and corporate and financial executives who regard themselves as the custodian and formulator of US foreign policy. The publication of the council carries the heavy weight of authority. One doesn’t expect to find humor in it, but I found myself roaring with laughter while reading an article in the February 5 online issue by Alexander J. Motyl, “Goodbye, Putin: Why the President’s Days Are Numbered.”

I assumed I was reading a clever parody of Washington’s anti-Putin propaganda. Absurd statement followed absurd statement. It was better than Colbert. I couldn’t stop laughing.

To my dismay I discovered that the absolute gibberish wasn’t a parody of Washington’s propaganda. Motyl, an ardent Ukrainian nationalist, is a professor at Rugers University and was not joking when he wrote that Putin had stolen $45 billion, that Putin was resurrecting the Soviet Empire, that Putin had troops and tanks in Ukraine and had started the war in Ukraine, that Putin is an authoritarian whose regime is “exceedingly brittle” and subject to being overthrown at any time by the people Putin has bought off with revenues from the former high oil price, or by “an Orange Revolution in Moscow” in which Putin is overthrown by Washington orchestrated demonstrations by US financed NGOs as in Ukraine, or by a coup d’etat by Putin’s Praetorial guards. And if none of this sends Putin goodbye, the North Caucasus, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, and the Crimean Tarters are spinning out of control and will do Washington’s will by unseating Putin. Only the West’s friendly relationship with Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan can shield “the rest of the world from Putin’s disastrous legacy of ruin.”

When confronted with this level of ignorant nonsense in what is alleged to be a respectable publication, we experience the degradation of the Western political and media elite. To argue with nonsense is pointless.

What we see here with Motyl is the purest expression of the blatant propagandistic lies that flow continually from the likes of Fox “News,” Sean Hannity, the neocon warmongers, the White House, and executive branch and congressional personnel beholden to the military/security complex.

The lies are too much even for Henry Kissinger.

As Stephen Lendman, who documents the ever growing anti-Russian propaganda, honestly states: “America’s war on the world rages. Humanity’s greatest challenge is stopping this monster before it destroys everyone.”

The absurdity of it all! Even a moron knows that if Russia is going to put tanks and troops into Ukraine, Russia will put in enough to do the job. The war would be over in a few days if not in a few hours. As Putin himself said some months ago, if the Russian military enters Ukraine, the news will not be the fate of Donetsk or Mauriupol, but the fall of Kiev and Lviv.

Former US Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1987-91) Jack Matlock cautioned against the crazed propagandistic attack against Russia in his speech at the National Press Club on February 11. Matlock is astonished by the dismissal of Russia as merely “a regional power” of little consequence to the powerful US military. No country, Matlock says, armed with numerous, accurate, and mobile ICBMs is limited to regional power. This is the kind of hubristic miscalculation that ends in world destruction.

Matlock also notes that the entirely of Ukraine, like Crimea, has been part of Russia for centuries and that Washington and NATO have no business being in Ukraine.

He also points out the violations of promises made to Russia not to expand NATO eastward and how this and other acts of US aggression toward Russia have recreated the lack of trust between the two powers that Reagan worked successfully to overcome.

Reagan’s politeness toward the Soviet leadership and refusal to personalize differences created an era of cooperation that the morons who are Reagan’s successors have thrown away, thus renewing the threat of nuclear war that Reagan and Gorbachev had ended.

Washington’s foreign policy, Matlock says, is autistic, which he defines as impaired social interaction, failed communication, and restricted and repetitive behavior.

Read Matlock:

Don’t bother with the utter fool Motyl: Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.


Proleprincess· 6 hours ago
These words should fill the hearts of every US American with absolute fear and terror:
As Stephen Lendman, who documents the ever growing anti-Russian propaganda, honestly states: “America’s war on the world rages. Humanity’s greatest challenge is stopping this monster before it destroys everyone.”
Terrorism isn't a real threat to the USA. It's own dysfunction, corruption and incompetence in world affairs endangers everyb citizen in the country.
My recent post my_work


Farflungstar· 1 hour ago
You said it, girl. Ignorant people are terrified of overhyped Islamic terrorism and not paying attention to the back and forth slow escalation with a country that has enough long range nuclear firepower to make the lights go out for a long time here in Der Homeland. The potential costs far outweigh the risks.
It isn't a damn bit different today than it was during the Cold War, I don't care what the propaganda says. In the 80's I remember it was treated seriously as something to be avoided. Everyone loses.
I had a poster in my room of a mushroom cloud which read:
One Nuclear Bomb Can Ruin Your Whole Day
Ideology may change, but this still holds true!


