[Pnews] The International Dictatorship of the United States, Its Friends (Amnesty International, ISIS and the Nusra Front) and Enemies (Hassan Nasrallah, Cuba and Ana Montes)
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jan 25 12:06:06 EST 2016
*/While somewhat dated, and opens with a speech by Hassan Nasrallah, we
send this to deepen people's understanding of Ana Belen Montes, a Puerto
Rican woman who is a US political prisoner because of her support for
Cuba. She is buried in a 'control unit' for women in Carswell, Texas and
is denied most of her mail and is highly restricted in her
The International Dictatorship of the United States, Its Friends
(Amnesty International, ISIS and the Nusra Front) and Enemies (Hassan
Nasrallah, Cuba and Ana Montes)
October 25, 2015
By Stephen Gowans
In a speech delivered in the southern suburbs of Beirut on October 23,
2015, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, a resistance
organization rooted in Lebanon’s Shia community, presented a description
of US imperialism that largely comports with that of secular leftwing
anti-imperialists in the West.
Hezbollah was established in the early 1980s to end Israel’s occupation
of Lebanon. With Israel’s withdrawal in 2000, and a subsequent Israeli
incursion in 2006 repulsed by Hezbollah fighters, the resistance
organization remains on the /qui vive /against future Israeli
aggressions. It is now assisting the Syrian Arab Army in its death
struggle against extreme sectarian Sunni Islamists, among them ISIS and
Jabhat al Nusra. These al-Qaeda offshoots pose an existential threat to
the Shia community in Lebanon, explaining why Hezbollah has chosen to
enter the conflict.
The following (in italics) is a distillation of Nasrallah’s remarks .
/The United States wants the Middle East to be under its political,
military, security, economic and cultural domination./
/Washington uses Israel as a tool to promote this agenda./
Israel depends for its existence on the United States. If the financial,
economic and military support that Washington grants Tel Aviv stops,
Israel will cease to exist.
The victims of Israel are the Palestinians and the Lebanese, both of
whom have suffered occupation and massacres at Israel’s hands.
Blame for Israeli actions, then, lies more with Washington, Israel’s
master, than with Netanyahu and his terrorist army.
Therefore, Palestinians and Lebanese are the primary victims of the US
domination project in the Middle East.
US foreign policy is aimed at plundering the region’s oil, gas and
riches. It is driven by the owners of oil and weapons companies, not by
human rights organizations.
/Indeed, all of Washington’s talk about human rights and democracy is
meaningless. The biggest dictatorships in the region are sponsored by
the United States. These dictatorships violate human rights and disdain
elections /(a reference to US allies Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and
/US allies in the region are nothing but local administrations headed by
a king or a president answerable to Washington. The decisions of war,
peace, foreign policy and markets are in the hands of their master, the
/The punitive aspects of US foreign policy are aimed at anyone who
refuses to submit to US domination, which is to say, refuses to become
local extensions of the US government (and by implication, of the large
oil and weapons companies that dominate it.) He who takes his own
decision on the basis of his country’s interests is unacceptable to the
For example, all of Washington’s hostility to Iran is traceable to the
latter’s wanting to be a free and independent country that owns and
controls its own economy and preserves the dignity of its people. This
rejects US hegemony and therefore is unacceptable to Washington.
/Washington launches proxy wars against those countries that seek to
become independent and strong. The United States is waging a proxy war
in the Middle East on everyone who refuses to submit to US domination.
The proxies are the extreme sectarian Sunni Islamist jihadists, or
takfiris, /(including ISIS and the Nusra Front, both progeny of
al-Qaeda, and the latter now reframed deceptively by US propagandists as
“moderate” rebels.) /The real leader and coordinator of the takfiris is
the United States, assisted by its regional allies /(a reference to
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.)
/Today, Washington tells us that we will either be slaves of the United
States or it will besiege us and send suicide bombers. /
/The ongoing war is not for the sake of reforms, democracy, human
rights, elimination of poverty or countering ignorance, but for
subjugating those who reject the United States’ hegemonic ambitions.
