Thursday, April 19, 2012

Shocking Discovery: Noah's Ark Found!

Located 6,375 feet above sea level.

Why is this not a BIG story?

I'm often amazed at our lack of knowledge about history. Ordinary people are hungry for this information, yet the organizations responsible to disseminate these facts seem to have an agenda to keep us in the dark. This is especially true when it comes to our ancient human history.
I won't hold you in suspense with this article: The Ark of Noah has been found. It's real. I'll describe the evidence in some detail and end with the historical and religious implications.

How it was discovered

In 1959, Turkish army captain Llhan Durupinar discovered an unusual shape while examining aerial photographs of his country. The smooth shape, larger than a football field, stood out from the rough and rocky terrain at an altitude of 6,300 feet near the Turkish border with Iran.
Capt. Durupinar was familiar with the biblical accounts of the Ark and its association with Mount Ararat in Turkey, but he was reluctant to jump to any conclusions. The region was very remote, yet it was inhabited with small villages. No previous reports of an object this odd had been made before. So he forwarded the photographic negative to a famous aerial photography expert named Dr. Brandenburger, at Ohio State University.
Brandenburger was responsible for discovering the Cuban missile bases during the Kennedy era from reconnaissance photos, and after carefully studying the photo, he concluded: "I have no doubt at all, that this object is a ship. In my entire career, I have never seen an object like this on a stereo photo."

In 1960 the picture [above] was published in LIFE magazine under the heading of Noahs Ark? That same year a group of Americans accompanied Capt. Durupinar to the site for a day and a half. They were expecting to find artifacts on the surface or something that would be unquestionably related to a ship of some kind. They did some digging in the area but found nothing conclusive and announced to the anxiously waiting world that it appeared to be a natural formation.
Most of the global media turned away from the find and it became a non-story.
In 1977 Ron Wyatt visited the site. Obtaining official permission, Ron and others conducted more thorough research over a period of several years. They used metal detection surveys, subsurface radar scans, and chemical analysis -- real science -- and their findings were startling. The evidence was undeniable. This was the Ark of Noah.

#1 -- the Visual Evidence

The first part of the survey was to examine the object and take its measurements. The shape looked like hull of a ship. One end was pointed as you would expect from bow [below: D] and the opposite end was blunt like a stern. The distance from bow to stern was 515 feet, or exactly 300 Egyptian cubits. The average width was 50 cubits. These were the exact measurements mentioned in the Bible.

On the starboard side (right) near the stern there were four vertical bulges protruding from the mud [B], at regular intervals, that were determined to be the "ribs" of the hull [see below]. Opposite to these, on the port side, a single rib [A] protrudes from the mud. You can see its curved shape very clearly. Surrounding it are more ribs, still largely buried in the mud, but visible upon close examination.
Remember that this object, if it is the Ark, is extremely old. The wood has been petrified. Organic matter has been replaced by minerals from the earth. Only the shapes and traces of the original wood remain. Perhaps this is why the expedition in 1960 was disappointed. They anticipated finding and retrieving chucks of wood, long since eroded.

From the position of the object in the middle of an obvious mudflow, it is obvious that the object slid down more than a mile from its original location. Geologists believe it was originally over 1000 feet higher in the mountain and encased in a shell of hardened mud. They think that an earthquake in 1948 cracked the mud shell and revealed the structure. This is confirmed by stories from the surrounding vallagers who tell of its "sudden appearance" around that time.
Biblical accounts of the Ark describe it as having as many as six levels. The assumed shape of the Ark seems consistent with the bulge [C] in the middle of the object. In fact, as we will soon learn, radar scans of the structure suggest that this bulge is the collapsed debris of these levels.
Although most people think of the Ark as being rectangular, that only applies to the top decks. The sleek shape of the hull is necessary to enable the huge ship to remain stable in the water and survive tremendous waves.
Path of the Ark (Boat)
noahs ark landing heaven wall near mount ararat
According to some sites this is the direction of the flow down the mountain. So I made up a image from google earth showing the direction this may have taken. This mountain is called "Walls of Heaven". The landing point at the top has had some significant ancient evidence found. (If you have more information about the original landing site, before it's current day resting place, feel free to comment at the bottom)

#2 -- Ground Penetrating Radar

The human eye needs to see reflected light to recognize an object. To visualize what remains below the earth, scientists use microwaves which can penetrate the ground and bounce back when they hit something solid. This technique is commonly used to locate oil and other minerals. Called Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), the apparatus us made from an antenna that transmits, then listens to receive the "echo" and prints the result on a piece of paper. The delay and strength of this echo tell the geologists how solid and at what depth the objects are under the earth.