Froggy· 6 hours ago
"Cynics know the cost of everything and the value of nothing" - Oscar Wilde

As much as PCR, and Steve Lendman are two of my favorite all time commentators, I cant help but note how their continual reigniting the nuclear fears issue on radio and print, clouds the real issue of conventional war for peace and profit. Report he diplomatic side, have hope, if your show is called "Progressive Radio News Hour" give us news in war zones, not the same reguritated cynicism week after week. Irrational fear is the enemy, its a trick of warmongers that you shouldn't fall for.

I think the trick is in emphasis, not fear. Push for diplomacy and diplomatic solutions. AVOID cynicism like a disease. Anyone can be a cynic, or be Bill Maher. If your goal is peace, report accurately, push for peace and activism and be a true believer. Peace - it can happen, it can be a reality.

No one is going to push the button and fry us all, so just remind the NeoCon crazies and more sane leaders reading and listening that there HAS GOT TO BE ANOTHER WAY THAN WAR. Lets rise above the animals, use the God given reason you have to improve things for humanity. Lets find a solution to the permanent war economy once and for all.


Nexus789· 5 hours ago
You are missing the very clear point PCR makes. Meaningful negotiations or accommodation will NEVER be possible with Washington. Washington places itself above all other countries and is perfidious to an extreme. Putin now refers sarcastically to 'our friends in the West' at press conferences.

The 'empire of chaos' sees itself as 'exceptional' and 'indispensable'. It is neither. It is a proto-fascist state that has a collapsing economy is trying to maintain a rapidly declining and thoroughly nasty empire.

It is clear that the arrogance and hubris of the morons in Washington does not let them understand the growing Russian and Chinese alliance. Washington thinks the Chinese will invade Eastern Russia. They have this belief as it is what they would do. China and Russia treat other as equals and via trade China will get all it needs from Russia in terms of raw materials and technology.

These clowns will blunder into a massive conflict and they will wish they had never been born. Then it will be over for the rest of us.


Froggy· 3 hours ago
Lets be specfic in terms of examples. Assad and the opposition have been negotiating somewhat successfully to end the Syria war.

Then - as if made to order -fake ISIS beheading videos allow Obama a back door to bomb Syria, just the six American military bases in Israel bombed Syria to ramp up the conflict. Then, Obama orders 400 more US troops to Syria to train the terrorists by spring 2015.

But are the "progressive" Democrat talking heads cover this? No its all fear terror propaganda, scapgoat Islam and the Saudis, Democrats blame Bushs-Iraq (instead of Obamas dethrone Assad war which truly created ISIS thru training the FSA) and so the Democrat talking heads become censors, disinfo agents and cheerlead "the war on ISIS," which in reality is directed at Assad. Assad himself noted the slow or nonexistent progress at "defeating" ISIS because he knows ISIS are not the real target.

So while 'progressive" Democrat talking heads misdirect the audience away from diplomacy, and cheerlead for war - its leaves no coverage or gives no voice for the cause of peace and diplomacy.


Dr. Nomas Kakita· 6 hours ago
According to recent estimates only 8.23% of the US population will survive in mostly rural towns,


Bill of Wrongs· 5 hours ago
So 100% of the population will then be left to watch [Dumb] Fux News.


Nexus789· 5 hours ago
That many. Given the extent of a nuclear winter and background radiation they may might wish they had not survived. All the dumb politicians in the world should be forced to read this site.


Ariel Gail MacLean· 3 hours ago
Everyone has something important and different to contribute to this complex picture, but I also think everyone is forgetting that Russia & China don't need anyone else except one another and seem to be entering into some new kind of cooperative era which is capable of leaving the rest of the world behind (essentially, The Bully USA picking fights whereever it can). The other thing which is not being taken into consideration is the extremely fragile natural of nuclear warfare - just ONE previously-prove-to-be-stupid human being having a bad hair day, and everyone loses. The other fact is that more conventional boots-on-the-ground warfare (if we are even capable of this anymore) requires lead time and planning - just the type of activities we need to provide for the army of professional military strategists who have been sitting around for too long, itching for a job to do. All it takes is less than a decade for an entirely new iteration of America's Best In The World weapons to resupply the War Machine, while everyone waits around with baited breath to hear where they are going to get try them out. I don't think most people quite realize the hold that WAR GAMES has on the hearts and minds of ongoing generations of American males. There is a reason why the USA is the #1 Arms Dealer on the planet (by multiple factors more), and why we have only been NOT in WAR less than 2 decades for our entire existence. War Mongering is our identity, our economy, our spirituality, our psychology, our art, and our science. War is us.


xmastri· 1 hour ago
Aaaaannnd.....the US's only export. It's all the US knows how to do. Not blazing any trails in any other arenas. Oh wait, GMO's too, the other export. And vaccines. Sterilizing ones.