Nasrallah calls Israel “an executive tool in implementing US hegemony”
in the Middle East. This calls to mind an observation made by the
Palestinian scholar Walid Khalidi: “To many Arabs, Israel is the
beachhead of US imperialism in the Middle East and its executor,” a not
unreasonable understanding given the evidence.
Nasrallah describes US foreign policy as predicated on a universalist
model of US leadership that leaves little room for other countries to
define and follow their own path. At least one person close to US
foreign policy acknowledges that this view is accurate. Ana Montes, who
on the eve of 9/11 was the top Cuba analyst at the Pentagon, denounced
US foreign policy for having “never respected Cuba’s right to make its
own journey towards its own ideals of equality and justice,” 
paralleling Nasrallah’s complaint that Washington is unwilling to allow
Iran to “be a free and independent country” that owns and controls its
economy and preserves the dignity of its people, and that it punishes
countries “that seek to become independent and strong.”
Montes struggled unsuccessfully to understand why Washington continued
“to dictate how the Cubans should select their leaders, who their
leaders cannot be, and what laws are appropriate in their land,” as much
as many Syrians must struggle to understand, in Washington’s insistence
that their president step aside, why the United States dictates how they
should select their leaders and who their leaders cannot be.
“Why,” Montes wondered, “can’t we let Cuba pursue its own internal
journey, as the United States has been doing for over two centuries?”
And why can’t Washington let Syria and Iran do the same?
The answer, from Nasrallah’s analysis, is clear. Neither Syria nor Iran,
anymore than Cuba, can be allowed to own and control their own economies
because this conflicts with the aspirations of the corporate elite that
dominates policy-making in the United States.
Troubled by the absence in Washington of “tolerance and understanding
for the different ways of others”, Montes followed her conscience. She
fed Cuban authorities intelligence on the eavesdropping platforms that
US spies had secretly installed in Cuba to help undermine Cuba’s right
to make its own journey.
For her efforts to impede an injustice, she was sentenced to almost 25
years in prison for espionage. She has been called “the most important
spy you’ve never heard of”  but is also among the most important
prisoners of conscience you’ve never heard of, and one Amnesty
International, a purported champion of prisoners of conscience, won’t
touch. This simply adds to the tally of lapses on the side of US
imperialism that the compromised human rights organization has become
infamous for, including:
• Criticizing Wikleaks for leaking US secrets; 
• Propagating without evidence the claim that Iran has a nuclear weapons
• Disappearing US sanctions against North Korea—the most comprehensive
and longstanding program of economic warfare ever carried out in human
history–in a report on the country’s “crumbling health care system.”
Instead, Amnesty attributed North Korea’s health care difficulties
solely to decisions taken by Pyongyang, roughly equivalent to blaming
the death of numberless Iraqi children during the 1990s on Saddam
Hussein, and not the US-led sanctions regime; 
• Appointing US State Department official Suzanne Nossel to the post of
executive director of Amnesty International USA, a woman who supported
the illegal US invasion of Iraq as well as a military option to coerce
Iran into relinquishing its right under international law to process
uranium for peaceful purposes; 
• Confining its criticism of US military aggressions to the question of
whether they are conducted in compliance with the rules of war and not
whether they are initiated in violation of international law.  This
prioritizes the concept of /jus in bello/ (justice in how a war is
conducted) and fails to address altogether the concept of /jus ad bellum
/(the justness of a war), a strategy which spares Amnesty from calling
out the most egregious crimes of the United States and its allies, since
Washington’s wars, and those of its subalterns, almost invariably fail
to meet /jus ad bellum/ standards;
• Calling for an international arms embargo on the Syrian government but
not on the rebels who are supplied by the United States and its allies,
among which is Saudi Arabia, a human rights abomination. 
