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The Empire’s Left Hand - Cairn International about 9 hours ago
The Empire’s Left Hand Order and Disorders in Humanitarian Action<!--BeginNoIndex-->by<!--EndNoIndex--> Michel Agier
Contemporary humanitarianism is held in a permanent and tense relationship with the warlike, destructive, and exclusionary strategies of the states which dominate the planet. On the one hand, a politics of the "clenched fist" champion of both holy and just wars, exemplary sanctions, lightning raids and surgical strikes; in other words, the technical arsenal of a police force acting globally on an ad hoc basis and according to the friend / enemy relation, following the principles of partisan fidelity and the vendetta. On the other hand, occupying the place of social politics at the same global scale is a spectacular humanism, manifesting itself through an ensemble of private organisations whose role is to keep the survivors alive, treating them as nameless victims, held at a distance for the sole purpose of salving the conscience of the powerful. However, the displaced and refugee populations are responding to this situation by developing diverse forms of, generally illegal, action and by so doing, are exacerbating the tensions inherent in the humanitarian field.
Humanitarian Occupation of Haiti: 100 Years and Counting about 9 hours ago
This Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the U.S. Occupation of Haiti. On July 28, 1915, U.S. Marines landed on the shores of Haiti, occupying the country for 19 years. Several college campuses, professional associations, social movements, and political parties are marking the occasion with a series of reflections and demonstrations. Several have argued that the U.S. has never stopped occupying Haiti, even as military boots left in 1934. Some activists are using the word “humanitarian occupation” to describe the current situation, denouncing the loss of sovereignty, as U.N. troops have been patrolling the country for over 11 years. The phrase “humanitarian occupation” may seem distasteful and even ungrateful to some considering the generosity of the response to the January 12, 2010 earthquake, however there are several parallels between the contemporary aid regime and the U.S. Marine administration. First and foremost, foreign troops are on the ground, controlling the country; the military regimes operated with complete immunity and impunity. Second, a new constitution was installed, centralizing power in the executive. Third, both occupations involved Haiti’s gold resources.
The U.S. Marines invaded Haiti ostensibly to restore order, disrupted by the kako, an armed peasant resistance. From 1910 to the 1915 invasion of the U.S. Marines, Haiti had 7 presidents, marked with violent clashes between two factions of Haiti’s ruling elites. The exploits of the occupying forces were well documented, including by soldiers themselves. Faustin Wirkus declared himself to be the “White King of La Gonave.” Many troops were from Jim Crow South, and they took their racism and white supremacy with them. This racism colored how they saw elements of Haitian culture and folklore, and in turn how the rest of the world was to see Haiti. “Voodoo” and “zombies” were popularized by Hollywood, as the film industry was just taking off, announced by explicitly white supremacist Birth of a Nation. Haiti continued to play “boogieman,” scaring foreigners through exotification.
This story is well-documented (see bibliography compiled by chair of Development Studies at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Ilionor Louis). Apparently less understood is the current military occupation. On February 29, 2004, a multinational force led by the U.S. came to quell dissent following a U.S.-backed regime change. President Jean-Bertrand Aristide declared he was “kidnapped” aboard a U.S. military plane, to be dumped in the Central African Republic, which has had its share of violent coups and repressions. Less overtly imperialistic, under a U.N. banner, MINUSTAH, the International United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti, took over on June 1, authorized by U.N. resolution 1542. The polyglot that peaked at over 13,000 troops from 54 countries is led by Brazil, which has been pressing for a permanent seat on the Security Council. Simultaneously, Brazil had made much of its success in pacifying the most dangerous of its favelas, shantytowns, including in Rio. The U.S. backed this proposal by France; Washington insiders confirmed my suspicions that the failures of the mission would be seen as proof that only a powerful, established imperialist country such as the U.S. could lead a mission and thus deserve a permanent seat. People in Haiti also saw MINUSTAH as serving U.S. interests, as Haitian NGO worker Yvette Desrosiers declared: “the Americans hide their face, they send Brazilians, Argentines… he’s hidden but he’s the one in command!” The mandate has been renewed every year, despite the fact that Haiti has much lower rates of violent crimes (8.2 per 100,000 people) than many of its Caribbean neighbors such as Jamaica that does not have a U.N. mission (54.9), or Brazil, heading up the U.N. mission (26.4).
Why would its mandate be renewed, following the 2006 elections that brought René Préval and his ruling Lespwa party to power? Colleagues in Haiti pointed out that the keyword “stabilization” refers to keeping the leaders in office and quelling dissent. In 2008, the country erupted in protest against the high cost of living; the so-called “political class” seized this opportunity to force the Prime Minister to resign. In 2009, activists mended fences over their conflict over Aristide to call for an increase in the minimum wage, from 70 gourdes a day ($1.75) to 200 ($5). Both houses of Parliament voted unanimously to approve it. In a report for which he spent only days in the country to write, Oxford economist Paul Collier outlined a strategy of tourism, export mango production, and subcontracted apparel factories and suggested Bill Clinton as U.N. Special Envoy. Clinton and newly-named U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Préval in support of the Collier Report. Bill Clinton publicly questioned the minimum wage increase as undercutting Haiti’s “comparative advantage,” and WikiLeaked documents outlined intense pressure to keep wages low. Préval rejected the 200 gourdes increase, unconstitutionally writing in a figure of 125 gourdes (a little over $3) for workers in overseas apparel factories. Street-level demonstrations increased their intensity, and U.N. troops responded with increasing force. Certain areas of Port-au-Prince perennially smelled like tear gas at the time, more so than any period since the 2004 ouster of Aristide. MINUSTAH played a central role in suppressing dissent, taking a lead role instead of supporting the police, as their mandate dictates.
The U.N. also lost 92 troops, including its leader, Hédi Annabi, when the earthquake leveled their headquarters at the Hotel Christopher. Some argued that it was fortunate to have over 11,000 troops on the ground to assist in logistical support in the earthquake response. Indeed, many large U.S. NGOs employed them to “keep order” during distributions. The troops engaged in only minimal logistics in rebuilding. The quality of their construction work was called into question following an outbreak of cholera in October, barely nine months after the earthquake. Infected U.N. troops stationed outside of Mirebalais spread their fecal matter in leaky sewage from the base, which ran into Haiti’s major river. Within days, the outbreak spread to the entire country. In addition to this epidemiological evidence, genetic evidence pinpointed the troops from Nepal as the source. Despite this overwhelming scientific evidence, the U.N. claimed immunity for this outbreak that has killed over 8500 people in four years and continues to kill. Lawyers from the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti and the Bureau des Avocats Intérnationaux sued the U.N. on behalf of the victims and their families. However, in January 2015, days before the fifth anniversary of the quake, a judge confirmed the U.N.’s immunity. This was the most egregious invocation of their immunity, but it was also confirmed following several cases of sexual abuse brought against U.N. troops.
