Eleven years ago I wrote a column for the print edition of Chronicles under this title. Tom Piatak’s grim reminder of the continued destructive presence of this cabal in what passes for the commentariat in today’s America has prompted me to dig into my old files and recap for our readers the historical and ideological roots of neoconservatism. The 2004 diagnosis, reproduced here in an abbreviated form, still stands.
The neoconservatives are often depicted as former Trotskyites who have morphed into a new, closely related life form. It is pointed out that many early neocons—including The Public Interest founder Irving Kristol and coeditor Nathan Glazer, Sidney Hook, and Albert Wohlstetter—belonged to the anti-Stalinist far left in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and that their successors, including Joshua Muravchik and Carl Gershman, came to neoconservatism through the Socialist Party at a time when it was Trotskyite in outlook and politics. As early as 1963 Richard Hofstadter commented on the progression of many ex-Communists from the paranoid left to the paranoid right, clinging all the while to the fundamentally Manichean psychology that underlies both. [Half a century] later the dominant strain of neoconservatism is declared to be a mixture of geopolitical militarism and “inverted socialist internationalism.”
Blanket depictions of neoconservatives as redesigned Trotskyites need to be corrected in favor of a more nuanced analysis. In several important respects the neoconservative world outlook has diverged from the Trotskyite one and acquired some striking similarities with Stalinism and German National Socialism. Today’s neoconservatives share with Stalin and Hitler an ideology of nationalist socialism and internationalist imperialism. The similarities deserve closer scrutiny and may contribute to a better understanding of the most influential group in the U.S. foreign policy-making community.
Certain important differences remain, notably the neoconservatives’ hostility not only to Nazi race-theory but even to the most benign understanding of national or ethnic coherence. On the surface, there are also glaring differences in economics. However, the neoconservative glorification of the free market is mere rhetoric, designed to placate the businessmen who fund them, than reality. In fact, the neoconservatives favor not free enterprise but a kind of state capitalism—within the context of the global apparatus of the World Bank and the IMF—that Hitler would have appreciated.
Some form of gradual but irreversible and desirable withering away of the state is a key tenet of the Trotskyite theoretical outlook. The neoconservatives, by contrast, are statists par excellence. Their core belief—that society can be managed by the state in both its political and economic life—is equally at odds with the traditional conservative outlook and with the non-Stalinist Left. In this important respect the neoconservatives are much closer to Stalinism and National Socialism.
They do not want to abolish the state; they want to control it—especially if the state they control is capable of controlling all others. They are not “patriotic” in any conventional sense of the term and do not identify themselves with the real and historic America but see the United States merely as the host organism for the exercise of their Will to Power. Whereas the American political tradition has been fixated on the dangers of centralized state power, on the desirability of limited government and non-intervention in foreign affairs, the neoconservatives exalt and worship state power, and want America to become a hyper-state in order to be an effective global hegemon. Even when they support local government it is on the grounds that it is more efficient and responsive to the demands of the Empire, not on constitutional grounds.
The neoconservative view of America as a hybrid, “imagined” nation had an ardent supporter eight decades ago: in Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler argued for a new, tightly centralized Germany by invoking the example of the United States and the triumph of the Union over states’ rights. He concluded that “National Socialism, as a matter of principle, must lay claim to the right to force its principles on the whole German nation without consideration of previous federated state boundaries.”
Hitler was going to make a new Germany the way he imagined it, or else destroy it. In the same vein the Weekly Standard writers are “patriots” only insofar as the America they imagine is a pliable tool of their global design. Their relentless pursuit of an American Empire overseas is coupled by their deliberate domestic transformation of the United States’ federal government into a Leviathan unbound by constitutional restraints. The lines they inserted into President Bush’s State of the Union address [in January 2004] aptly summarized their Messianic obsessions: the call of history has come to the right country, we exercise power without conquest, and sacrifice for the liberty of strangers, we know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation: “The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world, it is God’s gift to humanity.”
Such megalomania is light years away from a patriotic appreciation of one’s nation. A psychotic quest for power and dominance is the driving force, and the “nationalist” discourse its justification. The reality is visible in ultimate distress: Towards the end of the Second World War Josef Goebbels welcomed the Allied bombing for its destruction of the old bourgeois cuckoo-clock and marzipan Germany of the feudal principalities. Driven by the same impulse, Bill Kristol’s “national greatness” psychosis seeks to sweep away the old localized, decentralized America of bingo parlors and little league games.
Most heirs of the Trotskyite Left are internationalists and one-world globalists, whereas all neoconservatives are unabashed imperialists. The former advocate “multilateralism,” in the form of an emerging “international community” controlled by the United Nations or through a gradual transfer of sovereign prerogatives to regional groupings exemplified by the European Union. By contrast the neoconservative urge for uninhibited physical control of other lands and peoples bears resemblance to the New European Order of [the early 1940’s], or to the “Socialist Community” that succeeded it in Eastern Europe. Even when they demand wars to export democracy, the term “democracy” is used as an ideological concept. It does not signify broad participation of informed citizens in the business of governance, but it denotes the desirable social and political content of ostensibly popular decisions . . .
Whereas the Trotskyite Left is predominantly anti-militarist, the neoconservatives are enthusiastically militarist in a manner reminiscent of German and Soviet totalitarianism. Their strategic doctrine, promulgated into official policy [in September 2002], calls for an indefinite and massive military build-up unconnected to any identifiable military threat to the United States. Their scribes demand ‘citizen involvement,’ in effect, militarization of the populace, but the traditional ‘citizen soldier’ concept is reversed . . .
The neoconservative mindset is apocalyptic (which is a Nazi and Stalinist trait), rather than utopian (which characterizes the Trotskyite Left). The replacement of the Soviet threat with the more amorphous “terrorism” reflects the doomsday revolutionary mentality that can never rest. New missions and new wars will have to be engineered, and pretexts manufactured, with the same subtlety that characterized the “attack” on the German radio station at Gleiwitz on August 31, 1939. Even the tools for the enforcement of domestic acquiescence are not dissimilar: the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the Reichstag fire. Echoing the revolutionary dynamism and the historicist Messianism equally common to fascists and communists, Michael Ledeen wrote that “creative destruction” is America’s eternal mission, both at home and abroad, and the reason America’s “enemies” hate it: “They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very existence—our existence, not our politics—threatens their legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must destroy them to advance our historic mission.”
The neoconservatives’ mendacity apparent in the misrepresentation of the Iraqi crisis to the American people recalls the Goebbelsian “hypodermic needle approach” to communication, in which the communicator’s objective was to “inject” his ideas into the minds of the target population . . . [which] is echoed in our time by the Straussian dictum that perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is necessary because they need to be led, and they need to be told what is good for them. On this, at least, Trotsky, Stalin, and Hitler would all agree. (As Hitler had said, “The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble.”) In the Straussian-neoconservative mindset, those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right, the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.
That mindset is America’s enemy. It is the greatest threat to the constitutional order, identity, and way of life of the United States, in existence today. Its adherents have only modified the paradigm of dialectical materialism in order to continue pursuing the same eschatological dream, the End of History devoid of God. They are in pursuit of Power for its own sake—thus sinning against God and man—and the end of that insane quest will be the same as the end of the Soviet empire and of the Thousand-Year Reich.
In last month’s Anti-Empire Report I brought you the latest adventure of US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki trying to defend the indefensible. She said then: “As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means,” which prompted me to inform my readers: “If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War.”
On March 13 her regular attack on all things Russian included this exchange with Associated Presswriter Matthew Lee:
Lee: On this issue, did you get any more about this request to the Vietnamese on Cam Ranh Bay and not allowing the Russians to – and not wanting them to allow – you not wanting them to refuel Russian planes there?
Psaki: Well, just to be clear – and maybe I wasn’t as clear yesterday, so let me try to do this again – it’s – our concern is about activities they might conduct in the region, and the question is: Why are they in the region? It’s not about specifically refueling or telling the Vietnamese not to allow them to refuel. [emphasis added]
Lee: So there hasn’t been a request to stop refueling them, or there has?
Psaki: It’s more about concerns. It’s not as much about Vietnam as much as it – as it is about concerns about what activities they would be in the region for.
Lee: Okay. Well, you – I mean, there are U.S. planes flying over there all the time.
Psaki: Sure, there are.
Lee: So you don’t want Russian planes flying there, but it’s okay for U.S. planes to fly there? I mean, I just – it gets to the point where you – the suggestion is that everything the Russians are doing all the time everywhere is somehow nefarious and designed to provoke. But you can’t – but you don’t seem to be able to understand or accept that American planes flying all over the place, including in that area, is annoying to the Chinese, for one, but also for the Russians. But the suggestion is always that the American flights are good and beneficial and don’t cause tension, and that other people’s flights do cause tension. So can you explain what the basis is for your concern that the Russian flights there in the Southeast Asia area are – raise tensions?
Psaki: There just aren’t more details I can go into.
Cold War 2.0, part II
On Saturday, the Obama administration released a series of satellite images that it said showed the Russian army had joined the rebels in a full-scale assault to surround troops in the area around the city. Russia has denied that it is a party to the conflict, and it was impossible to verify the three grainy black-and-white satellite images posted to Twitter by the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt.
According to the United States, the images, commissioned from the private Digital Globe satellite company, showed artillery systems and multiple-rocket launchers Thursday in the area near Debaltseve.
“We are confident these are Russian military, not separatist, systems,” Pyatt tweeted. (Washington Post, February 15, 2015)
When the time comes to list the ways in which the United States gradually sunk into the quicksand, slowly metamorphosing into a Third-World state, Washington’s campaign of 2014-15 to convince the world that Russia had repeatedly invaded Ukraine will deserve to be near the top of the list. Numerous examples like the above can be given. If I were still the jingoistic nationalist I was raised to be I think I would feel somewhat embarrassed now by the blatant obviousness of it all.
For a short visual history of the decline and fall of the American Empire, see the video “Imperial Decay” by Class War Films (8:50 minutes).
During Cold War 1.0 the American media loved to poke fun at the Soviet media for failing to match the glorious standards of the Western press. One of the most common putdowns was about the two main Russian newspapers – Pravda (meaning “truth” in Russian) and Izvestia (meaning “news”). We were told, endlessly, that there was “no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia.”
As cynical as I’ve been for years about the American mainstream media’s treatment of ODE (Officially Designated Enemies), current news coverage of Russia exceeds my worst expectations. I’m astonished every day at the obvious disregard of any kind of objectivity or fairness concerning Russia. Perhaps the most important example of this bias is the failure to remind their audience that the US and NATO have surrounded Russia – with Washington’s coup in Ukraine as the latest example – and that Moscow, for some odd reason, feels threatened by this. (Look for the map online of NATO bases and Russia, with a caption like: “Why did you place your country in the middle of our bases?”)
Cold War 2.0, part III
Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on February 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe.
US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder. The Resolution also called on President Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia. In addition, it urged Obama to continue to sanction human rights violators in the Russian Federation and to increase US support to human rights activists in Russia.
So it went … all over the West.
Meanwhile, in the same time period in Ukraine, outside of the pro-Russian area in the southeast, the following was reported:
- January 29: Former Chairman of the local government of the Kharkov region, Alexey Kolesnik, hanged himself.
- February 24: Stanislav Melnik, a member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), shot himself.
- February 25: The Mayor of Melitopol, Sergey Valter, hanged himself a few hours before his trial.
- February 26: Alexander Bordiuga, deputy director of the Melitopol police, was found dead in his garage.
- February 26: Alexander Peklushenko, former member of the Ukrainian parliament, and former mayor of Zaporizhi, was found shot to death.
- February 28: Mikhail Chechetov, former member of parliament, member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), “fell” from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev.
- March 14: The 32-year-old prosecutor in Odessa, Sergey Melnichuk, “fell” to his death from the 9th floor.
The Partia Regionov directly accused the Ukrainian government in the deaths of their party members and appealed to the West to react to these events. “We appeal to the European Union, PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe], and European and international human rights organizations to immediately react to the situation in Ukraine, and give a legal assessment of the criminal actions of the Ukrainian government, which cynically murders its political opponents.”
We cannot conclude from the above that the Ukrainian government was responsible for all, or even any, of these deaths. But neither can we conclude that the Russian government was responsible for the death of Boris Nemtsov, the American media and politicians notwithstanding. A search of the mammoth Nexus news database found no mention of any of the Ukrainian deceased except for the last one above, Sergey Melnichuk, but this clearly is not the same person. It thus appears that none of the deaths on the above list was ascribed to the Western-allied Ukrainian government.
Where are the demands for international investigations of any of the deaths? In the United States or in Europe? Where is Senator McCain?
Torture via sanctions
Discussions on constraining Iran’s nuclear program have been going on for well over a year between Iran and the P5+1 (the five nuclear powers of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany), led by the United States. Throughout this period a significant stumbling block to reaching an agreement has been the pronouncements of Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA is the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, and its inspections are considered a key safeguard against countries using civilian nuclear energy technology to produce weapons. Amano has consistently accused Iran of failing to reply fully and substantially to queries about “possible military dimensions” of present and past nuclear activities, or failing to provide sufficient access to nuclear facilities.