The team of geologists didn't scan the entire object. Instead, they marked out lines that crossed the object with yellow tape. Then they dragged the antenna (about the size of a lawnmower) over the lines and watched the output on the paper recorder. When they got a strong "hit" -- meaning there was something solid underneath -- they would record the position on the tape [above]. Later, when they made a map of the object, the tape and the location of the "hits" they realized that there was indeed a structure underneath the mud.
"This data does not represent natural geology. These are man made structures. These reflections are appearing too periodic... too periodic to be random in that type of natural pace." -- Ron Wyatt of SIR Imaging team
The radar cans revealed this structure [above] under the mud. The symmetry and logical placement of these objects shows that this is unmistakably a man made structure, most likely the Ark of Noah.

#3 -- Artifacts retrieved from the Ark

Using the GPR, Ron Wyatt discovered an open cavity on the starboard side. He used an improvised drill to make core sample inside this cavity and retrieved several very interesting objects. Below you can see the artifacts which were sent for laboratory analysis. On the left is the bore hole [see below], followed by what turned out to be petrified animal dung, then a petrified antler and lastly a piece of cat hair.
Even more amazing artifacts were found

Perhaps the most significant find from the Ark itself is a piece of petrified wood. When this was first found it appeared to be a large beam. But upon closer examination it is actually three pieces of plank that have been laminated together with some kind of organic glue! This is the same technology used in modern plywood. Lamination makes the total strength of the wood much greater than the combined strength of the pieces. This suggests a knowledge of construction far beyond anything we knew existed in the ancient world.

Tests by Galbraith Labs in Knoxville, Tennessee, showed the sample to contain over 0.7% organic carbon, consistent with fossilized wood. The specimen was once living matter.

Examination reveals the glue oozed from the layers. The outside of the wood appears to have been coated with bitumen.
Even more surprising were laboratory analyses which not only revealed that the petrified wood contained carbon (proving it was once wood) but there were iron nails [above right] embedded in the wood!

In Genesis 6:14, God told Noah to "make yourself an ark of gopher wood.""Gopher wood" is a misreading and scribal error. "Kopher" wood is correct and means wood (any wood) that is covered with Kopher. Kopher is bitumen. In the Genesis text (6:14), the context is clear. The GPR wood used, (a scribal error) is to be covered in KPR. G and K in Hebrew are so similar that inexperienced Hebrew "scholars," such as those translating the King James Version of the Bible, could have been prone to such errors, indeed, they made many such errors.
Acts 7: 45 & Hebrews 4: 8 are classic examples of such scribal errors.
gpr = "g," as in gopher, k pr = "k,"as in kopher Pictured right is a simple visual comparison of the letters.

We like to imagine that humanity evolved in a neat sequence of eras, each named after the technology that was discovered. We have the Stone Age (where man developed arrows and stone tools), the Bronze Age (where metals were combined and heated to make tools and household items) and lastly the Iron Age (where iron and steel objects were made by heating iron ore and adding other material -- like charcoal -- to strengthen it). The Iron Age is usually placed at 1200-1000 BC, yet we have iron nails being used in this extremely old construction

But wait... there's more!

The most surprising find was discovered with sensitive metal detectors. The team located several strong "hits" that, when dug up, revealed large disc shaped rivets. From simple observation of the metal it was possible to see where the rivet had been hammered after being inserted through a hole [below].

If rivets being used in ancient construction doesn't impress you, this surely will.
An analysis of the metal used to make the rivets revealed that they were a combination of iron (8.38%), aluminum (8.35%) and titanium (1.59%). Remember these trace metals have survived petrification and so do not indicate the exact content in the original material. (see Report from Galbraith Labs)

We know the aluminum was incorporated in the metallic mixture because it does not exist in metallic form in nature. This implies an extremely advanced knowledge of metallurgy and engineering. Characteristics of an iron-aluminum alloy have been investigated in The Russian Chemical Bulletin (2005) and reveal that this alloy forms a thin film of aluminum oxide which protects the material from rust and corrosion. The addition of titanium would provide added strength. This seems to have worked. The rivets have survived from antiquity!