Constitution Maybe Paper…
A Haitian proverb declares konstitisyon se papye, bayonèt se fè: a constitution is made of paper, a bayonet of iron. In other words, the pen is not mightier than the sword. In reality during occupations, the pen is pushed by the sword. During the 1915 U.S. Marines Occupation, a young, ambitious secretary of the Navy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt bragged to have personally written the Haitian constitution, easily scuttled through the puppet regime installed by the Marines. This constitution, formally adopted in 1918, opened up land for foreign ownership, and formalized the linguistic exclusion and hegemony of the ruling classes by naming French as only official language. This constitution paved the way for U.S. agribusiness interests such as United Fruit (Chiquita) to buy up tracts of land, and capitalist speculators such as James P. McDonald to build a railroad, asking to own the tract for 13 miles on either side, almost all of Haiti’s arable land. Needless to say this was a boon for foreign investors, and the local merchants who monopolized foreign trade, while expropriating thousands of peasant farmers. This move triggered a massive kako rebellion, of which Charlemagne Péralte was accused of being intellectual author. Marines lay his mutilated body on display on a public square, a warning to others.
Constitutional changes were also in store during the contemporary occupation. In addition to rejecting the increase in the minimum wage, Bill Clinton and the U.N. are also credited for introducing constitutional reforms. Haiti’s 1987 constitution was the culmination of what Fritz Deshommes called a re-founding of the nation. The popular movements that succeeded in forcing out the Duvalier dictatorship stood fast against the military junta and repression. Passed with over 90 percent of the vote on March 29, 1987, the constitution was based on human rights, guaranteeing both liberal political rights like freedom of press, religion, and assembly as well as social rights such as education and housing. In addition, the constitution elevated Haitian Creole as official language, shared with French. Reeling from 29 years of the Duvalier dictatorship, the public was wary of centralization of power in the executive. The office of Prime Minister, to be ratified by Parliament, was put into place. Power was also shared in the Territorial Collectivities, including 570 communal sections.
Despite advances in gender equity and dual citizenship for Haitians living abroad, many of these gains were reversed by the amendments. The amendments to the constitution lay dormant, out of public view. In fact, Parliament voted to dissolve itself to make way for the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC), co-chaired by Bill Clinton, in April 2010. Importantly the IHRC was to hand over governance to Parliament and the newly elected president. When Parliament was back in session in 2011, the first task laid out for them was to ratify the amendments to the constitution. President Michel Martelly, a.k.a. “Sweet Micky,” the winner from the second round of a record low voter turnout of 22%, less than half the previous 2006 elections, pushed for the ratification. He was joined by several foreign agencies, apparently keen on naming the Permanent Electoral Council in a top-down, rushed process that gave the current government the advantage. The coverage of this was murky and confused. Like all other laws, it needed to be published in the official journal of the State, Le Moniteur. Following all this discussion, it was not clear what the final version was. Only the French version was published.
Despite this uncertainty, some sectors apparently considered the constitutional amendments a fait accompli. President Martelly faced a growing opposition, which succeeded in forcing out Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe in December 2014. It was a surprise to many university professors, NGO staff, and activists the constitutional amendments had apparently been accepted, and one of the changes included that the President name a Prime Minister and apparently without requiring a full Parliamentary ratification. The new constitution allows for the leaders of both houses to agree. These two individuals had the most stake in the prolongation of their mandate following the deal reached with Martelly. When Prime Minister Lamothe resigned, Martelly named Evans Paul, a.k.a. K. Plim, who had perennially promoted and positioned himself as “mediator.” The terms of the lower house, the Deputies, were set to expire the second Monday of January, which turned out to be January 12, the fifth anniversary of the earthquake. In addition, a third of the Senate’s terms were also set to expire, meaning that this house too would be below quorum. The sticking point in the conflict between Martelly and the opposition was following the electoral law and naming the representatives for the Electoral Council. As Parliament teetered toward collapse, President Martelly’s hand grew stronger, and the international pressure to “negotiate” to avoid a “political crisis” grew. In effect international agencies like the European Union, the U.S., the U.N., and the World Bank were lining up to support Martelly. These actors concerned with “democracy” said nothing when Martelly replaced all but a handful of the country’s mayors. They indicated that if a negotiated solution – Martelly’s position hadn’t changed – was not reached, they would continue to support the government of Haiti even though he would have to rule by decree. This same state of affairs, ruling by decree, was cited by many of these same international agencies in 1999 as the reason they suspended assistance to Haiti.
What could account for foreign agencies’ change of heart?
The first U.S. Occupation of Haiti, in 1915, occurred while the European former colonial powers were at war with one another. One particular justification for the invasion was the threat of German influence in the Western hemisphere. In 1909, German financial interests in Haiti topped the French, which had maintained a monopoly after forcing Haiti into debt since the 1825 indemnity, a condition for France to recognize Haitian independence. German financial interests were over a million gourdes (fixed in 1924, during the Occupation, until 1986 at five to the U.S. Dollar). The U.S. was second at just over 400,000 gourdes. The National City Bank attempted to control the customs houses, one of the only sources of revenue for the government. In 1911, National City Bank’s Vice President Farnham became Vice President of the National Bank of the Republic of Haiti. In December 1914, just before the U.S. occupation, U.S. warships intervened to transport half a million dollars in gold from Haiti’s national reserve.
History repeated itself in this aspect as well. While the UNDP had financed a study in the 1970s, mining activities increased exponentially after the earthquake. On May 11, 2012, reports of mining contracts were unearthed in the press. With a speculated estimated value of $20 billion, this represents a significant wealth. However, given Haiti’s infrastructure, especially after the earthquake, there is insufficient in-country capacity and even technical expertise to evaluate contracts. Significantly, the “exploitation” contracts were granted without Parliamentary approval. However, in February of 2013 Parliament responded, issuing a resolution calling for a moratorium on mining in Haiti, citing the questionable legality of the Conventions as one of their main concerns. Shortly thereafter, the Martelly administration successfully recruited the World Bank to support its effort to restructure its mining laws and obtained support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to manage mining contracts and create a national cadaster.
Communities and civil society organizations have organized to promote their interests and defend their rights. At issue was local communities’ participation and approval, given the loss of agricultural land and therefore peasant livelihood, not to mention the significant environmental damage mining causes. The contracts made no provisions for environmental review or protections. Finally, the contracts expropriated the vast majority of the profits out of the country. The campaign succeeded in a parliamentary inquiry and eventually a resolution in December 2012 with these safeguards in effect. Mining activity has been on hold in Haiti as the government rewrites the law.
The political situation in 2015, without a parliament and President Martelly ruling by decree, allowed for resumption. This – in addition to other development strategies such as high-end tourism that benefit foreign capitalist interests at the expense of local communities – is the main motivation colleagues attribute to the so-called “international community’s” support of the current status. In fact the facilitating exploratory law was on the books in 2005, during the “transition” following Aristide’s ouster. In addition to secrecy, which seems to be the modus operandi of capital advancement, companies openly cited MINUSTAH’s presence as attracting foreign investment. And so mining activities recommenced, with the World Bank not listening to local concerns, until a partisan right-wing journalist unearthed that one of these no-bid contracts went to none other than the brother of the then-Secretary of State, current Presidential Candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, this April.