Failure by Iran to comply fully with IAEA demands undermine Tehran’s efforts to win the lifting of crippling UN, US and other sanctions, which currently prohibit foreign companies from doing business with Iran and deny access to the global financial system. Media coverage of the negotiations regularly emphasize Amano’s claims of Iran’s insufficient responses to IAEA’s demands. It is thus worth inquiring just who is this man Amano.
In 2009 Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano became the head of the IAEA. What the Western media routinely fail to remind its audience is that a US embassy cable of October 2009 (released by Wikileaks in 2010) said Amano “took pains to emphasize his support for U.S. strategic objectives for the Agency. Amano reminded the [American] ambassador on several occasions that … he was solidly in the U.S. court on every key strategic decision, from high-level personnel appointments to the handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program.”
Even if Iran makes a superior effort to satisfy IAEA and Washington’s demands on all issues, it would remain questionable to what extent and how rapidly the sanctions would be removed, particularly under a Republican-controlled Congress. Iran specialist and author Gareth Porter recently wrote that “the United States and its allies have made no effort to hide the fact that they intend to maintain the ‘sanctions architecture’ in place for many years after the implementation of the agreement has begun. Last November, administration officials explained that US sanctions would only be removed after the International Atomic Energy Agency had verified that ‘Tehran is abiding by the terms of a deal over an extended period of time’ in order to ‘maintain leverage on Iran to honour the accord’.”
To appreciate the extraordinary degree of pressure and extortion the United States can impose upon another country we should consider the case of Libya in the decade-plus following the destruction of PanAm Flight 103 in 1988 over Scotland. To force Libya to “accept responsibility” for the crime, Washington imposed heavy sanctions on the Gaddafi regime, including a ban on international flights to Libya and payment of billions of dollars to the families of the victims. Libya eventually did “accept responsibility” for the crime, although it was innocent. As difficult as this may be to believe, it’s true. Read my account of it here.
Even after Libya accepted responsibility it still took years for the US to wipe out the sanctions, and it’s not clear that at the time of Gaddafi’s death in 2011 all of them had been removed. Once a nation becomes an Officially Designated Enemy of the empire the methods of torture can be exquisite and endless. Cuba is presently negotiating the end of US sanctions against Havana. They will need to be extremely careful.
“Like others of his ilk – such as David Horowitz and Christopher Hitchens – he learned too much in college and too little since.” Sam Smith
I’ve never been too impressed by what college a person went to, or even if they attended college at all. Gore Vidal did not attend any college; neither did H. L. Mencken; nor did Edward Snowden, who has demonstrated a highly articulate and educated mind. Among the many other notables who skipped a college education are George Bernard Shaw, Ernest Hemingway, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Then we have graduates from Ivy League colleges like George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Tom Cotton. I don’t have to present the case for Bush’s less-than educated mind; we’re all only too familiar with its beauty. But Obama has matched Georgie Boy for stupidity and inanity time and time again. My favorite, which he’s used on at least five occasions, is his reply to questions about why his administration has not prosecuted Bush, Cheney, et al for torture and other war crimes: “I prefer to look forward rather than backwards”. Picture a defendant before a judge asking to be found innocent on such grounds. It simply makes laws, law enforcement, crime, justice, and facts irrelevant. Picture Chelsea Manning and other whistle blowers using this argument. Picture the reaction to this by Barack Obama, who has become the leading persecutor of whistleblowers in American history.
Is there anyone left who still thinks that Barack Obama is some kind of improvement intellectually over George W. Bush? Probably two types still think so: (1) Those to whom color matters a lot; (2) Those who are very impressed by the ability to put together grammatically correct sentences.
And now we have Mr. Cotton, Senator from Arkansas and graduate of Harvard undergraduate and law schools. He’ll be entertaining us for years to come with gems like his remark on “Face the Nation” (March 15): “Moreover, we have to stand up to Iran’s attempts to drive for regional dominance. They already control Tehran and, increasingly, they control Damascus and Beirut and Baghdad. And now, Sana’a as well.”
Heavens, Iran controls Tehran! Who knew? Next thing we’ll hear is that Russia controls Moscow! Sarah Palin, move over. Our boy Cotton is ready for Saturday Night Live.
- Washington Post, February 15, 2015, “Amid doubts, truce in Ukraine appears to take hold”
- RT, March 12, 2015, “EU lawmakers demand international investigation into Nemtsov’s death”
- John McCain website, Press Release, “Senators John Mccain And Lindsey Graham Introduce Resolution Condemning Murder Of Russian Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov”
- Research for this section was done by a person who was raised in the Soviet Union and now lives in the United States.
- Middle East Eye, March 27, 2015, “Sanctions and the fate of the nuclear talks”
American aircraft went into action against Islamic State positions in Tikrit on March 25 in direct support of a stalled Iraqi offensive. The following day General Lloyd Austin, top commander in the Middle East, told Congress that he would like his forces to protect the Syrian “moderate” rebels who are currently trained and armed by the U.S. Also this week a major new theater was opened in Yemen, where a Sunni Arab coalition started sustained air strikes against Shia rebels with Washington’s explicit support.
The alarming aspect of these new developments is that the U.S. role appears to be entirely reactive and not based on a coherent long-term strategy. The engagement in Tikrit has the obvious short-term objective of countering Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, rather than inflicting a decisive defeat on the IS.According to a report in Thursday’s New York Times, President Obama approved the airstrikes, requested by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, on the condition that Iranian-backed Shiite militias move aside to allow a larger role for Iraqi forces that have worked closely with U.S. troops. They went into action only after Qassim Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps who has been advising anti-IS forces around Tikrit, was reported to have left the area:
The United States has struggled to maintain influence in Iraq, even as Iran has helped direct the war on the ground against the Islamic State. But as the struggles to take Tikrit mounted, with a small band of Islamic State militants holding out against a combined Iraqi force of more than 30,000 for weeks, American officials saw a chance not only to turn the momentum against the Islamic State but to gain an edge against the Iranians.
According to a Pentagon statement issued on Wednesday, the purpose of the strikes was to hit ISIS targets and to enable “Iraqi forces under Iraqi command to continue offensive operations.” The meaning is clear when we consider General Martin Dempsey’s statement at the onset of the offensive that Iraq’s 24,000 forces included 20,000 “Iranian-trained and somewhat Iranian-equipped” [sic!] Shia militiamen. Those militiamen “pulled back” east of Tikrit once the U.S. began conducting airstrikes, General Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Central Command commander, told Congress on Thursday: “I will not – and I hope we will never – coordinate or cooperate with Shiite militias. Preconditions for us to provide support were that the Iraqi government had to be in charge of this operation. We had to know exactly who was on the ground.”
This means that Tikrit will remain under IS control, unlike the city of Amerli where the IS jihadists were driven back by a militia-led ground offensive backed by U.S. airstrikes. According to Gen. Austin, 4,000 Iraqi soldiers and police were now fighting in Tikrit. This is but a fraction of the 23,000 Shiite militia and government forces previously attacking the city. It is obvious that this force cannot complete the job, airstrikes or no airstrikes. “Never, ever coordinating or cooperating” has tangible military consequences.
The U.S. military, as of now, is willing to provide extensive air support only to those Iraqi units that have no obvious Iranian or Shia connection – even if this means that the overall numbers of combatants on the ground and their effectiveness is woefully inadequate to the task of pushing back the battle-hardened IS veterans. Even if Tikrit eventually falls to the small “Iraqi government-commanded” force – an unlikely proposition – the far more important city of Mosul, 140 miles further north, will remain safely under IS control for many months to come. This is exactly what “Caliph” al-Baghdadi wants.
This is no way to fight a battle, let alone a war. Iraq is a sectarian mayhem in which the U.S. should not intervene yet again. It threatens to become but another example of improvised, ad-hoc American involvement in pursuit of unattainable political objectives – such as a “substantial Sunni component” in the Iraqi army – or the exclusion of Iran’s influence from Baghdad which has been made possible by George W. Bush’s war.
General Austin’s statement that he would like his forces to protect the Syrian “moderate” rebels is no less incongruous. Protected from whom, exactly? Most of them want to fight Bashar al-Assad, rather than the IS. “Protecting” them means putting American boots on the Syrian ground in support of an utterly unreliable and untested force in a Hobbesian nightmare, with the possibility that the U.S. gets directly involved against the only army in the region able and willing to fight the IS. Again, this is just what al-Baghdadi would like to happen.
Sadly, Orientalism has not yet run its course. On the contrary, it has assumed different forms and has gained momentum in recent years.
No doubt, this love child of Imperialism which has helped create an inconceivable chasm between the East and the West has naturally done away with any possibly constructive interfaith and intercultural interaction in the world.
In fact, the emergence of extremist groups such as Daesh or ISIL in the name of Islam is a byproduct of this systematic effort by the West. By way of cementing its misrepresentation of the East in general and Islam in particular, Imperialism proceeds with its long-pursued agenda of creating stereotypes in the world and portraying the easterners as ‘despotic and clannish’ when they are placed in positions of power and conniving and sycophantic when in subservient positions. No wonder, extremism is generously funded and promoted by the West.
Lending an absurd quality of strangeness to the easterners, Imperialism generally depicts women as the beleaguered class and the dissidents as victims of the most monstrous forms of human rights violations while it itself masquerades as champion of truth and freedom.
As Edward Said encapsulates this notion in his seminal work Orientalism (1978), this attitude reflects a political vision of reality whose structure promotes the difference between the familiar (Europe, West, us) and the strange (the Orient, the East, “them”).
Thus, demonizing and otherizing the easterners serve as effective tools in the hands of Imperialism. After all, the ulterior motive behind Orientalism is the intellectual colonization of public opinion on the one hand and on the other, a ravenous desire to seek a safety-valve to the colonization of the natural resources of a certain country.
To Demonize or not to Demonize; that is the Question
Demonizing operates on two levels: they demonize you because they simply wish to colonize you; 2. they demonize you because they dread your increasing power, i.e. they are afraid of your emerging power which they fear to confront or/and which they find impossible to subjugate.
As part of this pernicious practice, Islamophobia can be defined as any concerted effort to demonize the glorious faith as monolithically bad, to consequently fabricate a fear of it and all that is considered Islamic and to ultimately dispel the mounting spread of the faith in the world.
In a similar vein, Iranophobia can be viewed as an extension of the demonization process by the West and as a new form of neo-Orientalism.
The new harbingers of neo-Orientalism sometimes infiltrate the Muslim communities under the guise of scholars, philosophers and intellectuals. Some of them are either well paid by Imperialism or they may be following their own fiendish agenda which may spring from their inveterate fear of or loathing to the Muslims or the easterners.
In modern times, these self-styled intellectuals infiltrate the eastern communities through modern means such as seminars, conferences and symposiums in order to avail themselves of a double pleasure, that is, to visit the country and subsequently deliver a ‘believably’ twisted account of their observations in the first place and to quench their voyeuristic quest for adventurism for the Orient which has long been on their wish list in the second.
Something Wicked this Way Comes
In November 2014, Harvard scholar Stephen Greenblatt readily accepted an offer to serve as the keynote speaker to the First International Shakespeare Conference in Iran at the University of Tehran without asking for any honorarium or travel costs as is the wont especially for someone of his fame and in view of his “busy schedule”.
“In April 2014 I received a letter from the University of Tehran, inviting me to deliver the keynote address to the first Iranian Shakespeare Congress.”
This came rather as a big surprise to one of the organizers who initially broke the matter to him as a shot in the dark, for his earlier efforts to invite other celebrated scholars to lecture at the Shakespeare Conference had failed like water off a duck’s back due to the lack of financial support.
So, Greenblatt was more than available and he was a well-known scholar in the field to boot. Besides, he had made some name in New Historicism School which made him even a far better candidate for the job. Given that, the organizers took the bait and decided to go on with necessary arrangements without thinking even for a moment that the Harvard scholar might be pursuing other than anything academic. Parenthetically, the professor had in his first email expressed his insatiable passion to visit the land of his dreams and how he was fascinated as a child by the photos he had seen of Isfahan and Persepolis.
That was how he had shrewdly obliterated any room for mistrust. Of course, once by way of dismissing any gaping suspicion, he had briefly asked who would pay for him or if any of his costs would be covered by the conference only after all arrangements had been made. And he secretly gloated over his easy triumph in outsmarting the organizers.
Eventually the promised day arrived and he deplaned at one in the morning at Imam Khomeini International Airport while the first organizer against whom he later spewed out his spiteful diatribe in an unmanly essay received him warmly at the airport.
“And there, waiting for me when I deplaned at 1:00 AM, was none other than the author of the articles denouncing the secret Zionist investors who controlled the world. He was smiling, gregarious, urbane.”
