Update: WAR=UNITY. The President just gave his speech on Syria. He intends to launch an air attack. He wants Congress to approve it. He didn’t say what he’ll do if Congress refuses, and he didn’t say how the attacks will limit Assad’s ability to use chemical weapons on his people in the future. He’s utterly convinced, he claims, that Assad deployed chemical weapons. He’s “seen the evidence.”
Why should we believe him? There are ample reports that “the rebels” used those weapons. Those would be the rebels the US government is backing and arming.
Obama appears to trust he has the votes in Congress to approve his attack. He sees this as a feel-good moment when Congress and the White House are united. “Look, we can work together.”
He referred to Congress as “representatives of the American people.” So Obama is a comedian now. He’s suggesting that all of America will share in this act of war. Congress represents the American people the way a herd of lions is accountable to deer and antelope.
Here is the piece I’d already finished an hour before Obama made his speech. I don’t need to change anything, except perhaps to elevate the dosage of mescaline it would take to make Brian Williams finally “see the light.”
Brian Williams, the leading disinformation media specialist on American television, has accidentally ingested a drug before his broadcast.
Somehow, through a manufacturer’s error, mescaline was inserted in a headache pill. Brian just happened to take a pill in that bad batch.
His mind is scrambled.
He suddenly realizes he’s been on a lying jag for decades. What a revelation.
He sees a glint of daylight. He can go on television and tell the truth for once…and what better story to explore than the imminent US attack on Syria. Yes, he’ll do it. He’ll try for redemption.
He sits there on camera, his eyes shining. His mind is all over the place. But he bites his lip and begins:
“—Ladies and gentlemen…
I’m Brian Williams. Freedom is the wild card in any so-called system. How’s that for my opener?
That’s what I want to tell you, folks…the wild card. Yes…uh…
So listen up: Bureaucrats and other lackeys of the State are trained to work as if they are dealing with closed systems. They react to any deviation (freedom) as if it’s a black widow spider in a hotel bed.
Technocrats, the leading edge of the State, are trying to build a machine that incorporates all humans. They hail this as a future in which “the right answer” will always be obtained.
You have no right to be wrong. This is what we are coming to.
You can see this in the run-up to the planned attack on Syria. Leaders are telling us, just as they did prior to the invasion in Iraq, that all the facts add up to the right answer. Once that answer is extracted, there is no turning back.
Syria. Chemical warfare was used. The Assad government used it. That’s the correct answer. Therefore, war. End of debate.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the picture looks a little different. I’m picturing that picture, ladies and gentlemen. The commander-in-chief is being briefed:
“Well, Mr. President, I want to recap where we are on Syria. I’m waiting for Prince Bandar to tell us. Ha-ha. Anyhow, we enabled the Syrian rebels or the terrorists, or al Qaeda, or the freedom fighters, or whatever we’re calling them today. We helped arm them. Now we’re about to bomb Syria to keep them in the game. These rebels are the same people we’re supposedly fighting in Afghanistan, right? I’m not against any of this, but I’m just saying it’s getting harder to sell it. And if our story line crumbles, we’re in deep trouble, Mr. President. People are more aware now. We’ve played both sides against the middle so many times before, the scenario is almost dead on arrival…”
Hi. Brian Williams still here. Let me make a leap, all you good folks out there in television land. The massive op/narrative called The New Age, which began its rapid spread in the 1960s, was designed to disguise our fascist government by moving consciousness to an appreciation for, and an insistence on, so-called spiritual unity.
Barack Obama was supposed to be the first president standing for that apotheosis. He would, in a sense, rule by faith, the faith of his supporters. He would sweep away all objections to government as the supplier of spiritual unity.
Government’s only hope is to somehow appear supernatural and inevitable. It can’t stand on its own.
Wars, especially, require “spiritual faith” in the mission. Obama has failed on this count, and with the opposition to an attack on Syria coming from so many quarters, there is very little cover left for him.
On a larger scale, the attempt to create a closed system, through a military-industrial-oil complex, is falling apart. Oil as the only recognized energy source for the planet determines the chessboard and the playbook. In one stroke, it names the geopolitical hot spots and the conflicts and the need for war as the American solution.
In truth, there are many technologies that could, if developed sufficiently, take us on the road to energy abundance. They are being stopped by the military-industrial-oil complex, not only to keep us on the oil teat, but also to keep us pinned to the need to make war to guarantee the oil flow.
But this system is losing its solid feel. It’s becoming more transparent as an op, long past its prime.
Every significant geopolitical story on the nightly news is a dead pig painted with lipstick.
On the home front, media, fed by politicians, are focusing on “dangerous people” who value freedom. This is a tale so old it creaks. It was told in ancient Egypt, in Greece, in Rome during the death throes of the Empire. Now, in America, it can only be spun by fatuously accusing freedom lovers of racism.
The Surveillance State is losing public support by the day. The notion that the government has to spy on everybody all the time to find “the terrorists” is so off-key, it sounds like a barroom medley sung by drunken sailors. Or a pronouncement rolled out at the height of the Catholic Inquisition.
To impose a closed system on the populace, it’s necessary to reduce the definition of what a person is. In this modern age, that strategy involves promoting stripped-down, lowest-common-denominator thought as a marvelous advance that will enable “human-machine” interactions…bringing us to the brink of a new techno-paradise.
It’s such a desperate tale, one wonders how the sellers can make it through the day without falling down and laughing themselves out of court.
The answer is: government funding. Like the oil monopoly, like the war machine, like the nuclear-energy titan, the government dispenses $$ to make the myths endure.
The pinnacle of this corruption is war. Offensive war. Not war to protect the home front, but to establish new beachheads of conquest, under the pretension of helping to liberate the oppressed. To create a sense of unity where unity was lacking.
The proposed attack on Syria is the latest footnote.
It’s not working.
People are waking up. Also, the man in the White House just can’t create new jobs. He’s putting on a show of trying, but he can’t do it, because he’s not interested in doing it. He wants more victims. So the people are looking at him with a tougher gaze. They don’t trust him.
On the issue of war against Syria, Obama can only try to take a moral high ground based on the idea that a chemical attack occurred. That’s all he’s got. He can’t peddle spiritual unity in this case. He’s dying on the vine.
The whole thing is a sham and a scam and a cardboard front. Get it? I’m trying to tell you, my fellow Americans, ladies and gentlemen, all you good folks out there, what’s really happening. I’m hitting the high points.
We, in the media, are your basic liars. That’s our skill. That’s what makes us great. Right now, we’re selling the war to you. We’re trying, damn it, but it’s not easy. We’ve got so little to work with.
Dianne Sawyer, Scott Pelley, and I are carnival barkers. We dress it up, but that’s all we are. We fake it every night. I don’t even need to be here. You could have a CGI of me, programmed with messages from the White House, polished by our writers at NBC. Now, in fact, looking back at my career, that’s what it feels like. I was never here. I don’t know where the hell I was, but through a stroke of fate, I’m back. And I’m trying to feed you a little truth.
Just think oil and keep thinking oil. Oil pipeline through Syria. Oil in the Middle East.
Anyway…where was I? I could show you pictures of a hundred, two hundred places around the world where governments are torturing and killing their own people and putting them in cages. Is the US supposed to go into all those places and liberate the oppressed? Are we supposed to force free elections from the North Pole to Tierra del Fuego?
And what is a free election? I’ll tell you. It’s the same big-time players behind the scenes cooking the vote for a new bunch of tyrants.
The only way to stop that—and it’s a long shot—is to form a government based on severely limiting the power of government.
Wow. What an idea! Where did that come from? Am I, Brian Williams, the first person to see that?
Anyway, Syria is a crazy op that’s gotten out of control.
We’ve got Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq. Why would the US government be trying to upset the apple cart in those places? To free the people? Don’t be stupid. To obtain cheaper oil prices? How is that working out?
If Dianne, Scott, and I were real reporters, this is the issue we’d be working on. Is this a destabilizing operation aimed at disrupting the flow of oil? Is this a high-level game in which the US and other industrial economies take a huge energy hit? Is this a prelude to the acceleration of the forces of elite Globalism? Is this the old create-chaos and then bring in order on top of that?
Right now, that’s what it looks like to me. Sitting here, that’s my thesis. I don’t think I’ll be able to get anybody in the White House to give me a straight answer, though.
But it’s a start. So…for all the good people here at NBC News, good night. I’ll be back tomorrow, possibly broadcasting from a holding cell under CIA headquarters at Langley. In which case, don’t believe anything I say. Signing off. Brian Williams.
Source: No More Fake News
Countdown to Apocalypse Now?
Tehran — Truth told, it’s a bit intense these days in Tehran as in most other countries in this region, and this observer fairly soon may be on what just might be the last Tehran-Damascus flight for some time in light of what could occur in the coming days.
Not that one is in any hurry to leave the Islamic Republic. I love Iran and its people, who in their basic values and outlook on life are about as American as apple pie. Iranians think a lot like me and my friends back home, and Americans think a lot like them, this despite the extremist, politically motivated portrayals of each other designed by their governments.
I have been attending the Habilian Association (families of Iranian terror victims) Congress on Terrorism and Terror Victims in Tehran, and continuing also an undertaking with students from Tehran University to survey the effects of the US-led economic sanctions. Both endeavors presented an excellent opportunity to listen to Iranian views on a number of current events. The students are examining a sanctions scheme that targets their families and countrymen, and part of their work involves a definition of “economic terrorism” (a term employed by the Pentagon when done by someone other than the US government or its allies). Rather amazing in their clarity of thinking, they exhibit truly inspiring optimism and humanity in these ominous times.
As it happens, economic terrorism was also one of the topics at the Iranian Congress on Terrorism, and the American delegation decided to focus solely on that subject during its presentation, a presentation that was months in preparation. As part of its work, the delegation presented a Draft International Convention outlawing the use of economic sanctions targeting civilians for political purposes, including regime change. Elaborating on the history of economic terrorism, the group urged the Tehran-based Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to use its newfound international political power to lead the campaign for global ratification of the new draft convention, and to present it to the United Nations during next month’s opening session of the General Assembly. NAM leaders promised to study the draft and to arrange a consultative follow-up meeting(s).
Sanctions targeting a civilian population for the political purpose of forcing regime change constitutes an act of terrorism as defined by several US government agencies—this was the position of the American delegation, and it would apply to any government, including their own, with a deep history of targeting peoples with economic sanctions (Cuba, Vietnam, China, Korea, Iran, and Nicaragua, among others, come to mind).
For accuracy’s sake, it should be said that, unexpectedly, due to last minute visa problems, the whole US delegation at the Congress ended up being comprised of a total number of—well, one international lawyer. A last minute effort was indeed made to coax Jeffrey Feltman, who never has visa problems to this observer’s knowledge, and who was staying at the same hotel, to attend the Terrorism Congress, hence doubling the size, weight, and authority of the US delegation. Mr. Feltman was even offered the chairmanship of the American delegation as an incentive, but, regretfully, the gentleman declined, citing other commitments.
Getting visas to visit Iran and especially Syria these days is no easy feat for Americans, given ‘payback’ or reciprocal changes in policy at both countries’ foreign ministries. Last year, revised guidelines were sent out by both governments on how to process visa requests submitted by Americans. US citizens wanting to travel to certain countries these days pay a stiff price for their government’s actions.
Talking with average Iranians and shop keepers, and especially students, one gets a fairly good idea of just how engaged public opinion is in Iran on current events. It offers a very different picture than that presented by the western media, beholden as they are to their corporate paymasters, but this is beginning to be true of much of the non-western media as well. Here on the street one finds, even in the face of the ever-rising cost of living and near-rampant inflation and the suffering they engender, pride at how this country has resisted the US-led sanctions. A common view expressed in informal discussions—and also at the Congress—is that while there are many states who practice terrorism of one kind or another, including economic terrorism, the US is unusual in that its foreign relations record argues strongly that it is officially committed to international economic terrorism. Moreover, that this is on a scale far exceeding other actors on the world stage.
One professor summarized for this observer his analysis of the effect of US-led sanctions, noting the severe impact on Iranian consumers at the grocery store, dramatically shrinking their real income, as well as government efforts to maintain some subsidies to lessen their impact. He also discussed innovative ways both the government and private sectors have been able to lessen the impact of some of the sanctions, while completely skirting others, mentioning as well a ‘circle the wagons’ public spirit that has arisen in unexpected ways, leading to, among other things, neighborhood initiatives designed to help one’s neighbors with economic problems.