Differences in Strategy
There are obviously differences as well. Killing with kindness is a more powerful strategy. With a humanitarian mask, NGO aid has made inroads in almost all corners of the country. While the results of foreign aid are mixed, with most of the benefits accruing to foreign aid workers and local elite groups, a nonstop humanitarian occupation has led to greater complacency, dependency, and division. Explicitly racist and imperialist foreign troops might succeed in pacification and building institutions, but they also tend to trigger a violent, nationalist resistance. Contemporary foreign aid is more far-reaching, and more effective at quelling, buying off, or dividing potential threats to the foreign-imposed order.
Moral Hindsight is 20/20
Today, the 1915 U.S. Occupation is denounced for being explicitly imperialistic. At the time, however, it enjoyed tacit support and occasionally active participation from segments of the U.S. population. President Hoover invited the Tuskegee Institute to participate in an exchange, helping to set up Damien, the School of Agronomy. And troops built a network of roads leading from provincial towns to the capital, which facilitated capital accumulation and centralization in Port-au-Prince. Finally U.S. Marines oversaw the completion in 1920 of a National Palace modeled after the White House. So-called “fair” assessments of the 1915 Occupation note these contributions. However these are almost always an afterthought in the collective social memory, in direct contrast to the ways in which the contemporary humanitarian occupation is being framed by many. Accounts of external efforts, the aid, often lead particular news stories. While the humanitarian effort has been critiqued in even mainstream accounts for its lack of coordination, failures in delivery, and shortcomings – notably in a June 3 exposé of the Red Cross – the discussion usually leaves intact foreigners’ good intentions, a reflection of what French medical anthropologist Didier Fassin called humanitarianism’s “moral untouchability.” One trope that has received increasing foreign attention is the impropriety of the Clintons, and occasionally the ineptitude of the U.N., however these accounts are most promoted within partisan outlets, such as Fox News.
What accounts for the difference in the understanding of the 1915 Marines Occupation and the contemporary humanitarian occupation? It must first be said that there are obviously differences of opinion, then and now. French anthropologist Michel Agier has called humanitarianism the “left hand of empire.” In the interim, sensibilities have changed; the “white man’s burden” and open expressions of white supremacy are – at least rhetorically – relegated to the fringe right, or so it seemed before the June 17 shooting in a historic Black church in Charleston, South Carolina and the hedging about the Confederate flag. Justifications for intervention must now be done on universal, ‘humanitarian’ grounds. Another difference is the proliferation of media forms and especially outlets. Humanitarian agencies have greater access to shape public discussions through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Their efforts and intentions are received by tens if not hundreds of thousands of followers.
In 1915, U.S. Empire was in its ascendency; the Spanish-American war granted U.S. control of Panama, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. The so-called “Dollar Diplomacy” gave way to the more erudite “mission civilatrice” of Wilson, whose delay into what he called “the war to end all war” allowed U.S. American might to be cloaked in obligation. Now, U.S. Empire is showing signs of faltering. The U.S. financial debt to China and Saudi Arabia thwarts principled human rights justifications, the European Union and Japan provide counterweights to the hegemony of the U.S. dollar, the majority of Latin American nations elected leftist governments who set up cooperative institutions challenging the U.S., and Bush’s failed 2003 invasion of Iraq was done without the blessing of the U.N. Haiti in 2004, 2010, and 2015 provided a stage for readjustment. Haiti in 2004 re-united France and the U.S. over the ouster of Aristide (recall the fever pitch to which U.S. neoconservatives’ anti-French sentiment with the renaming of “freedom fries” in the Capitol). The right-wing Heritage Foundation published a position paper a day after the earthquake about the latter being an opportunity for the U.S. to reassert dominance in the region eroded by the U.N. troops, Cuban medical assistance, and Venezuelan institutions like Petro Caribe.
What is necessary is a critical history of the present, following an “anthropology of the past,” clear enough to pierce the fog of ideology. Such a position requires moral courage, to be willing to suffer consequences for defending present-day kako such as Charlemagne Péralte or even Dessalines.
I would like to thank Alex Dupuy and Ellie Happel for their critiques and advice.
BIBLIOGRAPHIE SUR L’OCCUPATION AMÉRICAINE EN GÉNÉRAL
Compiled by Ilionor LOUIS
Germain Féguès (2015). Benoit Batraville et la guérilla Caco. Édition La génération de la longue vie, Mirebalais. 75 pages
Millet Kethly (1978). Les paysans haïtiens et l’occupation américaine (1915-1930). Collectif Paroles. 157 pages
Michel Georges (1989). Charlemagne Péralte. Éditeur George Michel. 124 pages
Gaillard Roger (1981). Premier écrasement du cacoïsme. Volume 3 de Blancs débarquent
Gaillard Roger (1983) La guérilla de Benoit Batraville. Imprimerie Le Nnatal, Port-au-Prince, 341 pages
Gaillard Roger (1982). Charlemagne Péralte, le Caco. Éditeur Roger Gaillard, Port-au-Prince, 375 pages
Gaillard Roger (1982) Hinche mise en croix. Volume 5 de Blancs débarquent. Éditeur Roger Gaillard. 262 Pages
Castor Suzy (1988). L’occupation américaine d’Haïti. Éditeur Société haïtienne d’histoire. 272 pages.
Belunet Robenson (2012). La France face à l’occupation américaine d’Haïti (1915-1934). Édition de l’Université d’État d’Haïti. 211 pages
Turnier Alain(1995). Les États-Unis et le marché haïtien. In http://www.brh.net/shhgg/turnier_l1.pdf page consultée le 12 juin 2015
Dduvivier Max (1987). L’occupation américaine en Haïti et la convention haïtiano-américaine in Revue de la société haïtienne d’histoire et de géographie No. 156-157
Sur l’éducation en Haïti pendant l’occupation américaine
Pamphile Léon Denius (1998). L’éducation en Haïti sous l’occupation américaine. Presses de l’imprimerie des Antilles, Port-au-Prince
Tardieu Charles (1990). L’éducation en Haïti. De la période coloniale à nos jours. Édition Henri Deschamps, Port-au-Prince
Religion et occupation américaine d’Haïti
Dénius Léon Pamphile (1991). La croix et le glaive. L’église catholique et l’occupation américaine d’Haïti. Édition des Antilles, Port-au-Prince.
Nichols David (1975). « Idéologie et mouvements politiques en Haïti, 1915-1946 » In: Annales. Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations. 30e année, N. 4, 1975. pp. 654-679.
Laënnec Hurbon (2004). Religions et lien social : l’Église et l’État moderne en Haïti
Paris, Le Cerf, 2004, 317 pages
Nérestant Micial (1994). Religion et politique en Haïti. Édition Karthala, 288 pages
Woodward, Susan (2011). « Séisme, Humanitarisme et Interventionnisme en Haïti ». Cahiers du CEPODE 2(2):71-86.
