Bioterrorism, ISIS and Ebola Mania
Does demagoguery have an inventive side? Only if you assume semi-literacy is virtuous, and that imagination lies in the name of the manipulative. The combination of both Ebola and terrorism are the evil twins of the same security dilemma. It is manufactured. It is a confection. And it is, at the end, worthless in what it actually suggests. The effects of it are, however, dangerous. They suggest that politicians can be skimpy with the evidence yet credible in the vote.
Historically, disease and culture share the same bed of significance. Notions of purity prevail in these considerations. Bioterrorism has become, rather appropriately, another mutation in the debate on how foreign fighters arriving in a country might behave. Individuals such as Jim Carafano, vice president of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation, continue insisting on the need for presidential administrations to form a national bioterrorism watch system.
While [Ebola] is a dangerous disease that Washington needs to take seriously, writes David Inserra of The Daily Signal, America could face an even greater medical threat in the future: the threat of bioterrorism. While the language here seems to draw distinctions that those suffering Ebola pose one set of problems, while the use of a bioterrorist agent is another the ease of placing the two side by side is virtually irresistible.
In the wake of the Ebola outbreak, that old horse of potential bioterrorism has emerged with a convenient vengeance. This is not surprising, given the spectre of WMD fantasies that captivated the Bush administration in 2003. It is not sufficient that there are terrorists with a low probability of waging actual attacks on home soil, be they returning citizens, or simply foreign fighters wishing to stir up a good deal of fuss. Throwing in the disease component is hard to resist.
Rep. Mike Jelly of Pennsylvania decided to direct the bioterror genie the way of Islamic State fighters, suggesting that returning jihadists might cause Washington a good deal of headaches, not merely by their radicalisation, but by carrying the virus as a strategic weapon of infliction. Think about the job they could do, the harm they could inflict on the American people by bringing this deadly disease into our cities, into schools, into our towns, and into our homes. Horrible, horrible.
This exotic lunacy was also appealing to Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina, who even suggested that Hamas fighters might be daft enough to infect themselves with Ebola and make a journey to freedom land in order to engage in acts of infectious mayhem. Their venue of safe passage would be from the South, where the evils of an open border with Mexico risk allowing a dangerous pathogen into the country. Now that, dear readers, is exactly what such figures think about Mexico.
The moral calculus operating with Wilson is that of irrational, dangerous death those who value death more than you value life. Those with such a creed are bound to get up to any old and lethal mischief. It would promote their creed. And all of this could be avoided by sealing the border, thoroughly. Cmon, this is the 21st century.
As to whether the idea of using such an agent would be feasible is quite something else. Weaponising such a pathogen has proven to be a formidable challenge. Such groups as the Aum Shinrikyo cult attempted to collect the virus while ostensibly on a medical mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was a failure of some magnitude. As Dina Fine Maron argues, the financial and logistical challenges of transforming Ebola into a tool of bioterror makes the concern seem overblown at least as far as widespread devastation is concerned. Even the FBIs James Corney suggests that evidence of Islamic States involvement in an Ebola program is highly dubious.
This tends to get away from that old problem that the biggest of trouble makers in the business of death remain states rather than non-state ideologues. States have done more than their fair share of dabbling in the business of rearing microbes of death in the armoury. Be it small pox, botulism, and tularaemia, these have found their way into inventories and laboratories with disturbing normality.
Much of this has also been allowed to get away because of the Obama administrations open confusion on the subject of how to handle the Ebola problem. The excitement has become feverish (dare one say pathological?) in the US, suggesting the double bind that the Obama administration finds itself. The President did not do himself any favours by on the one hand denying there was a grave threat, and then proceeding to appoint an Ebola Czar by the name of Ron Klain. This was classic bureaucracy in action we create positions of unimportance to supposedly fight the unimportant, while admitting their gravity in creating such positions.
Certainly, the President found himself railroaded by events with the unilateral decisions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to implement mandatory 21-day quarantines for those returning from Ebola hot zones. This has always been the federal, and one might even say federalist headache: what is done in the White House and Washington often stays there. The response by states can often have a foreign sense to them. The US Centres for Disease and Control and Prevention has regarded such quarantine measures as unnecessary, but the CDCs attempt to defuse the situation has not worked.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest had to face the music of disease on Monday, with a reporter suggesting that, if Klain was actually an Ebola response coordinator, it seemed that you have a need for some coordinating here.