One finds also among Iranians a smoldering anger over the current chemical weapons ‘red line’ issue in Syria, along with an awareness that this may well lead to regional war. The American campaign to bomb Syria is viewed here as utmost American governmental hypocrisy. More than one interlocutor expressed disdain, remembering the Reagan administration’s actions during the late 1980s, when not only did the White House take no action when Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons—against Iranian forces as well as “his own people”—but the United States also aided the attacks by providing intelligence and firing coordinates. In other words, finding Iranians to kill, and providing gas to murder them with.
The Tehran Times wrote yesterday: “U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Saddam Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.” The effects of these US-facilitated gas attacks are seen everywhere in Iran today, in the skin scars and poor health of its hundreds of thousands of victims.
“How can the American people accept this double standard, where its ok and your government will help to gas Iranians and your enemy’s population?” is a common question put to this observer.
There is visible excitement and even a sort of joy this morning that the UK Parliament, to its great credit, just voted to reject the Cameron government’s motion authorizing British forces to boom Syria. A taxi driver expressed his hope that “Your Congress will follow the lead of the British Parliament?” Iranians appear to view the Parliamentary vote as a victory for themselves. Given the Islamic Republic’s role as a key pillar of resistance to the Zionist occupation of Palestine and US-Israel regional hegemonic goals, few here, if any, believe the US attack on Syria is not aimed at them.
As the war drums become nearly deafening in certain capitals, public expressions in Iran regarding the grave prospects that are looming appear to this observer less knee-jerk rhetoric than in recent years. No doubt there are many reasons for this, including the results of the recent elections in Iran—viewed here as an encouraging sign of stability and democracy in the region. Tehran made clear to Jeffrey Feltman this week that it is ready for serious cooperation in order to peacefully resolve the crisis in Syria.
As Hossein Mousavian, a researcher at Princeton University, recently pointed out, the cooperation of the US and Iran in 2001 regarding Afghanistan, resulting in the fall of the Taliban and al-Qaeda (at least for a while), is a blueprint for a new collaboration. Writes Mousavian: “This collaboration should not be limited to Syria. The Middle East requires management for the time, and therefore, crisis management (of this and other crises) would be a useful path for this collaboration.” This observer believes much of the Iranian and American public would agree, and that there are hopeful signs during this feared apocalyptic period.
No matter what else he has done, what conservative radio host and author Mark Levin does in his new book The Liberty Amendments has made him a hero for me. For many years I have been writing articles on the wisdom of using something in the US Constitution that I believe offers the only constitutional path to urgently needed reforms of the political system. I also co-founded the national nonpartisan group Friends of the Article V Convention. Mark Levin has become the most notable, highly visible person to also come out loudly, advocating the first time use of the Article V convention option.
The good news is that someone who commands significant media attention has recognized both the wisdom and need for using what the Founders had the good sense to give us. He forcefully makes the case for a convention of state delegates that would have the same constitutional authority as Congress has for proposing constitutional amendments. And just like all the amendments that now exist and which originated with Congress, those coming from a convention would still have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states. Levin recognizes that this high hurdle pretty much rules out truly nutty amendments, from either a conservative or liberal perspective, from ever becoming a reality. Nor can a convention totally rewrite our Constitution.
Most importantly, as I and others have repeatedly said for years, Levin has come to the conclusion that rather fear an amendment convention Americans should more fear sticking with the current corrupt, dysfunctional government system that has brought the US down into what I called a delusional democracy. Levin like so many others sees no hope to fundamentally fix our system by voting either for Republicans or Democrats, because of what I call a two-party plutocracy ruled by rich, powerful and corporate elites dedicated to maintaining the status quo.
Elections now are the instrument for sustaining the status quo, not reforming the system itself. People need to understand that there have been many years when one of the two major parties controlled both the presidency and both houses of Congress, including two years under President Obama, four years under President George W. Bush, two years under President Clinton, and four years under President Carter, for example. Even with such dominance, neither party truly reformed the system or loosened the grip of rich and powerful elites, nor did Supreme Court decisions. Politicians keep lying and breaking promises. More than 40 percent of political campaign contributions now come from the top 0.01 percent, the super-rich. For nearly all Americans the choice is not between elections and an amendment convention. The choice is between continuing to make stupid decisions or use what the Founders gave us. Mark Levin has seen the light and now we need many millions of Americans to also get smart.
Now for the bad news. Levin’s new book presents the case for a large number of specific constitutional amendments. History has shown that many earlier attempts to use the convention option that were based on advocacy for specific amendments all failed. I happened to like most of Levin’s amendments. But the sad fact is that no matter how sensible any specific amendment may appear to most people, there will always be many people and groups willing to fight against it. The historic result has been that the process of using the convention option has gone down to failure because of opposition to specific amendments. In other words, the key to success is placing far more emphasis on the process offered by the Constitution to get systemic, core reforms through the states, recognizing that Congress will never propose true, fundamental reforms.
Moreover, Levin has not paid much needed attention to the ugly reality that there has already been a sufficient number of state applications to Congress for a convention (two-thirds of states), but Congress has intentionally violated the Constitution by not calling for the first convention, as Article V requires. Friends of the Article V Convention has presented a wealth of data, analysis and information on this reality. Someone with so much celebrity as Levin needs to forcefully inform the public and his many supporters that Congress has long stood in the way of using the convention option, obviously because it fears sharing the power to propose amendments. This holds for both Republican and Democratic members of Congress.
The battle for fixing and, indeed, saving the US, in other words, requires fighting on two fronts. First, convince many millions of Americans that the convention strategy is now what is needed. Second, also convince the public that Congress must be made to honor and obey the Constitution, and the individual oaths of office all members take. For too long Congress has ignored the states, not even creating an official mechanism for counting state applications for a convention.
Like so many others, David Limbaugh had written against using the convention option, but now he admits: “Like Mark, I was originally skeptical of the idea that we should support the calling of a constitutional convention in an effort to rein in the federal government and restore the power of the states and our individual liberties. But that’s because I hadn’t fully explored what that process would entail.” We need many more people on the right and left to rethink their positions.
But already, soon after initial attention to Levin’s new book, many people are posting very negative and poorly informed positions against using the convention option on websites. If these people have any critical thinking skills, then they should realize that rather than fearing a convention, they should fear the status quo and continued national decline because of the awful two-party plutocracy that feeds the thirst for power among both Democrats and Republicans. There has been an incredible amount of brain washing from the right and left against using the convention option. Look at what we have now: a truly delusional democracy with each branch of the federal government failing, robbing citizens of their money, liberty and hope.
On July 3, President Mohamed Morsi was ousted. Coup authority replaced him. It did illegitimately. His supporters want him reinstated. They’ve been camped out in Cairo for weeks. SCAF threatened to roust them.
Tensions remained high. Morsi supporters have been repeatedly attacked. Hundreds died earlier. Many others were injured. Scores are imprisoned. Arrests follow regularly.
Ahead of Wednesday’s action, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said:
“Law and order has to be in place, and people need to have access to their homes and work and so on.”
“Ultimately, this situation has to be resolved very soon.” He claimed efforts to end sit-ins would be “consistent with the law.” He lied saying so. More on that below.
Interim President Adly Mansour convened an emergency National Security Council meeting. Top SCAF and civilian officials attended.
Crackdowns were planned. Muslim Brotherhood officials urged Morsi supporters to join sit-ins. They called on Egyptian security forces to remain nonviolent, saying:
“We remind our sons and brothers from the great Egyptian army and the men of the Interior Ministry to not attack their peaceful brothers or besiege them or shed their blood.”
Morsi’s under house arrest. He’s at an unknown location. State agency Mena said he’s charged with conspiring with Hamas, killing prisoners and officers “deliberately with prior intent,” kidnapping officers and soldiers, spying, attacking public buildings, and setting fire to Wadi el-Natroun prison.
It claimed doing so helped him escape. During 2011 anti-Mubarak protests, he and other Muslim Brotherhood members were arrested and detained. Morsi said local residents freed them.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crackdown, SCAF threatened to “turn its guns” on pro-Morsi supporters, saying:
“We will not initiate any move, but will definitely react harshly against any calls for violence or black terrorism from Brotherhood leaders or their supporters.”
Its officials warned of civil war. What follows Wednesday’s crackdown remains to be seen.
On August 14, AP headlined “Egypt police storm 2 Pro-Morsi Camps in Cairo,” saying:
“Egyptian security forces, backed by armored cars and bulldozers, swept in Wednesday to clear two sit-in camps of supporters of the country’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi, showering protesters with tear gas as the sound of gunfire rang out at both sites.”
Numbers killed and injured aren’t confirmed. Muslim Brotherhood (MB) spokesman Walid Al-Haddad said 600. Another 9,000 were wounded, he added. Scores were arrested.
Another MB spokesman, Gehad El-Haddad claimed up to 2,000 killed and 10,000 injured. Intensive gunfire was heard. Official reports downplay numbers. Bodies were taken to makeshift morgues.
Senior MB leader Mohammed el-Beltagy estimated 300 deaths. He called on police and military forces to rebel. He urged Egyptians to protest publicly, saying:
“Oh, Egyptian people, your brothers are in the square. Are you going to remain silent until the genocide is completed?”
Hours later he was arrested. Witnesses said security forces used live fire on Morsi supporters. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s spokesman, Michael Mann, said:
“The reports of deaths and injuries are extremely worrying. We reiterate that violence won’t lead to any solution, and we urge the Egyptian authorities to proceed with utmost restraint.”
Most EU countries are NATO members. Belligerence and other forms of violence are official policy. Ashton’s concern for Egyptian lives lacks credibility.
She, other EU leaders and Washington don’t give a damn about SCAF ruthlessness. They care plenty about it making world headlines.
They want reports of state-sponsored violence suppressed. They want business as usual continued. They want it out of sight and mind abroad.
They want Israeli interests addressed. They include destroying Gaza’s tunnel economy, keeping Rafah crossing closed, and joint IDF/SCAF attacks on Sinai-based pro-Morsi Islamists.
Days earlier, SCAF promised to roust Morsi supporters. Around 7AM, they acted. Clashes occurred in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Aswan, Assiut, Minya, and other cities nationwide.
By mid-morning, state television said security forces finished breaking up Cairo sit-ins. Bulldozers began clearing makeshift camps.
Major roads into Cairo are blocked. Railway authority officials said trains in and out of the city were stopped. So are others serving major cities nationwide. It’s “for security reasons to prevent people from mobilizing,” they said.
Egypt’s Interior Ministry said security forces have “total control” over Nahda Square. “Police forces removed most tents.”
Access to the area was blocked. Egypt’s major state daily Al Ahram said the interim government warned “it would react sternly to acts of sabotage and attacks against state institutions.”
An official statement said:
“In accordance with government instructions to take necessary measures towards the sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda, and for the safety of the country, security forces started taking measures to disperse the sit-ins early Wednesday.”
“The government insists on moving forward with the future roadmap in a way that guarantees that no faction will be excluded from participating in the political process which will achieve a democratic transition.”
It bears repeating. Egypt’s no democracy. Junta power rules. Appointed President Adly Mansour and other interim officials serve at its pleasure.
Events are fast moving. Egypt’s central bank ordered commercial banks to close branches in conflict areas. Some had power shut off.
The Ministry of Antiquities ordered Giza Pyramids closed to visitors. Cairo’s Egyptian museum was closed. MB officials are charged with inciting violence and/or conspiring to kill protesters.
MB’s London office said:
“The world cannot sit back and watch while innocent men, women and children are being indiscriminately slaughtered. The world must stand up to the military junta’s crime before it is too late.”
Egypt’s a tinderbox. Cairo’s a virtual war zone. Ousting Morsi along with unaddressed major grievances has millions nationwide enraged.
Blaming victims is policy. Egypt’s government made baseless accusations, saying:
“The government holds (MB) leaders fully responsible for any spilt blood, and for all the rioting and violence going on.”
Egypt’s Interior Ministry claimed it intercepted phone calls calling on supporters to attack police stations. Planned assaults were foiled, it added.
MB officials were arrested. Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayeb urged restraint. He did so on state television. He opposed Morsi. He backed his ouster. He comments lack credibility.
Clashes erupted across Egypt. Minya, Assiut and Sohag Christian Coptic Churches were torched.
In Bani Suef south of Cairo, police cars were set ablaze. Clashes threaten to continue.
Interim President Mansour said diplomacy ended. SCAF gloves are off. Egyptian security forces are notoriously hardline.
Ahead of Wednesday’s crackdown, Robert Fisk asked:
“Why does the Egyptian crisis appear so simple to our political leaders yet so complicated when you actually turn up in Cairo?”
State media create “fantasies.” They claim SCAF “follow(ed) the will of the people” ousting Morsi. They exaggerated opposition crowds. They called them “the largest political demonstration(s) in history.”
Numbers reported suggested over half the adult working age population turned out. Unlike early 2011, “the country kept running.”