Bibliographie tirée sur le net au : http://sites.duke.edu/haitilab/french/apres-loccupation-1934-1956/
Haitian-American Treaty of September 1915/ Convention haïtiano-américaine du 16 septembre 1915– Traité (en Anglais) visant à « remédier » l’administration des finances haïtiennes et à mettre en exécution des plans pour le développement économique du pays.
Inquiry into the Occupation and Administration of Haïti and Santo Domingo/ Enquête sur l’occupation et l’administration de l’île d’Hispaniola par les États-Unis(en anglais) – En 1921-1922, le Sénat américain a mené cette enquête, dont la transcription est composée de nombreux témoignages des officiers et des soldats américains ainsi que d’autres représentants qui ont débarqué en Haïti au cours de cette période.
Annual Report of American Financial Adviser-General Receiver to Haiti(1926-1927). Rapport sur les finances soumis au State Department des États-Unis.
Basé sur un voyage d’enquête en Haïti réalisée pour le compte de la NAACP, ce compte présente une critique forte de l’occupation américaine.
Sources haïtiennes sur l’occupation et après la période de l’occupation de Digital Library of the Caribbean (Consultation en ligne / sans téléchargement)
L’ancien président d’Haïti reflète sur l’histoire récente du pays. Le travail fournit un aperçu détaillé de l’attitude de les dirigeants politiques haïtiens pendant et après l’occupation américaine.
Dans cet ouvrage, Arthur Holly propose une réévaluation du rôle de la religion Vodou dans la société haïtienne. Écrit en pleine occupation américaine, le texte critique le comportement des « marines » à l’égard des objets religieux et soutient que les Haïtiens doivent reprendre les aspects les plus « africains » de leur propre culture afin d’affirmer la légitimité du Vodou et la dignité de leurs origines.
Mark Schuller is Associate Professor of Anthropology and NGO Leadership and Development at Northern Illinois University and affiliate at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, l’Université d’État d’Haïti. He is the author or co-editor of six books, including forthcoming Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti. Schuller is co-director / co-producer of documentary Poto Mitan: Haitian Women, Pillars of the Global Economy (2009), and active in several solidarity efforts.
The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey about 10 hours ago
The Kurdish militias (YPG, PKK) have been Washington’s most effective weapon in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But the Obama administration has sold out the Kurds in order to strengthen ties with Turkey and gain access to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base. The agreement to switch sides was made in phone call between President Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan less than 48 hours after a terrorist incident in the Turkish town of Suruc killed 32 people and wounded more than 100 others.
The bombing provided Obama with the cover he needed to throw the Kurds under the bus, cave in to Turkey’s demands, and look the other way while Turkish bombers and tanks pounded Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq. The media has characterized this shocking reversal of US policy as a “game-changer” that will improve US prospects for victory over ISIS. But what the about-face really shows is Washington’s inability to conduct a principled foreign policy as well as Obama’s eagerness to betray a trusted friend and ally if he sees some advantage in doing so.
Turkish President Erdogan has launched a war against the Kurds; that is what’s really happening in Syria at present. The media’s view of events–that Turkey has joined the fight against ISIS–is mostly spin and propaganda. The fact that the Kurds had been gaining ground against ISIS in areas along the Turkish border, worried political leaders in Ankara that an independent Kurdish state could be emerging. Determined to stop that possibility, they decided to use the bombing in Suruc as an excuse to round up more than 1,000 of Erdogans political enemies (only a small percentage of who are connected to ISIS) while bombing the holy hell out of Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq. All the while, the media has been portraying this ruthless assault on a de facto US ally, as a war on ISIS. It is not a war on ISIS. It is the manipulation of a terrorist attack to advance the belligerent geopolitical agenda of Turkish and US elites. Just take a look at these two tweets from CNN Turkey on Saturday and you’ll see what’s going on under the radar:
#BREAKING Sources tell CNN Türk last night Turkish jets made 159 sorties against #PKK camps in N.Iraq&hit 400 targetspic.twitter.com/oGVJmKsGbs
#BREAKING Sources tell CNN Türk last night there was no air strike against #ISIS, targets were hit by tank fire near #Kilis.
(The tweets first appeared at Moon of Alabama)
Repeat: 159 air attacks on Kurdish positions and ZERO on ISIS targets. And the media wants us to believe that Turkey has joined Obama’s war on ISIS?
The Turks know who they’re bombing. They are bombing their 30-year long enemy, the Kurds. Here’s more on the topic from Telesur:
“A decades-old conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish PKK has been reignited. Turkey vowed Saturday to continue attacks against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), along with strikes against the Islamic State group.
“The operations will continue for as long as threats against Turkey continue,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.
Ankara also confirmed it carried out airstrikes against PKK sites in Iraq. While Davutoglu said any organizations that “threaten” Turkey would be targeted in a crackdown on militants, on Friday President Tayyip Erdogan said the PKK would be the main focus of attacks.” (“Turkey Says More Anti-PKK Strikes to Come“, Telesur)
Repeat: “Erdogan said the PKK would be the main focus of attacks.”
For Washington, it’s all a question of priorities. While the Kurds have been good friends and steadfast allies, they don’t have a spanking-new air base for launching attacks on Syria. Turkey, on the other hand, has a great base (Incirlik ) that’s much closer to the frontlines and just perfect for launching multiple sorties, drone attacks or routine surveillance fly-overs. The only glitch, of course, is that Washington will have to bite its tongue while a former ally is beaten to a pulp. That’s a price that Obama is more than willing to pay provided he can use the airfield to prosecute his war.
It’s worth noting, that Turkey’s relationship with jihadi groups in Syria is a matter of great concern, mainly because Turkey appears to be the terrorists biggest benefactor. Check this out from Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News:
“Naturally, one has to ask who fathered, breastfed and nourished these Islamist terrorists in hopes and aspirations of creating a Sunni Muslim Brotherhood Khalifat state? Even when Kobane and many Turkish cities were on fire, did not the Turkish prime minister talk in his interview with CNN about his readiness to order land troops into the Syrian quagmire if Washington agreed to also target al-Assad?
This is a dirty game….” (Editorial, “Kobane and Turkey are Burning“, Hurriyet Daily News)
And here’s more from author Nafeez Ahmed:
“With their command and control centre based in Istanbul, Turkey, military supplies from Saudi Arabia and Qatar in particular were transported by Turkish intelligence to the border for rebel acquisition. CIA operatives along with Israeli and Jordanian commandos were also training FSA rebels on the Jordanian-Syrian border with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. In addition, other reports show that British and French military were also involved in these secret training programmes. It appears that the same FSA rebels receiving this elite training went straight into ISIS – last month one ISIS commander, Abu Yusaf, said, “Many of the FSA people who the west has trained are actually joining us.” (“How the West Created the Islamic State“, Nafeez Ahmed, CounterPunch)
Then there’s this from USA Today:
“Militants have funneled weapons and fighters through Turkey into Syria. The Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, have networks in Turkey….