How To Park a Political Hot Potato

Terry Crawford-Browne

18 April 2012

Terry Crawford-Browne questions whether much will come of the arms deal inquiry

Address by Terry Crawford-Browne to Ceasefire Campaign workshop on the 2nd Global Day of Action on Military Spending, Johannesburg, April 17 2012


Almost a century ago, just before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, a British parliamentarian, Philip Snowden warned his colleagues:

We are in the hands of an organisation of crooks. They are politicians, generals, manufacturers of armaments and journalists. All of them are anxious for unlimited expenditure on armaments, and go on inventing scares to terrify the public and to terrify the ministers of the Crown.[1]

Arms manufacturers such as the British Vickers and German Krupp companies sold weapons to both sides and bribed politicians to promote war.

The twentieth century became the bloodiest in history. An estimated seventeen million people died during the First World War, of whom ten million were soldiers and seven million were civilians. The death toll of the Second World War is estimated at between fifty and seventy million people, of whom about twenty-five million were soldiers, but the majority were civilians.[2]

European, Japanese and Chinese cities were devastated at massive losses of life and infrastructure. Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by nuclear bombs in August 1945 even though the war in Europe was already over, and Japan was preparing to surrender to the United States.

For the next 45 years following the Second World War, the world hovered on the brink of nuclear oblivion. War profiteering escalated dramatically, and with it massive corruption associated with the arms industry. Before leaving office in 1961, United States President Dwight Eisenhower famously warned that:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.

Since 1945 the US is guestimated to have spent as much as US$12 trillion[3] just on nuclear weapons, a figure that compares with the US national debt of US$14 trillion in 2011.

The US national debt was US$5 trillion when the President George Bush Jnr came to office, but his administration recklessly ran massive fiscal deficits in seven of the eight years of his presidency in the bizarre belief that wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would regenerate the American economy.

In blood-crazed revenge for three thousand deaths in New York, the US has killed over one million people in Iraq and Afghanistan who had nothing to do with 9/11. The oil price in 2003 was just US$20 per barrel when the US attacked Iraq, compared now with over US$120. The world economy has suffered grievously because of American war fever, and obsessions for "national security".

At the end of the Cold War in 1990, the world hoped and prayed for a "peace dividend". The disaster that is Somalia is a direct result of huge quantities of weapons poured into that country during the 1970s and 1980s by both the Russians and Americans.

After 1990 arms companies such as BAE in England teetered on bankruptcy. War in Europe thankfully became unthinkable because of economic integration after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The war business quickly regrouped. What we are dealing with is organised crime on a scale that makes the Italian mafia look like saints.

New enemies were invented, and a new diabolical and racist focus became weapons made in the "first world" to kill people in the "third world". Countries of Africa became the first targets. Black or brown lives evidently don't count in this diabolical business. Huge quantities of Russian and Soviet-bloc weapons were traded for diamonds to escalate conflicts in Angola, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is so endowed with natural resources that it should be one of the world's wealthiest countries. Instead, it is a failed state where five million people (and perhaps as many as fifteen million) have died in what is referred to as "Africa's First World War".

A report by Stephen Burgess at the US Air War College in Alabama is unapologetic about the urgency of America's pre-emptive rights over Africa's mineral resources:

to secure Southern Africa's uranium, manganese, platinum, chrome, cobalt and rare earth minerals for America's industrial needs and for its military for its maintenance of weapons systems. To triumph in this scramble, all instruments of US power must be deployed. The challenge is most acute in two southern African countries, South Africa and the DRC. A "worst-case" scenario might see the US having to use coercive diplomacy in order to regain access to vital resources. The new scramble for African mineral resources is most similar to the 19th century European scramble that contributed to interstate conflict, especially the First World War.[4]

Keith Harmon Snow provides a dramatically different American perspective:

The CIA, Mossad, the big mining companies, the offshore accounts and weapons deals are all hidden by the western media. The entire military-industrial-prisons complex revolves around minerals like cobalt, niobium and cobalt oxide, yet the truth about what happens to African people in lands taken over by these mining companies is hidden by the corporate media.[5]

It all comes back to the defence budget. American military, private military of the US and proxy groups we support. This is the largest source of violence, and largest single most devastating impact on human rights around the world [is] unlimited American power. Individuals and institutions from the US are not being held accountable for the massive human rights violations that they are responsible for all around the world, including within the US.[6]

Military spending (including even nuclear weapons) by South Africa's apartheid government proved totally useless against domestic insurrection, but bankrupted the country. The journalist Ken Owen noted:

The evils of apartheid belonged to the civilian leaders: its insanities were entirely the property of the military officer class. It is an irony of our liberation that Afrikaner hegemony might have lasted another half century had the military theorists not diverted the national treasure into strategic undertakings like Mossgas and Sasol, and Armscor and Nufcor that, in the end, achieved nothing for us but bankruptcy and shame.[7]

South Africa's liberation was driven by civil society, led by the Church and the United Democratic Front. The African National Congress (ANC) and Umkhonto-we-Sizwe (MK) were asleep in Lusaka and London, and still dreaming of armed rebellion when President De Klerk made his announcements on February 2, 1990.

Even before the ANC took office in 1994, the leadership of MK led by the late Joe Modise, saw the arms deal as an instrument for massive self-enrichment. Modise was a gangster. Collusion with the apartheid-era generals, European arms companies and governments inflicted the arms deal disaster on South Africa.

There is always a Mobutu, Mugabe or Mbeki willing to sell his soul and his country to the war business.

The arms deal was just the tip of the iceberg that also includes oil deals, tollroads, the taxi recapitalisation process, drivers' licences, Cell C, Coega, diamond and drug smuggling, weapons trafficking and money laundering. The common denominator was political protection against ten percent kickbacks for ANC funding.

The 1996 Defence White Paper noted that South Africa was already grossly over-armed because of the apartheid era. It declared that there was no conceivable foreign military threat to the country, and that eradication of poverty must be South Africa's priority.

Investment in public education and health services are internationally recognised as the most effective means of redressing poverty. Weapons procurement is totally counter-productive economically, and represents public money poured down a drain.

Arms companies everywhere, including Armscor and Denel, are hugely subsidised by the taxpayers. They are capital intensive, not labour intensive, industries, and so divert public resources away from other priorities.

The late Oliver Tambo had acknowledged during the 1980s that Armscor was an apartheid-era organisation that could not be reformed and should be destroyed. The Anglican Church, during the 1994/1995 Cameron Commission of Inquiry into Armscor, called for both Armscor and Denel to be closed down, and also for a total prohibition on South African exports of weapons.

Unfortunately, President Nelson Mandela assured the Commission that South Africa would pursue a responsible arms trade policy. The result is that South Africa is notorious for supplying weapons to the world's worst dictatorships, including Libya and allegedly Iran.

Armscor prevailed in 1997 upon the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to make industrial participations (offsets) a mandatory feature of all government foreign procurements over US$10 million. For the arms deal, the offset requirements were split sixteen percent into Defence Industrial Participations (DIPs) and eighty-four percent into National Industrial Participations (NIPs).

Armscor's chairman, Ron Haywood told Swedish television[8] in 1998 that offsets are "Madiba magic". What businessman, he asked, can resist spending R1 to get R4 back?

The arms deal was premised on the economic absurdity that expenditure of R30 billion on warships and warplanes would generate R110 billion in offsets and create over 65 000 jobs. Offsets are a scam promoted by the arms companies, in conjunction with corrupt politicians, to fleece the taxpayers of both recipient and supplier countries.

Even the most economically illiterate person knows better than to expect change of R110 from a shop after spending R30. Offsets are prohibited by the World Trade Organisation because of their notoriety for corruption. The advisor to the Swedish prime minister admitted this in Cape Town just a few days before our government signed the arms deal contracts. But, he said "lower standards apply in the third world!" We challenged him to explain why the Swedish government was encouraging corruption in South Africa. [9]

The British government assigned officials supposedly to assist DTI with the offset programme. In reality, they were there to block all investigations. Parliamentarians and the Auditor General were forbidden details of the offsets on the spurious excuses that the contracts were "commercially confidential".