mike· 2 hours ago
Is it really a fight for world hegemony the so called New World Order which hinges on Europe. If Europe is willing to allow itself to be the stage for a conflict between East and West, for WW3 then we are all doomed. There are signs that Europeans are uneasy with this but as yet the propaganda still supports USA policy. In fact that may be the reason that Ukraine is being kept at a relatively low level of prominence in the news cycle, so as not to alarm Europeans. This gives the impression that war is impossible because we haven't been forewarned or prepared yet. It is perhaps designed to be a long low level conflict which without alarming the public will instead slowly accustomize them into acceptance of the insanity of nuclear war. The internet allows those with a will to influence the public, posting on social media, articles that promote awareness of the true situation might consider doing this. If everyone reading ICH makes 10 people aware and they make 10 people aware, you get to millions real fast. We might have the time to do it and our lives may depend on it.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015


I was sad to learn yesterday, that Newry has one of the worst drug problems in the north, which took me back to the reasons, why this is inevitable and led me to the memory of Crumlin Road Gaol and Dominic McGlinchey, walking around the exercise yard, with his comrade singing the Kris Kristoferson song, 'Me and Bobby McGee,' beside him. "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, Nothing, I mean nothing, honey if it isn't free, no no !Yeah, feeling good was easy Lord, when he sang the blues.You know feeling good was good enough for me
Good    Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee."

Excess eventually leads to a realization of emptiness. Emptiness can lead to a search for reality, to learn the truth, with an open heart and the willingness to listen, to the wisdom of the elders with experience, the most valuable commodity in Ireland. At the bottom of this post, is an article by Chris Hedges, called, "We Kill Our Revolutionaries," which I feel carries some important lessons, for any revolutionary.

Portugal Cut Addiction Rates in Half by legalizing Drugs

Connecting Drug Users With Communities Instead of Jailing Them

Fifteen years ago, the Portuguese had one of the worst drug problems in Europe. So they decriminalized drugs, took money out of prisons, put it into holistic rehabilitation, and found that human connection is the antidote to addiction.

It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned—and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted: There are strong chemical hooks in these drugs, so if we stopped on day twenty-one, our bodies would need the chemical. We would have a ferocious craving. We would be addicted. That’s what addiction means.

This theory was first established, in part, through rat experiments—ones that were injected into the American psyche in the 1980s, in a famous advertisement by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. You may remember it. The experiment is simple. Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself.

The ad explains: “Only one drug is so addictive, nine out of ten laboratory rats will use it. And use it. And use it. Until dead. It’s called cocaine. And it can do the same thing to you.

But in the 1970s, a professor of Psychology in Vancouver called Bruce Alexander noticed something odd about this experiment. The rat is put in the cage all alone. It has nothing to do but take the drugs. What would happen, he wondered, if we tried this differently?

So Professor Alexander built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want. What, Alexander wanted to know, will happen then?

In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn’t know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.

This article is adapted fromChasing the Scream: The First and Last Day of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari, 2015.The rats with good lives didn’t like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.

At first, I thought this was merely a quirk of rats, until I discovered that there was—at the same time as the Rat Park experiment—a helpful human equivalent taking place. It was called the Vietnam War. Time magazine reported using heroin was “as common as chewing gum” among U.S. soldiers, and there is solid evidence to back this up: some 20 percent of U.S. soldiers had become addicted to heroin there, according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Many people were understandably terrified; they believed a huge number of addicts were about to head home when the war ended.

But in fact some 95 percent of the addicted soldiers—according to the same study—simply stopped. Very few had rehab. They shifted from a terrifying cage back to a pleasant one, so didn’t want the drug any more.

Professor Alexander argues this discovery is a profound challenge both to the right-wing view that addiction is a moral failing caused by too much hedonistic partying, and the liberal view that addiction is a disease taking place in a chemically hijacked brain. In fact, he argues, addiction is an adaptation. It’s not you. It’s your cage.
Rats in the Park
If you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover?

After the first phase of Rat Park, Professor Alexander then took this test further. He reran the early experiments, where the rats were left alone, and became compulsive users of the drug. He let them use for 57 days—if anything can hook you, it’s that.

Then he took them out of isolation, and placed them in Rat Park. He wanted to know, if you fall into that state of addiction, is your brain hijacked, so you can’t recover? Do the drugs take you over? What happened is—again—striking. The rats seemed to have a few twitches of withdrawal, but they soon stopped their heavy use, and went back to having a normal life. The good cage saved them.

When I first learned about this, I was puzzled. How can this be? This new theory is such a radical assault on what we have been told that it felt like it could not be true. But the more scientists I interviewed, and the more I looked at their studies, the more I discovered things that don’t seem to make sense—unless you take account of this new approach.