Eventually, the next morning, Greenblatt delivered a rather incoherent keynote speech at the conference as though he had not even spent a reasonable amount of time in preparing himself to deliver a decent lecture and later paid a two-day luxury visit to Isfahan and Shiraz to fulfill his dreams which inflicted an exorbitant cost on the University of Tehran.
Once back home, Greenblatt declined to convey even a word of gratitude to the first organizer who had spent two sleepless nights because of him through email or through any means of communication hitherto invented by human beings. That was extremely odd especially for a man who made a display of etiquette and gentlemanly manners to be so precociously unappreciative.
Et tu, Brute?
A few weeks later, the professor wrote an essay titled ‘Shakespeare in Tehran’ in the New York Review of Books and made a relentless attack on the first organizer and censured him to extremity, exhausting all his linguistic competence to this end. Unlike the established code of conduct by critics, Greenblatt numerously quoted him out of context from the different articles he had written in condemnation of Israeli atrocities. In the attitude of traditional Orientalists, he had cherry-picked some anti-Zionist rhetoric which seemed to have enormously pained the professor.
To everyone’s chagrin, Greenblatt implicitly voiced his support for Israel and Zionism.
“Did my prospective host—someone who had presumably grappled with the humane complexity of Shakespeare’s tragedies—actually believe these fantasies reminiscent of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion? A simple check online showed me that one of the scholars who signed my letter of invitation had written, in addition to essays on “The Contradictory Nature of the Ghost in Hamlet” and “The Aesthetic Response: The Reader in Macbeth,” many articles about the “gory diabolical adventurism” of international Zionism. “The tentacles of Zionist imperialism,” he wrote, “are by slow gradation spread over [the world].” “A precocious smile of satisfaction breaks upon the ugly face of Zionism.” “The Zionist labyrinthine corridors are so numerous that their footprints and their agents are scattered everywhere.”
Of course, that was the beginning of Greenblatt’s invasion on the organizer’s personality which can be interpreted as an egregious instance of character assassination.
There was a time when I transiently presumed that the age of stereotyping and otherizing is over but unfortunately, Greenblatt’s essay proves that the Orientalist viewpoint still prevails, that there is a cosmic gap between the West and the East and that this trend of stereotyping is painfully promoted by some western scholars.
One May Smile, and Smile, and be a Villain
Now it tragically transpired to everyone that the scholar who seemed so politically naïve, never expressed a political word and persistently presented himself as an agreeably smiling man with intellectual resources suddenly proved to a be a covert pro-Zionist who may even garner a medal of honor from Mr. Netanyahu.
Unfortunately, his superficial account did not end here.
Apparently overwhelmed by paranoid fear and ‘New Historical’ conspiracy theories, he saw himself surrounded by spies and intelligence agents at the faculty site.
“I also noticed among the men a few who stood apart and did not seem to be either students or faculty. It was not difficult to imagine who these might be.”
At the dinner table, when I asked him about Shakespeare’s anti-Semiticism (without consciously trying to hurt his delicacy as he was a Jew; besides, Greenblatt seemed affable and somehow likeable), he felt extremely agitated, saying that “Shakespeare was just curious about the Jews.” It was then when I came to understand the multilayered meanings of curiosity which was until then to me a naked word.
However, another instance of Greenblatt’s brazenly distorted representation of Iran is about Bagh-e Fin in Kashan:
“I wanted to see the late-sixteenth-century Baghe Fin, one of the walled enclosures that in old Persian were called “paradises.” (Other English borrowings from Persian include the words peach, lemon, and orange, along with cummerbund, kaftan, and pajama.)”
Here, the professor ridicules this paradise which was to him “a relatively small, dusty, square garden with very old cedar trees lined up in rows along very straight paths. A twinge of disappointment is built into the fulfillment of any desire that has been deferred for too long, so it is not surprising that my experience of paradise, in the form of the Bagh-e Fin, was a slight letdown.”
To deliver Greenblatt from his cocoon of ignorance as to the wonders of Iran, it should be noted that Bagh-e Fin is a garden in the midst of the desert. Iranians are noted and praised for their exceptional talent in building paradisal gardens in the heart of the desert such as Bagh-e Fin in Kashan and Bagh-e Shazd-e in Kerman.
But how can a man evidently endowed with critical intelligence fail to understand this simple fact?
What, Can the Devil Speak True?
In his depiction of Iran, Greenblatt is judgmentally biased and even before coming to the country, he had carried with him his baggage of pride and prejudice but what he observed in Iran fiercely challenged his entrenched expectations and dealt a heavy blow to his hidebound beliefs as well as to the hatred he had so keenly harbored in his heart in years about the Islamic Republic of Iran.
To his bewilderment just before him stood women and men who spoke courageously, intelligently, and boldly. Before his very eyes, he beheld women and men whom he had surreptitiously denigrated.
“… and there began a question period, a flood of inquiries and challenges stretching out for the better part of another hour. Most of the questions were from students, the majority of them women, whose boldness, critical intelligence, and articulateness startled me.”
But now his eyes reeled and his head swam when he found himself incapacitated to imbibe all that grandeur of a great nation where he had come with an agenda pushed under his arm by the Zionists before coming to Iran. In fact, the illusion of ‘American Exceptionalism’ which was clearly discernible in his condescending attitude towards the Iranian scholars and students as well as the conference organizers was shattered to smithereens.
That is how the scholar’s neo-Orientalist mission failed altogether. There are serious responses to his illogical and biased essay in Iran and abroad. Even Iranian runaway malcontents like Hamid Dabashi have blasted him for his essay.
The similitude of Greenblatt is as the similitude of a non-practicing scholar whom the Persian poet Sa’di compares to “a bee without honey. Tell that harsh and ungenerous hornet/As thou yield no honey, wound not with thy sting.”
The Rest Is Silence
In Literary Theory Course for PhD program which I am teaching this semester, my students vehemently refused to cover any of Greenblatt’s theories, insisting that I skip him as a critic in our course which I welcomed as I perceived their wounded pride and their monumental mistrust of New Historical theories and other lies represented by Greenblatt.
This commendable display of resilience and patriotism on the part of Iranian students evinced an unbreakable bond between them and their country as well as an overpowering repugnance to the enemies of Iran and those who wish to tarnish the image of the nation.
I can’t say for sure if I for one regard any respect for Stephen Greenblatt as a scholar not because he has made craven efforts to assassinate my character in his cabalistically dictated essay but because he has unforgivably insulted my nation. As William Shakespeare rightly put it, “To be honest, as this world goes, is to be one man picked out of ten thousand.”
Andrew Kreig, founder of the Justice Integrity Project, is not the first to point out the inconvenient truths surrounding the 1964 report of the Warren Commission. His continuing series of articles on the details contain a series of shocks which bring into high relief the falsehoods sold to the public by the major media. His book, Presidential Puppetry, has built out a picture of events both compelling and frightening.
Kreig has been thorough, building a monumental data base which, along with following the action, examines the impact of the assassination on American politics, those who report the news, and the many incidents following the death of JFK and continue to take place today.
Today most Americans, according to the polls, believe the Warren Commission Report mislead the public. The question of what happened on November 22, 1963 remains a hot topic, with between 1,000 and 2,000 books written on the subject.
People still care what happened. They still want to know; they still don’t.
Bill O’Reilly was an ambitious young reporter when he lied about having been on George de Mohrenschildt’s porch when the shots were fired which killed the man who was a friend of Lee Harvey Oswald. It was a dramatic claim disproved by audio tapes of only within the last several years.
Mohrenschildt was supposedly about to testify before congress that Oswald did not kill the President. Thereafter local authorities ruled the death a suicide. The chief counsel for the Congressional investigation, then ongoing, was replaced by one who deferred to the CIA. Bill O’Reilly also wrote a book, the best seller, Killing Kennedy. It accepts the facts as laid out by the Warren Commission.
From that day to now Kreig claims many parts of our lives have been impacted and the course of our history altered.
Now we know Oswald could not have acted alone. New forensic evidence indicates Kennedy was shot at least once from the front, twice from the back.
In 1963 Americans were more trusting of government. Americans, dissatisfied with what they get in print and on television seek news and facts online. Mislead on many issues a reaction has been building. This is one of the reasons the ratings for the Main Stream Media have been dropping.
Blow back is, “an unforeseen and unwanted effect, result, or set of repercussions.” Sometimes it is a long time coming, but it always arrives.
The Destruction of a Nation…
“we are asked to feel guilty about men in prison. We are told how many are of particular racial groups, and this is somehow our fault, no matter how many laws these convicts violated.” R. J. Rushdoony, “Systematic Theology”, Vol. 1, pg. 464
With substantial support from biased reporting by the media we have experienced social unrest and rioting by Blacks over police infractions that have subsequently been proven false by a jury and by the Federal judicial system. In the Tryvon Martin case local authorities decided against indictment but deceptive press coverage caused enough Black outrage to force a trial. George Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury. In the Michael Brown case in spite of media-fanned riots both Federal and local authorities decided against indicting Darrin Wilson.
In both cases the neocon controlled media provided distorted and incendiary coverage designed to create a violent reaction. In both cases rather than presenting the evidence as it existed they distorted the evidence to make it seem that an atrocity had been committed. “White policeman kills unarmed Black teen” does not do justice to either event.
In an article in the “Atlantic” TA-Nehisi Coates writes ”The investigation concluded that there was no evidence to contradict Wilson’s claim that Brown reached for his gun. The investigation concluded that Wilson did not shoot Brown in the back. That he did not shoot Brown as he was running away. That Brown did stop and turn toward Wilson. That in those next moments ‘several witnesses stated that Brown appeared to pose a physical threat to Wilson’. That claims that Brown had his hands up ‘in an unambiguous sign of surrender’ are not supported by the ‘physical and forensic evidence,’ and are sometimes, ‘materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time.’”
Though slave owners no longer exist in the United States the media and Black leadership is still trying to harness White Americans with guilt over slavery. Programs on slavery are frequent and any true depiction of current Black society is studiously suppressed.
We have a Black president, there are Blacks in Congress, sports at both the college and professional levels is primarily Black. Blacks have responsible high paying government jobs, they are frequently seen in all current advertising; they own businesses and many are now solidly ensconced in Middle Class and upper 1% neighborhoods. There are many loving and supportive Black families that are producing talented and upwardly mobile children.
An honest assessment of Black progress is very positive. As a race they are doing extremely well. Sadly, none of this is put forth in the press and media. Instead, we get a constant ear splitting whine about racial prejudice.
In the first volume of “Sytematic Theology” R. J. Rushdoony (RJR) writes, “Basic to all non-Christian politics are, first, a false covering, and, second, the cultivation of guilt. By cultivating guilt the state seeks to make its citizenry impotent and enslaved. A false sense of guilt, moreover, has no solution and no escape is possible from it, as long as it is held. The state then offers a false covering to that cultivated guilt: a statist program of noble ideas which in practice means the further enslavement of the people, and the increase in statist powers.” Pg. 465
Slavery and the Holocaust are salient examples of the procedure. Egregious manipulation of our government is allowed by grief over the Holocaust and preferred racial citizenship is accorded by guilt over slavery. In both cases the guilt is cultivated and in both cases it is bogus.
Christianity is dangerous to the state because Christians are freed from guilt and able to think clearly. “Guilty men are not free men: they are slaves.” (RJR)
In spite of the great progress Blacks have made there are still major problems. Shootings are part of the evening news for every major city and too often they involve Blacks shooting other Blacks. Black unemployment is part of the problem and government assistance programs share part of the guilt. The major culprit, however, is the media which extends their fraudulent news coverage by giving a bully pulpit to self-serving Black leaders with deceitful messages. The uncontrolled emotional rage, fanned by the press, ignites riots that make matters worse. Riots destroy the fabric of society. They work against freedom. It must be acknowledge that the crime rate in Black inner-city areas is several times that of similar White neighborhoods. Racial prejudice can no longer be used as an excuse. We have elected a Black President, twice; a bigoted society would not do that.
A new group of Black realists needs to sit down with their biased leadership and hammer out a just and honest program for Black citizens. There are some excellent Black pastors that would help with such a project. Blaming people, places, and things will not provide progress; it must come from the Blacks themselves.
Though they are hardly coming from a position of strength Blacks are right about policing. Major changes are needed in the behavior law enforcement. Demands by policemen that innocent citizens submit to personal indignities tarnishes their reputation; policepersons who cannot determine who needs to be handcuffed and who does not do not belong on the street. Law enforcement needs to earn a better reputation in both White and Black neighborhoods. When respect is restored compliance will follow.
It is frightening to see a line of almost automated, black garbed, heavily armored police with loaded guns marching toward a residence where civilians will be surprised by a paralyzing no-knock raid. The object is to shock with massive impregnable force and demand acquiescence. These Swat team operations grew from a small number to over 40,000 per year by the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. Read here. Policing has morphed from protecting society to considering almost everyone to be an enemy.