John Kerry claimed SCAF intervened to restore democracy. “Thank God for the Egyptian army,” Fisk added. He did so with tongue in cheek.
Le Monde’s Alain Gresh headlined his latest article “Shadow of the army over Egypt’s revolution,” saying:
The Muslim Brotherhood “faced a destabilisation campaign by the former regime, with the dissolution of the elected parliament, the police refusing to maintain public order and protect its premises (significantly the interior minister was reinstated in office after 30 June), and the courts acquitting former Mubarak officials.”
Media pluralism didn’t follow Morsi’s ouster, said Gresh. Some TV stations were banned. Journalists were arrested.
Ruling officials are hostile to critical foreign media. Interim leaders maintain “a ministry of information.” Doing so’s not a good sign.
State media ignore pro-Morsi demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands participate nationwide.
“A textbook example is the coverage of the repression of a sit-in organised by the Brotherhood on 8 July outside the headquarters of the Republican Guard, during which at least 50 people were killed,” said Gresh.
“Army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mohammed Ali told the Associated Press: ‘What excessive force? It would have been excessive if we killed 300.’ ”
“The English-language website Madamasr has posted damning witness statements, especially one by a cameraman working for an opposition television station, which showed images of soldiers shooting at the crowd, for no reason.”
Interim President Mansour has links to the Mubarak regime and Saudi Arabia. He worked there for over a decade.
He published a constitutional declaration. It gives him full executive and legislative powers for six months. It does so ahead of elections.
Egypt’s government is dominated by neoliberal hardliners. They force-feed austerity on millions of poor people. They have added pain in mind. Doing so risks turning a tinderbox into a raging inferno.
Observers wonder “whether Egypt will ever see pluralist elections again, now that its first democratically elected president has been overthrown,” said Gresh.
Mansour and other interim officials remain silent about MB repression. Ignoring it means support.
Mohamed ElBaradei’s an apparent exception. He resigned saying:
“(T)he beneficiaries of what happened today are those who call for violence, terrorism and the most extreme groups.”
“It has become difficult for me to continue bearing responsibility for decisions that I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear. I cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood.”
ElBaradei wants to be Egypt’s president. Perhaps he believes resigning now makes it possible later. Allying with state-sponsored repression assures rejection.
Gresh wonders what’s next for Egypt. “How long will it be before people are put on trial for having demanded Mubarak’s resignation in 2011,” he asked?
“Perhaps the aim is to provoke the Brotherhood into resorting to violence, so as to allow a reinstatement of the state of emergency in the name of the war on terror.”
“Or the excuse may be the instability of the Sinai region, which predates Morsi.”
All sides vying for power and influence must “learn from their failures.” They must “abandon their secretive culture.”
Shutting MB and other Islamists out risks “pushing them on to a radical path that could cost Egypt dear(ly),” Gresh concluded.
On Wednesday, a state of emergency was declared. Martial law’s in effect. Major city 7:00PM – 6:00AM curfews were imposed. It’s effective until further notice.
MB supporters won’t back down. They pledged to die rather than quit. One Morsi protester perhaps spoke for others, saying:
“We don’t care about death. We believe in one thing. When your time to die comes, you will die.”
“So will you die as a courageous martyr, or as a coward? That’s the point: we want to die as martyrs.”
They want Morsi reinstitated. Civil war’s possible follow. MB spokesman Gehad El-Haddad twittered:
“8 hours of mass killings & not a single sane person in Egypt or in world 2 stop this!! Over 2,000 killed and & over 10,000 injured & world watches.”
Egypt’s a virtual war zone. Anything ahead is possible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
On July 1 Croatia became the 28th country to join the European Union, and on current form there will be no further enlargement for many years to come. A look at the glaring dysfunctions in Croatia’s accession, compared to the double standards Brussels imposes on Serbia and Ukraine, is indicative of the peculiar mitteleuropäisch view of what constitutes “Europe” which still dominates the political and media elite thinking in Berlin and Vienna.
After the disappointing experience with Bulgaria and Romania, which joined the EU in 2007 but continue to be plagued by unstable governments and all-pervasive corruption, many experts have expressed doubts about Croatia’s readiness for membership. On its entry a month ago it became the third-poorest nation in the EU, with unemployment hovering around 20 percent. Of those who work, one-third are employed in the public sector. If it joins the eurozone in three years, Croatia would also become a prime candidate for an eventual bailout.
According to Transparency International, Croatia is ranked below Rwanda, Namibia, Jordan or Cuba in its 1012 graft index. Former prime minister Ivo Sanader, who played a key role in negotiating the EU membership, was sentenced to ten years in jail last year for accepting multi-million bribes from foreign companies. Last March the European Commission expressed concern over Croatia’s low level of legal penalties in corruption cases and its effectiveness in battling human trafficking and organized crime. “Widespread political and economic corruption persist, and its courts often show an overly lax attitude toward due process,” The New York Times editorialist warned on June 28. “The fact is that the Union may well be about to repeat the mistakes of the last round of accessions,” he warned, thus jeopardizing Croatia’s own future, diminishing membership prospects for other Balkan states, and stalling further enlargement for the next decade or more.
It is no secret in Brussels that Germany wanted Croatia in for its own geopolitical reasons, however, and that was the end of the debate. There is also an economic interest. Since their products have become significantly more competitive with the elimination of the 20 percent tariff on EU goods, German manufacturers and merchants in particular stand to profit from Croatia’s entry. They cherish the prospect of over four million potential new customers who are traditionally fond of German brands.
Many Croatians remain deeply skeptical about the benefits of joining the Union. In last year’s referendum on EU membership, only 43 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots and exactly two-thirds voted in favor of the union—a mere 28 percent of Croatia’s electorate. Recent polls show that only 39 percent welcomed the accession. State-funded celebration in Zagreb notwithstanding, Croatian accession was marked by all-pervasive gloom among its people as well as across the EU. Some Croats fear that tough competition from the north will drive many struggling companies out of business. Even Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are in better financial shape than Croatia, according to World Bank statistics.
For a country facing serious demographic decline, the most serious likely consequence of EU membership will be an exodus of educated young people when work restrictions expire in two years from now. Among Croatia’s under-25s unemployment rate exceeds 50 percent. A massive brain drain has already happened to Poland after it joined the EU in 2004, and to Bulgaria and Romania after 2007.
Croatian Euroskeptics say that just getting ready for EU entry has crippled their country in the same manner as Brussels’ neoliberal ideology has damaged the “Club Med.” Croatia cannot join the eurozone immediately, but it is maintaining a fixed euro-kuna exchange rate to qualify for membership in three years’ time. This denies it an opportunity to devalue and make its exports and tourist industry more competitive. On current form, Croatia’s tourist infrastructure can hardly compete with that of Italy, Spain, or Greece.
“Croatian governments have followed obediently the EU’s austerity advice, even before the accession.” Srecko Horvat and Igor Stiks wrote in an op-ed for the Guardian. The country’s foreign debt now exceeds $60 billion, more than $13,000 for each of Croatia’s 4.4 million people. It now has virtually no industry and relies heavily on tourism, which accounts for 20 percent of GNP. All this, Horvat and Stiks say, means that “Croatia has not actually joined only the EU; in reality, it has become a fully fledged member of the EU periphery.” One of the EU’s longest external land borders at 800 miles, they add, will necessarily cut Croatia off from its immediate and natural surroundings and bring further isolation from its neighbors.
By entering the EU Croatia has lost its membership in the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which now consists of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia. The loss of customs privileges and trade benefits in those markets will cost the country at least 220 million dollars a year in lost exports, according to the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. Other analysts say that some 4,000 people will become unemployed as a result of Croatia losing CEFTA membership, with no compensating benefits in the highly competitive EU markets.
Last but not least, EU membership creates a major problem for thousands of Croats who make their living from fishing along the country’s Adriatic coast. They will face competition from much larger and better equipped fishing vessels from other EU countries—above all Italy—which are now free to operate in Croatian waters. In addition, they will have to invest heavily into new, EU-compliant trawl nets and safety equipment. Most of their gear is not in accordance with the EU’s Common Fishing Policy (CFP), whose regulations were modeled mostly on fishing in the Atlantic Ocean. Local fishers complain that successive Croatian governments did not even try to protect their interests and that they face bankruptcy.
For better or worse, Croatia is in the EU while other aspirants, like Serbia to the east, will stay out for many years to come—or, in the case of Ukraine, are not yet even in discussions for membership. Enlargement fatigue is all-pervasive among old and new Union members alike. The fact that it is particularly strong in Germany is what really matters. (Several smaller countries share the sentiment, notably Austria and Benelux.) German preferences largely explain the unequal treatment by Brussels of other countries in the former Yugoslavia and in Europe’s “eastern neighborhood.” What is sauce for the Croatian goose is no sauce for the Serbian or Ukrainian gander. Unlike in earlier rounds of accession, the EU no longer offers a specific timetable for achieving the promise of membership made at the summit in Thessaloniki ten years ago. Rather, the process remains open-ended and indeterminate. EU Commissioner for Enlargement Štefan Füle claims that enlargement will continue, but officials in Brussels privately concede that this is not the case.
Last April Serbia had to sign a humiliating, EU-brokered deal with Kosovo’s secessionist government in order to obtain a “conditional” date for the opening of accession negotiations next January. Effectively giving up one-seventh of one’s sovereign territory for the sake of the elusive “Date” was both a crime and a mistake, but even that does not promise the government in Belgrade that it will be any closer to full EU membership a decade from now than it is today. Turkey has been a candidate since 1999, and yet it will never be allowed to join the EU. Skopje-Macedonia (FYROM) has had a candidate status for the past eight years, with the final goalpost nowhere in sight.
Even after Serbia’s capitulation last April, German lawmakers came up with a list of seven additional demands which Belgrade would need to complete in order to be given a date for the commencement of accession negotiations. They wanted the Serbian authorities “to find and prosecute the demonstrators who attacked the German embassy in Belgrade in February 2008” (a day after Berlin recognized Kosovo’s independence), which is well-nigh impossible because the German government has refused to give the Serbs any surveillance camera footage. More egregiously, the Bundestag demanded that the Serbs accept, and not deny, that “genocide” was committed in Srebrenica; to apply pressure on northern Kosovo Serbs to “actively cooperate” with EULEX and Kfor; and to display “visible readiness for legally binding normalization of relations” with Kosovo.
Brussels’ lack of straight dealing is equally glaring in the case of Ukraine, which is not even being offered the prospect of EU membership anytime soon. Kiev has been struggling since 2007 to obtain the more limited Association Agreement with the EU. At the 15th Ukraine-EU Summit in December 2011, the EU leaders and President Yanukovych announced that they had reached “a common understanding on the text of the Association Agreement,” and in March 2012 the chief negotiators of the European Union and Ukraine initialed the text of the Agreement. Stefan Füle announced at that time that the Agreement could be finally signed after the Ukrainian general election in October 2012. It did not happen. Additional demands and conditions keep emerging instead.
Topping the list is the case of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister, who is serving a seven-year jail sentence for corruption and is facing murder charges for the 1996 killing of a political opponent. Even though the case against the richest woman in Ukraine seems strong, Brussels has taken the position that it was politically motivated. The EU has also criticized Ukrainian authorities for failing to conduct last October’s parliamentary elections “in line with international democratic standards.” With Germany again the lead skeptical voice on the EU side, the question of whether the Association Agreement will be signed at the Vilnius summit this November remains uncertain. If it is not signed, it will not be for lack of trying from the Ukrainian side.
Unequal treatment of different countries by the EU’s old core—and above all by Germany—reflects some old prejudices and cultural preferences which will not go away. Of course, no German politician will ever admit that his or her judgment is impacted by the fact that the Croats were German allies in both world wars, while the Serbs or Ukrainians were no
A previous article discussed Stasi. It was East Germany’s secret police. It was one of the most repressive state apparatuses in modern times.
Its infamous reputation speaks for itself. It’s reincarnated in new form. Given today’s state-of-the-art technology. It’s worse now than then. The previous article said the following:
On July 7, Der Spiegel headlined “Snowden claims: NSA Ties Put German Intelligence in Tight Spot.”
“They’re in bed together,” said Snowden. NSA partners with foreign intelligence in other countries. Its “Foreign Affairs Directorate (BND)” does so.
It’s done in ways to “insulate their political leaders from the backlash.” It’s precautionary in case people learn “how grievously they’re violating global privacy.”
BND/NSA cooperation is far greater than previously known. At issue are serious violations of Germany’s privacy laws. According to Der Spiegel, NSA provides “analysis tools.”
They’re for “BND’s signals monitoring of foreign data streams that travel through Germany.”
Besides other areas, BND focuses on “the Middle East route through which data packets from crisis regions travel.”