Here’s one example of an experiment that is happening all around you, and may well happen to you one day. If you get run over today and you break your hip, you will probably be given diamorphine, the medical name for heroin. In the hospital around you, there will be plenty of people also given heroin for long periods, for pain relief.

The heroin you will get from the doctor will have a much higher purity and potency than the heroin being used by street-addicts, who have to buy from criminals who adulterate it. So if the old theory of addiction is right—it’s the drugs that cause it; they make your body need them—then it’s obvious what should happen. Loads of people should leave the hospital and try to score smack on the streets to meet their habit.
The street-addict is like the rats in the first cage, isolated, alone, with only one source of solace to turn to.

But here’s the strange thing: It virtually never happens. As the Canadian doctor Gabor Mate was the first to explain to me, medical users just stop, despite months of use. The same drug, used for the same length of time, turns street-users into desperate addicts and leaves medical patients unaffected.

If you still believe, as I used to, that chemical hooks are what cause addiction, then this makes no sense.

But if you believe Bruce Alexander’s theory, the picture falls into place. The street-addict is like the rats in the first cage, isolated, alone, with only one source of solace to turn to. The medical patient is like the rats in the second cage. She is going home to a life where she is surrounded by the people she loves. The drug is the same, but the environment is different.
The Opposite of Addiction Is Connection

This gives us an insight that goes much deeper than the need to understand addicts.
A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.

Professor Peter Cohen argues that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find—the whirr of a roulette wheel or the prick of a syringe. He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’ A heroin addict has bonded with heroin because she couldn’t bond as fully with anything else.

So the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection.

When I learned all this, I found it slowly persuading me, but I still couldn’t shake off a nagging doubt. Are these scientists saying chemical hooks make no difference? It was explained to me—you can become addicted to gambling, and nobody thinks you inject a pack of cards into your veins. You can have all the addiction, and none of the chemical hooks. I went to a Gamblers’ Anonymous meeting in Las Vegas (with the permission of everyone present, who knew I was there to observe) and they were as plainly addicted as the cocaine and heroin addicts I have known in my life. Yet there are no chemical hooks on a craps table.

But still, surely, I asked, there is some role for the chemicals? It turns out there is an experiment which gives us the answer to this in quite precise terms, which I learned about in Richard DeGrandpre’s book The Cult of Pharmacology.

Everyone agrees cigarette smoking is one of the most addictive processes around. The chemical hooks in tobacco come from a drug inside it called nicotine. So when nicotine patches were developed in the early 1990s, there was a huge surge of optimism—cigarette smokers could get all of their chemical hooks, without the other filthy (and deadly) effects of cigarette smoking. They would be freed.
Ironically, the war on drugs actually increases all those larger drivers of addiction.

But the Office of the Surgeon General has found that just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop using nicotine patches. That’s not nothing. If the chemicals drive 17.7 percent of addiction, as this shows, that’s still millions of lives ruined globally. But what it reveals again is that the story we have been taught about chemical hooks is, in fact, real, only a minor part of a much bigger picture.

This has huge implications for the 100-year-old war on drugs.

This massive war—which kills people from the malls of Mexico to the streets of Liverpool—is based on the claim that we need to physically eradicate a whole array of chemicals because they hijack people’s brains and cause addiction. But if drugs aren’t the driver of addiction—if, in fact, it is disconnection that drives addiction—then this makes no sense.

Ironically, the war on drugs actually increases all those larger drivers of addiction. For example, I went to a prison in Arizona—Tent City—where inmates are detained in tiny stone isolation cages (‘The Hole’) for weeks and weeks on end to punish them for drug use. It is as close to a human recreation of the cages that guaranteed deadly addiction in rats as I can imagine. And when those prisoners get out, they will be unemployable because of their criminal record, guaranteeing they with be cut off ever more.
How Portugal Halved Drug Addiction Levels

There is an alternative. You can build a system that is designed to help drug addicts to reconnect with the world—and so leave behind their addictions.

This isn’t theoretical. It is happening. I have seen it. Nearly 15 years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, with one percent of the population addicted to heroin. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse.

So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them—to their own feelings, and to the wider society.
Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system.

The most crucial step is to get them secure housing, and subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs.

One group of addicts were given a loan to set up a removals firm. Suddenly, they were a group, all bonded to each other, and to the society, and responsible for each other’s care.

The results of all this are now in. An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. I’ll repeat that: injecting drug use is down by 50 percent.

Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country’s top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect: more crime, more addicts. But when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass—and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal’s example.
We need now to talk about social recovery—how we all recover, together ...
Happiness in "the Age of Loneliness"

This isn’t only relevant to addicts. It is relevant to all of us, because it forces us to think differently about ourselves. Human beings are bonding animals. We need to connect and love. The wisest sentence of the twentieth century was E.M. Forster’s: “only connect.” But we have created an environment and a culture that cut us off from connection, or offer only the parody of it offered by the Internet. The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live–constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.