Bad laws, too many laws, the war on drugs, and war as a way of life are all part of the problem. The Neocon hate for Christianity and their success in purging it from U. S. society has had devastating effects on behavior. We are considered a Christian nation with a population that overwhelmingly claims to be Christian but our flaccid pseudo-Christian population is governed by a satanic pagan power structure that exploits their naivety. Freedom cannot exist under devilish tyranny.
The confiscation of cash from vehicles stopped for any or no particular reason is pandemic. In some states the victims are predominantly Black but in others race is not a factor. In one county in Texas in a two year period 200 citizens were victims of confiscations. Fifty of the 200 were charged with drug possession but the remainder was never charged with a crime. In many cases the threat of being charged with a crime which would require lawyers and trips back to the area caused victims to leave the money and go free. Cash confiscations are common in many of our states.
In a small town in Northern Florida the city budget was almost entirely financed by speeding tickets issued to motorists traveling a main state highway that runs through the town. That municipal thievery has how been stopped but it continued for years.
There are times when a lawless, recalcitrant citizen must be subdued and taken into custody and there are times when such a procedure is not warranted; policepersons should know the difference.
We have allowed our police departments to become sources of revenue that is used by local politicians. Forfeiture laws and heavy fines are income streams rather than retribution for crimes. This is fraudulent; it perverts the duties of the police force and cultivates cynicism. Police are to be enforces of justice and should be filled with pride in that vocation.
The Black struggle for equality in a White society has now become a struggle for power. They have more than equal legal status but now as a minority population they seek power over the entire government by calling for the resignation of the entire leadership of Ferguson. Black riots have regularly resulted in concessions and as long as these concessions continue Black riots will continue. It is a dangerous situation when an errant press and media can create riots almost at will. The quest for power without reference to immutable justice is another form of tyranny.
American citizens are allowing manufactured guilt to be used as an excuse to create revolutionary chaos in our nation.
At the end of the “Atlantic” article TA-Nehisi Coates writes ”I do not favor lowering the standard of justice offered Officer Wilson. I favor raising the standard of justice offered to the rest of us.”
The immortal words uttered by Prince Hamlet as he contemplates death and suicide, applies for an entire society. The enormous gravity that permeates William Shakespeare’s tragic hero represents the same fate confronting the normal mortals, who make up the ranks of Americans. The rapid decline in intelligence and moral character has approached epidemic levels. The ROT which has seeped into the popular culture has become a metamorphosis Reign of Terror. The transformers from a heritage of principle, courage and honor have sunk to a level of Slouching Towards Gomorrah. Such a fate was feared by our Founding Fathers.
Such a band of brothers would be hung together today, for daring to defy the established order. This ageless conflict between those with imposing power and the subjects, who suffer from the rule of tyrannical madmen, never ends. Well before the era of the Bard of Strafford-upon-Avon, the playwrights of the original Greek theater operated as the model for an establishment governance.
From the venerable 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica volume 20 page 144 the pattern of human domination is illustrated.
“The success of the oracle led at last to the establishment of the rule that Herodotus declares to be almost universal in Greece, namely, that no leader of a colony would start without consulting Delphi. Doubtless in many cases the priesthood only gave encouragement to a pre-conceived project. But they were in a unique position for giving direct advice also, and they appear to have used their opportunities with great intelligence.
They could have for it was not by any means far-reaching conscious of no mission to preach Apollo, for his cult was an ancient heritage of the Hellenic stocks. Only the narrower duty devolved upon them of impressing upon the consultants felt the religious obligation of sending tithes or other offerings.
Nevertheless their opportunity of directing the religious ritual and organization of the public worships was great; for Plato’s view that all questions of detail in religion should be left to the decision of the god ” who sits on the omphalos ” was on the whole in accord with the usual practice of Greece. Such consultations would occur when the state was in some trouble, which would be likely to be imputed to some neglect of religion, and the question to the oracle would commonly be put in this way “to what god or goddess or hero shall we sacrifice”?
The oracle would then be inclined to suggest the name of some divine personage hitherto neglected, or of one whose rites who fallen into decay.
Again, Apollo would know the wishes of the other divinities, who were not in the habit of directly communicating with their worshippers; therefore questions about the sacred the goddesses at Eleusis would be naturally referred to land of him. From both these points of view we can understand why Delphi appears to have encouraged the tendency towards hero-worship which was becoming rife in Greece from the 7th century onwards.”
The lesson from placing submission in the hands of ruling elite goes back to antiquity. Usually that obedience was based upon physical threats of coercion, slavery or death. The cradle of Democracy interjected a cultural element into the mix that the priesthood class could intercede with the gods on behalf of a civil society of implied, free men.
The notion that citizens could vote on public issues, and confer consent was earth shattering. Making appeals to pagan deities is not unique. Access to “consultations” with the gods, followed a procedure that was strictly maintained by the prevailing order. The standard that saved the city-state required divine approval. Today regimes are protected by controlling mass allegiance through a cultural assault of rigid conformity to basic compliance of laws that is acceptable to the establishment authority.
None of this social dominance is healthy for a free society. Yet, those who give a superficial reading of Robert H. Bork’s book, risk missing the balance needed to protect individual common law rights.
“Slouching Towards Gomorrah is a penetrating, devastatingly insightful exposé of a country in crisis at the end of the millennium, where the rise of modern liberalism, which stresses the dual forces of radical egalitarianism (the equality of outcomes rather than opportunities) and radical individualism (the drastic reduction of limits to personal gratification), has undermined our culture, our intellect, and our morality.”
In order to promote legitimate individualism and personal freedom, the fundamental canons of natural rights must be the core criterion. Ethical conduct requires personal choices and conscious decisions for behavioral conduct.
Being part of the establishment means that acceptance of the system goes mostly unquestioned. Anti-establishment sentiment does not mean becoming a social misfit is the only path. There is no practical way to drop off the planet altogether and remain alive. Hamlet is correct in questioning his very existence, but few surviving participants in the daily grind of the rat race ever make time to contemplate their own place in the world.
Essentially, being Stuck on Stupid finds a delusive comfort and a false security in acquaintance to the status quo, even if that mode of interaction is wholly corrupt and destructive.
Until the masses make a commitment to be honest and honorable, no effective campaign can be waged against the establishment. Those who vigorously defend the actions of the establishment are lost. Seeking the guidance of the symbolic Delphi requires a total break with hero-worship of establishment proponents.
Radical egalitarianism is a cornerstone of the establishment, in their effort to become the Lord Master of the system. The madness that Hamlet experience drove him to express, “To die, to sleep-/No more“, is based upon his torture and fear that there might not be peace even in death. Likewise the torment of thinking social critics understands that current ruling institutions and authorities are rotten to the core.
Trust worthy traditional conservatism offers a cogent, proven and utilitarian approach to achieve a renaissance for Western Civilization. In order to plant the seeds of individual Liberty, a populist message and a spiritual re-awakening must be adopted.
Society as it is presently configured is doomed to a catastrophic upheaval. Now is the time to prepare for personal survival, because the governmental safety network systems are unsustainable.
After the collapse, as the substantive re-alignment struggle is fought out, each of us will need to answer the primary question: Will you obey the Fascist Police State elites or you will you overcome Hamlet’s fear of continual existence and resist the tyranny?
The saying often associated about the place one resides: “Where Life is Worth Living”, should apply to America. For most of its history this attitude was true. More people than ever are not so sure that the nation once revered deserves to survive.
A new Gallup poll indicates that “Americans continue to view government as their single greatest problem. While the economy and unemployment have given the government a run for its money over the last year, in recent months government has taken a clear lead for the ignominious title.”
The establishment most closely is associated with the government. However, the social culture ultimately accepts the system even when vocal activists are protesting. The reason is simple, fear of the unknown. Like Hamlet, death may not be relief in the end. Nevertheless, Abu Bakr’s quotation regretfully is all too true. “Cursed is the man who dies, but the evil done by him survives”.
How does one respond when the death of humanity comes as the cost of the survival of the establishment? The sickness that has become today’s political, social and economic environment is a wholly owned dividend from the establishment’s war on God.
Seeking the console of the Delphi to intercede with Apollo is like applying for a government grant to endure one more day of food rations. The dependency milieu is designed with a kill switch. Nothing is more philistine in a stance than to keep accepting that the establishment is a legitimate authority.
While there are few Plato’s among us, there are many despotic followers of his ideal Republic despotism. One can explain away that Plato was promoting his Philosopher King, but there is no excuse to execrate the long list of democratic leaders who work tirelessly to establish their kingdom here on earth.
For God’s sake! If not for your own; then seek righteousness for His. Remaining dumb and stupid is no defense for encouraging the establishment by providing willful assent. The notion that we can reform ourselves out of this dilemma is folly. Every day the situation deepens into a Shakespearian tragedy. It is too late to avoid the slide into Gomorrah because we are already in the pre Hellstone and brimfire danger zone.
People seldom learn from the past because they are living examples of denial. This experience is different from previous ages when life was short and often came to a violent end. Survivors understood the nature of tyranny. Now the soft kill culture does the dirty work, while most remain silent.
“In order to survive and preserve its leading role on the international stage, the US desperately needs to plunge Eurasia into chaos, (and) to cut economic ties between Europe and Asia-Pacific Region … Russia is the only (country) within this potential zone of instability that is capable of resistance. It is the only state that is ready to confront the Americans. Undermining Russia’s political will for resistance… is a vitally important task for America.”
-Nikolai Starikov, Western Financial System Is Driving It to War, Russia Insider
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
-The Wolfowitz Doctrine, the original version of the Defense Planning Guidance, authored by Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, leaked to the New York Times on March 7, 1992
The United States does not want a war with Russia, it simply feels that it has no choice. If the State Department hadn’t initiated a coup in Ukraine to topple the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, then the US could not have inserted itself between Russia and the EU, thus, disrupting vital trade routes which were strengthening nations on both continents. The economic integration of Asia and Europe–including plans for high-speed rail from China (“The New Silk Road”) to the EU–poses a clear and present danger for the US whose share of global GDP continues to shrink and whose significance in the world economy continues to decline. For the United States to ignore this new rival (EU-Russia) would be the equivalent of throwing in the towel and accepting a future in which the US would face a gradual but persistent erosion of its power and influence in world affairs. No one in Washington is prepared to let that happen, which is why the US launched its proxy-war in Ukraine.
The US wants to separate the continents, “prevent the emergence of a new rival”, install a tollbooth between Europe and Asia, and establish itself as the guarantor of regional security. To that end, the US is rebuilding the Iron Curtain along a thousand mile stretch from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. Tanks, armored vehicles and artillery are being sent to the region to reinforce a buffer zone around Europe in order to isolate Russia and to create a staging ground for future US aggression. Reports of heavy equipment and weapons deployment appear in the media on nearly a daily basis although the news is typically omitted in the US press. A quick review of some of the recent headlines will help readers to grasp the scale of the conflict that is cropping up below the radar:
“US, Bulgaria to hold Balkans military drills”, “NATO Begins Exercises In Black Sea”, “Army to send even more troops, tanks to Europe”, “Poland requests greater US military presence”, “U.S. Army sending armored convoy 1,100 miles through Europe”, “Over 120 US tanks, armored vehicles arrive in Latvia”, “US, Poland to Conduct Missile Exercise in March – Pentagon”
Get the picture? There’s a war going on, a war between the United States and Russia.
Notice how most of the headlines emphasize US involvement, not NATO. In other words, the provocations against Russia originate from Washington not Europe. This is an important point. The EU has supported US-led economic sanctions, but it’s not nearly as supportive of the military build up along the perimeter. That’s Washington’s idea and the cost is borne by the US alone. Naturally, moving tanks, armored vehicles and artillery around the world is an expensive project, but the US is more than willing to make the sacrifice if it helps to achieve its objectives.
And what are Washington’s objectives?
Interestingly, even political analysts on the far right seem to agree about that point. For example, check out this quote from STRATFOR CEO George Friedman who summed it up in a recent presentation he delivered at The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs. He said:
“The primordial interest of the United States, over which for centuries we have fought wars–the First, the Second and Cold Wars–has been the relationship between Germany and Russia, because united there, they’re the only force that could threaten us. And to make sure that that doesn’t happen.” … George Friedman at The Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs, Time 1:40 to 1:57)
Bingo. Ukraine has nothing to do with sovereignty, democracy or (alleged) Russian aggression. That’s all propaganda. It’s about power. It’s about imperial expansion. It’s about spheres of influence. It’s about staving off irreversible economic decline. It’s all part of the smash-mouth, scorched earth, take-no-prisoners geopolitical world in which we live, not the fake Disneyworld created by the western media. The US State Department and CIA toppled the elected-government in Ukraine and ordered the new junta regime to launch a desperate war of annihilation against its own people in the East, because, well, because they felt they had no other option. Had Putin’s ambitious plan to create a free trade zone between Lisbon to Vladivostok gone forward, then where would that leave the United States? Out in the cold, that’s where. The US would become an isolated island of dwindling significance whose massive account deficits and ballooning national debt would pave the way for years of brutal restructuring, declining standards of living, runaway inflation and burgeoning social unrest. Does anyone really believe that Washington would let that to happen when it has a “brand-spanking” trillion dollar war machine at its disposal?