I asked the British government to investigate after I learned that BAE was bribing our politicians to support the arms deal, and that the bribes were being laundered via two Swedish trade unions. I learned in due course that it was then not illegal in English law to bribe foreigners, and therefore as far as the British were concerned there was no crime to investigate.

The same was true in Germany, where bribes were deemed to be "useful expenditures" and were tax deductible. Ferrostaal, which was responsible for the submarine contracts, is now the subject of a huge corruption scandal in Germany. It had a whole department that specialised in how to pay bribes in "third world" countries.

Ferrostaal was fined Euros 140 million in December 2011 because of bribes paid to secure the sale of two submarines to Greece. Much of the current Greek Eurozone crisis stems from pressures exerted on successive Greek governments by German, French and American governments to buy armaments way beyond Greece's defence requirements. It is the Greek people, not the arms companies, who suffer the consequences.

The arms deal affordability study in August 1999 warned all cabinet ministers that the arms deal was a reckless proposition that could lead the government into mounting fiscal, economic and financial difficulties. The study also pointed out that instead of job creation, the negative economic impact would be massive job losses.

It is not coincidental that unemployment rocketed in South Africa from 13 percent in 1994 to almost 40 percent now.[10] We see the results in non-delivery riots all over the country.

President Thabo Mbeki and Ministers Alec Erwin and Trevor Manuel went to bizarre lengths to suppress investigations into the arms deal scandal. They even "doctored" the Joint Investigation Team report in 2001 after it found that every contract was seriously flawed with tendering irregularities. Mbeki was finally fired by the ANC in September 2008 because of the arms deal.

The final action by the Scorpions before they were disbanded was to raid BAE's premises in Gauteng and the Western Cape. In November 2008 they seized 460 boxes and 4.7 million computer pages of evidence. I prevailed upon Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former President De Klerk one week later to launch an appeal to President Kgalema Motlanthe to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into the arms deal.

Motlanthe disparagingly told us to take our evidence to the Police. When President Jacob Zuma came to office, he declared that there was no case to answer. In the public interest, I lodged an application to the Constitutional Court in October 2010. I argued that given the mountain of evidence against BAE and other companies it was irrational and therefore unconstitutional for the president to refuse to appoint a judicial commission.

Amongst the documents I submitted to the Constitutional Court were 160 pages of affidavits that detail how and why BAE paid bribes of £115 million (R1.5 billion) to secure its warplane contracts, to whom the bribes were paid and into which bank accounts the bribes were credited.

President Zuma's legal advisers were unable to refute the massive volume of evidence, and in September 2011 he reluctantly agreed to appoint an investigation. The Commission's terms of reference were announced in October. Six months' later, the Commission still has not yet begun work. President Zuma seemingly believes that the Commission is how to park a political hot potato until it can be buried.

May I respectfully remind the President that President Mbeki was dismissed from office because of the arms deal, and that the ANC is now in chaos because of the culture of corruption that the arms deal unleashed? It behoves him and the ANC to deal openly and honestly with the people of South Africa.

Three of the six terms of reference deal with offsets. The rationale for the arms deal, remember, was that R30 billion spent on armaments would generate R110 billion in offsets to create over 65 000 jobs. Section 217 (1) of the Constitution in dealing with government procurements requires that an organ of state must act "in accordance with a system which is fair, equitable, transparent, competitive and cost-effective".

There is not a single recorded instance of which I am aware, either in South Africa or overseas, where offsets have proved successful. The former CEO of Denel, Victor Moche told Parliament in November 2004 that the DIP offsets had been foisted onto Denel by Armscor, and Denel was losing money on 80 percent of the contracts. For his candour, Moche was dismissed from office within three months by [then] Public Enterprises Minister, Alec Erwin.

Amongst the constitutional failures of the arms deal is that even cost was removed from consideration for the BAE contracts on the instruction of Modise, but with the agreement of his cabinet colleagues. As Paul Holden and Hennie van Vuuren have thoroughly documented in their new book The Devil In The Detail,[11] the offsets were simply vehicles to pay bribes.