Der Spiegel said “BND pulls data from five different nodes that are then analyzed at the foreign intelligence service’s headquarters in Pullach near Munich.”
Gerhard Schindler heads it. He “confirmed the partnership during a meeting with members of the German parliament’s control committee for intelligence issues.”
Snowden told Der Spiegel that German outrage over NSA spying was pretense. Both countries work closely together. Relations are longstanding.
Current operations far exceed Stasi’s. They’re conducted with technological ease. Decades earlier spying was crude compared to today’s.
Modern methods operate in unprecedented ways. Virtually everyone can be monitored everywhere at all times. Nearly everything about targets is known.
Almost nothing’s too secret to escape scrutiny. There’s no way to hide. There’s no place to do it.
On July 20, Der Spiegel headlined ” ‘Prolific Partner:’ German Intelligence Used NSA Spying Program,” saying:
Chancellor Merkel lied. It didn’t surprise. She does it repeatedly. She “and her ministers claim they first learned about the US government’s comprehensive spying programs from press reports.”
“But SPIEGEL has learned that German intelligence services themselves use one of the NSA’s most valuable tools.”
BND and its Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) intelligence agency collaborated with NSA. Secret documents reveal it.
They show BfV “was equipped with a program called XKeyScore intended to ‘expand their ability to support NSA as we jointly prosecute CT (counterterrorism) targets.’ ”
“The BND is tasked with instructing the domestic intelligence agency on how to use the program, the documents say.”
It’s a “productive espionage tool.” It’s able to “retroactively reveal any terms” targeted persons type into search engines.
It’s able to receive “full takeâ¤|unfiltered dataâ¤|including” communications content. It can do so over a period of days.
Documents show up to “500 million (monthly) data connections from Germany accessed by the NSA.” XKeyScore collects much of it.
German/NSA cooperation “recently intensified.” BND’s Schindler expressed an “eagerness and desire” to do so. According to NSA:
“The BND has been working to influence the German government to relax interpretation of the privacy laws to provide greater opportunities of intelligence sharing.”
In 2012, Germany showed a “willingness to take risks and to pursue new opportunities for cooperation with the US.”
In Afghanistan, BND was NSA’s “most prolific partner.” The relationship is longstanding. It’s hard-wired. Merkel lied. Anger expressed over US spying was fake.
She knows what’s going on. She’s involved. On September 22, German federal elections are scheduled. Voters will choose Bundestag representatives.
Merkel’s coalition needs up to 300 or more seats to retain power. Until NSA spying and Germany’s involvement were revealed, easy reelection was expected.
She’s seeking a third term. Perhaps she won’t get it. Earlier polls showed her ahead. Voters may have second thoughts. They’ll decide if she’s a spent force. In weeks we’ll know.
In the meantime, expect more revelations. On July 19, Der Spiegel headlined “Greenwald: ‘Explosive’ NSA Spying Reports Are Imminent,” saying:
Expect them in a few days. They’ll be the next shoe to drop. They’ll be “more explosive in Germany” than previous reports.
They’ll tell more about BND/NSA cooperation. Greenwald said he’s got around 9,000 to 10,000 top secret documents. He’s had them for weeks.
He’s been analyzing them. Some documents are “extremely complicated.” He’s living in Rio de Janeiro. CIA has a “robust” presence there.
He’s worried about his safety. He feels “threatened in the sense that there are very prominent American politicians and even American journalists who have called for (his) arrest, who have called (him) a criminal.”
Possession of top secret US documents jeopardizes his safety. He’s got multiple copies. He maintains regular contact with Snowden. They use “encrypted chat technologies.”
German/NSA cooperation isn’t at the same level as Britain, Australia, Canada or New Zealand. It’s the “next tier where they exchange information all the time.”
It’s intensifying. BND’s Schindler’s eager to do so. Perhaps Germany’s heading for joint NSA cooperation matching any other country.
A Final Comment
On July 18, the Electronic Frontier Foundation headlined “House Judiciary Committee Rails Against Domestic Spying,” saying:
House Judiciary Committee members “grilled” government witnesses. It was more show than tell. Obama officials “hid behind secrecy.”
Grilling belies congressional sincerity. Congress, the courts, Obama, and administration officials are co-conspirators. It shows in legislation enacted.
It shows in court decisions. It shows America’s current state. Washington’s criminal class is bipartisan. It includes High Court justices.
Police state lawlessness replaced constitutional law. Full-blown tyranny’s a hair’s breadth away. America’s no longer safe to live in. Universal monitoring persists.
It’s official policy. Corporate bosses are complicit. Democracy’s a convenient illusion. So is freedom. It’s on the chopping block for elimination. It’s practically gone already.
Doing the right thing is criminalized. Press freedom’s up for grabs. On July 19, The New York Times headlined “Court Tells Reporter to Testify in Case of Leaked CIA Data,” saying:
The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Times writer James Risen must do so. It said First Amendment protections don’t cover “unauthorized leaks.”
Federal District court Judge Leonie Brinkema held otherwise. She got it right. She supported press freedom. She called it First Amendment “reporter’s privilege.” Obama’s DOJ claims it doesn’t exist.
Appeals Court Chief Judge William Byrd Traxler wrote the majority (two/one) ruling, saying:
“Clearly, Risen’s direct, firsthand account of the criminal conduct indicted by the grand jury cannot be obtained by alternative means, as Risen is without dispute the only witness who can offer this critical testimony.”
“There is no First Amendment testimonial privilege, absolute or qualified, that protects a reporter from being compelled to testify by the prosecution or the defense in criminal proceedings about criminal conduct that the reporter personally witnessed or participated in, absent a showing of bad faith, harassment, or other such non-legitimate motive, even though the reporter promised confidentiality to his source.”
Risen vowed to go to prison rather than testify. He may end up there. He’ll appeal to the Supreme Court. Odds of winning are slim.
The Court’s stacked with right wing extremists. They’re largely comfortable with police state lawlessness. It shows in their rulings.
Risen may first ask for a full Fourth Circuit ruling. His lawyer Joel Kurtzberg said:
“We are disappointed by and disagree with the court’s decision. We are currently evaluating our next steps.”
Fourth Circuit’s Judge Roger Gregory “vigorous(ly) dissent(ed).” He called the ruling a threat to investigative journalism, saying:
“Under the majority’s articulation of the reporter’s privilege, or lack thereof, absent a showing of bad faith by the government, a reporter can always be compelled against her will to reveal her confidential sources in a criminal trial.”
“Whatever the limits of who may claim reporter’s privilege, it is clear that Risen – a full-time reporter for a national news publication, The New York Times – falls into the category of people who should be eligible to invoke the privilege.”
“The majority exalts the interests of the government while unduly trampling those of the press, and in doing so, severely impinges on the press and the free flow of information in our society.”
Friday’s ruling set a precedent. It applies only to the Fourth Circuit. It’s important. It includes Maryland and Virginia. It’s Pentagon, CIA and NSA headquarters.
Risen’s case pertains to information in his 2006 book, “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.” It’s about Bush era CIA tactics. Clinton also.
It involves “trick(ing) Iranian scientists by having a Russian defector give them blueprints for a nuclear triggering device that had been altered with an error.”
It “portrays the operation as reckless and botched in a way that could have helped the Iranians gain accurate information.”
In December 2010, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was called Risen’s source. He was indicted on Espionage Act charges.
According to Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, since 1984, 17 journalists were jailed for refusing to testify or disclose sources.
Police states operate this way. America’s by far the worst. For sure it’s the most reckless, outlandish and dangerous.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Mohamed Morsi’s removal from power is not a “massive blow” to political Islam, much less the proof of its failure. It is the result of the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to monopolize all power, coupled with the MB government’s gross economic and social mismanagement. The Army intervened because the stability of the state was threatened, and Egypt’s generals have a vested interest in maintaining order which guarantees their enormous economic privileges. Their quarrel with Morsi is not ideological. The support for Abdel Fatah Al-Sissi’s coup from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates is a sign that those regimes do not expect the new government to re-impose the secular-nationalist agenda that had characterized the Nasser-Sadat-Mubarak decades. Their Salafist protégés in Egypt, Younis Makhyoun and his al-Nour Party, supported Morsi’s removal and are now poised to play a key role by capitalizing on the Brotherhood’s declining popularity. Al-Nour has already shown its strength by preventing Mohamed El-Baradei’s appointment as prime minister. The party has distanced itself from the generals in recent days, and its leaders say that they will insist on keeping the Islamic law as the basis of Egypt’s constitution.
Equally fallacious is some Western liberals’ lament that Morsi’s overthrow has been “disastrous” for the prospects of democracy in the Muslim world. Those prospects had always been nil. The notion that Egypt has “mutated from poster boy for free elections to a ballot-failed nation” is ridiculous: Morsi’s victory in the presidential election in June of last year was marked by serious irregularities which have never been properly investigated, and he has wantonly abused power during his year in office. All opposition was crudely demonized, and the Mubarak-era oppressive apparatus retooled to serve the Brotherhood. Last November he issued a decree granting him dictatorial authority, including immunity to any judicial oversight. In December he staged a bogus referendum that rubber-stamped a new, Sharia-based constitution which was drafted solely by the MB-dominated Shura Council with Salafist support. The rhetoric of “democracy” was used by Morsi strictly in line with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dictum that “democracy is a train: you can get off when you reach your destination.” Morsi’s desired destination was always crystal clear: ikhwanat al-daula, Ikhwanisation of the state.
Egypt’s problems are staggering, possibly insoluble. It has few natural resources. Its situation is considered “critical” by the Foreign Policy’s Failed_States_Index, on par with Mauritania, Sierra Leone and Burkina Fasso. The country of 85 million under-educated people has to import one-half of its food. A quarter of the population is unemployed; among the young—the majority—that figure is estimated to be over 50 percent. Two-fifths of its people survive on two dollars a day; a quarter on one. The tourist industry, the only reliable source of foreign exchange under Mubarak, has collapsed. In 2011 Egypt’s GDP grew by the measly 1.8 percent—exactly equal to its population growth. In June 1979 the population of Egypt was forty-one million, and it has more than doubled since. The share of investments in GDP declined from 21 percent in 2011 to 13 percent last year. Some three million Egyptian workers in the oil-rich Persian Gulf states provide a key source of revenue, but their status is uncertain. If Egypt is forced to reabsorb some or most of them in the years to come, the perfect storm scenario will be complete.
Occasional injections of foreign liquidity can postpone the disaster, but they resolve nothing. A long-term solution demands fundamental restructuring, primarily in agriculture, which requires political stability. This is possible only with the generals firmly overseeing a government of appointed experts for many years to come. This may be Egypt’s only chance to rebuild investor confidence and avoid mass starvation, civil war, and a fresh deluge of destitute and desperate immigrants hitting Europe.
None of the twenty-five activists for the Ashtabula County Charter Initiative, designed to move power back into the hands of Americans on how their county is governed, had read, or even heard of the newly released book, “Presidential Puppetry,” by Andrew Kreig.
They had come together in the tiny meeting room of the Board of Elections in Jefferson, Ohio, to let their voices be heard as the Board considered whether or not to honor the opinion issued by County Prosecutor Thomas Sartini, which cast doubt on the fate of a measure which has brought together people from every political viewpoint.
As they coalesced around returning power to the people they became another point of action in a country which is rejecting partisan politics and moving toward a civic model which echoes the vision which still lives in the minds and hearts of people around the world. Kreig’s book provides the reasons why Americans must move past the politics of parties, embracing the power to locally determine how their government will work – for them.
The four members of the Board of Elections for Ashtabula County listened to, and came to agree the will of the people could not be extinguished. The impassioned arguments advanced by the Charter activists, they saw, should not be sidelined because one sentence, printed in all CAPS, was not also bolded.
The County Prosecutor Thomas Sardini had left stopping the Initiative as his recommendation before leaving for another vacation in Florida on July 3rd, setting the meeting for the day after Independence Day, July 5th.
“WHOEVER COMMITS ELECTION FALSIFICATION IS GUILTY OF A FELONY OF THE FIFTH” This appears directly above where the circulators sign, under penalty of ‘election falsification.’ The reader can not easily miss the text.
If passed, the new form of government would cut back staff positions and lowers the compensation paid to the individual elected to fill the office of Prosecutor. It was pointed out by several individuals that, perhaps, Sartini should have recused himself. Sartini had, actually made pointed remarks on his facebook denouncing the Initiative, reposting these to other pages.
The Charter Initiative is, in the experience of local people, the only shred of hope they have had in years for a county government which works for them.
In Ashtabula, children are going hungry. Disabled people are being abandoned, without bus services to return to their homes. Costs for providing services, which fail to provide for those in need are spiraling out of control and no one will account for these increases in cost.