Heck, no. Besides, Washington believes it has a historic right to rule the world, which is what one would expect when the sense of entitlement and hubris reach their terminal phase. Now check out this clip from an article by economist Jack Rasmus at CounterPunch:
“Behind the sanctions is the USA objective of driving Russia out of the European economy. Europe was becoming too integrated and dependent on Russia. Not only its gas and raw materials, but trade relations and money capital flows were deepening on many fronts between Russia and Europe in general prior to the Ukraine crisis that has provided the cover for the introduction of the sanctions. Russia’s growing economic integration with Europe threatened the long term economic interests of US capitalists. Strategically, the US precipitated coup in the Ukraine can be viewed, therefore as a means by which to provoke Russian military intervention, i.e. a necessary event in order to deepen and expand economic sanctions that would ultimately sever the growing economic ties between Europe and Russia long term. That severance in turn would not only ensure US economic interests remain dominant in Europe, but would also open up new opportunities for profit making for US interests in Europe and Ukraine as well…
When the rules of the competition game between capitalists break down altogether, the result is war—i.e. the ultimate form of inter-capitalist competition.” (The Global Currency Wars, Jack Rasmus, CounterPunch)
See? Analysts on the right and left agree. Ukraine has nothing to do with sovereignty, democracy or Russian aggression. It’s plain-old cutthroat geopolitics, where the last man left standing, wins.
The United States cannot allow Russia reap the benefits of its own vast resources. Oh, no. It has to be chastised, it has to be bullied, it has to be sanctioned, isolated, threatened and intimidated. That’s how the system really works. The free market stuff is just horsecrap for the sheeple.
Russia is going to have to deal with chaotic, fratricidal wars on its borders and color-coded regime change turbulence in its capital. It will have to withstand reprisals from its trading partners, attacks on its currency and plots to eviscerate its (oil) revenues. The US will do everything in its power to poison the well, to demonize Putin, to turn Brussels against Moscow, and to sabotage the Russian economy.
Divide and conquer, that’s the ticket. Keep them at each others throats at all times. Sunni vs Shia, one ethnic Ukrainian vs the other, Russians vs Europeans. That’s Washington’s plan, and it’s a plan that never fails.
US powerbrokers are convinced that America’s economic slide can only be arrested by staking a claim in Central Asia, dismembering Russia, encircling China, and quashing all plans for an economically-integrated EU-Asia. Washington is determined to prevail in this existential conflict, to assert its hegemonic control over the two continents, and to preserve its position as the world’s only superpower.
Only Russia can stop the United States and we believe it will.
Even a seasoned cynic sometimes gasps in disbelief. “President Putin misinterprets much of what the U.S. is doing or trying to do,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told a press conference in Geneva on March 2. “We are not involved in ‘numerous color revolutions’ as he asserts. In the case of Ukraine, such assumptions are also wrong. The United States support international law with respect to the sovereignty and integrity of other people.”
This is akin to Count Dracula asserting his strict adherence to a vegan diet and his principled respect for the integrity of blood banks worldwide.
Various quasi-NGOs funded by American taxpayers and funneled through organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and the National Democratic Institute, not to mention George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (partly funded by U.S. and other Western governments), have been actively engaged in dozens of “regime-change” operations for a decade and a half. Their work is conducted in disregard of international law and in violation of the sovereignty and integrity of the people whose governments are thus targeted.
The overthrow of Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade (October 2000) provided the blueprint, in strict accordance with Gene Sharp’s manual. Widespread popular discontent was manipulated by the U.S./Soros funded and trained Otpor! network to bring to power a government subservient to Western political and economic interests. The moderately patriotic yet hapless new president, constitutional lawyer Vojislav Kostunica, was used as a battering ram to bring Milosevic down. Once that goal was achieved, Kostunica was promptly marginalized by Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and his successors – Serbia’s two-term president Boris Tadic in particular – who turned the country into a pliant tool of foreign interests. Wholesale robbery of Serbia’s state and public assets promptly followed the 2000 coup, resulting in the Balkan country’s comprehensive de-industrialization. Official Belgrade was forced to accept Kosovo’s de facto “independence” in the name of the elusive goal of joining the European Union.
Georgia’s 2003 “Rose Revolution” was carried out by the Kmara (“Enough”) network, a carbon copy of Serbia’s “Otpor,” including the clenched fist logo. Its activists were trained and advised by the U.S.-affiliated Liberty Institute and funded by the Open Society Institute. It brought to power Mikhel Saakashvili, a corrupt “pro-Western” politician currently wanted by Georgia’s government on multiple criminal charges. The coup was largely financed by Soros’s network, which spent $42 million in the three months before the coup preparing the overthrow of the government of Eduard Shevardnadze. The most important geopolitical result was Georgia’s NATO candidacy, supported by Washington, which is currently stalled but which has the potential to be as perniciously destabilizing as the crisis in Ukraine.
Speaking in Tblisi in June 2005, Soros said: “I am very pleased and proud of the work of the Foundation in preparing Georgian society for what became a Rose Revolution, but the role of the Foundation and me personally has been greatly exaggerated.” The new government, as it happens, included Alexander Lomaia, former Secretary of the Georgian Security Council and minister of education and science, who at the time of the coup was Executive Director of the Open Society Georgia Foundation. David Darchiashvili, ex-chairman of the Committee for European Integration in the Georgian parliament, was also an executive director of the Foundation. As former Georgian foreign minister Salomé Zourabichvili wrote in 2008, “all the NGO’s which gravitate around the Soros Foundation undeniably carried the revolution… [A]fterwards, the Soros Foundation and the NGOs were integrated into power.” Interestingly, the U.S. Ambassador in Georgia at the time of the 2003 regime-change operation, Richard Miles, was the Ambassador in Belgrade at the time of Milosevic’s downfall three years earlier.
The march of history continued with the 2004 “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine – that grand rehearsal for the Maidan coup a decade later – and the 2005 “Cedar Revolution” in Lebanon, which was given its name by then-U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula J. Dobriansky. Also in 2005 the “Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan had as its chief foreign advisor Givi Targamadze, an official of Georgia’s aforementioned Liberty Institute, who at the time chaired Saakashvili’s parliamentary committee on defense and security.
In 2006 Congress passed the Iran Freedom and Support Act which provided taxpayer funding for groups opposed to the Iranian government, and then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs R. Nicholas Burns said the administration was “taking a page from the playbook” on Ukraine and Georgia. A year later the George W. Bush administration authorized a $400 million covert operation budget to foment unrest in Iran. In 2012 Seymor M. Hersh wrote that the U.S. has provided funding and training to the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, a militant group which had been listed by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization,
In 2012 President Obama authorized U.S. government agencies to support violent regime change in Syria. By early 2013 the Administration was helping the “moderate” rebels – i.e. jihadists with no overt links to al-Qaeda – to the tune of $250 million, and that figure has been at least doubled since. The result has been disastrous for the Syrian people (Christians in particular), and hugely detrimental to U.S. security interests in the region. The insurgency against Bashar al-Assad has directly contributed to the rise of ISIS, with no end to the latest war in sight.
Last month Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro gave a televised speech in which he alleged systematic U.S. involvement in destabilization attempts against his government. The U.S. Department of State called his claims “baseless” and “false.” “The United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means,” read the statement from Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki. Indeed. One of the leaders of the failed anti-Chavez coup d’etat in 2002, Rear Admiral Carlos Molina, has stated that he was acting with US support. Ditto the CIA-supported regime-change operation in Nicaragua in 2009.
As for the Maidan Revolution, crowned by “political transition by non-constitutional means” par excellence, Victoria Nuland readily admitted that its preparation cost the U.S. taxpayers some $5 billion over the preceding decade. The result is the most dangerous geopolitical crisis of the post-Cold War era, systematically engineered and conducted by the regime-changing exceptionalists in Washington D.C. who believe that they are exempt from historical forces and legal restraints that apply to merely mortal countries.
Former U.S. Ambassador in Moscow Michael McFaul boasted to The New York Times a week after taking duty in January 2012 that he would make his “pro-democracy” mark in Moscow “in a very, very aggressive way.” Some months earlier, McFaul declared that “even while working closely with Putin on matters of mutual interest, Western leaders must recommit to the objective of creating the conditions for a democratic leader to emerge in the long term.” This was a regime-change agenda expressed with brutal bluntness: we need to “de-Putinize” Russia, he declared. It would be interesting to see the U.S. reaction if a similar statement (“We need to to de-Obamanize America!”) were to be made by an incoming Russian ambassador in Washington.
In Russia the regime-change program did not work, however. First and foremost, there was no popular support: hundreds of “activists” demonstrating against Putin in 2012 could be turned into “thousands” in Western post-election media reports, but that was still far below the tens, let alone hundreds, of thousands needed to kick-start a regime-change op. Infuriatingly for the planners, Russia simultaneously enacted a law regulating foreign “NGO” activities which was patterned directly on the American Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which regulates activities of the agents of foreign governments in the United States. Enacted in the 1930’s to require disclosure of Americans working on behalf of Nazi Germany, and used to control Soviet agents thereafter, FARA requires full public disclosure of those same activities that the U.S. government had tried to fund in Russia. The Federal Election Campaign Act flatly prohibits foreign involvement in American elections – yet it was touted as legitimate when conducted in Russia by Washington’s protégés under the guise of promoting democracy.
The regime-change mania will go on and on. It is inseparable from the psychotic belief in one’s indispensability and exceptionalism. It is a form of self-defeating grandomania that can only stop with America’s long-overdue abandonment of the global hegemony experiment.
And yes, John Kerry is a liar.
I just had a talk with a friend of mine who was all pissed off because he had purchased a Series EE savings bond for his little kid way back in 1998. “I paid $500 for it at the time and, at that time, the bank promised me that the bond would mature in ten years and then be worth $1,000.” So? Well? Did it? Is it?
“Eh — no,” sighed my friend. “When my kid cashed it in last month, she only got $850 back.” What? You mean after accumulating over 16 years of interest, the bond had only gained $250 in value? Even after all those promises of doubling its worth after just ten years? That’s whacked.
But, according to the Treasury Direct website, it is also legal. “Series EE bonds issued from May 1997 through April 2005 continue to earn market-based interest rates set at 90% of the average 5-year Treasury securities yields for the preceding six months. The new interest rate for these bonds, effective as the bonds enter semiannual interest periods from November 2014 through April 2015 is 1.49%. Market-based rates are updated each May 1 and November 1.”
What the freak does that mean?
It means that Series EE savings-bond-holders have been (and can continue to be) legally ripped off. Government agencies now under the happy control of the top 1% can legally make the rest of us little guys any promises they want — and then just take them back.
“Buying government savings bonds is practically like loaning the government interest-free money,” I told my friend. “But on the other hand, if you had bought $500 worth of gold back in 1998 instead of that bond, it would have cost you $296 an ounce — and an ounce and a half of gold would now be worth $1,808, a net gain of one thousand three hundred and seven dollars.”
However, if you had spent that $500 on baseball cards, you might be pretty much out of luck.
But what if, instead, you had purchased $500 worth of stock for your kid? If you had bought stock in mortgage companies like Countrywide, for instance, you would have kissed your $500 goodbye.
But if you had bought stock in pharmaceutical companies that produce products like mercury-laden vaccines, psychotropic drugs and male sex-enhancers, or bought stocks in weapons factories or bought stocks in oil companies or WalMart, you could have practically put your rugrat through college with your capital gains by now!
Or suppose you had invested that $500 in buying part-ownership in a Congressman — like the big boys on Wall Street, War Street and K Street do? Apparently you would have gotten an average of a 5000% return on your investment.
Or if, like your government in cahoots with its sleazy bankster friends, you had invested your $500 in loaning money to college students instead? Then you would have been able to collect 6% interest from said college students’ loans for decades to come — and owned their souls for the rest of their lives too!
But, no. You had faith in your government and bought savings bonds instead — never dreaming that your government would invest its resources in war and corporate welfare instead of in you.
However if it’s any consolation, you and your kid are not alone. China made that same mistake too.
Remember back when our founding fathers wisely designed our Constitution to include having three different branches of government? Legislative, executive and judicial? Well, just over 225 years later, America’s government still has three different branches — except now those three branches are Wall Street, War Street and K Street.
A Manhattan jury just awarded a $218.5 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority for damages done to Israelis with American citizenship by Palestinian suicide bombers. Do you know what this means? A new precedence has just been set. A new Pandora’s box has just been opened.
Now everyone affected by anything like this can now also use American courts to get recompense for damages done by acts of “terrorism” on American citizens abroad!
For instance, were any Chilean-Americans killed in the CIA coup against Allende in Chile? Their relatives can now sue Henry Kissinger — but of course they will have to stand in line behind the Cambodian-Americans killed by him.