The writer George Monbiot has called this “the age of loneliness.” We have created human societies where it is easier for people to become cut off from all human connections than ever before. Bruce Alexander, the creator of Rat Park, told me that for too long, we have talked exclusively about individual recovery from addiction. We need now to talk about social recovery—how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation that is sinking on us like a thick fog.

But this new evidence isn’t just a challenge to us politically. It doesn’t just force us to change our minds. It forces us to change our hearts.

Loving an addict is really hard. When I looked at the addicts I love, it was always tempting to follow the tough love advice doled out by reality shows like Intervention—tell the addict to shape up, or cut them off. Their message is that an addict who won’t stop should be shunned. It’s the logic of the drug war, imported into our private lives.

But in fact, I learned, that will only deepen their addiction—and you may lose them altogether. I came home determined to tie the addicts in my life closer to me than ever—to let them know I love them unconditionally, whether they stop, or whether they can’t.

This article is adapted from Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari. Hari is a British journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, The New Republic, and other publications. 

By Chris Hedges

We Kill Our Revolutionaries

By Chris Hedges

February 23, 2015 "ICH" - "Truthdig" - YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio—Siddique Hasan, his legs shackled to a chair, sat in the fourth-floor visiting room of the Ohio State Penitentiary, a supermax prison. The room, surrounded by thick glass windows, had a guard booth in the center and food vending machines flanking a microwave on one wall. There was a line of small booths, entered through a door behind Hasan, where families, including children, were talking to prisoners through plexiglass partitions.

Hasan, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 52 years old, bearded and with wire-rim glasses, had a white kufi on his head. He wore a short-sleeve shirt over a long-sleeve shirt, light blue prison pants and white Nikes. His 209-pound frame was taut and compact, the result of an intense exercise regime. He has been on death row since he was convicted for his actions while leading, along with four others, the April 1993 uprising at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at Lucasville, Ohio. They are known as the Lucasville Five. The uprising saw prisoners take control of the prison for 11 days in protest against numerous grievances, including deaths that occurred allegedly from beatings by guards. It was one of the longest prison uprisings in U.S. history. By the time it was over, 10 people had been killed by prisoners, including a guard.

A riot that occurred Friday has made a Texas prison uninhabitable and forced a mass transfer of prisoners. In a 2014 report by the ACLU, prisoners there complained of “severely crowded and squalid living conditions.” Click here or here for more information about what happened at the Willacy County Correctional Center.

Hasan, born Carlos Sanders, has been in juvenile detention facilities or prison since he was an adolescent. His early life was difficult, unstable and marked by extreme poverty. His mother had her first child at 12 and her fourth and final child at 19. His father, who was physically abusive to Hasan’s mother, abandoned the family when Hasan was 5. The children and their mother survived on her meager pay from cooking and cleaning jobs. Hasan, the third of the four children, lived briefly in foster homes and never went beyond fifth grade. He ran the streets with his older brother and engaged in petty crime. Since his first incarceration, in his early teens in Georgia—where he was nicknamed Savannah Slim or Savannah Red, and where he worked with other convicts on Georgia prison highway details—until today, he has spent only 17 months outside prison walls. He has always rebelled. He masterminded a mass escape from a juvenile detention facility when he was 15 years old and, a year later, a mass escape from a county jail. In 2013 he took part in a hunger strike with other death row prisoners that saw prison authorities finally agree to expand the range of items at the prison commissary, permit physical contact in visits with relatives, allow prisoners to use computers to do legal research, increase the length of phone conversations and increase recreation time.

“I am a human being,” Hasan said. “I don’t like being locked up, deprived of my rights, told when to go to bed, when to eat, when to shower. These things hurt a person physically, emotionally and psychologically. No human being should be caged like an animal.”

Before he converted to Islam in 1981, he said, he was “a materialist freak and a monster that sold drugs and protected people for payment in prison.” He organized prison gambling rings and extortion rackets and oversaw a small army of enforcers.

“I would have 30 pairs of shoes, 30 bottles of lotion, 30 bottles of shampoo, 30 bottles of baby oil and 200 bars of soap in my cell,” he said. “But once I came into Islam and put into practice the knowledge I acquired, I changed.”

He hopes prisoners will organize to mount a coordinated nationwide work stoppage and hunger strike to improve conditions behind bars, including raising pay from the roughly $1 a day that prisoners now receive for eight hours of labor to the legal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. He would like to see coordinated boycotts of the overpriced commissaries. He said prisoners should purchase only the bare necessities, such as soap and toothpaste, and forego the “zoozoos and wamwams,” prison slang for junk food. He places no hope in the courts and the legislatures. Prisoners will have to start to carry out acts of mass civil disobedience for any justice, he said—that is the only mechanism left to them.

