Tag Archives: 2015

New-wave Fundamentalism and its demons

In the last couple of days we have witnessed two major terror attacks which have shaken social media and were widely reported on by media outlets across the board. One in Beirut, where we witnessed the capital’s most lethal bombing since the end of the Lebanese civil war in 1990 and where an estimated 44 were killed in two separate explosions. The first concealed in a parked motor bike and the second being a suicide bomber. The explosives were detonated in a predominately Shia suburb south of the capital. As well as killing over 40, the bombs injured hundreds putting emergency facilities on high alert and who had to put out a call to residents to donate blood. More than 200 people were wounded – many of them seriously, Health Minister Wael Abou Faour said when speaking to the BBC. These attacks rocked the country reigniting age old tensions between the various communities that cohabitant the region. Beirut was targeted due to there being a Hezbollah stronghold in the region, a controversial unit currently opposing ISIS and fighting them through out the middle east. Hezbollah vowed to continue its fight against “terrorists”, warning of a “long war” against its enemies.
The second attack came in Paris and happened between the late hours of November the 13th and now (14th) with attackers claiming the lives of 127 victims. It is still unclear and currently being reported on as I write but, what I can piece together is several gun men stormed Paris and took several hostages as well as opening fire into crowds. Reporters on the ground claimed they could see bodies in the streets and were unable to confirm whether they were dead or wounded. It was too dangerous for reporters to get any closer making reports slightly scattered and incoherent. From my understanding gun men held 100 music fans hostage in the Bataclan concert venue, 50 boulevard Voltaire in the 11th district. As police arrived on scene and began to approach, explosions could be heard, some outlets claiming attackers throw explosives at the hostages within the building. It should come to no surprise who the group claiming to be behind the attacks is. Yes, you guessed it, ISIS/ISIL (Islamic State), the death cult currently rampaging throughout the middle east and today’s bogeyman for the western world to fight. Saying this, the outlets I had been following when writing, could not independently confirm this. However, with a little bit of research, what we do know is that ISIS supporters and possible members (as we know their soldiers use media for online promotion and social engineering), took to twitter praising the attacks under the # ParisIsBurning (some refered to these men as ‘lone wolves’ suggesting this may of not be a commanded attack). This attack comes straight after western politicians were celebrating the death of Emwazi Muhammad (“jihadi John”) a former UK citizen turned extremist who left to join ISIS in 2013. This odd ceremony of rejoicing in the death of a young man (despite his crimes), seemed very much as a quick fix, knee jerk response to reinforce the ideology that we have moral superiority over “The Savages”. The irony being that it is this same self righteous neo-liberal delusion that created the very thing we are praising the destruction of.
Stating the obvious, these attacks were senseless, barbaric and inhuman but, I think it is important that we remember that these tragic events are a clear symptom of the masquerade that is ‘The War on Terror’ and our NATO actions within the middle east. Our current military actions abroad are directly linked to this new wave of fundamentalism. British media report that the attackers in the Paris had shouted “it’s for Syria”, before murdering the people within the music hall. Syria is currently being torn apart, not only by a bloody civil war between its brutal regime and various factions but, by our NATO allies US and Russia, who have been fighting over the land and bombing the nation in a pseudo-proxy war backed by a western coalition of military power. It is the constant destabilization that western powers insist on instilling that is breeding such creatures like ISIS. Yet, which is equally damaging is our justification and mantra that accompany our war-mongering in Islamic countries. I’m sure we will have plenty of political leaders who will come out and have various scripted speeches on the horrors of this event, but few who will address the neo-colonial ideals that led us here. It is this very denial & western exceptionalism, that has given birth to the misapprehension that our instigation of war surpasses ethical or moral judgement. Believing our conflicts are right and justified only reinforces the anti-muslim/Arab rhetoric that has been stemming out Europe since the early 2000’s. This stigma attached to Muslim and Islam itself is born out of ignorance and engrained fear of the “other”. I could poetically put it that terrorism has no religion however, I don think this justifies my point. Most of those killed by ISIS and most of those fighting ISIS are Muslims. Lebanon is 54% Muslim and 8 million Muslims live in France, each one a citizen. 
“Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way, stop participating in it” – Noam Chomsky

HSBC scum. The Triad Bank Secrets.

The following will document the HSBC scandals and crimes that date back as far as 2010-2015. HSBC has not only committed fraud through tax evasion, but also has ties to the controversial unit known as Hezbollah. The bank has been involved in laundering cartel drug money and has direct ties to several political establishments. The bank stands as an icon of austerity in England and something that should be despised.
In 2010, HSBC was cited by its federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), for multiple severe Anti Money Laundering (AML) deficiencies, including a failure to monitor $60 trillion in wire transfers and account activity; a backlog of 17,000 un-reviewed account alerts regarding potentially suspicious activity; and a failure to conduct AML due diligence before opening accounts for HSBC affiliates.  Subcommittee investigators found that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) had failed to take a single enforcement action against the bank, formal or informal, over the previous six years, despite ample evidence of AML problems. (http://www.hsgac.senate.gov).