William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University, a long time student of infectious diseases, sees this as a matter of information, in so far as the more one gets, the less anxious one is bound to feel. I would like not to call it irrational. When people are just learning about something, something that they regard as a threat, and they havent integrated all of this information still into their thought process, their sense of anxiety obviously increases.
Schaffner is unduly wedded to the rather unfashionable belief that knowledge somehow enlightens. But it is not knowledge that is driving this debate, but supposition. Facts are the enemy, and they continue to play the roles of silent, some might even say murdered witnesses.
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]
admin @ October 30, 2014
Stephen Harper is the most deeply reviled Prime Minister in Canadas history. On the world stage, he is the servant of Big Oil boiling oil out of tar-sands to destroy major river systems and pollute the planet with dirty oil, while his attack dog John Baird leads the warmongering and bullying of nations like Iran and Syria targeted by the US-Israeli axis.
He is the most despotic and toxic first minister in the life of our country. His administration defunds every social program and life protective system it can. It strips the country of its public information infrastructures at every level – including now the gagging of non-profit NGOs by eliminating their charitable status if they question any policy of his regime.
Just as his friend George Bush Jr., Harper holds government by big-money backing, continual lies, attack ads, and life-blind policies to enrich the already rich. Canadas neo-con political class may have its head on backwards, but Harper is very cunning in skirting, subverting and perverting the law to abuse power at every level. He is the poster boy of the global corporate agenda of wrecking society and its common life support systems.
Harper also owes his political life to the RCMP. After a after non-confidence vote triggered the 2006 election, RCMP commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli instructed his staff to include former Liberal finance minister Ralph Goodales name in a news release announcing a criminal investigation. This reversed the stench of the Harper regimes continuous scandals and corruption onto the Liberals by a false RCMP smear. As a former top insider of the Tory party advised me, the RCMP won the election for Harper. The re-elected Harper regime then surrounded the RCMP with blocks to silence all facts the signature operation so the truly deepest scandal of the era proceeded with impunity to the present day. So it is not surprising that CSIS, the RCMP and Harper are collaborating to get more secret powers for the police and spooks in return for serving Harpers underlying agenda.
How Acts of Terrorism Fit the Known M.O.
Harper certainly needs an accepted domestic enemy to save him from the rising revulsion of the thinking public against his rule. His regimes record of destroying the life substance of Canada piece by piece cannot be denied. One already knew what was coming when Harper immediately called the crazed run-over of soldiers in Quebec on October 20 a terrorist act about which he was deeply worried. In fact, it was the act of a criminally insane loner run amok in a small Quebec town without any evident objective as required under the laws definition of terrorism. But with the foreknowledge of his addled Islam by the RCMP and CSIS, he seems to have been an ideal patsy for Harpers home terrorism claim. He had already been arrested and his passport cancelled in June. We can imagine how an effective undercover agent might have whipped him into a Jihad frenzy knowing he would soon be full of holes and unable to report what happened.
One can more clearly see such a scenario in the case of the clinically insane, drug-addicted petty criminal living in a homeless shelter in Ottawa who had warned a judge in front of the police back in 2011:‘If you can’t keep me in, I’m going to do something. Who could have been a better tool for the events to come? On October 22 after the first As a radicalized terrorist attack, a double-barrelled shotgun impossible to hide that no-one saw before ended up in the hands of Micheal Zebaf-Bibeau. The rest is history. He went on a killing spree with no known blood testing afterwards for the drugs he was evidently driven by in the video record of his frenzied and super-charged behaviour, just as there was no known test of the body of crazed drive-over killer, Martin Couture-Rouleau. How extraordinary. How unspoken in the lavish profusion of other details and official false connection to ISIS.
Terrorist stops the mind, and jihadist locks it in. Harpers first invocation of the mind-stopper was, as always, strategic. Although blood tests for a substance-abuse driving offense are automatic, none was reported although the videos show every sign of chemical possession. Bibeau too went crazy and was dead with countless bullets through him before any questions could be asked. All such strange coincidences are part of the now familiar covert-state MO.
Joining the Dots
Since Harper publicly claimed an act of terrorism two days before the sensational Ottawa murder and crashing of Parliament and as soon as the Quebec killing occurred, questions arise. The normally zipper-lip Harper did so long before any forensic facts were in, and before the idea even occurred to anyone else. Why? Revealingly the federal security state had been running war games exercises depicting just such attacks weeks before the crazed murders (Canadian Authorities Ran War Game Drills Depicting ISIS Attack Scenarios Brandon Martinez, Global Research, October 24, 2014). Lone-wolf nut cases, killings out of nowhere, unknown motivators and arming, and the state leader most profiting from mutation of the demented murders into terrorist acts before anyone else – – who joins the dots? It is taboo to think through such situations, and this too is known beforehand. Sure enough within the day, the RCMP and CSIS get the new extraordinary powers they sought, and for the first time in office the robotic Harper is behaving with a warmth not even extended to his young son with whom he shakes hands in farewell. He is hugging opposition leaders in Parliament to show a new human side to complete the image makeover in motion.