Turkish security and intelligence services may have ties to Islamic State militants. The group released 46 Turkish diplomats it had abducted the day before the United States launched airstrikes against it. Turkey, a NATO member, may have known the airstrikes were about to begin and pressured its contacts in the Islamic State to release its diplomats.
“This implies Turkey has more influence or stronger ties to ISIS than people would think,” Tanir said.” (“5 reasons Turkey isn’t attacking Islamic State in Syria”, USA Today)
The media would like people to believe that the bombing in Suruc changed everything; that Erdogan and his fellows suddenly saw the light and decided that, well, maybe we shouldn’t be supporting these ISIS thugs after all. But that’s just baloney. The only one who’s changed his mind about anything is Obama who seems to have realized that his takfiri proxy-warriors aren’t ruthless enough to remove Assad, so he’s decided to team up with Sultan Erdogan instead. That means Erdogan gets a green light to butcher as many Kurds as he wants in exchange for boots on the ground to topple Assad. That’s the deal, although, at present, the politicians are denying it. Now check out this blurb from Foreign Policy “Situation Report”:
“The nominee to be the next commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller, didn’t really get off to a great start in his relationship with Senate Armed Services Committee chief Sen. John McCain. The general drew the ire of the Arizona lawmaker by telling the panel on Thursday that the Islamic State is essentially fighting to a draw in Iraq and Syria. McCain took the opportunity and ran with it, telling the Iraq vet that “I’m very disappointed in a number of your answers,” on the Islamic State, promising to send along more questions to push the general on his views. It was an unexpected ending to what had been a hum-drum confirmation hearing, and if McCain wants to press the issue, it could hold up a vote on Neller’s confirmation until after the August congressional recess.” (Situation Report“, ForeignPolicy.com)
The point is, the Big Brass is telling US policymakers that ISIS is not going to win the war, which means that Assad is going to stay in power. That’s why Obama has moved on to Plan B and thrown his lot with Erdogan, because the Pentagon bigshots finally realize they’re going to need boots on the ground if they want regime change in Syria. But “whose boots”, that’s the question?
Not U.S. boots, that’s for sure. Americans have had it up to here with war and are not likely to support another bloody fiasco in the Middle East. That’s where Erdogan comes into the picture. Washington wants Turkey to do the heavy lifting while the US provides logistical support and air cover. That’s the basic gameplan. Naturally, the media can’t explain what’s really going on or it would blow Obama’s cover. But who doesn’t know that this whole campaign is aimed at removing Assad? You’d have to be living in a cave for the last three years not to know that.
The bottom line is that Erdogan has three demands. He wants a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border to protect Turkey from ISIS and Kurdish attacks. He wants a no-fly zone over all or parts of Syria. And he wants Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power. That’s what he wants and that’s what Obama has agreed to (as part of the Incirlik deal ) although the media is refuting the claim. To help explain what’s going on, take a look at this article in Reuters that was written back in October, 2014. Here’s an excerpt:
“Turkey will fight against Islamic State and other “terrorist” groups in the region but will stick to its aim of seeing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday…
“We will (also) continue to prioritise our aim to remove the Syrian regime, to help protect the territorial integrity of Syria and to encourage a constitutional, parliamentary government system which embraces all (of its) citizens.”…
But it (Turkey) fears that U.S.-led air strikes, if not accompanied by a broader political strategy, could strengthen Assad and bolster Kurdish militants allied to Kurds in Turkey who have fought for three decades for greater autonomy.
“Tons of air bombs will only delay the threat and danger,” Erdogan said…..
We are open and ready for any cooperation in the fight against terrorism. However, it should be understood by everybody that Turkey is not a country in pursuit of temporary solutions nor will Turkey allow others to take advantage of it.” (“Turkey will fight Islamic State, wants Assad gone: President Erdogan“, Reuters)
That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Either the US helps Turkey get rid of Assad or there’s no deal. The Turkish president’s right-hand man, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, said the same thing in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in February, 2015. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“Turkey would be willing to put its troops on the ground in Syria “if others do their part,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview that aired Monday.
“We are ready to do everything if there is a clear strategy that after ISIS, we can be sure that our border will be protected. We don’t want the regime anymore on our border pushing people against — towards Turkey. We don’t want other terrorist organizations to be active there.”…
He said that American airstrikes in Syria were necessary but not enough for a victory.
“If ISIS goes, another radical organization may come in,” he said. “So our approach should be comprehensive, inclusive, strategic and combined … to eliminate all brutal crimes against humanity committed by the regime.”
“We want to have a no-fly zone. We want to have a safe haven on our border. Otherwise, all these burdens will continue to go on the shoulder of Turkey and other neighboring countries.”…
Turkey is trying to dispel the idea that the United States can become involved in Syria by going after ISIS but not al-Assad.” (“Turkey willing to put troops in Syria ‘if others do their part,’ Prime Minister says“, CNN)
Repeat: “Turkey would be willing to put its troops on the ground in Syria”, but Assad’s got to go. That’s the trade-off. Davutoglu has since backed off on this demand, but the basic deal hasn’t changed. Leaders in the US and Turkey have just decided to be more discreet about what they tell the press. But the plan is moving forward. For example, officials from the Obama administration have denied that they will provide a no-fly zone over Syria. According to the New York Times, however, the US has agreed to create an “Islamic State-free zone” or “safe zone… controlled by relatively moderate Syrian insurgents.” (“Turkey and U.S. Plan to Create Syria ‘Safe Zone’ Free of ISIS“, New York Times)
So the question is: Will the US provide air cover over this “Islamic State-free zone”?
Yes, it will.
Will Assad send his warplanes into this zone?
No, he won’t. He’d be crazy to do so.
Okay. Then what the US has created is a no-fly zone, right? And this actually applies to all of Syria as well, now that US warplanes and drones are less than 500 miles from Damascus. The Incirlik deal means that the US will control the skies over Syria. Period. Here’s more from the Times trying to occlude the obvious details:
“American officials say that this plan is not directed against Mr. Assad. They also say that while a de facto safe zone could indeed be a byproduct of the plan, a formal no-fly zone is not part of the deal. They said it was not included in the surprise agreement reached last week to let American warplanes take off from Turkish air bases to attack Islamic State fighters in Syria, even though Turkey had long said it would give that permission only in exchange for a no-fly zone…..” (“Turkey and U.S. Plan to Create Syria ‘Safe Zone’ Free of ISIS”, New York Times)
What does this gibberish mean in English? It means that, yes, the US has created a no-fly zone over Syria, but, no, the administration’s public relations doesn’t want to talk about it because then they’d have to admit that Obama caved in to Turkish demands. Got that?
And just to show that the NYT hasn’t lost its sense of humor, here’s more in the same vein:
“American officials in recent months have argued to Turkish counterparts that a formal no-fly zone is not necessary, noting that during hundreds of American-led strike missions against Islamic State in Syria, forces loyal to Mr. Assad have steered clear of areas under concerted allied attack….” (NYT)
In other words, “American officials” are telling Erdogan that ‘We don’t need to call this a no-fly zone, because once the F-16s start circling the skies over Damascus, Assad will get the message pretty quick.’