These crimes persisted and in 2012 a U.S Senate report that was released, despite it’s embargo time, revealed that HSBC’ was involved in yet another lax anti-money laundering scheme to benefit the wealthy, as well as policies allowing the trafficking of suspected Iranian terrorists’ and cartel drug money. The bank had also violated several rules, exposing the financial systems within the U.S which allowed Cartel affiliates to channel $7 billion into the U.S. between 2007 and 2008, this was directly linked to illegal narcotics sale and criminal enterprise.
As well as it’s polices being flawed it seems corruption is also institutionalized, with several reports stating that management and CEO’s are turning a ‘blind eye’ to violations. Forbes magazine said “Furthermore, the investigation showed how the bank’s regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) failed to take a single enforcement action against HSBC despite numerous violations by the international bank.  (http://www.forbes.com/) A subcommittee which investigated the bank after the matter wrote a 330-page report here which witnessed high-end employees openly ignore violations.
In early February 2015  the media outlet ‘The Guardian’ through an international collaboration with Le Monde, BBC Panorama and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, leaked sensitive data revealing mass deception perpetrated by HSBC and linked them to crimes such as fraud & tax evasion as well as deep rooted ties to the British establishment (leak: here).  The first part of the leak exposed HSBC and their Swiss branch where:
  • They Allowed Customers to withdraw large piles of cash, often in foreign currency which customers had no use for in Switzerland implying the money was being laundered or used for criminal activities.
  • Using aggressive market schemes to allow wealthy customers to avoid European taxes.
  • To help elite customers by creating “Black Accounts” to hide from domestic tax authorities.
However, as well as various tax dodging schemes, its Swiss Branch was also caught actively helping criminal organizations and human right violators. Since 1988, banks by law are legally obliged to make ‘special’ checks on high risk customers. HSBC however, yet again, turned a blind eye. It was exposed that the bank was providing, and subsequently aiding, some of the worst among us – from notorious Blood diamond smugglers to  Kamlesh Pattni one of Kenyans most corrupt criminals and  the architect behind the Goldberg scam in which several high ranking Kenyan politicians were involved. This scam has often been referred to as ‘Kenya’s biggest corruption case’. The same branch was also involved in military sales and corrupt transactions.
One of the most despicable revelations from the leak were the political ties the bank had. One of the politically exposed clients revealed was Bashar al Assad’s ‘bag man’, Rami Makhlouf, one of the richest men in Syria. Despite being  involved in the bloody civil war that  has claimed the lives of so many civilians, HSBC allowed Makhlouf to hold $15 million in multiple accounts, despite the man being sanctioned by the U.S back in 2011.  However, its not just your garden variety dictator or human trafficker HSBC deals with. The list also includes criminals and warlords half way across the globe. 
HSBC is heavily tied to political groups within the British establishment- the British Conservative Party and Labour Party, as well as their peers. Some of the names exposed during the leak were  Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park, Ben Goldsmith, automotive heir Georg von Opel,  Lord Sterling of Plaistow and Lord Fink, who was a party treasurer under David Cameron. These political figures have donated huge six figure sums within the past two years to HSBC and were able to profit from off shore Swiss accounts.
What this highlights is not only the links between the banking system and the establishment, but also the exposure of capitalism itself. We often see these crimes as a “one off thing” yet this  is how the machine works and the cogs turn. Deep down, I like to believe that most switched on people understand the inherent flaws this system presents and that we also need to stop brushing these crimes off as “well power corrupts” as its not power that corrupts, but the system itself. The game is rigged, and banks will always win, as they are the foundation of capitalism itself. Those at the top of ‘trickle down economics’ know this and feed off it like the parasites they are. If you think that’s an exaggeration & that the banking sector, although flawed is integral & in no way as corrupt as I claim, you should note that in the time it took for me to write and research this post,  HSBC have committed yet another crime (reported by the http://www.hindustantimes.com/  on November the 2nd 2015). Whistle blower Hervé Falciani (a French citizen and former employee of HSBC Private Bank in Geneva) stated that millions of crores worth of illicit funds are flowing out of India and that he needed protection as a whistle blower from his government. It  is no wonder you have morons deluded by conspiracy theories and Illuminati when cabals like this exist so publicly.
This isn’t austerity, its class war…so soldier the fuck up.