Harper is happy because he thinks his next election is saved. But the first forensic question in acts of murderous crimes is again never asked. The hypnotic trance of terrorism in sedate Ottawa holds the narrative unchallenged. Cui bono? Who benefits from these unbelievable closed-case murders in two days which have the media headlining terrorism and anti-terrorist legislation everywhere Canadians look, and Harper now as the strong hand in charge. The top banner headline of the weekend Globe screamed How far should we go?
Home-Grown Terror for Harpers Re-Election
The first function of the terrorist claim is the standard one diversion from the ailing economy and the majoritys growing revulsion of the leader and his party. Harper has made enemies of every thinking Canadian in the country by his stripping of the countrys public life and knowledge bases, and reversing the countrys global reputation as an agent of peace, social conscience and reverence for nature. Diversion to a constructed Enemy is the oldest strategy in the book of despised heads of state, and Harper is in unprecedented need for distraction to another target to uplift him at the same time. Bush Jr. ran on this formula for eight years.
If the stratagem is not seen through, the second big boost to Harper will be to justify the despotic rule and quasi-police state he has built with ever more prisons amidst declining crime, ever more ant-terrorist rhetoric and legislation, ever more cuts to life support systems and protections (the very ones which would have prevented these murderous rampages), and ever more war-mongering and war-criminal behaviours abroad. The evil regime of despotic control and life oppression he has instituted surpasses any ill rule in the nations history. As the US prototype of the life-blind right wing has taught him, the greatest justification of ones rule is knee-jerk hatred of a safe Enemy. But in Canada, that does not work over time. So the domestic acts of terrorism in Quebec and Ottawa itself provide the needed Enemy within Canada to justify anything with ever new pomp, mandatory agreement of others, and ruling power at centre stage.
Diagnosing the Drive to Total Control
The rest follows. The New Terrorist Laws in execution were already the feature news headline on Oct 25, allowing for any new surveillance and control of citizens. Keep in mind our already-installed totalitarian airport regime that deprives people of water and hygiene products, dehumanizes all, and undresses millions with no questions allowed any step of the way. It is a synecdoche of the larger total rule advancing with the Harper gang in charge further than ever before. Nothing can be the same again cheer the corporate media in choral support.
More favours to the Harper regime from the RCMP and CSIS may be in store for example, false allegations and naming of even the most honest opponents like Ralph Goodale who spent the worst year of my life recovering from the RCMP smear that kept Harper in power. It is a bit like the War Measures Act new capacity to lock down any city at any time with armed-force control pervading the streets and police-army powers in the glory of mass-controlling armed command and kill license. It has already happened in Ottawa with a lone crazy, and the lock-down was infinitely more heavy-handed than in 1970 Montreal which I observed first hand. Keep in mind the trumped-up cause for it – one likely-drugged and managed murderous homeless mental case dead before any questions could be asked.
Observe too how the language changes to fit the agenda of total control. The keys are terrorists for lone individuals driven crazy with no more social supports for them, and radicalization with no modifier as the ultimate problem of thought behind the terror. What deprived group or oppositional rethinking cannot be so labelled? These psych-ops are already in full motion now. They have been minted into ruling group-mind by the mocked-up terrorists attacks at home, and Harper rule can only go further by such trances of normalized stupefaction now reinforced with Canadian blood.
Behind all the public psych-ops is the operation of reverse projection long perfected by the US war-machine. Blame the opposition for what you are doing as the reason for attacking them. At the Canada level, the reverse projections define the Harper regime. He is punitively and vindictively despotic, rigidly and vengefully doctrinaire, intolerant of deviation, shames and slanders at will, and overrides every democratic constraint to his insatiable drive to total control. Narrow and life-blind absolutism, indifference to others suffering, and certitude of virtue while destroying people and common life support systems complete the unseen rule of terror at work. A coterie of mediocre and corrupt subordinates surround and serve him to allow no shard of light in on the ruling mission of society destruction.