And what about the bunches and groups of Palestinian-Americans, Yemeni-Americans, Iraqi-Americans, Syrian-Americans, Ukrainian-Americans, African-Americans, Grenada-Americans, Guatemalan-Americans, Haitian-Americans, etc. who have been either killed out in public for all to see by America’s overtly-evil war machine — or else killed on the sly by those covertly-evil CIA troublemakers at Langley?
Or, hell, what about all those dead American-Americans too for that matter? Does this mean that American soldiers killed or wounded in Vietnam, Iraq, Lebanon, Kuwait, Afghanistan, etc. can now sue the Department of Defense in American courts for “terrorism” too — as well as for fraud, creating dangerous conditions, willful negligence, breach of promise and entrapment as well?
Hey, Uncle War Street! See ya in court!
Andrew Kreig’s book reviews are always to the point and chock full of carefully honed points bolstered with facts. You can count of this when reading his work because his training is both in law, he is a licensed attorney in Washington D.C., and journalism. Andrew takes up subjects many won’t touch.
This being the case I ordered my copy of, “Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked the World — An Insider’s View,” by J. Michael Springmann, former State Department foreign service officer immediately.
If Andrew says a book is going to be shocking and timely, and make a, “credible circumstantial case that ties the U.S. training of Islamic radicals to our nation’s major foreign policy disasters in the Mideast during the past quarter century,” it is a book to read, given how many emails on the subject are coming through my Inbox on the subject.
Andrew’s review provided direct quotes from author Springmann, former chief of the visa section of the U.S. Consulate located in Saudi Arabia, who last week launched his book tour at the prestigious National Press Club in D.C.
Springmann said, ““It’s past time to expose murder, war crimes and human rights violations by the United States of American and its ‘intelligence’ services.” Continuing, Springman, said claiming “national security,” as a justification was dubious.
These claims have been made by both the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency (NSA). Springmann said these agencies were responsible for coups and destabilization acts around the world, “most notably,” in the middle east.
Springmann says governments were overthrown, assassinations carried out and ordinary citizens murdered on their orders. This chain of events began, he continued, with the Carter Administration. These acts took place, Springmann says, with the knowledge of the president of the United States and the executive branch but also our two other branches of government,“from Libya to Iran.”
Springmann knows because he personally saw “illegal visas issues to large numbers of U.S.-backed Islamic fundamentalists transiting through Jeddah from multiple Islamic nations so they could visit the United States for secret purposes.” Covert training took place at a CIA facility in Williamsburg, Virginia for “vagabond Islamic mercenaries, revolutionists and jihadists — an “Arab-Afghan Legion” — who could be unleashed on America’s enemies.”
Blowback was not taken into account but deniability was ensured. Today, when war has become continuous, this is a book you need to read.
Gee, I hate to keep pointing this stuff out all the time because a whole lot of people get really ticked off at me every time that I do — but the truth is the truth. ISIS, Netanyahu and Hitler really do have a whole lot in common. But as true as this statement may be, still almost nobody these days wants to hear that their favorite emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. Why? Perhaps because it makes people feel bad that they have been so completely suckered, had, duped and used.
However, like it or not, the three emperor-wannabes listed above are still not wearing any clothes. So to speak.
And here’s my checklist to prove it:
1. Received a lot of their financial support from the weapons industry: http://www.globalresearch.ca/
2. Founded their empires (reichs, caliphates, promised lands, whatever) on invasions, blitzkriegs, preemptive wars, guys-just-wanna-have-fun, terrorism, whatever — with the goal of eventually taking over all geopolitical territory within thousands of miles of their empire’s original borders:
3. Committed mass genocide based solely on religion, race, land or resource ownership, language usage and/or nationality:
4. Used illegal weapons, including chemical weapons such as napalm, white phosphorus and noxious gases, and/or landmines, cluster bombs, biological weapons, etc. on civilians:
ISIS: Not really sure. Are broadswords considered illegal weapons if used to behead journalists? Probably. Okay, check.
5. Bomb the freak out of civilian targets:
ISIS: Do RPGs and car-bombs count? Yes? Then “check”
6. Routinely terrorized civilian populations to the point of said populations thinking they were living inside a horror movie, a police state or ‘Stalag 17″https://www.youtube.com/watch?
7. Used lies, snappy slogans, false-flag operations http://yournewswire.com/
8. Wore snappy uniforms designed to intimidate and impress:
9. Supported by rich industrialists, corporatists, recipients of corporate welfare and opulent dictatorships in the Middle East:
10. Had a huge destabilizing effect on Europe, the Middle East and America that ended in tragedy, economic chaos and the further spread of warhttp://cityworldnews.com/
11. Pretends to be of a certain religion but never practices their religion’s goals, ideals or concepts:
12. Steals resources and valuables from the countries and territories that have been illegally seized: http://www.truthdig.com/
13. Has absolutely no tinges of conscience whatsoever after having caused thousands of families, scores of ethnic groups, an unknown number of combat veterans and even whole countries to suffer from shell shock, battle fatigue and PTSD http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/
14. Is invited to speak before Congress:
Hitler: No way.
ISIS: Not a chance.
Netanyahu: Roll out the red carpet!
“The collapse of the Soviet Union removed the only constraint on Washington’s power to act unilaterally abroad…. Suddenly the United States found itself to be the Uni-power, the ‘world’s only superpower.’ Neoconservatives proclaimed ‘the end of history.’”
— Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury
“Don’t blame the mirror if your face is crooked.”
— Russian proverb
Vladimir Putin delivered a speech at the 43rd Munich Security Conference that created a rift between Washington and Moscow that has only deepened over time. The Russian President’s blistering hour-long critique of US foreign policy provided a rational, point-by-point indictment of US interventions around the world and their devastating effect on global security. Putin probably didn’t realize the impact his candid observations would have on the assembly in Munich or the reaction of powerbrokers in the US who saw the presentation as a turning point in US-Russian relations. But, the fact is, Washington’s hostility towards Russia can be traced back to this particular incident, a speech in which Putin publicly committed himself to a multipolar global system, thus, repudiating the NWO pretensions of US elites. Here’s what he said:
“I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security. And we must proceed by searching for a reasonable balance between the interests of all participants in the international dialogue.”
With that one formulation, Putin rejected the United States assumed role as the world’s only superpower and steward of global security, a privileged position which Washington feels it earned by prevailing in the Cold War and which entitles the US to unilaterally intervene whenever it sees fit. Putin’s announcement ended years of bickering and deliberation among think tank analysts as to whether Russia could be integrated into the US-led system or not. Now they knew that Putin would never dance to Washington’s tune.
In the early years of his presidency, it was believed that Putin would learn to comply with western demands and accept a subordinate role in the Washington-centric system. But it hasn’t worked out that way. The speech in Munich merely underscored what many US hawks and Cold Warriors had been saying from the beginning, that Putin would not relinquish Russian sovereignty without a fight. The declaration challenging US aspirations to rule the world, left no doubt that Putin was going to be a problem that had to be dealt with by any means necessary including harsh economic sanctions, a State Department-led coup in neighboring Ukraine, a conspiracy to crash oil prices, a speculative attack of the ruble, a proxy war in the Donbass using neo-Nazis as the empire’s shock troops, and myriad false flag operations used to discredit Putin personally while driving a wedge between Moscow and its primary business partners in Europe. Now the Pentagon is planning to send 600 paratroopers to Ukraine ostensibly to “train the Ukrainian National Guard”, a serious escalation that violates the spirit of Minsk 2 and which calls for a proportionate response from the Kremlin. Bottom line: The US is using all the weapons in its arsenal to prosecute its war on Putin.
Last week’s gangland-style murder of Russian opposition leader, Boris Nemtsov, has to be considered in terms of the larger geopolitical game that is currently underway. While we may never know who perpetrated the crime, we can say with certainly that the lack of evidence hasn’t deterred the media or US politicians from using the tragedy to advance an anti-Putin agenda aimed at destabilizing the government and triggering regime change in Moscow. Putin himself suggested that the killing may have been a set-up designed to put more pressure on the Kremlin. The World Socialist Web Site summed up the political implications like this:
“The assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov is a significant political event that arises out of the US-Russia confrontation and the intense struggle that is now underway within the highest levels of the Russian state. The Obama administration and the CIA are playing a major role in the escalation of this conflict, with the aim of producing an outcome that serves the global geo-political and financial interests of US imperialism….
It is all but obvious that the Obama administration is hoping a faction will emerge within the Russian elite, backed by elements in the military and secret police, capable of staging a “palace coup” and getting rid of Putin….
The United States is not seeking to trigger a widespread popular revolt. (But) are directed entirely at convincing a section of the oligarchy and emerging capitalist class that their business interests and personal wealth depend upon US support. That is why the Obama administration has used economic sanctions targeting individuals as a means of exerting pressure on the oligarchs as well as broader sections of the entrepreneurial elite….
It is in the context of this international power struggle that one must evaluate Nemtsov’s murder. Of course, it is possible that his death was the outcome of his private dealings. But it is more likely that he was killed for political reasons. Certainly, the timing of the killing—on the eve of the opposition’s anti-Putin demonstration in Moscow—strongly indicates that the killing was a political assassination, not a private settling of accounts.” (“Murder in Moscow: Why was Boris Nemtsov assassinated?“, David North, World Socialist Web Site)
Just hours after Nemtsov was gunned down in Moscow, the western media swung into action releasing a barrage of articles suggesting Kremlin involvement without a shred of evidence to support their claims. The campaign of innuendo has steadily gained momentum as more Russia “experts” and politicians offer their opinions about who might be responsible. Naturally, none of the interviewees veer from the official storyline that someone in Putin’s charge must have carried out the attack. An article in the Washington Post is a good example of the tactics used in the latest PR campaign to discredit Putin. According to Vladimir Gel’man, Political Scientists European University at St. Petersburg and the University of Helsinki:
“Boris Nemtsov, one of the leaders of political opposition, was shot dead nearby the Kremlin. In my opinion, it has all the hallmarks of a political assassination provoked by an aggressive Kremlin-induced campaign against the “fifth column of national traitors”, who opposed the annexation of Crimea, war with the West over Ukraine, and further decline of political and civil freedoms in the country. We may never know whether the Kremlin ordered this killing, but given the fact that Nemtsov was one of the most consistent critics not only of the Russian regime as such but also of Putin in person, his dissenting voice will never upset Putin and his inner circle anymore.” (“What does Boris Nemtsov’s murder mean for Russia?“, Washington Post)
The article in the Washington Post is fairly typical of others published in the MSM. The coverage is invariably long on finger-pointing and insinuation and short on facts. Traditional journalistic standards of objectivity and fact-gathering have been jettisoned to advance a political agenda that reflects the objectives of ownership. The Nemtsov assassination is just the latest illustration of the abysmal state of western media.
The idea that Putin’s agents would “whack” an opposition candidate just a stone’s throw from the Kremlin is far fetched to say the least. As one commenter at the Moon of Alabama blog noted:
“Isn’t the image of a dead political opponent lying on a bridge overlooked by the Kremlin a bit rich? I mean, short of a dagger lodged between his shoulder blades with the inscription “if found, please return to Mr Putin”, I can’t think of a more over-egged attempt at trying to implicate the Government. And on the night before an opposition rally Nemtsov hoped to lead. I mean, come on.”
While there’s no denying that Moscow could be involved, it seems unlikely. The more probable explanation is that the incident is part of a larger regime change scheme to ignite social unrest and destabilize the government. The US has used these tactics so many times before in various color-coded revolutions, that we won’t reiterate the details here. Even so, it’s worth noting that the US has no red lines when it comes to achieving its strategic goals. It will do whatever it feels is necessary to prevail in its clash with Putin.
The question is why? Why is Washington so determined to remove Putin?
Putin answered this question himself recently at a celebration of Russia’s diplomatic workers’ day. He said Russia would pursue an independent foreign policy despite pressure in what he called “today’s challenging international environment.”
“No matter how much pressure is put on us, the Russian Federation will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy, to support the fundamental interests of our people and in line with global security and stability.” (Reuters)
This is Putin’s unforgivable crime, the same crime as Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Syria and countless other nations that refuse to march in lockstep to Washington’s directives.
Putin has also resisted NATO encirclement and attempts by the US to loot Russia’s vast natural resources. And while Putin has made every effort to avoid a direct confrontation with the US, he has not backed down on issues that are vital to Russia’s national security, in fact, he has pointed out numerous times not only the threat that encroaching NATO poses to Moscow, but also the lies that preceded its eastward expansion. Here’s Putin at Munich again:
“I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: “the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee….
Where are these guarantees?”
Where, indeed. Apparently, they were all lies. As political analyst Pat Buchanan said in his article “Doesn’t Putin Have a Point?”:
“Though the Red Army had picked up and gone home from Eastern Europe voluntarily, and Moscow felt it had an understanding we would not move NATO eastward, we exploited our moment. Not only did we bring Poland into NATO, we brought in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and virtually the whole Warsaw Pact, planting NATO right on Mother Russia’s front porch. Now, there is a scheme afoot to bring in Ukraine and Georgia in the Caucasus, the birthplace of Stalin….