Can you believe that they would publish such circular palavering in the nation’s top newspaper?
And the same is true with the massive expropriation of Syrian sovereign territory, which the US and Turkey breezily refer to as an “Islamic State-free zone”. This just proves that Obama caved in to another one of Erdogan’s three demands, the demand for a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the border. Not surprisingly, this blatant violation of Syrian sovereignty hasn’t even raised an eyebrow at the United Nations where delegates have gotten so used to Washington’s erratic behavior that they don’t even pay attention anymore.
By the way, this issue of setting up buffer zones, shouldn’t be taken lightly. As State Department spokesman Mark Toner opined just weeks ago, “We’d essentially be opening the door to the dissolution of the Syrian nation-state.”
Indeed, isn’t that the point? Aside from the fact, that these “protected areas” will be used as launching grounds for attacks on the central government, they’ll also become autonomous regions consistent with the US strategy to redraw the map of the Middle East by breaking Iraq and Syria into smaller, tribal-governed cantons incapable of challenging regional hegemon, Israel, or global superpower, the US. Author Thomas Gaist provides a little background on this phenom in a post at the World Socialist Web Site:
“In a brief published Tuesday, “Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war,” the Brookings Institution detailed the application of this neocolonial strategy in Syria….The Brookings report argued that a “comprehensive, national-level solution” is no longer possible, and called for the carving out of “autonomous zones.”
“The only realistic path forward may be a plan that in effect deconstructs Syria,” the report argued. The US and its allies should seek “to create pockets with more viable security and governance within Syria.”
This “confederal Syria” would be composed of “highly autonomous zones,” the report said, and would be supported militarily by the deployment of US-NATO forces into the newly carved-out occupation areas, including deployment of “multilateral support teams, grounded in special forces detachments and air-defense capabilities.”
“Past collaboration with extremist elements of the insurgency would not itself be viewed as a scarlet letter,” the Brookings report argued, making clear the extremist militant groups which have served as US proxy forces against the Assad government will not be excluded from the new partition of Syria.” (“Turkey, Jordan discuss moves to seize territory in Syria“, Thomas Gaist, World Socialist Web Site)
Isn’t this precisely the strategy that is unfolding in Syria and Iraq today?
Of course, it is. Everything you’ve been reading about “Islamic State-free zones”, “safety zones”, or “no-fly zones” is lies. I won’t even dignify it by calling it propaganda. It’s not. It’s 100 percent, unalloyed bullshit. Just like the idea that this new buffer zone (carved out of Syrian territory) is going to be administered by “relatively moderate Syrian insurgents”. (which is the NYT’s new innocuous-sounding sobriquet for al-Qaida terrorists.) That’s another lie that’s intended to divert attention from the real plan, which is the Turkish occupation of Syrian territory consistent with Erdogan’s and Davutoglu’s commitment to put boots on the ground if the US agrees to their demands. Which Obama has, although the media denies it.
The US is not going to entrust this captured territory to “relatively moderate Syrian insurgents”, because as Gen. Robert Neller already admitted to McCain, the jihadis aren’t winning. In other words, the jihadi plan is a flop. That’s what this whole Turkey-US alliance-thing is all about. It is a major shift in the fundamental policy. There’s going to be a ground invasion, and the Turks are going to supply the troops. It’s only a matter of time. Here’s how analyst Gaist sums it up:
“Having failed to remove Assad using proxy militia forces alone, Washington is now contemplating the direct invasion of Syria by outside military forces for the purpose of carving out a large area of the country to be subsequently occupied by US and NATO troops. Plans for a new imperialist division of Syria and the broader Middle East have been brewing within the US ruling elite for decades.” (“Turkey, Jordan discuss moves to seize territory in Syria“, Thomas Gaist, World Socialist Web Site)
Naturally, Obama’s not going to tell the media what he’s up to. But that’s the plan.
Powell Congratulates Colombian President on Progress | IIP Digital about 10 hours ago
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Want to take a question or two?
The President's in a hurry, but let me just make one announcement for the press. Just received word that Assistant Secretary Bill Burns has had good discussions in Libya. He is the first U.S. diplomat to visit with Colonel Qadhafi since early '80s, and productive meetings. And it shows that we are moving ahead with the political roadmap that we laid out with the Libyans as a result of their determination to give up their weapons of mass destruction. And we'll be issuing a statement later this afternoon that describes in greater detail Assistant Secretary Burns' visit.
"People, be wary of anthropologists!" - Department of Social Anthropology about 14 hours ago
"People, be wary of anthropologists!"
Pollution, violence, forced displacement: What to do against harmful side effects of mining? A big disaster on a small island helped anthropologist Catherine Coumans to find an answer.
The phone call came when she least expected it. “I just received a telegram from the Philippines,” said the voice on the other end of the line, her husband who was more than 7,000 kilometers away in Canada. “Go to the Philippine consulate and check the newspapers. Another disaster has happened on the island,” he said. “I think it's something really big.”
Anthropologist Catherine Coumans did not expect this call at all. It was a nice day in Hawaii in early April 1996, and she was just about to make a presentation at an anthropology conference—a presentation, strangely enough, about Marinduque, the very island in the Philippines where the telegram was sent from. Coumans had been on fieldwork on this island several years back, from 1988-1990, studying Liberation Theology. Marinduque is a very little island with a very big mine, operated by the fifth-largest gold mining company in the world at that time, a Canadian one named Placer Dome.
Her husband was right. All newspapers Coumans found at the Philippine consulate were writing about it. Another mine waste impoundment had failed. It would be later described as the Marcopper Mining Disaster, after the local subsidiary. It was then the largest mining disaster in Philippine history. Two decades later, the island still has not recovered. One village was buried under six feet of muddy floodwater, causing the displacement of 400 families. Several villages had to be evacuated. The Boac River was declared unusable by government officials: It was no longer suitable for drinking, washing clothes, bathing, watering livestock, or for irrigation of rice fields. Most of the fish and shrimp in it had died.
A huge rush
What to do? How can researchers play a role that is useful for communities who find themselves in situations as these? Can anthropological research help to find ways to cool down overheated processes?
Coumans, one of the thirty participants at Overheating's international workshop on mining, has often thought about these questions.
Since she first visited Marinduqe in 1988, she had been confronted with the harmful side effects of mining on people and nature nearly on a daily basis. At that time, mine waste was being dumped into a wide shallow fishing bay, leading to loss of livelihoods. Children from villages along the bay were suffering from lead poisoning. In 1993, a dam burst and two children on another part of the island were smothered to death by mine waste that flooded down the Mogpog River.
The mining industry, she explains, is clearly overheated. “There is a struggle going on within the industry to get its hands on the remaining resources that are economic to mine,” she says. “The industry is in a huge rush to put their stake in the ground and say ‘this is mine’.”