The attitudes of corruption, entirely controlling both major parties, have seeped down into local government across the country. Here too, partisan politics is used to divide and control.
In Ashtabula, the people are putting their hands to the wheel to enact change. Kreig’s book holds promise as a way for people to come together, past the divide of politics by providing understanding of how this happened. The facts kill illusions on both sides of the aisle.
Andrew Kreig, an attorney, activist, and journalist, wrote his first book, “Spiked: How Chain Management Corrupted America’s Oldest Newspaper,” published, Oct 1987, documenting the corporate take over of America’s formerly independent media. Subsequent insights awakened him to the driving need for Americans to realize the presence of master illusionists, such as Karl Rove, and the transfer of power from even federal government to the murky faces which today pull the strings at the White House and around the world.
Hope, says Kreig, must come with understanding if it is to lead us to happiness.
“Presidential Puppetry,” by Andrew Kreig, is now available at Amazon. Reading it is dangerous to illusions but essential for reclaiming our freedom.
Is Obama Backing ElBaradei?
Beirut — According to well-connected Washington sources, one being a Congressional staffer whose job description includes following political events in Egypt, it did not take Mohamed Mustafa ElBaradei, the Sharia legal scholar, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and for 12 years the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (1997-2009), very long at all to contact the Washington, DC law firm of Patton Boggs on 7/2/13. That is once it became evident that Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi might well be ousted by Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). The next day, ElBaradei’s representatives reportedly also made contact with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations  which claims to represent the 52 largest US based largest Jewish groups.
ElBaradei, perhaps the current front-runner to replace his long-time nemesis, Mohammad Morsi, moved fast to organize some key allies in Cairo and Washington to pick-up where his earlier failed Presidential campaign left off shortly before the 1/25/2011 Egyptian Presidential election. Patton Boggs, the K Street, NW Washington DC law firm, which last year had 550 lawyers and 120 lobbyists and is arguably the firm closest to the White House in terms of securing for its clients what they want from the approximately 5000 key decision makers in the US Capitol. The other nearly 11,800 federally registered lobbyists in Washington (there were only 300 as recently as when Lyndon Johnson was US President) lag far behind Patton Boggs in terms of political influence.
Patton Boggs new client wants the Pentagon and the White House to squeeze Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) who deposed President Morsi and arrange for himself to be appointed the interim President of Egypt pending early elections.
ElBaradei wants the same thing from Israel and its US lobby, the former having developed close relations under Morsi similar to what Israel enjoyed under Mubarak.
What ElBaradei’s representatives are reportedly offering the White House in exchange for Obama’s discrete assistance, is that it that the 1979 Camp David Accord, including all its elements will be observed and that in addition, additional guarantees will be given to Israel with the Zionist regime occupying Palestine will be given prime estate for its Embassy. In addition, Egypt under ElBaradei can be expected to toughen its stance on Iran’s nuclear program with altering and adjusting publicly some of his pre-2012 comments on Iran that the White House and Israel criticized as being “soft on the Islamic Republic.”
Israel is also being promised by ElBaradei’s agents, major security cooperation with Egypt, under which they also pledge to the White House, will continue to grow stronger. ElBaradei’s objective is to secure Barack Obama’s personal support during his jockeying for the White House imprimatur for the expected soon to be held Egyptian presidential election and before.
Once again, the Obama administration was caught by surprise as the enduring “Arab spring”, still in its infancy, increasingly portends ill for Western installed potentates in artificially Sykes-Picot style created “countries”.
Barack Obama reportedly has some doubts according to Congressional contacts and dear readers will likely recall his praise of Morsi after the two former University Professors had a chance to sit together and get to know one another. “I like this man”, Obama was reported to have told some staff members, “he thinks like me” as his wife Michele reportedly rolled her eyes and deeply exhaled.
When Morsi was deposed, Obama lamented: “We are deeply concerned by the decision of the Egyptian armed forces to remove President Morsi and suspend the Egyptian constitution. I now call on the Egyptian military to move quickly and responsibly to return full authority back to a democratically elected civilian government as soon as possible through an inclusive and transparent process, and to avoid any arbitrary arrests of President Morsi and his supporters.”
Meanwhile, the SCAF, at the urging of ElBaradei’s team, is paying Washington and its ally’s sweet lip service regarding Obama’s expressed concerns. Shortly before the words were uttered by SCAF’s interim appointee, the State Department received a copy of the speech with the first paragraph high-lighted to assuage Obama. The first words of Sisi’s 7/1/13 statement read, “The armed forces will not interfere in the realm of politics or governance and will not overstep the role that it is assigned in a democracy, which stems from the desire of the people.” Those words sound good also in Foggy Bottom.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Arab neighbors have expressed support for the military coup, but not Africa, where it has been reported that the African Union will suspend Egypt from all activities, following the unconstitutional power change.
Patton Boggs talking points to the Congress and Obama Administration include, but are not limited to, the following:
President Morsi had more than a year to show progress to the Egyptian people, with both institutional political legitimacy derived from their election victories and also strong popular support when they assumed full power from the armed forces in June 2012.
ElBaradei’s team is emphasizing that the Morsi government failed badly and the new government, hopefully led by ElBaradei, will now act more efficiently to move the country towards credible and legitimate institutions of governance.
ElBaradei’s campaign, as reported in the 4/4/13 edition of the New York Times also worked hard to convince the White House of what he called the necessity of forcibly ousting President Morsi, presenting several arguments that included documentation that Morsi had bungled the country’s transition to an inclusive democracy and wasted a year without following thru on any of his pledges or addressing the problems of:
Some Congressional analysts believe that one of Morsi’s biggest mistakes resulted from a deliberate policy of accommodation and not, as is commonly believed, confrontation.  He allowed the military to retain its corporate autonomy and remain beyond civilian control. Furthermore, he included in his cabinet a large number of non-Muslim Brotherhood figures who abandoned him within months when the going got tough, thus presenting to the public an image that the government was on the verge of collapse. Some have suggested that Morsi should have brought the military to heel soon after he assumed power and was at the height of his popularity, just as the military was at its lowest point in public perception. Monday morning quarter backing is now rampant to explain Morsi’s failures.
What the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohammad Morsi’s supporters do in the coming days at Tahir Square and across Egypt will likely determine the route and the ultimate success of ElBaradei growing juggernaut.
Meanwhile, as of 7/5/13, it appears that President Barack Obama may well help usher Mohammad ElBaredei into Egypt’s Presidential Palace. If the Obama administration has success there will be joy in Tel Aviv and at Patton Boggs victory party where a good number of the invited guests will almost certainly be carefully vetted by AIPAC.
Events are fast moving. Russia Today‘s live Cairo video shows huge Tahrir Square crowds. They’re nonviolent. They’re expectant. The mood’s electric.
Egyptian troops control key sites nationwide. Large contingents are deployed around Cairo.
Unconfirmed reports suggest Morsi’s under house arrest. Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) gave him 48 hours to yield. Do so or step down, it said. The deadline came and passed.
Reuters reported that SACF said it’s “ready to die to defend Egypt’s people against terrorists and fools.” It did so in response to Morsi. It headlined “The Final Hours.”
It did so hours after Morsi rejected a power sharing ultimatum. It expired Wednesday morning. Reuters said Egyptian troops control state television. Shoukry Abu Amira heads it. He confirmed it. Armored vehicles patrol outside.
Publicly Morsi remains defiant. “If the price for legitimacy is my blood,” he said, “then I am prepared to sacrifice my blood to legitimacy and my homeland.”
Privately it’s anyone’s guess if he means it. Perhaps he yielded power. Ultimately he has no choice. SCAF has final say. Reuters suggested he’ll resign or be sacked.
Late reports said he’s out. SCAF forcibly removed him. Ahramonline is the government’s official English language web site. It said military officials told Morsi he’s no longer head of state.
Coup d’etat power rules. Opposition crowds expected it. Their numbers exceed anything Egypt before experienced.
SCAF head Abdul Fatah al-Sisi and key commanders have final say. They’ll decide how things turn out.
Senior Muslim Brotherhood official Mohamed el-Beltagy said “(a)ny coup of any sort will only pass over our dead bodies.” Perhaps he has other thoughts now.
On Monday, he called for “families in all Egyptian governorates and villages to be prepared to take to the streets and fill squares.” He said do so to support Morsi. He’s history. He no longer matters.
Crowds opposing him dwarf supportive ones. Millions upset with his rule left him no choice. He reflects leadership without authority.
Travel bans against Muslim Brotherhood officials were issued. Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and Morsi’s ministers abandoned their offices.
SCAF’s expected to install new provisional council officials. Interior Minister General Muhammad Ibrahim placed police, internal security and intelligence forces at SCAF’s disposal.
Coup d’etat authority rules. Events remain extremely fluid. Separate incidents claimed 16 lives. Many injuries were reported.
Reports suggest SCAF plans a new constitution. New elections will be called. They’ll be held soon as possible.
Morsi’s election was tainted. His fate is unknown. Perhaps he’ll remain a powerless figurehead. Maybe he’ll stay that way until someone replaces him. Post-Mubarak, SCAF took power. It did so again.
Obama tried to save Morsi. So did Joint Chiefs chairman General Martin Dempsey. They urged SCAF not to issue a 48-hour ultimatum. They proposed leaving him in office, stripping him of power, and installing a transitional government ahead of new elections.
Reports said SCAF head al-Sisi rejected Washington’s demands. Unconfirmed ones said Washington sent or plans sending hundreds of US troops to Egypt.
Perhaps special forces are there. On June 19, a Fort Hood press release headlined “6-9 Cav. to support peacekeeping in Sinai,” saying:
“The 1st Cavalry Division announced today a battalion task force from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team will deploy to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula this summer as part of the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping force.”
A 40+ US battalion is involved. Perhaps greater numbers are now. Sinai deployment maybe shifted to Cairo.
A so-called Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) is composed of troops from 13 governments. It’s trained in riot control. It’s mandate is controlling violence. Its mission is serving US imperial interests.
Events continue fast moving. Updated reports follow others moments earlier. Tanks are deployed in central Cairo.
Morsi’s government is crumbling. On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr resigned. So did military advisor General Sami Anan.
Senior judges and police officials joined anti-Morsi protesters. SCAF promises intervention if he fails “to heed the will of the people.” His deadline passed to do so.
Muslim Brotherhood officials were arrested. Reports suggest they’ll be tried for crimes in office. Morsi’s last message was resist. He urged doing so peacefully.
Angry protesters want him out. They got what they asked for. The Military dictatorship replaced him. Expect final outcome to same old, same old.
Replacing Mubarak accomplished nothing. Expect nothing different this time. Democracy’s verboten. Popular needs aren’t addressed.
Nothing going forward looks promising. Expect festering anger to continue. In time it’ll again erupt. Perhaps much more violently.
Revolutionary struggles aren’t easy. They take time. Dozens died in recent days. Thousands may next time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Let’s do a little thought exercise here. Imagine that some force was flooding an indigenous people’s lands with millions of unassimilable foreigners, and it was understood that this influx would irretrievably change that land’s culture and replace the population. What would anthropologists call this phenomenon? Cultural genocide comes to mind.
Of course, in America we call it “immigration policy.”
Now, when King Edward I “Longshanks” said about dominating the Scots in the film Braveheart, “If we can’t get them out, we’ll breed them out,” it was to be expected from an enemy of Scotland. And how should we characterize America’s immigrationists, who have long been washing American culture away with endless waves of unassimilable foreigners?
Before answering, let’s first consider the testimony of Fredo Arias-King, ex-aide to former Mexican president-elect Vicente Fox (hat tip: Timothy Birdnow). About how he and his colleagues spoke to 50 US congressmen and senators back in 1999 and 2000 he writes:
Of those 50 legislators, 45 were unambiguously pro-immigration, even asking us at times to “send more.” This was true of both Democrats and Republicans.
…[Moreover] [m]ost of them seemed to be aware of the negative or at least doubtful consequences of mass immigration from Latin America, while still advocating mass immigration.
… [The Democrat legislators] seemed more interested in those immigrants and their offspring as a tool to increase the role of the government in society and the economy. Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and “dependable” in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage networks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers….
Republican lawmakers we spoke with knew…that they may not now receive their [the naturalized Mexicans’] votes, [but] they believed that these immigrants are more malleable than the existing American: That with enough care, convincing, and “teaching,” they could be converted, be grateful, and become dependent on them. Republicans seemed to idealize the patron-client relation with Hispanics as much as their Democratic competitors did.
…Also curiously, the Republican enthusiasm for increased immigration also was not so much about voting in the end, even with “converted” Latinos. Instead, these legislators seemingly believed that they could weaken the restraining and frustrating straightjacket devised by the Founding Fathers and abetted by American norms. In that idealized “new” United States, political uncertainty, demanding constituents, difficult elections, and accountability in general would “go away” after tinkering with the People….