With most people not yet suspecting it, Harper rule is an Americanada mirror image of the jihad-fascism he uses to multiply his and his corporate allies rights and powers. Behind him lies the transnational money-sequence cancer he embodies in every policy line.
Prof. John McMurtry is the author of The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/ From Crisis to Cure
admin @ October 30, 2014
By SARAH DiLORENZO
The Associated Press
DAKAR, Senegal —
Copyright The Associated Press
admin @ October 30, 2014
By BROCK VERGAKIS
The Associated Press
CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. —
Copyright The Associated Press
admin @ October 30, 2014
By NOEL SICHALWE
The Associated Press
LUSAKA, Zambia — Zambian President Michael Sata, once dubbed “Mr. King Cobra” for his sharp-tongued remarks, has died in a London hospital after a long illness. Vice President Guy Scott, a white Zambian of Scottish descent, became the country’s acting president Wednesday, making him the first white leader of a sub-Saharan African nation since 1994 when South Africa moved to majority rule.
Sata, 77, had largely dropped out of public view months ago as his health deteriorated. The government did not divulge details of his condition, but some Zambian media outlets said he suffered multiple organ failure.
Rumors that Sata was deathly ill had long gripped Zambia, and opposition groups had questioned whether he was fit to lead a country of 15 million people that has enjoyed robust economic growth but suffers widespread poverty. He had served as president since 2011.
Under the constitution, Scott, a 70-year-old former agriculture minister who also worked in Zambia’s finance ministry, cannot run for president because his parents were not Zambians by birth or descent.
“Elections for the office of president will take place within 90 days. In the interim, I am the acting president,” Scott said in a radio address. “The period of national mourning started today. We will miss our beloved president and commander.”
Defense Minister Edgar Lungu, who also runs the justice ministry and is secretary general of the ruling Patriotic Front party, said it is a difficult period for Zambia and the party that Sata founded.
“The government remains intact and so does the PF as a party,” said Lungu, who is considered a possible presidential candidate.
Sata died late Tuesday night at London’s King Edward VII hospital with his wife, Christine Kaseba-Sata, and his son, Mulenga Sata, at his side, said Cabinet secretary Roland Msiska. The son is the mayor of the Zambian capital, Lusaka.
Zambia had already declared Wednesday a national day of mourning for 26 people, all but three of them schoolchildren, who died Oct. 24 when a crowded boat capsized on Lake Kariba near the border with Zimbabwe. The children were heading to a ceremony marking Zambia’s 50th anniversary of independence from Britain.
Kenya, South Africa and other countries sent condolences to Zambia over Sata’s death. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Sata “played a commanding role in the public life of his country over three decades.”
U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle also sent their condolences.
“The United States remains committed to our enduring friendship and partnership with Zambia, and strongly supports a peaceful constitutional transition of power as the country moves forward during this time of sorrow,” Obama said in a statement.
On Sept. 19, Sata spoke at the opening of parliament in Lusaka, poking fun at speculation about his failing health and insisting that he was still alive.
But he later failed to give a scheduled address at the United Nations in New York, where police said doctors treated him in a hotel room.
Sata had a volatile relationship with Chinese investors in Zambian mines and other infrastructure, criticizing them as exploitative but toning down his rhetoric after taking office.
Some critics say Sata became increasingly intolerant as president. An opposition leader, Frank Bwalya, was acquitted this year of defamation charges after he compared Sata to a local potato whose name is slang for someone who doesn’t listen.
As an opposition leader, Sata lost three presidential votes before taking office as Zambia’s fifth president. He also served in previous governments, and was a member of every major party.
Sata was born in Mpika in what was then northern Rhodesia, and worked as a police officer and trade unionist under colonial rule. He also trained as a pilot in Russia.
After independence in 1964, he joined Kenneth Kaunda’s United National Independent Party, becoming governor of Lusaka, a city as well as a province, in 1985.
He resigned from Kaunda’s party in 1991 and joined the new Movement for Multiparty Democracy, later serving as a party lawmaker for 10 years and as minister for local government, labor and social security, and health.
In 2001, he left to form his Patriotic Front party. In 2008, he suffered a stroke. The same year, President Levy Mwanawasa died following a stroke and a special election saw Sata narrowly lose to Rupiah Banda, who had been Mwanawasa’s vice president.
Sata’s wife is a medical doctor, and the couple had eight children.
Sata introduced his wife at the opening of parliament last month, crediting her with tough love.
“She has made me stay up to now,” he said. “I haven’t died yet.”
Torchia contributed to this report from Johannesburg.
Copyright The Associated Press
admin @ October 30, 2014