“Prison authorities never give you anything without a fight,” he said, clutching white prayer beads. “Those prisoners who can should refuse to go to work to demand the minimum wage, although the first thing the prison will do is try and break it up by transferring the leaders to another prison or remove them from the general population. But if any protest is done right, with unity, they may not lock anyone down. Let the prison authorities know in advance what will be done. Let them know the demands. Don’t surprise them. Give them an opportunity to resolve it, say 60 days. If you catch them by surprise all you will get is a lockdown. If you put them on notice they can’t say they didn’t know it was coming.”

“The beauty of a work stoppage is that the prison administrators have to bring in compensated labor,” he said. “This is what happened in the Georgia prison system in 2010 when the prisoners held a work stoppage for six days. It cost the state a lot of money. The prisoners got a lot of concessions. The issue of state pay cannot be solved expeditiously. That takes time. It is best to have other demands and other tactics. We can lower commissary prices and the price of phone calls through boycotts.”

There are lessons about resistance Hasan has learned that apply not only to the 2.3 million Americans who are incarcerated but to a society in which the loss of civil liberties and the creation of the security and surveillance state increasingly mirror the prison state. Revolt, he said, must include certain elements. Those who rebel must understand how systems of power work; otherwise, effective resistance is impossible. Revolt requires a disciplined and hierarchical organization and an incorruptible leadership to prevent betrayal, anarchy and bloodshed. To maintain unity there must be a commitment to nonviolence and a refusal to allow intrusion from personal, racial or religious animosities, including the hatred many prisoners feel for homosexuals and those who are informants or “snitches” for the prison administration. Divisions among the oppressed, Hasan said, are gifts to the oppressor. There must also be a clear set of achievable demands and an active support network outside the prison willing to mobilize on behalf of the rebels. Any revolt requires transparency, including informing the authorities in advance of a protest and articulating demands. Prisoners who mobilize an entire prison cannot hope to keep anything secret given the swarms of informants, he said. Finally, a revolt requires a willingness on the part of the rebel leaders to sacrifice and to even lose their lives. For him, Husan said, this last element is made possible by his faith.

“Most prisoners don’t have a problem going on strike for fair wages and better conditions,” he said. “They will challenge the powers that be. The problem is that we need people on the outside to help us. If we go on a hunger strike and starve ourselves, if we refuse to work or participate in our own self-destruction there have to be groups publicizing our resistance and backing us.”

Hasan, who had been only months away from being released at the time of the uprising, lived in the Lucasville prison honor wing, reserved for prisoners who had good disciplinary records. He worked as an imam among the prison population. During the uprising he repeatedly minimized or prevented violence. He is credited with saving several lives, a fact that came up in his trial. The state, as always, was far more concerned with removing a charismatic and incorruptible prison leader, no matter what he or she did, from the general prison population. Prisoners in sworn affidavits after the uprising told of Ohio State Highway Patrol officers moving through the institution’s population and offering deals for reduced sentences to those who would name and testify against revolt leaders. One of those who testified against the leaders of the uprising, Anthony Lavelle, the head of the Black Gangster Disciples inside the Lucasville facility, is widely believed to have carried out the murder of the prison guard, Robert Vallandingham. For that killing, Hasan was sentenced to death with George Skatzes, Namir Abdul Mateen, Jason Robb and Keith Lamar. Despite intense pressure by the state, and promises to spare them from the death penalty, the five men refused to incriminate each other. That the five are mixed racially, that Skatzes and Robb at the time were members of theAryan Brotherhood and had to reject white solidarity to stand with the black defendants, was remarkable.

“They rose above their status as prisoners, and became, for a few days in April 1993, what rebels in Attica had demanded a generation before them: men,” Mumia Abu Jamal wrote in the foreword to “Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising,” by Staughton Lynd. “As such, they did not betray each other, they did not dishonor each other, they reached beyond their prison ‘tribes’ to reach the commonality.”

It was the Muslims, the most disciplined and politically conscious segment of the prison population, who organized the Lucasville revolt. And the uprising was, from its inception, designed to be nonviolent. Guards would be seized, as had happened five years earlier in the prison during a protest against deplorable conditions, and held until prisoners were permitted to make contact with the press. Once the press reported the prisoners’ grievances, and once the state agreed to address the abuses, the guards would be released.

“We were dealing with a warden, Arthur Tate Jr., who was very hard-line,” Hasan said. “The convicts called him King Arthur. We wanted to bring enough pressure on the system to take it out of his hands and get his superiors in Columbus at the ODRC [Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction] to respond. The goal was always to resolve this amicably.”