…I remember few instances when a legislator spoke well of his or her white constituents. One even called them “rednecks,” and apologized to us on their behalf for their incorrect attitude on immigration. Most of them seemed to advocate changing the ethnic composition of the United Statesas an end in itself.
This isn’t unusual in the West, either. In fact, it was revealed in 2009 that the UK’s immigrationists sought to socially engineer a “multicultural” Britain because they wanted to “rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date” but didn’t want to divulge the scheme lest they lose their “core working class vote.” With friends like that….
Now, what would you call people who visit such a thing upon their own culture solely to gain power? And what fate do they deserve?
G.K. Chesterton’s comment, “It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged,” comes to mind.
In fairness, Mr. Arias-King’s experiences predate the Tea Party revolution, and the House GOP did defeat John McCain’s shamnesty bill in 2007. I also suspect that it was legislators partial to immigration who were inclined to meet with him in the first place. And while I don’t doubt that closeted culturally genocidal maniacs still exist (in abundance), there are also those who genuinely believe that diversity should be “an end in itself.” Unfortunately, bad policy is equally destructive whether implemented out of malice or stupidity.
Speaking of which, multiculturalism can only ever be what it is, an ideology; it can never be a workable reality. Having many different cultures within the same borders is actually called balkanization, and its consequences have been repeatedly observed throughout history. If the differences among the disparate peoples become great enough, the nation may be partitioned so they can go their separate ways. And there are only two possibilities for avoiding this. One is if an iron fist of tyranny holds the competing cultures together, as Marshall Tito did in the former Yugoslavia (and we all know why it’s “former”); the other is if one group prevails over and subsumes the rest, as the Japanese have largely done with the Ainus, an aboriginal people who once dominated the island of Hokkaido.
This is absolutely the norm. Do the names, Saxons, Alans, Franks, Visigoths, Vandals, Avars, Alemanni and Frisians sound at all familiar? They were once distinct groups that occupied early medieval Europe, but they are no more, having been subsumed into a wider culture. This may be good thing if it’s a superior culture, it may be a bad thing if beauty was lost, or it may be a mixed bag. But it is an undeniable thing.
This brings us to the myth of diversity. All it can ever be is a liability to, hopefully, be overcome; it can never be the “strength” it’s billed as (without even a shred of evidence in support of the notion). And, interestingly, here’s what the Online Etymology Dictionary tells us about the origin of the term “diversity”: “mid-14c., from O.Fr. diversité (12c.) ‘difference, oddness, wickedness, perversity,’ from L. diversitatem ‘contrariety, disagreement, difference . . . .’” “Contrariety” and “disagreement”…. It certainly worked out that way in Yugoslavia, in the Soviet Union, in Czechoslovakia, in India (when two regions broke away and became Pakistan and Bangladesh). Why, even in Canada, where Quebecois and other Canadians are racially identical, there has often been talk of secession.
So how much more of a problem it is when a group not only has a different language, but is different racially, economically, culturally and ideologically? And what about when that group of diversifiers supposes it has a rightful claim to your territory (a poll showed a majority of Mexicans believing that the Southwest belongs to Mexico and that they have a “right to enter the U.S. without U.S. permission”)? What about when you try to teach these newcomers American history and they say, as a teacher respondent reported to me some years ago, “We don’t care about this — we’re Mexican.” When people have come to your land mainly to make money and have loyalty lying elsewhere, it doesn’t bode well for assimilation.
The kicker here is that flooding a nation with unassimilable foreigners may do no more for diversity over the long term than pythons in the Everglades. Sure, the swamp is currently more diverse — with tens of thousands of fascinating non-indigenous creatures added to the mix — but how diverse will the ecosystem be when they decimate native species? Thus have Florida authorities decided that amnesty for the snakes probably isn’t the best idea.
So it is with a cultural ecosystem. Harking back to my earlier point, the introduction of new cultural elements isn’t always just a matter of simple addition; subtraction and division can be factors as well. When worlds collide, when there is an incongruence of cultural elements, there may be mixing as with the wolf and coyote. Or there may be an extinction, as with how the Dodo on Mauritius was wiped out by rats. Of course, a new equilibrium is always established, but it may very well be less diverse. And, for sure, it will be different.
The good news here, if one can call it that, is embedded within the bad. The history of social engineers is that they possess no clearer a crystal ball than do futurists or science-fiction writers. If the immigrationist traitors simply want to destroy America, they will certainly get their way. But they will never have Mexico Norte, a republic they can comfortably rule as patrons of complacent clients. Because nature — in this case man’s — takes it course, and some people will likely realize that less is more — and that only divided we stand.
Speaking at the end of the meeting of the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council in Luxembourg on June 24, European Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle warned Ukraine that “time is running preciously short” for the government in Kiev to meet all European Union conditions in time to sign a free trade and association agreement in November. “Ukraine has made good progress in some areas,” Füle said, but added that “more needs to be done for Ukraine to achieve tangible progress on all the benchmarks,” including “increased determination and reinforced action”—an obvious reference to the case of Yulia Tymoshenko.
While stressing that closer links with the EU remain its priority, in recent weeks the Ukrainian government has also probed the possibilities of strengthening its ties with the Customs Union formed in 2010 by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Moscow would like to see Ukraine in the “Common Economic Space,” but it is reluctant to grant it a half-way status that would fall short of full membership. Kiev would prefer that option in order not to sever its EU connection.
The dilemma has received scant attention in the Western media. Considering its size and strategic importance, it is curious how underreported Ukraine remains 22 years after independence. The second largest country in Europe—the true link (and a key energy corridor) between Russia and the Old Continent’s heartland west of the Carpathian Mountains—has just under fifty million people, a rich agricultural base, and a long Black Sea shoreline which includes the all-important naval bases in the Crimea. Its geopolitical significance cannot be overstated.
Kiev’s current quandary is real, but it should not overshadow Ukraine’s promise as a pivotal player in the development of regional cooperation with its EU neighbors to the West, former CIS countries to the north and east, and emerging regional powers further afield. On my recent visits to Ukraine—most recently as an election observer last October – I was struck by the tendency of some local analysts to focus on the role of their country as an object of geopolitical rivalry of others, and to neglect its potential as a significant actor in its own right.
That potential is real. The importance of food as a key strategic commodity will continue to grow in the decades ahead, and Ukraine has an enormous, still untapped capability to become a global-scale producer. In 2012 Ukrainian agricultural sector raised $2bn in capital investments, which is 11 percent higher than in 2011 but still short of what is needed to unleash its potential. If and when Ukraine’s farmers gain reliable and affordable access to finance, they will be able to compete with, and perhaps out-produce, their peers in the American Midwest or Canada. Cooperation with key EU agricultural producers, such as France, is proceeding apace and should continue regardless of what happens in Vilnius next November. The same applies to Kiev’s cooperation with the EU in the energy sector in 2013—an important step in making Ukraine’s role as a key energy conduit more stable, predictable and transparent.
Bilateral cooperation can flourish even in the absence of speedy integrations, as recent experience suggests. Ukraine’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $608.5 million in April, which is markedly less than a year ago. Exports increased 4.7% year-on-year, while imports declined 8.1%. Most of its minerals, steel, coal, petroleum products and grains go to other former Soviet republics, but Germany and Poland have been gaining importance in recent years. Trade with Hungary, Sweden, and other smaller EU members has also recorded significant increases. Outside the EU and the former Soviet Union, Ukraine’s key partners are Turkey (second-largest overall, after Russia) and China. Ukraine will sign an agreement on a free tradearea (FTA) with Turkey in October, and its trade with China is expected to double to $20bn in the next few years.
Regardless of its hoped-for integrations, Ukraine can and should project more resolutely its “soft power” in the region. Its rich cultural heritage and still underdeveloped tourist industry are by no means the only assets. The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012—jointly hosted by Poland and Ukraine—was an expensive but useful step in the right direction. There are still too few foreign students, researchers and guest-lecturers in Kiev, Kharkov, Lvov or Odessa, considering the quality of their institutions of higher learning.
The perennial issue of Ukraine’s geopolitical strategy—should it lean to the East or to the West—is on the whole somewhat artificial. Experts note that recent trends in the country’s foreign trade have created preconditions for growth even if it joins neither the European Union nor the Moscow-led customs union. It is noteworthy that even some EU leaders take the view that Ukraine should follow a two-track approach.
Stability in Europe and the continent’s long-term integration devoid of the Cold War, zero-sum-game mentality, requires a new paradigm in Kiev. It should be based on further diversification of political and economic options, which is not incompatible with Ukraine’s quest for optimal forms of association with its eastern and western neighbors.
The antagonistic, mendacious, gangster like character of American politics has at times caused citizens to avoid it entirely and as the frantic pursuit of pleasure has become the core of life, the nation’s health is too often ignored. A spate of detrimental occurrences and a wide spread feeling of impotence has wounded the electorate. Recently a survey found that only 10 percent of Americans trust our congress to act in the best interests of the nation.
Though I believe it is futile to argue that our Constitution is a Christian document, in a world where freedom is scarce it is an outstanding and unique construct that has serve the nation well. Americans have enjoyed two centuries of liberty and prosperity unequalled in the civilized world.
This is where we were:
The taste of freedom that our ancestors experienced when they entered the hard life of pioneer America created a ferocious will to defend it. When Patrick Henry said “Give me liberty or give me death” he spoke for thousands of immigrants who had been living in European bondage for centuries. Feudalism was a form of slavery. Vassals could not own land. They spent their lives working and fighting for wealthy Lords. In America they could clear, till, harvest and own their land. The contrast was stark and of great value.
Unfortunately freedom was like a new car that had been driven a few thousand miles, lost its new smell, and acquired a few dents. In our time it has lost some of its value and is no longer washed, shined, inspected, and admired.
A number of factors have worked together to bring down the United States of America. The American Indians who were the rightful owners of the new found continent soon became enemies of the European immigrants who began settling land that Indians had historically hunted, fished, and occupied. The Indians were the first terrorists. Their ways of war were inferior and their weaponry was archaic. Justice was on their side but power overcomes justice and injustice wears a righteous cloak.
England became the next enemy seeking to enslave the new freedom addicts with taxes and oppressive troops. The settlers would have none of it. Freedom was seen as a religious right and Christian ministers urged their congregants to fight for it Though the nation was divided in its loyalty there were enough who believed liberty was worth fighting for to produce a rag tag army that was able to defeat the distance impaired British troops.
The next challenge to freedom came when Abraham Lincoln confirmed the odiferous fears of Patrick Henry (He smelled a rat!) by determining to preserve the Union by force. The Southern States who seceded for both economic and social reasons through ignominious defeat became prisoners in a union they deplored. The Union was preserved but freedom was dealt a serious blow.
As wealth and independence increased an omnipotent spirit began to overcome the America populace; the Indians were slaughtered, the continent was either purchase on the cheap or won by force. Florida; the Philippines and Cuba came from Spain; California, a part of Mexico, was won by the army; and Louisiana http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Purchase was purchased from France (Included in this purchase were parts of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and some of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan). It was an unconstitutional purchase but pragmatism started early in the new nation.
Through what many settlers thought was “Manifest Destiny” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
This is how we got to where we are:
Itinerant Jews became wise in banking and the use of money. They accumulated fortunes that could bail out nations and finance empires. They not only understand banking and money but also the need of nations for unlimited funds. They understand war and its potential for profit and became adept at manipulating nations into conflicts. They pull the power strings in the majority of nations throughout the world and are today a strategic force in the implementation of world government. Though not widely known Jewish financier, Hayman Solomon, was instrumental in providing funds to finance the American Revolution. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haym_Solomon
The United States of America has succumbed to the persistent debilitation caused by powerful, amoral bankers. They and their Talmudist kin occupy all of the power centers of our nation. They control the news you hear and do not hear, they control the movies you watch, the books and newspapers you read, they control our elections, they are responsible for persistent war and the suffocating quantity of immigrants that are destroying our culture. They are consistent promoters of conflicts and have defeated our Christian institutions and destroyed morality. The Federal Reserve banking system is controlled by the moneychangers. They create inflation and depression and then at the expense of the American taxpayer provide solutions to both. International banking is controlled by the same wise bankers who use debt to enslave nations throughout the world. They are a powerful and wily bunch..