And in this rush, other considerations, such as safeguarding the environment and the rights of local communities, risk getting left behind.
Even mining companies themselves cannot deny that mining is a harmful activity, the anthropologist learned. Asked by a regulatory body in Wisconsin, USA to give a single example of a mine that had been shut down for ten years after operating a sulphide ore body in the US or Canada for ten years, no mining company was able to provide a single example of one that hadn’t contaminated surface or groundwater.
On the "wrong" side of the struggle?
So what to do? Couman's discipline, anthropology, was not able to provide much guidance. Quite the opposite seemed to be the case. In mining issues, anthropology seemed to play a rather dubious role, she came to realize.
When attended a conference she in 1998 on the environmental and social costs of mining, an activist approached her and said: “You are an anthropologist? I warn all the communities to be wary of anthropologists!”
During the past two decades, more and more anthropologists have joined forces with the extractive industries. Anthropologists not only let mining companies sponsor their research while they carry out consultancy contracts for the companies: More and more anthropologists have decided to work directly for mining companies.
There are many reasons for this: the lack of jobs in academia and NGOs, and the good salary the corporations are able to offer. The mining companies are actively recruiting anthropologists. The companies are under pressure to get a “social license” to operate.
“Anthropologists,” Coumans says, “often present themselves as problem solvers, as people with specialized skills that can help a company that has problems when, for example, the local population is opposing the mine and stages protests. These anthropologists can gather all kinds of data for the companies, they do social mapping, and analyze power structures. They are basically providing intelligence.”
"Imagine if anthropologists would just walk into the boardroom"
As a result, Coumans said, some communities and NGOs are very wary of anthropologists now and, she stresses, "they should become even more wary.".
“Many communities still open up and talk to anthropologists freely without realizing that their information is going to become property of the mining company. While many of those anthropologists join the extractive industries in order to be an agent of positive change, the information they gather puts the company in a better position to push its claims. Knowledge is power,” she says.
“These communities are extremely vulnerable. An anthropologist can just walk into a community and start gathering data that are useful to the company. Just try to imagine if this were an equal playing field, and the community could hire anthropologists to go conduct research on the corporation, just walk into the boardroom, interview the board members, figure out what their strategies are. The company would never allow that to happen”, she said.
“The company is a black hole for the community. The company makes decisions on a daily basis, and the community has no power over it at all. The company, on the other hand, has extremely detailed knowledge of what is going on in the community, and they use this information! It's a very unbalanced situation and it's very upsetting that anthropologists are selling their skills to the ones who can pay them handsomely.”
Anthropology of corporations
Anthropologists have received similar criticism when they collaborated with colonial powers or more recently with the US military and CIA. After much criticism, a program to study "the human terrain" in Afghanistan and Iraq to win “hearts and minds” was put to rest a few weeks ago. These institutions considered anthropological knowledge as strategic tool: Military generals were calling for “culturally informed occupation” and “culture-centric warfare”.
There is of course still a lot of anthropological research that is done independently of mining corporations. But this research is mainly focused on local communities and their responses to mining activities. It does not address the inequalities in the anthropology of mining: We know a lot about local communities, but very little about the mining companies themselves. What we need, Coumans stresses, is more anthropology of corporations.
“I know it is hard to get access to the corporate world, but I wish anthropologists would try a little bit harder. I wish they would to try to analyze and expose corporate structures, corporate decision making, and personalities in the company: What kind of power does the corporation wield? What is the role of knowledge and intelligence? Anthropologists need to do more corporate analysis. Anthropologists need to treat corporations as communities that they are used to research.”
"You can't rush through the world and leave behind a mess"
Nearly 20 years after she was shaken up by a phone call in Hawaii, Catherine Coumans is sitting in her office at MiningWatch Canada in Ottawa. The big disaster on the Philippine island made her leave academia and start up her own NGO. Two years later, in 1999, she joined a newly founded organization, MiningWatch.
During her fieldwork in the Philippines, she did not want to get involved. She considered herself neither an activist nor an NGO person. The big disaster changed her life.
When we call her in her office, she is trying to find a lawyer to continue a lawsuit against the company that - among others - was responsible for the disaster on the Philippine island in 1996.
“In 2004, we, the inhabitants of Marinduque together with MiningWatch, were able to get the US Geological Survey to go to the island and do some reports on all the damage that has been done there by the mining company Placer Dome. In 2005 we launched a lawsuit in the US against the company that, by then, had fled the Philippines. This lawsuit has gone on through so many years. But just about two weeks ago, the lawsuit was dismissed in the US in favor of its continuing in Canada,” the anthropological activist says.
“Just being able to reach that point after so many years is quite good. It is very difficult to have lawsuits in Canada against Canadian companies for what they have done oversees. The problem is the impunity of multinationals,” she adds.
A short video about MiningWatch by MiningWatch (incl. Catherine Coumans)
Coumans sees her work in MiningWatch as an attempt to cool down our overheated planet:
“We're trying to cool things down by saying: You can't just rush through the world and leave behind a mess," she explains. "You have to slow down and take responsibility for the way you operate and the harm you cause. Communities need project development to go slower. Communities have the right to be properly informed about the project and to get enough time to think about proposed mining projects.”
While she still is taking part in academic conferences and even publishes papers in academic journals, she cannot imagine going back to a university:
“What is different from academia is that everything I do in MiningWatch matters and makes a difference to people. The immediacy, urgency and the passion that goes with the work is something I won't be able to find in academia, I think. I was interested in advancing anthropological theory. Now I wouldn't be able to spend all my time on that anymore. My work needs to be linked to real struggles on our earth. But I do know some activist academics whom I would consider a model for the kind of academic I would want to be if I were in academia today: One was my thesis advisor, Harvey Feit, another was the external reader for my thesis, David Wurfel. In the Overheating group there are also some examples.”Published Jul 27, 2015 07:58 PM - Last modified Jul 29, 2015 05:32 PM
- The Army Needs Anthropologists _ Foreign Policy.pdf about 14 hours ago
- Asbestos_final.pdf about 16 hours ago
When feelings trump facts about 16 hours ago
When feelings trump factsJMSB research examines how public opinion is formed in the asbestos industry
Posted on July 14, 2015|By: Yuri Mytko
When it comes to public opinion, facts cannot trump feelings finds a study commissioned by the Luc Beauregard Centre of Excellence in Communications Research at the John Molson School of Business.
The paper, which looks at the PR lessons that can be learned by examining the Quebec asbestos industry was written by JMSB Lecturer John Aylen. “Individuals tune out facts that do not support their feelings,” says Aylen. He further states that “it is very difficult to build consensus and coalition if the potential parties do not mobilize over a common goal, are not driven by a sense of urgency and are not empowered by a sense of moral superiority.”
The study is one of two that were commissioned by the Centre to better understand coalition-building and the public engagement process around important societal causes and issues.