No one in Lucasville, Hasan said, wanted to replicate the bloodbath that took place in New York state in September 1971 during the four-day uprising at the Attica prison in which over 43 people were killed, including 10 correctional officers and civilian employees, along with 33 prisoners who died at the hands of state police officers who stormed the institution. But uprisings, as Hasan swiftly found out, are very difficult events to control.

The catalyst for the revolt was a decision by the prison administration to test the prisoners for tuberculosis by injecting them with a substance the Muslims believed contained alcohol, which is forbidden to followers of Islam. Hasan and other Muslim leaders asked the prison authorities to do the testing by X-ray or sputum sample. The prison refused. The testing, especially because it was scheduled forRamadan, was, Hasan said, “the final straw.”

“Muslims were fasting,” he said. “They couldn’t take a shot.”

Conditions in the prison were already barbaric. There was severe overcrowding. White and black prisoners often physically clashed, and the practice of housing men of different races within the same cells exacerbated the tension. Medical facilities were inadequate. Families that attempted to visit prisoners were harassed and abused by the guards. Commissary items were overpriced. Phone calls were limited to one five-minute conversation a year, usually at Christmas. Guards routinely beat prisoners, at times fatally. A group of prisoners known as the “Lucasville 14” had earlier attempted to renounce their U.S. citizenship. Three of them, to illustrate their seriousness, cut off fingers and mailed them to the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Justice. Prisoners had also attempted to organize a branch of the Industrial Workers of the World to demand that prison laborers receive the national minimum wage. Every attempt to organize or resist was met with harsher control.

“There were several incidents where a prisoner did something like masturbate in front of a female guard, spit on a guard or become verbally and physically abusive,” Hasan said. “In situations like these the guards are supposed to file a conduct report. But instead the guards took the liberty of physical abuse, and in some cases this was fatal. They would take a prisoner to isolation or administrative segregation, go into the cell, close the door and jump on the prisoner while he was handcuffed and shackled.”

Internal prison protests, he said, have become an imperative. Nearly all rehabilitation programs have been terminated. Tens of thousands of prisoners are locked for months or even years in isolation. Prisons, every year, are extracting more money from prisoners and their families through exorbitant phone fees, rising commissary prices, money transfer services that take huge commissions and refusing to provide items such as footwear, forcing prisoners, who typically earn about $28 a month, to pay $45 for sneakers. Prisoners must also pay an array of fees, including hundreds of dollars to be taken on a visit to a dying family member or to a funeral home. And more and more prisoners, because of fees and fines, are leaving prisons with thousands of dollars of debt. Over 60 percent of those who are released return to prison. This is by design.

“The prison officials know that when you get out you are coming back,” he said. “You are not trained to do anything. There is no advanced program of education. There is no vocational training. You get out and you don’t have a place to live. You are on somebody’s couch. You don’t have money. You can’t get a job. It’s just a matter of time before you go back to exploiting your old way of living. And prisoners are demonized. They are portrayed as incorrigible, unsympathetic, uncaring, irredeemable monsters that need to be in prison.”

In the 1993 revolt the Muslims seized a dozen guards at the end of the recreation period around 3 in the afternoon. Prisoners, freed from their cells and prison control, grabbed baseball bats and fire extinguishers and attacked guards. Hasan said someone suggested to him they murder the snitches and the “fags,” an act he denounced, saying “that would mean killing half the prison population.” Prisoners began to barricade hallways with ice machines and locker boxes. They used 45-pound weight bars and pickaxes to smash windows and doors to capture guards in a secure area known as a “safewell.”

“Me and some of the other Muslims had congregated in the barbershop,” he said. “A brother told us they were killing snitches in [Block] L6. We went down to L6 and saw bodies on top of bodies. Not all were dead; some were gagging for air, some survived.”

“It was mass chaos,” he said. “People were beating the guards and beating convicts. It was pandemonium. Blood was in the hallway. It was like a massacre. Blood does not have a nice smell. I remembered snapping on the Muslims and telling them to secure these guys.”

Hasan moved the captured guards to the shower stalls and kept them protected. He placed vulnerable prisoners, including the informants, in cells for their safety. The Muslims had drawn up an organizational plan before the uprising, with groups assigned to security, legal matters, food distribution and education. They struggled to impose order.

I asked him how he felt when he saw the bodies and the bloodbath, something he had desperately hoped to avoid.

“I didn’t feel anything, maybe because I have a different perception about death than other people,” he said.

“Stabbin’. Killin’. Hangin’. This was not [an intended] part of the uprising,” he said. “Things got out of hand. You had a lot of prisoners with a lot of grudges, animosities and hatred in their hearts for prisoners and nonprisoners. These people had snitched on them or abused them. People settled old scores with other prisoners and with guards. That’s what happened. That’s what went wrong.”