… though Putin gave us a green light to use bases in the old Soviet republics for the liberation of Afghanistan, we now seem hell-bent on making those bases in Central Asia permanent.
… through the National Endowment for Democracy, its GOP and Democratic auxiliaries, and tax-exempt think tanks, foundations, and “human rights” institutes such as Freedom House,… we have been fomenting regime change in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet republics, and Russia herself….
These are Putin’s grievances. Does he not have a small point?” “(Doesn’t Putin Have a Point?”, Pat Buchanan, antiwar.com)
Now the US wants to deploy its missile defense system to Eastern Europe, a system which–according to Putin “will work automatically with and be an integral part of the US nuclear capability. For the first time in history, and I want to emphasize this, there are elements of the US nuclear capability on the European continent. It simply changes the whole configuration of international security…..Of course, we have to respond to that.”
How can Putin allow this to happen? How can he allow the US to situate nuclear weapons in a location that would increase its first-strike capability and undermine the balance of deterrents allowing the US to force Russia to follow its orders or face certain annihilation. Putin has no choice but to resist this outcome, just as has no choice but to oppose the principle upon which US expansion is based, the notion that the Cold War was won by the US, therefore the US has the right to reshape the world in a way that best suits its own economic and geopolitical interests. Here’s Putin again:
“What is a unipolar world? However one might embellish this term, it refers to a type of situation where there is one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. At the end of the day, this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within…..
I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world…. the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilization….” (Munich, 2007)
What sort of man talks like this? What sort of man talks about “the moral foundations for modern civilization” or invokes FDR in his address?
Putin: “‘Security for one is security for all’. As Franklin D. Roosevelt said during the first few days that the Second World War was breaking out: ‘When peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.’ These words remain topical today.”
I urge everyone to watch at least the first 10 minutes of Putin’s speech and decide for themselves whether they think the characterization (and demonization) of Putin in the media is fair or not. And pay special attention to Minute 6 where Putin says this:
“We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?” (“Vladimir Putin’s legendary speech at Munich Security Conference“)
While Putin is making this statement, the camera pans to John McCain and Joe Lieberman who are sitting stone-faced in the front row seething at every word uttered by the Russian president. If you look close enough, you can see the steam emerging from McCain’s ears.
This is why Washington wants regime change in Moscow. It’s because Putin refuses to be pushed around by the United States. It’s because he wants a world that is governed by international laws that are impartially administered by the United Nations. It’s because he rejects a “unipolar” world order where one nation dictates policy to everyone else and where military confrontation becomes the preferred way for the powerful to impose their will on the weak.
Putin: “Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts…The United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way….And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasize this — no one feels safe.” Vladimir Putin, Munich 2007
Putin isn’t a perfect man. He has his shortcomings and flaws like everyone else. But he appears to be a decent person who has made great strides in restoring Russia’s economy after it was looted by agents of the US following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He has lifted living standards, increased pensions, reduced poverty, and improved education and health care which is why his public approval ratings are currently hovering at an eye-watering 86 percent. Even so, Putin is most admired for standing up to the United States and blocking its strategy to pivot to Asia. The proxy war in Ukraine is actually a struggle to thwart Washington’s plan to break up the Russian Federation, encircle China, control the flow of resources from Asia to Europe, and rule the world. Vladimir Putin is at the forefront of that conflagration which is why he has gained the respect and admiration of people around the world.
As for “democracy”, Putin said it best himself:
“Am I a ‘pure democrat’? (laughs) Of course I am. Absolutely. The problem is that I’m all alone, the only one of my kind in the whole world. Just look at what’s happening in America, it’s terrible—torture, homeless people, Guantanamo, people detained without trial or investigation. And look at Europe—harsh treatment of demonstrators, rubber bullets and tear gas used in one capital after another, demonstrators killed on the streets….. I have no one to talk to since Gandhi died.”
Well said, Vladimir.
What can be written about Hillary Clinton that has not already been said? HilLIARy fatigue is natural, but ignoring all the lies and sleaze becomes the first goal of her 2016 presidential campaign. What is clear during the preliminary posturing is that hubby “Big Dog” Bill’s practice of trolling for bitches in heat will dominate the coverage. Poor old Hillary, a pureblood victim among mix breeds. The pretense that she continues in a loving marriage is about as insulting to the voters as the perverse behavior of either of the Clintons.
OK, forget the sex allegations no one cares, right? But what about continuing in a relationship with a certified criminal? Oh yes, that is the easy part, since being married to a crook is the part that Bill loves, and “Big Mama” takes no back seat to her partner outlaw in political offense.
From the ancient history files, the article Proof Hillary isn’t fit to be president by Larry Klayman reminds such past hits.
- Whitewater scandal
You can hear the cat calls now, “that’s old news, “we need to move forward”, but the best one comes from Hillary herself”, what difference at this point does it make”?
Well, maybe the monarch of deceit is correct. Who even remembers the scandal years under the “get two for the price of one” regime? Bygone days need to let sleeping dogs lie, but the past is screaming out as a warning for exactly what citizens should fairly expect if she was coroneted as Mister President.
Yet in the instant social media climate that will dominate the next Presidential campaign, both in the primaries and in the general election, 2016 will be all hyped up to report on the next Bill’s libido threatens to derail Hillary — again. A sample like this only forecasts the disclosures that will come out of the secretive cabinet recordings.
“And that is to say nothing of Bill’s solicitation of mystery donors, the concerns about financial malfeasance at the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Bill’s racially charged verbal gaffes during Hillary’s 2008 bid and the alleged longtime, serious mistress who diverted Hillary’s presidential campaign from larger problems.”
Further background from Hillary Clinton’s Skeleton Closet claims that “she has some significant and troubling scandals that get overlooked with all the foo-farah over crazy conspiracy theories.”
Now that this ugly aspect is out of the way, what “exactly are the compelling reasons for Hillary to become President? The answer is reducible to one simple motive; she wants to be the Big Kahuna.
Eric Golub on Communities Digital News responds accordingly. “Can anyone name a single significant thing she has ever done that qualifies her to be president? The presidency is too important to be given to another celebrity heavy on cultish devotees but light on substantive successful accomplishments.”
Her qualifications as a superstar luminary and passed over by the Democratic power brokers in favor of Barack Obama in 2008, seems to be the basic argument why 2016 is now her turn. Such inevitability out of the GOP playbook just does not play well with the most fanatical of the loony left.
The NYT reveals that Hillary Clinton, Privately, Seeks the Favor of Elizabeth Warren. Their description of some lesson learned from the 2008 campaign seems to point that defusing the competition is her primary platform concern.
“Some of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters, frustrated by the attention and adulation generated by Ms. Warren, noted Tuesday that the two actually hold similar positions on a range of economic issues, though Ms. Warren’s rhetoric has been more fiery. Mrs. Clinton, hoping to delay formally starting her candidacy for as long as possible, has refrained from detailed discussions of economic policy. In recent weeks, though, she has become more vocal, using Twitter to offer support for the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul, for instance.”
Hit the ground running with a splash. ARE YOU READY? So asks to take the Pledge to Support Hillary for President Site. Before you register, a little investigation is in order.
3 Problems Standing in the Way of a Hillary Clinton Presidency starts with the following:
Politics and Experience
Hillary definitely has a legacy problem to overcome. More importantly, she has to talk up her record as Secretary of State. A sizable share of Democrats polled by YouGov, 79%, said earlier this year that they approved of her performance, but only 21% of Republicans and 45% of independents shared that assessment. And public opinion split along the same ideological lines when respondents were asked about her qualifications for office. More to the point, most Republicans are not as concerned with her experience as they are with her politics; although Republicans and independent voters cite her role in the Benghazi terrorist attack as one of her major errors in the State Department.
Hillary Clinton could be too establishment. Of course, possible contenders who would fit this progressive and insurgent role do not have the same weight as the former Secretary of State. But they are worth examining, if for nothing else than the fresh perspective and debate they will bring to the presidential primaries.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Wall Street has provided the largest source of campaign funds for the Clintons since 1992, with Goldman Sachs as the largest single contributor, giving close to $5 million. “Clinton Inc. is going to be the most formidable fundraising operation for the Democrats in the history of the country. Period. Exclamation point,” Rick Hohlt, a lobbyist and fundraiser for Republican Party presidential candidates, told the Journal, “It sure causes concern.” Plus, both Clintons earn massive speaking fees.
How does the public react with something positive about a Hillary Presidency? A Gallop poll reveals that 49% answers nothing or has no opinion.
So much for grassroots popular enthusiasm . . .
With any run-up to the primary season and supporting media barrage of electing the first woman President, a viewpoint that Hillary Clinton Shouldn’t Be President: A Feminist Perspective is insightful. “Any woman can become president. It feels like a slap to the face of America that so many of our politicians stem from the same family, or that our first female president appears to require a husband who came before her. It reminds us just how limited access is.”
Hillary’s retort to such an argument reeks of elitist privilege. Politico reports that Hillary Clinton: Other women qualified for White House.
“A lot of the women senators, we have a couple of women governors — I’m talking on the Democratic side — we have a good bench, so to speak,” Clinton says in a video clip posted Monday. “But they haven’t gone through the fire. Part of the reason why there’s a big drumbeat for me to run is because I’ve done it.”
And in 2008 the Wall Street king makers decided on Obama. In the flip flop composition of Tweedledum and Tweedledee politics, a Republican establishment candidate may well get the nod as the safer capitalist tool.
The real wall that Hillary faces is to massage the Occupy Wall Street wing of the progressive primary activities, while keeping and confirming her true symbiotic identification to the money wing of influence Banksters, who actually decide the direction of the government.
For in the end, the only qualifications that Hillary Clinton has for holding the office of the Presidency is that her hubby will occupy the distractions of a Clinton II kingdom. What a great country that elevates a Hill Billy couple to the highest pinnacle of the scandal sheets, while conducting diplomatic relations with the Davos set.
Can Hillary win in 2016? Hermene Hartman in the Huffington Post thinks so in the article, 10 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Will Be the Next President. Read her list and consider just how far this nation has fallen.
1) The Republicans don’t have a viable candidate and probably won’t.
2) The Hillary Papers have been released.
3) Hillary should not and cannot take blame for Bill’s poor judgments.
4) The Clintons are the ultimate Power Couple.
5) Hillary is ruthless.
6) Hillary learned valuable lessons from the 2008 election.
7) She is not a quitter or a loser.
8) The health bill has passed.
9) Hillary is a smart politician.
10) America is ready for the leadership of a Hillary Clinton.
If this list of excited imbecility does not give you pause, you must be part of the Hildebeest groupie crowd and better sign-up for, ARE YOU READY? alerts.
Hillary Klinton has all the worst attributes and moral depravity of her more infamous partner in corruption. Moreover, she lacks the political skills and rogue charm of her flimflam significant other. The brick wall in front of the electorate is that a vote for Hillary is a ballot cast for continuation of the decent into enslavement of the last 25 + years. Knowing the way the selection system for Presidents works, the next guests in the Lincoln bedroom may well be friends of the late Marc Rich.
Back in the day, I was always trying to fly off to report on international combat hot-spots like Iraq and Afghanistan — always hoping that if the American people back home read my horror-stories of war, they too would somehow become war-resisters and that my stories of brutal, grim and unjustified death in far-away places might even help escalate a strong anti-war movement here at home, one that would finally stop the heartless killing of women and children by American tanks, rockets and drones. But now? Now I’m thinking that I should be doing something even more important than traveling to combat zones far away — that I, like some modern-day Jonah, should actually be going down into the belly of the American beast itself instead.
Plus it’s always cheaper to go to North Carolina or Washington DC or St Louis than to go off to Syria, Gaza, Haiti or Ukraine.
The main question that I would be asking in these particular American war zones, however, would be, “What makes America tick?”
What has made us become the most dreaded and hated country in the world — a country that has more weapons and more money to spend on weapons than any other country anywhere, ever? What gives us the right to call ourselves “patriotic” and “brave” and “democratic” when, in reality, it is America that has killed, maimed, tortured and mutilated millions of people all over the world — and trampled any survivors’ chances and their children’s chances of ever ever having a decent life again.
Why do Americans support dictators in Ukraine, Palestine, Honduras, Congo, etc. with such enthusiastic glee? And also why do Americans applaud so loudly when elections here at home are stolen and our infrastructure and school systems die and “Christianity” becomes just another excuse to kill, rape, torture and maim God’s children both at home and abroad?
And what makes Americans bitch and complain so much about what ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria — when what Americans have done there in the past and are doing there right now is so much much much worse? ISIS fanatics behead hundreds of people. American troops level whole cities and leave them contaminated with radioactive detritus that will kill children and other living things there for the next 500 years.