By contrast, DTI's reports to Parliament glowingly declare that the arms deal companies have not only met but have exceeded their offset obligations.[12] Faced with German confirmations that the DTI reports are a lie and that South Africa has been "taken to the cleaners", our parliamentarians have voted to ignore the German reports.[13]

I have accordingly sought legal opinions that offsets fail the requirements of South Africa's constitution, and that the arms deal was therefore unconstitutional and illegal right from inception. In short, the offsets are unfixable, and the duty of the Judicial Commission should be to take remedial action including cancellation of the arms deal contracts.

These contracts provide in their "remedies in case of bribes" clauses that South Africa has the right summarily to cancel the contracts and to claim compensation.

South Africa has not yet paid for the arms deal. The country has borrowed from Barclays Bank for 20 years until 2019 for the BAE warplane contracts, and from Commerzbank until 2012 and 2016 for the frigate and submarine contracts. These loans are underwritten by the British and German governments, meaning that should they be cancelled the financial consequences will fall to British and German taxpayers.

The Barclays Bank loan agreements in my possession have been verified in court as authentic. Minister Trevor Manuel's legal counsel conceded that their representation, covenant and default clauses are "potentially catastrophic for South Africa". In my view, as a former international banker, these clauses are a textbook example of how European governments and banks entrap countries such as South Africa in "third world" debt. This is how they control and impoverish us.

Given that the arms deal is now estimated to have cost R70 billion instead of R30 billion, I suggest that this is money that South Africa can better use towards social-economic investment and the eradication of poverty.

No country in the world has yet adequately resolved how to fund political parties. The ANC makes the bizarre claim that it is a private entity, and therefore does not need to open its books to public scrutiny. The ANC was insolvent when the arms deal was negotiated.

Yet its treasurer, Mendi Msimang revealed at Polokwane in 2007 that the ANC suddenly had assets worth R1.75 billion. This would have made the ANC one of the richest political parties anywhere in the world, and has dire consequences for South Africa's prospects as a democracy. The corruption around Chancellor House, Hitachi and Eskom will far eclipse the arms deal, and will make the bribes seem to be mere "petty cash".

Politicians worldwide have a general inability ever to admit that they can make mistakes or can be wrong. The three defining issues of the Mbeki presidency were HIV/Aids, Zimbabwe and the arms deal.

In his book The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade[14], Andrew Feinstein systematically exposes the institutionalised corruption of the arms trade in Russia, Britain, Germany, France and, most especially, the United States. These five countries supplied 75 percent of the world's arms exports during 2007 to 2011.[15]

Warnings by Snowden in 1914 and Eisenhower in 1961 (plus numerous others) were ignored, and the world now faces the blowback.

Pakistan, equipped with nuclear weapons, teeters on the brink of being another failed state. The corruption goes right to the top, especially including the presidents and prime ministers. The BAE contracts negotiated with Saudi Arabia by British prime ministers Margaret Thatcher in 1985 and Tony Blair in 2006 are most especially notorious.

Those kickbacks were estimated at 25 percent, yet the Al Yamamah and Al Salaam contracts may not be investigated in England because of the British Official Secrets Act.[16] The late Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Sultan pioneered the system of offsets by which Saudi Arabia acquired British armaments against payment in oil.

British journalists have revealed that, in collusion with the British Defence Department, Prince Sultan's son, Prince Bandar, was paid bribes by BAE of over £1 billion, and that those bribes were laundered through Riggs Bank in Washington DC. Investigations into BAE by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) resulted in plea bargain fines in 2010 and 2011 of US$479 million. Nonetheless, BAE has still not been blacklisted from arms sales to the US for use in Iraq and other war zones.

Prime Minister David Cameron was last week in Indonesia promoting BAE weapons sales to that country,[17] seemingly oblivious to the human rights abuses and other consequences of previous BAE sales to the Suharto dictatorship.

The Al Yamamah/Al Salaam agreements contain extraordinary provisions that should raise huge alarm and concerns in Africa and Asia. Private American investigators, including Executive Intelligence Review, "guestimate" that the Bank of England "slush fund" is now worth over US$150 billion. Its purpose is:

a) To guarantee British and US government support for the Saudi royal family against domestic insurrection, and

b) To fund covert destabilisation of resource-rich countries in Asia and Africa under the guise of the "war on terror".

