[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)

Prisoner News 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 
communication. (ed)


  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 [1].

/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 
United States./

/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 
United States./


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,” [2] 
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” [3] 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; [4]

• Propagating without evidence the claim that Iran has a nuclear weapons 
program; [5]

• 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; [6]

• 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; [7]

• 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. [8] 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. [9]

While Amnesty was critical of the human rights record of apartheid South 
Africa, it alone among human rights organizations refused to denounce 
apartheid itself. [10] The organization also refused to condemn the 1999 
NATO bombing of Yugoslavia [11], 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 
hands. [12]

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.” [13]

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.” [14]

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.

7. Emersberger.

8. Daniel Kovalick “Amnesty International and the Human Rights 
Industry,” counterpunch.org, November 8, 2012.

9. Emersberger.

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.

14. Popkin.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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