Rape, too, was a problem during the uprising. Prisoners who committed rapes during the revolt were locked in cells. Hasan said one black prisoner, Bruce Harris, raped a white prisoner. Other white prisoners, when they heard of the rape, wanted to kill Harris. Hasan intervened.

It was agreed that a prisoner from each of the three main prison factions—the Aryan Brotherhood, the Muslims and the Black Gangster Disciples—would punish Harris. They took Harris into the corridor and beat him for three minutes. Then they took him to the gym and beat him again for three minutes. After that, they locked him in a cell.

“Bruce was nervous that they were going to kill him and he started tearing up the cell,” Hasan said. “He tore the porcelain toilet off the wall and smashed it to pieces, disturbing the Muslims, who were praying. I went to Bruce. I asked him to stop. I assured Bruce that he was not going to die. I told him I would escort him out to the prison authorities when the time came to end the riot. He promised to stop making a ruckus.”

Harris, however, was killed later by fellow prisoners. The state attempted to charge Hasan with the murder, but during the trial a video was produced showing Hasan in negotiations with prison authorities at the time of Harris’ murder.

“When there is disorder and no law, people have the tendency to do evil things,” Hasan said.

“What is the cause of any uprising?” he asked. “Simply put, it’s man’s injustice to man. We could not expect freedom, but we could expect freedom from oppression, tyranny, persecution and gross miscarriages of justice that go on in institutional life. Prisons are here to stay. Be realistic. It’s about the money, the control and the power. But if you take over a prison you can confront the evil and the corruption, you can make some changes.”

The captured guards, he said, suddenly began calling him Mr. Sanders, something that was unthinkable when he was under their domination.

“The guards were all saying they were sorry, they were just doing their jobs,” he said.

The white prisoners, many of them members of the Aryan Brotherhood, gathered nervously in the gym in the first hours of the revolt. They feared that the blacks would turn on them. All of the alleged snitches killed in the first few hours were white. A few blacks believed to be snitches had been beaten but had survived. Hasan called the Muslims to prayer in the gym. He demanded that the non-Muslim prisoners be quiet and respectful during prayer. When it was over he announced that any other religious group that wanted to worship would be given the same respect shown to the Muslims. That promise of respect broke down the racial walls and made possible an alliance between whites and blacks. Prisoners began to paint slogans such as “Convict Race,” “Convict Unity” and “White and Black Together” on the walls.

“I did what I did with the choices that were available,” Hasan said. “I had to do something. I am a revolutionary. To be a revolutionary is to be an agent of change, which is impossible if one doesn’t know what needs to be changed. For there to be a revolution there must be revolutionary consciousness. A prisonwide hunger strike, a prisonwide work stoppage, would have been more effective. But then it would not have been about the Muslims. You would have had to take it to the whole convict body.”

On death row all who rebel against empire are comrades.

“People, Muslim and non-Muslim, admire ISIS [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria],” he said. “They are happy to see ISIS stand up against the U.S. government and Israel. A lot of us may not agree with all their tactics, but we know what it is like to be pushed to the edge. We also know that al-Qaida carried out the attacks of 9/11 against the symbols of American power, the Pentagon and the financial institutions. If they only wanted to kill Americans they could have flown the planes into a stadium with 80,000 or 90,000 people during a pro football game. Prisoners, because they are oppressed, like seeing anyone stand up to the big bad wolf.”

The Lucasville uprising was settled peacefully. The state promised not to carry out reprisals against the leaders, a promise it broke once it regained control.

The state should not be able to murder people, no matter what these people have done. But what of a state that places a person such as Hasan on death row when it knows he never committed murder? What of a state that cut a plea deal with the actual killer of the corrections officer so it could execute Hasan? The message sent by the state is clear: It does not fear criminals. It fears rebels.

Hasan, who is fighting his own death sentence in the courts, has seen several men taken to the death chamber. Two of those executed—Abdul-Hakim Zakiy and Abdullah Sharif Kaazim Mahdi—were close friends. The last conversations before execution haunt him.

“Brother Mahdi didn’t get a lot of visits in prison,” he said. “He would not participate in the final process. He didn’t want a last meal. He spent the day fasting and reading the Koran. He asked for a little olive oil and some Islamic dates. I told him he would be dearly missed. I told him I knew he had a strong faith. I told him I knew he believed in Allah. I told him to accept that all life is transitory. I told him to hope that Allah would accept his worship, the sincerity of his belief and grant him paradise. I told him I loved him. I felt helpless.”

“He did not want his family to get his body,” he went on. “He wanted his body washed and buried according to Islam. He wanted to rest in the prison burial plot with the other Muslim prisoners. It is hard to see someone you love and admire go through that. I believe I will see him in the next life. I can’t imagine going through that without my faith.”

Chris Hedges previously spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.