Prince Bandar and Saudi Arabia have long histories of funding covert US destabilisation of Afghanistan, Iran (including the Iran-Contra affair), Somalia and Yemen. Prince Bandar, coincidentally, was the only foreigner present at Nelson Mandela's secret marriage to Graca Machel. Mr Mandela has acknowledged that Saudi Arabia made very substantial donations to the ANC.

With President Barack Obama's election in 2008, the international community had high hopes for an end to unilateral US military misadventures. In an early speech, Obama declared that nuclear disarmament was a foreign and defence priority of his administration. Instead, as American commentator Robert Scheer notes:

Not only has Obama been a saviour of the banking conglomerates that so generously financed his campaign, but he also has proved to be equally as solicitous of the needs of the military-industrial complex. He entered his re-election year by signing a US$662 billion defence authorization bill that strips away some of our most fundamental liberties and keeps military spending at Cold War levels, and by approving a US$60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Those two actions represent an obvious contradiction, since the attack on American soil that kept defence spending so high in the post-9/11 decade was carried out by fifteen Saudis and four other men directed by Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi primarily using funding from his native land. Now Saudi Arabia is to be protected as a holdout against the democratic impulse of the Arab Spring because it is our ally against Iran, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11.

The rationale for the big arms deal with the tyrannical Saudi monarchy is that a better-armed Sunni theocracy is needed to counter the threat from the Shiite theocracy in Iran. Once again the U.S. is stoking religious-based fratricide, just as we did in Iraq. Only this time, we are on the side of Saudi Sunnis oppressing Shiites both at home and in neighbouring Bahrain. That oppression-along with a U.S. invasion that replaced Tehran's sworn enemy in Sunni-led Baghdad with a Shiite leadership that had long been nurtured by Iran's ayatollahs-is what enhances the regional influence of Iran.

If Iran ever does pose a regional military threat because of its nuclear program or any other reason, real or concocted, it will be NATO forces that will take out the threat, not the Saudis, who will still be polishing their latest-model F-15s as icons of a weird conception of modernism.[18]

World military spending now annually exceeds US$1.6 trillion. The Millennium Development project agreement of 2000 made by government leaders of 189 countries anticipated drastic reduction of poverty in countries around the world by the year 2015. Reallocation of only ten percent of military expenditures would have been required. Concerns were already being expressed by 2005 at the United Nations that these goals would not be reached. [19]

It is now conceded that there is no hope of meeting the Millennium Development goals. US military spending has rocketed during both the Bush and Obama administrations. The world is currently being held to ransom over Israeli and US hysteria about Iran. It is all yet another excuse to spend still more public money on weapons. New generation drones are reportedly being developed by Israel and the US to deliver nuclear bombs.

Patriotism is manipulated by a cabal of army generals, politicians, armaments companies and bankers. The opportunities for war profiteering are immense despite the reality that nothing is more economically devastating than war.

Obsessed with security, the US spends trillions of dollars waging wars that it cannot win but, in the process, makes the world a lot more dangerous. Bloated on public taxes, Lockheed Martin, Carlyle Industries and Raytheon are the beneficiaries. Their counterparts in Israel are Elbit, Raphael, Israel Aerospace and other armaments industry companies and the banks.

Elbit boasts that it leads the world in battle command technology to provide comprehensive C4ISR solutions - meaning Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance -- for space, air, sea and ground warfare.

The US uses drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Israel uses them in Gaza and the West Bank to "eliminate" Hamas and other so-called terrorists. The use of pilotless drones and remote-controlled weaponry is even more grotesque than traditional warfare. As if acting out a Hollywood movie, the "enemy" is eliminated by a young computer technician sitting thousands of kilometres away in air-conditioned comfort.

It is a perverted mentality even more diabolical than the hatred spawned in Sierra Leonean child soldiers or Palestinian suicide bombers or, indeed, the operators of the gas chambers and ovens at Auschwitz. Killing people for profit has become just a game that is rightly described as a "PlayStation mentality." Even fighter aircraft flown by highly skilled and expensively trained pilots have become redundant. (The BAE warplanes of the arms deal are already obsolete!)

Leaked US intelligence reports reveal that Iran abandoned its intentions to build nuclear weapons as long ago as 2003.[20] By contrast, Israel has an estimated 300 nuclear warheads, yet refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to submit to international inspection of its facilities.