Why are Americans so set against preventing nuclear holocausts both at home and abroad? Why do Americans cheer and get all teary-eyed and proud when our cops turn into robo-cops and spray peaceful protesters with tear gas? And then actually buy tickets to go see women tortured?
“What makes Americans tick?” I need to know what is going on right here in America before I can possibly understand what the freak is going on in all those American-financed war zones throughout the rest of the world.
So here’s my plan. I’m going to go out and see America first. Ukraine and Gaza and Baghdad will just have to wait — while I, like Jonah, go deep into the belly of the American beast instead.
Despite all the nightmares I have seen in the last decades, I continue to be an idealist and to dream of a better world, a world that Buddha, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad would be proud of. Most Americans, however, apparently dream of cruelty, torture, injustice and ruling the world vicariously.
We are the protagonists of our own dreams.
Americans (and all other human beings too for that matter) need to finally learn that it is far better to die with love in our hearts than to live with hatred in our eyes, fear in our guts and evil in our souls.
PS: A Manhattan jury just awarded a $218.5 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority for damages done to Israelis with American citizenship by Palestinian suicide bombers. Do you know what this means? A new precedence has just been set. A new Pandora’s box has just been opened.
From now on, relatives of Americans killed in any foreign country, not just Israel, can also use American courts to get recompense for damages done by acts of “terrorism” on American citizens abroad!
For instance, if any Chilean-Americans were killed in the CIA coup against Allende in Chile, their relatives can now sue Henry Kissinger in American courts — but of course they will have to stand in line behind the relatives of any Cambodian-Americans killed by him.
And what about the bunches and groups of Palestinian-Americans, Yemeni-Americans, Iraqi-Americans, Syrian-Americans, Ukrainian-Americans, Vietnamese-Americans, Somali-Americans, Haitian-Americans, etc. who have been killed by American tanks, rockets and drones?
America? You can no longer pretend to not know what you are doing. See ya in court!
Some things not to forget, which the new Greek leaders have not…
American historian D.F. Fleming, writing of the post-World War II period in his eminent history of the Cold War, stated that “Greece was the first of the liberated states to be openly and forcibly compelled to accept the political system of the occupying Great Power. It was Churchill who acted first and Stalin who followed his example, in Bulgaria and then in Rumania, though with less bloodshed.”
The British intervened in Greece while World War II was still raging. His Majesty’s Army waged war against ELAS, the left-wing guerrillas who had played a major role in forcing the Nazi occupiers to flee. Shortly after the war ended, the United States joined the Brits in this great anti-communist crusade, intervening in what was now a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a suitably repressive internal security agency (KYP in Greek).
In 1964, the liberal George Papandreou came to power, but in April 1967 a military coup took place, just before elections which appeared certain to bring Papandreou back as prime minister. The coup had been a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, the KYP, the CIA, and the American military stationed in Greece, and was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a “communist takeover”. Torture, inflicted in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States, became routine.
George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father, had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.
Andreas Papandreou was arrested at the time of the coup and held in prison for eight months. Shortly after his release, he and his wife Margaret visited the American ambassador, Phillips Talbot, in Athens. Papandreou later related the following:
I asked Talbot whether America could have intervened the night of the coup, to prevent the death of democracy in Greece. He denied that they could have done anything about it. Then Margaret asked a critical question: What if the coup had been a Communist or a Leftist coup? Talbot answered without hesitation. Then, of course, they would have intervened, and they would have crushed the coup.
Another charming chapter in US-Greek relations occurred in 2001, when Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street Goliath Lowlife, secretly helped Greece keep billions of dollars of debt off their balance sheet through the use of complex financial instruments like credit default swaps. This allowed Greece to meet the baseline requirements to enter the Eurozone in the first place. But it also helped create a debt bubble that would later explode and bring about the current economic crisis that’s drowning the entire continent. Goldman Sachs, however, using its insider knowledge of its Greek client, protected itself from this debt bubble by betting against Greek bonds, expecting that they would eventually fail.
Will the United States, Germany, the rest of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – collectively constituting the International Mafia – allow the new Greek leaders of the Syriza party to dictate the conditions of Greece’s rescue and salvation? The answer at the moment is a decided “No”. The fact that Syriza leaders, for some time, have made no secret of their affinity for Russia is reason enough to seal their fate. They should have known how the Cold War works.
I believe Syriza is sincere, and I’m rooting for them, but they may have overestimated their own strength, while forgetting how the Mafia came to occupy its position; it didn’t derive from a lot of compromise with left-wing upstarts. Greece may have no choice, eventually, but to default on its debts and leave the Eurozone. The hunger and unemployment of the Greek people may leave them no alternative.
The Twilight Zone of the US State Department
“You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. Your next stop … the Twilight Zone.” (American Television series, 1959-1965)
State Department Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015. Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, questioned by Matthew Lee of The Associated Press.
Lee: President Maduro [of Venezuela] last night went on the air and said that they had arrested multiple people who were allegedly behind a coup that was backed by the United States. What is your response?
Psaki: These latest accusations, like all previous such accusations, are ludicrous. As a matter of longstanding policy, the United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means. Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We have seen many times that the Venezuelan Government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan Government to deal with the grave situation it faces.
Lee: Sorry. The US has – whoa, whoa, whoa – the US has a longstanding practice of not promoting – What did you say? How longstanding is that? I would – in particular in South and Latin America, that is not a longstanding practice.
Psaki: Well, my point here, Matt, without getting into history –
Lee: Not in this case.
Psaki: – is that we do not support, we have no involvement with, and these are ludicrous accusations.
Lee: In this specific case.
Lee: But if you go back not that long ago, during your lifetime, even – (laughter)
Psaki: The last 21 years. (Laughter.)
Lee: Well done. Touché. But I mean, does “longstanding” mean 10 years in this case? I mean, what is –
Psaki: Matt, my intention was to speak to the specific reports.
Lee: I understand, but you said it’s a longstanding US practice, and I’m not so sure – it depends on what your definition of “longstanding” is.
Psaki: We will – okay.
Lee: Recently in Kyiv, whatever we say about Ukraine, whatever, the change of government at the beginning of last year was unconstitutional, and you supported it. The constitution was –
Psaki: That is also ludicrous, I would say.
Lee: – not observed.
Psaki: That is not accurate, nor is it with the history of the facts that happened at the time.
Lee: The history of the facts. How was it constitutional?
Psaki: Well, I don’t think I need to go through the history here, but since you gave me the opportunity –- as you know, the former leader of Ukraine left of his own accord.
Leaving the Twilight Zone … The former Ukrainian leader ran for his life from those who had staged the coup, including a mob of vicious US-supported neo-Nazis.
If you know how to contact Ms. Psaki, tell her to have a look at my list of more than 50 governments the United States has attempted to overthrow since the end of the Second World War. None of the attempts were democratic, constitutional, peaceful, or legal; well, a few were non-violent.
The ideology of the American media is that it believes that it doesn’t have any ideology
So NBC’s evening news anchor, Brian Williams, has been caught telling untruths about various events in recent years. What could be worse for a reporter? How about not knowing what’s going on in the world? In your own country? At your own employer? As a case in point I give you Williams’ rival, Scott Pelley, evening news anchor at CBS.
In August 2002, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told American newscaster Dan Rather on CBS: “We do not possess any nuclear or biological or chemical weapons.”
In December, Aziz stated to Ted Koppel on ABC: “The fact is that we don’t have weapons of mass destruction. We don’t have chemical, biological, or nuclear weaponry.”
Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein himself told CBS’s Rather in February 2003: “These missiles have been destroyed. There are no missiles that are contrary to the prescription of the United Nations [as to range] in Iraq. They are no longer there.”
Moreover, Gen. Hussein Kamel, former head of Iraq’s secret weapons program, and a son-in-law of Saddam Hussein, told the UN in 1995 that Iraq had destroyed its banned missiles and chemical and biological weapons soon after the Persian Gulf War of 1991.
There are yet other examples of Iraqi officials telling the world, before the 2003 American invasion, that the WMD were non-existent.
Enter Scott Pelley. In January 2008, as a CBS reporter, Pelley interviewed FBI agent George Piro, who had interviewed Saddam Hussein before he was executed:
PELLEY: And what did he tell you about how his weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed?
PIRO: He told me that most of the WMD had been destroyed by the U.N. inspectors in the ’90s, and those that hadn’t been destroyed by the inspectors were unilaterally destroyed by Iraq.
PELLEY: He had ordered them destroyed?
PELLEY: So why keep the secret? Why put your nation at risk? Why put your own life at risk to maintain this charade?
For a journalist there might actually be something as bad as not knowing what’s going on in his area of news coverage, even on his own station. After Brian Williams’ fall from grace, his former boss at NBC, Bob Wright, defended Williams by pointing to his favorable coverage of the military, saying: “He has been the strongest supporter of the military of any of the news players. He never comes back with negative stories, he wouldn’t question if we’re spending too much.”
I think it’s safe to say that members of the American mainstream media are not embarrassed by such a “compliment”.
In his acceptance speech for the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter made the following observation:
Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.
But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognized as crimes at all.
It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.
Cuba made simple
“The trade embargo can be fully lifted only through legislation – unless Cuba forms a democracy, in which case the president can lift it.”
Aha! So that’s the problem, according to a Washington Post columnist – Cuba is not a democracy! That would explain why the United States does not maintain an embargo against Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Guatemala, Egypt and other distinguished pillars of freedom. The mainstream media routinely refer to Cuba as a dictatorship. Why is it not uncommon even for people on the left to do the same? I think that many of the latter do so in the belief that to say otherwise runs the risk of not being taken seriously, largely a vestige of the Cold War when Communists all over the world were ridiculed for blindly following Moscow’s party line. But what does Cuba do or lack that makes it a dictatorship?
No “free press”? Apart from the question of how free Western media is, if that’s to be the standard, what would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control almost all the media worth owning or controlling?
Is it “free elections” that Cuba lacks? They regularly have elections at municipal, regional and national levels. (They do not have direct election of the president, but neither do Germany or the United Kingdom and many other countries). Money plays virtually no role in these elections; neither does party politics, including the Communist Party, since candidates run as individuals. Again, what is the standard by which Cuban elections are to be judged? Is it that they don’t have the Koch Brothers to pour in a billion dollars? Most Americans, if they gave it any thought, might find it difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic election, without great concentrations of corporate money, would look like, or how it would operate. Would Ralph Nader finally be able to get on all 50 state ballots, take part in national television debates, and be able to match the two monopoly parties in media advertising? If that were the case, I think he’d probably win; which is why it’s not the case.
Or perhaps what Cuba lacks is our marvelous “electoral college” system, where the presidential candidate with the most votes is not necessarily the winner. If we really think this system is a good example of democracy why don’t we use it for local and state elections as well?
Is Cuba not a democracy because it arrests dissidents? Many thousands of anti-war and other protesters have been arrested in the United States in recent years, as in every period in American history. During the Occupy Movement two years ago more than 7,000 people were arrested, many beaten by police and mistreated while in custody. And remember: The United States is to the Cuban government like al Qaeda is to Washington, only much more powerful and much closer; virtually without exception, Cuban dissidents have been financed by and aided in other ways by the United States.
Would Washington ignore a group of Americans receiving funds from al Qaeda and engaging in repeated meetings with known members of that organization? In recent years the United States has arrested a great many people in the US and abroad solely on the basis of alleged ties to al Qaeda, with a lot less evidence to go by than Cuba has had with its dissidents’ ties to the United States. Virtually all of Cuba’s “political prisoners” are such dissidents. While others may call Cuba’s security policies dictatorship, I call it self-defense.
The Ministry of Propaganda has a new Commissar
Last month Andrew Lack became chief executive of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees US government-supported international news media such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Asia. In a New York Times interview, Mr. Lack was moved to allow the following to escape his mouth: “We are facing a number of challenges from entities like Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko Haram.”
So … this former president of NBC News conflates Russia Today (RT) with the two most despicable groups of “human beings” on the planet. Do mainstream media executives sometimes wonder why so many of their audience has drifted to alternative media, like, for example, RT?
Those of you who have not yet discovered RT, I suggest you go to RT.com to see whether it’s available in your city. And there are no commercials.
It should be noted that the Times interviewer, Ron Nixon, expressed no surprise at Lack’s remark.
- William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, chapters 3 and 35
- “Greek Debt Crisis: How Goldman Sachs Helped Greece to Mask its True Debt”, Spiegel Online (Germany), February 8, 2010. Google “Goldman Sachs” Greece for other references.
- U.S. Department of State Daily Press Briefing, February 13, 2015
- Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List
- CBS Evening News, August 20, 2002
- ABC Nightline, December 4, 2002
- “60 Minutes II”, February 26, 2003
- Washington Post, March 1, 2003
- “60 Minutes”, January 27, 2008
- Democracy Now!, February 12, 2015, Wright statement made February 10
- Al Kamen, Washington Post, February 18, 2015
- Huffington Post, May 3, 2012
- New York Times, January 21, 2015