This is where we are going:
Wholesale immigration will soon result in the indigenous White inhabitants becoming a minority in their own nation. Our European Christian based culture is being replaced by a secular legal system that is diametrical to the Law of the Bible. Obedience to these new legal codes is being actively enforced. We have been hijacked into a perpetual war that benefits a new world order program that is inimical to the best interests of the nation and threatens to start a much larger world conflict. The perpetual war and the social give away programs are creating a debt that even if the nation is fortunate enough to survive will saddle future generations with an insurmountable obligation. This is particularly true since the wealth producing manufacturing engine that used to eradicate our debt has been shipped overseas leaving us unable to satisfy even small obligations.
The astounding thing about all this is that many Americans are not only unaware of what is happening but unwilling to learn. They would rather not know.
Little by little the choices that have created freedom in United States are being lost. The tsunami of corporate mergers has driven out small businesses and severely reduced the choices of consumers who now are forced to deal with a small number of remote suppliers who give no heed to the individual. The depression has forced numerous retail establishments out of business reducing consumer choices. Chinese goods are being forced on American consumers because there is nothing else available. It has been decades since we had competitive daily newspapers and magazines have now become archaic. There is no longer a popular choice of political candidates which are preselected and promoted by a unified media owned by a handful of like minded oligarchs. The choices prosperity availed us are no longer there for the average American the work week has increased while his pay has decreased. Both husbands and wives are now working to sustain a standard of living that is inferior to a single wage family a half century ago.
Someone asked in today’s Letters to the Editor if the rape of the middle class was over. It is not over.
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” - – Voltaire (1694-1778)
“Liberal institutions straightaway cease from being liberal the moment they are soundly established: once this is attained no more grievous and more thorough enemies of freedom exist than liberal institutions.” This quotation’s author, Friedrich Nietzsche, was no traditionalist himself; in fact, he was a harsh critic of Christianity who coined the phrase “God is dead.” Yet he knew that your republic would be dead the day liberals assumed enough power within it.
This understanding is necessary to properly evaluate the current Obama administration scandals involving NSA surveillance and IRS abuses. Critics’ main focus has been debating what power the government should have, and this is a legitimate and important discussion. But even more significant is who wields that power. After all, you can exhaustively regulate the police, but it will be largely for naught if those with the great power of a gun and badge are fundamentally corrupt.
Buzzfeed columnist Michael Hastings touched on liberals’ will to tyranny in a piece titled “Why Democrats Love to Spy on Americans.” Addressing the surveillance scandal he writes:
The very topic of Democratic two-facedness on civil liberties is one of the most important issues that [Guardian columnist Glenn] Greenwald has covered. Many of those Dems — including the sitting President Barack Obama, Senator Carl Levin, and Sec. State John Kerry — have now become the stewards and enhancers of programs that appear to dwarf any of the spying scandals that broke during the Bush years, the very same scandals they used as wedge issues to win elections in the Congressional elections [sic] 2006 and the presidential primary of 2007-2008.
Precisely. When G.W. Bush played fly-on-the-wall, he was a lawless fascist. But when liberal Democrats play 1984×Brave New World, well, as Senator Harry Reid said earlier this month, “Everyone should just calm down.”
But liberals are actually being quite consistent — historically. Infamous leftist Maximilien Robespierre is best known for authoring the French Revolution’s spasm of violence and using the guillotine to murder thousands. What’s less well known is that prior to assuming power Robespierre was a staunch death-penalty opponent.
And the list continues. The communist Khmer Rouge promised Cambodians peace, equality and prosperity, but then proceeded to kill off a third of them between 1975 and ‘79. The Soviet Bolsheviks adopted the slogan “bread, peace and land,” but then purposely starved nine million people to death during the “Great Famine.” Mao Zedong pledged to give the Chinese a better life but only delivered a quicker death, exterminating 60+ million of his countrymen. Fidel Castro promised his nation free elections in 1959, but then became the world’s longest-serving non-royal leader, reigning as Cuba’s dictator for 52 years.
In our time, too, this leftist shape-shifting is evident. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) preaches an animal-liberation line and even condemns meat consumption, but kills 89 percent of its shelter animals. Barack Obama promised to have history’s most transparent administration, yet it has been the most opaque, giving us scandals characterized by abuse of law and power and the trampling of Americans’ rights. And this brings us to a question: Does power really corrupt liberals more absolutely than anyone else?
I remember an incident in which a very liberal colleague at a former workplace was caught in a misdeed. His response was to cavalierly brush it off, saying with a chuckle, “Situational values.” Another incident at that business involved a student of mine to whom I was quite close. Alluding one day to the difference between me and his liberal parents, he said out of the blue (I’m paraphrasing), “You’re the only one who’s consistent, who says the same things all the time.” Is this a surprise? Liberals have given us the credos “If it feels good, do it” and “Whatever works for you [addendum: ‘at the moment’].”
This brings us to a truth about the modern left. Generally speaking, like all relativistic people, liberals don’t have principles.
They have feelings.
And feelings change with the wind.
Of course, some have learned the hard way — mostly through debating liberals, only to find they’re virtually immune to reason — that the left isn’t intellect-oriented but emotion-oriented. But the question is, why do liberals deify their own feelings?
The short answer is that they have little else to deify.
But a more in-depth understanding requires some philosophical exploration.
Let’s be honest: it can be hard for us human beings to be consistent. Principle can sometimes bump up against our worldly desires, and this is when being “situational” can be seductive. But there are things that can influence a person’s likelihood to stand on principle. One is having a world view stating that consistency actually is better than inconsistency.
I’ve long pointed out that the most basic difference between the people we today call liberals and traditionalists isn’t the apparent ideological divide. It is that the latter tend to believe in Moral Truth whereas liberals are almost universally moral relativists.
This is nothing less than an issue of operating in two completely different universes of reality. When you believe in Truth, morality is something objectively real to you, like matter itself. And most significantly, you view it as what it is: unchanging. This means that your yardstick for morality is the same whether convenient or inconvenient, whether you’re out of power — or in power. It is unbending and non-negotiable. Oh, this doesn’t mean absolutists can’t betray their principles; man is weak and we all falter. But in the aggregate, it serves as a “controlling power upon will and appetite,” to quote Edmund Burke, and thus mitigates man’s do-what-thou-wilt default.
But what happens when a person doesn’t believe in Truth? What then will be his yardstick for behavior? Well, if what we call right and wrong isn’t determined by anything above man, then man himself is its author. But will it ultimately be a function of his intellect? Consider that the intellect’s job is to use reason, a quality that the relativistic left ostensibly values. What is reason, however? It’s not an answer, but a method by which answers may be found. But there can be no answers to moral questions if there’s no Truth; hence, there then is no reason for reason.
This is why following relativism out leads us to a striking conclusion: Since we can’t say that anything is objectively right or wrong, better or worse, the only yardstick we have left for behavior is feelings. Truth is a tale, faith is fancy, but emotion is certainly real. We can feel it — deeply. And, oh, how seductive is that siren of anger, envy or any passion? Just think how readily emotion inspires action.
So, ultimately, relativism boils “morality” down to taste. This is why that guide “If it feels good, do it” really does make more sense in the modern liberal universe than anything else. But whose feelings should hold sway? Well, we may to an extent defer to those of the collective, but, ultimately, you’re just another mortal, same as I. Why should I subordinate my feelings to yours, especially since mine are the only ones truly real to me? This is, mind you, what contributes to the deification of the self. Liberals’ feelings do for them what God does for people of faith. They tell them how to behave.
And this is why liberals will often do anything for victory. When the Truth lies at the center of your world view, it will, in its immutable and infallible way, define what’s right. But nature abhors a vacuum; thus, when a person’s core is bereft of Truth, an emotion-derived agenda takes its place. It then defines what’s “right.” And that will be whatever advances that agenda at the moment, be it vote fraud, targeting opponents with the IRS or, when power is sufficiently solidified, perhaps killing 25 million “capitalists.” And the lesson, dear voters, is that it really does matter what master your leaders serve.
This morality-of-the-moment madness is why, in all fairness, liberals aren’t always quite as hypocritical as they seem (just almost). For hypocrisy is saying one thing while intending to do another. Robespierre might have been very sincere when inveighing against capital punishment while out of power, and also very sincere when using it liberally while in power. It’s just that the decrees of his personal god, you see, had changed.
And now we have a change agent, in every sense of the term, in the White House
It’s a democracy in name only. Prime Minister Erdogan is thuggish, authoritarian, hardline and despotic.
Turkey’s one of 28 NATO countries. Erdogan partners with Washington’s imperial wars. He’s unapologetic about neoliberal harshness. More on that below.
He’s been prime minister for over 10 years. Why Turks put up with him they’ll have to explain. Growing opposition demands he resign. New elections are wanted. Erdogan refuses to call them. If protests continue and grow, parliament may overrule him.
On June 11, Russia Today headlined “Turkish police oust Taksim protesters with tear gas as Erdogan cheers removal of ‘rags,’ ” saying:
“Hundreds of Turkish police clashed with protesters in Istanbul.” Doing so followed removal of barricades and banners. Erdogan’s tactics are polarizing. He called peaceful demonstrators thugs, looters, revolutionaries, marauders and extremists.
RT correspondent Ashraf El Sabbagh said “(t)here are serious clashes in the small streets surrounding (Taksim). They are running after each other tossing stones, bottles and smoke grenades. It’s a meat grinder in there.”
On June 12, RT headlined “Istanbul warzone: Thousands of protesters try to reclaim Taksim Square,” saying:
Riot police attacked protesters viciously. Clashes were fierce. “Thick smoke blankets the square. Turkish police are driving thousands into narrow side streets.”
Bystanders are attacked. Tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and water cannons target indiscriminately. A man in a wheelchair was struck. British journalist Neil Clark said “(i)f you’re in NATO, you can get away with murder.”
America, Britain, France, and most other NATO countries operate like Turkey. Dissent is verboten. Democracy exists in name only. Some NATO members are worse than others. America’s by far the worst.
Turkish protests appear to have legs. The more brutality Erdogan orders, the larger crowds grow. Growing popular sentiment opposes him. On June 11, dozens of Turkish lawyers joined protesters. They came to defend those arrested.
Police attacked them viciously. They did so in front of Caglayan Courthouse. Witnesses called what happened brutal. Lawyer Fatma Elif Koru explained, saying:
“We were just gathering to make a press statement about Gezi Park and then the police attacked. It was very brutal. Now 49 lawyer friends are in custody and many are injured.”
“They even kicked their heads. The lawyers were on the ground. They were hitting us they were pushing. They built a circle around us and then they attacked.”
On June 11, hundreds of police encircled Taksim Square. They fired rubber bullets and tear gas. They ripped down banners calling for Erdogan’s resignation.
Later on Tuesday, dozens more lawyers were arrested. Since protests began, thousands were arrested. Thousands more were injured.
On June 12, brutal attacks continued. More arrests followed. Erdogan’s uncompromising. He announced an “end to tolerance.” None existed before his pronouncement.
He dismissively ignores criticism. He governs by what he says goes. “If you call this roughness,” he said, “I’m sorry, but this Tayyip Erdogan will not change.”
His comment replicated Margaret Thatcher once saying “The lady’s not for turning.” Saying it defined her ideological harshness.
She was unapologetic. She was unforgiving. She was unprincipled. She was despised for good reason. Millions of Brits suffered from the neoliberal flimflam she endorsed.
Erdogan matches her and more. He’s way over-the-top. He reflects power politics’ dark side. He doesn’t know when to quit. He called peaceful demonstrators “a handful of plunderers.”
They’re “manipulated” to protest, he claims. He won’t let them dictate policy, he said. They’re the “greatest threat to the society.”
“For those who want to continue with the incidents,” he said, (i)t’s over. As of now, we have no tolerance for them. Not only will we end the actions, we will be at the necks of the provocateurs and terrorists and no one will get away with it. I am sorry, but Gezi Park is for taking promenades, not for occupation.”
A previous article called Turkey more police state than democracy. Press freedom is compromised. Censorship is standard practice. Dissent is verboten. Challenging government authority is called terrorism.
No country imprisons more journalists than Turkey. Television channels largely ignored protests. A bureau chief was arrested for airing what authorities wanted suppressed.
On June 11, TV channels broadcast a staged incident. Viewers saw half a dozen “demonstrators” throw molotov cocktails at police. They advanced on police lines provocatively.
They held a flag of a fringe left-wing party. It was a thinly veiled stunt. It’s commonly used during protests. America and other Western countries feature them. Doing so lets authorities claim peaceful demonstrators are violent.
So-called protesters were undercover cops. Their mock attack was staged. Expect more like it if protests continue. Expect greater violence ahead. It’s already brutal and increasing.
Instead of engaging protesters responsibly, Erdogan wants them crushed. Thousands have been arrested and/or injured. Despots operate this way.
Can Oz is an Istanbul publisher. His London Guardian op-ed headlined “I can never trust the Turkish police and government again.” Why before he’ll have to explain.