Historically, 90 percent of the casualties of war were soldiers. Now, 90 percent of the casualties are civilians. Accordingly, international civil society has an obligation to put the war business out-of-business. An Israeli attack against Iran could lead to a conflagration from China across Asia and Africa to Nigeria, and the deaths of tens of millions of civilians.

Having abandoned its nuclear weapons, South Africa should take the lead to promote a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, including both Iran and Israel. We did not cover ourselves with much glory the last time South Africa was a member of the UN Security Council. It is time to remedy that lapse, and to make human rights the premise of South African foreign policy.

A resolution before the UN Security Council would almost certainly be vetoed by the US, which would again be placed in the extraordinary situation of vetoing its own foreign policy. In so doing, the US and Israel would open up other possibilities by civil society, including SWIFT[21] sanctions against Israeli banks.

Banking is the lifeblood of any economy, and banking sanctions were the tipping point in the international sanctions campaign against apartheid South Africa. Banking technology has advanced dramatically since then.

SWIFT sanctions, I believe, would impact very rapidly upon Israeli banks. They can also be reversed as soon as they have achieved their objectives without causing structural economic damage. If used with circumspection and judiciously managed, they could become the instrument to resolve international conflicts without recourse to war. In so doing, SWIFT sanctions could put the war business out-of-business.

Let us not forgot that it was civil society not governments that brought the apartheid dictatorship to its knees.

Terry Crawford-Browne


[1] Philip Snowden, quoted by John T Flynn in Men of Wealth, Simon and Shuster, New York, 1941, pages 337-372.

[2] Wikipedia

[3] The 1998 Atomic Audit estimated that to date the US had spent US$5.8 trillion on nuclear weapons. The figure was revised in 2005 to US$7.5 trillion. The US now annually spends over US$50 billion on its nuclear weapons. Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, California, March 16. 2012.

[4] Stephen Burgess, "Sustainability Of Strategic Minerals In Southern Africa And Potential Conflicts And Partnerships," US Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, May 2011.

[5] Keith Harmon Snow "Gertler's Bling Band Torah Gang," Dissident Voice, February 9, 2008.

[6] Keith Harmon Snow, "The Political Economy of Genocide-Conflicts in Contemporary Africa and the New Humanitarian Order," January 26, 2009.

[7] Ken Owen, Sunday Times, June 25, 1995.

[8] Striptease, Swedish TV1, September 28, 1998.

[9] Roger Hallhag, international advisor to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson at the Swedish/South African civil society consultation, Centre For The Book, Cape Town, November 29, 1999.

[10] Richard Pike "Labour Market Review-Problem Analysis," chapter in Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, compiled by Temba A Nolutshungu and published by the Free Market Foundation, Sandton, November 2011.

[11] Paul Holden and Hennie van Vuuren, The Devil In The Detail, Jonathan Ball Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Johannesburg and Cape Town, 2011.

[12] DTI progress report on implementation of the industrial policy action plan for the financial year April 2010 to March 2011.

[13] "Parliamentary Committee Keeps Arms Deal Offsets Report Secret, DefenceWeb, March 8, 2012.

[14] Andrew Feinstein, The Shadow World: Inside The Global Arms Trade, Jonathan Ball Publishers (Pty) Ltd, Johannesburg and Cape Town, 2011.

[15] SIPRI fact sheet, March 2012 "Trends In International Arms Transfers, 2011".

[16] William Simpson, The Prince, Harper, New York, 2006.

[17] Eric King "Selling Arms And Snooping Technology Is No Way To Help Democracy, Cameron," The Guardian, April 11, 2012.

[18] Robert Scheer "Arms Dealer Obama Will Win By Default," Huffington Post, January 5, 2012.

[19] Bob Goudzwaard, Mark Vander Vennen and David Van Heemst, Hope In Troubled Times: A New Vision For Confronting Global Crises, Baker Academic Books, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, 2007

[20] Ken Dilanian "US Does Not Believe Iran Is Trying To Build Nuclear Bomb," Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2012.

[21] SWIFT - Society For Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications - headquartered in Belgium is the system through which 10 000 international financial institutions make their payment transactions.