While Amnesty was critical of the human rights record of apartheid South
Africa, it alone among human rights organizations refused to denounce
apartheid itself.  The organization also refused to condemn the 1999
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia , even though it was an exercise in
imperial predation that denied the rights of many innocent Yugoslavs to
life, security of the person and employment. Amnesty excused its
inaction on grounds that it is not an antiwar organization, as if war
and human rights are not often inextricably bound. But Amnesty’s most
egregious service to the propaganda requirements of US foreign policy
came in 1991, when the rights group released a report in the run-up to
the Gulf War claiming that Iraqi soldiers had thrown Kuwaiti babies from
incubators. This was a hoax, perpetrated by the daughter of the Kuwaiti
ambassador to the United States, orchestrated by the public relations
firm Hill & Knowlton, which had been hired to launch a propaganda
campaign to galvanize public support for a US war on Iraq. When US
President George H.W. Bush appeared on television to announce that he
was readying for war on Iraq, he had a copy of the Amnesty report in his
Washington promoted human rights in the 1980s as a cudgel with which to
wage a propaganda war against the Soviet Union. It has been used since
to extend the war to countries that refuse to submit to Washington’s
hegemonic ambitions. Is it not predictable that a Western-based human
rights organization, which apparently sees nothing amiss in appointing a
former US State Department official to head its US branch, should take
center stage in prosecuting this propaganda battle?
The United States and its allies are, according to the preferred
narrative—and one largely supported by Amnesty—champions of human rights
whose aggressions abroad are aimed at enemies of human rights, and
therefore, are valid, and even laudable. The idea that US foreign policy
is inspired by human rights, as Nasrallah shows, is complete nonsense.
An accurate description of the instrumental role played by human rights
in US foreign policy is provided by a senior US State Department
official: “The countries that cooperate with us get at least a free pass
(on human rights), whereas other countries that don’t cooperate, we ream
them as best we can.” 
The Amnesty-ignored prisoner of conscience Ana Montes remains defiant,
despite her decade and a half of incarceration in the highest security
women’s prison in the United States. “Prison is one of the last places I
would have ever chosen to be in,” Montes says, “but some things in life
are worth going to prison for.” 
How pathetically weak-kneed and addled is the imperialist-friendly
Amnesty against the honest analysis and courage of Ana Montes; how
contemptible is its collusion with imperialism against the defiance of
Nasrallah and the countless other opponents of the international
dictatorship of the United States and the bankers, billionaire
investors, oil companies and weapons manufacturers in whose service it
operates and who hold sway over it.
David Rovic’s Song for Ana Belen Montes
1. “Zeinab Essa, “Sayyed Nasrallah vows from Sayyed Shudadaa Complex:
We’re to defeat ‘Israel”, US-Takfiri scheme,” Alahed, October 24, 2015.
2. Montes statement, October 16, 2002, The Centre for
Counter-Intelligence and Security Studies, The Ana Belen Montes Case, ,
3. Jim Popkin, “Ana Montes did much harm spying for Cuba. Chances are,
you haven’t heard of her,” The Washington Post Magazine, April 18, 2013.
4. John F. Burns and Ravi Somaiya, “WikiLeaks founder on the run,
trailed by notoriety”, The New York Times, October 23.
5. Joe Emersberger, “Debating Amnesty about Syria and Double Standards”,
MRZine, July 6, 2012.
6. Stephen Gowans, “2010 Amnesty International botches blame for North
Korea’s crumbling healthcare,” what’s left, July 20, 2010.
8. Daniel Kovalick “Amnesty International and the Human Rights
Industry,” counterpunch.org, November 8, 2012.
10. Francis A. Boyle and Dennis Bernstein, “Interview with Francis
Boyle. Amnesty on Jenin”, Covert Action Quarterly, Summer, 2002.
11. Alexander Cockburn, “How the US State Dept. Recruited Human Rights
Groups to Cheer On the Bombing Raids: Those Incubator Babies, Once
More?” Counterpunch, April 1-15, 1999.
12. Boyle and Bernstein.
13. Craig Whitlock, “Niger rapidly emerging as a key U.S. partner,” The
Washington Post, April 14, 2013.
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