The second study was written by Joanne Labrecque, an associate professor at HEC Montréal and Philippe Lefèvre, founder and senior partner at Réseau GARP. Its focus is on efficient coalition-building in the Quebec shale gas industry.
The case studies were recently presented at the 2015 national conference of the Canadian Public Relations Society in Montreal and are now available for download in both English and French.
The Luc Beauregard Centre for Excellence in Communications Research was established in 2012 to pay homage to Luc Beauregard, the founder of NATIONAL Public Relations. Its stated mission is to “advance the strategic role of public relations at the highest levels of organizational management and leadership by supporting and promoting applied and innovative research and establishing best practices that can assist and inspire today’s and tomorrow’s senior professionals in all types of organizations.”
“These two research papers are a great example of what the Centre is all about,” says Jordan Le Bel, the Centre’s director. “They were commissioned after the Centre was approached by an expert in the energy field who had grown tired of dead-end debates in our society that basically paralyze or stop discussion on major issues. This is particularly the case when it comes to energy-related matters.”
The Beauregard Centre’s advisory board authorized a special call for proposals and NATIONAL Public Relations’ Calgary office provided additional financial support so that two case studies could be funded.
“These case studies are well aligned with the kind of issue that Mr. Beauregard would have liked to see us tackle,” says Le Bel. “Broad and important issues, at the core of what PR and communications professionals face day in and day out.”
John Nuttall, Amanda Korody, too incompetent to plan terror attack, defence says - British Columbia - CBC News on Jul 29, 15
John Nuttall, Amanda Korody, too incompetent to plan terror attack, defence says
Questions raised about RCMP gifts
CBC News Posted: Jul 28, 2015
RCMP tactics are on trial at an entrapment hearing in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. Questions are being raised about just how far police can go in these types of situations.
John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were found guilty in June 2015 of masterminding a plot to bomb the B.C. legislature in 2013 on Canada Day.
Their defence lawyers want the verdict set aside. They say RCMP tactics amount to entrapment.
They say Nuttall and Korody were too incompetent to plan a terrorist attack in their own.
The poverty-stricken pair of drug abusers were struggling to accomplish basic tasks, court heard.
Then RCMP undercover agents offered them gifts and helped shape their plans, steering them away from more fanciful ideas, such as plans to build short-range missiles.
RCMP Cpl. Stephen Matheson testified that he believed James Nuttall and Amanda Korody were "capable of violence" at any time.
Matheson described how RCMP were constantly balancing the risk to the public and the couple's commitment to Jihad.
Questions were raised about gifts the RCMP gave to the couple, including food, cell phones, clothing and groceries.
Matheson says the gifts were given to build rapport, but dwindled because "he was coming back to talk to us anyway."
He also says he was concerned about providing any spiritual guidance on Islam to Nuttall and Korody.
"It's just not our place as RCMP," he said in court.
In June 2015 Nuttall and Korody were found guilty of plotting to explode homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the B.C. legislature during 2013 Canada Day celebrations.
The couple described themselves as jihadist warriors, waging a holy war against the West for it's treatment of Muslims.
The trial is set to run through the week, then resume in October.
NATO vows solidarity with Turkey over ISIS threat but urges peace with Kurds - World - CBC News on Jul 29, 15
NATO vows solidarity with Turkey over ISIS threat but urges peace with Kurds
Turkish airstrikes targeted Kurds this week
The Associated Press Posted: Jul 28, 2015
NATO declared its "strong solidarity" with Turkey on Tuesday as ambassadors gathered for a rare emergency meeting about the threat faced by a member.
Turkey requested the extraordinary meeting to gauge the threat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist group poses to Turkey, and the actions Turkish authorities are taking in response, including attacks on Kurdish rebels.
"We strongly condemn the terrorist attacks against Turkey, and express our condolences to the Turkish government and the families" of victims killed in recent terrorist actions, NATO ambassadors said in a statement after the meeting.
While public statements stressed unity, a NATO official said members also used the closed-door meeting to call on Turkey not to use undue force and to continue peace efforts with representatives of the Kurdish minority. The official was not authorized to speak on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity.
In a series of cross-border strikes, Turkey has not only targeted ISIS but also Kurdish fighters affiliated with forces battling ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, in Syria and Iraq.
Article 4 of NATO's founding treaty empowers member states to seek emergency consultations when they consider their "territorial integrity, political independence or security" to be in jeopardy. This was only the fifth such meeting in NATO's 66-year history.
"All allies stand in solidarity with Turkey," NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after the session, which lasted a little over an hour.
Stoltenberg said the Turks did not use Tuesday's meeting to request military assistance from other NATO members.
"What we all know is that Turkey is a staunch ally. Turkey has very capable armed forces — the second largest army within the alliance," the NATO chief said.
The alliance official who spoke on condition of anonymity said Turkey's allies unanimously spoke at the meeting in favour of its "right to defend itself." One outside analyst said eliciting such support may have been why Turkey sought the unusual forum in the first place.
"I think the main purpose is to give them some reassurance in terms of their bombing campaign in Syria and northern Iraq so that they won't be accused of violating international law," said Amanda Paul, a senior policy analyst and specialist on Turkey at the European Policy Center, a Brussels think-tank . "They wanted to cover their backs basically by having NATO say, 'OK it's fine."'
In Ankara, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkish and U.S. officials were discussing the creation of a safe zone near Turkey's border with Syria, which would be cleared of ISIS presence and turned into a secure area for Syrian refugees to return.
Speaking at a news conference Tuesday before leaving for China, Erdogan also said it was impossible to advance a peace process with the Kurds as attacks on Turkey continue.
Recently, an ISIS suicide bombing near Turkey's border with Syria left 32 people dead and an IS attack on Turkish forces killed a soldier. And on Tuesday, Turkey said a soldier who was wounded in an attack along the border with Iraq has died. Turkey said the soldier was shot by a Kurdish militant in the town of Semdinli.
After months of reluctance, Turkish warplanes last week started striking militant targets in Syria and agreed to allow the U.S. to launch its own strikes from Turkey's strategically located Incirlik Air Base.
The Syrian Kurds are among the most effective ground forces battling ISIS and have been backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, but Turkey fears a revival of the Kurdish insurgency in pursuit of an independent state.
The Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, has fought Turkey for autonomy for Kurds in a conflict that has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984. The Kurds are an ethnic group with their own language living in a region spanning present-day Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia.
For some NATO members and independent observers, it's unclear whether Turkey's No. 1 target is ISIS or the Kurds, said Ian Kearns, director of the European Leadership Network, a London-based think tank.
What's more, Turkish leaders "have actually been arguing that the Kurds in Syria are more of a threat to Turkey," Kearns told The Associated Press.
On Monday, Syria's main Kurdish militia and an activist group said Turkish troops shelled a Syrian village near the border, targeting Kurdish fighters.
"There is no difference between PKK and Daesh," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters Monday, using an Arabic acronym to refer to ISIS.
"You can't say that PKK is better because it is fighting Daesh," Cavusoglu said during a visit to Lisbon, Portugal.