Longstanding Turkish policy is brutal. Now it’s more public, widespread and visible.
“For years I did not speak up enough, but no more,” said Oz. “I could lose everything, but I cannot live a dishonorable life any longer.”
“I am scared. With every speech that prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gives, I feel the hatred and disgust against me and young people of my generation increase.”
“All we are after is a bit of freedom, a bit of space to live and a few trees.”
“(O)ver the past few days, I have witnessed so many lies from the police and government that I don’t think I can ever trust them again. I have spent days with the protesters – withstanding another gas attack, cheering, singing chants and sharing food in the park – and I haven’t encountered any signs of weapons or violence on their behalf.”
Oz said he received hate mail and death threats. Participating in “passive resistance” leaves him vulnerable.
For years he feared expressing his views publicly. He failed to criticize political wrongdoing he witnessed.
He’ll no longer stay silent, he said. He listed five demands he and other protesters want:
(1) They want Gezi Park left unchanged.
(2) They want arrested protesters released.
(3) They want police brutality ended. They want responsible officials prosecuted.
(4) They want the right to protest publicly.
(5) They want Erdogan-ordered violence stopped. They want him held accountable for his actions.
Oz is a large Turkish publisher. He’s unaffected by neoliberal harshness. Most Turks want relief. Erdogan spurns popular interests. He’s beholden solely to wealth, power and privilege.
Turkish workers and youths demand social justice. Young ones are especially outraged. Their living standards significantly eroded.
They’ve tasted neoliberal harshness far too long. They know nothing else. Their ability to make ends meet troubles them. Their futures are seriously compromised. They want something better. They deserve it. Perhaps now’s their chance for change.
Turkey’s economic model features capitalism’s dark side. It includes economic freedom as a be-all-and-end-all, unrestrained profit-making, privatizations, cheap labor, deregulation, corporate-friendly tax cuts, marginalized worker rights, and speculative capital inflows.
Economic conditions are inherently unstable. Turkey suffers rolling recessions, crisis conditions, and fragile largely jobless recoveries. It’s increasingly dependent on imports of resources and capital goods.
Youth unemployment tops 22%. It’s rising. It’s socially and economically unstable. It’s untenable. It’s fuel for public rage.
When well-connected private debtors are troubled or go bankrupt, their losses are socialized. Turkey’s next crisis is certain. It’s only a matter of when.
Ordinary people are hardest hit. Youths most of all. Growing numbers have no viable futures. Profits matter more than public needs. Insecurity haunts an entire generation.
Turkish neoliberalism replicates what’s ongoing throughout Europe, America, Israel and elsewhere. Anger swells up and explodes.
The common thread is democracy in name only, inequality, political corruption, unemployment, growing poverty, insecurity, and corporate priorities over social justice.
Turkey has a long history of rebellion. Turks know what’s going on in troubled EU countries. They’ve seen it throughout the Middle East.
People only take so much before reacting. Protesting is fashionable to do. It’s unifying and energizing. It remains to be seen where things go.
Ban Ki-moon reacted as expected. He urged “calm” and “dialogue.” He ignored police brutality. It didn’t surprise. He fronts for power. He’s mindless of public needs.
He turns a blind eye to horrendous imperial crimes. He’s secretary-general because Washington installed him. White House spokesman Jay Carney also urged both sides to show restraint.
Washington supports its ally. Police brutality is commonplace in America. Thuggish cops attack peaceful protesters violently. It’s common practice. It replicates what’s ongoing in Turkey.
America’s a democracy in name only. Imperial and corporate priorities alone matter. It’s true throughout Europe, Israel and Turkey.
Unchallenged power matters most. Erdogan matches the worst of a bad lot. Turks see him for what he is. Tinpot despots can’t hide.
Turkey’s military remains a wild card. Maybe it’ll intervene. It’s done it before. It may again. If not generals, perhaps party leaders or political opposition.
Erdogan remains defiant. He looks like damaged goods. He’s vulnerable if internal interests react. He heads Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). It may decide to cut its losses and replace him.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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Earlier dominant parties were rebuffed. Hard times aroused public anger. Voters rejected corrupt political rule. At the time, Istanbul newspaper Sabah called AKP’s triumph a “revolution by impoverished Anatolia against the old political guard.”
Party leader Erdogan earlier was Istanbul mayor. On March 14, 2003, he became prime minister. He feigned moderation. He pretended advocacy for poor, disadvantaged, oppressed Turks.
He spurned them straightaway. He’s authoritarian. His policies are hardline. He supports wealth and power interests. He backed Washington’s war on terror. An official AKP statement said:
“Our party will give priority to establish a necessary international basis against terrorism and the cooperation of Turkey in this struggle.”
“We will continue our longstanding defence collaboration with USA and spread this relationship to the economy, investment, science and technology.”
Erdogan’s been prime minister for over 10 years. He was reelected twice. Why voters did so they’ll have to explain. He last won in June 2011. General elections are scheduled every five years. Often they’re held early. Parliament can call them. So can Turkey’s president.
Turkey is more police state than democracy. Press freedom is compromised. Censorship is standard practice. Dissent isn’t tolerated. It’s considered terrorism.
No country imprisons more journalists than Turkey. A well-known saying goes: “The Turkish translation of freedom of speech (says) the less you talk the longer you’ll be out of prison.”
Journalists, academics, students, trade unionists, human rights supporters, lawyers, and other activists challenging regime rule are vulnerable. Thousands are imprisoned for doing so. Erdogan rules repressively. He’s more despot than democrat.
Civil and human rights abuses are commonplace. Wealth and power interests alone matter. Popular needs go begging. Authoritarian neoliberalism defines policy.
Police state violence targets dissenters. Thousands are arrested. Terrorism and other false charges follow. So do convictions. Victims face harsh imprisonment. For some it’s longterm.
On June 2, Reuters headlined “Protesters defiant as Turkey unrest goes into third day.” Hours later the headline read “Calm on Turkish streets after days of fierce protests.” They could resume any time.
On May 28, initial ones began in Istanbul. They were nonviolent. Environmentalists led them. They oppose replacing Taksim Gezi Park with a shopping mall. Reconstructing Taksim Military Barracks is planned.
Police initiated clashes. Demonstrators were attacked violently. Hundreds were arrested. Many more were injured. Several deaths were reported.
Clashes continued Saturday. Arrests and injuries followed. Serious ones include head trauma and broken limbs. One student lost an eye. State-sponsored repression defines Turkish policy. One observer called what’s ongoing “a new low, even for Turkey.
Protests spread nationwide. Doing so challenges Erdogan’s rule. On Saturday, Istanbul protesters yelled “Erdogan Resign.”
What began against destroying Taksim Gezi Park’s green space now reflects antagonism against authoritarian neoliberal harshness and more.
Recent polls show two-thirds of Turks oppose war with Syria. Last fall, tens of thousands protested in Istanbul. They pledged support for Syria’s people.
They denounced Erdogan’s ties to Washington. They did so after parliament authorized him to send soldiers into “foreign countries.” The ruling followed a shell fired from Syria. It killed five people in Akcakale. Perhaps insurgents did so provocatively.
Two days of mortar fire followed. Erdogan pledged “to act in a timely and quick manner against any additional risks and threats facing our country.”
Turkish warplanes struck a Syrian military camp. An unknown number of soldiers were killed. A NATO statement wrongfully blamed Assad. Pentagon press secretary George Little condemned what he called his “depraved behavior.”
Washington, Turkey, other key NATO powers, Israel, and rogue Arab state allies bear full responsibility for ongoing Syrian conflict.
Erdogan’s now in the eye of the storm at home. He menaces regional stability. He governs despotically. Public rage challenges him.
Opposition MP Suat Kiniklioglu said, “Things have been building up and Gezi Park was the last straw.” It’s not “about trees any more.”
Other contentious issues include new legislation prohibiting public drinking and alcohol promotion. Last week, Erdogan said he’d name a new bridge over the Bosphorus after an Ottoman Caliphate founding sultan. He repressed Turkey’s Alevi religious minority.
In Ankara, a television channel bureau chief was arrested. Coverage of ongoing protests he aired were blocked. Other local news channels broadcast cooking or unrelated programs. They did so during the worst of police violence.
On June 1, Noam Chomsky condemned it. In a written statement, he said he joins with “others who defend basic human rights in condemning the brutal measures of the state authorities in response to the peaceful protests in Taksim in Central Istanbul.”
“The reports of the past few days are reminiscent of some of the most shameful moments of Turkish history.”
Some observers ask if what’s ongoing reflects Erdogan’s Mubarak moment. It’s far too early to know. It’s unlikely but who knows. Anything is possible.
On February 1, 2011, Erdogan challenged Mubarak. He was perhaps the first prominent political leader urging him to step down.
“No government can survive against the will of its people,” he said. He warned Mubarak adding: “We are all passing, and we will be judged by what we left behind.”
On Saturday, protesters set parts of central Istanbul and Ankara ablaze. Police responded with tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and other forms of brutality.
Sunday in Istanbul was calm. Clashes continued in Ankara. They resumed in Istanbul and other cities on Monday. Russia Today’s web site Sunday AM hours, people were milling around. Banners remain displayed.
By afternoon, huge crowds returned. Police didn’t challenge them. They could any time. Public anger hasn’t abated. On Saturday, people yelled “dictator,” “murderers,” “fascists.” A message spray-painted on a department store facade said: “AKP to the grave, the people to reign.”
Journalist Mahir Zeynalov called public anger expressed “unprecedented in character.” It reflects what appears to be mass nationwide sentiment.
Protesters marched past state television TRT headquarters. They shouted, “Burn the state media.” Sabah is a major pro-government newspaper. On Saturday, its lead article promoted Erdogan’s anti-smoking campaign.
Reuters said protesters “lit bonfires among overturned vehicles, broken glass and rocks and played cat-and-mouse on side streets with riot policeâ¤|.”
“The ferocity of the police response has shocked Turks, as well as tourists caught up in the unrest in one of the world’s most visited destinations.”
Helicopters fired tear gas into residential neighborhoods. Various buildings were targeted. Video footage showed one protester struck by an armored police truck.
Retired government employee Mehnet Haspinar was quoted saying “All dictators use the same methods, oppressing their people.”
In 2011, Erdogan urged establishing a new presidential system. He wants power transferred to the office. He want to seek it. If elected under new rules, he’ll govern for another decade.
He wants unchallenged power. He wants major Turkish regional political, military and economic influence. He wants greater overall control. He wants popular interests suppressed.
What’s ongoing perhaps reflects more than he bargained for. He remains defiant. In a televised Saturday speech, he vowed to proceed with Taksim Park plans.
One protester perhaps spoke for others saying:
“He’s crazy. No one knows what he’s doing or thinking. He’s completely crazy. Whatever he says today, he will say something different tomorrow.”
In a late Saturday twitter message, he said for every 100,000 protesters, he’ll mobilize a million supporters against them. He accused protesters of having “questionable ties.”
He mocked them saying so. “Taksim Square cannot be an area where extremists are running wild,” he added.
Millions of Turks appear fed up with his authoritarian rule. Their concerns aren’t addressed. People shouted “This is just the beginning. Our struggle will continue.”
On Saturday, Kurdish Peace and Democracy party (BDP) MP Sirri Sureyya Onder was injured. He responded accusing Erdogan of going too far.
Protesters “are rebelling against all of this now,” he said. “People are fed up with this lack of public discussion, with the disrespect, the immoderateness, the lawlessness, and the authoritarianism of this government.”
“It is not very good at apologizing. But this time I think it will have to.” Lack of media coverage inflamed tensions. A student protester said there’s “a total media blackout on this in Turkey.”
“They all collaborate with the government. We follow the foreign news coverage to get more information.”
A makeshift clinic was set up in Istanbul’s Chamber of Mechanical Engineers. Volunteer doctors treated injured protesters. One anonymously said police “use a very heavy teargas that causes serious health problems.”
Empty canisters showed it’s made in America. Perhaps it’s what’s used in Bahrain. One or more US companies supply it. It’s far more noxious than ordinary tear gas.
Symptoms include severe abdominal pains, vomiting blood, temporary blindness, temporary memory loss, shivers, seizures, and long-lasting breathing difficulties. Bahraini doctors think it’s nerve gas. Deaths result.
It’s too early to know what’s ahead. Clearly people are fed up. They’re angry. They’re sick and tired of a regime drunk with power.
It remains to be seen what follows. So-called Arab Spring protests achieved nothing. Hardline rule continues. Popular concerns aren’t addressed.
It shows what people wanting something better face. It’s unlikely Turks will fare better than others. Change never comes easily or quickly.
Liberating struggles take time. They’re longterm. They require sustained commitment. Often energy wanes. What’s ahead bears close scrutiny.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.